The new standard in granny flats

    Gone are the days when a granny flat was simply a quick garage or shed conversion. Granny flats are now being so lavishly built they could pass as a standard home. And more often than not, they’re not being used by grannys!

    A granny flat is defined as a self-contained accommodation within, attached or separate to an individual home. In the last five years, their popularity has increased dramatically as investors are keen to earn a second rental income and families can help accommodate those who cannot yet afford their own place.

    To build a granny flat in NSW, homeowners can have an accredited certifier approve their granny flat as a complying development without the need for lodging a development application with the local council, subject to specific development standards in the SEPP (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 being met. There are numerous considerations but minimum requirements include a property size of 450 sq metres, a frontage of 12 metres and a maximum floor space of 60 sq m for a granny flat.

    Wally Gebrael, owner of Hornsby company Granny Flat Solutions which has built 200 in the last 12 months, said a key reason driving the increase in granny flats was the lack of affordable housing in Sydney.

    Mr. Gebrael explained that granny flats typically have an open-plan kitchen and lounge, two bedrooms and one bathroom. “We start at about $108,000 incl. GST for construction and can go up in price depending on our client’s wants, budget and block.”

    This is significantly less than buying an apartment in the Hornsby area which starts at around $350,000 for only one bedroom.

    He stressed how important it is to do your research “and get a detailed on-site inspection, make sure the builder is up-front about pricing, ask to see their past projects and speak with past clients to ensure they delivered on what was promised.”

    The rental return on a granny flat can also be very lucrative. A quick online search revealed that granny flats in the Hornsby area are being rented out at between $300 and $600 per week. “For an outlay of only $108,00 that’s quite the return on your investment.”

    _____________________________________________________________________Granny Flat Solutions built 200 granny flats across Sydney last year alone. The Hornsby-based company which started in 2012, aims to design and construct high quality granny flats for clients.

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