Author Archives: Terry Hansen

tree

Create a living legacy for Mum on Mother’s Day

Stuck for a gift idea for Mum this year? Why not do something a little different and give a gift that celebrates both the motherly figure in your life and Mother Nature at the annual Trees for Mum community event in Penrith.

This year’s event will take place on Sunday 12 May (Mother’s Day) from 9am to 12pm at Dorothy Radford Reserve in Daniel Parade St Clair.

Now in its 12 year, the event has become a popular tradition for many in the outer western Sydney community, with families planting a tree to remember and celebrate their mum.

And for those who are strapped for cash, it’s free to attend and everyone is invited to take part.

“Planting a tree is such a simple gesture to honour your mum and can be a very positive and meaningful experience to share with family and friends on Mother’s Day,” said Penrith Mayor Ross Fowler.

“This annual event is also an important opportunity for residents to learn about our local environment and help restore our endangered bushland by planting native trees and shrubs.”

How to join in the fun

To ensure there are enough trees for everyone wanting to take part, participants are encouraged to register their attendance by emailing justine.vella@penrith.city.

It’s also a good idea to wear long trousers, a long-sleeve shirt, closed-toe shoes and hats and sunscreen on the day to protect against the elements.

Trees for Mum is a national event supported by Landcare Australia.

Find out more by visiting Penrith Council’s Trees for Mum on Mother’s Day event page.

home

What are downsizers looking for?

Downsizing has become an increasing trend in many parts of the country, particularly in areas that have seen large increases in value in the past few years.

People downsize for a number of reasons, it might be to free up their finances, for a lifestyle change, or to enjoy a property that is fuss-free.

Downsizers aren’t just people that are retired, like any other type of buyer they are a diverse crowd and some may just be individuals or families that have decided they want a home that is easier to manage.

There are some key features that a lot of downsizers will find attractive however, and properties that encompass these are likely to be in hot demand.

  • High quality – Downsizers will often look for high quality properties, meaning ones that have premium fittings and fixtures and all of the latest mod cons. A little bit of luxury is important because oftentimes downsizers are leaving homes with maintenance issues, so they want to avoid this in their new residence.
  • Low-key gardens – Low-maintenance requirements extend to outdoor areas too. A big appeal of having a smaller home is that you don’t need to spend large amounts of time mowing or pruning gardens, however….
  • Room to entertain – While big gardens may be out, a lot of downsizers still want ample living space so they can entertain family and friends. Shared common areas become increasingly important where there is limited internal space.
  • Security – For those that are downsizing because they are finding they are spending less time at home and more time travelling away, security is of the upmost importance. Reliable security systems will give buyers peace of mind that they can leave their home for an extended period of time if they need to.
  • Lifestyle – A lot of downsizers move because they want life to be a bit more carefree and easy and this means being able to easily access things like cafes, shopping and other amenities, so proximity to lifestyle hubs is important.
flipping property

The good and the bad from scrapping negative gearing

Negative gearing is a hot topic of discussion in the lead-up to the Federal Election on May 18, but what would changes to the current policy really mean for Australians?

For those confused about what negative gearing means, it’s essentially when the income from an investment property (i.e. the rent) is exceeded by the costs to hold into it.

While making a loss on a property is never the ultimate goal of an investor, Australia’s negative gearing policy currently allows property investors to deduct their property losses from their taxable income, thus softening their overall losses.

This makes it much easier to hold onto the property long term, so that ideally the property can get enough capital growth behind it for the investor to profit from.

Why does Labor want to limit the use of negative gearing?

Negative gearing is a great incentive for investors, however proponents for changes to the current policy believe that it unduly increases property demand and therefore pushes up prices.

With housing affordability being an issue in some parts of Australia, namely inner Sydney and Melbourne, many believe that scaling back negative gearing will make it easier for home buyers to break into the market.

Labor has proposed limiting negative gearing to new properties, so this may also help encourage investment in new housing, which is needed in many parts of the country.

What are the drawbacks of Labor’s plan?

Negative gearing is a popular tax incentive and removing the policy as it is now could cause a lot of unintended flow on effects.

