Postcard from Highway One #45: Outbid

10 April 2005

As good as my word, and in case you were wondering, this postcard sets out to explain my recent spontaneous jaunt to Port Hedland in the north of Western Australia.

My sister Heather's recent foray into the real estate market (we spent today doing the actual physical moving into the new house), got me thinking about rental returns available in the north of the state as a result of the pairing of the booming mining sector with a shortage of quality accommodation. Talking to my cousin Cairn in Karratha, she told me about a block of apartments that, as recently as a year ago, were selling for $80-$9OK. These could be financed for as little as $550 per month against rental of between $1200-$1600. That's a profit of somewhere between $650-$1,050/month! Of course, there would be additional costs such as property rates and taxes, but even so, it still looked like a great deal.

So when I spotted an apartment for sale over the Easter weekend, I was on a plane up there faster than you could say, "Doh!"

Unfortunately, I wasn't the only one who knew a good thing when he saw it. By the time I got to see the agent on the Tuesday afternoon, another offer had been submitted, and a full-on bidding war had erupted by the time I got the documents Monday of this week. In the end, the apartment sold for considerably more than the asking price of $130K which was already inflated over last years prices.

I could have played that game too, but I felt the offer I submitted already ran things a little close to the wire, and the idea of a carrying an apartment mortgage and expenses close to $1,000/month if tenants became scarce, or even just a sizeable top up of the rent to cover the mortgage, made me quite nervous when taken on top of my existing committments.

So now, for pictures! I snapped some photos of the place while I was there. So you get to see what COULD have been my latest cash cow. It could also have been a source of great stress. Or perhaps that's just me being philosophical about not winning on a good deal? Whatever!

Cheers, Rob ;)

Approaching from Welsh Street

Internal courtyard shelters from the hot tropical sun under shade sails

Lush courtyard growth

Suede finish to the living room walls and new furniture and home entertainment system were a major plus

Not much to be said about this stunning kitchen

All furniture and appliances throughout the apartment were included, with even crockery and cuttlery in the kitchen cabinets for a tenant to just walk in and take up residence!

A northward vista across the South Hedland suburb of Lawson


© Rob Morgan 2005