No matter if you are a seasoned developer or a first timer trying to build a unit at the back of your existing house, we’re all in it for the same reason; to maximise our personal wealth.
Whether this is your main source of income or you’re reducing your mortgage with the earnings or trying to build up your superannuation, we all want to maximise our town house development.
We speak to real estate agents to ascertain what the market is after to make sure whatever we build will sell fast and for maximum profit.
Sadly, we often overlook quality for quantity because this is common practice and everyone seems to be doing it, right?
We see those typical gigantic so-called energy efficient 6-star town house developments. Huge dwellings, with lots of wasted space and more bedrooms than the average family needs, because everyone says you need 5 bedrooms for resale purposes…
There is no real concern about how energy efficient or comfortable those homes really are, because the developer is not the one living in it.
What many developers do not take into consideration is that a 6 star home barely complies with the building regulations. If one element was overlooked or missed, the house would not comply and be considered illegal.
Let this sink in: If one thing was done incorrectly during the construction, for instance if a lower performing insulation was prescribed and installed, your development would be illegal…
So, one question we should all ask ourselves is: do we really want to build homes that are AS BAD AS THEY LEGALLY CAN BE? Shouldn’t we be aiming for best practice?
I hear you. You think that is too expensive, right?
But what if I tell you best practice does not have to be more expensive or at least it does not have to cost much more.
Even though there haven’t been a lot of studies done on the sale of energy efficient homes (maybe because most owners love their homes so much, they don’t sell them and see them as a long term investment). There is however a proven track record, that the more energy efficient a home is and the higher it’s star rating, the faster those homes sell. AND THEY SELL AT A PREMIUM.
But let’s go back to quality over quantity.
Most of those typical townhouses or units are huge. Sitting between 250 and 350m2. They often have a lot of wasted space in hallways or circulation area. And obviously, the larger a house, the more building materials you need and the more expensive the construction becomes.
Interestingly, when you look at realestate.com.au or domain, they often don’t list the size of the houses. The important thing for a potential buyer is the arrangement of the floor plan, the flow and feel and what rooms a house has. Buyers don’t necessarily need a huge house; they are generally more attracted to how bright and spacious a home feels. This can be achieved with a smart, yet compact layout. Having windows at the right locations and potentially higher or raked ceilings. Thinking about multi-functional spaces and smart storage.
However, with all the volume builders and display homes out there, a lot of people are made to believe that they need those huge homes in order to fit in their needs and their family.
I challenge you to go a few steps back. Rather than thinking about how big your house needs to be, consider what rooms are required, how these areas need to function together (which rooms need to be connected or close together) and roughly the size of those spaces, so that you can fit in the required functions or furniture.
The size of a house is determined by a lot of factors; the scope of the site as well as on how many bedrooms or parking spaces you can fit in. And of course, your target demographic, whether you are building for a high end or medium range market.
A typical 4/5 -bedroom house with double garage can easily be 300 – 350m2 in size.
In comparison here are some floor areas of town house projects we are currently working on.
- 4 bedroom house, with 3 baths and 2 cars. = 175m2 – double storey.
- 3 bedroom house with 2 baths, 2 cars = 150m2 – double storey
- 2 bedroom house with 1 bath, 1 car = 90m2
And another townhouse development on a bigger site.
- 3 bedroom, 2 living room, 3 baths and 2 cars = 235m2 double storey
- 3 bedroom, 2 bathrooms and 2 cars = 214m2 – single storey
Here is the sample floor plan for the 4 bedroom / 3 bedroom -study house.
The living areas are facing north, and all upstairs bedrooms also face north, or have a north facing highlight window.
And I bet a potential buyer will be more interested in the natural light, the flow of the house and the 4 bedrooms, and will barely notice that the house is only 175m2, compared to a comparable 300m2 4-bedroom home.
Not only is there less construction material required, the house is more compact and will use less energy in cooling and heating due to its size alone. Rather than wasting money on the sheer size of a dwelling, you can spend money on the quality and build for best practice, rather than just the bare minimum standard.
In short. You can stand out from the masses by building smarter, making your development future proof.
A better functioning and performing home will all up cost you less or the same as building a conventional mansion. But with the added benefit that your energy efficient and sustainable development will sell faster and attract a premium price.
And as a bonus, your sustainable development will not only maximise your return on your investment, it will make a positive impact on the community, reduce the amount of construction materials required and greenhouse gas emissions. It will also lead to happy new homeowners or tenants, that will enjoy healthy, energy efficient and comfortable homes with low energy bills for future generations to come.
Wouldn’t that be great?
If you want to know more about this new way of maximising your Town House Development please book in a Discovery Session with our Director and Certified Passive House Designer Simone Schenkel.
Follow the link here to book in a Free Discovery Session worth $150.