In search of hidden gems – here’s how to find them | Everything Property
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In search of hidden gems – here’s how to find them

hidden gems

It may seem like searching for a needle in a haystack, but finding ‘hidden gems’ on the property market is possible, as long as you know where and how to search for them.

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It may seem like searching for a needle in a haystack, but finding ‘hidden gems’ on the property market is possible, as long as you know where and how to search for them.

In the vast and competitive housing market, finding a property that stands out from the rest can be a daunting task, however, they do exist and hidden gems are scattered throughout the market, waiting to be discovered by savvy homebuyers.

According to Claude McKirby, co-principal of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the Southern Suburbs, there are properties with exceptional value, potential, or distinctive features that often go unnoticed by the average buyer. However, finding these hidden gems requires knowledge of what to look for.

“A hidden gem in real estate typically refers to properties with significant potential for value appreciation. These properties possess qualities that may not be immediately apparent to the average buyer, resulting in them being priced lower than comparable properties. As a result, they offer a fantastic investment opportunity.”

McKirby says that these properties generally have one or more of the following traits:

  • Location advantages: Hidden gems can be found in emerging or undervalued neighbourhoods with potential for growth. These areas may also have convenient access to transportation, amenities, schools, and recreational facilities.
  • Unique architectural (or historical) features: These homes often stand out from the cookie-cutter designs and offer a distinctive charm that appeals to buyers seeking character and individuality.
  • Potential for renovation or expansion: A hidden gem can also be a property with untapped potential for renovation or expansion. These homes may require some work but have solid bones, good layout, or ample land that can be transformed into a dream home.

“These are especially good buys if one is trying to build a property portfolio and are therefore worth the time and effort to uncover them,” says McKirby.

He recommends the following steps, with the first being a pivotal starting point for novice investors:

Work with a knowledgeable real estate agent

Partnering with a seasoned real estate agent who understands the local market is crucial in uncovering hidden gems. These professionals comprehend the local market, have access to a network of listings and off-market properties, and possess inside knowledge about emerging neighbourhoods. They can assist you in identifying properties that align with your preferences and budget.

Research extensively

Explore various neighbourhoods, browse online listings, consult with local real estate agents, and attend open houses to gauge the market in your preferred suburbs. By broadening your search beyond popular areas, you increase your chances of finding hidden gems that may be undervalued due to location or limited market exposure.

Evaluate the neighbourhood

A hidden gem could be found in an up-and-coming neighbourhood that hasn’t received widespread attention yet. Keep an eye out for areas undergoing revitalisation, as property prices are anticipated to increase in the future. Factors to consider include proximity to amenities, transportation links, schools, and community development plans. Assessing the neighbourhood’s potential can help in identifying hidden gems with long-term value.

hidden gems

Look for properties with potential

Hidden gems often require vision to recognise their true potential. Look for properties that require cosmetic updates or minor renovations, as they are more likely to be priced lower since they may appear less appealing to the average buyer. With a touch of creativity and investment, these properties can be transformed into stunning homes or profitable investment properties.

Look for unique features

Look for properties with unique features. Properties with potential often possess standout qualities that set them apart, such as architectural details, historical significance, expansive views, or exceptional outdoor spaces. These distinctive qualities often contribute to their value appreciation and make them appealing to buyers who desire something extraordinary.

Seek outdated listings

Properties that have remained on the market for an extended period might possess hidden gem potential. Stale listings can occur due to factors like overpricing, limited marketing, or overlooked features. Such properties may provide an opportunity for negotiation, as sellers may be more motivated to sell.

Attend open houses and estate sales

These can be excellent opportunities to explore hidden gems. Estate sales, in particular, can present unique properties with significant potential, and sellers are often more interested in a quick sale than maximising the price. Maintain an open mind and be willing to invest time in attending these events to discover properties that others may have overlooked.

Tap into local networks

Establishing connections with local residents, real estate agents, and other industry professionals can provide valuable insights and help uncover hidden gems. Local residents often have knowledge about properties that may not be widely advertised or have yet to be listed. Real estate agents specialising in specific neighbourhoods can offer guidance on properties that offer exceptional value but may be off the beaten path.

McKirby concludes, “Remember, these properties may not immediately stand out, but with patience and due diligence, you’ll be well on your way to finding your own hidden gem in the housing market.”

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