Advice for First Time Buyer in Victoria

Hi, I've been reading this forum for years now and am finally in a position to invest so would like some advice as I have two ideas and am unsure which one I should go with or some other idea.

Goal: To set myself up to purchase a second IP in 12 to 18 months.

(Budget $350-380k)
Idea 1: Buy a slightly run down house in Bacchus Marsh and renovate it whilst maintaining it as my PPOR for 1 year, then convert to IP.
Save approx. 11k in stamp duty as first home, no LMI, plus can rent a few rooms to friends to help cover some costs (Although that may affect GCT ect.)

Possible property -

(Budget $390-440k)
Idea 2: Buy a slightly run down house in the northern suburbs (Reservoir, Bundoora, Greensborough, ect.) Spend 2 months fixing place up to a good enough standard to rent. Although very few properties can be found in this price range in a lot of those suburbs. Plus don't get stamp duty savings and have to pay LMI.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)
BigL, first off welcome to finally posting on SS.

What and where to buy is dependent upon your chosen investment strategy.

You see property is merely the vehicle. The strategy is how you intend driving that vehicle.

Unfortunately the mistake I see newbies and sometimes not so newbies is that they are property focused instead of strategy focused which is like putting the cart before the horse.

Property investing is not about property rather about the strategy and the way you intend to use the vehicle to get to where you are wanting to go. No good buying a small shopping car if you intend driving interstate on a family holiday.

What strategy/s are best for you is determined by where you are wanting to go, the time frame you want to get there in and how hands on along the way you want to be - all based around your personal risk profile.

What is it that you want this property to do for? Then from your DD you need to decide if purchasing it is moving you towards or away from it? If towards, then get cracking..

I hope this provides some food for thought.