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Privately selling your home may seem a great way to save thousands of dollars. After all, the standard real-estate agent’s commission is on average 2%—that’s $10,000 on a $500,000 home. Given the size of this fee, you may think that acting as your own seller’s agent will place that money into your own pocket. Before making one of the biggest decisions of your life, we strongly suggest to consider a few of these keys points.

1. Time is Money 

When you decide to sell your home on your own, be prepared to sacrifice a lot of time. From staging the property and taking perfect pictures to getting the description and marketing right. You’ll also spend time showing the property, entertaining  door-kickers, and talking with agents who won’t take you seriously.  

It’s Not Your Full-Time Job. Good real estate agent are some of the most highly trained negotiators in the sales industry. It wont be easy to rush home from work every time someone wants to see your home?  At the end of a long work day, do you have the energy to take advantage of every possible opportunity to market your home? Are you an expert in marketing homes? Do you have any experience doing so? Your answer to all of these questions is probably “no.” An agent’s answer to all of these questions is “yes.”

2. Financial Savings

When you sell by owner you may think you’re saving money but in reality you’re often spending a lot of money up front with no guarantee of any return. Listing agents spend a calculated amount of money up front to make sure a listing sells and ultimately pays both you and them both fairly. 

When you try to private sell you attract investors and low-ballers who see your inexperience and ignorance as a prime opportunity. What may seem like a lot to you may be a steal to them. An experienced agent will understand this and negotiate the most money possible for you.

3. Marketing

You might be ready to post your home on Facebook and Gum-tree a few times, even if you have a large personal or professional network, those people will likely have little interest in spreading the word that your house is for sale. You don’t have relationships with clients, other agents, or a real-estate agency to bring the largest pool of potential buyers to your home. A smaller pool of potential buyers means less demand for your property, which can translate to waiting longer to sell your home and possibly not getting as much money as your house is worth.

4. Separating Emotion from the Sale

“Most important, find a broker who has your best interests at heart. Many brokers will spend significant time to educate you, and because of that, they could be one of your most valuable assets. Be fair to them, and most of them will be fair to you. If you don't want to pay for good help, then why would they give it? You wouldn't work for free, and neither should they.”

Agents are experts in what makes homes sell. They can walk through your home with you and point out changes you need to make to attract buyers and get the best offers. They can see flaws you’re oblivious to because you see them every day, or because you simply don’t view them as flaws. They can also help you determine which feedback from potential buyers you should act on after you put your home on the market to improve its chances of selling.

Exert from 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' by Robert Kiyosaki .

“Most important, find a broker who has your best interests at heart. Many brokers will spend significant time to educate you, and because of that, they could be one of your most valuable assets. Be fair to them, and most of them will be fair to you. If you don't want to pay for good help, then why would they give it? You wouldn't work for free, and neither should they.”

Selling your home will likely be one of the biggest transactions of your life. You can try to do it alone to save money, but hiring an agent has many advantages. Agents can get broader exposure for your property, help you negotiate a better deal, dedicate more time to your sale, and help keep your emotions from sabotaging it. An agent brings expertise, which few home sellers have, to a complex transaction with many financial and legal pitfalls.

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With tax time approaching now is a good time to get your paperwork in order to make sure you maximise your return.  

You can claim a deduction for your related expenses for the period your property is rented or is available for rent.

  • management and maintenance costs, including interest on loans, can generally be claimed immediately (that is, deducted against your current year's income).
  • borrowing expenses, depreciation and capital works spending can be deducted over a number of years.

You can't claim:

  • expenses not actually paid by you, such as water or electricity charges paid by your tenants
  • acquisition and disposal costs, including the purchase cost, conveyancing and advertising costs and stamp duty* on the title transfer – instead, these are usually included in the property's cost base, which would reduce any capital gains tax when you sell the property
  • GST credits for anything you purchase to lease the premises – GST doesn't apply to residential rental properties. However, when claiming the expense as a deduction, you claim the total amount you've paid (inclusive of GST, if applicable).

