What should I look for when viewing sites?
1. Site Selection
The first step in buying a block of land should be to ensure that it has the services that you consider necessary for your lifestyle. Things to consider include the availability of schools and childcare, employment, medical services, shopping centres, recreation facilities, access to public transport, restaurants etc.
When buying a block of land you should consider the cost of connecting and maintaining services, including:
Water – Town supply vs. other
Electricity – How far to the nearest connection point
Sewage – Town wastewater vs. septic tanks
Gas – Town supply vs. bottle
Telephone – How far to the nearest connection point.
3. Hidden Costs
You should assess the block of land carefully, looking for issues that might become hidden costs at a later stage. Some examples of things to look for include:
Steep sites – may increase building cost
Rock – may increase building or excavation cost
Trees – some sites may require a permit to remove trees if necessary
Soil stability – any fill that may exist on the site.
Covenants are rules that apply to the construction of the building on the site. When buying land you should enquire about any building covenants that are attached to the land or subdivision. These can include minimum floor area sizes, specification of materials to be used in construction of the building, maximum roof heights etc.
Well designed covenants assist keeping the value of your property, although to stringent covenants will add extra time and cost to the design of the home.
You should consider the orientation of the block and where your main living areas will be situated in relation to the sun.
Did you know that the way your home sits on your block can have a big impact on your energy bills?
When you’re looking at different blocks consider how you could position a home so that it can be naturally cooled. It’s important to position your home to take advantage of cooling breezes where possible. Good shading is also important, and blocks with their long side running east-west make it easier to position a home to keep out the sun.
Positioning your home the right way should not add to building costs and will naturally improve comfort. The main priorities should always be to keep out the sun and locate living areas and bedrooms to allow as much air flow as possible.
7. Boundaries and Easements
You should have the boundaries of the land measured by a registered surveyor and check with the local council about the building boundary setbacks. Check the property to see if there are any easements for services on the land that will restrict the positioning of your home.
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