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Archive for October 2017

How to move from an armchair investor to investment property owner

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You’ve read the book, the articles, and religiously checked the property listings websites. However, you’ve still yet to get away from the research stage and take the step to physically buying your investment property.

We’ve heard so many people say ‘I’m going to buy an investment property’, but the reality is, it just doesn’t happen.

Indeed, The Sydney Morning Herald recently quoted just one-in-12 Australians own an investment property, with almost 30 per cent of those owning two or more.

Armchair investors know the reasons people are investing in property; interest rates remain low, there are many tax-deductible benefits, and property investment can be used to help reach financial goals.

The armchair investor can always give advice about locations and the type of properties that make a good investment.

However, they seem unable to take the step from sitting in the armchair and saying they’re going to invest in property, to actually doing it.

So, here are a few tips to give those armchair investors a bit of a lift up out of it so they too can work towards their financial dreams:

Take financial advice

Many people assume they can’t afford to invest. However, if you are in a stable and reasonably good paying job and have a solid employment history, you may be surprised with what you can borrow.

Interest only loans are still around, and there are some very reputable mortgage providers offering good rates to people who don’t fit the criteria for mainstream financial institutions. These include people who are self-employed or on a casual contract or who may have other different circumstances.

Stay focused

Keep thinking of those long-term goals you want from your property investment – be it the additional income to put towards a holiday or the capital growth to be used in your retirement strategies.

The sooner you buy your property, the sooner you’ll be working towards these goals and the sooner you’ll be reaching them.

Be open to change

While it’s good to have a buying strategy and have some idea of what type of property you want and in which area, don’t be blinkered; there could be other properties in other areas within your budget, and you should consider alternatives on their own merit.

We’ve known investors keen to buy a particular type of property in a particular area end up buying something completely different. These investors were open to change. They still did their homework on the property, crunched the numbers, considered the risks and after that, decided the property was for them.

They are now sitting with tenanted properties and are well on the way to reaching their financial goals.

Keep motivated

Don’t give up just because you were pipped to the post on the property you thought was ‘the one’; there will be more. Believe us – we’ve had over 40 years in the business! Think of not getting one property, as you’re getting one step closer to purchasing the property perfect for your situation.

If you want some extra encouragement to keep you motivated, come in and talk to us!

Our knowledgeable and talented team is keen to help you reach your financial dreams through property investment, and will help make your property journey as stress-free as possible.

Give us a call on 02 4954 8833, send us an email to mail@andriessenproperty.com.au  or pop into our Cardiff office for a chat.

For more property management tips check out our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Andriessenproperty

Archive for October 2017

How the perfect presentation style can add value to your property

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You’ve made all those little repairs, given the property a new lick of paint, and it’s spotless. Is there anything else you can do?

Yes there is.

Presentation is the one aspect which will help differentiate your property from the similar one for sale a couple of blocks away. In fact, some claim you can increase your property value by up to 10 per cent by getting the presentation style right.

Another big plus is a well-presented property looks great in publicity material. This usually attracts more bidders at auctions and people to open inspections, and in our experience, a stylishly presented property often sells quicker too.

Disconnect the emotion

The secret to presenting your property is to make the potential buyer see it as their own home, not as your home. This is why decluttering and removing personal pictures, trinkets and any old or clunky furniture with sentimental value is important.

If you’re finding it hard to lose the emotions, remember you are moving on to a new property and the next phase of your life, so try to think of the property now as an investment, not as your home.

Show ideas

In our experience, people spend longer in a well-presented, furnished room than an empty one. Ideally, each room should be presented in such a way it inspires the potential buyer with what they can do with the room. For instance, an empty bedroom room may give the feeling of space, but you also want to show it’s possible to fit a double bed in it.

Give ideas for when they are living in the property; show how the quirky small spaces can be utilised, use neutral pictures and cushions, and simple, low-key modern furniture. Creative lighting will also literally show a room in a different light.

Make it homely

Fresh flowers, reed diffusers, cinnamon and scented oil burners are great ways to eliminate unsavoury smells. Strategically placed cups or glasses in entertaining areas, an open cookbook in the kitchen and a basket of fresh fruit can all enhance the atmosphere.

Some choose to use the services of a professional stylist as they will look at the property without the emotion however, employing a stylist isn’t within everyone’s immediate budget. This is why we’ve created a great little FREE resource help to maximise the value of your house on a budget.

Our FREE booklet, 101 ways to maintain and prepare your home for profit, is packed full of tips and ideas.

Simply text the word ‘PROFIT’ to 0416 906 799 and we will send you a link so can download the booklet direct.

Being one of Newcastle’s longest established real estate offices, our innovative team can give you great advice on what you can do to improve your property and we are constantly achieving great results for our clients.

Drop into the Cardiff office or give us a call on 02 4954 8833. Or send us an email to: mail@apnewcastle.com.au – we’d love to hear from you.

And don’t forget to check out our Facebook page for handy tips on selling your property or what to look for when buying a property.

