Bare lifestyle block setup costs?

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12 years 10 months ago #27873 by gatkins
Hi everyone,

My wife and I are looking at buying a 1 hectare lifestyle block. Obviously its quite small, but we just plan to have a sheep or two, a dog and some chooks, and a bit of space for our twin toddlers (and us too :) ) to run around. We are very keen for our kids to grow up in the country, go to a country school, and experience having animals and the like.

Actually we would ideally have a larger block, but we are a young family and don't have a huge amount to spend.

Anyway, as we are new to this we are not sure of the extra costs involved. I found an old thread from 2006 which talked about costs, but nothing since then, so I am hoping you guys can give some updated costs.

So I am guessing we need to think about:
- driveway (it would be 250m flat)
- water (there is no water on the property)
- power (there is power lines about 100m away)
- septic system
- fencing (none at present, but I would expect the seller to cover the majority as part of the sale)

What are the general costs for the above and is there anything else we need to take into account?

Thanks heaps,
George.

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12 years 10 months ago #382662 by foufee
Hi George and welcome to the forum.

this is not really going to be a directly helpful answer but could have some use :)

costs will depend on what you are after and where you are, Auckland is probably more expensive than Invercargill.

driveway - may be best to ring a contractor in your area, I have found contractors to be quite helpful and to generally be able to give a rough estimate over the phone. They will have a better idea of what you need to lay down based on the soil type and wetness of your area - a wet area will need more of a base than a stoney area.

Water - tank or bore? what is the rainfall in the area you are looking at if you are going to use tanks? will you want to irrigate a vege bed etc. We put in 2 25000L tanks for our house supply and we have never gotten below half full but we live in a fairly steady rain area and the tanks do not do the troughs or outside water. It cost us $11818 for 2 tanks ($4400) + pump ($725) + installation and connection of it all to the house (50m away). This was done as part of building a new shed so does also include running power from house to shed and various other things so the actual water part was probably around $7500

Power - no idea, maybe ask an electrician.

Septic system - range of options from old style concrete job to composting to fancy wizz bang electric system - personally I would avoid the electric ones as it is an extra point of maintenance and failure - but check with your council as they may have requirements for systems.

Fencing - the vendor should do the boundary fence I am pretty sure but anything within that is up to you. We have done all our own fencing, which was an interesting learning experience - always foot your posts or they rotate :) - and I think it usually cost a couple of hundred for posts, wire etc on ~100m runs of 7 wire standard fencing.

we love living rural and bringing up our 2 young sons out here but I hear you on the cost of property. Good luck with it all and I hope you end up with the place of your dreams or a stepping stone to it.

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12 years 10 months ago #382664 by steve1983
Well im a bit ahead of you so can help you a bit.
We brought our 4 ha block for 125k no power - but water from the town to gate. Views to die for - was a good buy.
We had to run power to gate about 100m cost us $7500 (ideally buy with it on. Then ran it 120m to the house - havent got the bill yet.
Driveway - did it myself. 100m Had quotes for $4500-6000. Hired a 5 ton digger of a local guy and he supplied me with the river run and ap 10. No experience drivining a digger but got the hang of it quickly. Cost me $2000.
Septic - just where we are I only had once choice Oasis whichh are expensive. $10000 all up incl of delivery and install.
Fencing - have done one fence myself dug holes and rammed by hand, still standing strong. 130m Sheep. cost $400 for everything. Then did a deer fence, had the posts rammed in by a contractor. I put up the stays and netting. Brought the netting for $300 second hand, $2000 for supply of posts and to be driven. That area was 3600 sqm where the house is .
Hope that helps a bit

Steve Brown Rural Contracting LTD
Fencing Contractor in Canterbury
FCANZ Member

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12 years 10 months ago #382665 by thevarneys
I wouldnt bet on the seller fencing the boundary unless that is what you are agreeing on in your contract. The guy who sold our property to the owners we bought it off was meant to do the boundary for them, then they sold to us before he had done that, but because we didnt stipulate that in the agreement 9we were focussing on price not fences) he got away with not having to do it. So we agreeed to go halves, and since he already had the materials, we did the labour.

As far as everything else goes, it all seems to cost more than what you find out, and always check if GST is included[}:)] We have been caught out a few times where we have been given a quote to do something (gas) and when the bill came it was the quoted price + GST - so jolly annoying but our fault for not asking first.
We were also caught out for the guy who did the earthworks for the house site and the tank and septic. We said we only had $x for that in the budget, and he assurred us we could get the above (incluging a 2nd tank) for $x. It turned out that the final price was 25% more, with only 1 water tank! I was fuming, but again, we should have asked for progress estimates as he went (over 6 weeks on and off), and he had to put in an extra drain.
LESSONS:
  • incl/excl GST?
  • Get it all in writing (even if they are a friendly neighbour)
  • keep in touch with contractors
  • Dont splash out on expenses that you dont essentially need (If you are on a tight budget) as there will always be some essential thing that pops up.
  • Get quotes for lots of different options
In saying all that, we did our place (and still doing :D ) for way less than would be expected, as we got a lot of second hand things, or end of line.
We also did everything we could ourselves, and helped the electrician and plumber where able to.
building a house has got to be one of the biggest stress factors for a couple/family, but it can bee hugely rewarding.
Good luck :D

Some people are so poor, all they have is money.

