In this series, The Australian Financial Review chats to a recent home buyer about where they bought and why – as well as the practical details, such as how much the property cost, if they got what they wanted, and just how hard (or easy) the process was – to give readers a taste of what the market is like.
Meet David Basile (42) and Victoria Upegui (48).
David Basile and Victoria Upegui bought a one-bedroom apartment in Randwick but hope to eventually afford a house. Oscar Colman
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I [David] am a builder who primarily works on insurance jobs and wife Victoria is a stay-at-home mum. We have been married for seven years and have two children, aged three and six, together. We are currently living in an apartment in Sydney’s eastern suburb of Vaucluse.
What was the process like?
We’ve always spoken about buying a property, but my wife was born in a different country and I come from a family that has never owned property. So we sat on it for a long time as we were worried about doing the wrong thing, which is why we tapped a buyer’s agent – Luis Lequerica.
In hindsight, getting a buyer’s agent really helped nudge us off the cliff to buy our first property. Otherwise, we might not have bought anything.
We initially hoped to buy a family home with multiple bedrooms to live in. But we quickly came to the realisation, like many Australians, that we needed to buy something smaller first.
Since we couldn’t afford for the size of house that we wanted to live in, we searched for an investment property instead, with the hope that it would give us the capital down the line to get that bigger home.
3/85 Cowper St, Randwick. The one-bedroom apartment is set to earn $850 a week in March for David and Victoria Basile. 
What did you end up buying (and how)?
We bought a one-bedroom apartment in Randwick last year. It was an off-market deal brought to us by our buyer’s agent. We paid $850,000.
The big thing about this place was it fit our criteria. The criteria was that if it was an apartment, it had to be in a smaller block. It also needed a car space and had to be a certain size, depending on how many bedrooms. At 75 square metres, we felt that was quite spacious for a one-bedroom apartment in Randwick.
Are you affected by higher mortgage repayments?
We aren’t living in the Randwick apartment and we rented it out immediately. We are still living in the same Vaucluse apartment that we’ve lived in for five years.
At the moment, we're getting $750 a week in rent and our agents already said that they want to increase that by another $100 in March. That's really good as it means we're increasing our return on investment already.
With that rent coming in, the mortgage is only costing us about $130 a week. We’re really comfortable with that amount of money. We’re thankful about that as with everything going on with inflation, the new apartment means our savings aren’t sitting in the bank and losing value any more.
Give us a snapshot of the market.
I think Sydney's eastern suburbs is a unique property market where I don't ever see values dropping.
But that also means lots of people are probably struggling to find a home, especially with the lack of new homes. What I can tell you as a builder who does work for insurers, I've noticed many builders that normally work on new home builds coming into my line of work.
New home builds are really drying out, which means everyone is vying for existing supply since there's not much new stuff coming through.
If you, or a client, has recently bought, and you’d like to share your story, please get in touch at
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