Is Subdividing An Option For You?
Make the most of your block by subdividing!
If you have a large or medium sized block and are looking to reduce your mortgage, downsize your living space or reduce maintenance, then subdividing may be for you! We’ve put together a few points about subdivision to help you on your journey!
1. What is subdivision? Subdivision is the process of taking an existing parcel of land and breaking it up into smaller blocks. For example, if you have a 700m2 block, you could potentially split it into two 350m2 blocks. The process can be expensive and complicated, especially if you’re subdividing a property into more than two blocks of land. However, if you are a suitable candidate then the process can also be rewarding.
2. Research the Residential Design Codes (R-codes) that apply to your property. Different zoning requirements can impact the minimum size of a block of land in your area. The reasons for this are many, however controlling the minimum size of a block of land ensures services like electricity, water, and sewerage have the capacity to manage the demand. For example, splitting your block in two effectively doubles the amount of waste your property produces, and this will impact the existing demand for waste removal services.
3. Engage with your local council and discuss the opportunities from their perspective to help you understand what your options and limitations are. There are also different subdivision types, such as green title and survey strata. These refer to the classification of the property title and whether there are shared or exclusive areas such as the driveway, and also shared or exclusive services such as power. It is important to research what type would suit your property and your future plans.
4. There are different methods of subdividing your property, and these hinge on the location of existing buildings, the dimensions of your block, and access from the street, among other things. You could demolish the existing home on your property, giving you the opportunity to subdivide the land to get the most out of the space. Selling off the newly created second block could fund the new build on the block that you keep. Depending on the location of existing buildings, there may be enough space behind or in front of your existing home to subdivide- which means no demolition!
5. If subdivision is found to be an option for you, familiarise yourself with the local council requirements as these are often complex. Agencies such as Western Power and The Water Corporation normally outline exactly what is required from you, and liaise with your plumber and electrician who can translate the requirements for you anyway. Local councils, however, adopt policies to improve their constituency. These policies may affect the upgrades required to your existing home, especially if you’re subdividing and retaining the existing dwelling. Some councils have conditions additional to the R-codes when it comes to things like energy efficiency and water-saving initiatives. For example, in the City of Kalamunda, you may need to install a rain water tank to your existing home in order to get their approval to subdivide.
6. Common costs involved in subdividing include modifying services such as power, water, gas, fees for the surveyor, the application to the planning commission, and other relevant documentation. However, subdividing a single block into two blocks and retaining the existing dwelling can come with unexpected costs. An example of this is the retained dwelling may need to be upgraded to have the look of a brand new house, meaning a roof restoration, fixing doors and windows, or landscaping could also be on the cards! Research what upgrades are required by contacting your local council and be sure to include these costs in any feasibility calculations you conduct. Otherwise you may find that your subdivision costs more than initially thought!
7. Plan your subdivision and consider whether subdividing and selling the land, or developing it yourself is an option. It can be stressful if you have to deal with unexpected expenses or delays. A simple two lot subdivision can cost anywhere from $40k to $60k or more, depending on the specifics of the property, and can take anywhere from 9 months to over a year. Consider the value of your property now, and the potential value once you have subdivided. Work out what is feasible for you and your finances, and definitely consult an expert for financial advice.
8. Shop around! We like to think we are your best option , and we are confident once you meet with us you will want to work with us. There are many building companies in Perth and we encourage all prospective clients to compare quotes with other builders, if that makes them feel more comfortable with their final choice! After all, knowing you got the best price possible can only add to your satisfaction at the end of the project!