Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Real Estalking Again

Gables, stone, shingles.... yep, I could live here.

Ok, so check this out! One of my lovely readers, Leesa, sent this link through to me last night. This home is in Illinois and is only 4 years old. It's on the market for $850,000 USD. Don't you love the photoshopped lawn! I digress.

It's on 800 sqm... so if that block was in Brisbane, within 5 km of the city, you would be looking at paying at least $1000/sqm... $800,000 just for the land, before you put a house on it. Even closer to the city, or in a super nice suburbm a block that big?.... bids would start at $1M+ ... before the house construction is even considered (went to an auction for one a while back....everyone walked away when the opening bid was $1M).


It may not seem a big deal for someone who lives in Illinois... but the features of this home, which seem to be standard, run of the mill, finishes for homes in that hemisphere, are the features that we would kill for here as standard...and are the very features that bring about the blank looks (and the premium prices) from builders down here. "What ya wanna put panelling on the walls for? just in the hall? that'll be  $5000 more, (I kid you not) big skirtings?, an extra $10,000... fancy ceiling?....extra 10, fancy windows? another 30.... waste of time if ya ask me.... aluminium sliders do the job just as good". Quote/unquote. Sigh.


There's my black island bench!

Yeah, basket-weave tile.... probably standard around those parts... while we're all drooling over it down here.


Oh the expense!....to incorporate stone and detailed windows and eave returns and gable vents and nice trims here in Australia. This place would cost close to $2 million here in Brisbane. I do not lie.

And check out the detail supplied in the listing HERE. All you get told in Australia is the very basics: bedroom numbers, living areas... and if you're lucky, they tell you the land size, which is the most relevant factor considering the value is in the land. I notice in listings in the Southern states, garages aren't mentioned in the listings much! Why is that? It's hard finding stuff, let alone affording it!

When you can get a beautiful 2 bedroom apartment in the 7th arr in Paris for much less than a 2 bedroom apartment in West End, Brisbane (that doesn't have views of the Eiffel Tower!)... and you can build this house and land for this price in IL.... it's not hard to say, 'we're being ripped', here in Australia. Even in regional areas, good luck achieving this beauty... for this price.

What are your thoughts? Do you think real estate is becoming ridiculous here in Australia? I do. Yes, that's my opinion, on my blog. Real estate is a rip off in Australia. There. Done. Don't get me started on the price of food... and electricity...

I'm off to Melbourne. I miss my boys already. I'm a bit sad that it is raining. I have given them permission to climb trees in the rain at Gran's. I hope it's cold down Melbourne way. I'll finally get to wear to my winter woolies!

Happy Wednesday!
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33 comments:

  1. Those are not run of the mill finishes at all . That's high end stuff .

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  2. It just doesn't make sense A-M. People consider California (especially the Bay Area) heinously expensive, but it is nothing compared to prices in Australia.

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  3. They're run of the mill if the house and land is only $850K. They're high end here for sure!

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  4. What a wonderful blog! I am in Illinois and Arlington Heights is not to, to, far from me. It is a northern suburb from Chicago and I live in a far west suburb from Chicago. This is a nice home for the price with all its amenities. Still, it is a steep price for a lot of us here in the Midwest too, but, admittedly there are a lot of communities filled to the brim with the same kind of homes. Also, my sister had to move to Iowa a few years ago. Before the recession/depression here there was a big boom for housing in the area she moved to. But, she found that a LOT of the homes the 'boom builders" built were slapped together with lower grade materials like white plastic trim around the doors and ceilings and hollow core doors, which disappointed her because she/they had just finished upgrading their home here with solid wood doors, wood trim, and a great European kitchen. I loved hearing about Australia and will stop to visit you again. Following you on Twitter now too.

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  5. Oh, Amen to that! We're fortunate enough to frequently holiday in The States and every time I get home I suffer the 'we're getting ripped' depression for weeks afterwards. I can park all day at the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica and shop til I drop then pay my $1 for parking on the way out. If I parked in the Myer Centre in Brisbane for an hour I'd have to give them a kidney upon exit!! Why, why, why???

    Have a lovely time in Melbourne.

