Buying and selling a home in Australia is a big investment and buying an additional property can be prohibitively costly for most and is out of the question. Many homeowners looking to boost their passive income or to own another property for their family are often faced with challenges associated with subdivision and municipal zoning laws, so it only makes sense that dual occupancy homes are gaining traction across the country’s states and territories. What’s the difference between these two and which one is best for you? Here are a few key things to keep in mind before making a big investment.
Dual Occupancy vs Subdivision
Dual occupancy property is simply one property with two homes, either built side by side (both with frontage on public right of way) or front and back of the property. The owner of the title is still the same, but the owner of the second property will have a legal relationship with you over the land.
A subdivision is, as the name implies, the division of an existing plot of land into smaller ones. In order for the owner of a title to subdivide a lot, however, a lot of red tape and clearance from local councils will be required to ensure that the land meets zoning regulations, i.e. it has frontage onto the right of way, does not obstruct any municipal easements, is not too dense, has enough of a buffer between adjacent homes, etc.
Which is Better?
The better question to ask yourself is “which is better for me? Dual occupancy or subdivision?” In effect, these two ways of adding another home on a piece of land are not mutually exclusive. A property owner may have a dual occupancy home on a subdivided plot of land. The reasons why depend on your personal circumstances and the decision often comes down to cost vs benefit for many property owners.
Consider that subdivision can be a costly and time-consuming process back and forth with your local council, which in turn can end up draining a lot of resources. Subdivision has its own advantages and disadvantages, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s the only way to add another structure to a lot.
For many, dual occupancy house construction is an ideal alternative to subdivision. Provided that your local council approves of the project, the process is often much more straightforward than applying for a subdivision.
Can I Sell the Second Home Eventually?
In short, unless the second home occupies its own title, you won’t be able to sell it whilst keeping the primary residence on the same lot. The end goal is to eventually subdivide the lot if you intend to sell the property. Once the subdivision has been granted, the title to the property can be bought and sold freely.
This is a great reason to develop a dual occupancy home now, whereby a passive income can be generated from one or both homes, then to subdivide the plot later on if you’d like to sell one or both properties individually.
Municipalities across Australia are letting developers build dual occupancy homes all over to help alleviate some of the difficulties many Australians have on the housing market, so it’s a great time to get in on the action. Contact Trevor Homes to learn more about our dual occupancy homes and how you can get started on a solid lifetime investment.