What Comes First, Land or Home?

by Taylah White

It's one of the most common questions people ask when they're planning their dream home.


The emotion of standing on an empty block and visualising your future is powerful, and can make it tempting to start the process of building your dream home by buying land. If you’ve taken the time to thoroughly research your desired location – within the correct school zone, near public transport, near that freeway to get to work, etc – you might feel ready to take the plunge. But according to Carlisle Homes Group House and Land Manager Nicole Dowling, there are risks in making the financial commitment to buy land if you don’t fully understand the factors that determine what house can actually be built on it. “So many times, people have come to us with their land and then selected their dream home, only to learn that it can’t be built on that block,” she says. “Unfortunately, too often when people buy a block of land first, they end up having to compromise on their home.”

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The challenges of buying land first

One of the simple mistakes people make is to buy a block of land that doesn’t have sufficient frontage or depth to accommodate their home design. Another is failing to understand the impact fall has on the building process. “A block of land is very rarely just flat,” Dowling explains. “Any gradient can have implications for the home you’re able to build.” And if your dream home has two storeys, the process can present even more challenges: regulations around overshadowing and overlooking could prevent you from “building up”; and your double-storey design may be similarly compromised if your estate includes 3D building envelopes, which are sometimes enforced by developers to achieve an attractive streetscape, in part by restricting the height of each house. In some cases, your choice will be to select a different home design that works on your block of land, or even sell your block of land and start again.

Other challenges can arise that don’t necessarily affect what house design you can build, but may have financial implications. For example, if your location is too close to a major freeway or powerline easement, it can affect how much finance banks are willing to offer, not to mention the resale value of your house. So there’s a lot of research to be done before you pay that deposit for your land. Of course, if you still feel confident to proceed, Carlisle Homes can assist at all stages of the process, from advising on alternative house designs to offering fixed site costs to help manage your budget, but as Dowling points out, “We just can’t change your block of land after it’s been purchased!”

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The benefits of choosing your house first

Most of us tend to talk about our “dream home”, not our “dream block of land”, and for good reason. It’s the specifics of your house that deliver the lifestyle you want – whether it’s one or two storeys, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, personal considerations like having a beautiful kitchen and dining space if you love to cook and entertain. Once you know what your dream home looks like, and you have a desired general location, you can then look for a block of land that meets your needs.

Doing it in this order puts you in a good position to get your desired outcome without compromises. However, the process of finding the right block will still be time consuming and potentially frustrating. If this seems daunting, there’s one other approach you can take, which eliminates risk and worry, and is guaranteed to deliver a fantastic result…

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Why house and land packages get the best result

Given the complexity of choosing your dream home design and matching it to a suitable block, it makes sense to get help from the professionals who do it day in, day out. Buying a house and land package with Carlisle Homes gives you that opportunity, and it opens up additional benefits, such as the Land Connect service, which provides access to sought after blocks of land. “Carlisle has successful and longstanding relationships with key developers, giving us access to land exclusively for our customers across Melbourne,” Dowling explains. “We hand-select blocks with the least amount of fall, in the very best locations.” So that means you can work with Carlisle Homes to choose your perfect home design, and then let them find the perfect block to build it on, saving you from stress and uncertainty, and making your dream a reality, so you really can have the best home in the best street.

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For more information on Carlisle Homes’ house and land packages, please call us on 13 27 67. And of course, the best place to get ideas for your dream home is at one of our display homes, which you can find at locations all around Melbourne.


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