March 13, 2019
Everything You Need To Know Before You Build A Granny Flat

If you and your family have outgrown your existing home, a granny flat could be the answer. Or, perhaps you have a big, unused backyard that you’d like to make a bit of money out of. Again, a granny flat could be the answer.

Granny flats are basically small, secondary houses that are placed on the same property as your original house. They can be used to house family members – such as older children or elderly relatives – in an independent manner while keeping them close. They can also be rented out to generate a small amount of rental income for you and your family to enjoy.

However, there are a few things that you have to think about before committing to building a granny flat.

*Note that different states and regions have different laws surrounding granny flat construction, so make sure you check with your local council before building. This article will provide a general overview.

Some States Have Regulations About When You Can & Can’t Build A Granny Flat

The first thing that you have to think about before you even speak to a builder is whether you’re even allowed to build a granny flat in your state. Every state and territory has its own rules surrounding the construction of granny flats. These take into account things like the size of your property, the proximity to other dwellings and who is going to live in your new flat. 

You Need To Consider Who Will Live In Your Granny Flat

Expanding on the above point, the person who is going to live in your granny flat will play a large part in determining whether or not you can get council approval. For example, parts of Victoria, Queensland and South Australia only allow immediate family members to live in your granny flat. On the other hand, granny flats in the NT, ACT, Tasmania, WA and NSW can be rented out to generate rental income.

Make Sure You Can Afford It

If your current home is mortgaged, you need to closely consider your finances before you commit to building a new granny flat. The average cost can run from around $20,000 for simple DIY flat pack to hundreds of thousands of dollars for larger custom designed flats.

However, you shouldn’t let the cost deter you, even if it seems like you can’t afford it at first. There are various ways you can finance your new granny flat, especially if you have a steady income and enough savings for a deposit.

The best way to pay for a new flat is arguably to take out a new home loan. This may require refinancing your current mortgage (if you have one), but don’t let this scare you away – it’s not that hard! Note, however, that different banks have different financing options for granny flats, so you should speak to your local account manager before making any major decisions.

How Long Will My Granny Flat Take To Build?

Ultimately, the actual build time for a granny flat isn’t very long. Even the most complex flats are usually complete within 3 months, while simpler ones take even less time. You might find that it takes a lot longer than this to plan your flat and get the relevant council approvals.

In some states, council approvals can take anywhere up to around 10 weeks. However, in the stricter states (VIC, SA and Queensland) it can take up to a year for your build to be approved.

Now that you know everything you need to start thinking about building a granny flat, it’s time to start planning!

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