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NSW Northern Beaches

Discussion in 'Where to Buy' started by schmick23, 5th Oct, 2016.

  1. schmick23

    schmick23 Member

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    13th Sep, 2016
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    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Hey All,

    Nice to be back after a long hiatus from Somersoft.

    Is anybody who's familiar with the Sydney Northern Beaches area, able to give me a pulse check on what's happening in the area at the moment? Particularly Narrabeen and North Narrabeen?

    Went to a couple of open homes the past few weeks, lots of groups coming through. Are people putting their hands in their pocket though?

    Similarly, for those who live on the Northern Beaches, any feedback about the lifestyle, areas or streets to avoid. Suburbs that are better than others?

    Lastly, we currently live close to the CBD (Rosebery, 2018) and work in the City. The commute is somewhat of a concern but the L90 and new B-Line seems to be OK. We accept that if we want a house (currently in a Unit) that we will need to travel. Looked at other areas but as the in-laws are located in Palm Beach, thinking about future kids, thinking somewhere half way between them and CBD would be more ideal.

    Thanks for all the input.
     
  2. serendip

    serendip Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Newcastle
    No idea what your budget is, I no longer live on the beaches but have always said that if I could live & work on the northern beaches (or live & afford not to work, lololol) I would be a happy happy camper.

    So, given you're looking at Narrabeen I'm assuming that the lower NB are out of your price range. If you're looking at a house, I would also consider a little inland - Frenchs Forest, Forestville, Narraweena & Beacon Hill or further north, Elanora Heights. Yes, it's all a little more 'burb'. From all but Elanora Heights access to the city is good for work, also Chatswood better, the new hospital going in can only help capital growth & you can head down the parkway to Palm Beach. Elanora Heights, probably drive down to a bus connection. The commute is starting to get significant though & if you're working in the city, Frenchs Forest etc re probably a better bet. Personally, I would avoid Dee Why, though it's not as exy as surronding suburbs, there are a billion units & lots of busy roads....and it's not shaken it's stigma as the worst suburb on the beaches. Without more info (budget, other wants / needs) I can't really comment further. @See Change may have more insight. I love the beaches & would live there if I could make it work.
     
  3. schmick23

    schmick23 Member

    Joined:
    13th Sep, 2016
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    Sydney, NSW
    Hey @serendip

    Thanks for the reply. This was our original criteria when we began our search.

    Wish List:
    Minimum, 3 Bedrooms;
    Minimum, 2 Bathrooms (Can live with 1 if separate toilet);
    Minimum, 1 Carpark (Off Street, Garage preferred);
    Area that could be used for Study/Home Office Area (if possible);
    Backyard (Grassed Yard, not just Courtyard area);
    Plenty of Natural Light (N-S Orientation preferred with Rear to N if possible);
    Maximum 10 – 15 minute walk to Public Transport (Prefer Train);
    Maximum 45 minute commute to CBD;
    20 – 30 minute drive to Beach;
    Village Feel or Close to Cafés, Lifestyle Amenities;
    Quiet Location;
    Schools? (Future);
    Maximum Price, $1.35m or below.

    Absolute Deal Breakers:
    Small Kitchen or Kitchen with no scope for extension;
    Small Bedrooms;
    Minimal Natural Light;
    No Off Street Parking;
    No Backyard and/or Room for Garden;
    Greater than 45 minute commute to CBD;
    Noisy Location.

    Extensive list I know and most likely difficult given our budget. But we're convinced we'll find something eventually. Similarly, not afraid to do a 'Refresh' of a property if it has good bones.

    Part of the reason why we were drawn to the South (i.e. Sutherland Shire) was because we thought there was better value there, plus the train. Unfortunately, seems as though there is a lot of buyers flocking to that area now for those very reasons and this has somewhat priced us out, particularly areas like Kirrawee, Jannali, etc. which are on the train line. The properties we've inspected have been selling for an amount beyond the point where we see 'value'.

    For that, we've conceded that we may have to travel further and most likely on a bus also if required. The future improvements in the Northern Beaches for Transport (i.e. B-Line) have opened up the Northern Beaches area for us.

    The in-laws being in Palm Beach didn't really factor into the equation until recently either.

    Like yourself, the more we drive around the Northern Beaches, the more we fall in love with the area, just need to get a better understanding of particular areas/pockets, etc. We've also considered French's Forest and surrounds. Chatswood would be well outside our budget I imagine.
     
  4. Magnet

    Magnet Well-Known Member

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    Sydney
    Hi @schmick23
    We live in Mona Vale but rent. We keep a close eye on the unit market as we own a 2 bedder in the area. Recently 2 bedders similar to ours started reaching the 1 million market or just under.
    We have friends currently looking for a house in your price range but they're having huge trouble finding something. Things seem a bit crazy here at the moment. Stuff is selling in streets around us days after the for sale signs are put out.
    This recently sold
    https://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-nsw-mona+vale-123701586
    And we were surprised at the price although it is a big block. Narrabeen and North Narrabeen are usually a bit more sort after than Mona Vale in your price bracket due to being just 10-15 minutes closer to the city. We have a few friends that are real estate agents in the area and they are telling us that things are crazy at the moment.
    I agree with @serendip that Elanora Heights may be a bit more affordable at the moment but not by much.
     