While it’s obvious that it could discourage new investors (it will remain available on existing investment properties), removing negative gearing may also hurt regular homeowners and renters, as well as the construction industry and the national economy.

That’s partly because it’s questionable whether or not the policy would help encourage the development of new housing, as some research suggests that the policy changes could turn buyers away from new properties, rather than towards them.

According to an article on Smart Property Investment, statistics from SQM Research reveal that rents could go up anywhere between 7 per cent and 15 per cent on average, under the new policy.

Further to this it is predicted that dwelling prices could decline anywhere from 4 per cent to 12 per cent by 2022.

The same data predicts that price growth could be relatively strong if there are no policy changes, while rental growth could be more subdued.

Is a change needed?

While Sydney and Melbourne have seen unprecedented property growth in the last few years, prices have already started settling back to more manageable levels.

One could argue that further interventions to improving affordability in these cities aren’t warranted at this time, and could provide an unwelcome hit to these markets.

Some however think that changes to negative gearing won’t have that big of an impact, and property investors will simply work around any tax changes.

There are a lot of differing opinions around and we will have to wait and see… however it’s just one policy for people to weigh up when they hit the polls for the Federal election next month.

 

 

Source: www.smartpropertyinvestment.com.au

living-room

4 easy ways to make your rental property more appealing

Looking to achieve maximum rental return on your investment property and not sure where to begin?

There are quite a few things you can do to help make a rental more appealing and you don’t need to spend a fortune. Try focusing on some key elements that renters are looking for to help get your rental noticed.

  1. Make it clean and modern – You don’t need a brand new property, but if the property is well presented and features a few modern day luxuries then it’s likely to appeal to a broad range of tenants. A few things you could do include improving landscaping, repainting, changing flooring and adding features such as air-conditioning.
  1. Include garden maintenance – A lot of renters are looking for fuss-free living, so don’t want to spend their weekends tending to gardens. Having garden maintenance included in rent can take that stress away for them, plus it ensures that grounds remain looking their best.
  2. Let in pets – A lot of people have pets, so by discounting them you may be excluding a large chunk of your rental market. Whether or not a tenant has a pet has little to do with how well they will treat the property so it is a good idea to review any pets on a rental application before you think about discounting them altogether.
  1. Highlight privacy and security– Everybody wants to feel safe and secure in their home, and tenants are no exception. Make sure that all windows and doors can close and lock properly. Also check that gates and doors are up to scratch. If you want to make improvements to the security at the property consider investing in things like security doors, alarms or new fencing depending on the particular property’s needs.
st marys league club

Tickets available for Sportsmans Dinner at St Marys Rugby League Club

Get up close and personal with some of rugby league’s greats at the “Magnificent 7’s” Sportsmans Dinner at the St Marys Rugby League Club on Saturday 4th May.

Local league fans won’t want to miss out on hearing Rugby League Immortal, Andrew Johns and Rugby League Legend, Allan Langer reminisce on the significant moments throughout their playing careers.

The dinner is a top fundraiser for the club, supporting the opportunities the club is able to provide to its juniors such as sending teams to country regional areas and an experience-of-a-lifetime tour of Fiji.

To get your hands on tickets to the event you’ll need to be quick as they are limited and tend to sell out fast!

How to secure tickets

Tickets are $160 per person or $1500 for a table of ten, so definitely worth getting a group of friends together if you can.

The ticket price includes a delicious three-course meal, beverages and a fantastic mix of entertainment.

Purchase tickets at the St Marys Rugby League Club Reception or call 02 9677 7777.

For further information on the dinner you can also call Adam Przybyla on 0407 847 312.

selling

Tips to help you get a head start on your Easter property hunt

The Australian property may be cooling, but there’s still going to be plenty of buyers around over Easter looking for their dream home.

Some buyers may think that they have better odds in securing a home because the market is slower, however competition for a property can become fierce from just one or two other interested buyers involved.

To ensure you don’t miss out to another buyer it’s best to get organised before you start your property hunt.

Determine your borrowing power

It’s not as easy to borrow money as it was during the property boom. If you want to avoid delays after making an offer then it’s well worth talking to banks and lenders early on to figure out your borrowing power and potentially to get pre-approval too. This could prevent you from missing out on a property, or save you from having to get a high interest loan because you haven’t got the time to look into different options.

