It’s been almost 4 months since I last posted one of my Australia and New Zealand magazine articles online, so certainly time for another one now. Interestingly, that last article was about Selling a House in Australia, this article is about buying one, with sea views.
Is that really still possible?
Well, yes, just, but you won’t be very lucky in Sydney or Melbourne with the budget I’m talking about in the article below. What I didn’t cover for this article though, due to the 550 word limit for the magazine, were cities like Adelaide, Hobart or Darwin.
So at the foot of this article, I’ll be adding some information here for the blog about those three cities. You will also see an update in the middle of this article about Melbourne. This appeared in their July edition of 2017, it’s called…
Living the dream
You wake up in the morning, the sun beating through your open window. In the distance, you can hear the lapping of the waves. You rise from your bed and slip on your favourite togs. You walk straight out of the front door, along your garden path, through the front gate into the street. You then cross a narrow road and quickly feel the soft golden sand under your bare feet as you reach a narrow pathway.
As the sound of the waves become louder, you begin to run. Well, not so much a run, but a kind of trot. Whether it’s a trot or a run doesn’t matter though, soon your feet are wet and you lurch forward diving into the crashing ocean waves.
What a fantastic way to start the day; you feel invigorated. Yes, just imagine.
That’s what I have to do, imagine. I live in the western suburbs of Brisbane, not known for its beaches. I estimate that to get to decent soft golden sandy beach with crashing ocean waves would take me more than 20 hours by foot. If living the dream in Australia is living really close to the beach, for most people it’s just not happening.
But is it still possible?
To find out, I embarked on an extraordinary experiment. Armed only with my computer, I searched for properties for sale with the keywords ‘sea views’ in the whole of Queensland. Queensland is, after all, the Sunshine State. The first house in the list with a price on it (as opposed to it being an auction or price on application) was a sumptuous mansion overlooking the beaches of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. A snip, I’m sure, at $4.75 million.
Hmm, there must be something cheaper.
After adjusting the maximum price settings on my property search, I soon found something that didn’t include the word ‘million’. Just 300 metres from the beach, with a pricetag of $365,000, was a four bedroom, with two bathrooms, double garaged house, detached of course. Oh, and it’s got a swimming pool, which is handy, because it’s in Balgal Beach. That’s about 60 kilometres north of Townsville, which enjoys the occasional crocodile sighting.
If you want city living though, you would be spoilt for choice for sea views in both Melbourne and Perth. You can pick up townhouses for around $600,000, or larger detached houses for around $1 million. You’d probably need to look about 50 kilometres out of town though.
Additional information for this blog post
This article was originally written for the magazine back in April 2017. At that time I was quite shocked to find that there were still townhouses and detached houses available in Melbourne, within the price range mentioned above, that were close to the beach.
Admittedly, they were mostly closer to the 50 km/$1 million end of the scale, but they were there. If I recall, they were available from around Frankston and then along Mornington Peninsula. Today though, when I looked again, nothing. Even when I put the price up to $1.2 million, still nothing.
Well, not quite nothing, I found one. This one…
Image courtesy of realestate.com.au
As you can see, it has a suggested sales price of $850,000 – $900,000 and has great views of the sea. Google maps tells me is 89 kilometres from Melbourne CBD.
But there were far more properties with sea views available at the time, honest! Not much about now though, so I think we can say that living the sea view dream in Melbourne on this budget is rapidly slipping away. Back to the article as was in the magazine.
Of course, you might want to live in Sydney, maybe Bondi. I tried to find out the price of houses close to Bondi Beach, but they don’t publish them, you need to speak to the agent. As the saying goes, if you need to ask the price, you probably can’t afford it.
If you want affordability though, try Paradise Beach in Victoria.
It’s just a three hour drive from Melbourne. I found a four bedroom detached house, absolutely on the beach, with one of those sandy walk-throughs I mentioned earlier. Asking price? $247,000 and no crocs! Perhaps it’s not a dream after all.
I’m staying in Brisbane though, but I do actually get to live within walking distance of the sea every once in a while, it’s called a holiday. Airbnb; it works for me.
Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin
So I’ve just done a similar search for the above three cities, here’s what I found:
A search in Adelaide for all types of housing with the words ‘sea view’ for sale at between $600,000 and $1 million came up with 18 results, and interestingly, when I lowered the bottom end to $500,000, another seven properties popped up.
Living the sea view dream in Adelaide is alive and well.
Just six houses came up in the search results for the same criteria in Hobart. Two of them were absolutely by the sea, although one was about 20 kilometres from Hobart on the other 44 kilometres away. They both looked stunning though at around $900,000-$1 million. The other four were much cheaper, around $700,000, but had ocean views from up in them thar hills.
Living the sea view dream in Hobart is still, just about, achievable.
The same search for Darwin came up with 20 results, this increased to 34 when I lowered the price to $500,000. Some of them were apartments, but almost all of them were three-bedroom and there were also plenty of houses within this price range that were four bedroom.
So if your dream is to be able to walk a few metres to swim with the crocodiles, then that dream awaits you in Darwin.