The Property Investment Blog | Australian Investment Property Guide
The Property Investment Blog is Australia’s Leading Investment Property Blog specialising in property investment strategies, guides for new investors and general property investment topics. This blog is updated on a daily basis with content that will help a common property investor as well as property investing experts.
Don’t put that ‘For Sale’ sign outside your house just yet. The following tips will stop you from making the most common mistakes sellers make, will drive the value of your home upwards, and help sell your property far more quickly.
Are You Sure You Want to Sell?
You may think you’re ready to move on to pastures new, but there’s a chance that selling may not be a great idea. Consider these questions:
Would an extension be better? If you need more space, it may be cheaper to build an extension or converting your attic instead.
What are house prices like? If the market is a little volatile, you may want to hold your horses. If you sell and take a wee while to find a new place, you may see yourself priced out of the market.
Are you in negative equity? Negative equity is a tricky situation to be in, and selling is often not the best option. Consider whether it’s worth trying to weather the storm.
Should you rent your home instead? If your property is primed for the rental market and house prices are still rising, consider renting your property out instead. If you go down this route, don’t stretch your finances beyond what’s responsible.
Be Selective About Renovations and Repairs
Yes, renovated homes will sell for more than those that are in a slightly less than perfect state. But that doesn’t mean you should go all out when it comes to renovations. Before selling your home, renovations have to either 1) deliver bang for your buck or 2) help convince the seller to put in an offer. These are our favorites:
Landscaping. This is easily one of the top ways to add value to your home without spending a boatload of money. You can multiply your investment simply by using a bit of fertilizer, weed control, and conducting a general ‘sprucing up’ of your garden.
Install a new garage door. If your current garage door looks a little dilapidated, replace it. If you do it yourself, you’re looking at a 200% return on your investment. Easy decision.
Repair what’s obviously broken. You don’t want your house to give off the wrong impression. Repaint the rooms that have seen better days, replace broken windows, fix loose railings, and get rid of all signs that scream ‘neglect!’. All of these are relatively low cost and while they may not add huge amounts of value, they’ll crank up interest in your home.
Make Your Home Look Presentable
Sellers often assume that buyers will be able to look beyond the mess. Not so. People are all about first impressions and a home that’s messy, dirty, and in a general state of disrepair won’t do well on the market. Here’s what you should do:
Go for the deep clean. You want your home to look as near to a showhome as reasonably possible. This means getting rid of foul smells. Scrub the floors and get rid of any stains. Clean the carpet and make it look as new. Your bathrooms and kitchen should sparkle.
Get rid of the clutter. Buyers don’t like clutter, period. If your hoarding habits have made your home look a bit of a mess, it’s time to do something about it. Consider a short-term storage unit, for example.
Get a professional photographer. It’s amazing how many sellers put up photos that have been taken with an old digital camera or an iPhone that probably belongs in a museum. You want high-quality photos, not snaps with terrible lighting and all the wrong angles. Hire a professional to attract interest.
Take the ‘you’ out of your home. A little personality is fine, as it creates a warm and friendly environment for buyers. But you want people to imagine your home becoming theirs, so ensure your home isn’t completely full of personal stuff like cheesy family photos, loads of toys, books, etc.
Get the right lighting. It’s so important to have the right lighting for your home. You want things to seem bright and cheery, not dark and downcast. Invest in some decent light bulbs that set a welcoming atmosphere.
Be Willing to Wait
Our final tip: be patient. If the market isn’t quite right and offers aren’t streaming in, don’t feel pressured to take the first bid that comes in. You can always wait a little longer for the right opportunity.
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As a rental property owner, one of your top priorities is to keep your properties safe and well-maintained. You should keep your rentals protected from anyone or anything that can cause damage to your properties, including past tenants, current tenants, and vandalizers. From adding security systems and cameras to installing additional locks, here are five tips to keep your properties secure.
Installing a security system is a popular way for many homeowners to protect their properties. Although it is a big investment, it is one of the most effective methods for securing a property. Most of today’s systems are easy to install and simple to use. Also, you can advertise to potential burglars and vandals that your property is protected by a security system.
Not all security systems are created equal. Be sure to shop around and find one that will best fit your needs. Do you want to be instantly alerted via smartphone app if something is awry? Do you want to include energy management and carbon monoxide detection? Have an idea of what you’ll need before you start looking so that you can end up with the type of system you want.
To step up your security efforts, you should think about installing a thermal camera (or a few) in the front and back of your properties. If you own multi-family properties that have tenants, you can install cameras at the front and back entrance of each unit. If your properties have stairwells, common areas or hallways, you can install cameras in each location.
As with the general security systems, know what you want from your security cameras. Is it just live feed or is it monitoring as well? Do you want motion activated sensors? Different camera features will be beneficial for different types and sizes of rental properties.
Although some windows have locks, it does not prevent someone from breaking them. However, you can install additional locks because a person trying to break in might think twice if they see the added security. Installing window sensors will set off an alarm if someone is trying to break into your property through the windows.
Aside from securing your windows with additional locks, you want to make sure all your doors are secure, especially if your property is vacant. Add a security door to an existing front door, and install a deadbolt lock if one is not already there. An intercom system is a good way to keep burglars out of buildings and multi-family properties.
An effective way to deter potential trespassers is to install plenty of external lighting. Keep the main entrances of your rental properties well lit, and use motion-sensing lights that detect movement up to 12 or more feet in every direction. If you are worried about constantly changing the batteries, solar-powered external lighting systems are now available.
If you’re really worried about your property staying safe, you can always hire a security guard. This is typically best if you own a larger property, or multiple properties that are close together. It’s generally not worth it to hire a guard for one small location. Additionally, hiring a security guard or security company will be more influential if your buildings are in high-crime or high-risk areas. Just the mere presence of a security guard can be an automatic crime deterrent though.
Rental properties are a great investment. However, you need to protect the investment and keep the people who rent your properties safe. If you own several properties in different locations, you can call the local police and ask them to check your rentals for any suspicious activity.
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