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.


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.

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.

How To Fetch The Dream Price For Your Home

Obtaining a good price for your home is everybody’s goal when selling. However, obtaining your dream price is even more appealing. The question is: Is your home ready to fetch your dream price?
Preparing your home for sale is so important when seeking your dream price. AT R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah, we work with clients to help prepare their home so it appeals to the largest possible market & when we speak with buyers, we have them imagine what it would be like to live in your home.

Tips for preparing your home for a dream price include:

1. Finish all DIY projects. Before placing your home on the market make sure all your handyman projects are complete.
2. Lawns and gardens. Make sure your lawns and gardens present well. Trim overgrown shrubs and plants, repair any worn lawns, keep your garden hoses stored out of sight.
3. Driveway and entrance. First impressions count, ensure your driveway and paths are clean (free of oil stains, etc).
4. Furnish to sell. Minimise your furnishings and consider hiring appropriate furnishings from a specialist company.
5. De-clutter. Remove any clutter, unused toys, kitchen appliances, clothing, etc.
6. Bright and breezy. Open your home up. Lots of natural light enhances the emotional appeal of your home.

fetch your dream price

Tips on Understanding Your Room Space

Do you want to design your own room but you don’t know your ‘asymmetrical’ from your ‘equilibrium’? It’s O.K, design is simpler than you think! Designing your room is just a matter of understanding relationships in space between objects, colours and light.

1. Scale and proportion. Scale is the size of an object compared to everything else like, for instance, YOU. The scale of a chair may be perfect for you, but totally wrong for your child and vice-versa. Proportion is the relationship of one piece in your room to another based on its size. Massive leather furniture, for instance, is out of proportion to a petite French occasional chair.

2. Line. Line defines the physical space of your room. There are different types of line and each gives a different feel when emphasized.

Vertical. Vertical lines in a room give a formal, strong and dignified feeling. Think of the feeling of columns!

Horizontal. Horizontal lines give a room a feeling of relaxation or casualness. Think of beds and sofas!

Diagonal. Diagonal lines give a feeling of motion, change or transition. Think rocker!

Curved. Curved lines bring a softness and sensuality to a room. Think cabriole legs and carved French furniture!

3. Balance. Balance in a room is equal weight between objects on either side of the room. There are two types of balance:

Symmetrical. Symmetrical designs mirror one side on the opposite side. This can be a very formal design style.

Asymmetrical. Asymmetrical design is more informal. In this design style visual weight is important. For instance, a large object on one side is balanced by several small objects on the other. It is not a mirror image, but it “feels” like balance.

4. Rhythm. Rhythm in room design is the repetition of patterns, colour, or line – just like rhythm in music.

Now you understand the relationship between objects and spaces in your room. So go forth, design & add value! Conversely you can contact the team at R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah, we have a huge amount of experience in helping clients fetch their dream price for their home, also we  have an abundant supply of interior designers & stylists, display furniture experts & trades people. So give us a call on 9948 7080. We are here to help you achieve your property goals.

How to Negotiate Your Way to a Great Real Estate Buy

Everyone wants a good deal when purchasing property and sometimes an opportunity that is border-line can be negotiated to a value purchase.
Understanding your power when negotiating is the key and so is the ability to recognise key signals during the negotiation process.

Whilst buyers can negotiate great deals, particularly given the current market, it is important to understand that low offers made without justification can often alienate the seller and put an end to any goodwill or future dealings.
The best advice is to have your finance in order, appoint a solicitor and put yourself in a position of readiness. Relay your situation to your agent and let them know that you not only mean business but are in a position to act straight away.
Open for inspections offer a wealth of insight. Ask how many open for inspections are planned and the types of responses received by the agent. Also, ask how many contracts have been requested as this is a good sign of interest levels, particularly when the property is going to be auctioned.
The key is to undertake your research. Determine what aspects of the property are its weaknesses and don’t hesitate in pointing them out to justify your offer. Remember to be realistic with your comments as to not offend the vendor.
Make sure your agent is made aware of your ability to perform quickly as sellers time lines can change overnight.  In short, communication & preparation are the keys to success.  Keep well informed & make sure the real estate agent understands your situation.

negotiate for success

The team at R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah are expert negotiators, For further information on techniques to negotiate your way to a good real estate buy please call us on 9948 7080

How to Build Your Property Portfolio

Property can be a great investment and can fund an early, wealthy retirement.
Smart property investors often have the comfort of knowing that they can quit their day job and live off their passive income that they have created whilst watching their assets grow. The team at R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah believe that anyone can create wealth from property providing they devise and stick to their game plan.
There is an abundance of information on property investment and many resource tools to draw upon, even for first timers.  The team at R&W are happy to help you compile this information & understand it, so you too can profit from our experience.
The real challenge isn’t in the legal detail though it is wise to be educated or seek professional advice. The challenge is in formulating your plan then sticking to it.

So where does one start? Here are some tips to devising your game plan:

 Work out your reason why. Why do you want to invest in property?
 What is your dream result?
 Set goals you wish to achieve through property investment and WRITE THEM DOWN
 Put a net value on those goals
 Work out your budget. Where are you spending your income?
 Allocate and affordable amount to service mortgages
 Budget for vacancy factors, repairs and problems

property portfolio

If you are interested in property investment and would like trusted advice that helps you get started, please give the team at R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah a call on 9948 7080

Property Purchase Strategies for Finding Your New Home

The prospect of purchasing a new home can be a time consuming and mind draining process. What, where, when, how will this affect our lifestyle and what if we overlook something?  The team at R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah have generations of experience helping buyers make quality real estate decisions and providing useful tips for successful purchasing throughout The Seadforth, Clontarf & Balgowlah Areas:

Here are some useful tips:

