qld Blog 2024 2403 What-you-need-to-know-about-buying-a-block-of-land-and-building-later mcp-ch-boston-0224-053-2000x850
Building your home /15.03.24

What you need to know about buying a block of land and building later

Building a new home isn’t always linear. Not everybody buys a lot, selects a builder and finds their dream design in a matter of months. And that’s okay. There’s more than one way to approach the early parts of the process. In this guide, we’ll cover the why and the how, leaving the when and where to you!

Common reasons why people buy land and wait to build

If you’re wondering if this move is for you, here are a few scenarios that may benefit from a gradual plan of attack to purchasing land and building a house: 

  1. You have your eye on a specific area: You’ve always wanted to live in a certain suburb, close to infrastructure, transport, schools, facilities or even family.

  2. You need/want to spread the cost out: Because the land loan and building loan are two different financial arrangements, buying a block of land a year or two before progressing with the build may make the process more affordable. Your property may gain equity as markets move, and your savings may grow, increasing your chances of avoiding lender mortgage insurance (LMI).

  3. You want to consider all of your options: Building a home is a research heavy event, packed with decisions. Strategically considering where and what you buy, and the design you build, will help you maximise every square inch of value.

How to choose the right block of land

While land is straightforward on the surface (there’s no design features, colours, surfaces or facades to think about… yet), there are a few hidden decisions and points of consideration you’ll have to conquer before you begin your journey.

  1. Aim for pre-approval with your bank or lender
    Before you start creating a shortlist of desirable lots, meet with your chosen bank or lender and figure out how much you can spend with pre-approval. An instant budget will keep your hunt on track and help you avoid disappointment (there’s nothing worse than falling in love with a block and being told no once you’re ready for finance).

  2. Don’t limit yourself to one area or suburb
    You deserve everything you want… but sometimes the things you want are available somewhere else, often down the road! Don’t dismiss emerging neighbourhoods - schools, shopping centres, ovals and parks often appear as the locale matures, gaining value and becoming the new hot suburb.

  3. Research soil types common to the area
    Different soil types can impact your building plans, with shifting soils posing potential challenges during construction.

  4. Be aware of flood, storm and fire implications
    Australia is home to intense weather, and South East Queensland is no exception. Before you buy, check the history of floods, storms and fires in your desired suburbs, in addition to things like drainage and protected reserve land.

  5. Be mindful of how your favourite home designs translate to your block
    For those a little further along in the process, picture how the final layout will fit within the land’s setbacks and borders. Do you have enough yard left? Would it suit planned designs from builders like Clarendon Homes? Is it a square block in a world of rectangular designs? Unconventional blocks often require bespoke and expensive builds.

  6. Get to know local building codes
    Factors such as setback requirements, maximum building height, and structural considerations don’t sound like they belong in the land purchase phase, but really, your home will one day occupy this lush blank slate. Make the process a little easier by reaching out to Clarendon Homes before you purchase - our team will take a look at your land (and its location) and give you an idea if your dream design is achievable according to the building codes governing the area.

  7. Determine how you feel about site slope
    If you’re banking on a straight forward construction phase, a sloped block may present some issues in maintaining your budget. We recommend looking at flat or near flat blocks if you’re not in the position to work with minimal siteworks costs.


Buying your block of land

Once you've found the perfect spot in your dream neighbourhood,the buying process often follows these three steps. 

  1. Sign the Contract of Sale: After you and the seller agree on the terms, it's time to sign the contract. This paper spells out details like the price, when you'll seal the deal, and any special stuff you've worked out.

  2. Swap contracts:  Once both of you sign, it's official! The contracts get swapped, and you usually pay a deposit. This money hangs out in a safe place until everything's wrapped up.

  3. Wrap things up: Settlement is when everything gets finalised. You become the proud owner, and any remaining cash gets handed over. How long this takes depends on what you agreed on in the contract, but it's usually not too long.

Although this is intended as a guide, some transactions may vary. If you’re in need of further support, ask your lender for details.

How long after buying land do you have to build in QLD?

There is no set statewide deadline. That said, your contracts, permits and agreements may say something different, particularly if you’ve drawn down the Queensland Government First Home Vacant Land Concession to help with the purchase. Things like contractual clauses dictating when you must commence construction; council regulations; development approvals, land condition and whether or not we’re available to help you when you’re ready can impact when you build.


How does the Queensland Government First Home Land Concession impact when you build?

The first home vacant land concession is a good opportunity for new property buyers - if your property is below $250,000 and you agree to build your first home on the land within 2 years and live there. 

Other eligibility notes include:

  • Never have claimed this concession before.
  • Never have owned a home anywhere.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Pay market value for land within a certain price range.
  • Build only one home on the land.
  • Ensure the land is empty when you buy it.
  • Not sell or lease any part of the property before moving in.

What if your block of land is more than $250,000?

You won’t completely miss out! Above the limit buyers get a reduced duty rate. 

How to Claim the Queensland First Home Vacant Land Concession

Submit the following documents to relevant bodies: 

  1. Claim for transfer duty concession first home vacant land - Form D2.
  2. Identity details annexure for each non-Australian transferor and transferee
  3. Form 1 Transfer and Form 24 from Titles Queensland

Looking for a more simplified process? Try a house and land package

At Clarendon Homes, we strive to give our clients the best of both worlds, offering house and land packages in highly desirable locations across South East Queensland (including Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast), close to the things you care about. 

4 reasons why a house and land package with Clarendon Homes will suit you

  1. You care about convenience: House and land packages streamline the homebuying process by combining both land acquisition and home construction into one transaction, saving time and effort.

  2. You’re searching for savings: House and land packages often come at a predictable price, making budgeting easier compared to purchasing land and building separately, where costs can vary. We’ve made cost forecasting even easier by creating a targeted online estimate tool, so you get a better idea of how much you need to borrow!

  3. You’re a fan of design options: Our house and land packages suit a range of pre-selected design from our collection of layouts, saving the hassle of starting from scratch and making it easy to envision how your home will look once build is complete.

  4. You want to exit the rental ratrace: With a house and land package, the home is typically ready sooner than if you were to buy land and build later, saving you from the wait associated with construction delays.

qld Blog 2024 2403 What-you-need-to-know-about-buying-a-block-of-land-and-building-later mcp-ch-boston-0224-025-1360x765

Curious to learn more? Speak to our helpful team today. 

In research mode? View our popular home and land packages.

Looking for design inspiration? Check out our display homes.