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Real Estate

Will Real Estate Property Momentum Continue in 2014?

The combination of low interest rates, foreign buyers, upgrader enthusiasm and investor momentum saw 2013 emerge from its property holding pattern and the market become reinvigorated.

RP Data analyst Cameron Kusher said he believes momentum in property will continue into the new year, propelled by investors and upgraders.

He also believes values will climb further, though not as sharply in 2014. Another of his predictions is that gross rental yields in Sydney and Melbourne will continue the decline they commenced in latter 2013, leading investors to look at alternative growth zones. These are good tidings for the Far South Coast of NSW.  The last few months of the year had seen keen interest in the area, with properties that were priced right being snapped up, some as soon as they came on the market.

However, Mr. Kusher issued a warning about other economic wild cards, like the unemployment rate, stating  “If it reaches 6.25% it will be the nation’s highest unemployment rate since September 2002. If people start to become nervous about their job security it is likely to result in a lower level of demand for housing.”

Rates are at their lowest levels since the 1960s and inflation is currently at 2.2%.  Keep in mind that the Australian interest rates don’t operate in a bubble – they respond to what’s happening in the global economy. The recent fall of the Australian dollar of 2.5 cents against the U.S. dollar as a result of the U.S. winding back its stimulus is a reminder that inflation could increase if the dollar keeps falling and the cost of imports increase. If inflation increases we could see a rise in interest rates.   The all important question now is whether the RBA will increase or decrease rates, or leave them as is in the new year.

With keen interest from both local buyers and those from interstate in Merimbula, Bega, Tura Beach, Eden and Cooma and the current low interest rates together with confidence in the real estate market, vendors should not delay listing their properties for sale.  Now is a prime time to sell.

Yield The Golden Word When Buying an Investment Property

There’s no doubt that yield is the golden word for investors.  Other things may come into play, such as lifestyle or infrastructure potential, such as the Bega Hospital and Eden Wharf developments, but the income return on the property is usually the major concern for the purchaser.  The Sydney market has been hot for investment properties to the extent that Investors are crowding each other out, resulting in a slight drop in yields.  That gives regional towns on the South Coast and Monaro such as Bega, Merimbula, Tura Beach, Eden and Cooma the inside track for investors looking for positive returns.

Yield is generally calculated annually as a percentage.  It is based on the asset price or market value of a property. The gross yield is the income (i.e. rent) derived from the investment before expenses are taken out.  The net yield is the income less expenses. These expenses could include stamp duty, legal fees, pest and building inspections, repairs and maintenance, property management fees, insurance, rates, strata management fees.

The yield is stated as a percentage and is worked out as –
Gross yield = annual rental income / property value x 100
Net yield = annual rental income – annual expenses / property value x 100

The return or total return includes capital gains. It is quoted as a percentage and is retrospective, based on the gain or loss of the investment during a particular period.

Increasing housing demand drives property prices up and this can affect the yield of an investment. The more prices go up, the lower the percentage between rents (income) to property value. According to Australian Property Monitor’s figures for the September quarter, this is exactly what is happening in Sydney right now. With the current low interest rates many investors are considering purchasing property for negative gearing. Purchasers should ask the right questions of Real Estate Agents to ensure they know the likely net yield on a property before they purchase.

What’s the difference between Fisk & Nagle First Choice, Politicians and Other Real Estate Agents?

Politicians make all sorts of promises in the lead up to an election, trying to convince you that they’re the best choice. We all know how often those promises fall flat!  Real Estate Agents can promise you the world as well.  But with a ramped-up spring selling season underway, you don’t want to make the mistake of listing with an ineffective Agent and “miss the boat”.
So let’s push the promises aside and look at some facts:

Marketing
1.    We won’t charge you a Marketing Fee
2.    Our online marketing strategy will give your home a higher profile than other sellers
3.    Your property will be on more websites than any other local agent.
4.    We use Youtube and Facebook to attract more buyers
5.    Qualified Buyers are emailed when you trust us to sell your home

Negotiation
1.    We get Home Sellers more money in their pocket and we can prove it
2.    Our Sales Consultants train EVERY week in negotiation, relationship-building and client care
3.    Our Sales Consultants have a hotline to industry mentors which gives us the negotiation edge
4.    If a Buyer asks “What will they take?” we answer “The advertised price”.

