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Grant Hyman
CEO and Founder

Central Coast: 02 4312 6743
Sydney North: 02 9844 5451
Grant: 0407 291 541

Wednesday 12th September 2018
Did your home host a murder?

Some Vendors, Buyers and Agents are unsure about the disclosure rules when a property is sold.  Patricia Lane offers an insight at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-12/what-should-you-know-about-a-house-before-you-buy-it/10231522


Thursday 5th July 2018
Micro Hotel Trend Ahead?

Ben Nielsen reports that a Micro hotel facility is about to be offered in Melbourne with plans for accommodation with little room to move - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-01/micro-hotel-coming-to-melbourne/9926132


Tuesday 26th June 2018
A fair go for retirees under sweeping retirement village reforms.

Finally, a fair go for retirees in retirement villages - https://www.finance.nsw.gov.au/about-us/media-releases/fair-go-retirees-under-sweeping-retirement-village-reforms


Sunday 24th June 2018
Stronger laws for off-the-plan purchasers.

Too many people are being caught buying off the plan, now that it's a falling market, so the Government is stepping in - https://www.finance.nsw.gov.au/about-us/media-releases/stronger-laws-plan-purchasers


Friday 22nd June 2018
Investors making room for home buyers.

Stephen Letts reports that Investor lending has fallen almost $100b as property market softens - 
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-22/investor-lending-strangled-falling-16pc-over-the-year/9898244


Friday 8th June 2018
3D Printed homes about to become a reality.

Netherlands to welcome 'world-first' 3D-printed homes - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-08/first-3d-printed-homes-to-be-built-in-the-netherlands/9846574


Friday 1st June 2018
Good news for first-home buyers.

Stephen Letts writes that foreign property investment plummets as tougher regulations bite - 
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-29/chinese-property-investment-drops-as-tougher-regulations-bite/9811942


Monday 28th May 2018
Why governments don't want 'affordable' housing.

"Sydney alone has the equivalent of 80 per cent of the cranes across all of North America". Sounds bizarre that prices keep climbing with such huge contruction volumes happening, doesn't it? 

Ian Verrender has written a very interesting analysis -
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-28/affordable-housing-why-governments-dont-want-it/9806118


Friday 25th May 2018
Important News for Tenants Experiencing Domestic Violence.

Tenants suffering Domestic Violence will be allowed to escape leases - https://www.finance.nsw.gov.au/about-us/media-releases/new-residential-tenancy-laws-bolster-protections-victims-domestic-violence


Wednesday 23rd May 2018
40pc of home buyers (wrongly) believe that mortgage insurance protects them.

David Chau writes that 2 out of every 5 Home Loan Buyers don't understand their lack of coverage - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-22/home-loans-25pc-buyers-wrongly-believe-mortgage-insurance-lmi/9786636


Wednesday 11th April 2018
Young lovers and Chinese property and Australia.

Cecily Huang reports on China's escalating property challenges for young couples and Australian fallout - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-11/china-property-boom-costs-young-lovers-and-australia/9626606


Saturday 31st March 2018
Could land-sharing be the answer for aspiring homeowners?

Wiriya Sati reports on a new housing solution for the unwealthy - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-31/is-land-sharing-answer-for-aspiring-homeowners/9587842


Monday 19th March 2018
Tips for Buying at Auction.

Emily Stewart has written an article with tips on how to Successfully Bid at a Home Auction - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-17/how-to-win-at-house-auction/9547166


Thursday 15th March 2018
Do you really own your home?

Few 'homeowners' realise that NSW Government officials can take your home and pay you what they like, whenever they like. Garth Brown explains that you need to be able to afford lawyers and valuation specialists to have a chance of something approaching fair compensation.

Meanwhile, Michelle Rafferty reports that the same applies in Queensland.


Wednesday 14th March 2018
Do you have a Sydney Escape Plan?

It's becoming common knowledge that Sydney is now 'full' and only barely suitable for human or animal habitatio, so some are getting ready to escape.

Andrew P Street's report is worth reading - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-14/the-big-sydney-escape/9524180


Monday 5th March 2018
Did you know you can be secretly blacklisted as a tenant?

This article by Jason Om is well worth reading if you're a Tenant - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-04/rental-blacklist-tenancy-database-should-i-be-worried/9505712


Wednesday 7th February 2018
Lifeline for those feeling Mortgage Stress.

Amongst all of the hype by developers and real estate agents Vs the doom and gloom of financial gurus, is a hopefully viable place for mortgagors (ie borrowers).  No-one seems to know where, but the Reserve Bank, according to this report by Michael Janda, might have opened a respite opportunity - http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-06/home-loan-warning-use-the-opportunity-the-reserve-bank-is-provi/8877178?pfmredir=sm


Thursday 1st February 2018
Ignore the Interest Rate - compare your actual lifetime repayments in Australian Dollars.

Michael Janda has written an article titled 'Property sellers target brokers and planners with client referral payments'.  Please always remember that the end of the day, it comes out of your pocket, so be careful to do your homework properly before buying off the plan -
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-01/property-investment-spruikers-paying-mortgage-brokers-financial/9380602


Monday 29th January 2018
David wins against Goliath, but for how long?

