Choose your block

How to choose the right block for you.

Buying a house may be exciting…and it is most certainly going to be a journey! Choosing the right block of land is not as simple as just picking somewhere that seems nice.

To the untrained eye it may be difficult to notice that one block can be significantly different from the next; but there are soil types to understand, property sizes, shapes and orientations to consider.

The block you choose could easily make thousands of dollars’ difference in construction and maintenance costs as well as determine whether or not you can build the type of home you’re after.

1. Location

It is important to search for locations near the amenities you need, but it is also nice to be a little flexible and consider as many areas as possible – that will help you find more affordable options.

A few things to keep in mind when looking for the ideal block:

  • It is always nice to be near shops, parks, playgrounds, medical facilities, transport routes and schools.
  • Is your land adjacent to public or commercial property? The noise or traffic can potentially be a disturbance.
  • Look for developments – if shopping centres or perfect transport links don’t exist there yet but are planned, that could potentially increase your resale value in the future.
  • Visit the site at different times of the day, both on weekdays and on the weekend and take in everything that’s going on.

2. Size, Shape and Orientation

In suburban and urban areas, the width and depth of the block will determine what sort of house you can build. Will there be sufficient space for the features you want, like guest rooms or a barbecue area?

Ideally, your block of land should be flat, rectangular and free from obstructions. Then there’s orientation. Which compass direction does your lot face? The sun rises in the east and passes over the north, therefore there’s more natural light on the north side. It is best to have non-living spaces on the southern side of the house and living areas to the north.

Orientation will also impact design features like windows – natural heat from the sun could warm you in winter or overheat you in summer, depending on your glazing choices. If the block’s orientation is not what you were looking for, the house itself can be oriented differently.

3. Easements and Restrictions

An easement is a section of your land that someone else has rights to use – like a shared driveway, an access road to a neighbour’s house, or an underground cable or pipeline that runs through your yard.

You cannot deny easement rights holders access to these areas of your property or build over the easements without consent from the council. This might impact your house design, so it’s important to understand what easements exist and where they are.

If buying land in a new estate, find out what restrictions the developer may have included on the block. These rules are in addition to the council conditions and may limit the height, style and exterior finishes of your home.

Common restrictions include:

  1. House size.
  2. Colour or building material.
  3. Privacy measures.
  4. Landscape choices.

4. Soil Type

Different blocks will have different types and compositions of soils. One of the most important things to consider when you’re building is how ‘reactive’ the soil is – i.e. how much it’s likely to move, particularly in response to increased or decreased moisture content. This is called the ‘site classification’. It’s normally more expensive to build on more reactive soils, simply because special measures like deep pilings or specially engineered slabs are required to keep the house stable.

Your type of soil will impact the type of slab that must be laid upon it. If the soil absorbs water and changes shape, or if it can be eroded easily, damage may occur to your home.

5. Secure your Block

Once you’ve found a block that suits your needs you should contact us and we will help you ensure that the block is still available and secure it for you.

Let’s get started!

Now that you know what to look for, our team is here to help you find and secure suitable land within your budget.

Take the first step towards home ownership by completing our secure online Pre-Assessment and see if you qualify. Imagine the possibilities!

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