Port Douglas property: The science of buying and selling


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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A 'good buy' usually requires significant research and a little bit of luck, according to local experts. IMAGE: Supplied.


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BUYING and selling a property has its own science and those in the know will tell you successful ‘buyers’ have done their homework and the smarter ‘sellers’ have listened to their agents.

In our second interview with property expert Barbara Wolveridge, of BMW Real Estate Pty. Ltd., in conjunction with Raine & Horne Real Estate, Port Douglas, she says a good buyer is one who has done their due diligence and knows and understands the market.

“It is made a whole lot easier these days with highly informative websites such as Realestate.com.au and www.domain.com.au, who also provide a useful Buying and Selling Property Guide,” says Wolveridge.

She adds that buyers need to make sure they have sufficient funds and therefore know how much they can spend. It is not advised to look at a house that is outside your price range and hope to bring down the vendor.

“A good seller is one who listens to his/her agent regarding the price of a property, one who has also done his/her homework regarding houses sold in their area and doesn't overprice.”

Wolveridge says a ‘good buy’ is when you can have a little bit of luck. “If you have the cash, and encounter someone who has already purchased a property and needs to get moving, it will count in your favour. This is when you get a slightly cheaper price that you would have expected.”

Although she has already conceded it is getting harder for first-time buyers to get into the market, she says they should be looking at something they can afford; and consider buying the worst house in the best street where there is the ‘upside’ of improving the property and selling it down the track.

In terms of buying an investment property, it is once again recommended you do your homework and buy in an area where it would be easy to rent. You want the property to be near schools, shopping areas and the relevant amenities and facilities.

“Some of the pitfalls are borrowing too much when the interest rate is low and then getting caught on the upside when interest rates go back up, which they inevitably do. A deposit of 30 to 40 per cent is ideal for an investment property, not five to 10 per cent.

“Selling quickly can be to your detriment as Australian taxes are high and it's difficult to make money these days buying and selling. Long-term property values are usually excellent over a seven-year period as it’s difficult to make money selling any quicker than this,” she says.

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