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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.

Jun 14, 2023

Preparing for a successful property sale: 5 tips

Selling a home involves various considerations ranging from repairs, finding the right agent, presenting the property well, to deciding where to move next. However, there are five additional areas that homeowners should take into account before or during the selling process. These include understanding the current market, building trust with the agent, checking tenant and property history, and providing access details for future owners. Do your research for a successful property sale One of the critical aspects of selling a property is researching the current market. Homeowners should have a good understanding of the property market in their area, including recent sales and pricing trends. They can investigate the real estate portals to get an idea of properties listed or sold in the neighbourhood before engaging an agent to sell. This knowledge can help them come to an agreement on the eventual list price. Establish trust between you and your agent Another crucial factor is building a good relationship with the sales agent. Homeowners need to trust their agent to assist them in making one of the most significant transactions of their lifetime. If they have questions or doubts about the agent’s experience or the process, they should not hesitate to ask for clarification. This way, they can feel comfortable with the process and satisfied with the final sale. Review the obligations of the owner and tenant If the property being sold has a tenant, homeowners should check the tenant and owner obligations with their property manager. This information may include access to the property for inspections and notice periods required once the property sells. Depending on the circumstances, homeowners may choose to sell the property tenanted or provide the tenant with notice before selling. The lease terms and tenancy details should be communicated to the sales agent and solicitor before the sale as this may affect the type of buyer interested and the terms of the contract exchange. Conduct an inventory of keys and access details Before settlement, homeowners should conduct a stocktake on keys and access devices such as garage remotes and alarms. This process will ensure that all keys and devices are handed over to the new owner, including any spare or duplicate keys. In some cases, homeowners may find that some keys do not fit the locks or are missing, requiring them to take action to replace or repair them. Review the property history and requirements Homeowners should check the property’s history and requirements before selling to ensure a successful property sale. There may be caveats or requirements listed over the property that may affect the sale or attract a different type of buyer. For instance, some properties may be heritage-listed, while others may have restrictions over potential development applications or renovations. It is essential to be transparent about this information before the sale so that potential buyers can make informed decisions. Speak with one of our sales agents to stay up-to-date with the latest sales and trends in your area. If you’re unsure whether to keep or sell your property, our sales team can also provide you with the information you need in order to make the best decision. Selling a property with tenants? Tips for keeping your tenants happy during the process.

May 30, 2023

Investing in property? Three things to consider...

Investing in property can be a wise choice due to its potential for strong capital growth and reliable passive income. However, it is essential to understand that property investment is a strategic decision that requires a clear understanding of your goals and objectives. Clearly define your reasons for investing Unlike buying a home, investing in property is not an emotional decision, so it’s essential to know your “why” before investing. Before investing, you should be clear about the duration of the investment, whether you’re looking for a short-term rental return or a long-term investment for retirement. These factors may impact your choice of property and location. Hence, it is important to research the suburbs and properties that match your investment goals. Get clear on your budget To invest in property, you need to have a clear understanding of your financial situation. Lenders evaluate your financial history and expenses, including rates, levies, capital works, and maintenance, to determine how much you can borrow. They also consider the potential income from the property and current and forecast capital growth in the area. This information helps them determine whether the rent will cover expenses or if you’ll need to cover the mortgage repayments and other expenses with a portion of your income. Consider the location Once you have your finance sorted, it’s time to look at the type of property and location. The type of property you choose to invest in will have a significant impact on your obligations for maintenance and upkeep. For instance, an apartment investment will require you to consider strata levies, which can significantly increase your costs each quarter. Additionally, you’ll need to consider the location of the property as this will impact the capital growth and rental yields. All properties require maintenance and upkeep, and investing in property is no exception. Depending on the age of the property, you may need to allocate funds to cover regular maintenance, repairs, and future refurbishments such as paint, carpet, blinds, kitchens, and bathrooms. To ensure the smooth running of your investment property, consider engaging an experienced property manager who can provide expert advice to maximise your investment and take care of the day-to-day operations. After all, investing in property can definitely be a reliable and profitable asset with the potential for strong capital growth and passive income. If you own an investment property, the day-to-day management can be quite challenging. However, an experienced Property Manager can alleviate the stress by providing expert advice and support to optimise your investment. Our property management team can help you find tailored solutions to make the process of owning an investment property seamless. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team to learn more about how we can assist you.

