Melbourne Dual Occupancy – How to Identify the Perfect Development Site
Want to learn how to identify the perfect site for your next dual occupancy development in Melbourne?
Well, keep reading because in this article I’m going to share seven tips that will help you identify the perfect site. That godfather site that’s going to maximise your return on equity.
I’ll also show you how to identify a site that will give you the quickest payback period. Which is how long it takes to complete your project and get your money back.
Identifying the perfect site is not only the first step but the most important step in delivering a successful and highly profitable Melbourne dual occupancy development project.
If you’re out looking for your site, the potential to lose serious money is REAL if you don’t know what to look for.
Before we get too far into the article, if you’re not sure what a dual occupancy development site is then click the link to learn more.
Now lets’ get into it.
The first rookie mistake is thinking you can get on Real Estate .com/Domain and find a site listed with the land dimensions around and you’re good. We’ve all seen them.
Now, most of these sites might technically be ok to develop from a planning perspective. BUT just because you can doesn’t mean you should!
The real question you want to ask yourself. Is it commercially the right site? When finding dual occupancy sites for or our clients we discard so many, before we find the right one.
The single most important way to make more money from your development project is by identifying the site with the most potential. Zero emotion, leveraging only your knowledge, numbers and facts.
Do you already have a site? Connecting with the right builder is going to be critical to the success of your project. With that in mind, we curated a list of Melbourne’s best dual occupancy builders, be sure to check it out – it will get you heading in the right direction.
Side note: Dual occ advisors 6 reasons why a dual occ could be the perfect play for you.
1. Residential Zoning
Certain types of developments are supported in particular residential zones and some aren’t. Different councils/municipalities will have their own way of controlling those zones and even interpreting parts of the planning schemes. So it’s vital you know your area and understand what’s getting through and what isn’t.
Interpretation of the regulations can change from council to council and even planner to planner so it’s up to you to have your finger on the pulse in your local area.
2. Block Dimensions
By block dimensions, I’m referring to frontage and depth (length by width), these measurements will directly impact what you can achieve on your block, in-fact they could be the difference between achieving a profit and not.
Easements, power poles, trees are some examples of things that can have an adverse impact on your plans and in some instances stop the development from moving forward altogether.
If something slips through the net, it’s almost guaranteed to cost you a lot of time and money while you figure what you need to comprise on your project and find a way to move forward.
So, it’s important that you put the time into learning the different encumbrances local to your area.
4. Essential Services
You need to consider the location of all the essential street side services and what’s involved in connecting your dwellings to them, so your sewer, water and power. The location of these services if not favourable can cost your project tens of thousands of dollars.
If the location of a service isn’t favourable you need to know, so you can account for it in your site feasibility.
It can be a serious financial hit to your project if the sewer is on the other side of the street and it hasn’t been accounted for, that will come directly off your bottom line! The line we need to protect!
5. Block Gradient
This is another site-specific environmental factor you need to be aware of when looking to identify the perfect dual occupancy development site in Melbourne. If missed it will absolutely cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
The gradient or fall of your land can affect the required earthworks. The need for retaining walls and even the potential to install a pump system to remove stormwater to your legal point of discharge if natural fall cannot be achieved (see pump example below).
All of these potential and significant costs if not considered when doing your site feasibility can and will negatively impact the profitability of your project.
6. Site Orientation
Site orientation will play a big part in being able to maximise the outcome of your dual occupancy project. But is often not given enough thought and planning.
This subject is a big one and needs your respect. It’s something buyers are becoming more educated on and getting it wrong will be costly.
As a quick example, if your private open space is south facing, for the majority of the day you will be shadowing yourself. This will impact what you can build for one, but it’s also not that appealing to live in. Who wants to live under a shadow right?
This is a big one, so I’ll do a full video going through all the different orientations, the pros and cons for each, so make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel, so you don’t miss it.
7. Plans & Permits
Unless you are super experienced. I highly recommend you stay away from dual occupancy projects that already have ‘Plans and Permits’.
It’s nearly impossible to genuinely find out the reason for someone selling a site like this. Which is very important to know.
When developers sell sites like this, they nearly always want to make a profit, because they believe they have added value to the site, and they want you to pay for it. But that’s the profit you want to make through all the ways I have just mentioned.
The other main reason not to act on a deal like this is that most of the main decisions have been made. If they are not made correctly you are bound to follow them through because the permit has already been issued.
Even though all the steps in the developing process can cost you time and money if not considered and executed correctly. This step is, without doubt, the most important.
The key to a successful dual occupancy development in Melbourne is making educated decisions every step of the way. Even small decisions that at the time might feel insignificant can have a huge impact to your projects bottom line. Both good and bad.
This is a high stakes game. So either engaging professional property development management services or taking to the time to learn yourself is super important.
So be patient and remain disciplined. Half the battle is finding the perfect site that will let you achieve your desired outcome; you get this right and you’re well on your way to making serious profits.
Interested in doing your own development project? Check out this property development case study where I lift up the hood and share every aspect of the project including the costs, timing and everything in between.