81-year-old wins legal fight against developer, but is it too late? Sarah Farnsworth tells a story worth reading if you're either a developer or a tenant -
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-29/wantirna-caravan-park-resident-wins-fight-against-developer/9362588 


Tuesday 23rd January 2018
Is moving to the country The Answer to Housing Affordability?

Catherine McAloon has written an article well worth reading if prices in your area are a bit too steep for you - 
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-24/is-moving-to-the-country-the-answer-to-housing-affordability/9319694


Sunday 21st January 2018
Buying or Building a home when someone else owns the land?

It's common knowledge that, pending their tenancy agreement, relocatable home owners can be evicted and/or have the land sold from under them for redevelopment, but what if you've built a permanent house on someone else's land?  Josh Bavas has written an article that highlights the possible lack of rights that people who build or buy permanent houses without land ownership can face - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-21/tangalooma-house-dispute-moreton-island-qld/9320640


Monday 15th January 2018
Are you a Tenant or Owner with a Swimming Pool?

It seems incomprehensible that Australia has a list of new swimming pool tragedies every summer, but it keeps happening.  The NSW Department of Fair Trading has made changes in an attempt to save children's lives - http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/ftw/About_us/News_and_events/Whats_new/Swimming_pools.page


Friday 12th January 2018
Good News for 4 Storey+ New Building Buyers?

Developers of Buildings of 4 or more storeys in NSW now have to lodge a bond against defects - let's see how it all pans out, but in the meantime here's the NSW Fair Trading website page - http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/ftw/Tenants_and_home_owners/Strata_schemes/Building_bond.page


Wednesday 3rd January 2018
Insurance Risk for Landlords

In this article where NT landlords have been made liable for goods stolen during break-ins, Jano Gibson reminds Landlords of their duty of care to tenants -
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-03/nt-renters-sue-over-break-ins/9301598


Tuesday 2nd January 2018
Time for an Appraisal of your Property.

This report by David Chau gives an overview of what's happening to values across the country - 
 
If you want to know what your property on the NSW Central Coast or Sydney's North Shore is worth, call for a free appraisal now - Central Coast: 4312 6743 or Sydney North: 9844 5451
 


Friday 22nd December 2017
Do you own and/or live in a property that uses Electricity?

The ACCC recall could save you a lot of pain and maybe even people's lives - https://www.accc.gov.au/update/infinity-cable-recall-act-now-before-its-too-late


Thursday 21st December 2017
Tenants Checklist idea.

Michael Janda has written a report about some unhappy Airbnb users which all tenants (and users of many other services) might do well to take note of, as there are some good tips on ways to stay safe - s/2017-12-22/aussie-blogger-analyses-airbnb-horror-stories/9280160


Wednesday 20th December 2017
Natural Disasters and Tenants

What does your Insurance cover and how might NCAT (New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal) see things if a natural disaster occurs?

Whilst it is impossible to cover every possibility or know how NCAT might view any particular situation, NSW Fair Trading have provided some examples that all Landlords and Tenants should consider - http://services.enews.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/online/18273933-368.html#Q4


Monday 18th December 2017
Got a Mortgage and think you can do Better?

Stephen Letts has uncovered a problem for people who are overgeared and want to switch home loans.  As APRA brings banks' past lending practices under control to mitigate possible future disasters, a lot of people with home loans might now might be refused refinancing in the future - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-18/whar-happens-when-the-housing-screws-tighten-next-year/9265650


Saturday 16th December 2017
Should Renters be allowed to list their homes on Airbnb ?

There are lots of issues around people renting a property and then sub-letting rooms in that property.  The situation is subject to the terms of the Tenancy Agreement, which, properly registered, is a legally binding document, subject to prevailing laws.

Koraly Dimitriadis has written an interesting article about the situation where tenants want to utilise Airbnb as a sublet tenant - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-16/renters-should-be-allowed-to-list-their-homes-on-airbnb/9262472


Friday 8th December 2017
Foreign Ownership numbers detailed.

Phillip Lasker and Michael Janda report that ANZ finds foreign buyers own up to 400,000 Australian homes - 
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-07/anz-finds-foreign-buyers-may-own-4pc-of-australia27s-homes/9236774


Tuesday 5th December 2017
A Tale of 5 Cities............

Kathryn Diss and Inga Ting explain the harsh reality for those Australians who want to start the the journey to having a home of their own - http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-05/how-long-does-it-take-to-save-a-home-deposit-in-australia/9225272?pfmredir=sm.


Sunday 3rd December 2017
Are You Buying 'Off-the-Plan'?

When I first bought my compulsory Professional Indemnity Insurance, one of the key questions in assessing my premium was whether or not I would be selling 'Off-the-Plan'.  It seems that the NSW Government feels that Consumers need more protection in this area, too - https://www.finance.nsw.gov.au/about-us/media-releases/plan-contracts-undergo-review


Saturday 2nd December 2017
Take Note, Mum and Dad Investors.

Sue Lannin reports on a warning issued re: Mum and Dad Investors - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-01/mum-and-dad-investors-could-lead-to-housing-crash:-report/9215448


Tuesday 28th November 2017
Investing in Student Accommodation

Michael Bleby of the Financial Review writes that the Student Accommodation market is a good one to watch if you're on the lookout for Investment Opportunities - https://www.commercialrealestate.com.au/news/australian-funds-to-form-second-wave-of-student-housing-investment-knight-frank/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=s1&utm_campaign=-2017-11-28


Tuesday 28th November 2017
New Wave of DIY Asbestos Disease Sufferers expected.

