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Switched-on plans

August 5, 2012

The Sunday Times, Real Estate

PROPERTY development can be daunting for “mum-and-dad” investors who believe their properties may be ripe for a project, but don’t know where to start. Many companies have assistance packages and an offshoot of Switch Homes for Living, Pindan’s home-building arm, said it can help. Paul Secker, Switch Development manager, said Perth’s rental market was showing high demand, prompting an increased interest in property development. “It is a great time to develop for a number of reasons,” Mr Secker said. “The construction industry is running below capacity, which means better availability of trades and materials for construction than usual. There’s also a shortage of rental accommodation.” Developing a block or site can be lucrative but costly and it pays to figure out whether development is financially worth it before signing on the dotted line. There were many regulations and requirements that needed to be considered for a development to be successful, Mr Secker said. He said Switch Development brought Pindan’s experience to help investors and landowners develop a residential site for capital growth. “This is a complimentary service offered by Switch to its customers,” Mr Secker said. “Many property owners may not have an extensive understanding of the residential planning codes and the variations in town planning schemes imposed by local governments. “They basically gain access to our expertise without paying the extra costs associated with assembling a team themselves. “This tends to reduce holding costs by sending the project to site quicker. “We help them get the feasibility and numbers right so they’re making a sound investment. We take away the pain by managing the whole construction process, and of course we benefit because they are building our home products, everybody wins. Joondalup business owners Helen and Vic Metaxas are using Switch to develop their investment site in Balga. “We wanted to demolish the two older houses and build six new units,” Mrs Metaxas said. “We’re busy working in our fish-and-chips shops so we needed someone who could manage the process. “Our daughter Tina and others in the family have built with Switch.” The couple have built three and four-bedroom units on their Balga block. They are planning to rent the units to cover the mortgage on the development and for capital growth. According to Mrs Metaxas, the process was simple. “Once we had the finance sorted, the construction went smoothly,” she said.

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