Finding the perfect location to build your custom home is a crucial step in the journey of creating your dream abode. North Carolina, known for its diverse landscapes, charming communities, and vibrant culture, offers an excellent setting for your ideal home. However, before breaking ground, it’s essential to consider several key factors that will influence your decision. 

In this article, we’ll take you through a step-by-step process to determine the best location for your custom home in North Carolina.

20 Steps to Determining Where to Build Your Custom North Carolina Home

1) Define Priorities for Your Custom Home

The first step in choosing the perfect location for your custom home is to define your priorities. Make a list of the features and characteristics that matter most to you and your family. Consider factors such as proximity to work, schools, shopping centers, recreational areas, and healthcare facilities. 

Think about the type of environment you prefer—urban, suburban, or rural. Understanding your priorities will help narrow down potential areas for your dream home.

2) Research Local Communities

North Carolina is home to a variety of unique communities, each offering distinct lifestyles and amenities. Do thorough research on different towns and cities across the state. Consider factors like the quality of schools, crime rates, local events, and community activities. 

For instance, cities like Winston-Salem and Boone offer more urban amenities but an increase in traffic and noise. Towns like Wilkesboro, North Wilkesboro, Statesville, Yadkinville, and other areas throughout the foothills and piedmont off a more tranquil setting without being too far away from the city.

3) Budget Considerations for Your Custom Home

Your budget plays a vital role in determining where to build your custom home. Land prices, property taxes, and construction costs can vary significantly across North Carolina. 

Make sure to have a clear understanding of your budget and consult with local real estate agents to gain insights into the cost of land in your desired areas. It’s also essential to account for any additional expenses, such as permits and utility hookups. Make sure you’re prepared for potential unexpected costs, and don’t stretch yourself too thin. 

4) Zoning and Building Regulations for Custom Homes

Before finalizing a location, familiarize yourself with the zoning and building regulations of the area. Different municipalities and counties have specific rules and restrictions regarding building codes, land use, and design aesthetics. Ensure that your plans align with local regulations to avoid any setbacks during the building process.

5) Evaluate the Surrounding Infrastructure

Access to critical infrastructure can significantly impact your daily life. Look for areas with well-maintained roads, reliable utilities, and easy access to amenities. Check for nearby hospitals, schools, grocery stores, parks, and recreational facilities. Proximity to major highways and transportation hubs can also be advantageous for commuting and travel.

6) Natural Features and Views

Our area boasts stunning natural landscapes, including mountains, rivers, forests, and lakes. Take advantage of the state’s natural beauty by selecting a location that offers captivating views or nearby access to these features. Whether it’s waking up to a breathtaking sunrise over the mountains or lazy days spent on the river or lake, incorporating these natural elements can elevate your living experience.

7) Work with a Local Custom Home Builder

Navigating the custom home-building process in a new state or new area can be challenging. Engage the expertise of a local designer and builder who understands the North Carolina housing market and can guide you through the process. A knowledgeable builder can provide valuable insights, help you find suitable land options, and advocate on your behalf.

8) Visit Potential Locations for a Custom Home

While online research is valuable, nothing compares to experiencing a location in person. Plan visits to your shortlisted areas to get a feel for the neighborhoods, meet potential neighbors and explore local amenities. Pay attention to the surroundings, traffic, noise levels, and overall ambiance.

9) Future Growth and Development

As you plan to build your custom home, consider the future growth and development prospects of the area. Rapidly expanding regions may bring in new amenities and infrastructure, but they may also lead to increased congestion and noise. Strike a balance between established neighborhoods and emerging areas that align with your long-term vision for your dream home.

10) Engage with the Community

Getting involved with the local community is an excellent way to gain a deeper understanding of the area in which you plan to build your custom home. Attend local events, join community organizations, and participate in gatherings. Engaging with residents can provide valuable insights into the area’s culture, social dynamics, and potential challenges or advantages you might not have considered.

11) Consider Resale Value

Even if you plan to build your forever home, it’s essential to consider the potential resale value of the property. Life is unpredictable, and circumstances might change over time. While building your dream home, ensure that it includes features and design elements that appeal to a broader audience. 

Factors such as proximity to popular attractions, well-rated schools, and desirable amenities can positively influence the resale value of your property.


12) Environmental Factors

Environmental considerations are vital, especially when building a custom home. Research the area’s susceptibility to natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, or wildfires. Consult local authorities and experts to understand potential risks and precautions you can take during construction to ensure the safety and resilience of your home.

14) Utility Availability for Custom Homes

When building a custom home, access to essential utilities like water, electricity, and sewage is critical. Some rural or remote areas might have limited access to utilities, which could affect your plans. Check with local utility providers to ensure that the location you choose can accommodate your needs.

15) Choose the Right Lot for Your Custom Home

After narrowing down potential locations, focus on selecting the perfect lot for your custom home. Consider factors like the size of the lot, topography, orientation, and privacy. A south-facing lot can maximize natural light and energy efficiency, while a sloping lot might offer exciting design opportunities, such as a walkout basement.

16) Review Homeowners Association Rules

If your chosen location falls within a planned community or development, there might be a homeowners association (HOA) with specific rules and regulations. 

Review the HOA guidelines thoroughly to understand any restrictions on home design, landscaping, or exterior features. While some HOAs maintain neighborhood aesthetics, others might have more rigid restrictions that could limit your design choices.

17) Conduct a Soil Test

Before committing to a piece of land, conduct a soil test to assess its suitability for construction. Different soil types have varying levels of stability and drainage capabilities, which can impact your foundation and overall construction costs. Engaging a soil engineer will help you identify any potential challenges early on and plan accordingly.

18) Plan for Sustainability

Building a sustainable home is not only environmentally responsible but can also lead to long-term cost savings. Consider incorporating eco-friendly features such as energy-efficient windows, solar panels, rainwater harvesting systems, and smart home technologies. North Carolina has a moderate climate, making it conducive to passive solar design principles that optimize energy efficiency.

19) Verify Access to High-Speed Internet

Access to reliable high-speed internet is crucial for work, communication, and entertainment. Verify that the location you choose has access to robust internet infrastructure to avoid potential connectivity issues down the line.

20) Obtain Professional Advice

Throughout the process of determining where to build your custom home in North Carolina, seek professional advice from architects, builders, engineers, and real estate professionals. Their expertise will prove invaluable in making informed decisions, addressing potential challenges, and turning your dream home into a reality.

Start Building Your Custom Home in North Carolina

Building a custom home in North Carolina is an opportunity to create a living space that aligns perfectly with your lifestyle, preferences, and values. By carefully considering the factors mentioned above and conducting thorough research, you can confidently choose the ideal location for your dream home. 

Whether you seek the vibrant energy of a bustling city or the serene beauty of the countryside, North Carolina offers diverse options to suit every taste. Embrace the journey with excitement, and soon you’ll be enjoying the fulfillment of living in a home crafted precisely for you in one of the most inviting states in the country. 

If you’re ready to take the next step in your custom home-building journey, reach out to ExCo Custom Homes today for a free consultation!