"The Bernie Banton Foundation says Australia has the second highest rate of asbestos-related cancer deaths in the world per capita, after the UK, and estimates by 2030, asbestos-related diseases will have killed 60,000 Australians".

Patrick Wood explains the problem at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-28/diy-renovations-leading-to-third-wave-of-asbestos-disease/9199578


Wednesday 22nd November 2017
APRA fed up with Banks' lack of prudence and Borrowers' stupidity -

Finally, Australia has a senior public servant with the brains, balls and care factor to deal with the facts, whilst the Reserve Bank and Australian Government apparently do nothing and allow the banks to 'self-regulate' whilst many landlords are renting accommodation tax-free either directly or through intermediaries such as Airbnb.

Michael Janda explains that Australian housing looks bloated with borrowers on 'wafer-thin' margins -
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-21/australian-housing-looks-a-lot-like-monty-pythons-mr-creosote/9176618


Monday 20th November 2017
House Prices based on myth or reality?

Sobering news on the reality of the numbers around the oft-mentioned 'imminently bursting bubble'.  Of course, the picture is never true, given the vast numbers of rooms being let for grossly inflated prices and which, being undeclared, amount to enormous tax-free incomes for invisible landlords.  Equally, the huge number of inappropriately vacant or underused public housing facilities (i.e. multi-room properties occupied by single people, all funded by the public purse) significantly distort the apparent reality.

This article from Michael Janda, however, gives us an insight into the numbers that the Government can't hide - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-20/house-price-growth-based-on-undersupply-myth-anu/9167688.


Thursday 9th November 2017
First Home Buyers getting a chance to buy as Investors leave the market.

Chris Kohler reports that Investors and leaving the market and First Home Buyers are moving in - https://www.domain.com.au/money-markets/firsthome-buyers-provide-silver-lining-in-grim-housing-finance-data-20171109-gzhz46/


Thursday 26th October 2017
Email scammers steal almost $1m from SA property buyers.

Property buyers are warned to verify trust account information before transferring money, after two South Australian conveyancing clients were scammed out of nearly $1 million.  Candice Prosser has the full story at http://ab.co/2yLD9iJ.


Tuesday 17th October 2017
Australia's house prices have surged more than 6,000 percent since the 1960s.

New research shows how much Australia's housing prices have surged over the past 55 years and reveals it has experienced the longest "upswing" compared to other advanced economies, reports David Chau at http://ab.co/2gIRzZ0.


Sunday 1st October 2017
Real estate agents go for broke to woo Chinese investors in 'Golden Week'

Cashed-up Chinese property hunters will be treated to helicopter rides and "money-can't-buy" experiences when they flock to Australia next week, but higher taxes and tighter regulations are forcing many of them to slash their budgets, writes Christina Zhou at http://ab.co/2yMDFMY.


Thursday 28th September 2017
What can you do if you don't want to go into a retirement village?

"Enterprising baby boomers are turning to co-housing to avoid the conventional retirement communities that were often the only option for their parents" - Chloe Ross explains at http://ab.co/2yIh8AS.


Thursday 21st September 2017
Sydney, Melbourne House Prices overvalued by 30% ?

Michael Janda reports that Paul Dales from Capital Economics has done the numbers on what houses should be worth and "based on house price to income ratios has said Australian house prices would need to fall by an average of 38 per cent to get back to fair value — worse than the 30 per cent US property price plunge during the global financial crisis".

Read the full story here - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/house-prices-overvalued-by-up-to-30pc-in-biggest-capitals/8965150


Wednesday 20th September 2017
Tiny houses: who wants them and why?

Heather Shearer of Griffith University has written a report on a great solution to Australia's east coast housing crisis, for those that can't cope with the costs, disempowerment, noise and isolation of home unit living.  But will developer controlled councils allow it?

Heather writes that "Research finds a marked increase in people, particularly among women over 50, who are building or wanting to build a tiny house. However, inflexible planning rules often stand in their way".  The full story - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-20/tiny-houses-who-wants-them-and-why-the-conversation/8959734


Friday 15th September 2017
NSW Government takes the first step in helping Retirement Village buyers.

There's been much publicity about certain Retirement Village operators using outrageously complicated contracts with outrageous exit terms and getting away with it.

The NSW Government has taken the first step in helping buyers understand the facts before signing - https://www.finance.nsw.gov.au/about-us/media-releases/online-calculator-launched-more-transparent-retirement-village-contracts


Thursday 14th September 2017
Rent Control and the unknowing Investor.

There aren't a lot of people around who are old enough or real estate-experienced enough to remember Rent Control.

Garth Brown of Brown and Brown Conveyancers has a message that could save you a lot of money and heartache if you're an investor who is not aware of Rent Control - http://mailchi.mp/conveyancers.net.au/brown-and-brown-enews-protected-tenancies


Wednesday 13th September 2017
Asbestos and Tenants........expect Legislation.

"After complaining for more than six months about a leaking shower tap, Ella Gleeson and Morgana Russell finally had a plumber turn up. But the repair job wound up exposing the tenants to potentially deadly asbestos dust".

Norman Hermant tells the story - http://ab.co/2wmovf1.


