Your guide to granny flats in Ku-ring-gai

These days it seems like every Sydney resident and their dog have a granny flat in their backyard?

Do they know something you don’t? Are you missing out on some easy rental revenue?

There is a very good reason why granny flats (also known as secondary or ancillary dwellings) are so popular In Sydney. NSW has some of the country’s most flexible regulations around granny flats, so they are definitely worth considering if you want to expand your home, add some more space, work from home, or generate some extra income.

Why you should consider building a granny flat?

These are some of the features that make granny flats such an attractive option:

They are a reasonably low investment – depending on which contractor you choose, you can expect to pay around from $115,000 for a fixed price contract that will deliver you a small granny flat from start to finish.

The rental return is hard to ignore – depending on what type of granny flat you build, you can expect to get up to 15 percent rental return ($350 – up to $500 in the current market). Compared to most other types of properties, this is enormous.

They are not too difficult to rent – granny flats can be popular with renters and adding some well-thought details (air-conditioning, privacy, outdoor space) will make your granny flat stand out on the rental market.

Before you make a decision you should also carefully consider the financial impact of the investment, and discuss it with a financial advisor.

Do you have the right block for a granny flat?

If a granny flat seems like the right choice for you, the next step is to check whether your block can accommodate one. You’re going to have to do some research for this, and Ku-ring-gai Council is where you should start. The Council has a fast-tracking approval process – as a complying development – which means that you can get your building approval in no more than 20 days. For your granny flat to meet the criteria for this fast approval process, the land you’re building on needs to be zoned R1, R2, R3, R4 or R5. You can easily check your zoning using the Ku-ring-gai Council zoning map tool.

What to look for in a block of land that can accommodate a granny flat:

● A 500-600 square metres block
● Preferably 15-metres frontage
● The main house occupies no more than 50 percent of the block, and is to one side of the block
● Side access, ideally driveable
● A fence around the main property, which will ensure some much-appreciated privacy for both the main house and the granny flat occupants.

Consider speaking to a Ku-ring-gai Council planner, or consult a local town planner. For a few hundred dollars they can complete a site investigation report and reassure you that your block is suitable for building a granny flat.

Building a granny flat

Long gone are the days when granny flats were converted garages or tight little boxes with minimum comfort. These days some of them 2 or 3 bedrooms, their own kitchen, bathroom and deck and more.

Because of their popularity, there is a competitive pool of granny flats builders to choose from, offering off-the shelf designs, which should make building a granny flat a relatively headache-free undertaking.

Don’t take shortcuts. Building a granny flat can be quite simple, if you do it the right way. Shop around to find a granny flat builder that offers a good fixed price. Remember that a good price is not always the lowest price. You want to ensure your building contract includes some essentials:

● Your builder can organise council approval, certifications, and completion certificates (it’s a standard offering you should look for)
● Details such as flooring, tiling, lighting, window finishings, turf, driveway, etc – look for all these details that might have sneakily made their way out of your contract. You want the granny flat ready to be moved into when the builder hands you the key.

You should also consider the site-plan carefully with your builder – discuss the position of the granny flat in relation to the main house, the fencing, the driveway. You want to make sure that your new granny flat addition has privacy and it doesn’t affect the privacy of the main house occupiers. This will make it more attractive to renters and more likely to result in long term rental.

Don’t have a block with granny flat potential yet?

If you’re looking to buy a new property and would like the extra income or convenience of a granny flat, talk to one of our agents about what properties on the market might meet your criteria.

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