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Granny flats, or secondary dwellings as they are known as in the Planning world, can allow home owners to keep parents or adult children close by while giving them their own space. They can also be a great way to generate additional rental income.
In NSW, The State Environmental Planning Policy Affordable Rental Housing 2009 paved the way for granny flats across NSW with it becoming permissible for granny flats in most residential areas. This created a boom in the Sydney region particularly established areas such as the Northern Beaches area where rental prices and housing prices were increasing exponentially.
But before you book in your builder, there are a few questions you’ll need to ask and some research to undertake to make your project a successful one.
Don’t assume that because your neighbour has one, you can have one too. Each state and territory has different laws governing secondary dwellings, with rules on block size and dwelling size and the distance you’ll need to leave between boundaries, trees and your existing house.
In NSW the minimum lot size is 450 square metres (under complying development) but Development Application can be permissible for smaller lot sizes, and the maximum dwelling size is 60 square metres (in most cases). There are some certain situations where your council area might provide you a better granny flat size option under clause 5.4 of the Local Environmental Plan.
You can have a chat with one of our planners at Outlook Planning and Development to see whether you can building a granny flat on your site.
If you live in Melbourne, Brisbane or Adelaide and you thought a granny flat was a great way to boost your cashflow, think again.
According to regulations in these cities, only immediate family or a “dependent person” can occupy your granny flat. In some instances, you may be required to remove your granny flat if that person leaves or dies.
There is more choice across NSW, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, the ACT and Tasmania, where Gateway Bank chief executive Paul Thomas says it’s generally acceptable to rent out your second dwelling. Research conducted by Gateway revealed 23 per cent of the country’s granny flats were used to generate rental income.
The cost for a granny flat can range from $20,000 to $200,000-plus.
The cost of a granny flat can vary depending on the purpose of the residence and the quality you’re striving for…
For example for $24,000 you might secure a flat-pack DIY dwelling, $70,000 should cover the installation of a one-bedroom prefabricated dwelling while custom designs start from around $120,000.
Owner and managing director of Newcastle-based Backyard Grannys Alex
Mitchell says the typical price for a one-bedder starts at $90,000, with
a two-bedder starting from $105,000.
“In our experience at Backyard Grannys clients spend on average $130,000 on a granny flat purchase,” he says.
If your home is encumbered and you’re still paying off a mortgage, you’ll need to go through the process of a home loan application.
While you can use your home’s equity to help you apply for a top-up or new loan, you will still need to be able to demonstrate that you have enough income to make the repayments on the new loan.
As part of the application process, you may also need to have your home revalued so be prepared. Have your house and floor plans ready so that your appraiser can get a sense of how much value your granny flat will add to your existing property.
Some banks, including Gateway, have products specifically designed for the development of granny flats. If you choose this option, you may have to refinance your existing mortgage with the new credit provider in order to gain access to the granny flat loan.
An approval for a secondary dwelling generally takes about three months to get approval through a development application with Council. This will allow time for creating the concept design, detailed plans, choosing selections, engineering, signing the contract and an official DA Approval of a granny flat. If the granny flat can be approved under a complying development certificate then this approval timeframe becomes potentially around 10 days.
This will depend on whether you are putting together a flat pack, installing a pre-fabricated unit or building from scratch. Some suppliers claim their dwellings can be erected in as little as six
On average a simple granny flat takes 12 weeks to build and up to 15 weeks for more complex builds.
Development approval is obtained through two methods:
Both of these approval methods require different documents to be prepared and without knowledge of the processes you can end up spending more money than anticipated on unnecessary reports or plans.
Before you begin your development journey it is always best to have a chat with a town planner and that is where Outlook Planning and Development can assist. We have helped countless people with their granny flats over the years and have got some difficult granny flat applications over the line with a well drafted statement of environmental effects.
Simply give us a call on 0432 848 467 and have a talk with one of our friendly planners. They can help guide you through the process and assist you in obtaining approval for your granny flat. Their experience will mean that you do it right the first time.
They can help guide you through the process and assist you in obtaining approval for your granny flat. Their experience will mean that you do it right the first time.
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