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The many upsides of upsizing

The Following is an Excerpt from the Original Article: “domain.com.au”, A sprawling backyard, space for a pet, room for a home-gym: The many upsides of upsizing, 13 May 2021 When Noleen Govender and her fiancé Des Leyden decided to upgrade to a three-bedroom apartment, they had a good incentive not to break their budget – […]

The Following is an Excerpt from the Original Article: “domain.com.au”, A sprawling backyard, space for a pet, room for a home-gym: The many upsides of upsizing, 13 May 2021

When Noleen Govender and her fiancé Des Leyden decided to upgrade to a three-bedroom apartment, they had a good incentive not to break their budget – they wanted enough cash left over for a wedding.

So while they planned for their move, carefully built their savings and negotiated over the purchase of their apartment off the plan to ensure the best deal possible, they always kept their finances front of mind.

“I think it was so important not to rush into anything and make sure it was something we weren’t going to regret,” says Noleen. “A mortgage is the biggest investment of your life so it’s important you get everything right.

“And while you can be pressured by agents, who tell you that you have to act quickly so you won’t miss out, you have to remember that if you do, something will always come around again.”

As a result, the couple, both 32, are now blissfully happy with the decisions they made. They were able to pay a little more because of the rock-bottom interest rates and, as a result, have their own dream home: a large, bright apartment with three balconies on the top floor of the Hyecorp Property Group’s Leah building in Lane Cove, on Sydney’s lower north shore.

The pair were previously in a one-bedroom unit in another building by the same developer so had done all their due diligence beforehand to ensure they built quality homes. “We knew they were a company with a good reputation,” says Noleen, who works as a people and culture coordinator. “So that gave us the confidence to buy off the plan, which can normally be a bit scary.

“And we knew exactly what we wanted. We needed more space, and I wanted a proper study to work in that I could close the door at the end of the day. We also wanted a spare room so we could have family to stay – Des’s family is from Ireland and mine are from South Africa – and friends over, as we want to be hospitable and make it a real home. Setting up that room gave me pure joy!”

The extra size has meant they can keep a dog too, a Staffy called Luna, while engineering project manager Des has also set up a gym on one of the balconies. Their only one regret was not opting for underfloor heating for the tiles in the bathroom.  

“But everything else has been perfect,” Noleen says. “We have an amazing place and yet we still have enough money to have a life … and our wedding in November.”

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Buying Your First Home in Syndey’s Skyrocketing Market

The Following is an Excerpt from the Original Article: Domain Reporter, Here’s what you need to know about buying your first home in Sydney’s skyrocketing market, 7 May 2021 It wasn’t the most romantic of proposals. Instead of going down on one knee with a diamond ring, Adam Wilson’s proposition was far more down to […]

The Following is an Excerpt from the Original Article: Domain Reporter, Here’s what you need to know about buying your first home in Sydney’s skyrocketing market, 7 May 2021

It wasn’t the most romantic of proposals. Instead of going down on one knee with a diamond ring, Adam Wilson’s proposition was far more down to earth: how would his girlfriend Rachel Ash feel about tipping in her savings to buy a house with him?

Rachel laughs. “But I said, ‘Sure, no worries!’. It was all a bit spur of the moment. We wanted a home together and he was living with his parents, and I was renting with my brother and sister. So, it seemed like a good idea.”

For first-home buyers today, with sharply rising property prices, painfully limited affordable stock and record competition, there’s not too much room – or cash – left for wine and roses. If they want to get into the market, they have to act as soon as they can, with little fanfare and all their available funds in hand, hopefully augmented by the bank of mum and dad.

“But, it’s been worth it,” says disability support worker Rachel, 24, who, together with spinal unit recreational therapist Adam, 28, moved into their $528,000 two-bedroom townhouse in Constitution Hill, near Parramatta, in January this year. “I’d been looking for somewhere to buy for about seven-and-a-half months but I didn’t want to live in a unit, and it was hard to find something else somewhere we could afford.

