Your dream home could turn to a nightmare if it's built in the wrong place
If you’re going to build a new house it’s important to select the best property. Often people buy land for their dream house only to find that they haven’t done their research properly and there are unforeseen costs, or the property isn’t suitable for their needs, or the area’s character is changing, or isn’t as expected and it isn’t such a desirable place to live. Buying land is a major investment. There are often transaction costs and fees to pay, so it isn’t as simple as making the wrong purchase from the shops and being able to take it back for a refund. In this case, selling a property that’s unsuitable will almost certainly lead to large additional wasted costs.
It’s essential not to purchase on impulse, but rather to do your homework and fully investigate various aspects and characteristics of the land before purchasing the property.
A neighbourhood could be quiet with little traffic on the weekend when you visit, but during the week it could be completely different, with no parking available in the street, busy roads, traffic congestion and noise. In fact, even during the course of a weekday the streets can change, being quiet in the middle of the day and then busy at peak hours.
But properties can even change with the seasons. That brilliant view could be blocked out when the trees are covered in leaves in summer, or your nice sunny piece of ground could be in the shadow of the neighbouring buildings in winter when the sun is lower on the horizon.
The common saying ‘location, location, location’ means that selecting the right location is the most important part of buying a property.
So properties located on busy streets, or next to industrial areas, perhaps neighbouring shops and restaurants, maybe overlooked by apartment buildings, those that are in undesirable neighbourhoods, or those that have unpleasant noisy neighbours aren’t going to be desirable locations. If a property appears to be a bargain, understand why it’s a bargain, what does the seller and others know that’s not immediately apparent to you.
Obviously properties that are in leafy, friendly neighbourhoods, with quiet streets, near parks, with easy access to schools, shops, transport networks, recreational facilities and work opportunities are usually desirable locations. These ideal locations are often in short supply, meaning that they’re more expensive. The thing is that in the future they’ll be even harder to find, which will ultimately increase their value.
But, it’s important to understand that a good location shouldn’t be impacted by ‘snob value’. Far too often we allow ourselves to be influenced by what others in our family and community think. Do your own research. Be prepared to look beyond the areas you’re familiar with. Take time to visit different suburbs and towns, get an understanding of what’s available and what the costs are. A location that isn’t seen as the best location right now, because it’s older, or less ‘upmarket’, may be about to change. Often older areas go through a period of regeneration and suddenly property values increase when it’s perceived to be the new desirable location. However, older areas could also go the other way, where they become rundown, dilapidated and even overtaken by crime.
New transport networks, schools and other facilities can quickly turn an area into a desirable location. Buying into these areas before the rush can mean you’re purchasing property that will rapidly increase in value. It’s important to understand what’s happening in areas and what the plans are.
Understand what your priorities are, and those of your family. What lifestyle are you looking for? That desired location that many hanker after might not actually be the right location for you. We are all different, with differing needs and desires. Understand what's important for you and your family when choosing land.
Start with the right location, suburbs and neighbourhoods and work from there. Always be open to other possibilities and areas you aren’t familiar with.
In future articles we will discuss what to look for when looking for your ideal piece of ground to build your new house. Know which aspects of the property could add to your construction costs. Be aware of how the land could influence your new home's design. Understand what's important to you and your family.
Thinking of buying a property and building your dream home? Don't be a victim of a poor decision. Educate yourself and know what to look for when purchasing a property. Read 'An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses - Volume 2 Finding Your Ideal Property and Designing Your Dream Home'
© 2019 This article is not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission from the author.
I’m a construction professional, author of several successful construction management books, and a home owner. I’ve made mistakes in construction management, I’ve seen others make mistakes, but importantly I’ve had multiple successful construction projects and I’ve learned from the mistakes. I want to share these lessons and my knowledge with you.
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