QLD The Gap or Mcdowall?

Discussion in 'Where to Buy' started by Maxxx, 3rd Nov, 2019.

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  1. Maxxx

    Maxxx Member

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    Which suburb do you prefer and why?
     
  2. ToeKnee

    ToeKnee Active Member

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    .What is your reason for buying though and what do you want to achieve?

    For me it’s The Gap. Admittedly I am biased though.

    Very good schools which is always a draw card, as out performed mcdowall over a 10 year average. While it is only 10kms to the city, it has a small community feel about it.

    I definitely know more about The Gap than Mcdowall so if you want to chat about it let me know.

    Anthony
     
  3. Maxxx

    Maxxx Member

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    For school and want to live with friendly people.

    Both The Gap and Mcdowall have pretty good primary schools, but secondary school in Mcdowall is not as good as The Gap.

    For my budget ($700K-$850K), I can buy a pretty nice house in Mcdowall but not in The Gap.

    From the capital growth point of view, which suburb do you think better?
     
  4. ToeKnee

    ToeKnee Active Member

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    The schools are very good in The Gap and families are generally very friendly.

    The top end of your budget will get you a nice house in The Gap, but likely not as nice as what you would get in Mcdowall.

    I don’t have my laptop so can’t check rpdata tonight, I have done a quick search though online so you can compare the two suburbs. The Gap has historically outperformed Mcdowall.

    do you have a time frame?
     

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  5. Maxxx

    Maxxx Member

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    I am actively hunting properties these weeks in The Gap, Mcdowall, Kenmore, Belmont, etc. Are you an agent in The Gap?
     
  6. ToeKnee

    ToeKnee Active Member

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    Yep, hence me being biased.
     
  7. kimbrisvegas

    kimbrisvegas Well-Known Member

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    I am not a real estate agent, but live in The Gap, so will have some bias as well.

    Reasons I would prefer to buy to live in The Gap over McDowall if I had the budget to swing it:
    • School catchments. Great primary schools, but more importantly the high school catchment. Top ranked public high schools correlate with solid property prices, as out of catchments get more and more restricted increasing the need to live in the property to actually get your child enrolled in the school. When my first child started at The Gap High, there was more wiggle room in out of catchment enrolments. He is now finishing high school this year. Over that time the restrictions have become tighter and tighter and you pretty much need to live in the catchment to get in. The Gap High just had an amazing new STEM building finished, which should boost the quality further.
    • Adjacent/next to very expensive suburbs - Ashgrove, Bardon, Paddington. We were among several families selling up and moving to The Gap a few years ago to take advantage of significant differential in property prices, while still being only an extra suburb away from the highly desirable but expensive suburbs. Great value for money when compared to the nearby suburbs.
    • Commute time to CBD. 385 bus route is much more zippy than those that service McDowall. A lot of the time the trip only takes 20-25 minutes. It uses bus lanes/tunnels along some segments that help it be mostly efficient and reliable. This bus route goes through Bardon and Paddington for easy access to cafes and funky shops. Also to Suncorp stadium. I actually find the commute about the same or better than when I lived in Ashgrove.
    • Cafes used to be a bit light on, but we now have a couple of great options that seem to be often busy. And now we have The Blind Tiger, a funky gin bar that seems to be doing quite well so far (cross fingers).
    • Lots of great parks and bikeways, and the Enoggera Reservoir and wildlife centre.
    • Nice variety in housing styles and some nice looking renos happening to lift the standard. I often walk around the suburb to exercise, and am seeing a lot of nice renos. 1950s to 1960s houses often has issues with asbestos fibro, but the advantage of hardwood frames, and less restrictions with character controls give more freedom in what you do with them. There are also some mid-century gems around. I often chat with a few local agents (I provide occasional baked jam drops, and they provide gossip on what is happening in the market), and one has mentioned an increasing amount of knock down rebuilds.
    • There will always be the occasional exception, but generally a friendly community. Local Facebook community group and Buy Nothing Facebook friendly are generally friendly and supportive.
    Suggest if you have money ready to go, get to know a few agents and let them know what you are looking for. I have found some good buys can sometimes be had off market. The Gap is a suburb many people buy and stay and only leave when they no longer have a choice, such as moving into aged care. A lot of good buys happen when elderly owner needs to move into care, and often they are looking for a quick sale. Sometimes these even happen off market - sometime the property is offered off market before being officially listed. So being in the know and on the list with good agents can sometimes give you a good head start for the right property. However, these houses will often be dated and might need some work.

