Season’s Greetings


Richardson & Wrench Seaforth would like to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.

2015 is going to be an exciting year for us, with many new properties launching in the New Year.

with warm wishes and kind regards from Glen and the Team.


The Renovation-Go-Round

Renovation is a favourite strategy of many property investors. The idea of buying that run down property, putting in some hard labour and a few dollars with the intent of reaping big rewards has a certain appeal.

We’ve watched a huge transformation of properties in the Seaforth, Clontarf & Balgowelah areas over the last 20 years. The problem for many renovators & developers is discovering the winning ‘fix me up’ projects and what to do with them once they are found. Finding a genuine renovation project that can return a profit is harder than one would imagine. These days consumers seeking such properties are numerous and winning properties are generally scarce.
The secret is to study the market taking note of what is actually selling, what features are popular with buyers and keeping an ear to the ground when on the hunt for a renovation opportunity.
Keep an eye out for a poorly presented or unkempt property even if it isn’t offered for sale. Mortgagee and deceased estates are always a good option.

merry go round

So what should you do to give yourself an advantage?

Develop relationships with our active agents so we know exactly what you are looking for, We can help you find what you want & know the properties that will be suitable for your requirements.

Tips on what to buy include:
 20 – 40 year brick veneer or plank homes that lend themselves to affordable external renovation such as rendering
 Properties where a coat of paint, clean up and landscaping would enhance value
 Easy kitchen refurbishments can generally pack a profit given the availability of flat-pack kitchens
 Properties that lend themselves to the easy addition of an extra bedroom without prejudicing living space
 Properties where carpets can be removed and genuine timber floors can be polished and present well.
Undertaking your renovation should be planned. Remember your strategy is to make a profit so think with your head & not your heart when undertaking renovations. If you are in the market for an investment property give the team at R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah a call on 9948 7080.


The Budget & Real Estate

Richardson & Wrench’s Robert Simeon speaks with The Property Observer about real estate & the up-coming budget.

“Well it’s that time of the year when Australian taxpayers prepare themselves to get their annual slap across the face with a couple of moist lettuce leaves.

Yes – the 2014/15 federal budget is now less than one day away and just like the budgets before this one the warnings, threats and pugnacious leaks usually amount to next to nothing. The reason why? Politicians have an addiction to being re-elected which is contingent on strong polling performances despite our economy growing slightly below trend.

Historically real estate has been a minor player come budget time with the government of the day preferring to address the industry from more of a macro positioning given that is by far an easier option when compared to a micro-economic analysis. For all intents and purposes if the real estate/housing demographic were that essential, then it would be fair to say there would actually be a designated Housing Minister which is not the case with the Abbott led government.

Although it should be noted that governments take out a lot more through property tax than is given back – real estate is a cash cow of choice for all three levels of government – including through stamp duty, land tax, capital gains tax, rates and infrastructure charges. It would be reasonable to suggest that one of the compelling reasons as to why the GST has been left out until the next election is because the state governments reneged on their 2000 tax obligations when the GST was introduced. If and when the GST is discussed the states and territories will have to make some significant tax adjustments given the decision will be made by referendum.

Negative gearing will escape greater scrutiny in this year’s budget despite the government having to fund $5 billion each year and growing tax concessions.

Given the ongoing debates attributed to housing affordability it will only be a matter of time before we see a tapering in the annual tax concessions which would also lend significant weight to investors contemplating a move away from traditional bricks and mortar – any such decision would be staggered over a 15 to 20 year period.

As with every budget the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) had their say into negative gearing and pointed out that Australian Taxation Office (ATO) data shows fewer than 80% of total individual taxpayers that are claiming a tax deduction from property earn less than $80,000 per annum.

The OECD eloquently summed up Australia’s economic position this week when it released their economic outlook for May:

“Output is projected to increase by 2 ½% in 2014 and by nearly 3% in 2015, with a general pick – up in demand offsetting declining investment in the resources sector.

“Some economic slack will remain and the unemployment rate will not begin to edge down until the second half of 2015. As a result there will be little inflation pressure, although rapid growth in house prices and mortgage lending requires continued attention.

“Given near – term uncertainties in the re – balancing of the economy away from investment in the natural resources sector, heavy front loading of fiscal consolidation should be avoided.

