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Five MORE factors to consider when buying the perfect building block for your home

Written by Ben Saravia,  
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Locations of adjacent properties

In most cases, you will be buying a block of land that is adjacent to other lots, which may or may not have existing dwellings on them. If you buy a block that is next to a pre-existing home, this will determine where you build your home and what type of building you can build.

Conversely, if the adjacent blocks are residential but have not yet been built upon, you need to consider what that could mean in the future as you will not be able to predict what and where any future neighbour may build. This is vitally important as this could directly affect your quality of living.

Shape of Block

When buying a block, there is more to consider than just the size of the block itself. Firstly, what is the shape of the block?  You may often see blocks that are roughly square, and generally, this shape is more ‘builder friendly’ and will allow you more options to build. Longer or irregular blocks can mean that you are restricted as to the size and design on your home.

The gradient of the land

Many a buyer searching for their piece of land have come across an amazing plot at a great price, only to realise on inspection that it has a very steep gradient or sloping plot.  More often than not, these blocks are cheaper, and there are many reasons why this is the case.  Sloping or steep land is more difficult to build on versus flat land. This of course means that building costs are increased. Also, you will need to be aware that the type of home that can be built on sloping land is very different from that which can be built on flat terrain. It is certainly worth consulting with a building inspector as to your options and potential considerations.

Clearing of the land

What is actually on the block? Is this a lifestyle location boasting an acre of untouched rainforest? This may seem wonderful, but you will need to consider that the cost of clearing land is very expensive and is often restricted if there are certain types of native fauna on the land. Ensure that you are clear on where and what you can build in these blocks and be sure to get a quote for clearing the land you plan to build upon.

Rates and ongoing costs

Once you have purchased the land, as the legal owner you will be responsible for all the costs and maintenance of that property - even if there is nothing on it.   You will still need to pay some council rates on the property. Also, you will be required to maintain the property, keeping it clear of foliage to ensure that it is not a fire risk or a nuisance to your neighbours.

Buying a block to build on can be a great idea. You get to find the perfect spot, and build a home exactly how you like it, brand new! However, the process is much more than simply picking and choosing a block and building design. Think carefully, and above all, do your research.

With that in mind, when it comes to purchasing land, you can’t go beyond hiring an experienced licensed builder. Even though building has not commenced, a builder can give invaluable insights into the pros, cons and considerations of buying a given plot. This could save you big time in the long run, whilst giving you certainty and peace of mind before you make an offer, which is invaluable.

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