26 Jun 2019

I’ve long been an advocate for shared housing. So many people struggle to make ends meet yet cling to living in a single-family household situation, even if it means financial devastation.  With the high cost of housing and increased longevity, we need to accept that a single-family household is no longer sustainable for a lot of people.
Young adults shouldn’t be viewed as failures for living with their parents well into their 20's. If they are otherwise responsible, why should they flail financially trying to keep up with crushing rent and student-loan payments?
At the other end of the age spectrum, seniors who can no longer safely live alone shouldn’t dread the prospect of giving up their independence by moving in with their adult children and grandchildren. They have as much to give as they get.
What if we looked at our housing a lot differently than we have in recent times?

Think about it: Parents, often both working, need help with childcare. Grandparents often need help with eldercare. Besides peace of mind, pooling resources can mean a better school system, house and neighbourhood than they could otherwise afford on their own. It’s also an alternative to long-term elderly care, with its otherworldly costs.  

Maintaining two households is undeniably costlier and more rigorous than sharing the responsibilities of one. By bringing family members and resources together under one roof, families can collectively address their expenses and allocate finances accordingly.
The clear solution to this is the dual house income / home and income / multigenerational property.
This type of option is actually only one property, but also has an additional dwelling attached to it, usually with its own door lock or private access. The main property will include your usual living areas, bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms and outdoor space, whilst the additional dwelling will typically house a smaller home with one or two bedrooms, a bathroom, and kitchen. 

With an ageing population, dual house properties are gaining in popularity, even though they are relatively new property additions to New Zealand’s property market. So, why should you buy one?

1. Two income producing properties on one title
As you can purchase two properties under one title, there is the option to rent out both properties, providing property investors with a greater rental return.  You will also have improved cash flow, which can contribute to your loan-servicing capacity.

2. Lower maintenance costs
Dual house properties tend to have lower maintenance costs and residents may only face one set of council fees and rates due to being on one single lot. The smaller property might not have any outdoor areas, so you don’t need to worry about mowing the lawn. If you buy a brand new dual house property then your appliances are less likely to require repairs in the next few years.

3. Elderly residents
Families who have elderly relatives can also benefit from a dual house property if they need to look after their relatives, whilst continue to live close by. A dual home provides the perfect solution for this, whilst providing each resident with their own space to go about their day to day lives.

4. More privacy
A dual house property can also offer you with more privacy. If your children are growing up, but want their own space, or if you decide to have your parents live with you then they can live in one section of the home and you can live in the other.
As Kiwis face higher housing costs, rising costs of living, and childcare costs, dual house living can simultaneously decrease expenses and add more flexibility for everyone.
Based on statistics, the dual household is here to stay. Therefore, when choosing a new family home remember to think about your needs not just for now, but what will they be in 10 to 20 years?
If you’re interested, feel free to view some of our dual housing options we have on our site.  All of our homes offer a main residence and connected dwelling (with independent entrances) for grandparents which can be rented separately in the future.  Or give us a call, we’d be happy to help you find the right home for you.