Coombs is a long way from the glittering Gold Coast, and an even longer way from the cultural hub of central Europe, Hungary. Yet, it’s the place Tibor and Krisztina have specifically chosen to call home sweet home. They have just purchased a four bedroom townhouse in the Villa Nova complex in Canberra’s fastest growing suburb. Its stylish simplicity, scenic outlook, convenient location and affordability have made it a desirable option for these veteran property purchasers who have bought and sold countless times over the years, both here and abroad.
How long have you lived in Canberra?
We arrived in early 2015 for a work project for the Department of Community Services. Back then we chose to rent a unit in the city before eventually purchasing in Tuggeranong. We were within walking distance from the office, which made it so convenient and we stayed there for a year before selling. Although initially we didn’t want to stay in Canberra, after four years we started to like it. The infrastructure is great here, and we love having four very different seasons. Plus, the lifestyle is so calm, especially compared to other capital cities.
While we are from Hungary originally, we’ve also lived in Germany for 17 years. We’ve enjoyed a few stints living in Australia – our first one was from 2005 until 2008. We made the move back to Australia in 2013 and settled in Maroubra Beach, within walking distance to the surf, which we loved. Before long, we were tempted by the Gold Coast and still have some properties there. We love Australia and have been so happy to call it home. It really is the best country to live in.
You must miss the surf, coming from living on the Gold Coast and Maroubra? How do you incorporate this love into your Canberra lifestyle?
A typical weekend will see us make the two-hour drive to Batemans Bay, which is our closest beach. We rent a place and the break gives us real balance after a busy week at work. We love it and need it, whether to plan or just escape. You do your best thinking out there, on the water.
We’re passionate about embracing a heathy, active lifestyle, and while we miss having the surf close by, we’re discovering all the other advantages to living in Canberra.
What are some of these advantages you love about your new home suburb, Coombs?
The area is so quiet, and we just love the lake. It’s also a great area for running, cycling or even just walking the dog, with so many parks and trails. You are amongst nature, and it’s just beautiful.
Was it a nerve-wracking experience to buy off-the-plan with Villa Nova?
Having already bought off-the-plan twice before, we knew what to expect. Unfortunately, we learned some lessons the hard way, with two previous, off-the-plan purchases in Greenway which helped us be more aware of what we were getting into. So yes, it’s still always a risk to buy a property this way. However, overall, we’ve felt very happy with this experience. There have been some nice surprises since moving in. We love the carpet, the big living space and the size of the bathrooms. We’re slowly meeting the neighbours and have had our first AGM. Somehow, we’ve said yes to sitting on the executive committee, but that’s a good thing, we think.
How long was the wait between purchasing your townhouse and being able to move in?
We signed the sale contract in July and settlement was around the end of November/beginning December. We’ve just moved in this week, and it’s been a smooth process. It can be scary when you have bought something you can’t physically look at, but we still found the whole process exciting.
As experienced investors, is there a strategy which has helped you decide when to buy and when not to?
It doesn’t matter if we are buying to live in or to invest, we have certain criteria that need to be met. For every property, we ask ourselves “would I live in that property?” If the answer is “yes”, we buy it, otherwise it’s a “no”. This is very important to us. With the properties we’ve bought and sold in Germany and Australia, we’ve used this same criteria and it’s never let us down.
What was it about Villa Nova which made you want this to be your next home?
The beautiful lake views caught our attention immediately and were an important consideration. These, and the location, which is excellent and so central. Working in Tuggeranong means the commute is quick and easy. We’re also only about 15-20 minutes to the city, so we’re close enough but feel we can get away if we need to.
The features of our townhouse have been impressive, especially the north-facing aspect which delivers lots of natural light. We love the 6m wide living room, which is oversized for a townhouse. There’s also ample storage, good sized bedrooms and the bathrooms are pretty large. We’ve also secured one of the townhouses which offers disabled access, meaning the stairs are much wider and the garage is on the same level as the living room. It’s really easy living.
With the location, you feel like you are living amongst nature – it’s just beautiful. Those sunsets and sunrises are something special. We’ll never get tired of those.
So, with the lake only moments from their front door, scenic Stromlo close by, and all the necessary amenities just 10 minutes away, it’s no surprise couples like Tibor and Krisztina have been happy to swap the glittering Gold Coast for the serene Canberra lifestyle. As they say, home is where your heart is, and right now, theirs remains happily ensconced in Coombs. We’re sure they will relish soaking up those spectacular lake sunrises and sunsets over Holdens Creek Pond and the parklands beyond for many years to come.