Revamp your outdoors for summer and at the same time add value to your home. If your inside space is limited then designing your backyard could be the clever way to add to your lifestyle, extend your home and most important make it more appealing. By simply laying down decking or a patio and creating a sunroom you already have another room. Your backyard could hold all the potential to increasing the value of your home and your day to day living. Is your backyard looking a little tired, but you don’t have much spare cash? At Pierre Finance we can arrange a very competitive loan to suit your budget, so you can have your backyard looking fabulous in time for summer.
The first thing to do is re-organise it. look at how the uses need to be divided. For example a storage area for gardening equipment, a purposeful place for drying your clothes, a kids play area, and most important the sun spots, shady spots for relaxing on those loungers. The best thing to do is draw a draft of what you want. Take into consideration where plants and trees are, so you may need an experts advice in the beginning.
So, now we come to whether to lawn or to not! They do get neglected especially when there’s a water shortage. They do take some time to maintain and can look unattractive if over dry or overgrown You may be better off having a patio, or deck with decorative stones and maybe concentrate more on some flower and shrub beds or decorative pots.
Here comes the fun bit. Instead of just creating a random hectic area, why not give it a theme. You may be into retro, Asian, tropical, cottage, or even nautical. Your plants, furniture and garden ornaments like statues, lighting, and soft furnishings need to represent it. You could however continue with your indoor style and simply extend it outdoors. If you give it a theme it has a purpose.
Finally shade is an important element as it’s no fun sitting in 30 degrees of heat trying to relax or entertain. Umbrella’s are the cheapest option but to create a proper sense of an extra room you really need to invest in an awning or shade sails. Not only do they look good they also do the job. Finish off your outdoor haven with anti mosquito candles like the popular citronella, and also lemongrass looks nice and you can plant it in pots, so it won’t take up too much space. Hanging candles from tress and shrubbery can add instant atmosphere, and of course the people. Enjoy!
Exciting news as top sellers revealed Sydney’s western and inside north suburbs and Melbourne’s inner city circle are the hottest area’s according to last Saturday’s spring auction day. It’s all about lifestyle! There were over 3000 auctions as eager purchaser’s attended trying to make a good property deal this side of Christmas.
The areas of Prahran, North and South Yarra, and Fitzroy in Melbourne took top spot for most searches in the housing market. Norwood in Adelaide was also up there getting in the top 10 searches for houses, the rest were in Victoria. These results were based on figures from March to August.
No surprise that East Melbourne won number one spot for unit searches, however New South Wales had the most presence.
Lots of so called ‘baby boomers’ are joining young professionals and investors in buying smaller properties to be closer to gastronomy and transport links. In Sydney in particular it is popular now to downsize into a modern apartment or unit.
First time buyers are going for area’s with great transport, yet older less expensive apartments like in Parramatta. The most intriguing place is still Prahran in Melbourne. People seem to want to be near the rich. Many of these looking are youngsters whom are getting help from their parents and also investors. The amenities and affluence is the attraction.
Brisbane buyers are heading for Newmarket as it has become a real community offering new amenities such as bike tracks, sports centres, well maintained parks, and a great selection of night life and restaurants. There’s also plenty of new retail area’s. So offering such a great lifestyle and balance it is attracting young professionals, retirees, families with young children. The sunshine, stunning coastline and easy airport access are also a plus.
For more information on all the latest real estate news, please check out realestate.com.
Whatever your reason for wanting a pool at Pierre Finance we can bring your pool dreams a reality. Firstly we can discuss and evaluate your reasons. Is it for fitness, for fun, just to cool down in the evil Australian sun or even to have friends and family around for pool parties? Remember a pool can add great value to your property, so done carefully and thoughtfully can be an investment.
It is also important to check installation guidelines for your property and area so there are no legal factors. This can effect the size, shape and extras you may want fitted like whirl pools, slides and sun bathing area.
Choosing your pool!
An above the ground is the least expensive and easiest to construct. It is also easy to move or take out. Don’t have an ugly image in your mind as they can work well with great landscaping that can include decking done in a clever way to make it look more like an in-ground one. Prices can be anything from $3000 up to $8000 with the filters, electrics and landscaping on top. These pools can last around 25 years and a decent lining around 15.
In-ground fibreglass pools are more durable and can be moulded easier into the shape and size your require. It’s surface is smooth so it’s produced at the manufacturers site into one piece. The pool itself is around $25,000 not including electrics, filtration, fencing and surrounding landscape. An advantage of fiberglass is that it’s algae resistant.