“So, when we saw this, we put in an offer two days later, and it was accepted the same day. And, I love it! It’s really nice to have our own space and a backyard and to be able to hang up artwork on our own walls without needing approval.”

Although there is now a range of government incentives to help first home buyers – including the First Home Owner’s Grant (New Homes), and the First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme – coupled with historically low interest rates, it’s had the unintended consequence of often making it much harder for them to break into the market. 

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver confesses to feeling sorry for them. “They’re often getting stumped by the sheer level of demand,” Dr Oliver says. “We’re now seeing the level of finance going to investors creeping up to that for first home buyers, so it’s getting even tougher now.

“The Sydney property market has taken off so fast, there are only some areas where it’s quite calm – like parts of the inner city unit market, or suburbs where there’s an oversupply of new developments – and higher prices mean some buyers are no longer eligible for the grants. And, now some are starting to be wound down anyway, so they’ll have to borrow more, and there will be a time when interest rates rise again.”

There may be many first home buyers now forced into “the barbell strategy”, he says – looking for cheaper homes on the edge of the city or in regional centres where they may be able to work from home. 

Many are indeed going that way. Comparison site Finder surveyed 1028 first-home buyers for their First Home Buyers Report 2021 and found 24 per cent in NSW were prepared to buy in another state to gain a foothold on the housing ladder. 

Finder home loans expert Sarah Megginson said buyers shouldn’t succumb to FOMO and act in haste and repent at leisure. “Focus on your own timeline,” she said. 

“Think about things you can do to cut costs and speed up your deposit savings, and consider going into a joint venture with your parents or siblings. But if you’re still keen to buy sooner rather than later, purchasing interstate could be for you.”

Mortgage Choice broker Scott Partridge also advises potential buyers to prepare early, familiarising themselves with the purchasing process, researching the market, sorting out their finances and considering their options in advance. 

“Some first-home buyers have their heads in the clouds, but others are much more realistic,” he says. “Banks can take a while to approve loans and if you haven’t saved a substantial deposit, it might be the time for a word with mum and dad. And, although you think you might be borrowing a lot, you have to take into account the low interest and the comparative cost of rent.”

Most first-home buyers also face having to make compromises of one sort or another. For Rachel and Adam, that meant having to look farther afield than the location closer to family in the Hills district they would have preferred. For others, like Veronica Rodriguez and her partner Jarrad Richardson, it meant giving up on their first dream of building their own house.

“We got knocked back by a couple of brokers, who said we weren’t quite there yet in terms of savings,” says Veronica, 24, who’s in marketing. “So, we looked around at the market for around five months before buying.”

She and Jarrad, 25, a carpenter, lived at home with their parents in order to save as much money as they could for their deposit, which was tough for them after being together for four-and-a-half years. 

“Our parents were very supportive, but we still couldn’t wait to move out into our own space,” she says. “It was difficult, though. There was a low level of stock around and the market was very competitive.” 

Eventually, they made an offer almost as soon as they viewed a three-bedroom house for $650,000 in Glendenning in the city of Blacktown, and moved there in December. Veronica thinks she’s learnt valuable lessons from the experience.

“I’d advise other first-home buyers not to be scared of jumping in the market early and checking out open homes even when you’re not ready so you get your expectations in order,” she counsels. “Once you have a bit of money saved up, talk to your broker and work on timelines and possibilities. And, be patient: it takes longer to finalise than you may think.”

It’s also important to take a long-term view, believes Andrew Cocks, the managing director of Richardson & Wrench, and not be tempted to splurge too much. While the Finder report found that 35 per cent of first home buyers in NSW were prepared to spend more than $1 million on a house, Mr Cocks says that’s an option only if you’re sure it’s a debt you can service.

“The real issue is making sure that first-home buyers don’t go beyond their means,” he says. “While interest rates are low, and are flagged to continue that way, you should only spend what you know you’ll be able to afford. If you remember that, you won’t get into trouble.”

