Norlane - commuter connections, diversity & affordability

Norlane Waterworld’s celebrity status goes beyond its imposing skyline imprint above the boulevard entry to Geelong. In fact, it’s central to one of Geelong’s biggest urban myths. Lifelong scarring etched from razor blade booby-traps while descending the waterslides was de rigueur from the 80’s onwards. Allegedly. But finding actual waterslide victims is as challenging as nailing credibly documented Panther sightings. Yes, the Geelong region enjoys an entertaining folklore.

Norlane is a steady and solid property investor performer with a yield sitting at around 5.5- 6%. Pretty, pretty good. Median rent price trends suggest cashflow positive investment properties are doable, assuming a conservative financing approach with a 20% deposit. Who needs negative gearing! It’s worth noting that yield will absolutely flog any term deposit rates banks are offering for the mid term. Yes, you can find better capital growth returns out there. But at this price point, entry to market is easier here if your budget is limited, regardless of whether you’re an owner-occupier or investor. As an established suburb, Norlane offers the added potential of subdivision opportunities (STCA!) There are plenty of people exercising this approach to get on the property ladder.

Norlane Child and Family Centre

Norlane Child and Family Centre

In some areas of Geelong, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s a chronically white homogenous bubble. The northern suburbs of Geelong offers a more realistic reflection of Australia’s diversity. Diversitat – also known as Geelong Ethnic Communities Council- is a Community organization with a community hub located in Norlane.

The New Norlane development is a part of broader suburban regeneration activities underway in the northern suburbs, encompassing job creation strategies to tackle disadvantage through to neighbourhood beautification and tree planting programs. These all point to value enhancing initiatives that may boost capital growth over time.

Norlane streetscape

Norlane streetscape

The Leisuretime Centre is a pretty great sporting facility. Offering Hockey fields, purpose built Badminton, Basketball and Futsal (indoor soccer) including the Geelong Masters Futsal League for players aged 40+. It’s an affiliated league of the Football Federation Victoria (FFV) and is the only league of its kind in Geelong. There’s also Netball (indoor and outdoor), Squash & Racquetball (best facilities in Geelong if not Victoria) Volleyballl, Taekwondo, Karate, Rollerderby and Street Soccer (outdoor 5 a side).

For junior burgers, there’s little kickers Soccer, Badminton, outdoor Netball, Squash and Racquetball. There’s no shortage of parkland and bike tracks beyond the centre. Further north on Anakie Rd is the Bell Post Shopping Centre. There’s a library on Cox Rd servicing both Norlane and Corio.

The aforementioned Waterworld offers a weekday morning crèche for mama’s looking to sweat it out. There’s group cycle and exercise classes, 25m lap pool and other assorted moving-your-ass’ goodness.

Commuters would be best served in housing located east of Princes Highway. North Shore Station is walking distance from much of here and Labuan Square shops (in all honesty a bit of a scary looking strip) service this neck of the woods.

Northern Bay Secondary Tallis St, Norlane

Northern Bay Secondary Tallis St, Norlane

Primary options include St Thomas Aquinas in Norlane or Bell Park North, Rollins, St Francis Xavier, Northern Bay 1-12 and North Geelong Secondary College in neighbouring suburbs.

In the interests of keeping it real, it’s fair to say that Norlane suffers from some of the same image problems and prejudices as Corio, which low prices allude to. Whether they’re with foundation or not is up to the individual. Like all suburbs, some parts are nicer than others. So ideally seek counsel from someone who actually lives here, or has previously. If panther sightings or waterworld scarring comes up in conversation, back away slowly…

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