Our experience with house hunting in Western Sydney
Charmaine and I have been house hunting for a few weeks now. Let me tell you this is a different kettle of fish from what we experiences 4 years ago when we were looking for our first house.
On the surface there appears NOT to be many changes in fulfilling our criteria for the home we want. We still are after a freestanding home. We are not up-sizing so not necessarily requesting extra bedrooms rooms or fancier living rooms. Our main request is to be as close to Blacktown as possible (we are currently a few stations further west). The main reason why we are embarking on this little migratory journey is for pure convenience in that baby-sitting Levi next year will be a whole lot easier when you only have to drop him off with a quick drive to the in-laws as oppose to 20+ minute drive.
In fact we are more happy to look for a slightly run down or out-dated place that we can get out hands dirty as it has more potential.
So seems simple enough. Until you experience the current Western Sydney housing market. The standard mode of operation when we were looking for a place to live four years ago is as follows: You inspect the house, see if you like it, call the agent and through a low-ball figure at him. Usually 10-15k less than the asking price. He goes to the vendor and hands it to them. Then the vendor comes back with a higher figure than what you offered but less than the original asking price. You then meet somewhere in the middle. As an example we got 13k off the final house we went with.
Not any more, since the interest rates dropped to historic lows, the market is now like a dog in heat. Each house inspection will attract a dozen families; we have seen a couple of houses that would have had over 30+ parties passing through the door, and making offers well above the estimated value of the property.
One example left my jaw on the ground. An offer was made for a small 3 bedroom place that was estimated to be worth in the 400k range but went for a whopping 60K more.
We joke, but the joke is very true to reality that at every inspection its mandatory that there is at least one rich Asian family cashed-up to their nostrils, who rolls-up in their BWM/Audi, pop open a suitcase packed with crispy dollar bills giving off a warm glow then proceed to lick-up the property without blinking or second thought.
It’s tough out there. But we have a vision, and that is what is important. Our mid-term goal is to get a place, do it up, and potentially get a granny flat on it for extra income. Then when we are ready, and probably have more mouths to feed as well, we rent-out both and move on to bigger and better things.