Chris Gray | 31 January 2013

Pass or Purchase: A two-bedroom Bondi unit

Pass or Purchase: A two-bedroom Bondi unit

In our Purchase or Pass segment this week Chris Gray is joined by Arthur Charlaftis, the general manager of Realestate.com.au, to check out another potential investment property in the inner city.


It’s a two-bedroom, one-bathroom unit with a garage in a security block of 18 units. It is 7.3 kilometres from the CBD and less than one kilometre from the heart of two neighbouring suburbs. It’s recently been transformed by a designer renovation, so there is nothing to do. The unit is at the rear of the unit block and all rooms open up to a quiet and leafy balcony. The block has an outdoor pool and strata fees are approximately $1,000 per quarter.

Chris Gray: So what are your initial thoughts there, Arthur?

Arthur Charlaftis: So Chris I was going to ask you, it’s a large block, and I know you do a lot of work on these sort of developments, so what’s your view on large blocks?

Chris: I’ve never really been a fan of large blocks, the main thing is it’s just really hard to get decisions made and generally there’s the lifts, pools, gyms and all that sort of thing. On a positive note, there’s always a grey area. This is only 18 units, so it’s not that much more than the normal 12 I would usually go for. It’s not a high rise, it’s a walk up, so you generally don’t get all those cars. Something like that I’m not overly fussed about, I could get over that. 

Arthur: Do you think that, in terms of the balcony and the multiple access, or different entries, do you think that helps?

Chris: Oh, that’s absolutely perfect. So many people these days want to live in a house but can’t afford it. This is $740,000 and you only get a two-bedroom unit, so if you get some outdoor living, it’s perfect.

Arthur: What about the strata fees? I noted they’re $1,000 per quarter. That seems high, what would you expect to pay?

Chris: I guess the pools another thing that’s in there. This pool I don’t mind too much, it’s an outdoor pool, it probably wouldn’t be heated, it would be low maintenance versus one with a jacuzzine and life guards and all that sort of jazz. The strata fees are expensive, normally we would be paying $600 to $700. Again, it’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s definitely up there. You really have to look at what your money is paying for there.

Arthur: I think the other thing this one is already renovated, so again, if you have an investor who wants to pick something up and put straight into rental, it’s got a pretty good return. If it’s someone who wants to add some additional value, it’s going to be pretty hard to do. 

Chris: There’s always pros and cons so it always depends on that individual person. What are your thoughts, purchase or pass on this one?

Arthur: I would probably pass. It has a couple of things that would probably sway me against it.

Chris: My thoughts are pretty similar. I think this is a very appealing unit and easy for people to fall in love with because it’s already been renovated. There are a number of potential negatives, with it big a big block, having a pool, no chance of adding value and high strata fees. Individually I can get over all of those issues, but add it together, all in one unit, I think it’s too many downsides. While I have looked at buying in this block, on this occasion I’m going to say pass.

Property Observer notes the property sold for $740,100 in December and has an asking rent of $850 a week. This offers a rental yield of 6%.

It last sold in 2009 for $595,000.

 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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