Newcastle Inner City Suburbs

Hi all,
I'm new to this forum, so please excuse me if I step on any toes or ask silly questions.
My hubby and I have just set up a SMSF and we are in the process of conducting our research to purchase an IP, or rather the SMSF will be taking on a mortgage to purchase this property. As you can imagine our lender has some very strict rules and regulations regarding offering a loan to a SMSF without any personal guarantees (i.e. LVR 70% and will not loan funds for properties in certain areas and you can't use the equity to purchase another property in the future) and bottom line we don't want to make a mistake with our retirement nest egg.
Anyway we have decided that the Newcastle inner city suburbs is where we want to put our retirement funds and any feedback on the suburbs listed would be greatly appreciated: Hamilton, Islington, Mayfield, Broadmeadow and Waratah. We live in Port Stephens and I have been reading Your Investment Property and Property Investor over the last 4 months, viewing properties online and in person and basically trawling the web for all the information I can gather. I personally like Hamilton, but from my reading Islington and Mayfield, which are cheaper, may be the better way to go long term.

Thanks
 
You're pretty much on the money. I'd be leaning towards Mayfield out of all those suburbs...particularly since it's where I've been trying to buy in recent months!

Hamilton has the benefit of being on the main train line to Sydney and right in the mix of shops/clubs/entertainment but as you've observed, it is priced to match. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I certainly can't see the area going backwards, just means you'll need a greater amount of cash to get in there.

Islington I'm torn on. I've looked at a few places there myself, but just can't bring myself to buy. I think it would depend on where in Islington. There's a renewed push at the moment to clean the area up, get rid of the 'ladies of the night' etc. If it works, then Islington has all the ingredients to really push ahead with its proximity to the city, Hamilton etc. But my whole life growing up in Newcastle it had a stigma attached to it that will take time to shake in my, and others, minds.

Broadmeadow works - good as it's the main station in Newcastle for countrylink services - so long as you steer clear of the main roads and along the train line. There is a few triangles in there where you avoid these things.

Waratah is pretty nice as well, close to the university so there's always going to be rental demand and good returns.

Cheers
Greg
 
Hi all,I'm new to this forum, so please excuse me if I step on any toes or ask silly questions.
Hi and welcome :)

Anyway we have decided that the Newcastle inner city suburbs is where we want to put our retirement funds and any feedback on the suburbs listed would be greatly appreciated: Hamilton, Islington, Mayfield, Broadmeadow and Waratah.
I have to pretty much agree with undercoversports assessment. I had the same thoughts about Islington too. But it depends on which parts as he said. If you mention the suburb to Novacatrians then they do tend to raise an eyebrow in the case of the women or a smile in the case of the men. ;)

I personally like Hamilton, but from my reading Islington and Mayfield, which are cheaper, may be the better way to go long term.
Hamilton is fine for the proximity to the CBD and the whole Beaumont St cafe / coffee culture so it should do well. But you pay slightly more in there.

As Buyers' Agents we purchase a lot for clients in Mayfield. It has buses to the University etc and has lots of lovely older homes with character (and some building defects to go with it :))

Ultimately where you choose to buy will depend on many factors, not the least of which will be:
1. Available deposit from the SMSF
2. Whether you are running the IP at a cash loss or not (neg. gearing)
i.e. what kind of rental yields you are looking for
 
I agree with the above and i also am closely watching Hamilton too. I have looked at a few in Islington but the stigma also has me worried - however, having said that, its close proximity to everything really does give this place a big tick.

Mayfield is also very good and you may come across some very intersting homes there.

One other suburb to look at is Tighes Hill (between Mayfield and Islington). Some very interesting places there for good prices too. I'd give Carrington a miss though but there are some bargains there.

Newcastle East is prime real estate though and some very special places there. As with The Hill and i think anywhere in either of those places would be magic. But in terms of lifestyle and nightlife, then Hamilton or Newcastle West are the key areas.


Thanks

g
 
all are the right suburbs to invest in IMO.

I like the idea of buying in a good area within Mayfield, as you can go along Maitland Rd and turn onto Beaumont St and the best coffee place in Newcastle, rollador, is next to the train station... I don't think there is much down the other end of Beaumont St except for III Bean and while their coffee is **** because they use ****ing charberrys (peaberrys), the food and the waitresses (eye candy and service) are second to none.

Who the hell goes to The Exchange except for old people (and my desperate mates looking to pick up)? SJs and Hamilton Station is near the top, the Kent is in the middle and everything else is in between the top and bottom.

Just my 2c is if I was looking to rent a place.
 
Thanks and more questions

Thanks for the feedback. It's good to get other opinions (even if they seem to agree with my thinking) - gives you that warm fuzzy feeling to know that you are on the right track.

