It’s no secret that finding the perfect block of land is one of the first steps to building your own home.

But as the price of land increases, paying top dollar doesn’t always guarantee you’re getting prime land to build on.

Here’s 5 over-the-phone questions you can ask the real estate agent before you book an inspection.

What is the zoning of the block?

Zoning affects what you can and can’t build on a block of land.  It even affects whether you can knock down and rebuild a home.  In Tasmania, iplan provides interactive maps that can also tell you the zoning of a particular block of land.

Does the block have any easements?

Easements refer to ‘the right to cross or otherwise use someone else’s land’.  Easements may be in place to ensure other properties have access to services such as water or power.  If there is an easement on the block of land you’re looking at, it may impact your building ‘envelope’, or the exterior ‘shell’ of your home.

Is the block prone to bushfire, flood, coastal erosion, coastal inundation or landslip?

Building in areas prone to natural hazards may need additional considerations which can influence the design of your home and cost to build.  The iplan tool mentioned earlier also provides great information about areas prone to natural hazards in Tasmania.

Has a soil test been done on the block yet?

Soil tests determine what type of soil the block of land made up of.  Soil types can influence the cost of building a new home.  If you like the block and a soil test hasn’t been done, talk to us.

Does the block have connections to town water, power, and other services?

Finally, if you find out the block isn’t already connected to services it’s a good idea to contact service providers or, talk to us, about the cost to connect the block to power, water, sewage and so on.

A final tip…

As you can probably tell, it’s a great idea to get us, or your builder, involved early.  Plus, as vacant land is becoming harder to find, being flexible with your home design can help you start building sooner.

If a block of land seems suitable we’re happy to come along to an inspection with you. That way, we can talk confidently about the style, size, and estimated costs of building your home on that block.

But, if your heart’s set on a specific house plan or design, we can help you figure out what you’ll need to look for in a suitable block.

Knowing what you’re looking for saves you time (and disappointment) because you’ll only look at blocks with real potential. And, if you’ve got your criteria set, real estate agents can keep an eye out for suitable blocks too.

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Blog post written by Karli Franks.