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When building your dream home, small details can mean the difference between profit and loss on a project, or the difference between a delighted customer and an unfriendly lawsuit. Home builders across the state are constructing and marketing New York ENERGY STAR Labeled Homes that are 30 percent more energy-efficient than conventionally built homes, provide higher levels of comfort, and are designed to be more long-lasting and durable. Such homes are built by the “house as a system” approach, which recognizes that a home is a singular, self-contained system. According to the "whole house" approach, a weakness in one small detail can have a ripple effect throughout the home. However, careful planning can result in a home greater than the total sum of its parts.

Homebuyer Incentives

NERGY STAR qualified new homes achieve their energy savings through a variety of reliable and established technologies and building practices. Builders are free to select the energy efficiency features used in their new qualified homes. Typically included technologies and practices are: Tight Construction (Reduced Air Infiltration),Tight Ducts,Improved Insulation, High Performance Windows, and Energy Efficient Heating & Cooling Equipment.

Because ENERGY STAR qualified new homes offer significant utility bill savings each and every month, ownership gives you access to special financing opportunities such as Energy Efficient Mortgages. These special mortgages make it easier for borrowers to qualify to purchase homes with specific energy-efficiency improvements.

As a home buyer you can also reap the benefits from special utility promotions designed to encourage homeowners to reduce their energy consumption through energy efficiency. These promotions often include product rebates on home products that bear the ENERGY STAR label, reimbursement for the cost of having your home energy rated by a certified home energy rater, as well as other energy efficiency perks depending on the structure of the utility's ENERGY STAR program. The bottom line is that by installing energy efficient features in your new home such as a high SEER heating and cooling unit, low-e windows, and improved insulation, you can save money on your monthly utility bills, live in a more comfortable home, and help keep energy demand down.

*Content derived from www.energystar.gov

Selecting the Optimum Building lot for your Custom Home Plan

There are many factors you must weigh before deciding on the location for your custom home. When considering the city, suburb, town, or village, take into account local schools, proximity to shopping malls and grocery stores, and transportation routes. Also take in to account proximity to airports, railway lines, and highways: all potential sources of heavy amounts of pollution and noise. Ask an expert about prevalent wind directions of the area. Some sources of pollutants may be located at a distance from the building lot, but wind currents may transport those irritants over long distances to your home.

Once you have selected the city or town, consider what community characteristics are important to you. This is where your individual preferences really come into play. You may select a neighborhood that is newer with lampposts, sidewalks, and modern architecture. Perhaps you prefer a neighborhood that is older with a good deal of brick buildings and historical ambiance. Next, consider how much space you require to build your custom home. Consider if any building or deed restrictions in place are reasonable to you and will allow you to build your home the way you want it. How important is the size of your lawn? Would you prefer a flat lot or a sloping lot? If you are selecting your lot based on a pre-developed plan, decide if the lot has features that would best compliment the design. Do you wish to live in an area where the houses are similar in design or where there are differences between the look of each individual home.

Seek out the help of a professional local realtor. A professional realtor will show you a number of lots which meet your criteria.

When building a custom home, the purchase of the building lot is likely to be the most variable piece of your overall budget. An increased price goes hand in hand with more popular areas. Sometimes, the price of a piece of property may be dramatically higher due to location. Therefore, it is important to take the following factors into account as you are selecting your building lot.


• Location convenience: Is it near work, schools and transportation routes?
• Gauge the attractiveness of the neighborhood: size of the lawn, wooded areas, scenery, etc.
•What is the quality of local facilities including the schools, recreational parks, and churches?

Zoning Restrictions

• What are the set back lines?
• If there any subdivision dues, what do they cover?
• What are the area’s building restrictions? Single family or multi-family?


• Does the size/shape of the building lot meet your standards and requirements?
• Take the lot’s depth and width into account: will the dimensions support your house plan?
• Have you considered front/side set backs and driveway width?
• How close will the houses around you be to your home?

Ground Conditions

• Does the lot slope enough or too much?
• How many trees are on the lot?
• Will they all need to be removed or can any stay?
• Your basement excavation may require blasting if the lot is in a highly rocky area.


• Does the lot have access to treated water, sewers, phone lines, gas, electric, and cable? If not, what would it take to make those necessary adjustments?


• What are the prices of the surrounding lots? Is the price of this lot competitive with lots in the same area ?
• Will you need to add utilities? The addition of utilities to a lot increases both the cost and the value of your lot.

After you have researched and selected your building lot, the next step is purchasing the ideal lot for your dream home, Rich Home Building and Development will be able to guide you through the process of buying the building lot in the most cost-effective way and will provide expert services that can help you avoid costly mistakes, time, and money.
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