a note on orientation
You would have heard the recommendation that you should have a north facing backyard. I don't necessarily agree.
I don't choose a block according to it's orientation but rather I design the home according to the blocks orientation.
In many cases it's possible to design a home where the kitchen and living areas maximise the northerly aspect.
In fact, my favourite aspect is a west/east orientation where the kitchen and alfresco area are along the northerly boundary of the home.