Some lots have restrictions on the type of house you can build, such as a two-storey or a rear loaded house if located on a laneway.

Make sure that you can fit your ‘dream home’ on the size lot you have chosen.  Ask the developer or sales person about any local planning restrictions that might dictate the percentage of the site that can be covered by a house, as that might limit your choices.

As part of the contract of sale you may also sign a document agreeing to abide by ‘restrictive covenants’.  These are used to achieve a range of outcomes for a development such as sustainability measures or aesthetics.

Restrictive covenants might include the type of building products you can use, colour schemes, fencing requirements, even down to the type of landscaping or plants you can use. Make sure that the restrictive covenants in the area that you are considering suit you and the home you want to build.

It is important to know that you are purchasing from a business you can trust. Looking at other developments or estates by the same company or talking to others about their experiences with that particular developer might be useful.

Developers that are members of UDIA must conform to a strict code of conduct that ensures they observe high levels of integrity and honesty.

Looking at UDIA Awards for Excellence winners is also a good indicator of the level of quality in a development.

It is common in some circumstances to enter into a contract of sale for a lot that has not been completed.  This is referred to as a ‘pre-sale’ arrangement and means that a Certificate of Title has not been issued for that lot.

If you enter into such an arrangement, make sure you get an estimated timeframe from the developer as to when titles are likely to be issued.  Unforeseen delays can occur so make sure you are prepared for this and it may also have an impact on your finance arrangements.

When you sign a contract to secure your lot, you may have to pay a small deposit upfront and then 10% of the purchase price in the following couple of weeks dependant on the individual developers sales process.

Unless you are planning to navigate the settlement process and paperwork on your own, a licensed settlement agent will be able to handle the settlement process on your behalf.

During the settlement period your finance will also be finalised. You will pay the remainder of your purchase price on settlement day and the land is yours!