Dual occupancy homes: Arguably the best value for money on the market

Dual occupancy homes: Arguably the best value for money on the market
Dual occupancy homes: Arguably the best value for money on the market

Are you in looking for a home which you're planning on living in? Whether it’s your first home or you’re looking to downsize once the kids have flown the coop, a townhouse could be an excellent choice for you. More and more residential property developers in Melbourne are creating side by side dual occupancy townhomes, giving you more flexibility to secure a larger home, for a lower cost. Now you might not have considered this idea, firm in the belief that you need a detached dwelling for your lifestyle and your family's needs. However, you may find that a townhome could be just what you've been looking for. Here are four reasons why a townhome is perfect for the owner-occupier.

Priced out of the inner-city?

If you’re a first home buyer and are already priced out of city fringe suburbs, there are other options worth considering. Instead of resigning yourself to a detached, cookie-cutter house in the urban sprawl, with a colossal commute and lack of amenities, consider a townhouse closer in. You may find that if you start searching for a townhouse in suburbs you initially thought unaffordable, you might strike gold. 

What's not to love about off-the-plan?

When looking for a townhouse to occupy, you’ll find many off-the-plan properties popping up in your real estate searches. There are some proven benefits to buying off-the-plan

If you’re a first-home buyer, you can access government grants providing you’re purchasing a brand new property. These can range from $10,000-20,000 and are definitely a boon considering that’s money you won’t have to pay off your mortgage long-term, saving you interest. 

You may also be eligible for an exemption or concession on your stamp duty tax. As well as this, some property developers might offer discounts or incentives on off-the-plan projects, meaning you might pay less than if you purchased an existing property. 

Buying off-the-plan can also increase your capital growth without you lifting a finger. If house prices rise in your area after you’ve signed a contract for an off-the-plan property, there is a chance that your home may increase in value by the time construction has completed. But you’ve locked in your price in the contract. This means that your loan-to-value ratio goes down, which reduces your chance of paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance, which can number into the thousands. The property market is already forecast for growth this year. 

You’ll also save on repairs and maintenance costs when compared to an older, existing property. Everything in an off-the-plan property is brand new, including most appliances, fixtures, and fittings. It will be a few years before you need to make any repairs or have any maintenance done. 

Finally, an off-the-plan purchase gives you more time to save money. There’s always a gap in paying your contract deposit and your settlement (usually on completion of the build). You can save a considerable amount during this time, which you can then put towards moving costs, use as a financial buffer in case of any unforeseen circumstances, or as extra cash on your mortgage once it is drawn down.

What About Utility Costs?

The cost of utilities in Australia can be close to $200 a month. A townhouse usually costs less to live, as opposed to a detached house. This is because there are generally fewer square metres to heat and cool, and less wasted space. With a few strategically placed split systems or a ducted heating and cooling system, your energy costs will be less than a stand-alone home. This means you have more spare money to put on your mortgage, or towards the things you enjoy in life.

Do You Still Have Privacy in a Townhouse?

While many townhouses are considered semi-detached, they can still share walls with other properties. Yet the chances of you hearing your neighbours are pretty slim, especially if your home is well insulated and features double or even triple glazing. You’ll usually have your yard or courtyard separated by fencing as well, guaranteeing you a private outdoor space. A townhouse offers the most amount of privacy of any dwelling apart from a detached house. 

Final thoughts

I believe that gaining entry into the property market is moving further away from everyday Australians. The onus is on individuals to find a way into their dream suburb, and these townhouses are a great option. Not to mention the many benefits you enjoy when purchasing off-the-plan. So don’t rule anything out, enter the market with an open mind and be patient and disciplined in your actions. Hopefully, now you have enough information to make the right decision for you.

Peter Kelly

Peter Kelly

Peter is a co-founder at Little Fish, where he is the senior development project manager. Peter Kelly is enthusiastic about real estate with 10+ year’s experience as a residential property developer in Melbourne, Australia.

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Dual occupancy townhome off-the-plan

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