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Choosing a Lot: What You Should Look For

Posted on November 7, 2016 by Michelle Lefurgey

choosing-lot-what-look-for-neighbourhood-image.pngYour lot is as important as choosing your floor plan and features. Not only does your lot play a huge role in determining how your home is laid out, but it can also affect your home’s temperature, landscaping, and overall happiness within the home. For these reasons, it’s important to do your research ahead of time. Read on to discover a few key pointers in what you should look for when choosing a lot.

Location and Desirable Features

Selecting your lot can be a tough decision when you tour your new community. When considering your options, try to compare the features of each location and determine what will work best for your home type and floor plan. The direction, the view, the position of the sun and the proximity to traffic and other houses are all necessary to think about ahead of time.

Zoning Considerations

Calgary’s zoning bylaws are also important to consider as you will need to choose a lot appropriate for the size, shape and features of your home. Choosing a good home builder means they'll work with you to determine which lot options meet the right standards for your ideal home.

Quiet or Busy Streets?

When you’ve found a lot with excellent space, size and location, your personal preferences should be your next priority. Start by looking at the neighbouring streets and determine how loud they are. Can you handle living next to a busy major roadway? What about a bus route? With a community that’s still under development, you may need to visualize what traffic will look like when all of the homes are occupied.

Safety and Solitude

A cul-de-sac lot can be a great choice if you have young children and worry about the dangers of busy streets. Also, choosing a lot near a park may mean more traffic and activity, rather than the quiet solitude of a home located further away from central gathering areas. At night, consider which direction headlights will approach and if they'll shine into your home’s windows.

choosing-lot-what-look-for-backyard-image.pngLot Shapes and Sizes

The shape of your lot should be factored in to your decision as well. Depending on the type of home and floor plan you've chosen, some lot shapes may be better than others. For example, a lot on a cul-de-sac is narrow in the front and wider in the rear; you’ll enjoy a larger backyard, but your home may need to sit back further on the lot, and it will be closer to the homes next to it.

Unique Lot Features

A corner lot may offer more space, but it also requires additional landscaping and more time spent on snow removal. You may find a lack of privacy in your backyard as well, unless you add a privacy fence

That being said, a corner lot is ideal for a home with a front and side facade that can be enhanced with landscaping for beautiful curb appeal. Additionally, when you choose a lot with a rear lane, you can enjoy a home style with a large rear-facing garage.

The Influence of the Sun

Your preference for a sunny morning bedroom or a picture-window sunset should also be considered as you select your lot. Most homeowners prefer to have some shelter from the hot afternoon sun, so you may wish to consider positioning your home so the largest windows capture only morning or evening light. At the same time, the afternoon sun can be warming and desirable when streaming through the windows on a cold winter’s day. Decisions, decisions.

Also keep the sun’s position in mind for your outdoor spaces. A backyard deck may be miserable in the summer if there’s no reprieve from the sun, while the heat can be useful to help you clear snow and ice from your sidewalks and driveway in the winter. Your landscaping is also affected by the direction of the sun; if you’re a gardener, be sure to choose a lot that has lots of sunlight and space for you to enjoy.

Making the Most of a Sloped Lot

Although a level lot may work best for most types of home styles, if you’ve chosen a walkout basement or another style that’s best suited to a sloped lot, look for a gentle slope so drainage and landscaping will be easy. A sloped lot may be especially desirable when you choose a lot that backs onto a green space. With a focus on picture windows and doorway exits at the rear of your home, you can fully enjoy the views of nature from your new home.

Within the parameters of zoning and the home style you've selected, choosing the ideal lot means making the right choices to match your family’s needs and lifestyle. A good builder will have many lot styles for you to choose from so that you can find the best location for your new home.

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Photo credit: neighbourhood, backyard
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Topics: build a new home