Buying Tips

Buying A Holiday Home On The Surf Coast

The Surf Coast is one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations, with more than 2.5 million people travelling along the Great Ocean Road every year.

It’s easy to see why. We’re blessed with glorious beaches, beautiful rainforest and wonderful communities. So it’s no surprise many people think about buying a holiday home here.

Picture this. It’s the end of another sun-soaked day. Glass in hand, you watch the waves curl into each other from the balcony of your holiday accommodation. And a thought forms: “Wouldn’t it be great to own a place here?”

Let’s look at the pros and cons of fulfilling that daydream.

It starts in the heart

That first spark of owning a holiday home often starts in the heart. But the idea of a holiday home can be appealing for many reasons.

Not only would you have unlimited access to accommodation in your chosen spot, there’s also the pleasure of decorating it exactly to your taste. You can allow friends and family to stay at any time. You might even want to consider making it your primary residence, and moving here or retiring here, further down the track.

With more flexible working arrangements becoming the norm for many, working from a holiday home is also an attractive option. If you’re no longer tied to the office, why not pack up your laptop and work while enjoying all that the Surf Coast has to offer?

But if you’re seriously considering taking the plunge you need to use your head, too.

Is it worth the investment?

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, house prices have seen record increases in all regional areas in Victoria. On the Surf Coast, prices jumped 12.8 per cent over the 12 months to January 2021. And nearby Lorne recorded a huge 23.9 per cent increase in the year to November 2020 – one of the biggest increases in the state.

Thinking of selling?
Just researching the market?

So it’s clear the Surf Coast is a solid, and popular investment choice – but that also means you’ll need to do your homework to ensure you find a property that’s priced right for you.

It’s also worth remembering that if the property appreciates in value while you own it, there’s the potential for profit upon sale (remembering, of course, any capital gains tax implications).

The cons

As with all major financial decisions, it pays to consider all aspects of purchasing a holiday home:

  • Will you be happy to organise and pay for maintenance and security while you’re not there?
  • Can you cover the regular running costs like council rates and utility bills?
  • Will you love returning to the same place year after year?
  • If you’re considering also renting out the property as a short-term holiday let, are you financially able to manage quieter periods? This can also work in your favour, as it could mean more time for you to enjoy the property yourself.

Making your move

So you’ve decided: you want a Surf Coast holiday home. What now?

Here’s a checklist to help you make your next property move.

  • Due diligence. Research the area where you’d like to buy. Look at the sales history of other properties to see how prices have trended over the last few years.
  • It’s all about timing. Find out the key buying and selling times in the area – it’s often seasonal. This will ensure you can make the most of your budget and, hopefully, reap the rewards when or if it comes time to sell.
  • Make connections. Contact a local real estate agent who can advise you about off-market sales opportunities, and also provide current information about the local rental market if you’re looking to make an income from the property.
  • Finances. Speak with your bank about finance, and make them aware of how you intend to use the property.
  • Tax. Ensure you understand and are comfortable with any tax implications of owning a holiday home before you commit.

Want your own slice of Surf Coast magic? Call me today.