Dual Living – A home and an investment property all under the one roof

Dual Living – A home and an investment property all under the one roof

Renovations, Tips and Advice, Lifestyle, New Homes
Brisbane post war cottage renovation

Your home can be your investment property

Consider this …

Housing prices are high, the cost of living is rising and many Australian families simply can’t afford to get into the housing market. In fact, some analysts predict entire generations of Australian families will never be able to afford to buy their own homes.

So what happens when you can’t buy your own home?

Simple, you rent one from someone else.

But if more and more people are renting and fewer people are building their own homes, upward pressure is placed on rental prices. And even allowing for wealthy investors building more and more rental properties, our population is growing at a rate that rental accommodation is struggling to keep up with; this is why more and more young adults are still living with their parents as they struggle to afford to move out on their own.

And it’s because of these and other factors that we are now hearing the terms ‘Housing Affordability Crisis’ and ‘Rental Crisis’ more frequently.

Dual Living Benefits

It’s not all doom and gloom and in fact, it’s these very factors that open up a tremendous opportunity for YOU.

Let me explain what that opportunity is …

It’s called Dual Living and it’s taking the concept of the ‘Granny Flat’ to a whole new level. Essentially it is designing a purpose-built new dual living home or taking an existing home and turning it into two separate homes, each with its own entrance and facilities like laundry, kitchens, toilets, bedrooms, living and outdoor areas etc. But unlike a granny flat, you’re not building a separate structure; you’re simply building a purpose-built new home or renovating an existing one. Think about the savings that this concept offers in terms of construction costs as well as permits and approvals.

Now obviously the Dual Living concept doesn’t suit every property equally. If you have a small block then chances are it’s not going to work for you. But if your block is suitable, and you want to create a whole new income stream, then you simply can’t afford to not explore this possibility.

So let’s take a look at some of the major dual living benefits …

Make money from your home

Helps with mortgage payments: If you’re looking to build a new home or investment property, or currently paying off an existing home and you’re worried about the rising cost of living, this strategy is a guaranteed winner. For just a little bit more in your building or renovation budget, you can now introduce a rental income stream that can help you pay off your home much faster and with less stress.

Helps fund retirement: A lot of people lost money in the recent Global Financial Crisis. Recent retirees and those approaching retirement age are now left with a lot less than they had before. But by renovating to create a Dual Living environment they can now fund their retirement from their ongoing rental income. And the fact that many retirees need less space once their family have grown up and moved on only makes this option more attractive. They can stay in their family home but dramatically reduce their workload in terms of upkeep on the property.

Helps gain some privacy: With so many young adults now staying at home for longer, it’s also an attractive option for gaining some more privacy. Parents who want some time and space to themselves can get it by renovating for Dual Living. It also gives their children more privacy and can still bring in an income by charging some reasonable amount of rent.

Helps maximise your returns: Building or renovating a Dual Living rental property makes excellent commercial sense. Consider a house that may rent for $600 per week as a single occupancy home. Now compare that to a Dual Living property where the two rental areas now rent for $375 each per week. You’ve just increased your rental income by $150 per week!

Easily reversed: And perhaps the greatest benefit of all is that a Dual Living design can easily be turned back into a single living property, regardless of whether it’s a renovation or a brand new home. So if you’ve paid off your mortgage, or your children have finally moved out and you want to return to living by yourself, a simple renovation can return your property to a single living one, giving you the benefit of the extra space.

No matter how you look at it, Dual Living designs make a lot of sense. They can work for properties where granny flats are not an option; they bring in another stream of income that can help offset the rising costs of living as well as helping you pay off your mortgage. They are also a brilliant option for investment properties where more renters mean more dollars.

So if you’re concerned about the rising cost of living, or you simply want to create a new income stream and build your way to a property empire contact us today to explore the options of doing a Dual Living renovation on your existing home or creating a purpose-built new Dual Living home that can easily be transformed back into a single living property in the future.

Dion Seminara Architect


Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 20 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.