  5. Nlang

    Nlang Active Member

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    Location:
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    Hey Schmick
    We have been looking for ppor on northern beaches for 10momths!
    It is crazy well lets say has been crazy hopefully it's changing
    There have been a lot more houses on the market in the last 2 weeks in fact a lot more!!!
    I would say your money will go a hell of a lot further if you look at Cromer beacon hill narraweena frenchs forest.
    I tend to disagree with dy sentiments we used to call it the ghetto of the northern beaches but if you get near the beach you would be laughing but house wise comes with a very hefty price.
    We have missed out many times and been to a fair few auctions!!! It is very competitive but honestly last 2 weeks there is more stock have a look at grenfell property in narrabeen and Windsor parade although Windsor I think will go for more as ticks a lot of people's boxes!!!
    Good luck pm if you want more info there are also a couple of great agents on the nb and a few woeful ones good luck!
     
  6. Magnet

    Magnet Well-Known Member

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    @schmick23 in answer to couple of your questions...
    Lifestyle is great if you enjoy the beach, outdoors, bush walking, cafe society. Particularly great for kids/families in terms of lifestyle & excellent choice of Schools.
    I can't think of any particular pockets to avoid on the beaches broadly or Narrabeen & Nth Narrabeen.
    My commute on public transport L90 and then train from Wynard was 1.5 hours in peak hour from Mona Vale to Redfern so Narrabeen to CBD would be roughly 1 hour to 1h 15 mins in peak.
    I agree that Beacon Hill, Cromer might be better priced as is Forestville. Narraweena is getting a bit pricey as it's become popular with families as has Warriewood and Cromer to a slightly lesser extent.
    The agent selling Windsor Pde, Narrabeen, Mark Bryant, is a fairly nice bloke. I've spoken to him before and he seems down to earth. Don't know him personally but he's a fellow investor as I've read about him in API mag & then twigged that I'd met him before. Might be worth picking his brain on the area.
     
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  7. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    @schmick23 - have you revised your criteria yet?

    The budget may get you a townhouse or ground floor courtyard unit around Chatswood/Artarmon otherwise there's a few options around Dundas Valley/Ermington, North Ryde even a 4/2/1 with pool but on Lane Cove Rd, 17 Cutler Nth Ryde @$1.275. These areas have good access to Lane Cove Rd/Mona Vale Rd but also rail and M2
     
  8. schmick23

    schmick23 Member

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    Hey @Nlang I'm feeling quite deflated hearing that you've been looking for the last 10 months with no success. I have noticed that there are more houses coming onto the market in recent weeks, albeit, appears there price guides are on the up and up also.

    Don't know too much about Cromer, Beacon Hill or Narraweena. We drove these areas yesterday and they seemed quite nice. Went to the Auction of 10 Nalya Road, Narraweena just to get a vibe for the market, 4 Registered Bidders, 3 Bid but it came down to 2. Sold for $1.411m. No idea if that was reasonable value or not.

    French's Forest I thought would have been out of budget now.

    What would be considered 'Close to the Beach'? Are we talking my 20 - 30 minute drive or more beachfront or 5 - 10 minute walk? What's the expectation for most people on the Northern Beaches in terms of proximity to the beach?

    @Magnet thanks for the feedback. This ticks a lot of boxes for us as my fiance and I move into the next stage of our lives. Any recommendations for good Cafe areas/spots? We've only been in Sydney for the last 3 years and prior to we were in Melbourne. Due to work, we are both staying in Sydney for the longer term now but for a while, we were considering moving back. Not sure if you're familiar with Melbourne but Yarraville was the spot my finance fell in love with and has been seeking since we've been in Sydney. Village Feel, Cafes, Friendly People. Drove around Narrabeen just off the Pittwater Road, seems to be a nice 'Village' feel there. Similarly parts of Mona Vale and as you go further up the Penninsula.

    @Magnet are you still Working in Redfern? A colleague of mine was saying the 'E' buses are faster? Ever tried those? Do you think the new B-Line will improve the commute dramatically?

    This is something we will need to get our head around. I'm guessing you feel the commute from Mona Vale despite being an hour plus each way is nullified by the lifestyle the Northern Beaches provides you and the family?

    So do we think that these 'crazy' times are just a factor of limited stock as per other parts of Sydney or is there more growth to go for the Northern Beaches? Anywhere near the beach seems to be very sought after, the East has gone bonkers and similarly, as mentioned, even Sutherland Shire has picked up a lot from where it was previously.