Get to know your target market

Buyers are lucky enough to have more time on their side at the moment, but make sure you use it wisely.

Get to know everything you can about the market you plan to buy in. This means figuring out things like transport options and local amenities, and looking into future infrastructure plans that could influence property values in the future.

It’s also worth understanding the types of property that are popular in the area and how much extra you will need to pay for things like renovated properties, or those with more bedrooms and bathrooms.

Schedule in open homes

To really understand a property market you need to do on the ground research.

It’s well worth visiting a number of different properties in the area you’re interested in to get a true appreciation for property differences and why some properties sell for more than others.

Looking at a variety of properties may also help you hone in on features that you really like, as well as help you get to know the subtle differences between streets and neighbourhoods.

Know when to ask for help

It doesn’t matter whether the property market is slow or booming, buying a home is often a challenging experience.

Get help if you think you need it whether it’s hiring a buyer’s agent to help do a lot of the hard work for you, or simply talking to the agents at open homes to get a greater feel for what is happening in your local property market.

Feel free to call up the team at Professionals Outer Western Sydney to discuss what is currently happening in the outer western Sydney markets.

 

architecture

4 easy home projects you can complete over the Easter weekend

With many people having four days off over the Easter weekend (and the ANZAC Day public holiday coming up too!) there’s no doubt that a lot of much needed DIY home projects will be getting underway.

Spending some time refreshing your home over Easter is a great idea for those who need to prepare their home for sale, or even for those who are just looking for a simple update.

Since there is only so much you can get done in a long weekend you may need to prioritise what gets done. Here are some ideas that will make sure your precious holiday time is well spent.

Fix up the front fence

 If you don’t have time to give the entire yard an overhaul then focus your attention on the first thing that attracts the eye – the front fence.

An attractive front fence can make your home the envy of the street. What you need to do will depend on the current condition of your fence. Fixing loose or missing palings or a lean might be a good place to start.

A fresh coat of paint will work wonders and will help dramatically improve your property’s street presence. A new gate, letterbox or plants along the fence line will also help give the property some extra pizzazz.

Tidy up the shed

One of the biggest cleaning jobs in a home is often the garden shed, simply because there’s less of a need to keep it looking good compared to the rest of the house.

An organised shed will make life easier and can be looked on favourably when selling.

Clean the area as much as you can and get organised by putting up some shelfs and cabinets. Aim to find a space for everything that you keep in there. If you’re short on space then consider hanging things from walls or the ceiling.

Fill up empty walls

Clutter can be a problem in some homes, but other homes have the problem of looking a little stark and bare.

If your home has blank walls and needs a bit of character then use your weekend to source some artwork.

Local markets can be a good place to find some great locally inspired pictures for your walls, otherwise there are plenty of fantastic options online or in boutique or department stores.

Adhesive picture hooks are a good choice for hanging pictures if you’re concerned about leaving marks on walls.

Create a new kitchen colour scheme 

Kitchen looking a little out-dated? While a brand new kitchen would be nice, it’s not always in the budget. A cheaper way to give an old kitchen a modern look is to add a splash of paint where it’s needed.

With a bit of preparation and the right kind of paint you can add a new colour to cupboards, drawers, splashbacks and even counter tops.

Adding new handles on doors and a new sink or appliances are other options if you have a bit more time and money to spend.

house

How Penrith is encouraging Good Neighbours

A lot of us have very busy lives and that can make it difficult to find time to connect with our neighbours. That’s why Penrith Council is launching a new project to help bring our local neighbourhoods together.  

The Good Neighbour program is a new council initiative aimed at helping Penrith residents get to know their neighbours by providing support for neighbourhood events.

The program is offering advice, guidance, support and even supplies to help people hold an event for their neighbours, whether it’s a small get together in the front yard, a street party or maybe even an epic shindig at a local park.

Good Neighbour will provide access to invitation templates, a guide to help you plan and free hire of an event kit including giant games.

According to Penrith Mayor Ross Fowler OAM, the Good Neighbour project is a small way the council can support residents to build connections with their neighbours. 

