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Rethinking the Housing Affordability Issue with Dual Occupancy

by Greg on August 17, 2017

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Housing affordability is, without a doubt, a hot topic in the media right now.

The inability to purchase a house, or even save enough money for a deposit, is a common complaint, particularly among the younger generations.

Earlier this year, social commentator Bernard Salt caused an outrage with his tongue-in-cheek comment, “When I was buying my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for 19 bucks and four coffees at $4 each”. Millennials took particular offense to Mr Salt’s comment and a media storm erupted around the issue.

While most would agree that housing affordability depends on much more than simply cutting discretionary spending, a revolutionary new concept could be the answer for those wishing to venture into the property investment arena.

The ‘Dual Dwelling‘ is an innovative design, where the property appears as a typical high-end residential dwelling from the road, yet the floorplan is cleverly designed to incorporate two completely individual units.

“The ‘Dual Dwelling’ fundamentally changes the viability of investing in residential property”, said Adrian Webberley of Capital Wealth Property, who has personally been involved in project managing over 100 dual dwellings for his investor clients. Tapping into this wealth of experience has proven fruitful for Capital Wealth Property clients.

“We work with a lot of experienced, seasoned investors who are focused on high yields and capital growth. Our clients have been very impressed with the financial viability of the dual dwellings,” Mr Webberley said.

“These properties provide a healthy yield, good capital growth, and either neutral or positive cash flow. The loans service themselves, making dual dwellings ideal for investors, particularly those with limited cash flow,” he said.

With continued population growth and housing density increasing, land developments are changing. There is no longer a ‘standard’ block of land. Capital Wealth Property ensures each dwelling’s layout is adapted to fit the individual block of land, and designed to maximize the property’s overall appeal and subsequent income.

“In the past, many developers shied away from multi-unit properties due to the potential of having too many investment properties within one estate,” Mr Webberley said. “However, the dual dwelling has now been accepted, approved and welcomed by Queensland’s leading developers of owner-occupier estates”.

Built in mostly owner-occupier dominated estates, the capital growth of these dual dwellings is underpinned by the quality of construction and the finishes which are used. Land is identified in areas where rental demand is consistently high, ensuring investors have high occupancy rates.

The beauty of having two completely separate dwellings is there are two rental incomes instead of one, providing a positively-geared investment property. Each home has its own entrance, two or three bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms, living area, laundry and alfresco pavilion area. A fire-rated wall divides the properties internally, and provides an additional noise barrier between neighbors. Externally, a high fence provides privacy in each back yard.

When compared with the traditional duplex pair, dual dwellings have lower expenses. For example, property owners have reduced outgoings, with only one set of rates to pay and no body corporate fees, which can significantly impact on your bottom line. Because the rents are more affordable and attainable than traditional investment properties, investors enjoy longer term tenancies and a more consistent income.

Compared with a single residential investment house or apartment, the impact of a vacancy is reduced, as when one side of the property is vacant, the other side still generates a rental income.

Through partnering with quality builders, Capital Wealth Property do the project management and ensure each investment property is built in a way which maximizes its income potential and appeal to prospective tenants.

Capital Wealth Property guides investors through the entire process by providing advice and guidance, helping choose an area to invest in, identifying a suitable block, providing advice on Council planning laws, assisting in design for the best end product, working with the builder during the construction process and ensuring any issues are addressed throughout the builder’s warranty period.

“With investment finance tightening up, we help our clients secure the best deal by utilizing our extensive contacts in the finance market,” said Mr Webberley. “Our goal is to ensure clients’ investments are sustainable to enable them to expand their portfolio.”

Without a doubt, investing in property can be an expensive exercise. Negative cash flow properties require investors to top up the loan repayments with cash from their own pocket. This sucks monthly cash flow from the investor’s budget, slowing down their ability to repay the mortgage and maintain their current lifestyle.

With dual dwellings, investors have a dual income. While they receive all the deductions and tax benefits, they don’t have to pay anything out of their own pay check. Dual dwelling properties are either neutral or positive cash flow. Having more money in their pocket enables them to save for a deposit on their next property a lot faster, allowing investors to build their portfolio.

“The dual dwelling concept has the potential to revolutionize property investment by enabling more investors to get their foot on the rung of the property investment ladder. And it doesn’t require people to give up their smashed avocado breakfast!” said Mr Webberley.

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Advisor Interviewed – Adrian Webberley

BComm, DipFS(Fin Planning), DipFS(F/MBM), CertIV(F/MB), L.R.E.A

Adrian is a highly qualified property investment specialist with years of experience in the new property market, having facilitated numerous dual occupancy, duplex, house and land, apartment and townhouse investments. As a member of the knowledgeable Capital Wealth Property team, Adrian has a passion for creating successful property investment opportunities for his clients.

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