In response to Australia’s ongoing cost-of-living crisis, a new housing trend is emerging: older Australians are opting out of traditional retirement homes and choosing to live in granny flats in their children’s backyards. As families across the nation tighten their belts, this trend is gaining traction as a viable solution for multi-generational living.
The CEO of VanHomes, Vito Russo, explains the rise in popularity of granny flats: “Living in a granny flat gives older parents the best of both worlds. They can maintain their independence, but they are still in close proximity to the rest of the family. There are many reasons why families eventually settle on this living arrangement.”
Financial considerations play a significant role in this decision. With the costs of retirement villages soaring, averaging between $500,000 to a million dollars, not to mention monthly fees, granny flats emerge as the most affordable option.
“For many older Australians, the cost of entry into a retirement village is too high and even if it is possible, it leaves nothing in the back pocket for ongoing living expenses, travel or anything else,” said Russo.
Concerns over airborne diseases in communal living environments, particularly following the COVID-19 pandemic, have also fueled interest in these backyard dwellings. Russo remarks on the sanitary advantages, “The other issue is that the risks of COVID and other airborne diseases in retirement villages have been amplified over the last few years. This is concerning for many families and too big a risk.”
Granny flats aren’t just a solution for housing elderly parents, they serve as beneficial financial investments as well. As Russo points out, “Not only will a granny flat provide your loved ones with somewhere comfortable to live that is close by for a fraction of the price of other options, it can also add significant value to your property through its ability to generate revenue and expand your family’s living space.”
VanHomes specialises in fully relocatable expanding granny flats, which require far less bureaucratic red tape than traditional home extensions. These innovative homes unpack in hours and avoid the delays and costs associated with building.
Russo continues to highlight the diversity in granny flat options, stating that “From as little as $65,000 plus delivery, they can get a studio or for just over $100,000, they can get a two-bedroom single relocatable expanding granny flat.”
VanHomes’ granny flats offer solutions to Australian families seeking to accommodate ageing parents. Not only are they cost-effective but also promote stronger family connections and provide mutual support across generations. Russo advises those considering this option to focus on good communication and respecting privacy to ensure all family members can live together harmoniously.