It is always said that there are three important things to consider when choosing a site, location, location, and location.
Do remember that if in the future there is something that is no longer desired on your property you can always change it, however the only thing that you can not change or move is the location of your site.
Therefore, before you purchase a site you have to make sure that you are happy with your choice and it is going to be suitable for any changes that you want to make in the future
Where to look for a site;
The Auctioneer: This would probably be the first place to look at as they should have a listing for the sites for sale in the area that you are looking to build. If you find out that there are no sites available with them at that time, leave your details and let them know what is your requirements and they will let you know if something comes up.
Newspaper & Local publications: Many people would rather sell their sites this way as they are cutting out the middle man and saving on commissions.
Friends and neighbours and associates: By asking the people you know you might find out that a relative or associate of the person you are asking might be considering the sale of a site if they know that there is a buyer and it saves them the hassle of going through the usual advertisement and commission procedures.
Sites for Sale on the internet: In the recent years, this has been a very good route to find sites in your desired location without having to leave your own house. Most auctioneers and estate agent have their own web site with all the available information about sites on their list. There are also some special web sites that only deal with selling sites.
Driving around the area: It is always a good idea to drive around and see the different areas that you might be considering, and if there is a site you might like find out who owns it , they might be willing to sell it to you.
What to look for when choosing a site;
You should visit the site as often as you can before you make an offer on it. Make sure you see the site a different times of the day and if possible during different weather conditions. If the weather is really bad and you think that you can’t be bothered to go to look at the site consider this, after you have built your house you will be living there and you might get a shock next time we have severe weather conditions. Better to know now that to regret it later.
Visit you local planning office to find out what the local authority plans are for that area over the next few years, and if there are any plans that could effect the value of your property in the future, for example, a refuse site , ESB high power lines or railway lines.
Talk to the local people and find out what they think of the site, do remember that most of them have lived there most or all of their lives and they know if the site is going to be flooded during the winter time or if there is something else about it that you should know. This would also give you the opportunity to meet the neighbours and the local people and get a feel of if you would like to live in this community.
Take a look at the surrounding houses to see if there is any problems with ground settlement, if there are any major crack on the walls that might indicate a problem with the soil or something else that might effect your build.
Look around the area and see if you can notice anything that might give you indication the past that might affect you, like was it a mining area and is there any tunnels underneath the area?. Has it ever been a land fill?. Ask all of these questions as it is better to find out now rather that later.
Walk around the site and the surrounding lands, but make sure that you get permission from the owners first. Find out what type of soil you have there (Ground condition), if needs be take a small sample to someone who has the knowledge of what is a good soil for house foundation and landscaping. Is it clay or is it bog, these all make a difference to how your foundation is to be made up. Do remember that if it doesn’t affect your build it might make a difference to your landscaping plans after your house is in place.
Check the vegetation on the site. Is it the type that only grow on or near wetlands? If it is you might have a problem with he water level which could mean drainage problems. Again take a sample or even a photograph and go to your local garden center to ask their advice for the type of vegetation .
With the owners permission dig a number of trial pits on different locations on the site, maybe as much as 3 to 4 meters down and check what is on the layers and how far down is the level of the water table.
If there are any tree’s on the site, find out what kind they are and get information on the severely of their roots and if it is going to effect your build. Do remember that the roots of a tree could cause a potential problem with the foundation and the drains of the house. There are methods that can be used to divert these roots away from the house and you can read about them on Problems & Solutions.