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13 December
Comments Off on To share or sell: Why inherited property causes family strife

To share or sell: Why inherited property causes family strife

I made a sea-change at 25Why we name our homesThe ins and outs of inheriting property
Nanjing Night Net

In the late 1990s my grandmother purchased a beach house in Blairgowrie, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, for her six children and young grandchildren to share. She christened the house Listowel, a nod to the family’s ancestral home in Ireland, and left the rest to her children to sort out between them.

Thanks to gran’s decision, I’ve grown up with fond memories of school holidays spent rock-hopping and splashing in shallow pools at low tide, stubbornly playing a long out of date edition of Trivial Pursuit with my sisters, and boogie boarding at Sorrento back beach with a litany of cousins.

Now that my grandmother has passed away and my cousins and I are ostensibly grown up, the question of whether to continue to keep the holiday home in the family, and pass it on to future generations to enjoy, or to sell and split the profits, has arisen.

Liz Jensen, director of Kay & Burton Portsea, first moved to the Mornington Peninsula as a 19-year-old, and has worked in real estate in the area for more than 30 years. Jensen frequently assists families looking to buy holiday homes in coastal suburbs such as Sorrento, Portsea, and Blairgowrie.

“A big demographic are buying because they’ve got their own children who are starting families and they want to keep the generations together,” Jensen says. “So they’re buying holiday homes that can house the three generations: their children, grandchildren, and themselves.”

It’s a topic that is close to Jensen’s heart, as she shares a family holiday home with her siblings, nieces, and nephews.

“When my parents passed away a couple of years ago they left the property to the three children on the premise that we would keep it in our ownership until it went to our children,” Jensen says. “The will actually states that they would like their grandchildren to enjoy it all through their childhood, and then whoever wanted to buy it could have the right to buy it.”

For Jensen, the best thing about sharing a family holiday home is having the time to get to know each other away from the pressures of city life, and creating memories that can be cherished forever.

“Families can actually come down here and relax and enjoy each other’s company,” Jensen says. “We’ll go into homes now and there’s a jigsaw being built, or a Scrabble game, an actual board with pieces, unlike the iPads that they might have in town.”

Jensen frequently comes across a less idyllic side to these shared homes. One where siblings are forced to sell their childhood holiday home to resolve infighting.

“I see a lot of people who sell it straight away to get the money because they can’t justify using it, or I see people who sell it straight away because they’re afraid it’s going to cause family fighting and they don’t want that,” she says.

Jeanette Lawrence, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne, has written extensively about the norms and practices surrounding inheritance in Australia, and says the issue of dividing property can be fraught for families.

“There are as many different perspectives as there are people,” she says. “The major thing is that people feel strongly about what should be done – and seem to have little tolerance for family members who disagree with them.”

In their book Inheriting as People Think it Should Be, Lawrence and her late colleague Jacqueline Goodnow delve into instances in which inheritance turned into a minefield for families.

“We found that people felt strongly and very often had stories of bad things people did in family arrangements,” Lawrence says. “And sometimes, but less often, about good family arrangements.”

This is especially relevant in the current climate, where we have a housing market in which land is more valuable than ever. The stakes are raised, and tensions among family members easily exacerbated.

“Family holiday homes are particularly contentious, because often people perhaps don’t lay out [the inheritance rules] quite so strongly,” Lawrence says. “Sometimes, this is a time when the family stops getting on so well.”

For me, however, the joy of returning to my family beach house as an adult – a house that has remained virtually the same for the past two decades, and is rich with memories of summer childhood adventures and long family lunches – is incalculable.

So despite the lure of a lucrative housing market, perhaps it’s the history and shared memories that are, at the end of the day, the most valuable aspect of a family holiday home.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

13 December
Comments Off on Pick of the bunch: Suburbs with the most properties for sale

Pick of the bunch: Suburbs with the most properties for sale

South Melbourne eyesore for sale after 40 year vacancyPeriod gem with no overlays soars over reserveTwo-bedroom property listed for more than $7m
Nanjing Night Net

Melbourne auction clearance rates are hovering about 80 per cent each week, with buyers paying hundreds and thousands of dollars over reserve to trump their competition.

