Posted 11 Mar 21

What to know when purchasing land

Purchasing land is an appealing option for those looking to build their dream home. Before purchasing, this is what you need to know.
Purchasing a block of land comes with just as many considerations as buying a new home. Thorough research will ensure you are purchasing the right block of land for your needs while also avoiding costly surprises along the way. 
Whether you're looking to purchase in the city or a regional area, no two blocks are ever quite alike, with each presenting its own set of challenges. Before taking the plunge, these are the factors you need to research thoroughly before you purchase land.
Climate
Understand the local climate of the area you want to purchase land - research the average yearly rainfall, highest and lowest temperatures, and seasonal changes. Whether you choose Tropical North Queensland or the Snowy Mountains, the local climate will significantly impact the type of home you build. It will also give you insight into how the house should be insulated, types of vegetation that can grow, how to prepare for potential weather conditions and how much energy you might expect to use. 
Zoning
An important step is to conduct comprehensive research into the zoning regulations for the land and surrounding area. In essence, zoning restrictions are put in place for blocks of land in a bushfire or flood zone. Depending on the specific area and high-risk factors associated, it can seriously impact your ability to obtain finance for the project. It is essential to contact the local council for the zoning restrictions as each council has different rules regarding what the block of land can be used for. Zoning applies to residential, commercial, and industrial developments. 
Accessing utilities
Does the block of land have access to utilities, including water, gas, and electricity? Investigate what companies are in the area to provide this and the costs involved. The first utility to check is the water source and how it would be connected through the property. Understanding the local water restrictions and the possibility of collecting rainwater can save you time and money down the track. 
For example, the NSW Government’s BASIX certificate provides detailed guidelines for those wishing to build or renovate on land. Since updating their recommendations in 2020, the water reduction target ranges from 40 per cent to 0 per cent depending on the climatic zone, which applies to 90 per cent of new residential development and 98 per cent of high-growth areas.
Terrain and soil quality
It is important to note the terrain on the block of land and anticipate the costs involved before construction begins. If it is a steep block of land, excavating and levelling can be costly. The same applies to removing trees and rocks. If you are looking for a beachfront escape, consider how close the ocean is, if erosion is an issue, and if the soil is a strong blend of sand, this will also impact construction capabilities and costs. 
Conducting a soil test will also ensure you purchase a high-quality block of land with no hidden nasties. The test will look at the soil’s physical and chemical characteristics to determine if it is safe and stable enough to build on. The higher soil composition will also minimise the cost of building a sturdy foundation.
Proximity to essentials
Whether you have your heart set on building your dream home or a retreat-like escape, do your due diligence into what the location offers. Consider the land's proximity to amenities, including schools, medical centres, parks, public transport, and shops. The proximity to these essentials will ensure your investment is likely to increase in value in the long run and be more convenient while the property is occupied. 
Orientation, size, and shape
Pay attention to the orientation of the block and figure out how the property can optimise natural elements. For example, a north-facing home will ensure the house receives substantial natural light and warmth while also protecting it from the excessive summer heat. If a goal of yours is to minimize your cost on bills, paying close attention to the orientation of the property will help immensely.
For more information and advice on what to look out for when purchasing land, reach out to your local Belle Property office or agents today.
By Belle Property
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