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Where to buy? Tossing up between 3 different options


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#1 newbub2014

Posted 10 November 2016 - 04:57 AM

I need help on where to buy in Canberra! I'm selling my house and want to buy at the same time if possible. My budget is $450 max (banks will lend more but this is the most I am willing to go). DS is 2.5 so need to consider schools, I plan to stay in this place for 10ish years. I work in the city but that could change so is not a consideration. I'm considering the following as these options are in my budget:

- 2 bedroom ground floor apartment in Kingston/Narrabundah area
- 2-3 bedroom ground floor apartment in Bruce
- 2-3 bedroom townhouse in Gungahlin area, eg Casey

Given it's just me and DS would people go for more space further out, or less space closer in? I just want nice parks, good schools, and to be able to walk to a cafe every now and then! His dad is Southside but I am not really taking this in to consideration because he's renting so that could change anytime as he's lived both sides

#2 Alariya

Posted 10 November 2016 - 05:30 AM

Come join me up north with option 3!

I have 3 amazing parks within a 5 min walk, one catering to small children, one for older, and the third a bog standard park but with an amazing view. I've timed it as a 7 min walk to the shops where we have supermarkets, cafes, dollar shop, gym, a pub etc. duck pond is also a plus, and the area is full of families with young children. There isn't a school within the suburb, but we're zoned for several of the surrounding ones which gives you a bit of choice. That's more bike riding distance than walking though, but if you have a car it doesn't really matter.

I seriously suggest coming on a weekend, park at the shops and go exploring. You'll love it!

#3 Sunshine streaming

Posted 10 November 2016 - 06:26 AM

What about Coombe and Wright? New suburbs, but closer in? Great access to bike tracks which will be perfect with active boys in a few years.

#4 Hollycoddle

Posted 10 November 2016 - 07:41 AM

Kingston-Narrabundah for sure.  Central, but just a lovely area.  Not a fan of the new areas, I wouldn't say you would get any more space in those developments than you would closer to the city - less, probably.

#5 seayork2002

Posted 10 November 2016 - 08:34 AM

this was 5ish years ago but we liked the look of Gungahlin so would have bought there if we moved to Canberra

#6 Hollycoddle

Posted 10 November 2016 - 08:49 AM

View Postseayork2002, on 10 November 2016 - 08:34 AM, said:

this was 5ish years ago but we liked the look of Gungahlin so would have bought there if we moved to Canberra

Quickly turning into a ghetto around the older suburbs (Ngunnawul, Amaroo) and the newer ones are literally dogboxes with no yards whatsoever.

https://www.google.c...Pjyq3uNTFcljeM:

Edited by Mollycoddle, 10 November 2016 - 08:50 AM.


#7 omongomong

Posted 10 November 2016 - 08:56 AM

Apartment in kingston - excellent schools (Forest, Red Hill, Telopea, narrabundah early childhood school, narrabundah college). Kingston library. Telopea Park. Loads of cafes and bittersweet cafe is very child friendly. Old bus depot markets as well as another market on Fridays, I forget the name. Coles in Manuka. Etc.

We lived in narrabundah, I didn't like it that much, but loads of our friends live there.

We ended up buying in Curtin and absolutely love it - we are walking distance of fantastic local shops, fantastic public school, gorgeous bike paths/ running tracks dotted with playgrounds, can walk to the southside farmers markets. Walk to Westfield or 5 min drive. Honestly Curtin 4 Eva 🙌🙌🙌

What about inner belco like Cook/ Aranda/ Macquarie?

#8 Jingleflea

Posted 10 November 2016 - 09:04 AM

My grandparents built in Curtin when it was new and people asked them why they'd want to live so far out?? Are they mad??

Now it's geographical centre of the city , lol.

#9 HamsterPower

Posted 10 November 2016 - 09:24 AM

I would avoid Narrabundah and be wary of apartments in general.  Unless you are really central in a large city I just think the negatives outweigh the positives .

Let's face it, pretty much all of Canberra is fine and safe! Talk of ghettos in Amaroo is laughable ! It is one of the most popular areas in the north ,has some stunning homes and is close to the lake , many parks and great schools.  Your budget wouldn't get you much there now though.  If you aren't a gardener I would consider the smaller blocks in a good location, it all comes down to how they are positioned on the block and usable space.

I would also look to where there are young families and facilities to match . Some of the older suburbs are gaining a younger demographic again whereas others are full of retirees and school options and activities aren't as great.

