With so many Australians trying to make their mark on the property market, dual occupancy homes have become more popular than ever. Whether you’re looking to buy your first ever home or make a smart investment, dual occupancy homes can offer enticing benefits and huge returns.
But what are dual occupancy homes? To put it simply, it’s two homes on a single lot. They can be either attached or detached, and each property can be sold separately to different owners or rented out to tenants.
However, building dual occupancy homes can be complicated, and every local council has different laws regarding what can and can’t be done during their design, construction and sale. If you’re considering building a dual occupancy home, you must know what you’re getting into and what to expect from the process before you make any commitments.
To help, here are some of the pros and cons of dual occupancy construction so that you can decide if this project is really the right one for you.
2 properties for 1
The most obvious advantage of dual occupancy homes is that you’re essentially paying the fees to build one property but getting the return of two. No matter what you do with each property, whether it’s selling or renting both or living in one and selling or renting the other, you’ve basically managed to kill two birds with one stone.
Dual occupancy developments maximise land value and can generate more profit than building a single property. You can generate twice the value from the land as two houses will generate two rental incomes.
Cater to demand
No matter where you are in Australia, there’s always going to be a market for affordable housing. Thanks to a housing market that is more competitive than ever and the challenges that the nation has faced over the years, people are willing to make compromises as long as the homes are well-built and have all the appropriate amenities.
Whether it’s out in the suburbs or trendy inner-city areas, there are always going to be plenty of hungry potential first-time buyers or retirees looking to downsize. Whatever the case, with the right dual occupancy builders you’ll be able to build a dual occupancy home with a broad enough appeal to find the right buyer or tenant in any market.
Low maintenance costs
Another benefit of dual occupancy homes is that you get the land, space and amenities of a traditional home but without the maintenance costs. By splitting your land in half, there’s less garden space that you’re required to maintain and money that you’ll have to invest in it.
It also means that you’ll be living in a more moderately sized home, which while still bigger than an apartment won’t come with the huge energy costs and cleaning requirements of a traditional home.
One of the downsides of living in a dual occupancy home is that they lack the privacy of traditional homes. By having one set of close neighbours, often that you share a wall with, you’ll have to be more considerate when it comes to noise and how you maintain your yard (specifically your front yard).
However, dual occupancy homes still come with considerably more privacy than most apartment buildings. While in most apartment blocks you’ll be sharing your building with countless neighbours on all sides, with dual occupancy homes it’ll only be one set of neighbours. It may not be ideal, but it’s a compromise most are willing to make for the money saved and space gained.
Many people who build dual-occupancy homes are reliant on the sale or lease of at least one of the homes to help them pay their mortgage. This obviously comes with a certain amount of risk, as if you cannot find an appropriate buyer or tenant you’ll be left without that additional income that you’re depending on.
Also, while dual occupancy homes are popular due to their lower costs and larger square footage than apartments, there still are many people who won’t consider dual occupancy living due to the lack of privacy. This can lower your pool of potential buyers or tenants and make it harder to fill up your dual occupancy home in a timely manner or for the amount that you want.
As we mentioned earlier, getting your dual occupancy design approved by your local council can be a complicated process, often taking anywhere between 3 to 6 months. Make sure you choose custom home builders that will take care of this process for you and are familiar with the rules and regulations of your chosen council.
However, if you’re looking for a quick and easy build, dual occupancy construction may not be the right choice for you at this moment in time. They are often considerably more complicated to get approved for construction and require time and patience to be done right.