Why you should consider buying an older property
23 February 2017
Article modified via @REIWA Author: Rachel Preston-Bidwell
Buying your first home is a big deal and one of the biggest investments you will make in your adult life.
There are many factors to consider when researching the suburb and type of property you’re interested in buying. Do you buy an established home or build off-the-plan? Live in the city or on a quiet suburban street? Then there’s the question of transport, proximity to work, cafes and amenities. The list goes on.
If you’re keen to buy a house without sacrificing on an inner city lifestyle then looking into older, more established properties might be for you, especially if you’re into DIY and don’t mind getting your hands dirty or renovating.
We spoke with Kareena Ballard, Director at Jones Ballard Property Group, to get her expert advice on why you should consider buying an older property for your first home.
Why buy established?
Older homes come with greater responsibility and you may need to consider the renovation costs to modernise or touch-up the property. Some maintenance should be expected and it’s recommended a thorough building inspection is conducted before you buy. But if you’re prepared to do the work, buying an older, established property can bring some major benefits.
Typically, you can purchase an older property for a reasonable price near the CBD or an inner city suburb. Buying and living in these areas means you’re closer to the action for events and festivities, plus if you work in the city, it can cut down on transportation costs and time. This is an attractive prospect for tenants, should you decide to rent out the property in the future.
Additionally, older homes tend to sit on large blocks, making them ideal for subdivision, redevelopment or extension if you want extra living space.
Ms Ballard recommends looking out for houses built between the 1960s and 1980s, or those that lend themselves to the charm of the art deco era. Look for timber floors, high ceilings and simple design layouts, which you can easily bring up-to-date whilst preserving the character.
“Benefit from a ‘live in them or hold now’ approach. Renovate the property by renewing kitchens and bathrooms, restoring timber floors or putting down tiles, rendering the face brickwork and painting a concrete tiled roof,” Ms Ballard said.
Units and villas are also a good option for first home buyers living alone or as a couple, and there are often good buys within close proximity to the CBD.
“Older units are mostly larger than those being built new today. Many opportunities exist to invest and make money for both investors and first home buyers.
“Ensure the building is well managed and strata maintenance is being taken care of,” Ms Ballard said.
Renovating old houses in WA
It might be a dream for some to ‘flip’ a house quickly and sell it for a higher value. However, Ms Ballard advises this concept rarely works in Perth’s current market.
“To do this successfully, you need a rapidly rising market. A second story addition may work in this case if built well and quickly – the addition must blend well with the old,” Ms Ballard said.
If you’re buying your first home with the long term view in mind however, you can potentially build equity in an established property by renovating it bit by bit over the years.
“First home buyers could start with a property under $300,000, live in it, renovate and then move out, using the equity that has been built up as the deposit on the next purchase,” Ms Ballard said.
If you do decide to buy an established home with the aim to renovate, be sure to use quality fit-outs and reputable trade companies.
“There’s nothing worse than a renovation done cheaply, it will look as cheap as it cost and be difficult to sell. Buyers and renters alike have so much choice now, you need to stand out in the crowd to achieve a profit.
“Good luck and happy hunting. The property no one else wants is often a property worth researching,” Ms Ballard said.
If you’re looking for an established house with old-world charm, find properties for sale on pmmetro.com.au