“Penrith has always been a place of real community and neighbourhoods. And as our city continues to change and look to the future, it is equally important that we remember and nurture those roots,” Cr Fowler said. 

“That’s what the Good Neighbour program is about. Providing opportunities and supporting residents to reach out and build those relationships and friendships with their neighbours,” Cr Fowler continued.

 Cr Fowler admits that Good Neighbour doesn’t do the work for you (after all you’re going to have to get out there are start up the conversations!) but it does provide a good place to start.

How you can be a Good Neighbour 

Good Neighbour is available to everyone in the Penrith LGA. All residents need to do is fill in a short form, and then council will help them host a neighbourhood get together.  

You can find out more on the Good Neighbour Program page on Penrith Council’s website or you can call 4732 8028.

calculator

What does the 2019 Federal Budget mean for property?

If you were hoping that the latest federal budget would throw a bit of money your way to help make breaking into the property market easier, you’re going to be a little disappointed. However this year’s budget does feature policies that may indirectly help you on your homebuyer journey.

Tax cuts

Having a bit more disposable income is one way to help Australians save for that all-important deposit. The latest budget includes plans for tax relief for those earning up to $126,000 per year.

Those in the $48,000 to $90,000 per year tax bracket appear to get the most tax savings, with an extra $1,080 (single-income) or $2,160 (double-income) a year to help them on their way to their savings goals.

Infrastructure

Property markets may improve from the budget’s massive $100 billion planned infrastructure spend over the next decade.

A major focus will be on easing congestion around cities, with $15 billion to be spent on new road and rail projects and $2 billion on a high-speed rail connection between Geelong and Melbourne.

There is also funding for five other fast rail proposals: Sydney to Wollongong, Sydney to Parkes, Melbourne to Albury to Wodonga, Melbourne to Traralgon, and Brisbane to the Gold Coast.

Regional growth

On top of infrastructure spending to help connect cities with regional hubs, there are a number of initiatives in the budget to help grow and support Australia’s regional areas.

There will be funds spent on regional airports; money set aside for farming communities, and $220 million is being invested in improving internet and mobile service.

Improving connectivity and increasing opportunities in regional areas could possibility be one of the biggest budget measures to help improve housing affordability in the major cities.

Making regional areas more attractive provides an affordable lifestyle alternative for some, while also reducing the pressure to live in built up urban areas.

Affordability improving without budget help

There might not be any new direct measures to help out housing affordability in the budget, but it is getting easier to buy a property in Australia regardless. Domain’s First-Home Buyer Report for March 2019 found that the path to home ownership is getting shorter in Australia’s most expensive cities of Sydney and Melbourne.

There could be further improvements to housing affordability if the Labor government brings in their controversial plans for negative gearing, however this could have a number of negative consequences to the property market too.

You can review the 2019-2020 Budget at www.budget.gov.au.

flipping property

New report reveals time needed to save for a house deposit in Sydney

The property market isn’t all doom and gloom, with a new report from Domain finding that first-home buyers are in a much better position to buy in Australia’s most expensive cities than they were a year ago.

The Domain First-Home Buyer Report for March 2019 analysed entry-level property prices in the most affordable areas of Australia’s capital cities, to identify how long it would take to save for a 20 per cent home deposit.

Surprise, surprise, the Sydney property market is the toughest to break into in the country, however it takes 5 months less to save for a deposit now than it did this time last year.

The report found it takes 6 years and 2 months to save for a deposit on an average $650,000 entry-level house in greater Sydney, or five years and four months on an entry-level unit.

It also found that of all the capitals, Sydney had the smallest gap between saving for a house or a unit.

Own a home faster away from Sydney CBD

If you don’t want to wait over six years to buy a home then your best bet is to move further away from Sydney’s CBD.

Figures from the report found that first-home buyers can break into the market much quicker in the Central Coast, Outer South West and Outer West.

The fastest places to save for a house deposit in the city include Wyong at four years and six months, Mount Druitt at five years, Campbelltown at 5 years and 1 month, and St Marys at 5 years and 4 months.

The full report can be viewed at – www.domain.com.au/research/domain-first-home-buyers-report-march-2019.