So, you’ve finally retired and it’s time to think about downsizing because you just don’t need all that space your family home has. Your choices for downsizing are many and varied and you need to consider them all to work out what’s best for you.
One of the possible choices is to build a retirement granny flat in the backyard of the home owned by one of your children. But, is this the best choice? Here are some pros and cons.
While building a granny flat in the backyard of a residential property will definitely increase the value of the property itself, it may not be the best choice for everyone.
Pros of a retirement granny flat
For the homeowner, building a granny flat in the backyard will definitely increase the value of the property. According to a CoreLogic Report in 2019, adding a granny flat can easily boost the property’s value by around 30%.
As a retiree, one of the biggest benefits of moving into a granny flat on the same property as one of your offspring is you’ll be closer to family and get to enjoy their company and watch your grandchildren grow up.
Another benefit is you can be responsible for the entire design and fitout of the proposed granny flat ‒ especially, if you’re going to sell your current home and use some of the funds to pay for the granny flat itself.
Cons of a retirement granny flat
While there are many advantages to downsizing into a granny flat, there are also disadvantages you need to consider seriously.
For example, do you really want to live so close to your adult children … and do they really want you to live that close by?
Will you constantly be asked to babysit or do other tasks for your kids while they’re out working or enjoying other activities? While it would be hard to say no to such requests, you need to think about what you would like to do now you’re retired and finally have some free time.
You also want to consider your relationship with your daughter-in-law or son-in-law. While occasional visits might be fine, what impact will having you living so close be on this relationship?
It’s important to remember that although you’ve paid for the granny flat, the property it occupies is not yours. So, what happens if your son or daughter decides they want to sell the property?
There’s essentially no guarantee there might not be a relationship breakdown and the home has to be sold. Or, your daughter-in-law or son-in-law decides to remain in the home and wants to evict you from the property.
These are all things you really want to think about before making the final decision. Plus, it’s really important to sit down and have a serious discussion with your adult children and their partners to ensure this is really what everyone wants.
In fact, you should probably get the whole family together and have some serious discussions where everyone can voice their opinions and any concerns they may have.
At the end of the day, you might decide it’s far better to move into an over 55s retirement lifestyle village or land-lease community close to your family but far enough away to ensure everyone's privacy. The bonus of living in a retirement village or land-lease community is not just your ownership of the property but also the facilities that often include a swimming pool, barbecue area, community room, on-site library and more. You never have to worry about security or mowing the lawn … it’s all taken care of.
Make it legal
For everyone’s peace of mind, if you do decide on a retirement granny flat, make sure you have a legal document drawn up by a solicitor that outlines all the conditions for the dual tenancy.
This can include clauses of what would happen if the property is put up for sale or there’s a breakdown of the relationship. It could even include a few guidelines on how much privacy both parties would like in order to live happy lives.
After all, it’s your retirement and you’ve earned the right to enjoy your twilight years doing the things you’ve always wanted to do without worrying about how this will affect your other family members.
Want to learn more about making the most of your next 30 years?
Retirement living can be the best time of your life.
We’re committed to making life better for the over 55s. Check out downsizing.com.au for more insights and great advice on living life to the fullest. We have a great range of properties for the over 55s to help you do that with like-minded people in land lease communities and retirement villages.