Top 5 tips for buying land to develop

Whether you are looking to build a house for yourself or as an investment.  There are a few things to consider when buying the land you want to build on.

This week we thought we’d give you 5 tips on things to look for when buying land:

  1. Choose your location carefully. The old adage is true, location is everything – especially if you are building an investment property, or looking to sell within a few years of building. Make sure the land is close to facilities such as shops, parks, schools and public transport but be aware of issues like noise pollution. You may need to pay a little more for a piece of land in a desirable suburb, but could be well worth it come sale time as buyers will be looking for an area where they are able to walk or cycle to shops, schools and public transport.
  2. Check whether the area is prone to natural disasters such as floods, bushfires or cyclones. It it is, it there may be restrictions on the type and design of house you can build, as well as add thousands to construction costs. Your insurance premium might also be higher than normal, so it is always worth asking these questions early in negotations.
  3. Consider the size, slope and orientation of the block. The steeper the land the more expensive it will be to build on. And blocks that are cut so the house sits below the level of the road can have issues with water runoff. In Australia north-facing houses can be designed to maximise the amount of sunlight received during winter and minimise sunlight exposure during summer, reducing energy bills. So it’s always worthwhile looking for a block with a northerly aspect. And don’t forget to check the required boundary setbacks to make sure the house you want to build will fit.
  4. Go for a corner block. These aren’t always as popular with buyers because of the potential for increased costs (mainly in additional fencing requirements). But a corner block is especially easy to subdivide due to its dual frontage, so they have lots of potential for investors.
  5. Check what can be built on the land. Most subdivisions have strict covenants these days. And Land use can be limited by council or state government planning controls. So it is worth check with the developer and the local council about what can be built on the site. And of course, you should always have your conveyancer or solicitor check the contract to see what controls affect the block and construction of your property.

Most importantly, buying a block of land and building on it can be a really exciting endeavour.

If you’re thinking of building, we hope these tips have been of value to you and given you some things to consider before jumping in.


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