What To Consider Before Buying Land

When buying a new home, there are just as many factors to consider if you were buying a block of land.

If you have the intention of building in the future, it’s best that you do your research as well as seek out expert advice in helping you make the right decision that meets all your future land/property requirements. This is where you will require a Land Valuation that will be completed by a qualified senior valuer, someone who is specialised in the field of either residential, commercial, or industrial property types.

When you buy a new property for instance, a property valuer values the property, considering the property size, land, use and any external factors that may affect the property outcome as well as comparisons of the local area property market sales. However, when purchasing land with the intent to build, is different, the valuer will factor in

  • The land alone (the location, size, and shape)

  • Soil type and land surface (slope below or above ground level)

  • Heritage restrictions, such as town planning controls and constraints on the use of the land

  • Any nearby development or amenities (road access, parks, views)

Valuations are based on certain assumptions, with land, a valuer will also factor in the improvements that remain part of the land value outcome, such as clearing, draining, and filling of land, as well as utility services.

By having the right amount of knowledge and expert advice when it comes to property/land investment. It will help you make the right decisions and ensure you purchase the right block of land to meet your requirements and you won’t end up with any costly surprises down the track.

6 things to consider before buying a block of land:

  1. Legal Matters

  2. Location/Zoning

  3. Access to Utility services

  4. Orientation

  5. Size, Shape and Slope

  6. Future home

Legal Matters

The first thing to do is research the potential areas of land to see what is available. You may need to find out that the land has permission to construct and build property, as there are numerous legal obligations that you have to take into account.

If your intention is to build on the land, you would have to seek approval from the local council. As with many blocks of land, there are agreements in place to restrict certain building materials. Seeking advice and research to be aware of these limitations will help you eliminate the areas of interest as well as the budget you have in place to purchase the land as well as a future build.

Location/ Zoning

Location is everything, and finding the perfect area is great but you need to consider the proximity of the area to local amenities, like shops, schools, hospitals, and public transport. And consider this in the future if you decide to sell the property, this will ensure a better return on your investment in the long run.

Make sure the area you are interested in is not a bushfire or flood risk zone, although you may be able to build on the land, there is a risk that this will affect your ability to obtain any financial support to purchase or build.

Access to Utility Services

If you plan on building your future home on the land that you have purchased, be aware of the availability and the distance of utility services like power, gas, internet, water and sewage to the block of land. Depending on your budget as well you would need to factor in additional expenses as this would be a cost for connection to be set up and the further you are away from the mains the more costly it may be.

Orientation

In the world we live in today, homeowners and developers are becoming more energy-efficient when it comes to property, and this will benefit you financially as well as the plant. Pay close attention to the layout of the land, it’s been recommended that a northern orientation is enough. Your future home will have more natural lights thus bringing in the warmth during the winter days and protecting the property and yourself from excessive heat when it comes to the summer months.

As a rule, planning beforehand and developing a property with optimal orientation will result in saving on your energy bills, as well as adding value to the property for future investment of sale.

Size, Shape and Slope

Depending on your land preferences and the budget, the design of your future projects will largely depend on the land purchase. Buying a block of land with a regular size and shape (such as a rectangular/ square shape) is a popular choice for a resale in the future. Before buying, consider what has been intended for the land.

If you wish to subdivide, do the dimensions fit those plans, another thing to consider about the land is the terrain(slope) depending on the slope this will anticipate future costs that you may incur when building, for e.g how steep whether it’s below or above ground and the levelling of the land with may include the trees/rocks, soil that may need to be excavated, and this, in turn, will be an additional cost within your budget.

Another one to investigate would be the soil, it’s due diligence to test the soil prior to purchase. testing the soil will ensure that you won’t have any unknown issues when it comes to building. A soil test looks at the physical and chemical characteristics, to determine the safety of the soil and estimates stability and land retention.

Future Home

Once you have found the land and decide to start building, you need to think about the need or want you wish to get out of the type of house. Determining whether the block of land can be adapted to your needs, will it be a family with children wanting a backyard and multiple rooms, or young professionals/retirees that seek low maintenance. And lastly, neighbourhood potential will give you an insight into the area aesthetic, so before buying a block, remember to research the local area of past property sales and area statistics, you may also want to enquire about future building proposals or developments for the area as this may impact your plans as well as the value on your investment for future resale.

It’s best to have a clear plan or understanding of what the idea is for the land prior to purchasing a certain block. If you factor in each of these considerations, you are ready to start your journey to finding the perfect piece of land. Seeking out a property/land valuation will help in the process of determining what will best benefit your future purchasing needs.

Author Bio

John Carter – LinkedIn Profile

John Carter is a skilled and experienced senior property valuer working within the Perth CBD and greater Western Australia. He has niched expertise in multi-use commercial properties, gained over his two decades as a property valuer. John is considered one of the leading experts within property valuation in Perth and has passed his specialised knowledge on through industry training programs. His attention to detail and passion for property market research has inspired the next generation of valuers at Perth Property Valuers.

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