I’m new to the forum and new to property investment in general.
I’m planning to subdivide the plot on which my PPOR sits and build
a new townhouse on the subdivision.
After reading about the topic it has become clear to me that in
order to protect my sanity I will need to hire professionals to
guide me through the whole process.
To make it easier I am thinking about engaging a one-stop company
that can assist me will everything involved in the subdivision and
getting the permits.
Google search shows a few in my area (Whitehorse, Victoria) but how
do I chose which one is the best for me. Which is why I am posting
here… I would like to know what questions do you ask when
shopping around for a town planner/surveyor/draftspeople/architect
or one-stop dev. consultancy?
Macwilko1Participant@wilko1Join Date: 2010Post Count: 510
Whitehorse tend to be a bit on the expensive side. But if it’s your first time and you are completely green, worth spending the money. Otherwise just break it down into the sole operators or small business as their over heads are less and therefore prices being a bit more competitive.
And I would just ask their hourly rates. And don’t be Afraid they will be 70-100 per hour for a drafter,
150-250 for a planner (depending on their experience)
Arcs – 50-200 a hour really depends on experience
Surveyors – ask how much they would charge for a 1 into 2 lot subdivison. Specify if you want a torrens title or communityAlistair PerryParticipant@aperryJoin Date: 2004Post Count: 891
The first thing you nee to realise when you are looking at both designers and town planners is that you are not buying a loaf of bread, these are not commodities and the quality of the work will impact whether you get a permit at all, the time it takes, the cost of building and the end sale price. If you choose by price alone, it will invariably be an expensive mistake.
With smaller developments you can often get away with the designer also obtaining the town planning permit, but this rarely is as good as having a separate town planner and designer if it is a difficult application. The difficulty comes down to how much you are pushing the envelope and the attitude of both neighbours and the council.
You can either find a draftsperson or architect first and get them to engage a planning consultant or visa versa. tend to think you are better off going t a town planner first and get them to recommend a designer as the difficulty of their job is directly related to the quality of the design they are working with.
There are plenty of sole practitioners and smaller firms that are local to your area that would be fine but, from a biased point of view, I would recommend my father, Frank Perry from Perry Town Planning http://www.town-planning.com.au 0396621999. He’s probably pretty well known around here by now a he has presented at a few of Steve’s events and for the RESULTS mentoring guys.
Good luck with your project.
Hi Wilko1 and APerry,
Thanks for your replies.
I am completely green which is why I was hoping to go with a company that provides full service rather than sourcing town planner, surveyor, architects and what not individually and along the way possibly making some costly mistakes.
A bit surprised to learn that architects charge per hour – I thought they usually charge percentage of a project’s value. But then as I said I am completely green so…
I want to subdivide a corner block, subdivision will be Torrens title (no shared driveway or anything). I’ve been researching recent subdivisions in my neighbourhood and it’s a bit of mixed story… For example a block away from my place someone managed to put a 3 bedroom, 2 baths, 1 carport double storey townhouse on a subdivision that is less than 160 sqm. That is not the only tiny subdivision around, but then a block away in the other direction a corner subdivision got recently rejected over concerns about amount of outdoor private space and perhaps closeness to an easement.
Given that, I would need someone who is good and experienced in Whitehorse and would be able to spot or anticipate possible problems with my block/subdivision and either work around these problems or tell me straight away that the application is most likely to be rejected. Also, I am mentally prepared that the neighbours will object (loss of sunlight, privacy etc.) ans would like my application to preempt such concerns.
Wilko1 – asking the different services how much they charge would establish just that – how costly they are. What I am after is what questions to ask when shopping either sole practictioners or 1 stop consultancy to find out how good or experienced they are to minimize the risk of failure.
APerry – thanks for your recommendation. I have checked the website and I am now confident I will need a town planner. In any case before I engage anyone I would like to shop around a bit. Also preference would be to get someone very experienced and with track record of success with Whitehorse council. What are your thoughts on using the same town planner that usually represents the council during appeals at VCAT?
Again thanks for your advice.
MacRedwoodParticipant@redwoodJoin Date: 2013Post Count: 340
Whitehorse is a pain in the bottom – be sure to engage someone with real experience in the area, and if a town planner makes a verbal commitment, make them put in on paper….otherwise it can get messy.
All the best Cheers Ivan
Thanks. Your comment about Whitehorse – yeah, I was a bit afraid of that.
Is that a common practice to get written commitment from a town planner? If I were a town planner I am not sure I would be willing to go that far – after all the decision is made by the council and is sometimes political (I know of a recent case where planning office recommended approval to be granted but it was rejected by the coucil anyway).
MacRedwoodParticipant@redwoodJoin Date: 2013Post Count: 340
One day drop by my office and meet the developer – old bloke loves a beer. He relied on a verbal from a town planner to buy the site at crn of Middleborough and Cantebury, spent $3.5m then the town planner went on long service leave and back to square one, thousands of dollars on legals plus a 6-9 month delay and he got back to square one. The ol’days of ‘influencing’ a planner with a present or two are just gone.
If you need a good draftsman let me know – we use one who is in Chaddy, knows how to design and use the space provided.Can’t reccomend an individual town planner for you but have a search and give them a call and see how ti feels for you.
Let us know how you go.
I had a chat with the council town planner today. I wasn’t told upfront that my block is not suitable for a subdivision, so that is good. Whether the application will be successful or not will of course depend on how well the proposed development complies with the planning scheme.
I’ve decided that before I start spending money on town planners etc. I better talk first to a good tax accountant to advise me on the tax implications of that project and the most optimal (from tax POV) way to approach it, whether it would be beneficial to get an ABN and register for GST, probably other approaches that I am not even aware of at this moment.
I guess this gives me a bit more time to shop for a good town planner.