Understanding the housing market in Western Sydney
The pros and cons of different property types
From city centre apartments to detached properties out of town, homes come in all shapes and sizes – and they all have their own unique set of benefits and limitations. As a first-time home buyer, navigating your options can become a little overwhelming, so we’ve put together some of the pros and cons of some popular home types to help you work out what suits your needs best.
Large detached house on an outer suburban block
A modern house in a suburban new estate with a backyard to boot… plenty of room for the kids to run around and for the dog to chase its ball – it’s the quintessential Australian dream. This property category typically provides a strong return on investment, and you’ll usually enjoy three or more bedrooms, multiple bathrooms and dual garages as standard. Of course, potential downsides of living in outer suburbia include more limited access to public transport and fewer local amenities, plus increased travel time commuting to city jobs – but you’ll be able to enjoy the luxury of peace and quiet and plenty of space both inside and outside your home.
Small home on a subdivided lot
If you’re happy to compromise on the size of your house for a location closer to the city centre, a side-by-side or front-and-back duplex or terrace house may be the perfect option for you. Generally found within inner and middle-ring suburbs, these houses enjoy the benefits that a location close to the city centre brings – less time spent commuting to work, and greater access to amenities. These homes are a more affordable way to buy in an inner or middle-ring suburb, as they come with a lot of the benefits but without the price tag of a standalone house. Of course, the upside that comes from a convenient location can be offset by the potential downside of living in very close proximity to noisy or undesirable neighbours, while if you’re planning on growing your family you may outgrow your home just as quickly.
Townhouse or villa unit
Townhouses or villa units are an attractive option if you’re looking for both location and extra amenities, but don’t want the hassle or commitment of maintaining gardens or pools. If you go for a townhouse or villa you’ll usually get the advantages of modern interiors, and onsite amenities may include gyms, pools and tennis courts, representing good value for money for a first-time buyer budget. These properties are part of the growing trend towards community living, where you retain the benefits of privacy and lifestyle without the work and responsibilities of private property. Most of these community living properties have a body corporate that looks after caretaking, grounds maintenance and provides peace of mind on matters of insurance and the management of common property. This onsite support comes with a cost, and the trade-off for the perks of these properties is that you are usually required to pay body corporate fees, which are directed towards maintenance of communal spaces and the wage of your body corporate manager, on top of your mortgage and other costs. Big numbers of virtually identical properties could also mean slower long-term capital value growth.
Apartment in a small block or high-rise
An apartment or unit in a small block or high-rise is an attractive proposition for a busy city worker and first-time home buyer. This property type offers a great prospect for capital growth, while the volume of apartments out there means there’s some opportunity to negotiate a good price. You won’t get your own garden, of course, but you will have shared use of the property’s common areas, which often boast gyms, pools and gardens, and you’ll be able to enjoy easy access to inner suburb’s public transport, city gardens, shops and restaurants. On the downside, you will need to pay body corporate fees for the upkeep and maintenance of the property and facilities, which can be around $100 per week. Body corporate regulations can place some restrictions on how you actually develop and use your property. For example, if you want to install air-con or change the flooring type you’ll usually need permission, and if the building needs repairs you’ll have to share the cost with other residents.
Spoilt for choice and not sure where to start when looking for your first home?
At Best Value Real Estate, we have highly qualified, licensed real estate agents with more than 10 years of professional experience as neighbourhood real estate specialists in Western Sydney – we help buyers achieve their real estate dreams.