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Front, Back or Duplex townhouse?

Discussion in 'General Property Chat' started by albanga, 17th Jul, 2016.

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  1. albanga

    albanga Well-Known Member

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    Hi All,

    Just wanted to ask around and get people's thoughts on what they like/prefer with regards to the orientation of a townhouse and would it effect your purchase.

    I have been advised a Duplex, front townhouse is worth more due to street frontage. I am building my PPOR at the rear and am spending A LOT so this is a slight concern.

    My thoughts are as follows:
    Duplex Pros - Street Frontage, Fully utilized block
    Cons - Narrow design, Share common wall

    Front Townhouse Pros - Street frontage, Better layout possibilities than a duplex
    Cons - Lose land for rear driveway

    Rear Townhouse Pros - Increased security/privacy (this could not be the case but from people I have spoken to in a rear they said they feel safer), less noisy as further away from road, better layout than a duplex,
    Driveway (if no common land) belongs to the rear townhouse.

    Cons - No street frontage

    I do personally believe a rear townhouse has the most pros but the street frontage is a big negative. I know for what I am building my facade will be gorgeous but until you come down that driveway you won't see it properly (sloped block doesn't help). I am also at the whim of the front property owner keeping the gardens looking nice. I did the Reno and put in a beautiful garden but it requires upkeep, with a renter in there, chances are this may not happen.

    Keen to hear others thoughts. Would you Not buy a certain townhouse type? If so why or why not?

    Do any of you live in one and what is your thoughts?

    Cheers!
     
  2. Cactus

    Cactus Well-Known Member

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    I prefer side by side. It feels like a home on its own block as opposed to a front and back which feels like a unit.
     
  3. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Another disadvantage of the front unit is that the rear occupants will be driving and walking past - less privacy.

    I went to look at a side by side dual occ from Metricon that's been built near me. Two storeys but felt quite small as the block was only about 16m wide, from memory.
     
  4. Barny

    Barny Well-Known Member

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    Mate you have pretty much identified all the pros/cons.
    I wouldn't personally buy a place at the rear, I like to see what I paid for if it looks attractive.
    The price difference can be big when selling. I had several meetings with different agents in the area to work out price difference from side by side, or front and rear when going through the build process for the Essendon house. Agents confirmed around 100k less if I built in the rear instead of side by side.
    I did build another rear unit bigger than the front house in another location (Werribee), and the rear is only slightly worth more than the front. But the rear unit build is way better, newer, heaps bigger. And agents all adviced it's cause it's at the back.
     
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  5. Sonamic

    Sonamic Well-Known Member

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    If it's your PPOR to rear then how long to you plan to stay?
    If you're tenanting the front dwelling then can you not "help" with maintaining the nice front garden you have put in to keep street appeal high?
     
  6. big max

    big max Well-Known Member

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    For a duplex, I would always only buy if I could own both outright.
     
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  7. Pumpkin

    Pumpkin Well-Known Member

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    2 plans with simple dimension might help.
    In the absence of that, I would prefer Duplex. The "rear-townhouse" option sound like an easement to me.
    As for privacy issues, there is a lot of things you can do with the design of the facade etc to counter this.
     
  8. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    General rule of thumb I use is that the front lot/house is worth around 10% more than the rear lot/house. Might be a WA thing only though.
     
  9. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    My problem with a rear house is that if the front house is unkempt and the yard is messy with cr^p everywhere then your property is considerably devalued. Yes, anyone can have this problem with messy neighbours, but a rear house has only a driveway to detract eyes.
    Marg
     
  10. albanga

    albanga Well-Known Member

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    Yeah so the general consensus is as expected and I do agree with all the comments.

    On that front I do believe I am over capatalising on my build. My wife and I both love hamptons style homes and that is reflecting in the cost. That said I was able to buy the land below market value as it was purchsed from my brother after the subdivision and with very little stamp duty as I already owned half of it.
    I also have a great builder who has allowed me to self source a number of items which includes tapware for 50% less (anyone who has purchaed provincial tapware knows how expensive this is).

    I do ponder though when/if the time comes to sell how it would be perceived. I have no doubt the home will be spectacular BUT being a rear will no doubt absorb some of that price.

    I keep saying to my wife I wish I had the front land! She isn't concerned though and says atleast the kids will have an awesome driveway to ride bikes and play cricket on! Haha
     
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  11. MTR

    MTR Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Nope, if you have a frontage it will always be worth more, because it is far more desirable and easier access ie car parking etc.
     
  12. MTR

    MTR Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I would never build at rear unless I owned the front OP said this, agree

    Main issue ??? control, you don't know whether front property will be maintained, if it gets run down your property can lose value. The other reason as mentioned higher value for front property

    When selling the rear it will limit your market, not a big issue, however something to consider.

    Without seeing the location and the deal I could be talking a lot of cr$p, it serious will make a massive difference to which way I would go.

    MTR
     
  13. JDP1

    JDP1 Well-Known Member

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    Rear also likely have more land than the othetr.
     
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  14. albanga

    albanga Well-Known Member

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    Well I don't actually own the front anymore because I sold that off (didn't have the money to hold both).

    I do know the owner though now and fantatsic guy but he has now moved and renting it. The suburb is desireable and the rent on the front property is expensive for what you get so I would never expect shoddy neigbors.

    The devalued via the front house being a mess is not something that concerns me for a sale. It does concern me for general everyday life but if you were selling you would go as far as to pay them to clean their house! If I were selling and my neigbor was a pig and the gardens a disgrace I would say to the landlord "hey I'm going to fix your front of house for free". Don't think they would blink an eye.
     
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  15. albanga

    albanga Well-Known Member

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    The rear is 50sq larger than the front.

    Also and I'm not sure if this makes a difference to anyone but front house is single storey whilst my house will be doublets the rear.

    I also designed it so the front of the house is visible from the street (so porch, front door and nice landscaped garden). The garage is around to the side. I definitely think this will add street appeal as opposed to the traditional look down the driveway and see nothing but a garage.
     
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  16. JDP1

    JDP1 Well-Known Member

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    as long as its not tough to get in and out of the garage, id say the rear being 50sqm larger will be more valuable ( especially in the longer term) in terms of CG assuming its in a desirable location where land is a premium.
     
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  17. albanga

    albanga Well-Known Member

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    This really is one of the unknowns! Council were very strict though in ensuring there was a turning circle so I could drive into the garage and then reverse out and swing enough to then drive back up the driveway. The idea is you should never have to reverse which I believe is another benefit.
     
  18. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    Great idea.
    Far too many children run over while a car is being reversed down a long driveway.
    And soo much easier for the driver!
    Marg
     
  19. albanga

    albanga Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely! And the other issue would be the distance from front house wall to side fence has a point where it is only 2.85m due to a chimney. We have a large 4WD which would make the reverse extremely difficult.
     
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  20. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Rear block also has more neighbours and more fences to replace.