The potential of a particular block of land is more than just soil deep – there are many factors to take into account when considering land for purchase. The key is to be well-informed and understand any pitfalls, hidden or overt, which could impinge on construction down the track.
Here are some things to think about, generally speaking, when it comes to buying a block of land. Please note, this blog is of a general nature and we strongly advise getting professional advice particular to your situation.
1. Have trees been removed lately?
As removal of trees disturbs the integrity of the foundations, it’s worth checking if any trees have been removed from the site recently. In some cases, it can take twelve months (or more) for the soil to settle, instantly slowing down any plans for construction. If trees have been on site, your costs may increase as your footings may increase in size due to possible sub soil changes over time.
2. What’s the slope like?
Is this a sloping site? If so, this could involve adding in retaining walls or cut and fill on the site ready for construction, both added expenses. A block which may bring about a great view and interesting home design might concurrently become a cause for additional cost and fuss.
3. All about easements
Finding out about easements early on is important – are there any easements on the block and, if so, where are they located? Understanding the location of any easements will dictate building constraints and permissions.
4. Impact of overlays and zones
What overlays and zones impact the site? These can impact on your dwelling design. Matters like height restrictions, view sharing, land prone to flooding, bushfire areas, heritage overlays and significant vegetation on the site.
5. Title Restrictions
Are there covenants or other restrictions on the title? If there is a covenant listed on a title it acts as a restriction as to how the land may be used or what can be built, materials used, potentially impacting on the overall design.
6. Positioning and views
There may be potential for a brilliant ocean view but such a benefit may be loaded with potential for problems stemming from overlooking and building height issues.
7. Orientation of your site
Orientation matters. Ideally, your block would have a northern orientation where the site is elongated so that the longer boundaries face north and south. This will enable good passive design, allowing the residence to maximise the benefit from cooling breezes.
8. Location and proximity
Bus stops, doctors, supermarkets, schools and even post offices: how far away are they? Are all the services for your lifestyle within reasonable driving (or walking) distance?
9. Utilities and services
Is the block in a generally undeveloped or developing area, it’s worth considering how and when services like electricity supply, natural gas, telephone lines and broadband internet will be provided. Will this be simple enough or are there signs pointing to a more involved process? For example, if there is no town water connected, the inclusion of rainwater tanks would need to be added to the cost of your build, as would a septic system should there be no sewerage connection.
10. Soil Classification
What is the soil classification of the block and how ‘reactive’ is it? For instance, it costs more to build on ‘reactive’ soils as additional measures or engineered slabs may be needed.
For peace of mind, consider our expert consultation services for your prospective buy. Please feel free to get in touch.