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Jul 14, 2023

The decision to rent or buy - which suits you best?

Deciding between homeownership and renting is a dilemma that many people face when looking for a place to live. While owning a home can be a sound investment and provide a sense of security, it may not be the best choice for everyone at all stages of life. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of both options to help you make an informed decision. Weighing in your current situation to your decision If you have a stable income and have saved up a significant amount of money, buying a property may be a wise decision. However, if you’re in a transitional phase, such as switching jobs or relationships, renting may be the better option. It’s important to weigh your current circumstances and priorities before making a commitment. Finding the perfect balance between affordability and lifestyle Many people assume that buying a home means sacrificing their disposable income. However, with careful budgeting, both renters and homeowners can afford some luxuries. You don’t have to forgo all of life’s pleasures to become a homeowner or pay rent. Saving by prioritising equity If you decide to buy a property, be aware that the majority of your payments in the first few years will go towards interest. Financial experts recommend paying double the required amount, particularly in the early stages, to reduce your loan duration. This can ultimately save you a significant amount of money in interest payments over time. Planning your future If you’re ready to settle down and have a solid plan in place, owning a home can be a worthwhile investment. However, if you’re uncertain about your future property plans or not keen on being a property investor, it may be best to hold off on buying for now. Continue to build your savings until you’re in a more stable position. Investing in other options might be more appealing for your financial goals. Factoring in maintenance costs to the decision matrix One of the benefits of renting is that the property owner is responsible for repairing and maintaining the property. However, if you’re prepared for the possibility of unexpected expenses, such as a leaky roof or broken appliance, owning a home can be very rewarding. Experts recommend having an emergency repair fund of at least $5,000 before embarking on your home search. Whether you choose to rent or buy depends on your personal circumstances and priorities. Consider your current financial situation, future plans, and willingness to take on the responsibilities of homeownership before making a decision. Get in touch with our team to discuss your options further.

Mar 3, 2023

Borrowing when purchasing property

The key to buying a property in any market is to ensure that you have pre-approval, the funds available to purchase with all additional costs and that you can feasibly service the loan repayments at the current rate and subsequent increases. Purchasing a property is one of the biggest investments that you can make in your life and to avoid potential future stress points, it is crucial to borrow an amount that is within your means and at repayments that are comfortable for your budget. Interest rates will change, as will property markets and waiting for them to decrease may mean missing a property that you fall in love with. Choosing a property that you can afford now can mean getting into a home sooner. Assess your capacity When approaching any debt, it helps to look at it with a healthy and realistic mindset. A lender has a responsibility to assess your affordability based on your circumstances and will use a guide on how much they will lend. You will have a choice over how much you eventually borrow based on what they set as your pre-approval. Look at the monthly repayments on the loan and determine if they are affordable for your needs. If they are not, consider scaling back your property price buying expectations and only borrow what you can afford. Interest rates may rise Banks will increase interest rates in line with market and inflationary changes and when considering how much to borrow, take this into account. While rates will rise, your property purchase will also have the potential to gain equity. When setting up your first mortgage talk to your lender about the options for you to lock in the best possible rate. Also remember that you will have ongoing property running costs like council and water rates, strata levies and other utility costs in addition to repairs and maintenance. Plan for the future Think about what the future may hold for your property plans. You may decide to stay in the property long term, it may be a stepping stone or an addition to a property portfolio or you may need to sell in the shorter term. Property purchase is usually a long-term investment in which case there are gains that can be had over time on your investment. Talk with your financial advisor about an investment path that is right for you. If you have pre-approval and are ready to buy, contact our sales team to help as you get started in your property purchasing journey.

Nov 11, 2022

Pre-settlement inspection: check your checklist twice

Purchasing your first or subsequent homes is a large purchase whether it’s a home to live in or a property that you are using for investment. The pre-settlement inspection is important to ensure that you have ticked all the boxes on your checklist prior to settlement and any issues are addressed. Book in the pre-settlement inspection date Speak with your sales agent and book in a time to carry out the pre-settlement inspection and walk through the property. The sales agent will coordinate a time with the current owner or tenants of the property prior to the date of settlement. Have your reports on hand Familiarise yourself with the contract as well as the pest and building reports prior to your inspection to know what you are looking for. Take copies of the reports to the inspection with you so that you can check off and note any areas of difference. Note any areas of damage or repairs During the inspection ensure that all contract inclusions are with the property and check any repairs that were required to be completed prior to settlement. Note down any concerns or areas that need attention and discuss these with your agent and solicitor who can address any issues with the vendor before settlement takes place. Check appliances, electrics, and plumbing On your walk-through, turn on light switches and check electricity including light globes, rangehoods and oven lights as well as any appliances like dishwashers. Turning on taps, showerheads and checking toilets for functionality can also address any potential concerns prior to the finalisation of the sale. Testing air conditioners and ensuring pool filters are working can address any potentially costly expenses in the early part of your new home ownership. Inspect the gardens and landscaping during inspection Walking around the gardens and outside areas during your inspection will give you the opportunity to check that the property is in good order and that all plants and inclusions have been left at the property. During this inspection, you can also check for any concerns with eaves or guttering, exteriors of windows and leaking taps. For ease you can create a checklist prior to the inspection for reference and check off as you walk through the property. For any concerns that you may have or areas that need to be addressed, speak with our sales team who can clarify items with the vendor as well as the vendor’s solicitor to guarantee that settlement will go through at the agreed date. Buying an investment property? Inform yourself about Compliance Awareness.

