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4 Ways to Increase Your Curbside Appeal
With the spring selling season just around the corner and property markets looking very strong, many potential sellers are looking at ways to spruce up their homes. One of the best ways to entice buyers and make an immediate impact on the value of the property is to increase the curbside appeal of your home.
Here are 4 ways to quickly improve your property’s exterior.
As the seller, it’s in your best interest to help buyers see the potential of your home. Most people like to dine and spend time outside. If you have an attractive outdoor area or garden, adding a table and chairs is a simple way to show people how they can use that space. Do the creative work for them.
Tidy up the Garden
If you have a potential family home or even an inviting outside area, cleaning up the garden can make a huge difference. Pruning back trees and mowing the lawn is a great start and really adds to the immediate appeal of an outside area. On top of this, take a quick trip to your local garden center and grab some simple and cost-effective things – like pebbles – to use in areas that are a bit bare. Similarly, adding some pots of succulents can do a lot to make things look more aesthetic.
Paint the Doors
One of the most cost-effective ways to boost appeal straight away, is with a coat of paint, and the front door is a part of the home that often gets overlooked. A wooden door and even wooden window frames are ideal to paint; this gives the entrance a fresh and tidy feel when you first walk through the door.
Clean the Roof
A relatively cheap way to make an older house look newer is to clean the roof. While in some cases your roof can be painted, it’s time-consuming and expensive. A far better option, especially if you have a tiled roof, is to hire someone to clean it. Most professionals use high-pressure water to spray it down. This can make an ageing roof look new again, which will only add to the overall appeal of your property.
4 Tips for Buying a Property Pre-Auction
When property markets are hot, vendors often choose to go to auction to try and attr act the very best price they can. However, many vendors are open to accepting an offer prior to the start of the auction itself. That includes the days and weeks beforehand, not just on the day.
Do Your Homework
Most homes for sale by auction don’t have a specific price. If anything, the selling agents will likely offer a loose ‘price guide’, which, in many cases, is at the lower end of the spectrum. They do this to encourage as many people as possible to attend the auction and bid, in the hopes it will drive up the price. As a buyer, you need to know how much a property is worth, and that’s even more important when making a pre-auction offer. Use comparable sales from the surrounding area in the last 3-6 months. Ideally, you will find recent sales history for a similar property type, age, and also land component. When making a pre-auction offer, you can point to the sales data to help in your negotiation.
Avoid a Dutch Auction
If you’re hoping to swoop in early with a strong offer, you don’t want to get yourself into a situation where you are bidding against someone else. This is often termed a ‘Dutch auction’, and it is not all that different to buying a property at auction. All a sales agent really needs are two interested buyers, and that can be enough to push the price well above what it should be selling for, based on comparable sales alone.
Know Your Limit
If you’re going to be confident making a strong offer, it’s vital that you’re pre-approved for finance so you know exactly where you stand. If your borrowing capacity is limited, this can actually be a good thing in the negotiating process as you can simply state that fact to the sales agent and even prove it to them. It’s hard to make a strong offer, including appealing terms, if you don’t know for sure that a bank will lend you the money.
The worst thing you can do is get into a situation where you are continually upping your offer. In effect, you are just bidding against yourself. If it’s a matter of a few thousand dollars and the sales agent is clear that is what the vendor needs to make a transaction happen, then that might be the time to work with them. However, if you know your finance limit and also what you believe a property is worth based on comparable sales, then you should stick with that number.
4 Property Investment Myths
While everyone loves talking about property in Australia, the reality is that few people are experts. Here are some of the most common property investment myths that you might hear.
Blue-Chip is Best
One of the main things you might hear when you talking about property is that blue-chip is best. What this means, in most cases, is buying into the top suburbs as close as possible to water or the city. While this is good advice in that blue-chip suburbs have performed well over a long period of time in terms of capital appreciation, the main thing to consider is that you have to be able to afford to buy into such an area.
IF you’re in a high-paid job, then purchasing a negatively geared, high-priced property might be something that is good advice. However, if you’re constrained by borrowing or equity, then it’s not always the most helpful property advice. Interestingly, while many experts will tell you to buy only in cities in blue-chip locations, over the past 20 years, there have been numerous examples of semi-regional markets that have performed strongly and come in at lower prices with far higher rental yields.
One Property Market
If you read the mainstream media, you would think that Australia has one large property market, and you have to simply sit back and take what the market gives you. In reality, there are tens of thousands of smaller property markets across the country, and they all differ. We can clearly see different markets at the state level, suburban level and even street level. The clearest example of this might be a suburb that has a ‘good’ end and a ‘bad’ end. We even see streets that have very different prospects as one side of the road might be zoned differently to the other.
You need a lot of Money
While it’s true that you do need some money to get started in property, cash isn’t always the most valuable commodity when it comes to buying property. These days, the ability to borrow money has become a lot more legislated than it used to be, and you will need to prove your ability to service a loan. If you have a steady job or form of income, then you can also take advantage of several different types of loans and even Government incentives that could allow you to buy a property with as little as a 5% deposit.
Property Always Goes Up
While property in Australia has had a rich history of performing very well, there are periods when prices go sideways or even fall. The most obvious example of this would be Perth and Darwin, which both saw huge capital growth during the mining boom, only for prices to retrace and stagnate for the next five years.
Property Tax Tips for Property Investors
Now that the new financial year is here, it’s time to start looking at all the ways you can make the most of your investment property. Tax is a complicated subject, which is why you should always speak to an accountant. However, the onus is on you to keep good records.
Keep Good Records
If you want to claim your expenses on your rental property, it’s vital that you have good records. If you’re working with a property manager, this can be made a lot simpler as they will likely take care of all the running costs for you. However, if this is a new investment property or you’re self-managing, then you need to keep all the documents and receipts that you think will be relevant.
Know Your Deductions
While your accountant will know exactly what you can and cannot claim, it’s important that you take responsibility for examining all the associated costs that come with the property and seeking clarification from the accountant.
Typical expenses that you can claim include:
- Repairs and maintenance
- Advertising costs
- Electricity and gas charges
- Pest control
- Land taxes
- Lease / property management costs
- Security monitoring costs
- Capital works
Pre-Pay Your Expenses
Depending on the type of loan you have, it might be possible to pay your interest upfront; hence you can claim it as a deduction for that financial year. Depending on your overall income and tax planning, this might be a useful strategy to consider. Similarly, it is also possible to pre-pay things like insurance and even do repairs and maintenance early.
If you have a new property or if you’ve undertaken significant renovation, then it might be worth looking at how you can claim depreciation. To do this, you will need a depreciation schedule, and this is commonly done through a quantity surveyor. Many investors fail to claim depreciation, and this can be a mistake. It certainly is if you have a new house or apartment.
Often, the largest expense that investors face is interest on their home loan. It’s important to understand that interest expenses and the associated fees and charges are tax-deductible expenses.
This is general information only and is subject to change at any given time.
Your complete financial situation will need to be assessed before acceptance of any proposal or product.
Please contact a Sana Finance Loan Specialist for more information regarding your Home Loan.