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Lifestyle

Expand Your Space - How to Get the Most Space from a Narrow & Small Block

19-Jul-2017
Newcastle and Lake Macquarie are famed for their beaches and lakes; the sun, surf, sand and fishing that come part and parcel with the region’s natural beauty and lifestyle. The area’s development owes much to the discovery of coal. Early settlements were small, though close bonds and community spirit bloomed alongside the expanding mines.

Settlers left their mark with homes from the era still standing today, and many suburbs in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie demonstrate key features of early lifestyles; small and compact homes built on small blocks afforded many people the opportunities to own their own home, stay close to the local community, and take-up work opportunities in the local area.

Many of these homes still remain today in suburbs like Mayfield, Boolaroo, Swansea, Cardiff and Toronto. Further afield, in Maitland, Cessnock and Kurri Kurri, the trend to build smaller homes on small and narrow blocks is also easily evidenced. These homes are a testament to the region’s first population boom and growing prosperity.

The Changing Face of Our Local Suburbs

However, time has dealt many of these homes a cruel blow. Forty or fifty years spent housing many families has resulted in so many properties reaching the end of their useful lives. Suburbs are gradually changing their face. Gritty and basic old homes are giving way to sleek, modern, thermally-efficient and purpose-built houses.

Many will witness this pattern slowly surfacing in their own suburbs as many older homes in the area are being rejuvenated, with Coal-Mining Era houses being demolished and newer, modern homes built in their place.

Getting the Most Out of Your Block

So, how do property investors and landholders maximise the space they can create from a tiny and narrow block?

The answer lies in purpose-built house designs that can be developed on the block to maximise use of the land.

Builders like McDonald Jones, for example, are now offering houses designed to make the most out of a small, narrow block of land. Their Eden Vale design is just one example that delivers on generous-sized living spaces, large kitchen areas, luxurious master bedroom suites, and family entertainment zones.

One way builders are able to get around the design challenge of working with small and narrow lots is to go up. Adding a second level can double the amount of space home owners and investors have available to them. A two bedroom house can often turn into a four or five bedroom house after a knock-down and rebuild with a specialist narrow or small lot design.

As McDonald Jone’s Eden Vale design shows the quality that extra space provides often extends beyond the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and car spaces. Retreat rooms, dedicated private offices, study nooks, entertainment and kid’s play areas all combine to make the space a family calls home more inviting and homely.

The Knock-Down & Rebuild Equation for Home Owners and Investors

Home owners will often knock down and rebuild so they can have a home which fits their lifestyle. They may love the location; proximity to public transport, cafés and restaurants, art galleries and museums, and access to work and schools. Old homes can come with limitations, and on top of this you are living in something that was more suited to someone else’s life.

For property investors the calculations may be quite different. A property that has been held for many years or is simply old may be experiencing increasing repairs and maintenance bills. If it costs $40,000 to $50,000 or more to refit and repair an old home, a knock-down and rebuild could begin to make sense. If a rebuilt home enabled an investor to double the rental income, suddenly knocking down an old home and rebuilding with a house made for today seems economically feasible.

There is much more to consider, however, if you are a property investor and have an old-style home on a narrow or small block, talk to a 1on1 Property expert about the dynamics of transforming your asset into something that may supercharge your returns. Call 1on1 Property on 02 4014 1900.

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