May 22, 2023

Understanding the value of your property

As real estate agents, we understand that valuing your property can be a daunting task. However, it’s crucial to have an accurate understanding of your property’s worth to make informed decisions about selling or refinancing your home. Let’s explore how a residential property is valued and the factors that can affect its valuation price. First and foremost, location plays a critical role in determining a property’s value. Homes in highly sought-after areas with access to transportation, schools, and shopping centres typically have higher values than those in less desirable neighbourhoods. The size of your property and land is another significant factor. Larger properties generally have higher values than smaller ones. The condition of your property is also essential, as well-maintained homes are more valuable than those that require repairs or upgrades. Additionally, amenities like a pool, garden, or garage can significantly impact your home’s value. And finally, market conditions must be considered. During a seller’s market, when demand outstrips supply, property values typically rise. Conversely, during a buyer’s market, when there are more homes for sale than buyers, property values may fall. As a homeowner, there are steps you can take to maximise your property’s value. Maintaining your property is key, and regular upkeep such as fixing leaks, repainting, and replacing outdated appliances can maintain or increase its value. Making upgrades and improvements like adding solar panels, installing air conditioning, or adding a new bathroom, can also help boost your property’s value. Finally, enhancing your home’s curb appeal, by improving landscaping, painting the exterior, or upgrading the front door, can also add significant value. It’s also important to understand the difference between a real estate valuation and a bank evaluation. A real estate valuation (often called an appraisal) is typically conducted to determine the market value of your property. This type of valuation is often requested by property owners who are considering selling their homes or by buyers who want to ensure they’re paying a fair price. A bank evaluation, on the other hand, is conducted by the bank to determine the market value of the property for loan purposes. Banks need to evaluate the risks involved in lending money, so their evaluation may be lower than the actual market value. Understanding the factors that influence your property’s valuation, maintaining and improving your home, and being aware of the differences between real estate and bank evaluations can help you make informed decisions when it comes to selling, refinancing, or applying for a loan. Our team are experts in properties and valuations and can offer you a no obligation-free valuation on your home. We can also help you with suggestions that will increase the value of your property if you are thinking about selling. Call us to organise your free home appraisal or for a discussion with any of your questions.

May 3, 2023

Mortgage stress? Tips to help ease the strain

Changes in the property market, increases in the costs of living and rising interest rates can all contribute toward mortgage stress and while repayments on loans or everyday expenses may rise, there are steps that you can take to help ease the pressures of increased expenses. Health check your budget Before cutting costs, it is wise to sit down and look at your budget. It does not need to be a complex task but should involve noting down the income and expenditure of your household and analysing where your funds are being allocated. You may find that it is a great time to renegotiate with your lender on your mortgage, or other providers for insurance, utilities, while trimming unnecessary other expenses. You might also discover that there are some lax spending habits that could be tightened to relieve some pressure. Purchase when you have the affordability If you are looking to purchase a new property, talk with your financial advisor about your affordability range and the impact that rising interest rates and expenses may have. A financial advisor can also talk you through various financial scenarios and negotiate deals for lending. Knowing your affordability and having pre-approval will also mean that when you are ready to buy, the finance is arranged, and you have a limit for the purchase price of your new home or investment. Seek financial advice Should you need to refinance, talk with your advisor about your options and what is available to you based on the current market, equity in your home and investments, rates, and your income. They will be able to provide you with advice and search for the best deal for you. Talk to your lender about your current repayments and if you are paying monthly, there may be more options to change to fortnightly loan repayments which can have the potential to save you interest in the future. Check your property value While you may not be considering selling, it is good to know how much your property is worth in the current market and learn about the trends. Our sales agents can also assist you with advice on potential improvements that may be needed and help you to uncover potential equity in the home that can assist in refinancing or investment opportunities. For a free, high quality market appraisal, contact our agents to learn more about where your property is positioned.

