Author Archives: Living in Fairfield

Should you consider buying a renovator?

Many potential buyers will be hitting the pavement this spring selling season and wondering if they should choose a run-down property so they can afford to buy in a more desirable suburb.

Purchasing a property that requires a little bit of work can be a great way to save some money, but there are a lot of things to think about before you jump straight into a renovation project.

Before buying a renovator you need to be aware of your capabilities and understand the true cost of time and labour to bring a property up to scratch.

Sometimes there are only a few things that need changing, such as paint colours or an old kitchen, but if every room needs re-doing or the property is unliveable as is then you may need to seriously consider whether buying the property is a good idea.

In a lot of cases the people that buy seriously run-down properties have significant capital behind them to renovate straight away, or potentially even rebuild.

If you’re really set on finding a renovator but don’t have considerable funds to do all of the work right away then try not to take on too big of a project.

Look for properties that are still move-in ready but just require a bit of a spruce up. Go through a property room-by-room to figure out what exactly needs to be done and whether you will be able to tolerate until it can be fixed.

A few tips for buying a renovator:

  • Consider whether any work needs to be done prior to moving in.
  • Figure out your budget for renovating after taking into account purchasing costs.
  • During inspections note all of the things you don’t like about the property and what you would like to change.
  • Figure out the costs of labour or materials to make any desired changes.
  • Chat to property experts to get an idea of what they would do to fix the property. You can even have a chat to the selling agent who might have a good idea of the home’s history and any renovations that have already taken place.
  • Get a building and pest inspection before buying.
  • Compare the property to others in the area – what renovations have they done and have they added value?

Why studio apartments are growing in popularity

New research from Gateway Credit Union has found that studio apartments are an appealing property option for many Australians as they look to live in their suburb of choice.

The research found that more than a third of Australians (35.5%) would rather buy a studio apartment than move to a bigger property in a less ideal location.

“As a nation, it’s well-known that we love our space and there is research that suggests we have less people living in bigger properties compared to a few decades ago,” said Gateway Credit Union CEO Paul Thomas.

“But it may seem as though our obsession with the traditional Great Aussie Dream of owning a home with a backyard may be at a turning point, “ he said.

“Today’s skyrocketing property prices mean that many are forced to swap one dream for another. Smaller properties that offer a convenient lifestyle, situated in ideal suburbs – often close to city centres and public transport facilities – are now much more desirable than ever before.”

Baby boomers were found to be the most likely to buy a studio apartment at 44.8%, followed by those aged 18 to 29 at 30.8%, and those aged 30 to 49 years old at 27.5%.

Thomas said that studio apartments are a good option for mature downsizers and younger generations struggling to get their foot on the property ladder.

“In fact, our research corroborates this, with 68.7 per cent of respondents agreeing that studio apartments are a good way for first home buyers to break into the current property market, “ he said.

As property prices continue to climb and populations grow it seems very likely that studio apartments will continue to grow in popularity.

Those considering buying a studio apartment should however consider their long term needs and whether or not the property will deliver on capital growth.

There will always be a smaller pool of buyers and renters for studio apartments compared to larger dwellings due to them not being able to fit more than one or two inhabitants.

Thomas also warned that there are generally strict criteria around lending for properties smaller than 50 square metres.

Fairfield City Museum & Gallery seeking assistance for film exhibition

Fairfield City Museum & Gallery is looking for projectionists or employees of cinemas and picture palaces established in Fairfield to help them with a new exhibition.

Fairfield on Film, which will open 25 November at Fairfield City Museum & Gallery, will highlight Fairfield’s cinema and filmmaking history. It will trace the emergence of young filmmakers who tell stories from their own perspective to inspire youth interested in the arts industry.

The exhibition will feature an array of historic images, films and objects.

To help put the exhibition together however they need help from the local community.

Members of local clubs or groups who produce movies or people who regularly attended screenings at old picture palaces in the area are also encouraged to contact the Fairfield City Museum & Gallery to share their memories.

Community members who are able to loan cinema-related objects and photographs for the duration of the six-month exhibition should also get in contact.

Historic and former theatres and cinemas in Fairfield City include The Crescent Cinema, The Fairfield Picture Palace, The Plaza Theatre and The Protea Cinema in Cabramatta, later renamed The Royal.

Those who are able to offer assistance can call the Fairfield City Museum & Gallery on 9725 0190 or email museumgallery@fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au.

Buying a home? How to get the edge over your competition

Spring is one of the busiest times of the year for the property market and this year looks likely to be no exception.

A lot of first-home buyers are set to return to the property market this spring, enticed by incentives such as reduced stamp duty and government grants.

But while this year should prove to be easier for first-home buyers than previous years, they will still face a fair amount of buying competition.

To ensure you get the property you want, here are some tips:

Research, research, research

Knowledge is power when it comes to the property market. Research the area you want to buy in and get to know what different types of properties are selling for. “On the ground” knowledge can be invaluable so start visiting open homes and auctions to get a real feel for an area and a deeper understanding over the variations in property prices.