    Probably a word of warning - it is easy to overcapitalise in renovating/building. I have seen a few examples recently where so much work has been put in and owner now wants a million plus, but having trouble getting the price they want because a million plus buyers will be very in this area. Generally need good position, large block, swimming pool plus fantastic reno to nail that price bracket. If buying entry level with goal of renovating to improve value, sweet spot for finished selling price is below 900k. Higher than that, and people with that sort of budget are possibly also looking at Ashgrove or Bardon. It might be possible to make money aiming at the higher end market, but it is a lot more risky.
     
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  8. Maxxx

    Maxxx Member

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    Thank you kimbrisvegas!
     
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  9. Maxxx

    Maxxx Member

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    What do you think about storm and flood in The Gap? Thank you
     
  10. ToeKnee

    ToeKnee Active Member

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    You can search using the link below for potential flood effected areas along with the annual % risk. It’s a real handy tool.
    http://floodinformation.brisbane.qld.gov.au/fio/

     
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  11. QldKoolies

    QldKoolies Well-Known Member

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    some excellent points above, one thing that I never liked about the gap is to get to the good streets with nice homes often you have to drive through poorer areas. This takes away some of the charm.
     
  12. Angel

    Angel Well-Known Member

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    I confer with all Kim's points above. The best reason to invest in The Gap is that it is land locked.

    I grew up in The Gap and we had plenty of experience with floods, due to all the cyclones and summer storms. Flooding didn't affect the vast majority of home sites, but we were sometimes cut off from the rest of Brisbane. Sections of Waterworks Rd at Bennetts Rd and St John's Wood, for example, and Settlement Rd regularly flooded.

    Some things to consider when living on a steep slope:
    Land slippage, water run off and mould. So much shade that it can get very cold and mouldy in Winter and the hills also block the Summer breezes. I would imagine modern homeowners can overcome these matters. Consider this in relation to your swimming pool maintenance. Steep driveways and slippery mouldy concrete.

    Bush fire risk and large trees dropping branches:
    Insurance covers tree damage to the house but you dont want it to ruin your afternoon BBQ when someone is injured or worse. Another ongoing expense is maintaining the trees. You have no control over your neighbours' trees.
     
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  13. kimbrisvegas

    kimbrisvegas Well-Known Member

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    Flooding - just check the flood maps/reports. Some blocks may have overland flow or flooding issues - I tend to avoid these, unless it is a large block where only a small portion may actually be effected. Many suburbs in Brisbane will have some areas that might have this risk for some properties, due to being on a flood plain, with creeks running through.

    Storms - apart from a really big storm (microburst) about 11 years ago, the small mountains surrounding the suburb seems to take huff and puff out of most of the bad storms before they get to The Gap. The microburst that caused massive damage was a rare event, but definitely memorable!

    Agree with Angel about trees and shade. I think it increases mould in some circumstances. But then the air feels overall cleaner here, and it is a much more pleasant suburb to walk around due to the large amount of trees - so many shaded paths. In a subtropical environment, would much rather live in a suburb with lots of trees and put up with the fact it can make it colder in winter. Possibly more pollen in the air when the breezes get going and trees are flowering? But will take that over higher levels of other air pollution any day.

    I haven't noticed any less breezes than when I have lived in other suburbs on the other side of the range. Often get quite nice breezes, particularly in streets higher on ridges/hills.
     
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  14. Maxxx

    Maxxx Member

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    Thank you very much! Really appreciate!

    So what do you guys think about Mcdowall?
     
  15. Angel

    Angel Well-Known Member

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    McDowall - boring. There isn't anything wrong with it, just not as many positives as The Gap. Check which high school zone any potential house/street is in. Albany Creek High is not as high-ranking as The Gap High, but it's still pretty darned good and highly sort after.
     
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  16. Codie

    Codie Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, the only thing I like about McDowell is the size of the homes and construction, a lot of big brick highsets, Big floor plans etc I think you get a lot more house for the money, but the location is clearly no where near as desirable, which is reflected.
     
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  17. Maxxx

    Maxxx Member

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    Thanks all!
    What do you think about Kenmore? Good primary and high school similar to The Gap, a bit far away from city comparing to The Gap, meanwhile, house price is a bit lower than The Gap.
     
  18. Codie

    Codie Well-Known Member

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    What are your specific goals? You mention you want to live around friendly people, and capital growth. These might or might not be directly related at all.
     
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  19. Maxxx

    Maxxx Member

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    Hi Codie,

    I actually care about school more than capital growth, that's why I mention The Gap, Kenmore and Mcdowall. (Seems high school in Mcdowall isn't that good)
     
  20. ToeKnee

    ToeKnee Active Member

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    Fortunately both areas have schools with good reputations in both primary and secondary.
    My advice would be to book an appointment to meet the principal or senior member of staff and tour both. Whether this is possible or not I don’t know, both schools have 1500-1800 students so probably very hectic.
     
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