At the moment, it can be heartbreaking missing out at auctions so often when determined bidders raise the price far beyond the real estate agent’s guide, or when private treaty vendors set a sum way above a home’s real value. The only solution for that, says Adrian Kelly, national president of the ReaI Estate Institute of Australia, is to go along to as many auctions and properties as you possibly can, to get a real grip on accurate prices.

“Then if you’re getting priced out of a particular suburb, don’t be afraid to look farther afield. A suburb nearby that might not be in as much demand now, will probably be in demand later. Look at Sydney’s Redfern. No one used to consider it.”

The other alternative is to buy off the plan, so you’ll know the fixed price before you set your heart on a home. Usually, first-home buyers make up 30 per cent of demand for new apartments; now it’s running at just over 50 per cent, reports developer Hyecorp Property Group managing director Stephen Abolakian. 

“It’s about the gap between house and apartment prices, the availability of stock and the inclusions you can get with apartments, and community facilities,” he says. “As long as you’re buying from a reputable developer, you’re a lot more in control of the process rather than being gazumped or losing out at auction.”

This, indeed, was the plan for Lachlan Rovers, 23, who started checking out property to buy when he was just 19. Four years later, he came across Hyecorp’s new development Elena in Lane Cove, and put down a 5 per cent deposit on a one-bedroom apartment there for $680,000. To be completed later this year, the complex includes an infinity edge pool, landscaped gardens, gym, cafe and cinema. 

“I started working, and saving, as soon as I left school,” says Lachlan, who lives with his parents and works processing DAs in the development industry. “I always wanted to buy a property as soon as I could to work my way up the ladder.”

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Club Willoughby Given Go-Ahead

The Following is an Excerpt from the Original Article: “architectureanddesign.com.au”, Club Willoughby revamp given the go-ahead, 19 March 2021 Club Willoughby’s $95 million redevelopment has received unanimous approval from the Sydney North Planning Panel, in a bid to transform the 52-year-old building into a state-of-the-art facility that will also include a luxury senior living complex […]

The Following is an Excerpt from the Original Article: “architectureanddesign.com.au”, Club Willoughby revamp given the go-ahead, 19 March 2021

Club Willoughby’s $95 million redevelopment has received unanimous approval from the Sydney North Planning Panel, in a bid to transform the 52-year-old building into a state-of-the-art facility that will also include a luxury senior living complex and almost 2,000sqm of open space with memorial gardens.

Developed in conjunction with Hyecorp Property Group, the overhaul will breathe new life into a much loved ex-services club that will utilise the best in sustainable design, coupled with premium club experiences for regular patrons and visitors alike.

Stephen Abolakian, Hyecorp Property Group’s managing director, says that after nearly a decade of planning, both the property developer and Club Willoughby’s board of directors are incredibly excited by the project taking a significant step in the completion process.

“This is such an exciting project that provides both a sustainable future with modern facilities for Club Willoughby and excellent amenities for the Willoughby community – everyone will be able to all come together and connect,” he says.

“An integral part of our planning was to provide high-quality living options allowing people to progress through various life stages and stay within a much-loved neighbourhood.”

The club redevelopment will include multiple restaurants, café, lounge and bar facilities set across three floors. It will also offer a 1,500 sqm multi-purpose area, meeting spaces for community groups as well as a retail component. On the third level there will be an additional 500m2 function room available for the community to hire.

The residential part of the development will include 126 luxury apartments, 102 of which will be designated for over 55-year-olds and the remaining 24 for all age groups. In addition, there will be an aged care facility on the site and a 406-space underground car park.

The high-end seniors living complex will include a concierge, on site management offering a plethora of daily activities, dining facilities, an indoor swimming pool, gym/pilates studio and onsite consulting rooms for a doctor and physiotherapist.

