Land buyer’s checklist: top 5 considerations
When it comes to building your dream home, you need a dream plot first. But not all land is created equal. From environmental elements to services and legal restrictions, there are plenty of things to think about before picking a plot.
To make sure you’re getting your hands on land that meets your standards – and keeps headaches to a minimum – take these five important factors into consideration first.
1. Location and land zoning
Location may seem like a no-brainer, but there’s more to think about than just traffic noise and proximity to amenities and schools. Land zoning dictates how the land can be used, and can inhibit things like building height, size and boundary distance – so make sure you check that it corresponds with what you’re planning to do with your plot.
Review the certificate of title, too – particularly the easements, which can give another person the right to make changes to your property (such as use it for public access or lay cables). It’s worth getting a lawyer to go through everything and make sure you’re completely happy with what’s allowed on your land.
It’s easy to take services for granted – until you don’t have them. One of the first things you should look for is whether your plot has all the essentials: sewage, electricity, water. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to take into account the time and costs involved in getting your plot set up.
There are also other factors to consider, such as road access and internet connectivity (don’t underestimate the latter, as inconsistent or patchy Wi-Fi is the bane of the modern era – especially with the rise in working-from-home culture).
There are both pros and cons to sloping plots. They can offer you great views – but from a building perspective, they can become a bit costly. You might notice that land on a gradient tends to be a bit cheaper – and that’s because they usually require major earthworks and retaining walls to ensure buildings have a solid, safe foundation.
Every slope is different, and there are plenty of factors to consider when building on one, so it’s always safer to assume it’ll cost more than any initial estimates suggest.
Don’t overlook the dirt beneath your feet. The soil type is a huge part of a plot’s viability. For example, hidden rocks can hinder building placement. There are issues with soft soils, such as peat and sand, which can impact load bearing and may need to be removed. And clay will change with dry or wet weather.
Soil contamination can also cause headaches in the long run. It can wear away your building and even cause health issues, so make sure you get the land tested to get on top of any nasty surprises in advance.
There’s more to land orientation than a good view. The more natural light your plot is exposed to, the more you stand to save in energy bills. For example, north-oriented buildings will maximise sunlight through winter months. This also helps mitigate the risk of dampness and generally makes for a better living experience.
When it comes to ensuring you are investing in a prime plot, there’s no shortage of considerations. To give you confidence and make the process as effortless as possible, the Golstruct team has a range of flexible options available. We can select an optimal piece of land to suit your needs, or take land you’ve picked yourself and design a new build that takes into account all personal preferences and environmental factors.
To find out more, feel free to reach out to our experts for a chat.