Buying a block of land to build your dream home on certainly has its advantages. It gives you the option to start from scratch, build the home you’ve always wanted that’s tailored especially for your needs. But finding and purchasing a block of land can be an intimidating process and one that you want to get right from the beginning.
Certain factors need to be addressed to assist with your overall decision process. We’ve listed 6 points that you should consider when looking at a block of land, before you sign on the dotted line.
1. Location is key
Location is the number one factor that comes into account when looking to buy land.
The location needs to be situated in an area that makes sense for you. Ideally, your block should be close to the amenities which are going to make your life a little easier – consider schools, shops, cafes, public transport options, medical facilities, parks, and playgrounds. Everyone’s requirements will differ and remember that your own circumstances may change in the future. Consider what amenities may be more important to you later on. It’s also good to think about all of the options which may make your home more appealing should you wish to sell in the future.
Depending on your intentions with your new home, there may be financial implications to be considered. Investment growth generally eventuates from the land, not from the house, making it a smart investment to find the perfect block (suited to your budget) before you even begin to design your dream home.
The right allotment in a good growth area provides the potential for your investment to grow substantially over time.
2. Land Shape and Size
Allotments come in a variety of shapes and sizes – square, rectangular, flat, sloped or steep. There are corner blocks, battle-axe blocks, low-lying blocks, rocky blocks, blocks with trees, etc. and each type of block will present its own unique challenges when it comes to designing your home.
You should consider the space that you’ll require – a family would be looking at a larger block, possibly with space left over for a garden/entertaining area, whereas singles or couples often require less space for their build. When looking at your block size and shape consider your desired home design. A flat, rectangular block may be the most popular choice for many, but don’t be so quick to judge, blocks of different shapes or gradients have their pros also.
When looking at the block size, shape, and features you should carefully analyse how the home design and construction costs may be impacted, for example:
- A steep block of land that has not been retained will cost more to build upon. Water runoff could also cause a potential issue if the block is located below street level.
- Trees can be expensive to remove, or their removal may be prohibited. It is important to conduct further research in this case.
- Fire and flood risks can affect home insurance policies. You can discuss if your block is at risk with your local council.
Check if there are any easements or council restrictions in place which may affect the use or the resale of the land.
3. Orientation of the Block
The orientation of the block is also an important factor to consider. Your individual and cultural preferences will obviously inform your decision, however generally speaking in Australia, a north-facing build is the most favoured orientation. If a property faces north, this allows the option for your home to be more environmentally friendly and will give your home more natural light. Your energy bills will be greatly reduced, and with proper placement of rooms and windows, further energy savings can be made to save even more money in the long run.
4. Do you know your Soil?
Once you have your ideal block of land in mind, an excellent investment to make is to have a qualified engineer conduct a soil test (if one hasn’t been administered on the block previously). It’s a good idea to include ‘subject to a satisfactory soil report’ when making your offer on the block.
Primarily due to the climate and other environmental factors, soil can differ greatly depending on the region of Adelaide your land is located. Soils range in strength, reactivity, stability, and quality. The overall quality of soil will determine how strong or how deep the foundations of your home will need to be. The last thing you want to happen is for your foundation to become cracked or damaged down the track due to inadequate soil.
The type of soil present could mean increased costs as reinforcements, additional excavation, or additional draining may be required.
The effects of bad soil may not be immediately visible. Do not leave this one to chance and get it checked out to save yourself some potential future headaches.
Researching zoning regulations, of your location as well as the surrounding areas, before you buy your block is vital. It’s also important to be aware of any upcoming plans to build infrastructure in the region.
Strict rules may be put in place by the council which dictates what the land can be used for (residential, industrial, commercial, etc.). You need to ensure that you’re able to build your intended property on the land. You’ll also want to know if there’s the potential to build a warehouse or a complex apartment block next door – this could quickly turn your plans for a dream home into a nightmare.
Of course, the future can’t always be predicted. Rules and regulations may be updated years down the line. Do your research and make the most informed decision you can with the information you have.
Can your land be connected to all of the utilities that you’ll require? Is the water, gas, electricity, internet, stormwater, and sewage already pre-laid?
Should these services need to be installed, this can quickly become a costly process. This is particularly the case for land in rural areas, as your choice of utility providers may be limited, or incur additional costs because of the added distance or the lack of existing connections.
If the utilities are available for connection, it’s recommended to research which providers can service the land, their pricing, and the time needed to connect beforehand.
Make the journey stress-free and enjoyable
Buying a block should be an exciting time and by getting the right parcel of land, suited to your property and your budget, you’ll reap the benefits.
When purchasing a block in South Australia to build on, you’ll also save on stamp duty as this component is only payable on the land, saving you thousands of dollars. Whereas if you purchase an established home, you pay stamp duty on the property as well as the value of the land.
Should you need any assistance with buying a block of land, contact the team at Lofty Building Group. We can appreciate that a new building project can become a stressful journey with so much to consider, as well as financially costly if you’re not aware of the complex issues that may be involved. We remove the unknown to allow you to comfortably and confidently enjoy the process, working within your budget.
We pride ourselves on our extensive experience and expertise in creating a stress-free and transparent service. We offer a range of new build services – project management, custom homes, developments, and House and Land Packages in Adelaide.
At Lofty Building Group, we’re 100% here for you.