Agents attribute the strong results to a shortage of quality stock, though there are generally more listings this year compared to last year.

So where is the most choice for buyers in a hot market?

Domain Group data reveals the suburbs with the most private treaty and auction listings for houses and units over March by distance from the CBD.

For house hunters looking for choice within five kilometres of the city, Richmond, Toorak, South Yarra, Prahran and Port Melbourne each offered at least 38 properties.

New developments in Melbourne, Southbank, Docklands and South Yarra have also created a surge of apartment listings.

Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson said there was generally a feeling that it was a good time to sell.

A lot more new stock had come on the market in Richmond, where price growth was moderating after years of strong growth, he said.

But Biggin and Scott Richmond director Russell Cambridge believed house prices “continued to kick this year”.

“Last year was dismal for volume, for turnover ??? hence the price increases,” Mr Cambridge said, adding that houses were still selling above expectations.

Two neighbouring houses marketed as a development site at 430-432 Victoria Street, sold for a whopping $1.1 million over reserve last month. A buyer looking to build a new home trumped developers to purchase the 540-square metre site for $3.4 million at auction.

Mr Cambridge said houses drew a minimum of three strong bidders, with single-fronted Victorians particularly in demand. A two-bedroom house at 99 Buckingham Street recently fetched $1,412,000 ??? about $200,000 over reserve.

But there were also opportunities to buy a house for less than $1 million. A timber cottage at 29 Cutter Street passed in at auction without a bid on Saturday, and is now selling privately for $929,000.

There is generally more choice as house hunters travelled further out; with Balwyn North, Kew and Preston offering the most February and March listings, between five and 10 kilometres of the CBD.

Marshall White Boroondara’s Robert Ding said Balwyn North was a large suburb with big peaks and troughs.

Many vendors wanted to sell while the market was strong, and a lot of properties would come on, he said.

“North Balwyn has been known as a family-orientated area, so therefore it’s not as attractive for the younger generation to move out there,” he said. “Hawthorn and Kew are always kicking goals and the turnover is always there because that’s their first port of call and first choice.”

There were many large French provincial homes on the market in Balwyn North, but their designs were not particularly different from one another, so buyers would be more discerning, Mr Ding said. “There’s the demographic of buyers looking to buy land, [and] land is no different to one another apart from location,” he said.

Surrounding suburbs, such as Hawthorn and Kew, had better clearance rates than Balwyn North because there was greater variety in the types of properties and more period and renovated homes, Mr Ding added. Suburbs with the most February house listings (10 to 20km of the CBD)Suburbs with the most March house listings (10 to 20km of the CBD)Tarneit 988 Point Cook 943Wollert 570Werribee 558 Craigieburn 473Tarneit 999Point Cook 930Werribee 659Wollert 587Craigieburn 505Melton South 628 Melton West 595 Wyndham Vale 580 Sunbury 265 Hampton Park 180Wyndham Vale 735Melton South 644Melton West 579Sunbury 268Frankston 176This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

13 December
Comments Off on Architect-designed home at lower cost? No problem, say these builders

Architect-designed home at lower cost? No problem, say these builders

Lifespaces founders Elliot McLaren, Simon Babb and Grant Downie and renders of their proposed projects by Auhaus Architecture. Photo: LifespacesFive things you shouldn’t say to an architectAustralia’s best houses for 2016The worst renovations in heritage properties
Nanjing Night Net

A Victorian company’s innovative business model is enabling more consumers the opportunity to own a quality-built home designed by a leading architect.

Founded by three builders, Lifespaces Group offers customers the ability to purchase limited release, pre-designed plans by architects to be built by the Lifespaces team.