Oct 30, 2022

What to expect when buying an established apartment

In choosing to purchase a property, you are investing in one of the biggest purchases in your lifetime. It is important when outlaying considerable finance for an essential purchase that you look for a property that will suit your needs. While some buyers will look for a house or townhouse, or house and land packages to build or purchase an apartment off the plan, the other option to consider is buying a property that is established. Many styles of established apartments are in high demand in some areas such as heritage or art deco properties however in purchasing properties like these, you will need to consider potential repairs, renovations and improvements that may be needed. Property features and conditions In recent years there have been trends to renovate older apartments which may mean that you can walk into a home without needing to carry out any work. It is important to still check these improvements to identify issues that may have occurred with budget DIY work and may lead you to spend on repairs faster than you plan. Check the features of the property and if they check all the boxes that you need and want when purchasing a property or if is there a possibility to modify some of the rooms or fixtures affordably to refurbish the home to your requirements. Layout and space Will the floorplan of the home lend to the interior design and space that you need? Many older apartments will have a more spacious layout with larger room sizes than more modern or new build apartments and the opportunity to adapt rooms to suit your design and living requirements. Appeal and character An older apartment may have more character and appeal for buyers, especially if it has been restored and maintained over the years. One consideration when purchasing an older apartment is the strata levies and potential capital works and it is important to investigate any restorative work that may need to be carried out on the property due to the age and possibility of challenges such as rising damp. Additional features and amenities Established apartments are less likely to have the amenities that newer builds will have and when looking to buy, check for additional inclusions like storage options, gardens and common areas, parking, internal laundries and the structural integrity of the building and balconies. If items like storage or internal laundries are not on the property, can they be installed or added to rooms in the property and are gardens and commons areas maintained through a body corporate employed gardener and cleaner? If you would like to know more about these options when purchasing a property, chat with one of our sales team and they can walk you through the property and talk about potential options that will help you make your decision. Are you considering downsizing to an apartment?

Sep 15, 2022

New home? 5 tips for searching

The hunt for your new home whether it be your first or your fifth home can be overwhelming, especially if you are not prepared. In a strong market, it may also mean that you look through several properties and make many offers before you finally purchase. Determine the type of property Everyone’s journey to homeownership is different and before starting out on the path to looking for your new home, make a list of the requirements that you want or need in a property. Make note of the size of the property that you need including bedrooms and bathrooms, and if you would like a backyard or minimal gardening. Add in your wants, which may be items like pools, gas or electric cooking, storage areas and inclusions. To renovate or not to renovate Consider the type of property that you are looking for and your time. Would you like a property that is a renovator’s delight or something that you can walk into without needing to carry out any work? If you do decide to purchase a property to renovate, you will need to account for additional costs that can come with the work and if you will need to relocate for a period while the renovations are being carried out. Arrange your finance for your new home Speak with your financial advisor prior to researching and heading out on your hunt for a property. Ensure that you have pre-approved finance so that you are ready to make an offer should you find a property that suits your needs and requirements. Look for the location Narrow down the location that you would like to be in. Do you need to be close to school catchment areas, work locations, and public transport or are there certain amenities that are on your must-have list? Once you have decided on the location, you might like to drive around the area and check out the neighbourhood and look at surrounding areas that may be in your budget. Don’t rush the decision about a new home Purchasing a property is a significant purchase and a major life decision. It is wise to consider your decision before you make an offer for the property. When you are inspecting the home, step back and see if you can see yourself living on the property. Does it meet all or most of the requirements that you need or is there more work that would need to be done to the property than you are willing? Above all, trust your gut feeling when you walk into the home. Buying a home can be a very emotional experience and how the property feels when you walk through the front doors, to when you walk around is an important part of the buying journey.