Great Case Studies
The Ashcroft Advantage
Real life examples of how the Ashcroft team have helped clients maximise their returns from property development.
Elevating Ground, Elevating Returns.
Our client came across a great corner site which they knew would make an ideal development proposition. The site measured 746 sqm and was in a highly desirable, established Auckland suburb. The one drawback was that the site was not flat. The client initially considered the best development option would be to construct a new home and a new unit. However, on further investigation, the expected returns from a development of that size did not justify the costs.
Our client then approached Ashcroft Homes. An Ashcroft Property Development Consultant reviewed the site and the client’s goals and suggested that if the client considered a larger investment into site works, the construction potential and project returns would be significantly improved.
With the creation of a flat building site, our team confirmed it would be possible to create five new terraced houses using Ashcroft’s Windsor design. This proposal was certainly appealing to the client who intended to retain the new homes for rent. The two-bedroom Windsor, with its modern sleek look and easy flow living, is a popular choice for tenants while landlords enjoy the low maintenance and great yields that these homes typically deliver. And crucially, the creation of five new homes would definitely offset the costs required for establishing the flat building site and offer significant returns for the client.
While the proposal was appealing, the client was keen to do further due diligence and approached some other building companies. None of these companies were able to offer a solution that could compare. Ashcroft Homes were appointed, and planning got underway.
The five proposed townhouses were an intensive development for the site, however Ashcroft’s in house planning team prepared the Resource Consent and guided this through Council, achieving approval.
Retaining was a prominent aspect for this project so this was designed to be as visually appealing as possible. A keystone retaining wall was used and this, with its built-in pedestrian access and contemporary fencing has greatly contributed to the street appeal of this contemporary new build.
The client was delighted with the whole development process and the end product. The project not only delivered great financial returns for our client, but he found securing tenants for these lovely new homes, a breeze.
Correct Plan Selection, Critical for Maximising Return.
Our client, an experienced property developer purchased this property with the goal of development. The site contained a stand-alone home, a garage and a shed, on land of approx. 1,012sqm. The intention was to demolish the existing buildings, constructing new homes in their place. The section itself was long and narrow; predominately getting narrower at the rear. The challenge for the Ashcroft team was how this land could be utilised to absolute best advantage.
The choice of plan design was going to be critical to maximising returns for this client. The client, an experienced property developer, knew that Ashcroft’s house plans had been specifically designed with the Auckland unitary plan in mind. With more than 20 house plans on offer, the client felt there was sure to be an Ashcroft plan that would work well on the site.
After reviewing the land, the Ashcroft team concluded that the best solution was not to build multiple homes of one design but build a mix of different Ashcroft plans. Using different designs would allow the development to be tailored to suit the shape of the site while providing a unique set of cohesive homes. Ashcroft’s proposal was to replace the existing buildings with five new homes; one 4-bedroom Castleton at the front, followed by a 4-bedroom Kingston and a 4-bedroom Beaumont, and then two 2-bedroom Windsors at the rear.
Building five homes at once, on a narrow site and on a busy street was going to be no easy feat! While the Ashcroft construction team had extensive experience building to these plans, the main challenge was ensuring everyone could work simultaneously, and efficiently within the constraints of a tight site. The key to success was thorough project planning and well considered timelines to minimise overlaps, disruptions, and delays. This was critical as the client had tenants lined up for all five new homes ahead of completion! The Ashcroft Project Manager appointed to this development did a fantastic job managing supply partners, tradespeople, deliveries, and inspections with all five homes being delivered on time and to budget!
Downsize Garden, Upsize Bank Account.
Our client had owned a large family home in Epsom for many years. They loved their home and the location. But once their children had grown, the garden was no longer getting the use it once did, and it was time to put that land to better use!
The client approached Ashcroft looking to add a new home to their property, subdividing their land into two titles. The site was tricky and the addition of a new home was not as straightforward as originally imagined. One of the biggest challenges was that the existing house looked directly onto the newly proposed building area. A key criteria in Auckland’s Unitary Plan is to ensure that any new builds have a desirable outlook. Looking directly into your neighbour’s property is not considered a desirable outlook! Another challenge was the client’s desire for a home which was quite sizeable for the land that was available.
The Ashcroft team went to work, drafting numerous concepts taking into consideration different house plan options, access and manoeuvring within driveways and protection of the outlook. The team proposed the newly released Luton design with the orientation of the home changed to protect each home’s outlook. The client was thrilled.
