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Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Rachel Pre­ston-Bid­well Rachel Pre­ston-Bid­well is a cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions co-or­di­na­tor at the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of WA.

Buy­ing your first home is a big deal and one of the big­gest in­vest­ments you will make.

There are many fac­tors to con­sider when re­search­ing the sub­urb and type of prop­erty you’re in­ter­ested in buy­ing.

Con­sider whether you should buy an es­tab­lished home or build off-the-plan, and live in the city or sub­urbs.

We asked Jones Bal­lard Prop­erty Group di­rec­tor Ka­reena Bal­lard for her ex­pert ad­vice on the ben­e­fits of older prop­er­ties.

Why buy es­tab­lished?

Older homes come with greater re­spon­si­bil­ity and you may need to con­sider ren­o­va­tion costs.

Some main­te­nance should be ex­pected and a thor­ough build­ing in­spec­tion should be con­ducted be­fore you buy.

Typ­i­cally, you can pur­chase an older prop­erty for a rea­son­able price near the CBD or in an in­ner-city sub­urb.

Buy­ing and liv­ing in these ar­eas means you’re closer to events and fes­tiv­i­ties and can cut trans­port costs and time to the city.

Older homes tend to sit on large blocks, mak­ing them ideal for sub­di­vi­sion, re­de­vel­op­ment or ex­ten­sion. Ms Bal­lard rec­om­mends houses built be­tween the 1960s and 1980s, or those that lend them­selves to the charm of the art deco era.

“Ren­o­vate the prop­erty by re­new­ing kitchens and bath­rooms, restor­ing tim­ber floors or putting down tiles, ren­der­ing the face brick­work and paint­ing a con­crete tiled roof,” she said.

Units and vil­las are also a good op­tion and there are of­ten good buys close to the CBD.

“Older units are mostly larger than those be­ing built new to­day,” Ms Bal­lard said.

“En­sure the build­ing is well man­aged and strata main­te­nance is be­ing taken care of.”

Ren­o­vat­ing old houses in WA

It might be a dream for some to “flip” a house quickly and sell it for a higher value. But, Ms Bal­lard ad­vises this con­cept rarely works in Perth now.

“To do this suc­cess­fully, you need a rapidly ris­ing mar­ket. A sec­ond-storey ad­di­tion may work in this case if built well and quickly, the ad­di­tion must blend well with the old,” she said.

You can po­ten­tially build equity by ren­o­vat­ing over the years.

“First-home buy­ers could start with a prop­erty un­der $300,000, live in it, ren­o­vate and then move out, us­ing the equity that has been built up as the de­posit on the next pur­chase,” Ms Bal­lard said.

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