Here she is! Our beautiful block, hand-picked for our Three Birds’ House 10! This will be our FIRST ever ‘new build’ and finding the perfect block was one of the most important tasks we took on. This block already has a long driveway (to nowhere though) and we’ll be putting the house right up the back where the cleared land curves around deeper into the bush.

So if you’re dreaming of building your own home from the ground up this story is for you. And when you’re ready to stop dreaming and start doing, the first place to start is to find your dream block. Whether you’re a city chick for life or looking for a sea change, don’t sign on the dotted line for your block of land until you’ve checked out our checklist!


ONE | Location, location, location

Perhaps it’s the most over-used term in real estate – heck, they even named a TV show after it. But for good reason! Finding the right location is the key to finding your dream block.

Of course, exactly where this location is will vary for everyone, depending on your wants and needs #beachside #acreage #suburbia. And it will likely be influenced by the style of the dream home you want build on it. A sprawling coastal property might not be the right fit for a chilly climate when you can never open the bi-fold doors to enjoy it, just as a tropical location probably isn’t the place to build cosy cottage, full of fireplaces. We don’t want to be the party police, but just sayin’.

While it’s easy to fall head over heels in love with an idyllic looking property, remember to include your head in the decision, as well as your heart. Check if this property ticks all the ‘must haves’ for you and your family. It’s all well and good if you want to live on acreage, but if the block you’ve found is miles from suburbia and hubby works in the city and your kids are reliant on public transport to get to school, perhaps there’s a better location for your tribe.

 And always check out the nearest amenities. Depending on the age and stage of your family, proximity to a medical centre or a quick drive to the closest supermarket might be essentials… and who are we kidding, less than five mins to a decent coffee fix would be on our list too!

TWO | Take in the surroundings

A really thorough site assessment is a REALLY good idea. Considering all the finer details before you buy will save unexpected headaches when you come to build. Such as: 

+ Has the block been leveled, ready for development?

+ Are there connections to water and power?

+ Is there a BAL rating* which will affect what you can build on the block and which building materials you can use?*

+ What’s the aspect? Generally, in the Southern Hemisphere, north-facing is a coveted direction to face the rear of your house (for entertaining and play) and the opposite is true in the Northern Hemisphere. Does this fit with your site?

+ How many trees are on the block and can you remove them, if necessary? How close to the trees can you build?

+ Is the site easily accessible for your builders? Access issues can incur extra costs.

+ Is there an existing driveway? Those things are expensive! Especially if you want to build at the back of a rural block.

Here is an aerial view of our block for House 10. We’re going to build right smack bang in that oval-shaped clearing.

Here is an aerial view of our block for House 10. We’re going to build right smack bang in that oval-shaped clearing.

THREE | The Price is Right… or is it?

When you’re buying your dream block, don’t forget to add in ALL the costs of building your dream home on that site too! 

The list above is a good starting point of additional costs that you might incur. They can start to add up pretty quickly.

FOUR | Rules & Regs

It’s always good to suss out the local council before you buy. Find out how strict they are on development approvals and if there are any regulations that will totally rule out building the house of your dreams. 

Different councils have very different building regulations, so if you’re block-hunting in different locations, you’ll need to be across the specific regs for each council.

At ground level on our block. The house will be surrounded by trees so we’ll be using loads of windows and glass doors to bring the outdoors in.

At ground level on our block. The house will be surrounded by trees so we’ll be using loads of windows and glass doors to bring the outdoors in.

FIVE | Word on the Street

Finally, get the lowdown from the locals. Spending some time in the ‘hood is a great way to get a real feel for the area. Walk the streets, have lunch in a local café and hopefully strike up a conversation with your wannabe neighbours. Most people are forthcoming in chatting about what they love, what they don’t, what they know about the block you’re looking at and any information you might not hear straight from the real estate agent’s mouth… like potential flooding areas.

Next, it’s time to make an offer to seal the deal! Yeah baby! 

*A BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) rating is a way of measuring a building's potential exposure to ember attack, radiant heat and direct flame contact, in a bushfire event.


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