HIS last property sale earned him a tidy million-dollar profit, so it’s safe to say when it comes to “flipping”, Tom Hall knows his stuff.
The Melbourne man has been flipping property for 16 years, and has 10 successful “flips” under his toolbelt.
For the uninitiated, flipping refers to profiting from real estate, either by “buying low and selling high” or buying a run-down home and renovating it for profit.
Mr Hall, a former electrician and real estate agent, ventured into the world of flipping when he bought his first property at 24 for $124,000, renovating it before and after work and on weekends.
He more than doubled that investment when he sold it a couple of years later for $265,000 after shelling out just $14,000 in renovations – and his love affair with flipping began.
Knowing he was onto a winning formula, Mr Hall went on to purchase bigger, more expensive properties each time, culminating in the most recent sale of a Brighton property which he bought for $1.35 million, and sold for $2.35 million 18 months later.
In the early days, Mr Hall and his wife Alicia used to brave the “dust and dirt” and live in each property during the renovations.
With two young boys, that’s no longer possible, but today Mr Hall runs his own renovation business, Overhall Your Property, alongside his flipping passion.
“I’m a visual person and to see the property go from nothing to something amazing gives me a thrill,” he said.
“It can be a bit stressful – it never stops and it’s very consuming.
“But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”
Mr Hall said a successful flip came down to meticulous market research and the ability to do most projects yourself.
But is flipping always a sure-fire cash-cow?
New analysis from CoreLogic revealed 90 per cent of flipped properties sold last year made a profit – but as house prices ease in Melbourne and Sydney this year, a rise in loss-making flipped properties is expected.
“Although the proportion of flips at a loss has declined from recent highs in 2009 and again in 2012, there has been a clear increase in loss-making flips recently,” CoreLogic’s Property Flipping Report stated.
Nevertheless, while Mr Hall agreed property prices had already cooled slightly, he said there were still plenty of opportunities to make decent money flipping.
He said lower house prices could even help flippers enter the competitive housing market.
“If you put the right product to the market and keep the purchaser in mind you’ll have no problems selling property,” he said.
“The whole idea of owning your own home and renovating it is a big Australian dream – everyone wants to own property.
“There’s definitely still a future in it.”
So how do you make it in the flipping business? Mr Hall shared his top tips for flipping success.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
“If you’re looking to buy, educate yourself on the market – entry price is the most important thing. If you pay too much getting in, you won’t make dollars and cents at the end. I read heaps of books, and really annoy real estate agents on trends and what’s going on in the market. I always hassle them because they’re pretty much three months ahead of the market – they see what’s going on in the market before it hits the papers,” Mr Hall said.
“The main thing for me is getting in at the right price. Keep an ear to the ground in your market and don’t look at 10 different suburbs, look at two, otherwise you’ll just confuse yourself.
“On my way home I always drive a different way so I can see what boards are up and what’s going on. I’m a bit nosy, but you have to be if you want to do this seriously.”
“I have flipped 10 different projects varying from smaller properties and apartments to bigger houses. I really built my way up from something small into property worth millions now, and the way to get into it is to start small and learn from there – I’m self-taught.”
DO IT YOURSELF
“Hiring tradies can really chop into your budget. If you can always build on your skills and learn you will save yourself a hell of a lot of money, so the more you can do yourself the better off you’ll be at the end. Always use a licensed plumber and electrician, but for example if you have someone doing rendering, hang around and learn about a trade if you’re not experienced in it, so next time you can give it a go yourself and save big money.”
INVEST IN A GOOD FOOTPRINT
“My strategy is always renovating what is there – I’m not a new-build man, I’m an add-value man. I try to utilise the home’s footprint to add value. You’ve got to have a bit of forward thinking in terms of what you can do with spaces.”
KNOW YOUR BUYER
“Have a target market in mind. Whether it’s a family with children or a young couple, you need to do your research and tailor your design towards the purchaser. That’s the end game – it’s not necessarily for you, it’s about getting a sale from the right purchaser who will pay the highest price.”
Originally Published: sunshinecoastdaily.com.au
Are these Australia’s cheapest blocks of land?