“Against the backdrop of the projected recovery, monetary stimulus should start to be withdrawn in the first half of 2015.”

It will be fascinating to see how much of this the federal government adopts with next week’s budget.

With regard to the OECD’s concerns regarding house prices and mortgage lending it should be noted that the house prices showing the greatest gains are in the lower price ranges and not the top-end markets.

From the above graph I would suggest that the vast majority of Sydney suburbs would be showing their yearly price increases of between 5.00 and 10.00% – which is not a concern. We will only see property stress once the RBA starts moving up the cash rate.

What’s happening with the Seaforth TAFE site?

Seaforth Tafe

MANLY Council will receive about $1550 a week in rent for the Seaforth TAFE site if a lease is signed with aged-care provider BUPA Care Services – equivalent to the rent for a fourbedroom home in the suburb.

A council spokesman said while a lease was yet to be signed, it was agreed BUPA Care Services would pay “an upfront payment of over $8 million to council” for a 99-year lease of the site – when divided over the life of the lease, a cost of $1554 a week.

Seaforth resident and secretary of the Seaforth Community TAFE Development Action Group George Citer said the upfront payment would put the project squarely in the black.

“It sounds a bit dumbfounding and underpriced but council has invested a fair amount into this site to get it ready,” he said.

“It was bought for about $4.5 million, and then about $1 million was spent on getting it ready, so a lump sum of $8 million means they will make an instant profit they can invest themselves and receive the interest.”

A Manly Council spokesman said it was worth noting the site needed significant refurbishments at BUPA Care Services’ expenses and the site would return to council at the end of the lease.

“Given the history of the Seaforth site, by council retaining control of the site it will be prevented from overdevelopment in the future,” he said.

“Further, the BUPA proposal will result in the buildings getting a much-needed refurbishment done at BUPA’s own expense.”

Article sourced from the Manly Daily

Negotiate Your Property Contract

Understanding and negotiating suitable terms of contract is an important step in the purchase process when buying property.

Buyers should be aware of all inclusions, any easements or covenants effecting the property and proposed settlement or completion dates. Ensuring that the contract accurately reflects the purchaser, seller and defines the correct property is of vital importance and will eliminate the need for costly changes to the agreement at a later date.
It may sound silly but entering a contract that contains a simple error such us incorrect spelling of name – where it doesn’t match other identification documents such as driver’s licenses or birth certificates, can in fact create undue stress and issues down the track.
Similarly, where a contract doesn’t specify a complete list of inclusions problems can occur upon settlement when items that the purchaser assumed were included are in fact no longer with the property.
Your solicitor or conveyancer should undertake thorough searches on your proposed purchase and make sure that you can “perform” within the terms of the contract.

negotiate your contract

Your legal representative should ensure the following:
 Any land tax adjustments
 That completion dates are suitable to the purchaser, particularly if they are selling another property in order to buy
 Inclusions match the buyer’s expectations
 Any release of deposit clauses are accurate and workable
 Any development consents where the building has undertaken recent additions
 Drainage and sewerage diagrams
 A survey of the building ensuring that it does not encroach an adjoining allotment
 Confirmation of vacant possession if required.

Your legal representative will be well versed with the contract and will understand all the clauses that affect your purchase. You need to liaise with them in terms of the inclusions, your expectations and suitable settlement time.  The team at R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah are here to help.  If you have any property related questions we are happy to guide you through them & compile relevant information that will help you make the best decision for your situation. Just give us a call on 9948 7080.

Record Keeping for Savvy Property Investors

The importance of accurate record keeping cannot be overestimated when dealing with investment property. Due to the complexity of taxation laws in relation to property investment it is advisable to update records regularly. A successful investor is an informed one and ongoing education is invaluable.

Property investors should create a habit of analysing their investment at least quarterly. That would include reviewing their records of income, expense and repairs or improvements.
The ATO have the power to ask questions in relation to your investment property and your income. It is wise to ensure that all documentation is accurate and available – after all, who really wants an audit?

First time property investors need to know the types of documentation that need to be maintained. The very first thing that an investor should acquire is a depreciation schedule from a quantity surveyor. This is a document that justifies claims in relation to depreciation and improvements to the property.

