Buying the right block of land is the key step for successful property development.
Good development sites are in high demand, and as such, competition can get fierce. Some developers are going above and beyond to find that special site.
If you are serious about becoming a property developer, you will need to be proactive and use a combination of passive and more aggressive techniques to find a site that will maximise your returns.
Below is a list of techniques you can use to find development sites for sale.
The most obvious place to find development sites for sale is online.
You can search real estate portals such as realestate.com.au or domain.com.au. You should have a look at the “land for sale” section, but also keep an eye out for houses on large blocks which could be subdivided. You can do advanced searches using keywords to find such properties.
Another website worth checking is developmentready.com.au. This site’s main focus is to list development opportunities.
If you’re looking for a potential bargain, you can also look at:
This website lists mortgagee and deceased estate sales from all around the country.
This is a state government body that deals with the sale of deceased estates. Often family members of those who died without a will want to sell property quickly, so there’s a potential to find a good deal.
Looking through newspaper ads (local and regional) or real estate agencies publications is an old school method that can still provide some positive results.
You can consider doing a letterbox drop in an area of interest with flyers asking home-owners if they are interested in selling. This is a common practice which can provide successful outcomes.
If you find a house or site that interests you, you shouldn’t rule it out just because it is not being actively advertised for sale. You can go straight to the vendors by knocking on their doors to introduce yourself.
This face-to-face meeting will provide you with a chance to express your interest in the property and enable direct communication with the vendors.
Using a buyer’s agent
Using a buyer’s agent is becoming more common in Australia. Buyer’s agents are licensed real estate professionals that specialise in searching, evaluating and negotiating the purchase of a property on behalf of the buyer.
Some of the benefits of enlisting the help of a buyer’s agent include getting early access to investment opportunities, and even accessing some opportunities which are available off-market.
These types of agents are also normally experts in their field and understand the property development business.
They can provide you with detailed background information on a property so you can make an informed decision.
Using a buyer’s agent can also save you time and money, as the agent would search for development sites for sale on your behalf and can negotiate the best possible price with the vendor.
Once you find the perfect development site
If you think you have found the ideal site for your development, you should act fast, but not get too carried away.
Take your time to do your due diligence before moving forward with the purchase.
Undertaking a thorough feasibility study to identify and mitigate risks, as well as putting together a detailed cost vs gain analysis are key steps that you cannot afford to skip.
Arranging development finance can take time.
You will need to be prepared to jump a few more hurdles than with a regular residential loan application.
Many lenders will require that you provide additional information, such as a detailed feasibility study, contingency plan, and professional valuations.
After the purchase is finalised, your next step will be to arrange development approval.
This stage can be complex and time-consuming, and the requirements will vary depending on your site and the local council and zoning regulations.
You should look into the rules around complying development, which can potentially save you time and money.
Complying development is a joint planning and construction approval that can be granted by the council or a private certifier.
You should approach your local council for an outline of the rules and regulations that are in place in your area.