Real Estate

Reporter: James Thomas

A survey of 8000 Australians by realestate.com.au suggests 81% of us are finding it close to impossible to buy our first home. But maybe we need to think outside the box a little. Most of us won't look outside a 10km radius of where we want to live. If we did, experts say it is possible to live where we want - and own a home.

"There are plenty of good properties out there; people just have to be realistic about what they can afford."Greg Ellis is the CEO realestate.com.au. He says the key to getting ahead is renting where you want to live and buying where you can afford."Make a good capital gain on that if you can and then buy in your affordable suburb. If that is what your dream is"

"We were looking to buy in about 2001 and prices were going mental. $500,000 for a 2 bedroom unrenovated unit it Bondi. There was no way we could afford it and break into that market." says Kim.Kim her husband Kane could only just afford a two bedroom unit in the eastern suburbs of Sydney but the price of a family home was out of reach. So, they needed a different strategy."We've decided to stay in the areas we like and we have decided to buy in areas we can afford to capital raise and hopefully come back to where we see ourselves in the future."

With rental income from their investment offsetting their loan, Kane and Kim can afford a comfortable life in Sydney's eastern suburbs.It has taken the stress out of it. Being able to rent and live where you like has removed that anxiety of trying to get a foothold in.Using the capital from appreciating assets is a well worn strategy assuming your investment does in fact appreciate - but what if the market turns south?"Certainly we don't see any decline in house prices over the long term."

Not all commentators agree with Greg, but you can certainly minimize your risk by investing in the right suburb, by asking the right questions."What properties have sold, how much have they gone for, how many people are looking for properties in that suburb."Greg has done the hard work for you and compiled the hot investment spots for those looking to get their toe into the market.

In Brisbane, buy all means you can live in New Farm, but where you'll see the best return to buy is Laidley, Ipswich, and Toowoomba.

While in New South Wales, sure you can move to Mosman, but if you want to bank balance to match, Invest in Woollongong, Granville, Bathurst, or Orange…

In Victoria, shacking up in St Kilda might suit you best, but the best returns will come from buying properties in Frankston, Warrnambool, and Mildura.

Across the Bass Strait- You can bunk at Battery Point, but to bump up your bottom line, you can buy in Rokeby or Clarendon Vale

In the city of churches, there may well be nowhere greater than Glenelg, but the bargains are in Christie's Beach, Seaford, and Elizabeth.

And in WA, while you can't go past East Perth for lifestyle, Investors are backing the Rockingham and Bunbury

And if you still think it is too hard to jump into the Aussie market, cross the ditch."Investing in New Zealand meant we got into the housing market and we can use that money when we finally sell that."Laureen Matthews could never afford to buy in her dream suburb of Forest Ville. So, she rents here in the hope that her property in New Zealand will be the springboard she needs to get into her dream home.

"The only way we are ever going to get our dream house is to buy and sell and that's if the property market goes our way."Things are going the right way for Kane and Kim. Their investments are working, and they're living where they want.4 different beaches within 5 minutes. parks, aquatic centre, three primary schools with a good reputation and it is a great family area."Right, so you can have cake and eat it?""Hopefully."