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WEEKLY PROPERTY UPDATE #026

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10th April 2015

Styling it up to nail the sale
by Vanessa Paech


Pushing up the Price

The emerging trend to glam up a house to emulate the pages of a stylish home magazine is a way to  ultimately push up the price and buyer interest.

It can add $15,000 to $20,000 to an average sale price in comparison to a similar property on the market that’s unfurnished.

It’s all emotion-based for owner-occupier buyers; it’s what they see and feel in the first 30 seconds.  What the home staging companies are doing is what the owners should do but don’t.

Make it clean and crisp

Neutralise and depersonalise everything – get rid of the old trophies, remove everything off the fridge, hide the electricity bills and any personal contact numbers, take down all the photos of the grandchildren because that makes people feel awkward and just pack it all away because everyone wants to think they’re buying something new.

Decluttering the house is important

Other tips such as  inexpensive cosmetic changes that give a little ‘wow’ factor such as: changing the kitchen cabinet knobs or handles; adding a new mailbox; installing new blinds or curtains; replacing the kitchen appliances if they’re really outdated or on their last legs; oiling a deck; mulching the gardens; cutting back hedges or plants to give the yard a more spacious appearance; placing plants in pots around the outside of the house; or ditching the feature wall and either dressing it up with a fashion piece or adding wall storage or a bookshelf instead can add value when selling your home.

“Home staging should be tied in with low-cost upgrade techniques to boost the sale price.

If there’s no furniture and furnishings, minor things like cracks or peeling wallpaper become glaringly noticeable.  Any obvious maintenance issues can have a big effect on the buyer so it’s important to fix those up.

People are buying a lifestyle, not just a house

The top three most impressionable areas on a buyer are the street view, the kitchen and the bathroom.

A different viewpoint

Savvy agents will give their clients some great tips but often it can be difficult for them to tell the entire truth without feeling like they’re offending anyone.

An independent professional to step in and educate the vendor to realise that home staging is a marketing tool to boost the end sales price, “so it’s not the agent giving the negative feedback”.

What you’re doing is you’re turning it into a product – so if you give buyers what they like then you’ll achieve a higher price.

Home staging is particularly effective in a situation when many new dwellings of comparable quality, size and location are oversupplied to the market.

It can help attract tenants too

Appealing to the target demographic is important when home staging not just for a sale but also in a lease situation to attract a better quality tenant.

HAPPY BUYING AND SELLING!!

 If you would like to discuss any of your property needs, whether it be renting/selling your property or buying a property in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney (Bondi Beach, Bronte, Tamarama, Dover Heights, Double Bay, Rose Bay, Vaucluse, Queens Park, Bellevue Hill and surrounding suburbs),  please feel free to contact me on 0413 807 344 or you can email me on martine@rhdb.com.au with your enquiry.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Martine Harvey
Raine and Horne Double Bay
(realestategirl2026)

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WEEKLY PROPERTY UPDATE #025

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Friday 27 March 2015

To renovate, or not to renovate before selling?

Six rules to help you decide

To renovate, or not to renovate before selling? Six rules to help you decide: Paul Bond

Credit: Paul Bond/Property Observer

GUEST OBSERVATION

Once a decision has been made to put a property on the market, thoughts turn to how to get the best return on your investment. To renovate or not to renovate? This is the question vendors often ask, however the answer is not always straightforward.

Pre-sale renovations generally increase the desirability and value of a property and are sometimes necessary to put a property on par with comparable properties on the market in the same area. If planning to spend the time and funds on a makeover though, it is crucial to research and plan in order to get it right. Ensuring any changes appeal to a large percentage of prospective buyers, in addition to meeting the needs of the property’s target market, will help to make any work done a valuable undertaking.

Herewith, some fundamental (but often overlooked) rules to help vendors determine whether renovating prior to sale will be a profitable activity.

  • Don’t spend more than you can recuperate
     If you spend too little your efforts may look cheap and defeat the objective of renovating in the first place. Spend too much and you may not recuperate what you’ve invested come auction day.The general rule is, if you can make $3 for every $1 you spend it’s probably worthwhile.
  • Kitchen and bathrooms are the place to spend money
    Kitchens and bathrooms are two areas of a house that tend to have the largest impact on sale prices, so it can pay to update these rooms prior to sale. With this said, these types of renovations can be costly.At minimum, ensure both your bathroom and kitchen are in a functioning order and present well.
  • Factor in market conditions
    It’s important to select an agent who has experience not only selling in your area, but more importantly, in your suburb.A knowledgeable agent should be able to advise on comparable properties for sale in an area and indicate how worthwhile a renovation to your property would be.It makes good business sense to keep your property within an equivalent price range to others in the area, but with some stand out features.
  • Street appeal
    Front of house is important when it comes to real estate – spend time cleaning the windows, clearing gutters, painting where necessary and tending to the garden. These minor alterations can have a significant impact come auction day.
  • Judge taste
    If you chose to renovate, remember you are doing it to make the property more attractive. Therefore, in order to appeal to the masses it’s best to stick to neutral colour schemes and clean lines.
  • Don’t necessarily go the whole distance
    Sometimes a good spring clean and a coat of paint is all a property needs to attract more buyers. Again, making this decision comes down to analysing first whether or not you can recuperate what you spend.

