ARTICLE Persephone Nicholas
Known for its spectacular coastal scenery and laidback, community-focused lifestyle, Mandurah is Western Australia’s second largest city and is located in the heart of the beautiful Peel region, around 72km south of Perth’s CBD.
Originally inhabited by the Noongar people, who called it ‘Mandjar’ meaning ‘meeting place,’ Mandurah as it is known today is indeed a place for meeting. It centres around the esplanade of Mandjar Bay, which brings locals and visitors together to enjoy the cafes, restaurants, picnic and barbeque facilities. It’s a meeting place for wildlife too – dolphins can often be spotted in the bay and the area is famous for its abundant estuarine crabs.
Mandurah has grown significantly in the last 25-30 years and now has a growing population of more than 83,000. Realestate.com.au describes it as: ‘a town of two-halves: flashy marina-side townhouses and apartments, and suburban back-blocks with family homes from 1960’s onwards.’
Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated city style property or a home to raise a family, property here is good value. Prices have come down lately – the median price for a three-bedroom house is now $310,000 according to realestate.com.au. Although it’s harder to profit from a quick renovation in this buyers’ market, it does mean your budget will go further than it would have a few years ago.
The right renovation
Real estate agent Kevin Hodge of OneAgency Peter Robinson Group in Mandurah, says renovators could be well positioned to take advantage of the slower property market, where less desirable properties, such as those with unrenovated kitchens and bathrooms, are taking longer to sell and are priced accordingly.
“Nobody wants to do the work,” he explains.
For those that have got the renovation bug, Kevin suggests looking for properties in the coastal suburb of Halls Head. He says the older style properties here hold their value better than others. He also says it’s important to think about your priorities when renovating.
“People always want good-sized bedrooms and most people are looking for at least two bathrooms.”
Kevin adds that updating kitchens and bathrooms and giving them a “modern look” is essential. For those with a budget for a few luxuries, he says feature (gas-fired) fireplaces are popular and entertainment options are worth considering.
“Everyone wants a theatre room these days. They look at a house and think: ‘what can I turn into a theatre room?’” he says.
While home theatres may create a wow factor, we’d suggest they should come low on the list of priorities. If you’ve bought a house from the 1960s for example, make sure the roof is in good condition before you think about anything else.
Houses from this era aren’t known for their architectural calibre, but they do have some advantages. They’re often on good-sized blocks, which boosts their appeal to families, so think about creating good indoor/outdoor flow and maximising useability of the outdoor space with a deck and shaded areas for eating and relaxing outside.
Something that can freshen up your outdoor area is by laying new turf. An appealing backyard will make your home feel more spacious and, if and when you come to sell, research shows your investment will pay dividends.
Making the most of Mandurah’s climate
Like Perth, Mandurah has a pleasant Mediterranean type climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. This type of climate presents excellent opportunities for solar passive heating and cooling, so be sure to discuss this with your renovation builder when planning your renovation.
Effective insulation is one of the keys to making your property more sustainable. Substantial renovations, which require removing the roof or opening external walls, are a great opportunity to upgrade insulation and make your home more comfortable (cooler in summer and warmer in winter) and save energy.
Geoff Marsdon, General Manager of Bondor, an Australian manufacturer of insulated building panels, says property owners are wising up to the advantages of properly insulating their homes.
“Homeowners across the country are recognising the significance of constructing insulated homes, where a well-insulated roof can save the average Australian family 45% on heating and cooling and a further 20% can be saved with wall insulation.”
Geoff suggests renovators consider options, such as Bondor’s Equitilt® wall panelling and SolarSpan® roof sheeting, which exceed the Building Code of Australia’s current six-star thermal efficiency requirement.
“Bondor’s products include complete thermal building solutions and lightweight architectural panels that exceed building industry and consumer requirements for energy efficient and space saving materials. They are fast and easy to construct and can save renovators time and money,” says Geoff.
He adds that the company’s locations include Canning Vale, around 60km or 45 minutes’ drive from Mandurah.
Reducing the risk of fire
Mandurah’s property owners have clear responsibilities when it comes to fire prevention. These vary according to plot size. For example, all landowners must install firebreaks by November 17 each year and all owners of property in urban areas and/or with block sizes of less than 2023 square metres, must remove dead vegetation and flammable material on the property, and cut all grass to a maximum height of 4cm. For more detailed information, visit the Mandurah Government website.
Building in Mandurah
A building permit is needed for any building work, alterations or additions. If the total value of the work exceeds $20,000, permits will only be issued to a registered builder or owner building. For more information, visit the Mandurah Government website.
If you would like to discuss options and ideas for renovating in Mandurah, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.