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  • Writer's pictureArcht. Ilmi Dissanayake

9 Mistakes to AVOID when Buying Raw Land {for a HOMESTEAD}

Updated: May 23, 2022

In this article, we are not discussing the conventional factors that you must consider when buying a land such as regulations, accessibility, details of the deed, etc. We are rather looking from a perspective of a healthy environment that would support a healthy lifestyle.

Clothes act as a second skin while the buildings act as a third skin for humans. A home can either impact negatively or positively to the inhabitants’ health depending on the way it is designed as well as its location. This is because both the design and location help modify the interior environment of a house that you live in. Therefore, to have a healthy interior environment at all times, the immediate environment of the house (and your land) should provide healthy conditions. Therefore, considering the following factors which would impact the environment of your land, is a must for a healthy lifestyle.

1. Choose a location with relatively low air pollution

Interior air quality is a critical factor when it comes to designing a house that can make you healthier. A home would regulate proper air quality by ventilating the interior spaces from the prevailing wind. If the surrounding air is polluted, then the house will be bringing in this polluted air into the house.

This would reduce the indoor air quality of the house and expose the inhabitants to harmful pollutants.

2. Consider low levels of light and noise pollution

When living in a city and near a main road would result in continuous exposure to motor traffic sounds.

Added to that, the city would be lit at night and this light and noise can disrupt your sleep

pattern. An interrupted sleep would result in increased levels of stress and reduced productivity. This is why not living too close to a city and living in a suburban area is good for your health.

3. Consider the wind direction of the land

This is important because the land should allow a house design with windows, doors and other openings placed properly to bring in the prevailing wind into the house. This helps reduce the heat and maintain good air quality within a house. For instance if you are buying a smaller land plot of about 10 perches and if it is located with the main wind direction blocked by a blind wall of the neighboring land, this would make it difficult to ventilate your house with the prevailing wind.

4. Avoid areas with major pollutant producers

Major pollutant producers are power plants and industrial areas containing factories that may release harmful chemicals and heavy smoke into the air.

Agricultural lands will also produce pollutants due to the heavy use of fertiliser and pesticides that can enter the soil thereby contaminating groundwater. Long term exposure to major pollutants will significantly affect your health in a negative way. So, proximity to these should be avoided at all costs.

5. Avoid proximity to artificial electromagnetic fields

Many scientists agree that exposure to artificial electromagnetic fields have adverse effects on human health such as causing insomnia, depression and anxiety.

When building a home, it is important that your land is located far from artificial electromagnetic fields.

Avoid proximity to High voltage power lines, microwave relay stations, and cellular phone and broadcast towers. In general the distance 1/10 a mile away from high voltage power lines and 1/2 mile away from microwave, cellular and broadcast towers are adequate.

6. Avoid a location near parking lots or traffic corridors

Traffic corridors carry high levels of traffic such as highways and railroads. Traffic corridors and parking lots will expose you to high levels of fine particles released to the

air from vehicles.

Specifically, ultrafine particles emitted by vehicles can critically damage your health. These are particles of nano scale which have a diameter less than 100 NM. Since these particles are very small, once they get into the lungs, they can enter your bloodstream and translocate into vital organs causing significant health consequences.

7. Select crest locations and avoid valleys

Valleys are lower areas located in between mountains. Due to their geometry they experience low levels of wind, so that they can trap air pollutants within the macroclimate they create. In contrast, crest locations generally have good air quality

due to the increased air movement. If you have to select between these two options, a crest location should be given the priority.

8. Consider zoning for future development in the neighboring lands

If your land is located in a populated area, it is always better to check the zoning plan of the relevant local authority for future development.

See the present use and the future use for your neighboring lands. See if they will be developed as industrial areas, agricultural lands, schools, playgrounds, or any other areas that may not create a good neighborhood for a house. Also consider your neighbors: do they use heavy pesticides? These factors will not create a healthy environment for your home.

9. Investigate water quality

Before buying the land check whether you have access to the city's main water supply or if you have to dig a well. Especially if you are planning to dig a well, you must check the water quality of the land. This is important because there are so many ways that the groundwater could get contaminated such as by landfills, industrial waste, leakages of sewer/wastewater lines running under the ground and fertilizer usage of neighboring lands.

This is also a critical factor to consider since access to safe water is essential for good health.


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