If you’re playing with the idea of having a secondary home in the form of a small granny cottage on your block, you’re not alone. These small, extra homes that everybody and his dog seems to be adding to their backyards have so many pros they outweigh the cons by a country mile.
For a start, they’re a great selling point if your home is on the market, especially if they’re built and finished to a very high standard. Add the right inclusions and you’re looking at adding even more value. Or, if you need some extra accommodation you could try a transportable home that you or a potential buyer can sell on its own later if it’s no longer needed.
Self contained, secondary homes or granny cottages can be used for many things such as accommodation for guests visiting from out of town, or for students needing independence and their own space to study in, or if you want to give the mortgage payments a boost you can rent it out in many states of Australia, depending on council rules. If your parents want to downsize their home and live close by for support in their older years they can be accommodated easily in your secondary home. It can be used as a home office or writer’s studio, an art room, or an Airbnb. The possibilities are many.
Some tips for increasing the value of your granny home
- Choose a reputable builder and shop around. Ask to see some examples of their work so you don’t get loaded with a dud you can’t rent out and one that detracts buyers if you ever want to sell up.
- Don’t opt for a design that will look as if it’s just an afterthought added onto the main home, so choose the location wisely so it enhances the block and fits in with the themes of the main house and garden.
- Choose a good builder who knows how to bring an aesthetic atmosphere to the build, not someone who sees it as a quick job. Better the specialists in the field than the hacks.
- A contemporary neutral colour for the interior will serve you well, with modern furniture and decor, and easy to maintain flooring such as tiles or vinyl.
- When choosing the furnishings keep in mind the small size of the granny home, so don’t go overboard with a big lounge suite or a huge flat screen television set that takes over the whole living space.
- The same goes for appliances. A small to medium sized refrigerator, and washing machine is enough for one person and probably two.
- Provided the kitchen and bathroom are done with flair and are modern, clean and functional you will add a lot of value because it’s the first place potential buyers usually look.
- Another is heating and air con systems; make sure they’re working for all-seasons comfort.
If you can afford a verandah or patio on your granny cottage, and a carport, you would be well-advised to add these in, plus see to the landscaping. If you have an outdoor living area with or without a pool, try to have the granny home fit in seamlessly with the rest of the outdoors. But if you’re renting the granny home also make sure your tenant has some privacy with their own entrance without having to encroach on the areas for the main household.