Monday 11th September 2017
Australian Banks warned over default risk from $500b in 'liar loan' mortgages

Michael Janda writes that "Up to a third of Australian mortgages could be "liar loans" based on inaccurate information, warns investment bank UBS, raising the risk of widespread home loan defaults if the housing market suffers a downturn".

Read more at http://ab.co/2wjCIt5


Monday 4th September 2017
Do your fire alarms and insurance protect you against flammable cladding?

"More than a decade before the deadly Grenfell tower fire in London, Australian suppliers of aluminium composite cladding knew the product they were selling was highly flammable. The preliminary audit has identified 1,011 buildings in NSW that require investigation and there is some speculation that over 5,000 buildings in Victoria may be affected".

Whether you're an investor, tenant or resident owner, you might like to check your fire alarms and insurance coverage as per this article by Anne Davies, Debbie Whitmont and Patricia Drum - http://ab.co/2vWYoLf  


Monday 28th August 2017
Investors Winning Big in Alice Springs............

Alice Springs has its fans, but to many Australians it's the middle of nowhere. Yet, investors are enjoying comparatively huge returns whilst renters are being forced out of their homes.  Claire Campbell explains the situation - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-28/alice-springs-one-of-the-worst-places-in-australia-to-rent/8840418


Wednesday 23rd August 2017
Investors Vs Quality of Life.

The old rule has never changed - buildings depreciate and land appreciates. Therefore, Mum and Dad (SMSF) investment portfolios should be based on land content, with only a minor part of their portfolio in apartments.
 
Bill Randolph explains in detail how the 'quality' (i.e. liveability) of our cities will also continue to deteriorate - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-23/high-rise-vertical-slums-entrench-disadvantage-bill-randolph/8834784


Sunday 20th August 2017
Building Inspections - you can get badly hurt if you get it wrong.

Whilst I always recommend that Vendors (sellers) get building and pest inspections done for financial as well as ethical reasons, they must be done properly, without caveats, to be credible.
 
Frank Chung explains why in this chillingly revealing article - http://www.news.com.au/finance/real-estate/buying/sydney-homebuyers-100000-horror-after-building-and-pest-inspection-comes-up-clean/news-story/2dead331415d80d86587c6d85653fb5e

 


Monday 14th August 2017
Gearing vs Equity - keeping your home safe.

Gearing is your debt level compared to your ability to make your repayments.  Negative Gearing is when your property is costing you money. Negative Gearing has been popular in Australia, making many people 'wealthy' due to the Government providing generous tax incentives to compensate for investors' shortfalls.

But what goes up could come down and Michael Janda explains the risk profile of the current situation at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-14/housing-wealth-uncertain-mortgage-debt-is-real/8803116


Thursday 10th August 2017
Selling for more than $750,000 without an FRCGW Clearance Certificate?

If your property sale value is more than $750,000 and you don't have a Foreign Resident Capital Gains Withholding (FRCGW) clearance certificate from the ATO, the buyer is required to withhold 12.5% of the purchase price. If your mortgage payout is more than 87.5% and you don't have a Clearance Certificate, the mortgagee may refuse to release the property.  The details are at https://www.ato.gov.au/General/New-legislation/In-detail/Direct-taxes/Income-tax-for-businesses/Foreign-resident-capital-gains-withholding-payments/


Thursday 3rd August 2017
Shared Home Ownership an affordable solution for renters?

Home Ownership (a quarter acre of land and a white picket fence) was once every working Australian's dream and right, but is rapidly becoming out of the question for many according to the latest HILDA (Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia) survey, but Shared Home Ownership may be a solution, reports Amanda Ho - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-03/affordable-housing-ownership-can-help-housing-crisis/8767906


Monday 31st July 2017
Australia supporting affordable Housing in the US and UK, but not Australia.

Guy Stayner of the ABC has uncovered a situation whereby ordinary Australians are creating affordable housing overseas and probably don't even know it.  Even worse, if they found out why, they might prefer Australia to miss out out affordable housing - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-31/why-australians-are-helping-create-affordable-homes-in-us/8760896


Sunday 30th July 2017
Protection promised for Retirement Village residents.

"The NSW Government is putting power back in the hands of retirement village residents under a new package of reforms announced today. Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said the package includes a four-point plan that will put consumers first and protect residents from potentially dodgy practices" - https://www.finance.nsw.gov.au/about-us/media-releases/retirement-village-reforms-put-consumers-first


Sunday 16th July 2017
Can't afford a house? Maybe you can. Or maybe renting is better for you?

Can't afford a house?  Maybe you can.  Or maybe renting is better for you?  3 stories to consider - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-16/housing-affordability-whats-happening-to-great-australian-dream/8694330


Friday 14th July 2017
Lenders Mortgage Insurance - NOT Borrower's mortgage protection, even though borrowers pay for it !!

Thanks to Garth Brown of Brown and Brown Conveyancers, for his advice - "LMI (Lenders Mortgage Insurance) is an insurance policy which compensates Lenders for losses due to the default of a mortgage loan by a Borrower. Borrowers who have less than 20% deposit of the property purchase price are charged LMI by finance lenders - this is an extra cost over and above the standard fees and charges related to purchasing. As the purchaser, you need to make sure you're happy to pay it because these rates can be expensive".

