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09 July 2018
By portermathewsblog


via reiwa.com.au

Are you looking to jazz up your home but don’t have the available funds? Maybe you are planning to sell, or just want to give it a facelift?

Either way you don’t need to spend an arm or a leg, you just need a little bit of inspiration.

Here are five ways you can give your home the ultimate make-over without breaking the bank.

1. Clean out/de-clutter your home

Start by a good old clean out – this you can do for free. Living in a messy, cluttered house will have you feeling anxious and itching for a change of atmosphere, plus it won’t make a good first impression on visitors.

rid of junk you don’t need, wash the walls, doorways and clean all the dust and cob-webs! This will have an immediate effect on the oxygen circulation of the house – breathing in fresh air is the start to feeling good in your home.

2. Paint the walls

Whether you want to change the colour all together or just want to lift the look,the most effective way to rejuvenate your home is to apply a fresh coat of paint.

Light to neutral colours gives you more flexibility with furniture and décor, and creates the illusion of space. Plus, painting your home is relatively cheap, unless you want to seek a professional painter to do the job.

While you have the paint out, it is also a good idea to re-paint the doors, door frames, skirtings and ceilings in simple white, to freshen up the aesthetic of your house.

For some inspo, find out how to select the right paint colour for your home.

3. Re-decorate

It is ridiculously affordable to decorate your home these days, you just need to trigger your creative side.

Adding plants and some pottery to your home is a great way to set the mood and can be very affordable and easily maintained with a little bit of TLC. Adding a splash of greenery to your space is not only aesthetically appealing, but pot plants also help purify the air, just make sure you buy plants suitable for indoors.

Candles, incense and infusers also have dual purpose when it comes to décor. They look good, and smell good, once again adding that infused delicious aroma to your home.

When it comes to the bedroom and living rooms, pillows, throws and new linen is something that will always catch the eye. What better feeling is there than purchasing fresh new bedding? Try and coordinate this with whatever colour you paint the walls or keep the same colours but you can mix up the styles.

Remember, simple can sometimes mean more, so try keep all decorations minimal but effective.

4. Rearrange furniture

If you already love your furniture but still feel sick of it, a simple re-organise of the couches, TVs beds, tables etc can make you feel like you’re in a whole new house.

Making different uses out of the things you already have in your home will save you money. You think you might be sick of an item, but put it somewhere else and you might fall in love with it all over again.

5. Update light fittings

Lighting is the key to making any home stand out, and you would be surprised what a simple swap of the light fittings will do.

If you’re on a budget consider going for one or two designer light fittings in the main living areas, then cheaper ones for the other rooms.

While we are on the topic of lighting, you can also replace the light switch covers which won’t cost you a lot at all. Swap out those old fashioned, plain switch covers for silver, stainless steel or modern white covers.

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25 June 2018
By portermathewsblog


via therealestateconversation.com.au

Many investors steer clear of vacant land because they mistakenly believe they can’t claim interest repayments on it.

Corbett-Road-Land-for-Sale-Rm-of-Springfield-2-624x403

In fact, the biggest thing that most accountants get wrong when advising clients on vacant land is that the interest component on it isn’t tax deductible.

I’ve had many arguments with many accountants about this topic over the years!

The key component is the clear intent to build a property within a reasonable timeframe. If the investor was audited, the investor would need to prove that the timeframe – whether it’s a few weeks or months – was necessary to enable to construct the investment property.

I’ve heard this ‘non-advice’ so many times over the years and that’s why it’s so important that you get advice from a property accountant with a strong understanding of the relevant legislation.

Which land is best?
With vacant land, there are a number of different strategies that you could implement.

The first one is residential land that is being carved up by a developer, but you buy before the titles for each individual block have been registered. Effectively, you’re buying land off the plan, but it’s important to understand that there are pros and cons to this strategy.

The pro is that if it’s in a high-demand area and you’ve bought during the early stages of development, you tend to make some money. You also generally only need to put down a few hundred or thousand dollars as the deposit. Naturally, because you are very much dependent on how fast the developer can register each block, you’re at the whim of the market, which can be a con. For example, in my portfolio, I once bought 18 blocks of land that were not yet registered.

In fact, registration wasn’t supposed to happen for another two years. However, it happened in just eight months and I wasn’t ready. So all of a sudden I had 18 parcels of land that I had to settle on, but I didn’t have my finance organised.

After discussing it with the developer, I ended up settling on four of them and he released the other 14 back to the market, which worked out well for him because the market had improved.

So, if the land is registered well ahead of time, you can be left scrambling.

On the other hand, if registration takes longer than expected, the market could have slowed down. Like any off-the-plan project, you only need one bad valuation to negatively impact
the entire subdivision or development. Plus, everyone will be building at the same time, which means you’re competing for trades and will likely be finished at the same time, too, and that means a strong likelihood of softer prices.

What about greenfield and infill sites?

When I say greenfield sites, I mean blocks of rural land that you intend to rezone for residential usage. Now this is a strategy for more advanced investors because there is more risk as well as a higher financial component required for earthworks and approval costs. Greenfield sites can be bought for an affordable price, but if you can’t get the subdivision approved you need to have the money behind you to fight all your way up to the Environment Court if necessary.

A better strategy is to target infill sites within already established residential areas.

In this scenario, you buy a larger block of land, usually with a house on it, to carve off the land at the back or the side to sell as vacant or with a new property on it.

The other option is to subdivide, then construct a new dwelling and then keep both. Infill developments can also lean towards knocking the old house down, splitting the block into two and selling the vacant land, or building two houses or even multiples. It must always come back to whether there is a market for your project and whether the numbers add up, because you must take into account all of the costs on the way in and on the way out.

That way you can make an educated decision whether to keep holding long term or take your profits to invest elsewhere.

Whichever strategy you choose, you must do your figures on the worst-case scenario to see if it adds up. That’s because land generally has a lower, or no yield to start off with, which means your holding costs can be higher than with a house, for example.

At the end of the day, vacant land as a strategy, does work. You just need to have your eyes wide open to ensure your figures are correct and you must understand that it might be a while before income rolls in.

Finally, it goes without saying that you must get tax advice from a specialist accountant who understands  property. If you don’t, you could end up with pockets just as vacant as the land you’re investing in.

 

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22 June 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

The Best Home Organising Products

If searching for your keys is a part of your morning ritual, it’s time to break the cycle. Being organised is more than just a personality trait, it’s a lifestyle decision that’s easier to achieve if you stock your home with the right tools. These 15 clutter-busting essentials will make your days feel longer and less stressful. Cheers to that!


Idea:
 If you don’t want to hang a key hook, do yourself a favour and get a key catchall. Having a designated place to place your keys when you walk through the door will save you from the “running late” syndrome. Don’t be that person.

Get it: Making your own leather catchall is easier than you’d think. Follow this tutorial on A Beautiful Mess to DIY your own

  • Shelf Dividers

Shelf DividersImage Source: Bahar Yurukoglu for Domino

Idea: You know how it goes . . . You take the time to meticulously fold sheets and towels, and by the end of week, it looks like a bomb exploded in your linen closet. Here’s where clear shelf dividers come in. They’ll keep your stacks of linens in order without creating an eyesore.

Get it: Stock up on these acrylic shelf dividers to tame your most unruly closet.

 

Idea: Put your pantry on display by keeping dried goods and other treats in lidded glass jars.

Get it: You can get her kitchen jars at Ikea.

Idea: If you’ve seen these used to hang pots and pans, you’ll be happy to know that the idea translates for any room in the house. We love how Sugar + Cloth blogger Ashley Rose used one for above-the-bed storage and decor.

