A Guide to Buying Land for Sale in Delaware


When planning your custom home, choosing the land to build on is as important as deciding on the various features you want for your living space. Not all plots of land for sale are created equal, and some may pose greater construction challenges than others. 

Delaware offers plenty of various land options for prospective buyers and potential home builders. To help ensure that your vision for your new custom home meets expectations, here is a guide to buying land in Delaware with some key factors to consider. 

Soil Composition 

Though most land parcels will contain a mixture of multiple soil types, there are three main varieties: sand, silt, and clay. Building a foundation in each of these soils will require different materials, techniques, and equipment. This can affect the overall construction costs. 

If a home’s foundation is not constructed to compensate for the surrounding soil conditions, this can lead to major issues in the future. From erosion to cracking and improper settling, remediating these problems will prove costly and time-consuming. 

When browsing land for sale listings, you should take note of the soil composition. If this is not available, consider having the plot inspected and analyzed to determine the soil conditions. You can bring this information to your contractor for a more accurate quote of the home-building costs. 

Proximity to the Shore

Do you want to build a home along the beach or something more inland? In many cases, coastal land will cost more in Delaware than inland plots. This means a greater upfront investment in purchasing the land before the following construction expenses. 

If you want to live in a custom home near the shore but want to save on your land purchase, consider buying a plot near the beach but not within the beach town itself. A 10 to 20-minute drive to the coast might prove more reasonable to you as the homebuyer if it results in major savings. 

Inland Properties: Urban, Suburban, or Rural? 

Delaware is a small state, but it offers a bit of everything. There are cities, suburbs, shore towns, and rural communities all throughout. The area where you decide to purchase land will also determine its value. 

For example, many smaller plots of land in urban areas cost more than multiple acres in rural towns. Why? Cities are often the economic centers of their states. This means more higher-income individuals are purchasing nearby properties to commute from. These buyers will influence that market and drive up prices due to the increased demand and lower supply. 

Similarly, shore towns are full of vacation homes that owners do not occupy year-round. These vacation communities contain buildings owned by individuals with a significant amount of disposable income. The market will be priced to reflect these factors. 

However, in most cases, buying an undeveloped property for the land value is cheaper than purchasing a plot with a home on top of it. Proximity to certain regions may still affect the overall value, but without a large asset like an existing home factoring into the equation, you can stand to save significantly. 

Lastly, if you are considering an inland property, you should examine the local communities to see which ones meet your lifestyle needs. You do not want to invest in buying land and building a home in a town where it proves incompatible with what you want out of a neighborhood. You may like the charm of rural living, but if your career requires work in an office environment, you will have more options living in a city or suburb. 

Family Considerations

Take your family into consideration when browsing land listings. For example, if you do not have children but plan to have them in the future, you may want to choose a plot of land large enough to install a swimming pool and swing set in a few years. Conversely, if you are a single adult and do not plan on having others live with you, you may not want to buy a large plot of land. 

The number of people living in your home, present or future, will also affect the size of the home you build. More bodies require more rooms and square footage, and the larger the house, the less yard space you will have. If you want a large house and large yard, this will result in purchasing a larger plot of land. 


Perhaps the most important factor to consider before making an offer on a plot of land is the zoning regulations. Is the listing zoned for residential living space? You do not want to move along the process and find out that you cannot build a home. 

Zoning information will normally be available at the planning and zoning office and most realtors will be able to pull this data for you. Be sure to confirm this with your realtor prior to submitting an offer to ensure no regulator red tape interrupts building your dream home. 

Ready to Build Your Custom Home in Delaware? Let Us Help!

Bay to Beach Builders is the leading custom home builder in the First State. We partner with skilled Amish craftsmen and merge our modern design and construction sensibilities with their time-honored traditions to create truly unique living spaces for our customers. 

Do you have a plot of land in Delaware that you would like to build the home of your dreams on? Don’t wait any longer! Browse our home models for inspiration and contact us for more information anytime.