*Unlike stamp duty on the transfer of freehold title, stamp duty on the transfer of a property under the ACT's leasehold system is generally deductible (see Expenses for which you can claim an immediate deduction, 'Lease document expenses').

Expenses deductible immediately – management, maintenance, interest.

You can generally claim an immediate deduction (that is, against your current year's income) for your expenses related to the management and maintenance of the property, including interest on loans.

If your property is negatively geared you may be able to deduct the full amount of rental expenses against your rental and other income, such as salary and wages and business income.

To claim deductions for expenses, your property must include a dwelling that is rented or available for rent – for example, advertised for rent. If you're building a rental dwelling, you can claim deductions for the land while you are building.

Expenses for which you may be entitled to claim an immediate deduction include:

  • advertising for tenants
  • body corporate fees and charges
  • council rates
  • water charges
  • land tax
  • cleaning
  • gardening and lawn mowing
  • pest control
  • insurance (building, contents, public liability)
  • interest expenses
  • property agent's fees and commission
  • repairs and maintenance
  • some legal expenses.

// Read more about expenses deductible immediately

 

Expenses deductible over several years – borrowing, decline in value, capital works.

The following expenses for your rental property may be deducted over a number of income years:

  • Borrowing
  • Decline in value of depreciating assets
  • Capital works

A rental property is generally any real property that you rent out in exchange for income.

If you own a rental property, you can only claim tax deductions for expenses if the property is rented out or genuinely available for rent.

// Read more about expenses deductible over several years

Please note claiming expenses on your investment property varies depending on your individual circumstances.Source: https://www.ato.gov.au/general/property/residential-rental-properties/expenses-you-can-claim/
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The first home buyers' deposit guarantee innovation, unveiled by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, is perfectly pitched at the first home buyer generation.

It will turbo-charge their entry into the property market with a government scheme partnering with private lenders offering finance for approved buyers.

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme will be available, from next January if either the Coalition or Labor wins the federal election, for new home buyers who have got a 5% deposit, which is the easy bit.

They will get government backing to make up the 20% house deposit typically required by lenders.

The scheme is based on the valid belief it is the deposit gap rather than the size of mortgage payments that is the real barrier to home ownership.

The government backed National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation will guarantee the difference between the lower deposit and the 20%.

The scheme will also help first home buyers save around $10,000 by not having to pay lenders mortgage insurance.

The scheme, adopted from a 2015 New Zealand scheme, would allow singles earning less than $125,000 a year and couples earning less than $200,000 a year to get into the housing market in quick time.

Past schemes, including the first home super saver (FHSS) scheme, have simply been too slow in achieving outcomes. 

The $500 million scheme is set to be initially capped at 10,000 loans annually, about one tenth of the market. 

Some 110,000 bought their first home in 2018, which was the highest level in nine years.

But the latest NSW figures for March show the lowest number in two years.

The value of homes that can be purchased under the scheme will be capped on a regional basis, reflecting different markets across Australia.

Although it has fallen in recent months, an entry-level Sydney apartment costing $560,000 takes around five years and four months savings for a 20% deposit, some 16 months longer than in Melbourne and two years longer than the equivalent in Brisbane.

"With the banks pulling back and larger deposits of 20% now being standard, it is not getting easier," Morrison said.

"The lenders would still be the ones lending the money. They would still do all the normal checks on the borrowers to make sure that they can meet their repayments – this isn’t free money."

There will be a small risk for the government having first time borrowers with higher indebtedness especially if the market continues to fall.

No official figures are kept on first home buyer arrears or distressed sales, but the even more cautious big four banks maintain overall arrears levels across NSW remain very low given the low interest rate landscape.

The government support would stay in place for the life of the loan, until its sale or until the value of the property rises to a point where they choose to refinance.

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme will start on 1 January next year, the same date that Labor has said it would start its grandfathered negative gearing scheme to assist affordability.

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Wollongong Commercial Leasing Gurus, Michael & Nathan talk "Leasing : 101" - jumping into the fundamentals that every landlord and tenant should consider when leasing commercial property.

