Building a New House in Sydney - Choosing a Suitable Block of Land
Before spending any money on a block of land, make sure you have avoided
possible pitfalls - ask about things that you may not automatically be told.
Read on for tips on how to consider whether a block of land is suitable for
your needs, and questions you should ask before committing yourself to a
Things to Consider when Considering a Potential Block of Land
- Note the exact size and dimensions of the block. You will need these figures
for subsequent calculations such as - how large a house will the local council
allow to be built? In the case of a new development, the final area of the block
may vary from the one initially stated - find out how much variation may occur.
- What is the overall level of the block like? Is it reasonably flat and therefore
easy to build on? It will cost more to build on a sloping or irregular level block,
but it does make for a more interesting house and garden.
- What is the shape of the block? For example, a long an narrow block will restrict
the house that is built on it to a similar shape.
- Compass directions - after deciding which rooms you most want to face north,
note where these rooms need to be within the house.
- Check where the shadows from nearby buildings and trees fall - you don't
want to falsely assume you'll have a sunny living room or backyard. On the other hand, if you're
really keen on a tropical garden, a shady area could be just what you want.
- Check which way water will travel. Will water pool in any part of the block when it
rains? Is the block at the bottom of a hill where it will catch all the water coming from
above it? These things will indicate where drainage work should
be done as part of the landscaping.
Important Questions to Ask Before You Spend Any Money
- Has there been any fill on the block? If the level has been artificially raised
on a part of the block, the builder may need to put in piers before any building is
done - an extra cost for you. In some cases building may not be possible - for example
if the fill is on top of a watercourse. Don't accept verbal assurance, ask for
documentary evidence. We have had the experience of the developer who sold our block
of land to us giving contradictory information as to whether there was or would be fill
on the block - depending on which staff member we spoke to - we assume one of them
just didn't have the correct information.
- Is there a water course on the block, e.g. an old creek bed? A very small one,
say 20cm deep, can be easy to miss, and indeed may not cause any serious problems,
but it still means that storm water is likely to pass through that way.
- Is the area prone to flooding? If so, what flood mitigation works have been done?
What is the 100-year flood line for the area? The local council should have this sort
- What are the council regulations regarding building a house in the area? How
far from the various boundaries of the property should be house be? How large can
the house be? Are there any pipes, water retention pits etc on the block and how
close to these can a house be built? In theory the builder you choose will find
out such things, but that won't necessarily happen until you have already chosen
a house and paid some of the costs towards building it.
- What is the council zone classification for the area? For example, is there a risk of
factories being built nearby at a later stage?
- Have you found any houses that you like and that could be built on this block?
Don't buy the block until you have
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