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Forever home vs. investment property: how to choose between different types of residential developments - 13 Oct, 2021



When deciding on the design for the upcoming construction of your property, you will have to determine the type of development that you want. Within residential developments, several types of design can impact the functionality and comfort of your home. Considering your needs, future goals and your family’s lifestyle is important when designing your home as it will impact the type of development you decide to construct.

At ES Design, we often get clients who are in search of guidance regarding the type of residential development in addition to the building design. Though it’s helpful to have a list of features and wants for your home, you should settle on the type of house you want before making any concrete building design plans.

Whether you want to build a dual occupancy home or a townhouse can greatly impact the potential of your home and your freedom to alter it in the future. Property is one of the best investments you can make in life, which is why you should be extremely careful of the type and design of development that you construct or purchase.

Understanding what your residential development options are


One of the first steps to correctly choosing the type of development you’d like to design and construct is understanding what’s out there and what’s possible. Our team will guide you through all of your options, depending on your needs, the size of your household and your future plans.


Here’s a brief overview of some of the residential development options:


  • Duplex

    • This residential development contains two homes that are separated by a central wall. They are excellent for living in one unit and enjoying an income stream from renting the other.

  • Granny flat

    • Traditionally used for aging parents, a granny flat is a self-contained housing unit located on the same block (sometimes attached or detached) as a single-family dwelling. It can also be rented and used as a form of income, however, it cannot be subdivided from the home.

  • Townhouse

    • A townhouse is a multi-level building that's designed to mimic a house that is owned on a strata title. It’s an excellent and affordable way of getting your food into homeownership without the heavy cost of a home.

  • Dual occupancy homes

    • Dual occupancy is defined as two dwellings on one title, either attached or detached. It is different from a granny flat or secondary dwelling and also allows you to rent or sell the other dwelling.

  • Stand-alone home

    • Similar to a bungalow, stand-alone homeowners own the entire plot of land and property. It’s very spacious and can accommodate any home design (once it’s within council regulations).


Can the land you own accommodate your development?


As you can see from above, different types of developments require vastly varied sizes of land. If you have purchased land before you’ve decided on the type of development that you’d like to build, then you may be limited in what you can construct. For example, a stand-alone home requires a relatively large piece of land when compared to what a townhouse would require.


Work with your ES Design consultant to determine what options you have.


Operate within your parameters

Every prospective homeowner has parameters for their project. As our client, you will need to inform us of the following:

  • Your budget – your finances will tell us what design you can accommodate in your house as well as which type of development is best for you in conjunction with features that you want. For example, a townhouse is affordable and a great way to get your foot into the market. However, if you have a slightly higher budget, we may recommend a dual occupancy as it requires a large initial investment, but repays itself in the form of renting one dwelling.

  • Your ideal move-in date – it’s unsurprising that houses take a few months to build a house, however, depending on the type of development it may take longer or shorter. If time is extremely important to you, we will recommend a development accordingly.


Ensure you consider your lifestyle and future goals when deciding on your development


This is, perhaps, the most important point to consider when determining what type of development is right for you. What you want now and in the future is key in selecting your home.

A forever home needs to be able to grow with you. Generally, we recommend dual occupancy homes, duplexes or a stand-alone home with a granny flat. They are able to accommodate new members of the family and elderly parents who need to stay close to their children. These types of developments are also able to generate income through renting one dwelling or unit, helping to support families.

For those interested in a lucrative investment, townhouses or duplexes are an excellent choice, for supplementing an income through rent or selling later down the line.

We hope that this breakdown helps you understand the value that different types of developments bring. We know it can be difficult deciding among all of these options. Get in touch with our team so that we can help you come up with the best decision.



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