Monday, 26 December 2016

Retirement property thinking

I don't know why but I always enjoy looking at property and questioning where I would want to live if I was unfettered by employment requirements (ie need a job -- more on this later)) and family/friends commitment.

Somehow I've stumbled on a thought that won't let go.  Whilst previously I have thought about moving to a lower cost city or area in the future including Hobart, Tasmania or overseas such as Montreal, Canada I had an epiphany about a location where the weather is good, it has definite lifestyle benefits and is still in Australia.

One of the big issues with Tasmania is that it has been off the mainland AND that I wouldn't have access to Chinese groceries and food easily.  And then there was the weather.  Whilst we like the cooler weather I think it may get to be too much.  Especially as we age and have arthritis problems.  In reality also do we want to be maintaining a property and yard as much?  Probably not.

So where am I thinking?  The Gold Coast.  Yep.  Not earth shattering a thought but for me it was amazing to even consider.  We have an Investment Property (IP) there which is performing terribly we have been trying to exit it when the market picks up so we don't make such a huge loss. I was just examining the area of the property (Southport) when I read the words "Chinatown".  Chinatown?  In the Gold Coast?  Apparently it's just around the corner from where we have the investment property.  Along with that other services which caught my eye were:

  • light rail 
  • shopping
  • walk to cafes
AND there are amazing views.  

The other benefit is that it's a LOT cheaper real estate wise.  An amazing 3 bedroom apartment can cost less than $700k.

Here's an example of a property Under Offer so the price for a 3 bedroom apartment is apparent:
3 bedroom property under $500k.
If you want to see the property details here is a link to the sales page on realestate.com.au.

But the problem with that are the strata fees.  Which are horribly horrendous.  As evidenced by our investment property.

BUT... renting there would be amazing.  We could rent a lovely 2 or 3 bedroom apartment with a view for less than $600 pw.  Yep!  For $700 we can even get one fully furnished.  And these are apartments with all the features you want.  Pool, gym, lift, car parking, shops within walking distance etc.  And someone else pays for the strata and maintenance.  

I can think of very few downsides.  Lack of culture is what I've heard.  But I don't 'experience' the culture here in Sydney either.  The climate was a bit of a worry as we really don't like the heat.  But the good news is that although the overall average temperature is warmer it doesn't suffer the extremes of heat that Sydney (and Melbourne!) does.  The highest high day isn't as high as Sydney.  And the low is definitely nothing compared to most places in the world.

Here's some research I did and compared the two climates:


As you can see the daily and monthly records are higher in Sydney with tops of 45 degrees in Sydney!! and only a top of 38.5 in the Gold Coast. 

The main thing is lack of friends and family there.  And an apartment is a huge departure from what we are use to.  I do love pottering in my yard but I don't think  I couldn't give it up.  I definitely need to enjoy our home and yard for a few more years but the Gold Coast is now number 1 on my 'retirement location' radar.
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