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Licensed Real Estate Agents Shelley and Mark are renowned for their exceptional customer service, strong local knowledge and high ethical standards. 

 
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Can you build wealth through property 10 years from retirement?

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

15 June 2017

If you’re in or approaching your mid to late 50’s and you think you’ve missed the boat to create a nest egg for your retirement by investing in property, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that all is not lost.

While it generally takes time to build financial freedom and it is a little more challenging the older you are (in an ideal world you would start planning in your 30’s or earlier), it is possible with as little as ten or so years to go until retirement, as long as you play your cards right.

Voted Australia’s leading property investment adviser, Michael Yardney has written an in-depth report on the ins and outs of building wealth through property just 10 years out from retirement.

He uses a scenario of a married couple in their late 50’s who are only just starting to plan for their retirement to demonstrate what can be achieved.

The harsh reality is the majority of Australians won’t retire with enough superannuation to see them through the remainder of their lives. Read this in-depth article for Michael’s tips on how you can turn this around even if you are older.

Click here to read Yardney’s eye-opening article.


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Tips to heat your home without breaking the budget

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

08 June 2017

As the mercury drops it’s tempting to crank up the heating at home to keep warm and cosy during winter. But the last thing you want is to receive a frightening energy bill come the end of the season.

Fortunately there are some budget friendly options to keep you and your family comfortable throughout winter.

Here are a few sustainable ways to heat your home without breaking the budget:

1. Use your window treatments to your advantage – it may sound simple and obvious but many people fail to maximise the warmth generated by Perth’s glorious winter sun by leaving their curtains and blinds closed during the day. Once the sun sets and the temperature drops, closing blinds and curtains will help retain the heat generated during the day and prevent heat loss from heaters through the glass.

2. Close off unused rooms – closing the doors to any unused rooms in your home will ensure that whatever heating you choose in your home, it only warms up the rooms being used. This has the potential to save you a significant sum off your energy bill.

3. Rug up – We are not suggesting you have to wear numerous layers indoors here. By rugging up we are referring to adding rugs to wooden and tiled floors to make the space look cosy and feel warm underfoot.

4. Seal gaps – Identify, repair and fill any gaps in your floors, windows, doors and walls. It’s generally easy to identify where gaps are in your home simply by paying attention to any cold draughts as you walk though. Sealing gaps with putty or sealant you can purchase at your local hardware store will help keep the cold out and the warmth in.

5. Insulate – Although this tip costs more than the others to implement, insulating your roof is well worth the investment. It creates a barrier to heat coming in to your home in summer and prevents heat from escaping in winter. This one change can reduce your energy bill by up to 50% and help keep you comfortable year-round.

 


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Renovating for profit. 6 tips for success

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

01 June 2017

The DIY property renovation craze has been spurred on in a huge way by popular TV shows like ‘The Block’ and ‘Renovation Rescue’. If you want to purchase a house that needs some TLC with a view to making a profit, here are some key tips that will help to set you up for success.

  1. Do your homework – Find out what improvements are the most likely to add dollar value to the style of home you have purchased, the suburb and the current marketplace. It’s important to take the emotion out of the equation and really study the marketplace and current trends.
  2. Remember that it’s not about you – You have bought this home with a view to make a profit from it, not to enjoy living there yourselves. So stay focused on your target market and keep design choices neutral and in keeping with the style of the home.
  3. Stick to your budget– Don’t risk blowing out your renovation budget. Budget like a hawk, especially when renovating for a profit. If you struggle in this department, engaging the services of a professional valuer can help you estimate costs and draft a disciplined budget. Your goal should be to double what you spend.
  4. Keep it as simple as possible– Simple, low cost improvements like a fresh coat of paint, new light fittings, new tapware and door hardware and new bathroom fixtures are sometimes all you need to substantially add appeal and therefore value.
  5. Connect with a good agent in the areas you wish to renovate for profit– Share your goals with the agent so they can contact you with potential buyers from their database and give you tips on what their buyers are looking for.
  6. Build a network of tradespeople – If you are like most DIY renovators for profit you won’t be doing all the work on your own. Invest in a competent team of tradespeople you trust and have rapport with. The agent you connect with may be able to refer you to good tradespeople in the area.