With all council consents granted, construction went ahead, and all went to plan. On completion, the newly built home was offered for sale, selling promptly. The client remains in their original home and enjoyed a healthy return from the development. So much so, they are currently looking for more land to purchase and build another Ashcroft home.
“This was our first time building a home and we would like to say we are very happy with how Ashcroft Homes handled the entire process. From the subdivision to construction, the entire process was stress free with a professional team who would always keep us up to date.”
Tight Space, Small Access? No worries!
A valued Ashcroft Homes client purchased a new property with the intention of developing the site, adding a new home which could later be sold. The property comprised of a three-bedroom home with land at the rear where the client planned to add the new home. The existing house was tenanted and it was ideal if the tenancy could stay intact throughout the build to provide the owner with a steady income stream.
After reviewing the site, the Ashcroft team concluded that a new five bedroom Rocheford home could be built at the rear. However a couple of small challenges presented. A separate driveway would be required for the new home and this would require a street crossing. The natural position for this new crossing would involve removal of a tree on the berm. After preparing a Resource Consent application and presenting their arguments, the Ashcroft team successfully gained permission for the additional street crossing and removal of the tree.
Ashcroft’s Rocheford design would provide the client with the largest house possible on this land, optimising the resale value. While this design made very good use of the site, it did mean there was little spare land for storage of materials during the build, potentially causing an issue for the tradies onsite. The Ashcroft Project Manager’s solution was to reorganise the project’s material delivery schedule, so more frequent but smaller deliveries could be made which addressed the storage issue.
The project ran to schedule and on conclusion, the client sold the newly built Ashcroft home, retaining the original rental property for their own property portfolio.
The client told us they were extremely impressed with the speed and quality of construction and enjoyed the frequent and clear communication they received from Ashcroft throughout this development project.
They have now purchased further properties and have again engaged Ashcroft Homes to assist with these developments.
Ashcroft Tenacity Paid Off For This Challenging Consent Application.
The Ashcroft Subdivision and Planning team proved once again their expertise and commitment to getting client projects over the line.
Our client had a large site that needed to be developed over two stages. Stage one involved building three new Ashcroft homes at the rear of the site while the existing house remained in place. Stage two involved removing the existing house and replacing it with a further four new Ashcroft homes.
Working smart to keep costs down.
To minimise costs, it was ideal if the access to the site and drainage that was set up for Stage one, could also be used in Stage two.
On the face of it, this didn’t initially look to be possible, especially if the front house remained.
- Council had recently installed pedestrian lights directly outside the property and as the road is on a main arterial road, this restricted where the site access could be located.
- There were a number of trees in the road berm which would make creating a site entrance difficult.
- Plus, the stormwater drainage was located on adjacent private property.
Addressing the challenges
The Ashcroft Planning and Subdivision team worked through how each of these obstacles could be overcome. Discussions were held with a Council Arborist who granted approval for removal of one of the berm trees, freeing up an entrance to the site. A traffic engineer was consulted and agreed the proposed site access entranceway was appropriate and safe in relation to the pedestrian crossing. The neighbour was also consulted and agreed to allow access and works on his property to connect drainage.
With all obstacles seemingly negated, an application was prepared for council. Unfortunately, council pushed back on the layout of the site, also expressing concerns with the vehicle crossing being in close proximity to the pedestrian crossing.
The Ashcroft team returned to council with more detail, showing the options they had initially considered, and then rejected, as they believed them to be less desirable options for all. Further analysis was provided to support Ashcroft’s proposed positioning for the vehicle crossing which demonstrated pedestrian safety would be maintained. It became clearer the original proposal was indeed the best for this site.
With this new understanding, council were satisfied and Resource Consent was granted to another Ashcroft Homes new build project.
To date, the Ashcroft Planning and Subdivision team have secured Resource Consents for 100% of the projects they have applied for.
When Two Becomes Eight – Quadrupling Rental Potential!
A client approached us seeking development options for a 1,012 sqm section that hosted two brick and tile units. After reviewing the site for its build feasibility, the Ashcroft team concluded that the two units could be replaced with eight new terraced homes! It was important to our client that any new dwellings would provide a comfortable and contemporary living environment for their eventual residents. Ashcroft’s Windsor Plan ticked all the boxes.
