WA subdivision advice

Hi all,

I have an IP in WA, it's a 1960 house on a 845sqm block of land, zoned R20/30. The house sits at the front so I have the option to do a battle axe.

I'd like to start the subdivision, but since this is my first subdivision project, I'm a bit at loss regarding my options and what I need to prepare financially. I don't have any mentor around me, so I thought this forum is a good place to get advise from.

First of all, I've been thinking about what I should do with it that will give a maximum return. My options are as follow:

1. Subdivide and sell the back lot
2. Subdivide, build a house at the back and hold both. With this option, I might have to build a carport for the front house.
3. Demolish the house and build 6 mini apartments. I'm still not familiar with subdivision rule, but I think you can build a multiple dwelling on R30 (I've seen it done on a nearby property) ?

The house is renovated, but I've been paying quite a bit on electrical and plumbing maintenance. It's currently rented out.

Currently, I believe my best option is no 2.

However, if borrowing isn't an issue and if I weren't such a novice at subdivision, would no 3 be the best option ? What would you do if you you were me ?
 
First things first - what council is it, because I'm wondering what the conditions are to qualify for the higher zoning. (R20/R30)
 
I can't seem to find their split density policy online with a quick search.

Do you know what it is or have you spoken to anyone at the council about it?
 
I called them once to ask if there's any special requirement to subdivide within the shire. The only thing they mentioned is I have to submit a development plan with proper stormwater management / drainage in place.

The house next to it has been battleaxed, so here's hoping there's no issue with my lot.

I will get a surveyor to help with the process, but I'm still gathering quotes now. Not sure what to look for in a surveyor, but good price is one I suppose...and someone who is familiar with the council rules would be good.
 
Gosnells are fairly loose on their criteria for getting development approved at the higher coding so you should be alright. There are a couple of ways you can skin it. Either subdivide (green title or survey strata) and then build on the back. Or build on the back and strata later.

Nigel Paul is a very good surveyor and is our go to man - Ph 93843053 Mob 0407 062 411 Email nigel@njpsurvey.com.au. Maybe give him a call to suss out your options. I think he may be on leave atm though. Alternatively, Vision Surveys are very competitively priced.

It's not so much Council rules, but more simply the R-Codes that will dictate your house/lot design, albeit the house will be approved by Council. PM me if you'd like to discuss further, happy to help.
 
Give craig at vision surveys a call. Very helpfull and knowledgable and will steer you down the right path. Can also sort you out a satellite survey and feasability on all options so you can get a good idea of what it will look like and expected costs from one stage to the next.

Cheers
 
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6 is about right for a multiple dwelling, but you could go as high as 8x if youwanted all one bedders, or 4x if you wanted all three bedders, maybe squish a 1 bed in there somewhere if possible.

surprisingly, three bed apts are actually in decent demand.

you could do a rear battleaxe with no CP and do apts at the rear only, and leave the front house for when funds allow. the 400odd sqm provided for would still allow three to four 2beds at the rear depending on how big small you can make the front lot.

gosnells are good with multiple dwellings. i've designed a fair few down this way and they're very 'by the book', no vague interpretations.
 
Thanks guys for the pointers.

Yeah, I'm seeing more multiple dwellings being built in the neighbourhood these days. It makes me wonder if building a multiple dwelling beats building a duplex in terms of returns.

I like Aaron's idea on building multiple dwelling at rear first. What is the approximate cost for building a 3-4 2bedders? Is 550k a reasonable estimate ? Holding cost will be pretty high..
 
Thanks guys for the pointers.

Yeah, I'm seeing more multiple dwellings being built in the neighbourhood these days. It makes me wonder if building a multiple dwelling beats building a duplex in terms of returns.

I like Aaron's idea on building multiple dwelling at rear first. What is the approximate cost for building a 3-4 2bedders? Is 550k a reasonable estimate ? Holding cost will be pretty high..

In my opinion yes it's a waste putting a duplex on it. Instead of 3-4 bedroom duplex in the rear you could have a nice 2 storey building with 2 of 3 bed, 2bath apartments.

A staged development would keep holding costs as low as possible. Rent from the front house can help with the construction costs of the rear.

