Building your own home is one of those special moments in life that you might only get once; like getting married or having your first child, building your own home is a pretty big deal. If you have found yourself in the fortunate position of seeking land to build a home on, finding the perfect block is everything. While each individual will have personal preferences and specific items on their checklist of what their ideal building block must include, there are a few things to keep in mind before jumping into buying your property.
While this will be largely influenced by personal preference, there are some general considerations which can help you choose the ideal building block location for you. Think about what you will be using the build for; is it for your family to grow in together? Is it going to be a home that you potentially flip in 5 years time? Even if you plan to hold on to your property for the medium to longer term, life can happen in weird, wonderful and sometimes crazy ways; being prepared and having a property which you are not going to struggle in selling could be a potential lifeline for you one day. Being close to transport, schools and shops is another important consideration and can greatly affect the resale value of your home. You should consider things like whether the block is prone to flooding or bushfires; particularly in Australia which is a country of extreme weather. If you do purchase a block in these areas, make sure to chat with your project manager about specific building requirements and considerations as you might need to use specific materials in certain areas which can significantly increase your cost. For example if you are looking to purchase a block near the coast, you will need to consider materials which do not rust or easily erode with salt.
This is an important one. We recommend that you have a chat to your local council before purchasing any land in regards to the zoning of that specific building block, as well as surrounding blocks. We recently had clients who bought a beautiful block only to have their neighbours subdivide and build two large dwellings which have blocked their view and a significant amount of sunlight on their property. It is usually relatively easy to find out about zoning online, and can save you a lot of time and headaches in the long run.
When it comes to buying land, size really does matter. It can be helpful to have a rough idea of your desired house size, i.e. how many bedrooms you want and how important a backyard or swimming pool might be for you. Do not underestimate “breathing space”; there is nothing worse than squashing a beautiful big home on to a tiny block. This can result in a suffocated home which will lose its sense of space. You should also consider the shape of the block; take note of the boundary carefully and particularly any awkward corners. While a rectangular block is the most popular, different shapes can add a point of difference to your home; some architects love unique blocks because they can create bespoke and awe inspiring spaces for your home.
If you have ever worked with or engaged an architect or designer, you would have heard about the importance of orientation. In the southern hemisphere, northern facing blocks are recommended as using the sun as a natural light source can reduce the need for heating/cooling systems in your home and subsequently reduced energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions; something we at AAG constructions value greatly.
Decide On Your Style
Deciding on the style of home you would like to build, might seem irrelevant in the early stages; but it is important to consider from the beginning. If you already know that you would like a large wrap around balcony on your new home, you will want to ensure that the orientation of your home will compliment this. You don’t want to have a huge balcony which looks straight on to your neighbour’s bathroom, or gets boxed in by your boundary line. We also recommend that you consider the style of other surrounding homes of the building block as this will also have an impact on the general feel of your home.
Last but certainly not least, is to consider the incline of the block. While some blocks have a beautiful view as a result of a steep incline, this can add significant excavation costs. This will largely depend on your budget but you should also consider what is more important to you; a view or proximity to shops, transport and schools.
While this is only a tiny taster of what you should consider when choosing a block to build on, if you would like to know more (or maybe you just need a little bit of guidance), don’t hesitate to get in touch with our highly experienced and sought after Project Manager Adam. Alternatively, if you need a bit of guidance about how to prepare for your first meeting with your builder, check out our top 10 questions you must ask your builder before you sign the contract!