The client lives out of town so partnering with a company that could manage all aspects of the project from initial scheme plans, to council consents to construction was going to make life a lot easier. Despite the long distance relationship, great communication and sound processes have pathed the way for a smooth journey so far.
Our client is committed to creating an enviable development with a strong community feel. On completion, residents will enjoy beautifully landscaped grounds, secure gated entrances and niceties such as communal bike racks!
Council have approved all resource and building consents, and construction has begun – and very shortly, this client will be enjoying rental returns from eight properties, rather than two!
Development Potential Grows Considerably with New Unitary Plan.
Our client owned two properties that sat side by side. Both properties had an existing single level 3 bedroom home. The owner knew the sites were not being utilised to their best potential and was keen to develop them. Under the old district plan, the only development option was to add a minor dwelling to each site. After evaluating the costs and returns, our client concluded the addition of minor dwellings was probably not a worthwhile investment. He put the development plans on hold but held onto the properties. This paid off when the new Unitary Plan was introduced and the opportunity for development grew significantly.
With a land area for both sites totaling 1450 square metres, under the new Plan it now was possible to construct six new Ashcroft homes, all on separate titles! Our client decided to proceed with five homes and Ashcroft’s Camden plan was the chosen design, constructed as two sets of duplexes and a stand-alone dwelling. Take a look at the planned development.
The project is now well into construction, and we’re looking forward to handing the keys over very soon.
Smarter Use of Land Creates Homes For All!
We’ve been working with a lovely client who purchased a four bedroom home in Hillsborough. Our client wanted to develop the property to provide housing, not only for himself but also for members of his extended family. And if at all possible, he was also keen to add a further dwelling that could earn the family rental income.
After reviewing the site, Ashcroft determined that by removing the existing house, four new homes could be constructed using duplex developments. Two Camden homes with four bedrooms each – a home for our client and his family and another for his mother, father and siblings. And then two further Luton houses, each with three bedrooms – one ideal for his parents in law and the other as a rental property.
This is a great example of how the Auckland Unitary Plan is creating opportunities for more housing in the Auckland region, and how families working together can achieve home ownership
Overcoming Obstacles – All in a Day’s Work for our Ashcroft Planners!
Our Planning and Subdivisions team were of immense help to a couple who wished to add a second home to their section. Initial assessment from the council suggested the property was beneath the national grid corridor transmission lines and to add further complexity, there appeared to be a floodplain running over the proposed build site.
To prevent our client’s dream of a second dwelling disappearing, Ashcroft’s Planning and Subdivisions team engaged their own engineers for a second opinion. It was found that the preliminary assessment, that had informed the Council’s assessment was inaccurate and the property was not in the floodplain at all.
Our Planning team also looked into the national grid corridor transmission lines, which were shown to only affect part of the site and the proposed build site was confirmed to sit outside this area. Another challenge addressed! Our team then arranged acoustic and ventilation reports, which revealed that any overflying aircraft would not impact on any future residents. With boxes all ticked, a resource consent application was then prepared and successfully granted by council.
Smarter Thinking Leads To $45K Saving For Our Client!
A recent townhouse development included the subdivision of a site into 10 freehold titles. Council advised that each title needed its own stormwater soakage device and requested this be included in the engineering plans. While this was a straightforward process in terms of satisfying Council’s requirements, it would have resulted in an estimated cost of approximately $50,000 for the 10 soakholes.
Using their knowledge of the Resource Management Act, Ashcroft’s Planning team developed a solution, that allowed an argument to be formed, that only a single soakage device was technically required for all 10 lots. This approach was accepted by Council and ultimately saved our client $45,000 in stormwater management costs alone.
Why Build 2 Houses When You Can Build 5!
In 2016, a client approached us looking to build a new home and a minor dwelling on their site. We created a site plan and the client went away to consider their options. Later that year, the Auckland Unitary Plan was introduced, and it was no longer possible to add a minor dwelling on this particular site, so the project went on hold.
With the launch of Ashcroft’s new terraced housing range, our in-house specialists revisited this project and concluded it was now possible to build FIVE new houses on the site, dramatically increasing the returns for this landowner. As you can expect, the client was thrilled!
Site Plan Proposal 2016
One new house with a minor dwelling.
Site Plan Proposal 2018
Five new homes in a terraced housing development.