A Fence is not just a fence

Recently, I listed a gorgeous Victorian home in Kyneton. It is the kind of house that would generally sell very quickly in the current market but this one took a bit longer.

Why? Because the house was hidden behind a green colourbond that did not suit the home and its character appeal.

The owner soon replaced it with a white picket fence which immediately lifted the street appeal to potential buyers. The house was soon sold with a happy vendor and new owner in possession of a true Kyneton home of distinction.

Replacing or repairing boundary fences is often a simple thing to do to lift the charm of a home, support swifter selling and approving the overall amenity. If you want to replace your fence and you share a boundary, as many people do, you should reach out to your neighbour and discuss your intentions. Whether it is a replacement or a repair, generally your neighbours will need to agree to share the cost.

A good place to start is familiarising yourself with the Victorian Fences Act. The Fences Act contains rules about who pays for a dividing fence, the type of fence to be built, notices that neighbours need to give one another and how to resolve disputes that come up when discussing fencing works with your neighbour.

Secondly you should familiarise yourself with the Macedon Ranges Shire Council fence height restrictions and covenants. It is important to do this as if your fence is in breach of restrictions, you may need to remove it altogether or modify it until it complies.

In rare cases, where neighbours don’t wish to proceed with a new fence and refuse to pay, mediation may need to occur to bring the parties together in order to resolve the matters.

Whether it’s for privacy, keeping pets and kids inside or as a decorative feature, fencing adds safety, security and style to your home. Making sure you have happy neighbours or thinking long term about sales opportunities is something you might want to consider along the way.

Finding it hard to secure a home loan?

*This article first appeared in the May 2019 Midland Express.

The last year has brought some changes to the home loan landscape. A lot of this has been driven by governments, regulators, and banks, with decisions made at boardroom tables.

These changes have been brought in to make sure our financial system remains unquestionably strong, however, there have been unintended consequences.

A frustrating consequence of this is that many would be borrowers are being rejected for a home loan.

There are a number of things you can do when the bank declines your loan application, so you can put yourself in the best possible position for an approval.

Shop Around

Keep in mind that not all lenders are the same. While one (or more) banks might say no, it isn’t an indicator that others will be the same. Lenders who are not banks – or 2nd tier lenders-often distribute their loan offering via a mortgage broker which means the shopping and qualifying is done for you.

Get your debt in check
Car loans with high monthly payments, credit cards or even short-term loans have a considerable impact on your monthly outgoings. Lenders factors this in when determining whether you have the capacity to not default on your mortgage repayment. Consider consolidation of your debts into a longer-term mortgage loan so as to reduce your monthly outgoing payment amounts and possibly even open up to borrowing more.

Check in on your spending

Your discretionary spending will be a factor in your loan application. Lenders will ask you to estimate your living expenses. They will then take the higher part of the Household Expenditure Method (HEM) of your declared expenses.

A way to support your application is to adopt a money management system several months (6 months is best) before. By breaking down your expense items into essential and discretionary spending, you are able to identify significant savings with your discretionary spending.

If you have cut down on your spending significantly, it will greatly improve your chances of getting a loan because as part of the lending process, the banks will look into your transactional banking and credit card spending to see what you’re spending your money on.

Missing out on a loan doesn’t mean you wont get one. Understanding the new system will support you better.

Is autumn the best time to sell a house in Kyneton?

Autumn in Kyneton brings changing colours and crisp mornings, but it also brings with it the perfect time to sell your house.

The misconception that spring is the best time to sell is driven by ideas of warmer weather and general optimism after a long winter. It is a time of year where lots of houses are listed on the market.

With autumn however, it is about quality over quantity. Here’s why.

The silly season is over

Come autumn, most people will be well and truly back at work after extended time off over Christmas. Buyers have had time to plan, research the market, and fulfil their few New Year resolutions. Generally speaking, many buyers are serious about buying at this time of year after the frenzy of the holidays is behind them.  

Fewer properties to compete with.

Ever heard of the term a ‘buyers market’? During spring and summer, the market can become flooded with properties, which – depending on market conditions – can create an oversupply of properties. In autumn, when there are fewer properties for sale, you have less competition and converting into a successful sale is likely.

Kyneton is stunning in autumn.

There is no doubt that Kyneton is beautiful, but autumn tends to bring out a beauty that is simply idyllic. Stunning clear skies, stable temperatures and trees that are bursting with colour. Autumn is a season that can enhance your home, being a focal point amongst the natural beauty of the region. 

If you choose to sell your home in autumn, be mindful of the Easter holidays when many people go on holiday. It might be a good idea putting your house on the market right at the beginning of autumn when the weather’s at its best and prospective buyers have a chance to view it before they get away.