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How to Find Land to Build on in NZ

The town of Wanaka on New Zealand's south island

Looking for a place to build your dream home in New Zealand? Here’s how to do it! 

Determine the type of house you want to build

The biggest thing you need to think about before you even go searching for land is the type of home you want. Not just the type of home, but the type of lifestyle you want. Are you looking to build terrace housing in New Zealand? Perhaps you want an acreage home built on rural land. Maybe something in between? Ultimately, it needs to suit your lifestyle.

Buying in subdivisions is extremely popular. Usually, developers buy bulk areas of land, split them into lots and sell them separately. It’s appealing because it’s cost-effective buying your house and land together. Also, all of the homes in the area are new, so there’s a sense of it being a nice neighbourhood. However, these homes are often close together, and that doesn’t suit everybody’s ideal lifestyle.

So, decide what type of house you want, and where you want it to be. This will ensure you end up with the home you’ve always dreamt of.

Consider your budget carefully

The other important factor, and perhaps the most important, is to consider your budget. When considering a budget, you need to take everything into account, such as the land price as well as the cost of building your home. When setting a budget, there are two crucial considerations.

Your borrowing capacity: Based on your income, credit history and several other factors, lenders will only let you borrow a certain amount. You should have a good idea of this before you start planning too far ahead.

Your repayment capacity: Banks and lenders do their best to only give out mortgages that people can afford, but things change. Do you plan on having children soon, which may decrease your household earning capacity? Also, can you cope with paying a little extra each month if interest rates go up? It’s important to be honest with yourself about what you can comfortably repay, otherwise, you can end up in serious financial difficulty.

Once you’ve settled on a budget, you’re ready to start looking for land!

How do I find land to build on?

There are several different ways to find land that suits your needs, and we’ll discuss a few of these below.

Search online

The most common way to find land these days is through online property searches. The most popular online sources are Trade Me, Real Estate NZ and Property Press. Through these services, you can customise your search to find land in certain areas, of a certain size, and even put a cap on your budget to avoid looking at land you can’t comfortably afford.

Most developers and real estate agents place ads for land on these websites, so it’s probably the best way to get a comprehensive view of the property landscape in your desired areas.

Drive around

It might sound more difficult than flicking through a website on your home or laptop, but many people choose to drive around particular areas looking for land. If you’ve settled on a suburb, new subdivision, or just a part of town that you like, why not get in the car and check it out?

Most land for sale in NZ will have signage on the property, so you may come across some gems that haven’t appeared on property websites. Even if you’ve already found some plots of land online, driving out there to check them out is always a good idea. You can get a feel for the area and confirm that it’s really a place you’d like to live.

Contact real estate agents

If you have a particular area you want to build a home in, find out which real estate companies generally service that location. You can go into their offices and find out what’s available. While most agents post their listing online, you never know what information you might find out from a local agent. Whether they’ve got the inside word on new lots about to become available, or simply a plot of land that hasn’t been listed online yet.

Speak to the local council

The local council in your chosen area is also a good source if information when it comes to buying land. While they don’t manage land sales themselves, they do have information regarding what’s available in the area. This is particularly prevalent if you’re looking for house and land packages through developers or even just new subdivisions that are about to open up. At least by talking to the council, you’ll get an idea of whether there is any new development on the horizon or not.

Looking for the best house designs in New Zealand?

Once you’ve found the perfect plot of land to build your dream home, it’s time to talk to the building professionals who can make it a reality. Stonewood Homes has plenty of beautiful home designs to choose from, and we also have house and land packages available. Make building your dream home easy with Stonewood Homes!

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