Client Care
1.    We won’t lie to you, “buy” your listing or ask you to accept an offer from a “tyrekicker”
2.    We use hard evidence to justify the suggested selling price
3.    If we don’t live up to our promises, you don’t have to pay us

Profile & Experience
1.    Fisk & Nagle First Choice has been operating for 40 years
2.    With five offices across the Far South Coast and Cooma, we have better exposure and bigger reach than any other agent in south-east NSW.
3.    Our offices hold the most prominent position in Bega, Cooma, Merimbula, Tura Beach and Eden
4.    Our signage and window displays are bigger, brighter and more noticeable than other agents

Who will you elect to sell your home?

Real Estate Institute Backs Reducing Stamp Duty on Property Purchases

In May Representatives of the Real Estate Institute of NSW,  President Christian Payne and CEO Tim McKibbin met with New South Wales Treasurer Mike Baird to discuss how the New South Wales Government can  help stimulate the property market in NSW.

Amongst a range of issues discussed the Real Estate Institute of NSW put forward the argument that reducing stamp duty will stimulate real estate purchases and result in increased revenue to the NSW Government.  On their website the REINSW states –
“REINSW believes that the best way to bolster the NSW economy is for the State Government to act now and cut the rate of transfer stamp duty in order to stimulate transactional activity in the property market and as a result potentially boost state revenue by hundreds of millions of dollars.“

They cite the outcome for Governments that have introduced stamp duty cuts. For example:

  •  The ACT cut the top rates of transfer duty by 0.75 per cent last year, resulting in nearly $28 million in additional transfer duty this year.
  • Between 2006/07 and 2008/09 the Northern Territory cut their property transfer duty rates by0.45 per cent reaping an increase of more than $22million in revenue.
  • Western Australia also cut property transfer duty rates by 0.9 per cent and found that revenues rose by more than $709 million during the period.

This is strong evidence that decreasing property transfer duty rates does indeed boost revenue.  The REINSW also suggested at the meeting that the NSW Government should reinstate the first homebuyers’ incentives for purchasing existing properties. They felt that limiting the grant to cover purchase of new properties only had been a failure, causing a detrimental impact on the NSW property market.  Their position is that the Government should take steps to improve housing affordability, which will consequently improve the New South Wales economy.

Five Step D.I.Y. Renovation Success For Real Estate Sale

Planning on selling your property and want to update it or have you just purchased your new home and now you want to remodel it to suit your tastes and needs?  If you want to go D.I.Y. the most important thing you can do is plan!  It is so easy to rush in and begin renovating with all the enthusiasm in the world but you’ll soon burn out or run out of money if you don’t step back, take your time and plan properly before you even pick up a paint brush or drill.

1.    Ask Yourself Can I Do It?

Can you really do the job, ask yourself honestly’ Can I do this?’ Look at the overall project and your skill set, do they match? Think about all the aspects of the project, what may go wrong and what skills you have to overcome any problems. You may opt to employ a tradesperson for some parts of the project, whilst you complete the easier tasks, such as painting.

2.    Set A Realistic Budget
When working out your budget take into account that some things may cost more than you expected and you may encounter extra work that needs to be done.  Be generous when assessing costs and add at least 20% buffer to your budget so you don’t run out of money before the renovation is complete. The more you research costs, the more realistic your budget will be.
3.    Design Freeze

Decide upon the project, exactly what you want to do – repaint the kitchen, replace the bench tops, install a dishwasher and new stove.  Don’t decide halfway into the project to expand on the original plan by adding new windows, blinds, flooring and walk in pantry. Your budget and timeline will be completely blown!  Freeze your design plans before you begin and stick with it.

4.    Have the Right Tools
This may be challenging as you probably do not own the tools that will make the work efficient and safe. You may need to hire or borrow the right tools for the job and you may not have the experience to use them safely. Make sure you get help to use the tools safely and correctly.

