March 31, 2010

When Half A Million Dollars Is Chicken Feed

20100331 Couple in House Outline

Ask anyone who lives in Melbourne how buying property there is like (in these times anyway), and I'll bet you anything their response would be very similar to mine. Bleak, disheartening and downright frustrating.

Tim and I have been looking for a place of our own for two years now. And since we are still renting and living with a housemate, you can guess that prospects are terribly bleak. It doesn't help either with the pressure we get from our parents about finding a place.

"Quickly go buy a house/unit/apartment, etc or else we will not come visit you!"

When I hear that one time too often, I believe I cannot be blamed for thinking "oh thank God, don't come".

The problem is, buying property here just isn't like buying property in Malaysia. The process is different, and there's a hell lot more red tape. You want things to move smoother and quicker in Malaysia? Doesn't hurt to grease the palm of those involved. No one would bat an eyelash. Over here, it's a different story altogether. Our families seemed to think that as long as we have the money, we can buy a place. If only it was that simple.

I'm not going to bore you with the process of buying property here. Look it up if you like. The Age reports daily on how volatile the market is, how foreign investors are making life difficult for first home buyers, unscrupulous real estate agents underquoting property prices (the bastards), all that jazz.

We did find a place we liked (well, I liked) about half a year ago. I put a lot of time and energy into the process, ringing up solicitors, building and pest inspectors, a lot of communication with the real estate agent, only to find that in the end, we just couldn't outbid another interested buyer. All that hope into getting that place was dashed in an instant. That's the problem with getting a place, I guess. Never have high hopes that you'll get the place, because someone else (like a FOREIGN investor. I say it like it's a dirty word because it is) will most likely swipe the property.

My close mates will know of the other reason we really want to move out. Let's just say that after two years of living with a housemate, I'm done. I've had it up to my eyeballs. It was a big mistake not moving out and renting on our own when we got married, and the last couple of years haven't been exactly smooth sailing, living condition-wise.

At the time of writing, we are currently in the process of putting an offer for a tiny unit. I want to say that I don't have high hopes for this one, but you know I'm lying. I'm already picturing our freakin' furniture in the place, for pete's sake. Tim has a good feeling about this one. I'm just trying not to get there yet.

So keep your fingers, toes, whatever's crossable crossed for us. For our sanity, at the very least.


Kamigoroshi said...

Yeah, unfortunately buying a house in a city is a hell lot tougher than it is in the inland towns. Heck, with the trouble people go through to rent a place in the first place, I'm not surprised that buying a house is tougher.

Though in my case, it has gotten easier for me to rent over the years simply because I'm a long time renter and I've never missed a bill. It's only the matter of being choosy over that place to rent.

I'm guessing you're trying to find a place in suburbia, because I know the prices are astronomical to say the least if you buy a place in the city itself.

geekchic said...

That's alright. I've lost count of the number of times I've put in offers but have lost out because uptherecomedowns are bringing in bagloads of cash to pay at least 10k more than I'm prepared to pay. That's why you say that I'm already the expert at this. An expert that's always losing at the game! :D

And another rant, I don't think the govt will do much to actually stabilise the price. Doing that will mean angering voters what with election in about 12 months' time. I believe Rudd wants another term :P

May said...

Good Luck! I was pretty lucky with mine thank gawd!

Leyenda said...

We have our fingers crossed for you over here. It'll come good in the end I'm sure.

It's funny because we're doing the opposite here and investigating how difficult it is to buy a property (for investment) in Malaysia. Not that we want to be one of those FOREIGN investors... dirty...

Mirebella said...

Tine - At least it is a private sale (I'm guessing) rather than an auction. I was fortunate to get mine while the market was still uncertain and when the FHOG was just coming in. Dont even want to think of how much this prop would be in the current market - and I well live in the burbs.

Good luck with the bid.

tihtahpah said...

all the best..!just wondering how much does it cost?