So you want to buy a block in the country? You are tired of the proximity of your neighbours and you always wanted to get back to your roots? The kids are keen to do the trail bike thing and you and the wife want to get your green thumbs dirty?
Things you need to consider:
WHERE - Do you need to commute, get to family? Do you want to be North, South or East of Perth?
WHY - Do you want to have animals; peace and quiet; productive plants; trail bikes?
COUNCILS – Most outer suburban and country councils have a rural strategy and included in that are regulations and restrictions about what you can and cannot do on a block which is zoned anything other than Rural or General Rural. A General Rural zoning is, usually, the least restrictive and allows for almost any (legal) activity.
Before rural land can be subdivided into smaller lots for hobby farming or rural living it has to be rezoned; and in this process the council can impose regulations and restrictions so that the amenity and use of the land is not disruptive or detrimental to the neighbourhood or the environment. It is helpful to know what these regulations are before you purchase in a particular local authority. You can ask to see the rural strategy and there will be specific land uses stipulated for the particular area you might wish to move to.
SERVICES - Depending on the zoning and the area you are in services can vary. Most councils will collect your rubbish bin but there will be a levy on your rates for this as well as an Emergency Services Levy to contribute to the cost of the firefighting service-usually manned by volunteers.
WATER - Most rural blocks do not have access to scheme water so you will have to collect rainwater or get underground water or both. Many areas to the east of Perth do not have reliable or good quality groundwater so you need to be aware of how much water you will need and how much you can collect. A square metre of roof area will collect 0.5 cubic metres(500 litres) of rainwater if the rainfall in the area is 500mm(20inches) per year. You need to consider the effects of a drying climate. 1 square metre of lawn needs about 700 litres per year to be green and healthy.
POWER - Many rural subdivisions only have single phase power and this may have a bearing on the sort of machinery or appliances you can have.
BUILDING - Almost all semi-rural blocks have a building envelope and all the buildings have to be contained within that envelope and there will be strict clearing restriction outside the envelope. Whilst the envelope can often be moved slightly on application to the local authority, it is not automatic and you need a valid reason. It is important to know the
size of the envelope before you commit to the block.