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How will the Withholding Tax changes affect you?

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

25 May 2017

A recent change to the Foreign Resident Witholding Tax law has significant implications beyond foreign investors.

From July 1 2017 ALL sellers who expect their property to sell for more than $750,000 (applies to most sellers in the suburbs we look after) must seek a clearance certificate from the ATO as soon as possible after deciding to list their property for sale to avoid any delays to settlement.

These changes, which will apply to contracts entered into, on, or after 1 July 2017, will affect many homeowners.

So what are the changes?

• The relevant threshold for contracts has now been reduced from $2,000,000 to $750,000.
• The withholding tax rate has been increased from 10% to 12.5%.

What do I need to do?

If you are selling a property for more than $750,000 you will need to seek a clearance certificate from the ATO as soon as possible to avoid any delays to settlement.

Without this certificate, 12.5% of the sale proceeds will be paid directly to the ATO on settlement.

How do I apply for a clearance certificate?

You can apply for the certificate in one of two ways – via your accountant or lodge an online application directly via the ATO website.


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Tips to shine at the Open House

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

12 May 2017

Just mentioning the words ‘Open House’ to some people is enough to send them into a mild panic. But with a little forward planning and the right information, you can quickly turn the stress into confidence and excitement knowing your home is dressed for success.

• Think of the open house as a first date or job interview

Start by thinking of the open house as a first date or an interview for a job. In either of those scenarios you would take extra time to ensure you make a great impression. The same is true for the open house. The first impression can literally make or break the experience. Make it a good one by de-cluttering, doing a thorough spring clean, and creating a welcoming ambience.

• Immaculate presentation suggests a well-maintained home

When a home is beautifully presented at the Open House it sends a subliminal message to buyers that the owners have maintained the home well. This in turn suggests that there will be less chance of encountering hidden problems after they have moved in should they decide to buy it.

• Love thy neighbour

This may seem like an odd suggestion, but when mowing your front lawn and you notice that your neighbour’s front lawn is overgrown, why not ask if they would mind if you mow their lawn as well? Street appeal is important as most people do a drive by before an inspection. And they won’t just be checking out your place; they will also be checking out the neighbourhood and your neighbours.

• Light it up

During the marketing campaign, it is a good idea to switch on any external lights just before sunset and leave them on until you go to bed at night, as many people today will drive by after hours.

• Accessorise

Sometimes the small things can make all the difference. While we suggest you de-clutter your home, some people tend to take this too far and the home ends up looking a bit cold and uninviting. We recommend you accessorise to suit the season. For an autumn/winter sale, a few tastefully scattered cushions and cosy throws create a warm welcoming ambience. Some other ideas include:

– Hanging your best colour coordinated towels in the bathroom
– Switch off all electronic devices and clear all paperwork from a home office desk
– Buy some fresh flowers or fruit to create a centrepiece for a dining or coffee table

• Create a welcoming atmosphere

Think about the senses. Are there any pet or strong food odours in the home? Is the home a comfortable temperature for people to walk through? Try the following tips:

– Open all windows at least an hour before the Open House to rid your home of any unpleasant odours.
– Create a subtle (but not overpowering) aroma in the home. Freshly baked bread, muffins or freshly ground coffee are still popular choices. These days the choice of quality plug-ins, essential oils and fragrant candles are also excellent choices to enhance the mood in the home.
– Adjust the room temperature before the Open House to ensure your home is comfortable for people to walk through – neither too warm nor too cold.
– Ensure any toilet seats are down.
– Your agent is the best person to ask about playing any ambient music in the home, as he or she knows the type of people who will be attending.

A good agent will check all of the above before the Open House and ensure all last minute touches are in place before show time.

• Park any cars in the garage if you have one

• Plan to make yourself scarce

Potential buyers always feel more comfortable to have a good look around the home when the owners aren’t present.

• Take pets off the premises during the Open House if possible

• Remove any junk mail on the day

• Don’t arrange to have a council rubbish collection during the Open House campaign

Ensure any bulk roadside collection is done before the first Open House.


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Top tips if you’re renovating to sell

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

24 April 2017

Have you been thinking about renovating or refurbishing your home with a view to selling in spring? If so, there is no better time than the cooler months of the year – so right now is a great time to get moving on your project. But where to start and how much to do? That’s (potentially) the million-dollar question.

