Forums / Property Investing / Help Needed! / Keep the house or demolish and subdivide?

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  • Profile photo of JoelyJoely
    Member
    @joely
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 3

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to the forum and this is my first post so be nice :). I'm just seeking some advice regarding what I should do with a house we currently own in Adelaide. This will be quite a bit of information so I hope that is ok.

    The home is situated on block of land approximately 1200 sqm with a 30 metre frontage. The property is located in the Adelaide suburb of Kensington Gardens, which is a fairly nice, leafy suburb in Adelaide's east. The house itself was built sometime in the 1970s however it doesn't look it. The facade is what I would best describe as a Spanish Mediterranean style with cream rendered walls, arched verandas and a terracotta roof. It's really quite pretty. The interior is another story. It is very dated with typical 70s wallpaper, brown patterned carpet and dated light fittings. The roof leaks when it rains and the airconditioner system needs replacing. The house has 5 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a swimming pool. The kitchen was replaced 5 years ago and the bathrooms were upgraded about 10 years ago, so the areas which require the most updating are the living areas and the bedrooms.

    The property was valued last month at $850,000 in its current state.

    I was wondering whether the better choice would be to demolish the house, subdivide the land into 3 separate blocks and sell them as vacant allotments or if it would be a wiser investment to give the house a light fix up to a reasonably presentable level and put it on the market. I am not in a position to build new homes on the land, nor am I in a position to spend a huge amount of money fixing the house up. All I am prepared to do is to remove the wallpaper and give the place a good plaster and paint, replace the carpet and replace the light fittings. I believe this will substantially improve the look of the interior. I will consider furnishing the home with hire furniture once it goes on the market.

    A lot to read and to think about, but I am in a tough situation and quite confused as to which road I should head down. Which would be the wiser choice here, and more importantly, what would be a more economic choice that would yield a greater return?

    I look forward to your responses :)

    P.S. let me know if you would like any photos.

    Profile photo of onthemoneyonthemoney
    Member
    @onthemoney
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 134

    Hi Joely my question is ‘how is the house positioned’, can you keep it, give it a face lift and sub divide the blocks as well? Second question is what reasons are you not able to build, is it that you are overwhelmed with the idea or are you limited in terms of borrowing capacity? I would be happy to crunch the numbers for you and let you know how you are positioned in terms of obtaining finance. If your reply is personal and you wish to email me please feel free to do so.

    Profile photo of JoelyJoely
    Member
    @joely
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 3

    Thank you so much for your reply onthemoney.

    The house spans the entire allotment so unfortunately any subdivision will result in the loss of the house. In response to your second question, basically I am not in a position at the moment to borrow large sums of money as I am still paying off the mortgage for the home we are currently living in. I am hoping to use the money I have saved to carry out the necessary refurbishments to the property if I decide to go down that road. If you want I could message you the address of the property so you can have a bit of a look on google streetview. It may help in getting a better understanding. Please let me know, and thanks again. :)

    Profile photo of beediebeedie
    Participant
    @beedie
    Join Date: 2007
    Post Count: 158

    It appears the highest and best use of the land is subdivision hence you may be better off spending your money getting DA approval for the subdivision rather than spending it on the house. Sell it with the DA in place. Crunch the numbers on that also.

    Profile photo of TrevTrev
    Member
    @trev
    Join Date: 2006
    Post Count: 39

    The first thing you should do is have a meeting with planners at the Council, to establish their initial reaction to the subdivision of the property.  Expect a cool response, the Council of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters traditionally takes a negative stance on subdividing properties that have similarly large properties as neighbours.   

    Profile photo of JoelyJoely
    Member
    @joely
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 3

    Thanks for all your tips so far. I have attached a photo of the front of the property so you can get a better understanding of its appearance, street scape etc. I would love to know what you guys would do in my situation as I am still no closer to coming to a decision.

    5226143838_1bf3d71965.jpg

    Profile photo of cuteyoungchiccuteyoungchic
    Participant
    @cuteyoungchic
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 66

    Hi Joely,
    I'd move into it, & rent out the one you live in now, if the one you currently occupy is of a good rental standard. 
    That way I'm sure your existing mortgage becomes tax deductible, and you could do lots of the work you're planning to do in the second house, in your spare time, saving you lots.
    I feel you'd be doing yourself a big financial favour by swapping houses.    May need to swallow a bit of pride, but hey, it's your future at stake here :)

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