Hello again,

In my last post, I covered the daunting process that was the purchase of our first investment property, the Greenwich off the plan back in 2013.

Fast forward to 2015 and the Sydney property boom was well underway. At the time, I was actually looking for a owner-occupied property, or PPOR (principal place of residence).

I had a Needs Wants Likes list, which helped me filter through properties. I still have that list, and would really recommend using a framework like this if you’re looking for a property.

Needs – these are must haves. Without them, the property is a dealbreaker.

  • >1 Bedrooms – the property had to have at least one bedroom, no studios
  • Location – The property needed to be around a 30 minute commute into the city
  • Strata levies – As I was looking at units, the strata needed to be less than 800 a quarter. This ruled out quite a lot of the modern apartments, which tended to have lifts, gyms, pools and higher levies
  • Have an internal laundry
  • Privacy – the property needed to be secure and private, as I was planning to live there myself (as a single female)
  • Carspace – needed to have an allocated carspace, off stree

Wants – these are ‘ideal to haves’. Any property with this would rank higher on the list

  • Storage space
  • Close to shops
  • Good aspect – i.e. north easterly so that it received daytime sunlight
  • 2 bedrooms
  • Away from a busy road
  • Have a lock-up garage

Likes – these are nice to haves . I noticed that these are also likely to be things that can be improved or added if the property doesn’t have that feature.

  • Wooden floors, for low maintenance
  • Modern kitchen or bathroom
  • A water view
  • A bathtub
  • In a modern building
  • Close to running and cycling tracks

At the time, my budget was around $500 to 550K. That didn’t provide many options on the lower north shore, and I eventually settled for a 2 bedroom, red brick unit.

It ticked all items on the Needs and Wants list, minus having a lock-up garage and an internal laundry. However, I managed to put a washing machine in the kitchen. (Win!) It didn’t tick a few items on the Likes list – it had old dirty carpets and an old laminate kitchen. However, I subsequently added floorboards and renoated the kitchen with new appliances and a stone benchtop.

After a few years living in it as a PPOR, we eventually moved out. So how did it perform subsequently as an investment property?

  • Tenants: Over the past 5 years, there has been one long-term tenant who lived there with his girlfriend. It was a shame to see him go, however a new tenant has now moved in.
  • Rental: rents have dropped in Meadowbank, due to the influx of new high rise apartments in the vicinity. In hindsight, I should have factored these into the decision making process. Scarcity is what drives rents and there was no scarcity in Meadowbank.
  • Maintenance: The property has been really low maintenance and the strata levies have been very low.