What is a Granny Flat?

In the golden days, when a heir was ready to receive their inheritance, the widow of the former owner would be moved from the main house and into a smaller house, on the same property. This was done so that there was no conflict between the two parties and the widow could still live on the same property that she had been married into. The smaller house was called a Dowager house, but is today known as a granny Flat. Granny Flats are much smaller than Dowager houses were and are usually attached to the main house.

Granny flats differ from guest houses or servants quarters in that they are meant to be lived in by a family member, usually an aged one. This arrangement is beneficial for both parties involved as it gives the occupant of the flat some independence while still being close to the family. The family in return also gets some privacy while being able to keep an eye on their aging relative.

Depending on the region or type of property you own, Granny flats are called by many names but the basic principle is the same; the flat is meant to be lived in on a full time basis by an elderly member of the family. An attached granny flat is usually like a master bedroom, sometimes with a private entrance while others are simply converted attics or basements. Some Granny Flats are more like a wing of the house that has a connecting door to the main house. Detached Granny flats are usually found in older properties. These usually sit on large plots and come readily equipped with a granny house, usually in the backyard. Increasingly, granny Flats are also constructed above garages.

Because a Granny flat is essentially a secondary house on a property, the space can be of much value and can even increase the property value of the home when sold as the buyer will essentially be purchasing “two homes”. Due to the advancements in medicine, the populations are living longer and a number of families usually have an aged relative to take care of. For those looking to buy a home, finding one with exactly what they need saves a lot of hassle and expense, with the obvious benefit of being able to take care of their aging relative in the comfort and safety of their home while still maintaining some independence. Granny Flats can also be converted into rented lodgings or even a home office.

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