17 July 2020


Real Estate Terminology

Throughout your home building journey, you’re likely to come across quite a few words and phrases you might not be familiar with. There’s quite a lot of lingo that’ll leave you thinking ‘huh?’ So in order to make the process a little less confusing, we’ve put together a glossary of sorts to help you make sense of it all. You’ll be talking the talk like a house and land expert in no time!

Certificate of title

The all-important legal document that identifies the owner/s of a block of land.

Council requirements

Your local council will have certain requirements that you must adhere to in order to be granted a building permit to construct your home at St. Germain. To learn more, you can visit the City of Casey website.

Cross over

This is the section at the front of your home between the footpath and the street, which, once your home is built, provides access to the driveway. Although a crossover is built over council land, it is your responsibility as property owner to provide a properly constructed crossover where vehicles can access the property from a road. You are responsible for the construction, maintenance and cost of a crossover.


Depth is the measurement from the front to the rear point of your block. This is one factor that will determine what size of home design will fit on your particular piece of land.

It’s also handy to know that the frontage of your block multiplied by the depth of your block will equal the overall size of your land.

Design guidelines

Design guidelines establish a design direction that will also ensure the standard of housing within an estate meets purchasers’ expectations and needs. They also help to ensure the long term protection of the value of your home by creating a community with attractive dwellings and streetscapes.


Conveyancers are licensed professionals who specialise in providing advice and information about the sale of a property. It is their job to help you navigate the legal process of ‘settlement’ when you purchase a property or land. That means they handle all the detail, documentation and work that goes into legally transferring a property/land to a new owner.

They will ensure you are prepared for critical dates during the process, like when your block is titled, and they act on your behalf to deal with all the important details when it’s time to arrange payment with your financial institution.

Fixed site costs

Fixed site costs are exactly that, meaning they cannot vary throughout construction. This is generally optional and can be provided at the start of your sales journey by your chosen builder. For many home buyers, fixed site costs provide reassurance by removing the risk of any unforeseen costs that may pop up after your site survey or soil report.

However, what is included in ‘fixed site costs’ can vary from builder to builder. So when doing your research, be sure to find out if they are indeed 100% fixed. And, check if there are any terms and conditions that you should be made aware of before signing your contracts.


Frontage is the width of the front boundary of your block of land.

House and land package

A house and land package is when a buyer secures a block of land and the construction of a home in one process but two contracts. This allows the buyer to know the combined price of their home and land from the outset, making it a popular choice for many.

Site costs

The expenses associated with your particular block of land in order to prepare the site for home construction. Unless your site costs are ‘fixed’ in price, these costs can vary and will be determined after various tests are conducted on your site.

For example, cost variations can occur due to:

  • A slab upgrade as a result of soil conditions, fall (or slope) and fill
  • A requirement for retaining walls
  • Additional fill
  • Excess soil removal
  • Rock removal
  • Instalment of services if needed (e.g. gas, water)
  • New estate covenants

Site survey

A site survey is an examination of your land to establish the position of the proposed construction of your home. The survey identifies the correct orientation and positioning of the house, any obstacles that may need removal prior to construction and so on. The site survey also determines the current elevation and slope levels of your land in order to identify what site works will be required in order to create a level building platform.

Soil report

As you might expect, this is a report based on a series of soil samples taken from your block of land. By testing the soil in various locations it enables your builder or engineer to classify your soil type and provide the appropriate footing system for your home.

Stamp duty

A government tax that you need to pay when you legally transfer ownership of assets (buy) a property, land or cars. This needs to be paid within 30 days of the settlement date. If you’re a first home buyer, you may be exempt from stamp duty! You’ll also save on stamp duty when you choose a house and land package, as you only need to pay stamp duty on the land, not the house since it hasn’t been built yet.

Titled land

Once your individual block of land has been registered at the Titles Office it is then ‘titled’, ready to settle and construction of your new home can commence!

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