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Is the Gold Coast a golden opportunity?

I’ve noticed that real estate prices on the Gold Coast in Queensland are unbelievably low and I wonder if there is a buying opportunity there right now? Do you agree and how would I go about buying Gold Coast properties safely? I’d like to buy as a landlord and then one day retire to the Gold Coast or go there when I can work part-time. I am 45.

My expert real estate buddies say there could be more to go when it comes to home price falls for the Gold Coast but I recently had a mate ask me this exact same question.

He wanted to buy a property and rent it out for a few years and then live there. He, like you, had two considerations — to buy a rentable property that he’d want to live in. He chose an apartment in a block that has a good history of attracting holidaymakers. He did his homework on all the costs and the worst-case scenarios. He looked at websites such as to get an idea of the history of sales in the area and the benchmark prices they’ve been fetching. He also pretended he was a potential holiday tenant and full-time tenant for the actual apartment block and similar types of rival blocks, as well as looking at the vacancy rate in similar apartments and created a very good snapshot of what it’d be like being a landlord for five years on the Gold Coast.

He also drew up worst- and best-case scenarios to see what would happen to his ability to pay back his loan, given what might happen to interest rates, his income and an even worse time for tourism to the area. It all worked out to be doable under the worst of situations and was very rewarding under the best cases he could dream up.

An alternative approach could have been to buy a house that needed renovations but was in a highly sought after area of rentals. This could have been good in five years’ time if he wanted to move in and then renovate — but he’s not the kind of guy who would like do-it-yourself projects. My mate, like you, was taking on risk to get a nice return and these two things always go hand in hand.

That said, I think there are buying opportunities on the Gold Coast but you have to do some really smart homework and you’ll need to have time and some luck on your side to see those big returns.

For advice you can trust book a complimentary first appointment with Switzer Financial Services today.

Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

Published on: Tuesday, January 24, 2012

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