Rebuilding and subdividing
Lisa Shearon, July 2016
Love where you live, but not quite so keen on the home you live in? It could be time to consider demolition. It sounds dramatic, but it’s actually a fairly straightforward process – so long as you do your homework, and enlist the help of experienced professionals. Although many people love character homes, it’s usually far more cost effective to rebuild than refurbish. If done correctly, a rebuild or subdivision project offers huge gains in return for the hard work and financial investment. Future maintenance costs are also much lower on a newer home than on an older property, and you can take advantage of advances in technology. Before making the decision to rebuild or subdivide, ask this question: what is real estate worth in your suburb? Are you better off renovating, rebuilding, or subdividing your block? Talk to local real estate agents, scour the property pages, and take a walk around your suburb – just get a feel for what property and land are worth. The next step in any rebuild or subdivision project is considering the zoning. The Department of Planning in your State is a great source of information on what is allowed in terms of development and the different regulations with which developers must comply. Successful rebuilds and subdivisions have one thing in common: a great builder. They can provide information on zoning and any local authority regulations that may affect the project. They will also undertake a site assessment of the customer’s block and complete a project feasibility. Most builders who specialise in such developments will have trained designers who can produce one-off designs as part of a building agreement. This is particularly important if you want your new home to be energy efficient – you’ll want a solar-passive design that makes the most of northern light, and other sustainable design principles. Prior to beginning any rebuild or subdivision project, do your sums – this will avoid over-capitalising and major financial blow-outs. The most important thing is to complete a thorough feasibility and ensure that all costs to undertake the project have been considered. Properly accounting for the dollars to be spent and the time the project will take, take much of the stress out of a redevelopment project. There are some horror stories of redevelopments gone awry, but getting the proper advice and being sensible with the numbers will make sure yours is not one of them.