As home prices surge and renters battle it out for scarce properties, dual occupancy could be the key to maximising the investment you’re already sitting on, while still maintaining your current lifestyle.
Imagine you’re a proud homeowner in a location you love. Your home has seen you and your family through school and work and a pretty challenging couple of years. You don’t need to move but skyrocketing property prices are making you wonder if you’ll miss a golden opportunity if you don’t sell now.
The good news is that there is a way to leverage the equity you already have without saying goodbye to the neighbourhood you love: let’s talk about dual occupancy developments.
Boutique Homes experts say interest in dual occupancy is at an all-time high, and that means now’s the time to strike. Here’s how to master what’s shaping up to be one of the year’s biggest home trends.
Dual occupancy is a great fit for investors, owner-occupiers and families of all shapes and sizes. But what exactly is it?
In the most basic sense, dual occupancy refers to two or more dwellings built on the same plot of land. It typically includes side-by-side duplexes or detached townhomes, both of which are offered by Boutique Homes.
A dual occupancy development can be a good investment decision. Its flexibility makes it a great option because you could elect to sell both dwellings, sell one and live in or rent the other, or rent both.
Whichever life stage you’re at, or whatever your investment goals, the beauty of dual occupancy is that you can create a project that meets your changing needs, now and into the future.
A big part of the appeal of a dual occupancy development is making your equity work harder. When you’re an owner-occupier living in a single home, the only return you’re likely to see on that investment is if you decide to sell.
But when you replace an existing property with multiple dwellings, the potential return on your investment is increased, especially if you elect to rent the properties or sell one of the homes.
“We chose dual occupancy to provide us with financial flexibility,” says Oscar Stanley, a young father who built a dual occupancy in Glen Iris, of south-east Melbourne. “We could access a suburb we loved, without overextending ourselves, based on selling or renting out the additional home on completion.”
Boutique Homes’ dual occupancy manager, Richard Hobby, says a key priority in developing a dual occupancy should be matching your project budget to the expectations of your local buyer or renter.
“Make sure that the level of specification and quality and inclusions in the design reflect what people living in that suburb would expect,” he says. “Looking for the lowest possible build price might seem like the right decision at the time – especially given dual occupancy developments can be pricier than their single-dwelling counterparts – but down the track, your resale or your rental return could be diminished if your property isn’t aligned with the market’s expectations.
“We work very closely with clients to ensure we understand their investment or lifestyle goal and then make sure that their design meets their expectations, as well as that of the market.”
If a homeowner is considering delving into the world of dual occupancy, Boutique Homes is well placed to help them meet their goals.
There’s a range of designs and specifications to choose from, with all floor plans having been developed with local area planning requirements in mind. Owners and investors can choose from a range of architecturally inspired facades and enjoy the flexibility of quality interior selections, finishes and features to personalise their new homes.
Boutique Homes’ full-service offering means site assessments, council approvals, subdivision applications, demolition and landscaping can be packaged in your new dual occupancy project – with the whole process managed by your own dedicated project manager from start to finish.
“Look for a full-service build partner that can take away as many of the headaches as possible,” Hobby says, noting that any one of those considerations on its own could cause considerable frustration if there are bumps in the road.
“It’s very rarely the case that the best time to buy is in the future,” Hobby says. “It’s always yesterday.”
This observation is particularly true of the current market, with home values through the roof, and rentals increasingly expensive and difficult to secure.
Stanley says: “With house pricing at an all-time high, dual occupancy facilitates the creation of two or more family-sized homes, which efficiently maximise your block. The end result becomes not only liveable but a commercial outcome which delivers a great return on investment.”
If you’re a seasoned investor, downsizer, or just want to get a jump on the next evolution of the place you call home, dual occupancy might be just the ticket to realising the development potential of your land.