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  6. i'm in Melbourne, and yep, its bloody freezing!! Layer up and enjoy xx

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  7. Today's post made me laugh, We are currently renovating, and I've just had many of those fights with my builder. He won some, I won some, I got so tired fighting I had to pick my battles. I got my staircase and panelling on the walls, but I had to let the big skirting boards and pretty cornice go (I did get a ceiling rose in the entry).
    Us girls need to become builders!!!

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  8. Hi A-M
    Prices in Melbourne are even more ridiculous...even little generic apartments in my area sell for 600k. Prices are very high in Australia, great if you are a homeowner already but I really worry about my boys buying a home when the time comes.
    Mrs B xxx
    ps...hope you got my email

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  9. Wow!!! I'm packing right now, Illinois I'm coming!! ;-)

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  10. It's a lovely home and I agree, you just don't see those finishes here, especially in Tassie! I am amazed by the price of land in Brisbane. We are only 5kms from the centre of Hobart, on around 750 sqm, but it's not worth anywhere near what it is up there. I often feel very lucky to live where I do, despite the house almost falling apart!
    Have fun in Melbourne :)

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  11. Oh yes AM all of that for $850k is an absolute bargain. Even in tiny regional towns the prices have escalated. And I know what you mean about standard features, having built with higher ceilings, big skirtings, floorboards (what you don't want stick on crappy plastic ones?) oh and the aluminium window thing!!! xx

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  12. Completely agree with you A-M. I'm in Sydney & wanting to buy a house with husband....it's impossible!!

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  13. Oh my gosh A-M! I hear you! I had this discussion the other day, actually I have it regularly with my mate Gerry who designs Kitchens, and my brother in law is an architect. I've built two homes... 8 years apart and oh boy can I even see the difference in that. I grew up in an old QLDer so all of those mouldings and finishes, to me, should be standard as they once were. I actually have a friend living in Illinois funnily enough and her home is STUNNING! And the pricetag was not just quietly! I saw it on the web. She got a BARRRRRRRGAIN! And I mean, A BARGAIN! I cannot believe that my home is worth $150k LESS than when I started it...what the???? Not even worth selling at the minute...why would I give it away! I want all those finishes. I want nice windows, I want timber panelling, I want moulded ceilings, maybe picture rails, etc etc... I like classic...but I can't afford the price tag here in Brisvegas. So I am going to move...Yes, I thought cleverly I'll seek out real estate elsewhere, I'll look at prices of kit homes etc etc.... Ummmmm well even in a two-bit town a basic house is $500K and I can't do basic as there are toooo many of us...back to square one. Think I'll move to Illinois!

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    1. Don't suppose you want up to 6 bedrooms, 14' ceilings, marble fireplaces, french doors and picture rails in a NSW country town for around 400 do you?!!!!! Oh and on half an acre and needs work!!!!!

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  14. That's one beautiful house! It wouldn't even be worth contemplating trying to build something like that here in Brisbane, because as you say, the land alone would start at $1M! Crazy!! I do love your realestalking though...you have a knack of finding the most amazing homes for us to drool over :)

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  15. I think the point it that $850K in the US is high end, where here in OZ, it would hardly buy you a dog house. At least one I would be prepared to live in. We installed a new high end kitchen, put in some bi folds and louvre windows and doors, divided one room and knocked down a wall in another and that was $90K three years ago. Here in Sydney. That also included painting, but still it was pretty expensive for what we got I think
    Carolyn

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  16. You're heading to the land of expensive houses down in Melbourne. Food, rego & flowers were cheaper I remember. Stamp Duty is a killer! I was down in Melbourne last week and it was 6 degrees at 11am with light rain one day. My feet went numb! If you find yourself cold, head into Zara as they have some down coats or better still, into Husk for a rabbit & fur vest. Have fun!

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  17. Have been watching those British shows where they buy at auction cheap, spend five to fifteen thousand pounds to do up with new kitchens and bathrooms, carpet and landscaping then make 20 thousand profit. Got a quote for basic new kitchen and bathroom, for the house I am hoping to buy, $45,000 base and that is a flat pack kitchen. YES we are thoroughly ripped off!!!!

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  18. Yes, ridiculously expensive, not just for the land but for the houses and more so materials if you are building - don't get me started on labour costs. We are ripped off here so badly when it comes to housing, compared to what you get for your money around the world. Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world to buy housing and it's just seems so hard to get ahead. The days of buying your first house then upgrading with each purchase as you go through life, seems an impossible dream now as the cost of buying bigger and better gets further out of reach.

