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Townhouse Development Help

Discussion in 'Development' started by Maddie, 11th Apr, 2016.

  1. Maddie

    Maddie New Member

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    Found your website informative, but I need advice. I live on my 1037 m property in the middle of the Wynnum-Manly area in Brisbane next to numerous commercial properties. i.e. take-aways, doctors, chemist, bus stop etc, etc.
    I'm thinking of developing this into 5-6 townhouses (have spoken to council). This area is booming with the construction of units and towhouses at the moment. However, I don't know where to go to start. Is there someone who guides you through this process?
     
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  2. Cactus

    Cactus Well-Known Member

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    Finding a local surveyor that understands the process is probably your best bet.
     
  3. Maddie

    Maddie New Member

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    Thanks Cactus, but I already had it surveyed years ago and didn't do much about it . It should be still valid. Do they take into account multi dwellings or are they just focused on the boundaries and soil?
     
  4. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest consulting a town planner to advise on exactly what is permitted n your site to maximise is potential.

    Another preliminary essential is to discuss financing the development.
    Marg
     
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  5. hpresident

    hpresident Well-Known Member

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    it depends on how far you want to DIY. A good start would be to talk to town planners, surveyors who also provide PROJECT MANAGEMENT services. Note that some would only do town planning/surveying but some maybe able to supervise the whole process. I have done a few townhouse development myself if you want to PM we can have a chat.
     
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  6. Leo2413

    Leo2413 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    If you know absolutely nothing about development then I would hook up with a friend or someone you know and trust who has some experience. Failing that, find a new best friend who has some experience on this forum.

    If it were me, this is what I would be doing:

    1. Talking to a good town planner to discuss possible options for the site. Also discuss any TP challenges eg slope, services etc to the site that may increase the costs. You will need that for the next step.
    2. Look at the options the TP presents to you and then try to work out some preliminary feasibilities for each option to see what the returns are like. Don't forget to include a PM fee if your not going to PM it.

    3. Determine what kind of finance you will need for the option chosen. Without the finance you wont be doing any development.


    You really need a good friend/contact with experience to work with you on this possible project.
     
  7. sanj

    sanj Well-Known Member

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    what's your end goal? you might find that if you plan to sell them all and the market is currently hot for sites that it's worth considering selling the site tax free instead of developing it, taking the risk, spending the time and capital and paying the gst, income tax and selling fees.

    if youre holding some/all then it's a different story.

    depending on the price point for end product and the ease of site a reputable builder specialising in such developments is worth considering too and is the easiest way to introduce yourself to the process without taking on too much work.

    Either way I'd recommend hunting down a good town planner, getting a couple of options for what's possible on the site and then speaking to a few builders. you'll learn a bit more after each meeting and be in a better position to make an informed decision with their insights, your town planners advice and you weighing up what's best for you in terms of profit vs risk vs capital required.

    even if you spend a few months and a bit of money only to make the decision to do nothing or to sell the site at least you would be making an informed decision.

    if the most profitable use for the site is apartments I'd lean towards selling it to a developer, that's too much for a first timer to take on.

    townhouses are possible, especially if you go the design and construct model with a builder who knows what they're doing. you can then spend some of the money saved by hiring an interior designer to make sure you're getting a great end product.

    there are many projects out there done by smaller developers with crap interiors who stinged out and decided they were best placed to make decisions instead of experienced experts
     
  8. Cactus

    Cactus Well-Known Member

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    Many surveyors understand and can run a basic subdivision application through council. Town planners are not always necessary. I have written my own cl55 assessment before and managed to get a permit. But depends how time poor you are. I'd rather pay in the future.
     
  9. ottg

    ottg Well-Known Member

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    Colm Dillon has two complementary ebooks. Get both - the best $200 you will ever spend.
    a. Land subdivision made easy
    b. Residential Real Estate Development Made Easy Second Edition
    A Comprehensive Instructional Course For Individuals Who Want To Become Residential & land developers

    Once you studied them inside out you will be in a much better position to engage the right people by asking the right questions.
     
  10. Tonibell

    Tonibell Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Maddie ,
    Just going through this for a block at Wynnum. The zoning and controls for your block is the key to what you can do. We are perhaps only a few weeks ahead of you.

    Step One for us was to spend around $250 to get a site options report which fully explained all the planning controls for our site. We then had a draftsperson do a site analysis for us based on the report from the town planner.

    By linking these two reports together (during around 20 reads of each) I have a pretty good feel for the options for my site.

    Below is a link to the report we got done.

    Brisbane Town Planners- Site Options Brisbane
     
  11. Logan

    Logan Well-Known Member

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    I would be interested in hearing about your project manager

    I am struggling with this at the moment. How are you running the numbers ? This seems to be the missing part i.e. town planning (controls) x architect / drafts person (how many can you fit on the site) x cost ($ to do the development) = feasibility study. It is the cost I am trying to work out - any tips ?
     
  12. sanj

    sanj Well-Known Member

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    I have given you the answer above, builders specialising in say townhouses, assuming that's the best use for the site, will be able to give you initial ballpark figures. see a few instead of relying on a one off, you'll often find a pattern emerging and it's a decent point to start a feaso from. if it's a complicated site with a big slope etc then the feaso gets different.

    the issue here is that until and unless you know what the best use is you can't make an informed decision imo which is why it should be town planner then builder. builder will give you rough pricing on what you ask them to do but they can't be relied on to do your job as a developer to work out the best option or all the options
     
  13. Aaron Sice

    Aaron Sice Well-Known Member

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    that's a sweet way to make something reasonably straight forward, quite complicated.

    I think you're overthinking it. PM sent.
     
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  14. Logan

    Logan Well-Known Member

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    thanks @Aaron Sice and @sanj - I can do calculations on FSR/GFA, zoning, overlays etc - the issue I have understanding the cost of construction.
     
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  15. sanj

    sanj Well-Known Member

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    oops sorry I thought you were the OP!
     
  16. Aaron Sice

    Aaron Sice Well-Known Member

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  17. hpresident

    hpresident Well-Known Member

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    Hi Logan, if you want to PM me what you want to do I can have a look for you
     
  18. Shahin_Afarin

    Shahin_Afarin Residential and Commercial Broker Business Member

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    Have you considered the finance implications of such a development? This is going to be commercial lending and commercial/development finance carries a lot of requirements. Also check this out and factor it in your plans.
     
  19. Paul@PFI

    Paul@PFI Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Member

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    My tips
    1. Get a great broker who knows devs and construct loans (Shahin my suggestion !!)
    2. Never use a bank lending manager
    3. Town planner (local to City Bris)
    4. Tax adviser who knows devs and property
    5. The PC community

    6. A dev consultant can be helpful. ie BeDeveloper but I'm not sure if Bris is his patch. This is not essential but can help simplify planning etc
     
  20. Tonibell

    Tonibell Well-Known Member

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    For us, if we go down this path, we need to spend around $4.5K to have the draftsperson prepare detailed drawings. These drawings are the used to get builder quotes and to estimate end selling prices.

    The Town Planner gave us some recommendations to get builder quotes.

    As Shahin mentioned the financing is quite important - particularly if you have over 4 units in your development. The conditions of commercial lending are a lot harder to meet. All our funding is done through Shahin and this area is causing us to pause and reflect at the moment.