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Open Home Inspections – What to Look For

Look for the details when you go for an open home inspection

Open Home Inspections - What to Look For

The property market is hot and homes aren’t lasting long before being snapped up. If you’re looking to buy and visiting multiple open homes every weekend, it can all become a bit overwhelming trying to remember what each property looked like. But not taking your time to look around properly can lead you to offer, and potentially purchase, a home that may become a money pit.

While you will have the benefit of a building and pest inspection, you don’t want to get too far into the process and realise you’ve missed out on a great home because you didn’t inspect a not-so-great home thoroughly.

Potential buyers – get your notepads ready. We’ve put together some handy tips on what you should be looking for at your next open home inspection.

Mould, Damp and Water Stains

Mould, damp and water stains can all be indicative of a larger problem. As you walk around the home, check for mould and water stains on the ceilings (as this can indicate a leaky roof),  and open cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom to see if there are any signs of mould or dampness which can indicate a water leak. Other areas you may find the mould and water stains are around the toilet, in the laundry and in the caulking in the shower and around basins.

Cracks in the Ceiling and Walls

Cracks come in two forms – fine cracking and large cracking. Fine cracks could be due to the plastering being done incorrectly at the time of construction and they can eventually cause the plaster to become loose and fall off.

Large cracks can be the result of building movement and can appear internally and externally. These cracks require further inspection by a building inspector if you go ahead with a contract on the property.

Downpipes and Gutters

Far too often downpipes and gutters aren’t maintained; they are left to overfill, go rusty and get damaged. While you can’t carry a ladder around to open homes with you, it is well worth looking up to see if you can spot any damage or rust to the guttering, as well as seeing if there are leaves or plants growing in the gutters. This could indicate that the gutters are blocked, which could cause water to overflow into the property.

When looking at downpipes, check that they are discharging into the correct drainage, and don’t have any holes in the pipes. You should also check, if possible, if the drainage is clear or blocked.

How Noisy Is It?

Noise levels are something that many people forget to check – how much traffic is going past? Can you hear the traffic from inside the property? Are there noisy neighbours? It’s a good idea to remember that open homes are held at optimal times – you may not get a great indication of how noisy the property is at 7am on a weekday when you are inspecting at 10am on a Saturday.

If you are seriously considering placing an offer on the property, take the time to drive past at different times of the day, and night, to get a good indication of the noise levels.

What’s the Natural Light Like?

 When you walk into an open home, the sales agent will more than likely have all the lights turned on to maximise lighting inside. This of course doesn’t give you a good idea of the natural light. If you can organise a private inspection at a different time of the day, you will be able to get a better idea of the levels of natural light. If not, look out for the placement of windows and how large they are.

Another consideration is which way the windows face. While a west-facing window might bring you plenty of light in the afternoon, there’s a good chance it’s going to heat up your home, so you’ll have the blinds or curtains closed anyway. Knowing which way the property is positioned and therefore which ways the windows face, you’ll get a good idea of whether you can use natural light to your advantage or whether you’ll need to use internal lighting.

There are plenty of things to look out for when attending an open home. Make a list of your must-have and your like-to-have features and keep those in mind. Buying a home is a large investment and something you certainly don’t want to get wrong.

If you’re ready to buy a new home, but you aren’t sure where to start, Thank You Real Estate has a team of Buyers Agents who can take the stress out of looking for your new home. Contact us today to find out more.

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7 Reasons Hiring a Real Estate Agent is Better Than Selling Your Property by Yourself

7 Reason to choose right real estate agent

7 Reasons Hiring a Real Estate Agent is Better Than Selling Your Property by Yourself

Once you have decided to sell your home, the next crucial decision you will have to make is whether to sell your property by yourself or to hire a real estate agent to do this for you. For some, it may seem more cost-efficient to sell their own property, as doing so would mean that they would not have to pay for the agent’s commission.

While there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to this, there are a few things you might want to consider. You will also need to factor in questions like “how long will it take you to sell your house” and “how well do you know the current market value of your property”, among other things. Before you make a decision, let’s deliberate.

Dedicated Time for Enquiries

Selling your property is not your full-time job, but it is real estate agents. What does this mean for you? This means that you do not have to rush home from work or postpone a meeting when a potential buyer wants to see your property. Aside from time efficiency, having an agent selling your property means less stress for you, too. Also, it may feel tempting to save money but let’s say if you know little of dentistry or constructing or even any other trade, would you do it all? There are professions out there that need specialisation and so does real estate, even if it may seem an easy job, wearing someone’s shoe will give you a real perspective.

Knowledge and Experience

Entrusting the selling part to a real estate agent makes it possible for you to get your property sold much sooner than if you were the one entertaining potential buyers. Agents have been trained to undergo various courses, passed exams, and gained experience in dealing with buyers through working for themselves or working with other agencies.  All of these play an important role in getting your property sold in the anticipated time off course various other external factor play in, Your real estate agent will be able to answer questions and address buyer concerns much better because of the knowledge and experience that they have gained. Some vendors choose to sell in less time whereas others are more patient and all they want is a good price not saying selling quickly will fetch less, perhaps real estate agents work with you on a one-to-one basis to bring you the results that you after. like every property is different so does every vendor, and their requirements and circumstances.