Co-founder of Lifespaces Group Elliot McLaren says the business started after observing consumer demand for more affordable and hassle-free architecturally-designed homes.

“I’ve always been to privy to what I believed was a gap in the market, and that was clients coming in looking for a higher-end product but not really either wanting to go through the process, or not having the budget to seek higher-end architecture,” McLaren says.

Each design produced by Lifespaces’ architects is limited to 10 uses, thereby guaranteeing customers a relatively exclusive home.

“That’s a very firm, set-in-stone part of the Lifespaces brand,” McLaren says.

“Once the tenth home is built, the plan is retired, never to be seen again.”

The collective construction experience of the founders ensures all materials and fixtures in the homes are carefully sourced and installed by the team.

“Each toilet comes from Spain, each oven comes out from France ??? We have proper limestone not acrylic baths, and the taps are all handmade out of Melbourne. Nothing comes out of China,” McLaren says.

The first five Lifespaces designs have been created by acclaimed Victorian based architectural firm Auhaus Architecture.

“We’ve used the same design principles as we do for all our regular homes, looking at light, connection to outdoor spaces, how the light moves across the house throughout the day, natural ventilation, good natural volume and connection between spaces,” says Kate Fitzpatrick, co-founding director of Auhaus.

The first Lifespaces home – the Courtyard House designed by Auhaus – is priced at $675,000. This is an upfront, unwavering price that includes the cost of architecture and construction.

“That’s a 30 square home [about 278 square metres] which equates to about $22,500 per square for the entire project,” McLaren says.

“We can hit a certain price point that sees us well below what it would normally cost to access this level of architect, and with a product that really is tapping into the raw design ethos of Kate Fitzpatrick and Ben Stibbard of Auhaus.”

According to the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia, currently only five to 10 per cent of Australian homes are architect-designed.

“Lifespaces is about creating a platform for high-end architects to design the way they would like to design as if creating a home for themselves,” McLaren says.

Lifespaces plan to eventually introduce more architects to the business who specialise in a range of residential styles and climates.

The company’s home in Barwon Heads, the Courtyard House, will be completed next month, and will open to the public shortly after.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

13 December
Comments Off on The suburb where it really does matter what side of the road you’re on

The suburb where it really does matter what side of the road you’re on

ken100611.001.001.melb.s/age property. photograph ken irwin story by chris vedelagoshows residential niddrie SPECIAL 00000000 Photo: Ken IrwinBaristas, Albion needs you (and you’d make a killing)The tiny suburb that’s one of Melbourne’s giantsThe suburb even real estate agents keep secret
Nanjing Night Net

Sometimes the suburb divide is so obvious that it’s laughable. Head down Hoffmans Road, which divides Niddrie from Essendon North, and it’s like Target on one side and Myer on the other. The houses tell the story. Carefully, almost fastidiously presented versus, well, liveable.

It’s the same with the schools that keep this area popular with families: there’s Rosehill Secondary College on the Niddrie side of super-hilly Rosehill Road, and St Bernard’s College on the other. There’s way more love (and money) on one side. “Even the sign is so glossy!” comments my son. You can guess which school he’s talking about, right?

Niddrie just doesn’t have the bloodline that Essendon does. It doesn’t have the number of sporting fields that its neighbour does. It certainly doesn’t have its own AFL team. And when it comes to Melbourne’s most desirable forms of public transport (yes: we’re talking trams and trains, don’t give me that ‘what about the bus?’ line), bar a couple of tram stops for the 59 in the busy Niddrie Shopping Precinct, it’s completely outswamped by its neighbour.

Yet Niddrie has quite a bit going for it. It’s just 13 kilometres from the CBD. And it’s getting on a few lists: affordable rentals not so far from town, being one. Development opportunities, being another. “Almost a million-dollar suburb” could be another.

According to Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson, Niddrie’s median price is $950,000, up 15 per cent in the past six months. “The north is very hot at the moment” says Dr Wilson “It’s a boom. There are queues of buyers.” The REIV listed it as one of Melbourne’s 120 million-dollar ‘burbs in the last December quarter.

