We’ve all got a different idea of the Aussie dream (you know, the cheesy one sold to us through unrealistic 80’s movies), so what do you picture? A house that’s walking distance to a cafe strip for epic Sunday brunches and near the ocean for your new coastal influencer lifestyle? Finding that idyllic spot to live isn’t always easy … but you’ve got to start somewhere.
Just watch five mins of Escape to the Country and you’ll see how competitive it is. Unfortunately, you’ll need more know-how than what you’ve gained from bingeing Selling Sunset, and that’s what we’re here for!
Check out the zone
Now, we know it’s easy to get ahead of yourself when checking out potential land. The moment you drive through the suburb you’ll be imagining what route to take on your morning runs (or for the non-gym junkies, where to get your Monday flat white). But you’ve got to check that the spot is legit before putting down a payment and that includes researching zoning regulations (or R-Codes). Councils are strict AF about what you can build and where, so make sure your plans match the rules.
Rules to check:
- Street setback: how far back from the street can you build?
- Coverage: what percent of land can your home cover?
- Building height: is your home only single-story or can it be double-decker?
- Garage width: can you build a double garage?
Also, you know when you walk through gorg suburbs like Peppermint Grove and it’s like the homeowners got together and planned to make the whole street stunning? Well maybe they did.. (Not in a way tho!) Sometimes there are design guidelines in new estates, so everyone chooses from similar paint shades or features the same classic timber cladding.
Dw, if you link with a builder to find you a block (aka your fav smartie), they’ll be all clued up on these requirements and you won’t have to miss First Dates to do your research!
Follow the sun
Now it’s time to stop imagining where the pool’s gonna go and channel those Kevin McCloud super architect vibes. You’d never make it onto Grand Designs with a house that faces away from the sun! When choosing a block, make sure the solar orientation is compatible with the style of floorplan you dig so the sun hits in alllll the right places —this extra warmth is a lifesaver in winter and helps you save energy too. Plus you’ll always have the perfect lighting for those #nofilter selfies!
Location, location, location
Picking the location for your block of land is all about the lifestyle. What sort of life do you want? The Gilmore Girls wholesome, historic town vibe? The glam Suits CBD type? Or the seaside Blue Water High sort? Unfortunately, you still have to consider the boring #adultlife jobs, so you’ll probs have to check where the supermarket (and bottleshop?) is too. What you might not think about is looking up the rental rate in the area (future dollars to be made!) and making sure your home isn’t in a high-risk area for extreme weather like fires or floods. Yikes!
If you’ve already found that dream home design*—you know, the one that has you scrolling Temple & Webster in bed at 3 am—then you’ll have to choose a block to suit. You don’t want it to be like a triangle trying to squeeze through a circleee (queue Missy Higgins), you want it to fit with space to spare! Where else would your Border Collie pup run around? Block size really does matter, so give yourself all the space you need for that epic housewarming you’re planning (just like in those OTT Aldi xmas ads)!
*Tip: We know you’re a rebel, but if you can, we do recommend picking your block first—just make sure it’s big enough for your wish list!
Everyone loves a freebie
The house-buying process can be a bit hard on the wallet—you know you’re cutting it fine when you start buying 2 min noodles —so anything you can get for free can be a lifesaver. You’ll be stoked to know that a lot of big-name developers offer free stuff to get you in the door. This can be anything from free solar panels (planet-friendly perk) to transforming your front yard from dirt into landscaped perfection that’s straight out of Better Homes & Gardens!
Cap the budget
We know firsthand how easy it is to get carried away daydreaming about a neat 500sqm block in Scarbs, where you can start the life Home and Away told you was possible (perf tan, time for a surf before work). But the truth is, if you want to properly deck out your house, you’ll need to have a budget—and Scarbs might not fit into it. If your must-have list includes things like gorg marble benchtops and a big freestanding tub, then having a max spending figure in mind for your block will keep extra cash for these ‘necessities’. Hot tip: if you pay less than $300K for your land, or your house and land total is less than $750K, then you can avoid that sneaky stamp duty!
So, you think you’ve picked the perfect block, great spot, beaut block size, and then you move in and… Construction workers have moved in next door. You might turn into with drilling noises waking you up half an hour before your alarm! If you want to avoid this, then give your local council a buzz before moving in to see whether any building proposals are in the pipeline. Even if you’re not bothered by a bit of construction, you’ll want to know if a massive, ugly building is going to ruin your street!
Still need a helping hand finding a block that’s right for you? No dramas, just get in touch with one of our expert smarties and we’ll whip up the house and land combo of your dreams xoxo