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It all starts with the section purchase.  We have put together a few pointers to help you make an informed decision when looking for land.



It’s a good idea to apply for home loan approval first so you know exactly how much you have to spend.  On top of the section cost you’ll need to budget for earthworks, services such as power and water (if they haven’t been included in the subdivision), driveway, landscaping as well as the cost of the house itself.  You could be eligible for a Kiwi Saver Homestart grant up to $10,000 when building a new home or up to $20,000 if purchasing with another person who also qualifies.


Once you have narrowed your search down to a specific area it’s a good idea to check the district or unitary plan for changes to the region.  That peaceful lifestyle section might not be so quite in 10 years if the location is earmarked to be subdivided or a new motorway is planned through the area.

Other considerations pertaining to location include amenities in the area.  Are school zones, public transport and proximity to motorways important to you?  Location can also affect the house design and costs, high wind areas my require wind bracing which add to construction costs or a sea spray location will require different materials to cope with the harsh environment.


Take into account which direction the section faces, a North facing aspect is beneficial for solar passive design allowing savings on heating and appliances.  In contrast a South facing section may require additional heating or glazing upgrades to keep it warm.  It may also limit your resale market as home owners love sunny north facing living areas.  Visit the site at different times of the day and in different weather conditions, as trees or adjacent buildings may block light or flooding in poor weather may need remedial work to rectify.


A steep or sloping section will cost more to build on than a flat one.  Earthworks, retaining walls and piles can add a considerable sum to your budget before the house structure even begins.  A sloping section may sound appealing with a lower price tag but it will invariably cost you a lot more in the long run once site works are factored in.  Access can also increase expenditure if difficult sites require special machinery for materials to reach the building platform.  It’s not all bad news for sloped sections as they can result in more unique architectural designs to work in with the site and may allow views which are worth the extra costs


There are often council and subdivision constraints which will affect what style of house you build or even how much you need to spend.  Auckland City Council have a landscape protection zone which requires all new homes in this zone to have their exterior colours approved prior to construction, this is also common in new subdivisions to ensure the home is in keeping with the area.  In addition to restrictions on what colours you use some areas have constraints on what style of house you build, for instance heritage zones in the city.  Likewise zoning rules may affect your house design due to limitations on coverage of the site or height to boundary ratios.


Once you have found a section you want to purchase your lawyer is key to helping you with your due diligence.  They can research if there are unpaid levies by the land developer, order a copy of the Certificate of Title which pertains to restrictions such as covenants, and a LIM report which encompasses information on erosion and flood risk or notices which affect the land.   


Here at The House Company we like to make the process of building simple and stress free. 


One of our friendly and knowledgeable team members can complete a free site assessment to determine the best design and orientation of your home.   We will also contact the council to check for factors mentioned above that may influence construction and/or costs for your home (red flags). 

Contact our team if you have brought a section or if you are seriously considering a section and want to see whats possible on your section and the relevant costs as part of your due diligence. 


claire hall