Building Your Own Home: What You Need to Know Before You Start

by FindLaw Team

For many people, buying land and building your own home is extremely appealing. You can design the home that will suit you and your family.

However, building your own home is a complex process and it is important to have the benefit of an experienced solicitor.

There are many issues to consider when buying land including:

  • the costs of connecting and maintaining basic services (i.e. water, electricity, gas, telephone, sewerage and fire control);
  • restrictions associated with creeks, dams or watercourses on or near the site;
  • insurance issues (for example, due to flooding or fire risks);
  • verifying land boundaries;
  • whether there are any easements (i.e. sewerage, electricity, etc.); and
  • whether there are any covenants on the land (which may, for example, affect building size or appearance).

There are also many issues which may arise in relation to the local council including:

  • permission for tree removal;
  • requirements for geo-technical reports or extensive engineering drawings; and
  • requirements for building boundaries and zoning.

An experienced conveyancing solicitor can help identify issues which are relevant to your transaction and help ensure that you will be satisfied with your investment.

In addition, a solicitor can assist in the preparation and review of contracts related to the purchase. In this type of transaction there are usually two separate contracts: one for the land and one for the builder to build the house. There is usually only one contract when purchasing from a developer.

A building contract includes not only the “building agreement” but also the architectural plans of the house, the specifications which describe the quality of the building and possible tender quotations. It is important to ensure that these documents will result in the satisfactory and on-time completion of your project.


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