Justin Brazier has a longstanding interest in property development and has helped many clients make a healthy profit from property. There’s a lot of scope when it comes to building for return but you must keep a tight rein on costs and schedule to avoid eating into your profit. The Central Coast is still a prime area for development. Prices have risen but so have margins, so there’s still good profits to be made.

Brazier Building Developments can help you with every aspect of development, right down to the listing and selling. We have agents that we work with and trust. We can even arrange the staging of your development for sale.


Arguably, this is the most important aspect of finding a development opportunity. Familiarise yourself with the area you’re looking at, see what homes are selling and for what prices. Think about what demographic of buyers or renters are in the area. If it’s predominantly families school zones and childcare will be important. Other services like healthcare, shopping and public transport are also sought after. And of course lifestyle options like proximity to beaches and nature areas.

Consider the block

Ideally you want a north facing aspect and a large, level block with good access. Dual access, such as with a corner block or an adjacent laneway can be a great option for a dual occupancy development. A block with a gradient isn’t a deal breaker by any means but can add to the building task, and cost.

And don’t think you need to find a vacant block. These can be few and far between! We’re lucky on the Central Coast that there are still many small original beach shacks that have seen better days. These are easily removed (though often with the extra expense of asbestos removal) usually giving you a good sized, prime location block with services already connected.

Dual occupancy potential

If you want to take advantage of dual occupancy potential with your development, do your homework. Find out what the council rules are for subdivision in your proposed area and have a good look around at surrounding builds to see what’s been done previously. Council regulations can control not only zoning but things like street landscaping, for example in some areas it might be tough to get a high front boundary fence approved, or you might need to use specific materials. These considerations can become more of a factor when you’re squeezing two dwellings onto one block and keeping costs down. And if you’re considering subdivision there’s usually a minimum size for blocks.

House flipping

We’ve all seen the tv shows, and flipping property is still a great way to make a profit but you need to know what you’re doing. Basically you are taking an existing property, renovating it and selling it for more than your investment (purchase costs plus all reno costs).

Do your research and know what houses are going for in the area you’re considering. Set a budget for your do-upperer and start looking at what’s available. The real risk with buying an existing property to flip is unknowingly getting stuck with a money pit that sucks up any potential return, so you need to look out for a few things.

Take a walk around the neighbourhood, as with any development location is key. You want good access to schools and services as well as green space and an appealing locale. You’re also looking for a block that has scope for extending the home and adding outdoor living areas

When viewing properties keep an eye out for anything that could be a costly repair. Check the integrity of the roof. A roof that’s rusted or has missing tiles can mean potential water damage. Look out for damp marks or damage on the ceiling, bubbling paint or warped timber. Try and ascertain what the plumbing and wiring is like. With many older homes this needs complete replacing to bring it up to current codes. This is a common issue but one you need to budget for.

Period features can be a fantastic thing to retain in an older property. They can make a renovation into something really special. But they can also be costly to repair, so check out the condition of anything like decorative windows, feature timberwork and mouldings. Some of these features can require specialist work which needs to be budgeted for.

If the costs start adding up – roof needs replacing, wiring and plumbing, asbestos removal – or the block doesn’t offer scope for extensions, be ruthless and move on! The secret to flipping is finding the right kind of property.

Once you think you’ve found a good candidate be diligent with your independent building and pest inspections. At Brazier we’re happy to come in and do our own inspections, just to check off that what you’ve been told is the full story. Our aim with any building project is to minimise any surprises.

Then the fun starts! With some properties the existing home just needs redecorating and updating. New kitchens and bathrooms make a huge different, as does quality landscaping. At Brazier we are experts in designing kitchens and bathrooms, and can even put together landscaping packages. With other properties you’ll see your profit maximised by more substantial work. This is where we recommend working with an experienced designer to get the most out of the build and your budget. As with any project having an experienced designer/builder team is crucial.

If you’re thinking of dipping your toes into the world of property development, or if you’re a developer looking for a professional and experienced team to work with, give Justin a call and benefit from his local knowledge.

Call Justin on 0420 373 957