One of the most difficult steps in building a custom home is locating the property on which to build. Many people think in terms of "buying land"...maybe several acres out in a rural area. When considering buying land in the country rather than a building lot in a city or suburban area, you need to think about several factors. The farther the property is from a city, the cheaper it is. However, when planning to build a custom home in outlying areas, don't forget you'll need to consider extra costs for contractors and materials. There will be extra charges for time, transportation, and logistics depending on how far away the home will be from the city. In addition, you need to investigate availability of utilities. What about water and sewer? Will you need a well? A septic system? What about gas and electric? Will you need a propane tank? What about cable tv and internet service? And don't forget about zoning ordinances and proposed land use changes that could eventually effect the value of your property. Those 20 acres look beautiful right now, but what happens when the outlet mall goes in next door? Of course, with any property, you'll need to examine easements and covenants, and you'll also need to consider the elevation of the land and any natural hazards that may effect your building site. Finally, you need to imagine what your life will be like once you're living on the property. How far is it to the grocery store? the school? to work? What happens if it snows? Are the roads plowed? Where will the kids ride their bikes?
Nevertheless, living in the country could be a perfect experience for you. Privacy, beautiful scenery, working the land for business or pleasure, fresh air, self-sufficiency---all could be reasons for opting to buy land. Just make sure you carefully weigh the benefits vs. the costs so you know the true value of your property.