8 Factors to consider before buying land in Canberra and surrounding NSW region
How do you determine the most suitable block for your family, lifestyle, and budget?
1. Location and lifestyle
Think about which suburbs or regions you see yourself living in and ask yourself?
-What is the proximity to where you work, and your family and friends?
-Which suburbs are close to local amenities like shops, schools, gym, recreational activities, public transport, child-care, cafés and restaurants?
-What is the traffic like during peak hour, is it a smooth run?
-Do you want a sense of community?
-How important are outdoor recreational open spaces, parks and waking trails?
-Do you prefer established or newly developed suburbs and why?
Our expert team have decades of experience buying land and helping our clients understand the best value for them, in terms of location, size of block, price and return on investment. We can help you gain clarity, answer your questions and work with you to understand what’s involved early on in your decision-making process so you can make informed decisions.
2. Block size and shape
The size and shape of your block will influence the design of your home, cost to build, maintenance required and footprint of your home. Before you start looking at blocks, you need to know what size and shape block will suit the kind of house you want to build.
3. Design and orientation
The pinnacle of a good energy efficient design is the correct orientation of a house on any given block. Your home design should allow more natural light to enter your home and reduce the reliance on external lighting, whilst capturing more warmth in winter and reducing heat transfer in summer.
However, not every block will be able to accommodate your desired design and maximise energy efficiency at the same time. Our expert team are available to provide advice on any block you’re considering so you can make an informed decision before making your purchase.
Land fall can be deceptive to the untrained eye. Any slope will impact the design of your home and associated site costs to prepare your block for building. Some blocks will require retaining walls and big site costs. That doesn’t mean a land fall should be completely avoided. It does however mean you need to understand what you’re in for from the beginning.
The first step we recommend you take is to obtain an independant Site Survey for your desired block if it’s located in an established suburb, or obtain a preliminary site survey from the developer if your desired block is in a new development. We can facilitate a site survey for you, which will outline all the information required by our design team to understand any restrictions and report back to you before you proceed.
Our design team can advise if there are any planning controls, covenants, overlays, zoning and council building restrictions including setbacks, heritage listing, height limits, frontage and easements (no building zones). It’s imperative you understand these factors as they govern what and where you can and can’t build your home.
It’s common for new developments like Googong, Denman Prospect and Elm Grove Estate to come fully serviced, though you will need to check with the developer as to exactly what is included in the cost of your desired block of land and obtain as much information as possible. For blocks in established suburbs, you may want to check if NBN is connected in the area.
7. Soil conditions
Soil conditions will vary from site to site in Canberra and the surrounding NSW region. The results of a soil test (also known as a lot classification or residential geotechnical report) by an engineer will determine the correct foundation for your new home. It’s important to understand what’s below the surface of your block before you start building to avoid any nasty surprises. We can point you in the right direction if you’re not sure where to start?
The presence and location of trees on private property is another important consideration. The shadowing of a tree and the ability to construct a home without interfering with its canopy or root zone should be investigated before buying an established block of land. Tree removal in Canberra is governed and most trees on leased land in the ACT are protected under the Tree Protection Act 2005. Any work which may cause damage to these trees, such as tree removal, major pruning or lopping and groundwork near a regulated or registered tree requires approval. For more information on how your block of land may be affected by an existing regulated or registered tree in Canberra contact our team.
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Words of praise
from happy clients
If you’re looking to build, go to Element!
They are a local Canberra builder, they looked after us, talked to us, they’re not going to take you for a ride, they will build you a house that’s a home and make you feel like a person.
I never ever thought I would move from my house of 43 years.
Element has been fantastic, I couldn’t say a bad word. Dennis is lovely and always answered any of my questions.
It's going to be exciting and interesting to live in my own house that I've planned and helped design.
It’s been very quick and the handover was much sooner than originally planned. The system for variations and the processes to follow have been really good, it’s all been very user-friendly, very time-saving. It’s been quite a good experience actually, no surprises. The team has been so awesome, very patient, nice and they really guided me as well.