"Many borrowers mistakenly believe that LMI is designed to protect the borrower if the borrower is unable to meet their mortgage repayments and the property has to be sold for less than the loan.   LMI does not cover the borrower for any shortfall after paying out the Bank and the Insurance provider will pursue you for the balance. Some borrowers have declared Bankruptcy after being pursued by Insurance Providers".  As Garth points out, "it is very important to do your due diligence, factor in potential future interest rate increases, and get the correct professional legal and financial advice before you sign up to any loan".


Thursday 13th July 2017
Can Real Estate agents be trusted to Police crimes effectively and if they get it wrong will they be subject to significant defamation actions?

Sue Lannin writes that "International bodies like the Financial Action Task Force and Transparency International have slammed Australia's lack of action on forcing lawyers, real estate agents and accountants to report suspicious transactions.  AUSTRAC, Australia's financial crimes regulator, said in a report two years ago that the laundering of illicit funds through real estate was "an established money laundering method in Australia".

Can Real Estate agents be trusted to Police crimes effectively and if they get it wrong will they be subject to significant defamation actions?  Click here for the full article - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-13/should-australias-anti-money-laundering-laws-be-extended/8703354. 


Sunday 9th July 2017
Two Melbourne real estate agents fined for under-quoting amid crackdown.

Recently at a social event, after admitting what I do for a living, I was told by a lady about a house auction in NSW that she had recently attended. One registered bidder was furious that he had done all due diligence (building and pest inspections etc) as well as gain finance approval for $1.2 million, which was the figure that the agent advised was the expected sale figure, when the Auctioneer refused to accept a starting bid below $1.6 million.  I enquired whether she or he had protested to the Office of Fair Trading and neither had bothered, given that a sale had been made beyond his buying capacity, anyway. 

I'm expecting that NSW will follow Victoria's lead in this area, where the ABC reports that "two Melbourne real estate agents are fined a total of $120,000 for underquoting, amid a crackdown by the State Government to stop the practice" - http://ab.co/2uXC6sR.


Thursday 6th July 2017
Building Your Own Home? Done your Homework?

NSW OFT (Office of Fair Trading) have published a warning to people contracting with a home builder, without properly considering their obligations and cost risks.

Whilst it's normal for cost increases due to owners specifying higher grade fixtures (eg taps, doorknobs and more) than in the standard contract, many 'variations' can come as a surprise. OFT recommend doing your homework first - https://www.finance.nsw.gov.au/about-us/media-releases/do-your-homework-signing-building-contract.


Saturday 1st July 2017
2016 Census Information Released.

The 2016 Census yielded a wealth of information, including an indication that the demand for Investment Property will continue as with this report by Jennifer Duke - https://www.domain.com.au/news/census-2016-renting-population-growing-as-great-australian-dream-fades-20170627-gwz63p/


Thursday 29th June 2017
NSW First Home Owners Grant commencing 1st July, 2017

With many First Home Buyers facing the prospect of leaving Sydney and perhaps even NSW forever and moving interstate to more affordable locations, the NSW Government has moved to ease the costs of entry to the property ownership market, whilst investors and foreign buyers will enjoy less benefits.

The official webpage explaining it all is at https://www.nsw.gov.au/improving-nsw/projects-and-initiatives/first-home-buyers/.


Wednesday 28th June 2017
2016 Census - Renters Vs Home Owners.

The Great Australian Dream of owning our own home is fast becoming a nightmare for those who have missed out.  On the other hand, Property Developers and Investors are enjoying the rising rental demand.  Jennifer Duke has explained the numbers on the Domain website at https://www.domain.com.au/news/census-2016-renting-population-growing-as-great-australian-dream-fades-20170627-gwz63p/


Monday 26th June 2017
Four Corners and Fairfax Media review Retirement Villages.

If you are contemplating entering (or helping someone else enter) a retirement village, you might need a tea or coffee first to sit down and read some long and complex documentation - it could save a small (or large) fortune.

Adele Ferguson, Klaus Toft and Sarah Danckert have written an article on the topic - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-26/regulators-gone-missing-in-retirement-village-industry/8647990


Friday 23rd June 2017
Australian Housing Crisis affecting Older People.

Much has been written about younger people never being able to own a home of their own, but what of older people, even those who already have a mortgage subject to rate fluctuations? 

Patrick Wood writes about the concerns of COTA (Council On The Aging) - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-22/housing-crisis-looms-for-older-australians/8641692


Sunday 18th June 2017
Airbnb not to blame for Rental shortages.

Interestingly, whilst many Landlords are renting rooms and properties tax-free and the rest getting Negative Gearing benefits, Airbnb is now being asked to also shoulder blame for Renters' nightmares ($500 per week per bedroom becoming normal in Sydney's CBD, with strangers renting a bed only, as per some Share Accommodation sites).

Whilst it's true that many Landlords are cashing in on Airbnb's big per night numbers versus the smaller per night numbers of much more demanding permanent tenants, Airbnb are claiming that their share is relatively insignificant in the bigger picture.  Here's an article by the ABC's Consumer Affairs reporter Amy Bainbridge and the National Reporting Team's Rebecca Armitage worth reading - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-18/airbnb-in-australia-the-sharing-economy-has-a-dark-side/8624122


Saturday 17th June 2017
2,500 NSW Buildings potentially facing the same fate as the recent London fire horror.

