Today spelt the end of a long saga for a questionable property that we have managed. It was sad for us but also very instructive. A Property Manager’s opinion of a property should never affect the way the agency deals with that property; they should always do their very best for it. In the case of this property in question we agreed with the owner and liked the property but in the end the market said, NO!
In property management we naturally set out to get quality tenants and to mazimise the return on a property for a landlord but for this property there were too many obstacles.
Every house has pluses and minuses but the cemetery across the road added to all the other minuses to become the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I personally liked the idea of the cemetery because it meant fewer neighbours and fewer cars in the street and I thought it was charming, even peaceful with all the headstones so close to the house. But now having struggled so long to find a tenant and having spoken to so many people about their thoughts it seems to me that maybe 50% of the population disagrees with my opinion on cemeteries.
Whereas to me cemeteries conjure up notions of contemplation, resolution and peace there are a lot of people who have very macabre view points. This may have a bit to do with religious and cultural perspectives.
Now obviously every cemetery has houses all around it that sell and rent ok but at some point the market price can be affected just like for houses on major highways. I would never want to live on South Road but thousands do and they are obviously satisfied with the price they paid to either purchase or rent but a major road remains a factor that pushes prices down. I just never fully appreciated the impact cemeteries have on some people because there are comparatively few around. It’s worth noting that by far the majority with negative opinions were immigrants from non-Christian backgrounds and it’s also interesting that many people from these backgrounds so not mind living on busy main roads.
There is obviously no right or wrong in these things just preference but if you are an investor you need to pay attention to these things. As an investor I would never buy near a main road, or near factories but now I would add to my no go list, cemeteries, unless you get an awesome price.
So, if I had another place to rent or sell next to a cemetery would I take it on? … of course; but this time I would be a bit more skeptical.
When selling or renting you need to understand who your likely buyer or renter is. For the property I was trying to rent we knew the likely client was going to be an international student or recent new Australian but we found most of them hated cemeteries. We knew our tenant profile but we couldn’t do anything to change the property to suite them. This is the key to any sale or rental.
As I mentioned before, this property had other hurdles that were fighting against us. It had a tiny fridge alcove and a wall partition between the kitchen and lounge that made it impossible to fit a normal sized dining table.
Maybe worst of all it had a back yard where the neighbour had a right of way so he could get to his carport. Imagine showing the property to female students as the middle aged male neighbour comes strolling through in his dressing gown with a cup of coffee. I won’t even mention the landlord’s tradie literally painting in his underwear as I was doing an inspection. There were more issues here but I think you get the point.
Finally, as if to put us all out of our misery, the owner changed their objectives and pulled it off the market. The fact is every place will rent and every place will sell, it’s just a matter of price.
Right now I’m thinking of my next article, “JUST COS YOU HATE IT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S BAD!”
But that’s another story.