 

  • Drawer Organisers

Drawer OrganisersImage Source: Paul Costello for Domino

Idea: If shuffling through a drawer to find a tube of lipstick gives you anxiety, you’ll be amazed by the efficiency that a simple drawer organiser can offer.

 

Idea: Forget the space-saving allure of forgoing a knife block — we’re crazy about the fact that you can see the shapes and sizes of your most utilised knives while keeping them in reach.

 

Idea: It’s amazing how quickly a tray can corral clutter. Bonus points for turning the top of your toilet into an extension of your medicine cabinet (with the addition of a slim bud vase and framed picture, of course).

 

  • Labelled Boxes

Labelled BoxesImage Source: Cahan Eric For Domino

Idea: Labelled boxes are a great way to organise the things you want out of sight.

 

Idea: Sure, you can use them to hang a curtain, but they work wonders in making the most out of shelves. Follow Martha Stewart’s lead, and use them to organise kitchen items like pot and pan lids, trays, and cutting boards.

 

  • Wall-Mounted Drawers

Wall-Mounted DrawersImage Source: Lesley A. Unruh for Domino

Idea: Whether you need more storage space for clothes or craft supplies, these wall-mounted mesh drawers allow you to customize your storage and easily see what you’re storing.

 

  • Makeup Brush Cups

    Makeup Brush Cups

Idea: Instead of cramming makeup brushes into a messy drawer or makeup bag, keep them within easy reach in a stylish cup.

 

Idea: Whether it’s a drawer filled with neat rows of spices or a creative DIY that frees cabinet space, every organized cook seems to have their spice collection under control.

Get it: A Beautiful Mess has an easy-to-follow tutorial for making these nifty magnetic spice jars.

 

  • Clever Toilet Paper Storage

Clever Toilet Paper Storage

Idea: Running out of it when you need it is the worst, but stacking it in plain sight can cramp your bathroom’s style. Kill two birds with one stone by turning a basket into a toilet paper organiser and dispenser.

  • Stainless Steel Shelving

Stainless Steel ShelvingImage Source: Monica Wang for The Everygirl

Idea: A lack of cabinet space doesn’t have to stop you from owning bulky appliances like KitchenAid mixers and high-powered blenders. Some of the cutest rentals we’ve seen use stainless steel shelves for stylishly organization, making it easy to keep everything within sight. The best part? You can extend them or shorten them for a customized height.

Get it: This shelving unit is a great starter package.

 

  • Ceramic Egg Racks

    Ceramic Egg RacksIdea: While they’re intended for eggs, that doesn’t mean they can’t work for another use. Use the shallow cups to organize rings and earrings.

    Get it: This ceramic egg crate is a solid buy.

    Source: Kelsey Foster via Style Me Pretty Living

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18 June 2018
By portermathewsblog


via therealestateconversation.com.au

Buying and selling property in WA has traditionally been by way of a conventional private treaty arrangement, however buyers and sellers are missing out on a more pure form of transaction, and that’s the auction.

property

Granted, auctions are becoming a more accepted selling method and the numbers of weekly auctions in WA has increased significantly over the past five years, but still lag a long way behind private treaty sales and the Eastern states. So why is that we’ve been slow to jump on the auction bandwagon?

Firstly, WA’s law for property transactions using the current “Offer & Acceptance” method protect both buyer and seller and in the majority of cases are easy to follow.  The system works effectively for all parties to the transaction including the buyer, seller, settlement agent/conveyancer and banks. The downside of this system is that is can be time consuming and in many cases is conditional upon buyers obtaining finance, property inspections, having to sell their current home, etc.

More importantly, the system has a major flaw in it and that’s the asking price is disclosed and typically buyers knock the price down to where they feel comfortable – so it’s not good for sellers.

So why should we look to auctions? The auction system is the most pure form of selling and buying as there are no “secrets” surrounding price or selling terms; all terms are provided in the marketing campaign and the buyers set the price on where they see value.  Selling by auction in most cases is quicker than private treaty. And the seller has three bites of the cherry; sell before auction day, on auction day or usually within 30 post auction day.

There are two main misconceptions surrounding auctions:

1. They cost too much. The cost of the auction is merely the auctioneer’s fee for calling the auction and working with the seller, buyer and agent to achieve the desired result. Typically, an auctioneers’ fee is in the vicinity of $700 to $1000. All other costs are associated with the marketing campaign to promote the property.

2. Auctions only “work in expensive areas”. That’s just a suburban myth. There’s many examples of properties below the current Perth median price of $510,000 selling at auction.

WA is one of only two states, the other being Tasmania, that don’t have a cooling off period in our property contracts.  A cooling off period allows the buyer to “break” the Offer to Purchase usually between 2 to 5 business days after the offer has been signed. In other words, if the buyer changes their mind for whatever reason they can legally break the offer and walk away for a very small consideration to the seller, usually between 0.2% – 0.25% of the purchase price.

As WA doesn’t have cooling off provisions in our property contracts, this makes it far too easy for sellers and agents to default to Private Treaty transactions. If cooling off provisions were introduced to our property contracts, I’d predict a huge increase in the number of property auctions taking place in WA.

Finally, too few real estate agents embrace auctions and the auction process with vigor. They lack confidence and in some cases, the ability to explain the different marketing options available to sellers and automatically default to Private Treaty. This is a marketing injustice to sellers and the sooner we can demystify and legitimise the auction process for both buyers and sellers, the better.

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11 June 2018
By portermathewsblog


via therealestateconversation.com.au

photo-first-home-buyers-happy-on-couch

Buying your first property is hard, so let’s make it easier for you.

Congratulations! You have decided to take the plunge, you have done some reading on what the various responsibilities when it comes to being a homeowner, you have spoken to the bank and have an idea of how much you are able to afford.

These steps take some time so we are here to encourage you to take the next step in home ownership. We know it’s a little bit nerve wrecking and a little bit scary, but we have compiled some advice from our in house experts to help you with this exciting time!

Looking for affordability without compromising on location

For many of us, your first home is not going to be your forever home. We recommend taking a holistic approach to purchasing property. Even if you are going to be living in that property, look at it as an investment as well.

For those first homebuyers who do not want to compromise on space, you may have to look further out depending on your budget or look for townhouses or terraces. If you are looking to keep more of your lifestyle, an inner city apartment may be the apt living situation for you.

What we emphasise is buying smart and seeing your home purchase as more than just a living situation but a step in growing your portfolio. You might want to ask yourself “How much rent will I get for this apartment?” or “What has been the capital growth in the area over the last few years?”.

We think asking these questions will not only give you peace of mind if you have to move out and rent or sell your property, but it is also how many people start their property portfolio. The first one does not have to be picture perfect, but it helps if it is a sound investment.

Location and amenities

The building, home or internal features are not the only things that you should consider when you buy. Are you in a desirable school catchment zone, are there amenities or transport facilities planned in your area or has a new shopping centre been planned?

Looking at the amenities and area around you is particularly important, as they are great financial health indicators that the area you are looking to buy in has infrastructure and amenity to attract people to live there.

Look on suburb out from your dream location

Looking for undervalued suburbs next to the pricier areas is always a something we recommend to our first home buyers – over time, population growth and gentrification will mean that there will be capital growth in your area.

It’s always good to also look at areas with employment growth as this will increase demand for homes in that area. Finally, do your research. It takes time to go through all the listings in the area you love and view the various prices they get sold for but it’s all worth it when you know you are on to a great purchase.

