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  • Writer's pictureJanneke

To buy or to rent? That's the question!

Anyone thinking of moving has pondered this question “do I buy straight away or move and rent first”? There’s really no one correct answer but here’s some of our thoughts.
Buying or Renting on the Gold Coast

When we moved from Sydney to the Gold Coast we bought straight away. It certainly wasn't easy, and it's not for everyone, but it worked for us.


There were a couple of reasons why we decided to purchase rather than rent first:

  1. The number and quality of the houses available for rent in the area was very poor

  2. We didn't want to move twice, or have the cost of moving twice

  3. We knew we wanted to live close to the kids' school (walking/cycling distance), and didn't want to have to move schools again in the case that we'd find ourselves having to move suburbs after renting

  4. The real estate market in the southern area of the Gold Coast where we were looking is very strong and growing, so we thought we'd better just get in the market, knowing that we could probably sell without a loss

  5. Having lived in rentals for years, we were yearning to own our own property, that we could decorate to our own taste and style

You'll have to work out what works for you. Look at what's important for you. See how secure you feel in your decision to move. Research the suburbs, real estate market or get advice (we can help with this). Keep an eye on rentals and properties for sale to get an idea of what and how much is available. Here are some pros and cons to consider while you decide.


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PROS & CONS of buying vs renting


Buying PROS:

  • Only move once and only wear the cost of moving once

  • You're settled and done and can get on with your life and enjoy your weekends spent at the beach rather then traipsing through open-homes

  • You build equity over time as the value of the property increases and you pay off the mortgage

  • Unlike in a rental, you can decorate and remodel your home as you like

Buying CONS:

  • Hard to look for real estate and visit open homes when you're interstate or overseas

  • You’re pretty committed once you’ve bought a house, the only way to move is to sell up or rent out (which on average on the GC yields a very healthy 3.8%)

  • Bigger financial risk (although the Gold Coast has a pretty strong and resilient real-estate market, so you’ll likely be able to sell up without a loss)

Renting PROS:

  • Lower financial risk

  • Apart from the rental contract period, you can easily move at any time

  • Easier to search for real estate when you’re close and can go and look at houses that come on the market each week

  • Time to get to know the suburbs, the good and the bad. You essentially try before you buy.

Renting CONS:

  • Although it depends on your requirements and the suburb, the Gold Coast is tough and competitive (some would even say impossible) when it comes to rentals

  • If you’re ultimately looking to buy then you’ll have the cost & hassle of moving house twice

  • You're at the mercy of a landlord, if they decide to end the lease you're out, and generally rents increase every lease-cycle so your livings costs are likely to go up every year

  • Many consider renting dead money, instead of paying of your own mortgage, you're paying your landlord's mortgage

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