Tips And Tricks - What Makes A Property A Lemon Vs. A Peach?
Don't be blinded by one or two amazing features. A beautiful façade or entrance hall won't make up for tiny bedrooms or a terrible layout unless you plan to upgrade and have the money to do it. Elaine Davis shares her top tips to ensure your next property purchase is a peach and not a lemon.
Don’t be blinded by one or two amazing features. A beautiful façade or entrance hall won’t make up for tiny bedrooms or a terrible layout unless you plan to upgrade and have the money to do it. No matter where it’s located or whether it’s a house or an apartment, home or an investment, the property should have the following:
What it should have:
- Lots of light (watch out for properties where the lazy real estate agent hasn’t bothered putting the blinds up or the windows are blocked by clutter – you won’t be able to judge the light properly and you may be pleasantly surprised).
- It should have close access to public transport, cafes and other amenities while being fairly quiet and pleasant.
- Have a good outdoor area, appropriate for the size/style of property (art deco apartments are the exception because of their style).
- Land size that is typical for the area, or larger (although for units, smallish blocks tend to perform better - historically they come up in value more and usually have fewer amenities and therefore lower strata fees).
- Well-maintained properties around it (grotty neighbours can be hard to live next to or may put tenants off if you are planning to rent out the property).
- The opportunity to add value, especially by bringing in more natural light by adding skylights and windows. You should be able to add this light easily without a full renovation.
- Parking, if it’s any distance from the CBD.
- For units, find a pleasant and well-maintained block – a grubby exterior will put off tenants as well as being off-putting for you. More importantly, a run-down block will probably need a lot of money spent on it, so always thoroughly read the strata report.
What it shouldn’t have:
- It shouldn’t be in a highly developed area where there’s too much choice for buyers and tenants.
- Overlooked or dwarfed by a block of units or similar.
- On a busy road (the back of the block is okay sometimes).
- The property and area shouldn’t make you feel unsafe.
- It shouldn’t be pokey and have “mean” proportions.
- Call the local council to make sure that there are no neighbouring Development Applications (DAs) lodged that could block the property’s views or light, or hamper its lifestyle in any way (as DAs can be lodged at any time, watch out for neighbouring empty blocks or ramshackle houses that could be developed).
- Too far from cafes, transport, schools, shops, etc. (usually).
- On the “wrong side of the tracks” unless there’s some indication that it’s the next upcoming area such as new infrastructure, hipsters moving in or easy proximity to a “trendy” area or the city.