Archive for October 2017

Strata titled property explained

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Whether you’re looking to buy a strata titled property as your own home or for an investment, it’s important to understand what strata is, how it works, and what costs are involved.

Strata titled properties are generally apartments, townhouses and units, and these are usually referred to as ‘lots’. A strata scheme can be made up of as few as two lots or it can be 100’s.

Key features of strata titled property

  • You own your individual lot (your apartment, townhouse or unit)
  • You also own part of the building and common areas. These could include entrances and lobbies, lifts, gardens, carparks and any recreational facilities such as pools and BBQ areas.
  • You and all the other owners are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of these common areas and buildings. This includes wiring, electricity, gutters, pool and lift maintenance, carpets etc.
  • Owners are automatically a member of the ‘owner’s corporation’ which has a responsibility for common property and key decisions affecting the strata scheme
  • You contribute to the cost of running the building through paying quarterly levies. This usually includes building insurance for your lot, but not contents insurance.
  • You also have to pay into a capital works fund, for future long term expenses such as painting the building or replacing guttering
  • There are lifestyle restrictions. For instance, there are rules (by-laws) that may affect where you park your car or hang washing, or whether you can keep a pet.
  • If you want to make renovations or alter your lot, you need to know where the common property boundaries are; lot owners cannot make alterations to common property without approval from the owner’s corporation.

Owner’s corporation

The owner’s corporation, made up of all the lot owners, effectively run and manage the strata scheme. It is responsible for maintenance, addressing issues and ensuring the scheme adheres to legislation such as the recent requirements for window and pool safety.

There is a strata AGM, where owners elect representatives to make many of the day-to day decisions about the scheme’s management. Meetings may also be held at other times of the year to discuss issues affecting the strata scheme.

While some corporations self-manage, many prefer to use a licenced a strata managing agent and some employ a building manager.

The corporation also has to adhere to strict rules about record keeping, such as accurately recording meetings and finances.

New legislation

Strata schemes have been around for years, and last November new legislation was introduced to reflect modern living. For owners, getting renovations approved is now simpler and there are online options for meetings and voting.

Property owners also need to be aware, the new legislation does affect tenants. If at least half of the units in your scheme are rented, tenants can be represented on strata committees, and they are entitled to attend meetings of the owner’s corporation where major decisions are made.

Under the new legislation, owners must review the by-laws of their strata scheme by 30 November 2017. Make sure you are part of the conversations and meetings that could change the by-laws of your strata complex!

More information and a downloadable pdf document about strata can be found at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au and details about the new legislation can be found at the dedicated website www.stratalaws.nsw.gov.au

If you’re thinking of buying an investment property in a strata titled scheme and would like to know more or would like to know how our property management services can help, our talented and experienced team would love to share its knowledge with you.

We are one of Newcastle’s longest established real estate offices, so give us a call on 02 4954 8833, send us an email to mail@apnewcastle.com.au  or pop into our Cardiff office for a chat.

For more property management tips check out our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Andriessen Property

 

Archive for October 2017

Preparing for the unexpected

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Death and taxes are the two certainties in life according to the old adage. Selling a property is hard enough, let alone when emotions are running high because we’re grieving for a loved one.

While we don’t like to think about death and dying, it does pay to think about these things before the event. The aftermath of a loved one passing away can be less complicated if important conversations and the sharing of information and intentions are made clear beforehand.

For instance, to make the process easier:

– Draw up a will.

–  Share bank account details, names of lawyers and lists of assets with a trusted person.

– Communicate between family members.

– Keep a folder at home with legal papers, wills, financial documents, names of solicitors and so on.

Hindsight is a powerful thing, and the last thing you want at a traumatic time is to make the wrong decision or be faced with a legal minefield because finances weren’t in order.

At Andriessen Property, we’re always trying to make your life easier and your real estate experience exceptional.

This is why we’ve got a handy FREE resource to help prepare you and get you through the challenging times.

Written in plain English by property law specialist lawyer Allan Farrar, “Selling in Unexpected Circumstances” contains critical knowledge to help families navigate the difficult legal and property waters in the event of a loved one passing.

You can get this e-book straight to your phone. Simply text the word ‘UNEXPECTED’ to 0416 906 799 and we will send you a link so can download it direct.

In the e-book you’ll also find details of what you can do now to make the process less complicated.

From property tax issues, valuations and selling a property to explaining power of attorney, dealing with debt and what to do if there are disputes, “Selling in Unexpected Circumstances”  will help prepare you and see through a challenging time by giving you the knowledge to make made informed decisions.

We do more than simply sell or manage property – we’re here to make your life easier, particularly at a challenging time. Our compassionate and experienced team are there for you and will be very understanding of your needs and situation.

This is why, with over 40 years in the business, we are one of Newcastle’s longest established real estate offices. Drop into the Cardiff office or give us a call on 02 4954 8833. Or send us an email to: mail@apnewcastle.com.au – we’d love to hear from you.

And don’t forget to text the word ‘UNEXPECTED’ to 0416 906 799 to instantly receive the free book.

Want more advice or tips for selling, buying or investing in property? Check out our Facebook page – it’s packed with plenty of information.