5.    Friendly Timeline
You may be feeling full of energy and want to ‘get the job done’ but remember if you are working or have other commitments you may have difficulty achieving a tight timeline. Most projects will take longer to complete than you first thought and you may not want to spend 3 or 4 hours at night doing renos after working 8 or 9 hours all day.

With good planning and a realistic attitude your renovation will bring rewards and give you satisfaction. If you are selling your property the remodel should help get you a quicker sale and good price.  Good luck!

The Number One Rule for Preparing Your Home For Sale

So you have decided to sell your home You need to prepare it for inspections and to do this you must get into the mindset of your potential purchasers.  When potential buyers inspect your property they will be looking at the space and how they can use it.  The first step in creating a spacious feel is to de clutter, this will immediately open up space in each room of your house or apartment.

It may appear to be an overwhelming task at first, but you can break it down into steps that will make it manageable.  Firstly work out what you have lying about your place and categorise it:

Essential Things: Whatever you need and use regularly. Keepers.

Favorites: Favourite pieces of art, ornaments and mementos. Makes a house a home.

Belongs elsewhere: Items borrowed (rented videos, library books, other people’s things), Anything you don’t want anymore.

Annoying:  Dirty laundry, junk mail, old magazines and newspapers.  This looks ugly!

Disgusting: Mouldy food, junk food wrappers, smelly things. Got to go!

Now take the following steps to rid your home of clutter:

Ditch the disgusting stuff. This is the easiest and most obvious place to start. Wash, dump, compost – just get it out of the way.

Deal with the annoying stuff. Recycle magazines and junk mail, collect and wash the laundry, file, box, and store the things you think you might need, but get all of it out of sight. Remember to hide or neaten up cables and put all those remote controls in a drawer.

Donate. Give borrowed items back to their owners. Donate unwanted stuff to a local charity. Get rid of anything you don’t need or want. Very cathartic!

Display. Your favorite things deserve to be displayed. Don’t overdo it, but choose the pieces that add charm and enhance the home.

Devise. Your essential things need to be accessed easily, so devise good storage systems like a hook for keys, a basket for bills, a hamper for dirty laundry.

Above all, keep the kitchen clean and clutter free – put appliances in cupboards and ensure no dirty dishes are on the sink. On inspection day add a vase of fresh, fragrant flowers to add a nice touch and aroma.

Improve the Look of Your Property Whether Purchasing or Selling

You have just purchased your new home or apartment and want to add your personality and style to your new purchase and make it yours or you are upgrading your property ready for sale, consider these design tips to help you achieve your desired look.

Bathroom – the smallest but most essential room of the house; make the most of this room by budgeting for quality materials and fittings.  Tiles, marble and stone are great options giving a modern appearance and with the large selection available you can get the exact look you want. Always select sturdy materials like ceramic and stone for fittings like basins. Good ventilation and lighting make all the difference, ensure you include these elements in your design.

Workspaces – a classic piece of furniture, a beautifully designed yet practical desk can make a statement and talking point.  Wooden desks look better as they age and glass and metal desks are on trend.  Another classic decorating tool, the floor to ceiling bookcase makes a showpiece on an otherwise empty wall. Solid timber is best as it withstands the weight of books, without warping and bending (as happens with cheaper designs). Favourite objects, ornaments and photos add interest to your book collection.

One visual star – a basic rule of decorating is one room, one visual star. So, for example if you use wallpaper and that is identified as the star all other items within that space should be complementary to the wallpaper and the colours you introduce must be ones from the wallpaper but softer in tone so they don’t clash. Likewise a piece of furniture may be the star or a painting. Identify your star and design the other elements of the room around it.

Accessories – Accessories and lots of them is the current trend. A new rug, cushions, a new pot, a lamp, mirrors, vases, bowls and tealights working together in a coordinated design plan can make a huge difference to a space with minimal effort.

Colour trends – there is a shift away from the beiges with grey being the neutral colour trend.  Black and white themes are currently popular and there is a move towards the use of bold colour in wallpaper, furnishings, cushions and rugs.

