Some key points when buying land:
· Design guidelines / restrictions. The Ponds has very strict guidelines that must be followed including landscape if you're after their $5000 rebate. There 8 pages in fact which can be downloaded from the ponds website. Basically covers setbacks, house exterior textures (render / cladding etc), solar shading, articulation, driveway and concreting as well as many, many more. They might have had good intentions with these restrictions but it has become slightly ridiculous in my opinion. They will not even accept certain bricks or colours.
· Orientation – We wanted ours to face either north or east (solar and auspicious reasons)
· Classification of soil. Have a pre purchase soil test done if possible. Typically you will have either M class or H class soil, the latter being slightly more expensive to build on as it requires a thicker slab. You definitely want to stay away from E or P (Problem site) soil. H class can cost 5k to 10k more. In my opinion though, the stronger foundation u have, the better it is.
· Check for sewer lines and manholes. Building over these is something you want to avoid
· Trees. Some may have to be removed and this can cost you a pretty penny
· Find out the slope of the land. The flatter it is, the less site costs you will incur. You will also avoid having to build retaining walls etc
· Width of land. Will the house you want fit? Beware of narrow “smart lots”. Check each dimension carefully. Remember corner blocks require you to leave more space.
· Is there recycled water? Will save you from a rainwater tank.
· Check for soil salinity. If it is classified as saline soil you will have to pay extra for a layer of protection between the slab and the soil. Also you will only be permitted the use of exposure grade bricks which may narrow your choices a bit further.
As you can see, buying land is not as easy as it seems!