Choose Your Site Wisely
Don't build a new home in an environmentally sensitive location. Avoid locations at or below the floodplain level or within 100 feet of water or wetlands. Stay away from land that's been designated a habitat for threatened or endangered species or that was public park land prior to your acquisition. Also, try to build your home in or near an existing community, near existing infrastructure (such as sewers and a water supply), and with access to good walking and biking routes and public transportation [source: Natural Resources Defense Council].