​What can you get for $782 000 in Cessnock?

By Jo Chivers
I was reading a media article recently and the story was about finding a suitable property in Sydney and paying just the median price which was around $782,000 (at the time I read the article). 

The story continued as property experts put forward their ideas; a small house in outlying Sydney suburbs like Rockdale but most properties in this price range would be on busy roads and that would be the compromise. 

Another expert recommended inner ring apartments over old terraces or townhouses that would need substantial renovations. He said you could pick up a one bedder for $600-$700k or a two bedder for $775-$900k with expected yields around 4.5%. 

Reading about this expensive Sydney property mentioned in the story got me thinking about what you could buy for the same price if you drove two hours north of Sydney to the Lower Hunter Region of NSW.  Depending on which city you chose, your $782,000 would stretch to an impressive acreage or farm.  

In the city of Cessnock you could buy three houses, each for $260k each (around this city’s median price). They would be on large 800sqm blocks with 3 bedrooms and each rent for around $300 per week delivering a 6% +gross yield. Or you could buy two larger, newer homes or a really beautiful house within a golf resort and even a commercial property.

In the city of Maitland you could buy a luxury restored heritage home built at the turn of the century with manicured gardens, a 6 bedroom homestead on acreage, or two substantial, almost new houses in new land estates each on 750sqm of land. 

Or you could develop land and build a dual occupancy – for around $782k your budget would cover building two 4 bedroom homes on a larger corner block with a Torrens Title subdivision. 

The big difference between buying multiple or larger properties with your budget compared to building two dwellings yourself would be the equity creation and depreciation benefits. You see if you used your $782k to add value, you would create about $120,000 in equity within a year and get around $25,000 in depreciation in year 1 (using the diminishing method). 

I know what I’d chose if I had a lazy $782,000 to spend particularly if I was an investor...hmmm a two bedroom unit in Sydney or a four bedroom dual occupancy project in the fast growing city of Maitland?  

Oh and another very important thing to note. The Hunter was a big winner in the NSW Budget. This week it was announced that the Hunter Region gets $100 million to top up the Hunter Infrastructure Fund:


Plus more than $300 million had already been announced for Hunter projects ahead of the budget including $280 million for the last link of the Newcastle inner-city bypass, $20 million to rebuild the Hunter Sports High School, $6 million allocated towards the Glendale interchange and $3 million for the planning of a new Maitland Hospital amongst many others. 

Infrastructure spend is one of the key indicators that an area is earmarked for growth. 

“I was bitten by the property bug, there was no turning back.”

Jo Chivers proves that women can indeed have it all- a career that you are passionate about and a family.  While all of this sounds great, it does require hard work, dedication, perseverance and a bit of risk-taking.

Jo’s love of property development inspired her to leave her corporate career and pursue her true passion. After educating herself in property investing, she started building up her own property portfolio. After purchasing a few blue chip properties in Sydney, she soon realised how negatively geared they were and began researching outside of Sydney. She discovered a more affordable, large region of NSW where she completed her first property development.  Soon her friends were asking her to find them sites and manage their developments. 

She realised there was a need for an all encompassing project management service and her business Property Bloom™ was born.  Ten years down the track, she has developed over 60 properties for clients, creating literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity and high end yields.