When it comes to making the decision over whether or not to renovate, it is important to bear in mind that a renovation does not necessarily guarantee a profit. By doing some research and working closely with your real estate agent you can ensure the dollars you invest will be recouped come sale day.

HAPPY BUYING AND SELLING!!

 If you would like to discuss any of your property needs, whether it be renting/selling your property or buying a property in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney (Bondi Beach, Bronte, Tamarama, Dover Heights, Double Bay, Rose Bay, Vaucluse, Queens Park, Bellevue Hill and surrounding suburbs),  please feel free to contact me on 0413 807 344 or you can email me on martine@rhdb.com.au with your enquiry.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Martine Harvey
Raine and Horne Double Bay
(realestategirl2026)

 

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WEEKLY PROPERTY UPDATE #024

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20 March 2015


House-hunting checklist

Relocate your perfect location
In the current property climate, getting everything you want from a house in the location you want it is an increasingly challenging proposition. Add in your partner’s ideas on where the perfect place might be and you’ve got a one-way ticket to a giant real estate roadblock.

Be open to surrounding suburbs to widen your property search
So consider a more affordable suburb nearby, or one where you’re more likely to get what you want for your hard-earned dollar.  Sometimes people think they know where they want to be but they could actually be in other areas that would work better.  Other times they focus on something so much and it’s not what they can afford and they’re never going to get quite what they want, when the next suburb out can give them a much better outcome.

Get alerts and get in first
Use the Real Estate Alert System and you’ll receive an email the moment a property matching your criteria hits the market.  Getting in first is often the difference between snaring and missing out on a house that’s just right for you.

Be the first to view a property with a private sale
If you can find properties that owners are willing to sell prior or that are private sales, you can be the first in to view it and the first to buy it. 

 

HAPPY HOUSE HUNTING!!!

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WEEKLY PROPERTY UPDATE #023

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Friday 6 March 2015

The five basics of the property search

The five basics of the property search: Peter Chittenden

Peter Chittenden – Property Observer

For almost anyone looking to buy, even in the current market, start with the basics. Not being driven by constant media headlines, but concentrate more on what you as a potential buyer want, what are you looking for in your purchase, what are your immediate needs and plans for the future?

What are the basics:-  finance (your budget), location, timing and a hard-nosed view on the ‘must-haves’ in your property search.

Finance
The available finance or budget for any purchase is the essential starting point. It’s a topic that any buyer very likely thinks about the most.  There’s lots of help and options available. Plan your finances and always think well beyond today, take into account the ups and downs, which might happen, in your personal affairs.  Get as much information as you can. Lenders are keener than ever for your business, and help to find the best loan is free.

Right now we have the lowest interest rates since 1959. So plan your finances to take the maximum advantage of competitive rates, but keep in mind that rates will almost certainly go up sometime in the future. So make the best of the prevailing conditions.

If you lock in a three year or five year term, make sure that you still have the ability to make additional repayments, now while rates are low, and always keep in mind add-on costs like stamp duty, legal fees, moving costs, the possible need for temporary accommodation and be aware of any fees that attach to your home loan. Look beyond the headline details and understand the fine detail of your finances, that’s my basic point here, don’t only concentrate on the interest rate.

Location
It pays to be flexible because it can be easy to become fixated about a particular location, and if this happens early in your search, the location can become an unnecessary roadblock. Take time to explore options because the ideal option might just be in an area or suburb you have previously overlooked.

The key points of any location often revolve around access to transport and facilities, but there could well be options if you take a flexible approach. As different governments start to roll out new infrastructure many areas will change over the next few years. If for example you want to live close to rail connections, an option might be the drive and park facilities.

Schools and shopping can also be important, the right school can be a tough one, but with many larger shops in particular supermarkets virtually now open 24/7, can you be more flexible? And it pays to be aware of what future developments might be coming to an area that may well add future value.