Philippa McDonald has written an article that should be read by apartment owners, tenants and investors alike about the potential tragedy of living in one of an estimated 2,500 NSW apartment blocks - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-15/london-tower-fire-promps-fears-nsw-buildings-could-be-tinderbox/8622470


Thursday 15th June 2017
Buyers and Sellers Guides to Conveyancing

Many people are confused about the Buying and Selling process and Vendor First recommends that in transactions, a Conveyancing specialist must always be used, because the cost if something goes wrong far outweighs the fees of using a specialist to get it right in the first place.

Garth Brown of Brown and Brown Conveyancers based in Sydney's Crows Nest, has produced a couple of guides that you might find invaluable. The Buyer's Conveyancing Guide and the Seller's Conveyancing Guide - have a look if you're planning to buy or sell property.


Monday 12th June 2017
Can Australians afford to live in Australia?

The Guardian has published an interesting article by Gareth Hutchens which explains the real world reason that Australia is becoming less and less affordable i.e. household debt, already claimed by some to be the highest in the world per household, keeps skyrocketing, whilst household incomes are, compared to Australia's income, continuing to fall.

Here is the article - https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jun/10/households-share-of-national-economic-pie-nears-50-year-low


Thursday 1st June 2017
The Humble Phone Box and Smart Entrepreneurs.

"Phone boxes and the phones in them have been rendered virtually obsolete by the smartphone, but a number of quick-thinking entrepreneurs have stepped in to make use of the tiny spaces" writes Denham Sadler at https://www.commercialrealestate.com.au/news/iconic-red-london-phone-boxes-are-being-turned-into-micro-offices/


Tuesday 30th May 2017
Liquidity risk as the Market turns.

The chorus of Property Bubble doomsayers has been growing for quite a while now, both in terms of numbers and volume, but buyers appear to be as confident as ever.

So what is really happening with Australia's so called Property Bubble?

The Real Estate Industry always puts a positive spin on everything, of course.

Those hoping for a bargain want the whole thing to be cooled down, of course.

Banks have been lending as much as possible, because that's how they make their profits, of course.

The Reserve Bank hasn't been willing to get involved, setting interest rates as low as possible, to avoid an economic disaster, of course.

The Government doesn't seem to have a clue, as the horse has long bolted with high-rise developments without matching infrastructure growth is now normal Government policy.

Further, the FIRB's welcoming of overseas monies (http://firb.gov.au/real-estate/) has anecdotally sent prices out of control, although the true facts are more obscure and the FIRB has its supporters as well as detractors.

So what are the facts?

No-one knows for sure, but here is an article by Michael Janda that all investors might do well to consider, in addition to their own learned observations - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-29/janda-sink-housing-market-and-drown-property-investors/8568238


Friday 26th May 2017
Stamp Duty and other Calculators and Information - Office of State Revenue (OSR)

The NSW OSR (Office of State Revenue) site is at http://www.osr.nsw.gov.au/ and if you're suffering confusion and misunderstanding about expenses such as Real Estate Stamp Duty and Land Tax, these are the calculators provided by the OSR - http://www.osr.nsw.gov.au/taxes/land/calculation.

These numbers are especially important to unaware buyers hit by 'Auction Fever' as they try to compete in the buying frenzy that occurs in a high-demand auction. Of course, it's also important that buyers take advice from their Accountant, Lawyer/Conveyancer, Building and Pest Inspector and any other specialist eg Landscaper, as appropriate, before committing.


Thursday 25th May 2017
Amazon.com looking for Distribution Centre ('Fulfilment') locations.

Amazon.com has an estimated 13.1 million square metres under cover in 14 countries, aimed at fulfilling their 1-2 hour delivery targets, but is apparently having trouble finding suitable (minimum 6,000 square metre) locations in Australia, due to current investors seeing a much better return in 'flipping' them into residential developments. Matthew Cranston, Property Editor of the Financial Review, has explained it in this article -https://www.commercialrealestate.com.au/news/amazons-australian-entry-set-to-be-hindered-by-booming-residential-market/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=s1&utm_campaign=c-all-cremorningbulletin-2017-05-25


Wednesday 24th May 2017
Building a Property Portfolio.

There are many tricks and traps in building a property portfolio.

1) House (lots of equity due to the Land to Building Ratio) Vs Apartment (the Strata Manager takes care of things provided you can cope with paying the levies).

2) Negative Vs Positive Gearing.

3) What about Commercial - Shop or Office?

4) Spreading your portfolio across different states to minimise land taxes.

5) How to choose a Managing Agent if you don't want to deal face-to-face with the tenant.

And it goes on and on..............

In this article, Larissa Ham provides some information well worth taking on board as a part of your research - https://www.domain.com.au/advice/how-to-build-a-property-portfolio-from-scratch-20170302-guoucy/?utm_source=email&utm_campaign=Insider_24052017&utm_medium=email&utm_content=none


Tuesday 23rd May 2017
Superannuation Implications of Retirees Downsizing.

There's a lot of confusion about Real Estate benefits in the latest budget with some retirees thinking that downsizing is the answer.

It all depends on your personal situation and if you're not careful, you could be worse off - please consult a tax specialist before making any decisions.
This article provides an insight - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-23/super-incentives-to-downsize-home-could-leave-retirees-worse-off/8550874


Monday 22nd May 2017
Are Child Care Centres a good investment?

