Author Archives: Terry Hansen

kitchen

Turning your home into a rental – top 4 renovations tips

If you’re looking to move, travel or upgrade your lifestyle in the future then you may be considering turning your current home into an investment property.

Turning a home into an investment property is an attractive idea to a lot of homeowners as they may have become attached to the property, or think they may want to move back in one day. There are others who may also want to keep the property in the hopes it will go up in value in the future, or want to avoid the stress of selling.

No matter the reason for turning a home into an investment property you will need to think about the property a little differently, particularly if you’re looking to renovate while you’re still an owner occupier.

It can pay to consider the types of renovations that will appeal to future tenants so you can hope to receive maximum rental returns.

Keep the end tenant in mind

The best renovations for your property will depend on the type of tenants you want to attract. For example if you live in an area that is popular amongst families then you may want to ensure there is a bathtub in the property, or a fenced yard for kids to play in.

Different tenant demographics will find different property features desirable. It’s a good idea to chat to a local real estate agent to find out what tenants in the area are looking for to help ensure your property doesn’t fall short in any way.

Think low maintenance 

The less maintenance that needs to be done on the property the happier you and your tenant will be. A little wear and tear on a property is inevitable but you can avoid having to constantly replace items by choosing the materials you use carefully.

For example rather than installing carpets it may be better to use tiles or floorboards as they last longer and are easier for a tenant to keep clean.

Likewise it is better to keep gardens as simple and fuss free as possible so don’t plant large trees or shrubs that will grow out of control.

Keep it neutral with paint

Painting is an effective way to freshen up a home and add instant appeal. But it’s not just for interior and exterior walls, you can also use paint on cabinets or on tiles and splashbacks to help freshen up bathrooms and kitchens.

In an investment property it’s best to keep paint colours classic and neutral so they won’t date quickly and so they appeal to a broad range of people.

Little extras will add appeal

Small luxuries in a property will help make it more appealing to tenants. This could include things like dishwashers, air-conditioners, off-street parking, storage or any type of modern day convenience.

Some tenants may not even look at a property that doesn’t include particular features so the more that you can tick off the more popular your property will be.

 

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Fusion’s Fundraising Dinner to support local youth and families

Fusion Western Sydney will be holding their very first annual Fundraising Dinner in May to raise funds and awareness for the important work they do in our community.

This special event will be held on Tuesday 14 May at the Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club in Luddenham.

Tickets will include a delicious dinner and entertainment, as well as a silent auction.

Fusion Western Sydney is a national youth and community non-profit that’s been around for 60 years with a vision to see transformed communities where young people and families thrive.

They help young people and their families in the Penrith and Blacktown regions by providing targeted early intervention programmes in high schools and after school outreach programmes in the community.

Fusion also provides support to parents and families through relationship courses and community engagement.

These initiatives benefit many, but more funds are needed to enable Fusion to provide new and improved strategies to assist those who need it most.

Funds raised from the Fundraising Dinner will go towards developing a stronger financial base to support Fusion’s strategy, mission and next steps for young people and families.

Tickets are $100 per person and need to be booked by May 6.

Bookings can be made at the Fusion Western Sydney website.

 

Image via https://www.facebook.com/events/841507479531879/

property prices

How to go about long-distance house hunting

Buying a home in your own neighbourhood can be challenging, let alone trying to find a property half way across the country.

Sometimes purchasing a home from far away is required though, particularly if you need to move for work, or are looking to buy in an investment hot spot.

But while long distance house hunting can be tricky, there are things you can do to help make your property journey a little easier.

Research

You’ll need to do your homework if you intend to buy a property located far away, particularly if the market is unfamiliar to you.

Luckily there is a lot of information you can find online. Things like past sales results, commuting times and local school ranking will help provide a good picture of the property and the area it’s located within.

Narrow down what you want

You don’t want to waste time researching specific properties that ultimately won’t be suitable for you.

To ensure you don’t take unnecessary trips visiting the wrong types of properties make a list of your absolute must-haves in a property, such as number of bedrooms, land size or location.

Details such as wall colours, landscaping or kitchen layouts probably aren’t as important because you can change them once a place is yours.