Be ready to make your move

Once you find a property you want to buy you need to be ready to make your move right away. There’s no need to wait until the first open home, contact the selling agent right away and try to arrange a property inspection as soon as possible. This will help give you a head start on negotiations and potentially allow you to buy a property before others get the chance.

It’s also a good idea to have pre-approval in place so you are confident in making an offer. Waiting just a few days could be all that’s needed for someone else to get in before you.

Don’t waste time on lowball offers

While everyone likes to find a bargain, offering too low could put you offside with a seller and they may not be willing to negotiate with you further, particularly if there are already other offers on the table.

It’s best to put your best offer forward if you want the best guarantee of securing the property you want.

As mentioned previously, you need to know your market and what properties are selling for, otherwise you’re likely to spend a long time in the market trying to get your offers accepted.

The longer it takes you to buy, the higher the chance that prices will rise around you and you might find yourself in a situation where you missed out on the real bargains because you didn’t make more serious offers to start with.

Make an offer that’s hard to refuse

There are a lot of factors at play when it comes to selling a home and price isn’t always the biggest issue for sellers. In many cases, a seller will go with the offer they see as the lowest risk because they want a quick and fuss-free sale. This means that a contract without finance or inspection clauses will often be more attractive than those with them.

Sellers may also be looking for a long or short settlement so it’s worth asking the selling agent if one or the other will make an offer more attractive.

Overall, be patient and be ready to make a strong and confident offer when the right property comes along and you’ll have the best chance of securing it.

Looking to buy in Fairfield? Feel free to get in touch with the Professionals Fairfield team for further advice.

Get ready for spring selling

The frenzied spring selling season is just around the corner and if you want to get in before the competition heats up you need to start preparing your property now.

So what do you need to do to get your property ready?

Paint

Get out the paintbrushes if it’s been at least 2 years since your walls last saw a fresh coat of paint. Painting will help give your property that freshly renovated feel and help buyers see that the property has been well maintained.

Popular paint colours change year to year (and even from suburb to suburb) so ask your local paint supplier what’s in vogue or check out the colours of new or renovated homes in your area for inspiration.

Finish projects and repairs

Any outstanding renovations or repair projects need to be finished before the property hits the market. Buyers will overestimate the cost to fix any issues with the property so its best to make sure everything is in working order if you want to guarantee the maximum sale price for your property.

Clean and de-clutter

Cleaning and de-cluttering a home will help make it more appealing to buyers. Mess and clutter can be a major deterrent for buyers and prevent them from visualising themselves moving into the home. Consider hiring a professional cleaner to help make your home look spotless and to save yourself some time.

Pay attention to kerb appeal

The front of a house has a big impact on buyers so spend some time making yours the star of your neighbourhood. Remember to clean up weeds and garden beds and replace anything that’s damaged such as fences or letterboxes. Take a photo of the front of your house and ask yourself if there’s anything that looks out of place or that could be fixed up to help improve your home’s first impressions.

Chat to your Professionals real estate agent

Have a chat to your real estate agent as early in the selling process as possible to get advice and find out what needs to be done to maximise your sale price. If you’re thinking about selling in Fairfield and would like any advice about selling your property, get in touch with the Professionals Fairfield team.

Volunteers wanted for twilight event in Fairfield

Fairfield City Museum & Gallery is looking for volunteers to help support them in the lead up to their popular annual event, One Night at the Museum.

Volunteers will get a unique opportunity to work closely with local artists and filmmakers while also gaining experience in running a contemporary art exhibition.

Videography, zine-making and screen-printing are just some of the skills that volunteers will gain, along with exhibition setup and operating the event’s photo booth.

These practical skills can be hard to come by and would be valuable for those looking to gain experience in the art world, or just wanting general work experience that can be transferred into other future careers.

One Night at the Museum

The event will be taking place on Friday 8 September, inviting visitors to experience contemporary art at twilight with an exciting twist.

The theme for this year’s event, POP!, explores contemporary artistic interpretations of the word, sound or through notions of popular culture, art and history.

There will be a series of interactive contemporary works by established and emerging artists, artist talks, children’s craft, food and drinks.

Those interested in volunteering should register online www.fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au/ONATMvolunteer or contact Fairfield City Museum & Gallery on 9725 0190.

How to transform a property with paint

There are several ways to spruce up a home before selling and one of the most popular is to add a fresh coat of paint.

Painting a home can make it look fresh and modern, and best of all it can add serious property value too.

While paintwork can look good for a number of years, if you are selling a home with paintwork older than 2 years it could be time to update it. Walls can develop marks and scuffs over time and even just one coat can help bring back that just-renovated look.

The exterior matters

The outside of the home is just as important as the inside, especially since it’s the first thing that people will notice. When selecting exterior paint colours consider what is popular in the suburb and the colours of other properties in the street.

Most people prefer a property that fits in with the rest of the streetscape and suits the area it’s located in.

Choose interior colours carefully

Everybody knows that neutral paint colours are the best choice when it comes to selling, however some neutrals are better than others.