Effective Marketing

In recent times, rules and regulations have evolved over time and aside from their familiarity with all the regulations involving real estate transactions, agents also know where to look for potential buyers and how to effectively target them using tried and tested marketing strategies. Networking is one of the strengths of real estate agents – one that will benefit you as a seller. Instead of relying solely on your friends and family to help you spread the word about your property, your agent has access to various methods and platforms in place to ensure that potential buyers learn about the house that you’re selling.

Screening and Managing Buyers

A real estate agent can find out whether someone who wants to view your property is indeed a qualified buyer or just a curious neighbour. Agents are trained to ask qualifying questions to determine the seriousness, and motivation to buy, finance readiness and so much more. They are also able to influence a qualified prospect to make an offer to buy your property.

Stress-Free Negotiations

Buyers are likely to make comments about your property that might upset you, and it would also be difficult to take rejections. A real estate agent shields you from having to deal with buyers directly, and they also provide a more objective approach to selling your property because there are no personal emotions involved. This means that they will be able to handle criticisms well, respond to rejections with a sound counteroffer, and follow up with buyers without looking desperate. After all, negotiations are all about win-win, not with the price only, even with settlement conditions, terms involved and so much more.

Market Know-How

Despite the pandemic brought about by the coronavirus in the year 2020, the Sydney property market has continued to defy the worst forecasts and remained remarkably resilient. Year over year, Sydney’s median house price is up 6.6% at $1,154,40. Buyers have been lured back into the real estate market by low interest rates, government tax cuts, and other incentives. A real estate agent is always abreast with information and updates like these to help you sell your property at a great price point, the shortest time and make selling a property an experience than another mundane task.

Correct Pricing

Pricing property correctly is very important, and it can affect days on market and final sales price. When your price too high, fewer people would be interested to see your property, resulting in fewer offers. On the other hand, when you price it too low, you might send the wrong message that something is wrong with your property or that you are desperate to sell. An agent will be able to help you set the right price for your property given the current market conditions.

Real Estate is more like people business than property business as more and more transactions are these days based on how good real estate agent is, how well they present, how well they communicate through various medium and whether your potential buyers are happy dealing with them, their character their presence and overall persona.

so overall, there are fairly good reasons why selling through agents are much more rewarding and your experience will enhance in dealing with properties overall. Even if you have had a bad experience previously selling or leasing a property through some real estate agent, it is always good to try with others, as there are many young, vibrant and technology-friendly agents who are emerging that can provide you better service. Tanisha from Thank You Real Estate is one of those new breeds of real estate agents who put heart and head into ensuring that your property is in good hands.

Do ensure you check google rating of agent, agency and do some research, so you avoid falling for any agent who lures you with false promises.

We at Thank You Real Estate will be more than happy to help you get the most out of selling your property. Call us today on +61 2 8856 2970 for any enquiries or to schedule a meeting.

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Depreciation Claims on Investment Property

what is tax depreciation for investment properties

Depreciation Claims on Investment Property

If you’ve recently purchased an investment property, or you’ve been thinking of purchasing one, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of deductions that can be made against the tax you pay. One of these deductions is depreciation of both the property and the contents inside the property.

But what exactly is depreciation? And how does it help come tax time?

Depreciation is essentially a deduction on your tax that allows you, as an investor, to offset the decline in value in both the property and items that are permanent fixtures within the property – ovens, dishwashers, carpets, blinds, air conditioners, and so on. One of the biggest benefits of depreciation is that it is a “non-cash deduction”. This means that unlike other deductible costs associated with owning an investment property, there are no ongoing costs to depreciation; you don’t need to spend anything to get the deduction.

It is important to keep in mind that every item has a lifespan that the ATO says it should last before needing to be replaced. This then creates the length of time that the depreciation will be spread over.

New Builds, Renovations, and Older Homes

One of the biggest questions around depreciation is who can claim. Does the property need to be of a certain age before you can start claiming depreciation or is there an age where you can’t claim depreciation?

Essentially property depreciation can be claimed on a building of any age. If the property was built after July 1985, you can claim deductions on both the building and the fixtures, while if the property was built prior to that date, you can only claim on the fixtures. It is certainly worthwhile having a depreciation schedule produced – saving on your tax is still a saving after all.

So what about claiming on a renovated property? This one is a little more work as you will need to know how much was spent on the renovations (and you do have an obligation to the ATO to provide this information). If renovations were completed by a previous owner of the property, you can still claim. If the cost of the renovations is unknown, you will need to engage a quantity surveyor to make an estimation of the cost of renovations.

Claiming Depreciation on Your Investment 

There are two ways that depreciation can be claimed on an investment property: capital works and depreciating assets.

Capital works depreciation looks at the construction costs involved in building the property. We mentioned above that every item that is depreciated has a lifespan. In the case of a new build, depreciation is spread over 40 years as the ATO has ruled that a building lasts 40 years before it needs to be replaced.

