5 Unmistakable Signs You Need To Build A Granny Flat [2018 Guide]

One does not simply build a granny flat.

It’s a calling.

A forceful pull towards smarter living and financial success.

A weird and wonderful phenomenon.

The signs can be easy to miss though. We’re told to ignore them or pass them off as everyday routines.

But were being lied to.

If you’ve ever wondered about the best time to build, don’t look too far.

You don’t need years of discernment and spiritual guidance to notice these 5 unmistakable calling signs.

If these are routine for you, then you may have been chosen for smarter living.

Your Parents Visit At Every Opportunity

Grandparents with children

Whether it’s Christmas, your birthday, or Wednesday afternoon, mum and dad’s filial devotion to dropping in can become just a hint frustrating.

It’s a nice gesture, but the unexpected pop-in is the curse of parental habits.  It can never come at the right time, and always interrupts your plan to do nothing.

It’s understandable though.

Parental love is peerless, and it needs to go towards someone. Better you than your competitive, slightly-more-successful sibling.

The unexplained visits are just an overflow of your parents’ love. Or it could be a call for help as your parents get older and need more support.

So why not embrace it?

Granny flats have become popular for different uses, but their namesake comes from accommodating parents (or ‘granny’) on the same premise.

And they’re still perfect for that.

Building a granny flat for your parents keeps them close enough for comfort, but still gives you both the seclusion and privacy you need. It’s a double win for both of you.

The main benefit is you’re always there in case of an emergency.

Knowing you’re just a few steps away will also put your parents at ease and reduce their need to drop in.

Plus, it’s a lot more economical and safer for them, rather than having to travel all the time. It might also absolve you of the guilt for abandoning them.

Your parents homed you for at least 18 years (or 28 for some of us), it could be time to give back.

If your parents are constantly calling or dropping in, take a good long look at your backyard.

You’re Constantly Fighting Over The Shower (Or TV Remote)

fighting over the tv remote

You know that feeling.

A household with multiple bathrooms, but only one boiler. Or that bigger and better TV that everyone wants to use at the same time.

Suddenly, it’s mandatory quiet hour during Home and Away. And hand-washing, toilet-flushing, and sink cleaning is absolutely forbidden during shower times.

You need complete cooperation and harmony from everyone, but you never get it..

The result is domestic anarchy. A riot of indecorous words and inaudible shouting.

It might seem excessive, but the thought of missing out on your favourite show or a warm shower brings out the worst in all of us.  Sometimes, Netflix-and-chill is just too important.

It’s a common gripe in most households. 2018 is the on-demand generation. We want everything now, all the time.

Your family is obviously in need of extra space. If you’ve got the room to spare in your backyard, put it to use.

A secondary dwelling is a perfect back-up in case things are too crowded in your main house. It’ll let your chaotic family routine carry on as normal, without having to worry about time-slots or interruptions.

The best part is that granny flats usually have their own source of power and water. That means they’re fully self-contained and free of interference from your main dwelling, so you can enjoy your sacrosanct traditions in peace.

With multi-generational families turning mainstream, building a granny flat might just be a saving grace.

You’re Losing Sleep Over The Value Of Your Home

tired and stressed lady due to value of home

We’ve all awoken from that nightmare of hiking interest rates.

The one where your financial talisman takes a dive, turning your biggest asset into a tragedy.

You’re definitely not alone though.

A sudden change in interest rates, or even your career, can have a lasting impact on your financial plans.

It’s not irrational fear either; it’s happened before, and could happen again.

It’s a looming paranoia of reliving the 2008 global crisis, which crippled our property market with permanent scars.

It’s scary stuff, but there’s a comforting anodyne.

A granny flat can help absorb any future dents in the real-estate market. Financed correctly, it adds huge resale value to your home if you ever need to cash-in.

Better yet, it’s a secure source of rental income in the right areas. Smart investors are even using it to cover the mortgage on their main home.

If things go totally sour, you can always put your main home on rent and move into your granny flat yourself. It’s a great way to up your rental income and bounce back from unexpected financial struggles.

Your Kids Are Old Enough To Have Kids

If there’s a call worth heeding, it’s this. Don’t ignore the universe on this one.

Young (and not-so-young) adults are living at home for longer than ever today.

It’s understandable given the freakish real-estate prices. Moving out has simply become unthinkable.

It’s not just the prices though. There’s more to it.

Millennials are staying in to care for their elderly parents, or for the added support of raising their own children.

It’s a growing trend that can quickly become a hassle though.

Multi-family living is tough on any home, let alone when your children have children.

The sound of kids crying at night is something most grandparents farewelled long ago. Having to relive it again is a harsh penance.

Don’t feel guilty though. Whatever side you’re on, it’s likely the other is thinking the same. “When will it end?”

Building a granny flat is the best way to keep your grandchildren close, without getting ‘too close’. It’s nice to help out your kids and their kids, but it’s even nicer to have a private space for yourself, away from the occasional mayhem.

That way, you can hang around when it’s playtime, and drift away when it’s tears or sleep time.

You have to act early on this one though.

Don’t wait until your grandkids are already around. That’s the worst possible time for the added hassle of construction (which takes a few months).

You’ll need to be prepared ahead of time.

The only caveat is deciding who gets the granny flat, and who stays in the main home.

Let the debate begin.

There Are Major Developments In Your Area

scaffolding of commercial project

This one might sound obvious to most, but far-fetched to some. Take your pick.

It all starts with the search for winning financial strategies.

It’s a common tune; when to build, when to sell, best area, best mortgage rate, best repayment term, and on it goes. Everyone weighs in with their own secret to success.

But it’s hard to know who to trust.

Sometimes, the best strategy is to follow the leader. There’s no shame in jumping on the “me too” bandwagon.

If you’re seeing plenty of new developments around your area, then it could be the perfect time to join in. Big business knows when to invest.

Major developments often coincide with population growth. It could be the cause. It could be the effect. Or it could be the universe calling you to cash in.

As population grows, so does the demand for accommodation. It’s a simple equation.

New business districts also lead to people wanting to bunk closer to work.

Suddenly, there are hordes of hungry tenants looking for a place to crash.

Get used to it.

Sydney is expecting another four million people in the next 40 years. That would nearly double the existing population.

And it’s showing.  New skylines are higher than our taxes, while renovated cities are the norm.

Paramatta is being completely refurbished. Badgery’s Creek will host the nation’s busiest airport. And new business parks are popping up faster than new businesses.

It’s moving at full speed, and it’s the perfect calling card to build a granny flat. It’s almost guaranteed to yield a premium rental income.

Don’t be afraid of rivalling accommodation either. New tenant buildings only increase the desire for a granny flat, as high-rise apartments tend to be overpriced and overcrowded.

There’s a caveat to this one as well though. Council regulations could change in response to new growth (developers tend to get their way).

So you’ll need to spot the signs in advance and act before the storm.

The best place to start is Build Sydney and the ACIF.. Check them regularly for major changes or new projects near your area. That way you’ll have a nice head-start over the council and your neighbours who may steal your thunder. They both have free newsletters, or you can just set custom alerts through your browser.


If you feel you’re not chosen for granny flat living, don’t despair though.

It’s never really a bad time to build. There’s just really good times, and mildly ‘less-good’ times.

It’s still a worthwhile investment if you’ve got the extra space and financial stability.

But if you’ve made a routine of fighting over household utilities or can’t stand the thought of a crowded sanctum, your first step is to find the ideal concept for your block.