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5 things to consider before buying a block of land

Buying an established property in an established area may be out of budget or not what you have in mind. Nevertheless, there is plenty of new land estates and releases in most capital cities enticing us to move into these new areas and build a brand new home.

Here are my top 5 things to consider before you put down your cash to secure the block of land.

1. Orientation

Do you know whether the block you are considering purchasing is North or West facing? And if so, do you know how to make sure you have a well-designed floor plan to take advantage of its natural features?

A poor design on a West facing block can lead to your home feeling like a sauna in the warmer months. It may also mean increased energy costs as you’ll likely feel the need to run the air-conditioning more often.

As a guide, North facing blocks do get the best sun exposure and therefore you should place your living areas there. The narrower ends of your home are better placed on the West and East of your block. The wide sides of your home are best placed facing North and South.

I try to place all living areas in the North areas. Children's bedrooms in the South as they will remain cool. Bathrooms or laundry in the West as the tiling will cool down the room.

Make sure you know the orientation of the block and ensure your builder makes this an important factor before finalising your house design plans.

2. Price

An expensive block of land can mean less budget on your new home build. You need to really consider the true cost of the build to see if you can actually build what you think you can with whatever budget is left after you purchase the land.

If you have, for an example, $300,000 to build your new home without over-capitalising in the area. How far will this money go to achieve what you're looking to build?

Be realistic about build costs and make sure you do your research with builders to get an idea of how much your new home will cost. Sometimes, it’s better to purchase a smaller block of land so you can use your budget to build the home you want.

Tip – if you’re buying your land through a real estate or private developer, you should have more ability to negotiate on price than through a large-scale developer.

3. Land Variations

Ensure that you know exactly how much fall and fill your block of land requires before putting your money down as a deposit as this could very much affect your build cost.

Get to know where your easements are and if any covenants may apply prior to buying the land to minimise any future surprises.

Visit your local display home village and ask the Sales teams to point out any considerations specific to your block of land which may affect site costs.

4. Infrastructure

Is there anything more frustrating than moving into a new area and not getting any mobile phone reception. Or worse, the kids not being able to get onto wi-fi! I know my husband wouldn't survive without either.

Do your research about the infrastructure which exists and which companies better service the area. It’s also a good time to ask whether the area is NBN ready.

5. Incentives

We all know the property market is very much up and down at the moment so its worthwhile to ask the developer whether there are any incentives for you to purchase a block of land. Often large developers will offer a cash-back rebate for landscaping or perhaps a discount of your block of land. There is no harm in asking.

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