I want to build a house in my garden

Top tips for backyard developments

Can I get another house on my block?

This question is usually quickly followed by: If so, how much will it cost to build?

If you’ve ever looked at your backyard and seen dollar signs instead of patchy lawn and a forgotten swimming pool, you’re not alone.

With the State Government continuing to encourage infill development in established suburbs, many homeowners are wondering if they can turn the dirt they already own into a lucrative property development.

A house-behind-house project, otherwise known as a rear-strata development, has the potential to bring significant rewards. It’s also a flexible investment opportunity that can meet a range of goals.  

Past projects

Your options if you keep your existing property

  • Sell the new property and use the profit to pay down your mortgage or put a lump sum in the rainy-day or holiday fund.
  • Move into the new property and sell the existing property.
  • Rent out the new property to generate an income stream.
  • Rent out the existing property.
  • Use one or other of the properties as a ‘granny flat’, for adult kids or elderly family members to live in.
  • Sell both properties.
  • Rent out both properties.

As with any property investment however, a backyard development is only likely to make you money if the numbers stack up.

Crunching the numbers

The first number to look at is the R-Code zoning that applies to the land, such as R30 or R40, for example. This number is used to calculate how many properties are permitted on the block. (We can check the zoning and do the maths for you.)

If the R-Code zoning permits two or more properties then you have a potential backyard development on your hands. Just be mindful that you may have to knock down your existing house for the second house to be feasible. Not always, but it’s something to be aware of. If this is the case, you might want to build one at a time to make the project more manageable.

Then of course you’ll need to look at how much the proposed development will cost you and what profit you stand to gain if you go ahead.

Again, it’s a good idea to seek out expert advice. Look for a property development specialist that will not only crunch the numbers when it comes to the R-Codes, but will also provide detailed cost estimates as part of a no-fee assessment so that you have realistic figures to work with.

If you’d like more expert tips on backyard developments, fill in the form below and one of our property development consultants will be in touch.

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