Top tips to finding the right block of land

By Cassandra Foreman

When you’re building a new home, purchasing the block of land is one of the most important decisions you can make. An ideal block of land is more than simply picturesque; it needs to serve a practical purpose. You’ll need to conduct plenty of research to find the right fit for your needs. You can keep the following considerations in mind as you get started.

1. Look at the location’s amenities and accessibility.
If you’re looking at a plot of land in a new estate or development, location is important. Pore over the overall estate design and factor in how liveable this area will be for you and your family. Are there already existing amenities in the area such as parks, public transport, and local shops? Will there be schools nearby if you have children? Or are there shopping facilities and parks planned for development in the future? These could all add value to your new property.

2. Make your offer contingent on a soil test.
A soil test is a vital component of selecting the right block of land, and you can make your offer subject to a satisfactory soil test. This allows you to negotiate your costs down or get your deposit back if you find any signs of trouble in the soil test. Soil tests are compulsory in Australia, and test the expected movement of the foundation soil to help construct buildings that will stay safely in place.

3. Find out what type of title the land has.
It’s also important to investigate what type of title the land holds. In many cases, blocks of land are green titled. This means that you own everything within the property’s boundary lines. However, some will have a Survey Strata Title which means that you share portions of the property with neighbours, such as bin areas or driveways. Shared ownership of communal areas may involve body corporate fees or other regulations, which is why this is important to find out in advance.

4. Take Building Covenants into consideration.
Another issue to consider is whether or not there are Building Covenants in place. A Building Covenant allows the developer to maintain some level of control over the house constructed on the estate. Although this ensures that there will be a certain quality level that all properties must adhere to, it may impact the final cost and building plans of your new home.

5. Compare services available.
Does the block of land already include access to basic services such as water tanks, power lines, and sewerage? If not, you’ll have to factor in the cost of installing these types of services, which can quickly add up. This is particularly true if the block of land you’re looking at is set back at a distance from other property lines.

Finally, make sure that the size and shape of the land fit your budget and building plans. It’s common for first-time buyers to go for the largest plot of land that they can afford, leaving them with less money for the home itself. Maximise your space with a high quality block of land, leaving you with more resources to focus on your new home.

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