Many of us would love a country or beach house to sneak off to whenever we have a free weekend or are in need of a holiday, yet Australian housing prices often make this a distant dream. However, one way to circumvent such budgetary realities is to consider purchasing or building a home with relatives or friends.
In this instance, it makes sense to select a house for your vacation property as they will almost always have a higher yield and post steady growth, while units have recently performed more slowly and in some cases declined in value. If you’re struggling to justify a purchase of an entire house that may only get used for several weeks a year, building with family or friends can also save costs on insurance, utilities, maintenance and rates alongside your joint mortgage. Not only do you have the option to holiday in tandem or separately from your loved ones depending on your schedules (or mood), but you also have the option to externally advertise it as a holiday sublet on sites such as Airbnb, HomeAway or through a local realtor.
But where to build or buy? Obviously, this will depend on your needs. New home builders in the Warragul area, for example, have noted the trend towards family-friendly living in the region. This is reflected in the town’s demographics which show that 10% of the population is under 14 years of age, almost double the amount of any other age bracket in the area. As a location that’s 93km from the city, it also represents a convenient location for short getaways that still offers greenery and agriculture. Locations such as this are also suitable for holiday homes as the house prices are on average $140k below the national average of $485K.
Across the other side of the state, and still below the national average in terms of price, is the central Victorian town of Malmsbury. This former gold rush town, rich with bluestone deposits also has a journey time of approximately 1 hour from Melbourne and has been a hotspot for restaurants and produce in the last few years. With an older median age of 40 years across its 612 inhabitants as recorded in the 2011 census, this quiet town may be just what you want for tranquillity and relaxation when you head away on a mini-break.
If you’re considering a joint purchase with friends and family it is sage advice to enter into a contract or even a less formal Memorandum of Understanding. This document will ideally outline each party’s duties, repayments, allocation of time for stays (if applicable) and most importantly, what the process will involve if one or both contributors want to sell their share and exit the agreement. It may not hurt to have a broad dispute resolution process sketched out also.If it’s a delicate subject, seek legal advice to get a general contractor as a template to guide you and tweak it to suit your needs. Happy holidaying!