One of the biggest investments you’ll likely make in your lifetime is buying a block of land, so it makes sense to protect yourself and do your due diligence. Don’t always believe what you’re being told, particularly if you’re buying land in a rural setting.
Here are our top tips to consider before signing any contract:
Environmental and Wildlife considerations
On the Sunshine Coast, there are a certain species of wildlife which are listed as a protected species (eg. koalas). Make sure you check if there are any wildlife habitat protections in place – you can do this by contacting your local council and/or state conservation authority, or through the QLD Government’s Department of Environment and Science https://environment.des.qld.gov.au/.
Never assume the seller or developer has been completely transparent with you about the land, or that they know all the facts – do your own due diligence. If you purchase land which is listed as a wildlife habitat, you might find yourself in a difficult situation:
- You might discover you can’t build a home on the block
- You might have to go through weeks or months of approvals with State and Federal Governments
- You might discover you have a hefty fine to pay if the seller has cleared land in a protected wildlife area which was not authorised.
If you’re planning to use the land to build a home on your chosen block of land, you’ll need to make sure you can build a residential structure on it. Likewise, if you plan on building a commercial premises, you’ll need to make sure it’s zoned primarily for commercial use. Also consider what future developments are being planned in the local area – how might these impact your residential or commercial property in the future?
So where can you find this information? On the Sunshine Coast, you can find all this information through Development.i . Development.i provides you with access to past and current application details and basic property information for the Sunshine Coast Local Government area.
Building envelope, covenants and easements
If you’ve found your ideal block of land, it will likely come with a set of rules which outline where the house can be located on the block of land (the building envelope), if there are any covenants (rules to adhere to in your building design) or easements (allowing access your property).
These factors will be critical to the size and location of your home, as well as how the block is used in the future by you and by others.
At Greenhalgh Pickard, we can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure you understand all the parts of your land contract. If there is any doubt in your mind or if you need a professional opinion, our team of conveyancers and solicitors are available to review your contract. It’s far better to invest in a professional review now, than to find yourself in a difficult situation down the track.