Armstrong Creek to get primary school and special school in $32 million funding boost

A PRIMARY school and a special school will be built side by side in Armstong Creek as the State Government prepares for boom times in the burgeoning suburb.

Premier Denis Napthine visited the site at the Warralily Estate yesterday to announce the guaranteed $32 million investment with South Barwon MP Andrew Katos.

Moments earlier the Premier was at nearby Grovedale College, where he announced a $6.4 million election promise to help the school upgrade its facilities and prepare for the population influx from Armstrong Creek.

The Education Department has purchased 13ha of land at Warralily for the two schools, leaving it with enough room to also build a secondary school in the future.

The primary school will hold up to 500 students and the special school as many as 150 five-18 year olds.

They will be built with money from this year’s state budget as part of public/private partnership, with construction expected to start next year before an opening date in 2017 or 2018.

Building is expected to start next year before an opening date in 2017 or 2018.

Dr Napthine said the new schools were about planning for the future.

“This is an area that really will boom in the next few years. It will be the home of somewhere between 55,000 and 65,000 people,” he said.

“We, as a Government, have a responsibility to build the infrastructure as the community grows so the children will have great local schools.”

Warralily general manager of development Mark Whinfield said the estate was selling faster than any other area in Victoria, and confirmation of the schools would add further to its appeal.

“We are experiencing rapid growth with a current population of 2000 and 20 new families moving in every month,” Mr Whinfield said.

“Providing schools in walking distance from homes is an important part of our ­vision to create a vibrant, connected and sustainable ­community.”

Building companies will vie to construct the two schools and the 11 other new schools across the state.

Other schools include a Tor­quay North primary school, a special development school in Hamlyn Heights and a primary school in Bannockburn.

Expressions to design and build all 13 schools will open this month, with the tenderer given a 25-year contract to maintain the property.

Mr Katos — who, with his family, moved into a new home at Warralily last week — said the Government was preparing for population growth.

“I can see we need to do this. We don’t want examples … where the kids are here but there’s nowhere for them to go to school and they’re being bussed all over the place,” he said.

“We want people to be educated and have services available within their own local communities.”


Property Strategy Goal 3: Buying or building to keep as an investment and purchase another property in two to five years

In our last blog we talked about one of the goals you may have within your Property Strategy ‘Goal 2: Buying or building to sell in the next two to five years’ and we highlighted some important things to consider when buying a property that you want to resell in a short period of time.

But what if you don’t want to sell and you want to use this property as a stepping stone in building an investment portfolio? Again this strategy gives you some options in regards to the type of build, which may include a traditional family home, a townhouse, or a block of one or more units, but with an investment property it’s all about the Return on Investment (ROI).

One of the first things to consider when looking at purchasing a property to rent out in the future is any ongoing costs such as property management fees, strata payments and council rates. Will these costs take too much away from your ROI? Can you foresee any considerable increases?

Factor in any upkeep and repairs that may be required on the property. Keep in mind that you’ll be living in the property first so you can to do any repairs yourself before you rent the property out.

Building or buying a house and land package may be a good option here in order to minimise maintenance costs and maximise taxation minimisation strategies. Discuss these with your accountant.

Location is always key for an investment property, so do your research and go where the vacancy rates are consistently low, considering the proximity of the property to essential services like public transport and schools.

Often a large backyard is not a consideration for renters. If your home will become an investment property in the future then a large backyard only adds to maintenance costs and is unlikely to add to the rental return. But consider an outdoor living or alfresco area are they are very popular these days.

It’s also important to consider whether the property will be negatively or positively geared. Do you have the extra funds required to negatively gear your investment?

Living in a property, and then moving into another and renting your first buy can be a great way to start your investment portfolio and will be a stepping stone on the path to a bigger property strategy. So make sure you’ve considered how all of your decisions will impact on your ability to rent your home in a few years. Some sacrifices may need to be made in the short term in order to maximise your return and fulfil your property strategy. 

The importance of having a ‘Property Strategy’

Man using tablet pc on couch at homeAll too often we see people so excited about buying or building their first home, they forget about the big picture. Even if you only plan on owning the home you are living in (and are not considering owning an investment property) a Property Strategy is an important tool that you should develop.

A Property Strategy helps you to build an approach that outlines your current and future plans. It can include information on how long you envisage living in your current home and how you will create capacity in your property for an expanding family. Your strategy may also consider factors of your retirement or future travel plans.

If you are looking at building an investment portfolio a Property Strategy will assist you in planning what type of properties to purchase, provide best value for money, and minimise costs. It will also assist you in ascertaining when to rationalise and release capital which may then be reinvested in the portfolio.

