Real Estate Development – Applying For a Property Development Permit!

The development permit is one of the keys to a successful real estate development project. Problems getting a permit approved can cause major delays and result in increases in holding costs. We like to do everything possible to ensure in advance that our development application will be approved smoothly and quickly.

Once we secure control of a site, we assemble the project team that will design and document the proposed development in accordance with the requirements of the Local Authority, the design brief and development mix.

Depending on the complexity of the project, our real estate development consultant team usually consists of:

– Property Accountant
– Property Lawyer
– Architect
– Town/Land Planner
– Civil/Hydraulics/Structural Engineer
– Land Surveyor
– Landscape Architect
– Quantity Surveyor
– Finance Broker

Other possible team members, such as acoustic and traffic specialists, may also be required by the Local Authority to submit a detailed report with the Development Permit Application.

To minimise the risk of disputes, we create a written agreement with each consultant. The agreement we typically use describes, among other things, the basis on which fees are calculated, the fee structure and services to be provided at each stage and the method by which we agree for the consultant to proceed to the next stage.

The architect will draw up plans for submission to council (these aren’t the detailed plans required for construction) that fit in with the planning regulations and the local authorities development guidelines, using a contour survey prepared by the land surveyor. The town/land planner is often involved at this initial stage, providing advice on the overall planning policies of the Local Authority.

Today most architects use sophisticated 3-D CAD software to compile drawings as it allows for ‘virtual’ buildings to be created. This system has the added benefit of creating fly-throughs and 3D images (also useful for the sales process and submission to Council) as well as documentation of the building for the Development Permit Application and for Construction by the Building Contractor.

We normally tailor our designs and standard of finishes slightly above the requirements of our target market, so they stand out from other developments on the market. This way our projects have the potential to attract a premium rental and sale price plus it makes it a lot easier to sell, if we need to.

The Local Authority will assess the submitted Development Permit Application for its impact on the neighbours, local community and the environment, typically including:

– Privacy for neighbours
– Traffic generation
– Overshadowing of neighboursAdverse impacts on air, water, and noise levels
– Amount and type of waste the project will generate
– Other areas of concern include historic districts, parks, open space, trees, and wildlife habitats

If the consultants have all done their jobs well, most of these concerns will all be addressed to the satisfaction of the Local Authority within the development application, and approval should be given within a reasonable timeframe.

The actual development approval process will obviously vary between areas, and it is continually under legislative review, so up-to-date information should be obtained from the local authority and/or the Planning consultant on your RED Team.
After a Development Permit Application is lodged with the local consenting authority or Council it would typically follow something similar to the process below:

– Initial Review
– Expert Referral
– Advertising and Notification Period
– Assessment
– Outcome

Several factors can delay the development application consent process which can end up becoming costly to a property developer. Here are some of the most common assessment delays:

– insufficient information
– non-compliance with development rules
– poor designs creating unacceptable impact on the neighbourhood
– objections from neighbours or other groups
– unsatisfactory impacts on trees
– complexity of assessment reports
– external referral delays

It’s not necessarily the end of the process if Council has refused the development permit application. An experienced architect and planning consultant can greatly assist in challenging a planning decision.

Using Home Interior Design Software Can Make Your New Design A Breeze

When you are undertaking an interior design project, using a quality home interior design software program can be very helpful. It can help you choose colors and place furniture. There are many design software programs available, so choose wisely.

These software programs allow you to create the room you are decorating right on the computer. You can choose the measurements and shape of the room. Then you can place walls and windows where they are in your room. This allows you to try out different colors and designs on your own room right on your computer. Some home interior design programs will also let you download a picture of your room. Then you can really get a good feel of how a color or design will work in your space.

After you have created your room on your computer, then comes the fun part, trying out colors and designs. You can use actual samples of paint colors, flooring options, window treatments, lighting choices, and more. If a particular product that you are interested in is not featured on the home interior design software that you have chosen, you can import your own samples from other sites.

