One of the most popular routes taken by the modern home owner is to first select a block of land, and then build on it! Constructing a beautifully customised dream home is made all the better when it’s built on land that satisfies all of your location based desires.
Purchasing land allows for more freedom and less intrusion. If you’re looking to construct a home that is away from the hustle and bustle of a crowded neighbourhood, as well as free from the burden of many suburban restrictions – then buying your very own block of land could be the perfect choice for you.
To help you make that decision, our residential building experts at Hylton Constructions have highlighted the important factors to consider when buying land to build a house on. Alongside this, we have highlighted potential hazards to look out for before making a purchase.
How Do I Decide What Land to Build My Home On?
First and foremost, you’ll need to assess whether your budget will cover the purchase of land, along with the construction process to follow. If you need a hand learning how to construct a home within a set budget, you can get some really helpful tips here.
Secondly, you’ll need to consider the additional costs that come with buying land, such as fees, permits, land adjustments, the cost of running water, required installations and so on.
Lastly, experts suggest that you should try and construct a home within the size and price range common in that area. Also, ensure that there is a cooperative association between the cost of the home and the value of the land. As a rule of thumb, estimate the land at approximately 20 to 30 percent of the finished value of the home.
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Is It Cost-Effective To Buy Land and Build On It?
One of the main differences between purchasing a new home and buying land to build a house on is the way your loan is structured. When you purchase a house, there is a range of mortgage options available to facilitate your needs and budget. Meanwhile, there are different options available when purchasing land; with repayment times often much shorter than that of a house mortgage.
Other financial aspects to consider include interest rates and down payments. These are often higher for land loans when compared to mortgages. Down payments are typically between 20 to 50 per cent. However, certain banks allow lower down payments if buyers present an outstanding credit score.
Having said this, there are various potential benefits of buying land before a house. One of the prominent advantages is that certain lenders will accommodate your land purchase within the construction loan.
So to put it simply, most experts suggest purchasing land using cash, if you can afford to do so. A reliable financial advisor can guide you in settling assets, or arrange for other financing options.
Tips for Buying the Best Land
Now that we’ve introduced the initial considerations such as block selection, allow our team to guide you through the factors that must be considered before contacting a residential builder to construct your home.
In the world of real estate, the most crucial factor when it comes to purchasing land is undoubtedly the location. This takes into account more than just the lot location, but also considerations in regard to the general community. This can include access to infrastructure, schools, leisure centres and shops. Meanwhile, people also take into account the socio-economic status of the area. Specific considerations also must be taken into account before purchasing land for a residential builder to construct your home on. For example, a lot situated adjacent to a quiet walk with ample greenery and sunlight will be more appealing than land that is adjacent to a noisy and busy roadway with a polluted atmosphere.
Some important amenities to consider when purchasing land include:
- Public transport
- Departmental stores
- Employment opportunities
For information on ideal locations around Melbourne, check out some of our residential home locations here.
- Property Setbacks
Property setbacks refer to the rules stipulating how far a structure can be constructed from a plot’s border. This dictates the location within the lot in which residential builders will be allowed to construct your home.
If you already have an idea of your ideal house size, make sure that the land you’re purchasing can accommodate a house of that size – since setbacks play a major role in establishing this.
“Hylton Construction delivered on all levels. They offered professional, communicative, high quality service and skilled tradesmen. The end result is a quality home we can enjoy for years to come.”
- Zoning Regulations
Certain zoning jurisdictions allow land for commercial or residential use, and sometimes for both. So before purchasing a seemingly ideal lot, make sure to enquire with local councils and residential builders to find out whether the block is sanctioned for building a residential home or even for subdivision. Also, there can be zoning restrictions restricting the maximum size of a house that can be constructed on a lot – make sure these restrictions don’t clash with any residential building plans that you may have.
It’s also important to determine whether the block is zoned for building additional structures – such as detached garages or sheds, especially if you intend to build them in the near future.
- Vulnerability to Natural Hazards and Disasters
Depending on the location of your desired lot, your block may be vulnerable to certain natural disasters. Certain areas in Australia are at a greater risk of being impacted by fires, floods and cyclones – which is certainly an issue that must be given due consideration.
Apart from natural disasters, be sure to have the soil assessed to check for its quality and composition. These are crucial factors that determine the foundation and additional landscaping.
For more information regarding laying the foundation of your home, check out our blog about building a home from scratch.
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Easements refer to legal entitlements a party or person to use another party’s property for specific purposes, irrespective of who the actual owner is. For instance, if there is an easement on the land you want to buy, this will allow others to cross over your land and gain access to another land, which can potentially invade your privacy and cause an unwanted disturbance.
So before committing to buy a lot, always ask authorities and local builders about easements.
Last but not least is utilities – power, water, gas, sewerage, NBN, phone and other necessities that allow for comfortable living. This is more important if you’re purchasing land in a developing, rural or remote area, where the expense of installing these facilities can be very costly. You shouldn’t have any issues when purchasing land in an inner-city or suburban area.
It’s recommended that you discuss these aspects in detail with utility companies in the area before finalising the purchase as to avoid any unpleasant scenarios later.
What to do Before Buying Land for your Dream House?
Now that you know what to look out for when purchasing land to build the house of your dreams on – let’s take a step back and see what homework you need to do before actually venturing into the real estate market and enlisting residential builders to start construction.
Thankfully, it’s pretty straight forward – hire a qualified and experienced real estate agent. An incompetent real estate agent can waste both time and money, so always make a few phone calls and consider reliable references before employing an agent.
Here’s how a capable and knowledgeable real estate agent can help you to make a valuable and cost-effective land purchase:
- Enhance the value of your land transaction
- Provide vital information and resources, such as a dedicated network of land experts
- Help you plan your expenses wisely – as they’ll be aware of any additional costs, paperwork, and legalities that can accompany the purchase of land.
- Provide pertinent information on zoning laws and easements.
- Provide information on the council ordinances of which you’ll need to abide.
- Help you to recruit a professional land surveyor if required.
- Recommend well reputed residential builders.
- Help you estimate the utility costs for running your new home
- Warn you about potential hazards and risks, such as whether the lot that you desire falls within a high risk fire zone or floodplain.
- Help you complete all paperwork and gain all permits before beginning the actual construction process.
So, all of you who are looking to purchase a block of land before enlisting the help of residential builders to build your dream home – we hope that you’re now all the more knowledgeable. Visiting this blog is a great start but you should endeavour to continue your research. We have published a series of blogs to help expand the knowledge of all that are planning to buy, build or both – you can view the rest of our blog series here. If you have any questions, or are looking to enlist the help of one of Melbourne’s premier residential builders, please feel free to contact us here.