Sharing is caring, here's my due lilligence checklist for buying subdivision sites, Adelaide

Discussion in 'Development' started by Erica, 15th Feb, 2017.

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  1. Erica

    Erica Well-Known Member

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    DUE DILLIGENCE CHECKSHEET FOR SUBDIVISIONS (INCLUDING SUBDIVIDE AND RETAIN SITES)
    1. Correct allotment overall size and dimensions as per the certificate of title.
    2. No easements on the certificate of title.
    3. Not in the “1 in 100year” flood zone (particularly City of West Torrens).
    4. All services are accessable (ie, no mains extensions required): water, sewer, gas, electricity, Telstra, NBN.
    5. No significant trees on the site.
    6. Location of council street trees- will they impact proposed new driveways, can they be accomodated? Are they significant, what is the size of the exclusion zone for building near them? Arborist advice is: in general, the diameter x 12 is the exclusion zone from the trunk.
    7. The minimum size of allotments can be achieved as per the council’s development plan and the zone the block is in.
    8. Does the property fall within 400m of a ‘neighbourhood centre zone’ for lower density allowance? (ie. City of West Torrens, this won’t apply in all council zones).
    9. The minimum frontage width can be achieved as per the council's Zone’s policy.
    10. Can the Residential Code and private certification be used, to reduce minimum private open space allowances and setbacks and reduce waiting times with councils?

    11. The minimum private open space can be achieved as per Residential Code (which is more lenient than council ie. 60m sq for 300-500m sq lots) if using this method, or Council’s 20-25% min POS requirement depending on which council it’s in (Charles Sturt 25% vs West Torrens, Marion etc 20%)
    12. Setback from rear boundary can be achieved (ie Res Code, 4m min for blocks between 300m2 -500m2 for a new single story design).
    13. Measure the frontage setbacks of the 2 adjacent houses; take note of how far back the new dwelling frontage must be, ie. the average of the 2 adjacent dwellings, can a decent house design fit on the block?
    14. Check Googlemaps satellite view, or Nearmaps, preferably going back 10 years, have any pools been there previously and been covered/ backfilled? Try asking the neighbours if they know.
    15. Get a building inspection, plumbing (pressure test taps) inspection, electrical inspection (roof cavity), termite inspection. Is the property worth renovating, is it structurally sound?
    16. Can you achieve a new carport to satisfy the development plan requirements for 1 under cover space.
    17. Check council’s development applications online, has any attempt to subdivide been previously rejected?
    18. Is any housing trust adjacent, or industrial etc that would reduce the onsell value.
    19. Dodgy agents, when you are ready to offer, send a copy of offer direct to owner as well.
    20. Once under contract- send surveyor around quickly to ensure no encroachments of boundaries that may cause a problem.


    Your welcome :)
     
  2. Hodgo

    Hodgo Well-Known Member

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    Fantastic info, thanks Erica. Yet another example of the value of this forum and how it's great members just want to help each other out.
     
  3. Erica

    Erica Well-Known Member

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    21. Check slopes, slopes towards rear of lots can substantially increase costs for stormwater via retention,sump, pump system to discharge to the street water table ~$7k each, not to mention additional retaining works
     
  4. Ollie

    Ollie Member

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    6-Port Adelaide Enfield required my driveway to be 1.5m from the the council tree (tree diameter 600mm).
    7-I would say that from what I have experienced with Port Adelaide Enfield and Charles Sturt that the council min. requirements are guidelines only. I had things approved which were a tiny bit under min. requirements it pays for a good surveyor.
    22-Also if you are aiming for a torrens title i.e hammer head which can't be met, guidelines are a bit more lenient for community titles but this will affect resale.
     
  5. lixas4

    lixas4 Well-Known Member

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    Some great stuff there Erica (& ollie). I will be updating my work-in-progess dev assessment list with some of these points.
     
  6. D.T.

    D.T. Specialist Property Manager Business Member

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    Good stuff Erica!
     
  7. TreeChange@50

    [email protected] Well-Known Member

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    Is that you Erica R? Good stuff. CI & CW.
     
  8. Bridget Heathcote

    Bridget Heathcote Member

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    Great info here as I am currently looking at buying a new property.
     
  9. sleekgeek

    sleekgeek Active Member

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    Thank you so much!
     
  10. Nadine777

    Nadine777 New Member

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    great and thankyou so much!
     
  11. R.C.

    R.C. Active Member

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    Hi Erica,
    Thank you for this very useful information.

    I note you mention City of West Torrens a few times and am interested if you have actually done any subdivisions there and what your experience dealing with council was like?

    As I`m inexperienced in this field but considering a knock down sooner or later & possible subdivision (770m2 in WeTo/2) am keen to hear of any hidden costs, additional demands, or other issues. If you have time, would also appreciate a basic itemised run down of the costs involved.
     
