Buying a block of land comes with just as many considerations as buying a new home.
By supporting your decision with good research, you can ensure you’re purchasing the right block of land for your needs and hopefully avoid any costly surprises down the track.
1. Legal considerations
It’s vital you consider all the legal obligations that come with buying a block of land. When your intention is to build on the land, the first thing you will have to do is get approval from the local council. Many blocks have covenants that place certain building materials under restrictions. Being aware of these limitations, before you purchase, will enable you to adapt your plans to suit your budget.
Consider the land’s proximity to amenities like shops, schools, hospitals, parks and public transport. If you chose to sell the land or lease it, these amenities will ensure your investment is likely to fetch better returns in the long run.
You may be able to cross off everything on your checklist but if your land is located in a bushfire or flood zone, this should raise a red-flag. Check with your developer and local city council to verify bushfire and flood risk. These higher risk areas will seriously affect your ability to obtain finance for the project.
4. Utility Services
Make sure you are aware of the availability of utility services like power, gas, internet, water and sewage to your plot. Determine whether these provisions are already in place. If they aren’t, find out the costs of having them installed and factor these into your budget.
Building a house that is energy efficient will benefit your bottom line and the planet. This is where paying attention to the orientation of the block of land you buy pays off. Having a northern orientation will ensure the house gets enough natural light and warmth during winter, while also protecting it from excessive heat in the hotter months of the year. As a rule, having a house built with optimal orientation will result in considerable savings on the energy bills in the long run.
6. Size and shape
The design of your house will largely depend on the size and shape of the land you buy. Buying a block of land that is rectangular is a popular choice particularly for resale. Before you buy consider what you have planned for the land. Do want to subdivide? Do the land dimensions fit the plans you have? Knowing these things before you start looking will help you choose the best block for your needs.
7. Terrain of the block
Take note of the terrain on the block and anticipate the costs you may incur because of this when building. If the block is steep, leveling or construction can be more costly. Likewise, the cost of removing trees or excavating rocks needs to be considered as an extra expense and factored into your budget.
8. Soil Quality
Soil testing your block is just due diligence when purchasing a block of land. Testing the soil will ensure that you’re not buying a lemon with unknown issues lurking out of sight. A soil test will look at the physical and chemical characteristics of the soil to determine if it’s safe and will help you estimate the stability and land retention of the block. Good soil composition is important in terms of minimising the cost of building a sturdy foundation.
9. Type of home you want to build
Decide who you will be building the house for. A family with children would ideally want a backyard and multiple bedrooms, while retirees or young professionals may seek something low maintenance. Accordingly, determine whether the block of land can be adapted to these needs.
10. Neighbouring properties
Lastly, looking at neighbouring properties can provide you with a vague idea of the issues in the area. Before buying a block of land, also remember to enquire about any building proposals or future developments pegged for the area, as they may impact your plans.
If you factor in each of these things when looking at a block of land and it ticks all the important boxes, buy it! You can rest easy knowing that you’ve done your research. You are choosing a block that suits your requirements while hopefully avoiding any unexpected surprises or expenses when you start building.
Ready to start looking for the perfect piece of land? A good place to start is over on our House & Land packages page. You can also head on over to iBuildNew.com.au to search for more land and estates. Happy hunting!