Granny flats in Australia are fast becoming a growing trend with many homeowners, as more and more Australians are now opting to construct new granny flats on their properties. Some of the factors influencing the trend towards constructing granny flats are:
* The tendency for young married couples choosing to live at home longer while trying to save for their own home;
* The potential to generate rental income by renting out your granny flat;
* The potential to provide suitable housing for your elderly parents; or
* An interest in expanding your life/work opportunities
What is a Granny Flat?
A granny flat is a term used for a "secondary dwelling". They are smaller than the primary home on your block (i.e. they can only be 60 square metres in size) and they can vary in size, for example:
* Some may consist of three bedrooms plus kitchen, dining and living spaces; and
* Some may simply consist of one large space that can act as a home office or even as a hobby space.
Where can I Build a Granny Flat?
Granny flats can be built on most residential-zoned properties. For example you may generally be eligible to build a granny flat on your particular residential block:
* If your residential block is over 450 square metres in size: and
* If your granny flat does not take up more than 60 per cent of your residential block.
But, you should check with your local council or shire in case there are some restrictions that may prevent you from constructing a granny flat on your particular block.
Do your Homework and contact your Local Council or Shire
Always do your homework first, before you start constructing your granny flat. When doing your homework you should contact your local council or shire to find out about current legislation surrounding granny flats and their specific requirements. The following general regulations govern granny flats across most local councils and shires:
* You as the owner of the granny flat must also be the owner of the primary dwelling:
* Each residential property is only limited to one granny flat being built on the residential property;
* Granny flats cannot exist on a strata title, subdivided title or on a community title; and
* Granny flats must have clear, separate and unobstructed pedestrian access.
Why Granny Flats are becoming popular in Australia?
Granny flats have grown dramatically over recent years in Australia as they have a myriad of uses such as:
1. Providing Lodging for Young Married Couples
Parents can build a granny flat out the back of their land to provide accommodation for young married couples who need somewhere cheap to rent, while they are trying to save enough money for their own home.
2. Providing Housing for Elderly Parents
A granny flat is a great residence for your elderly parents if they need to be looked after and you don't want to put them in a home (i.e. they don't want to lose their independence).
3. Generating Rental Income
You can construct a granny flat to enable you to generate rental income by:
Renting out your granny flat to make some extra money; or
Downsizing and moving into the granny flat yourself and renting out your house to make even more money.
4. Providing Home Office or Hobby Space facilities for yourself
You can build a granny flat and save money on rental expenses by:
Building your own "home Office" right at home to give you better life/work opportunities; or
Building your perfect "hobby space" to give you space so that you can carry out your passions without interfering with any house space, such as your art, crafts or woodwork.
You have now read this article and you should have a clear understanding of:
* Why granny flats are fast becoming a growing trend in Australia; and
* The many benefits granny flats can provide to you.
Granny Flat Loans
If you have established that you have enough vacant area on your residential block to build a granny flat and if you decide to finance your granny flat project, you should speak to your lender/credit provider or to a professionally qualified finance broker. Generally, you can:
* Utilise a granny flat loan to construct your new granny flat. In this situation the total amount of the granny flat loan will be considered for approval based on the value of your residential property plus the value of the granny flat that you want to build; or
* Consider a home equity loan. In this situation you can use the current equity available in your current residential property and on which your granny flat will be built (i.e. this will require adding an "additional loan" amount to your current home loan).
Seek Expert and Professional Advice
http://www.singhfinance.com.au is a reputed Australian finance brokerage firm that employs a team of expert and professionally qualified finance brokers. They have a thorough knowledge of what the standard requirements are for building granny flats and they can explain in simple terms what your finance options are. They will obtain a pre-approved granny flat loan for you, and they will even help you find suitable building and contents insurance for you. Call on 0424 190 908 today or visit their website and simply click on the "ENQUIRE ONLINE" form.
Disclaimer: This article is of a general nature only and does not constitute professional advice. I strongly recommend that you seek your own professional legal and accounting advice in relation to your particular circumstances.
By Frank Z