Building a home on Sanibel Island. Is it possible? Yes!
We should point out that Sanibel is fairly “built-out” in terms of residential properties vs. residential vacant lots. You can read more about that on our blog: “Can You Buy A Vacant Lot on Sanibel?” So, while there are not a plethora of vacant lots listed for sale on Sanibel, there are some great options!
Here are three steps to get you started with building a home on Sanibel Island.
Step #1 – Find The Lot!
An obvious step #1 would be to find a vacant lot for sale that is zoned for residential real estate. Our real estate agents can help you with this step!
Note: Before you embark on the journey of searching for and purchasing a vacant lot, you should familiarize yourself with the cost of land and costs of building on island, as these change with time and varying market conditions.
Step #2 – Due Diligence Research
There are a number of tasks and questions you’ll need to have answered during your due diligence period.
Some tasks might include:
- Obtain a boundary survey
- Obtain zoning information:
- Confirm setbacks
- Ask about building restrictions
- Ensure no wetland or environmental restrictions
- Confirm FEMA flood zone
- Check City of Sanibel impact fee schedule
- Check City of Sanibel file for any permits or documents available
- Inspect the lot for endangered species nests or burrows
- Confirm HOA fees, restrictions, and information
- Ensure utility connections are available
These are just a few things to look into during your due diligence period, some might not apply to every situation. It’s also a good idea to gather information on what it costs to insure a home in that area, even if it’s not an exact quote for your future home. We suggest reaching out to a local insurance expert to have them help answer your questions and provide a ballpark figure for your budgeting purposes.
Step #3 – Find Your Builder
If you haven’t started talking to a few different home builders in the area, now’s the time to start! A local builder will be able to answer questions about the permitting process, building restrictions, and outline the entire building process for you. After you select your building plans or have custom plans drafted, the builder will be able to break down the cost of the project and outline the timeframe for building.
These are all very important details, most of which take time to develop. Be sure to ask your builder and your real estate agent which items are important to nail down during your due diligence period, so that you are comfortable with purchasing the vacant lot.
What Happens Next?
You’ll close on your property and be the proud owner of land on Sanibel Island, yay! Your builder will help you with the paperwork needed to apply for building permits with the City of Sanibel. You can visit the City of Sanibel Building Division webpage to read more about the process yourself. Understand that the permitting process can sometimes take awhile. Ask your builder what other aspects of the home build process you can work on while waiting on permitting.
We hope this helps shed light on the basic steps of building a home on Sanibel Island. We’re happy to chat more about whether or not new construction is the right option for you. We also have a list of helpful resources such as local home builders, local lending companies, local insurance companies, etc. that we’re happy to share with you! Give us a call at 239-472-1950.