Start by considering your budget. Some rooms require a larger budget than others. Wet areas like the kitchen, bathrooms ad laundry are always more expensive to renovate than other rooms in the home due to the cost of both materials and labour (most people require professional assistance from a plumber, tiler and electrician in wet areas, which adds significantly to the bill).

However you don’t necessarily need to go to the expense of a full renovation to spruce up your wet areas. You would be amazed at how much new tapwear, a shower head, light fittings and door hardware will do for your wet areas. You could even pick up a new shower screen at places like Bunnings or other local hardware stores and install them yourself.

The kitchen is seen as the heart of the home so buyers tend to put a lot of weight on this room when inspecting a home. Again you don’t need to install a brand new kitchen (although if your kitchen has seen better days and you can afford to, a new kitchen has the potential to add tens of thousands to the value of your property). If you can’t afford a new kitchen don’t despair. Consider a new bench top, new cupboard doors, modern stainless steel appliances and a new splash back. If that is still beyond your budget, simply replacing the handles and knobs and installing new tapwear can be enough to revitalise a tired old kitchen.

Bedrooms, lounge and dining rooms can be made to look modern and fresh with new carpet, light fittings and window treatments. Or if you know your old carpet covers floorboards, consider ripping them up, polishing the boards and adding some rugs.

A fresh coat of paint never goes astray during any home renovation – just be sure to stick to neutral tones for a broader appeal (same rule applies throughout the home). Leave splashes of bold colour for soft furnishings and accessories.

Consider professional home styling once your refurbishments have been completed. We can look after this for you if you wish.

We have access to some reliable local tradespeople and home stylists who we regularly recommend to clients and are more than happy to pass their details on to you or coordinate the process for you. We would also be more than happy to provide obligation free advice on what to do to your home to attract more buyers and maximise your sales price along with a free property appraisal. Call us if this is of interest you you.


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Autumn outperforms spring as the No. 1 selling season

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

14 April 2017

In April last year the Real Estate Institute of WA (REIWA) released data which proved what many real estate professionals had observed for some time – that Autumn is now officially recognised as the number 1 selling season of the year, outperforming Spring, which now comes in second.

Figures between 2001 to 2015 showed there were an average of 50% more sales between March and May than at any other time of the year. It is thought that the primary reason for this is that March has been pinpointed as the month of the year when people are ready to start tackling their goals for the year in earnest as all thoughts of summer holidays have long passed. For many, their goals include upgrading the family home, downsizing or buying an investment property.

There are two schools of thought as to why Spring no longer comes in at number 1. One school of thought is actually linked to the AFL Grand Final and the start of the spring school holidays. Another is simply that so many people assume that most wait till Spring to list their homes for sale that the market would be flooded and their property would have less chance of standing out in the crowd. As a result, some are now opting to avoid Spring to sell and choosing Autumn instead.

With beautiful weather, clear skies, warm (but not hot) days and crisp evenings, Autumn can be a great time to sell and have your property presenting at its best.

If you would like to know how the market is performing in your neighbourhood and are interested to know what the best selling strategy for you would be, give us a call. We would be happy to come and see you for an obligation free property appraisal.


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Housing affordability VS retirement affordability – which is the greater evil?

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

08 April 2017

Housing affordability has been the hot topic for a while now and there’s no sign of this interest cooling off any time soon, especially with the May Federal Budget drawing ever closer.

Pauline Hanson and a number of Federal backbenchers have been lobbying the government to allow young Australians to access their superannuation in order to give them a better shot at buying their first home and thereby easing the affordability crisis.

While this may seem like a plausible solution on the surface, former Chief Operating Officer of the Property Council of Australia, Ross Elliott says it is not good policy and “reeks of short term reactive opportunism.”

Mr Elliott believes that if the government moves ahead with this plan, we will face an even bigger problem than housing affordability in the future – an inability to afford retirement.

The facts are eye opening.