Your Property Strategy should outline your goals for:

Buying property – identifying what properties meet your current and future needs so that the right purchase decisions are made at the right time

Investing in property – capturing the benefits of investment property

Releasing property – making informed choices about when and why to dispose of property

It should also include information about the makeup of your family and your lifestyle (now and your plans for the future). And it’s important to remember for something to be classified as a property it must have value, but this may not only be a dollar value. The property may be valuable for sentimental reasons or for the lifestyle it enables the family to have. All of these factors should be considered as part of your strategy.

So think about how your home and/or investment properties meet your current and future needs. Your strategy should include where you want to be, and how you want your property portfolio to look in the next one, three and five years. You can also have some longer term goals, but ideally your strategy should be reviewed and updated at least every five years.

In any situation a strategy will assist you with sourcing the right property at the right time, for the right price.

So whether you’re looking to have one property or ten, a Property Strategy will ensure you are forward looking, and continually assessing how property can meet your existing and future needs for building your wealth through property.

Look out for our next three blogs, which will give you some ideas on what to consider if your strategy includes any of these three goals:

Goal 1: Buying or building to live in the home for five years or more

Goal 2: Buying or building to sell in the next two to five years

Goal 3: Buying or building to keep as an investment and purchase another property in two to five years

Are you emotionally ready to sell?

Business couple workingWhen someone decides to sell a property there is usually a good reason. It may be something positive like adding to the family and outgrowing your current home or getting a promotion and moving to another town, state or country, or just becoming more financial and wanting something bigger or better.

Yet unfortunately it’s sometimes the complete opposite. It may be due to the death of a loved one and feeling it’s time to downsize, or being forced to sell due to financial difficulties, or maybe you and your partner have decided to go your separate ways and you are selling up to divide the assets and move on. For whatever reason, selling your property – your home, is an emotional journey.  That’s why it’s important that you have a real estate agent who can help you through the process, not only in finding a new owner for your home but also enabling you to move on.

Generally, deciding to list your property isn’t an easy decision, especially if it’s been the family home for a considerable number of years.  It is the role of the real estate agent to advise vendors in the process of selling. The agent needs to show empathy, research the reasoning behind the sale, listen to the vendor and their concerns, and talk them through the process so there are no surprises.

If you’ve spent years making your house a home, raised your children in it and have fond family memories attached to the property, there needs to be a process of saying goodbye and letting go. These are the first things your agent should discuss with you when you approach them about selling. These discussions help determine the best way to proceed and your agent shouldn’t put too much pressure on you to forgo this process for the sake of a quick sale.

I’ve often been asked whether I think it’s harder for a vendor emotionally when it’s a quick sale or a drawn out process. For all sorts of reasons people react differently to the sale process, and no two vendors are the same. The most emotional time for vendors is the time leading up to making the decision to sell. Once they have made that decision and are emotionally ready a quick sale is often better. Quick sales are also a lot less disruptive when you think about how unsettling it can be when selling your home and constantly keeping the property looking its best (especially when you have children).

Your emotional state also plays a big part in securing a competitive price for your home. Just because you think the fireplace is a fabulous feature and the heart of the home, doesn’t mean potential buyers will see it in the same light. Sometimes they may just see it instead as something that is hard to keep clean and maintain. Vendors often expect that their emotional attachment to the house will transfer to the buyer and therefore they will receive more than the market indicates the home is worth. In some cases this may be true, but it largely depends on the target market, if the target market is investors then there is rarely any emotion involved in the buying decision. I’ve also had experiences where vendors have held out for a price that the market will not bear because they are not ready to let go and that is their way of hanging on.

If you’re finding it difficult to take those final steps to sell your property, talk to your real estate agent. The right agent will encourage you to let go, assist you through the sale process and ensure the experience is positive and fulfilling.

Choosing the right artwork can help with your Spring real estate sale

Artworks-and-Paintings-House-Livingroom-2With Spring fast approaching many people in the Geelong and Torquay real estate markets will be considering listing their home for sale. If you are thinking about this, you should give some thought to how you can add a bit of a “wow!” factor to your home simply and without major expense. A few well chosen pieces of art may just do the trick.

In this article, Mandy Molloy-Lee talks about the do and don’ts of choosing art when selling your home. Continue reading

Geelong real estate seminar covered property development

This morning’s Property Success seminar held at John Doe Cafe in Geelong was another outstanding success with a record number of attendees despite the very fresh Geelong winter morning!

This month’s special guest was property developer Tony Anile. Tony’s experience in property development extends over 30 years. In that time Tony has successful completed developments of all shapes and sizes. Continue reading