The most expensive pools are custom made concrete designs. Tiling is the most expensive, but a glass bead or pebble interior can bring the price down a bit. the pebbles and glass are smoothed on with plaster and then blasted to reveal an even smoother surface. Glass and tiles come in a variety of colour choices to work with your landscape and surroundings. Tiles are more expensive only because of labour costs. You need to budget over $50,000 for a concrete pool.
Whatever you choose remember to think about any labour costs, water usage, chemicals, pumps and other equipment needed. There are some solar powered pool systems around which could save in the long run. But a warning to be covered for an drought periods.
With the right knowledge, common mistakes can be avoided. The ability to identify what projects are worth doing, and who the target market is if you are selling, is a learned skill. With some hard work and renovating, it is possible to drastically change the value of a property.
A major key in any renovation project is to avoid over capitalisation. As a general guide, you should aim to only spend between 5% and 10% of the property’s value on a renovation. The aim is that for every $1 invested on improvements you will get a $2 return.
While structural renovations often yield the best returns, they also more frequently turn pear shaped – profits can be eaten up by unseen problems and delays. On the other hand, cosmetic renovations can still yield great returns if completed to a high standard, and there is less risk of additional problems being uncovered.
When considering cosmetic renovations, think about what you notice when you inspect the home. Paying attention to these things, and with simple and cost effective changes, can have a huge impact – implement attractive cosmetic finishes that catch the eye.
It is a good idea to create an inventory list for the home, identifying what requires attention. Once you have done this, research the best, cost effective ways to make the improvements.
Also, if you are thinking of selling now or in the near future, consider the demographic of your area and what potential buyers are looking for. Driving around your locale and viewing homes that are attractive and selling quickly will give you a good idea of what buyers are currently looking for.
So, let’s get to renovating. Here are my top 8 ways to add value to a property – without costing you an arm and a leg.
1. Street Appeal
If a house doesn’t look appealing from the outside, chances are potential buyers won’t make it past the driveway. First impressions really do count, so start with a little do-it-yourself cleaning and tidying up:
- Clean up the garden and add a few extra plants, particularly flowering varieties.
Estimated Cost: $1,000.
- Wash down the exterior of the house, including paths.
Estimated Cost: $100.
- Add a fresh coat of paint to all surfaces.
Estimated Cost: $500.
- Render the front façade and paint the sides of the home, if the home has outdated brick.
Estimated Cost: $40 to $80 per square metre.
- Style the front porch with pots, décor and a chair if room permits.
Estimated Cost: $150.
- Add a picket fence.
Estimated Cost: $800.
- Repair any damage in existing fences.
2. Fresh Paint
Nothing improves a home’s appearance as cheap and easy as paint.
Neutral tones work best for larger areas, while one or two highlight colours for trimmings looks great (gutters, fascia, front door, posts).
If needed, you can seek expert advice from a colour consultant to help you make the best colour decisions for your property. Just make sure you request a ‘basic’ colour scheme. Consultants usually charge around $200 for inside the property and an additional $200 for outside the property.
FYI: It costs around $4,000 to have the inside of an average 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home professionally painted, and $5,000 to paint the outside (including external walls).
DIY painting should cost you around $500 for the inside of an average 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home, and $700 for the outside the home (including external walls).
3. Make Repairs
Repair any damage to walls, floors, doors, fencing and cracked tiles etc. to present the home as best as possible.
It is relatively cheap to do most repairs yourself. For example, replacing a toilet can cost as little as $200 installed.
The floors of a home are the single, largest visual area of the property, so it is a good idea to present them in an appealing way.
Fresh flooring will make a potential buyer feel that the house is clean and inviting. To freshen up your home’s flooring, try the following:
- Rip up old carpet and polish timber floors if the home has them.
Estimated Cost: $4,000 (for an average sized home).
- Install new carpet.
Estimated Cost: $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the type and quality selected.
TIP: Linoleum flooring comes in some great finishes like a timber or tile look, and it is often cheaper than carpet.
Estimated Cost: $2,000 for an average sized home.
- Let there be light – open up blinds, curtains and windows to let light and fresh air in.
- Replace outdated lighting with simple, contemporary styles. Light fittings have never been cheaper and there is a huge variety available from hardware stores.
6. Revamp the Kitchen
A dirty, outdated kitchen is a sure way to put off any potential buyer.
Revitalize the kitchen cheaply and add value to the home with the following suggestions:
- Cupboards – The cheapest option is to paint your existing cupboards. Specialised paint is available for laminated surfaces.
Estimated Cost: $200 for a small kitchen.
- Hardware – Replace handles with new metal or timber ones.
Estimated Cost: $160.
- Benchtops – Install new benchtops.
– DIY laminate starts at around $50 per square metre at places like Bunnings and Masters, or $200 per square metre customized.
