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granny flat canberra

Discussion in 'Renovation & Home Improvement' started by S1mon, 11th Jun, 2016.

  1. S1mon

    S1mon Well-Known Member

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    Righto, a few people have been asking about granny flats in canberra (ie ACT), and it’s a bit hard to find relevant information online, so thought a summary might be useful (and my numbers to follow). Not a lot comes up when you google it.

    In 2013 ACT Govt (ACT planning) introduced Variation 306 which allows granny flats (‘secondary residences’) to be leased to whoever. Taken from http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/ni/2008-27/copy/106967/pdf/2008-27.pdf (page 6),the general rules are below. As it says granny flats are also covered by element 1 of this Single Dwelling Housing Development Code which has your setbacks etc.

    • Max 90 m2 (not inc garage), min 40 m2
    • min block size 500 m2
    • has to meet plot ratios and private open space etc
    • needs a parking space (cant be in the ‘front zone’)
    • “Water sensitive urban design” – need 40% water saving for the block. Not too painful. You can have provision for ‘water tanks’ which gets you close to that 40%, but not actually do them
    • 3 metres gap from wall of the existing house, if granny is detached.
    • complies with Australian Standard AS 4299 Adaptable housing (Class C). That is, ‘Secondary residence is easily adaptable to suit the needs of people with disabilities.’
    The last one is the most difficult. This document lists what the requirements are. I found this useful as well. There is a table starting page 32 of that first doco. class C means you need to meet the ‘essential’ requirements. Some are just ‘provision for’ but others are actually needed to get certified.

    The more impacting parts of that are
    • access ramp – need ramp less than a certain angle, from the verge to the front door, so if your block is not flattish (like mine) then it might be a bit hard
    • room for wheelchair turning circles, gaps around toilet etc (at least only 1 bedroom needs to comply, not additional bedrooms)
    • flat path from carpark to house, letterbox etc
    • landing at front door for wheelchair turning
    Also worth noting it can be 2 story.

    There is no quick approval etc. Mine took about 5 months give or take. Had an extra month to allow for someone who commented on the original application, to dispute the decision.

    Will post my numbers next
     
  2. Jamie Moore

    Jamie Moore MORTGAGE BROKER - AUSTRALIA WIDE Business Member

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    Nice post - thank you, sir. I'll be directing my other clients who want to construct a GF in the ACT to this thread :)

    Cheers

    Jamie
     
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  3. Mooze

    Mooze Well-Known Member

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    Did you use a specialist GF builder?
    I'm trying to work up feasibility and struggling to get build prices out of most gf builders there
     
  4. mcarthur

    mcarthur Well-Known Member

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    Great information. It's good to see they've got rid of the zoning issue - years ago if you were in the general resi zone for a suburb, there was a severely limited number of GFs allowed per area. This wasn't conducive to catering to aging relatives!
    Looking forward to seeing your numbers.
     
  5. S1mon

    S1mon Well-Known Member

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    Cheers for the reminder! Been meaning to post but am addicted to Rocket League..

    I did approach a granny flat ‘group’ that manage the whole lot, plans, DA, build. Hard to get exact numbers from them but roughly 140k they said for the lot. I wanted more say in the plans and more control, and cheaper, and didnt want to commit without a fixed price, so chose not to go with them. Very wary of any pricing that is not fixed, unclear of ‘extras’ etc.

    Found a planner (Nathan Beer) who was willing to take it on. As I said earlier it took a good 5 months or so. Nathan was good/very responsive to my many alterations/easy going etc.

    My costs to get DA were as follows:
    $1000 survey
    $2800 designer and app submission
    $1800 ACTpla process and public notification fee
    $1500 ACTpla ‘Building Application Fees and Levies Tax’ (came via private certifier after approval – came as a surprise)

    Will add plans next post but it is about 55 sqm. 2 bedrooms (or 1 + study is maybe more accurate.)

    Approached a few builders with my approved plans, always knew it would be pretty costly per m2. No economies of scale etc. Was hoping for about 2k m2. Too small for some. Others wanted engineering report and soil tests first and wanted to effectively lock you in before getting a fixed price. Got a few quotes but hard to compare. Dixon was 160k roughly but wanted engineering. Another was 100 to 120 but excluded a lot of things so i had no idea really.

    As i thought all along, chose to go with (my ex neighbour) Josh from Capital homes. Not best buddies but felt I could trust him more than others based on prior conversations re. his business etc. He also has done a few gf locally/under the ACT rules and didnt need soil test or engineering to fix price me, which he did at 135k. I got him to exclude painting, some landscaping, flooring and curtains. He quotes all inclusive, none of this misleading crap a lot of builders do and was very accommodating and willing to start pretty much straight away. So yes originally wanted cheaper but not to be….im sure some will say that’s crazy $ but Canberra has a premium for everything and I doubt I would have got much cheaper if at all. But anyhow, @Mooze give him a call if you want a reasonable idea, he will be upfront. My gf is progressing nicely, currently the frame is up.

