Buying Land and Building a Home

Buying Land and Building a Home

Buying land and building a home in the Blue Mountains

Buying land and building a home can be exciting and tricky (if you don’t look out for some important things). What’s most important for you, your family and furry family?

What facilities are important for you?

When we’re buying land and building a home, how do we want to live?

Go off-grid, peaceful living or in the city or bustling town.

With good schools, gym, sporting facilities, mainstream shops, airport, hospital, a city with food and services available 24/7 and local jobs available.

What do you love to do?

Go to the beach, bushwalk in the mountains, swim in rivers, with surf spots, snorkeling, galleries, or shows? For some people, a town has to have a great coffee place.

 

We’ve done a checklist so you can highlight and see what’s important to you:

Location: Proximity to town, shops, great schools, doctors/hospital, vet, hobbies, a community of your tribe, public transport, nature or city

Site Services: Does it have power, water, sewer, gas, and good internet including wifi, with a tar road. If it has mains power, water and sewer it’s cheaper. If you need to set up the services you can allow for $30,000-$50,000 depending on what you have to do and the choices you make.

Site location: is vital for some, especially if you’re looking for a solar passive design that’s easy and cost-effective to heat and cool through the year.

– North or north/east facing is good for good sun and for a summer breeze

– Protection from winter westerly winds (from trees or a hill)

– Easy access & parking

– Flat-ish is best (less than 1-3 degrees is ideal although not always possible)

– Drainage toward or away from the house site or home (neighbour’s stormwater toward your land or not)

– Views are vital, they can make or break a home and its enjoyment and resale value

– Surrounding noise (road, train, dogs, school)

– Mobile coverage

– Being remote can be difficult for trades and supplies to get to

– Some sites are in a rain or drought band, or frost, snow, or fog altitude

– Weeds, pests, and insects such as ticks, mosquitos or feral animals can be deal breakers

– Insurance coverage

– Talk with locals and neighbours to see what the main issues are. Sometimes neighbours are wonderful or not

– Are there large trees that are blocking sun, or a fire hazard, a weed or a threat to your home? Large trees can be costly to remove and significant trees require council approval

– Not close to stagnant swamps or water

 

Features that can negatively impact resale value or limit equity gains:

– Powerlines or mobile towers can be an eyesore or a health issue

– Being too close to a petrol station, being near an industrial area, within 2 blocks of traffic lights, a school, university or major road, dirt road, near blocks of units or housing flats, pubs and clubs, caravan parks or places of high volume traffic

– Proximity to a sewerage treatment plant or rubbish tip

You can call council and find out if there are any projects coming up (widening of roads, new shops etc). If you get a copy of the contract you’ll see the planning certificate and what zones and limitations are on the land.

 

Site restrictions:

– building envelope and boundaries (where you can build) look for covenants, easments, zones (slope, flood, bushfire, heritage, nature, railway, highway, cyclone/high wind areas, sewer line location)

– soil type (rocky or black soil/reactive soil can be costly)

– dual occupation or can a granny flat be built on it)

Each zone can require a professional’s report and costs to meet the legislation.

One example is if your home is in a bushfire zone BAL40 or Flamezone, it can be more expensive to build the home. That’s why land in high bushfire zones are cheaper. A builder who is experienced in bushfire zones will help you through what is required.

It’s the same for land in flood zones. You will have to build higher than the level required by council which costs more.

A house site may not have all of these options. That’s why it’s important to find out your top 3 that you need for the ideal town and site location.