And who are these buyers? Developers, baby. Most of Niddrie’s homes are being advertised with the focus on their land size. They’re usually in the 600-plus square metre range and are often being sold complete with permits for between three and five townhouses. Properties like these – blank canvases – are asking $1.48 million -$1.6 million. A completed townhouse in Niddrie will set a buyer back at least $500,000.

Despite the suburb’s small size, the shopping’s big in Niddrie. Niddrie Shopping Precinct sits on Keilor Road on its Calder Freeway edge. This strip gets a lot of love. It’s the kind of place where “roving entertainers” take over on special days, like Easter, and Valentine’s Day. It’s got its own website and hashtag: #niddrieprecinct (get in quick and you could be its first tag on Insta!). There’s every kind of business there, and it looks like it’s thriving.

Less lit up is Steele Creek, which forms a natural border of Niddrie (the others are aforementioned Hoffmans and Rosehill Roads, and the Calder Freeway). The shared use path runs from the southern boundary of Melbourne Airport to the Maribyrnong River. It’s a well-linked suburb by road, too, close to the freeways that matter to the commuter: the Tulla, the Western Ring Road and the Calder.

You get the impression that once the concrete trucks have moved on and the dyed black woodchips have been laid, it’ll be more like Myer v David Jones. However, Essendon North and West’s period homes, parks and schools will probably always give it an edge. Five things you didn’t know about Niddrie

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

13 December
Comments Off on Woolies’ suburban supermarket expansion stretches to Rosanna

Woolies’ suburban supermarket expansion stretches to Rosanna

A sleepy corner of middle suburbia, Rosanna in Melbourne’s north-east, is set to get a radical shakeup with a new full-line Woolies supermarket, railway station and elevated train tracks.
Nanjing Night Net

Supermarket giant Woolworths has won the right to build a 2700 square metre store on Banyule Council-owned land after overcoming objections in a legal appeal at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Woolies development company Fabcot has a conditional contract to purchase a site next to Rosanna Station from Banyule Council if it gains planning approval for its supermarket

It lodged plans with the council after the land was rezoned in 2012 from public use.

The site includes an open car park off Douglas Street behind the Rosanna library and a strip of land owned by Melbourne Water.

Council offices currently on the premises will be moved to Greensborough.

The Rosanna shopping strip stretches down a steep hill along a main road before eventually crossing the Hurstbridge rail line.

The Lower Plenty Road and rail intersection have been earmarked by the state government for a level crossing removal, part of a multibillion-dollar, multi-year program to remove dangerous level crossings around the city.

As part of the project a significant portion of rail line will become elevated and the station adjoining the shopping strip will be rebuilt.

The new Woolies supermarket will sit on the opposite side of the railway line to the suburb’s shopping strip next to a theatre.

Tribunal member Margaret Baird dismissed objections from local residents that the new Woolies was too far from the rest of the Rosanna shopping strip and would affect the area’s “village” feel.

Numerous other objections included selling public land to a private company, removal of established trees, congestion from vehicles and deliveries, noise, and the supermarket’s impact on neighbouring buildings.

“Objectors believe that the council’s interest in the land has been a factor in its determination. They say the proper course of action by the council would have been to request an independent body to determine the application or propose a more appropriate form of development,” the tribunal said.

The tribunal also supported the council’s decision to issue a liquor licence with 10pm restrictions on the sale of alcohol.

Woolworths has multiple plans to expand its footprint in key suburbs.

In March it paid up to $50 million to buy public broadcaster the ABC’s former studios in the Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick.

The prime 6155 square metre block was on six separate titles in a mixed-use zone with frontage to Selwyn and Sinclair Streets, as well as a rear laneway.

Last year it bagged $30 million from selling a North Melbourne site in Canning Street after it gained planning approval for a 4400 square metre supermarket with 304 apartments above in a 16-level tower.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.