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06 June 2018
By portermathewsblog


via reiwa.com.au

The latest REIWA Curtin Buy-Rent Index for the March 2018 quarter has revealed it’s the best time to buy in Perth since 2013.

The Index, released quarterly, assesses whether it’s better to buy or rent in Perth based on past and current trends in the economic and property market climate.

REIWA President Hayden Groves said the March 2018 quarter index showed the annual rate of house price growth required over 10 years to break even in the Buy-Rent Index had declined from 3.3 per cent to 3.1 per cent over the quarter, suggesting an improvement for prospective homebuyers weighing up the decision.

“To put that into perspective, Perth’s annual house price growth rate has been 5.9 per cent for the last 15 years. Based on the March 2018 quarter Index, house prices in Perth would only need to grow by more than 3.1 per cent annually for buying to be considered more financially beneficial than renting,” Mr Groves said.

“This improvement in buying conditions can be attributed to the Perth median house price softening by 1.9 per cent during the March quarter, while the median house rent price increased $5 to $360 per week. We also saw the 10 year average mortgage rate drop to 6.43 per cent, which means home owners are paying less on their mortgage repayments.

“This is the most affordable buying environment we’ve seen in Perth for some time, so if you’ve been weighing up whether to buy, now is the time to take advantage of favourable market conditions,” Mr Groves said.

Mr J-Han Ho, a Property Researcher and Senior Lecturer in the School of Economics and Finance at Curtin University, said the data indicated a continued improvement for the home buyer in the near future.

“Our analysis shows home buyers gaining an advantage, largely due to the low interest rates for home loans, home ownership costs continuing to be affordable and the median rents stabilising,” Mr Ho said.

View the March 2018 quarter Buy-Rent Index.

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01 June 2018
By portermathewsblog


popsugar.com.au

How to Get Ready For a PartyImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

 

If the idea of getting your home company-ready is keeping you from hosting a dinner party or even your out-of-town in-laws, we can help. Sure, you could spend all day cleaning and decorating in anticipation, but who has the time? Here are the only things you really need to do before your guests arrive. Don’t worry — they are nothing but easy.

 

The Scent of Your Home

The Scent of Your HomeImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Brinton Parker

Decor isn’t the first thing guests
notice when they walk through your door — it’s the smell. Whether you’re
concerned about the fish you cooked the night before or your dog skipping a
bath — or worse, the scents you’ve become nose-blind to — put your
mind at ease by lighting a candle or simmering a small pot of citrus peels and
cinnamon sticks a half hour before guests arrive. We can’t get enough of these yummy-smelling candles.

A Well-Stocked Bar

A Well-Stocked BarImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

After greeting guests, the first
thing that you will want to do is offer them a drink. You don’t need to be full
service, but make sure you have the home bar basics covered.

 

Fresh Flowers

Fresh FlowersImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Mark Popovich

Flowers are the only decoration a
house really ever needs, no matter the occasion (although we feel pretty
strongly about candles too!). To get the most bang out of your buck, buy potted
flowers, like orchids. They may look delicate, but with proper care, they
will last for a month or longer.

 

The Lack of Clutter

The Lack of ClutterImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Grace Hitchcock

Even if you don’t have time to do a
deep cleaning, you can still organise your clutter. Get a tray or a set of
lidded boxes for each room and corral all the odds and ends — remotes,
keys, mail — in one place. Guests will feel relaxed in a space that
appears organised, even if it is just for show!

 

A Tidy Bathroom

A Tidy BathroomImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Grace Hitchcock

Before guests arrive, make sure your
bathroom has clean hand towels and enough toilet paper. Extra points for wiping
down surfaces and lighting a candle

 

An Organised Entryway

An Organised Entryway
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

Not only is it the first place and
last place that your guests will see, your entryway is also where they will be
dropping their coats and bags. Depending on how much room you have, add a coat
rack, umbrella stand, and a place to sit while taking shoes on or off.

 

 

 

 

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28 May 2018
By portermathewsblog


reiwa.com.au

Understanding what buying 'as inspected' means - reiwa.comOne of the most widely misunderstood elements of real estate is what condition a property should be in at settlement or possession.

What does ‘buying as inspected’ really mean?

In short, a property is sold “as inspected”. If there was dust on a ceiling fan when you first inspected before contracting to buy then the fan can be dusty at settlement. The same goes for a dirty oven, a blown light globe or a squeaky laundry door. If it was dirty, blown or squeaky at inspection before purchase then so it should be at settlement.

Buyers will typically expect that the property is handed over to them spick n’ span and thankfully most house-proud sellers leave their homes in an appropriate condition when moving out, however legally there is no obligation for them to do so.

What should you expect at settlement?

If you’re buying a home, it’s smart to have a realistic expectation of what to expect at settlement.

Unless otherwise specified in the contract, the seller is under no obligation to have the property professionally cleaned for settlement and it is surprising how few buyers ask that such a condition be included.

The seller’s only obligation under the contract (Clause 6.1(b) 2 of the General Conditions) is to “…remove from the Property, before possession, all vehicles, rubbish and chattels, other than the Property Chattels.”

Many modern contracts to purchase include provision for essential plumbing, gas and electrical components to be working at settlement. Hence, if at settlement the toilet cistern leaks then the seller ought to make good because the contract says so.

It is trickier when, for example, a telephone jack doesn’t work at settlement. It is not strictly electrical but it is probably reasonable for a buyer to assume that it was functioning at inspection. This is partly because, caveat emptor (buyer beware) has all but disappeared according to some legal practitioners. The onus is probably on the seller to disclose (in this case) that the telephone jack didn’t work.

How to ensure you’re happy with the property at settlement

My view is that buyers need to take reasonable steps to ensure the property they have bought will be presented to them in a condition they are satisfied with.

This can be achieved by either contracting with the seller to guarantee it and/or being more thorough when inspecting the property in the first instance. Ask the agent if it’s ok to turn on taps, flush loos, flick switches, open and close doors, open the oven, turn on the dishwasher and so on before making an offer to purchase.

Buyers ought to have a realistic expectation of what to expect at settlement when buying an established home and acknowledge that opinions of presentation are subjective.

Speak to our market experts on 9475 9622 to discuss about your property concerns

 

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21 May 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

Decorating Ideas For Small HomesImage Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

An old home with a lack of square metres might feel limiting to some, but the 83-square-metre, 1900s-era Sunset Smart Cottage proves any space can be transformed with strategic decorating and innovative home gadgets. Even the interior design concept for the cottage involved an emerging tech trend: virtual interior design services. Sunset tapped designers Jessica McCarthy and Emily Gaydon from Decorist, a virtual decorating service that offers a fresh approach to the design and remodelling process. “Online services such as Decorist are often budget friendly and more accessible to the masses. We liked the idea that users can get matched up with designers based on their personal style and goals and can work through the process over email, FaceTime, and even texts,” says Sunset home editor Chantal Lamers.

So what exactly was the design strategy behind this tiny tech oasis? POPSUGAR caught up with Decorist designer Jessica McCarthy to get her insights on the smartest solutions for living large in a small home. Read on to discover the optical illusions and space-planning secrets she used in every room!

  1. A Bold First ImpressionA Bold First Impression

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Even the tiniest cottage can have major curb appeal. Jessica suggests painting your front door in a bold hue and replacing the exterior hardware. The cost-effective upgrades are details guests will definitely notice. Keep landscaping affordable and low-maintenance by planting drought-friendly shrubs and perennials from the Sunset Western Garden Collection. Top off the look by adding a few potted plants to the porch for an extra touch of greenery.

