With the property market being more difficult to enter these days, everyone is looking for innovative ways to make the most of every dollar they invest. Dual occupancy dwellings are becoming more popular due to their versatility and the way they allow buyers to make the most of their land title. Let’s take a look at what dual occupancy floor plans are, the potential benefits and whether they’re a viable choice for you.
What are dual occupancy homes?
Dual occupancy homes are any living situation where two dwellings are located on a single lot of land. Usually, this includes a primary dwelling and a smaller auxiliary dwelling. An example of this might be a property that includes both a house and a unit, kind of like a modern version of a granny flat. This living arrangement has become more popular in recent years due to rising property prices making it more difficult for many to become homeowners.
A property is legally classified as a dual-income property when the property owner receives two sets of income from two separate agreements (one contract for the house, another for the unit).
Are Dual Occupancy Homes allowed in South-East Queensland?
This is where things get a little complicated. Currently, the Brisbane City Council does not have any legislation in regard to building a dual occupancy auxiliary home. This means it technically isn’t allowed in the inner Brisbane area. There are nearby areas to Brisbane that do have a dual occupancy auxiliary home legislation and they are:
- Logan area
- Ipswich area
- Moreton Bay area and Northern Brisbane.
In other states, dual occupancy homes are more common and most areas have regulations about what you can and can’t build. Your best bet is to check with your local council before building anything.
What are the benefits of a dual occupancy home design?
Higher Returns on an Investment Property
The basic principle of any investment is to make more money than you’ve spent eventually. Depending on where you’re planning to build, you may be surprised how much land can cost. It can also be tricky to find one decent block of land, let alone multiple lots. If you’re looking to build a property to rent out to others, having multiple dwellings on a single block will help you maximise the investment potential on a single block of land.
In a dual occupancy development, you will charge different rates for the smaller and larger dwellings. Like any property you’re building to rent, we advise researching the rental market in the area you’re building to help maximise the rental potential of your dual-living home.
Option of living in the main house while renting out the other
Dual occupancy homes provide you with the option of getting into the rental market without having to buy a separate block of land. Unlike renting out a room in your house, you and your tenant will still have the privacy and space that comes with separate living quarters. The rental income will help put a nice dent into any loan repayments or as a way to add extra cash to your savings account.
Potential for multigenerational living.
Multigenerational living is becoming more popular in Australia, and dual-living designs can provide a nice balance of closeness and personal space. It provides the chance for retired parents to see the grandkids regularly, but still have their own dwelling for private time.
What are the potential downsides of a dual occupancy home?
Council requirements and regulations
The biggest hurdle you’re likely going to come across will happen well before construction starts and this is whether you’re allowed to build a dual occupancy. Some councils won’t allow dual-income rental homes to be built, so it’s important that you check with your local representative to make sure everything is above board.
Higher Initial Costs
While dual occupancy homes are a cheaper option than buying two separate blocks of land, it still involves you having to build two dwellings. The cost of building one home stretches the budget of most people, so a dual occupancy home may simply exceed your budget.
How much does it cost to build a dual occupancy home?
Expect the price to be somewhere between 500,000-1.3 million. A lot of this will vary depending on where you build, who you build with and your design choices. It’s always worth remembering that the advertised prices you see on websites are rarely an accurate reflection of what you’ll end up paying overall.
Home Builders that offer dual occupancy floor plans
GJ Gardener Homes
What we like about GJ Gardener Homes
- Affordable builder
- Wide range of options
Examples of dual-living house plans offered by GJ Gardener Homes
Lot size: 400m2
Bedrooms: 4 (main house) 1 bedroom in unit
Lot size: 245m2
What we like about Stroud Homes
- Offer reliable build times
- Strong communication
Examples of dual occupancy designs offered by Stroud Homes
House Area: 255.7sqm2 (Unit 1: 147sqms Unit 2: 104sqm)
House Area: 255.7sqm2
Is a dual occupancy home design suitable for me?
A big deciding factor as to whether a dual occupancy home is right for you will depend on whether you’re allowed to build one in your region. If your local council allows it, a dual occupancy offers a secondary dwelling that could be a great option for extra rental income, housing extended family and more.
Alternatives to dual occupancy home designs
Our tips to help you choose a dual occupancy floor plan for your new home
Be sure you’re legally able to build a dual occupancy home in your area
Talk to a financial advisor to ensure your budget can accommodate your plans
Consider other designs such as a duplex or house with a secondary dwelling to be sure you’re choosing the best option for you.
Talk to a building broker. We’ll provide advice throughout your building journey, saving you thousands of dollars and hours of time.