澳洲Australia property Maisonette - advantages/disadvantages | S

在澳大利亚 The pool at of an IP needs to be resurfaced (or so the pool doctor says), the cost was estimated to be $10K ($10,000), after recoverying from my impresssion of a cat coughing up a fur ball, it just seems far too much. Its just a standard poo I need some advice regarding a property purchase. Property - semi-detached house Bedrooms - 2 Condition - average needs internal reno to modernise Street - one of the best in suburb Location - excellent Close to schools - yes Transport - 50m

Have been looking at a few maisonettes around Adelaide and wondering what the general consensus on them is...
I am seeing them for low to mid $200's in areas within 10km's of the city and they often look like a cheap buy, but I am wondering are there larger downfalls than what I am listing?
I guess my main concern would be owning 1 of them and not necessarily being able to renovate or demolish/rebuild due to someone else owning the second one and not wanting to accommodate your plans.

Is there any kind of a sinking fund setup for the pair (I'm assuming not)? What happens if the roof needs resurfacing/replacing (for example) and the 2nd owner doesn't want to come to the table?

Cheaper than houses
Alternative to units if can't afford detached housing

Generally in lower socio economic areas
They often look daggy (the older ones)
Would prove hard to renovate exterior (due to not matching next door)  

Hi Hobo-jo,

For me the main factor would be only owning 1 of them and not being able to not knock it down in the future if I wished.

Also I would be concerned with the stigma regarding them as many tenants would turn their noses up at them even if the ip had just been renovated which will effect the rent you will be able to charge and the quality of tenant you get.

Cheers Pablo.  

Hobo, I'd agree with yourself and Pablo. The reason I've never bought them is you don't control all the land.

It's also pot luck as to whether or not you'll be able to buy the other side to develop. What happens if it's a 60yr old guy in there who wants to live there until he dies?

As far as maintenance, I'm not entirely sure as it's up to the individual owners. I have however seen cases of Semi's where one side is beautifully maintained and reno'd etc. whilst the other one is run down and looks terrible. Also, I've seen semi's where one side has a newly resurfaced roof, and the other is still in original condition. Mind you I guess this would be more superficial than structural.

Where abouts are you looking? I've seen some in Kilburn etc. only 7km from the city going for low $200k's. I think they'll do well in price long term, but as I said - not for me due to the development reason.  

Yes that is one of the suburbs I've been looking at, Kilburn, Blair Athol, Enfield, etc.

I agree with the possible lack of development potential (if only owning 1), but then the ones I am seeing sold are not really priced higher than units in the same area, so it seems you get partial benefits of buying a house without the significantly larger price...  

Definitely. Looking from the perspective of units - a Semi is much more attractive as you have a much larger land component, and only 1 other owner in the 'group.'

I think you've picked a good area to look at Hobo - Enfield/Blair Athol/Kilburn etc. will do well in the coming months/years due to proximity to the CBD. (Disclaimer: I own in Enfield :p ). Be aware that if looking at Kilburn, you'd want to stay as close to Regency Rd. as you can - the Northern end is slightly more run down (although proportionatley more semi's down that end).  

I live in a Semi (ppor)

The other house has been renovated and looks beautiful (1900's cottage style).
The half I live in needs renovating. I don’t feel limited at all as to what I can do as the houses are on a corner block so therefore have 2 separate street frontages. The only thing I can’t do is knock down the joining wall.

You will find as many semi detached houses in prestige areas as much as you do in the lower socio areas.
In Adelaide for instance there are plenty of semi detached houses in Norwood and North Adelaide, they are mostly old cottages and look really nice.

Realy how are they any different to the new houses/townhouses which get built on subdivided blocks and are joined at the garage?

I guess my point is to judge each one on its own merits, as
1.not all are in Low Socio area's.
2.quite a few look realy nice and
3.unless they are a symetrical and share the same roof there is no reason for them both to look the same.

cheers Adam  

excuse my blatant ignorance (yet again) please, but what are they ?

Do we have these in WA ?  


the types of maisonettes Hobo-jo is refering to are the old 1970's housing trust houses where there is a single wall seperating two mirror image houses much like this one. (photo only shows part of the 2nd one).


The type of maisonette that Adam owns is more like this one (or at least he wishes it looked that nice). built in the early 1900's.


Cheers Pablo.  

Think I gotcha now from the 2nd picture... besides the shared roof (nothing to be overlooked) though, is there anything different about them from ohter houses ? are "terraced" houses similar to these  

They are basically just normal houses but of course due to the joining wall you do not have windows on one side.

The main problem with the old housing trust houses are that they are very ugly. One of the other problems is that quite often they take up a large % of some entire suburbs so you get low socio economic areas even though the suburb could be close to the city.

The older style are usually situated in the older more prestige suburbs. If renovated they can look really nice and can be expensive although still cheaper than a detached house of a similar standard.  


I just realised I grew up in one in West Perth, ! although our rooves were separate

driven past it & stopped a number of times in recent years, it's been maintained & done up nice, I've often wondered what it would be like to buy it back  

Hi there

Do you know of any cases in Adelaide where 1 side of the maisonette house gets knocked down and the other stays? Other than having the neighbours go ahead and approval, do you think that it is possible?


jaycee said: ↑
excuse my blatant ignorance (yet again) please, but what are they ?

Do we have these in WA ?Click to expand...
Over there they're called duplexes. Built by the housing commission in their hundreds (sometimes asbestos, sometimes brick).

Described in the stats as a unit but often have a big sized backyard (similar to many new houses) and good improvement potential (short of knocking down). If you find one at unit prices, buy it.  

kitten said: ↑
Hi there

Do you know of any cases in Adelaide where 1 side of the maisonette house gets knocked down and the other stays? Other than having the neighbours go ahead and approval, do you think that it is possible?

KelClick to expand...
Yes I've seen it done. Whether it's feasible for a particular one you're looking at and if the figures work I don't know.  

This thread puts me in 'regret' mode.

I bought a house in the south end of Kilburn in 1999 for $40,000. At the time they were selling those $200k maisonettes you speak of for $35-45k. I was going to buy one but never got around to it ...

I sold my house not long after for $80,000 because my credit union wouldn't give me a loan for much more. But I now know my credit union has extremely strict lending criteria - when we got the loan on our current house the CU would lend us $30k (including our existing $25k loan) and every other bank would lend us $140k inclusive.

Ah, hindsight :rolleyes:

These days I'd really really like to build my own duplex. There's lots of land here suitable for one - not every block, there's a minimum width - but enough blocks meet the criteria it is a very doable idea. I haven't yet looked into how easy (and how expensive) it is to build a duplex on a 20m wide block. I'd assume at least a few project builders have a design that fits on that size. If you're not keen on having only half a house, but think duplexs are good value, I'd be seriously looking into building your own so you control both halves.  

RE, what advantages are there to building a duplex in a country area? Wouldn't you be better off building two seperate dwellings with all the land available fairly cheaply? Is a duplex that much cheaper to build than two seperates?


Margaret Lomas has a property investment advice show on Sky News every Monday (podcast'd). A couple of shows ago she talked about owning several pairs of maisonettes. She says that locals don't seem to have a problem renting them, but more to her liking is that there is the start of a trend towards bulldozing and building four units. Several councils are into it. Lomas plans to do just that and says the figures are good for her.  

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