Records that savvy property investors maintain include:
1. Depreciation schedule
2. Loan documents and statements detailing interest payments
3. Records of solicitor and accountant fees and statements
4. Monthly rental statements from agent
5. Copies of receipts for expenses such as rates, cleaning, agent’s fees
6. Bank statements
7. Records in relation to any costs of improvements
8. Records in relation to any expenses

How Should I Keep Track of My Records?

You should keep a digital copy (computer) and a hard copy (paper) of all of your records.

You will want to use a spreadsheet to keep track of your income and expenses. You should do this as soon as the income comes in or the expense occurs. You will want to include as much detailed information as possible: the date, time, who it was paid to or who paid you, nature of the income or expense, and the amount.

Separate records for each property, for each type of expense, and for separate types of income. The point is to record as much information as you can at the time of the transaction, so that you can easily create financial reports in the future.

You should always back them up on cd, on an external hard drive and even with a paper copy. They should be printed out at the end of every month and/or the end of the year.

Maintaining accurate records and filing them correctly can save you a lot of grief at a later point in time.  The team at R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah have helped so many clients get into the investment property market & guide them through the process of building a successful property portfolio. If you are considering purchasing an investment property contact our winning team on 9948 7080.

Why Invest in Property?

Investors who take a long-term view to property investment can achieve strong returns regardless of property market cycles. Wise investors should always take a long-term strategy in order to minimise risk and enhance their investment strategy.
Whilst bricks and mortar has been struggling to offer the best returns over the last few years, there are still very good reasons as to why now is a good time to buy.
Property investment should be a medium to long-term strategy. Historically, there have been few dips in housing values and over the long haul, prices have always tracked higher.
When we enter periods of slower growth, opportunities for investors do increase.
Leveraging plays an important part in property investment. There are few opportunities where a financier will permit borrowings of 80%, and the investor providing the 20% reaps 100% of the gains.
As a result, property wealth gains over the long-term outstrip share investments and with lower risks.
One of the most appealing facts about property investment is that it provides the opportunity to create an income producing asset that also appreciates in value. Property is also rare as you & your property advisors can directly enhance its value.

investing graph

Why invest in Property?

Consistent capital growth, it is the most forgiving investment asset over time

You can buy it with someone else’s money

Security, You are in control of decisions & rental returns

An income that grows, You can add value.

Tax benefits

Anyone can do it, More millionaires have been created through property than any other form of investment.

If you are considering property as an investment strategy please give the team at R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah a call on 9948 7080 & we will formulate a winning strategy for you too.

Slowing Down Can Often Mean The Best Price For Your Home

Many people make the decision to sell their home, then suddenly realise the magnitude of putting their home on the market. By slowing the process down and ensuring that their home & mindset are ready for the market place, a seller can fetch a substantially greater price for their property. At R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah, we work with clients to formulate a strategy that’s right for them.  We’ve been working with some of our clients for months to prepare them for the right time to come to the market early next year.  Others have wanted the sale before Christmas, the thing they all have in common is they’ve sort expert advice & a plan has been made.

slow down

Tips for getting the best price for your home:
 Presentation – make sure your home is presented, ready to sell. Make sure you’re well aware of what the market is looking for & highlight those most desirable features.
 Remove clutter & give the feeling of open spaces.
 Make repairs and complete those D.Y.I. projects. This is going to be of enormous advantage when it comes to negotiations.
 Lawns and gardens neat, trimmed and fresh.
 Use natural light to enhance the size of your rooms. The correct placement of furniture can transform the feel & use of an area.
 Take your time and plan your move. This means, allowing time to get all the “odd jobs” completed before you place your home on the market.
 Minimise children’s toys and clutter.
 Minimise furnishings. You may love your old lazy-boy chair, yet prospective buyers mightn’t.
 Remove oil and grease from drive ways and paths.
 No dripping taps or shower heads.
 No unpleasant odours.
 Clean the oven, grill and cook top.
 Remove seldom used kitchen appliances.