I've read elsewhere from propertunity that you prefer older character filled homes (as I do) rather than newer properties. My only concern with this is that you will undoubtedly come across some building maintenance and possibly structural issues. Do you think the CG is higher with these older properties and hence this can out way the problems that may crop up? I'm looking at both types with a price variation of $100K. Do renters prefer mod cons or is the location more important? What about depreciation schedules available with newer properties and can you get a quantity surveyor in on any property - is it worth it?
Just more questions rolling around in my head - any comments greatly appreciated.
 
I've read elsewhere from propertunity that you prefer older character filled homes (as I do) rather than newer properties. My only concern with this is that you will undoubtedly come across some building maintenance and possibly structural issues.
Yes you do with 70 year old properties.

Do you think the CG is higher with these older properties and hence this can out way the problems that may crop up?
Outweigh problems? I don't know that there are a lot of problems. Mostly they seem to be brick piers twisting a bit or needing repacking, terracotta tiled rooves where the tiles are fretting, some brick work cracking, sash windows that need weights & springs - that kind of thing. But this is a desirable area with its own coffee thing on Maitland Rd and fast food a little further down etc.

I'm looking at both types with a price variation of $100K. Do renters prefer mod cons or is the location more important?
Most renters that want Mayfield for example are getting in for the area / location. They still like heat in winter & air-con in summer though.

What about depreciation schedules available with newer properties and can you get a quantity surveyor in on any property - is it worth it?
After 40 years all the building depn. is gone. But a lot of these properties will have reno'd kitchens & batrooms that still have depn. left in them.

Just more questions rolling around in my head - any comments greatly appreciated.
Same advice I give to others. Buy one and get outta town (my patch) :D
 
I'm also watching this thread as thinking about buying IP around Newcastle. Hamilton looks too expensive (compared to prices a few months ago). Most of the other places listed here look ok though. I don't want one of those huge old 70+ year buildings, just too big & old but most of the homes in Mayfield etc seem to be that. I would prefer something in last 30 years even if I need to get asbestos taken out :)
 
I don't want one of those huge old 70+ year buildings, just too big & old but most of the homes in Mayfield etc seem to be that. I would prefer something in last 30 years

You can get some extremely well maintanied older properties in Mayfield that really have no issues at all - generally you pay a $40-50K premium for that kind of stock.

But if you really want newer brick veneer, then that exists too - and you'll find some in North Lambton (not far from Mayfield) and some of the surrounding suburbs. There are some newer infill developments happening in all suburbs that might be worth looking at.
 
Hi all,
feedback on the suburbs listed would be greatly appreciated: Hamilton, Islington, Mayfield, Broadmeadow and Waratah.

Here's my personal opinions of the places listed.

Hamilton - People love the lifestyle there, so I think you would constantly have a turn over of 18-30 year olds...depends on whether you want long term tennants perhaps?

Mayfield - depends on the area of Mayfield, some is really dodgy and drugies (but you get that in most areas) has a really bad reputation, good location for renting though as it's near town/tafe/Wharfs. Expect to get a lot of students/dole bludgers/wharfies depending on the area in Mayfield

Islington - has a bad rep, but I only know from the rep, not from experience. Generally known as the area to get hookers, also home to a MC Club? Banditos?

Broadmeadow -no idea, never knew anyone that lived there.

Waratah - Again, no real idea, however it is spitting distance to uni, so it will always rent well.
 
You can get some extremely well maintanied older properties in Mayfield that really have no issues at all - generally you pay a $40-50K premium for that kind of stock.

But if you really want newer brick veneer, then that exists too - and you'll find some in North Lambton (not far from Mayfield) and some of the surrounding suburbs. There are some newer infill developments happening in all suburbs that might be worth looking at.

thanks for the tips, I will put North Lambton on my list as well! Yes I might have to move away from the Uni areas to find the property I'm looking for which is something not too old (although I like the character of those older homes) and something to renovate (slap of paint & landcaping). Plus looking for positive geared if possible which makes it harder.

Waratah - Again, no real idea, however it is spitting distance to uni, so it will always rent well.
Yes a few properties on the market here at reasonable prices.
 
monsoon, if you want +ve cash flow property AND you want to move away from the Uni catchment then you really only have 2 choices:
1. Move so far away that you are out in woop woop where you buy for $100K and rent for $160-180 pw
2. Buy a house & granny flat

But don't write off newer property in the Uni catchment area - it does exist.

All the best with the search. :)
 
monsoon, if you want +ve cash flow property AND you want to move away from the Uni catchment then you really only have 2 choices:
1. Move so far away that you are out in woop woop where you buy for $100K and rent for $160-180 pw
2. Buy a house & granny flat

But don't write off newer property in the Uni catchment area - it does exist.

