8 Important Factors To Consider Before Land Purchase

Owning your own piece of land along with home ownership continues to be the Australian dream, offering security and peace of mind as well as a good investment. The 2016 Census showed that out of just over 8 million households in Australia, 5.4 million (67%) of those were homeowners and just over 30% of them were mortgage-free. To get a foothold on the property market, there are several areas to be considered before buying land. Seeking support from a town planning consultant or land surveyor in Melbourne who can assist you through this process is the main starting point. 

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1. Check out zoning regulations

If you are looking to build a commercial or industrial property, you have to make sure that the land you are purchasing is not restricted to residential builds only. Likewise, if the plot of land next door to your dream home, is earmarked for a block of flats or warehouse, it is not going to be the quiet oasis of calm you were expecting. A town planning consultant who has experience of working in the local area, understands how the Councils work and can help navigate the various planning applications so you avoid making a costly mistake.

2. Understanding the environment and climate

Seasonal changes, temperature range, annual rainfall can all impact on the place in which we live and work. It will also impact on the type of building you are putting on the plot in terms of types of insulation for example or the amount of energy you will need to use and the sort of vegetation and landscaping you can plant and grow. Understanding the local environment will assist you in making an informed choice on your purchase.

3. Information about water source

Having a full survey from a land surveyor in Melbourne will provide you with a documented plan of the area as well as information about utility sources running to or across the property. Water is vital to any form of building and as a landowner it is equally important to understand any obligations around water restrictions including collection and disposal of waste water. If the property is close to rivers or creeks or is connected via the mains or a water tank is required, then you need to know the options before you buy.

4. Topography of the site

Even though it may look on the level, there may be a slight drop in level that will be indicated during a survey of the land. This is really important because if you build your property in the wrong place, during a heavy downpour, water can run towards the building if it is below a roadway for example. The situation of drains or soakaways then has to be planned with this in mind. Similarly, if there is a steep incline, you need to factor in additional building costs associated with building at different levels.

5. Understanding the soil composition

Having an engineer carry out a soil test before making the final decision on the purchase is also a must. The composition of the soil will have an effect on how much underpinning or foundations need to be in place for any building placed on the land. It also impacts on the stability of the land and will highlight possibility of soil erosion and inform the number of earthworks that will be required.

6. Flora and fauna

A land survey will mark out any existing buildings and also note the position of existing trees and bushland that may be protected. If removed illegally, this will generate a hefty fine or if left in place near where you are planning to build, and in storm affected areas, trees can cause considerable damage to property due to fallen branches and tree trunks.

7. Awareness of boundary lines

A land surveyor will be able to take an accurate measurement of boundaries so that you know you are getting exactly the land that has been advertised for sale. They will check existing boundaries and structures that adjoin the land and make sure fence lines follow the legal boundary. Having a record of this will also help prevent any boundary disputes moving forward.

8. Orientation

Finally, a proper survey will identify any existing easements or driveways and other structures that could impact on the property you are aiming to build on the site. The survey will help understand the best placement or orientation of the building, to make the most of the surrounding area and the movement of the sun to minimise overheating in the summer while enjoying the full aspect of the site throughout the year.

Before you sign on the dotted line, speak to the professionals in surveying and town planning who are there to help you realise your dream of land ownership.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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