Home' API Magazine : January 2014 Contents 69
API JANUARY 2014
JANUARY 2014 API
Sometimes it’s the small things
that can turn buyers off, but last
February, at a property in Perth’s
northern suburbs, it was the minor
cosmetic issues that helped land first-time
buyers Shintaro Maebuchi, 27, and Jolene
Chua, 24, something that most investors
can only dream of.
Watching property prices and rents soar
in Perth, Shintaro and Jolene decided it
was time to buy their first house, even if
it meant shifting a little further out from
their beloved Victoria Park.
Shintaro, an avid reader of API, was
keen to hunt down a house on a block
with subdivision potential, while
Jolene liked the idea of being central to
everything with the swish features and
easy maintenance of a modern apartment.
They eventually agreed to go with
Shintaro’s idea; one that would set them
up with a home and good potential future
profits before they tied the knot and
contemplated starting a family.
Their budget allowed them to consider
properties priced up to $450,000. At the
time the First Home Owner Grant helped
pitch in $7000 towards the deposit and
the Home Buyers Assistance Account
chipped in $2000. A great start.
They hunted north and south of Perth’s
Swan River for subdividable blocks,
“We drove around the city looking
on available weekends. Nollamara and
Westminster in the north were over our
budget and most of the blocks there were
already subdivided,” he notes.
In the south they scoured Maddington,
Thornlie, Queens Park and Cockburn
Central for the right block. But every time
they were ready to place an offer the
properties were snapped up before they
had a chance.
Time isn’t always generous for Shintaro,
a geologist, who flies in and out of mines
for his work. For Jolene, a registered
nurse, the hunting was often left up to her.
The couple realised that to find the deal
they were looking for – a subdividable
block for under $450,000 in a rising Perth
market, they would need some help.
Enter the buyers’ agent, who consulted
with the couple on their goals, needs and
budget before going on the hunt.
Not long after, the buyers’ agent phoned
them with the news that he’d come
across a “very interesting property” that
would suit their brief perfectly.
The property was located at Balga,
14 kilometres north of Perth. It was a
four-bedroom, one-bathroom house on
725 square metres in an R40-zoned area,
which means the block can be split to
construct three villas on it.
The property wasn’t listed yet because
the buyers’ agent was one of the first
contacted about the property.
Apparently some potential buyers had
looked through the property but were
turned off by the unfinished renovation
and sloppy cosmetic touches, Jolene says.
“The floors needed sanding and
polishing, there were a number of holes in
the walls, the doors were all mismatched;
some of the doors were completely
missing and it seemed like only one coat
of paint was applied because we could
see the original colour at the cornices and
under the new paint. Then there was the
It was a great opportunity for them to
get in at a price much lower than they had
budgeted and either finish the renovation
themselves or demolish the house
completely. Either way, they weren’t
turned off. The seller was motivated and
their offer of $390,000 was accepted, so
they signed the contract and started the
ball rolling towards settlement. But there
was a hiccup.
When the lender was evaluating the
property onsite they came across the
detached back shed or ‘games room’,
which was in bad condition.
“As a result our offer fell through and
someone moved in to make another offer,
which was accepted,” Shintaro explains.
Fortunately for Shintaro and Jolene, that
buyer’s finance crashed so they had a
second stab at it.
Their mortgage broker quickly found
another lender willing to see the potential
of the property and look past the
Their buyers’ agent offered $390,000
again, the seller accepted and
Within eight months, thanks to the
low buy-in price due to the unfinished
reno, the $3000 of cosmetic touches, and
buying in the right suburb at the right
time – suburbs beside Balga increased in
value over the following eight months and
Balga eventually caught up – Shintaro and
Jolene wound up with a $90,000 equity
gain. And that was after the $10,000
buyers’ agent fee, a worthwhile expense
given they never would have come across
this opportunity without his help. API
ONE MAN’S TRASH,
It’s tough enough to secure a property in the hot Perth market,
let alone scoop up a $90,000 equity gain with further potential
development profits. But this couple proved it possible.
The games room that crashed Shintaro
and Jolene’s finance and first contract
Shintaro Maebuchi and Jolene Chua
SHINTARO MAEBUCHI AND JOLENE CHUA \\ OUR MOST PROFITABLE DEAL
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