  2. Layered TexturesLayered Textures

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    To combat the claustrophobic feel of a narrow living room, Jessica suggests opting for a neutral colour palette and avoiding bold patterns to make the room feel large and airy. Since colour and pattern take a backseat, you can go wild with texture. Grasscloth wallpaper, leather seating, linen curtains, and a variety of throw pillows give the space a rich, layered feel. To complete the look, add a semi-flushmount instead of a hanging pendant or chandelier to make the ceilings feel even taller and hang curtains as high as possible.


  3. A Discreet Media Station

    A Discreet Media Station
    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Take advantage of precious wall space by creating a media station that is discreet and beautiful. Jessica suggests thinking outside of the gallery wall box by incorporating gorgeous baskets instead of framed art to distract from the floating TV screen. Keeping baskets in the same colour family is Jessica’s trick for achieving a clean and uncluttered vibe.

  4. Stylish StorageStylish Storage

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    While Jessica wanted to keep the colour minimal, she used an accent colour throughout the house for fluidity. In this case, a custom-built cabinet in navy ties in with the sofa pillows and kitchen, but it also conceals clutter behind cabinets and displays beautiful objects on shelves.

     

     

  5. A Mini Breakfast Nook

    A Mini Breakfast Nook

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Just because you have a small kitchen doesn’t mean you can’t eat in it. Jessica loves the idea of pushing a narrow console against a wall and adding bar stools for a makeshift dining nook.

  6. Open Shelves
    Open Shelves
    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Eliminating upper cabinets can visually expand a small kitchen. Jessica leveraged the brightening power of counter-to-ceiling white subway tiles paired with white floating shelves for an airy and undeniably stylish effect. If a remodel isn’t in the works, Jessica suggests painting cabinets and installing new hardware for a customised look.

     

  7. Plug-In Sconces
    Plug-In Sconces

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    If spacious nightstands aren’t in the cards, swap in petite side tables and free up table space by installing plug-in sconces that don’t require expensive or permanent electrical work.

     

     

  8. A Calm Colour Palette
    A Calm Colour Palette

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Like the living room, the bedroom also follows suit with a calming colour palette. Jessica chose a single tone and explored a range of shades on the walls, bedding, rug, and accent decor.

  9. Statement Art
    Statement Art

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Small bedrooms don’t necessarily require diminutive art. In fact, Jessica recommends doing the exact opposite by hanging large baskets, textural pieces, vintage finds from travels, and oversize prints to really make a statement.

  10. Well-Utilised CornersWell-Utilised Corners

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    To make a big design impact in a corner of the room, mix pieces with varying textures. Jessica especially likes the way the leather wall object, wicker chair, and fur throw create a cosy effect that feels curated.

  11. A Modern Murphy BedA Modern Murphy Bed

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    A murphy bed can be the perfect solution for children’s rooms that require space to play or a guest room that can double as an office. Jessica likes the idea of hanging something dramatic but soft above the bed, like the woven wall art. The texture adds interest but won’t break or budge when the bed is closed.

  12. Customised Closets

    Customised ClosetsImage Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Katy Milton of California Closets designed the built-in cabinetry to make the most out of a tiny closet. Jessica recommends adding baskets and bins to cleverly conceal clutter while keeping things in order.

     

  13. Multitasking Work Space

    Multitasking Work Space

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Multifunctional pieces like a small desk, which can be used as an extra table surface for displaying decor, doing homework, and being creative, are one of Jessica’s favourite small-room staples. If you have multiple pieces of children’s art or a group of family photos without the space to hang them, consider investing in the Meural. It’s a digital canvas that gives you instant access to over 30,000 works of art, but which also allows you to upload your child’s drawings and rotate between images.

  14. Wall StorageWall Storage

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Jessica believes shelving can double as eye candy when you mix in your favorite artwork and accessories.

     

     

  15. Minimal AccessoriesMinimal Accessories

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Create the illusion of more square footage by selecting the right colour palette and working in some cosmetic details. Jessica likes to use large mirrors and extra layers of lighting with sconces to make the space appear larger. Keeping the space clutter-free and minimally accessorised is another tricks she recommends for small bathrooms.

  16. Small-Scale Patio Furniture

    Small-Scale Patio Furniture

Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

If you don’t have room for an outdoor sofa or settee, consider using an Adirondack chair with a foot stool that can be moved. Pair it with a small table and you have the basic comforts needed for lounging

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 May 2018
By portermathewsblog


via reiwa.com.au

First home buyers are active in Perth’s property market, with data for the March 2018 quarter revealing an increase in sales for properties priced $500,000 and below.

REIWA President Hayden Groves said after observing subdued first home buyer activity during the December 2017 quarter, it was pleasing to see the lower end of the market strengthen early in 2018.

“The final quarter of 2017 saw the composition of the Perth market shift. Last quarter there were significantly more sales in the higher priced end of the market and less in the first home buyer price range. It’s been a different story this quarter, with the balance of sales shifting back to the lower end of the market,” Mr Groves said.

Median house and unit price

Perth’s preliminary median house price is $510,000 for the March 2018 quarter.

Mr Groves said once all sales settle, this figure was expected to increase to $517,000, which would put the March 2018 quarter median marginally lower (by 0.6 per cent) than the December 2017 quarter.

“Although Perth’s median house price experienced a minor adjustment during the March 2018 quarter, the median house price is up 0.4 per cent when compared to the same time last year, which shows prices are stable,” Mr Groves said.

Perth’s preliminary median unit price is $401,000 for the March 2018 quarter.

“This is expected to lift to $410,000 once all sales settle, which would put it equal with the December quarter median.

“These results are in line with REIWA’s 2018 forecast, which expects stable conditions throughout the remainder of this year, with moderate price growth during the next 12 months,” Mr Groves said.

Sales activity

Preliminary Landgate data shows there were 5,865 dwelling sales during the March 2018 quarter.

“We expect around 6,603 sales for the quarter overall, which is marginally lower than volumes recorded during the December quarter,” Mr Groves said.

There was a 5.7 per cent increase in house sales in the sub-$500,000 price range during the March 2018 quarter.

“Increased activity in the lower end of the market is usually a sign first home buyers are active. We are fortunate the dream of home ownership is more attainable for West Australians than it is on the east coast. After seeing activity drop off last quarter, it’s good to see first home buyers are increasing their presence in the market,” Mr Groves said.

Listings for sale

There were 14,413 properties for sale in Perth at the end of the March 2018 quarter.

Mr Groves said listings had increased 10.2 per cent over the quarter, but were down 2.9 per cent when compared to the March 2017 quarter.

“While it is pleasing listings have declined on an annual basis, the increase over the quarter is not cause for alarm. With overall sentiment in WA improving and all signs indicating the market has begun to turn, sellers are feeling more confident than they have been and therefore more inclined to put their property up for sale.

“We’ve also seen a sharp decline in rental listings over the past year which has had a flow-on effect to the established market. With some investors choosing to sell their rental property instead of lease it, this has contributed to the rise in the number of properties for sale in Perth,” Mr Groves said.

Average selling days

It took 67 days on average to sell a house in Perth during the March 2018 quarter.

Mr Groves said although average selling days increased over the quarter, it was still two days quicker to sell than it was during the March 2017 quarter.

“With more listings on the market, buyers now have more choice, which has had an impact on the time it takes to sell. It’s very encouraging though, that on an annual basis, we’re seeing average selling days decrease,” Mr Groves said.

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14 May 2018
By portermathewsblog


via reiwa.com.au

With steady rents, declining listings, improved leasing figures and faster leasing times, data for the March 2018 quarter reveals Perth’s rental market is leading the charge in Perth’s property market recovery.

