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What you need to know when looking to buy a holiday home at the NSW South Coast

Many Canberrans escape inland life during the holidays and head to the South Coast.Many Canberrans escape inland life during the holidays and head to the South Coast. Photo: Khachik Simonian

During the Christmas holidays, a great number of Canberrans journey to the NSW South Coast, escaping the inland life to embrace salt water, sand and sun.

For years this idyllic lifestyle has attracted those from the nation’s capital, with many deciding to buy a place to call their own.

With many Canberrans down the coast, the lure of a holiday house may be stronger.

This Mollymook home at 35 Bushland Avenue is currently listed for $1.35 million.This Mollymook home at 35 Bushland Avenue is currently listed for $1.35 million. Photo: Tucker Real Estate

Allhomes gets the lowdown on buying at the South Coast from First National Real Estate Batemans Bay sales consultant, Luke Allan.

Buy as close to the water as possible

“If you are looking to purchase a holiday home, the closer to the beach the better,” says Allen.

For sale: 100 Pacific Way, Tura Beach is set to be auctioned on January 13.For sale: 100 Pacific Way, Tura Beach is set to be auctioned on January 13. Photo: Kit Goldsworthy

Indeed, the water is a main selling point of the South Coast and homes closer to the water offer better returns on investment in short-term and long-term rentals.

“Typically you can expect prices to increase based on proximity to the beach and quality of the views,” adds Allan.

“People want to be able to see the ocean, smell it or easily walk to it.”

Use the holidays to research but don’t buy until after the end of January 

It might be tempting to buy a house while you’re on holidays but like Canberra, the real estate industry in the South Coast slows down over the festive season. Agents that stay around are often preoccupied with holiday rentals. Allan also adds that due to the nature of the season the turnaround is much slower.

“Solicitors and conveyancers are closed for this period which means very little sold signs are being put up,” he says.

However, if you happen to be down the coast through the end of December and early January, use this time drive around and scope out locations, if you can – organise an inspection.

“The Christmas period tends to be quieter as purchasers are preoccupied with festive activities which make it a good time to look around,” says Allan.

Do your research

As with buying any property, it’s important to do your research. There are a number of areas down the South Coast each offering something different. It’s generally considered the NSW South Coast begins just after Illawarra and finishes at the Victorian border.

“Research the local area and get to know the neighbourhood,” says Allan.

There are three main areas at the South Coast including the City of Shoalhaven (Berry, Nowra, Ulladulla), the Eurobodalla Shire (Bateman’s Bay, Moruya, Narooma) and the Bega Valley (Bega, Eden, Tathra).

Pest and building reports

In the ACT a vendor is required by law to obtain a pest and building report prior to putting their home on the market, however, Allan says this is not the case in NSW.

“It’s the purchaser’s responsibility or choice to gain both pest and building reports,” he says.

Use a holiday manager if you decide to use your home as a short-term rental

Maintaining a holiday house is tough work, particularly if you don’t live in the area.

“If you are time poor with work and family commitments, the last thing on your mind is taking inquiries, managing bookings, cleaning, upkeep of lawns and general maintenance,” says Allan.

“A holiday manager is your go to who ensures the upkeep and return on your investment doesn’t decline.”