Santa Comes Early with House Sales Pre-Christmas

The strong weekend auction clearance rate in Sydney of 61.7 per cent recorded by Australian Property Monitors on Saturday – the biggest auction day since March – took many by surprise reports Stephen Nicholls, Property Editor from Domain.com.au. He states the prospect of having more money to spend with last Tuesday’s interest rate cut may have been one factor in the improvement and he said “It’s interesting that 28.8 per cent of the auction sales reported to APM happened before the big day.”
Agent Teresa Natoli, of Ray White Surry Hills may be onto the main reason:”I think people want to get their stuff sorted before the end of the year” and Matt Lahood, the director of sales for McGrath Estate Agents, said the big jump in sold prior to auction transactions was reflective of the time of the year. “From a buyer perspective, it allows a purchaser to get set before Christmas and in some cases even move in,” Mr Lahood said.
Some believe that pre-christmas is a quiet time for real estate, but as the auctions and sold prior transactions in Sydney show it can be a good time for real estate sales. Properties purchased in tourist areas like Merimbula, Tathra Beach, Tura Beach, Pambula Beach or Eden can be immediately let for holiday rental over the peak season of January bringing in an income, which can help cover purchase costs and rates.
Vendors can be more open to offers at this time but purchasers should always make their first offer their best offer and it is advisable to seek finance prior to making an offer. Of course banks are busy at this time of year too, so time is of the essence.
A sale pre-christmas can benefit both the vendor and purchaser. A settlement for the vendor means less inspections and enquiry by tyre kickers during the busy holiday season and the chance for the vendor to relax and enjoy their own holiday knowing they have their property sold. The purchaser benefits by having the sale settled before Christmas activities take over and they can either let the property or enjoy a holiday in it themselves, or if they have purchased their family home, move in over the holidays when they have plenty of time to get settled in.

Fisk and Nagle Real Estate Tips- Pets in Rentals

Finding a rental property in Eden, Bega or Merimbula that allows pets can be difficult. Many landlords in the area are skeptical when it comes to letting pets in their rental properties. Here are some tips to help you find a pet-friendly property.

1. Before getting your hopes up and wasting everyone’s time (including your own), ask the real estate if pets are allowed in the rental property.
2. Talk to the property manager. They often know the landlord personally, and whether or not they may allow certain pets (like birds, or small dogs).
3. Don’t look at units or townhouses. They are managed differently and will not allow pets to live on the premises.
4. Include a few extra items in your application to ease the landlords mind. These can include a photo, a pet-bond and any written references from past landlords in regards to your pet.

The Internet Has Changed Selling Real Estate

Have you ever thought about how the internet has completely changed the way we buy and sell real estate? Many years ago, home sellers would choose to list their home with a variety of real estate agents. Buyers would walk into their local real estate agent’s office and be taken for a drive by an agent. They were often shown properties that were irrelevant to their requirements. It would take at least a week to find an appropriate house to buy. When an offer was agreed to, the real estate agents would have to drive to the seller to get contracts signed.

In the early 90’s, buyers would generally view properties for sale in a real estate agent’s office window. Sometimes they would use a box-like, large mobile phone to call and enquire. Sellers were more knowledgeable and were beginning to recognise the benefits of exclusive agency listings. The only way, however, buyers could view a property was by physically visiting it. There was no internet.

Every activity used a lot of time. Real estate agents took phooks, and had to wait for them to be developed. If the property was advertised in a local newspaper, the photos and blurb had to be physically handed to the editor. Ownership information had to be obtained, with council permission, from floppy discs. Hand written letters were written to owners, and envelopes sealed with tongues!

How the times have changed. The launch of the internet changed buying and selling real estate in so many ways. Real estate agents were given the opportunity to expose properties to a world-wide market. Ownsership information was instantly accessible, and digital photos could be emailed to buyers, newspapers, and be immediately available for potential buyers to view. There was suddenly more time to spend with customers. Today, the internet saves huge chunks of time. Buyers can sift through properties without even speaking to an agent. When a buyer wants to inspect a property they are usually ready to buy. They can even see what the surrounding houses look like on Google Street View. Social media like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter can expose a property virally, and real estate agents can communicate with both buyers and sellers more efficiently. Technology and the internet has changed the way real estate is bought and sold. If you want maximum exposure for your home, choose a real estate agent who uses the internet and is up to date with technology.