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Building on Unregistered Land

Building on unregistered land…know what’s involved.

Buying a house and land package is quite different to buying one on registered land – particularly as they can vary considerably from one builder to another. Here’s a some key information that will help you better understand the processes.
House & Land packages on unregistered land

Home builders will often secure a number of unregistered lots in a new subdivision, and provide them for sale as ‘house and land packages.’

Buying a house and land package is quite different to buying one on registered land and it is these differences that you need to understand – particularly as they can vary considerably from one builder to another. These differences can include:

  • Tender expiry dates
  • Site cost allowances
  • Provisional sum items
  • Penalty clauses
  • Provisions for local council requirements.
What is unregistered land

Unregistered residential land is land that is for sale where a certificate of title is not yet available. New home builders are unable to start construction on these sites until the land is registered and council has provided a building approval for the individual lot.

This land is generally made available for sale once the Development Application (DA) for the subdivision is approved by the local council. If for some reason the DA does not become approved, you are able to rescind the land contract and have your deposit refunded. It is important that you check and confirm these details prior to proceeding, as the land purchase is directly from the developer and not the builder.

Why buy a “House & land package” on unregistered land

In many areas, especially Sydney, the only way to purchase a ‘house and land package’ is on unregistered land. Some of the benefits include:

  • Securing a block in the area you want to live
  • Securing the land at today’s prices but not having to pay for it until well into the future
  • In many instances you may benefit from capital growth
  • By purchasing now and locking in the price you can better plan your financial future.
What to look out for when buying on unregistered land

The expected land registration date

It is important to ensure the expected registration date is realistic. These dates can sometimes vary from the original time frame estimate. This can have repercussions in terms of your building contract price, moving in dates and holding costs. An indication of the developers proposed time-frame can be made by checking and discussing the ‘sunset’ date in the land contract.

Your new home tender expiry date

It is important that your builder provides you with a new home tender with a realistic expiry date relevant to the expected registration date of the land. For instance, if your land will not register until March next year, but your new home tender expires in September this year; you may be up for considerable price increases.

Site costs and soil conditions

As site costs and soil conditions cannot be fully determined until after your land is registered and soil tests and survey completed, it is important your builder provides realistic allowances based on previous experiences in the area. These items could include:

  • Cut, fill and piering
  • Retaining walls
  • Service connections
  • Correct soil classification
  • Dropped edge beams
  • Bushfire requirements
  • Acoustic requirements
  • Developer requirements.

Buying in the right area

Research the area you want to live or invest in for the short and long term advantages. Choose a location that shows strong growth, capital and rental return indicators that align with your personal financial needs and goals.

The Bellriver difference

At Bellriver we are committed to staying true to our values in respect to selling homes on unregistered land as in all other aspects of our business. To this end we use our vast experience and knowledge to complete as much due diligence as possible – including on surrounding subdivisions, knowledge of various soil conditions in the building area, and an understanding of local council requirements. The Bellriver difference also includes:

New home tenders

At Bellriver we ensure that the expiry date on your new home tender is in line with a realistic registration date for your land. We price our tenders to include expiry dates of up to 365 days where required to ensure there are no hidden surprises for our clients, wherever possible. Please note: although we do our best to forecast registration dates based on the information we have from the developers, we cannot ultimately control this. The development work and final registration date is determined by the developer and council.

Site cost allowances

At Bellriver, we meet with our developers and partners to ensure we have a complete understanding of the way the planned subdivision is to be completed. From these discussions, and based on the information we receive, we aim to include all expected costs up front in our tender offer. Once the land is registered and we can access the site, we will complete all required reports and ascertain the final site conditions. If there are any differences between our initial allowances, we will go over them with you and come to an agreement prior to proceeding.

Provisional sum items

At Bellriver we have no ‘Provisional Sums’ or ‘Prime Cost’ items in our contracts. Almost every builder provides allowances under these headings instead of a fixed price for items such as kitchens, tiles, carpet, vanities etc. In a Bellriver home there are no provisional sum allowances for any items listed in our inclusions. Everything you need is included in our standard offer.

Penalty clauses

At Bellriver we have no penalty clauses in any of our building contracts. These are clauses builder often use to increase the price after the building contract has been signed.

Provisions for local council requirements

At Bellriver we conduct extensive due diligence to ensure that all council and government costs are included up front.

In summary

In some cases buying a House and Land Package on Unregistered Land can require taking some amount of risk. At Bellriver we look to provide as much peace of mind as possible, by going as far with our due diligence as possible at the time. While there can never be a 100% guarantee on the final outcome, we will make you aware right up front of any possible variations.

At Bellriver you and your family are in safest hands – a family owned and operated company that has over 22 years of experience and is dedicated to making your whole home buying and building experience a pleasure.


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