All Topics / Help Needed! / 3-4 unit development. Query re: getting plans drawn up

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  • Profile photo of PaperChaserPaperChaser
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    @paperchaser
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 20

    Hi all,

    I don’t often post as I can normally get the information I’m after just by browsing.
    I do have a situation now though, and if this has already been discussed, feel free to point me in the right direction and close this thread.

    Basically I have a block of land (1460m2) that I plan to develop 3-4 units on (depending if I can do 4 as residential, not commercial. Will discuss this with the banks).
    My query relates to the planning permit/development approval (DA) stage. Everything after that I’ll go down the path of professional assistance, ie. lawyer, accountant (already have one), builder, etc.

    Ok my query is regarding the draft plans. Do builders have their own designers that can do this? I ask this because it makes sense to me to have the initial draft plans drawn up by the eventual builder so as to minimise any changes required for the working drawings.
    In saying that though, the builder then basically has you locked in and I imagine it’d be difficult to go out for quote with other builders.
    If I get an independent building designer & surveyor to draw up the draft plans, can that be used in my DA application and then be totally changed to suit the builder’s recommendations/preferences?

    Also any idea what sort of cost I should be looking at for this stage in particular? From different threads I’ve read, some people say only $6k or so, whereas others say around $30-40k.
    I actually already have a copy of draft plans that were drawn up 6 years ago, and the soil test (previous owners got that far when they owned the property and then ended up selling to myself. Dwelling sizes & bedrooms are exactly what I would want).
    I dare say that will make the process a lot simpler for whoever redoes the drawings, especially considering it has what appears to be all AS compliances covered.

    Thanks in advance,
    Chris

    Profile photo of Scott No MatesScott No Mates
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    @scott-no-mates
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 3,856

    Contact Archicentre for some suitable architects to prepare DA plans & specs.

    Why only 4 units if more units will be more profitable? A more expensive loan won’t make the project unviable. A residential loan will be more restrictive on what you can build and your profit/end values.

    Have your designer spec the job not the builder. Builder will spec stuff to maximise their margins not necessarily in your interests.

    Profile photo of PaperChaserPaperChaser
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    @paperchaser
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 20

    Probably a few factors for keeping it to 4 max.
    For one, it’s my first development so I don’t want to go too hard too early. I see 6 as being more risky at this stage.

    Secondly, the deposit would probably be out of reach for me, especially since commercial loans require a greater % deposit.

    Thirdly, and I may be wrong here, but when I first started researching development finance, I got the impression that commercial loans were more expensive and since then have just had it in my head that residential is better.
    My exit strategy is to sell the properties, so not sure if that makes commercial more viable?
    Would selling off the plan pay for the deposit (or majority of)?

    Good point re: getting the designer to spec the job rather than the builder. Makes sense

    Profile photo of Scott No MatesScott No Mates
    Participant
    @scott-no-mates
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 3,856

    There’s no point developing an undercooked site – aim for the maximum margin at an acceptable degree of risk. It may be better to sell with a DA than build if you’re risk averse.

    What is the zoning, fsr, etc to achieve the maximum number of units on the site?

    Selling OTP will assist you with finance however you’re not able to use the deposits towards the land/build costs.

    You may pay more for commercial finance maybe 1-1.5% pa (so about $10k on $1m – that’s barely a pimple on a …..).

    Profile photo of PaperChaserPaperChaser
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    @paperchaser
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 20

    The zoning allows it to have 6 units, but the demographic contains a lot of seniors and baby boomers (Lakes Entrance, VIC) so I’m set on doing single storey units, which would be too small if I did 6.

    I definitely note your advice, but I’m still happy to do 3-4, especially given my target market. I’ve done (conservative) calcs and it works out well. I wouldn’t say I’m risk averse, especially if you ask my wife!

    Ok I see, so you only get access to the OTP deposit (& remainder of purchase price) once it’s built. Handy to know. Just means you can’t use those extra funds to reduce the interest payments during construction if I understand correctly.

    and yeh that’s true re: the commercial loan, I’ll look into that.