– Stone veneer benchtops: $250 per square metre.
– Solid stone benchtops: $450 per square metre.
- Replace old tap fittings with a stylish modern fitting.
Estimated Cost: $200.
- Appliances – if your existing appliances are working and cleanable, you don’t need to replace these. However, if they are broken or in bad condition, look out for sales or factory seconds to save costs.
7. Bathroom Refresh
Just like the kitchen, small changes to your bathroom(s) can have a big impact. Try things such as:
- If the wall tiles are outdated but in good condition, try painting them white with tile paint.
Estimated Cost: $200.
- For the floor, it is better to replace old or broken tiles, re-grout or cover the entire floor with a tile look linoleum and upgrade the shower tiles.
- Add new taps or, if taps are ok, add new tap heads.
Estimated Cost: From $50.
- Paint the vanity if it is in good condition or replace it if it isn’t worth salvaging.
Estimated Cost: Replacing the vanity will cost $250.
- Style your bathroom with lovely, colour coordinating towels.
Finally, create storage with shelving and cabinetry. Storage is one of the top priorities that potential buyers look for.
DIY wardrobes and cabinetry can add extra storage. Ikea offer packs at an affordable price.
Buying at a discount in the current cycle may sound like wishful thinking. After all, who in their right mind would sell property at a discount when they know the market is hotting up, right?
The short answer is no one.
“The reality is, no one wants to sell under market value in any market,” says Cameron Patterson, founder of InReach Investments.
“They only do so because they have to. Your job as a buyer is to identify those distressed sellers.”
The trick is to seek out these desperate vendors. However, it’s not always as easy as it sounds. In most cases, the reasons for selling are not advertised. If it is, it’s generally to drive prices up. This is because everyone is thinking they’re getting a bargain.
A distressed vendor may be a developer who has run into financial difficulty or a home-owner who has lost their job. It could be an owner who’s moving into aged care and needs to sell to pay for their bills. It could be a deceased estate and the next of kin doesn’t care what the property sells for, they just want to get rid of it. It could also be a divorce settlement.
Insider Tips for Buying Discounted Properties
It may take a bit of legwork, but it’s still possible to find these properties on your own. Here are some of the proven strategies that experts use when finding discounted properties.
1. Look for suburbs with the biggest drops in value over 3-5 years.
Todd Hunter, founder and director with wHeregroup, a buyers agency, says the quickest way to identify areas ripe for the picking is to look at how they’ve performed during the past 3-5 years.
“I look for areas that have fallen in value during the past three years or so,” says Hunter. “I also check if there are a lot of stocks that have been sitting around but already starting to move. This is a good sign that the area is turning. Don’t be afraid of negative growth. Negative values scare people, and rightly so. There is a chance that values could fall further. That’s when you do your due diligence and look for other signs that demand is returning in the area. At this point, vendors are more willing to negotiate.”
2. Establish the true value of the property you’re about to buy.
If you’re actively pursuing discounted properties, make sure you’re buying genuine undervalued properties.
There could be a big reason for the property to be highly discounted. The question you need to ask yourself is why is it undervalued or highly discounted? If it’s such a good deal, why is it that no one has found it yet?
There could be something fundamentally wrong with the property such as its location being close to a major highway or train lines.
It’s important that you understand the true value of what you’re buying, however, as not all distressed sales are good buys.
3. Identify capital growth triggers.
Unless there’s something else going for the property like capital growth potential or renovation potential, there could be little further profit to be made with that discounted property you’re about to buy.
“Capital growth is king,” says Patterson. “While there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the projected capital growth, if you buy in a location with good fundamentals and pick a sound property, you’ll significantly reduce your risk associated with buying discounted properties.”
This means ensuring that there’s a strong cash flow, low vacancy rate and infrastructure going into the area. Patterson insists on properties that are close to public transport and amenities, and areas with a low proportion of investors in relation to home-owners.
“I also look at trends such as population growth and vacancy rates in the suburb,” adds Patterson. “Look for areas with proven records of capital growth and sustainability, such as those with inner-city period homes or new developments close to the CBD. These, historically, have patterns of strong capital growth.”
4. Check the level of supply and demand.
One reason a property is selling at a discount could be the fact that it’s in an area heading towards oversupply at a time when demand starts falling.
Developers tend to overbuild in an area that has been forecast to experience strong population growth and ignore supply. They often build in a location with loads of infrastructure projects going in without considering if there are already enough properties available for sale. If the developer is having trouble selling, they’ll get desperate. Looking for locations with a large percentage of stock on market (SOM%) will uncover these problem areas.
