A Canberra-based architecture practice has come up with a way for homeowners to downsize where they are and potentially profit from the redevelopment of their block, rather than having to sell it and move somewhere else.
When you begin to consider the concept of downsizing, the usual procedure that takes place is you sell the home.
Someone comes along and buys it, and if they’re a developer then they snapped it up because they knew they’d be able to have something else built on it and sell it for a profit.
Many of us can surely relate to this scenario with someone that we know.
For example, when my father’s parents needed to downsize, the house they had lived in since the early ’70s was sold to someone who knocked it down to build two new homes on the block, and then they sold those at a considerable profit.
We don’t begrudge them doing that. Once it was theirs they could seek approval to do what they like with it. Well done them.
We can’t help but wish however, that at least someone in our family had the means and the knowledge for us to redevelop that good-size block ourselves.
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Whist giving advice to similar developers on how to best capatalise on redeveloping a residential block, Tony Trobe, an award-winning architect and the director of TT Architecture in Kingston, says he has often wondered why more people don’t keep the property and develop it themselves.
“They have the asset in the land but I guess they don’t have access to the design, building and financing skill set necessary to pull it all together” he muses.
“The thought for owners of getting involved with some sort of development is daunting from all sorts of perspectives” he continues.
“The real potential for any block is often difficult to understand for ordinary people not familiar with planning rules” he illustrates.
“The journey through the planning system and all the complex rules associated with it can be a daunting prospect” he adds.
That also gave him an idea that he has called In-Loco.
The proposition is that the land owner of a suitable block becomes part of a profit-sharing arrangement that will allow them to downsize and “age in place”, as he puts it.
They benefit from staying in the same community that they don’t want to leave, and they also “become the major shareholder in a joint-venture with TT Architecture.”
Tony believes that such landowners “would like to be part of something that leaves them proud of the outcome and part of a bigger picture to make their locality a better place to live.”
It’s certainly something to think about.