How to Pick the Right Lot

A big part of buying a new construction home is the lot location. After all, the first rule of real estate is to “buy location, location, location” and that applies to the location in the subdivision as well.

The first question you have to ask yourself is on what type of home you are looking to build. Do you like two stories? Or maybe you like a ranch. Since basements are a big deal in Colorado, would you like a walkout basement or garden level? Walkout basements cost more and require the right type of lot, but they also have a greater value. Generally, the lot needs to be higher at the front of the lot and slope downwards or below grade as you get to the back of the home.

Next, what does the lot back to or front to? The direction the future home will face can be a big deal for some. Certain people of faith want the house to face east. In Colorado, people who have an east facing home will have the morning sun on their drive and have a better chance of the snow melting before they need to shovel. What your lot backs to will determine a lot of the value. I never let my clients buy a home that backs to a busy street, which will always be hard for re-sale. Homes that back to other homes can be ok under certain conditions. Homes that sit lower than the home in back of them sometimes have what we call a “the fish bowl effect.” That’s where people feel like their neighbor is looking down on them (not good).  Homes that back to another home that is too close are also a situation you need to avoid. I know some people don’t care if they have a big backyard but if you are so close you can pass your neighbor a hotdog from the BBQ over the fence, you’ll have a problem selling that home. If at all possible, always try to buy a lot that backs to open space, backs to a greenbelt, or backs to nothing. These lots are harder to come by and cost more, but they are well worth it when it comes time to re-sale.

Lastly, size is a consideration. We are always counseling our clients to buy the biggest lot for the least amount of money. We realize that not everyone wants a big yard or wants to maintain a big yard, but it’s always a good investment. It may also be out of your control if you are buying in certain subdivisions. Some new developments are geared toward empty nesters and there will never be big lots in there to buy. In that case, buy the lot with the best views.

There a lot more factors to consider when picking the right lot for new construction. If you want help or advice, please contact me at and my team would be happy to help you.

Dan Polimino is a Broker/Owner with the Colorado Dream House Team, Keller Williams Realty DTC. Contact Dan at 303-522-1161,, or

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