Chris and Nicole welcome us to their investment property, located in Cheltenham, in Melbourne’s South East. It’s a typical Melbourne winter day – wet and cold – but this doesn’t distract from the beautiful Hamptons-style home they’ve built. As a photographer who spends half the year in Santorini, Chris, Nicole and their five children are no strangers to a coastal setting.

Chris and Nicole had lived in the same cream brick 1950’s home for 21 years before they decided it was time to upgrade. With five kids, the old home, despite several renos, just wasn’t cutting it anymore. The problem? They didn’t want to move. They loved their suburb – it was close to family, schools and the beach. It was home.

Not wanting to move, but also mindful that another renovation was going to come in with a hefty price tag, they started to explore their options. Enter DualOcc by Metricon – the chance to not only build a new home for their family, but also an investment property to rent or sell.
 

“The ability for us to stay in the area that we wanted  and to get the home we wanted in an affordable manner made dual occupancy worthwhile,” Chris says, “the return on investment was far greater than knocking down our old home to build two homes rather than renovating.”

How they decided to build a Dual Occupancy couldn’t have been easier. “We were just driving to the shops and saw a Metricon open home,” Nicole says, “It was a dual occupancy, and we stopped the car and said let's go in. What we saw was fantastic, and the sales consultant made it all sound so easy.”

Chris and Nicole's dual occupancy home in Melbourne, photographed in the evening with a Hamptons facade.
Chris and Nicole's block is under 600 square metres, and before chatting to their sales consultant, they hadn’t realised that building two homes on one block was a possibility. With plenty of experience building homes in their suburb, and a strong understanding of Council guidelines and regulations, Metricon opened their eyes up to the possibilities, discussing options for their block.  “We realised we wanted to build a Dual Occupancy home because we felt that the old home was wasting so much space,” Chris said, “Metricon worked with the Council on our behalf, and before we knew it, we were building.”
 
Chris sitting with a book on the couch at his Melbourne investment property.
Nicole making the bed at their Melbourne investment property.
With the couple each having their hands full with work and parenting, the fact that Metricon was able to manage the build process from beginning to end, was of huge appeal. “We needed to spend as little time as possible on this development. And if someone wants to do as little as possible and get great results, then I say build with Metricon. We didn't need to hear from them. They did everything in the background and stuck to the timeframes they’d promised”, Chris says.
 
The living room in their Melbourne dual occupancy home.
Fast forward to today, and Chris and Nicole are living in one of the homes and planning to sell the other. Their family of seven fits seamlessly into one of the residences, which Nicole says surprises their friends and family. “I love the new home and the new layout. The space that it's created is fantastic for me and makes life so much easier.”

Nicole says that the couple loves that the kids have their bedrooms and living area upstairs, while the parent’s master and living zone is downstairs. “They can be upstairs studying, or on their Xbox, while we’re downstairs on our own or with friends.”
 
Chris and Nicole enjoying their new Melbourne dual occupancy investment property.
Chris offered one last piece of advice for anyone looking to build their own dual occupancy home or investment property: “The advice that I would give if you want to build for investment is to trust your instincts, trust your builder and to go for it. Don't think that you need to know the answer to everything - that's the reason why you hire a professional builder like Metricon. We’ll absolutely be doing this again with Metricon.”

You can find more information about the home Chris and Nicole built, the Grange, here. If you want to learn more about DualOcc by Metricon or are interested in building your own dual occupancy, follow this link.

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