Tegan and Luke Bray in their new home.
Tegan and Luke Bray in their new home. Contributed

Why Rocky couple left behind region's 12,728 renters

MOTHER of two, Tegan Bray, won't be jumping back into the renting game any time soon.

After renting two houses in the Rockhampton area, she and her husband decided to leave behind the Rockhampton and Livingstone region's 12,728 other renters and build a home of their own.

New Rental Tenancies Authority figures show rent prices in general are on their way up across much of Central Queensland, including a number of mining towns.

While the average three-bedroom rental in Rockhampton dropped from $280 a week to $270 between December 2016 and December 2017, in other areas prices lifted by close to 10%.

Clermont saw its average three-bedrooom house price rise from $220 to $240, Moranbah went from $210 to $220, Emerald rose $20 to $240 and Blackwater went up from $185 to $190.

A week before Christmas Tegan and her husband Luke moved into their own Cawarral property and they haven't looked back since.

Despite the added expenses of rates and owning costs, Ms Bray, 24, said she is paying around the same amount on her mortgage that she was on her rent.

"Hubby and I always wanted to own our own home," she said.

"We didn't want to pay off someone else's mortgage. We thought we might as well be paying our own and have our own place and land for our kids."

In their previous rental homes, they were paying $350 a week, despite each home being vastly different to the other.

"One was a small Queenslander with a big garage and the other was a bigger house and was brand new with a small yard," Ms Bray said.

"It's a little steep but you've got to pay what you've got to to live in a house to fit your family.

"When we fell pregnant with my first son Mason, it wasn't the affordability as much as it was fitting a family into a place.

"We were in the second house by the time he was born and we had looked at something cheaper, but for $100 or so less a week, we would be downsizing immensely."

To Ms Bray, a major inconvenience besides the wasted cost of renting was the lack of communication between "local property owners and real estate agencies" regarding home repairs.

"We were paying for a house where things were breaking and there was wear and tear in general," she said.

"It's still their property and they weren't maintaining the property but still charging for it.

"The place we just moved out of, they relisted it straight away for the exact price and it's just not worth that.

"It makes you wonder, are they overcharging?"

Ms Bray and her husband hope to one day rent out an investment property to their own tenants.

However, after their less than glamorous experience with rentals, they will be taking a few things into consideration.

"After having to rent myself, I'd definitely take into consideration the upkeep," Ms Bray said.

"I would be very mindful of my property and follow up a lot more.

"Just knowing what I had to go through, I don't want people paying good money to live in a broken house."

The total amount of bonds held for the Rockhampton region was at 7253 in December 2017.

In the Livingstone area it was 5475.

Across CQ, Mackay had 12,887 bonds, the Central Highlands council area 3538 and Gladstone 8257.

The highest rental prices in CQ was in Mackay, where a three-bedroom went to $300 from $280.


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