Buying a house in Adelaide
I thought I would give some background on the property market in Adelaide, so that when a new migrant looks through realestate.com.au or domain.com.au to research the houses on the market, it will be more meaningful and allows for a better understanding of what is on offer.
There are generally 2 distinct markets to look out for:
1. New houses
These are often called courtyard homes (single storey) or townhouses (double storey). They are relatively new, from brand new to about 15 years old. Some of the common characteristics are:
a. Sits on a small plot of land of 350 to 450 sqm. Hence, it has a small garden and backyard. Usually marketed as easy-care and low maintenance.
b. Usually 3BR2b. Sometimes 4BR2b. Master BR has an attached ensuite. Second bathroom is shared by other BRs, which are usually smallish.
c. Typically brick veneer in construction i.e. brick on the outside, and plasterboard walls internally. More recently, new building materials are being introduced for e.g. Hebel Powerpanels.
d. Built on a single concrete slab. i.e. solid floors throughout the house which are laid with tiles or timber strips, or carpeted.
e. 4BR courtyard homes usually has a single covered garage with auto door. 4BR townhouses usually have double garages to allow for 2 cars to be parked side-by-side. 3BR house may have single or double garage depending on the width of the frontage of the house. A double garage is typically worth $50k more in value.
f. Layout of house tend to be long and narrow.
g. Courtyard homes and townhouses would have the modern amenities you would expect of a new house. The kitchen, living and dining rooms are often arranged in an open plan concept at the rear portion of the house.
2. Old houses.
These old houses could be anything from 20 to 60 years old. Some of their common characteristics are:
a. The houses sit on a large plot of land of 700 to 900 sqm. Hence, they have a large garden and backyard, and usually have a huge shed in the backyard.
b. The houses almost always have 3BR1b. Bedrooms are very big with high ceilings. Some BRs even have their own fireplaces.
c. Typically, the houses are of double brick construction i.e. brick walls internally and externally which provides better insulation for noise and cold/heat. Due to movement of the soil (Adelaide soil is pre-dominantly clay), these houses tend to exhibit cracks in the brick walls when movements occurs around the footings.
d. Built on footings at intervals around the house. Flooring is usually floating timber which is hollow underneath and makes noise when one runs on them.
e. Usually do not have covered garages, but may have open carports.
f. The layout of the houses are more squarish. They tend to have separate living, dining, and kitchen areas.
g. Due to the age of the house, most facilities in the house tend to be dated e.g. old fashion tiles, kitchen cabinets and carpets.
The trend is for private developers to buy these old houses, demolish the old house, subdivide the land into 2 individual plots, and build 2 new courtyards homes or townhouses for sale.
Note that when accessing www.realestate.com.au or www.domain.com.au. the photos accompanying the houses may be distorted by wide-angle lenses. Usually, on a physical inspection, one will note that the size of rooms are actually smaller than shown in the online photos.