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Beach Shack Reno Turns a Six-Figure Profit

  • By The House of Realty Team
  • 08 Oct, 2017

When country music singer Adam Brand found a little house on a tiny block of land in his home suburb of Palm Beach, he knew it was ‘the one’ – the property he could sink his teeth into to restore it to its former glory and turn a six-figure profit at the same time. Sarah Megginson reports

It was the little house on a small block that country music singer Adam Brand jokingly referred to as “The Shack”.

The tiny two-bedroom house was riddled with asbestos and in desperate need of some TLC when Adam found it – and it was exactly what he was looking for.

As a touring artist, Adam is on the road a lot. But in between gigs he found himself with quite a bit of downtime and a strong desire to find a property project to work on.

“Many years ago, I bought a couple of rental properties, did some very basic renovations where I ripped up carpets, repainted and cleaned up the yards,” Adam explains.

“I found that I loved the whole process of finding something rundown that’s dirty and neglected that everyone drives past and looks at the place and thinks they wouldn’t go near it.
I enjoyed pouring love into it, and having people go ‘Wow!’ at the end result.”

He hadn’t yet tackled a major renovation, but with a little time on his hands between tours, “I just needed a good project to sink my teeth into,” he says.

So he bought a house to renovate in his hometown on the Gold Coast.

“It was located in Palm Beach, a beachside suburb, on a very small 408sqm block. It was really a tiny little shack with two bedrooms and one bathroom that was built in the
’50s,” he says.

“It’s on the other side of the highway, something that will make sense to people who know the area – so it’s not on the real fancy side overlooking the beach. But the first dozen avenues in the suburb are basically five minutes’ walk from the cafes in Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth [Avenues], and it’s so close to the water you’re literally a few minutes’ walk away.”

Pounding the pavement in search of property

Adam approached his renovation project in a strategic manner by planning what he wanted to achieve well before he began browsing the classifieds

He estimates he spent around nine months renovating, but he also invested months of time in the lead-up to ensuring that he bought the right property in the first place.

“When buying a property for this type of project I knew it was important to buy in the right area and the right street,” Adam says.

“I identified four streets along that whole strip of Palm Beach that I liked the look of. There were nice trees in the street, not a lot of traffic, central to the cafes, that type of thing. I just drove those streets every day that I was home and it took me about three months to find the house.”

With a goal of finding the worst house in the best street, he felt like he’d struck gold when he happened upon a derelict property on First Avenue – one of his desired streets – with a fresh ‘For sale’ sign on Sunday afternoon.

He immediately called the real estate agent, who was out playing golf and wasn’t returning his calls.

“The sign wasn’t there on Thursday when I left to go and do a few shows, and it was there on Sunday afternoon, so I knew it was a new listing. It fit the bill for what I wanted and I was really keen to make an offer right away, but the agent wasn’t getting back to me. So I went and knocked on the door,” Adam says.

“I said, ‘Your agent is not getting back to me and I want your house!’ When you’re really sure about where you want to buy and you keep an eye on the market, then you’re ready to pounce when the right opportunity comes up. It made the buying process stress-free and very fast; I don’t even know if they’d signed the listing papers!”

The property was listed for $449,000, and Adam moved in with an unconditional contract for $400,000.

“I think being decisive probably helped in that negotiation, and when you go in saying ‘Unconditional offer, here’s a deposit’, you take away all the uncertainty. It’s a straightforward, safe contract.”

Needless to say, the vendor said yes – and Adam settled the purchase within a matter of weeks.

Rolling up sleeves to renovate

After taking possession of the house, Adam realised the scale of the project in front of him, and he knew he couldn’t do it alone.

“I don’t have the tech expertise and training to do it all myself, so I needed a builder certifier, plumber, electrician and other tradies, but I was the offsider to everyone,” he says.

“I had to pretty much gut it and start again. There was asbestos everywhere, so one of the first things I did was to get people in from a demo company to come and take it all out. They ripped everything up and just left some hardwood frames.”

Another immediate concern was removing a “huge, big, ugly tree in the front”, which had three main trunks that were wreaking havoc with the garden. Adam arranged for it to be removed on the day after the property settled.

The following morning, the first of the tradies began arriving.

“I quickly learnt that if you want to make a profit in renovating, you’ve got to roll your sleeves up. From my experience, you have to get in there and get your hands dirty, because that’s how you’re going to save money,” he says.

