As our populations grow rapidly, space and having our own piece of it has become a precious commodity. Our low density approach to housing means a relatively small amount of homes available where most of us want to be: the inner city. Ever increasing demand has far out-stripped supply, and is reflected in our soaring prices. This un-affordability has pushed people further and further into the outer suburbs, evident in the rapidly increasing urban sprawl in all of our large cities. The quarter acre block that was seen for so long as our right and dream, now for many represents isolation, as we become less connected to friends and family who may live in the same city, but are prohibitively far away. This has greatly increased our reliance on cars, increased our time spent stuck in traffic, and forced us to spend more money on fuel.
This topic, as those who follow the blog will know, is one close to my heart. It is one of the reasons I specialise in difficult blocks: to use the land we have better, by using under utilised space in the inner city; helping us reduce sprawl. A difficult block might be small, a left over lot at the end of a lane, have poor access to sunlight, or perhaps be in a noisy environment. These are often ignored by everyone else, and with this low demand comes a low price. With an innovative design solution though, I have always successfully worked around these problems, with the result being a truly unique home. There aren’t however enough of these cheaper difficult properties for all in need.
I have another solution though. Wouldn’t it be great if we could create our own cheaper blocks, within our existing suburbs? It has actually been happening already for decades, but I have a different approach to it. I’m talking about property subdivision.
Subdividing has and still is the domain of developers or would be developers; maximising land to make a dollar. I want to change that way of thinking and suggest it as an opportunity for more people in the market to afford to build themselves a new townhouse. The splitting of large block into smaller blocks represent a good entry into the market for those who cannot afford a whole traditional quarter acre block.
By partnering with other family members or friends, and dividing a site into two, both parties receive a piece of land for half the price of what they would normally have to spend. Halving a quarter acre block is more than enough for two three bedroom houses with a study and space for two cars each. Depending on your budget, the money saved could also afford you a block closer to the city. It cuts out the developer, and their premium you pay for when buying it completed. It also allows you to tailor the design just for you. I have successfully helped several clients do this already. Here is one such example below. You can see more of it by clicking here: Steele Street townhouses.
But there is a catch you must deal with first. The dreaded planning permit. It does require added time and there is a degree of risk. If however you go back to my blog on the 7 biggest mistakes people make with their planning permit application, I share my secrets that has seen me achieve a 100% success rate in planning approvals after 11 years in operation. Take a read, it will make you aware of how to make your pathway to a permit an easier one.
In my blog two weeks ago on energy efficient houses versus the great Australian dream, I spoke about the need to downsize; here is a way to do so, and gain the benefits that come along with that: reduced energy both to build and run, affords you a home closer to where you want to be, and allows us to reduce our city’s ever growing waistline.
Half price land, it isn’t too good to be true. With a well chosen block, and an architect, you can save hundreds of thousands of dollars, and be living in one of these…