How to Find a Good Homesite

You’ve decided it’s time to build the home you’ve been dreaming of, but where? You have options when you decide to build, and building on the homesite you choose is the most important. At Compass Homes, custom home builders in Columbus, Ohio, we have many homesites in amazing neighborhoods. You might have also found a homesite yourself, and now are ready to build. But what if you’re still in the looking stage? What do you need to think about & do when you’re trying to find a great spot for your dream home?


  • Find the community or rural area you want to live in and drive around to see who’s building there or who has sites for sale. Contact those builders (like Compass Homes) and get a conversation started. In that conversation, ask about HOA fees, historic district restrictions, environmental conditions, front & side setbacks, and any possible exemptions in place on the land.
  • Try to find a site that is about 15-20% of the value of the home you want to build. This may not always happen, depending on how many lots are available, but a good rule of thumb to follow.
  • Search for a site that has setbacks that will work for the size home you want to build.
  • Are the property taxes what you can afford?

The Nitty Gritty

  • Know the cost to build on the site and what the cost of the site is itself. Finding a lot in a developed neighborhood means that electricity, natural gas, water & sewer are most likely already in place. If you are building where this isn’t in place, find out how you will get water (well or from the utility company), waste (sewer or septic), natural gas or propane, power, and internet service. The price of the homesite might not be worth it if you have to pay large fees for utilities.
  • Understand what site work needs to be done in order for construction to begin.
  • Research what zone restrictions or deed restrictions are placed on the land. Can you work with what’s in place?
  • Check a satellite view of it to see not only what’s next door, but 3 miles away. Is what’s there going to be a problem (like gas stations, railroad tracks, or a busy road)?

The Property Itself

  • Walk every inch of the property to look for positives & negatives. Is there a wetland area, a low spot that could hold water, a creek or stream that could overflow, dead trees that need to be removed, land that needs to be leveled, or is it in a floodplain? Any of these could be problems that will have to be addressed & remediated.
  • Is there an existing home on the property that needs to be torn down?
  • Understand how the lay of the land (elevation, slope, etc.) works so that you don’t end up having to build a home that doesn’t work for you.
  • Make sure there is road access. This isn’t usually an issue in urban areas, but it can be an issue when building out in the country. There may only be private access available through another homeowner’s land that will have to be dealt with. Work that out in writing that before you buy that lot!

Your perfect homesite is out there and doing your due diligence and researching how to find it will get you one step closer to building your new home. We’re always available to you, to assist in your search for the perfect lot – even one that’s out in the country! At Compass Homes, we’ve done the hard work for you with our amazing homesites that we have available now in Upper Arlington. Contact us and let’s get the process underway. We’d love to build you the home of your dreams!