PUBLISHED 05/01/2021

Anyone considering building a new home in Adelaide right now will already be familiar with one of the most significant challenges to be faced – finding a suitable block. The current shortage of land for building has had plenty of press over the past couple of years and the situation isn’t getting any easier for families or builders.

The scarcity of land has had a variety of impacts, often forcing new home builders to consider areas outside those they had originally favoured, buying smaller blocks than preferable and, increasingly, driving the purchase of blocks with existing buildings that must be demolished prior to the new home project starting.

With strong competition for available building land, it’s vitally important that home builders realise that not all blocks are alike – and that buying the wrong block can add significantly to the challenges and costs involved in the building project that follows

“Very few individuals will buy more than two building blocks in their lifetime, and it follows that it’s not a process that the layperson knows very well”, says Marco Formato, Chief Executive of Adelaide home builders Format Homes. “I don’t think it’s too unkind to say that the land vendor’s interest tends to begin and end with the sale. But for the builders, the land is just the beginning, and it is literally the foundation of the whole project. Make no mistake, you can’t efficiently build a great home without a good block to start with, so careful selection by an expert is the only way to be sure of what you’re buying and avoid any potential pitfalls”.

Many of us are aware of the need for soil inspection reports, and Mr Formato is quick to agree to the importance of this process. “A soil inspection report is a great start, but it’s only the beginning. There’s a whole range of variables that have to be considered, and it’s only an expert eye that’s going to be able to uncover potential problems. After decades of building in South Australia, the people here at Format Homes know precisely what to look for, and the recommendation I’d make to anyone considering a block is to have your new home builder carry out a pre-purchase inspection. Most good new home builders welcome the opportunity because it will potentially save them problems right from the start. And for the family building a new home, it can be a lifesaver. A problem block can cost many thousands of dollars to put right, and that sort of cost can easily impact on the rest of the build. Few families have spare funds to throw at unexpected issues.”

Mr Formato sees the pre-inspection of building blocks as an opportunity to begin a solid working relationship that can be mutually beneficial. “It’s the beginning of a conversation, and for us, it’s important to start building understanding and trust so that everyone knows where they stand. Of course the choice of land relates to the choice of home design, and it’s really inspiring to hold one up alongside the other and talk about what’s possible. As new home building experts, the team here at Format Homes still gets excited about what we can do and when we can share that excitement with a family, the result is always a great home we can all be proud of. So it’s always a good choice to have us involved as soon as you start considering a block.”

Families are encouraged to CONTACT Format Homes to learn more about pre-purchase inspections of building blocks.