Tips and Advice

Would you buy your own home?

Presentation will sell a home and needs to portray that it is a reluctant sale.  Show that you love your own home and respect it.

  • Is your home welcoming?
  • Is your home clear of clutter?
  • Emphasise ALL strong points in your home! And I am sure there are plenty.
  • Cleanliness and hygiene are vital
  • Do your dishes!
  • Make the beds!
  • Are all the lights working, nice and bright?

First impressions can make or break a sale!

 

Baiting

Baiting is a marketing technique whereby a property is advertised at a lower price to “attract buyers” to come to open inspections.   Why would you advertise your property for $399,000 - $429,000, if your minimum price is $425,000? Not only is this illegal, it is misleading and will only encourage people to view your home that can’t afford it!    Yes, numbers at open inspections may be lower because I have advertised truthfully; but don’t we all only want genuine buyers to come through? Decent Agents do not lie.

Going behind the sign:

Are you being approached by other salespeople even though you are already selling?

Some salespeople have nothing better to do, unfortunately!   

Annoying and very intrusive for all concerned.

I am very fortunate that my work is referral based, so I can spend all of my time trying to sell your home, which is what you employ me to do, surely!

The Real Estate Institute of South Australia’s Code defines “behind the sign” activity as:  

The act of a Practitioner approaching another Practitioner’s Client to solicit business… A practitioner should not solicit Clients of other Practitioners or engage in Behind the Sign behaviour 

This includes brochures in your letter box or letters saying they have a buyer for your home.

Tell them to utilise their vendors time better by selling their own listings (if they have any)!

 

Are you ready to sell your house?

Definitely not an easy answer, especially if you are like me, and are very attached to your neighbours and lifestyle! Consider the following, it may just help with your decision!

  • You are financially ready to move.  You have done your sums, you have savings, or equity in your home, or you are able to meet any new mortgage payments
  • Your house doesn’t quite work for you anymore
  • You don’t wish to renovate, as it is generally only a short-term stop fix, I have found!
  • You’ve outgrown your home
  • You are ready to downsize
  • Kids have moved out
  • Location is no longer suitable
  • You wish to move closer to town
  • You need to move to be closer to family, work, schools or maybe medical services and transport
  • You realise that nearby houses are getting good prices (and of course, yours is better!)
  • It’s a good time in the market to sell

 

Buying your first home?                                

Are you planning to buy your first home?  It’s not as scary as the Nay Sayers claim!

Please contact Naomi for help, it is a good thing to have a wise head on your side, and one who has helped many others that have been in your shoes over the years.

How is your finance?  This is the first thing you must know.  How much can you borrow, what is your budget, how is your deposit situated……this will ultimately dictate what you can and can’t buy.

Each bank or lender will have different requirements and conditions.  For example, some lenders require proof of a longer savings history than others. Your lender will give you a pre-approval amount to work with. 

The Government offers a range of benefits to support first home buyers.  This includes grants, concessions and tax exemptions.  Make sure you check RevenueSA to see what you are entitled to.

Tip: The more deposit you have, the greater your choice of lenders and products.

There are also extra costs involved with buying a home that your lender will take into consideration:

  • Conveyancing and Legal Transfer of the house to your name
  • Stamp Duty must be paid to the government; but as a first home buyer you may have concessions on this. 
  • Mortgage application fees
  • Transfer fees
  • Registration fees
  • Mortgage insurance fees.
  • Property Insurance
  • Encumbrance registrations.
  • Building and Pest Inspection is certainly recommended to be included in the sales contract.

Consider the location of your new home to be. Are friends and family nearby?  What are the neighbours like?  Are their gardens clean and tidy?  You can never do enough research. If you are unsure, drive past at different times of the day or night.  Is the street busy?  Can you park? Is it noisy? Are there any likely hazards like floods or fires?

Think of the future, are you buying a house in a poor condition, but it is a growth area, or popular area? 

Is the property Torrens Titled, Strata or Community Titled?  If the latter two, you should be given 2 years of the last committee minutes.  Pets are often not allowed in strata groups.  Make sure the group is the right fit for you!

Are their schools, shopping centres, transport options nearby?

You can NEVER do enough research when buying a home.

 

What are our prices doing?

In the Adelaide CBD, we have seen a beautiful capital growth of 3.87%, with some areas performing better than others, and an increase overall in the number of sales.  Our median metropolitan price is now $468,000.

No surprise to us southerners, but the highest number of sales is in Morphett Vale, followed by Aldinga Beach.

Why the south?  We are:

  • Affordable
  • We have great locations offering Value for Dollar
  • Beach Proximity
  • Lifestyle
  • Recreational activities
  • Services
  • Infrastructure
  • Great Investment opportunities

REISA reports that we have also had an increase in values in our beautiful rural areas.  A small increase, but this equates to stability and consistency.  Sale numbers are also up.  