    I had a good chat to Mark about the Windsor Parade property. Nice guy. Seems to know the area well and as you said, very down to earth. Seems like this property will be selling at the $1.4m mark which based on previous sales of 3/2/1 in the Area, seems high. We inspected the property, I couldn't understand why the frenzy for it. Would you all think that this is a reasonable price for this property in that area? Perhaps we need to adjust our expectations again! Hmm.

    As this is for a PPOR, which we're not in a massive hurry to purchase but would like to do soon, whether we should wait on the sidelines and see what happens.

    @Scott No Mates criteria is relatively unchanged except for the fact that we're open to extended travel time and the bus. House doesn't need to be perfect either, if we can add some of the things we'd like in the future, we'd be OK with that. Unfortunately, perhaps budget will be the limiting factor but if your question was in regard to Townhouse/Unit, we're set on a House as we are both tired of apartment living. Townhouse possibly if it was freestanding.
     
  9. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    Sounds to close to the in laws! Sunny coast is much nicer :D
     
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  10. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    But seriously i would get closer to work if you're having kids soon! F sitting on a bus for over an hour to get home to your huge mortgage and kids asleep! Don't move somewhere for others. They can drive the extra 10 min to visit once a fortnight
     
  11. serendip

    serendip Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Newcastle
    Village-feel wise, putting $ aside (not sure if that's helpful, but anyway) I reckon the best are:

    Manly .....I've lived right in Manly for about 6-7 years all up & absolutely loved it. There's quite a quite a big transient population - back packers etc & there's definitely a touristy element but there's also a strong local community.

    Avalon: Price wise I haven't looked so not sure and it might be too far north but I really like Avalon & it would be one of my picks were I to move back to the beaches, as long as I could work somewhere not too far away.

    Freshwater is also pretty good from a village feel perspective (also servicing Curl Curl).

    Killarney Heights was on my radar for a while, a few streets in Forestville also feed into the KH public school which has a great reputation. Good for transport & proximity. I haven't lived there but locals tell me it has a great community feel.

    Would you think about renting & investing elsewhere for a period? Rental values have not in any way caught up with sale prices at the moment.
     
  12. Magnet

    Magnet Well-Known Member

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    @schmick23
    You can't really beat the lifestyle here. My days off work feel like holidays, particularly this time of year. There are some good cafes in most of the suburbs. I like the coffee and view at Bronze on Mona Vale Beach and the Marina at Bayview- Can't remember It's name but the coffee is almost as good as the view. Oceans at Narrabeen is a nice little spot for breaky and lunch. Lunch would be my pick. Coffee is good.
    If you are on your way to visit the rels at Palm Beach - Zubi at Newport does a pretty good coffee. My pick of all of the coffee spots is Inch at Mona Vale or Y2K in Mona Vale.

    I'm still working in Redfern but drive these days. I generally get to work before peak hour starts and it takes 45 mins door to door. Peak hour trip is more like 1h 10 on a good run or 1.5 on a heavy traffic day. Friday's are the worst! E buses are quicker but they only run at certain times. It was pot luck sometimes trying to time my departure at work. They were also chockers. I was once heavily pregnant and still suffering morning sickness (especially on a stuffy bus)and had to ask a young bloke avoiding eye contact with me with his ear phones in if I could have his seat. He didn't know how lucky he was! I could have done some damage to his expensive suit & shoes:p

    Prices in the area are going up before our eyes. Looking at your range I'm thinking you are closer to 3/1/2 townhouse in any of the suburbs or renos delight...:( The Windsor property sold right on value I think.

    I have lived on the beaches for the last 20 years. Hubby has been here for 38 years. We did buy a 2 bed unit in the peak of the last boom in 2005 that we now rent out. I think the top of the market at the time was Sept 2006. I don't think we are quite at the top here yet but it mustn't be too far off.

    What about buying in Melbourne? You could build equity while you wait for the market to cool off and have more funds than if you were saving after tax dollars. Start building your investment portfolio 1st? I don't know Yarraville but there are some cheaper suburbs close to more expensive ones that seem on the brink of taking off like their neighbours. Melbourne is more affordable than Sydney and has some real steam left in the engine in the short term.

    Good luck with it all. Happy to answer any more questions if you have them.
     
  13. schmick23

    schmick23 Member

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    Sydney, NSW
    Hey @Magnet thanks for the tips on good coffee around the Northern Beaches. Will be sure to check them out. You are right, prices are going up indeed. Have only just started watching the area and when researching sales from 6 - 12 months ago, you can most certainly see the spike. Windsor actually sold well above the guide at $1.565m which I think was way over valued but that's just me.

    We already have a property in Melbourne. I'm undecided as to whether we keep our Sydney place or sell it but at this point, looks as though we'll be selling as it will be next to impossible for us to buy a family house in Sydney otherwise. We'll then look to maybe invest additional funds in perhaps Brisbane or another state. It's tough going out there at the moment! =(