Just when we thought we had found the cheapest – a patch of dirt for $4.94 a square metre near the Queensland and NT border – we found another one.
And this “dirt cheap” vacant block is on the market for $2.08 a square metre – less than a 2L bottle of milk!
The fully fenced rural block of land has town water available and “power close by” but is only suitable for horses or recreation, hence the price.
It is listed with LJ Hooker Gayndah.
In Camooweal, yes that one near the border, a “drovers dream” is listed at 54 Cronin Street for $10,000.
With 2024sq m of vacant land that works out to be $4.94 a square metre — less than a beer at the local pub or a foot-long sub on discount day.
To help you wrap your head around that, that block of land would cost you over $1 million in Ipswich.
A recent report by property services group Oliver Hume found that Ipswich had the best value dirt in southeast Queensland, with land averaging $507 a square metre.
That is nearly half the price of vacant land in Brisbane, where buyers can expect to pay an average of $970 a square metre, so that block of land in Camooweal would set you back almost $2 million in the big smoke.
Bronwyn Finch of Jays Real Estate Mount Isa is marketing the Camooweal vacant block, which is located off the Barkly Highway.
Camooweal had a population of 208 at the time of the 2016 Census, with the average resident aged 36.
“It is walking distance to the local shop and garage, and you can wave at the tourists as they go past,” Ms Finch said.
“I sold another block about a year back, same deal for about $8000.”
Ms Finch said the cheap blocks were usually purchased by retirees looking for a spot to park their van between trips.
She noted it would be a tough ask to get a car park in Brisbane for the same price.
“It is quite close to the Gregory River, which is beautiful, and Adels Grove, our premiere tourist attraction out here, is about an hour away.
“That’s close for us. That’s a daily commute in the city.”
Meanwhile in Mungallala, a tiny outpost on the Warrego Highway west of Mitchell, is a 1012sq m vacant lot of land that is on the market for $6000, or the nearest offer.
That’s $5.92 a square metre – less than a cup of coffee in Ascot.
It is listed with Ray White Charleville agent Glenda Fill.
“There has been a new house built in the town in the last two years,” she said.
“It is very small town off the Warrego Highway and had a population of 136 in 2016.
“It is an hour and a quarter from here (Charleville) so it’s a bit closer to the coast than we are.”
And in Westwood, which is about half an hour from Rockhampton, the beef capital of Queensland, is an 1800sq m block for $9000.
There is also another 1174sq m lot for $8000, and the 962sq m lot, which was listed for $6000, has sold.
“Blocks are not serviced and would suit ‘off grid’ living,” the listing says.
“There is no town water in Westwood – households rely on tank or underground (bore) water.
“No town sewerage (septic or bio), Westwood has electricity – no current supply to this estate.”
Marketing agent John Neumann of Discover Real Estate said “it’s a bargain” with a “rural outlook”.
“There is a rail line nearby, a mining one,” he said. “I think there is a pub, a post office and a police officer there.
“It is only about 50km from Rockhamption and it is on the western highway to the mining belt.”
Mr Neumann said he had already had some interest in the lots, mostly from grey nomads looking for a base and people keen to “go off-grid”.
He said he had even had inquiries from uni students looking to get a leg – or toe – on the property ladder.
Westwood had a population of 174 during the 2016 census.
It was the first new town proclaimed in the Queensland Government Gazette, after the state became a separate colony back in 1859.
‘The margin will never be this close again’: Brisbane’s waterfront secret where property is still affordable
Think “Brisbane waterfront” and Moreton Bay darlings Wynnum and Manly quickly spring to mind.
But only 30 kilometres northeast, on the other side of the airport and a similar distance to the CBD, another bay-front suburb, Sandgate, appears.
The photogenic village topped Domain’s best performing Brisbane suburb list in 2018 with 18.8 per cent median house price growth.
Despite this overall rise in housing value, data-savvy local agent Jacqui McKeering makes the case that Sandgate’s waterfront properties are still undervalued compared to southside bay designer homes.
Ms McKeering, of Jim McKeering Real Estate, says Sandgate waterfront still remains great value because family groups have to buy further back to get more features.
“When the price-to-rateable-land-value gap narrows, you are getting a bit of a bargain,” she says.