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12 years 10 months ago #382668 by KiplingAngel
Hello

Last year we bought a 1ha property in Paparimu, great views, no cell phone reception and internet connection is intermittant at best...

Our driveway has come to about 20k, however there was a lot more metal needed than first anticipated. We have 2 x 25,000 litre tanks attached to the house, and 2 x 5,000 litre tanks attached to the sheds for garden water.
We have also put in a Hynds system for septic.

What area have you bought in? A lot of the costs associatiated with building are location dependant.

Our house is almost to the lockup stage, I'm going to visit the painters on site today and check on the progress of the garage door. It's very exciting, but not easy - bringing up children in the country is an admirable idea, but a lifestyle block is a lot of work.

Best regards

KA

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12 years 10 months ago #382686 by Rothwell
Hi George and welcome. Because we are men we need to be told more assertively than women :-) What the others are trying to say is "Where the heck do you have this property?". Note to self - try to work out how to put my location on the note by my recycled user-name.
This is important because every Council has it's own requirements, so it is important for you to get into the Council to speak to the building inspection people to ask what the requirements are about access and power and septics.
With the fencing part of your agreement with the current owner, you need to be very careful what you specify the fence will be. The Fencing Act very specifically says that the fence must be "adequate", so if you are keeping trees in an "adequate" fence will be quite different than if you want to farm mice or elephants. A chicken fence is different than a deer fence (same height but different number of wires on the netting, and different post needs) is different than a sheep netting fence is different than a sheep 9 wire and batten fence is different than a cow fence is different than a tree fence .... etc.

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12 years 10 months ago #382701 by Pumpkingirl

thevarneys;376008 wrote:
As far as everything else goes, it all seems to cost more than what you find out, and always check if GST is included[}:)] We have been caught out a few times where we have been given a quote to do something (gas) and when the bill came it was the quoted price + GST - so jolly annoying but our fault for not asking first.

By law, a quote must state whether it includes GST or not - if it did not and they then charged you GST, they breached the Fair Trading Act (section 13, part G ) by making a false or misleading representation about the price of goods or services.

You would need to check but it should be possible to get the money back from the disputes tribunal.

See here for more info (scroll down to get to the relevant bit): www.comcom.govt.nz/add-ons-and-hidden-fees/
www.consumerbuild.org.nz/publish/legal/legal-other-pimsfair.php

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12 years 10 months ago #382711 by hilldweller
driveway (it would be 250m flat) - a few k - you have some control over this depending what quality of drive you want. Soil conditions and drainage have an impact as well as length. 250m seems like a very long driveway for a 1ha property???
- water (there is no water on the property) - so you need a bore and/or tanks to collect roof water. If you for the roof option, say 2x 25kl tanks @$3k approx, plus pipes and fitting and perhaps some earthworks to create a suitable site. And then a couple of hundred per half a tank if/when you run out.
- power (there is power lines about 100m away) - get quotes on this as it's a biggie (more than drive or water) and every metre can add a lot. Also find out if you need to pay for a transformer where you connect to the mains supply. Lines company should know.
- septic system - depends but $10k ish
- fencing (none at present, but I would expect the seller to cover the majority as part of the sale) - depends on type of fencing. A local fencer should be able to give you a ballpark per metre cost.

hilldweller

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12 years 10 months ago #382731 by igor
About three times as much as you think it will cost.

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12 years 10 months ago #382775 by sod
I'm with igor or just more than you can afford but well worth it LOL

Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:

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12 years 10 months ago #382791 by lizndave
Whatever figure you work out, definitely add on at least another 20%!! We have found that we had to focus much of our time and effort on fences and planting shelter. Being in the Catlins, next to a dairy conversion with no trees in sight, we have had to plant literally hundreds of trees. Nothing will grow otherwise. So factor shelter in if there is none on the block. Better still, just make sure there is already established shelter if you are in a windy place.

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12 years 10 months ago #382892 by Rothwell
Phone the local power distribution company to find out how far away they will have to source power from. If there is a distrubution box close by in the lines 100m away, then the costs will be much lower than if you have to get a box put in. Also, if the lines have to cross a neighbours land then there will be some lawyer cost getting an easement set up, and some money to pay the neighbour for that easement.

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12 years 10 months ago #383033 by gatkins
Hi everyone. Thanks heaps for your responses and advice.

The property is in Hawkes Bay(Maraekakaho), and it is quite a long driveway :) - but it makes the piece of land more private and quieter (its off a busy-ish road).

I have just rang up the power company (thanks for the advice on this) - it looks like we do have to put a transformer in for at least 10k, and either get a easement or a new pole to put the transformer on and link back to us - which all sounds expensive :(. All good to know about now though. Can you guys tell me if basically most of the time you do have to put new transformers in for lifestyle blocks? As I imagine its not often you have one right outside your property.

Thanks,
George.

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12 years 10 months ago #383129 by foufee
looking at power costs like that would off the grid be an option - just throwing it out there. There have been some good discussions regarding off the grid on here, pros/cons, types.

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12 years 10 months ago #383278 by Valmai
With the transformer, check where the nearest one is and how many properties are connected to it. (max 4 properties when I did it). It does not have to be right outside your gate. If you can connect to an existing one you could save the cost of the transformer. (Of course it could all have changed by now!)

Carbon-based biological unit.

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