It’s also a good idea to have a definite budget in mind. It’s a good idea to have pre-approval in place before you start your property hunt.

Budget a visit if you can

If you’re able to it’s best to visit the area you want to buy in to get a good feel for it and discover the subtleties that can only be seen when you see something in person.

If you only have one weekend to visit then schedule as many open homes as you can so you can compare them all and take the time to talk to agents. You may also like to visit local parks and cafes and/or talk to neighbours to get a local’s perspective on the area.

Get eyes on the ground

It’s always a good idea to know someone who has expertise in the local market and can provide you with reliable information on local properties and how the buying process works.

Plus, you may not be able to visit every open home or attend auctions so you may need to enlist the help of a buyer’s agent in these circumstances.

If you need assistance buying a property in outer western Sydney, contact the Professionals Outer Western Sydney team.

luggage

Would you delay overseas travel to buy a home?

You may not need to give up your smashed avocado to buy a home, but new research has revealed that nearly half of Australian homebuyers are forgoing an overseas holiday to get into the property market.

According to news.com.au, research from InsureandGo has revealed that nearly half of all Australians who buy a home wait more than three years before going on an overseas trip.

The insurance company’s survey found that nearly three quarters of mortgagees didn’t go on an overseas trip in the first year of their mortgage, while 44 per cent waited at least 3 years.

However, it appears that most younger buyers weren’t willing to wait that long. The survey also found that just 23 per cent of mortgage holders aged under 40 waited more than three years to go overseas, compared to 70 per cent of those aged over 60.

Can you have your home and holiday too?

There’s no denying that saving up to buy a home comes with some sacrifices, and sometimes that means you might need to delay expensive holidays… at least for a little while.

It’s important to keep in mind that buying a home doesn’t mean you need to give up on your dreams of travelling forever.

If your goals are to buy a home and to travel then you can do both, it may just take some careful budgeting and creative solutions.

You may be able to purchase an investment property and rent it out to help you pay off your mortgage while you head off on a big overseas adventure, or you could even rent out a room in your home while you are living there to earn some extra income and help you save.

There are plenty of options, but the sooner you buy a home, the sooner you can pay off a mortgage and look forward to more financial freedom (and holidays) in the future.

building

5 tips for choosing the right builder

Thinking about building, renovating or extending your home?

While a new and improved home can make for an exciting time, it can also be very stressful and that’s why it’s so important to choose a builder that will deliver the results you want.

  1. Ask friends and family

With a plethora of different builders to choose from, a good place to start is to ask for recommendations from family and friends. Talk to anyone you know who has had building work done recently and ask if they have had good or bad experiences.

If you have seen good work done around your neighbourhood that you would like to emulate then don’t be afraid to knock on a neighbour’s door to see who they have used, they may be happy to supply their builder’s name and appreciate the compliment on their home.

  1. Check out previous work

Not every builder is suited to every job. Look for a builder that has done work that suits the style of build you’re looking to do.

For example, if you have a traditional home then you’ll want to find a builder with experience in dealing with older homes. If the builder is mainly used to working on contemporary homes then they may not have the skills or expertise needed to do your renovation justice.

A builder’s previous work may be available to view online, otherwise you may want to ask to view some of their work in person.

  1. Get a few quotes

You aren’t obliged to use the first builder you talk to. In fact, it’s often best to reach out to a few different builders to get different quotes for the same work. Asking for 3-5 quotes is often a good guideline.

Make sure each builder is specific about what is included in their pricing so you can do an accurate comparison. Also the cheapest builder isn’t necessarily going to be the best, but it will likely be an important factor in who you decide to use.

  1. Make sure you get along

At the end of the day you need to be able to trust that the builder you choose will be able to give you the outcome you want. If you don’t get along from the get-go, or you feel like a builder doesn’t understand what you are looking for, then they might not be the best builder to use.

  1. Take your time

 The right builder can help you create your dream home, but the wrong could result in a nightmare. Take your time researching builders and thoroughly read through any building contracts you get. Make sure you fully understand the scope of works that are going to be carried out and in what timeframes.

Finding the right builder for your project can make a huge difference not only to your end result, but also to your sanity along the way.