Neutral doesn’t mean you need to go for a stark white finish, as this can look too clinical if the lighting and furniture isn’t right in the room. Instead choose creams or greys – a little bit of colour can help provide a bit of warmth.

Talk to a colour consultant to make the right colour choices for your home, it could end up saving you a lot of time and heartache in the long run.

Should you add a feature wall?

Feature walls have been popular for a number of years and can add a bit of interest if done right.

Try not to make too dramatic a statement with a feature wall. In general they look best when they are just a couple of shades darker than the rest of the walls in the house. Some feature walls can look out of place so be careful when going down this route. It can be easier to add colour and interest through things like art and décor.

Paint isn’t just for walls

Most surfaces in a home can benefit from a new coat of paint, from bench tops and cupboards to vanities and floors. Kitchens and bathrooms can look great after a total resurfacing of the area, which can be a quick and easy way to hide retro colour choices.

When painting any surface, make sure it’s done right! If you’re not sure you’re up to the task, bring in professionals so you can guarantee a quality finish throughout the property.

Have your say on Australia’s new superannuation legislation

Draft legislation has now been drawn up for the Federal Government’s new superannuation measures as announced in the 2017 Budget, and it’s available for public review and comment.

The new legislation has been created in a bid to help tackle housing affordability across the country, helping first-home buyers break into the market.

Included in the legislation is the First Home Super Saver Scheme, which will allow first-home buyers to make voluntary contributions of up to $15,000 per year and $30,000 in total into their superannuation account that they will be able to withdraw for the purpose of purchasing their first home.

Changes have also been made to the downsizers market, allowing individuals aged 65 years or over to make non-concessional contributions of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling their main residences to their superannuation accounts.

Under the new legislation, downsizer contributions will be able to be made regardless of the other contribution caps and restrictions that might apply to making voluntary contributions.

This measure would apply to proceeds from contracts for the sale of a main residence entered into (exchanged) on or after 1 July 2018.

These latest housing measures, coupled with state introduced stamp duty changes and the APRA’s crackdown on investor lending should be of some help to first-home buyers hoping to get their foot on the property ladder.

Click here to review the legislation on the Treasury web site.

Submissions can be made on the draft legislation until 4 August 2017.

Plant away this National Tree Day

Fairfield residents are being encouraged to get their hands dirty and be part of this year’s National Tree Day on Sunday 30 July.

It’s hoped that local residents will help plant 10,000 trees, shrubs and ground cover plants on National Tree Day that will benefit the area by increasing the wildlife corridor between Prospect Reservoir and Lansdowne Reserve.

This will add to the 80,000 plants across the city that Fairfield Council have planted to help maintain local waterways, parks and native bushland.

Fairfield’s tree planting event will take place from 9am to 1pm at Carrawood Park in Carramar.

A barbeque and drinks will be held as a thank you to all volunteers in attendance. Parking will be available on Waterside Crescent and all volunteers are required to wear appropriate clothing and bring gardening gloves. Other equipment will be provided on the day.

Mayor of Fairfield City Frank Carbone said it’s a great opportunity to get outside and experience the outdoors whilst helping to protect the local environment.

“I encourage residents to join us in Carrawood Park in Carramar and help beautify the area for everyone to enjoy,” Mayor Carbone said.

“It’s important that we protect our environment and provide habitat for native wildlife that may have lost their home or are moving through the area. It also provides us with great shading in our parks and reserves.”

Event at a glance:

When: Sunday 30 July – 9am to 1pm.

Where: Carrawood Park in Carramar.

Bring: Gardening gloves.

Contact: Fairfield Council’s Natural Resources team on 9725 0222 to register attendance.

To fix or not to fix your home loan

The official cash rate may be on hold for now, but as predictions loom of imminent rate hikes and as lenders continue to push up their rates independently of the RBA, many are wondering if now is the time to lock in their rate.

Reasons to fix

Obviously, the main reason that people fix their home loan rate is financial certainty. With predictions of up to eight interest rate rises in the next two years, many are concerned they will not be able to afford their repayments if interest rates suddenly go dramatically up.

A fixed rate provides a set period of security, allowing mortgage holders to plan ahead for the future.

Reasons not to fix

When fixing a home loan you are locked in for a set period of time, usually up to 5 years, meaning you won’t be able to change your loan without having to face hefty break fees.

It’s not a good idea to fix if you’re considering selling, refinancing or changing your home loan in any way. You can lose a lot of flexibility if you decide to fix your home loan, which can make things difficult if there are any major changes in the future.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a fixed loan may have restrictions on making additional repayments.

Hedge your bets

To get the best of both worlds consider fixing just part of your mortgage. This will provide you with the partial-security of a fixed rate, while still being able to have some flexibility too.

Most home loans will allow you to split a loan so you can get the benefits of fixed and variable rates. Generally a loan will be split 50/50, but it can be split to varying degrees.

For further advice about finding the best home loan, contact the team at Professionals Finance.