Tips for Buying Well in the Eastern Suburbs

Known for its vitality and diversity of urban living, the eastern suburbs offers a great location making it a difficult but not impossible property market to buy into. Discover our top tips on how to buy well in this much sought after Sydney area.

Sydney’s eastern suburbs have had wide appeal for many decades combining as it does a perfect mix of desirable attributes including its proximity to the city, airport, harbour and beaches with the added bonus of great restaurants, bars and entertainment options.

Including such well-known suburbs as Watsons Bay, Bondi, Coogee, Paddington and Surry Hills, Sydney’s east also boasts some of the country’s best schools, the Prince of Wales Hospital and the University of New South Wales.

With its blue ribbon status, the area offers something for everyone including families, the younger generation and even Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull − a long-term resident of Point Piper! More recently we have seen increased numbers of downsizers drawn to the eastern suburbs either looking to stay in the area or moving from other areas, such as the northern beaches attracted to a more cosmopolitan lifestyle.

It is little wonder then that the area is seen as one of Australia’s safest real estate hubs offering steady capital growth and good rental yields for any long-term investment. With a finite number of available properties and lack of new development opportunities, the demand in the area is high with buyers choosing location over size to gain a foothold in the area.

6 Top Tips to Buying Well in the East

Buying property in Sydney is difficult at the best of times but there is no doubt that buying into the eastern suburbs, is among the most tightly held markets in the world. Here are our top 6 tips to help you get ahead with your property purchase:

  1. Start with a wishlist: Given the competitive market, you will need to be reasonably flexible with your demands but it is important to clearly define what are ‘essential’ features for you like number of bedrooms, what are ‘nice to haves’ and what is unreasonable e.g. traffic noise. You won’t waste time on inspecting properties that don’t fit your essential criteria.
  2. Due diligence is key: While you would have heard it before, it is certainly worth emphasising that research is the key to buying well. Purchasing property in Sydney’s east is a sizeable investment so it is worth taking the time to understand the area well, and use the period when you are organising finance and other matters to really get a feel for the suburbs you are interested in. Trawl for information online, walk around the streets at different times of the day to determine the area that best suits your lifestyle, go to the inspections and auctions and talk to those who already live there. Then research the vacancy rates and rental yields, land sizes, carry out strata and/or pest and building reports. Also contact the local council so you are aware of proposed developments, height restrictions and so on
  3. Line up your ‘team’: Before you even start your property search, source a professional and well-respected conveyancer who will be able to review all legal contracts and reports in a timely manner. You also need to ensure your pre-approval or funds are in place, and most importantly make sure your deposit is ready to go. Line up your strata or pest and building inspector and choose someone who can complete reports quickly – preferably on the same day.
  4. Get to know the local real estate agents. And crucially, make sure you are on their radar. Some will be more helpful than others but it’s worth trying to make a connection. Take the time to speak with them, respect their local knowledge and let them know you are a serious buyer who is in a position to purchase immediately. Ask them to alert you to offers on properties that you are interested in and always answer or return their phone calls quickly.
  5. Hire an expert: Negotiation is a major pitfall for many buyers, especially in the east where you are dealing with seasoned real estate agents who are at the top of their game and very experienced in driving a hard bargain. A buyer’s agent will work on your behalf to find a suitable property that meets your requirements. The bottom line is if you go it alone, you will most likely pay a higher price on a property than we would, as well as waste time and energy in what can be a frustrating and confusing process.
  6. Do not falter: If you are confident in negotiating yourself, show conviction, especially at an auction. We are talking sizeable dollar amounts in the east so be confident in your knowledge of prices for similar properties, be prepared and know your limits.

Successfully buying into the eastern suburbs comes down to thorough research, agent relationships and geographically-specific market knowledge that will all translate to a distinctive advantage that other buyers simply will not have!

Cohen Handler can help you get the right property at the right place. If you are interested in buying property in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, contact us today.

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