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Tips on buying a block of land – part two

Published on November 9, 2018

In a previous post we discussed three important things to consider when buying a block of land.  We examined:

  • Choosing the location of your block of land. Where you want to live which suits your family’s lifestyle
  • Determining the size of your block of land. How much land do you need to fit your dream home?  Consider if you want a pool, need storage for a boat or caravan etc.
  • Consider the shape of your block of land. Do you want a large backyard for the kids to play or would you prefer to have a wide street frontage?

To complete the story on what to look for when choosing a block of land, we look at other tips on finding your perfect home site.

Slope of your block of land

Sometimes the slope of the land is not always obvious. A contour plan detailing the slope, may be available from the land developer, if you are considering buying a block in a new estate.   Otherwise you will need to have a site inspection done by a surveyor to get this vital information. This drawing will then determine where you can position your home.

If the block has a slope and you want to build a home on one level, then you may need to have your block cut and filled.  This can add thousands of dollars to the final costs.  Sometimes a cheap block which has a steep slope, could end up costing significantly more in building costs.

With a sloping block, you may also take advantage of any views from the crest of the block.  Remember, that you will need to have sufficient area in this position, to site your home.  Your contour map will determine this.

Also take into account access to the home by the driveway.  Steep inclines are not necessarily a good idea, especially if the house will be positioned close to the road.  You don’t want the garage too much higher or lower than the footpath.    A steep driveway can also impede vision, making negotiating access and egress from your home, a safety issue.

Aspect of your block of land

We have often heard that the most important thing to consider when buying a block of land is position, position, position.  In a previous story we discussed how getting the aspect of your land right, will make for a more energy efficient home.

When considering purchasing a new block of land consider where you would like to position your home.  Take into consideration the position of the sun during summer and winter, in both the morning and afternoon.  It is always considered ideal to have the living areas of your home facing north.

However, one of the benefits of buying a sloping block of land, is you can take advantage of any prevailing breezes. This will help cool your home and reduce energy costs, by not having to rely on mechanical cooling systems.

Other things to consider when buying a block of land

  • It is often recommended that you have a soil test done to see how reactive your land is. It may be sand, clay or even rock, which will all have an effect on the site costs.
  • If buying in a new land estate, check the covenants which will determine many of the external features of your dream home. This can also often include fencing and landscaping requirements.
  • Make sure there are no easements over the land. This will effect where you can build your home on that block. This could restrict the size, position and design of your dream home.   Also ensure you have access to services such as water, gas and electricity.  What about access to internet services and the NBN. This is especially important if your block is located out of town or in a more remote area.
  • What about noise. Is the block located under a flight path or on a very busy street, perhaps close to an industrial area?  What other development is in the surrounds.  Is there likely to be a block of units built next door?  Check the town plans from your local authority for what could be planned in the area where you are looking.
  • Also, it is important to ensure that your financial institution will let you borrow to purchase this block. Always best to check with them if you are purchasing subject to finance.

If you are unsure about any aspects, it is always recommended you seek professional advice, before finally committing to purchase that dream block of land.

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