This article explains how to assess land and provdes the five big-ticket items to check before making an offer. Check them before falling in love with the stone benchtops and stainless steel appliances.
Compared to retaining walls and site works, cosmetic renovations are cheap!
Land area and zoning
Land area and zoning are two factors rolled into one. But, combined, they have a massive effect on value.
For example, if a property is 1000 m2 and has a zoning of R20, it can be subdivided into a 2 lot subdivision. And properties with development potential have a greater chance of increasing in value over time.
The shape of the land
Ideally, you want the land to be rectangular because irregularly shaped land and long, narrow lots cause restrictions on the design of your house and landscaping. While these restrictions can be overcome at a cost, they add extra cost. And irregularly shaped land often creates areas of unusable dead space that you don’t want to be paying for.
Privacy is often affected in undulating suburbs where houses overlook each other and from the presence of high-rise developments.
It may be possible to overcome these problems by the erection of privacy screens or planting trees, but these can create their own problems.
To identify privacy issues, step into the backyard and look up and look around. Once you’re satisfied there are no immediate issues, check with the selling agent and local council about plans for future development in the area.
A northerly aspect is a real boon if you can get it because it provides year-round sunlight, providing beautiful natural light and warmth in the winter. It’s a real luxury!
Often you’ll see properties advertised as facing north, but the ad doesn’t say which part of the property faces north. Ideally, you’ll want your living and outdoor entertaining areas facing north.
The slope of the land
While a sloping block can offer you views and the opportunity to get creative with your architect, it will create increased costs. These extra costs come in the form of retaining walls, additional drainage, and site works.
The slope of the land affects a property over time. It is often evidenced by sloping and broken fencing, sloping and cracked retaining walls and areas of soil erosion.
The relationship of the property to the road surface
Ideally, you’ll want the property to be either level or on the high side of the road because it will be less likely to be affected by flooding. Even small gradients can create a big problem in a heavy downpour.
The key message here is to look at the big-ticket items first because cosmetic renovations are cheaper than retaining walls and site works.