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Archive for January 2018

Renovation home-selling myths you need to stop believing

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It’s a new year and you may be thinking it’s time for new pastures. Looking round your home, you could be wondering how you can improve it so you can get top dollar when it goes on the market.

A common myth people believe is every renovation adds value. The truth of the matter is, they don’t. Putting a granite workbench in a regular two-bedroomed unit probably won’t affect what a buyer is prepared to pay. Put it into a luxury 2-bedroomed apartment and it may just catch the buyer’s eye but will it be enough for them to pay the extra to more than cover the cost of the renovation?

Major renovations are costly and time consuming so you need to be sure you are going to get your money back and more.

If you’re thinking of renovating your property for sale, here are a few renovations which simply aren’t true:

Everyone wants a swimming pool

We Australians love the water, but when it comes to having a pool in our own back yard, it seems we’re not so keen. Keeping them maintained can be a chore and costly, and investors are often put off buying properties with pools because of the additional costs associated with insurance and safety regulations. Pools are expensive to install and if you are selling, you’ll also need to show a Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance to prove it meets the safety requirements.

In our experience, installing a pool doesn’t add a lot of value and in some cases, can put buyers off.

Adding a room adds value

There is no black and white on additional rooms adding value to the house as it depends on the property. For instance, converting the garage to a bedroom might be detrimental if parking is a premium in that area.

Buyers like new amenities

Most buyers will expect amenities such as electricity, air-conditioning and plumbing to be in working order. While you probably won’t increase the value of your house by installing new air conditioning throughout, you can bet your bottom dollar prospective buyers will reduce their offer if they think they’ve got to do this themselves.

Upgrade the kitchen to up the price

Some studies have indicated you can increase the value of your property by as much as 6 per cent if you upgrade the kitchen. However, if the rest of the house looks dated, or the renovation isn’t in keeping with the property or looks cheap, you may find the upgrade isn’t adding as much as you hoped. It might be more prudent to look at minor, less costly upgrades to the kitchen, such as changing the handles and painting cupboards.

When you’re looking at renovating your property to sell, have a realistic think about who you’re selling to and what their likely budget is. The reality is a splash of paint here and a few maintenance jobs there might be all your property needs. We’re always happy to have an informal chat about what we believe you can realistically do to get your property ready for top-dollar sale.

If you want to know some budget renovations to maximise the value of your house, 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 instantly send you a link so can download the booklet direct.

Drop into the Cardiff office or give us a call on 02 4954 8833. Or send us an email to: – 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 January 2018

Calculating your buying budget for your property investment

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As well as paying the price tag for a property, there are a few other costs you’ll need to factor into your budget.

Here are the main ones:

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is unfortunately a necessary tax levied on all properties by the NSW Government. For an investment property, you may have to pay a bit more than if it’s your home and it’s important you keep a record of this for when you eventually come to sell the property.

Stamp duty in NSW does vary according to the cost of the property and the NSW Government Revenue website,, has an online calculator to estimate how much you are likely to pay.

(By the way, this tax is called stamp duty because originally legal documents such as land transactions and marriage licences would be physically stamped to show the tax had been paid and the document was legal.)

Conveyancing and legal fees

The process of transferring the property from the seller to the buyer can be a complex one and while it is possible to do the process yourself, it’s advisable to pay a solicitor or conveyancer to do this for you. They will check on a wide variety of aspects, prepare paperwork and negotiate other costs such as outstanding strata and council payments.

The cost of this service does vary depending on the service provider so you should get a written estimate of the likely costs before signing on the dotted line.

Search fees

During the process of transferring the property from the seller to the buyer, the conveyancer or solicitor needs to carry out a number of searches to ensure the property is what it says it is and there are no issues such as registered encumbrances or illegal extensions.

Pest and building reports

Having pest and building inspections are not essential when applying for finances however, these inspections will help you know what you’re buying and may help with negotiating on the property price.

First-time buyers keen to get on the property ladder by buying an investment property before their own residential property may be eligible to some of the First Time Homebuyer benefits offered by the NSW Government. These include free stamp duty for a property priced up to a certain amount, and a $10,000 grant if the property is brand new.

However, conditions do apply so check the details on the NSW Government Revenue website.

Don’t let extra finances put you off from starting out on your property investment journey. Speak to your mortgage broker or financial expert and they can explain fully the costs and risks involved. You may find they can factor these costs into the mortgage so you won’t have to pay them directly in one go.

We’ve been helping people realise their financial dreams through property for over 40 years and we’re always looking at ways to help. If you’d like to know more about buying costs and our property management services, our talented and experienced team would love to share its knowledge with you.

Give us a call on 02 4954 8833, send us an email to  or pop into our Cardiff office for an informal chat.

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