Five first-home buyer suburbs where affordability and lifestyle converge

Good Food. 14th of November 2017. Labld in Marrickville. Photo: Dominic LorrimerFirst-home owners – whether single, a couple, or a young family – don’t necessarily need a property with a SMEG kitchen and marble benchtops; but they do want to get into the market in a location that will see their home grow in value, and offer a good lifestyle.

For many, even a fixer-upper has been out of reach for the last four years. Fortunately for first home buyers, new developments are springing up everywhere in and around Sydney.

Buyer’s Agent Peter Kelaher, owner of PK properties Sydney, believes the next three years will be an exciting time for first-home buyers. “There’s an oversupply of new units coming onto the market, so developers will be forced by the banks to meet the market price wise ??? it will be very interesting,” says Kelaher.

Even now, first-home buyers can find a sweet deal in Sydney in a great neighbourhood. Here are our top five picks.

1. Waitara

608/39-47 Orara Street, Waitara NSW Price guide: $690,000 to $720,000

Waitara is the most liveable suburb on the leafy green upper north shore, according to the 2016 Domain’s Liveability study, and has plenty to offer first-home buyers. Just over 70 per cent of long-term residents are families, meaning primary schools and even local shops put on regular events, and plenty of community support is on offer for parents.

Peter Kelaher has been selling in the area for 20 years. “Waitara has really good access to all the private schools, great rail access to the north shore, out to Parramatta and up to the central coast, and it’s a five-minute drive to Hornsby Westfield and shopping district. New unit properties offer bushland and district views,” he says.

Kelaher says Waitara is on the verge of big things. Residential development in Waitara is peaking, making it a great spot to invest: “Basically there’s no more land to build units on up there, so once everything is sucked up you are in a position where you can’t have anything else built up against you.”

2. Marrickville

7/7 Henson Street, Marrickville NSW Price guide: $699,500

For those first-home owners who want to be close to the action, Inner West gem Marrickville offers easy access to the city via train, plus loads of action close to home, with its multicultural heritage of Vietnamese and Greek families who still run friendly groceries, and a new wave of hip cafes, wine bars and restaurants.

The Property Sellers’ Kate Webster is a local Marrickville resident and sells a lot of homes to young families. “There are slightly larger blocks and more freestanding homes [than other inner west suburbs], leafy broad streets and wide, stroller friendly footpaths,” she says.

Good Food. 14th of November 2017. Labld in Marrickville. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

“I moved here when I had my first child,” says Webster; “I bought a two bedroom freestanding house for the same price I sold my one bedroom Bondi flat and never looked back. My kids are now 20 and 19, they love the area and they do not want to move.”

3. Botany

27/24 Chelmsford Avenue, Botany NSW Price guide: $635,000

Botany in south eastern Sydney might just be the city’s best kept secret. Adjacent to the two kilometre bayside suburb of Brighton-le-Sands, most of the former industrial suburb is now residential with both older homes and new unit complexes.

Just 10 kilometres from the city, five minutes from Maroubra and nudging the inner west, Botany attracts buyers who want the eastern suburbs lifestyle without the price tag.

Ausin Group’s Natalie Stathis is selling spacious new units in at Pemberton on the park development and feels that the suburb is becoming the next Newtown.

Botany Bay. Photo: Ben Rushton/Fairfax Media.

“When I was a kid growing up in the eastern suburbs, you wouldn’t have thought to move to Botany, but now it’s a no brainer!” she says; “Why not? With the proximity to the CBD and airport and Sydney’s best university [UNSW] plus good high schools like Sydney boys and Sydney girls, Botany is really undervalued.”

“The suburb is changing really quickly” says Stathis “but it’s so friendly, it’s really still like a small town.”

4. North Parramatta

52/34 Albert Street, North Parramatta NSW Price guide: $650,000-$700,000

Parramatta, once a farming settlement and now the geographical heart of Sydney is the cultural centre of the west, with sensational arts and dining, excellent infrastructure including train and ferry access to Sydney and a thriving multicultural community.

Deanna Martinez is a mother of three and finds Parramatta to be a family friendly hub: “We’re half an hour from the city. My family has a farm in Mudgee so we go out there a lot. There’s a lot on for families in our area as well a lot of kid friendly places we go to, with a cr??che where the mums can sit down and have a coffee,” she says.

Across the river, leafier North Parramatta offers first-home buyers the chance to invest in a little more space. “North Parra” is packed with heritage listed buildings, has lovely parks and is connected to Parramatta CBD by Church Street and its eclectic dining scene.

5. Richmond

32 Valder Ave, Richmond NSW Price guide: $665,000 to $695,000

Leafy Richmond on the Hawkesbury River at the foot of the Blue Mountains offers a taste of bush country life, a little more than an hour to Sydney and just under an hour from Parramatta.

Home to an air force base and university campus, buyers’ agent Peter Kelaher says an increasing amount of land is becoming available around Richmond, “The government has been going nuts with regards to land releases and people are able to get themselves a very nice sized block for a reasonable price,” he says.

US immigrant Heather Torrey was living in Pyrmont with water views but when she started a family she decided to move.

“The rent continued to climb while we were spending at least six hours a week driving out to Richmond to ride our horses during the polo season,” says Torrey. “For the same weekly cost, we moved from our 3 bedroom, 175 square-metre apartment rental to a 5 bedroom 315 square-metre Richmond home. Day care went from $120 per day to $84. We were welcomed to the neighbourhood with a fruit basket.”

Torrey says the village of Richmond is just as convenient as Pyrmont: “Shopping, cafes and public transport are still a 10-minute walk. We don’t have bridge views anymore, but we can see the stars at night and have the freedom to make our space our home.”

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