Danger in buying property in the country without checking it out first

Danger in buying country property without actually going there first

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INVESTORS WARNED: Some residential areas of Bendigo are more desirable than others. Picture: Bendigo Advertiser.

INVESTORS WARNED: Some residential areas of Bendigo are more desirable than others. Picture: Bendigo Advertiser.

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A national buyer's agent has warned investors from joining the rush into regional real estate without actually going there first.

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A national buyer's agent has warned investors from joining the rush into regional real estate without actually going there first.

"Not all Bendigo is the same, just as all Sydney is not the same," Atlas Property Group director Lachlan Vidler said.

Sydney-based Mr Vidler said he had heard horror tales of investors buying properties from websites in regional areas from their desperation to be involved in the property price boom.

Property prices in many regional areas, especially those close to metropolitan areas, are far outstripping the cities as people escape pandemic restrictions in their flight to the country.

Mr Vidler said many investors wanted part of the action as well.

With much of the available housing stock already snapped up within commuting distance to the cities, city residents are looking further afield, and so are the speculators.

"Some people are buying properties sight unseen and getting caught," he said.

Mr Vidler said a common misconception was that all country towns were small when a simple online check would reveal the truth.

"For example, they might buy a house in Bendigo, thinking that meets all the criteria - it's in the regions, within commuting distance of Melbourne and is in demand," he said.

"But not all Bendigo is the same, there are some areas of Bendigo which are more desirable than others, the same as there is in the cities they come from."

Buyer's agent Lachlan Vidler.

Buyer's agent Lachlan Vidler.

Mr Vidler said pandemic lockdowns had not helped and there was some concern once the pandemic had passed, so too would the race to the regions slow and even reverse.

"Most of them don't know the area or know anything about the area, it's an incredibly dangerous way to invest."

Mr Vidler's advice was for potential investors to be more cautious.

Preferably they should visit the country town or city themselves, talk to local real estate agents or engage a buyer's agent like himself.

"Get to know the area as well as you would your own suburb, that way you might not end uop with a house in an area no-one wants to live in."

Mr Vidler's warning is similar to that of another buyer's agent, Kate Hill from Adviseable Property, who has warned statistics showing regional property prices outpacing growth in capital cities may "trip up some novice property investors".

"Clearly, pent up demand and a number of other factors, including record low interest rates, are motivating more investors to buy into markets near and far, but the fundamentals must stack up over the long-term as a strategic investment location," Ms Hill said.

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