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How to Find Land to Build on in New Zealand

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If you’re a New Zealand resident looking to build a new home, there’s one crucial part of the puzzle you need to find. Land! Making smart choices when it comes to choosing a block of land can make the building process and your life so much easier. We’re going to talk about what to consider when buying land, how to find the perfect block and some extra tips for making the right choice for your land purchase.

Consider where you want to live

The first thing to do is decide where you want to live. This is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it narrows down your search area, making it much more time-effective to look for blocks of land. Secondly, it may inform your choice of whether to buy land and build or instead, buy an existing home.

Let’s say you have your heart set on a particular town or suburb, but there simply isn’t any vacant land available. This means you’ll have to buy an existing home, and perhaps contact a knockdown rebuild builder to build your dream home.

What size land do you need?

The next consideration is the size of land you want. You should have a rough idea of how many square metres you want your home to occupy. Taking into consideration leaving space on either side of the house, this gives you an idea of the minimum land size you can practically buy.

If you’re looking further afield to rural or acreage properties, you perhaps want a larger block of land. If this is the case, remember that every piece of land essentially has a cost attached to it. So, if you really only want to build a house and have a little more room than the average backyard, don’t set your sights on enormous blocks of land that you don’t need. Remember, you’ll need to maintain the land once you’re living there.

Search online

One of the best ways to find land to build on in New Zealand is by searching online. There are a few bigger websites out there to assist, and you should be able to tailor your search by location and land size. Check out:

Trade Me

Real Estate NZ

Property Press

If you don’t have any luck on these real estate websites, you can also try social media. Facebook marketplace, for example, sometimes has land or houses available. While not as abundant as a proper real estate website, you still may be able to find some gems on there that are worth checking out.

Check with local councils

The other way to find plots of land is to make enquiries with the local council. You’ve already decided on the areas you’d consider buying land, so make those your priority. But councils don’t sell real estate, you might argue. While that’s true, they do have information regarding upcoming developments. They may be able to put you in touch with developers for new subdivisions, which is especially helpful if there are long waiting lists.

Be careful about cheap plots of land

When searching for land, it’s best to tread very carefully when it comes to cheap plots. Often, the prices are cheap because there’s something that will make it more costly to build on. Sloping blocks, for example, are often cheap, but that’s because the price goes up considerably when you start building. In fact, it’s not even always easy for builders to give you an estimate because the land is unpredictable.

Other reasons for cheap land may be that there are no essential services like water, electricity or sewerage. While it’s not a deal-breaker for some people, it can certainly send construction costs through the roof.

Consider plots of land in a subdivision

For that very reason, you may want to consider buying land in a subdivision or new development area. In some cases, the plots of land are available to buy, and you can bring in your own builders. Often, though, it comes as a house and land package through one particular builder, so that’s something to consider.

However, sub-division areas are usually chosen because the blocks are flat, easy to build on, and already connected or at least approved for essential services. Ultimately, the cost of building decreases. So, if you can nab a piece of land and still have your choice of builder, it’s a win-win.

Perhaps an acreage or rural plot of land?

If suburban development areas aren’t your cup of tea, maybe you want to consider moving away from the city. You can usually find plenty of land in rural or bushland areas, and it provides a great lifestyle. Acreage living is popular because of the freedom and space you get. However, if you do decide to go this way, remember to factor in the cost of building. You’ll need to work with an experience acreage home builder who can maximise the potential of your land. Then, you’ll be living your life in peace and tranquillity on your own little slice of paradise!

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