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How to choose the right block of land for your new home

How to choose the right block of land for your new home

When it comes to choosing the right block of land to build your new home, many factors come into consideration. Selection depends upon more than picking out a site from a map or an advertisement. Site characteristics vary are influence the design of the home to be built on it.

By following some important considerations when choosing your site, you can be well on your way to the home of your dreams whilst saving yourself valuable time, money, and possible heartache.

Lifestyle and location

Consider the location for resale, not just your own personal satisfaction. What is important to you and your family? How far away are you from public transport and amenities like shops, sporting fields, and medical facilities? Do you have acceptable mobile phone and internet coverage? Are you close to local schools, shops, parks, work, and family?

Restrictive Covenants

Do your research prior to purchasing a block to determine whether restrictive covenants impose particular conditions on the build. These can impact on the cost to build. If building near an airport, covenants may specify requirements to upgrade ceiling insulation and window glazing to reduce noise. The site might not be near a busy international airport ; land located close to small rural airports can also be impacted.

Building within a flood-prone area may also dramatically impact the overall design of your home and add extra building costs not initially considered.

Size of the land

The size of the land can determine the overall size of your home and whether a single or double storey home will fit within your block. Don’t fall in love with the neighbourhood until you know the home you have in mind fits. Being aware of floor space ratio to the land size is also an important consideration.

Shape and orientation of the land

The shape and orientation of your site will also dictate the design of your home. The site may look quite flat, but a survey may reveal a 1 metre slope from back to front. The shape of the block can certainly lead to higher site costs and may require reconsideration of your original design. Split level homes often work well on sloping blocks, but did you envision a flat driveway and landscaping?

Engaging the services of a professional builder early enables them to guide you to the most practical design to fit the site whilst including your important wish list items.

Be aware that some builders may not include site costs in their quotes. They omit that information to appear cheaper and more appealing than the other builders. A professional builder will give you an estimate of site costs and clearly include that information in their detailed quote.

Type of soil

The type of soil which the house will be built also influences the materials used in construction. A highly reactive soil can require strengthened concrete and deeper piering for extra stability, which can impact the cost to build. A simple geotech report can determine soil conditions and possibly save you a lot of money.

Developer’s requirements

In many new estates, the developers impose strict covenants to maintain a consistent standard of presentation for each home. These restrictions may vary greatly from your dream home. Such covenants can relate to the front façade and materials and colours that can be used. Particular landscaping and fencing requirements can also add extra cost.

Corner blocks, although usually larger in size, require more consideration as you must think about the appeal of the front façade and the side boundary on display.

Easements

Learn whether your block contains any easements for utilities, which can impact whether you can build over it or not. Extra costs can result should you require extra work like sewer encasement.

Bushfire attack level (BAL)

If building within an area prone to bushfire, your block could have a bushfire attack level rating (BAL) placed on it. Such ratings often mandate the use of other building materials that meet bushfire standards. Insurance costs may also be quite high in areas that have a high BAL rating.

A professional builder will assist and guide you by providing the necessary reports to help you make informed decisions right from the beginning of your new home journey. By developing a good relationship with the builder early in the process, you ensure the experience is an enjoyable one.

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