Location Location Location: Beating buyer's block

Location Location Location: Beating buyer's block
Location Location Location: Beating buyer's block

Last night's episode of Location Location Location Australia showed two couples who were struck with purchase paralysis.

Buyer's agent Veronica Morgan was tasked with helping out salesman and soccer coach Gary and his wife Anna, who are keen to buy in Sydney's hills district and expand their living space after the arrival of a new baby.

Watching Sydney's prices skyrocket over the past few months but failing to find their dream home, their budget has moved up from $750,000 to $900,000 in just six months.

The couple were hoping for a three bedroom brick home in Sydney's hills district, close to Anna's family, with room for outdoor entertaining.

First, Veronica took the pair to Baulkham Hills, just five minutes' drive from Anna's sister's house. They inspected a four bedroom house with a $730,000 price guide. Though the home is a little small, Veronica had plenty of ideas for renovations which would open up the house's living spaces.

But there were a few too many problems with the property, including pokey bedrooms and a lack of storage space. Despite its good location, Gary thought the required renovations would have the couple overcapitalising on the property.

Next stop is the nearby Bella Vista in Sydney's north west, a location Garry and Anna were happy with. They inspect a four bedroom Mediterranean style home, with formal living and dining rooms at the front and a family lounge area at the back, and an open plan kitchen and dining area. With a price guide of $900,000, it sat right at the top of the couple's budget, but they wouldn't need to spend much money on renovations (beyond moving a few dodgy ornamental pillars).

The home is large, but Gary had reservations about the "dated" nature of the home, the tiled floor and the nearby road. He was comfortable with going over the $900,000 budget to get the perfect home, but Anna wasn't so sure.

To help the couple get more for their budget, Veronica took them to Castle Hill, slightly further away from the CBD. The L shaped house they inspected there is set on 890 square metres, and listed with a price guide of $790,000 plus - well within their budget. It had four bedrooms, a big private garden and a barbecue area and deck.  

Gary and Anna responded well to the property and decided to proceed to auction - at first.

Yet again, the couple got cold feet and eventually decided not to bid on the property, which ended up selling prior to auction.

In the end, Gary and Anna decided that they simply weren't ready to buy a home yet, especially in the current market. The couple were happy to wait it out and stay in their current home until the market cooled down.

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Meanwhile, Bryce Holdaway was busy helping out management accountant Rachel and personal trainer Darryl, who were hunting for a home in Melbourne's inner west.

The couple lived in St Kilda but were hoping to cross over to Yarraville to be close to their friends.

They've had trouble finding the confidence to make the final decision to purchase a home, despite months of research. And the longer they waited, the more cautious the couple had become.

Despite being first home buyers, Rachel and Darryl had a budget of $820,000, thanks to a strong savings plan. They wanted a three bedroom house in Yarraville, on a large block.

Bryce took them to look at an Edwardian weatherboard in Yarraville, close to the station and village, with three good sized bedrooms at the front of the house, an eat-in kitchen and a separate studio at the back of the house.

Like Gary and Anna's first prospective home, it needs a bit of work, but had a price guide of $620,000, well below their $820,000 budget.

Darryl and Rachel had subdivisions on their mind, as part of their long term investment strategy. Unfortunately, though the first Yarraville home has the backyard they wanted, it's not big enough for a future subdivision.

So Bryce pushed them a bit further out to Footscray, where there are plenty of character houses on bigger blocks. There, they inspected a double fronted cottage on a 420 square metre block, with side lane access - plenty of subdivision potential.

The cottage came with a price guide of $700,000 plus, and the couple are keen on the home's high ceilings and period features. Unfortunately, although the subdivision potential is attractive, the location compromise and the home's layout weren't to Darryl and Rachel's liking, so it was back to the drawing board for Bryce.

He tried again with a Newport home on a 290 square metre corner block (pictured below). The weatherboard cottage has three bedrooms - two at the front and one at the back. Its kitchen and bathroom have been renovated and are a decent size, and it came with a $730,000 price guide.

Location Location Location: Beating buyer's block

Despite their enthusiasm and stringent savings plan, the couple had stalled time and time again at the purchase point. With a strict idea of how they should use their hard earned savings, it looked like they were about to do the same with the Newport home, despite its advantages.

But after a second look, the couple feel ready to part with their cash and jump in. Unfortunately, despite finally letting go of their reservations and even building in a little bit of a buffer, they are outbid at auction, with the Newport home snapped up for $829,000 by a competitor.

In March last year, the home was advertised to rent at $500 per week, equating to a 3.1% yield if rents have stayed constant.

Although they didn't secure the house, it seems that Bryce managed to bust through their buyer's block, with Rachel and Darryl determined to continue the search for a new home. 

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