Thinking of buying a block of land? Read this first.
Vigilance and due diligence is more important than ever before. In this post covid world, we’ve heard so many stories of hacking, fraudulent behaviour, stolen passwords and people impersonating other businesses. Whilst much of this is happening in the online world, what’s happening in the real world, and how about when you’re going to buy a block of land?
Buying a block of land is probably one of the largest investments you’ll undertake in your lifetime. It makes sense to protect yourself and do your due diligence, especially before you go signing any contracts. We’ve put together some helpful tips to make sure you’re doing your due diligence before buying a block of land.
In the world of real estate, location trumps (almost) everything else. Consider how the location of the land might impact its value both now and in the future; consider the precise location too – for example, a block that’s situated at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac and backs onto greenspace would be worth more than land adjacent a busy road.
Depending on your exact needs and lifestyle, you’ll want to assess the location of the block and its proximity to amenities like public transport, schools, parks, shops, place of work, etc.
Probably the very first thing you need to check is the zoning requirements on the land. Is it land zoned for residential or commercial use, or both? If you’re planning to use the land to build your dream home on the Sunshine Coast, you’ll need to make sure you can build a residential structure on it. Alternatively, if it’s zoned primarily for commercial use, you’ll need to ask yourself if you want to be living in a commercial / industrial precinct.
How do you go about doing this? On the Sunshine Coast, you can find all this information through Development.i https://developmenti.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/ . Development.i provides you with access to past and current application details and basic property information for the Sunshine Coast Local Government area.
You can also use the Development.i website to track council building applications, so you can see if there are any specific developments being planned near you, which might impact your home or lifestyle.
Setbacks and Building Envelope
Most blocks of land come with a set of rules and covenants which stipulate where the house can be located on the block of land. This is particularly important where a block of land has recently been split in two. If you plan to build a home of a specific size, you’ll want to make sure that the lot can accommodate that size, and the setbacks and building envelope play a big role in this.
If there’s an easement on the title of the property, you’ll definitely want to know about it before buying. An easement gives another person or entity the legal right to use another person’s property for a specific purpose, regardless of who actually owns it. If, for instance, there’s an easement on your property that allows others to cross over it in order to gain access to another lot, it could have an impact on your level of privacy.
If you’re buying land in a large, developed estate (eg. Aura or Harmony), this might not apply to you, but if you are buying a large block of land in a more rural setting, this absolutely must be checked.
With certain species of wildlife being listed as a protect species (eg. koalas), you’ll need to check if there are any wildlife habitat protections in place. This can be done by contacting the QLD Government’s Department of Environment and Science. They’ve also put together a handy fact sheet for koala habitats here. You may also wish to seek advice from your local council and/or state conservation authority.
Don’t assume the land seller or developer has been open with you about the land – do your own due diligence. If you fail to do these checks before purchasing, you might find yourself in difficult situations:
- You might discover you can’t build a home on the block
- You might have to go through weeks or months of approvals with State and Federal Governments
- You might discover you have a hefty fine to pay if the seller has cleared land in a protected wildlife area which was not authorised.
Once your home is built, how will it be powered? This is probably more relevant to land in more rural settings where blocks of land may not already be hooked up to council utilities. If you need to connect water, power, waste or any other services, make sure you get in touch with those companies first to find out about any costs associated.
Work with a Custom Builder
Building your new home on the Sunshine Coast is a great experience and there’s no better way to ensure a home is just right for than to choose a custom home builder, like Beachside Construction. We can help you work out if the dream home you have in mind will work on a particular block of land, and fit within your budget.
If you’re looking to buy a block of land to build you home on, make sure you do your research first. Again, don’t assume that the seller or developed has provided you with all the information you need – do your own checks.
To contact Beachside Construction and arrange an on-site inspection at a specific block of land, call us on 0409 591 005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org