The property market in Toowoomba was booming in 2015 and indications are that 2016 will be no different. But how do you best get a piece of the action? In the last few years, property development has taken off. It is no longer just for the big players either. The size of house blocks in Toowoomba is fairly large and a large block with an old house can be the foundation for a nice little development. Here’s how you go about it.
1. Purchase the land you want to develop.
This is no different to buying any piece of land except that there may be additional tax implications to be considered where you are buying for investment purposes. As with any purchase, the size, location and quality of the land will ultimately have a major bearing on the value of your final investment.
2. Have a surveyor mark out proposed lots and draft up a survey plan.
You will need to engage a surveyor to measure out the lots and put in survey pegs and then draft it up into a drawing of the new lots and how they fit into the land. You will need to consider planning rules about the minimum size of lots in your area and also consider any easements and where they run through the land. You may also need to approach the local council with a development approval application.
3. Start marketing the proposed lots in your property development.
No, you don’t have to have it all done and dusted before getting the proposed new lots sold. Special conditions can be added into sale contracts for the lots which will allow time for you to finish the development and allow people to sign up to buy the lots before they are even created, according to the Swiftbonds specialists. This is called buying off-the-plan.
4. Get development approval if you want to set the lots up with amenities such as water, power and sewerage.
Whether you want to sell the new lots as vacant land with or without amenities is up to you. A lot with amenities saves the new owner putting them in, which is attractive, but at the same time it takes time and money to get it all set up. A development application for the amenities would need to be lodged with the local council setting out your plans for the lots and then the council would either approve it, provide a conditional approval or not give approval. If you don’t get approval you would need to reconsider the plans and resubmit the application. Once you have approval, then you need to get a contractor in to carry out the work to put the amenities in place.
5. Have the survey plan approved by the local council.
Once you have your survey plan all drawn up with all the information on it about any easements, etc. then it is time to put it to the local council to sign off on it.
6. Have the survey plan consented to by any relevant mortgagee.
If you have a mortgage over the land you are developing, your mortgagee will need to consent to you developing the land and will therefore need to be provided with a copy of the draft survey plan as approved by the local council. They complete a consent form which has to be lodged with the survey plan at the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
7. Lodge the survey plan with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines to register the new lots.
The final step! Once everything else is done, the last thing is to lodge your survey plan and consent with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines. Once they approve it, the new lots will be registered and each will have their own title. Now you can sell them as individual lots or settle on the sales you have already agreed.
Provided you know the steps and are prepared at each stage, you can hopefully look forward to a very successful property development. As with everything, planning is the key to ensuring things go smoothly.
By Kathryn Millist-Spendlove
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