Review of Plunkett – $4.5k down and 1 year wasted

Following up a comment I posted on productreview, here is the timeline of events when I signed the PPA and paid the $4500 fee;

  • 8th Sep 2012 – Signed PPA, Informed verbally by Sales Rep slab down by Christmas.
  • 18th Sep 2012 – “Travis, we also need the landscaping plan done for submission to council, a new rule change. Do you wish for us to organise and bill you or do you wish to do? Must now be submitted with planning”. I contacted council and they said the council had imposed this requirement for a few months. Why wasn’t I informed about this additional cost prior to PPA?
  • 20th Sep 2012 – Sales Rep agrees to include the landscape amount in the PPA, since I have paid for the contour survey out of my own pocket. Note, I have never received any landscape plan even though it was included in the PPA. At the same time Sales Rep asks for referrals.
  • 3rd Nov 2012 – reached the 8th week of the informed 6 to 8 week time-frame for council submission. Was informed on the phone by Sales Rep another 3 weeks till plans are submitted.
  • 23rd Nov 2012 – Sales Rep 2 makes contact for the first time requesting signing of council submission form.
  • 10th Dec 2012 – council sends me acknowledgement of development application lodged. (over 3 months from signing of the PPA…)
  • 18th Jan 2013 – receive contracts in the mail and welcome pack. I forward to my bank NAB that informs me the progressive payments are not standard and too aggressive.
  • 30th Jan 2013 – Sales Rep 2 provides me an update that it is in planning which was nice.
  • 2nd Feb 2013 – meet with the designer for selections.
  • 15th Feb 2013 – I speak to council myself and find out the design doesn’t comply and Plunkett was notified 8th Feb. I was not informed by Sales Rep 2 or Sales Rep and contacted Sales Rep 2 myself.
  • 22nd Feb 2013 – Follow up with Sales Rep 2, says she has been unwell.
  • 4th April 2013 – Sales Rep calls me to inform that they wish to redesign the units. I confirm ok via email.
  • 15th April 2013 – follow up how it is progressing with Sales Rep ‘Travis, Ill se [sic] where it is. We had the biggest month in Plunkett’s history, so we are running behind’
  • 29th May 2013 – resubmits to council
  • 4th June 2013 – Sales Rep sends me updated PPA with prices ‘Travis, I have your price for the 2 Storey. If I can get you to sign off on it and date it the 31st of May, I will get a bonus, so I can discount it $5K as long as it comes back before 4pm today’. As it is now a double story, the price of the drawings increases, I sign a new PPA to reflect this but he doesn’t push for the additional money which was good.
  • July 2013 – somewhere here the council does not approval the design again.
  • 11th Aug 2013 – reinitiate the conversation with Sales Rep querying the new r-code changes that took affect. Says he will have a look and get back tomorrow.
  • 10th Oct 2013 – receive email from Sales Rep, ‘Travis, sorry for the lateness in reply. I have been seriously unwell for the last couple of months so have been not fully functioning, and have missed some emails’
  • December 2014 – Now over 1 year since signing the PPA, Sales Rep calls me and asks if he can resubmit using new r-codes. By this time I have resubmitted plans myself as I decided that I can’t wait any longer.

Triplex Development – Contour Survey

One of the first things you should arrange prior to designing the buildings on the block is a contour survey of the land, a contour survey provides information on the elevation of the land and also situations of sewerage, water and power connections as well as positions of existing fences and trees.

Generally, a builder will arrange for a contour survey prior to providing a building design, I found the most benefit of arranging the contour survey myself was the home builders took me more serious, after all a contour survey is a one-thousand dollar investment.

I arranged my contour survey with Cottage Engineering, a Perth based surveyor company. It cost me $975 which also included $180 for Australian Height Datum (AHD). AHD is an elevation standard which assumes a zero metre elevation is at the average mean sea level. One of the builders informed me it wasn’t really necessary and only needed if the land is situated near the ocean.

Cottage Engineering even provided the AutoSketch SKF file, which was handy for the builders.

Contour Survey for Cloverdale PDF

Contour Survey Cloverdale

Triplex Development – Zoning

In the last post I introduced my planned triplex development, I skipped over something, why specifically a triplex development?

This comes down to zoning, zoning is one part of the general council’s land use Planning Scheme, in simple terms, zoning determines the minimum land size a dwelling must reside on.

My land is zoned R20/R40, depending on what specific additional requirements are met for each.

Lets use R40, as this allows for more dwellings, to calculate the minimum land size;

1hector /40 = 10000m2/40 =  250m2

Therefore, each dwelling needs to sit on a minimum 250m2 of land.

My land is 911m2, so to determine the number of dwellings;

911/250 = 3.644 dwellings

hence a triplex development.

Triplex Development – Introduction

A few years ago together with the misses, we bought an old house sitting on a decent parcel of land, enough to build three houses when the time came. You can further read about the purchase on our joint blog sonyaandtravis.com, “Buying a house and making a home”.

Well the time has now come to start developing, as a first time developer and builder, there will be a lot of learning and experiences which I will document and share, and hopefully it will be useful for others in the same situation.

Some information on the land;

  • 3×1 double brick house
  • Land area 911 metres squared
  • Approximately 18 x 50.3 metres
  • Zoned R20/R40
  • Purchased for $500k

Cloverdale lot diagram and zoning