Western Australia's new legislation has opened new opportunities for homeowners to rent out their granny flats even to non-family members, thus bringing excitement and hope for those who need extra household income. But if you wish to join the bandwagon and start building a granny flat in your backyard, do your homework first, planning every step carefully to save you thousands of dollars. After all, it's the potential financial returns that inspired you to set up your granny flat.
Here are a few pointers to consider:
A sole purpose of building a granny flat for tenancy obviously requires careful planning. Although the easing of restrictions in renting out such properties are expected to address problems in homelessness and skyrocketing real estate values, not everyone wants to live in his or her landlord's backyard. The noise, lack of privacy and even parking space could make or break the deal.
Knowing the demand is only half the story. Make sure the demographics of your would-be tenants would match your preferences. Ask yourself questions such as, “Will I be comfortable with students to rent my flat,” or, “Will I be okay living with a family of four kids?” If screening out families with young children brings you young tenants who often delay payment schedules, for example, what's your solution? Make sure all your options are well thought of.
Survey the Area
We don't need a jolt of common sense just to survey our own backyard first before spending a dollar on construction. But still, many homeowners simply focus on the available area, sometimes overlooking the crucial step of checking the type of terrain in the vacant lot. A difference in the slope, type of soil and other factors could mean additional expenses. Thus it is wise to have your granny flat builder survey the area first.
Check the Cost
After the survey, engineers draw and forward the layout to the council for approval. At this stage, you will be advised of the possible cost of building your flat. What you can and cannot do in respect to the zoning and other regulations would also help you set realistic expectations to avoid disappointments.
Always set things clear with your granny flat builders. At times, the price quoted would be far less than what you would actually pay during the construction. Look for builders who do extensive surveys to give you a guaranteed fixed construction cost even before the foundations are laid.
Once all these pointers are covered, you're good to go with your granny flat.