“I had to pretty much gut it and start again. There was asbestos everywhere”

“I had released an album at the same time, and I was touring, so it was a really busy time. I would go away on tour, land back at the airport, drive back to the house, take off my jeans and jacket and cowboy’s boots – then on went the work boots and off I went to get to work on my property.”

For instance, when the plumber was putting new pipes in, Adam was there digging out the trenches and helping to lay them out.

“I was digging; I was chopping; I was involved in every piece of it. I just wasn’t making the technical decisions,” he adds.

“Every trade that came in, I saved at least one person worth of rates every day, and not only that – I probably shaved off an hour or so in productivity. Tradies usually spend the first hour setting up and the last hour packing up, but I was the one cleaning up and having them ready the next day,” he says.

“It was like a dental surgery: I’d have all the offcuts in a neat pile, all the tools and equipment ready to go.”

Transforming two bedrooms to three.
Adam designed and created the new floor plan for the house, which transformed the tiny ‘shack’ into an attractive and modern three-bedroom home. Each bedroom had its own ensuite, adding two bathrooms to the overall layout.

“Admittedly, I went in with a different mindset and I was probably a little bit too emotional about some things, because I was planning to live there for a while,” he says.

“It I were doing it purely for profit, I could have made a few different choices. I had three bedrooms and every room had to have their own ensuite and a toilet for guests, for instance.

“This probably wasn’t necessary and we could have included one less bathroom. But we ended up with a beautiful, modern beach house with three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, and it achieved a fantastic profit in the end.”

Adam moved through the renovation strategically, doing the internal upgrades before moving into the property, at which point he focused on the landscaping, carports and fencing. He then lived in it for six months before renting it out while he was on tour.

He sold the property less than two and a half years after buying it, achieving a sale price of $705,000 – over $300k more than he paid for it, with a profit of $100,000 after renovation expenses.

“This was my first major project, and it was a real sense of satisfaction when it was finished. You stand back and look at it and think, there was nothing before, and now we’ve got this incredible property.”

Now that the project is behind him, Adam admits that the renovation bug has well and truly bitten and he can’t wait to do it all over again.

“I quickly learnt that if you want to make a profit in renovating, you’ve got to roll your sleeves up. From my experience, you have to get in there and get your hands dirty, because that’s how you’re going to save money”

“I didn’t realise how much I was going to love it. You hear people say, ‘Don’t renovate – there’s so much stress and pressure’. So I thought, I’ll do this once and it’ll sort me out and get it out of my system. But the opposite happened!” he laughs.

“I don’t profess to be vastly experienced, but I know that when I see that sort of stuff it excites me. I love renovating and getting my hands dirty and I’m looking now for my next one to get stuck into.”

ADAM BRAND’S TOP 3 TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL RENOVATION

1.    Get your hands dirty
“You can save time for your tradies by cleaning up after them and having everything organised when they arrive in the morning so they’re not billing you their hourly rate for these tasks. When you chip in like this, every minute they’re on the job is spent actually on the job.”

2.    Skimp on big brands
“You don’t have to go out and spend huge bucks on the top-end brands when renovating, unless it’s a high-end property. You can buy an IKEA or Bunnings kitchen and if you get the combination and colours right, with a nice stone top, it’ll look like a $15,000 kitchen and it’ll cost you $5,000 or $6,000. It’s really about shopping around and looking at all of those products to get the best fit.”

3.    Don’t believe everything you hear
“There are a lot of things you hear along the way in property that other people say, and you sort of take it as gospel. One of those for me was about ants. Someone said to me, ‘Don’t worry – white ants won’t eat hardwood frames; they only like soft wood’. I was very surprised then to discover a big section of about 5m of our hardwood frames chewed out! I asked a few other people and they said that what I had been told was right – the ants will opt for soft wood if given the chance. But if there’s none of that left, they’ll chew right through your hardwood anyway. There’s a good lesson there – not just to listen to everyone’s opinions and old wives’ tales and opinions. Go and get the right ones instead!”

For more articles like this, visit www.yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au

Originally published as: http://www.yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au/property-renovation/beach-shack-renovation-turns-sixfigure-profit-233859.aspx

By The House of Realty Team 16 Oct, 2017

From a funky granny flat in a suburban back yard and architect-designed homes, to a sand bypass system, and a dam that stores the region's drinking water, the Gold Coast Open House 2017, which starts on 4 November, has something for everyone.

