The Property Development Process: Nailing Your Site Acquisition

By: Aaron Robbins0 comments

Setting out on a property development project is an exciting, yet involved process. Site acquisition can either make or break a property developer’s success — as it underpins the viability of the project.

The legal processes involved in property development and overcoming site issues don’t need to be overwhelming. Before you set your sights on development project sites, read our top tips below on how to nail the property development site acquisition process.

Our top tips for choosing the best site for your development project

If you’re new to the property development industry, learning what you should be considering during the site acquisition process is critical.

1. Access to the site and rights of way

Naturally, when inspecting potential sites, you’ll be considering the ease of access to the site for the eventual occupants. However, equally as important is ensuring that there is an easement or right of way to allow you and all of the required construction and development contractors access to the site throughout the development process.

Any large earth moving equipment, or other heavy machinery also needs to have ease of access to the plot.

2. Conservation and preservation

This is one consideration that will require consultation with your local council or local government authorities: verifying that there are no conservation orders that sit over the site. Even if there are conservation orders on a potential development site, it may only take minor adjustments to accommodate them, however, it’s impossible to know whether land, trees, wildlife and waterways will be affected without first assessing the conservation and preservation needs of the site.

3. Boundaries

The construction phase often lends itself to complaints from neighbouring properties, with boundary complaints often making the top of the list (particularly with residential development). Being absolutely clear with where the boundaries are prior to commencing development can assist in mitigating future problems.

Those who are experienced at developing property will commonly raise any grey areas regarding boundaries with the seller before signing the contract, and even leverage disagreements on the boundary as a point of negotiation.

4. Drains, flooding and sewerage planning and infrastructure

Sometimes, pollution or poor draining can lead to the contamination of land. Ensuring that a potential site has adequate drainage and isn’t on a flood plain should be a major consideration for property developers.

During the construction, it’s also important to consider the sewerage route and network on individual plots, as this may affect the final transfer deeds. Furthermore, it’s critical to ensure that once construction is complete, the relevant local authorities take over the maintenance of sewers.

5. Planning consents

Before even looking at the feasibility study of your property development, it can pay to be involved in planning discussions with council committees. Town planning and the needs of the community are discussed at these meetings — given that most property development is undertaken in order to serve the community or local economy, it makes sense to understand how town planning decisions are made and how your property development could meet the expectations of the community.

Also, considering it’s the council’s planning department that you’ll be submitting your development application and planning permit to, building relationships and networking within those committees can go a long way to creating a more seamless development process.

6. Use a land surveyor

It’s almost impossible to study the feasibility or viability of any development site without using a property or land surveyor. Communicating your plans to the surveyor about your intentions to develop the property and how many plots you intend to build is essential.

7. Insurance needs

Before the construction process can even begin, a requirement in the planning process is to hold insurance over the entire project. It’s imperative to perform an assessment of the risks involved when you develop property and understand that development sites all come with their on set of unique liabilities.

8. Engage a quality lawyer

Whether it’s a planning consultant, a structural engineer, quantity surveyor or building surveyor, project manager or building contractor, to develop property requires a multitude of different industry professionals on the development team. Solicitors and property lawyers are no exception, as they play an enormous role in development approval and property development.

Solicitors are responsible for, or can manage:

  • Conducting searches for local authorities such as water and evening mining searches.
  • Liaising with the existing landowner regarding boundaries and rights of way.
  • Inspecting the title deed for any restrictive covenants (as these can limit the number of properties that can be built on the land).
  • Writing and executing the building contract and contract of sales. In fact, it’s solicitors who you’ll pay your deposit to before contracts are exchanged.

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What is property development and what development finance is available for property developers?

If property development forms part of your business plan, then you’ll undoubtedly be looking at how you can access the finance to fund construction costs to turn your development dreams into a successful project. Chances are that if you’re looking at an ideal development site, so are your competitors, which is why accessing fast, hassle-free property development finance is highly sought after by property developers.

Diverse Funding Solutions offers private finance solutions to Australian business owners and property developers that can be approved and funded within 48 hours. Let our team’s expertise guide you through the finance journey to arrive at a successful outcome. Either contact us directly, or get a free quote, today!


What does a property developer do?

Developing residential property or commercial property is no small feat. Property developers are individuals or companies who either construct new property or renovate existing properties as a means of investment. The property developer won’t necessarily own the property after the development process has been completed. In fact, on-selling the property (or properties) at the completion of a development project is often how property developers access the financial return of their property investment (rather than becoming property owners).

A good example of this is residential property development. Under residential or real estate development projects, the property developer acquires a site (such as a large parcel of raw land or semi-vacant land) and then develops the land into a housing estate through sub-division.

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What is the loan-to-value ratio on your loans?

With a private loan, the borrower can access up to 75% of the property value.

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