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How to decide if two separate dwellings or dual occupancy

Discussion in 'Development' started by RumpledElf, 22nd Apr, 2016.

  1. RumpledElf

    RumpledElf Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21st Jan, 2016
    Posts:
    137
    Location:
    Sydney
    So a couple weeks ago I bought some land in the blue mountains. Cost $50k, the land is within a township and is two adjacent separate titles, both about 600sqm. They are very overgrown and steep. The bank valued them at $40,000 because there was no level area to build a house.

    So anyway, we went there with snippers and a skip and under the blackberries, turns out that both of the titles have a level area to build a house. One is in a fairly average sort of place for a house in the centre towards the street of the right hand side block, and would still need excavation for a driveway, which is nothing interesting really, there's plenty of room for this and its not major excavation.

    Now moving onto the left side block ...

    This little sucker was the buy one get one free part of this deal. The block is super steep, and has a hill smack in the centre of it. However, up the top is not only a flat cleared patch, but there's evidence that there was a building of some kind up there before. There's old retaining walls, charred wood and iron. The view is utterly fantastic. I was planning to put a one room studio up there to take advantage of the view, and access it from the more level block on the right hand side.

    However its got me thinking that maybe I should open up some options and instead of building a studio, build a 1 bedroom self-contained house. The problem there is getting access to the site and services. I'm still waiting on the survey, but the only easy way to get to the site is crossing over a small sliver of the neighbour's block on the far left where the slope is least bad. There will never be the option of off-street parking on this block, there is no sane street level access, and the size of anything I can build will be extremely constrained by the size of the level site, so I may not be able to make minimum legal size (although it sure feels big enough when you're up there).

    The neighbour's block is vacant and has been cut out so it looks like a quarry, the corner of their land I'm interested in falls between their quarry and my hill, its a little valley between the two blocks and the two HUGE retaining walls. Nobody is ever going to do anything with this land.

    Given that I effectively got this block of land as a freebie, and its in an area where a tiny but brand new house is going to be worth at very least $150-180k, is it worth putting myself through the pain of trying to buy a couple square metres of the neighbour's yard and make this second block a totally independent title and dwelling? Or just stick with popping a studio up there?
     
  2. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    5,556
    Location:
    Sydney or NSW or Australia
    Do you have hair? Take a selfie.

    Deal with Blue Mountains Council & NIMBYs.

    You're probably within the fire zone - so engage a town planner.

    Have a look in the mirror. You see an older, greying disheveled @RumpledElf much wiser for the experience.
     
  3. RumpledElf

    RumpledElf Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21st Jan, 2016
    Posts:
    137
    Location:
    Sydney
    Its not blue mountains council. They're doing the BAL assessment at the moment but most folks are saying it'll be BAL 19, maybe 29. Only restrictions the council has mentioned is the BAL criteria and setback, and the neighbour's house is set back 2m so low standards. I don't have any native vegetation to clear so I can go nuts clearing trees. Putting in stairs is going to be fun no matter which way I go.

    Issue is more do I build the studio as just a studio as part of one DA, or put in the extra mile to do two totally separated dwellings.
     
  4. RumpledElf

    RumpledElf Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21st Jan, 2016
    Posts:
    137
    Location:
    Sydney
    Next time I go up there I really need a camera and a measuring tape so I can measure that site that had the old house on. I just bought a new phone and I don't have a case for it yet so didn't want to be tracking something small and expensive through a small hawthorn forest on a 45 degree slope.
     
  5. Rockstar

    Rockstar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1st Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    127
    Location:
    NSW
    Hi Elf, We are about to build a detached triplex on a steep site. The top house is 43% slope. We used a 13.2m long / 7.4m wide footprint for a nice compact 2 - 3 bed , 2 bath home. The garage had to be separate because we didn't have the side room to get a car in under and the slope was pretty extreme. We are excavating two cuts. One at the upper side of the house (approx 1.6m retaining wall) and one under the house (1m retaining wall) where a 3m wide slab will be laid to take the laundry and water tank + storage, etc.

    Ask the local agents what they think re final vals and rental returns. Sounds like an interesting project. Is it in Lithgow shire? I've heard they're much easier to deal with than BM
     
  6. teetotal

    teetotal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    7th Nov, 2015
    Posts:
    398
    Location:
    Sydney
    Put a Gondola up there for access.
    Make the area up the hill like echo point and start advertising it as a tourist attraction.
    Use next block for parking and charge $5per car per hour.
    Charge another $5 for Gondola ride.
    Easy return ;)
     
    GOU likes this.