Only a few months ago, Marion was living in a cold, damp Westmere villa. Now, she’s in a sunny, brand-new home with the kitchen she always wanted and three extra bedrooms downstairs.
The best part? She’s mortgage-free – and has extra cash to boot.
It’s all thanks to Landmark Homes West/Central Auckland – and their expertise in subdivision.
Why Subdividing Works
As any Kiwi knows, owning a home in Auckland doesn’t come cheap. Land is scarce, competition is fierce, and Auckland’s median house prices are around nine times the median household income.
But if you’re one of the lucky ones with a bit of land, you could have the golden ticket to building your dream home – for almost nothing. Or – as in Marion’s case – actually profiting from it.
Marion had been living in her draughty old home for almost 50 years. The house was dark, damp and, like most villas, in dire need of maintenance.
But at 78 years of age, those repairs were well out of Marion’s budget. So, she did what any plucky pensioner would do: she hit the internet.
After contacting numerous building companies (some replied, some didn’t), Marion found Landmark Homes. Not only did they answer her questions almost immediately, but she spied a home in the Landmark Book that ticked nearly every box on her wish list.
“I found that Landmark Homes offered me far more options than other companies, especially with having a smaller piece of land to build on,” she says.
The next step was to figure out how to make that home hers. That’s when Paul from Landmark Homes West/Central stepped in. His solution? First, subdivide Marion’s section into two. They would then custom-build a new home out the back before selling her old home. Those funds would then cover the cost of the new build.
While there were some financial hoops to jump through (banks aren’t so keen to lend money to pensioners), everything went to plan. Marion’s old house sold within just a couple of weeks of hitting the market, leaving her with more than enough cash to cover the costs of her new home.
And what a home it was. Marion was able to customize a home with a master bedroom and living areas upstairs, three bedrooms downstairs, a lift and a spacious butler’s pantry. She got all that – as well as a stunning mono-pitch roof, a double garage and plenty of sunshine. In short, a total contrast to the dingy old villa. Oh, and spare cash in her back pocket.
All she had to do was watch as Landmark took care of all the legalities. “They had the worries – I didn’t,” she says. “They did all the hard stuff. Whatever I wanted, I got.”
Sound like a dream come true? It is – but one that could be possible for you, too.
So, how do you build a new home for free?
Paul Brock says that more and more Kiwis are finding opportunities in chopping up their existing properties.
“There’s money sitting in subdivisions, especially if they bought it years ago. If you’re sitting on a piece of land it just makes sense to subdivide it and build out the back.”
The real bonus, of course, is that subdividing and building can be a cash-neutral process. Paul says that his clients can generally sell half of their site and original home for the amount it costs to build a brand-new home on the remaining section.
It’s a process that the team at Landmark Homes West/Central has honed to a fine art over the last five years. Normally, homeowners themselves would have to sort out the arduous business of subdivision before approaching a building company.
Instead, Landmark does it all for them. The team takes care of the whole operation, from sorting out the council consents to carrying out the physical build.
Of course, no two sites are the same and some will be trickier than others. But Paul and the team have the process nailed. Once they’ve had a chat with the client about exactly what they want, Paul works through the subdivision planning himself. His first job is to tackle any issues that could affect building – such as storm water, drainage, site access or budget. With those out of the way, the build can begin.
Paul says that although subdividing land can seem like a huge undertaking, he’s only seen success stories. And, with the scarcity of land in Auckland and the high cost of purchasing, subdividing could be a way forward for many people.
Not surprisingly, demand is growing. “I’m constantly talking to people who bought for less than half of what their property is now worth. It just makes sense to subdivide and build. We’ve never built for someone who says they wish they hadn’t done it.”
For Marion, it was like winning Lotto.
“The whole process was just fantastic. They were just a great crowd to work with. I would do it again if I had to.”