In Australia, a residential building allotment is a piece of land that can be sold separately as part of the Sale of Land Act 1962 without being subdivided. The allotment refers to a property’s land boundaries, and are commonly bought by people hoping to build new properties on them.
If you’re looking to buy a building allotment, there are several steps you should take before signing on that dotted line. We recommend working with a draftsman or building designer to do a thorough inspection of the allotment, and see if the land is appropriate for the type of home you wish to build.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of all the areas you should have looked at by a professional before making any commitments. This way, you’ll avoid any nasty surprises down the road and set yourself up for a successful, timely and affordable design and construction process.
One of the most basic areas you’ll need to have an understanding of is the size of the allotment. You need to make sure that it’s an appropriate size for the home you want to build and consider local council laws and regulations that may restrict how much of the land you can build on.
Land contour refers to the way that the land falls and any slopes that it holds. Certain patterns, such as inland falls, can impact where on the lot you can build and how close to the boundary you can go.
The direction and orientation of a lot are important in ensuring its energy efficiency, which must meet a 6-star minimum throughout Australia. It’s generally preferred for living room windows to be facing north, to increase the natural light it receives and decrease the reliance on artificial cooling and heating systems.
The soil conditions on a lot can have a huge impact on construction and can dictate what kind of foundation a home will need. Getting soil tests performed will be pivotal in determining whether the land is suitable for a construction project and if it will be able to support the type of project you wish to build.
Easements are designated areas of land that give your local council authority to maintain, install or replace essential infrastructures such as drainpipes or data cables. Easements often cannot be built over, and even if you do get permission to do so you may incur extra costs.
Always make sure you’re aware of all easements on an allotment before purchasing to avoid them interfering with your design plans.
If a lot suffers from poor drainage, this can lead to a number of structural problems occurring. If rainwater fails to successfully drain away from a lot, this can cause issues with ground swelling and foundation movement. Avoiding this will mean that you’ll have a reduced chance of damage due to retained rainwater and moisture.
Trees and structures
While some trees on an allotment may make a wonderful addition to the land, issues such as overhanging tree branches and rot can get in the way of construction or cause damage to your property down the track. The laws concerning the removal of trees can differ depending on your location and the tree itself, so before committing to a property make sure that any trees that need to be removed are in fact allowed to be.
As you can see, there’s a lot of ground that needs to be covered before you commit to purchasing a residential building allotment. Make sure that you’re working with thorough professionals you can trust to inspect your allotment and put yourself in the best position possible for a smooth construction process.