Category Archives: Canal, River, Lakeside and Oceanfront Living

POOL FENCES

I know I’m going to receive howls of protest but I really don’t care.  I’m a parent and take the supervision of children under my care (mine and others) very seriously.

I’ve inspected literally thousands of houses with backyard pools over the years and have seen it all.  Properly installed (at ridiculous expense) pool fences where teens have propped open the gate, or there’s been boxes or chairs near parts of the fence allowing most children to climb up and over the fence, and vegetation so thick that any enterprising child could climb through the hedge for instance, and gain access to the pool area.

I’ve watched kids running and chasing each other around pools completely unsupervised by a responsible older child or adult.

I disagree with pool fencing as it places a huge cost on those of us who are responsible and supervise our kids and those under our temporary care.

Where I live we have thousands of kilometres of lake front, canal frontage, creeks, rivers and ocean beaches, none of which have fences!

In my early days I taught hundreds of adults and kids to swim, have been an active Surf Life Saver, Patrol Captain and Rubber Duckie (Inflatable Powered Rescue Boat) captain and have rescued hundreds of people from the surf.

In closing this post (read, RANT) in 2012, ONE-THIRD of drownings of kids under 5 occurred in BATH TUBS or SPAS!*

*Royal Life Saving Society Drowning Report 2012

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CHINA CONTINUES TO BUY UP BIG

Chinese buyers are really exerting their influence in my home town.  It’s different to the heady days of the Japanese though.  Many Japanese ‘investors’ were thoroughly lied to and screwed over by Gold Coast ‘sharks’ and paid the price years later when their investments sold for pennies on the dollar.  The Chinese are buying up distressed assets at the higher end of the market at bargain basement, ‘less than replacement’ cost.  Whilst there is still some downside risk, in most cases they are buying well.  That said, and as I’ve opined previously, some just don’t seem to care they are paying well over the asking price or reserve at auction, hence my questioning of their true motives.  There appears now to be two distinct types of Chinese buyers.

Anyway, back to the article below. I wonder if this Chinese buyer has even set eyes onf this penthouse.  Who in their right mind would live in the middle of Surfers Paradise is beyond me.  I am sure that living in the Penthouse would be lovely (I wonder if it and the Sky Homes have a dedicated elevator?) but having the share the foyer with the drunken ferals about to descend on the Gold Coast for the Motor Racing Festival followed by hoardes of out-of-control “Schoolies” would put me off.  Imagine living in that gorgeous penthouse and waking very early Sunday morning for a walk on the beach.  You’d step out to drunks, half-clothed foul-mouthed women, vomit and rubbish all the way to the beach.  No thanks.

And whilst this may not happen any time soon, the old real estate cry of ‘Location, Location,Location’ must always be applied to any purchase.  Most of the gorgeous views to the ocean could vanish over the years as massive high rises are built on the beachfront north and south of the already massive ‘SOUL’ building (another pricing disaster subject to many, many law suits as I write).  If you venture into a beach area with high rises, the ONLY position is absolute beachfront or across the road from a beachfront park that would/should never be sold off for development by local authorities.

Good luck to whoever bought this. Their first early Sunday morning walk may well see it back on the market!

Hilton Penthouse Article

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MARKET UPDATE – 06 JUNE 2013

G’Day again and thanks for dropping by.

I’ve taken a peek at a particular street where I marketed and sold a LOT of homes in 2002-2004.

When the market was crazy I was personally selling 2 houses a month in this one street.  In the last two years there have been just 12 sales.

Bought March 2008 for $469,000.00 sold Dec 2012 for $415,000.00.  That’s a loss of $80,000 on the surface but I know they put a very expensive block wall around the back yard, renovated the kitchen, re painted and re carpeted. Mmmmm – they ‘probably’  flushed $120,000.00

Bought August 2006 for $410,000.00. Sold late 2012 for $450,000.00 WHOO HOO – a profit!  Sorry, NO. The stamp duty and legals going in and the real estate agent and other fees going out mean that for SIX years of blood sweat and tears it returned them ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Bought late 2005 for $395,00.00.  Sold late 2012 for $465,000.00  MORE CHEERING I hear! BONG, CLANG, SMASH…  Not if you put an extension on the house, re paint inside and out, new expensive window finishings, new carpet and tiles. Take out stamp duty, legals, agents fees and we have another LOSER.

