21 Today!!!

Well, not really 21 Today, but yes! I've got the key to the door - my very first sub-division has been granted approval by the local Council!!!

It's funny how we can go for years saying 'One day, I'd like to - renovate houses / do sub-divisions / etc' and yet there's always plenty of reasons why we don't.

Having finally taken the plunge into the active trading arm of property investing, let me encourage you to realise that Yes! Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! and that the world of property development can be amazingly interesting and down right fun!

I now get to arrange for the working drawings of the 4 star, energy efficient, really smart second dwelling, and see the transformation of my ideas into reality. This is taking creative endeavour just slightly past the cake decorating stage!

And the renovation on the original house is just such a happy thing for me, covered in dust and paint and watching Cinderella emerging from the ruins.

With the second project, the immediate neighbours to the 'medical centre' site told me today how supportive they are of the idea, and how much such a facility is needed in the locality. They are also pleased that I am naming the Centre after the elderly couple who previously owned the house.

So while we are busy crunching the numbers, don't overlook the 'human face' of what we are doing. Providing good quality housing for people to live in, and sometimes also providing other facilities to our community.

And I don't mind admitting, it really does feel like '21 Today'.

Does anyone else have any triumphiant stories to share?


Well done Kristine.

Could you let us know, overall, how your application for subdivision went. Was is easier/harder than you thought? Did the costs come in as expected? Was the council easy to deal with? Would you do it again? This is something I would consider doing so would be interested to hear all the pros/cons from someone who has just done it. Anything you would like to share would be appreciated.


The last week has been pretty triumphant for self and wife. We have been looking for a Pricipal Place of Residence since returning from Sydney 12 months ago and wife giving birth to our first child.

Both having firm but very different ideas on what we both want has meant that we have been running around to home opens and scanning websites madly all year with very little success and LOTS of arguments. Our criteria were:

no more than 5km from city
3 bedroom
character house
quiet street
house not lower than roadside (wife very wary of bad fung shui associated with living in a "ditch")
front and back door not in line (more bad fung shui)
less than 300k
not subdivided or strata titled property
off street car parking

Last week we bumped into a bloke at a home open that has lived on my in-law's street for the last 10 years or so but who we had never really spoken with. It turned out he was a retired real estate agent who still loves getting out and about looking for deals. We mentioned that we were looking for a family home and having trouble (was it any wonder with a wish-list like we had!). He said that he was always looking and that if he saw anything he thought would suit he would let us know.

2 days later, he popped a note in our letter box mentioning that a friend of a friend was selling a house that may suit. I gave him a call and arranged to view the property on friday night. The house fitted all of our criteria and as a package is much better than I thought we could find/afford.

We had an offer accepted on monday and settle in 6 weeks....wife happy, hubby happy

Hi kristine

Congrats well done.

I would be very interested to know the final figures on the completed project.

Keep up the good work

Congratulations Glenn - I'm glad you found something that suited both you and your wife. I wish you both happiness in your new home raising your baby (I think the homes our children grow up in are always special to us). Good luck with the transition (shifting house with a baby - what a scary thought!).


PS Kristine - just another question to add to my list above. How long did the whole subdivision process take?
Congratulations Glenn, both on your achievement and your patience. My partner and I also have an idea for our dream home. Our criteria is much more stringent than yours - about 18 points so far, and we've only jst started thinking about it. BUt most of the things we want can be done post purchase, if not already there, so it's all good.

'no hat, some cattle'
Hi Kristine

Congrats that is awesome news...well done :) we'd love to know the cost & feasibility figures , and of course photo's are always good too :)


Well, October, 2002 to July, 2011

Been a bit of water under the bridge since then.

This subdivision is Myrtle Cottage and I certainly posted quite a lot about the project at the time.

I sold the land with plans at the rear - forever wished that I hadn't - and still have the original but seriously renovated front house.

Everybody loves Myrtle Cottage. I haven't been there / been inside for about five years. Haven't even been past for about that long, either, but whenever the Property Manager calls - which isn't often, she tells me how all the tenants just adore the place.

I've still got the Medical Centre that never was. Never did quite make it to the Medical Centre stage. The neighbours opposite took me to VCAT, and the delays cost quite a few thousand dollars and I also made the mistake of taking the asbestos off - this left me with a building which just about required rebuilding, so it sat empty for a few years. Eventually got a permit for the Medical Centre, but the car parking requirements were hugely expensive and too much of a gamble. I tried to sell it but medical folk are not builders and there was no real interest at the time. So there it has sat.

The place is still a shambles, a classic case of putting too much on the plate. One thing at a time may be boring, but it will usually be manageable. Once I got a tenant in there I moved on to other things and as a result have never quite got back to this one.

Funny how things wash up on the Forum beach!

Ah! Myrtle Cottage! It was truly a great adventure, and eventually the Medical Centre site will turn into three townhouses, but I think I will get a specialist company to do the whole thing as a turn key project primarly because by that time, I shall have moved out of the area and by putting it out to contract I would have more of a chance of getting the project finished within 9 months, and not drag on for 9 years!

Hehe, a subdivision was our *first* foray outside just renovating the house we live in ...

One day I'll work my way up to just buying an established house and plunking a tenant in it without doing any work to the house first :D
It's time for an update on Perth property.

The property I mentioned in the post above is 2km from the Perth GPO and was purchased for $288k. Since then we have spent around $80k on it. It turns out that it is now zoned for duplex construction.

Perth property stunk at the time we bought it, had a great boom and then stunk again for a few years after.

Things are starting to smell good again. Luckily we bought one around the corner in 2003 on a bigger block.

The first 5 - 7 years is always tough.