Granny Flats....

Are you considering adding a granny flat to your block? Or maybe you’re interested in buying a property with an existing granny flat? Then it pays to understand the benefits of having a separate dwelling on your land as well as learning how to avoid some of the drawbacks that may come having a granny flat.

The benefits

Additional space for family 

The biggest benefit to having a separate residence on your property means you’ll never be short of space when it comes to housing family. Granny flats are often used when elderly relatives require more care but wish to maintain their independence, making a granny flat a perfect solution.

Granny flats are also used as teenage retreats for older children who need more space and are a really handy, self-contained option for visiting relatives.

Income potential

Vacant granny flats also offer the possibility for you to earn rental income from your block. Renting out a granny flat is a popular option in our area (but does require council approval). This would suit dwellings that may have their own vehicle access, and are far enough away from the main house. Who wouldn’t want to have the opportunity to have someone help cover the mortgage repayments?

Can be converted

If you outgrow the original purpose behind the granny flat, you (or potential buyers) should always look at the conversion potential of the building.

Flats can be converted into a separate studio, separate home office or a space to operate a small business (something that is often sought after in this area).

The drawbacks

Over-capitalising

There is the risk of over-capitalising when building another dwelling on your property. This means you’ve invested more value into the build then you have added to the overall value of the property.

To avoid this mistake, make sure you stick to an agreed budget and treat this the way you would a renovation. The general rule of thumb is to invest no more than 10% of the total value of the property.

Also make sure the flat clearly meets your current needs. Don’t build more than you have to.

Increased upkeep

A granny flat may be seen as more upkeep to buyers but this needn’t be the case. Make sure a new addition is modern and low maintenance – think low-set brick. Ensure your agent knows the ins and outs of the granny flat, including what it was used for and what it can be used for so that they’re able to explain the benefits of the building and waylay any maintenance concerns.

Council approval

Not all granny flats require council approval in Queensland, but it’s best to check any proposed dwelling (or existing if you’re looking to buy) needs council approval. Ensure you do this before building your own granny flat and ensure the same when considering buying a home with a separate dwelling on the property to save yourself a lot of hassle down the track.

At the moment, your granny flat doesn’t need council approval as long as it’s smaller than 80 square metres in size and is less than 20 metres from the main house.

If you plan to build the granny flat to rent it out to someone who is not part of your household, you may need to lodge a development application for ‘dual occupancy’.

At the end of the day, the choice to purchase a property with a granny flat, or build one of your own will be a personal one, made to meet your individual needs. If you’re unsure about a property with dual dwellings, discuss your concerns with the listing agent and do your research.

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Granny Flats....