Depreciating assets are those with a limited effective life that decline in value over time. In an investment property, this includes items such as light fittings, ovens, cooktops, carpets, furnishings. The ATO has listed all the items you can claim and how long you can claim them for; for example, a carpet is estimated to last 10 years, a cooktop 12 years, and a split system air conditioner 10 years.

It’s important to know when these items were purchased where possible as the depreciation lifespan is different in some categories depending on the purchase date.

How to Claim Depreciation

There are two options when claiming depreciation – the prime cost method and the diminishing value method. It is of course advisable to speak to an accountant about which option best suits your situation.

The prime cost method essentially provides you with an equal tax deduction for each year of the effective life of the item.

The diminishing value method allows you to make higher claims in the first few years after purchase and then smaller claims as the item gets older.

What is a Depreciation Schedule?

 Simply put, a depreciation schedule is a report outlining all the depreciation deductions that can be made relating to your investment property. It is a good idea to engage a quantity surveyor to put together the report for you. Quantity surveyors assess the value of the construction work and put together a report for you.

When you own an investment property, it’s essential that you are getting all the tax deductions you are entitled to. Depreciation is an important factor that many property investors forget about and therefore miss out on deductions that could save them in tax. Talk to your property manager or accountant about having a tax depreciation schedule completed on your investment property.

If you’ve never had a property depreciation schedule completed, or you want to discuss how one can help you, reach out to the team at Thank You Real Estate, and we can assist.

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5 Warning Signs it’s Time to Switch to A New Property Manager

looking to switch property manager who listens to you and work for you.

5 Warning Signs it’s Time to Switch to A New Property Manager

An investment property is a valuable asset – so why entrust it to just anyone? Your investment property managers are responsible for finding reliable and trustworthy tenants, making sure rent is paid on time, keeping maintenance issues in check and minimising vacancy periods. If any of these responsibilities are not being cared for adequately, then you’re probably losing money.

So, how do you know when it’s time to switch property management? And when is the best time to make the change? Start by asking yourself these 5 important questions:

Are your property managers delivering high-class service?
Property management in Sydney may vary in terms of what services are provided. A budget property manager may only handle incoming rent or routine inspections, leaving the bulk of the work in the hands of the property owner. Others may say that they’ll take care of everything, yet inspections aren’t regular and rent payment is sporadic at best. If you feel like your property manager could be doing more, then it’s probably because they should be doing more.

Is the property management contract being honoured?
The contract initially provided by your investment property managers will have specified certain terms that you both agreed to comply with. This would have included property management fees, what services they would provide and what your responsibilities are as a landlord. If you’re paying the required property management fees but you’re not receiving the listed services in return, then it may be time to look at switching.

Are they keeping up with routine maintenance?
In New South Wales, landlords or their authorised representatives can legally inspect a rental property up to 4 times per year. Without regular inspections, how will you know if the tenants are taking appropriate care of the property and whether any routine maintenance work is required? If tenants are reporting maintenance problems, are these issues being forwarded to you promptly by your property manager? A minor water leak, if left unchecked, could eventually result in thousands of dollars’ worth of water damage to your asset.

Does your property manager have relevant industry experience?
Industry experience plays a key role in property management in Sydney. With stiff competition in the housing market, property management rentals typically receive a flood of applications. Without industry experience, how will a property manager screen the applicants? Will they be diligent enough to complete reference checks? Do they know what red flags to look out for? When mishandled due to a lack of experience, property management can cost you significantly in terms of unpaid rent, damages and Tribunal fees.

Do your investment property managers prioritise ongoing training?
As of the 23rd of March 2020, changes were made to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and the new Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019, the regulations governing tenancy laws in NSW. Failure to keep up with changing regulations and real estate industry best practices can result in, at best, sub-par service and at worst, costly mistakes that land you in front of the Tribunal. Make sure that your Sydney property management firm is investing the necessary time in ongoing staff training.

If your current property managers aren’t delivering the service that they should be, then what is involved in switching to a new property manager? Start by checking the terms of your contract, as this should spell out the minimum notice period that you’ll need to provide. It’s best not to wait until the end of a current tenancy before switching property managers, as this could result in extended periods of vacancy.

If you’re looking for a property manager that ticks all the right boxes, then Thank You Real Estate is here to help. Catering to the suburbs but not limited to Parramatta, Westmead, Blacktown, Toongabbie, Old Toongabbie, Wentworthville and surroundings, our experienced property managers are committed to delivering the service your property deserves. To discuss switching property management to Thank You Real Estate, give us a call on Ph: 02 8856 2970, or request a callback. Once you’ve decided to switch, the rest of the changeover is simple – because we’ll take care of all the paperwork for you. We can even give notice to your (now former) property manager and arrange for a seamless transition. Minimal hassle and the peace of mind that comes with knowing your property is now in safe and reliable hands.

 

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Owners and tenants that love their property manager. This is what happens when you do things with Thank you Real Estate.