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  19. I feel ripped off! I haunt international real estate websites drooling and scrolling. The prices seem like a beautiful fairy land compared to here where you really don't get anything terrible special for the same price.
    Any sign of Bill yet?

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  20. Have a fab time in Melbourne! I'll get there. One day.

    TDM xx

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  21. It's a beautiful home but is missing one important element - the deck!!!!!

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  22. You've just answered a lot of my questions A-M! I've always wanted a Cape Cod style house but have never even been close to building one. I'm hoping to be able to build/buy a home in the next 5 years or so, and so I've just started to look for info (which, incidentally, is how I recently found your blog!). I've always wondered why people build massive new homes in Australia but the windows are boring, they don't have eaves, they don't include verandahs, they render the outside of it etc etc ... It all looks so ugly to me! I just assumed that people were happy with that boring boxy modern look. I can see now there's a lot more to it :(

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  23. I am salivating over that kitchen A-M. Please do a black island so I can enjoy it. I could manage to live there I suppose.

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  24. Every time I look at US house prices I just about cry. Honestly, you can buy a top of the line mansion for the price of a crappy unrenovated fire hazard on a postage stamp block here. It's just crazy.

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  25. That is the most beautiful house. My company recently furnished a house very similar to that in the blue mountains.. ( not as large, but just as beautiful)
    www.bensonaustralia.com.au

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  26. Hey AM. I think you need to find yourself a good joiner/carpenter and settle down with him. Mates rates!

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  27. I totally agree - I was reading this post http://theletteredcottage.net/greg-tankersley-home-old-cloverdale/ and was totally astounded at how cheap such beautifully detailed and finished homes are. We live in suburban Adelaide in an area with a mix of period brick and stone homes, new builds and plenty of ugly triple fronted orange brick monstrosities - the median price for our suburb is around the $800k mark! (suburban Adelaide?.... It is ridiculous)
    And don't get me started on Aluminium sliders - blergh - and people who replace beautiful original sash or casement windows with aluminiums should be severly punished for crimes against architecture!
    A few years ago I was lucky enough to spend 5 glorious weeks in Connecticutt and on Cape Cod - half of my time was spent drooling over and photographing the amazing houses.

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  28. I can honestly say here in the states prices are crazy high in some places and crazy low in others. Renovation is the same. One time I commented on someones pool prices and made the mistake of saying my pool, just the pool, no decking, no landscaping, no gas line or water fill line, was $60,000.00. I had 3 companies bid and I picked the company I wanted but they were the middle bid. I know many people who are in the same price range and somebody commented that I got ripped off. I should be able to do it for $10,000.
    Also my addition cost over $500,000 and I wonder how some houses sell for $100,000. in some towns. I wonder how they afforded to put on a roof for that much money.
    It is ridiculous what things cost but why should it cost more to put in baseboard and crown molding in AU than USA? Wood is wood, just because they don't usually do it doesn't mean they should charge more. But contractors know to charge more for things they know you want .
    Sorry to go on and on but construction and cost are both things that irk me.

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  29. I wouldn't say those features are standard up here in our hemisphere, but it sounds like people are more willing to build them for you. You still pay extra, but not as much as you do where you're at. Good luck!

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  30. Well thats the price of living in one of the most urbanised countries on earth and an island to boot. Australia has always been more expensive for lots of things but the internet has merely opened our eyes to that - and unlike clothes and minor home furnishings we can't bring building costs down as you can't get a house over the internet.
    But this is a product of our fetish for being a homeowner as much as anything- we have pushed the prices of real estate up - and generally its been a pretty good investment for most of us. Most people tend to buy and sell in the same market and they also tend to upgrade properties once they make inroads into their mortgage.

    You're also fetishing American style houses - there is a long history of people wanting these features in the states so its brought the prices down. It hasn't been the style of homes in Australia and therefore would still constitute a niche market - albeit one which has exploded.

    Frankly I'd rather live in a country with the economic credentials of Australia than nation where houses are abandoned as the mortgage is more than they are worth.

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  31. I love when you write up posts like this. If only the new houses built around Brisbane had this much character and class. Im so sick of new estates popping up with the usual brick or rendered home. Nothing different, nothing new - just looking the same as the rest around it.
    And house prices here are so expensive!

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Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. A-M xx