Couple loves its little spot on hill

FOR Mackay’s Rowie Uriara and Tony Nemeth, who moved from New Zealand five years ago, buying affordable land and building a home in a nice spot near the beach was at the top of their list.

“We settled in Plantation Palms (Northern Beaches) because it’s a nice friendly spot on a little hill and we got a good price,” Rowie said.

Friendly neighbourhoods, green design and a plot in the Northern Beaches are just some of the things at the top of the list for Mackay homebuyers according to new research by Plantation Palms. The master planned community surveyed 100 of the city’s residents looking to purchase a property this year to source what buyers really want from a new home (see factbox). The research revealed influential factors such as affordable price (96%), good location (94%) and a safe environment (93%) to come out on top with most respondents rating these criteria as a must when buying a property.

A friendly neighbourhood was next on the list (82%), closely followed by a good return on investment (78%). Surprisingly, more than two thirds of respondents stated that a home with a green, low emissions design was a necessity (67%), a result almost on par with buyers looking for facilities for kids, such as parks and play areas (62%).  Rowie and Tony, who have been living in their new home for about a month, moved to Australia five years ago for better working opportunities and chose Mackay for its beautiful warm weather.

“We got the house and land and swimming pool for $530,000 which was a really good buy in a nice area,” Rowie said.

While they looked at property in Paget, buying land in the Northern Beaches came out on top for the pair, who has plans to get married later this year.

“The blocks of land were bigger and we wanted an entertainment area out the back,” Rowie said. “I was really  impressed with our local builders. Reef Properties and Plantation Palms were really helpful in securing our land after the first lot of land we looked at fell through.” Rowie, who loves to cook, said as well as entertaining, having a pool was important to her and her partner to beat the hot summer months in Mackay.”We have our own little beach in the backyard, it will be great in the summer,” she said.

To cut back on costs, Rowie and Tony and their mate Mick Gil lies, along with other friends, have been busy landscaping and erecting a pool fence. “It’s a lot of hard work, we’d probably get a professional to do it next time,” Rowie said.

The study found in regards to transport access, the more than a third of respondents stated that cycle-ways and sufficient public transport in their community is a necessity (40%), while more than two thirds continue to look for easy road access (67%).

Pedestrian-friendly streets and footpaths were most important for 82%. “With the development of new communities in Mackay such as Plantation Palms, homebuyers now have a wider range of ‘essential’ criteria that developers have to take into consideration,” managing director of Xcel Properties and Developer of Plantation Palms, Kim Clarke said.

“A good community is one that appeals to a vast range of individuals and families who have different interests. By listening to the new generation of homebuyer, while staying true to our traditional values, we have been able to achieve this.”

Respondents were also asked to choose their ideal geographical location for their new home. Nearly two thirds selected Mackay’s Northern Beaches (64%), followed by North Mackay (18%). Plantation Palms is one of Mackay’s largest master-planned communities creating more than 2000 homes and saving 4000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year.

For more information on the masterplanned community, visit


Affordable price (96%)

Good location (94%)

Safe environment (93%)

Friendly neighbourhood (82%)

Good return on investment (78%)

Green / emissions design (67%)

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