Don’t be hasty. Choose a builder that makes you feel confident, and whom you know you can comfortably communicate what you want the end result to be.

Badgerys Creek Airport

Western Sydney Airport Authority to be based in Penrith

The Western City and Aerotropolis Authority (WCAA), the body tasked with planning and delivering the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, will be based in Penrith.

The establishment of the organisation in Penrith is a huge win for the area, expected to benefit local businesses and residents.

According to a statement from Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce President Simon Gould on their website, Penrith is the ideal location for the WCAA.

“The abundance of high-quality housing coming onto the market, coupled with the family friendly lifestyle of Penrith, has created a high level of liveability resulting in a significant increase in the number of qualified professionals who now proudly call this wonderful city home. This will ensure the new Authority has an on-tap workforce at its doorstep,” President Gould wrote.

Gould also noted that having the WCAA would help decentralise the government workforce from the Sydney and Parramatta CBDs, which would help in “delivering benefits to Penrith’s local businesses through retaining a greater percentage of the workforce rather than having them travel out of the area every day”.

New agribusiness precinct for the west

The news of the WCAA’s base follows the announcement of a new agribusiness precinct at the airport, which will contribute 2500 direct jobs and support up to 12,000 more.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the precinct is set to link directly with the Sydney Markets and feature high-tech farming and glasshouses that will create fresh produce and handle incoming produce from NSW farms for global export.

It’s an exciting time for the western Sydney region, with an abundance of projects in the pipeline, which means more jobs, opportunities and economic benefits for the entire community.

architecture

Is the current property market as bad as it seems?

Feeling a little concerned about the current state of the property market?

You certainly wouldn’t be the only one, especially given regular media reports predicting extreme falls, or in the case of a recent news.com.au article, “the worst crash since the 1890s depression”.

But could these points of view simply make for good “click bait” rather than telling the whole truth about what is happening in the property market?

An opinion piece by Dr Tony Hayek of Blue Wealth Property may have hit the nail on the head, describing many of the current media articles as “sensationalist” and “based on an extremely unlikely combination of economic factors completely failing”

The aforementioned news.com.au article stated that “house prices in Sydney and Melbourne could fall by up to 25 per cent this year alone” with further predictions of falls of at least 40 per cent. Dr Hayak noted that the same expert predicting these falls also predicted a slow-down during one of Sydney’s and Melbourne’s strongest ever growth periods.

Doom and gloom stories make for attention grabbing headlines, but they don’t tell the whole story.

“It doesn’t take a genius to follow the nature of market cycles which see a period of correction after strong periods of growth”, Dr Hayak wrote.

“These cycles are not just in property but in all aspects of the economy. Markets have corrected at the top of their cycle forever, long before this journalist was born. The reason they fall 10-15% after the peak of a cycle is that they were overvalued when Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) premiums were being paid by desperate buyers sick of attending months of open homes.”

While property prices are easing (CoreLogic data shows that Australian dwelling values declined by 4.8 per cent in 2018) the market is correcting itself after a strong period of growth.

A 40 per cent drop is extremely unlikely. As Dr Hayak pointed out that would mean “that Aussies across the country are going to sell their $1,500,000 homes for $900,000” and that is very unlikely to happen.

It may take a little while for those who bought at the height of the Sydney or Melbourne markets to see any capital growth, but if you bought five or more years ago then there’s a good chance that your home is still worth more now than what it was when it was purchased.

Focus on the opportunities

In any property market cycle there are winners and losers, but there is always good opportunities for those that do their research and know where to look.

The current market conditions should come as great news for home buyers, but instead many are being scared away by doomsday reporting.

But when it comes to property it’s best to do what everyone else isn’t doing, If other people are staying away then it’s a good time to jump in and negotiate a great deal. As sentiment in the market starts to turn around, so too will prices and that will mean buyers will be facing more competition again.

It’s best not to focus on the current problems in the property market, but on the opportunities that are currently available.

kitchen

Tips for selling in a cooling market

Property prices have cooled across much of the country, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad time to sell.

It’s true that there’s not the same level of buyer competition around as there was pre-2018, but strong property prices can be achieved for those who understand the market they are selling in and are willing to make their property stand out from the crowd.

