ARTICLE Persephone Nicholas
Recognised as ‘the world’s most liveable city in 2011,’ Joondalup has plenty to offer residents and visitors. Stunning Indian Ocean beaches, a wealth of outdoor attractions and sports facilities, excellent infrastructure and amenities, plus a lively city centre, help keep the local community busy and entertained.
According to Government website, Joondalup, this area was originally home to the Oor-dal-kalla people, the family group of an Aboriginal elder who was highly regarded in Nyoongar culture. The Nyoongar named the area ‘Doondalup,’ meaning ‘the lake that glistens.’
Lake Joondalup was a source of food and inspiration for the Nyoongar people. When the European settlers arrive they set up market gardens, poultry farms and piggeries and established vineyards too. Local families would go to the coast to fish and swim during the hot months of summer and although infrastructure was limited, the area became quite popular.
By the 1970s the State Government had developed plans for a commercial, civic and cultural hub in Perth’s northern corridor. The goal was to create a self-sustaining community, supported by public transport, and minimise environmental impact. The Government’s strategy was very progressive for the era and Joondalup was the first new town in Australia to be designed using the three-line principle encompassing economic, social and environmental sustainability.
In the 1980s, the Joondalup Development Corporation was established with the aim of creating: ‘a community of which Western Australians can be proud – a community integrated with the natural resources of Joondalup, while providing the amenities required of modern living with land prices within reach of the average buyer.’
With these admirable goals in place, residential suburbs started to develop around the city. Now, several decades later, Joondalup is part of the rapidly expanding northwest corridor of Perth. Its southern boundary sits just 15kms from Perth’s CBD, it has a population of 168,000 and is home to one of the largest local governments in WA.
Property prices here are moderate. The median house price was $543,500 at time of writing (April 2016), which is down around 5% since this time last year, but prices are starting to stabilise.
Renovating in a buyers’ market
Most of the residential property in Joondalup was built in the last 40 years, which gives renovators here more scope than they would typically have if renovating a heritage property. However, if you are renovating with a view to selling relatively quickly, it pays to do your homework and see which types of renovation projects are most likely to deliver the best return.
Kathy Moore, who represents Century 21 Active Realty in Joondalup, says it’s a very family oriented area. She also says it’s a buyers’ market here at the moment and that prospective purchasers “want everything.” She advises renovators to priorities kitchens and bathrooms and points out that the feature brickwork that was once fashionable here is no longer popular.
So covering that gyprock and plastering over it can be a relatively straightforward route to improving a property’s appeal. Kathy adds that solar panels are another feature buyers are starting to look for, as many are keen to contain their future energy costs.
You may also want to consider installing rainwater tanks. Water is precious in WA and, with proper plumbing, the water collected can be used for flushing toilets, as well as backyard irrigation.
Judging by the TV schedules, Australia’s enthusiasm for renovating is as strong as ever. The media and internet can be a great source of inspiration and tips, but try not to be too swayed by current trends. In 2014, Westpac’s Renovation Report showed the average renovation spend in WA was $33,365. But no matter how large or small your budget, classic styles and tones, for kitchens and bathrooms in particular, are a wise choice. You’re less likely to tire of them and they’ll appeal to a greater number of potential buyers and tenants too.
Renovating for a Mediterranean climate
Taking account of Joondalup’s ‘Mediterranean’ type climate is a must for any significant renovation project. Optimising passive solar heating and cooling will make your home more comfortable for more of the year without relying on artificial climate control and can save you hundreds of dollars on your energy bills.
Government website YourHome has plenty of ideas on how to reduce your need for artificial heating and cooling. They include orienting your property appropriately, making sure new windows are sized, positioned, shaded and draft-proofed properly and installing ceiling fans in living and sleeping areas. You may want to seek the advice of a renovation builder about this.
The value of trees
It’s worth noting the city supports residents keen to make the streetscape greener and will supply and plant trees on residential verges free of charge at the property owner’s request. This is a real bonus as research into the effect of street trees on property value in Perth in 2012, showed a broad-leafed tree located on a verge in front of a home increases the median property price by around $17,0001.
You may also want to consider planting an extra tree or two in your backyard. Well-positioned trees can help cool the house, as well as the garden and act as natural windbreaks too. Choose native trees and under plant them with native plants for a hardy, low-maintenance and water wise backyard. For more tips visit the Water Corporation website.
1 The effect of street trees on property value in Perth, Western Australia. Landscape and Urban Planning, research paper, 2012, Elsevier.
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*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.
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