Renovation is a fantastic way to renew a home and save money at the same time, plus it’s environmentally friendly because you are helping to lengthen the life of the building making it more sustainable. Successive renovations could in theory keep a house in use and sustained forever.
It is carried on throughout Australia every day, and becoming increasingly popular. It saves enormous amounts of waste that would otherwise end up in land fill and it provides a green and affordable solution for those who love older style homes but who also want to choose their own site to put one on.
Finding a Home
Homes are removed from sites all over the country, mostly from within our larger cities; a smaller number from regional areas. Most are from redevelopment sites, some from road construction projects and others due to various changes going on in their local area. South East Queensland is a hot spot for house removal due to the fact that many homes there lend themselves to easy removal, and there is much redevelopment going on with a large selection of homes available.
Sourcing through a professional dealer or house remover who can also arrange removal of the home can have its advantages because they will usually have assessed the viability and removability of the home, and may be able to provide a package including a range of required services including council approval.
Aim to find a home within a distance of up to 400klms from your house site to keep transport costs to a reasonable level. Within 100klms is ideal because for most moves the price will be the same or similar for any distance up to 100klms. An extra charge rate per klm beyond 100klms is common.
Council approval is required in most areas to put a used home on another site, and may also be required to remove a house off its existing site, meaning that two different council areas could be involved with two different types of applications.
Get professional advice or use a consultant with experience in removal home applications as they are quite different and more complex than a new home building application. Normally the seller of the house will be responsible to obtain removal approval for the existing site, but check to make sure it’s being done or it may delay or even prevent you from taking delivery of your house.
Finance for removal homes can be difficult to arrange because banks prefer to lend against assets already bolted down to the land that provides the security for their mortgage. It is helpful if you can fund the purchase and removal costs yourself, then if need be, borrow to complete the home once it’s fixed to its new site on permanent foundations.
Fortunately there are specialist mortgage brokers familiar with the special lending requirements for Removal Homes and there are ways around having to fund purchase and removal costs out of your own pocket. For more information on finance for Removal Homes go to the Transportable Homes Finance Website.
Moving the Home
Make sure you are comfortable with the company or contractor who will be moving your house, and check that they have sufficient experience, insurance, and the appropriate license to operate. The building licensing authority in each state usually regulates and licenses house removers.
The best way to move a house is direct from its existing site to its new site. This reduces the likelihood of damage during transport, saves storage and double handling costs and the house will be more secure throughout the process. To do this you will need to negotiate sufficient time for the house to remain at its existing site so the approvals to move it to its new site can be obtained before you have to move it.
Some homes are moved in one piece. Some need to be cut into two or more sections then rejoined, and some may need the roof lowered or removed for transport and re-erected later.
Once the house arrives at the new site it will need to be re-stumped (posts installed to support the floor) and have power, water, gas, telephone services and so on connected.
Most house moving contractors will move and restump, or arrange others to restump, but generally they do not get involved in connecting services, or rejoining cut plumbing pipes and wiring etc, so this will probably be up to you.
A common perception about houses for removal is that they need major renovation and are mostly in poor condition. That is not always the case and in fact many houses that are moved are in excellent condition, some with recent and extensive renovations already done.
When assessing a home to move, assess it for its renovation potential in just the same way you would an established house. When buying any home whether for removal, renovation or otherwise, its important to have the structure checked by a qualified professional builder or building inspector to make sure its sound and to alert you to any costly areas that may need attention.
Making a Profit
Each person’s idea of what a profit means is different. For some, a profit is selling the completed project for more than what it cost them. Others might consider a profit to be obtaining their dream home for less than could be achieved by other means. Others might consider the profit to be the fact that they obtained a home and saved an acre of forest and tonnes of green house gasses in the process.