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Land & Real Estate

Real estate, buying property, buying a house, buying real estate

Purchasing a particular real estate property or maybe a vacant plot shouldn’t be a quick thing to decide. In fact, it may take you days to weeks to actually decide which plot you will be buying.  Purchasing big assets like real estate requires careful thinking because it is a long-term investment that will have a long term personal effect to you in and your family.  It will also affects how comfortable your family will be during your stay there. When purchasing a plot for a house, people generally face common problems besides the budget itself.

Here is a lists of a items you need to consider when choosing reals estate or a vacant plot.


Imagine building a kingdom for the people you love. You will want a safe suburban or friendly neighborhood that will bring joy and happiness to everyone.  First, you will surely want to look at a suitable location for your kingdom.  The same applies when you’re considering to buy a property for you and your family.  You can even want to plan the whole selection process.  Take a map to your estate or local authority to find out the best and preferred suburbs.   Draw up a checklist of your families needs.   Ask around.

Whether you are going to purchase an existing real estate  or a vacant piece of land, location is the most important aspect to think about, before making the investment.  The old mantra in real estate investment is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

Make sure that you can get access to good schools, grocery and convenient stores, sports facilities, good public transport systems and various other services that you will require.  Consider your lifestyle and all your daily needs.  No suburb will be perfect but you will need to carefully consider these are these factors.  Try and visit your shortlisted suburbs at different times of the day or week.  Explore the environment and find out more about the different neighborhoods.  Observing the neighborhood will allow you to see the minor details and types of lifestyles that exists in a given area.  Consider the value of similar properties in each area.  Find out about the recent sales figures and amounts for similar properties.  Even when you are not intending to sell your home in the near future, the value of the property you intend buying should be of paramount importance.  And that value is highly determined by the location!


A recent survey has stated that budget is not on the first list when people are looking to buy real estate.  This is because people become too emotional and decide with their hearts than to carefully thinking about most other important factors.

Besides, finance is probably the most sensitive issue for anyone who plans to buy real estate.  However, it’s necessary to have a budget or mortgage plan that will be sufficient to settle your home loan.  See if you cannot obtain a pre-approval from your bank.  These days, most real estate purchases will usually require you to pay a percentage of down payment.  This can be between 20% to 50% of the total cost depending on your financial circumstances and the type of property you are buying.  This can be a lot of money for most people.

If you’re purchasing vacant land with an aim of building later, don’t forget to estimate the cost of construction.  You will therefore need to keep in mind the increases in building costs that may occur before you actually commence with the building process.  Another cost item that most people overlook is  levies and municipal rates.  For suburbs, these costs can be quite substantial.  As someone once said: your dream home should give you the comfort to live and to afford.

Zoning Rights

Also consider that there are some rules and restrictions that may differ from one suburb to another.  These are local by-laws and statutory regulations that governs the type of house and townplanning cohesion factors affecting your locality.  For instance, make sure you know the number of pets permitted, height and noise restrictions that governs the property and suburb you decide to buy in.  Otherwise you will be in for a big surprise later when you realize that you cannot build a double storey house on that vacant lot that you’ve purchased.


It can be said that most people do consider the physical traffic when buying real estate.  However what most of them look at are the physical factors pertaining to traffic – ie. how long will I take to get to work in the morning? How long will I have to sit in traffic when transporting my kids to school?  Are there major highways nearby?  It is however, important that you see the effects of traffic as a whole. You may want to look at the development patterns that are taking place around the suburb.  The current traffic patterns may change for the worst in a few months or years after you’ve purchased the property.   For an example, your local street could become noisy with increased levels of traffic.  Noisy railroads are disturbing and could have a negative effect to your real estate value in the long run.

Buying and selling real estate is a continuous business activity. The real estate sale price may never be low but when you choose the wrong area, it may be difficult to get a higher price than what you paid.  Another factor is that as people get older, their children leave home and they start to find a home in a quieter area. This is an upgrade that we generally see around us. As a starter, the traffic situation may be acceptable but bear in mind that as you grow older and your children already make their way out, the home may no longer be fit for your interest.

Estate Rules and Guidelines

If the vacant plot is located within a gated community, chances are, the developer or homeowner’s association runs the complex using certain rules and fees that everybody already agrees on.  You can derive peace of mind from the fact that someone is responsible for most of what takes place around your neighbourhood.  But this also means that you and your family will be living with some strict responsibilities.  For instance, you will be required to cut your grass once a month plus and no barking pets will be tolerated.

However, while these restrictions may seem rigid initially and annoying at times, in the long run, they will help you live in a well maintained neighbourhood and more important, your property value may increase favourably than in an area where there are no rules.

Soil Conditions

It’s very often the case that a homeowner get’s a shock when the engineer introduces a possibility of using expensive foundation methods because there is a problem with the soil conditions.  The truth is that for most homeowners, the soil condition is hardly a concern when buying a piece of vacant land.  The other problem is ground water.  If you notice an evergreen spot of vegetation within the site it is always wise to check whether it contains ground water.  Whether natural or otherwise, ground water can mean long term expenses.

Service Infrastructure

You may fall in love with an outlying area because of the tranquility and large open spaces but have you checked the availability of municipal services in the area?  Do you know when the road will be tarred? How is the water pressure in that area?  If you’ll be using a septik tank, what is the availability of sewage pumping services like?  You will need to ask your estate agent these questions before you even consider signing any agreements, etc.


A property on a hillside is among everyone’s favorite spot.  It usually has breathtaking views and fresh air plus a quiet surrounding. It’s a dream home you wish to have! People choose hillside property mostly because of the tranquility and scenery it provides. But when choosing a hillside real estate property, you need to consider the prevailing winds associated with that specific hillside.  Remember that the higher the area, the stronger the winds and depending on the severity, it can be disturbing when it shakes your windows, etc.  Also note that high lying areas are more prone to lightning strikes.

Another consideration is that, most hillsides are known to consist of mostly rocky outcrops.  So, if you plan on building your home on the hillside area, be sure to hire an engineer to advise on the feasibility and cost implications of building your dream house there.  Hillside vacant plots requires extra structural considerations and the foundations will normally be different from a home on a flat ground.   The steepness and the path to the driveway are two major concerns that you need to consult with your engineer and architect about.  As a result, hillside plots are usually more expensive to buy than flat lying properties.

The Road Access

Road access may sound simple but eventually it will determine your level of comfort while entering or exiting. Is your home on a private road or is it landlocked? There are arrangements you need to have to ensure that your access will not be blocked especially when there aren’t many homes built yet.

Senior Contributor

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