There’s a lot to con­sider when in the mar­ket for a beach house

Herald Sun - Property - - FRONT PAGE - PETER FARAGO

BEACHY is a term Anas­ta­sia Howard hears a lot in her line of work as a Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula real es­tate agent.

It’s the key search term buy­ers use when they’re look­ing for a hol­i­day home along the coast from Rye to Port­sea.

While many find their lit­tle piece of par­adise, oth­ers dis­cover that own­ing a hol­i­day home is not for them.

“We find that a lot of our turnover is from peo­ple who have bought a house within the past 18 months or two years and then find they don’t use it like they thought they would,” said Ms Howard, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of JP Dixon’s Rye and Port­sea/ Sor­rento of­fices.

She said it was a good idea for those con­sid­er­ing a hol­i­day home to try be­fore they buy.

“That’s quite a com­mon oc­cur­rence,” she said. “About 5 per cent of our per­ma­nent rentals are peo­ple that just use it as a hol­i­day home.

“They rent it per­ma­nently and just come down and use it on week­ends and when they’re on hol­i­days.

“They’re of­ten do­ing that so they can see how much they’ll use a home, or whether they enjoy main­tain­ing a property.”

Oth­ers tried by rent­ing homes in hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions short-term be­fore buy­ing.

Ms Howard said be­ing close to the beach and hav­ing out­door liv­ing ar­eas were key fea­tures on the ‘‘must have’’ lists for hol­i­day home buy­ers.

“They’re com­ing down to re­lax, so good out­door en­ter­tain­ing ar­eas are al­ways sought af­ter, not only in their own homes, but for peo­ple who in­tend to rent their property, be­cause guests are look­ing to enjoy out­door spa­ces,” she said.

She said there were two types of buy­ers at the southern end of the penin­sula: those who wanted a nearby bay beach and those who wanted an ocean view.

Ms Howard said the ocean views were gor­geous all year round and were con­nected to walk­ing trails in coastal re­serves, while bay­side prop­er­ties were closer to shops.

Great Ocean Road Real Es­tate, Lorne, di­rec­tor Ian Ste­wart said the best ocean views were of­ten from more el­e­vated blocks.

“It comes down to what’s the pri­mary con­sid­er­a­tion — are you look­ing to pur­chase for your own use and en­joy­ment where you want your kids to be able to come and go with­out mum and dad hav­ing to be a taxi ser­vice, or is it to­tally un­in­ter­rupted views that you’re af­ter,” he said.

Mr Ste­wart said 66 per cent of buy­ers in Lorne were from Mel­bourne and as the tem­per­a­ture rose so did de­mand. “The mo­ment the seven-day weather forecast comes out and it’s look­ing hot for the week­end, our ac­com­mo­da­tion phones are ring­ing off the hook, as ev­ery­one’s think­ing let’s sneak down to the coast for the week­end,” he said

While it’s not un­com­mon for coastal dream homes to have mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar price tags, de­mand is still strong­est in the mid­dle-price bracket on both sides of the bay.

“There’s huge de­mand for the less ex­pen­sive lit­tle beach houses be­cause there’s al­ways those buy­ers out there who have $500,000 in their pocket,” Ms Howard said.

“Buy­ers are of­ten say­ing they want a beachy feel to their house. If they’re liv­ing in the sub­urbs of Mel­bourne, they don’t want to come down to a sub­ur­ban-type house here.”

Ms Howard said good cap­i­tal growth meant a hol­i­day home could be a solid in­vest­ment.

And those happy to rent out their hol­i­day home could gen­er­ate in­come to pay the bills.

Bel­lar­ine Property man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Chris­tian Bart­ley said the days of the hol­i­day beach shack were num­bered, with buy­ers pay­ing up to $3.9 mil­lion in Bar­won Heads.

“Now we’re see­ing an in­crease in de­mand for four bed­rooms, a pool and garag­ing,” he said. “The home down here is rea­son­ably sim­i­lar or even bet­ter than their pri­mary res­i­dence.”

But find­ing a hol­i­day home in and around Bar­won Heads could be a greater chal­lenge than hav­ing the bud­get.

Mr Bart­ley said bet­ter cap­i­tal growth prospects meant more buy­ers were hold­ing on to their prop­er­ties, even if they were not us­ing them as of­ten.

“If you’re not us­ing it, put a ten­ant in it,” Mr Bart­ley said.

“It’s worth hold­ing onto an as­set if the mar­ket is per­form­ing well.”

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