For apartment buyers open space is also a key point of location. Today many new developments are very well planned and designed with very attractive indoor and outdoor spaces, so when considering location take a close look at what’s on offer with individual projects.

Timing
In the housing market the most common reason to move house is usually associated with family formation. Marriage, living together, having kids, a divorce or retirement, in reality a variety of circumstances will bring buyers into the market.

Sometimes these things might sneak up on some of us, but generally timing of a move should not be allowed to become that critical that it forces you to buy or sell with little time to plan. If you’re in a buyers market, there’s possibly less pressure but even if the market is a sellers market plan your move to suit your own timeline and avoid over commitment of your finances in order to try and beat the market, that might just create more problems in the future.

Must Haves
Any new apartment/house needs to fit your lifestyle, your aspirations, always aim to sign-off on the basics first, like the number of bedrooms, do you need parking, or is a secure storeroom more important. A good outdoor area, a balcony, terrace or courtyard will always be high on the list of must haves for many buyers.

Kitchens and bathrooms are now attractive spaces, kitchens are evolving into almost bespoke pieces of furniture in their own right – but if everything is not perfect, think about the options you might change. Balance a good location against possible interior changes or furniture options that you can make.

Also keep in mind things like privacy and natural light, and aspect and sunshine because in the rush for the designer-finish these simple things can be overlooked and they can make a great deal of difference to the appeal of an apartment in the long run.

It’s Your Home
When looking to buy I think it’s important to work to your own timetable, explore all of the options of finance and location and take charge of what should be an exciting time.

Try not to be distracted too much by the big-picture because the market is still full of different options. Your final choice might end up being different from what you had first thought of as your ideal home, it might just be better! Concentrate on the basics.

If you would like to discuss any of your property needs, whether it be renting/selling your property or buying a property in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney (Bondi Beach, Bronte, Tamarama, Dover Heights, Double Bay, Rose Bay, Vaucluse, Queens Park, Bellevue Hill and surrounding suburbs),  please feel free to contact me on
0413 807 344 or you can email me on  martine@rhdb.com.au with your enquiry.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Martine Harvey  – The Goldman Brothers – (Barry and Mark Goldman)
Raine and Horne Double Bay
(realestategirl2026)

HAPPY BUYING AND SELLING EVERYONE!

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WEEKLY PROPERTY UPDATE #022

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27 February 2015

What rental income percentage is taken into account when lenders work out lending potential?

What rental income percentage is taken into account when lenders work out lending potential?

Rams Home Loan

When lenders work out your borrowing capacity for an investment property, they take into account rental income and your claimable expenses to see your capacity to repay the debt.

However, lenders do not take 100% of the gross rental income expected into account. While it varies from lender to lender, the general rule is that 80% of rent will be calculated into the equation.

Less common scenarios:-

– Some lenders are known to consider rental yields instead.

–  Some banks, will allow you to live in the house with the intention of leasing out individual rooms, and may take this income into account.

– Some banks have been known to consider up to 100% of the rental income, however there are usually a number of other hoops to jump through to achieve this, such as an 80% or lower Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) and a maximum amount of total loans with that lender.

If you become “rent reliant” – where a certain portion of your income is made up by rent – then you may start to see yourself declined by some lenders.

Banks usually use rental income confirmed through a valuation. It can assist to provide a managing agent’s rent assessment on the property with your loan application.

 HAPPY INVESTING!!!

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1. Employ a property manager

Employing an expert property manager can save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

While it will cost a percentage of your rent, a specialist property manager can actually maximise your rental returns, simplify your responsibilities, organise all the paperwork, maintenance and inspections, find tenants and liaise with them and use their experience to minimise any potential problems. 

2. Be aware of your legal responsibilities

All landlords should ensure they are familiar with their rights and responsibilities under Australian law.
The landlord tenant relationship is governed by the Residential Tenancy Act of each state and territory in Australia.

But common to all states and territories is the fact that landlords need to guarantee the safety of any rented property and its fixed appliances and contents, which extends to areas like maintenance and even health. Skimp on safety and you could find yourself in court.

3. Document and communicate

Ensure all tenant agreements are documented in writing as a lease agreement so all parties are on the same page.  Good and efficient communication is key to a successful tenancy. If you have expectations about how the property should be kept, communicate them to your tenants or your property manager in advance.

4. Administer the bond correctly

It’s advisable to collect a bond up front against any future damage or loss of rent from prospective tenants.

The landlord cannot hold this bond themselves – it must be lodged with the appropriate state or territory residential tenancies bond authority who will hold the bond during throughout tenancy.

A bond can be held against any damage to the property, but cannot be held against “fair wear and tear”.