1. Keep Your Eyes Open For A Distressed Sale – the effects of the GFC, inability to meet repayments, cost of living and even divorce can have a real bearing on what a property will sell for. It’s a sad truth but a real truth in the market place. Properties being sold by vendors in that situation can equate to a good buy and a huge relief for the vendor – they need it sold.
2. Don’t Rush In – make sure you are purchasing a property that suits your family needs. This is no race, particularly in a quieter marketplace.
3. Look At Established Growth Areas – set your sights on areas with a history of performing well over long terms.
4. Consider Demographics – look at employment opportunities, affluence in the area, schooling and community facilities.
5. Be Careful of Asking Prices – asking prices can be misleading. Some vendors are advertising prices that will not be fetched. Compare sale prices with recent sales, not data that can be twelve months old, and always compare actual sale prices.
6. Don’t Be Scared To Make An Offer – the agent’s role is to negotiate a price suitable to the buyer and seller. Make an offer as to what you genuinely feel the property to be worth and what you are prepared to pay.
7. Put Your Offer In Writing – putting your offer in writing can show the vendor that you are genuinely interested in purchasing their property.
8. Research – look at a number of properties, research your marketplace and use that research to become an expert in your price bracket.
Purchasing your new home needn’t be a worrying time. Pace yourself, seek good advice and do your homework that way you can’t go wrong.

Be Prepared When Attending Open House Inspections

property questions
Looking for the right home can be a fun yet nervous adventure. Here are some tips to inspecting properties in which you are interested:
1. Take the Right Tools
 Pocket-sized mag light
 Note pad and pen
 Comfortable clothes and be prepared to get down and dirty
2. Have the Right Mindset
 Be prepared with a curious mind
 Don’t overlook the obvious. Why is furniture positioned where it is? Is there anything being hidden?
 Spend time in the property
3. Ask the Essentials
 Ask for a copy of the contract
 Why are they selling?
 Arrange another viewing.

Questions! Questions! Questions!

When inspecting property it is important to find out as much information as possible. The only way to do so is to ask questions. What is it that we need to know?

1. What is the history of the property in terms of building works?
2. How long have the current owners been in the home?
3. Why are they selling?
4. Did the current owners undertake any building work on the property?
5. council approval?

6. Local information?

7. Where do water and sewer lines run? (This is important should you be planning extensions or renovations. This information can be found within the contract.)
8. Are there any covenants that affect the property? (Again, found within the contract and can determine what you can and can’t do with the property in terms of extensions, materials of use, etc.)
9. Have there been any other offers on the property?
10. How long has it been on the market?

The team at R&W Seaforth/Balgowlah are trusted Property advisors in the Seaforth, Clontarf & Balgowlah areas.  For further insight into the questions you should be asking to successfully purchase a home & how to find the answers to those questions, please give us a call on 9948 7080

Five Fast Ways to Add Value to Your Property

Everybody would like to add value to their property and enhance its sale price. Leading agency Richardson & Wrench Seaforth/Balgowlah believe every property can be improved and every owner should help obtain the  maximum sale price.

“Adding value to property isn’t necessarily that difficult. It takes planning and vision and of course you need to stick to a budget.  We inspect & sell a lot of beautiful properties & encourage neighbours to have a look at what is being renovated or built near them.  The styles in the street, quality of build/appliances & features used.  This allows you to consider how much should be spent on adding value to your property.  It is important not to over capitalise & spend money that won’t add at least the same amount in value as what is spent.” The agents at Richardson & Wrench Seaforth/Balgowlah are happy to discuss strategies & offer advice from our knowledge of what has been a renovation success and brought a lot of extra value & thus increased the price of properties sold.

where's the value

 five fast ways to add value are:

1. Add a bedroom: preferably under the same roof line, convert a garage or dining area. Valuers generally begin their assessment of property by looking at comparable sales in line with the number of bedrooms. Immediately you can boost your property to a higher value bracket.
2. First Impressions: improve the front yard and facade of the home to offer “street appeal”.
3. Add a bathroom: this is necessary if you go from 3 to 4 bedrooms and can be achieved by converting an existing laundry.
4. Use similar features and finishes of more expensive property.
5. Add a WOW factor: incorporate finishes or factors that people remember. An outstanding indoor – outdoor entertaining area, a double sized shower, French doors, secret garden…………. GET CREATIVE.


Or for extra help finding that creative flair, the team at Richardson & Wrench Seaforth/Balgowlah are happy to help.  Call us on 9948 7080



Should you renovate or sell?

Whilst selling your home is regarded as a stressful process sellers are often faced with an extra conundrum. That is, do we spend the extra $5,000 – $10,000 on renovating or touching up our home in order to assist in a sale?  This article will give you some insights & our agents are happy to discuss your property & it’s potential in finer detail.

The answer to this question lies within the honest facts as to whether or not your property requires such renovation and what effect such outlay will have on your eventual sale price.

Any prospective seller should consult with their proposed agent prior to such renovations. The agents at R&W are able to advise you on what renovations or touch ups are worthwhile and those that are money wasters.

The more parties interested in our property the better the chance of securing a purchaser at your dream price so often renovation or touch up can play an important part in your marketing.

We encourage prospective sellers to attend open for inspections and identify where their home sits within the market place. You can ascertain which features are popular and which aren’t. This can work as a guide as to where to spend your money.

Generally, Property should always be neat and tidy. This may require some attention from the vendor to ensure that their home has street and family appeal ( purchasers need to picture themselves living in your property……………. make it easy for them.)

Getting the best price for your property requires a high degree of market awareness, professionalism and advice. The team at R&W are trusted advisors in the Seaforth, Clontarf and Balgowlah areas. We are happy to guide you through the steps required to achieve a premium price for your property. Call us on 9948 7080 to find out how we can help you.