 

 

Commercial Leasing Gurus - Episode 1: It's All About Timing - YouTube

Tip 1:
In this episode our Commercial Gurus delve into the importance of having realistic time frames and how these influence ones leasing process. Understanding time frames is important as occupying a site can be a long-winded process. 

Tip 2:
They also highlight the importance of knowing your business inside and out. Understanding your business needs vs wants and how this will save you lots of time and money in the establishment phases.

Tip 3:
And lastly they go over budget allocations and how to set realistic financial planning. Keep in mind there may be some unexpected costs that you may not be aware of. 

If you have any questions don't hesitate to get in contact with us here at MMJ.

For more information email us or call on  +61 2 4229 5555 or pop in and see us at 6-8 Regent Street, Wollongong New South Wales 2500.

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The Reserve Bank of Australia has opted to leave the official cash rate on hold at 1.5%, just 11 days out from the federal election.

The Board hasn’t made a move on rates in over 30 months, since it decided to cut interest rates from 2% to 1.5% in August 2016.

While a move to cut rates would have been controversial this close to polling day, it’s not without precedence as rates moved just ahead of the 2007 & 2013 elections.

There has been much talk of the Australian economy beginning to tank after 27 years of solid economic growth, but recent job figures were much better than anticipated, according to realestate.com.au Chief Economist Nerida Conisbee.

“The big issue continues to be the very low rate of inflation. Over the past 12 months, inflation was 1.3%, substantially below the RBA inflation target of between 2% and 3%. Over the quarter, inflation was a dismal 0%. While this was tipped to be enough to change the mind of the RBA, it is likely that the decent jobs growth numbers held them back,” she says.

 

For most home owners, that 0% rise in inflation hasn’t meant much as wages are stagnant and increases in costs such as electricity bills are ongoing.

“A cut would have been positive for consumer sentiment and housing markets. It is likely that the banks would have also passed on a rate cut in full, particularly given the negative sentiment towards them following the Financial Services Royal Commission.

But it’s not all bad news, as the Board is likely to cut rates soon.

“Surprisingly, the RBA kept rates on hold this month. However, at this stage, we are almost certainly looking at a cut before July 2019,” she says.

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A property that is well presented not only attracts a higher rental income but also a better quality tenant.  Increasing the rental income of your investment property is a top priority for smart property investors and it isn’t as expensive or as difficult as you might think.

A few low cost strategic improvements to your investment property could significantly increase its rental value meaning more money in your pocket each week.   An extra $10/week equates to $520/year and an extra $20/week equates to $1,040/year. If you can increase your rent by $20/week every year for 10 years then in 10 years time you will be receiving an extra $10,400/year. That could be used to fund your lifestyle, or pay for a holiday every year.

Our top five cost effective mini renos are:

1. Respraying bathroom tiles - The bathroom is one of the most important areas and often the most neglected area. You can now purchase paint that you can place directly over tiles (even in the shower!) You can now cover up those dated tiles with a fresh coat of paint. White paint always works in bathrooms, it makes everything look clean and fresh.

2. Changing the bathroom vanity, mirror and taps - A bathroom vanity get used multiple times per day and will easily wear. One of the biggest turnoffs in a bathroom is a tired broken vanity, you know the ones where the doors won't shut properly because the vanity isn't straight anymore. Yuck !  Another option is to paint the vanity and replace the handles if its in good shape and just a little tired.  Just like the vanity unit the shower head, sink tap and associating handles are often old, dirty, dated and semi-broken. It isn’t that expensive to replace these items and it should be done. It will help to make a dated bathroom look modern and fresh (and worth more money).


3. Changing the kitchen cupboard doors and handles - The kitchen is equally as important as the bathroom when it comes to choosing a rental property. A tired old kitchen with dated appliances isn't helping anyone and often tenants are happy to pay more for a good kitchen.  There are so many simple and easy mini-renovations you can undertake that will make a big impact to living in the property. Give your kitchen a refresh by giving it a fresh coat of paint. You can even get paint that can go directly over laminated doors and splashback tiles.


