Written by Craig Geer on May 01, 2018

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Building from the ground up: finding the perfect section for your dream home

When it comes to building your dream home, you need to start from the ground up – literally. Before any building can begin, you need to have a piece of land on which to lay the foundations for your new home.

Finding land is therefore the first challenge you’ll face as a soon-to-be new home owner. But to make that part of the journey a little bit easier, we’ve put together a list of the top things to consider when looking for your perfect patch of grass.

Seek advice

You wouldn’t look at buying a house without first viewing it with a real estate agent. Looking at land is no different. Real estate agents don’t just sell houses, they sell sections too. But you’ll also find sections for sale on sites such as TradeMe and Realestate.co.nz.

The other path you can take is working with a developer or home builder – like us. At Urban Homes, we have compiled all the sections available from each of these different sources into one place. In other words, we know where all the sections are to buy and, after speaking with you, can offer advice on which sections may suit you. We also offer home and land packages at Urban Homes.

Check the paperwork

Buying a section is a significant investment, so be sure to check it out thoroughly before handing your money over. The key questions to ask are:

  • Does the land have title?
  • What are the covenants on the land?
  • Are there any soil reports?
  • Are there any restrictions for building on the site?
  • Has the contour of the land been considered?

Just like a house, land will be valued. We recommend you obtain an independent valuation, so you know exactly what the land is worth and how much you can expect to pay for it.

Obtain a comprehensive site appraisal

If you’re in the market for a car, you wouldn’t buy it without first getting it checked by a mechanic. The same goes when buying a section. You don’t want to get several months into your build only to find the land you have purchased is a lemon!

This is where a comprehensive site appraisal is invaluable because it could potentially save you thousands of dollars down the line.

What is a comprehensive site appraisal?

A comprehensive site appraisal should be undertaken before you go unconditional. It includes:

  • discussions around soil test
  • boundary pegs and setbacks
  • site coverage issues
  • height restrictions
  • slope assessment
  • sun orientation
  • access to the site
  • covenant discussions
  • available services to the site
  • potential issues with the site in general.

At Urban Homes, we offer a comprehensive site appraisal for free.

Let the fun begin

Once you’ve purchased your land, the fun begins. It’s time to design your house and watch it take shape. The build process usually takes between 9 and 12 months. This includes the planning and design of your home, costing, full draughting of working drawings, obtaining all necessary consents and the actual build time, which is between five to seven months on average, depending on the size and complexity of your home.

As for the cost, this depends on the design of your home and what products you use, but at Urban Homes, we present you with a full cost for your build prior to commencing the project.

Planning your build

At Urban Homes we are flexible when it comes to the plan of your home. If you already have plans drawn up, we can turn these into reality on your chosen site. We can also help you adapt them to ensure you get the style of home you are after.

Alternatively, you can use one of our plans as a base and work with our team of architectural designers to modify it and make it your own. We essentially have unlimited flexibility on product choice; however, we provide two Urban specifications which provide a good starting point. These can be personalised to meet your needs.

To see some of our custom design and build plans we have available, download our Urban Homes plan gallery. You’ll be sure to find plenty of ideas and inspiration.

Also check out our home and land packages in Hamilton and Waikato.

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