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Real Estate

How Welcome Homes Selects Land for Custom Homes

It's important to consider all factors prior to purchasing the land—once building begins, there's really no turning back.

Alec Hartman
/ Feb 1, 2021 / 2 min read
Choosing where to build a home is a crucial step in your home buying journey and the construction process. It is important to consider all factors prior to purchasing the land—once building begins, there's really no turning back. 

At Welcome Homes, we've developed a process that ensures the parcel you've selected is buildable, the location is desirable, and you (the customer) are 100% on-board before moving forward with construction.

Finding land

Our team views every available infill lot in the New York tristate area as a possibility for construction. If it meets our standards, the land parcel is added to the Welcome Homes database, segmented by area.

We ensure every property considered has value. In other words, we take into account how the home we build will compare financially with the surrounding homes in the neighborhood. Will it be the most expensive house on the block? If yes, it may not be a worthwhile investment for the customer and we won’t add it to the Welcome Homes database. 

Currently, we're targeting areas within a 75-mile radius of New York City (excluding the five boroughs). This consists of Westchester and Putnam counties in New York, Fairfield County in Connecticut, and sought-after communities in Northern New Jersey, such as Short Hills and Ridgewood. 

We look for lots in areas our customers have expressed interest in, that are abundant in the features that make a house a home: areas with good public school districts, a variety of restaurant options, shopping, parks, and seasonal community events.

Determining if land is buildable

Once we find land for sale in the right area and at the right price, we execute a preliminary study to determine if the parcel is buildable prior to even visiting the site in-person. We use online resources to help guide our decision. The Welcome Homes’ “Go/No Go” rating immediately disqualifies undesirable lots. 

If a customer expresses interest in one of the Welcome Homes “Go Properties,” we simultaneously work with them to secure financing while the land is being evaluated. Customers can make an offer on the lot based on the purchase price and pending approvals.

READ: What Is a Land Feasibility Study & Why is It Important


The preliminary study includes working with a civil engineer to ensure the property:

  • Can support a single-family residential structure.
  • Has the footprint to meet zoning requirements.
  • Has favorable conditions in terms of soil type and slope.
  • Has the ability to build with municipal hook-ups.
  • Can install septic systems and wells for utilities.

When we are 90% sure we can build on the land, we certify the lot and the civil engineer helps us design the best systems for the future custom home.

Surveying land

Before construction begins, a surveying crew will visit the site and evaluate the parcel. The survey uncovers property lines, determines if there are any slopes, and maps out trees. At this point, we propose the footprint of the house along with the driveway all drawn out on a sitemap. 

We use this information to submit for permits from the municipality. It could take several months for permit approvals, and the timeline is contingent upon the municipality, if the lot is leveled, or if the land has prior approvals. 

We also need planning board approvals and the green light from the Board of Health which could take another three months before we can proceed on constructing the home.

Time to build

Now that we are sure the land can house a residential structure, it meets the town’s requirements, is approved by all parties, and adheres to Welcome Home’s qualifications, the time has come to break ground. 

Our crew begins turning the parcel of land into a beautiful custom home.

Build your dream home. Online. Get started today.

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