  12. mickyyyy

    mickyyyy Well-Known Member

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    That's awesome thanks @Erica
     
  13. ellejay

    ellejay Well-Known Member

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    Brilliant, thanks :)
     
  14. Paul Mete

    Paul Mete Well-Known Member

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    Great list
     
  15. Erica

    Erica Well-Known Member

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    I recently dealt with City of West Torrens for our family home knock down and re-build, they approved application in 3 weeks (amazing!) but it was a simple complying development (no subdivision involved).

    A Complying development means the proposal meets all the minimum standards set out in the Councils Development Plan for the particular zone that the property is located in. You can look up zone requirements for all the different councils in SA here: SA.GOV.AU - Development plans

    In my experience, as soon as you propose a non-complying development (I've done 3) and ask for concessions, the process becomes painfully slow- I mean add on 12mths!

    One development I asked for a concession on the overall allotment size (council minimum was 400m sq for the zone, I asked for 375msq_) that took 18mths of argument but I won.

    One development (hammerhead) I asked for a concession on the driveway with (council wanted 4.0m I wanted 3.3m) that took 18mths but I won.

    These are just a couple of examples, the list goes on. I'm not saying don't ask for consessions on developments, infact I think the council guidelines are way to stringent, some great developments can be achieved with some consessions granted, just factor in the additional holding costs to your feasability study before commencing a project.

    As for costs to subdivide- it is totally site dependent. If you have a perfect complying block of land with a simple split strait down the middle from one lot into two it's basically $25k (this is just from memory- I'll try to dig up an old surveyor quote to post more detail).

    Examples of site dependent issues: I had to get a 10m sewer main extension done for one block that was an extra $10k. I had to get a significant gum tree removed on a different block that was an extra $5k. A quote for $3k for excavator to remove old sheds and some fruit trees jumped up to $6k due to unseen concrete a couple of cm beneath soil/grass. And thats just a few examples that jump to mind, there could be heaps of potential scenarios.
     
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  16. Erica

    Erica Well-Known Member

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    Ok, here is a screenshot of my last subdivision costs (done 2017), and I've removed the site specific capital works costs (like block clearing/fencing/retaining/sewer mains extension :eek: etc) for a simple 1 lot into 2 (Torrens titled):
    upload_2019-5-27_16-36-16.png
     
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  17. Leeroy93

    Leeroy93 Active Member

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    Typical development costs for Brisbane City Council subdivisions I've seen are around $90k . Are the margins in SA relative to the reduced costs to split?
     
  18. R.C.

    R.C. Active Member

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    Thanks for the awesome reply Erica, much appreciated.
    It`s the beginning of a long journey and learning experience for me and I`m very grateful for the map you have drawn out.

    From what you`ve posted, it looks like the $25-30K figures I have heard for a basic split are quite realistic then. Although the current >25m frontage with two driveways will simply be split somewhere down the middle, there may need to be some concession on at least one lot size, considering the trapezoidal shape of the 770m2 block.

    My only experience dealing with CoWT was regarding a significant tree and wasn`t overly positive. This was a large camphor laurel, a noxious weed in NSW & QLD, that the council made so difficult to remove it remained until the state government deleted the species from their schedule some years ago and I quickly fired up the chain saw. Some larger roots still remain below the surface but should pose no problem or much additional expense for the excavator.

    Only other issue that I`m aware of so far is an old unused septic tank still buried out the front yard. Would need to be dug up / smashed in, filled & compacted anyway. Not sure of the exact location though or how council treat them; similar to a pool I expect? Obviously if it falls behind or near any new building line there is additional cost for engineered slab footings.

    I`m sure other issues and potential expenses will surface as this project proceeds. Guess I was rather apprehensive towards facing the vexatious greenies at council again, however your post has now alleviated that somewhat. Thanks again for sharing.
     
  19. Erica

    Erica Well-Known Member

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    I posted this elsewhere in Propertychat in respone to someone else question, but it applies better to this Development related thread so I'll add it here as an exension of my original post.

    10. Can the Residential Code and private certification be used, to reduce minimum private open space allowances and setbacks and reduce waiting times with councils?

    RES CODE basically streamlines the development assessment process so it is a heap quicker and easier. If your property meets all the criteria to be assessed via Res Code then yes, Res Code conditions take precedence over council conditions. And Res Code conditions are more relaxed than councils.

    There is a check sheet online (I'll try to find it and post it below) that you can use to see if your property meets requirements to have the development assessed via Res Code. If so, then you pay a private certifier a fee to assess and sign off your development application (rather than waiting for a council development officer to do it- painfully slow). Once private certification is done, then council must sign off on the approval within 10 business days.

    Explains RES CODE in detail:
    https://www.sa.gov.au/__data/assets...sidential_code_and_streamlined_assessment.pdf

    Found the quick RES CODE checksheet!:
    https://www.sa.gov.au/__data/assets...tial_code_new_dwellings_checklist_May2013.pdf

    And the maps of where RES CODE can be used:
    SA.GOV.AU - Area map
     
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  20. R.C.

    R.C. Active Member

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    Haha, just read that in the other Adelaide thread.

    Great info Erica. Thank you for the links and homework, so much to learn. :)