Dual occupancy homes can make dollars and sense

Whether you’re looking for financial security or a place for family to call home, dual occupancy home designs open more doors.

23 June, 2022

Let’s talk size… or rather, area. 

Until the ’70s, cities around Australia had much more room than what was used, with a livable land area of almost 500,000 square kilometres and a national population hovering around the 10 million mark. 

The urban landscape of Australian cities has drastically changed over the last 40 years. Single-storey homes were built in the middle of generously-sized blocks of land as sparsely populated “doughnut cities” and were much more affordable.

Fast forward to today, though tremendous population growth and these generous block sizes are paying for themselves in more ways than one, providing potential income streams for property owners and a place for a growing population to live. How? Two words: dual occupancy.

While many people think of a ‘mirrored home divided into two’ scenario (known as a duplex), the NSW Building Code defines a dual occupancy home as simply two dwellings on one lot that can come in various forms. Attached dual occupancy designs share a common or dividing wall, while detached dual occupancy refers to two freestanding homes positioned on a single block of land and are the ideal solution for land that cannot be subdivided.

Dual occupancy home designs provide both financial and practical benefits for the keen property owner:

1. As an income source (or two)

Building two properties on a single block of land can prove financially beneficial. Once the two properties have been strata-titled, they can be sold off individually, often meaning you’re financially well in terms of initial money outlay. 

This is a significant first step to bigger and better things if you’re a budding property developer.

Choosing to sell only one property means you’ve gone a long way to paying off your mortgage, and you still have a home to live in.

If selling isn’t on your mind and your goal is to hold onto both properties, you’ll find yourself with a valuable income stream (or two, if you’re renting out both). 

On the practical side, if you have an old property, it may make more financial sense to knock down and rebuild two new dwellings than it would to renovate or remodel. Speak to one of our building designers before making this decision—our team will help you reach a more financially viable conclusion. 

Another financial benefit to building dual occupancy, as opposed to rebuilding two separate properties, is that costs will be minimal, as you’ll only need one design and construction team for your nest egg project.

2. A home for intergenerational living

This is becoming a common scenario as home prices around the country continue to increase. 

With home prices having exploded to almost 40 times higher than the swinging 70s, it’s getting harder and harder for young people to enter the property market in any of the major cities. Dual occupancy home designs offer them a much cheaper way of buying their first home and setting themselves up for a more secure future.

What if it’s the kids providing for the parents? Dual occupancy homes are an excellent option for ageing parents. Whether it’s also a matter of affordability, a move to downsize, or a sound way of more accessible access to child care, this option solves the housing issue. It allows privacy to be maintained as well. Privacy that apartments cannot match.

Whatever your reason, and however you’d like to proceed, the experienced building designers at ES Design implement a diverse set of skills, disciplines, and impressive experience to help you design the dual occupancy home design of your dreams.

Whether looking for an attached or detached dual occupancy design, a studio addition or maybe a cosy little granny flat out the back, we recognise that no two projects are the same—and no two clients are the same. Our customer-centric philosophy heroes transparency and collaboration at every step, ensuring you are satisfied with every part of the process.

In our initial consultation, we capture all necessary information about your development, taking the time to understand your requirements and the compliance surrounding them. ES Design will guide you every step to ensure no surprises and that you are continually informed on progress. We’ll provide a dedicated team who will be available to answer any of your questions around the clock.

See more of our projects here.

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