Earnings, Stock markets and Investing :: World finance

Ballan spaceship home hits market for 145 million

IT LOOKS like something you would see in a science-fiction movie.

This spaceship-looking alien home, called The Dome, has become a bizarre local attraction in Ballan in Victoria, a small town about 80km northwest of Melbourne, and now it is up for sale.

Dubbed by locals as the igloo, the spaceship, and even the Teletubbies house, it was built in 2008 by Tony Clarke, a migration agent, who attended a DIY dome-building course in Texas in 2001. Dome structures are known to extremely energy efficient and weatherproof, often being used as hurricane or earthquake shelters.

There is no other house like it in Australia. They can withstand tornadoes, earthquakes, bushfires and termites, Mr Clarke told the Herald Sun last year.

You hear about weatherboard houses burning down. Every time you see a natural calamity someone has had their house ripped to pieces.

Mr Clarkes dome home sits on 5.66 acres of land and features six bedrooms, five bathrooms and five living areas, including the kitchen.

The house uses wind and solar energy for electricity, but has a diesel back up, and has a gas connection. And because of its unique construction, selling agents Real Private claim heating use is about a third of a normal house.

According to its online listing, The Dome would suit a large family or bed and breakfast. It is on the market for $1.45 million.

All the tourists like it it creates half the tourism for the town, Mr Clarke told the span Herald Sun.

Buyers can use the ripple effect to help predict where prices will start growing

AS the population grows and cities spread outwards, property prices rise in up-market and sought after suburbs close to beaches and the CBD.

People either want to minimise time spent travelling to work, or want to live by the beach for lifestyle reasons once the weekend rolls around.

Eventually, the property prices in those suburbs increase so much that people who would once have been able to afford to live there become priced out.

When buyers can no longer get into their first choice locations, they turn to nearby suburbs where prices have not begun to rise yet for the next best option.

That influx then sees the next best or bridesmaid suburb become more sought after and the property market there has a surge of its own.

Suddenly, the suburbs next to that original hip inner-city postcode start to see warehouses converted into advertising studios, cafes begin to spring up, workshops close down, and hipsters enter the area and begin sitting on milk crates and drinking rum from vintage jam jars.

This is known as the ripple effect, something property investors keep a close eye on. When prices in a popular location are on the grow, a savvy investor might buy property in a bridesmaid suburb, which eventually has its own price surge and earns good capital growth.

They are then ahead of the tide and can use equity gained from the ripple effect to put a deposit down on more property.

Homeowners can benefit too. Rather than pay big money for a house just a few minutes walk from the train station, you might be able to get something much cheaper that happens to be a 10-minute drive away.

Eventually, your own suburb is equally sought after and youre sitting pretty, while other buyers have to look for the next best option.

Every popular suburb in Australian capitals has cheaper neighbourhoods on its outskirts. These are the areas that offer value to homebuyers, both in the present and in the future.

Overextending your budget on a property in a suburb that has already experienced major growth is like a double-whammy compared to going below budget in a lesser known suburb, because once the latter experiences growth, you earn money on top of the cash you already saved.