All the best with the search. :)

Thanks Propertunity for the ideas. I was actually wanting to buy close to a beach side as I would prefer to live there myself in that vicinity somewhere like Nelson Bay which sounds good although I have not got to visit the area yet. Then I could concentrate on that district and also live around there eventually too. But as I have only been learning a lot more recently about positive gearing etc then I realize it would be tough to be positively geared around there as average rents are only around the $250 mark. So I will reluctantly have to look at places like in the city etc. Only having a short time up around this way it is difficult to know where to look but this thread is helping a lot in deciding which areas to think about.
 
There was a great article in todays Herald about planned street and town upgrades in the suburbs listed here like Mayfield, North Lambton Tighes Hill Broadmeadow and Islington and a couple of others. Apparently there is a meeting tonight where the plans for these major upgrades like street widening, beatification and renovation of streets etc is to be voted on to be approved. If you are investing in Newcastle suburbs then this article is a must read. It was in today's Herald but I read it at a coffee shop and I don't have a copy myself.
 
Found the Article - City's Green Vision

"City's green vision
BY JACQUI JONES CIVIC REPORTER
22/09/2009 4:00:00 AM

NEWCASTLE'S suburban centres would feature leafy boulevards and outdoor dining areas, cultural precincts and regional employment and transport hubs, under new civic blueprints to be discussed at tonight's council meeting.

Corridors through Mayfield, Broadmeadow, Islington, Adamstown and Hamilton are singled out for attention under an urban renewal plan.

The desired character of Newcastle's suburbs is also examined in a residential development strategy.

Highlights include a proposal to revamp Mayfield, which planners said suffered because of air and noise pollution from nearby industry and heavy vehicles using arterial roads.

The vision is to widen streets, plant trees to transform Maitland Road into a boulevard, and create outdoor dining strips.

Broadmeadow could harness its busy roads, rail services and commercial and industrial businesses to become an employment centre and location for a regional bus-rail interchange, the plans suggest.

In Islington, street prostitution and incompatible mixed-use development has created setbacks, the documents said.

Instead, the suburb's diversity and character should be promoted.

In neighbouring Tighes Hill, a cultural hub with art galleries and studios along Elizabeth Street is envisaged.

The plans said heavy traffic on Glebe Road, Adamstown, especially at the railway crossing, was a problem that needed reviewing.

New buildings should be designed to cope with the traffic volumes and capitalise on the passing trade.

The concept for Hamilton builds on its cultural and entertainment attractions."

Hope this goes through - we all better be quick in finding something. I inspected a property at Wickham yesterday - first open house and just listed. Today it is under contract. The asking price was $285K, so I'm assuming it went for that or more. When I was at the property there must have been at least 5 groups of interested parties within a ten minute time frame (Open between 1-2pm on a Monday!). It needed work but a talented person could probably achieve a good result for $10 - $20K. Not for me but it certainly makes you realise that if you like something - jump on it. On Saturday I was at a property in Mayfield for $317K and there were heaps of people going through. I overheard the agent telling an interested party that it wasn't unusual for a property to sell for above the asking price, and I wouldn't be surprised if that has already happened with this Mayfield property.
 
Thanks for the link Pros, good points Elfsmum and I wish I could buy tomorrow as it looks like in a few weeks it will be difficult to find something in these areas as it seems to already be too late from what you say.
 
to throw a twist - my preferred suburbs (atm) are adamstown, maryville and broadmeadow.

all are undergoing gentrification - adamstown a little ahead of the others - close to town and rail and coast.

i too have looked at islington, but they have been struggling for the last 20 years to get rid of the drug and prostitution problems there, with no success, so can't see it happening in the near future.

i wouldn't touch carrington as, regardless of what they do or say, it's still a drive to anywhere with large trucks rumbling thru to the grain silos day and night.

personally, i'm not taken on mayfield. but then again i am probably looking in a different market, different type of investment property, than yourself. however, mayfield east has a lot going for it.

if you want to buy a uni specific place, then you need to really buy within 1-1.5km of the uni itself - any further out, it just becomes a plain old rental rather than one aimed at uni students.

new lambton is a nice stable area with lovely old houses and not expensive. i would choose this area above mayfield.

but each to their own and depends on what your criteria are.
 
p.s. your vege garden looks great. i put my "no-dig" organic garden in about two months ago (or was it 3), 8x1m, and can't keep up with the lettuce, spinich and herbs. the tomatos and corn are going nuts so looking forward to a great harvest in another month or so ... excuse the mounds of building materials around it
 

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