Tag Archives: Fairfield Real Estate

Is it a good time to get into the Fairfield property market?

Most Fairfield residents aspire to own their own home at some stage in their lives, but how do you know when it’s the right time to take the plunge into the property market?

To answer simply, the sooner you get into the property market, the better off you will be in the long run.

It’s true that buying a property isn’t always easy and it will probably be the most expensive purchase you will make in your lifetime, but the cost to buy a home is only going to go up over time. Also by buying a home earlier you will be able to pay your home loan off sooner, putting you in a much better financial position in the future.

If you’re still young then you might not be too concerned about things like retirement and future wealth, but no doubt you will still agree that you don’t want to retire someday with a home loan that hasn’t been paid off yet.

If you have been thinking about buying a home then now is an opportune time as interest rates are at a record low and there are still many affordable properties available in the Fairfield area. If you’re a first homebuyer you may also be able to take advantage of stamp duty concessions and the $15,000 First Home Owner Grant for new homes.

Interest rates have been holding steady for 17 months now and many financial experts believe that they will remain on hold for awhile longer still, which provides a great opportunity to pay off a home loan quickly and to negotiate a good home loan deal with your home loan provider. If you’re concerned about rising interest rates, now might also be a good time to lock in a fixed interest rate.

Those in the Fairfield area who are already spending money on rent each week may be surprised to learn that it won’t cost that much extra each week to pay off a home loan, and you will be making payments and building equity for your own future, not for somebody else’s.

If you want to get into the Fairfield property market but don’t know where to begin then you might like to read through the tips already found on our blog, such as “First Home Buying Basics”.

If you would like to look at properties available to buy in Fairfield then visit our website professionalsfairfield.com.au.

Preparing your Fairfield home for summer inspections

It’s hard to believe that summer is less than a month away and for those who will be selling it’s sure to a very busy time of year.

But real estate never sleeps and so if you want to ensure a quick sale during the summer period it’s a good idea to get your property looking its very best and to take advantage of the beautiful weather.

  1. It’s all about street appeal – Street appeal is a big drawcard in summer as a lot of people will be out and about in the warm weather and they’re likely to be checking out your property and scrutinizing whether your front garden and lawns are up to scratch.  There can be a tendency for gardens to dry out when the weather is particularly sunny, so keep the watering up to help things to stay green.
  2. And backyard appeal – Outdoor and entertaining areas are important in the summer, especially as people like to imagine their family and friends over for Christmas festivities. So try to keep your backyard as neat and green as you can and set up an outdoor setting so that potential buyers can imagine what their lifestyle might be like if they choose to buy your property.
  3. Keep your pool clean – If you have a pool then make sure it looks clean and inviting on those hot summer’s days. For tips on how to keep your pool clean this summer, click here.
  4. Add some colour to the inside – Maximise your home’s appeal by adding a splash of colour through pillows or other decorations. Don’t forget to let the sun shine in too and on a particularly hot day it might be nice to have a jug of iced water and cups on the bench for buyers to help themselves.
  5. Turn on the air-con – If you have air-conditioning in your home then don’t forget to turn it on before an inspection. Your home will seem like a cool sanctuary and a welcome escape on a hot summer’s day.

No matter what time of year you’re selling it’s always important to keep your home looking its best and to highlight the best features of your property.

The above tips will help your property shine and if you would like any more tips to help you sell your home this summer then don’t hesitate to contact one of the team at Professionals Fairfield Real Estate today.

 

How to bid successfully at auction

Bidding at an auction can be intimidating for the uninitiated, particularly when the market is hot. Every bidder wants to be the one who secures the property, and sometimes competition can get fierce.

Some bidders have little tricks that they use to help secure a property, such as bidding late in the game or trying to psyche out other buyers, but the best way to come out on top is to simply be confident and prepared for auction day (no need for sneaky tactics).

The number one thing you need to know when you turn up on auction day is your price limit. Make sure you stick to your budget and don’t get carried away with the competition. If you miss out on a particular property, there will be others in the future.

Research similar properties in the area and try to get an idea of how much the property going up for auction will sell for to give yourself a price range. Also make the effort to go to property inspections and to find out the condition of the property. You should get a building and pest report for auction day too.

Once you have an idea of the quality of the property and how much you SHOULD spend, you need to know how much you CAN spend.

Remember when you bid at auction it is unconditional so you need to have all of your finances in order. Talk to your bank or mortgage broker beforehand and make sure that you have the finances available to back up your bid.

In the lead-up to the auction it is a good idea to make yourself known to the selling agent so that they know you are a serious buyer, and so they can help give you an idea of whether your budget fits into the range of the expected sale of the property.

If you have all of your ducks in a row on auction day then you will be able to bid with confidence, and hopefully also walk away with your dream home.

To view upcoming auctions in the Fairfield area, visit professionalsfairfield.com.au.

Cheap home renovation ideas

We all know that renovating can be expensive, and whether you’re an owner-occupier or an investor, you probably want to keep your renovation costs as low as you can while ultimately still improving the value of your property.