I have lived in most areas of Canberra and they are all pretty good, personally I prefer the north side nowadays but that is because it suits our family , great schooling and sports options, easy access to the city and a great buzz with lots of new cafes, restaurants etc opening - has an " on the up" feel to it.
Out of your options I would look closely at Bruce and maybe Casey, although the more central Gungahlin suburbs would be more my preference over Casey ( closer to light rail and the town centre facilities). BUT Casey is pretty good buying in your price range!

Edited by HamsterPower, 10 November 2016 - 09:25 AM.


#10 MumOfThreenager

Posted 10 November 2016 - 09:15 PM

Good luck with whatever you decide! Just beware that not all the new suburbs have primary schools. You can see in Allhomes which schools are zoned for which areas.

#11 ACT mum

Posted 11 November 2016 - 05:46 AM

Consider Queanbeyan. Really. I moved here from Hackett five years ago and I am  so happy living here. There has been some stories in CT property section on young families from Canberra 'discovering' queanbeyan.

You pay around $100,000 less here. $450 will buy you a sweet little house with lovely yard, or a townhouse. You do have to know the good pockets where to buy. Anything within walking distance of Isabella st school is an older heritage area and that school is good. Check the myschool stats. Also, anything near the big park on campbell st, forgot name but it's the one with the old cricket oval and tennis courts etc, is a lovely lovely heritage area with lots of new families moving in and doing up the old heritage houses. Both are walking distance to cafes etc in Queanbeyan, which is going through a significant upgrade in civic facilities.

Here are some houses


#12 Cimbom

Posted 11 November 2016 - 08:09 AM

I agree with HamsterPower. I know people who have purchased apartments in Canberra and now have negative equity. Don't do it!

We were about to buy an OTP one a few years back but were able to get out of the contract. We really dodged a bullet as they are now selling for less than we would have paid.

There are plenty of houses in the mid-high 400s range in the likes of Page, Florey, Scullin etc - you don't even need to go to Queanbeyan. Look around

Edited by Cimbom, 11 November 2016 - 08:10 AM.


#13 Feral Nelly

Posted 11 November 2016 - 09:12 AM

We live in west Belconnen - Spence/Melba area and love it! We walk to school and can catch a bus or drive to belco mall or the city easily.
They are older homes for sure but it is such a lovely area. There would be smaller 3 bedroom houses in your price range.

If I had to pick out of your three areas though, I'd go for Gungahlin but look in Harrison as well as Casey.

Edited by Feral Nelly, 11 November 2016 - 09:15 AM.


#14 blimkybill

Posted 11 November 2016 - 09:13 AM

I would go for somewhere with a bit of land, even if its a townhouse or courtyard block rather than full sized block. Just so you can expect better long term appreciation. Apartments are more likely to depreciate.
Kingston and Narrabundah are great for cafe lifestyle but may be too expensive.  Casey and Bruce don't appeal to me at all but at least you might get a townhouse there.
I  personally prefer older suburbs which have a lot more green space and the school may be closer by. I think there would good options through Belconnen and Woden or even northern Tuggeranong.


#15 Cimbom

Posted 11 November 2016 - 02:40 PM

Even with townhouses, there is still an oversupply. You really need to go for a separate house unless you're buying in the most expensive of suburbs, otherwise you might as well just rent. The Canberra property market is different to places like Sydney

#16 newbub2014

Posted 12 November 2016 - 05:39 AM

Thanks everyone for the responses :)

I should have specified in my original post, I am not interested in a free standing house or a larger block. I work full time and am a single mum to a toddler, I currently have a 420m sq block which would seem very small to some, but I still struggle to maintain the garden (and the previous owners had it landscaped as what most people would consider 'low maintenance'. I often don't even go out the back for over a week at a time. DS is an outdoorsy kid but we go to the park, or he plays out the front. So an appartment with a courtyard or a small townhouse with a courtyard is what I'm after, or a small freestanding house in Gungahlin but I've seen that a lot of them are only on 280-300m sq blocks so that is appealing to me.

I am leaning more towards Gungahlin now but there are some nice ground floor apartments in Bruce that might sway me. My dad has convinced me I can safely go up to $500k so budget is a little higher potentially.

One of my main problems is I cannot have stairs so townhouses are restricted for me - there are hardly any single story ones and they seem to get snapped up quite quickly.

Will be house hunting today if I get a chance in between painting for sale, so will see how I go!

Edited by newbub2014, 12 November 2016 - 05:40 AM.


#17 Babetty

Posted 12 November 2016 - 07:16 AM

One thing to consider with apartments oxygen size of the rooms - is the second bedroom large enough for your DS to have a desk in it when he's older, room to play with friends etc? Sometimes older apartments are more spacious than new builds.

