Developing a property? – Do your homework

Are you planning on developing a property?  If so, now is the time to start doing your homework.  There are a few things you can do to establish a clear development plan.

What type of development are you looking to do? 

This will determine the size of the land that you need to find.  You can read one of our earlier articles on What is the minimum size of land to subdivide in Victoria?, which will discuss this in more detail, however if you use the ‘300m2 per dwelling rule of thumb’, this will guide you to properties with development potential. If you are looking in areas of higher density, then different rules apply. Now it’s time to look for a suitable property.

What makes a suitable property?

There are a number of factors that make a property suitable for development; its location, convenience to transport and amenities, the precedent of subdivision in the area, location of the existing house, zones and overlays, and location and number of large trees on the site.

Researching what properties are currently on the market that fit with your requirements and speaking with local real estate agents, will continue to refine your search for properties with development potential.  Local agents will be able to give you a ‘feel’ for the area, what accommodation type is in need and current rental demands.

Do you have adequate funding?

Funding your project is another factor in the property search.  We generally find that the value of the land often reflects in the margin, that is to say, a lower acquisition cost for a property, does not necessarily make for a more profitable project.

Rather than going straight to the bank, summarise your proposal and book a meeting with a financier who understands development and subdivision finance. Get an understanding of what borrowing capacity you have, because this will influence the type of project you can undertake.

Having reduced your list to just a few possibilities, it is important to know that the site can be legally developed and the development options available.  Pillar+Post are able to prepare a Property Development Assessment to ensure your potential property can be developed, prior to purchasing the site.