FHO - Sydney where to buy?

Hi all,
Looking to buy a place in Sydney for max $350k. Currently live with family in Cherrybrook so know the North Shore really well but am priced out as nothing in my budget there.

Partner works in Cherrybrook and I work in North Ryde/Macquarie Park. I also study at UTS at night (will be graduating at the end of the year from undergrad but want to start on Masters by end of next year).

We're looking for a PPOR with the hopes to start a family in the next 3-5years. If finances permit, we are hoping we can make this PPOR into an investment property and buy something else in the future.

Hubby misses peak hour traffic due to his hours of work so for him it doesnt make a difference where to look. I currently drive to work (free parking) but if I get a job in the city in the future, I want access to also public transport.

We've currently looked from Sydney CBD to all the way to Windsor and I am finding it really overwhelming trying to decide between a unit or house as hubby is a chef so works long hours and currently with uni, I dont get home until 10pm either so in that essence unit would be more feasible. However my parents are suggesting we look around Quakers Hill, Riverstone etc as if we plan on having kids in the next 3yrs then those areas will provide us more CG and better investment opportunities so that we can move to a better area if our finances allow us.

Wondering if people could assist me with whether it is better to buy a 1 bedder unit or a house/townhouse/duplex?

Also, what would be the best areas to concentrate our search on?
The corridor your parents are suggesting around Quakers Hill or Riverstone sounds about right to me for your money. Whether to go for a house or unit depends on what sort of condition you're after and the proximity to Cherrybrook and North Ryde.

Regards, Gary
Hi garyb,
I think the reason we're looking over such a vast area is because neither of us have brought property before and everyone and anyone is trying to advice us. Both our families are suggesting house as they believe land goes up in value and therefore we would have better CG with Quakers Hill etc then we would say buying a 1 bedroom unit around Lane Cove, Meadowbank etc.

We've been looking to get into property for over a year now and I remember this time last year we could find 2bedroom units in Lanecove from $380+ Now they all seem to be $400+. You can occasionally still get 1 bedroom units or sometimes 2 bedrooms for around the $350-380 mark around Meadowbank which is close to everything (but then we're partly going over our budget). Quakers Hill still looks to be around the same price as last year. My only problem with Quakers is that traffic along sunnyholt road is shocking in the mornings. It used to take me 40minutes just to get to Huntingwood (20min drive otherwise normally) when i worked that way.

I believe that Schofields and Riverstone will be good areas to invest in, the traffic from there going the backways is not bad to go to North Ryde and worse, i can even drive to my parents plc and catch a city bus in the mornings if required if i get a job in the city. However partner grew up in Riverstone and claims that it's full of housing commision and that not much development going to be happening as the residents aren't agreeing so it will be still another 15-30yrs before they even consider touching it. Which I dont agree with due to this...


We both agree schofields would be good but with the exception of 1 property for around the $330k mark on RE, the rest are all $450+.

If we go to areas like Mcgraths Hill etc then the drive for both of us is so long (in particular me) that it outweighs the cheapness of the property.
For our current lifestyle, a unit would suit a lot more but then it's hard to come by on our budget. Even if we were to find one, my partner and both our families are worried that it will not give us as much CG/investment opportunities further down the track as a house.

Sorry for the long posts but I am just trying to get my head around it all. I've been researching for a few weeks on Somersoft etc and whilst it's given me a lot of good information I am just finding it a tad overwhelming.
I think a 3 bedroom townhouse in Quakers is a good option because the loan will be manageable and you'll be able to reduce it quickly.

The only problem with townhouses and units is that you're very close to other people so its a more noisy environment.

Here are some recent sales for the suburb

I was looking at a townhouse the other week (8/81 Lalor rd) but it sold before I had time to make an offer
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BV I know what you mean. We are in the process of getting our approval and saw 1 on the market that we liked just listed that morning and by evening it was already under offer.

It was slightly over our price range but it was a great townhouse.
Hi bare_essentials

How do you feel about Lidcome?

You can still buy a 2 bedroom unit with carspace, within walking distance to Lidcome station for about $350k.

It is a 15-20 minute train ride into city.

It is also convenient in all directions if you drive. It takes a few minutes for you to get onto M4 to go into city or further west, M5 (the airport way?), Parramatta Road which can take you onto Victoria Road ...
Hi Jigglypuff,
Not too familiar with Lidcome. Will look it up and research into it.

I grew up in Cherrybrook so am really familiar with Hills and North Shore and am used to the 1hr train into the city.
I'm from the Hills too =)

Unlike you, I'm getting really tired of return trip to city ... might be due to the long hours I work ......

Good luck with the property hunting! Let us know where you end up buying =)
I'm from the Hills too =)
Unlike you, I'm getting really tired of return trip to city ... might be due to the long hours I work ......
The other day I met a guy who works at the MLC building in the city and lives in baulkham Hills and he loves the express busses to the city.

The weekly ticket even dropped in price with the new ticketing ticket.
He seemed very happy catching a bus
Consider Westmead, very handy for trains and so close to parramatta for shopping, dining out, movies etc. I live at Westmead, and love it here.
Hi shopgirl,
I was looking at westmead but in our price range we could only afford a unit. I was reading through some old posts on the forum and read that some of the units around westmead/parramatta are quite old and could have a lot of problems in the long run.

BV, 2mins walk from my parents plc we have a bus stop that has the city express buses which mum actually switched too because she too found it got her to work faster, it worked out cheaper because she didnt have to drive to the station and park etc. Also she said she actually gets a seat on the bus whereas on the train by the time it used to reach Thornleigh/pennant hills, there werent always seats depending on the train you took.
If you looking for a I.P around the $350K mark in the South West, I know you can get a brand new house (4-2-2) and land on approx 380-400m2 blocks which have been appraised to get $400+ rent p/w in Oran Park Town. This estate has been compared to The Ponds in Kellyville but will apparently be much bigger.

6%+ return plus brand new depreciation. Not bad given that also Camden region is ear-marked for 250,000 population growth over the next 20 years.

Gregory Hills is also another new development (residential and commercial) I am watching which I assume will be more expensive for blocks.

Hi bare essentials

I sense from your posts you would prefer a house. But in case you were thinking about units, I saw a one-bedroom unit in Epping for $350k.
Hi Kasman,
I'm actually looking for a PPOR at this stage. With a house we're after a big block of land. Hubby is very hands on so we're even happy to buy a dump and renovate over the course of a year.

Does anyone know much about Lalor Park? Prices seem to have really gone up past few months.
Does anyone know much about Lalor Park? Prices seem to have really gone up past few months.
Its the same all around, I don't know if you'll find any western suburb which didn't have good increases.
Can you wait?
Demand is certainly dropping, prices won't necessarily fall but there will be less competition and vendors won't be as greedy
Does anyone know much about Lalor Park? Prices seem to have really gone up past few months.

i think the southern part (along lucas road) isnt so good, but the northern part may be better. generally its regarded lower than seven hills or blacktown i think, but that may only be part of it.

i agree, to not rush into it. lower end of market should quieteb down a bit once all the people brainwashed into 'you must buy now' have bought. went to first auction in a while the other weekend, and the place barely made it over 300k for a decent property, pool etc.
Hi Peter,
Thanks very much for that. Silly question but can i please ask what LGA stands for?

Also, how long do you reccomend waiting for? We were planning to buy over the next 3 months so should we wait until the end of 3 months to start looking rather then starting now like we have?

Jigglypuff, hubby only wants a house and does not want a unit so unfortunately that removes the option of units of our list.