The steps involved in a dual occupancy development strategy are:
1. Finance pre-approval.
2. Understand the council requirements for dual occupancies in this area. Read council’s local environment plan (LEP).
3. Focus your attention on the area you want to develop in, making sure the location is correctly zoned for dual occupancies. But even if it is zoned for this type of development, there may be covenants on the land preventing it.
4. Search for land that meets the dual occupancy criteria. Make sure there are services to the site; electricity, sewerage, gas.
5. Check the planning certificate to see if it is in a bushfire or flood zone. You can still develop in these areas but it will add to your build costs.
6. Have your builder look at the site. This is very important as the builder will look at the land from a different perspective.
7. Run your feasibility to ensure the project will be viable. You will need to find recent comparable sales references then you can base your end value estimate on this.
The build costs will evolve over the design and planning process. Your builder can give you an estimate once a concept plan is available.
8. Secure the dual occupancy site and try for a long settlement period with permission to lodge a DA from the vendor. Make sure you include the subdivision on your DA.
9. Once you have the DA and CC approvals, you can then go back to your lender to obtain your unconditional construction loan. As soon as this is in place, the builder can start.
10. The build phase for a dual occupancy should be around three to four months or so, depending on whether you need to be on site each week to check the builder’s progress and put out any ‘fires’ that may arise as you are under construction.
11. Once the building works are completed, an occupation certificate will be issued. You can now have your villas tenanted. Don’t forget to order a depreciation schedule.
12. You can now apply for the subdivision certificate and once council issues this, you can register the subdivision (after your lender has signed off on it).