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Setting our Sights on a Great Development Site

I just love my job and sometimes it feels like the Universe is aligning with me. This seemed to happen the other day when I was delivered an awesome development site right into the palms of my hands.


Not only did no one else know about this land but I'd been focused on securing a site in this very location for some time. It's a great suburb on the east side of Maitland, one of the large cities of the Hunter that Property Bloom develops in. This city has experienced the highest population growth of any inland city of New South Wales and is earmarked for more growth with a new major hospital and $350 million upgrade to the local shopping centre in the pipeline to name just two of the infrastructure upgrades happening in this location.


Today, I thought I'd share how we 'attract' a development site.  For those not too sure about the Law of Attraction, I have to admit that whilst it's nice to be all 'spiritual' around this, it is actually the result of years of hard work setting up contacts and developing almost one hundred properties over the past twelve years.  But I'm happy to credit the Universe too.


So here's what happened.... the phone rings, it's one of my builders, let's call him Bob,


"Jo, I've just heard about a good dual occupancy site coming up" Bob tells me. My ears prick,


"Fabulous, tell me more please", and Bob my wonderful builder went on to share the location and address.


He'd recently constructed a duplex in the same street and so he knew it well. He'd had a chat with the owner and they mentioned they were thinking of selling and explained which agent they were going to list with. 


This land is over 1,000sqm and will nicely fit two freestanding, three bedroom, two bathroom homes with double garages. We will subdivide by way of Torrens title.  There will be good yard space and being able to build freestanding dwellings with Torrens title and double garaging will add more to the end values.


As we talk, I jot down the agent's name and ask more details about the project he recently completed.

"What were the build costs?" I asked Bob. Once I knew these, I added in a margin for the additional costs to build freestanding and upgrades that we generally add to our developments.


Before I had said goodbye and hung up the phone, I had a good idea of what this dual occupancy project would cost and the amount of equity we were likely to create. I'd been tracking sales in this location and knew of two very recent comparable sales that would support the estimated end values.


I rang the agent and he gave me more details on the land and promised to email me the contract so I could check the sewer diagram, survey, 88B Instrument, Planning Certificate and make more enquiries.  I pulled the land up on one of my online platforms that shows me high resolution imaging of the land - much better than Google Earth and more recent satellite images. What's more I can add labels such as lot and deposited plan (DP) numbers to the images and include the lot boundaries so I can get an idea of the shape and estimate boundaries (which helps when there is no survey of the land available).  These tools we happily share with our clients so they can also learn and take advantage of what we've set up.


After viewing the land from outer space and my computer, I will now go and physically inspect it. I'll get an idea of the fall on the land and drainage pits and services available. I can measure the boundaries and get an idea of where I will position the dwellings on the lot. I'll drive around and see the type of housing already built in the area and the community facilities and public transport available and in close proximity. All this will help me determine the rental returns and again confirm estimated end values. I'll check the recently sold properties that we will base our estimates on.


All this information will be delivered to our client who has already signed up with us. Our job is to present every development site we locate and our client has a choice of projects. These are presented in a detailed report and analysis on the development project. If they like what they see, and after getting clearance from their accountant and lender, we will move to make an offer on the land before it even hits the open market next week. 


I can't wait to walk all over this site and take a million photos and while I'm there I'll let the Universe - and my builder - know just how much we appreciate them.

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