5. Look after your tenants

Attracting good tenants who treat your property as if it was their own is every landlord’s dream.

There are two key things you can do:

  1. Make sure your property is well presented and desirable
  2. Don’t skip on reference checks when assessing prospective tenants.And, once you have good tenants, do your best to keep them by ensuring the property is well maintained, being reasonable about any rent increases and making sure any queries are addressed promptly.

6. Consider landlord insurance

While a bond may cover small amounts of damage or loss of rent, landlord insurance covers other risks that can be associated with renting out a property and that don’t fall under a normal home and contents or strata title insurance policy.

7. Maximise your earnings

Rental properties are an investment so most landlords want to maximise their rental earnings.

You should keep an eye on market rents, choose a desirable area in which to invest and make sure your property is well maintained. But you should also seek expert advice about what you might be able to claim through the ATO – for instance, you may be able to claim back expenses like council rates, water bills or capital improvements against tax.

HAPPY INVESTING!!

If you would like to discuss any of your property needs, whether it be renting/selling your property or buying a property in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney (Bondi Beach, Bronte, Tamarama, Dover Heights, Double Bay, Rose Bay, Vaucluse, Queens Park, Bellevue Hill and surrounding suburbs),  please feel free to contact me on
0413 807 344 or you can email me on  martine@rhdb.com.au with your enquiry.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Martine Harvey
Raine and Horne Double Bay
(realestategirl2026)

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WEEKLY PROPERTY UPDATE #021

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Friday 20  February 2015

When first impressions count, it’s the simple things that matter

When first impressions count, it's the simple things that matter

Credit: EDWIN ALMEIDA – PROPERTY OBSERVER

When it comes to selling your home, there are three areas you need to consider:-

Preparation, Presentation and  Marketing campaign

The core principle when it comes to a sale or purchase of anything is,  that first impressions count. You achieve the best return based on a positive impression.

When thinking about selling your home and when you are contemplating how to obtain the most value in the sale, consider both the need to eliminate as many objections as possible and secondly, engage a real estate agent that understands how to prepare the home so that the first impression does count in your favour.

The sales process is simple and it starts with the marketing campaign. A good real estate professional will engage a stylists and other professionals to assist with the process. Preparing the home and making the first impression starts with the main aspect, the front appearance of the property. Typically what buyers see when they first approach the property.

Simple tips to take into account when preparing the front yard and front aspect of the home.

  1. Take care of the lawns and edges. The estimated cost may range from $50-$150 on average across Sydney.
  2. Weed garden beds, trim the hedges and add bark. The estimated cost ranges from $200-$400 across Sydney.
  3. Pressure clean the driveway and footpaths leading to the front door. The estimated costs may range from $200-$500 on average across Sydney.
  4. Pressure clean the roof area visible to the front. The estimated cost ranges from, $250-$600 across Sydney.

You have just added  tens of thousands of dollars value to the home.

As agents our aim is to engage the buyer’s emotion from the moment they view the photos and video on online property portals. This is further enhanced when they walk up to the front of the home, see colour and presentable gardens.

Be mindful that a buyer’s objections are bargaining chips to drive the price down.   As agents and vendors, we have to elimate as many objections as possible to maintain the value and differentiate your home from others in the area that have been badly prepared for the sales and their marketing campaigns.

It’s the simple things that matter and first impressions count.

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What research is crucial to find a suburb with the best growth?

What research is crucial to find a suburb with the best growth?

An investor must research a location that will grow in value and has good investment fundamentals. This is your due diligence process and every investor’s research process looks different when determining where to invest.

You may decide to be led by property experts, local real estate agents,  buyer’s agents,  and leveraging off of their experience and strong knowledge of the areas property market, the local council research houses and even local town planners can also be helpful. Data companies, such as RP Data and SQM Research can be worth considering for data to either back up your research or fill in the blanks. A mixture of specific factual information, such as the numbers, recent sales and statistics around migration, along with your own qualitative research can be crucial.

The first thing to consider when looking for a growth suburb is the macro aspect.

Property buyers should become familiar with the concept of market cycles. Look within a location with good growth prospects for broader trends. For instance, has the government identified the location as a growth area?

Looking a little closer

Your price point  may help you refine a suburb choice quickly. Other statistical indicators such as rental yield, proportion of houses vs. apartments, income growth and a number of other statistics may assist you.

It will also be worth looking at government plans on a wider scale to try and pinpoint areas of growth. If, for instance, a rail line is being put through a whole area and there is significant infrastructure investment, then you may want to consider it more closely.