Selling your property can be very competitive. In effect it is your home competing against other properties on the market. That being the case, you should ensure that your home is at its peak presentation at all times. The team at R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah make these preparations easy with our team of consultants, stylists & handymen all at the ready to be of service to you.
For the right advice on what’s happening in the local real estate market & the confidence to move forward with a plan that is designed for you, give the team at R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah a call on 9948 7080


Quality Exposure Will Lead to Your Homes Dream Price

Selling your property can be a nerve wracking time. The team at R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah have strategies to make this transition as smooth as possible. This article outlines the importance of quality advertising, promotion & exposure to the correctly targeted market, This is just one of the components in achieving your dream result.

Everybody is after their “dream price” and there are a number of important factors in need of consideration in order to achieve your dream price. Aside from selecting your agent, the decision on what marketing campaign will obtain the best result is one of the most important decisions a seller undertakes prior to placing their property on the market.
It makes sense that the more people that see your property advertised should lead to more viewings and hopefully more interested parties therefore creating competition and the best price. So, how do we choose a marketing campaign that is appropriate & effective for our home?

A combination of basic research, common sense & the right guidance can assist sellers in selecting a marketing plan. It’s all about getting the right buyers to interact with your property & stimulating their senses.

The internet has become one of the leading sources for buyer enquiry since its coming of age.
Ask your prospective agent what websites your property will be advertised on and also what style of package on each website. For example, some sites offer premium packages whereby your property will appear towards the top of the search, obviously these packages generate more hits. Does your property need to be advertised internationally or targeted towards specific countries who’s buyers have tastes that will complement your property?
Also enquire as to the number of hits generated on the agent’s personal website on a monthly basis. The more people that see your property on the internet, the greater the opportunity of creating competition between buyers. That’s great if an agent has a lot of hits, but are they qualified hits? If your agent specialises in units they’ll have plenty of buyers, but not the right buyer who is looking for a prestige family home.

A quality sign board will also be a source of quality enquiry. It makes sense that enquiries generated from the sign board already are familiar with the location, neighbourhood and are interested in the property judging from outside appearances. Sign boards are an important part of real estate marketing. Enquiries generated by sign boards are generally of a higher quality than many other forms of advertising. Even if you live in a quiet street, we recommend a signboard as it makes sense that those buyers wanting to live in quiet streets are looking in them for their future home.

Newspaper Display Adverts
Whilst newspaper display advertising can be expensive at times, when you compare your outlay to your hopeful returns it is soon warranted. For example, display advertising “hits the masses.” It can attract more interested parties, more competition and if your property is being auctioned, more bidders. Often an extra 1 or 2 bids can add many thousands of dollars to your sale price. For further information about our contacts at Domain, Real, The Manly Daily, News Local etc. please give the team a call.

Quality Brochures & Window Displays
If your agent is preparing a brochure for your property ensure that is of quality. Professional photography, quality copywriting and clear details are all important factors. The team at R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah offer a range of options for this to suit all budgets.
Whilst brochures don’t always attract more inspections, they do assist interested parties remember your property and prepare them for their level of interest and can assist in determining the size of their offer or bid.

The Extras

There are many more promotions that we offer. If you want to know more about what the right mix of advertising is for your property & how we go about achieving the dream price for so many of our vendors, give the team at R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah a call on 9948 7080.


What’s Happening With The Seaforth TAFE site?

THE former Seaforth TAFE building is poised to become a 76-bed aged care facility after healthcare provider Bupa and Manly Council confirmed they were close to an agreement.

Seaforth Plaza

The council has redeveloped what it calls Seaforth Creative and Community Hub, after it purchased the disused site from the State Government for $4.46 million last year.

Bupa Care Services is likely to be the anchor tenant, and finance director David Warren confirmed the discussions.

“Bupa Care Services is excited about the opportunity to partner with Manly Council on the redevelopment of the old Seaforth TAFE site,” he said.

“The proposed 76-bed care home in Seaforth will be state-of-the-art and one of the first in Australia to have its own GP dedicated to the care of our residents.

“Bupa proposes to include community health services, complementing the community facilities Manly Council is planning for other parts of the site.”

Manly Council general manager Henry Wong said the council would provide a community hub and meeting spaces, including a reading room. There will also be a collaborative workspace for technology innovation.

The building has been unoccupied since 1999.

This article was published in the Manly Daily by Steven Deare on the 15th of November 2013.  For further information on what is happening in the community of Seaforth, Clontarf & the Balgowlah Areas give the team at R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah a call on 9948 7080.