REIWA President Hayden Groves said the first quarter of 2018 showed Perth’s rental market had strengthened, with improvements recorded across all key indicators.

“Perth’s rental market appears to be building on the momentum of the latter half of 2017, which is very encouraging – not just for the rental market, but also for the overall property market. Historically, the sales market follows the rental market during a recovery,” Mr Groves said.

Median rent prices

Perth’s overall median rent price is $350 per week for the March 2018 quarter.

Mr Groves said this was the twelfth straight month of stable rent prices, with no changes recorded since April 2017.

“All sub-regions experienced stable median prices except for the South West sub-region, which saw its overall median rent price increase $10 to $330 per week during the quarter,” Mr Groves said.

reiwa.com data shows there was a $5 per week increase to both the median house and median unit rent during the March 2018 quarter.

“The median house rent increased to $360 per week, while the median unit rent increased to $325 per week,” Mr Groves said.

“It bodes well for landlords that the house and unit median rents are improving simultaneously.”

Leasing activity

There were 14,112 rental properties leased in Perth during the March 2018 quarter.

“Leasing volumes for the March 2018 quarter are up 4.2 per cent compared to the December 2017 quarter,” Mr Groves said.

“Four out of the five sub-regions saw an improvement in leasing volumes, with the Central sub-region (up 7.7 per cent) and North East sub-region (up 6.1 per cent) the stand-outs.”

At a suburb level, reiwa.com data shows East Cannington, St James, North Fremantle, Ellenbrook and Booragoon saw the biggest growth in leasing activity levels over the quarter.

Listings for rent

Rental listings declined 4.5 per cent during the quarter, with 8,508 listings recorded at the end of March 2018.

Mr Groves said there had been a substantial reduction in the number of rental properties available in Perth over the last 12 months.

“Compared to the March 2017 quarter, listings for rent are now 18.6 per cent lower than they were at the same time last year. This can be attributed to an increase in population growth to the state and fewer new dwelling commencements occurring in the metro area,” Mr Groves said.

Average leasing time

It was two days faster to lease a property during the March 2018 quarter than it was during the December 2017 quarter.

“It took 47 days on average for landlords to find a tenant during the March quarter, which is two days faster than the December quarter and three days faster than the March 2017 quarter,” Mr Groves said.

“With stock levels declining and leasing activity increasing, the Perth rental market is finally starting to re-balance. For tenants, now is a good time to secure a longer-term lease before rents rise.”

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07 May 2018
By portermathewsblog


via therealestateconversation.com.au

In an ideal world, property developers should have a graceful exit from each project, whether they are selling or holding the properties.

Of course, life is rarely graceful, and many newbies fail to even consider the end at the start. This is important as there are a number of exit strategies that you must consider long before you begin any development.

Exits plans aplenty
The first exit is when you transition out of a construction loan, which is when you’re moving from a high interest loan to a more affordable one. Clearly you must be financial enough to still qualify for the new loan – even though it’s cheaper. The thing is the goalposts could have changed dramatically in the length of time it has taken for the project to complete and many a novice has come unstuck because their numbers no longer stacked up in the bank’s eyes. Another exit strategy is out of a joint venture, which I’ll explain in more detail below.

The next strategy, which is also the easiest but not necessarily the best, is selling up and moving on. In my experience, joint ventures (JVs) are a great way to develop property but everyone must agree on what happens at the end. My preference with JVs is to both sell or hold instead of buying the other party out. The reason for that is that you don’t want any recriminations in the future, say, if the property you buy off your JV partner increases in value spectacularly, especially where family or friends are involved. Soon, the green-eyed monster will rear its ugly head, and your former JV partner might even accuse you of short changing them.

I had a situation once where I had the opportunity to buy my JV partner’s property but it made me feel uneasy because I knew that it would likely increase in value significantly in the years ahead and I didn’t want any bad blood between us. We ended up selling & splitting the profits.  It’s not all about money.

Even though that waterfront property is now worth about $1 million, I believe I made the right decision because we mix in the same circles so there was never any finger pointing later down the track. So with joint ventures, my recommendation is that both parties agree to either hold or sell to keep everything simple.

The biggest mistakes
The biggest mistake with exit strategies is not having one at all!

The next one is selling prematurely or holding for too long thinking the market will shift, without taking into consideration holding costs.

The best exit strategy is the one that suits your own unique situation, but sometimes making a smaller profit by selling and moving on is better because of the reduced holding costs as well as opportunity costs, too. My exit strategies have been a mix of selling and holding and even though I’m not afraid to sell I usually regret it when the values go up!

One I don’t regret, however, is the property I sold to pay for my father-in-law’s medical bills because he got very sick here and he was here only on a tourist visa. He had no insurance so each day in intensive care was $4,500 plus myriad other medical costs. I sold that property for $340,000 but today it’s worth about $650,000.

Financially and personally it was the best and easiest thing for me to do to fund his medical treatment and it also an important point.  At the end of the day, property investment and property development is all about improving your financial position and being in a better situation when the chips are down.

Too much too soon
Another major mistake is newbie developers using the profits from their first projects leasing flashy cars to show off their newfound “wealth”. While that’s just silly if you ask me, that lease also kills their borrowing capacity which impacts them financially for any future developments. I have 20 years of investing and developing experience under my belt, but I have never undertaken a large multi-unit development or housing subdivision.

I could if I wanted to but I’d rather be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond. That’s because if things go wrong, there are more potential buyers for the project. If you’re a small fish in a big pond and things go wrong, you’ll likely be eaten by the top-end of town and there’s nothing graceful about that!

One of the most common stumbling blocks for new developers is their egos get in the way. As soon as they start supposedly making “big money”, they splash it out on fast cars and various other things that aren’t overly helpful to their future success.  Often these cars are on leases, which, of course dramatically reduces their borrowing capacity. And that’s because they’re not mentally ready for the money.

If I look back at many of the mistakes in my life, I can drill it down to three simple things: greed, ego, or plain old stupidity. Some of those you can do something about but you have to be honest with yourself to do so.

Property development can be a vehicle to vastly improve your wealth, but you have to take your time to learn the ropes – and be prepared to learn plenty about yourself along the road, too.

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30 April 2018
By portermathewsblog


Although housing affordability has improved in WA in recent times, it remains a legitimate concern for many West Australians.

A recent Housing Affordability Report by the Real Estate Institute of Australia and Adelaide Bank showed while affordability improved in WA on an annual basis in the December quarter 2017, it had declined when compared to the September quarter 2017.

It’s concerning that despite favourable buying conditions and record low interest rates, housing affordability remains such a pertinent worry for many West Australians.

State property taxes are a barrier

REIWA is a strong advocator for addressing housing affordability, and we firmly believe current state property tax arrangements significantly contribute to this problem.

When REIWA surveyed the WA public about this topic last year, respondents overwhelmingly told us that property taxes negatively impact their lives. This is a growing issue and we need to do something to address it.

Home ownership still attainable in WA

The good news is; WA remains one of the most affordable states in the country for housing. Particularly in comparison to east coast property markets like NSW, where the median house price is higher and first home buyers find it more difficult to enter the property market. Here in WA, home ownership is still very much attainable.

In fact, we have the highest proportion of first home buyers out of any state or territory in Australia, with the Housing Affordability Report revealing 34 per cent of all owner-occupier home loans in WA in the December 2017 quarter were to first home buyers.

Additionally, although the average home loan amount to WA first home buyers increased during the December 2017 quarter, it was still $50,000 more affordable than the average loan amount required in NSW. A considerable difference.