Apr 6, 2023

Smart Renting: Key Budgeting Areas to Think About

When starting your search for your next rental property, it is essential to keep in mind the associated expenses and budget accordingly, both for moving and ongoing expenses. Be smart about your rental payment and bond To begin with, you should factor in the rental payment and bond. Property managers will evaluate your income and affordability before accepting your rental application. Generally, your gross income should be within 30-35% of the weekly rent. You should use this as a benchmark to ensure that you stay within your budget and do not exceed your financial limits. Additionally, you will have to pay a bond equivalent to four weeks’ rent to the bond authority before you can move in. This payment should be considered when considering your ideal rental property. Be smart about relocation costs Moving expenses such as hiring removalists and cleaners should also be taken into account. Contacting multiple removalists for a quote can help with planning and avoiding any unexpected expenses. Moving costs can quickly add up, so it’s always better to be prepared. Professional cleaners, carpet cleaners, and tradespeople can also be employed to reduce the stress of moving out and expedite the return of your bond. Be smart about consumption costs Apart from moving costs, you should also budget for ongoing expenses, such as electiricy, gas and water usage. Though it may be difficult to budget for these expenses initially, you can use the costs from your previous home or ask energy companies for an estimate based on the property’s size and occupants. After the first month or quarter, you’ll have a clearer idea of what to expect. Additionally, clarifying with the Property Manager or Owner whether electricity, gas, or water is included in the rental price is crucial to avoid confusion and ensure that you understand your obligations. Think about your internet connection Connecting to the internet is another expense you should consider. After moving in, you may want to set up an internet connection. The NBN Co website can help you determine the type of connection available at the property, and you can then research plans from various providers to find the best option for you. Be mindful of insurance Finally, it’s important to note that while the owner may have insurance for the building, your belongings are not covered under their policy. You should look into renter insurance, which is an affordable way to protect your belongings from any incidents or accidents that may occur during your tenancy. Many companies offer renter insurance, so you can compare and find the best option for you. Our office can get you in contact with our preferred providers, so make sure you ask how we can help you when you’re looking for your next rental property.

Apr 3, 2023

Attracting good tenants for your investment property

Owning an investment property is a great way to build equity for your future whether that be planning for the short term or into retirement. One of the challenges to ensuring that your investment runs smoothly is finding a great tenant. A tenant that maintains a clean rental history and looks after the property can reduce any stress around your rental and will ensure that the tenancy ticks along smoothly. Retaining a good tenant ensures that you can minimise a loss in rental returns as the longer a property sits vacant, the more you lose in potential revenue. Meticulous tenancy screening It is part of the Property Managers role to ensure that they carry out thorough reference checking for all applicants on your property and will then communicate their suitability with you. They will also conduct regular routine inspections and provide feedback to you and the tenants where there are concerns that need to be addressed. A key aspect to finding good tenants is maintaining a property that is appealing and priced right to attract the best possible applicants who will take care of the property and pay rent on time. Perfect property presentation Property presentation is important and before renting your property, our property management team can walk through the home with you and provide recommendations on potential improvements that appeal to great tenants. You may need to consider a refresh of interiors like paint, carpet, and blinds or an update to appliances like dishwashers, air conditioners, dryers, and kitchen appliances. Many of these items are considered to have a life span of 10 years and updating these can give the property a new life and attract the best tenants. Depending on the age of the kitchens and bathrooms, it may be recommended to update these rooms. These more extensive works can take time and are a considerable investment. Knowing what is needed can help you plan for future renovations. Professional cleaning and maintenance Before showing the property to prospective tenants, ensure that it is clean and that the lawns and gardens are well maintained. This helps to create a benchmark at the start of the tenancy and ensures that the tenant is moving into a well-maintained home. If you prefer that the lawns and gardens are maintained to a particular standard, it is recommended that this is included with the tenancy as not everyone has a green thumb. As with any investment you need to consider expenses for day-to-day bills as well as repairs and maintenance costs. Contact our property management team who can provide recommendations and help you to find the best tenants for your investment.

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.