So if you’re not rolling in dough and would like to know how to improve your property for less then you might consider the following:

1. Replacing flooring

A lot of people think that new floors are expensive, but they can be replaced cheaply if you’re willing to compromise on materials.

Lino can be a good option if you want to keep costs down. You might be surprised at how much better a room can look with laminate flooring placed on top of something like daggy old tiles.

Laminate can start from as little as $20/sqm, so the size of your room will dictate the cost, but this is definitely a good option if you need to cover up an existing floor.

Alternatively if you have out-dated carpets or lino then look underneath, if you’re lucky you might have beautiful wooden floorboards hiding below.

2. Re-surfacing tiles

Tile resurfacing is a good option for those who have tiles that are in good condition, but are a daggy colour like pink or green.

When you get your tiles resurfaced, someone comes and sprays everything in your bathroom that you want to change – your tiles, bath, vanity, floors – everything! A big bathroom will be more expensive to resurface than a small one, but it’s still likely to come in a lot cheaper than retiling and refitting the whole bathroom.

3. Pressure cleaning the exterior

Before you consider re-painting your house, first ask yourself whether a good pressure clean could brighten up your house instead.

Pressure clean the roof, walls, windows and pavement to reach all that hard to reach dirt, and if all goes well your home will look as good as new without the need for re-painting.

4. Repainting doors and replacing handles

Whether it’s a bedroom door or a kitchen cupboard, sometimes all it needs to look new again is a fresh coat of paint. For the kitchen, you might not need to do anything to the cupboard doors, but adding new handles can instantly update your kitchen’s style. If your cabinetry is in bad shape, new doors may not be that expensive, just make sure to shop around to find a good deal.

5. Clean, clean, clean!

Sometimes the simplest things make the biggest difference. Consider hiring a professional cleaner and possibly a gardener too, to clean and tidy up the inside and outside of your property. If your floors are in bad condition it’s also worth getting your carpets steam cleaned to get rid of any stains – you might find that some things don’t need replacing if they can be made to sparkle again.

Do you have any more tips for renovating on the cheap?

What to do when your landlord decides to sell

Last week we wrote about selling a tenanted property, which can provide its challenges for the landlord, and also make for a difficult time for tenants.

It is in the best interest of all parties to make a quick sale, as this will help reduce disruptions for tenants, and ultimately it means that tenants will know sooner rather than later where they stand in terms of living arrangements.

What can you do if you’re a tenant living in a property for sale?

You should get in contact with the selling agent if you’ve been alerted that the property you’re living in is for sale. It is best for all parties if inspection times can be agreed upon in advance. If there are any issues with inspections, then know where you stand legally.

In NSW, prospective buyers can be shown around the property up to 2 times in any week with at least 48 hours. In some cases it may help if you ask the selling agent to provide you with a monthly inspection schedule so you can work around it and be prepared, or ask for inspections to always be held at certain times of the week.

Keep in mind that your rental agreement will still be valid once the property is sold. There is however the chance that the new owner will want to move in, but if this happens they will need to give you the appropriate amount of notice.

Landlords and selling agents understand that it can be tough on tenants when the property goes up for sale, so don’t be shy in discussing any concerns you might have.

If you’re finding it difficult to keep your home at a higher than average cleanliness level due to the inspections then your landlord may be willing to cover the cost of a cleaner for you. In some cases a landlord is also willing to decrease your rent for a period to help compensate for any inconvenience caused.

At the end of the day, it is much easier to cooperate and to help your landlord by keeping your home clean and tidy. If you make a good impression with new buyers then they are more likely to keep you on as tenants if they are buying as an investment, and you will get a good reference from your real estate agent too.

If you’re unsure about your tenancy rights in NSW then you can find more information at www.tenants.org.au.

Should you sell a tenanted property?

When investors sell their property they often ask whether it is a good idea to keep their tenants in place.

If you have good tenants then it might be best to keep them on. Keeping tenants during a sale means that you’ll have rental income coming in, and if your tenants are clean and tidy then the property will present better with their furniture inside, especially if the property has a bit of wear and tear.

However, if you have tenants that might prove difficult in terms of allowing you access to the property then you might be better off giving them their notice.

Tenants do need to provide the selling agent with “reasonable access” to the property, but at the end of the day they may be unwilling to cooperate and they can make it tricky for you to make appointments to show people through the property. If you can’t get people in to see the property when you need to then it could lead to missed opportunities and end up costing you more than missed rental income.

If the tenant suspects that they may have to move out and they don’t want to, there is also the chance that they may highlight property faults or go out of their way to turn potential buyers away.

It is often best to chat to your property manager to try to determine whether or not your tenant will be cooperative in a sale. Most tenants are completely fine and are happy to help you in your sale, but if they have been difficult in the past, and you want a quick sale, then it is may be best to hand them notice.

If you’re thinking of selling your property and would like any advice then don’t hesitate to give the team at Professionals Fairfield Real Estate call.