However, more needs to be done. While the McGowan Government continues to face a challenging fiscal environment, REIWA still believes an incremental reform of property taxes will encourage both owner occupation and investment.

The residential property market is a key contributor to state revenue, specifically through transfer duty – one of the most inefficient and ineffective taxes. In the long term, we would like to see the Government transition to a broad-based land tax instead of relying on transactional taxes for revenue.

All West Australians deserve to have access to affordable, accessible and appropriate housing stock.

We call on the McGowan Government to commit to conducting a state tax review to look at more sustainable ways of funding essential services that doesn’t impact so heavily on affordability.

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23 April 2018
By portermathewsblog


via domain.com.au

In Australia’s perpetually crowded rental market, the odds of securing any sort of home – let alone one that ticks all your boxes – can seem daunting.

Fast-increasing prices and the advent of so-called “rental bidding” further complicate the picture. And during the summer months, fluctuations in stock can create wildly variable conditions from week to week.

But there is reason to be optimistic. Despite perceptions that the rental market is somehow rigged – particularly in large cities such as Sydney and Melbourne – agents and advocates say that ordinary Aussies stand a good chance of renting in 2018.

Consider house-hunting in early January when there is less competition.Consider house-hunting in early January when there is less competition. Photo: Edwina Pickles

If you understand what landlords are looking for, are willing to take care during the application process and choose the most appropriate month to search, you might be surprised by what you can secure.

1. Always write a cover letter

Few agents ask for one, but including a cover letter with your application can dramatically improve your chances of securing a rental.

Crucially, a one-page cover letter can find its way to the landlord, who is almost never present at inspections but has final say over who is granted the lease.Making a personal connection with the landlord through a cover letter can be very valuable.

Make sure you have all your documentation ready before the inspection.Make sure you have all your documentation ready before the inspection. Photo: Pat Scala

“Make it a good story,” says Eileen Carroll, sales director of Ray White Glebe. “Tell us why you’re the best person for the property. A little story about yourself will help your cause.”

2. Gather everything you’ll need – and then some

While some agents do not require additional documentation such as proof of ID and written references to be supplied at the time of application, Carroll says prospective tenants should submit these documents anyway.

“Have it all ready, so if you are accepted, you can actually secure the property,” she says. “If I’m chasing people for these documents before they’ve even signed the tenancy, alarm bells start to ring.”

Agents may move on to the next applicant if you don't have your deposit ready.Agents may move on to the next applicant if you don’t have your deposit ready. Photo: Dan Soderstrom

Providing ample references and other documents from the outset can also give you an advantage over less organised applicants.

“If someone submits an application with just a payslip from a month ago and a passport, it’s not really that interesting to me,” Carroll says. “But if the application has a covering letter, two current payslips, a personal or work reference and they’ve completed their 100 points of ID, I’m impressed.”

3. Apply online if you can

Scanning your hard-copy documents and completing an online application form may be irksome and time-consuming, but for agents it’s a godsend.

Even if a property is popular, don't be tempted to pay more than the advertised price.Even if a property is popular, don’t be tempted to pay more than the advertised price. Photo: Eddie Jim

“I had eight properties open two weeks ago and I leased all of them,” explains Carroll, “so the paperwork was miles long. Online applications make my life easier.”

Most online application forms also include a section for additional comments, so make sure you use it. “The standard form we use actually asks applicants to explain why they like the property in question, and I find that really helpful,” Carroll says. “It’s the first thing I go to now in the application because it gives me a better indication of who we’re dealing with.”

4. Think carefully before offering more than the listed price

Australia’s chronic shortage of inner-city housing has led to an increase in so-called “rental bidding”: offering more than the asking price in order to beat out the competition.

Leo Patterson Ross, advocacy and research officer at the Tenants Union of New South Wales, concedes that this strategy can be effective for those who can afford it. But he cautions that rental bidding can set a dangerous precedent.

“It’s pushing up prices not only for others but for yourself,” he says. By indicating a willingness to pay more than advertised, tenants may increase the likelihood of further rent rises in future, which could ultimately make the property unaffordable.

5. Be ready to pay your deposit

Having your application approved does not guarantee that the agent will hold the property for you. “If I call someone in the morning, tell them their application has been approved and ask for their deposit, and they say, ‘Oh, I’ll pay it later this afternoon’, I automatically go to the next application,” says Carroll.

“If they’re going to pay it later that afternoon, that tells me they’re waiting on the outcome of another application or they can’t afford my property.”

Carroll says delaying payment of your deposit by even a few hours can be risky. “I don’t want to lose my other applicants waiting for a deposit to be paid. Waiting a day for the deposit could mean my other applicants have moved on to other properties.”

6. Choose the most suitable month to apply

Unlike most of the year, when the number of properties on the Australian rental market is relatively stable, the months of January, February and March vary wildly in terms of volume.

According to Domain data, rental listings are at their lowest levels between late December and late January, when much of the country is on holiday. But some rental properties are open for inspection during this time.

Carroll says house-hunting in quiet early January can mean less competition and a better chance of striking up a relationship with a rental agent.

If you’d like to maximise your options, wait until late January or early February, when many landlords return from holidays. But remember that university students house-hunt during this time, increasing competition in less expensive suburbs.

If you can afford to wait until March, you’ll find the market returning to normal levels – and there may be an opportunity to pick up a bargain rental that didn’t lease during the February rush.

7. Don’t despair if you are young or haven’t rented before

Many prospective tenants assume that age and wealth trump all other considerations in the eyes of agents and landlords. But the truth is more nuanced.

“Real estate agents and landlords are ultimately trying to assess risk when choosing applicants,” says Patterson Ross. “The factors they are mainly considering are the ability to pay the rent, and the likelihood of damage occurring to the property.”

“A previous rental history is part of demonstrating that you represent a lower risk, but you can do this in other ways as well – most likely character references from employers or other people who can talk about things like your responsibility, cleanliness and so on.”

Carroll says she has rented properties to people without employment who could demonstrate significant savings, and to others who had less money than their competition. “For me, it’s ultimately about whether the application stands out or not,” she says.

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16 April 2018
By portermathewsblog


Hayden Groves via therealestateconversation.com.au

The REIWA has come out in support of the WA state government’s plans to improve housing affordability by increasing housing diversity and density.

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The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia supports a State Government plan to improve housing diversity and density to boost housing affordability.

REIWA President Hayden Groves said housing affordability remains one of the more challenging issues affecting West Australians.

“REIWA believes that access to secure and appropriate housing is essential to the success of communities and the prosperity of our state.

“REIWA is committed to ensuring everyone wins in property and will work alongside the WA Government to ensure the Affordable Housing Action Plan makes a positive impact to the lives of West Australians,” Mr Groves said.

Minister for Housing; Veterans Issues; Youth, Peter Tinley outlined the strategic plan this week, which promotes a ‘connected city’ by ensuring the needs of our diverse population are met.

“REIWA would like to congratulate Minister Tinley and the WA Government on this initiative that will promote a connected, sustainable and accessible property market into the future,” Mr Groves said.

The McGowan Government aims to deliver affordable homes as part of its METRONET vision and is currently developing its Affordable Housing Action Plan for release in mid-2018.

REIWA will work alongside the Government during the development of the action plan which focuses on:

  • Connection between people, place and home;
  • Real and enduring affordability for those on low-to-moderate incomes;
  • Earlier and more connected housing and support services;
  • Creation of diverse precincts that will include options for low-income earners; and,
  • Diversity of options to meet diversity of need.

