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Here at Beechwood Homes, we are often asked, how do I choose a good block of land?
The difficulty with answering this question is that it is very subjective and there is normally no right or wrong answer. However, there are several block characteristics to look out for. These include:
- Block Size – Unfortunately, the blocks of land becoming available in new estates are frequently becoming smaller. You need to consider whether your proposed home will physically fit on the block. You also need to take into account things like Council setbacks and other restrictions such as Floor Space Ratio, which is the is the ratio of the floor area of a building to its site area. You should also consider whether you will have any backyard, and possibly room for a pool. The days of the quarter acre block are long gone. Many people are deciding to buy blocks of land in established suburbs and opting for a knock down rebuild on an existing run down dwelling instead of moving into a new housing estate. Beechwood Homes can accomodate for both new housing developments and knock down rebuild projects. Size really does matter.
- Block Shape – Many people look to pick up the largest block when new land releases, but rarely consider the shape or orientation of that block. Regular rectangle blocks are often the best, but depending on your tastes, a large battle axe block might be great or could be a dud. You should have a proposed home design in mind before buying your block of land. Some odd shaped blocks might give you extra room for a pool with the right home design or that space may be wasted as it can’t be put to any productive use. You should also consider ongoing maintenance of your block.
- Block Slope – The slope of your block is important. Consider the front to back slope (or vice versa) as well as any slope from side to side. On a sloping site, unless you choose a split level design, you are going to have a level building platform and you will need to ‘cut and fill’ around it. You may need retaining walls, which are an added expense. As a general rule, steeply sloping sites are much more expensive to build on as your builder will charge ‘site costs’ to accommodate for various irregularities. You will also need to consider matters such as driveway gradients, that is the slope of your driveway from your garage to the street. Also consider where other houses will be positioned relative to yours. Will your neighbours be looking over your fence because their building platform will be much higher.
- Block Orientation – Your block’s exposure to sun and rain will affect if and how your proposed design can be placed on your proposed block. New homes must comply with BASIX requirements, which relate to energy efficiency and water efficiency. Various BASIX requirements are imposed to reduce your energy use through specific design strategies for lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation. It is a lot more complicated than rain water tanks and roof solar panels. Buying a block of land with the wrong orientation could mean that you will be unable to build your dream home.
Click here to read Part 2.