Many elements go into finding the right land for your new church construction project. Selecting a church building location can be one of the most important decisions pastors and church leaders make. Obvious ingredients like the budget for construction, the church’s timeframe, and demographics all affect the land purchase decision. Additionally, some less than obvious elements should be weighed prior to purchasing land for new church construction.
The current trends that affect land choices are much different today than they were 20 years ago. Today’s trends embrace the concept of multiple facilities in different locations centered around community. Whether you are building a large or modest building, here are some items to investigate and consider as you prepare to purchase the land for your new church.
1. Understand that all land is not created equal.
If there is a deal that looks too good to be true, it very well may be. If we are led by pressing circumstances that create undue pressure to find land, we could miss the very best God has for us in a new church location. Wisdom is the principle thing, and to walk in wisdom, we must first gather the facts and increase our knowledge about the choices that lie before us. Due diligence in learning the market, comparing locations, and weighing pros and cons should be part of the initial preparation process we embrace before we decide on land for our new church construction project.
2. Find out if the land in your preferred location is conducive to building.
Some cities make it hard to build on the land. Obtaining the necessary permits can turn into lengthy delays in the building process. Avoid unnecessary surprises so the church construction project doesn’t have to be postponed. When building projects get delayed, prices can shift on construction materials and affect the budget, which directly impacts the building project.
3. Find out if the land you are considering for your building is balanced.
Are there any drastic elevations in the land? If so, what looked like a good deal up-front may cost the church thousands of dollars in additional site work simply because it is on the side of a hill.
4. Discover if there are any easements and setbacks on the land you are considering.
Don’t be caught off guard. If the land has easements or setbacks, you may end up without the space you need to actually build on the land, or you may be able to only build on it limitedly. Easements and setbacks can create the unwanted situation of inadequate room for expansion in the future. Don’t wind up with land that you can’t use and need to resell. Do the necessary homework prior to purchasing your church’s land.
5. Determine if there is adequate space for parking.
Although this isn’t the most glamorous portion of planning your church construction project, without it, you may not be able to accommodate all the people your new facility is built to welcome. Church growth can be hindered if people can’t find a parking space when they come to church. In general, one parking space for every 1-2 people will give adequate space for everyone to park easily.
6. Remember to include permits in your budget.
Each city requires permits, and fees accompany some of them. Additionally, find out if the city requires you to bring water to the property for your fire prevention sprinkler system. Learn prior to your land purchase if you will need to create a turn lane into your new church and if you will need to add a traffic light in front of your church.
7. Learn if it is possible to gain zoning approval for the land.
If you’ve identified a potential piece of land, investigate the city’s zoning regulations to determine if the acreage can potentially be used for religious purposes.
Experts like Charlie Daniels of Churches by Daniels know how to help pastors and church boards buy land and build their new church construction project. As stated in May, 2018’s Church Executive Magazine, “At Churches by Daniels, we have developed a very economical process where we assist churches with identifying any potential obstacles or hurdles when considering a new piece of land or a building to renovate for ministry purpose.”