Location is everything, or is it?
Finding that special block of acreage land for your dream home is all about the location, and so it should be! Acreage land is in high demand: plus it’s a major investment. We also know the ‘perfect block’ is not always easy to find. A lot of time and effort goes into the search; eliminating the land that doesn’t feel right, has too many trees, or too much slope.
So once you have found this little slice of heaven, what next?
Check it out properly.The number one thing I tell people is “You will save yourself a lot of time, grief and money, if you take the time to thoroughly check out the land and any restrictions, before you buy!”
If you are buying this land with the intention of building your dream home on it, don’t assume that you automatically have that right! Acreage land (despite what Real Estate Agents may tell you) is not always zoned for residential. So be prepared to check this before you sign on the dotted line. Even something like a Green Wedge zoning can result in a time consuming Town Planning application, with no guarantee of success. While you’re at it you should also get a good idea of any Bushfire requirements, as there are many additional costs associated with Bushfire compliance.
The other thing I would urge you to check before buying any land, (and it’s also relevant to acreage), is the soil classification. A reactive soil classification can significantly increase the cost of the slab/footings for a new home. If possible request to insert a condition into the land Sale contract, generally wording it ‘This contract is conditional on a soil classification of Class M or better’. This will enable you to decide not to proceed with the land purchase, if a reactive soil classification is going to make building your home too expensive. If you decide to do this you will need to arrange for a soil test to be carried out promptly.
Perfect land, perfect acreage home designs.
Well this is where you go from having not enough choice (acreage land is hard to find), to having an overwhelming array of choices in acreage home design, starting with:
• Do I build a single storey, or double storey home?
• Is a ranch style home going to look better on my site?
• How do I know where to position my home to work best with views, light, neighbours etc?
• Is it better to choose a standard floor plan or custom designed home?
• Should I go with a large building company, or seek out a more exclusive custom home builder?
How to manage the costs of acreage home designs and building.
From our years of experience building acreage home designs, what I would advise is to work out what you can comfortably afford for the building of your new home. Do a bit of research. Any experienced builder will be able to tell you what their standard ‘price per square’ figure is. You will soon see if you budget lends itself to a custom designed home, or a standard design from a volume builder. Bear in mind that there will be additional costs when building an acreage home, so be sure to make allowances for this.There are definitely some clear benefits to working with a builder who is experienced in building custom acreage designs. There are many other factors to consider (below are just a few):
Connection of services:
Service companies only allow a standard distance from the street, which is rarely enough on acreage.
The selection, location, installation (including permits).
It’s going to be many times longer than on a standard block so selection of the right materials is vital for low maintenance and durability.
This is often overlooked when building on acreage, and Legal Point of Discharge issues
You will either need to have the knowledge to do all of this yourself, or you may choose to work with an experienced acreage home builder, who can supply all of this as part of their service. If these areas aren’t given adequate consideration when you are planning and building your new home, the associated costs can quickly add up.
It is no secret that building on acreage land is more expensive. But the benefits in the lifestyle are definitely worth it. The key to success when deciding which builder to work with is to consider that it is not just any block of land, (you’ve picked it because of it’s special characteristics), so it stands to reason that the builder shouldn’t be just any builder!