Wahroonga family hopes spring will bring them a new home

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Ben and Nadine Davis with son Bryce, 8, and daughter Harper, 21 months, in Wahroonga Park at Wahroonga.

Since June, the Davis family have spent more than 60 hours trying to secure a new home.

Every Saturday they spend some four hours at open homes, and then another hour every Wednesday. And then there are the hours spent trawling the internet, sending emails and making phone calls.

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It’s a sign of the times — low stock means strong competition, and the family are determined to find the right home at the right price.

Ben and Nadine Davis sold their Wahroonga townhouse at auction in July.

Mrs Davis said the townhouse was no longer suitable for a family of four — daughter Harper was born in 2017, while son Bryce, is eight.

“We also always wanted to have a garden big enough for the kids and their friends to kick a ball and for me to have a vegetable patch,” she said.

“We started searching as soon as we put our place on the market in June as we were hoping of selling prior auction.

“We ideally do not want to venture out of Wahroonga as our son goes to primary school here however North Turramurra and St Ives Chase are the other suburbs we are also looking into.”

While they have come close to finding a new home in recent weeks, the lack of stock on the market is proving a challenge. And in one case their offer wasn’t sufficient to seal a deal.

Ben and Nadine Davis with son Bryce, 8, and daughter Harper, 21 months.

Mrs Davis said they were hoping the traditional spring selling season would bring more properties to the market — and they are ready with their wish list firmly in hand.

“Our new house will need to have four bedrooms plus a study, living area, dining area, generous size kitchen, two-car garage and a big enough garden and deck,” she said.

“Natural light is also very important.”

The family have been renting in Wahroonga while househunting, but have to move out later this month.

“We are lucky enough that my husband’s parents have offered us to live at their house until we buy, however we would love to have a new place by Christmas,” Mrs Davis said.

All signs are pointing to the family achieving their goal, with local agents reporting increased stock levels in the pipeline. Although Anna Cavill, of Ray White Upper North Shore, said it hadn’t been easy.

“I have a good pipeline at the moment as I worked hard through Winter to have a good August but there are a lot of conversations happening too and there’s a fair bit coming on soon as the overall vibe is optimistic,” she said.

“I am expecting to have a strong spring as there’s definitely renewed buyer confidence.”

There are currently 33 houses for sale in Wahroonga according to realestate.com.au and Ms Cavill has a few of these listings.

Among them is 125 Lucinda Ave, a charming four-bedroom family home (pictured) on a 1514sqm block. It is scheduled to go to auction on September 14, with a guide of $1,700,000-$1,800,000.

125 Lucinda Ave, Wahroonga.

Ms Cavill said that up until recently, sellers had no incentive to list their homes during the previous 18 months unless they had to.

“There’s always going to be people selling because of their circumstances — births, deaths and marriages,” she said.

“But we haven’t seen as many people who would sell for an opportunity in the last 18 months.

“I don’t expect to see any slow down in prices as more stock comes on but then again, it will depend on the quality of the stock. Prices are moving but it all depends on the offering as to by how much.”

She said buyers would be well advised to ensure their finances were in order so they could move quickly when they found something they liked.

This was a sentiment echoed by Mrs Davis, who had some other advice for buyers based on their own experiences.

“Make a list of all the criteria that you want to have in new home and inspect the ones which have most of those criteria,” she said.

“Price guides are usually $100,000 to $150,000 lower than the expected vendors’ selling price.

“Check the estimated property value prior to visiting the house to verify if price guide is accurate. And ask for realtors to show you properties that fit your criteria before they go on the market.”

Ms Cavill said forming a relationship with an agent who specialised in the area a buyer was interested in should not be underestimated.

“Working with an agent really helps you too by matching buyers to the property,” she said.

“Matching buyers is half the job of a good real estate agent. That’s why you should work with someone who has the runs on the board — particularly who has negotiated a lot of sales over the last 18 months or more.”

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