“A simple calculation to illustrate this point shows the market value of Sandgate waterfront properties not that much greater than the rateable land value; on average 32 per cent greater.
“In fact one waterfront property sale, back in 2017, sold for 15 per cent less than the rateable land value, yet one block back and without bay view properties have a greater gap of 42 per cent.
“One particular [non-waterfront] property sold as high as 66 per cent greater than the rateable land value.
“The outtake here is there is plenty of money to be made on Sandgate waterfront properties.
“I do believe the margin between waterfront properties and the neighbouring streets will never be this close again.”
Flinders Parade, which runs along the foreshore of Sandgate and into Brighton, plus Eagle Crescent and Shorncliffe Parade, are the waterfront property strips in focus.
Ms McKeering says a lot of people have been buying these older houses and renovating and that at the moment there is some choice in “real cheapies” from about $900,000 to about $1.35 million.
“I know someone who bought for $1.4 million in 2017 with a $1.8 million renovation budget,” she says.
“When you see that sort of money coming into an area, it tells me people are seeing long-term capital value in this area.”
Fellow Sandgate agent Tamara Wecker of RE/MAX agrees suburb 4017’s waterfront properties are priced and selling considerably under their comparable Brisbane market values.
“When compared to Wynnum and Manly,” Ms Wecker says, “absolutely; I mean you can live in the Taj Mahal in Sandgate for about $1.5 million.”
She is seeing buyer migration from Sydney and “a little bit from Perth” because of affordability, and thinks Sandgate’s strict rules, which prohibit multi-unit developments on its waterfront, is a further drawcard.
“People tend to think of Wynnum and Manly but here you can have a premium home and lifestyle only 30 minutes from the city,” Ms Wecker says.
“To be honest, it has been a bit of a secret because we are off the highway so you have to have a reason to come here, but that is changing in the past 18 months.
“We are getting more inquiries from people, even from Brisbane, who just did not know about us.”
Mark Crew has been selling Sandgate housing since 1990 and thinks people have woken up to how great a suburb it is in the past 18 months.
The Professionals’ agent has reported strong interest from Sydney buyers “looking for a better family lifestyle”.
He estimates 25 to 30 per cent of Sandgate buyers this year have come from the neighbouring suburbs of Shorncliffe, Deagon and Brighton; people who want to upgrade but stay in “the village”.
“It is 31 minutes to the CBD and you can be walking on the waterfront with your kids after work and we’ve got excellent schools too,” Mr Crew says.
Regarding Sandgate’s waterfront property market and its value, he says three factors should be considered.
“There are few waterfront properties for sale, land is scarce and over the past 20 years there has been a lot of change to the houses themselves, a lot of renovation and/or raising older three-bedroom cottages and transforming them into often substantial five-bedroom luxury houses,” he says.
“So these houses on their waterfront blocks are, quite rightly, going to fetch more in sale prices when they do one day return to the market; and that is showing.”
Cheap Units In Brisbane Suburbs
Twelve suburbs in Brisbane have a median unit price of just under $400,000, according to Domain’s June House Price Report.
Ten out of these 12 suburbs are in the inner city, the report said.
Bowen Hills, Fortitude Valley, Albion, and Spring Hills are all within three kilometres of the Brisbane CBD. The median unit prices in these suburbs are below $400,000, the figures showed.
East Brisbane, Coorparoo, Clayfield, Nundah, Taringa, and Kedron also offer some of Brisbane’s cheapest unit values, according to the report.
Bowen Hills is the cheapest suburb to buy a unit, with prices falling 13.7% in the past 12 months, the figures showed.
Here are Brisbane’s cheapest suburbs to buy units by median price, according to Domain:
|Suburb||Median price||YoY % growth||5-year % growth|
In Greater Brisbane, the median unit price fell 8.6% over the year to June, according to the report.
The capital city’s unit prices are “sitting at 2013 levels”—down from their peak in 2015, according to Domain research analyst Eliza Owen.
However, prices are expected to bottom out this year, with the end of the downturn in the unit segment in sight, Owen said.
“Unit listings are also moderating, which should reduce downward pressure on prices,” she said.
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