4. Laying floorboards instead of a tired carpet - old carpet or even worse vinyl flooring will drag down the price you can command for your property. Getting it replaced is likely to increase the look and feel of the property thus the attraction to it and your rental income. It doesn't have to be ultra modern or high end, a neutral cost effective option is ideal.


5. Fixing up the garden with low maintenance plants - First impressions do really count, just as much to tenants as they do to buyers. If your investment property offers a garden spend some time landscaping and providing low maintenance options that are on trend. Have the lawns maintained and grass repaired if its damaged. If a tenant moves in with a well maintained, well presented garden, they tend to keep it that way.

 

// For more tips on getting the most out of your investment property Sign Up to our Smart Investor List.

// Looking for a property manager that is always actively looking to add value to your investment? Contact the MMJ Real Estate Property Management team.

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If only we got a dollar every time we were asked "Hows the Market?"This is literally the number one question on everyone's list that is looking at property today, and despite all the doom and gloom of the media there are some ups to a changing market.

Lets not shy away from the facts, yes, the Illawarra has seen approx -9% drop in property prices in the last 12-18 months and we expect further correction over the coming months, but the dramatisation of the decline in the media is not accurately representing what is happening on the ground right now.

Lower housing values are becoming more attractive to first home buyers and prospective buyers who were previously priced out of the housing market. With advertised stock levels remaining high and mortgage rates tracking around the lowest level since the 1960’s (and potentially moving even lower later this year), active buyers are back in the drivers seat to take advantage of improved housing affordability and the low cost of debt.

Active buyers looking to enter the market at affordable price points will be the big winners in this market.

Got a question about buying or selling in today's market? and we'll get one of our experts to answer it for you.

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Around half of all homes up for auction across Australia’s capital cities sold during the first quarter of 2019, with the latest CoreLogic Quarterly Auction Market Review showing a clearance rate of 49.9 per cent across the combined capitals. This is an increase of +6.6 percentage points on the December quarter results.

While clearance rates for the March quarter are on the up, they pale in comparison to the same quarter last year, when 64.6 per cent of properties across the combined capitals sold at auction.

“Auction volumes and clearance rates are mirroring the broader slowdown in property transaction and housing market conditions. Auction clearance rates over the March 2019 quarter were 14.7 percentage points lower than they were over the March 2018 quarter,” says Cameron Kusher at CoreLogic.

Across the combined capitals, 14,647 residential auctions were scheduled in the March 2019 quarter compared to 25,894 in the December 2018 quarter and 20,701 over the March quarter a year ago. “Vendors are less confident of achieving a positive result at auction, and this has further impacted auction volumes during what is traditionally a quiet start to the year.”

Sydney posted the largest improvement in auction clearance rates relative to the December quarter last year

The CoreLogic Quarterly Auction Market Review found that quarterly clearance rates increased across all capital cities except for Hobart (-5.2 percentage points) and Canberra (-1.6 percentage points). Canberra reported the most significant drop year on year, with clearance rates falling by -22.6 percentage points to 45.6 per cent in the March 2019 quarter.

Sydney vendors achieved the highest quarterly clearance rates with 53.2 per cent of the 5,278 properties for auction selling in the three months to March. This was +10.1 percentage point increase relative to the December quarter, but -10.4 percentage points lower than 12 months ago.

Melbourne remained Australia’s busiest capital city market over the March quarter, with 6,375 auctions scheduled (51.8 per cent clearance rate), down from 12,372 in the last quarter and 9,488 a year ago. Tasmania had the fewest auctions scheduled with 45 properties for sale, however it was the only capital city to report an increase in auction volumes over the past quarter.

 

Source: https://www.corelogic.com.au/news/auction-clearance-rates-rise-66-percentage-points-over-march-quarter

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Leasing a warehouse or industrial space requires serious consideration. From air conditioning to loading docks and power requirements, there are several factors to consider before you sign on the dotted line. 