Safety comes first when you DIY home renovations

If you’ve been inspired by The Block and have been thinking about renovating your home yourself, then it’s important that you take the time to first think about the health and safety of yourself and your family, neighbours and pets.

If you’re a DIY-er then you may not have the professional knowledge of all of the health and safety risks involved with your renovations, so it really is important that you carry out some research before undertaking any DIY home projects – no matter how small and simple you think they might be.

Luckily there is plenty of information available for home renovators to help ensure that DIY home projects are carried out safely.

Head to the following links to gain some useful information about DIY home safety:

As a general rule it is recommended that DIY-ers always follow the simple steps of: identifying hazards, preparing the work area, using safe work practices and cleaning up properly.

Always plan ahead when it comes to renovations and if possible move out of your home while renovations are taking place. If this is not possible then at least ensure that all people and pets are kept away from work areas until they are cleaned up.

For anyone that is after any further advice about how to safely conduct home renovations then it might be a good idea to get in touch with the Fairfield City Council.

The team at Professionals Fairfield Real Estate would love to hear of any more safety tips that home renovators might have to help ensure that everyone in the community remains safe when they’re carrying out their renovations – so please feel free to leave a comment.

 

Auction vs. Private Sale – Which is best?

A common question asked by sellers is whether it is better to sell by auction or by private sale.

Every real estate agent is likely to give you a different answer, but in truth both options have their pros and cons and the most suitable type of sale for your property will depend on a variety of factors.

Why go for a private sale?

–       A private sale can be cheaper as you won’t need to pay for a specialist auctioneer or possible extra marketing costs

–       You can take your time with a private sale, which is useful if you want to wait and see what offers you will get or if you want special sale terms such as an extended settlement period.

–       This type of sale is generally a lot less intimidating for buyers and sellers as both have more time to consider offers.

–       If you’re a particularly private person then you may prefer to have a sale away from the public eye.

Why go for an auction?

–       In general auctions are quicker because a set date is given and buyers feel a sense of urgency to make their decision right away.

–       You may attract a higher price with an auction as competition amongst buyers can push the price well above the expectation of the seller.

–       Auctions often get the attention of casual buyers who may turn up unannounced on the day and decide to join in on the bidding.

–       There are set terms for sale at an auction which is good for sellers who want an unconditional sale (no cooling off period).

Overall it is important to do what suits your property, so ask your Professionals Fairfield Real Estate agent what they recommend and they will be able to offer you the best advice based on your individual situation.

How to reduce your home’s environmental impact

We can all make changes in our day-to-day lives that can help reduce our environmental impact. For instance we can recycle, use green shopper bags, or take public transport instead of driving.

These tiny changes all help make a difference, but if you want to further reduce your environmental impact (and help save money in the long run) then you might like to consider making the following ‘green-friendly’ changes at your home:

  • Install ceiling insulation.
  • Buy a solar hot water system.
  • Replace incandescent lights with compact fluorescent ones (which use one quarter of the energy).
  • Use grey water on gardens.
  • Plant trees around your home to help provide shade.
  • Plant an edible garden.
  • Compost kitchen scraps.
  • Install solar panels.
  • Consider using motion sensor lights outside.
  • Choose household appliances with high energy and/or water efficiency ratings.

There are of course many more ways to be more environmentally friendly in your home, but anything that helps to reduce waste or energy and water consumption is a good place to start.

The Professionals Fairfield Real Estate team know of plenty of environmentally conscious residents in the Fairfield region, so if anyone knows of any more “green” ideas then please feel free to share.

NSW First Home Owners Grant Threshold Increased

First-time buyers in NSW can now purchase new properties worth up to $750,000 to qualify for the $15,000 first home owners grant.

The changes came into effect on July 1 2014, raising the previous threshold of $650,000, which had been in effect since 2012.

For those who live in central Sydney this amount may not seem like much, with new houses or apartments easily reaching the threshold amount, however with the median price of a new property in NSW being around $650,000 a lot more first time buyers will now be able to benefit from the first home buyers scheme.

The First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) scheme was introduced to help encourage the development of new dwellings in NSW and to help assist first home owners purchase a property, however the scheme possibly hasn’t been as successful as hoped.

According to government data, 100,000 new homes have been built since the March 2011 election, but first home buyers in NSW have been dwindling and its possibly because many are trying to save up more to be able to afford a new home and take advantage of the grant.

In 2013 around 7600 first time buyers took advantage of the scheme, compared to about 36,000 in 2011 when a $7,000 grant was available for new and established homes.

The first home owners scheme is beneficial if you are looking at buying a new house or apartment however, so for those in Fairfield who would like to take advantage of the scheme, you can find all information about eligibility and how to apply at www.osr.nsw.gov.au/grants/fhog.

First home buyers should also note that the scheme will be reduced to $10,000 on January 1 2016.

For anyone who is interested in finding a new home in the Fairfield area, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of the team at Professionals Fairfield Real Estate.

Source: www.propertyobserver.com.au