Understanding Zoning Restrictions Before Buying Land

So you decided to do it, building your dream home, your own private oasis to retreat to from the busy world. Did you check the zoning restrictions before you signed the land contract? Hopefully your answer is “Yes”.

Any time you build a new home or buy a kit home, it is important to understand the zoning restrictions before purchasing the land. It doesn’t matter if you are what you are building or assembling on the vacant land, it is crucial that the research be done before settling on the land.

Each council and area will have varying rules that apply to land. Here’s a few guidelines to help make following the process easier!

Use a Reputable Agent

Use an agent who is familiar with the local area and has a sound knowledge of building a home.

A good agent will be able to point you in the right direction, explaining whether you can put up a kit home, a multi-storey home or build your house with those stylish bricks that you saw in the latest home magazine. Every residential area has zoning rules and regulations so when choosing an agent, find one that can provide clear answers to basic zoning regulations, including information about council rates, land size and other aspects that are important for home builders.

Double Check The Boundaries and Restrictions

Have the actual boundaries of the land been measured? Hopefully the agent has a copy of the zoning and planning certificate. To safeguard yourself it doesn’t hurt to hire a registered surveyor to come out to measure and peg the land. Some kit home and building companies can organize this free of charge for you.

Make sure with the local council about the building boundaries and zoning for the property. Check if there are any easements for services (e.g. sewerage, drainage or electricity) on the land. Any clause or regulation that will limit your choice of building material, size of house or whether you can put up a kit home will have an impact. A check of any building covenants or restrictions on the title should also be undertaken.

Contact Your Local Council

Get in touch with a zoning official from the local council where you plan to buy your land. More than likely, you’ll need to fill out some form of application. You may even have to pay a visit to the land with the zoning official in attendance. From there, they may give you the “go ahead” right off the start or there may be more work to do.

By taking the time to research zoning restrictions and speaking to an official, you are eliminating any risk of things going wrong. Luckily, most contractors won’t do any work until this has been done and at the same time, many contractors are willing to do this for you. Just make sure that you don’t wait to do this until after you have already purchased the land as most people aren’t too keen on refunding money for property!

To Recap

Each area has different zoning restrictions so it’s important to avoid using general information as an exact guide. Always check with your contractor or kit home agent and see what advice they can give you. Follow up by getting in touch with your local council directly. Taking the time to investigate the zoning and restrictions yourself has the potential to save you money, reduce unneeded stress, and eliminate the possibility of you losing your dream home.