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Ben Kingsley Blog post by Ben Kingsley

Owner Occupier Appeal: Seven Overlooked Aspects

Hi, Ben here. In this how-to session I want to explore the concept of how we chase down capital growth. Now, if you’ve listened to Bryce’s or my how-to videos before, or checked us out on our podcast The Property Couch, you would know we talk heavily about owner-occupier appeal. We believe owner-occupier appeal pushes the value of property higher so we get that capital growth return. Why is that? Well, it’s because owner-occupiers buy with their heart, instead of their heads.

Now, we know a property has to be practical. It needs to be in the right location for the amenities we’re looking for and also have the natural things we need, such as; the number of bedrooms to meet the size of the family, bathrooms, car parking and those types of things. But what I’m really talking about here are some of the subtle sorts of differences. The sorts of differences that come together and give me a great sense of why I want to buy this property where, exactly it holds its owner-occupier appeal.

So in this how-to session, I’m talking about my top seven reasons why I find a property has high owner-occupier appeal and makes for great investment grade buying.

The first reason is the property’s street presence. So if you going to a property inspection, step back and consider, how attractive is it from the street? It’s a really important thing because I want that first impression to be a good one. I’m looking at the street, but then I’m looking at the actual property, thinking, is it boxy? Does it look like it’s been pushed onto the site, or does it feel like it owns the land that it’s on? Am I walking up through a garden to the main veranda and then on to an open-door setting? That first street appeal becomes really important to me.

The next one I’m thinking about when inspecting a property is its natural light. I’m looking for a sense of openness and natural light coming through. I don’t want dark, pokey and boxy with small windows, which aren’t getting any light in, because I’m going to feel like the property will be cold and sort of dark. Hence, it’s really important that the natural light is there.

And this, of course, leads to openness. Do I get a sense that this house is open? Do I get the feeling that there’s a beautiful hallway, and I’ve got two bedrooms that are nice and big in size, and I have enough space? Same with the bathrooms and the toilets. Are they pokey? Or are they Oh, they weren’t really thought through! It’s really important, for me, to get that sense of openness.

Now, part of that sense of openness—and what we’re seeing in property trends— is a connection between the indoor and the outdoor. There’s got to be an alfresco type of area. So I’m definitely looking for patios and other entertainment areas.

As we analyse these human interests and human behaviour connections, we notice that socialising at home has become a big part of our needs. So it’s really important to me that I see this sort of openness and this alfresco indoor/outdoor area.

Another thing I’m looking for is, what’s the natural ventilation like? I want to be able to open up the house to get a nice flow of fresh air coming through the property. I don’t want the musty smell or the feeling that it’s cold and damp. I want natural ventilation to come through. Again, these are the little, soft things I’m looking for … and what owner-occupiers look at.

The next thing I want to talk about is floor plan. What is the perfect floor plan? Potentially, I prefer my sleeping zones away from my entertainment zones. The perfect formula, in my view, is having living zones on one end; and the services that give blocked-in noise, at the other. You might have the bathroom, the laundry or the storage section—these areas block that sound barrier—which then lead into the indoor living, and then the outdoor entertainment area. That to me is that perfect formula of how I’d want a floor plan to flow. What I don’t want is a bedroom right next to the video or movie room, or next to the dining room because, obviously, I’m going to get a lot of noise coming through. That bedroom may potentially be made redundant as a result—so we want to try and keep the bedrooms away from those entertainment and high-noise zones.

Finally, number seven for me is storage. What sort of storage have I got? Sometimes, this is forgotten because houses are presented really well during the selling process. They’ve been decluttered because they want to be seen in their best light. So when you’re looking at the property, make sure you consider what type of storage is available. Have I got enough linen press space? Have I got enough space to store all of the things that are going to make this house a home for me?

Now if you get this formula right, in the right location; you are going to get a property that has high emotional appeal. And when it has high emotional appeal, you are usually going to see the property outperform, particularly from a capital growth point of view.

I hope you enjoyed this how-to session.

Categories: Buyers Agents

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