    The gf was always a borderline decision. Always had the question, will CG with a gf be as much as a house without. That may be more applicable to me than others due to positioning on my block. Block is zoned rz1, one street away from rz2 – if it was rz2 would have been a lot better / easier to make dual income. Part of my logic going ahead is, if it ever gets rezoned (ie. if they extend the distance to shop rz2 zoning just a little further) I can put in a fence, hook sewer directly to mains etc, and separate title, in theory at least.

    Numbers below. When deciding to get plans etc numbers were a fair bit worse, higher rate and had a 2k error in my calcs (oops)..so was minus a good 5k a year (in theory) pre tax when i started.

    pre and post gf numbers. based on 80% lend for granny but I did put in more cash than that..but 80% makes for more typical numbers. used 330 a week as rent..(agent has said 340). And 30$ less for house..though maybe that should be more. Rates probably are a bit more too...but you get the general idea.

    evgranny.gif
     
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  6. S1mon

    S1mon Well-Known Member

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    so yeh 145k maybe all up..worth it? dunno. increase in value (more than 145k?)? dunno, no comparables

    as per pic..there is a pergola, carport etc. and you can see the slope which makes the access path a pain. all added to costs. and yes front yard!! didnt think it would get up but rules dont state where it has to be! as long as it meets setbacks etc.
     

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  7. mcarthur

    mcarthur Well-Known Member

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    So renting for about $330pw? That's pretty good in Evatt I would have thought.
    Were you able to separately rent - ie. two separate rental agreements?
    It would be really hard to get comparables in Canberra - there are so few dual occ/GFs. I hope the CG is good.
    CF of additional $17160pa. will take 10+ years to recoup solely from CF, but in the longer term it'll be a great CF property.
     
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  8. S1mon

    S1mon Well-Known Member

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    its still being built so no not renting as yet. pretty good for who? tenants or me. one beddy apartments and the odd granny flat or 2 rent for about that in evatt...so comfortable ill get that. again a bit hard to compare...tenants wouldnt view it as a granny flat as its out the front, its just like a normal house, only small..with a battleaxe behind, admittedly fairly close but there are no windows on that back wall...and ill do some decent landscaping/hedges etc probably

    Yes will take a while to recoup costs..but throw in some depreciation etc, hopefully a few rent rises might not take too long.
     
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  9. S1mon

    S1mon Well-Known Member

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    ..
     

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  10. Susan

    Susan Member

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    Thanks for sharing :) I got approval for a secondary residence a bit before the increase from a max of 40m2. The max of 90 was much more appealing ... just haven't done anything since :(
     
  11. S1mon

    S1mon Well-Known Member

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    yeh its all a bit of effort!!!

    a few pics if anyone is interested...almost there..(i am) painting inside tomorrow
    ps. retaining wall was 8 hours work, $440
     

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  12. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff, looks like it's coming along nicely.
    Is it ready to be tenanted now?
     
  13. S1mon

    S1mon Well-Known Member

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    a few more weeks mate. might try air bnb cause @Gockie said so

    painting is so boringggggggg

     
  14. S1mon

    S1mon Well-Known Member

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    took a while but i got there
    a few more/final pics if anyone is interested..pleased aside from the carport being too hard to get into
    only ended up losing 10$ on the ongoing weekly rent from the existing house..gotto love a strong rental market

    RIMG0719.jpg RIMG0727.jpg RIMG0734.jpg RIMG0753.jpg RIMG0754.jpg
     
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  15. RetireRich101

    RetireRich101 Well-Known Member

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    the GF is at the front :eek: nice...

    what's the S96 contribution Council charges in Canberra?
     
  16. mcarthur

    mcarthur Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that's one hell of a turning "circle" for cars! I'm surprised that's compliant and passed...
     
  17. S1mon

    S1mon Well-Known Member

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    yeh cheers mate, gotto think outside the backyard sometimes !

    no s96 as such, but these were the council fees
    $1800 ACTpla process and public notification fee
    $1500 ACTpla ‘Building Application Fees and Levies Tax’

     
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  18. RetireRich101

    RetireRich101 Well-Known Member

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    that's dirt cheap compare to NSW..
     
  19. S1mon

    S1mon Well-Known Member

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    made up for by the canberra tax, where everything (aside from that^) costs more.. o_O
     
  20. mcarthur

    mcarthur Well-Known Member

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    Grumble. Agree with that. Just been quoted $9k+ to finish off a third to half replastering on a small 3 bedder. Sheesh!