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Choosing Dual Occupancy for Your New House Build

Building a dual occupancy property has advantages for people at all stages of the real estate cycle. Not only are they fantastic as investments, but more and more people are also choosing dual occupancy as a way of offsetting their mortgage and getting into the property market.

There are a number of different dual occupancy development styles, from a tandem arrangement where an existing house is retained and a new house is placed behind it on the same land, to custom built dual-occ designs that are specifically developed to make the most of this situation for the residents of both dwellings as well as the property owner.

From an investment point of view, duplex can result in higher rental returns without the expense of buying additional land.  They are cost effective, being built for a far lower cost than two separate constructions on separate blocks of land.

Dual occupancy properties reduce risk and increase your serviceability from the banks perspective as well. If one tenant decides to leave, you still have rental income coming in from the other property to cover costs. This dual rental income gives you a greater chance of becoming cash flow positive, which then increases your ability to build your portfolio and invest in more properties. A win – win situation.

As we mentioned above, a duplex property has great advantages for those that decide to live in one half of the development. Your mortgage can be subsidised considerable by taking on tenants in the second dwelling, allowing you to offset the costs of building in a location that may otherwise be out of your price range.

Quite often a dual occupancy property is part of a knock down rebuild, where an existing older property is purchased for the purpose of being demolished and a new house being built in its place. If you decide to place a dual-occ home in this location you get the advantages of not only having a rental income to offset costs, but also the potential to make the future sale of the property much more attractive to property investors.

Dual occupancy properties are becoming very popular as new developments in Melbourne and Sydney, as land prices continue to climb and people look for new ways to break into the property market.

Dual occupancy benefits

There are other advantages when looking at dual occupancy property including:

Equity development

Building a dual-occ investment property, when done correctly allows the property to be strata titles. This allows it to be valued as two separate units, which allows them to be sold separately, creating instant equity from the growth in the original properties value.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is quite often a significant cost when purchasing a new property. Building a new dual occupancy property saves on stamp duty, as you only pay for the land, with no stamp duty on the property you build.

Tax benefits

There are a number of tax deductions with duplex homes, which put investors at an advantage.

Minimal outgoings

There are two dwellings on the property, but there is only one rates bill, and no body corporate fees like strata title investments.

Second dwelling for elderly parents

If circumstances change and you need to look after a parent or relative, living in a dual occupancy home gives you the choice to bring them closer to home without needing to create a granny flat or divide up a portion of your existing home.

A duplex home, while not generally the first consideration for new home builders, should definitely be placed in the mix for consideration for both home owners and investors. There are some clear financial advantages to owning a “dual occ” as they are referred to in the industry with a lot of potential for future growth. Not all builders will build dual occupancy homes, however, if you head over to, you are able to filter your search to simply dual occupancy designs.

Steve Mills

Steve lives in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges and has worked with numerous home builders over the past 18 years.


iBuildNew is the market leading aggregator dedicated to residential home construction and land development. As an independent platform, iBuildNew helps Australians identify and compare new home designs, house and land packages and land estates. It’s the smart way home buyers, who are considering a new build, can find the ideal options to match their individual needs. Home building is a big decision, we make sure you get it right.

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