Why dual occupancy is growing in popularity among home owners and investors in Brisbane

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Why dual occupancy is growing in popularity among home owners and investors in Brisbane

Renovations, Tips and Advice, Lifestyle, Buying a Home

There are two types of dual occupancy. The first and most common are separate structures like granny flats which are not attached to the main home. The second type are modified homes where the house has been split into two separate dwellings and it is this second type that is growing in popularity with home owners and investors alike.

A huge advantage of this type of dual occupancy dwelling over a separate structure is the fact that it’s now possible to do this on any residential home side across Queensland without multi-residential zoning and with no limitation on the size of each house. These projects only require building approval and do not require development approval. So if you own a home in Queensland this option is open to you.dual occupancy

Advantages of dual occupancy

There are a number of advantages to dual occupancy residences, depending on whether you’re older, retired or approaching retirement or younger and just getting into the property market. There are also significant advantages for investors as well. So let’s take a look at each group individually.

Advantages for mature homeowners

Often mature couples whose children have grown into adults find that they no longer need the large home they once did. Cleaning and maintaining a larger home and yard can be overly demanding resulting in a lot of older singles and couples downsizing. But dual occupancy gives them a way to downsize without needing to leave the family home. Instead, the home and yard are split into two smaller dwellings making it easier to look after without the hassle of selling and buying somewhere new.

Once the home has been renovated into two separate dwellings which share the same roofline it has the advantage of being able to generate an income stream as the other half of the house can now be rented out. Now obviously you would need to talk to your accountant about the potential tax ramifications of this income in addition to potential impacts on pensions and other concessions, but the potential for a good steady income stream is there.

Often more mature homeowners are motivated to turn their home into a dual occupancy residence to assist their children as they enter the property market. Renting out one side of the home for a reduced rate still gives the parents income whilst giving their children a chance to save for a deposit on their own home. This has the added advantage of allowing them to keep a close connection with any grandchildren whilst still allowing both families to maintain a respectful amount of privacy.

Security is another consideration. With break-ins and burglaries seemingly on the increase, many older people feel vulnerable, particularly at night. However, the close proximity of other people in a home that’s been converted into a dual occupancy residence can give a welcome peace of mind. This is particularly true if the older couple intends to do a lot of traveling away from home in their retirement years. It’s nice to know somebody is close by keeping an eye on things.

Dual occupancy is becoming more popular for the older demographic who would rather stay in their family home longer than move into a retirement home. It also leaves an income-producing asset when they’ve gone.

Advantages for people starting out in the property market

The number one advantage here is allowing younger people to pay off their home sooner. By converting their home into a dual occupancy residence those just new to the property market can start producing an income stream that can allow them to quickly pay down their mortgage. Then if and when they decide that they no longer need the additional income they can convert the home back to a single residence, potentially tying in an upgraded renovation at the same time. Alternatively, they may choose to leverage the property to upgrade to a better home. This would enable them to rent out both sides of the home giving them increased capacity to service their new loan.

Advantages for investors

For investors, the benefit of transforming properties into dual occupancy homes is simply to increase their rental yields. For what is often a moderate investment to have the home converted their long-term gain is significantly increased, not only in terms of additional rental return but also in the resale value of their now dual income producing asset.

The key to dual occupancy success

To be clear successfully transforming a property into a dual occupancy home relies heavily on engaging an architect with real design skills.

It’s important that the renovated home offers ample privacy to all occupants. Whilst they might be under the same roofline the home needs to be separate particularly from a noise point of view. In some cases where extended families are living together, there might be shared common areas, but beyond those common areas people need to be allowed to go about their business in private.

A great design will also allow for the renovation to be relatively easily reversed. Whilst investors may want to stick with the dual-income design of the property, future buyers may want to convert it back to a single home. And of course, younger homebuyers who simply wanted to pay off their home sooner will most likely want to convert it back to a single home at some point in the future.

But regardless of which category you fall into, you will want an attractive renovation that brings in the right sort of tenants. It stands to reason that the better the dwelling the greater the rental yield will be. So it also stands to reason that you should engage dion seminara architecture to create your dual occupancy renovation design for you. We have the experience but more importantly, the design skill to create a stunning renovation that will suit your needs both now and into the future. Call us on 07 3899 9450 to discuss your dual occupancy requirements.

Dion Seminara Architect


We are experts at home design, renovations and new homes and ensure good value for money outcomes.

Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 30 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.