The median house price in our rural areas is now $269,500, which is an increase of 0.65%. The amount of sales has also increased.  The largest growth in values are in:

Whyalla - 37.5%

Millicent - 26.67%

And Berri - 25.7%

These areas have industry and productivity to support their population.

 

Adelaide Market Overview 1998 to 2019

From June 2008 to June 2019 we have had a huge increase in our median prices.

Could you get the same return from a bank? Could you invest $120,000 10 years ago and return $475,000 today? Could you increase your wealth by a staggering 400%?

Right now, there is a definite shortage of quality housing available for sale. 

Adelaide’s clearance rate has stayed consistent and is currently sitting around 50%.

Buyer confidence is returning to the market, and investors are slowly getting their hands out of the pockets and negative gearing and capital gains reforms have put to bed for the next four years.

Buyer confidence is returning to the market, numbers are up at open inspections and auction clearance rates are improving.

 

Are you ready to buy an investment property?

  • The return is greater than any interest a savings bank can do (unless your bank can offer from 5% to 9% in return?)
  • Drive past your bricks and mortar if you need reassuring!
  • Watch your investment grow in value…. not fluctuate with various outgoing influences
  • Do you have savings or equity in your home that you can utilise?
  • You are willing to make your own decisions and not be dictated to by accountants or financial advisers
  • Absolutely nothing is safer than a property investment. Nothing!

 

Land Tax

On the 18th of June 2019 the state liberal government announced they would be taking measures to close existing loopholes in the Land Tax Act.  These loopholes currently allow existing landowners to minimise their land tax bills by splitting their properties into multiple legal structures including trusts and companies.

The best way to describe this is currently developers can place parcels of land in different company names, escaping larger taxes. The government intends to group land parcels held by common beneficial owners to identify an individual owner.

With the little information out there, there are a lot of concerns, speculations and outrage, especially from real estate agents, as it is tough enough out there as it is!

In September 2019 the state Government released a draft Land Tax amendment Bill 2019 to be presented to Parliament.  The main points are:

  • Slashes the top marginal land tax rate from 3.7% to 2.4%
  • Varying threshold limits of properties that will pay land tax.

Land tax is paid by the owners of investment properties (not the principal place of residence) and is applied on the unimproved value of land (not the capital value)

My understanding in this issue is, that, if in the Lower House if 50% of MP’s agree to the changes, it will be passed and sent to the Upper House for review. Most MP’s are listening to their constitution who are disagreeing quite strongly to this change.

Reminder:  Your own residential home is exempt from Land Tax.

The revenue collected from the Land Tax Amendments will assist in the provision of public services such as education, health and public safety.

 

Keeping an eye on the Banks!

ASIC v WETPAC

In mid-August, the Federal Court dismissed ASICs responsible lending case against Westpac. But what does this mean?

Previously, when people were applying for a loan, their annual living expenses were being assessed by Westpac against a broad 'Household Expenditure Measure' (HEM) benchmark. This assessment formed part of the overall outgoing figure which in turn would determine how much borrowing power that person would have.

As a result of the Royal Commission, APRA advised all lenders to pay more attention to living expenses, causing the credit pendulum to swing towards being ultra conservative. As a result, borrowers were being assessed on their expenses, including living and discretionary expenses - You know, those expenses that you can stop if you really wanted to without significantly affecting your lifestyle. For most of us, these can include the weekly smashed avo, expensive wine and high-end dinners.

The judge found that Westpac's assessment of people's living expenses was in fact ok, albeit still needed to work. In his view, people wouldn't be in significant financial hardship if they were to stop their weekly smashed avo and wagyu beef.

This is great news for borrowers as it has set a precedence for the banks whereby, they can assess core living expenses separately from those discretionary expenses. Due to this, we should see people able to borrow more money by the end of this year once the banks implement this change. 

- This article reproduced courtesy of Johnston Groecke

Methamphetamine Contamination in your home

Recently I was honoured to be invited to a SAPOL and Flinders University Lecture on Methamphetamine, its effects on people and housing, hosted by Dr Jackie Wright.

It was probably one of the most informative, fascinating and frightening lectures I have ever attended.

Methamphetamine usage is a very, very serious issue that concerns all parents, health officials.  Landlords and Vendors need to be aware of potential hazards as it concerns them as well.

Meth is invisible.  It has no smell. It is virtually undetectable in its raw form. Just because is it physically removed from a house does not mean there is no residue.

For now, may I please look at the background, facts and figures as provided by Dr Wright.

Australia has the highest number of meth users out of the English-speaking world. Three times higher than 2011

Only 20% of contamination problems are linked to home laboratories.  A staggering 80% of contamination problems are linked to users only.

Users report the following frequency in meth consumption:

20.4% use weekly and/or daily. 
10.6% use once a month
24.7% use every few months
44% have used once or twice, but no longer.           

