When choosing to subdivide your block of land with the intention of living on the property, there are two main options with the other dwelling – renting or selling – and it pays to know which category you fit into because each option can affect how and what you choose to build.

Scenario 1: Live in one and rent the other

For first-time investors who already own and live on a large block of land, dual occupancy is one of the most common types of developments. This is simply because subdividing your existing block of land to create a dual occupancy increases the land’s equity with relatively low financial risk. Plus, by renting out a property you benefit from ongoing rental income. However, when calculating your financial projections it is important to include property maintenance for both properties to fully understanding of your potential profit.

You may choose to move into the new property and rent out the old/existing building or vice versa, either option shouldn’t impact too much on your ongoing income (depending on the condition of the existing property). However, it will affect the new build, i.e., if you are planning to rent out the new property you will want to choose cost effective, hard wearing fixtures with minimal extras. But if this is to be your new home you may want to tweak floor plans and add better finishes, such as stone bench tops or higher quality carpets – and this will impact on your overall investment for the initial build.

Scenario 2: Live in one and sell the other

This is very similar to Option 1 in terms of knowing which property you want to live in to ensure you are investing wisely. However, instead of catering to a rental market, which requires a particular set of inclusions and means dealing with tenants, you will be looking for the selling potential and what is attracting buyers to your area. Talking to real estate agents and experienced dual occupancy builders will help you determine the best options regarding the build to maximise your property and potential profits.

The other main difference with selling one of the properties is ongoing income versus the one-off sale price – and this will be determined by your investment goals, i.e., you may be planning to use the lump sum from the sale to either pay off your mortgage or re-invest into another development project. Either way, make sure you get sound financial advice outlining all options before settling on an investment plan. Becoming financially independent and debt-free may be better for your individual situation in comparison to taking on further debts for potentially greater profits down the track.

Not sure what Dual Occupancy actually is or if it’s for you?

Dual Occupancy Property Simplified outlines the basics to get you started.

Next steps: The best place to start to get all the facts for your particular situation and block of land is to talk to experienced dual occupancy builders. Valley Homes has years of building experience in Maitland, Newcastle and the Hunter Valley and our team is ready to help get your investment goals started.