Should you invest in dual living?

August 19, 2015 - 2 min read

If you’ve never heard of dual living before, you could be missing out on a tremendous investment opportunity.

With the rising cost of living and increased housing prices, dual living is a great way to take advantage of a whole new income stream without the added expenses. Unlike duplexes, which have two different titles, dual living is strata titled which means one set of rates, one insurance premium, one mortgage and so on. While there are a number of council loopholes you’ll have to jump through in order to meet the legal requirements for a dual-occupancy dwelling, it could end up making you thousands of dollars in the long run.

What exactly is dual living?

Basically, you’re creating two different homes within the same structure, each with their own laundry, kitchens, toilets, bedrooms, living and outdoor areas. Whether you want to transform your current home into a dual-occupancy dwelling or design one from scratch, for just a few extra construction costs you can create a whole new revenue stream.

Are you eligible?

While each state has its own specific laws pertaining to dual-occupancy dwellings, you should always talk closely with the council and your local builder before starting your development strategy. Things like size and location are big factors in determining whether you’re eligible for dual-living benefits.

Plan and research

Like every other building project you undertake, you need to dot the i’s and cross the t’s before proceeding. After you’ve had your finances preapproved and done the appropriate due diligence in regards to your eligibility, you then need to find out if your project will be viable. Talk to your real estate agent about recent comparable sales references, as well as the current state of the rental market, so you can better estimate your potential return on investment. Obtain a quote from a trusted builder (or multiple quotes if you don’t already have a trusted builder) for the total cost of your new build or renovation. This will help you better understand the scope of your project before it begins.

Benefits of dual living

Creating a dual-occupancy dwelling not only gives you a place to live, but you can also pay off your mortgage using the rental income. Traditionally, dual living properties are better at maximising your returns. For example, a single property that normal rents out at $600 a week, could potentially be split into a dual occupancy home that rents for $350-375 apiece—increasing your income by up to $150 a week. Finally, just because it’s a dual occupancy building now, doesn’t mean it has to be like that forever! Depending on the design, your home can be transformed back into a single living property once you’ve paid off the mortgage or want to return to living by yourself.