The lot is not the most important thing. There are many nice lots and if you are in a well planned community, you will probably be happy wherever you are. However, some lots are nicer than others, which is why there are lot premiums. A premium could be put on the lot because it’s in a cul-de-sac or because it’s bigger or because it’s on the lake or golf course. The range for these premiums is huge. For our particular development, lots ranged from 0 to $40k.
There are also standard lot sizes. When you are building, the section you build in will have a specific lot size which is the measurement of the front of the lot which can be something like 50’ 60’ 70’ 80’ and so on and so forth and everything in between. In a suburban master-planned community, they will usually only build a certain size house on each sized lot. For example, you can’t build a small 1800 sq ft house on a 80’ lot just because you want to have a massive backyard. Therefore, your backyard size is going to matter based on the plan that you put on the lot and which lot size you build on. Another reason cul-de-sacs and larger lots are at a premium is that you will be able to build the same size house and end up with a bigger back yard.
Also consider traffic. Cul-de-sacs are considered the best because you won’t get much traffic. The only people driving on that road will be your neighbors and people who are lost. So you’ll have much less noise AND your lot will probably be larger because the lots fan out in the back.
Open view fences, wood fences, and brick walls. These are a few examples of what you might be stuck with when you buy a lot. If you are moving into a master-planned community like we did, you will have no say in this matter whatsoever except by which lot you pick. Some communities like to have corner lots open to public view. Some communities like to have all fences that are facing public areas like roads, parks, or lakes, open to public view. So if you have a dog that can get through wrought iron fences or can jump them, or you just prefer your privacy, you are going to want to ask your builder about this.
In master planned communities, your property is most likely applicable to some kind of easement which means there will be a portion of your yard that you cannot build any permanent structures on. This is mostly relevant if you ever consider building a pool.
So while the lot is not the most important thing, there is still a lot to consider. We ended up with a cul-de-sac lot where we only have a neighbor on one side and our lot premium was only $4k. And one of our walls is a brick wall maintained by the development! Score!