My brother lived in a big 2 bedroom apartment in Kingston quite a few years ago now.

I grew up in Curtin and share the Curtin love 😃

#18 LilyM

Posted 12 November 2016 - 12:14 PM

Hi,

Not currently living in Canberra, since we moved away to QLD 1.5 years ago. Lived there all my life before though so I know it pretty well :)

I'd recommend Coombs or Wright over Bruce and given your budget. They've been building in Coombs/Wright for a while so there's plenty of choices & the location is good, very close to Woden, Tuggeranong and the city, good schools, lots of parklands etc

Just had a look on allhomes looks like there's a few choices for apartments and townhouses within your price range.

Happy house hunting :)

Edited by LilyM, 12 November 2016 - 12:19 PM.


#19 Nut

Posted 12 November 2016 - 09:41 PM

My inlaws are in one of the off the units in Harrison on Flemmington Rd. It's ground floor and while it doesn't have a courtyard (other than a little tiny area off the back) it does have a large communal grass area and a pool (fenced). Theirs is a two bedroom but some are bigger. They are less than $450,000 even for three bedroom for some and the shopping in the area is building up beautifully (Woolworths, cafes, doctors clinic etc. all right there). Also close to Mitchell and the tram line will be running past there as well.

#20 Cimbom

Posted 14 November 2016 - 06:28 PM

I would go for the small house if those are the options you're looking at.

I'm not trying to be annoying but you would seriously be better off putting your money in a term deposit or something while renting compared to buying an apartment in Canberra.

A colleague of mine (I'm working in Sydney at present) has an apartment that she's renting out and is really stressing about the resell value as she will likely lose a decent amount of money.

One building we were previously looking at buying in has seen prices fall by like 70k in the space of 1-2 years. You really don't want to be facing that prospect if you need to sell for whatever reason. Look at sales data over the last couple of years to get a better idea.

Good luck :)

#21 MrsFrosty

Posted 15 November 2016 - 05:18 PM

We live in a second storey apartment in kingston (renting). We have heaps of stairs which is annoying with a 2year old, but the actual size of our apartment is great. 2 bedrooms, a large living room which is divided into TV/lounge room at one end, study at the other; plus a kitchen and dining area. We spend heaps of time down at telopea. There are actually heaps of families around here. Good schools. Playgroups. Walking distance to shops/markets. We occasionally toy with the idea of moving out to a bigger house, but garden maintenance has been an issue for us in the past...

#22 Nut

Posted 17 November 2016 - 11:36 AM

My BIL is having resell issues as well. He bought off the plan a few years ago in Belconnen and has been renting it out. He can't sell it now because the new units don't cost much more than he needs to sell it for to be worth while.

#23 The 8th Plum

Posted 17 November 2016 - 12:14 PM

I'd go for Kingston because I like the area, lovely on foot, I don't know what the schools are like now but they were good 20 years ago!

I loved in Kington in an apartment for a couple of years and it was a great lifestyle, with a child it would still be nice. I found Belconnen and Woden area less appealing.



#24 newbub2014

Posted 27 November 2016 - 06:52 PM

View PostCimbom, on 14 November 2016 - 06:28 PM, said:

I would go for the small house if those are the options you're looking at.

I'm not trying to be annoying but you would seriously be better off putting your money in a term deposit or something while renting compared to buying an apartment in Canberra.

A colleague of mine (I'm working in Sydney at present) has an apartment that she's renting out and is really stressing about the resell value as she will likely lose a decent amount of money.

One building we were previously looking at buying in has seen prices fall by like 70k in the space of 1-2 years. You really don't want to be facing that prospect if you need to sell for whatever reason. Look at sales data over the last couple of years to get a better idea.

Good luck :)

Hi cimbom, thanks for your post, do you have any links or anything? I've tried to do some research but I can't find much. I saw a table on all homes which didn't suggest it had gone down? I found an apartment I like with a massive courtyard and am considering putting an offer in but I obviously don't want to make a bad financial decision. I do like the idea of no maintenance for me though, and I don't really see myself selling because if I didn't live there for any reason I'd most likely rent it out. The one I'm looking at the owners bought a year ago and they are after the same price now.

ETA: Is this kind of thing you mean? https://www.allhomes...property-report
I can see there that unit median price hasn't moved over the last few years compared to houses..

Edited by newbub2014, 27 November 2016 - 06:56 PM.


#25 Moulla

Posted 04 February 2017 - 03:52 AM

Any update OP, did you end up buying an apartment?




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