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  1. #1
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    Default Any families live in a 2 bedroom, 60 square meter Granny Flat?

    Hi, we have one child (3 years old) & are currently living with my MIL (can't afford Sydney rent or mortgage but our jobs are here) (it's getting cramped in her house), she has said we can build a granny flat in her backyard for us to live in. We've been out & had a look at some Granny Flats & the living area is quite small. Are we nuts? Or is 60 square meters plenty? Wondering if anyone has done it as a family of 3? Thanks in advance.

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    I wouldn't do it. Not bc of space issues but bc if things go pear shaped with your MIL you are going to have huge issues recouping your money.

    Since you are both working, is buying a little 2 bedroom unit a possibility?

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    Are you allowed to build on the property? Because it may be difficult to get an approval. And may be surprisingly expensive to build.

    Aside from that - they are teeny. My MIL's MIL lives in one on their property and it is 1 bedroom.

    The living area has room for a recliner and small tv cabinet. Another small cabinet on another wall. Teeny kitchen with no table. Room fits a bed. Bathroom is like an ensuite. It is nowhere near as big as an apartment/unit. In saying that maybe they can be built bigger. But if you are happy to just have a space to have your own private space sometimes then it might be ok.

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    From what I've seen and read it costs around $40k to build a granny flat or concert shipping containers into a home. You'd need to check the local counsell for permits etc. but like @delirium has said personally I wouldn't either as everything could go pair shaped and what happens if she wants to move where would you go and you'd have the debt from building the flat aswell. It would add value to her property maybe depending on how much yard was left but in the long run it would do nothing for you. And if she got sick and passed who does the property go to? Split between siblings, a buy out to the siblings or sold off and you guys would get s slice then with enough for maybe a small deposit on something. Or you may have to move way out of the city to afford rent and commute longer to work

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    My first house was about this size. I lived on my own there for ages but did live there with DF (and his two boys at the weekend) for about a year. It was fine but we had a huge back deck and yard, and the yard backed onto a park. We spent a lot of time outside.

    If you do go down this path I highly recommend having good storage - lots of kitchen cupboards, built in robes etc.

    Would this be a long term housing option and do you intend on having more children?

    Two young children I think would work ok (DF's boys were 3&5 at the time) but it might get cramped when they are older and needing more space.

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    Quote Originally Posted by babybeeno1 View Post
    From what I've seen and read it costs around $40k to build a granny flat or concert shipping containers into a home. You'd need to check the local counsell for permits etc. but like @delirium has said personally I wouldn't either as everything could go pair shaped and what happens if she wants to move where would you go and you'd have the debt from building the flat aswell. It would add value to her property maybe depending on how much yard was left but in the long run it would do nothing for you. And if she got sick and passed who does the property go to? Split between siblings, a buy out to the siblings or sold off and you guys would get s slice then with enough for maybe a small deposit on something. Or you may have to move way out of the city to afford rent and commute longer to work
    $40k would be only 1-1.5 year's rent in Sydney I think? So after the first year / year and a half, it would be like having a house for free. After that if things did go pear shaped with MIL or she moved or (heaven forbid) passed away they wouldn't have really lost anything.

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    Most of the granny flats being built in our area are approx $70k when all the inclusions and fees are added in, it's quite easy in Sydney to now build as long as your block is over 450m2

    It would be a good short term plan but no I think they are quite small and as your child gets bigger I think you will need more space, you can't sell the granny flat so you are really just improving her property value , I think you would be better off putting the 70k into a deposit for a small unit, at least then in a few years when you out grow it you can sell it

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    I've had a few friends build granny flats in Sydney and it cost them about 100k. Getting council approval is pretty easy. Some granny flats can be awesome but at the end of the day it's not your property and unless you are willing to live there for 10 years plus it's not worth it.

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    babybeeno1  (10-06-2016)

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    Essay length reply; sorry. Thanks so much everyone; you're all so wise. Our son is an IVF Bub & our attempts for a sib were unsuccessful so he's an only child. We've done our research. To build in MIL's backyard we're looking at roughly $150k (including land prep etc). The build would come under the Rental Affordability Scheme so we don't even go through council, it's all done through a private certifier. We live on the north shore so a very expensive place to live. We've done our research & 2 bed granny flats in our area are renting for roughly $600 p/week. DH is an only child so at least we don't have siblings to worry about. My MIL is only 73, but is quite old & frail. Last year she spent 4 months in a hospital for mental health problems (anxiety & depression). My DH doesn't really want to move too far away from her & she refuses to move & upgrade to a bigger house so we could continue to live with her. (Her house would sell for upwards of $1.5 mil & she could buy something bigger in the North West). I should say we pay rent to live with her, which our mortgage repayments on a granny flat would be similar. To be honest I'm feeling very pulled between my own needs & the needs of everyone around me. We've lived with her for nearly 3 years (IVF cleared us out financially) & whilst I love her, I'm just longing for my own space for our family. I should say that she would be going guarantor on the loan (her house as collateral) & the bank has approved us for $180k. We have another $120k debt from my husband before we met (nothing to show for it!) & I was worried about our ability to repay should I lose my job or something but then when I researched the rental 2bedders are getting in our area I thought that at least we had the backup of moving back into the main house with MIL & renting out the granny flat to pay of the debt. We are so lucky to have MIL to live with & we just couldn't rent/buy even in the very outer suburbs of Sydney or the Central Coast for the cost of repayments on a granny flat. Our main concern is space. Space & I don't want to make a stupid decision.

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    I would go for it. I'm all for dual living though and we purchased a house with my dad.
    I think you can work in a small amount of space, "tiny houses" are all the rage now. Maybe look into some full on storage solutions and things. Downsize on everything that is not a need. It sounds like you live busy lifestyles and are out and about a lot as well?

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