You have a pre-approval in place. You’re ready to go Land Shopping! This is a very exciting time for all new buyers but poses a lot of questions and uncertainty.
What size block are you looking for? Do you want to live in Town or out on an Acreage? What do you look for when purchasing land?
If you purchase a block of land in town, majority of new estates will have underground power and water connected to the block. Curb and guttering has been laid as well. Your site connections (electrical and plumbing) are quite cheap as the distance is small to your house. However, if you are purchasing in an estate you need to ask the Agent / Developer if there are any covenants you need to adhere too. Such as size of house, materials the house can be built from, size of sheds, driveway, turf, fencing and landscaping. Also, is there a water meter on site. If not, this will become part of your building cost.
If you are looking at acreage you usually don’t have access to Town Water and Sewerage. This is something you will need to add to your house price. Here at Oakvale Homes, we provide a Rural Package, which includes two 5000 Gallon Water Tanks on a concrete slab, pump, pump cover, sewerage treatment plant with surface irrigation and connections to the house. Most other builders will be able to provide something similar. Other things to look out for is there power connected to the property? This question is very important, as we have seen many new land owners who say, I have power to the block – look there’s the power lines. However, the power is not connected and they need to pay for this. Another thing to factor in when building on an acreage block is running power to your house. Sometimes this can also be quite costly.
When looking at your block you need to also consider what type of house you would like to build. Slab on ground, raised home or a mix of both. Depending on the style, and size of house can also mean more cost with earthworks, drainage, retaining walls, etc.
Another question to ask is where should I face the house. You might have a fantastic design, but your outside area would get all the western sun. Or you want to install solar panels so you need to ensure the panels are faced in a northernly direction.
At Oakvale Homes we offer free site inspections. So, if you have found the perfect block, but are unsure of the extra building costs, get a builder out there to have a look. You will have a better idea, if you can afford to build on the block. When we look at a block we assess access to the block, power, phone, water and sewerage connections, orientation of the house, earthworks, tree removal, retaining walls, and if bushfire or other council assessments are applicable.
When talking with your Agent / Developer, ask them if any assessments have been completed on the block of land. Regardless of whether you are building in town or on acreage, you will need to complete a soil test. Soil tests cost a few hundred dollars. So, if one has been completed where you would like to place your house, this can be a saving in your pocket. Another assessments to ask about is effluent reports (this relates to acreage blocks where you need to install a sewerage system); slope stability / geo tech assessment (if you have a very slopey block, you may have a landside hazard); bushfire assessment (if your chosen block is close to a heavily treed area). If you can get access to these assessments again it can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars. Another thing is to ask for a copy of the registered plan of the block. This will show any easements on the block. Depending on what the easement is, you may not be able to use that part of the land.
Just to recap, before you sign the land contract, ask the Agent / Developer, is their power connected to the block? Have any assessments been completed on the block (such as soil test)? Can I have a copy of the registered plan?
Look out for our next blog, Advice when comparing quotes.