Newbie looking to buy a bare block - advice please!

7 years 2 days ago - 7 years 2 days ago #532957 by Belle Bosse
- Is it realistically priced?
- Could we find a better (more flat/a little grazing) section for a similar price?
The slopes are west facing - is that good/bad/otherwise??
The vendor has an easement apparently to walk his cattle along the ridge of the property which is not visible from the house site at all - are there potential problems involved with this arrangement?

My advice is to keep looking else where.... you CAN find better than this... I think it is over priced seeing it is a small bare block.
The items that would put me off buying a property like this are: west facing slope, steep country with minimal flat, QE2 Covenant in place, small land area BIG price, easement on property. Positives: stream on property, native bushland.

West facing is not the best, but better than south facing. The hours of sunlight will be short and the mornings will mainly be in shadow if you are on the western side of the ridge.

Ideally the slope should be NORTH facing to get the best of the sun available.
If you can get a north facing slope that is open to the east and west you will be doing really well, especially if you intend to grow your own fruit and vegetables and possibly generate your own solar power. The solar panels NEED to be NORTH facing.

Shadow and sunlight exposure can be checked with Google Earth. It has a sliding time line that shows sunlight and shadow... see if you can figure it out... (I can't... it works opposite to my computer's time). My Husband used it when checking our place before buying and for working out the sunlight hours before shadow hit the planned solar power site.
The only real way to see what the shadows will be doing is to be there for several full days in various seasons, especially winter when the days are shorter.

Winter is our wet season in the Far North and is the best time to check where water is lying in the paddocks and the run-off flow after heavy rains... it just might be naturally flowing right through the area you don't want it to. It will also indicate possible flooding if land low lying or is a hollow.

The other consideration is the COST involved in developing the home area you envision. Starting from a bare block does take TIME and $$$$, and a LOT of hard work to get things in place.
How will you be getting your building supplies etc down/ up to the building /living site? Steep country can be very tractor unfriendly and carrying supplies up or down hill is not much fun. Access roads are also harder to build and maintain. It also makes it more difficult for trucks delivering materials if the access is narrow and steep (ie delivery of 25,000 litre concrete tanks x2).
Have you thought about water storage/ tanks for living area?

Is the easement for the cattle movement securely fenced? Potential problems: if not fenced, cattle getting into places you don't want them, Someone else having access through your property whenever they feel they need to. Is the easement legally on the title paper? Why didn't the vendor place the boundary to keep the easement as part of the property he intends to keep??

Here is the link to the Northland regional council's Soil Maps and other helpful information: click on soil types maps and look for the pdf files half way down the page.

I'm not trying to discourage you... just passing on some practical experience of searching for, finding and starting with bare farming property... 41.5 acres, mainly north facing slope, north facing orchard area, slope gradients gentle to steep, open grazing pasture, non covenanted native bushland, backing onto bushland reserve, stand of pines, a stream, wetland gully, slip area, off grid 5KW solar power, gravity fed water... possums, wild pigs, Kiwi, hares, rabbits...

Kiwi loudly calling as I type..!!

Good luck with your search...
Last edit: 7 years 2 days ago by Belle Bosse. Reason: spelling

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6 years 11 months ago #533152 by permaculture15
Hi mikkikkin,

Your project sounds very exciting! My family and I have done something similar, but on a much larger scale, and for the reason of living self-sufficiently. We bought a bare block and have been in the process of developing it for the past 2.5 years.

Just to give you an idea about pricing I'll mention what it cost us to set up our infrastructure.

We bought 88 acres of bare land (with some regernaerating Native bush and small timber plantations on it) near Dargaville for $365,000.

This region (Kaipara) is pretty cheap. (The other day, I saw a 154 acre bare block in Dargaville for $420,000.)

We put a relocatable house on our land and set up our own solar and wind-powered energy system. The solar alone cost us $40,000.

I can't remember how much sewage and plumbing setup for the house cost us altogether, but I think it was between $20-25,000.

We looked at approximately 100 properties (we went and saw 40 physically in person) in Northland before we bought our land. My dad spent 2.5 years looking for land, so as to be sure that we bought a property that really fit our criteria.

We got house sites geoteched even before we bought the land, because we didn't want to buy the land and then find out that we couldn't build a house on it. After buying the land, we had some earthmoving done to flatten the site where we relocated the house.

So that's my 2 cents worth for you. I hope it helps!

Best wishes,


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