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Monday, May 7, 2012

House and Land Packages in West Swan

Foreigners in Australia are only allowed to buy property from developers. Over there, they call it "buying off the plan". But when you SELL the property, it MUST be to an Australian citizen or PR. This is smart. It ensures that foreign money flows INTO Australia to develop its infrastructure AND it prevents foreigners from chasing up property prices beyond the reach of the average Australian.

Developers offer House and Land packages where you get to choose plots of land between 350sqm to 500sqm... and then you choose a house plan to build ON it. The developer will then build a house design that YOU chose. For a fee, you can customise your house by changing the plan a little. You can also specify different building materials. This is all costed and YOUR price will be given to you. I actually found a house design that I liked here -, and a plot of land here - and

Our friend disapproved. He knows Perth better than we do and so we held our horses. When we were in Perth, we drove into the above places to have a look-see. It was clear to me that these areas had low cost homes. The look and feel of the buildings in West Swan were much different from the homes we saw in Subiaco and Applecross. Still, by Singaporean standards, these were luxurious homes. They were large and had patches of garden real estate. There were parks and ponds situated at the doorstep. The area was well-served by a major highway, good roads but still rural enough that one can breathe the country air. There were amenities nearby too.

But our friend still disapproved and so we still held our horses. He made a convincing case. There would be no way we could closely supervise the building of the house, and corners might be cut that would mean no end of trouble later. Poor waterproofing, poor roofing insulation... Rural properties aren't as sought after as beachfront properties and so when it comes to selling, the property might be hard to get off our hands. In addition, when you build a house on a piece of land, you've every interest to ensure that the Land Price : House Price is around 1:1. Since the land around West Swan are around $250,000, then you should ensure the building costs is around $250,000 too. This is because, if you build an expensive house on a piece of cheap land, people who are attracted to that suburb won't be able to afford the house you built. If you build a cheap house on a piece of expensive land, people who want to stay in that upmarket suburb won't like the house you built. Then he shook his head and said "$250,000" is too cheap a house. It won't be a good house.

Our friend should know. He built his $1 million house on a $650,000 piece of land. It's all of 5000 sq ft (built-in) on a single storey with a heated pool, ducted vacuum and dual air-conditioning. The rooms are huge and every bedroom has access to the swimming pool and decking. Oooooooooooh! Luxury! It just goes to show that luxury is in the eyes of the beholder. When I first saw the properties at West Swan, I thought them luxurious. After I saw our friend's home, those properties didn't seem luxurious anymore.

So we asked around some more and almost everyone we asked cautioned us against these "affordable properties". No, no... you don't want to buy there. You want to buy in areas that are near water (either a river or the sea)." The problem is that riverfront and beachfront suburbs that our friend approved of, are relatively built up already. Almost nothing there can to be bought off the plan. Besides, how to afford a property to the standard of our friend?

Hmmmm... we're kinda a little bit stuck - **scratch head**. Must do more research to see more nuances in the way people view property in Australia.


ckl said...

How about looking up north? Something like this
Yes, it is 40km from Perth but Butler railway station in currently under construction and is scheduled to complete by 2014.
Yes, it's near the ocean and yes we ozzie like to live by the water :-)
If you worry about the quality of the construction you can always hire an architect to oversee the whole project.

petunialee said...

ckl - Thank you... we will research a little more, including up North. I'm not keen to build with an architect. I would rather be there myself to oversee.

Henry William said...

Investing in property is one of the best ways to spend your money. It can be a good way to ensure a good especially financial future as there is much earning potential in real estate if we invest in right manner. Thanks!

House and Land Packages Perth