It appears that 'Mum and Dad' Self-Managed Super Funds are having an impact on Childcare Centre investment returns, but other forces are at play and this article has some advice from professionals experienced in this area - https://www.commercialrealestate.com.au/news/commercial-property-downturn-beyond-tipping-point-2/


Sunday 21st May 2017
Sydney CBD Tandem Carspace being offered for $400,000.

This article about the Sydney CBD Tandem Carspace being offered for $400,000, notes that "As with buying any kind of property, buyers must fork out for stamp duty, council rates and body corporate or strata fees" and is at https://www.domain.com.au/news/australias-most-expensive-car-spaces-sydney-owner-selling-for-400000-20170519-gw7sgv/?utm_source=email&utm_campaign=Insider_22052017&utm_medium=email&utm_content=none.


Sunday 21st May 2017
There's always an Opportunity for Innovation in Real Estate.

"Phone boxes and the phones in them have been rendered virtually obsolete by the smartphone, but a number of quick-thinking entrepreneurs have stepped in to make use of the tiny spaces" writes Denham Sadler.  The full article is at https://www.commercialrealestate.com.au/news/iconic-red-london-phone-boxes-are-being-turned-into-micro-offices/
 


Saturday 20th May 2017
How to Winterproof your Home.

Domain.com.au has published an article called 'Winter is coming: How to Weatherproof your Home by Carla Grossetti', giving tips on how to keep your home in good condition throughout the winter months. BEWARE that the content is sponsored, meaning that people are paying to advertise in the article and any decision to use any services advertised is entirely your own, however there is some good advice worth reading here - https://www.domain.com.au/news/winter-is-coming-how-to-weatherproof-your-home-20170508-gw066n/?utm_source=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter_20170516&utm_medium=email&utm_content=noneReplace this text with new content


Wednesday 17th May 2017
Renters Living in Fear and Frustration.

Quality of Life in Australia continues to fracture as the gap between the real estate 'haves' and 'have-nots' continues to widen. This article notes that –

"The nation's first national survey of housing tenants has revealed renters in Australia have little security and lack the power to demand standard property maintenance.

Key points:

Tenants are putting up with poor-quality housing and many face the threat of eviction if they complain to their landlord, according to researchers.

The survey, entitled Unsettled: Life in Australia's Private Rental Market, was conducted jointly by consumer group Choice, the NGO National Shelter and the National Association of Tenant Organisations".

For the full article, please visit http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-16/renters-have-little-security-and-fear-eviction-survey/8273670


Monday 15th May 2017
New Strata Laws in NSW - some tips from the Office of Fair Trading.

Having spent 6 years as a Strata Chairman, I learnt how selfish and unreasonable some Strata landlords and tenants can be, whilst how sensible, accommodating and generous of spirit others can be.

One classic example is people's varying attitudes to pets in a strata scheme, which is covered in this latest newsletter from the NSW Government's Office of Fair Trading addressing Frequently Asked Questions - http://services.enews.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/online/18270732-401.html.  If you want to be aware of OFT's full strata requirements, please click on http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/ftw/Tenants_and_home_owners/Strata_schemes/Frequently_asked_questions_strata_schemes.page?


Friday 12th May 2017
Bank levy could undermine property market, writes Phillip Lasker.

Do you remember when the Australian Government decided to guarantee deposits in the Big 4 Australian Banks (plus St George, now owned by Westpac)?  Westpac, CommBank, NAB and ANZ were all guaranteed safe whilst all other Financial Institutions were left to fend for themselves and they became known as the 4 Pillars upon which Australia's financial security was seemingly assured.

This has allowed the Big 4 to control their world in a way which has generated Billions in profits every quarter, delighting shareholders and mystifying people battling to pay mortgages, initiating many calls for inquiries into banks' less savoury behaviours, yet providing Australia with a level of financial stability that has been welcomed by most.  In fact, many feel comfortably protected under the Financial Claims Scheme as at APRA's website -https://www.fcs.gov.au/which-adis-are-covered although Rob Nicholls and Carolyn Evans argued that more competition is needed - http://theconversation.com/boring-and-protected-fifth-pillar-needed-to-get-australian-bank-customers-moving-48323

Now, in the 2017 Budget, the Australian Government has decided to take a big share of the Banks' profits, by way of a special levy, which states that "If investment bank UBS is to be believed, the Government is risking shaking the foundations of a sector which could bring the economy to its knees. Forget the mining boom unwinding, if property collapses, it's game over".  Read the full story and make your own mind up - http://ab.co/2r6Jtgl.


Wednesday 10th May 2017
Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull's 2017 Federal Budget in relation to Real Estate.

Probably the biggest news to Australia's real estate market is that Negative Gearing remains untouched (whilst the Reserve Bank continues to leave interest rates alone, for now).

There is, however, some fine tuning eg the First Home Super Saver Scheme "to allow first home buyers to funnel some income into super accounts, at a lower tax rate than normal. The Government says this will help first home buyers to save a deposit 30 per cent faster" says the attached report.

The report continues by saying that the Australian Government "also wants to free up a whole lot of housing by encouraging older Australians to downsize. They'll be able to tip up to $300,000 from the sale of their home into super by doing so".

