How to reap rewards from your under-utilised section

If you own a house and section, home expert GJ Gardner offers some valuable advice on how to unlock your site’s potential

Loving your inner city site – close to schools,friends, family and work – but not quite so much your tired existing house? Or, is it that you feel the full potential of your property is not being utilised? If either of these scenarios apply to you there are some strong options to consider.

Here, respected national building company GJ Gardner outlines three ways forward – Knock Down Rebuild, Subdivide or Medium Density.


Knock Down Rebuild: Often existing homes are cold, damp, or leaky – potentially affecting your or your family’s health. Asthma sufferers in particular be aware. Plus, older homes can lack natural light and good insulation, suffer from poor internal layouts or simply be too small to accommodate a growing family.

Knock Down Rebuild is an option that lets you to stay in your local area, while offering the flexibility of a brand new house with modern construction standards – designed and finished exactly the way it best suits you and your family. This freedom of choice often makes more sense than trying to purchase another home at current market value or even undertaking expensive renovations which often struggle to keep within budgets, particularly if they’re for leak repairs.

And the advantages of Knock Down Rebuild are even more apparent in the light of a recent Land Use Regulation report noting that house values have risen disproportionately to building costs. This means building afresh is potentially more affordable than buying an existing home – especially if your section is in a great location.

Subdivide: The newly released Auckland Unitary Plan includes regulations that provide for higher housing density than had previously been possible in many suburbs. This makes many sites now subdividable where they hadn’t been before. And these changes pave the way for Infill Housing. This is the building of further dwellings on an existing site, by sub-dividing the property. Essentially, this means putting a new house, or units, on your section, a move that can be extremely financially rewarding.

On a social level, Infill Housing is great for bringing new housing stock into a desirable, established suburb, with good school zones. Plus, the increase in house numbers allows for improved neighbourhood amenities, with more local shops and cafes, better public transport and better roading – benefitting everyone.

It can, however, be difficult to know if your section is suitable. A good builder will have an experienced team on hand to help assess this. The GJ Gardner team, for example, provides a no obligation assessment of your site’s potential.

Should your site prove suitable for Infill Housing there are two main options available.

One is Subdivide, Build. Subdividing your section allows for an additional house to be built on your existing land. You could live in one and sell the other, or live in one and rent the other out. Alternatively you could sell them both. No matter which option appeals, a new house in your possibly sought-after area is a desirable prospect for many potential buyers out there.

The other attractive option for Infill Housing is Subdivide, Sell. For this approach, a partner builder can help subdivide and sell the new section on your behalf. By finding a buyer before final subdivision, you could avoid paying full subdividing costs without a buyer lined up.

Alongside the significant financial return to you, Infill Housing helps to ease New Zealand’s housing shortage, ups the quality of housing stock and helps limit urban sprawl.

Together with Knock Down Rebuild and Infill Housing, there’s the third option of going with a lucrative Medium Density development.

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​​​​​​​Divide and profit – your sought-after section now becomes two and the value of one house becomes the value of two. Infill Housing makes a lot of sense, particularly when you live in a good area close to transport amenities, inner-city life and sought-after schools. Infill Housing or Knock Down Rebuild both have the advantage that you don’t need to leave your area, your neighbours or your outlooks.

Medium Density: This way forward allows for multiple dwellings to be built on a single section, such as with terraced housing. Medium Density offers many living benefits associated with detached housing, at the same time avoiding the negative perception often seen with higher density, apartment developments. There are significant benefits to both the developer-owner and consumer, with the reduction in land use per house, varied housing types, location, maintenance and affordability all key drivers.

Modern design, with improved noise control and streetscape appeal, makes Medium Density developments attractive to a consumer. So, why not replicate a mini version of the thriving Hobsonville Point, Auckland, on your own land?

If replacing a cold, damp or leaky home is a driving focus, or you want to unlock the full financial potential of your under-used section, talk to the friendly team at GJ Gardner Homes.

To contact GJ Gardner Homes for a free assessment, head online: www.gjgardner.co.nz

Jun 12, 2018
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