Well, we have been in the house for a couple weeks now and I am SO HAPPY to have a house again. We are SO not city people and SO not renting people...we love our space, we love having ownership of our own dwelling, we love having a yard, and we love being away from everything. I thought I would share the things we love about our neighborhood and area because I know a LOT of people looking for lots to build on right now.
We chose somewhere with a decent commute but still away from the city. Since this blog is public I won't be sharing any details on the city or area we live, but I will say that we are about 30-40 minutes from Salt Lake City. This is even on busy traffic days for Trey. When we were living in South Salt Lake it would take him 20-25 minutes to get home because of how many lights he had to sit through and how much traffic there was, so it really only adds 15-20 minutes to his commute from living really close to work and we LOVE being away from all the noise and all the other things we hate about the city...I could list probably 15 things but won't haha! I would suggest if you are looking for a lot, to drive out to different locations to really get a good idea- and make sure it is during the time you would normally be driving.
This was the trickiest part of finding a lot. If you don't have a ton of money to buy up a few acres to get some privacy (which is already pretty hard to find) most of the lots you look at will be looking into other houses. The only way we found the lot we did was through our builder (who is also a realtor) Realtors like HER Realtors, (a major Realtor located in Ohio for those of you in that area) and many others, usually have the most resources to get you to the area and type of lot you are looking for. That being said, we did not use a realtor, but we got lucky that our builder, being a realtor, found us the exact lot we were looking for. Our backyard backs up to a hillside that is sectioned off and each part is privately owned- so hopefully that means we won't ever have backyard neighbors...knock on wood. Also, it was hard to find bigger lots in our price range- we got SO lucky finding a lot as big as ours and at the price we did. We totally owe that to our builder/realtor.
3. Smaller neighborhood
Our neighbordhood (all new builds but 2) is made up of about 40 houses. I love that it is big enough that the kids can make friends and bounce around from house to house, but small enough that there isn't much traffic driving around at all. We live on a road that ends by a cul-de-sac and there will probably only be a handful of cars driving by our house every day- maybe even less.
4. No HOA
This one was SO HARD to find! Every new development and many of the older ones have HOA's that cost you money every month and just make rules and tell you what you can/can't do on your own property. It was nearly impossible to find a neighborhood to build in without an HOA so we got really excited when we found this one. Some people don't care about or even prefer to have an HOA so it is personal preference and more about control and ownership to us than money haha!
Obviously with 3 kids I make a couple trips a week to the grocery store, so I didn't want to be miles and miles from the closest grocery store. I have a Smith's only 5 minutes away and a Walmart Super-center 10 minutes away. We also have a bigger shopping center and movie theater about 15 minutes away and then a mall and Costco about 20 minutes. This is just right for me!
The kids will be growing up in this house so we wanted them to be in a great school district. We are really excited about the district we are in and I am OBSESSED with the elementary school they are going to.
We have a nice park right across the street from our neighborhood that the kids can play on when they are little and then a big field they can play in when they are older. It will be perfect!
This is one place we could have done better maybe. We are 40 minutes from a boating lake but about the same distance we have always been from where we love to camp and fish. You can't have everything right ;) Future goal: building a cabin we can stay at close to some good fishing/hunting/boating areas :)
I hope this helps those of you looking for lots and some of the aspects to look at and which ones are important to you and which ones aren't. Thanks for reading!