Buying land - education resources needed

Hi guys,

I've never owned property. I know shares better, but property worries me due to my lack of knowledge.

on the 'what to buy ' forum i've created a thread- but basically there's a new estate "Mason Green" in Piara Waters, Perth - given land keeps getting further and further out, and even more expensive, when I received the first stage release yesterday I decided to jump on it. What worries me is I always like to be prepared with my financial decisions. So basically I need a crash course in property. Lilke any sensible thing I know no one can become an expert overnight, but I neeed to be the next big thing.

Would love some input on books, online resources, and basically indepth guides that one could get up to speed to at least aid me in not being taken for a ride if I manage to get a lot allocated and called into the office this weekend (or for following stages). I've attached the stage 1 contract for reference, which I'm also struggling to understand. Some areas I know I'm lacking:

1) Restrictive covenants, easements, any other nasties etc that the standard investor and land purchaser would check and tick off against - I don't know where to start and what the common ones are. There appears to be in the contract no selling allowed until the final lot is sold in the overall master plan, but otherwise the rest of the restrictive covenants appears to be based on the look of the house.

Again I don't know what is considered to be adding to household building costs by alot, and what is just minor and irrelevant. I also don't know what else I should know in terms of incline, soil types, and god knows what else I don't know about even.

2) General reading about land and building versus land and house package turn keys, buying established. I was going off the principle that the land plus house would yield a cheaper overall price than buying prebuilt or as a package.

3) Resources to research, particularly:

a) How to gauge end selling prices, rental prices etc for the area. Basically to assess what I can get back once built and if this weighs up financially.

Being an accountant I am savvy enough with numbers and finance, but it's the information I am struggling with as I don't know where to start. Sure I can hop online to or domain, but these show what is being rented now, not how much demand vs supply there are, or what houses actually rent out (all you see is what isn't being rented). Shory of being in the game for awhile and monitoring ads which go offline (snapped up) - which i don't have the time in the game yet to do - i don't know how to conduct decent research.

b) Council planning? I don't understand zoning, and any other items that WAPC and the city of armadale (which I think Piara waters falls under council wise) typically enforce.

I would really love a guide or low down on what to look forr, particularly what affects your choice of land/lots for an investor. I'm really lacking in this planning restrictions area, and am not sure where else to look besides the council website and WAPC?

4) Don't know about other general investment tips - is public open parks/spaces good to be next to? or a street away so that you are not directly overlooking the big communal grass areas?

Are corner lots better, worse for return on investment. Which orientation houses typically achieve better resale and rental demand. Basically anything nifty.

5) What should one be asking and grilling a developer to find out about their land before purchase?

Sorry this all seems very broad and general, but I have found I find small dribs and drabs online when googling and nothing indepth geared towards an Australian investor.

Happy to pickup a book if there is one that fits the bill in covering all the crucial parts one should consider. Apologies for the length of this post - figured I should provide as much information as I can.

I am looking to rent this out, given the selling restrictions (until the last lot in the last stage is sold) , maybe live in if/when i get married, but otherwise happy to look at it as a pure investment. own no other property, and never have. 26 years old.

The land I submitted interest in (3 lots were allowed to be submitted) were generally 375sqm (285k) and 398 sqm (295k). I figured small lots with a 4x 2 would be good for rental? Could be wrong and perhaps I should be targeting the 400-450s.

Thank you - please hit me with as much info/recommendations as you can.
Sorry forgot to attach the example contract for stage 1 for reference purposes.

Be great if someone could comment who has more experience having seen a fair few more projects than I have haha.

If i could add to my OP is there a way to see future planned or submitted infrastructure in an area? Schools. Shopping centres. Shop lots nearby etc? MRA? Or would WAPC or your local council?


  • Mason Green Stage 1 Contract.pdf
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Make sure you learn something about soil types as it will affect site costs, which can be a major cost in a new build. This is particularly the case if site is sloping, has problem easements, trees or highly reactive soils.

Some basic info here:

For many h&l packages you just pay a single fixed price so they bear the risk, however would have sufficiently covered it in their price.

If you source a block yourself and then select your own builder, your build contract will often contain a provisional cost for site costs. Striking rock or other problems can lead to blowing the budget and hence extra unplanned $$$

I had my PPOR built recently. In my contract the site costs were fixed.

I did get my hands on a geotechnical report for the precinct of the estate. This allowed me to look at borehole details and determine whether site costs estimates for piering ( often identified in lineal metres for a $ figure ), were sufficient for other builder tenders / quotes I obtained.