Club Willoughby president Matt Vertzonis says the end result will be a facility the community deserves, and with the support of Willoughby City Council and the State Government, they can now get on with the job.

“It has been a long road to get to this point, and there is still a lot of work needed to complete and occupy the new Club premises,” he says.

“The new Club and Memorial Park will continue the legacy of the Ex-Service members that originally founded the Club in the late 1940’s to be an integral part of our local area and continue being a strong supporter of the many valuable community groups and causes in Willoughby-Chatswood.”

Community consultation for the development of the site, located on the corner of Crabbes Ave and Penshurst Street commenced in 2016 for the draft masterplan. A site compatibility certificate was obtained in 2018 and a DA lodged in September 2019.

The project is expected to commence in late 2021 and will take approximately three years to complete. Expressions of interest for the apartments are due to open shortly.

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New Lane Cove Project Launch

The Following is an Excerpt from the Original Article: “news.com.au”, Hyecorp to launch new Lane Cove apartment project this weekend. Buoyed by strong sales results and inquiry levels in May, one of Lane Cove’s most prolific boutique developers is pushing ahead with its latest project, a 65-apartment complex known as Kira. And in a nod […]

The Following is an Excerpt from the Original Article: “news.com.au”, Hyecorp to launch new Lane Cove apartment project this weekend.

Buoyed by strong sales results and inquiry levels in May, one of Lane Cove’s most prolific boutique developers is pushing ahead with its latest project, a 65-apartment complex known as Kira. And in a nod to the Hyecorp’s long-term association with the community, locals were invited to have the first look at the project last weekend, ahead of the public launch this weekend. More than 200 locals turned out for the sneak peek of the project, which is to be built at 5-7 Mindarie St, Lane Cove.

Kira is the eighth development in Lane Cove for the company in as many years, and joins Leah, Elena, Eva, Ariana, Sevana, Lora, and Eleeza. The most recent is Elena, which comprises 100 apartments and is currently under construction. Managing Director Stephen Abolakian said about 95 per cent of all properties sold to date had gone to owner occupiers. “For us the Lane Cove community has been an integral part of the company for a decade,” he said. “About 70 per cent of our buyers are from the 2066 postcode.”

Hyecorp has also been a strong supporter of many local organisations, including Lane Cove Football Club and Lane Cove Art Society since 2012. “Lane Cove is a very special village with everything you could want to live a very comfortable and connected life,” Mr Abolakian said. “We have been very supported over the years by people buying into our projects and we think that this locals-first offer is a nice way to acknowledge how important our immediate communities are and will continue to be well into the future.”

Mr Abolakian said they were also pleased to see the level of inquiry in their projects. “It is our best inquiry month (May) in two years,” he said. The sales have also been positive,” he said. “It’s not a boom time but we’ve had quite a number of sales,” he said.

Both upsizers and downsizers are the target markets for Kira, with state-of-the-technology included as standard and a host of impressive community facilities including a rooftop entertaining area with an outdoor cinema, outdoor kitchen and dining area, Zen garden, and kids play zone. “We’re taking the meaning of liveability to a whole new level at Kira,” Mr Abolakian said.

Early buyers will have the option to customise and up-spec their apartments, including the ability to amalgamate two apartments into one larger home. The smart home technology includes lighting, airconditioning, appliance control and programming, all through voice activation or via a mobile application.

The kitchens have been designed with top-quality appliances, 40mm stone benchtops, breakfast bars, under bench cupboards which open to the dining room for easy access – as well as extra storage, pull out racks for condiments, pull out pantry and deep drawers. Pre-programmed Nespresso machines add extra convenience with favourite brews available at a single touch.

Prices for one-bedroom apartments start from $650,000, two-bedroom apartments start from $895,000 and three-bedroom apartments start from $1,275,000. Kira is due for completion in November, 2021. A display unit is located at 2/706 Mowbray Rd, Lane Cove, and is open on Saturday from 11am-4pm, and Sunday from 11am-3pm.

