While buying a block of land seems like the easiest part of the home-building process, there are still a few key things to consider before you sign on the dotted line.
Size and shape
While the size of your block will be a factor, its overall shape is just as important. Waterfront blocks tend to be long and skinny, but otherwise you need to look out for irregular shapes – angular or battle-axe blocks will usually require architectural design to ensure your home maximizes the available space. Don’t shy away from buying these, but get professional advice from a builder or architect first.
What lies beneath
Your block’s soil type can impact the building process: very sandy soils often require reinforcement, while clay or rocky soils can mean expensive excavation work. The same goes for damp soils, which may require additional drainage. Also, check with your local council to see whether there are any easements in place on the block.
Unless you’re happy to have the rear of your home face the street, you will need to consider the block’s orientation, which will control your home’s exposure to sun and wind. It can be difficult to picture a home’s aspect on a vacant block, so have a builder or architect inspect the site before the plans are drawn.
Most blocks will have easy access to electricity, water and sewerage but it is always best to double check, especially if you are building in a new or rural area. Also look into broadband connectivity, which can be limited in new estates.
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