According to a 2013 OECD report:

  • Australian’s aged over 65 have the second worst seniors poverty in the world (behind Korea).
  • One in four Australian retirees receives the full pension and a further 25% receive a part pension.
  • 2/3 earn less than $400 a week in total.
  • About 25% are still paying off a mortgage or renting.
  • About 65% of Australians over 65 have no superannuation at all.
  • The average superannuation balance for someone aged 70 to 74 is $102,000.
  • Australians aged over 65 are now the fastest growing age group.
  • By 2033, one in five Australian will be over 65.

While the above picture should improve as more people reach retirement with a lifetime of contributions behind them (compulsory super only started in the early 1990s), the facts are nonetheless very sobering.

To read the full article click here.

 


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Which Perth suburbs are selling faster now than in the ‘boom’?

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

31 March 2017

Perth’s average number of days on market currently stands at 66 days, which is considerably higher than 4 years ago when it took an average of 41 days to sell a property in Perth.

But there are some suburbs in Perth where properties are selling much faster now than they did during the property ‘boom’. Rossmoyne, North Beach and Mount Lawley are among those suburbs on the list, with properties in Rossmoyne selling an average of 22 days faster than they did in 2013, when the property market was much stronger.

REIWA President Hayden Groves said it was easy to get caught up in general Perth market talk, but it was important to look deeper to see how individual suburbs were performing.

Interestingly, eight of the 10 suburbs on the list have an annual median house price of over $750,000 (for the year to January 2017) with four of those suburbs hovering above the $1 million mark.

“These results show the quickest sales are happening in the suburbs that predominantly cater to the trade-up sector of the residential property market,” said Mr Groves. “Buyers looking to take the next step in their property journey clearly recognise there is good opportunity in the current market to take advantage of more affordable house prices to upgrade to a new home,” he added.

2017, 03 31 - Table of Suburb Sales

How does your suburb fare?

Click here  for an interactive map that allows you to compare the performance of your suburb or a suburb of interest, including median house price, growth, time on market, sale hot spots and more.


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When east coast conditions come to bite us

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

25 March 2017

Market and economic conditions beyond our control on the west coast are now set to have an impact on Western Australians. And the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIWA) and the Urban Development Institute of Australia WA Division (UDIA WA) are not happy about it.

Both REIWA and UDIA WA have called the prospect of tightening home lending conditions across the country a “knee-jerk reaction” to over-inflated market conditions on the east coast, especially the Sydney and Melbourne property markets. REIWA President Hayden Groves said it did not take into account the varied market conditions within Australia, such as WA where the property market has softened considerably over the last two years.

“If lending conditions are made tougher for existing home owners, new home buyers and investors in WA, this will have a detrimental effect on our local housing market which is just starting to show signs of stabilisation,” said Mr Groves.

UDIA WA CEO Allison Hailes agreed saying that imposing further lending restrictions would “do more harm than good” on the west coast.

Affordability continues to be a significant issue for Western Australians due to the recent downturn in the mining sector and challenging economic conditions. However Mr Groves said tightening lending conditions in WA will only make this worse.

35% of lending finance in WA is attributed to investors. “Even if this regulation is only applied to investors, increasing borrowing costs would mean investors have no choice but to pass this down to tenants and would also limit the number of investors entering the market,” said Mr Groves.

REIWA and UDIA WA have joined forces to call on State Treasurer Ben Wyatt to address the issue at a national level.

Brace yourselves for rising interest rates

To rub further salt into the wound, two of the Big 4 banks – NAB and Westpac – announced a decision to lift interest rates out of cycle with the Reserve Bank for both owner occupiers and investors earlier this month. And now there’s talk that the other two banks in the Big 4 – CBA and ANZ – are about to follow suit.

In the last couple of days we have seen news reports suggesting that CBA and ANZ customers should brace themselves for interest rate hikes of more than 20 basis points for investment loans and up to 10 basis points for owner occupier loans.

The rate hike has arrived at a critical time for the banks with many speculating that APRA (the chief banking regulator) is set to introduce a series of measures to slow property growth. As for the motive of the banks, their decision to lift rates is in a bid to keep a lid on growth in loans to property investors and (not surprisingly) to protect their own profit margins. Again the decision has been fuelled by over-inflated growth in Sydney and Melbourne.

After eight years of what economists are calling “subnormal, artificially low interest rates”, it would appear we have now entered a new stage with rising interest rates expected to run for the next five to eight years.


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