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Meet George from Bella Bacio Cafe!

The following is an excerpt from the publication:“Live, Love, Lane Cove” by Hyecorp Property Group Owner George wanted to create a casual, relaxed dining space with Bella Bacio when he opened in 2016. Sit in the outdoor courtyard with your pooch, or in the cosy interior. – How did the café come about? – I […]

The following is an excerpt from the publication:
“Live, Love, Lane Cove” by Hyecorp Property Group

Owner George wanted to create a casual, relaxed dining space with Bella Bacio when he opened in 2016. Sit in the outdoor courtyard with your pooch, or in the cosy interior.

– How did the café come about? –

I grew up in France but while I was living there I made many trips to Italy. I loved the relaxed style of Italian dining and also the language – hence the Italian name, which means beautiful kiss. I wanted to create a community café which reflects the lovely village atmosphere we have in Lane Cove.

– What’s unique about Bella Bacio? –

On my many trips to Italy I developed a love of coffee. So it was really important to me to get the coffee right at Bella Bacio. Once I discovered the taste of organic beans, there was no turning back, so we only serve organic coffee here. You can also buy our beans to take home to make your own. Our mornings are always busy with people grabbing a coffee and breakfast on the way to work. I have really enjoyed getting to know the regulars.

– Tell us about the menu –

The breakfast and brunch menus are very popular and served all day – the eggs benedict, served with smoked salmon and avocado, are a favourite and so are the pancakes. Then there is our Breakfast Bruschetta, Italian influenced with tomato, onion and basil but with the addition of haloumi and poached eggs. The Bacio Bacon and Egg roll is delicious, served with a chilli relish, Dijon and kale. But if it’s a full lunch you’re after then we have dishes like Moroccan style lamb and crispy skin salmon. The burgers are popular too, especially the beer buttered chips that come with them!

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LUXURY APARTMENT DESIGN WILL ALLOW BUYERS TO PERSONALISE

The Following is an Excerpt from the Original Article: “Architecture & Design”, Luxury apartment design will allow buyers to personalise. A new residential development in Lane Cove, NSW offers buyers the flexibility to personalise their future homes to their specific preferences and requirements. Elena Lane Cove, the new luxury apartment project developed by multi award-winning […]

The Following is an Excerpt from the Original Article: “Architecture & Design”, Luxury apartment design will allow buyers to personalise.

A new residential development in Lane Cove, NSW offers buyers the flexibility to personalise their future homes to their specific preferences and requirements.

Elena Lane Cove, the new luxury apartment project developed by multi award-winning developer Hyecorp Property Group, allows buyers to customise their brand new apartments and create bespoke spaces.

Hyecorp’s managing director Stephen Abolakian says, “Buyers want the power to control how they live, and we’re just facilitating their needs with our ‘live your way’ offer at Elena.”Popular options include an outdoor kitchen in the courtyard, custom joinery in the living room, pendant lighting, custom wardrobes, heated bathroom floors and preferred colours for the oak flooring, carpet, wall paint, kitchen cupboards and stone benchtops.

Once these options are finalised by the new owner, Hyecorp takes over the planning, design and execution of all buyer-specified requirements to ensure seamless transition for people moving into their bespoke homes.

The resort-style estate comprises of 106 dwellings over 7 levels, with the location and will offer their future residents lifestyle features and amenities such as an infinity edge pool, gym, cinema, dedicated secure lockers for online deliveries, a pram storage room, as well as a street-facing café.

The apartments are due for completion in late 2021.

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Made-to-Order Becomes the Norm

The Following is an Excerpt from the Original Article: “Financial Review”, Made-to-order apartments are becoming standard. Off-the-plan buyers are being offered unprecedented flexibility to customise their apartments including reconfiguring the entire floor plan for free, as concerns about the quality of new building construction continued to weigh on sales. Elena Lane Cove developer Hyecorp has […]

The Following is an Excerpt from the Original Article: “Financial Review”, Made-to-order apartments are becoming standard.