REIWA sits on the METRONET industry board and will work closely to advocate the delivery of affordable housing stock and the creation of METROHUBS.

REIWA will continue to actively support Government in ensuring all Western Australian’s have access to affordable housing through collaboration with the private sector.

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19 March 2018
By portermathewsblog


via domain.com.au

Getting your foot into the door isn’t cheap, but sometimes it’s where the money is spent that comes as a shock to first-home buyers.

It’s not over once the deposit has been saved and the winning offer made. Experts have identified five areas where hidden costs might be lurking, and how a buyer can avoiding paying more than they need to.

1. Pre-purchase research

Anna Porter, a property valuer and principal at strategic property investment company Suburbanite, said budgeting for pre-purchase inspections is important.

“There’s a whole range of reports you can get – you can spend $5000 just on due diligence,” she said.

 What could look like a minor issue may cost more in the long run.
 What could look like a minor issue may cost more in the long run.Photo: Erin Jonasson

Not doing the research can prove costly. Mortgage Choice CEO John Flavell said it was vital to conduct proper pest and building inspections.

“It is a small amount to pay for peace of mind and it can help you to avoid buying a property with structural faults or insect infestations,” he explained.

CM Lawyers head conveyancer Alex Sapounas said that trying to avoid buying quality building reports was also a common error.

“Unfortunately there’s no fallback position with major structural flaws.”

Strata reports were also very important, he said, particularly regarding special levies and changes to the standard bylaws.

 

2. Conveyancing fees

Some first-home buyers are surprised to discover they need to engage a conveyancer, or are alarmed by the price.

Rules around conveyancing vary from state to state, but Mr Sapounas said first-home buyers should be talking to a conveyancer at the start of the buying process.

Mr Sapounas said some buyers didn't even have the contracts reviewed prior to bidding at auction.
Mr Sapounas said some buyers didn’t even have the contracts reviewed prior to bidding at auction.

He said it was common to see first-home buyers making mistakes that could cost far more in the long run than the $1500 to $2000 conveyancing fee.

Many did not understand the difference between pre-approval and actual approval, how much of a deposit they need, and when they could pull out of the purchase of a property.

“A lot of first-home buyers don’t even have the contract reviewed prior to auction,” he said.

3. Government and bank fees

Mr Flavell identifies stamp duty, the property transfer fee, and mortgage registration fee as government costs new buyers need to know about.

When it comes to home loans there’s the loan application fee, ongoing bank fees and the lender’s property valuation to consider.

A slowing market might impact whether on not a buyer opts for LMI, or a 20 per cent deposit.
A slowing market might impact whether on not a buyer opts for LMI, or a 20 per cent deposit. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

Another potential expense is Lender’s Mortgage Insurance – LMI – which protects the lender from losing money if the borrower defaults on their loan, and the sale of the property doesn’t cover the money owed.

Generally, it’s a condition of borrowing with less than a 20 per cent deposit, and the cost can be included in the loan amount.

Analysis from financial comparison site Canstar shows that first-time buyers who opt for a 10 per cent deposit and LMI as opposed to taking longer to save a 20 per cent deposit could also wind up paying more overall.

It depends on the growth in property values, with 3.83 per cent annual growth being the break-even point for a $500,000 purchase. If growth is slower, buyers could be better off saving the 20 per cent deposit, but if the market moves faster, LMI is outweighed by capital gains.

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4. Moving in, and moving tenants in

Ms Porter said first-time investors often don’t plan for professional cleaning fees.

“When a vendor moves out, there’s not a requirement for how clean the apartment has to be,” she said.

If the property is left in a passable condition, but not clean enough to meet the standards of a rental property, it might require a professional cleaner, and a $500-plus outlay.

Dixon Advisory’s head of advice Nerida Cole explained there could be quite a big “gap in expectation” for new buyers, in terms of what they’re prepared to live with compared to what a tenant expects.

“If you want to have a good tenant, you want to make sure property is presented well.”

When a vendor moves out, there's not a requirement for how clean they need to leave the property.New homeowners may be left to foot the cleaning bill when the vendor moves out. Photo: Steven Siewert

She added that the early period can be a pressure point for investors who expect to receive rent straight away.

“There can be a bit of a delay in the cash flow coming in from the rent. Up front there’s the property manager costs, the campaign to get a tenant – but you are paying interest from day one.”

Owner-occupiers also need to manage expectations and expenses. “It might take you two years to furnish the house properly, rather than racing in and trying to make it look like a Vogue magazine.”

5. Landscaping and repairs

Ms Porter recommends keeping aside $4000 for $5000 as a maintenance slush-fund.

“You can buy a property and suddenly the hot water dies, or the airconditioning dies and you have to replace it,” she said.

Ms Cole said the cost of upkeep for a backyard can come as a surprise for buyers upgrading from an apartment.

“Plant trimmers, lawnmowers, it does add up. When you’re a new home buyer, you don’t have much cash up your sleeve.”

There can be some surprises in moving from an apartment to a free-standing house with a backyard.

There can be some surprises in moving from an apartment to a free-standing house with a backyard.

Landscaping can also be costly, especially for new builds. Ram Venkatagiri, from Financial Quotient, says that the price of structures like retaining walls can come as a shock to some buyers.

“Sometimes they cannot be determined by the builder at outset, until they perform site works after the building contract has been entered into,” he said.

He noted that blinds, curtains and security grilles aren’t always included in the price of a house and land package, adding thousands to the overall cost.

 

 

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13 February 2018
By portermathewsblog


via www.domain.com.au

More Perth properties may soon be sold under the hammer.More Perth properties may soon be sold under the hammer. Photo: Peard Real Estate

With the Perth property market in a state of recovery, agents are predicting auctions will rise in popularity in favour of the traditional offer and acceptance sales method.

While latest Domain Group auction data revealed there were 180 auction listings in Perth in November, with a clearance rate of 30 per cent — in comparison to Sydney data for the same month of 4,187 listings with a clearance rate of 55 per cent — there were signs more homes will be sold under the hammer in Perth in 2018.

Domain Group data scientist Nicola Powell said a seasonality effect was obvious when looking at auction data for Perth, where there tended to be more homes for auction in the spring months.

Auctioneers expect to be busier in Perth this year.Auctioneers expect to be busier in Perth this year. Photo: Dan Soderstorm

She said auctions were ingrained in the Sydney and Melbourne vendor market, and as the Perth property market began to recover, auction conditions might improve.

JLL buyers advocate Lachlan Delahunty said “auction” seemed to be a foreign word in WA.

“However, we should start to get comfortable with the process, as it will soon hit our shores,” he said.

“Properties sold under the hammer signify only three per cent of Perth property. Unfathomable when comparing that to the likes of Melbourne and Sydney with clearance rates of 80 to 90 per cent.

“Hot markets attract auctions – like bees to honey, as we have seen in Sydney in the early stages of last year.

“However, this form of selling is certainly no place for a soft market, which Perth has experienced in recent years, recording clearance rates as low as 30 per cent in the final parts of 2017.”

Mr Delahunty predicted if the WA market continued to improve during the first few months of this year, properties in coastal and blue chip suburbs would start to see the benefits of a bidding frenzy.

LJ Hooker national auction manager David Holmes said auction volumes in Perth remained steady and almost unchanged: 1973 in Perth last year, compared to 1964 in 2016.

“Perth is still a long way off the auction volumes of the eastern states – Melbourne recorded more than 50,671 auctions last year (a 19 per cent increase year on year) with Sydney notching 40,281 (a 16 per cent increase),” he said.