There are a number of things that drive capital growth to look out for. Here are a few:

  • 1. New infrastructure projects;
  • 2. Supply/demand issues;
  • 3. Strong migration into the area/high population growth forecasts;
  • 4. Gentrification;
  • 5. Strong employment drivers.

HAPPY BUYING AND SELLING!!!

If you would like to discuss any of your property needs, whether it be renting/selling your property or buying a property in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney (Bondi Beach, Bronte, Tamarama, Dover Heights, Double Bay, Rose Bay, Vaucluse, Queens Park, Bellevue Hill and surrounding suburbs),  please feel free to contact me on
0413 807 344 or you can email me on  martine@rhdb.com.au with your enquiry.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Martine Harvey
Raine and Horne Double Bay
(realestategirl2026)

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WEEKLY PROPERTY UPDATE #020

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Friday 13th February 2015

Is it preferable to buy an investment property local to my current address?

Is it preferable to buy an investment property local to my current address?

If you’ve had your eye on a potential investment property around the corner from where you currently live, you wouldn’t be the first. There are many pros and cons to buying a property locally.

The certainty that comes with knowing your own area and being able to drive past your investment property can be second to none in many people’s eyes.

There are some crucial questions you need to ask yourself:-

* Are you living somewhere that is expected to do well for investors?

* Is there somewhere better?

* Can you afford it?

It’s unlikely that the one suburb you live in is the best investment location out of every suburb across the country.

If you own the home that you are living in, then it might actually make sense to diversify and consider a property further afield, or even interstate.

Similarly, if you haven’t yet purchased in the area, it might be worth looking for other opportunities first, rather than holding yourself to one specific location. You need to make sure the area works for you, to achieve your financial goals.

Often, the reason you live somewhere is very different to the reason you invest somewhere.

Benefits to purchasing a property that is local or just a few suburbs away:-

* You have the option to repair and renovate yourself, without having to travel long distances.

* You can do the protective drive-past if you’re getting concerned about the investment.

* You can  self-manage the property.  If you are looking at renovation as part of the process,  then it’s worthwhile considering purchasing closer to home.

* Buying locally can also save you time if you have the required knowledge about the area’s property market in advance.

Many first time investors keep a regular eye on their suburb’s auctions and sales.

However, having strong local knowledge and connections can go both ways.

Seek out local experts, and if you have knowledge as to potential changes coming up for the area, the good and the bad streets, where the noisy neighbours are and so on, it can cut short your research time. But it also means you may be very biased about an area you like.

Leave your emotions and assumptions at the door, look at an area as an investor not as a resident.

You may find that what you think is true about the area is not the case when you take a step back.

Consider the following:-

*  Possible return and investment figures

* Rental yields and what you are getting for your investment

You may want to consider engaging a buyer’s agent or other professional if looking at another location.

Remember, even if you decide to purchase in a location not local to you, do the necessary research – it’s worth the costs and due diligence.

You must also be astute about the differences from state to state. There are different real estate and planning laws across the country that you need to make yourself familiar with.

HAPPY BUYING!!

If you would like to discuss any of your property needs, whether it be renting/selling your property or buying a property in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney (Bondi Beach, Bronte, Tamarama, Dover Heights, Double Bay, Rose Bay, Vaucluse, Queens Park, Bellevue Hill and surrounding suburbs),  please feel free to contact me on
0413 807 344 or you can email me on  martine@rhdb.com.au with your enquiry.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Martine Harvey
Raine and Horne Double Bay
(realestategirl2026)

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FAVOURITE PICS OF THE WEEK!

photo 21

Credit: @adesignersmind

photo 6

Credit: @myhuntergatherer

photo 5

Credit: @adesignersmind

photo 4

Credit: @robinson_architects

photo 7

Credit: @customhomes

photo 8

Credit: @inandoutdecor

photo 9

Credit: @casacor_oficial

photo 10

Credit: @thestylephiles

photo 11

Credit: @modern.architect

photo 12

Credit: @fabiarquiteta

photo 13

Credit: @myinterior

photo 14

Credit: @robinson_architects

photo 18

Credit: @thearcagencyau

photo 15

Credit: @inform_melbourne

photo 20

Credit: @boholuxeinteriors

photo 16

Credit: @thestylephiles

photo 17

Credit: @reem_balto2

photo 19

Credit: @mb.architecture

photo 3

Credit: @loversofarchitecture

photo 2

Credit: @badrumsinspo

photo 1

Credit: @homeadore

photo 23 FUN PHOTO

Credit: onlyinbondi

 

photo 22 WORDS

Credit: @motive8co

 

HAPPY WEEKEND EVERYONE!!!

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