Another nice feature of design software is that you can plan furniture arrangements on the screen. No more moving around heavy pieces of furniture, only to change your mind and have to move it somewhere else. You can finalize your furniture placement on your program, and then move it to the desired location.

Home design software is especially helpful when planning a new home. You can choose from many exterior designs and finishes. You can see how your new home would look in brick, and then change it to siding. You can even plan out your landscaping.

When planning the interior of your new home or remodel, this software can be very helpful. Kitchens and bathrooms are the trickiest rooms to plan. With a quality design program, designing these rooms is a snap. You can change the layout as many times as you want until you find the perfect space for you. In the kitchen, you can import actual appliances and countertop choices. You can put together your dream kitchen all on your computer. Home interior design software allows you to get a snapshot of your new space before it is finished.

Using a great home interior design software program is the perfect way to design your home. It will help you to finalize your plans before you begin. This will help you save a lot of time, money, and effort on changing elements after you begin. Home interior design software is truly the wave of the design future.

Real Estate Development – How to Choose a Site With Great Development Potential!

We can’t tell you the number of times we’ve seen inexperienced property developers rush in and buy a development site because it looks like a great opportunity, only to find themselves struggling, and regretting their decision, further down the track.

We believe that it’s essential to perform proper due diligence and a thorough site evaluation before making an irreversible commitment to acquire a site, preferably using a checklist.

When we’re satisfied we’re able to develop a site and we’re happy with our initial ‘back of envelope’ calculations, we don’t immediately acquire the site. Instead, we come up with an initial concept. This is where we do some rough sketch layouts (we may even come up with a number of different options), using the Local Authority Planning Codes and Policies.

In most situations, depending on the local authority planning codes, the area of the proposed building will be based on the land remaining after allowing for required boundary setbacks, car parking and maneuvering and open garden landscaped space.

This, together with the preferred unit size (determined through our initial Marketing Research) will indicate the number of units that can be accommodated on the site. To get the maximum benefit out of a site, a competent and experienced architect should be engaged to create these initial concepts.

As we haven’t gained control of the site yet, we can still back out of the deal. We prefer to quickly prepare schematic drawings to determine the true potential of a particular site. Because if we don’t, we’re just gambling with usually very high stakes.

As soon as the concept drawings are finished, we fine-tune our ‘number crunching’ by undertaking a proper financial feasibility study. The purpose of a feasibility study is to establish whether a project is a viable proposition or not.

If the concept doesn’t pan out, we consider the time and effort we’ve put in to be our “insurance premium”, which has just saved us possibly tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, and untold stress, by helping us to avoid a problem site.

We use “Feastudy” property development feasibility software that allows us to work backwards to evaluate what the land is worth to us with development approval – this is called the Residual Land Value. This number is very important in calculating what we would be willing to pay to acquire the property.

We use Worst Case scenarios to do our calculations, which means we are conservative in the values that we input. We include anticipated time scales, all costs including consultants and construction costs, as well as likely end sale values, our minimum profit margin, plus a contingency allowance (depending on circumstances especially site conditions).

It is critical that this feasibility calculation is performed correctly.

If we try to develop a site which is not actually feasible, we are setting ourselves up for stress, disappointment, and possibly even large financial losses.

The feasibility study is also invaluable when putting together a JV or Loan Application Proposal as mortgage lenders or other investors can instantly see whether our project will be successful and the level of risk involved.

A lender will only fund a project which can be demonstrated to be financially feasible – however, if we are funding the development ourselves, we need to be just as certain that the numbers stack up.

So many newbie real estate developers miss out the detailed feasibility step, and the really sad result is that they end up suffering, emotionally and financially, and often give up on real estate development completely because they conclude that it “doesn’t work”.

We know that it does work. But only when the detailed feasibility study says it will work. Anything else is simply guesswork and high-stakes gambling. You may get lucky, but the reality is, you could also end up losing your shirt.