“However, at the end of 2017 and already in 2018, our offices have fielded more inquiries from sellers about the opportunities to auction their properties. LJ Hooker Kalamunda Foothills auctioned four times as many properties in 2017 than they did the previous year and expect to hold even more in 2018.

“Data has indicated a shift in the Perth market, with the first positive price recorded in the last quarter for a long time. When markets begin to recover, that’s when auctions rise in popularity as buyers openly compete to determine what new market value is.”

Rob Druitt, First National Real Estate Druitt and Shead principal and auctioneer, said auctions were on the rise in Perth, with buyers becoming more savvy in their understanding of the process.

“It’s unlikely in the short to medium term that we will catch up to the like of Melbourne or Sydney, however, as our market improves we are likely to see more auctions,” he said.

Mr Druitt said there were many benefits to selling and buying at auction.

“For the sellers, it is a quicker sale process and if the property is worth more than we all think, they will achieve it,” he said.

“For the buyers, in what is becoming a more competitive market place for certain types of properties, if they are organised, they have a genuine opportunity to buy the property in an open fair forum as opposed to properties selling off the market or quickly with multiple offers.

“For the market, it is good as it helps to genuinely set the market value of property and provides immediate feedback to the market on sales evidence and interest.

“Also, if the property doesn’t sell on the day of auction it will come on the market post-auction and is available to conditional buyers.”

Acton auctioneer Boyd Fraser said the benefits of auctions included a compressed campaign for 21 days and a 50 per cent chance of selling under the hammer on the day.

“Both buyers and sellers are in the same forum so transparency in the process is guaranteed. There is a significant difference in the number of days on market,” he said.

Western suburbs were popular areas for auctions, but other standout areas included Spearwood, Hamilton Hill and Coogee, Mr Fraser said.

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08 February 2018
By portermathewsblog


via hartpartners.com.au

Parliament has passed the legislation allowing first home buyers to save for a deposit inside superannuation through the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) and also allowing older Australians to ‘downsize’ and then contribute the proceeds of the sale of their family home into superannuation.

From 1 July 2018, a first home buyer will be able to withdraw voluntary superannuation contributions they have made since 1 July 2017(up to $30,000 each, with individuals being able to contribute up to $15,000 a year within existing caps), along with a deemed rate of earnings, to help buy their home.

Also, from 1 July 2018, when Australians aged 65 and oversell a home they have owned for at least 10 years, they may contribute up to $300,000 from the proceeds into their superannuation accounts, over and above existing contribution restrictions. Both members of a couple may take advantage of this measure, together contributing up to $600,000 from the proceeds of the sale into superannuation.

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30 January 2018
By portermathewsblog


Author: REIWA President Hayden Groves via reiwa.com.au

After a solid couple of years of subdued conditions in the Perth property market, we can look back on 2017 as a transitional period that brought about the bottom of the market.

Coming off the back of a very soft 2016, the Perth property market regained its foothold in 2017, with stable listings, sales and median house price levels observed.

The stability we are now witnessing across key market indicators is a welcome change.

What to expect in 2018

The forecast for 2018 is that the Perth market will moderately and steadily improve, however REIWA cautions against expectations of rapid growth in either the established housing or rental markets over the coming year.

In 2017 there was an average of 489 property sales recorded each week, which REIWA forecasts will lift to approximately 500 sales per week over the next six months. If sales volumes continue to trend at current levels, listing volumes will begin to fall, creating upward pressure on prices as demand builds.

We saw listings for sale start to level out and decrease last year, peaking at just over 15,000 in early 2017, before reaching a low of just over 13,000 in September.

With new dwelling activity set to decline in 2018, REIWA forecasts the number of properties for sale in Perth to remain at current levels over the next year, a level commensurate with market parity.

Perth rental market

Perth’s rental market also appeared to turn a corner in 2017, with listings declining from 11,000 in January to just over 9,300 by December.

Over this same time, leasing activity levels were strong, with approximately 1,180 rentals leased each week. If this trend persists, the balance between supply and demand of stock will continue to improve in 2018.

In a welcome change for investors, Perth’s median rent price has stabilised at $350 per week since April last year. While we don’t anticipate there will be significant growth to median rent prices in 2018, they’re not likely to fall either with quality family homes in particular in strong demand.

The Perth market is no longer experiencing significant declines in median house and rent prices, nor are we seeing listings for sale and for rent increasing at the rate they once were.

As market conditions improve and confidence returns, competition among buyers will inevitably increase.

If you’re thinking about purchasing your first home, trading-up or investing in property, my advice is to act sooner rather than later and take advantage of the stable and favourable market conditions.

To discuss your valuable investment with our Business Development Manager Sarah Morgan, give us a call on 9475 9622

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16 January 2018
By portermathewsblog


via therealestateconversation.com.au

As an auctioneer, clearly, I’d prefer that every auction made it to the big day. Sometimes, however, vendors opt to sell beforehand because of their unique financial or personal circumstances.

Can you really buy beforehand? 

There has always been some skepticism amongst buyers whether properties are really for sale prior to auction or whether it’s just a price fishing expedition.

In my experience, vendors who are open to selling before auction, generally are committed to the idea if an appropriate offer is made on their property. I generally find there are two types of buyers who make offers before auction.

The first is the buyer who is dipping their toe in the water, so to speak, and hoping to learn the seller’s price expectation. The other type of buyer is one who genuinely doesn’t want to bid at auction perhaps because they’ve missed out on a few properties already and want to learn sooner rather than later whether they’re in with a shot.

Selling before auction happens more often in specific market conditions, of course, but also at particular times of the year like before Christmas.

Some sellers just don’t want to have their properties still on the market over the holidays and for them certainty is more important than going to auction.

So, for those sellers, they are chasing peace of mind more than the best price. Selling before auction can happen in rising and falling markets in my experience. When a market starts to shift to the positive, more buyers tend to make solid offers before auction because they don’t want to run the risk of missing out on the day.

In southeast Queensland at present there are more sales before auction than usual for this time of year, because the market appears to be strengthening. In fact, I don’t think it’s increased this sharply for a number of years. If we use history as a teacher, it may be indicating that the southeast Queensland market is shifting into another gear as we head into 2018. Conversely, when a market starts to cool off, sellers think that they don’t have the same security blanket so they opt to accept offers beforehand.

What are the pros and cons?

Buyers must understand that buying before auction is an opportunity so you really must make your biggest and best offer if you’re serious about securing the property. You can’t try and buy prior by putting your toe in pool – you can only buy prior to auction by diving into the pool.

Don’t make an offer with the expectation that the seller or the agent is going to come back and tell you exactly what their lowest selling price is going to be, because that just doesn’t happen.

They’ll either say you’re close or you’re not even in the same ball park. Also, if a seller is prepared to accept offers prior, it’s unlikely that you will be the only buyer in the running so you must put your best foot forward.

Likewise, if you’re buying a property prior, you almost have to compensate the seller for the risk of them not taking the property to market on auction day. That means that quite often you have to pay a premium because you’re compensating the seller for not going through the campaign that they’ve been advertising for three or four weeks.

For vendors, selling before auction has to involve what I call a #noregretsprice. So it’s the figure that they’re not going to look in the rear view mirror and regret that they didn’t go to auction.

Going to auction could produce a spectacular result on the day if there are a number of competing bidders, backed up by a thorough marketing campaign. The reality is that sellers won’t know what the result will be until auction day – and for some peace of mind is more important, which is fine.

At the end of the day, buying or selling before auction can be a sound strategy as long as the vendor is prepared to accept that a higher price may have been achieved on the day and the buyer understands that they’re unlikely to get a bargain.

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