    Thanks for the input

    Profile photo of Scott No MatesScott No Mates
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    @scott-no-mates
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 3,856

    That’s still around 250m2 per block, about the same size as new land releases in Sydney. Ample room for a 2/3 bedder/12 square low care home which fits both elderly or fhb markets.Absolutely nothing wrong with villas.

    Have a chat with a couple of local agents to check what the market wants.

    I knew one guy who did similar single storey with carports and leased the lot to a low-cost housing cooperative.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by Profile photo of Scott No Mates Scott No Mates. Reason: :)
    Profile photo of BallerinaBallerina
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    @ballerina
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 63

    Hi PaperChaser

    Plans approved by council can not be changed afterwards. Point of DA approval is to approve exactly what is going to be built. Minor changes are possible, but really minor.

    On the density subject: some councils are very particular about densisty specified by town plan and will not approve any development smaller than envisaged.
    You really need to consult town planner before you get new plans done, or plans you already have get re-drawn.
    Where is the site? Cost very across Australia.

    Ballerina | Soprano Developments Pty Ltd
    Email Me | Phone Me

    Building Design & Property Development Services

    Profile photo of SimonzSimonz
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    @simonz
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 4

    You can use an architectural designer to customise plans for your project. Depending on your target market, you can fit the budget to the architect. Some big fancy firms will charge a lot vs a small one man/woman shop, but there are pros and cons. The smaller ones can only work on so many projects at a time and you may not be at the top of their priority list and may have to wait some frustrating time for any changes/amendments to the design.

    Profile photo of ToolsTools
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    @tools
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 363

    Contact Archicentre for some suitable architects to prepare DA plans & specs.

    Too late, they shut up shop a month ago.

    Tools

    Profile photo of MTRMTR
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    @marisa
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 663

    Hi Paperchaser
    I just completed and sold 4 townhouses in Melb and in the process of commencing another 3 townhouses in Melb.
    I am on to my 5th project.

    I use an architect who drew up the plans for the site, I also had a gun town planner, the total cost came in at round $20,000.
    Architect basically lodged the drawings etc with council and then discussions begin. Sometimes you get lucky and it will take 6 months, but Melb is a tough gig at the moment my recent project took over 12 months to get plans and permits approved.

    Once this has been completed then its work in drawings which my architect completed for additional fee of around $7000. Once soil and engineering report is completed around $4000 then you get your building quotes and get many because these can vary greatly, especially when a market is very hot, builders pump up their building costs.

    As far as lenders go I have been using RAMS lo doc, residential loan they go up to 4 units, brilliant, cheap and my accountant signs off on my income. I buy in a Trust because this is what my accountant recommended and it save me tax at the end.

    Please feel free to ask any further questions, happy to help.

    Marisa
    MTR:)

    Profile photo of MegMeg
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    @megandolby
    Join Date: 2016
    Post Count: 2

    Hi Paperchaser I am new to this forum and I know this thread is a few months old, but thought I would add my two cents in in case you are still looking for costing. We have just embarked on getting a DA for 3 villas in Sydney, slightly tricky sloping site with special drainage/ flooding requirements and we are paying similar to Marisa above, 20k (for DA only does not include CC). We are using an architectural designer, he seems a bit cheaper than an architect and for an investment property we are happy to not have all the bells and whistles. Having said that I am an Interior designer experienced in high density residential design so I have driven the space planing, materials and elevation designs…..I really just need my guy to do the drafting and “boring/dirty” work for me :-). A friend has just paid a qualified architect to design three dwellings and I believe his architect charged him a total of 16k including CC documentation.

    Have you got any prices yet?

    Profile photo of KaviKavi
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    @kavi
    Join Date: 2014
    Post Count: 18

    Hi , I live in Melbourne and looking to start a small development. Can some one please recommend a good architect and an accountant. Thanks in advance

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