Real Estate

the school of hard knocks is a fun schoolae

Written by The ReReport

David Bromley is a “keen, impulsive and obsessed” property buyer.

David Bromley is one of Australia’s best-known artists

Where do you live?

In Hepburn Springs, in a place resembling the Swiss Family Robinson house, with my awesome wife, Yuge, and two of my six children, Wen and Bei Bel.

What property do you own?

I own a few pieces of eccentric real estate that were bought from the heart, not the head, including a pub in Ballarat called The Pub With Two Names.

What do you love most about your home?

That it is a home, not a house. I am obsessed with gardening. My garden has real beauty (well, it’s coming along) and the birds are returning in droves. The house is cold in winter and hot in summer but has a lot of character — it’s probably a home, though, because it has my family in it and they are the best.

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David and Yuge Bromley.

Have you changed anything?

We tend to live with most things. There’s some mad plumbing and electrics and some holes in walls, including a round one. I love industrial linoleum and have put a lot of that in, along with a TV that folds down from the roof.

One more thing you’d change?

I’m always looking in magazines and books and want to do something different every day.

How many homes have you ever lived in?

Too many to remember — it has got to be over 30. I’m more settled, though, now; so that’ll slow down — maybe.

Your first foot on the property ladder?

An old train warehouse in Bowden, in Adelaide, that I lived in. It had corrugated-iron and timber framework and the outside was chicken wire rendered over with concrete.

Are you a keen or reluctant property buyer?

Keen — impulsive and obsessed.

Bromley in action.

How many homes have you ever bought and ever sold?

I’ve bought a few warehouses and a lot of scary projects. And sold almost as many as I have bought.

Highlights of your property journey?

Without sounding sentimental, where I am now and what I’m doing now is the highlight of my journey.

The lowlights?

No lowlights. I love learning and some of the most insane challenges are how I’ve learnt. The school of hard knocks is a fun school.

Any tips for homebuyers?

If the bones are good, don’t be scared of a place that has surface disadvantages. Think outside the square when chasing properties — rather than going for an area and style that attracts lots of competition, think laterally and you might find today’s bargain and tomorrow’s great investment. Don’t see an auction as a sport or competition. Keep cool — an opportunity of a lifetime comes around again.

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