Our Bayside builders explain the case for dual occupancy

Bayside builders

Our Bayside builders explain the case for dual occupancy

Looking for a home and an investment? If so, you can join the many Melburnians who are making dual occupancy their next building project!

It’s this increase in dual occupancies that motivates today’s topic: is building a dual occupancy worth the investment, or is it simply double the return?

Just like any other building project, there are distinct benefits and considerations that come with dual occupancy construction.

Today, our Bayside builders will be running through a couple of them…


What makes dual occupancy different from townhouses?

Otherwise known as ‘multi-dwellings’, ‘side-by-side dwellings’ or ‘duplexes’, dual occupancy is taking off throughout Melbourne.

The problem is that there’s a lot of overlap with townhouses, so much so the point where many use the terms interchangeably!



In many cases, dual occupancy projects are essentially one large house separated into two separate units.

Generally dual-occupancies are split down the middle with a dividing wall – however, this isn’t always the case.

While less popular nowadays, in some cases the two units are divided by storey, with the ground and first floor counting as separate units.

By contrast, more often than not townhouses are freestanding structures and completely separate from one another.

They may share some walls and the plot of land, but otherwise, they’re completely separate dwellings.

While there are examples of detached dual occupancy out there, the vast majority take the form of attached properties.

Does your dual occupancy plan call for a more unique setup? Our custom builders are happy to accommodate – each of our building projects are designed from the ground-up, allowing us to develop a property that’s unique to you.



The other defining feature of dual occupancy is that in the majority of cases, they aren’t subdivided.

What this means is that dual occupancy is essentially two houses on a single title – both units come as a package deal, ownership-wise. Once construction is complete, you’ll retain ownership over both units in a strata arrangement.

By contrast, townhouses are generally subdivided, making each property separate from one another.

While this can increase the amount of paperwork, it also opens up the option of selling the other unit outright for a greater immediate return.


Why build dual occupancy in Bayside?

Strong ROI and passive income

Live in one, sell (or rent) the other – the potential ROI on dual occupancy construction is pretty self-explanatory!

A second unit will generate passive income through rental income. Live in one unit while renting out the other for a consistent source of additional income.

Dual occupancy also provides greater yield than building two separate houses on two lots, as you’ll be using more of your land.

Many older investors in particular no longer have a need for a massive backyard, and decide to convert that space into a second unit in order to monetise it.

And if you do decide to sell later on, you may receive a better price from buyers who are attracted by the fantastic ROI of dual occupancies!


Less paperwork than townhouses

Building comes with a boatload of paperwork and permits, all of which need to be completed (either by yourself or by your Bayside builders) if your project is to go ahead.

Dual occupancies are similar, but with one major difference: they aren’t subdivided.

This eliminates what is in our experience one of the slowest-moving parts of the application process.

As a result, choosing dual occupancy for your home may reduce building costs and slightly speed up the process.


Give your family a safety net

Sometimes, life happens and your grown kids need to move back in with you.

The problem is that they’ve gotten a taste for independent living now, changing the power dynamic and boundaries.

Specifically, many are more keen on retaining the privacy that came with living on their own – something they lose by moving back in with you.

Dual occupancy also provides a safety net for your family, while also affording greater privacy and independence than returning to their former bedroom.

Not to mention, it also means they won’t have to sell any furniture they may have acquired for themselves!

custom builders

Things to consider in dual occupancy

You won’t get as many tax benefits

If you choose to rent out the other unit, you will have to pay capital gains tax on some rental income as dual occupancies don’t always qualify for a full capital gains exemption.

Additionally, since dual occupancies are owned under strata title, you’ll retain ownership of the entire lot. That means you may still have to pay land tax on the entire block, instead of just your unit.

We strongly recommend talking to a professional beforehand about how building dual occupancy may affect your tax affairs.

This will help to determine if it’s the best choice for you.


Costing and budget

As with any building project, costing and budgeting is crucial.

This is especially important with dual occupancy, as you’ll need considerably more building materials for these projects.

Luckily, there are options out there. For example, granny flats are simple to build owing to their small size, which can make them more suited for dual occupancy projects where money is tight.

Our Bayside builders will create a quote for your plan, helping you determine early on the most feasible approach for your dual occupancy.


Whether you intend on selling one unit

As we mentioned above, most dual occupancies are on the same title and often managed under a strata arrangement.

As such, both units come as a package deal. This has the potential to increase how much you can make on the sale – after all, you’re essentially selling two units together.

Just remember if you continue living in one of the units you built, it may be as a tenant rather than an owner, depending on the agreement you come to with the buyer.


Council approval

As we mentioned above, dual occupancy projects are subject to many approvals and permits.

While you don’t need to worry about applying for a subdivision, there’s still a lot of additional paperwork involved in a project of this type.

This is especially challenging when building in Bayside, an area that’s characterised by its stricter-than-average approvals process.

Take it from us: this can be a time-consuming and stressful process. Luckily, our Bayside builders know the ins and outs of the unique requirements that come with building in Bayside.

In addition to allowing us to efficiently navigate the web of different permits and applications, this also allows us to minimise the stress placed on you!


Whether or not you need a custom builder

This is good advice in general when you’re building, but it’s especially important if you’re building dual occupancy. That’s because dual occupancy comes with a host of restrictions that building a standalone house doesn’t.

The big one is space. Since you’re fitting two units onto a single block, you may have to work around space limitations.

For example, if your block is longer than it is wide, or has an unconventional shape to it, a traditional side-by-side setup may not be feasible. A good example of this is if your block of land has an L-shape to it.

And if your plan calls for a more unique setup for your dual occupancy (such as a first and second storey unit – a rare design nowadays), calling a custom builder may be your only option!


Talk to our Bayside Builders about dual occupancy construction

There are many reasons to choose dual occupancy – however, there are also many reasons why dual occupancy may not be what you need.

Unsure? Our Bayside builders can help you out.

Over the years, we’ve worked on all sorts of building projects in Bayside. That includes our fair share of dual occupancies.

As such, we’ve got a pretty good insight into what you can expect should you choose dual occupancy!

Call our Bayside builders today on (03) 9576 8686 to discuss your plans, or click here to send us a message.