Land Buying Tips
Buying a block of land should be easy. But that’s not to say that buying a block of land is simple. Your choice of land is intrinsic to the success of your custom-built home, so use this checklist to choose wisely.
Don’t just focus on the size of the land you’re buying – the shape of the site is vitally important too. Irregular blocks can offer exciting opportunities to create an impressive home, wide blocks offer the opportunity for imposing street presence and deep blocks offer the opportunity to create fantastic garden spaces. However, elongated, battle-axe or angular blocks can offer problems for the unwary. An expert architect or builder is required to maximise these blocks without wasted space.
Consider Slope and Soil Type
Blocks with a steep gradient that have not been retained will incur high building costs. Sandy and light soils may need reinforcement even over light gradients, and thick clay or rocky soils may incur additional excavation and tipping costs.
Look for Ground Water
Damp blocks may require additional drainage, even across garden areas, while the costs or suitability of underground garaging or cellaring can vary hugely depending on the wetness of the site.
Even the most poorly oriented block can look sunny and elevated when it is vacant. Get an expert opinion on how your block’s exposure to sun, wind and rain will affect the home you hope to build.
Check on Services
While most blocks in established areas are fully serviced, you can’t automatically assume that all services are available. Blocks on new estates, in rural and remote areas will often incur additional costs for service connection.
Check out the Neighbourhood
Your re-sale and enjoyment is dependent on the neighbourhood you purchase in.
Take into consideration the location and quality of the surrounding homes, and consider whether the home you want is appropriate. Then think about how you will live in the home – are shops, transport, entertainment and schools close-by? Think about how long you plan to live in the area and whether it can meet your needs now and in the future.
Uncover Easements and Impediments
Check the Land Title Certificate carefully, visit the Council and approach the relevant bodies to discover whether there are any encumbrances on your land. An easement in the backyard may be a small thing unless it happens to be where you want to put the pool. A road-widening order or heritage listing may not affect how you use the block today but could be vitally important to whether you can profitably sell your home in the future.