A Three Bedroom Villa Dream

On Sunday just gone, I bid for a fantastic villa unit in Caulfield South, following a virtual real estate shutdown in the area due to the Jewish holiday on Saturday.

Why the Property Was Perfect

When I use the word “fantastic” to describe a property, I don’t use it lightly. This unit had it all – a quality renovation that featured a stunning contemporary kitchen and full sound system throughout, great sunlit open space for a dining and lounge area, three genuine sized bedrooms, a lock-up garage with storage space… and that was just the start.

The location was also superb. Glen Huntly cafes were just a short little stroll around the corner, trams at the doorstep ran from Elsternwick to Carnegie, and wonderful local parklands were within easy walking distance.

The six villa units in the block sat across two full-sized blocks, and the privately run body corporate was evidently active but only cost the owners a mere $600 per year.

It was little wonder this property was popular from day one.

The agents had revised the price quote once it became apparent the vendor could raise their expectations (and justifiably!).

“When I use the word “fantastic” to describe a property, I don’t use it lightly.”

My investor client was going to be competing against first home buyers and investors – which was exactly what I had anticipated.

The property’s strength – its capital growth potential – was the reason it held so much appeal for owner-occupier home buyers and investors alike.

These are the types of properties that I gravitate towards for my investor clients because I can be confident that when the next property in the block becomes available for sale, it too will draw a large crowd, delivering a strong result for the owner; hence directly impacting the value of this one.

The Auction Warm Up

The crowd gathered on Sunday, sprawling from outside some of the beautiful period houses in Emma Street, right up to the unit’s front verandah at the rear of the block.

Investors milled in the background, casually leaning up against cars, sitting quietly on fences… all playing it cool but giving away their pre-auction jitters. First home buyers nervously clung to each other; some were supported by parents and friends, while others looked completely uncomfortable about the looming auction.

The auctioneer set up his microphone and speaker and gathered us all down the driveway. I took advantage of unit five’s steps and had a great view of every participating bidder.

“It was little wonder this property was popular from day one.”

How The Auction Kicked Off

In my dark suit I hoped to be as intimidating as possible, and with nobody daring to take the first step and throw in a bid, I stepped in with $590,000 and kicked off the bidding, avoiding an otherwise painful start.

I was confident the property would sell under the hammer however, because the tension was obvious and the mood was electric. Every single aspect and feature that Gary Peer’s Leor and Aviv Samual mentioned were genuine reasons to rate this property favourably.

Leor worked the two bidders hard once the property was declared on the market and it was just down to me and the two first home buyers.

We jousted, we slowed down, we sped up, I came back in with $500 bids when they thought they had it… I pulled out every trick I had… but at the end, their owner-occupier attraction won over my investor sensibility and we opted out at $706,000 to see them buy for $707,000. 

The Final Result

I had carefully appraised the rental potential at $490-520pw and had clarified and confirmed my assessment with two independent property managers. Our target gross rental yield was no longer met at $707,000.

Disappointing? Yes. Will there be others? Yes. Will there be another like this? No. And that is the beautiful thing about a great property – it should be a one-off with strong owner-occupier appeal.

We clapped in support for our winning bidders and got back on the trail to find another fantastic property. Ahhhh…  part of the life of a buyer’s agent. It can’t always be a win.

For more information about Caulfield South, read our suburb profile here

Points of Interest in Caulfield South, Postcode 3162

Caulfield South Primary School
Caulfield South Community House
South Caulfield Hebrew Congregation

Glen Eira City Council

About the Author

Cate Bakos is an independent buyers advocate and qualified property investment advisor and has proudly been a property investor for 17 years. Cate has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry (Hons), Certificate 4 in Property Services (Real Estate), a Certificate 4 in Financial Services (Mortgage Broking). She is also a licensed real estate and a Qualified Property Investment Advisor accredited by Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA).

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