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First Home Buyer Tips

20th September 2017

Should a young first homebuyer invest in a city apartment, a unit close to town, or a house on land further out? Eleanor miller asks.


So you are a first homebuyer, with a deposit just about ready to go. Where should you invest and what should you buy?

An apartment in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD? A unit within 10km of the city, or a house on land further out? We took a look at some figures and asked sellers “on the ground” about the pros and cons of each option.


An apartment in the heart of town


IT goes without saying that the main drawcard for those investing in apartments is the lifestyle on offer.

Cameron Porter, spokesman of the West Franklin development in the CBD, says apartments are perfect for those “looking to live in a connected community, close to transport, education/medical hubs, great restaurants and cafes with on-site facilities and amenities.” Price wise, there are several apartment developments on the market in Adelaide with one bedroom price tags starting around the $380,000 to $400,000 mark.

“West Franklin is the most affordable luxury apartment living offered in Adelaide,” Mr Cameron says. “Stage one final release is offering large one-bedroom apartments from $382,000.” He says one of the biggest risks for young purchasers is the possibility of projects not starting and finishing on time.

“The best advice for a first homebuyer is to do your research and look at as many display suites as possible,” he says.

“It is best to actually meet the developer rather than just do your due diligence on the internet. ” A UNIT 10KM FROM THE CBD AS is the case with apartments, units tend to attract those looking for a cosmopolitan lifestyle within easy reach of the CBD, says Tom Hector of Harris Real Estate.

Mr Hector, sells a lot of units, particularly in Adelaide’s sought after eastern suburbs where they are a much more affordable option than established houses. Adelaide wide the median unit price is $365,750 Mr Hector says the major drawback for units as an investment option is that they tend to lack the capital growth of freestanding houses.

“The best thing about them is the lifestyle – a lot of my clients buy in blue-chip locations and it’s affordable.” He advises anyone looking to maximise their unit investment to seek a single-storey home in a group of six or less.


A Freestanding House


ADAM Timms of Timms Real Estate grew up in Adelaide’s southern suburbs and specialises selling homes in and around the Onkaparinga council area, some 30 minutes-plus drive from the CBD.
Here you will find a three-bedroom family home on a decent size block (say 600-plus sqm) for less than $400,000.
Onkaparinga’s median house price is $360,000, but there are still plenty of freestanding homes on land available for less than $300,000, give or take a few renovations.
“I grew up in the southern suburbs and I think they’re particularly good value, especially for young couples and families,” Mr Timms says. He adds land stands you in good stead for long-term capital growth.

He advises buyers to take the time to take the time to consider their decision.
“Have a good look around and don’t fall in love with the first home you see,” he says “Always try to buy, thinking about the street and whether it’s close to schools, shops and whether it’s an up-and-coming streetscape.” Some other outer suburban council areas with relatively affordable median house prices include Tea Tree Gully ($401,000), Salisbury ($327,000) and Playford ($258,000).

Adelaide-wide the median house sale price is $444,000 according to CoreLogic data.

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Young homebuyers need to weigh-up lifestyle and longer-term investment factors when investing in their first property.

Picture: ISTOCK