What can you do?

Get the right advice from the start

When the market is tough you need to find an experienced agent who understands the area and has proven results.

You need to feel confident that your property is being left in the right hands, so don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials or for further information to help you feel confident your agent will do everything they can to get the price your property deserves.

Set a competitive asking price

You need to be careful not to overprice your property as this will simply scare buyers away, and hence could actually result in you getting a lower price for your property.

Find out what similar properties in the same area are selling for to help gauge what a fair market price is.

Make sure your property stands out for the right reasons

You want your property looking its very best at sale time. Take the time to clean, declutter and fix anything that needs to be repaired at the property so as to maximise its value. It’s also generally worth staging the property to further help catch the attention of buyers.

Invest in marketing

In a slow market you might need to spend more to catch the attention of buyers. Buyers have more choice in a slowing market so you need to work harder to ensure your property is on the top of their “must see” list.

Be prepared to wait

When there isn’t a lot of buyers around you might need to be prepared to wait for the right offer to come along. Try to be patient and work with your agent to figure out the best course of action to help your property get sold as quickly as possible.

Looking for more advice on selling your home? Contact the Professionals Outer Western Sydney team.

real estate

Will the RBA move interest rates this month?

The RBA will be holding their monthly meeting on Tuesday and while many predict rates to hold for now, an interest rate cut could be on the cards for the future.

A finder.com.au survey of industry experts found that 60 per cent believe that the RBA’s next interest rate move will be downwards, a stark contrast from just 22 per cent who believed that would be the case as recently as December 2018.

A cut in the official cash rate would bring them down from their historic low of 1.5 per cent to a meagre 1.25 per cent or perhaps even lower.

Speculation around a possible rate cut is due to various factors such as poor GDP growth, weak consumer spending and falling house prices. However considering that an interest rate hike was seeming like the most probable next move by the RBA just a few months ago, what will happen next is still anyone’s guess.

Does a change in the official rate matter?

As always, it’s important to keep in mind that banks and lenders are under no obligation to keep their interest rates in line with movements from the RBA.

Interest rates are already extremely low, so even if the RBA were to drop rates we may not see any savings on mortgage rates as a result.

However if rate cuts were passed on it might entice some people into the property market to take advantage of any savings.

Whether you’re a current borrower or not it is always worth keeping on top of what is happening in regards to interest rates so you know how to spot the best deals and can plan for the future.

For any information about current rates on offer talk to Professionals Finance.

renovating

4 top tips for renovating before selling

If you’re renovating your property to get it ready for sale then chances are your top priority is adding as much value as you can. 

It’s easy to get carried away with home makeovers and that it why a lot of sellers can end up overcapitalising if they don’t take the time to thoroughly research and plan their renovations.

To add the most bang for your buck it is worth keeping the below tips in mind:

  1. Think about the target buyer

You need to ask yourself who you are renovating for before you get to the fun part of picking out paint colours and new tiles.

Think about the eventual buyer and target your renovations to suit them. Will they be a young family, or possibly a trendy young business couple?

If you’re targeting families as an example then you may want to think about adding family-friendly property features such as a fenced in yard or a second bathroom.

Also take the location of the property into consideration and make sure that renovations are suited to the overall character of the neighbourhood. 

  1. Prioritise the must-haves 

Write out a long list of everything you could potentially do to improve the property in question and then pare it down to the bare essentials, or to just the things that are really going to make a difference.

Budget is often a big consideration so make sure you use it where it counts. It’s often best to stick to simple cosmetic improvements. Think things like painting, landscaping or replacing light or door fittings.

  1. Make sure you have approval 

For those who intend to do any major changes to the property you should always make sure you have the appropriate council approvals in place.

It’s always a good idea to get to know what property changes require approval. Failure to get appropriate approvals could end up devaluing the property and you might end up needing to go back and redo any changes.

  1. Chat to a local agent

While you should always do your own research, it doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion about your property from someone who knows the area and has a solid idea of what local buyers are looking for.

Agents are talking to buyers everyday and know what property features they are on the lookout for, so it doesn’t hurt to get some advice about potential renovations before you start making any costly changes.