Are Melbourne Apartments Still a Safe Investment?

So now what?

After nine years adopting the previous state government’s hugely contentious Melbourne 2030 planning policy – the city’s development landscape is set to change, and apartments may be on the nose.

In one of its first official acts – and as it promised to do before the November 21 election – the Baillieu government has destroyed Labor government planning laws facilitating higher density redevelopment (ie, over three storeys) along all public transport nodes.

In Opposition, Planning Minister Matthew Guy said Melbourne risked becoming dysfunctional, and losing its character permanently, unless suburban apartment construction was curbed.

In power, Mr Guy has committed to a two year audit and consultation program to determine a new model of metropolitan planning.

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Renovating, and Building Equity in Your Home: Tips For Owner-Builders

HOME renovation is one of the soundest investments an owner-builder can make. But with about a quarter of makeovers estimated to be done by owner-builders, you have to do it right.

Renovation-related television shows, magazines and seminars are inspiring would-be renovators and making people realise that investing in real estate does not necessarily mean buying an investment property. Many are unlocking potential in the family home and benefiting from the tax-free windfall.

“Property renovation is one of the soundest investments you can make,” says Robert Caulfield, managing director of Archicentre, which provides pre-purchase and renovating advice to home buyers, builders and renovators. “When done properly, it can make you money – and have you living in style.”

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Sell or Extend?

ACCOUNTANTS say it can make financial sense to reinvest in your home, than buying another – particularly if you are in a good suburb.

Agents agree, saying the value of property goes up by more than the sum of its parts when owners reinvest in extensions, kitchen and bathroom renovations, paint and flooring.  Coupled with the fact the tax office does not impose capital gains tax on an owner’s main place of residence, investing in your own home sometimes make more sense than buying another.

An extension has the potential to add the greatest value to your home, particularly if it creates a larger open-plan living area or increases the number of bedrooms.

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Owning Property to Live Off, Rather Than Live in

AT A RECENT auction in Prahran, a family of four was bidding against a single, first-time home buyer for a one-bedroom apartment close to Prahran train station, the trendy Boutique nightclub on Greville Street and Swinburne University.

The apartment included a modest living room, big enough for a couch, armchair and four-seat dining table, a compact kitchen, a small bedroom able to fit a queen-size bed and two side tables, and an ensuite bathroom. Hardly big enough to accommodate the growing family.

Eventually, the family of four outbid the prospective first-home buyer, in what is becoming an increasingly familiar series of events all around Melbourne.

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What to Expect When Buying a Home

BUYING a property is a complicated process. There’s more to it than scouring websites and newspapers for sale prices, or knowing what your neighbour’s house sold for last week.  A large part of it is getting your finances right – and knowing what the legal processes are.

Below are some tips on what to expect when buying:

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