“There’s still strong demand from predominantly Sydney-based purchasers who are looking for a treechange or an eventual full-time move from the city areas,” says Peter Reardon, agent at Landmark Harcourts based in Goulburn.
He believes that what these people are generally looking for is a “better quality lifestyle.”
Buyers are looking for different things. Some want a weekender, while others are looking to move out of the city but still not too far from a major centre like Goulburn.
“We’ve got a shortage of vacant rural residential land, but a reasonable supply of improved properties or country homes.”
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In terms of what people are looking for that varies too from something with period features through to brand new efficient designs.
“There’s definitely strong demand for older homes, due to their uniqueness.”
He says the basis of their appeal is the heritage features. “They’re not like a conventional home. People like “something with a bit of history and character.”
He adds that for this type of buyer, those period features are very important.
They include “the lovely old cedar timber joinery, doors and windows, typically marble or cast iron fireplaces, high ornate ceilings, polished timber floor boards, and just the style of architecture itself, whether it be Federation, colonial, or Victorian.
“The area is rich in that history of mid-19th century onwards and there are a lot of heritge homes in the area.”
In terms of where you might look near Goulburn, you’ll find many of them in the town itself, as well as “the villages around about [such as] Lake Bathurst, Bungonia, Collector, Gunning, Crookwell, Taralga, and also on larger farms; there are signifcant historic homes on larger farms in the area.”
In terms of obtaining finance, Peter recommends that you talk to a local broker who knows the area that you’re buying in.
“Residential finance rates and mortgage is typically readily available for properties in this area for properties up to 50 hectares in size. Over and above that people might have to look at an agri’ loan [and] it’s important to speak to a local mortgage broker who deals with local properties.”
Additionally, “The current banking royal commission is making it more difficult in general to obtain loans, both in terms of the time frame it takes to get approval, and also submitting all the necessary documentation. They nearly want to know what you eat for breakfast these days” he jokes.
Back on a serious note, Peter also feels it is important to go through a local agent, again because of their specific local knowledge.
He says there are definite differences between the suburban and rural markets, and you need to speak to someone who has knowledge of the local land and what its capabilities and constraints.
For those looking for a country home, Peter recommends viewing as many properties as you can.
“Many don’t have a firm idea of what exactly they want when they come down here, and typically the more properties they look at the better idea they’ll get of exactly what they want whether it be a country home on a small village lot [with] low maintenance, or a country home a larger acreage with the ability to run lifestyle.
“Each buyer has a different list of requirements of features that they’re looking for in a property. Some tree changers might only prefer a secluded timber block.”
Meanwhile some prefer a quiet village but don’t want to be totally by themselves either.
The knock-down rebuild is also a growing trend”because of that shortage of land.
“Council hasn’t really rezoned a lot of land for rural residential lots,” Peter notes, “but we are seeing a lot more project homes and prefabricated homes [going up] to take advantage of rural family living and lifestyle.”