A Barndominium is a barn that has been converted into a living space. They are usually located on vacant fields with plenty of space around them for activities such as farming and keeping livestock.
People that want to build their own Barndominium often start off by purchasing a plot of land that they think (and hope!) will be large enough to accommodate them and their families.
However, a recent survey showed that 37 percent of people who owned a Barndominium wished that they did more research on the subject and how much space they would need beforehand.
To put it into perspective, the average size of a residential lot in the United States is 8,600 square feet. In terms of land, this equates to around one-fifth of an acre. Vacant lots in rural areas often offer much more impressive amounts of space than this and therefore it shouldn’t be an issue of which plot of land you purchase, right?
Wrong. This is where a lot of Barndominium owners slip up and regret their choice later on. To avoid making the same mistakes, there are a few considerations you need to take into account before purchasing the land for your Barndominium.
We have listed these considerations below for your convenience. Some Barndominium owners have found success with listing the factors below in a checklist format to ensure that they don’t miss anything when considering plots of land.
- The Location
There’s no use opting for a plot of land too far away from your workplace or family, just because it’s large. The location of your Barndominium might just be the most important consideration of all.
Along with the location itself, you should research its demographics, school data, crime statistics, and distance to shops.
- Which Zone is the Property Under?
The zone of a plot of land will tell you whether it is designed for residential or commercial use. Other zoning regulations might put strict restrictions on your build; however, such as a minimum or maximum house size, requirements for outhouses and additional buildings, and setbacks for your property plan.
While you might opt for a large piece of land, the zoning restrictions could limit your building plans greatly. For example, some even tell you how far your Barndominium needs to be away from the perimeter of your land.
- Account for the Access
Many people opt for a large plot of land, build their Barndominium right in the center, and then have to spend lots of money building roads on their land to get to the main roads. If you don’t want to drive 15 miles down a rocky road to get to your Barndominium, make sure that you know all about the access to the main roads for each plot of land you’re considering.
- Environmental Factors
Particularly if you’re relocating to a new area, you will need to know about the environmental conditions. Hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, and other natural disasters could pose a threat to your Barndominium.
Purchasing land without prior knowledge of these environmental hazards could force your insurance premiums through the roof. This is something to consider when planning your budget.
- What About the Topography?
Topography explains all about the terrain of the land, as well as its natural features such as elevations and valleys. Building on uneven terrain can make the price much higher than it needs to be, as well as increasing the overall timeframe of the task.
The soil will also come under this consideration as this is what is going to support your Barndominium. Soil mixed with clay is much more stable than soil mixed with sand. The soil makeup will determine what you can and cannot build on it, which can be incredibly restrictive.
- Public Utilities Available
Mains power is available almost everywhere, so you don’t need to worry about access to this too much. However, access to gas, water, and sewers is not always available and can make your life much more difficult.
If your plot of land doesn’t have access to all of these utilities, you might need to drill your own wells and add tanks to your land. Not only can these be unsightly, but they can also take up a lot of your land and render it useless.
- Tax Issues
The more land you purchase, the higher your tax will be. Plus, not only do you need to pay tax on the land but also on the improvements you make upon it. This includes your Barndominium as well as anything else you build on it. So, the larger the land, the higher your tax payments will be.
- Mineral Rights
Just because you own the land, this doesn’t mean that you own the mineral rights beneath it. Without knowing about this beforehand, you could wake up with an oil rig or drill disrupting your land.
The more land you have, the more costs you’re likely to incur. Higher tax, longer labor times and therefore costs, more materials needed to build your Barndominium. These are just a few of the factors that will affect how much you’ll need for your budget.
Then there are all the contingencies to account for. You might opt for a smaller piece of land because it’s all your budget will allow for. However, this can become a big regret in the long run.
If you want to get a larger amount of land with a small budget, consider a loan. However, bear in mind that you might not always be accepted for a loan and therefore should hold off making an offer before you know the funds are available.
Overall, the average space you’ll need to build your Barndominium is 8,600 square feet. This might slightly increase or decrease depending on your family requirements. However, there is much more to consider than just the size of the land.
Zoning restrictions, public utilities, and road access are just some of the things that can affect the amount of space you need for your Barndominium. Do plenty of research before jumping into the first plot of land you see so that you don’t become one of the Barndominium owners with regrets.