5. Submit multiple offers.
The only way to snag a property under market value is submitting multiple offers, according to Patterson.
“Firstly, I will establish the true value and then I put in a low ball offer. I will repeat that process multiple times. Eventually, you will find an interested seller,” he says.
“Most of the leads come from my contacts in the industry. I get offered properties that don’t even go to market. I don’t necessarily get them under market value, but it gives me the chance to put in the first offer, which is a low ball offer. If the vendor is desperate, they will accept it. Mortgagee listing companies can help as well.”
6. Crunch your numbers and monitor them throughout the process.
You have to be confident with your numbers when buying any property, but even more so when buying distressed or discounted properties, says Patterson.
“If the numbers don’t stack up, be prepared to walk away. There are always going to be opportunities out there; it’s really just a matter of finding one with the right balance. You have to assess the deal holistically to make sure that the acquisition will help you move closer to your goals. Make sure that the numbers stack up. It’s always better to reject a deal and wait for the next one rather than go ahead when you’re not sure the numbers are stacking up. You’ll end up regretting it over the long run,” he says.
After doing a bit of research I’ve found Australia’s top 5 small cars. For the budget conscious and those with out families, read on to see what’s out there and why they are the best on the road. Remember at Pierre Finance we can help you on your way to affording one of these economic stars just a phone call away.
Volkswagon Golf 118 TSI
It’s no surprise that the Golf is up there among the best. This 5 door 5 seater hatch is an excellent runner. It has a spacious interior and also has a decent off road grip. The engine’s are variant but I liked the Turbo 1.4 MPFI for economic purposes with out loosing the speed and comfort. If you like a car that handles like a dream, looks good and will go the distance this is it. The crash safety rating is 5 stars and the green 4.5. Brand new these retail at around $28,000.
Peugeot 308 Access
This compact 5 door has an unusual large boot, so great if you are a golfer or love getting away from it all. The interior has a classy feel and is really comfortable. The 18 inch wheels give it a sporty edge yet the drive is not as smooth as the Golf and the transmission through the gear change feels a bit delayed. The front interior doesn’t offer up much space either. However for a 1.2l Turbo MPFI it’s not retailing bad at $17,000 to $20,000. The top end of this car is it has 5 stars for it’s crash rating and it’s green score.
For those who prefer an automatic this 5 seater Mazda is a superstar. This 2l engine offers a buzzy ride and is economic on long runs. A nice interior and a cool looking exterior is ideal for those wanting that little bit more from a small car. I like the tinted windows and the built in sat nav. Just those little extra’s that can make a difference. This car has 5 stars for crash safety and a 4.5 star green rating. Priced from $20,000 to $24,000 depending which model or dealer.
Hyundai i 130
Great value automatic 5 door hatchback with a 1.8l engine giving it a nippy ride. It has really comfortable seats, a generous boot has 4.5 green stars and a 5 star safety rating. Excellent value at around $17,000 and attractive to those who want a decent looking new car that is great value all round.
This 5 star rated green car and also 5 star crash safety score gives it an edge like the Peugeot. It has a nice interior and is comfortable to drive. The drawback is a small boot, but it is a really economical manual geared car. The engine might not be as sharp as the Golf Or Mazda, but it’s very sufficient for the price, at around $17,000.
So that’s the cream of the crop for your small car choices in Australia. As stated above we can help with all your financial needs, just call our friendly team for any advice.
Have you found your home, get set to buy it and then discover your application for your home loan is rejected.
Rejected applications for finance are a touchy subject, but the main thing is not to give up. There are never two lenders the same so it’s worth shopping around. Just because one lender has rejected your application doesn’t mean to say they all will. Everyday at Pierre Finance we strive to achieve your financial needs and also at competitive rates. We use a variety of companies to achieve the best rates. We shop around while you relax.
It is always good to do some research beforehand as loan rejections can leave a black mark against your credit rating, which will make it even harder.
The best way is to read on and follow our simple steps:
- It is always good to find out why your application was rejected. Sometimes there could be a simple solution, or it may not even be your fault.
- You need to look into your credit history and find out if there is any evidence. There’s lots of different reasons for marks on your credit, like an overdraft, an unpaid bill that has slipped through the net or a default on a past loan or mortgage. So the first thing to do is sort any marks, pay all your bills on time and even try to save a little. It doesn’t matter how much as long as it’s regular. The more reliable your finances look the more options you will have.
If you do happen to have a loan rejected then don’t despair. It is a common thing and it doesn’t mean failure. As long as you prove that you are sensible and reliable with your finances then you shouldn’t have a problem. A savings plan of any kind is the best foot forward.
Contact our expert friendly team anytime.