For more detail, please read the full report at http://www.abc.net.au/news/story-streams/federal-budget-2017/2017-05-09/budget-2017-cheat-sheet-paying-more-tax/8511842


Sunday 7th May 2017
Understanding Australia's threatened Property Market Bubble.

This article notes that "There's been quite a bit of speculation over whether Australia has a property market bubble — where house prices are over-inflated compared to a benchmark — and when it might burst. According to housing experts, there's at least four scenarios where this could happen.

Australia could see a property bubble burst due to:

The full article is at - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-01/four-ways-an-australian-housing-bubble-could-burst-illustrated/8486794


Friday 5th May 2017
Looking to buy shares in the real estate property market?

An innovative opportunity for new and existing property investors is being offered to people interested in the Sydney and Melbourne real estate markets, whereby, according to the linked news report, "The company buys properties, divides them into 10,000 shares, or bricks, and offers them up to investors for between about $50 and $150, depending on the value of the property.  Properties in Sydney and Melbourne are tenanted, and investors get a share of the rental returns".

The full article is at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-02/brickx-startup-selling-shares-in-sydney-melbourne-properties/8487790


Wednesday 3rd May 2017
NSW Government cracking down on non-complying real estate agents.

An interesting article dealing with the practice by real agents of underquoting a property's selling price to maximise the volume of buyer interest, which states that -

"Underquoting occurs when a selling agent tells a client (the vendor) to expect a certain price for their property, while telling prospective buyers a lower price.

In March, NSW Fair Trading officers conducted a crackdown, inspecting 124 real estate businesses and checking documents to ensure the prices they quoted to sellers matched the prices they quoted prospective buyers.

They issued 22 fines, valued at $2,200 each.

Since new regulations came into force in January 2016, 50 fines have been issued, however there have been no successful prosecutions.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said he would consider introducing tougher penalties and giving inspectors greater powers to investigate underquoting.

"I think we should look at all options," Mr Kean said.

"We want to make sure shonky real estate agents are weeded out of the market and consumers get a fair deal."

Mr Kean said there was evidence to suggest the Government's efforts were working.

In the first quarter of 2016, Fair Trading NSW received 119 complaints about underquoting.

Just 12 complaints were received for the same period in 2017".

Read the full article at - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-29/real-estate-underquoting-still-prevalent-despite-crackdown/8481846


Monday 1st May 2017
The new website for Vendor First has been launched.

The Vendor First website (www.vendorfirst.com.au) is now launched.

With Vendor First being NSW Central Coast focused, the locations in which we focus in relation to Real Estate Sales and Business Broking include Alison, Avoca Beach, Avoca, Arcadia Vale, Awaba, Bar Point, Bateau Bay, Bensville, Berkeley Vale, Blackwall, Blue Bay, Blue Haven, Booker Bay, Bouddi, Budgewoi, Budgewoi Peninsula, Buff Point, Bushells Ridge, Calga, Canton Beach, Cedar Brush Creek, Central Mangrove, Chain Valley Bay, Charmhaven, Cheero Point, Chittaway Bay, Chittaway Point, Cogra Bay, Colongra, Copacabana, Crangan Bay, Daleys Point, Daniel Island, Davistown, Dooralong, Doyalson, Doyalson North, Durren Durren, East Gosford, Empire Bay, Erina, Erina Heights, Ettalong, Ettalong Beach, Forresters Beach, Fountaindale, Glenning Valley, Glenworth Valley, Gorokan, Gosford, Green Point, Greengrove, Gunderman, Gwandalan, Halekulani, Halloran, Hamlyn Terrace, Hardys Bay, Holgate, Horsfield Bay, Jilliby, Kangy Angy, Kanwal, Kariong, Kiar, Killarney Vale, Killcare, Killcare Heights, Kincumber, Kincumber South, Kingfisher Shores, Koolewong, Kulnura, Lake Haven, Lake Munmorah, Lemon Tree, Lisarow, Little Jilliby, Little Wobby, Long Jetty, Lower Mangrove, MacMasters Beach, Magenta, Mangrove Creek, Mangrove Mountain, Mannering Park, Mardi, Marlow, Matcham, Mooney Mooney, Mooney Mooney Creek, Mount Elliot, Mount White, Narara, Niagara Park, Norah Head, Noraville, North Avoca, North Gosford, Ourimbah, Palm Grove, Palmdale, Patonga, Pearl Beach, Peats Ridge, Phegans Bay, Picketts Valley, Point Clare, Point Frederick, Pretty Beach, Ravensdale, Rocky Point, St Huberts Island, San Remo, Saratoga, Shelly Beach, Somersby, Spencer, Springfield, Summerland Point, Tacoma, Tacoma South, Tascott, Terrigal, The Entrance, The Entrance North, Toowoon Bay, Toukley, Tuggerah, Tuggerawong, Tumbi Umbi, Umina Beach, Upper Mangrove, Wadalba, Wagstaffe, Wallarah, Wamberal, Warnervale, Watanobbi, Wendoree Park, West Gosford, Wondabyne, Woongarrah, Woy Woy, Woy Woy Bay, Wyee, Wyee Point, Wyoming, Wyong, Wyong Creek, Wyongah, Yarramalong and Yattalunga.

To know a little more about each of these locations, please click on this link and then the specific location - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Central_Coast,_New_South_Wales_suburbs.

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