The Shift Towards Transportable Homes as Permanent Homes: Possibly The Quickest Way to Having A Home


For many young adults, the dream of homeownership has become elusive. With median house prices in many urban areas far out of reach and above $1 Million AUD, younger generations are often left renting or living in less-than-ideal situations. The financial burden of rent, coupled with the challenge of saving for a deposit, makes purchasing a traditional home a daunting prospect. In the face of skyrocketing property prices and the rising cost of living, younger generations are finding it increasingly difficult to secure traditional housing. Many have been stuck in the rental cycle, paying significant portions of their income for housing that offers no long-term investment.

However, a growing trend is providing a glimmer of hope: transportable homes and converting into permanent homes. These innovative living solutions, such as those offered by Vanhomes, are becoming a popular choice for young adults looking for affordable, flexible, and sustainable housing options.

Australia's housing market - Record price highs with more to come

What do you require?

Well, technically speaking, if you have a piece of land, or an area within a piece of land, council's approval, an engineering report, Regulation 126 Certification of Compliance by a a professional engineer, engineering drawings from the supplier and some savings.

What is a small second dwelling?

The Victorian Government has made it easier to build a small second home in residential and rural areas across Victoria – giving families more housing choice and boosting housing supply. Given the provisions apply to all residential and rural zones there will be plenty of opportunities for landowners to consider adding additional accommodation through an SSD.

To make it easier to build a small second home, otherwise known as a small second dwelling, the Victoria Planning Provisions, all planning schemes and the Building Regulations have changed.

Some of the key features of a small second home include:

  • Floor area equal to or less than 60 square metres
  • Sited on the same lot as an existing dwelling
  • One small second dwelling per lot, however there may be more than one and this would be subject to a planning permit
  • Is self-contained, i.e. has a kitchen, bathroom, toilet and laundry facilities
  • No carparking required
  • Anyone can live in it or rent it out
  • Cannot be subdivided from the primary dwelling
  • Cannot be connected to reticulated gas
  • Meets siting requirements, including minimum garden area
  • Can be attached, detached or a conversion
  • Must have an access path from the front street

In most cases, a small second dwelling will not require a planning permit; however, a building permit is always required. A landowner may choose which development they pursue for their land, in consultation with the relevant municipal council about the requirements that apply.

Who can live in a small second dwelling?

Anyone. There are no limitations on tenancy for a small second dwelling. It can be rented, used as long-term or short-term accommodation or used by a family member and not rented out.

In addition, an owner looking to apply for a certificate of consent to build a small second dwelling is not required to intend to reside in the small second dwelling.

The residential tenancy requirements that apply to a dwelling will also apply to a small second dwelling. These include requirements relating to room sizes, facilities and smoke alarms. More inform about renting housing is available from Consumer Affairs Victoria.

The Backyard Solution: Transportable Homes

Transportable homes offer an appealing alternative, particularly for those looking to establish themselves without breaking the bank. By placing a transportable home in the backyard of their parents' property, young adults can enjoy several key benefits:

1. Significant Cost Savings

For a young family, I would prefer at least 3 or 4 bedroom house. This Vanhome''s 4 bedroom model 844D, a 56 sqm is only priced from $117,000 caught my attention. The price is only a fraction of the cost of a traditional home. This affordability allows young adults to invest in a property that provides personal space and financial independence, without the overwhelming debt associated with conventional mortgages. For a young family of 4, this will allow us to comfortably living with a room for each child, a masterbedroom and a office. Have a look at the floor plans below.

2. Proximity to Family

Living in a transportable home on their parents' property enables young adults to stay close to family while maintaining their own private space. This proximity can be advantageous for those who value family support, whether it's for childcare, shared responsibilities, or simply staying connected.

3. Speedy Setup and Reduced Bureaucracy

With delivery times of just 8-12 weeks, transportable homes offer a swift solution to housing needs. The streamlined process reduces the bureaucratic hurdles typically associated with buying and building a traditional home, making it easier for young adults to move into their own space quickly.

Navigating the Engineering

While the benefits of transportable homes are clear, it’s essential to navigate the regulatory landscape effectively. This is where ArchiEng comes to play. Working in conjunction with your building surveyor or your council, ArchiEng can assist you in checking the structural compliance of your preferred VanHomes, producing engineering report, ensure the Vanhomes is structurally sound to be located in your intended location. We will check compliance with wind loads AS1170.2:2021, checking uplift, structural footing checks and ensuring compliance with local regulations, facilitating a smoother transition to your new home.

Regulation 126 Certificate of Compliance

Securing a Regulation 126 Certificate of Compliance is a critical step in the process. This certificate ensures that your transportable home meets all relevant standards and regulations, providing peace of mind for your process. ArchiEng’s expertise in this area simplifies the approval process, helping you obtain the necessary certifications without unnecessary delays or complications.

Why Landowners Should Consider Transportable Homes

1. Quick and Efficient Homeownership

For landowners, transportable homes represent the quickest and most efficient path to homeownership. With a streamlined construction and delivery process, you can enjoy the benefits of a new home in a fraction of the time it takes to build a traditional house. One of my client is using this to host their downsized in-laws, and with this 3 bedroom Vanhome, fits nicely and yet able to live closely to the family in the same land compartment. The kids loved it as they know their grandparents are just behind the house.

2. Significant Cost Savings

The affordability of transportable homes allows you to maximize your investment in your property. By choosing a transportable home, you can achieve substantial cost savings, making it an ideal option for budget-conscious buyers or those looking to invest in additional property features or amenities. And, you will not be tied down with heavy mortgages or rising interest rates. You will be able to regain your life you want and the flexibility to potentially one day save up and buy somwehre you desire.

3. Enhanced Flexibility and Mobility

Transportable homes offer unmatched flexibility, allowing you to relocate your home as needed. This mobility ensures that your home can adapt to your changing lifestyle, providing long-term value and satisfaction. Alternatively, some prefers to convert and change the home as a rented property and have a second income.


As the housing market continues to evolve, transportable homes are likely to play an increasingly prominent role in providing accessible and sustainable living solutions. For those seeking a modern, cost-effective, and flexible housing option, transportable homes offer an ideal solution. Transportable homes offer an innovative, cost-effective, and efficient solution for landowners seeking homeownership. By leveraging the speed and affordability of transportable homes, you can achieve your dream of owning a spacious, comfortable, and flexible home in a fraction of the time and cost associated with traditional housing. With the expert guidance of ArchiEng, you can ensure that your new home meets all regulatory requirements, providing a seamless and stress-free transition to your new living space. If you have land and council approval, investing in a transportable home is a smart and forward-thinking choice for modern homeownership.

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