Buying Vacant Land
The First Step
Once you decide to buy a block of land the first two things to do is fix your budget and start looking at some blocks. If you are obtaining finance I would suggest you contact a few financial institutions to see what they are offering and how much you can afford. We are able to recommend a number of finance institutions who have been helpful to our clients.
You can get a good idea of what blocks are available by driving around, visiting a Real Estate Agent or going direct to land subdivisions where there are usually representatives on site.
It is also advisable to contact your Solicitor. Often there are different council policies and restrictions that can affect your block and we can help you, even at this early stage, in determining what areas may suit you best. One example of this is mine subsidence which is prevalent in parts of the Central Coast.
Choosing your block
When you have checked your finance and spoken to us you are ready to choose a block and make offers. The Real Estate Agent may want you to sign the contract and exchange with a cooling off period, or they may be happy to let the Solicitor exchange the contracts later. If the agent does exchange contracts for you, you do have the protection of a cooling off period of 5 working days in which you arrange your finance and we can discuss the legal paper work with you. Please give me a call if you require a fuller explanation of this process.
Before committing yourself to a particular block we suggest you visit or phone the Council and enquire about any restrictions or other requirements they have about the block you are looking at. For example the area may be subject to building covenants where you have to build a certain style, size and construction of house. The land may also be subject to 100 year flooding levels. This can have the effect of increasing your building costs to raise the house to the required level.
Experience has shown us that when selling or buying a property that you are best served by having a specialist Solicitor-Conveyancer acting for you. We are qualified Solicitors who specialise in property conveyancing and, for your protection meet all the stringent requirements of the Law Society of New South Wales and its conveyancing Code Of Practice.
Our job is to help you by making sure the property you buy is trouble free and by making your purchase as stress free as possible. As experienced Property Conveyancers we are able to negotiate strongly on your behalf to ensure you achieve a trouble free and stress free purchase or sale.
We do not handle court work or litigation so we can be totally focussed on your transaction.
It doesn’t matter whether you exchange the contract with the agent on a 5 day cooling off or you simply leave the exchange to the Solicitors.
As soon as the necessary pre-purchase inspections and searches are completed, the contract has been thoroughly checked and you have official go-ahead on your finance we are in a position to secure the property for you. You will pay the deposit, sign the contracts (if you haven’t already done so with the agent) and your purchase is made secure by exchanging contracts with the seller.
Most contracts provide for a 6 week period from exchange if contracts until settlement where you pay the balance of the property and it becomes yours. Depending on your situation we can negotiate on your behalf to have this time increased or reduced.
After settlement we will give you our written Guarantee as to title which will be your peace of mind that your home is yours.
Vital Checks when Buying Vacant Land
Before you commit yourself to buying your new property, it is vital that you do the following checks:
- Check that you are aware where the block boundaries are (often there are pegs), and that you have checked the plan of Subdivision attached to the contract of sale, to see if what you see on the block matches the plan of subdivision on the contract.
- Establish where your sewer connection on the block will be. This will affect where you position your home. Also, consider the depth of the sewer main (council have this) and what the fall to the sewer main.
- Find out if any easements affect your block, eg. stormwater pipe may run under your block. The title search in the contract will have this information.
- Find out how you will drain any stormwater? Can it drain to the street or does it go over another persons land?
- Find out whether you can build the house you want on the block. For this you need to talk to the local council. If you are using a builder then arrange for them to do a site inspection as part of their giving you a house construction quote.
- Check if any fill is required to build on the block. Most people get their builder to check this point when deciding if you can put your house on the block. Consider the cost of building retaining walls if fill is required.
- Especially check if the block is subject to flood related development controls imposed by the local council. This is crucial before you commit to the block.
- Does the block have trees that may need to be cleared for a house. All clearing will need to be approved by council.
- Check whether there is power to the block. If not, check where the power has to come from. It will involve a cost to you to get it to your property.
- Be sure to check you don’t need to put up any retaining walls. They could be expensive.
- Check if the block is bushfire prone land.
- See us to check your purchase contract.