Building a new home can be an exciting time as you have more input into the design of your home so that it specifically meets your family’s needs and requirements. However, the big piece of this plan is finding the right block of land to purchase therefore there are a few factors that you need to consider when doing so.
1. What type of block?
Blocks come in all shapes and sizes such as square and rectangular shaped, corner blocks, steep, sloped or flat blocks, etc. They can be located in a new residential subdivision in town, have a pre-existing home that may be demolished and cleared for the new build, found on the outskirts of town for small acreage or for farm properties located in rural/remote areas. Before you start drafting plans you need secure your land so your home can be designed to suit the shape, size and location of the block.
2. What are some of the common challenges?
Every block of land will have its own challenges to overcome and factors to consider therefore you will need to assess how these issues will impact the total build cost and construction design. Here are a few common questions you need to review when purchasing land:
Are services connected or available?
If utilities are not available or connected then you will need to investigate the costs involved to connect such services by contacting a utility company for an approximate figure.
Site excavation costs?
It is important to look into site costs as they can accumulate quickly and put a decent dent into your budget. A flat block is ideal for building on – the steeper the block the more costs involved in preparing the site for building. On the other hand, land-fill may be required when a block slopes downwards from road level which creates a high risk for water runoff causing flooding.
Soil grade suitable for building?
Soil tests are a requirement for all new buildings. It is a report that provides the type of soil present and grades the stability of the soil which indicates how much weight the soil can bear. The soil needs to support the building foundation and footings therefore the foundation design can be affected pending the soil test outcome and may require the assistance of a fully qualified structural engineer to overcome any challenges.
Town water mains or tank water?
The main benefit of town water is that you have access to water immediately whereas tank water you are relying on good rain fall to fill your tank/s however if it’s a dry season and there is minimal rainfall then you will need to pay to have your tanks filled. Using tank water reduces water bills significantly which is another cost factor to consider.
Council or government requirements
Local council or the government may have certain restrictions and guidelines that need to be followed and adhered to when building a home. These can include specific building materials to be used, required building setback from any easements and boundaries, heritage overlay which can impact the overall design, etc. These restrictions are normally listed within in the Vendor’s Statement.
Additional considerations are:
Septic or sewerage pipes?
Council garbage collection available?
Prone to natural disasters – bush fires or floods?
Trees – costs involved to clear site?
Orientation of the block?
Finding the right location that suits you and your family’s lifestyle is important. Land that is situated close in town near services such as schools, sporting facilities, shops, etc. can reduce and save travel time and become very convenient when we feel time poor. Although the price value may increase due to its close proximity to amenities you may find that money is saved elsewhere for the very same reason i.e. walking or bike riding to shops and schools will reduce petrol costs whilst promoting a healthier lifestyle. Living in town does not necessarily suit everyone due to noise, traffic, building restrictions, close proximity to your neighbours, etc. therefore land on the outskirts of town or in a rural location may be more desired to your preference.
Buying a block of land to build your new home on is an exciting time but it is important to do your research and write down your specific requirements to help you find your ideal piece of land.