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Plotting for your future | The West Australian

While many prospective land buyers are understandably preoccupied with what they will build on their future lot, there’s a lot to be considered at ground level, according to industry experts.

Realmark Coastal Managing Director Sean Hughes said there were a number of things buyers should look for when it came to land.

“Many buyers prefer to have a flat lot with minimal retaining issues on the boundary fences and minimal retaining to be done on the block itself,” he said.

Ray White Nannup Principal/Licensee Mike Tucker said sloping lots had their benefits, however, and listed a nice outlook, plenty of usable space, access to services and, if possible, a north-facing aspect, as sought-after features.

“Typically, blocks on an incline have nice views and undulating land, so these are very well suited towards a pole home, which gives elevation,” he said.

“We’re seeing that as being very popular at the moment as well – building a Queenslander-style pole home.”

Mr Hughes said corner blocks allowed homebuyers to alter their frontage, depending on where they had their crossover or driveway.

“Depending on where it’s positioned, it enables someone to be out further on a side-boundary street frontage, which gives them a better field of view,” he said.

“From a design point of view, architects can have a great time with a corner position because effectively you have a dual frontage and that enables you to have a much bigger facade on both sides. You can utilise the setbacks of the corner boundary or the front boundary and design something really nice.”

Mr Tucker said larger blocks were on-trend at the moment.

“Having usable space for veggie gardens, fruit trees and chickens is a high priority for buyers at the moment,” Mr Tucker said.

“Larger blocks also give a lot more space for different builds, so you have a lot more flexibility and space for auxiliary buildings such as sheds and granny flats/studios.

“I think that’s where it’s going to be for the foreseeable future – rather than just having a home, people want to create their own domain where they can spend a lot of time on their own property developing it and making it ideal for their family and themselves.”

Mr Tucker conceded that smaller lots had their benefits for a number of buyers as well.

“The benefits of a smaller block are they are typically cheaper,” he said.

“If you’re looking for something very easy-care, either as a short-term getaway or as something for an older retiree, that’s the benefit of a smaller block.”

Mr Hughes also highlighted some of the benefits of smaller blocks.

“In suburbs such as Subiaco, Scarborough, Doubleview and Karrinyup, the small-lot design homes that are on 230sqm to 300sqm are really quite incredible,” he said.

“The architects have done a great job designing spacious homes that feel like they’re on a big block.”

All in all, Mr Tucker said the land a home was built on was in a lot of ways more important than the house itself.

“When you’re buying a block of land, it is important to get the ‘right’ one, as you can always renovate the house and the infrastructure, but it’s very difficult to change the land,” he said.

“You’re much better off buying a block of land that suits you now and into the future, thinking ahead for you and your family’s needs.”

Mr Hughes said to check the quality of existing fences, height restrictions, what was being included by way of services and if there were any easements over the property.

“There’s a lot of properties that sometimes have a main sewerage line that runs through the boundary,” he said. “Make sure that doesn’t intrude too much on what you would want to design over the property.

“Then I would make enquiries with a local builder to get an understanding of exactly what sort of a home can be built, because sometimes if people have not built before, they don’t understand plot ratios and don’t understand what size home can be built on these blocks.”

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