The Gold Coast Open House will open 40 buildings to the general public, including heritage treasures and Commonwealth Games-ready sports venues.

Related content: Australia's best architecture: have your say

The region is well known for its interwar and post-war development boom and recreational industries, and the buildings and places in this year's events reflect these influences. The program provide a snapshot of the evolution of architecture on the Gold Coast. Some buildings date as far back as the late 1800s, and the program also includes cutting-edge design by some of the Gold Coast’s top architects.

Gold Coast Open House is a free event and suitable for all ages.

To see the program and to book tickets, visit the Gold Coast Open House web site.

This article was found in The Real Estate Conversation - https://www.therealestateconversation.com.au/2017/10/10/gold-coast-open-house-2017-40-houses-buildin...

By The House of Realty Team 08 Oct, 2017

It was the little house on a small block that country music singer Adam Brand jokingly referred to as “The Shack”.

The tiny two-bedroom house was riddled with asbestos and in desperate need of some TLC when Adam found it – and it was exactly what he was looking for.

As a touring artist, Adam is on the road a lot. But in between gigs he found himself with quite a bit of downtime and a strong desire to find a property project to work on.

“Many years ago, I bought a couple of rental properties, did some very basic renovations where I ripped up carpets, repainted and cleaned up the yards,” Adam explains.

“I found that I loved the whole process of finding something rundown that’s dirty and neglected that everyone drives past and looks at the place and thinks they wouldn’t go near it.
I enjoyed pouring love into it, and having people go ‘Wow!’ at the end result.”

He hadn’t yet tackled a major renovation, but with a little time on his hands between tours, “I just needed a good project to sink my teeth into,” he says.

So he bought a house to renovate in his hometown on the Gold Coast.

“It was located in Palm Beach, a beachside suburb, on a very small 408sqm block. It was really a tiny little shack with two bedrooms and one bathroom that was built in the
’50s,” he says.

“It’s on the other side of the highway, something that will make sense to people who know the area – so it’s not on the real fancy side overlooking the beach. But the first dozen avenues in the suburb are basically five minutes’ walk from the cafes in Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth [Avenues], and it’s so close to the water you’re literally a few minutes’ walk away.”

Pounding the pavement in search of property

Adam approached his renovation project in a strategic manner by planning what he wanted to achieve well before he began browsing the classifieds

By The House of Realty Team 01 Oct, 2017
Article found in: Real Estate Conversation
By The House of Realty Team 26 Sep, 2017
Article written by: The Real Estate Conversation
By The House of Realty Team 24 Sep, 2017

You want to do everything you can to help your home sell for a high price, right? Well, you can put the demolition tools down and take a step back from the bathroom remodel.

Mozo has surveyed over 1,000 Aussies to find out what’s most likely to stop them buying a property, and it turns out small fixes can mean a big difference when it comes to selling your home for a good price.

But it’s not always easy to know where to start - so here are the top 10 things that might turnoff a prospective buyer and some tips on how you can fix them in your home

By The House of Realty Team 18 Sep, 2017

These are the hottest renovation projects in the country this year, and they also have some of the hottest kitchens.

Seven homes, including two from Queensland, made the National Architecture Awards shortlist for Residential Architecture — Houses (Alterations & Additions), with competition described by the jury as being at “its most fierce” this year

By The House of Realty Team 11 Sep, 2017

Building our city

The 'Building our city' project is a long term research and reporting project being undertaken in conjunction with Griffith University’s Urban Research Program that measures how specific parts of the Gold Coast are changing over time. The project will track the benefits of investment in certain areas by the City, the Commonwealth and State Governments, and provide input into public policy decision making as future reports are published.

The methodology is simple. Specific locations are selected; indicators (economic, urban planning, social and environmental) are identified, measured and mapped to establish a baseline. The indicators are then measured again every two years and the results are compared to identify changes. The key to the project is the simplicity and clarity of the presentation of the data in a highly visual report with the aim of making the data accessible for a wide range of stakeholders.

The overall aim is to track the impact of infrastructure planning and investment in these specific locations over time, and to utilise this data to inform future public policy development and decision making, as well as allowing for successes to be measured and communicated.

For further information please contact our Office of City Architect on 07 5582 8875.


