Buyer beware: It’s better to inspect than to be sorry

*this article was previously published in the November Midland Express

Buying a home or investment property is likely to be one of the biggest investments most of us will ever make.

We all want to know as much as we can about the condition of the property before we buy, right? We want to avoid problems and extra costs down the track, ensuring that the home or investment is fit for purpose and of sound value.

So why is it that many people agree to purchase without getting a pre-purchase property inspection report?

Building and pest inspections can help safeguard property buyers against investing in fault-ridden properties, as the reports reveal any hidden problems a property may have.

A pre-purchase property inspection building report is a written account of the condition of a property. It will tell you about any significant building defects or problems such as rising damp, movement in the walls (cracking), safety hazards or a faulty roof to name a few. It is usually carried out before you exchange sale contracts so you can identify any problems.

While a building inspection report should identify any visual damage that may have been caused by termites, it usually won’t include the existence of termites or other timber destroying pests. It is advisable to get a separate pest inspection report to ensure you are not buying something riddled with pests.

Here are a two key reasons to get a Build and Pest report before you buy:

  1. so you will know in advance what the problems are
  2. so you can get specialist advice about any major problems and how they will affect the property over time.

Of course, the building inspection report will be one of many things you will need to consider before buying a property. It is a small cost for a lot of peace of mind.

 

 

 

The Kyneton property scene is just getting better

Around 10 years ago, not many people knew about Kyneton. Maybe the Kyneton sign was spotted in a driver’s periphery on a drive to Bendigo from Melbourne but other than that, Kyneton was an unknown town to most of Australia.

In 2018, things look a lot different.

With the influx of young professionals with fresh business ideas moving to town, a vibrant food and wine scene, as well as surroundings that are brimming with natural attractions, Kyneton has become quite the hot spot.

While the demographic of people moving are professionals with young families, another group finding their way to Kyneton are retirees who wanted to set up their life close to Melbourne without the trappings (and costs!) of city living.

Domain Group data shows Kyneton’s median house price rose 27 per cent over the past five years. And it doesn’t seem to be slowing, either.

The one-hour proximity to Melbourne remains a massive drawcard for people moving to Kyneton. But the five minute lifestyle where access to high quality hospitals and healthcare, education and sporting facilities, as well as easy shopping seals the deal for many people seeking the convenient and relaxed lifestyle Kyneton offers.

On weekends, the town is alive and pumping with weekenders and day-trippers helping the restaurant and retail sector thrive. Galleries, festivals and art activations are common in Kyneton, bringing crowds both local and beyond.

But locals agree the strong sense of community remains unchanged despite a wave of new people moving into the area.

Many things have changed in Kyneton while some of the most important things remain the same. Community and lifestyle remain the prime reason people choose to live in Kyneton.

 

Are you financially ready to buy a home?

*This article first appeared in the August 2018 Midland Express.

 

Are you ready to own a little piece of the Great Australian Dream without getting stuck? This handy checklist should help.

  • Contact a Broker or financial Institution.

A broker acts on your behalf to help determine how much you can borrow. A financial institution offers similar services but are unlikely to shop around for the best deal.

  • Get pre-approval first

In short, pre-approval gets your loan sorted so you know how much you can spend.

  • Savings history

‘Genuine savings’ defines the funds that a home loan applicant has saved themselves over time. Australian lenders require borrowers to save at least 5% – 20% of the purchase price in an account in their name.

  • Loan repayments

A loan repayment isn’t just the same as rent. If you don’t factor changes to interest rates and your capacity to cover them over time then you might be in trouble.

  • Mortgage Insurance

Lender’s Mortgage Insurance is a condition of home loan borrowing which you may have to pay to make to protect them (the lender) in the event where the borrower might fails to make repayments.

  • Stamp duty

Stamp duty is a tax charged by the government on the sale of property and is designed to cover the cost of the legal documents for the transaction. The main document is the ownership title of the property and a search to ensure you are buying the property from the right person.

  • 10% deposit on signing?

In a standard property sale, the home deposit has to be paid when you exchange the signed copies of the sale contract with the seller If you buy at auction, you will sign the contract and pay a deposit (usually 10%) on the spot.

 

Planning is paramount. Try to be aware of what is ahead of you and get advice from a respected agent.

 

Putting The Squeeze on Agents could leave your short in the end

*This article first appeared in the June Midland Express

We often hear about buyer beware but when did you last get warnings for the seller to beware?

Choosing between real estate agents can be a complex task. In any given area, there could be dozens of agents from a broad standard of real estate agencies. It is important to identify that not all agents are the same.

With that type of competition amongst real estate agents, prospective sellers have the clear advantage to sift through and find the right agent for their sale. Agents are put under increasing pressure (and rightly so!) to ensure that the vendor gets the absolute best deal possible.

With margins being pushed across the board, some agents will reduce their fees drastically to secure the sale. The allure of more money in the vendors pocket appears from the surface to be one to be enthusiastic about. However, like everything in life, when you cut one expense to save yourself a few dollars, something else will be in deficit along the way.

So how do people manage the sale of their homes with the best possible sale price and lowest commission, and ensure that their marriage or sanity are still intact at the end?

When deciding on a commission, it is important to weigh up what is a fair fee for the agent while garnering the best outcome at sale. It is also important to recognise the value in paying a fair percentage for the agent because you want the agent to work for you.

A responsive agent who picks up the phone after hours, manages offers in a professional way, one who is thorough, kind to your children and pets and manages every single stressful aspect of the sale on your behalf is worth the extra small margin you feel you might gain.

Crunching an agent too much might cost you so much more in the end.

So what exactly IS the Kyneton style?

When you think about Kyneton, what images spring to mind?

Is it the bluestone architecture or the home overlooking the rambling Campaspe River? Or perhaps it is the rich agricultural pastures or the cosy village vibe?

Whatever image you conjure, it is true that Kyneton has its own distinctive style.

Here is a little of what you might find in and around Kyneton.

The Definitive Weatherboard

      

A mainstay of classic Australian architecture, the weatherboard is particularly prominent within the Kyneton township. And grey is the colour of the moment. Exterior palates in grey tones across Kyneton bring forth an understated elegance.

1960-80s Brick Veneer

This era of homes is dotted throughout town with delightful gardens populating the brick veneer surrounds. Introduced shering in a conservative and plain brick veneer style suited to the working class roots of Kyneton and surrounds.

The Classic Victorian Style

Dotted throughout the region are classic Victorian homes that are still as stylish as ever. Once owned by prominent commercial and community leaders, a classic Victorian residence is possibly attainable if they appear on the market.

 

Architectural Designs

From the unique to the fabulous pre-fab, Kyneton is dotted with some award-winning and highly desired architectural designed residence. Contemporary meets country is a perfect abode for this thriving community.

Modern Australian Family Home      

Modern Australian families find themselves in modern Australian homes that are affordable and exemplify good design. Kyneton is a growing community so it is not uncommon to find pockets of houses ready for the modern Aussie family.