People being exposed to meth not necessarily choosing to do so.

The health risks that have been reported are serious: Respiration problems, Behaviour problems, Sleep issues, Skin and Eye irritation, Headaches, Coughs, Moods, Alertness, Hallucination, Anxiety and crazy dreams. 

Residents can be exposed by touching, (door handles, windows, benches) inhalation and wipes. Exposed – inhalation, wipes

We can break up the statistics as follows:

  • 41% Private Metropolitan Housing
  • 45% Public Housing – Rural and Metropolitan
  • 7% Rural Private Homes

South Australia has a total of 20% of all users Australia wide. Staggering. And frightening.

So, as a Vendor, Landlord, buyer, tenant, property manager and agent…. What can we do?

It is suggested that regular screening for investments properties between tenants. Early detection can avoid complete restoration – ripping out carpets, paint, wall linings or air conditioning.

Reputable Companies are now offering base screening to swab walls with liquid chromatography to establish the presence of meth.  100cm swab is the minimum size that should be tested, and costs between $100 to $300.

The main contamination areas being located by screening are in sheds, kitchens and bathrooms.

Remedies can be as simple as having to wash all walls to complete demolition.

Councils now are required to advise with Section 7 Property Information if they are aware of any drug issues in the house, as they are required to, when notified of this by
SAPOL.

When the issues are sorted, notice is removed after further testing establishes an all clear.

 

Marketing and Costs to sell your home

A Sales Agency Agreement should list all costs with the sale and management of your home.

With my own agreements, the costs listed are my costs; meaning that there is no false padding or hidden costs to try and extract extra income from you.  I earn from my commission at the end of the day. All good agents do.

Commission is what I earn on the sale price, not padding hidden in Advertising or Marketing costs!

 

Forecast Medium House Price Grown 2019 to 2022

Sydney -13% change, Melbourne there is a – 10% change (meaning prices will drop by a further 10%) but ADELAIDE WILL HAVE A 10 rise!!!

Why?

  • Sentiment in the house market has been picking up after the May election
  •  two successive interest rate cuts
  •  and banks regulators move to allow home buyers who can get finance to borrow more money
  •  government guarantee for buyers with low deposits

Sydney and Melbourne to have modest home growth only

Mortgage repayments for a median priced home as a percentage of income are back to early 2000’s for most Australian cities.

Kindly reproduced from Elizabeth Redman Senior News Producer July 15, 2019. thank you!

 

Rays of light for Aussie real estate investors as stimulus stacks up”  

(taken from article by Anthony Keane, News Corp. Australia Network July 16, 2019)

Where he has related information from the CEO of Metropole Property Strategists, Michael Yardney who has provided some very good news indeed! See the good news story below!

  • 3-5% growth tipped for most capitals next year
  • Increased investor confidence after the coalition’s election win stopped Labor’s new taxes
  • Two interest rate cuts in two months
  • Tax cuts set to flow to households from this month
  • Banks no longer need to assess home loan applications using a minimum interest rate of 7% to determine a borrower’s ability to service the loan
  • Regulators to ease banks assessment criteria from August
  • “Prices are not going to boom any time soon, but the property pessimists who forecasts significant falls in the property values will again be proven wrong:

 

Staging

I am often asked why I would pay money to place furniture in a home I am selling.

The main reason I say is that the photographs will look 100% better with furniture included, and this is the main driver towards generating enquiries on a property.

A staged home vs an empty home helps with security and creates doubt in the mind of the bad guys or gals that someone is living there!

And, most importantly, it paints a true picture of how wonderful your house can be!

A good agent will work out where to spend your budget – staging, planting, painting, paper advertising and be versatile in their approach.

 

Street Signage

People don’t often want to display a large for sale sign out the front for the neighbours to see…. BUT neighbours have friends and relatives that may just want to live in the same area. The old clique – you can’t sell a secret applies here.

 

When is the Best Time to Sell?

All Seasons have their advantage.

Winter 

  • Less listings
  • Less competition
  • Lawns are green and lush.
  • More importantly, only genuine buyers come out to view.

Spring

  • People are slowly coming out of hibernation!
  • Lawns are still green from the winter rain and bulbs and flowers are in full bloom.
  • Street Appeal is high
  • Interstate Buyers generally start viewing homes around this time.
  • People are normally more motivated!

 

Data Base

The strength of having an experienced agent with a long list of names of people wanting to buy is invaluable and may just save advertising costs if utilised.  Ask your agent. See what they say!

 

Street Appeal

It is heart breaking for an agent when so many cars pull up and drive off, simply because they don’t like the look of your home. Is there is rubbish out the front?  Are the lawns mowed?  Are the garden beds full of sour sobs?  Yes, most people can see beyond this, but street appeal is vital to get people through your doors.