Buying first property in Strathfield, NSW, 2135

Hi everyone,

Firstly, I have to say what a great resource Somersoft is and what a helpful community there is here. My background: I am looking at purchasing my first property (a unit) in Strathfield, NSW, 2135. This will serve as my PPOR initially but my longer term plan (> 2 years) is to utilise it as an IP. I will live in the property independently to satisfy requirements FHOG/FHSA and afterward, will rent the second room out.

Why I'm looking at Strathfield
  1. Transport - an easy commute to the city (13 minutes express via train) and the area is well serviced by buses. The train station is served by 6 lines (IIRC) which makes getting to East/West easy. Proximity to M4 and Hume Hwy is also good.
  2. Infrastructure - Lots of schools/colleges, good proximity to major shopping centers such as Burwood Westfield is a draw card. Several Woolworth's in the area, notably at Strathfield Plaza. North Strathfield is also a very short trip and has growing restaurant scene, Aldi, Harris Farm, entertainment, childcare and a couple of gyms.
  3. Community - Heavily culturally diverse which may be driving demand for renting/buying.

My concerns
  1. The property is a little pricey for a first IP (at around $500k), although this is something I can afford with expected yields. As this is a unit, I'm also not expecting significant capital gains but if held for 5 years would expect small but reasonable growth.
  2. Nearby this specific location of this property within Strathfield is a small, stalled development site which is now fenced off by council. I have no idea what the history is here but I understand locals are understandably not pleased. It degrades the area somewhat and is potentially off-putting to some.
  3. There are apartments which are either recently developed or being developed nearby. I see this as a double edged sword: the development nearby may positively improve the surroundings of this property, but it also creates more supply and could reduce yields if newer units are thought to be better value than mine in the eyes of tenants.
  4. Entry/exit points to this part of Strathfield are poor. One exit is westbound on Paramatta Rd and the other is a difficult intersection. Both are give-way. In heavy traffic this is a pain, but if walking to the station, is not a great concern.

I'm not sure if the above concerns are worthy considerations or not as there are still thousands of people living in this area in properties similar to the one I am looking at. I can't tell if I'm antagonising myself as it is a first purchase or if these are genuine red flags/deal breakers. I'm hoping for your help here :)

My next query will be regarding due-diligence and The Buying/Selling Process for which I will head over to the other category.

Thank you for reading and if you have any thoughts or questions I would be very appreciative to hear them!
 
Im curious to see what others have to say as i have a unit in North Strathfield. There has been some interesting sales activity in the past few months (2 bedders selling for more than the last valuation on my 3 bedder). A bit more volume through and I'll put in for a reval. :)

On the finance side, how are you planning on structuring your loans for this purchase? Hopefully highest possible LVR, interest only with offset account?

Regards,

Jason
 
On the finance side, how are you planning on structuring your loans for this purchase? Hopefully highest possible LVR, interest only with offset account?

That's correct - highest possible LVR and offset account. I will see if I can get interest only for a few years, but not sure if they will oblige as this will initially be a owner-occupied loan and not an investment home-loan.

Any thoughts you have on the North Strathfield area? How long have you held a unit there? Anything that caught your eye when investing in the area? Cheers!
 
I think Strathfield is a bit mystery for many people. Recently one of the 5 bed house was sold for 2.9 Mil!! Median price for a house is about 1.3 Mil. It is only 469K for a unit.

Strathfield is the true center of Sydney in my opinion :)

You can go to all major employment centres within 30 mins. Even though there are so many units around, I don’t think the demand will ever go away.

This is what I wrote in another post when somebody asked why pay so much for this area.

Few more +ve points.. Only few mins away from
- cycle ways - I generally cycle to Olympic park with my kids
- good Tennis courts (Cintra park, Strathfield RSL & Dean street)
- Flemington market
- good swimming pool (Enfield)
- Good Library (Homebush)
- many childcare centres
- Very good primary schools - Homebush public & South Strathfield public
- Private schools : Meriden, Trinity, Santa Sabina, MLC (Burwood)
- Average (may be better than avg) secondary schools - Homebush boys, Strathfield girls, St Patrick's College
- Australian Catholic University
- 20 mins train to all employments centres (Parramatta, City or North Ryde ) - Changing jobs isn't a problem for both of us.
- 1 Buddhist temple, 1 Hindu temple and many churches
- Good food (Strathfield- Korean, Homebush - Indian, Homebush West - Chinese)
- Hospital and other medical facilities
- Retirement villages
- Golf course
- Awesome Christmas light set ups

-Ve point:
Away from water.

I was thinking of buying a property closed to good public high school (3 kids under 5 now). Honestly I couldn't find any other place worth moving to. We are also not beach people. So it all comes down to your needs and life style.


Disclaimer:
1. I live in this area
2. I worked in Korea (but not Korean)
 
That's correct - highest possible LVR and offset account. I will see if I can get interest only for a few years, but not sure if they will oblige as this will initially be a owner-occupied loan and not an investment home-loan.

Sounds good.

Any thoughts you have on the North Strathfield area? How long have you held a unit there? Anything that caught your eye when investing in the area? Cheers!

I bought there in 2004 initially to live in - which I did until 2010. At the time I was working half in the city and half out west so it was convenient location for trains to the city or to head to sites in the western suburbs. My place is walking distance to the Bakehouse Quarter so good for cafe/shops/restaurants, and a short walk to North Strathfield or Concord West stations.

Also short walk into Bicentennial Park - which I did quite often and good for walking to events in the Olympic stadium (always enjoyed walking home after a concert or sporting event and not having to fight traffic or crowds on trains).

As a rental, it's been 100% occupied so far. Bought originally in 2004 for $430k and had a valuation of $580k a couple of years ago.

Regards,

Jason
 
devank & jrc77, thank you both for your replies. Devank, the +vs you've listed are very convincing, I'm living in the area and I didn't even think of a quarter of them. jrc77, Bakehouse Quarter is an excellent attraction within North Strathfield.. what they've done with the area (although I'm not sure what George St was like beforehand) is very impressive.

Anything else people have regarding Strathfield or any general tips for a first IP/PPOR would be more than welcomed.

Cheers
 
devank & jrc77, thank you both for your replies. Devank, the +vs you've listed are very convincing, I'm living in the area and I didn't even think of a quarter of them. jrc77, Bakehouse Quarter is an excellent attraction within North Strathfield.. what they've done with the area (although I'm not sure what George St was like beforehand) is very impressive.

Anything else people have regarding Strathfield or any general tips for a first IP/PPOR would be more than welcomed.

Cheers

Like many parts of the strathfield council lga, the north strathfield area was very much industrialpre the major changes around 15 years ago.

South strathfieldmhasnt seen anywhere near the development and gentrification I believe simply due to not being on train.

The whole lga is quite pro development xcept for the older parts of barker rd and redmyre roads with the older huge books of land in home bush being off limits as well.

Ta

Rolf
 
Agree. The council has been sensible but still one of the slowest. Our DA took 12 months to come through! There were few funny characters in the council as well as some corrupt ones.
 
Im curious to see what others have to say as i have a unit in North Strathfield. There has been some interesting sales activity in the past few months (2 bedders selling for more than the last valuation on my 3 bedder). A bit more volume through and I'll put in for a reval. :)

I used to live in North Strathfield - it and Strathfield proper are too very different markets, although the Arnotts development is bridging the physical gap between the two areas....

There are some very ordinary units in Strathfield - if you can stretch it, I would go further inner west to around Croydon, Summer Hill, Ashfield (north of Liverpool Road).

Just my one cents worth.
 
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