Selecting your lot – 6 things to consider

An in-depth analysis can help you save big money and eliminate the guesswork when selecting your lot.

Here are 6 things you should consider before you purchase a lot in the Austin area:

Permit Jurisdiction

Austin city limits

 Is your lot in the City of Austin, Lakeway, Westlake Hills, Travis County or other?

A lot within the city comes with a premium price tag.


Austin Energy

Onsite utilities like power, water, sewer, phone, cable and fiber are preferable. If these are not already established, they will have to be brought on site later and that can cost big bucks.


Topography map


Since flat lots are hard to come by in the Hill Country, the cost of building on graded lots is important to understand. A 2 foot foundation costs roughly $10 per square foot with a premium of about $2 per square foot for each additional foot above that.

Here’s an illustration:

5,000 SF with a 2 ft. foundation @ $10/SF = $50,000.  5,000 SF with an 8 ft. foundation @ $22/SF = $110,000

Sun Orientation

Solar orientation

Since our prevailing winds come from the Southeast off the Gulf of Mexico during the Summer and from the North during the Winter, The desirable orientation of the home on your lot would be front facing North and Back facing South.


Lot setbacks

The size of a lot can be misleading if there is a relatively small building envelope after setbacks and easements are seen.  This can add to issues when selecting a lot that may lie in the floodplain.


Flood plain

If any elevation within your building envelope is below 721 feet, then part of the home may fall into the 100-year floodplain. That can result in significant additional costs and considerations when designing and building your home.

We’re here to help

If you are considering buying a lot in Austin or the surrounding area, analysis and advice from an experienced builder can help take the guess work out of selecting a lot and avoid costly surprises down the road.

Got Questions? We can help you find the answers.


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