Whether you’re renovating a property to hold or to sell, thorough research is vital. Just like you must lay the concrete to build the house above, it’s critical that you complete the underlying research before carrying out the deal. Get this right and everything else with fall into place.
Cherie and Stephen recommend targeting a general region before narrowing down further to select individual suburbs. Consider the factors below when making your decision.
Your borrowing capacity will largely dictate which region you can afford to buy in. Once you’ve decided on your region of choice, you can narrow your focus to individual suburbs.
You ultimately want to select a cluster of one to three suburbs, preferably located close to each other. This will ensure they share similar demographics and features, as well as the same local council, which will make your job of researching a whole lot easier.

Factors to consider when choosing your suburbs include:
Average annual capital growth
Rental yields
Infrastructure
Transport connections
Council/government plans
Predicted population growth
Capital growth drivers
When considering inner-city suburbs, look to:
Lifestyle suburbs: dominated by cafes, restaurants, bars and shops, these will always be in demand and are “renovation goldmines”.
Heritage-listed or land conservation suburbs: a shortage of heritage housing stock or a shortage of land means demand will always outweigh supply. The scarcity factor is a trump card in real estate.
Gentrification suburbs: these are areas undergoing beautification and upgrades, and are primed for renovation. Timing is crucial – buy when prices are low and hold.
Stepsister suburbs: if you can’t afford to buy in a premium suburb, look next door where prices may be more affordable. In time, the premium suburb will become saturated and the prices will flow on to create a domino effect in surrounding suburbs.
For outer-ring suburbs, also consider:
Transport corridors: those with excellent road and rail connections to the CBD. The combination of affordability and an easy commute to work will ensure ongoing demand.
When you have selected one to three suburbs, you need to complete your suburb due diligence. Your aim is to find out absolutely everything you can about the area and the target market, effectively becoming an expert in your suburb/s of choice. This will help you to understand the needs and wants of your potential tenants and buyers – and to renovate your property accordingly.

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