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Creating duplexes

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by Jacque, 29th Aug, 2006.

  1. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    Interested to see if anyone here has "created" or modified an existing house into a council approved duplex or dual occupancy dwelling?

    Would love to hear the details- good, bad or otherwise :)
     
  2. rambada

    rambada Well-Known Member

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    I have built duplexes in Qld but not modified an existing house.
    My thoughts are that most things can be ovecome, ie separate power, water, exits but things as firewall would be difficult.
    I guess it depends on if you want to strata it or not. If not then it is a question of safety according to council bylaws (and insurance) - if strata title, I'd like to hear your outcome.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 30th Aug, 2006
  3. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    Thanks for that Rambada
    Did you build brand new duplexes on vacant land or move an existing house over? Would be interested to hear more....
     
  4. rambada

    rambada Well-Known Member

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    We bulldozed and built. And another we had room to build the 2nd unit.
    Generally we will bulldoze and build - land size dictates that (and numbers crunched). Resale is streaks ahead for side by side duplexes Vs back to front - we do buy/build & keep but have found its still benificial to do side by side.
    A friend of mine sold his house to build his pair - it was up on peers so thats easy - they paid him around $5-7k for the house. Demolition is about $7500 so he was $15k ahead. Just depends on the house and the design you want to build.
     
  5. handyandy

    handyandy Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jaque

    We did one.

    Initially we just enlarged the granny flat. Initally this was a big bedroom with a bathroom attached which was also accessible from the house via a veranda under the main roof.

    This was a big house that had been extended badly, basically they ended up with a house in a 'T' shape with the top of the 'T' the extension (size of another house) the original granny flat was the end part of the top. They then also had this room, that really was between 2 other rooms next to the granny flat a really odd situation. Then to top it of the had a veranda under the main roof.

    When we bought the property we enclosed the veranda and attached another veranda along side the house (not under main roof). We then closed of the doorways to the 'odd' room and opened a doorway into the granny flat. With the enclosed veranda, this extra room and the bathroom that became a kitchen we created a 2 bedroom unit, this still left a substantial 3 bedroom main residence.

    The only problem was I did all this without council approval and without creating a fire wall between the two properties. Everything went fine for about 8 years until I had a problem tenant in the unit that in the end attracted council attention and the 'show just cause' 'restore to approved status' questions.

    After going along to council and arguing the case I was able to retain the existing but having to build a fire wall between the properties and also increasing the parking ratio on the block. The parking was just an excuse as they thought I couldn't accommodate this and thus couldn't get retro approval. In the end the cost for the fire wall and the double carport and extra driveways was about $15k not including lost rent. These properties are still on one title and can't ever be separated.

    I will digup some pics and post later.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 31st Aug, 2006
  6. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    Thanks for that Handy :)

    Was the granny flat actually approved at all when you first bought the property?
    I know a lot of investors use these as sources of second income and I think they're a great idea, but how do you insurance wise if it's a non approved dwelling? I would imagine no leg to stand on would be accurate? :D
     
  7. handyandy

    handyandy Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jacque

    In the first instance it was approved. It had been part of the initial extension that the owner had done some 20 years previously.

    The only thing that was against council regulation in regard to this property is that installed a kitchen in the granny flat. This as I understand it, is what necessites the firewall, as without kitchen it is no different to another bedroom in the house.

    Cheers
     
  8. yeslist

    yeslist Member

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    Hi Handyandy
    If there is no kitchen as such I have in the past have used plug in hotplates and microwave ovens. That only works when there is a sink in the room.
    Simon
     
  9. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    Very smart, Simon, and a cheaper way of installing cooking facilities for tenants, I would imagine :)

    But what about doing the full lamb roast?!!!
     
  10. yeslist

    yeslist Member

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    They could do that outside on their own BBQ :D
    Simon