Building a brand new rental property leaves you with a clean slate, especially so if you’re going to build using your own plans and specs and not those from a builder’s stack of floor plans. Is a duplex the right property? Will it fit in the neighborhood? How big do you want the structure to be? You’velot determines structure got plenty of questions that need to be answered before you get too far out of the starting gate.

If you’ve invested in existing homes in the past, you understand that a full examination is a basic requirement from the acquisition price to the final selling price or rent. In between those two important timelines are the calculations made regarding all expenses including repairs, financing and selling commissions. But building brand new requires that you do all that and a bit more. You first have to decide what to build and where.

What you build is up to you and your imagination with local building codes have a major say with your project. Besides the costs involved, you must first look at the terrain. Where is the lot located and what is the topography? If you’re looking to build a new rental in an urban area with rolling hills and lots of mature trees, your options to build will be largely impacted by the surrounding geography. It may be that building to a particular square footage can mean having more than one level or two floors due to the terrain. If your lot is surrounded by trees it’s likely that local building codes require extensive tree preparation that protects trees during construction from damage and if trees do need to be removed, there will likely be removal guidelines that can stop you from uprooting a tree of a certain age.

On the other hand, if you’re building on a flat plain with fewer trees, your imagination and city codes are your only limits, as long as your plans are within budget. No need to consider building on rolling terrain and dodging topography. The flatter the canvas, the more creative you can be.