Here are five things to consider when finding a warehouse or industrial space for your business:  

Your Power Needs

It is important to know if the warehouse is properly wired to suit your power needs. Consider what your business requires when you inspect the building. If the wiring at the warehouse or industrial space does not suit your requirements, in most cases then you, as the tenant, will be required to pay to alter the wiring to suit your needs. For example, if you are running large electrical units such as air conditioning or any manufacturing equipment, your power requirements will be high and you will therefore require three-phase power to the building. 

If you’re not sure if the warehouse or industrial space has what you require, it is recommended you hire the services of a professional electrician to fully inspect the building for you. It is best to get a complete electrical assessment before signing a lease for any industrial space or warehouse. This will ensure that the building includes the wiring and power capacity that you require to operate your business on the site.  

Consider Your Floor Load Requirements

Floor load is the load that a floor of the building can support safely. If your business is installing heavy manufacturing equipment, it is crucial you consider the floor load for the concrete slab against your intended use of the space. Some industrial machinery will require a minimum slab thickness to be capable of safely supporting large loads without cracking. If you will be installing or using heavy equipment inside the building of high tonnage forklifts, first ensure that the concrete slab suits your exact weight and floor load requirements. This will save you expensive money and time issues later on down the track. 

Will You Require Loading Areas? 

Do you require a space that will be receiving deliveries or sending goods from large or long vehicles? Loading areas/delivery docks are important for safe and efficient building access and are often overlooked areas of consideration when leasing a warehouse space. Consider what your company requirement is and allow plenty of access for those goods. Large or long vehicles will require manoeuvring space to turn and reposition. Many older industrial properties may not be able to accommodate large vehicles.  Also do your research on the local road network nearby the facility to ensure roads are compliant with the type of vehicles you will be using, as well as taking into consideration the ease of access and position in relation to major arterials, etc. 

Does The Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning Suit Your Needs? 

When leasing a warehouse or industrial space it is important to consider your company’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC)requirements. If the HVAC unit in the building is too small or too big, or doesn’t have sufficient units it could cost you financially down the track to have this upgraded to suit your needs. If the building does have what you require, it is still advised you have the unit inspected by a certified HVAC technician to ensure that it is in good working condition before signing a lease. 

When negotiating your lease it is recommended you include HVAC maintenance and servicing as a maintenance cost that you are responsible for and any major repairs or replacement as the landlord’s responsibility. If either the heating, ventilation or air-conditioning does not suit your company’s requirements, it is very likely that you, as the tenant, will be responsible for the cost of the required unit and installation.

Can You Make Changes To The Property? 

An industrial lease of a warehouse or space should include any changes that can be made to the property, including modifications or improvements. This agreement should also contain details of who is responsible for paying for any modifications or improvements required, such as electricity requirements, heating and/or air-conditioning or loading dock access. Ensure that the agreement also stipulates who owns the improvements at the end of the lease. 

 If you’re searching for an industrial space or warehouse, make contact with our leasing team to find a suitable space quickly and efficiently. 
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NSW Government are implementing a program that will share $24.4 million across NSW to support worthwhile local projects. 

Have you got a great idea to improve your local community? It might be new playground equipment or sports facilities for the kids, paths or ramps to improve access, an art installation to rejuvenate an empty space or a community transport service. Grants between $20,000 and $200,000 are available.

Your idea could receive funding through My Community Project and now is the time to apply. Do not forget to confirm support from a local organisation as the project sponsor(external link) (PDF, 2.9MB). The project sponsor will deliver the project if it is funded, and could be your local council, community group, sports club, charity or school.

Both you and the project sponsor will need to submit the application before 2pm on 15 May 2019. It is recommended that you complete your section by 1 May 2019. This will allow enough time for the project sponsor to complete your application. 

Once the NSW Government has assessed project eligibility and viability, voting will open on 15 July 2019.

For more information about the program and tips on how to complete your application, download the Applicant Fact Sheet(external link) (PDF, 1.62MB).

 

Source: https://www.nsw.gov.au/improving-nsw/projects-and-initiatives/my-community-project/?utm_source=MCP_edm_launch&utm_medium=edm&utm_campaign=MCP&utm_content=tellmemore

 

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