Bought September 2003 for $310,000.00 and SOLD late 2010 for $450,000.00.  THE ONLY WINNER here.  Good timing.  However, the sale was made by a very dodgy marketing company that took them to the cleaners on fees and questionable marketing expenses but they still did OK.  Or did they?  It cost them $340,000.00 to get in – they “owned” together with the Bank for SEVEN YEARS where they had a series of really bad Property Managers who put terrible tenants in place.  They paid out a fortune in routine and extraordinary maintenance and had to refurbish the gardens three times at huge expense as packs of large dogs had ripped it to shreds. They were charged more than $30,000.00 in sale fees so they netted about $80,000.00 less capital gains tax. Depending on their personal tax circumstances they ‘made’ about $7,000.00a year for all that grief and heartache.

The new owners are also far from happy.  They are from interstate and were also duped by the same dodgy marketers.  They could have bought the IDENTICAL house about ten doors down for $380,000.00.

Turning to the beaches here – WHAT BEACHES?  If we get a couple of bad winter storms where the surf gets much bigger than 6 feet, we will start to see swimming pools and possibly $5 million+ homes and apartments fall into the ocean.  I am not kidding.   Google “Beach Erosion Gold Coast Queensland Australia” and see for yourself.

Later!

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FOR SALE $5,000,000.00 (Land Optional)

Severe erosion along the world famous Mermaid Beach Millionaires Row here on the Gold Coast has exposed the last bastion, a 5 metre rock wall.  We’re just entering cyclone (read Hurricane) season Down Under so things aren’t looking good.

Adds a whole new meaning to the descriptor “absolute beachfront”. Walk out your back door and fall 15 feet ONTO the beach!

 

 

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ACE #4

Aspect, Contour and elevation continues.  I also used to an ACE in the Air Force!  Seriously.  Airspace Coordinating Element. A part of my role as a military air traffic controller was to ensure that Navy, Army, Air Force, “other” forces and units didn’t bomb, strafe or shoot each other, or civilians, out of the sky.  That’s about all I can say about that… Now, back to real estate, and again, in no particular order…

When considering a purchase there are hundreds of things to keep in mind, and I’ve mentioned quite a few already.  The list continues…

Poo.  Or more particularly, things to do with poo.  On your walk, cycle and/or drive around the area you’re thinking about buying in, look for sewerage pumping plant, breather pipes and other sewer infrastructure.  The local Council will also tell you where these things are.  Some of this plant can emit terrible smells either very occasionally, on a regular basis or 24/7.

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ACE #3

Welcome to ACE #3, an ongoing ramble of my experiences.

Easements.  Most people don’t understand them and ignore them at their peril. Again ASK your legal representative to explain what easements burden the land or property you’re considering or, in some cases, ADD an area to your land that you don’t own but are free to use.

I’ve inspected a house where the owner, oblivious to the presence of an easement burdening the land, had constructed an enormous and very thick, steel reinforced concrete slab topped with a substantial 25m2 metal shed. Trouble was that the shed was right on top of a 3 metre easement that ran along the entire back fence of the property. He was very lucky that the authorities hadn’t required access to the storm water drain that ran beneath the easement as they would’ve pulled down the shed, ripped up the concrete and sent the owner a bill for their trouble.

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ACE #2

Now, where was I?

Following on from ACE #1 I’d like open the match with Canal, Lake and Riverfront homes.  Years ago I had a call from a builder I knew telling me to come to such n such an address and check out what he’d been called in to inspect.  Once there I found a solid home of 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, triple garage, far from new but very well maintained.  On the canal side, however, lay a disaster.

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Hurricanes, Cyclones, Typhoons and Storms

As a former air traffic controller, the professional study and knowledge of the weather was an essential and very important part of my job. I was constantly amazed at the effects of a little surface heating combined with some water vapour. I am a Hurricane Hunter, having flown on a NOAA P3 aircraft through the very large tropical cyclone Kerry in the Coral Sea in 1979. 8 hours of terrifying Hell!

The lure of living on the water also comes with dangers, none more devastatingly illustrated than Hurricane Sandy’s disdainful treatment of the New Jersey shoreline in the United States. Comments like “We’ve never seen anything like it” are just so true.

Many of us may never see anything like a particular storm as they arrive, unexpected and uninvited, every 100 or even 1,000 years.

When considering buying or building a property on the water, any water, always, in the back of your mind know that water, combined with the winds from meteorological events, may well turn your magnificent view into your worst nightmare.

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