How Do You Buy Land for Building a New House?

Perhaps building your own home has always been on your Bucket list. Perhaps you’re fed up with the lack of inventory in the housing market and are considering starting from scratch. You are most certainly not alone. Of course, if you’re going to build a house, you’ll need to buy land for building a new house. Where do you begin when you’re ready to take the first step?

Land should be taken into consideration when creating your custom home design. However, locating the ideal plot of land in Vancouver to erect a new house can be challenging. There are numerous factors you should consider. Finding the ideal piece of land for your house, however, can be easier than ever with this helpful guide!

What factors should we consider when purchasing a home?

You may be purchasing land for your new home, but if you purchase a property with a house on it, you must consider it as well. When it comes to the house, age is the most important factor. If a house was built before the 1940s, it must pass a Character Merit Assessment in Vancouver. If it is determined to have Character Merit, you may be penalized for demolishing it or offered incentives to keep it.

In some areas, home size regulations were different in previous years than they are now. This may imply that if you demolish the existing house, you will have to sacrifice square footage in your Custom Home Design. In these cases, we recommend considering a renovation rather than demolishing the old structure and starting over. Keep in mind that most houses built before 1991 contain asbestos or other hazardous materials that will be expensive to remove. Make sure to include this in your Custom Home Design budget.

What to think about when purchasing land for your Custom Home Design

Check to see if the property is freehold before purchasing it for your Custom Home Design. What is the significance of this? Long-term conditions can exist on any other type of land. You should also avoid Peat Bog because it raises construction costs, and the Shaughnessy Area because it restricts what you can demolish and build.

You should probably avoid homes near major roads in Vancouver. Because there are already Community Plans in place to gradually rezone all properties within 300 feet of a major road. These areas will be developed into multi-family housing. There’s always the chance that a developer will offer you money for the land while the rezoning is going on, but that’s a big bet to take. A corner lot can be fantastic, but it will usually require more detail on the side facing the street to have more corner appeal and avoid City issues.


When it comes to Custom Home Design, duplexes present their own set of challenges. If you have an Interior Lot with houses on either side, make sure it is at least 33 feet wide because a walkway to the front door for the rear unit will take 4 feet away from the width. Choose a Northern orientation if possible so that your backyard can face South.

Also, if you build a Duplex, you will not be eligible for a Laneway House. In Vancouver, there is a possible exception if you have a large enough RT-10 / RT-11 lot on which to build more units. You can also combine RT-10 Lots to get enough space to take advantage of this. In this case, you would not be constructing a Laneway House, but rather an Infill House that could be sold. We’ve even seen cases where 5 units were built and sold by combining two lots.`

You would certainly need experts looking into the Zoning and doing an in-depth Bylaws study to find out what you can build and what your limitations would be. Contact Epater Design Studio to help you navigate through the initial stages and get you the correct information that will help you to buy land for building a new house.