Chris Gray | 22 November 2012

Purchase or Pass? Two-bedroom unit in Bondi Beach

Purchase or Pass? Two-bedroom unit in Bondi Beach

In our Purchase or Pass segment this week Chris Gray is joined by Stuart Waugh, executive director of Bell Partners, to check out a potential investment that is right in the heart of the action and see whether it meets our strict criteria. It’s a two-bedroom unit in a small block of four and within metres of all the local entertainment, shopping and leisure facilities. It’s only 7.6 kilometres to the centre of the CBD for work and transport is on your doorstep. It has plenty of attractive Art Deco features and has only one common wall. It features a private entry and spacious semi-like layout.

In terms of location it seems to tick all the boxes. I thought I would highlight some of the comments in the details in their advertisement as some people, especially those interstate may not realise the significance.

It is 7.6kms from the CBD, has one bathroom, has a lock-up garage, costs $900,000 and rents at $670 per week.

Chris Gray: Quite often around Sydney we talk about northeast facing, what does that really mean?

Stuart Waugh: It means the sun coming up in the morning. It means some action in the morning and some nice energy. It means the property is always desirable by future purchasers.

Chris Gray: The reason I bought it up is because I was up in Queensland 10 years ago and I went to see a property and I said to the agent, ‘What direction does it face’ and he looked at me strangely and asked why I cared. I said don’t you want the sun? He said no no no we want to get away from the sun, we want the shade. So it does change state to state.

Stuart Waugh: It certainly does. In Sydney a nice sun aspect is actually quite nice to have. I can imagine in some of those warmer states the sun can be quite deterring.

Chris Gray: One of the comments on the ad was “Art Deco block of only four”, what kind of difference does that make to people?

Stuart Waugh: Art Deco usually needs a bit of work to be honest and when it needs work people have to have time to put the work in and look at options as far as renovating it. Some people are busy and can’t afford the time to put into making sure they do a good job. Art deco can be restrictive. But not only that usually the body corporate will be restrictive with an Art Deco property.

Chris Gray: The positive for some people is the style of it because everything gets a bit bland these days so some period features can be good.

And I guess having only four in the block at least you’re not competing with 12 other people. If you need some stuff done at least there’s only three other owners.

Stuart Waugh: But the negative of that is you’re raising money from four people to pay for it. There are negatives and positives, but the high ceilings are a good positive, but when I look at blocks of property I look at how many units are there and who’s going to raise the money to pay for these kinds of things.

Chris Gray: Another thing it mentions is one common wall. Obviously that’s going to quieter especially in some of the party suburbs but also it says private entry and spacious layout. That’s got to be good for some people who can’t afford to buy a house on these suburbs and so you’re maybe you’re still in the unit but at least it feels like a semi.

Stuart Waugh: And especially for young families that are quite often not rolling in cash they can get into an apartment like this and feel like they’re living in a house and they can grow their family.

Chris Gray: The one thing that it doesn’t say in the advert, and I’m not surprised, is that the road is basically 10 metres from the bedrooms. You’re at ground level, you’re in the heart of the pubs and the rest of it. The amount of noise you’re going to get from that, that’s got to be a nightmare, doesn’t it?

Stuart Waugh: Absolutely. Noise is a big deterrent for me. I don’t live with noisy roads that often and I can’t see myself going for that kind thing.

Chris Gray: It’s got to be pretty tough. So purchase or pass for you?

Stuart Waugh: Mine’s a pass.

Chris Gray: OI. Noise is a major problem in the inner cities and so for tenants who do want to be closer to the action some do want to sleep at night, those with jobs at least. Even though the property does tick all the other boxes this is one negative that I can’t get over especially at $900,000 for a two-bedroom unit. So for this one I’m going to pass as well.

Chris Gray is a buyers' agent at Empire. He is host of Your Property Empire on Fridays on the Sky News Business Channel.

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