Property boom paid off for family building dream home

Imigen and Dave Brown and their two sons, Ollie, 5, and Darcy, 3, at home in Miami. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Before the property boom, Dave and Imigen Brown never imagined building their dream home by the beach.
But after selling their Miami house last year for twice what they’d paid, the family’s brand-new resort-style home is under construction on the site of a knockdown they snapped up in the same hot market.
Ms Brown studied interior design and managed the $100,000 renovation of their first Gold Coast property while her pilot husband was away.
They had purchased the three-bedroom house on Bardon Ave for $870,000 in 2016.
It sold for $1.725m last September through Guy Powell, of Harcourts Coastal.
The Browns sold their renovated home for $1.725m in 2021
The Browns paid $1.0625m for an “unliveable shack” on a 405sq m block nearby in July 2021.
It was recently demolished, and the Browns and their two sons, Ollie, 5, and Darcy, 3, are renting in the suburb while their modern Hamptons-inspired home takes shape.
“After we had Darcy, we started to realise we needed more room, but we wanted to buy a new place before we sold in case we got locked out of the market,” Ms Brown said.
“I don’t think building a new home was ever even in our sights until this, and if we didn’t get the incredible price for Bardon Ave.”
PropTrack data shows house prices in Miami were up 24.8 per cent over the year to June to a median of $1.47m. But growth has slowed over the last quarter, with sales prices down 3.14 per cent.
The Brown family is renting across the road while their new home is built. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Mr Powell said Miami was moving through a gentrification phase as more young families moved in to renovate or rebuild original shacks.
“I’ve lived in the suburb for ten years and when I bought in, it was an older demographic and some young families, but that mix is shifting as we are seeing more young buyers coming in and either knocking down or renovating the original homes. The area now has a great youthful energy,” Mr Powell said.
“Probably half the suburb is still shacks so there’s still a lot of opportunity there and that’s where a lot of the growth will be.
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“I expect the suburb will become even more sought-after because there is still really good bang for your buck for people who want the lifestyle of a beachside suburb, but don’t mind crossing the Gold Coast Hwy and walking an extra 100m to be at the beach,” he said.
Mr Powell said around 20 new builds were currently underway in the suburb.
Ms Brown said it was daunting securing a property during the pandemic, when stock remained tight while prices soared in line with frenzied demand, but one that ultimately paid off.
The ‘unliveable shack’ they purchased
“When we first started talking about selling Bardon we thought $1.2m would be a dream so we feel like that’s just set us up for life.”
The Browns also purchased a two-bedroom investment unit in March, and are well-positioned to absorb rising interest rates, she said.

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