It starts out as a block of land, some dirt and grass or trees, but it will eventually be a home, a place for your family to live, and that’s a pretty big deal.

When looking for land to build your future home on, there is one main thing that people tend to focus on…... location, location, location. There is no doubt that location is important, but there is so much more to consider. Exploring all options and trying to choose land using not only your heart but your head will ensure your dream home is everything you want and need.

Check out the area

Obviously, living in an area you love is going to be on top of your list of must haves, however, it’s easy to fall into the trap of choosing land based on things like proximity to the beach or the possibility of beautiful views, so be sure to look at the bigger picture.

Some of the questions you should be asking yourself include:

  • Does your chosen area have everything you need for now and for the future?
  • If you are buying into a new estate, when will essential services be available?
  • If you have or are planning to have children, are there schools and childcare centres in the area?
  • Are there sufficient medical services nearby?
  • Is there a local shopping centre, or one that’s close enough to be convenient?
  • What are the public transport options and how will the location effect your daily commute?

Zoning of the land

It is very important to make sure the land you purchase can be used how you intend to use it. Finding out, after you have signed on the dotted line, that the huge block you just bought to subdivide isn’t zoned for that purpose would be devastating.

It’s also a smart idea to research the zoning of the land around your block, for example:

  • What type of construction will be allowed in the area? Is it going to be general residential or will large lot residential buildings be constructed down the track?
  • If you have beautiful bushland nearby, will it be bush forever or is it zoned to be built on in the future?
  • If you are looking at two storey home designs and want to take advantage of views from the top floor, ensure you check if your view could eventually be built out by a high-rise building.

The lay of the land

Apart from the size, considering the terrain and orientation of your chosen block is essential. Preparing the land for building already involves a certain cost, so you don’t want any unexpected surprises.

The checklist below includes some things to look out for:

  • Tree removal is costly, so consider how many need removing, and also check if there are any that are not allowed to be removed, as this may impact your plans.
  • If the slope is complex and needs levelling this will affect costs greatly.
  • Look out for rock, as this means more excavation.
  • Find out if the area is a high-risk flood/bushfire zone. This can make getting insurance more expensive.
  • Think about the orientation of your chosen block. Sun, wind and rain all effect the energy efficiency of your home, which has an impact on household bills.
  • It seems obvious, but if you have your plan picked out, make sure the size and shape of your land will accommodate it; for example, townhouses can often fit perfectly on narrow blocks, but if you are building a single level home, then you may need a wider, larger block.

So before purchasing, make sure you do your homework. Drive around your chosen location during the day and at night, read the local papers to get a feel for the community and browse real estate in the area to get an idea of what the resale value will be.

Remember to use the knowledge and expertise of your builder and know that the staff at Ben Trager Homes are happy to help you out.