I'd say work on around $2500 per sqm for a 2 storey construction turnkey completion. I am notoriously bad at estimating though - you need to consider a lot more than the build costs - finishing, water/electricity/gas headworks, subdivision, council fees etc
 
it's very spec dependent.

a simple design, hip roof, 28c ceilings, carports will be much cheaper than all individuals, skillions / flat roofs, 32c ceilings and enclosed garages with foyer access.

the difference can be as much as 20%.
 
This option never crossed my mind before, but it's definitely worth considering. It's not as ambitious as building 6-8 apartments, so it might be just manageable with careful planning. But this means I have to wait a bit longer to save enough deposits.

Will I need to subdivide the land first before building at rear ?
Also, with apartments people tend to build, sell and get profit. Is buy and hold a good strategy with apartments ? Do apartments have good CG ?

My initial thought was to build duplex at rear, hold, rent it out and get good depreciation out of it.
 
it's up to your bank as to whether you subdivide first. generally, subdividing creates further equity so it helps your case.

you don't have to, though. it doesn't matter if something is built 100 years ago or yesterday, build strata is always an option if you're looking to subdivide.

but technically, you dont even have to do that. there's no requirement to title the improvements made to your land.....unless you want to sell them, revalue them, borrow against them or borrow for them.
 
I've done your option 2 in thornlie twice. Built a rear house behind. Did the build first and am now waiting for subdivision approval. Getting the build aporoved was pretty straightforward. Subdivision looks like it will go through with no problems too.

Our builder handled all the building approval liaison and we're using their surveyor to do the subdivision. PM me if you want details.

Im considering selling the front older houses as rent is lower and there's no depreciation left to claim.

I think we have the driveway as common property. I think we could have avoided that? Not sure if it really matters down the track?

I wasn't aware that we could have built more units.

Being able to rent the front houses while building made the whole process pretty low risk. We dropped one of the tenant's rent by $10..but that's now been caughtup plus some.
 
Yeah, I was only aware of it because I saw a couple of multidwelling being built in the vicinity. The downside is you need more capital to do this.

It's good to know that you can build first and subdivide later, gives me more options.
 
I've done your option 2 in thornlie twice. Built a rear house behind. Did the build first and am now waiting for subdivision approval. Getting the build aporoved was pretty straightforward. Subdivision looks like it will go through with no problems too.

Our builder handled all the building approval liaison and we're using their surveyor to do the subdivision. PM me if you want details.

Im considering selling the front older houses as rent is lower and there's no depreciation left to claim.

I think we have the driveway as common property. I think we could have avoided that? Not sure if it really matters down the track?

I wasn't aware that we could have built more units.

Being able to rent the front houses while building made the whole process pretty low risk. We dropped one of the tenant's rent by $10..but that's now been caughtup plus some.

It depends if you did the back lot under Grouped Dwelling or Battle Axe. With grouped dwelling you can get away with a smaller lot size but need to have that common property. With Battle Axe the lot size is bigger but the back lot owns the drive way.

Did you (or past owners) do any reno to the front house? Even older houses have some scope for depreciation if anything has been updated in the past. Often its still worth getting it professionally checked for depreciation. I thought my 1950s was too old for depreciation due to it's age but as it had been renod by past owners. I'm spewing I missed out on the depreciation but it's too late now as it's been more than 2yrs since I found out this - not possible to go back and ammend tax returns more than 2yrs.
 
we've had depreciation schedules prepared for all of our properties and it really was worth it even though they're pretty old. but there's not that much left on the schedules anymore.
 
So we decide to build a 4x2 at the back. We have started to work on a design.

The design we use as a base design has got single entry door. I personally prefer having double entry doors. Considering this is for investment, do you think having double entry doors add value to the house ?
 
So we decide to build a 4x2 at the back. We have started to work on a design.

The design we use as a base design has got single entry door. I personally prefer having double entry doors. Considering this is for investment, do you think having double entry doors add value to the house ?

A new house salesperson once said to me, the only time you'll use double front doors is when you move in or move out of the house.

I have been in my current place now for 2.5 years and the only thing I can add to the saleperson's words is that mine gets opened to be cleaned occasionally as well.

Other than street/kerb appeal, double entry doors do nothing. As for adding value, I rather spend the initial cost elsewhere on the house.

Cheers,

Wrexy.
 
haha ok thanks wrexy. It is true I suppose. It helps when you want to transfer furniture in or out, but otherwise it's just there for the look

Single entry it is then.
 
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