Off-the-plan buyers are being offered unprecedented flexibility to customise their apartments including reconfiguring the entire floor plan for free, as concerns about the quality of new building construction continued to weigh on sales.

Elena Lane Cove developer Hyecorp has offered buyers complete flexibility to customise their apartments, including changing the floor plans, adding an extra bathroom or amalgamating the apartments.

“We’re calling it ‘live your way’, which is essentially giving buyers full control on how they want to design their homes,” said Hyecorp managing director Stephen Abolakian.

“Buyers have the option to make certain modifications and customisations to their apartments and we offer this service for free.”

“We can do this because we do everything in-house. Obviously, if they want to upgrade the fixtures, then they will pay extra.”

Some developers are even allowing these modifications up until nearly the end of the construction period, which is a distinct change in the approach from when the markets were running hot.

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Hyecorp Property Group’s Sia set for Sutherland

The Following is an Excerpt from the Original Article:“PropertyObserver”, Hyecorp Property Group’s Sia set for Sutherland, 14 July 2017 Developer Hyecorp Property Group are set to build a six storey residential development in Sydney’s southern suburb of Sutherland. The 33 apartment development, named Sia, is located at 66 Glencoe Street features one-bedroom apartments range from […]

The Following is an Excerpt from the Original Article:
“PropertyObserver”, Hyecorp Property Group’s Sia set for Sutherland, 14 July 2017

Developer Hyecorp Property Group are set to build a six storey residential development in Sydney’s southern suburb of Sutherland.

The 33 apartment development, named Sia, is located at 66 Glencoe Street features one-bedroom apartments range from $585,000 to $625,000, two-bedroom apartments priced from $770,000 to $840,000 and three-bedroom penthouse apartments ranging from $1,100,000 – $1,200,000.

Stephen Abolakian, managing director, Hyecorp Property Group said Sutherland was the obvious choice for the group when deciding where to build their first project outside of the lower north shore.

“Hyecorp is now a fast-growing company and there is a limited amount of development sites in the lower north shore, where we have been primarily active,” he says.

“When we were researching which area to expand into, Sutherland was a standout.

“It’s a low-risk area, it’s well-established with a strong population and there is high demand for the right kind of properties.

“We believe Hyecorp is well-placed to fill the gap in the market and the deliver for what Sutherland residents are looking for and Sia is a great example of this.

“We are offering high quality apartments in an area that has all the infrastructure and amenities that residents could want,” he says.

George Benlian, director of sales and acquisitions Hyecorp Property Group said Sia’s pricing was set before the State Government announced its housing affordability package and the company is hoping the development will attract a diverse range of buyers.

“Sutherland doesn’t have a lot of new stock that comes up – the availability of new apartments is very limited,” he says.

“So we anticipate there will be plenty of local buyers and investors attracted to Sia, as well as strong interest from first home buyers from other parts of Sydney, given the generous stamp duty concessions in the Government’s housing affordability package.

“Sutherland is an area that definitely has the potential for more density and growth in the medium-long term, so Hyecorp is thrilled to be coming into the community at this point in time.”

Hyecorp’s in-house architect says key to the design of Sia was maximising both the indoor and outdoor space of each apartment.

“The balconies and outdoor areas are really a continuation of the indoor living spaces to make the most of the views, the breeze and the natural light,” he says.

“Hyecorp prides itself on our attention to detail. For example, the apartments all feature full- size pantries with spice racks, high-quality Bosch appliances, ducted reverse cycle air- conditioning, gas points, high ceilings, high windows and shadowline cornices to include a sense of luxury.”

The grand opening of Sia’s full-fitted display apartment will be held on Saturday 29th July 2017 from 10am to 2pm at level 1, 49-51 Eton Street, Sutherland.

The display apartment will be open Thursdays to Sundays from 10am to 2pm following the grand opening.

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