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Five Tips For A Smooth Move

Subdividing and relocating a house sounds easy, but Kim Wilson says there are some key things you need to address before you put your plan into action.

By: Kim Wilson

1 October 2018

House relocation is a fantastic opportunity to get instant equity in a property. I was drawn to this intriguing concept when a friend started doing some house relocation projects and wanted to give it a go myself. I had a large sub-dividable site that looked good to develop so there started the journey of house relocation for me.

How hard can it be? Find a house, get a permit and shift it on – or so I thought. The following are the key learnings from a very typical “she’ll be right’’ Kiwi woman:

1. It Starts From The Ground Up

Geotech reports are a non-negotiable in my book. They are not always a requirement by local council authorities but let me run you through the downside of not getting one. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for being cost-effective and doing things the cheapest way I can, but this is something I will never compromise on. Because there is no way of knowing what is under your grass unless you test it. Even if all the houses around are on good ground, what is to say on your site there wasn’t an old swimming pool filled with rubbish, or an old house demolished into a hidden pit?

To find that out once a house is on top of it ready to be piled out is much more expensive and stressful than getting the right information upfront from a Geotech investigation, which significantly decreases that risk.

2. Get A Budget Sorted Before You Buy

Put the time into getting quotes for connecting services and all the renovation work you want to do on the house before you buy. Actual quotes win over gut feel any day. I’ve never once come in under budget, but that is simply because I didn’t have a detailed enough budget.

I work with a 20% contingency and know that I will use all of that. Working with a house removal company who help you with budgeting is really valuable. Despite my propensity for lack of detail, I have always ended with a good percentage of equity in all my projects as soon as they are completed and learn something to take into my next project.

3. Create Your Dream Team

Construct a team of professionals who you will have a great relationship with on a long-term basis. The international construction currency of boxes of beers (applied liberally) is a great way to start. Treat your subbies and consultants like kings and queens, because when you need them they will be there for you. Even when you think you are paying them more than you think you should, be generous. Scones at morning tea time are worth their weight in gold when you need that same crew to go over and above the next time.

4. Your Main Role Is Problem Solver

Whether big or little, there will be a steady set of problems to solve when you are involved in construction. Add heavy machinery to the equation and there can be a whole lot more. I have learned not to get fazed by an issue that needs sorting. Get the best advice you can from the best sources and then find a solution. There is always a solution when you get the right heads in the game (refer to key learning 3).

You need to be comfortable with this concept to take on a house relocation project. If you are not, I strongly advise a turn-key contract on a new build for you. But remember those who dare win.

5. House Relocation Is Still Construction

In essence, house relocation projects are just like new builds. It’s just that the house is one preconstructed piece (sometimes a few more if you are brave). Everything else is the same as far as building permits, building standards, subcontractors required, health and safety requirements and the rest of it. But as the process is usually just quicker, it can feel a whole lot more intense.

Throughout my journey of doing both my own house relocation projects and helping countless others with theirs, I have taken an immense amount of pleasure seeing some amazing transformations. There is something special about the ability to take something destined for landfill and giving it a new lease of life as a new home. It is a fantastic and thoroughly satisfying process when done well and with the right people involved.

At The Relocatable House Co. we pride ourselves on the fact that we are a professional services firm in the house relocation industry. As a house relocation specialist, we can help you achieve your dreams of becoming a property investor, creating equity, sub-dividing your land and creating future income. Land research, project feasibility, house relocation, project management and architectural design services are all part of our expertise, enabling us to help you save money on demolition and bring you a step closer to your goals.


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