Since we’ve been bashing you all over your heads with all sorts of stuff about our new investment- from trouble with the mortgage, to initial AGM stress – we thought we’d let you see what all the fuss has been about.
We put a deposit down on an off-the-plan apartment in Kiama before Covid, planning to maybe downsize in Sydney, leave a bolthole in the city and spend most of our time on the south coast.
Kiama had just been voted the most liveable town in Australia, so who were we to argue?
The developer was impressive, his previous unit blocks were still standing and we liked the location (at the other end of the train line that runs through Kings Cross).
Then Covid happened, and weather, and material shortages and a lack of skilled labour. Three years later, here we are with a brand new flat to our names.
Now, the good news is that the building seems to be fine – it’s well designed and constructed, as far as we can tell. It’s also under three storeys high so it is covered by Home Building Warranty insurance.
About two-thirds of the residents have moved in and they seem to be mostly either retirees or young professionals. There’s certainly a lot of experience and wisdom on the newly formed strata committee and we will get stuff done.
Despite a few quibbles – pretty much sorted out now – the developer, St Trinity, seem to be a decent bunch and let the initial AGM run the way the majority of owners had planned.
The strata managers seem competent and engaged – although that might be the “Flat Chat fear factor”. Okay, maybe they would have done the right thing anyway.
However, for us, three years is a long time in our game. The Flat Chat and Mild Rover websites are both at pivot points and both need a bit of focus.
Sue has a new book coming out next year – a true story about a family that had to flee Putin’s Russia – and she is already well into another historical fiction novel as well as doing a ton of property writing, mostly for Domain.
I have, or I should say James Dunbar has a contract for another two thrillers, one of which will be a sequel to Mole Creek.
So the grand Kiama plan is very much on hold and we’re not sure what to do. It’s a lovely flat with views to the ocean and the hills, amazingly high ceilings and northern light filling the living room thanks to a clever architectural feature.
We also installed timber-look tiles which look even better than we imagined, and of course, are hard-wearing, being ceramic. Honestly you couldn’t tell they’re not timber, just by looking.
We’ve got it up for sale at the moment – and it’s by far the best unit available in the complex – but there are still a lot of cheaper flats leftover from the original sales push and they’re muddying the waters a little.
We’re in no rush to sell because we know what the property is worth. If we don’t sell within a reasonable time, we’ll put tenants in. What we definitely won’t be doing is putting it on Airbnb or leaving it to lie empty. For us, with all our various campaigns, that would be hypocrisy of the highest order.
We were trying to define for Sam, our real estate agent what kind of person would buy or rent there. What we came up with was, people just like us who “get” apartment living, who want to live in a little seaside town but don’t want all the flats around them to be holiday lets.
So take a look around the property online – you can even take a virtual tour – and if you happen to find yourself in Kiama on a Saturday morning, drop in and say hi to Sam (details on that link).