A big trend in suburban backyards, granny flats have evolved into sophisticated small homes

EXTRA INCOME: No longer just somewhere for your elderly parents, people are now considering building granny flats to rent and help pay mortgages or for putting teenagers in to keep them close to home.

EXTRA INCOME: No longer just somewhere for your elderly parents, people are now considering building granny flats to rent and help pay mortgages or for putting teenagers in to keep them close to home.

Granny flats have been part of the Australian real estate landscape for decades but they have been undergoing a sophisticated transformation in recent years.

EVOLVED CONCEPT: "The concept of the granny flat has evolved and has now become known to be a great source of income and a necessity for some families," said Jacqueline Valk, co-founder of The Pod.

EVOLVED CONCEPT: "The concept of the granny flat has evolved and has now become known to be a great source of income and a necessity for some families," said Jacqueline Valk, co-founder of The Pod.

"Granny flats serve as cheaper but more cost-efficient alternatives for tenants and a good source of income for the homeowner. The need for in-home care has now become a major priority for having a secondary residence.

Jacqueline Valk, The Pod co-founder

And no longer just somewhere for your elderly parents, people are now considering building granny flats to rent and help pay mortgages or for putting teenagers in to keep them close to home but give them a sense of independence.

"Granny flats are a small unit or apartment separate from your main house or secondary home in your backyard," said Jacqueline Valk co-founder of The Pod, a Canberra-based company that builds luxury secondary dwellings.

"The need for in-home care has now become a major priority for having a secondary residence. The concept of the granny flat has evolved and has now become known to be a great source of income and a necessity for some families."

But with all building projects there are pros and cons to consider before jumping in and making plans for your new granny flat.

PROS

  • A cheaper and more cost-efficient alternative for tenants and live-in owners
  • Rental income in your backyard. Your granny flat will be positively geared as soon as you rent it.
  • A great way to keep you and your family closer as they become teenagers or the elderly
  • Promotes independence and privacy while keeping secure and safe
  • Increase in the resale value of your home

CONS

  • There could potentially be " unforeseen" additional costs e.g. tie ins and upgrading of electricity/gas
  • Tenants may not come to terms with the homeowners being close
  • Once you build a granny flat on your block you might not be able subdivide (you will need to check your council rules in regards to this)

"Granny flats are a great way of keeping you and your loved ones connected-metaphorically and literally," said Jacqueline.

"The inter-generational way of living may strengthen the bond in families while still keeping a sufficient amount of independence and privacy.

"Another benefit is that a granny flat could potentially increase the resale value of your home. Homes with secondary dwellings typically gain an increase in value.

"Granny flats serve as cheaper but more cost-efficient alternatives for tenants and a good source of income for the homeowner."

Jacqueline said the process of building a granny flat was also getting easier but as with most building jobs, people need to make sure they have accounted for all expected and unexpected expenses.

"Building a granny flat means there are potential unforeseen and additional costs," she said.

"Although this type of property is deemed as the more cost-efficient alternative, many people overlook the additional funds that fit into their initial budget."

This story Secondary dwellings are no longer just for your granny first appeared on Port Macquarie News.