|Spot the odd one out?|
|Sold 2 months ago $720,000|
|Market Value Approx $450,000|
I started my property research in Austin, Texas by walking around the entire downtown area. Unlike Brisbane, Austin does not have high density apartment buildings in it's CBD. In Brisbane there seems to be one high-rise going up after another with a lot of new apartment developments on the go. This could create an over-supply. Austin however is yet to see a wave of inner-city apartment development, but it's coming. There are several under construction and more planned. Austin is where Brisbane was 10-15 years ago with minor or no inner city apartments. Now the skyline in Austin is going to dramatically change. I was amused at the sign outside one of these inner city construction sites and one of the safety requirements, something you would not see in Australia. Can you spot the odd one out?
In terms of houses, decent areas, close to downtown, parks, public transport, shops and restaurants will always command a good price and hold their value. This is the same for anywhere you go in the world, the location, location, location formula holds true.
The first house (middle picture) sold recently for just over $700,000. It is in an area called Zilker Park, South Austin. It is once again in a superior location, close to parks, transport, restaurants and is only 4-5 minutes drive from downtown Austin. It was renovated to convert it from one story to two story's and this basically doubled it's worth as all houses in the street are just one story.
The second property is across the street from the first property and has been renovated but remains one story. Whilst the properties are not huge (2-3 bedrooms, small block) it's their location to the centre of Austin and surrounding amenities that reflect their value.
These are actual photos taken by myself from walking around and inspecting the area and the properties. Austin property prices increased by 8% in the last 12 months and the average house price is $452,000.
You can certainly purchase a cheap property in the USA, but you will get a poor property, in a below average area and in a poor tenant market. Don't be enticed by the propaganda you may read about jumping on a plane and buying a good property in the US for $98,000. You will be buying a headache. The same rules apply here just as they apply anywhere else. Does it mean you can't find an under-valued, quality property in the US? No, you can, but like in Australia and anywhere else in the world, you MUST put in the sweat-equity and due diligence and find them yourself. Prosperity rewards those who work hard, not those who are lazy.
I will off today looking and more apartment developments to see what you get and what they sell for. I will also be giving you my Top 5 Tips for buying a property in the US, uncovered by my research. So if you're thinking of buying a property in the US, then DON'T miss my next post.