Where to buy land and build?
At Wolf Architects, we often get enquiries about what type of land someone should buy. The answer to this question is very dependent on the type of project one has in mind. What a developer needs for maximum yield is clearly different from someone looking to build their own personal dream home.
The best affordable location is always the founding factor when considering a property. For someone wanting create their dream home there might be other lifestyle considerations, such as views, and proximity to shops or schools.
Once the perfect location in respect to the suburb or street has been established, there are then several factors that can impact both building design and costs.
In Melbourne where the warm sunlight comes from the North we recommend sites with good access to the Northern light. Wolf Architects are renowned for creating light filled spaces derived from taking advantage of all available northern light through appropriate building orientation.
Most residential sites are rectangular in shape and where a longer side faces the North there is obviously more potential for warm natural sunlight. A good architect, however, will be able to capture good light even if the shorter sides are facing to the North.
Sloping blocks often provide good potential for interesting designs and views. Significant slopes however are likely to increase the building costs through access and excavation.
Site size and access will also affect building costs. Those inner suburban sites that seem so perfect can be a nightmare for builders to access and build upon.
While it’s flattering to know that our opinion is so highly valued an architect is rarely trained to be smart in property development or even business for that matter. A real-estate agent will better understand the potential growth of certain areas but they often come with the reputation of saying whatever it takes to make a sale. One must do their proper research. Architects will be able to advise on the potential of a site with respects to space and design. In terms of profits and yield for development projects this will obviously depend upon the amount of experience an architect has had with such projects.
There are limitations on what can be built as Australia’s planning schemes and authorities are stringent. A site that might seem very generous in size could be affected by overlays and covenants that restrict what can and can’t be done. WOLF Architects always suggest proper research be conducted on any prospective site prior to purchase. Walk into the relevant council and go over the site with an available planner. There’s nothing worse than buying a beautiful site that you can’t build much on. This will be particularly critical for developers looking for maximum yield. Corner blocks with good size and minimal planning restrictions are ideal but again there are many potential stumbling blocks and proper research with council is imperative to get the best site for your project.