Light Rail Corridor - Parkwood to Broadbeach

The Gold Coast light rail project is one of the biggest public transport projects in the country, and the biggest transport infrastructure project ever undertaken on the Gold Coast. As Queensland’s first ever light rail system, it represents a major step forward in transforming the city into a modern, accessible destination. Fast, frequent trams now connect 16 light rail stations along a 13 kilometre route from Broadbeach to Gold Coast University Hospital.

Read the Light Rail Corridor 2013 Baseline Report  to see the statistics prior to the operation of the light rail.

Read the Light Rail Corridor 2015 Status Report to see what’s changed since 2013.

The 'Building our city – Light Rail Corridor 2017 Status Report' will be due for publication in early-mid 2018.


Southport PDA

Southport was declared a Priority Development Area (PDA) in October 2013 with the Southport PDA Development Scheme being approved by the State Government in September 2014, marking a major milestone in planning for the Gold Coast CBD and significantly boosting the City’s plans to revitalise Southport.

Read the Southport PDA 2015 Baseline Report  to find out more about the benefits of this project.

The 'Building our city – Southport PDA 2017 Status Report' will be due for publication in early-mid 2018.


Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct (GCHKP)

The Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct  is a vibrant community where people live, learn and work. The 200 hectare health and knowledge precinct, located at Parklands in Southport, is rapidly growing and includes the state-of-the-art Gold Coast University Hospital, Gold Coast Private Hospital, and Griffith University.

Works have begun for the development of the 29 hectare Commonwealth Games Village (adjacent to Griffith University), which will accommodate 6500 athletes and team officials in the lead up and during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games™ .

Read the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct 2016 Baseline Report  to find out more about the benefits of this project.


Li ght Rail Corridor - Broadbeach to Coolangatta

The Southern Light Rail Corridor will extend the existing route from Broadbeach South station to Coolangatta. Extending the light rail will make it easier to get around the city, reduce congestion on the roads and improve commute times. Connections to residential areas, workplaces and the airport will see continued economic growth, jobs and opportunities. Residents and tourists will benefit from improved access to beaches, parks, dining and entertainment.

The development of the ‘Building our city – Southern Light Rail Corridor 2017 Baseline Report’ is currently under development and is due for publication in early to mid 2018.

By The House of Realty Team 04 Sep, 2017
The true pioneer of Surfers Paradise is James Beattie, who in the 1870s became the first person to farm the area. He sold out not long after to Johann Meyer, who opened the Main Beach Hotel as a tourist destination.

By 1889 the area had been given the name Elston, which it kept until 1933 when, due to lobbying by Jim Cavill, it was renamed Surfers Paradise – also the name of his popular hotel.

When Kinkabool, Surfers Paradise's first highrise, was built in 1959, it signalled the injection of further entrepreneurial spirit and a drive that would soon define the region as Australia's favourite beachside playground.

The next three decades saw a development boom unlike any in the country, a growth spurt that would push Surfers Paradise and the wider Gold Coast (which was named in 1959) from sleepy coastal holiday town to major urban centre.

Today, the Gold Coast – with Surfers Paradise at its heart – is the sixth largest city and fastest-growing region in Australia. Surfers Paradise is now a home to many and a dream holiday destination to many more. It's a place of work for business owners and professionals and still, a timeless beachside playground for one and all.
By The House of Realty Team 27 Aug, 2017

A syndicate that includes former Crocodile Dundee star, Paul Hogan, is set to pay $21 million for Brisbane's Queen's Arms Hotel, on trendy James Street in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley.  

It is understood the syndicate is headed up by Sydney publican and former Lewis Hotels’ head, Peter Ashelford, and Nick Politis.

The new fund is believed to be worth $100m, and recently purchased Tree Tops in Burleigh, and bought the Robert Frazer-Scott’s Boat House Tavern, Coomera, from receivers.

The vendor of the Queen's Arms is Chris Condon.

Condon, who has owned and operated the Queen's Arms Hotel for eight years, recently refurbished the pub to the tune of $5 million, taking particular care to modernise the building, but preserve its history.

It is understood Tony Bargwanna, director hotels Savills Australia, negotiated the sale on behalf of the syndicate, but he declined to comment.

The sale is expected to settle in September.


This article was first published on The Hotel Conversation.

By The House of Realty Team 21 Aug, 2017
BMT has created a list of assets that property investors commonly overlook when claiming depreciation, including garden sheds, exhaust fans, garden watering systems, garbage bins, intercom systems, door closers, and shower curtains
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