Learn about the market

DARREN PEARCE

Inner Sydney demands high property prices, which makes it challenging for first-time buyers. If Georgia wants an older-style property she should consider art deco apartments around Bellevue Hill or 1960s-style apartments in Randwick. If she is happy to do some work, Georgia should be able to find a two-bedroom apartment without parking for around $450,000 to $550,000. If she prefers a house, a small unrenovated terrace in parts of Redfern or Darlington can be picked up for around $600,000 to $650,000.

Once she decides on an area that appeals, she should speak with a local agent and ask to be kept informed of new listings. Education is key – even before she is ready to buy Georgia should inspect as many apartments as possible to get a feel for what she likes. She should regularly attend auctions to understand prices achieved in the area.

She is wise to try to stretch herself to buy a two-bedroom property. Leasing out a room can be a great way to reduce the burden of mortgage repayments for first-home buyers. I would also recommend she focus her search on small blocks, without facilities such as building managers, pools and gymnasiums. Those facilities, while nice to have, attract higher strata levies.

I suggest Georgia delay her purchase for 12 months or so to boost her deposit. This will give lenders, and herself, more confidence that she will be able to manage the repayments. She can also use this time to educate herself on the market, so that she is well equipped to identify good value.

Darren Pearce is a real estate agent with BresicWhitney, an agency specialising in inner-city Sydney. He has 10 years’ experience, acting for buyers and sellers throughout Sydney. www.bresicwhitney.com.au

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