Duplex Designs - Are they worth the trouble?

When you have a larger or traditional block of land it is a natural thought to think of downsizing as you get older. It is also a thought to subdivide so you can live in one and rent or sell the other.

You can still make the homes look independent from one other with colour or materials. A duplex is a single residential building with two dwellings under the one roof and a dividing wall between. Also known as a dual occupancy, each side is a completely separate home, with its own entrance, amenities and yard. Duplexes are sometimes on one title, meaning both halves must be sold together. Also known as a dual occupancy, each side is a completely separate home, with its own entrance, amenities and yard.

Here are some things to consider:

  1. Subdivision costs- this can cost thousands in town planning and permits - $40- $50K in consultancy fees. Consult with your council re zoning to see if your property can be turned into a duplex or dual occupancy

  2. Knock down and rebuild could cost $20K

  3. Design and planning usually takes more than a year so you have land tax and rates to consider

  4. Capital gains is also usually applicable on the home that is not your primary residence

  5. Owners must agree to a building insurance policy that covers both sides of a duplex.

  6. You need to have a certain amount of green space on the block, again check with your council or town planner.

  7. If you are an investor, buying a duplex means that you’ll receive two rental incomes from one asset. And building one means you’ll be able to earn almost as much rental income as you would from two detached houses while saving thousands on land costs, as a duplex requires much less land than two detached houses.

  8. The cost up to half as much as a regular home and for anyone on a moderate budget, or anyone wanting a low-maintenance lifestyle in a premium location, such as retirees and down-sizers this is a big plus.

  9. One of the main benefits of subdividing and building a duplex is the ability to generate multiple dwellings, and therefore multiple sources of profit.

So before you embark on designing a duplex or even considering a block to develop, call me and we can have a catch about its potential.