Pros and Cons of Building a Granny Flat
What are the Pros and Cons of Building a Granny Flat
Granny flats are becoming increasingly popular in Australia as a result of many different factors. These include:-
- High cost of land and housing in all major capital cities.
- We are living longer which has generated a huge demand in accommodation for the elderly.
- Our children are leaving home at an older age.
- Our children often come back home!
There are pros and cons to building a granny flat either attached or separate to the main house. These include factors such as return on investment, lifestyle, an opportunity to obtain an additional source of revenue (not in Queensland, Victoria or South Australia) and the need for both the young and old to have a measure of independence.
What are the Pros of building a Granny Flat?
The addition of a granny flat will increase the value of your property however the return on the investment is strongly dependent upon the location of your home and the cost of the construction.
The design and external appeal of your granny flat too will play an important factor in determining your return on this addition to your property. There is always the possibility that a cheaply constructed and badly designed granny flat can reduce the appeal of the overall dwelling.
If you do have an elder or younger family member that really needs this type of accommodation it is a perfect fit for those who require independence but also support and assistance. Building a granny flat is also a good solution for grannies and granddads. For those retired singles or couples a granny flat can provide a much needed source of income (in those states that permit rental of granny flats) and if the match is right even some socialisation and support.
An alternative use of a granny flat is for the parents to downsize into the granny flat and allow their married children or grandchildren the use of the family home. This provides an excellent solution to the need to downsize without having to move from the local area, staying close to friends and popular haunts.
What are the Cons of Building a Granny Flat?
Whilst having a granny flat makes your property (when selling) attractive to those seeking a property with a granny flat, you are also losing a larger part of the market which does not wish to pay for a granny flat that they may have no intention of ever using. This is most true in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia where granny flats cannot be used as rental properties. Renting a granny flat to strangers is different to having a separate rental property.
The occupants of your granny flat will be right on your doorstep and you may feel that the loss of privacy outweighs the financial gain. And this would be an expensive learning exercise. You need to do your sums, if you don’t actually need a granny flat for your own or your families use you are likely to find that there are other better performing investments to building a granny flat, these include renovating your own home.
If you build a granny flat for rental purposes you will probably find that they take longer to lease. Many renters will be wary of renting a granny flat in your back garden preferring a more private option. As a result too you may find that you need to offer a lower rent in order to attract tenants. Some
Important Information Concerning Adding a Granny Flat
Depending on your state planning rules you may need to obtain Council Approval for your granny flat. Here is some information regarding approvals for the additing of a granny flat in NSW and Brisbane. https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/understanding-planning/assessment-systems/complying-development http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/planning-building/planning-guidelines-tools/brisbane-city-plan-2014/fact-sheets/granny-flats This entails a submission that conforms to the planning and building codes and rules and regulations. Some Councils do facilitate planning approvals for properties that are suitable for this type of development by reducing the amount of documentation that needs to be submitted and also the length of time for processing the application. It can still though often be a lengthy process that needs to be gone through and as with this type of development there will be concerns about privacy, noise, setbacks and building heights particularly in small to medium sized residential blocks.
Granny Flat Development Summary
In summary in order to obtain the best return for the costs of developing your granny flat and to facilitate the approval process your granny flat needs to be well situated on the block, well designed both internally and externally and needs to compliment your existing home. Furthermore given the most often small size of granny flats the design of the granny flat can make or break the usability of the space. Some clever design solutions can ensure that your granny flat provides all that you require including natural light, usable room size, storage, functional floor plan and a flexible design for alternative future uses.
If you would like to know more about the pros and cons of building a granny flat or renovating your home please contact a building designer at Yolk Building Design and Drafting in Brisbane.