Land buying tips

Buying a block of land is one of life's big decisions. While the location of the estate you buy into is an important consideration, so too is the position of a block within it.

Location to amenities is key - consider local facilities such as shops, parks, schools and public transport.

Where facilities are not yet in place, this means doing some research to find out where and when they will appear.

High on the list should be the size and orientation of the block.

People who want to build a 200 to 230-square-metre house will typically look for a block of about 450 to 500 square metres with a minimum frontage of 10.5 metres if they want a two-car garage. Required boundary setbacks also need to be taken into account.

Blocks with a north-south alignment and north-facing backyard are most in demand.

Locations near a park are sought after and blocks abutting them are in even more demand (expect to pay a premium of 20 to 25 per cent) as are blocks with a view and, to a lesser degree, those on the high side of a street on a slope (but beware that building on a slope can add significantly to the cost of a house).

Its a good idea to talk to the local council's town planning department and an architect about what can be built on the site. Buyers should check any restricive covenants affecting the block and possibly the construction of a house.

Finally make sure you have your finance in place or speak with one of our reps who can assist.