ARE YOU SITTING ON YOUR OWN BURIED TREASURE?
Take a look at your property through a different lens and ask yourself a few questions:
> How much land do we have and is it large enough to develop?
> Do I want to maintain the garden at the size it is?
> What’s the potential untapped value of my property?
At different stages of homeownership its can be a valuable exercise to appraise your most prized asset and explore whether there’s an opportunity to invest in your own backyard.
Let’s take a look at a few scenarios…
Lena and Stefan have lived in their old weatherboard since they migrated in the early 80’s. Now that their children have grown and had families of their own, the upkeep of the house and garden is getting to be a challenge. Lena and Stefan really don’t want to leave their neighbourhood so their family have suggested a dual occupancy as a solution. By sub-dividing the land they can rebuild an energy efficient home for themselves and utilise the excess space in the yard to build a secondary dwelling to provide either an income or a home for someone in the family. Most importantly they can stay living in their suburb surrounded by their friends.
Ruth has four teenagers and is finding the house very cramped. Their block is large and she knows she could be making better use of it. In looking for a smart investment solution, she’s thinking about building a granny flat to create the perfect teen-space, and she’s also keen on a development that would allow her to later rent it out to a tenant.
Hayley and Arjun are really excited to build their first home but they’re wondering if they should sub divide their block to live in one property and rent out the other. They like the idea that this is a low-risk investment which will increase the land value at the same time.
Changing our perspectives
The old Australian dream of building a brick veneer house in the middle of a quarter acre block is fast becoming an outdated concept for number of reasons. Primarily, population growth means our suburbs are changing and councils across NSW are planning for increased housing density. Diverse housing options are what’s required so people can live in the same area across different life stages. Many older people for example would prefer to ‘age in place’ as opposed to downsizing into smaller dwellings or dedicated seniors housing, while first time buyers need more affordable options.
Based on the projected population growth and the changing nature of household composition Newcastle Council estimates that there will be a demand for 19,450 new dwellings by 2041. The population is not only growing, it’s changing. City of Newcastle’s Housing Strategy has identified that there will be more people either living alone or with their partner so the demand for one and two bedroom dwellings is increasing. With a greater focus on the development of infill housing, councils across NSW are making it easier for people to realise the full potential of their block of land with fast tracked approvals for dual occupancies.
The Low Rise Housing Diversity Code shines a spotlight on housing alternatives to the usual options of either the freestanding house or an apartment:
It helps housing affordability by providing smaller homes on smaller lots that still provide all the amenities of a single dwelling and can accommodate a wide variety of lifestyles and needs, including growing families or empty nesters.
What does this mean for you?
Perhaps you’ve realised the family home is now just too big or maybe you’re planning on a rebuild and thinking how best to use the land. Dual occupancy is a great option for both now and the future by providing a home and an income from the rent of the secondary property.
For the investor, now is a great time to be building affordable homes that fulfil the needs of the market. Research into housing preferences of Australians by both the Grattan Institute (2011) and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (2019), reveals that households generally prefer to live in detached homes with backyards but affordability is the issue. So the construction of a dual occupancy is a relatively low risk development that provides affordable housing for both tenants and home owners.
If you want to build on your land, whether you have a vacant block or an existing property in need of an upgrade, the Valley Homes team has the knowledge and experience to help you to create a dual occupancy solution to truly maximise the untapped value of your land. We can guide you through every step of the process from the demolition of the existing home, surveying, subdividing and liaising with council, all the way through to the design and construction.