What was your first 'development'?

Discussion in 'Adding Value' started by Red Star, 5th Sep, 2007.

  1. Red Star

    Red Star Member

    4th Jul, 2007
    Brisbane, Qld
    Hi all,
    I am in the process of buying my first IP in australia (I had 2 in UK before we moved here last year) but I also want to get into renovating/developing and I wondered how others on here had got to where they are now...

    What did you start with (other than buying and holding)?

    Any successes or failures you want to share?

    Do you have any other ambitions in terms of property development or are you happy doing what you are doing?

    Thanks a lot - I am really interested in how people got going and what your ambitions are :)
  2. lizzie

    lizzie when i grow up ...

    13th Sep, 2004
    back in the painting clothes
    my belief is that you should start small and learn the ropes. the learning curve is unbelievable when you're in the midst of it - but once achieved (passed the exam) you can apply your hard won knowledge without a second thought.

    we started with a couple of small, cosmetic reno's (nothing more than polishing floords, painting, redoing kitchen and bathroom - nothing structureal), then moved onto a couple of sudivisions, then did a rebuild and am now combining all we have learnt so far into a 4 townhouse development -now it's getting scary again as we enter a new learning curve!
  3. quoll

    quoll Member

    11th Jun, 2003
    Mid Coast, Adelaide

    Built our current house and painted the place so got better at painting and saved $6k.

    First IP was a 4yr old 5 bedroom steel frame house that had not been finished so no driveway, no paving, no veranda, not much garden just weeds and grass. Oh and they grew in a couple of the bedrooms so it was a bit of a mess inside as well. Came up good after we got the carpet cleaned, painted everything, Dulux Magnolia, nice cream color, gloss on the wood, flat on the wall. replaced a few broken tiles, fly screen. Had the same tenants for the last 7 years.

    Second IP was an old 1950's house and unit with garage in the middle. Getting a bit tired now so we have been replacing the rotten timber and giving it a good paint, structure is good but it's just OLD. Painting all the timber with Solarguard in the colorbond slat grey color and the inside was done Magnolia. Paint and fix a few bits it's looking good. The hard part was getting second had oregon timber from the scrap yard cause it's the same size as the facia that's already there and didn't want to replace all 80m of facia. 2kg of exterior wood putty works well.

    Next project is a 2 courtyard home development. Just sorting out finance and looking for a block.

    We are taking the slow and steady approach.

  4. sunshine

    sunshine Taking a ride...

    14th Feb, 2007
    Sunshine Coast
    I had already done a major reno on my PPOR, so I considered the learning curve or the 'apprenticeship' done..., I have since discovered that there is ALWAYS something new to be learnt, or a very different way of doing things..

    Our first IP was a subdivision. We went through the hard yards of getting a DA and then not really knowing what to do with the block. We didn't have a plan...

    We jumped straight into the next PPOR, and updated it. Landscaping, new bathroom, paint, knocked out old BIRs (they were on the wrong walls) put in new BIRs, nothing major but made a huge difference. Sold it off, cause we didn't have a plan..

    Straight into the next one (IPA), this time we had a trust set up, big plans for this one, then bought another 3 IP's.

    IP 1 got a major reno - new everything!!
    IP2 minor reno - clean, scrub, paint, carpet, new bathroom etc
    IP3 very minor renos as already tenanted, this was bought to subdivide, umm still haven't done it...

    Decided to move interstate, had to quickly finish off (aka START) what we had planned to do with IPA before the move. If only we stuck to the plan...

    So relocation done, bought another IP which we moved into, again lots of plans, and what have we done, betcha can't guess... yep zip. Where is that plan when you need it?

    NOW we are moving into the latest and largest purchase and gotta get this place ready to rent in 2 weeks, luckily it doesn't need much... If only I had that plan...

    We had some scary scary issues with finance for the latest purchase, during this time we MADE A PLAN. Nothing like being forced into it I reckon... We had already decided to offload the majority of our NSW IP's to make the new purchase our PPOR (the value came in $230k more than what we paid, worth fighting for we thought), so when the bank suggested they were getting uncomfortable with our debt levels, we were ready with our PLAN.

    Failures .. not having a plan. Didn't matter how many times I read that on this forum, I thought I knew what I was doing ....

    Discovering that I am a property 'collector' and not a property investor:eek:

    Successes - Finally having a plan, may I suggest that this is actually very very important.

    Sorry for the waffle - got a bit carried away, I hope you get the idea though.

  5. JoannaK

    JoannaK Member

    3rd Nov, 2001
    my first was 6 units which was a major learning curve, then 13, then 23 and now just finished 32 plus 1100sqm commercial.

    my husband started off doing just one house and when we met had worked up to 16 units, then took a step back when he met me and we joined together...
  6. Wake

    Wake Member

    14th May, 2007
    Subdivided our previous PPOR in 1993, way before we had any concept of property investing or developing. Did all legwork ourselves (didn't occur to us to enagage a professional for help). Nearly went mental from the stress as we were strapped for cash and had only borrowed enought to cover expected cost without any contingency for extras. Worked out well in the end.

    Started investing in 2003. Built one house in 2004, 2005 & 2006 (3 houses - not one horrible drawn out nightmare!). Never considered this as developing at the time, but now realise it was a form of it.

    Did a major reno in 2006 - kitchen, bathroom, carpet, paint in and out, added wall for third bedroom etc. Took 4 weeks. We did as much as we could and used tradies for some.

    Next week the dirt gets turned on our duplex site, and we are waiting for DA approval for another site to build a duplex and a house. We are using a project manager for the duplex so we can fine tune/increase our knoweldge to hopefully avoid making any costly mistakes.

    In between we have tidied up most of our other buy and hold IPs.

    No real failures, but you certainly learn something with each new adventure. We plan to continue developing - after we have figured out how to play the finance game which seems to have different rules than for buy and hold.