Looking back at the Reno – Before and After

After sorting through over 600 photos I have pulled together a few of the first and last ones to show some great before and after shots from the renovation. I hope that it provides an idea of the amount of work that was put in and the significant impact that a short-term cosmetic renovation can make on a place. Also, great news from yesterday is that we already have a tenant signed up to move in! I’m taking it as a good sign that in less than a week of being posted online and after the first inspection someone was immediately willing to sign up. Fingers crossed it all goes well. Enjoy the before and after shots!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Renovation is Rescued – Day 19

After almost 3 weeks of work the renovation is now complete. Today I walked out of the property for the last time and I was incredibly proud of the transformation that has taken place over the course of 19 days. Starting with a property that really needed a lot of love, the place is now completely revived and livable. The last day was all about finishing off small jobs and the biggest job was packing up and removing all of the tools and equipment that had gathered in the place over the last few weeks. It’s amazing how invested you become in every element of the work being done and while there are still some things I would have liked to do I had to draw the line somewhere and call it finished. I thought that I may have been sad when I left today as there has been a huge amount of hard work and sweat put into the place but I was just really pleased with the end result and now it’s time for someone else to enjoy it.

I could not have done the job in the time that it was done without the never ceasing help from my father (and I can’t forget mum as well in keeping the team going throughout the project). More than just the foreman, he kept me sane throughout when I was about to have a meltdown over things such as a dodgy hinge or an ill fitting door handle (yes, I need to chill out). I continued to learn a huge amount from him and may have just taught him an odd new thing or two as well (he was skeptical with the bench tops but amazed with how well it worked out). My advice if you ever take on a project like this is to make sure you have a great support team, it really made this a much more enjoyable project.

I won’t ramble on  but wanted to say a big thank you to everyone that has followed the work for the last few weeks, I continue to appreciate all of the great feedback. This week I’ll sit down with a calculator and do the sums. I’m really looking forward to presenting the numbers to you all and showing that it really doesn’t take much to pull off a very successful project with property investment. The property is now open for inspection and the first few prospective tenants are inspecting the place tomorrow, wish me luck!

This week I’ll be putting up a post specifically with before and after shots as I’ve had a few requests and I also love to see how the place has transformed. Clicking the original sale listing will give you a taste.  But for now I’ll leave you with my final tour though 4/11 Vale St.

 

Common financial mistakes that landlords make

truemelbourne.com.au

Common financial mistakes that landlords makeMany landlords fall into the same traps, but if you are not careful these consistent oversights can turn into huge landslides of trouble.

Setting the rent too high or too low

Before purchasing an investment property, extensive research must be carried out to determine an appropriate rental price. If the rent is set too high, the property might not attract enough interest from prospective tenants. It will sit vacant and gathering dust while you achieve no profit return. On the other hand, if the rent is set too low you may experience financial pressure and the property may attract undesirable tenants.

Look at listings similar to yours in both features and locality to gage what the rental price should be.

If a property manager is hired, they should be able to provide you with information on similar listings and advise you on an appropriate rental price.

Failing to keep track…

View original post 511 more words

The cutthroat world of property management 

MonicaYou wouldn’t be wrong if you said that property investment and the subsequent property management that goes along with it can be a competitive business. It can take a good amount of research and experience to decide on what your criteria is that makes the ideal property manager for your requirements. Whilst my property manager Jamie and his team always do a great job, it’s also interesting to see some different approaches that property managers may take. Coral Sea Property Management in Townsville, Queensland, have certainly gone down a different path with their recent advertising of properties to rent and it’s caused a bit of a stir in the community. Whilst it’s given me a good laugh I’m not too sure if I’d want Monica out the front of one of my rental properties, what do you think?

Shining

TwerkClick here to view their complete range of rental posters, full marks for creativity!

 

Invest For Success: Preparing Your Rental Property to Attract the Best Tenants

truemelbourne.com.au

tidy-kitchenForget second-hand furniture and dirty accommodation; today tenants have choice and know what they are looking for in a rental property. To attract the most prospective tenants to your rental property it needs to be attractive, stylish and practical.

The need to “invest for success” is never truer than with a rental property.  By investing wisely in the decor and fittings you will reduce vacancy times by attracting tenants quickly and retaining them for longer periods.

So, what should you do to your rental property?

Decor

Less is more. Avoid fussy decor that is difficult to keep clean or is too delicate to last the course. Choose light and neutral colour schemes to give the feel of increased space. Avoid light tones in carpets as these will quickly show dirt and marks.  (Tip: You can often source good quality second-hand carpet from online auctions and your local paper).  Whilst you…

View original post 471 more words

Festive Finances!

ChristmasClubbagfullofmoneyThe article below appeared today in the news.com.au real estate section and is a timely reminder of the financial drain that some people can find themselves in over the Christmas period. When it comes to weighing up between the many costs of surviving Christmas or paying rent on time the landlord can often be the loser ending up with a nasty new year surprise! The key lesson mentioned in the article and one that I fully support is to ensure that you utilise the services of a professional property manager, they are are worth every cent when something goes wrong and they know exactly what to do about it, after all, that’s their specialty. Read on below or click here to go to the original article

THE festive season is a danger period for property investors, and real estate experts are warning landlords to make sure they don’t suffer a financial hit from tardy tenants. 

The general manager of Harris Property Management, Suzie Hamilton-Flanagan, says rental arrears can jump by more than 20 per cent over Christmas as tenants find other areas to spend money. ‘Sometimes rent is the last thing on their list,” she says. ‘Landlords managing their own properties need to make sure they are on top of this from the start, or they risk paying for their tenant’s good cheer.” Some landlord insurance policies provide cover for tenants who fail to pay, but Hamilton-Flanagan says if a landlord fails to go through the correct processes when dealing with late-paying tenants, ‘an insurance payout for a late rental claim can be impacted”. She says one suggestion during December may be to send the tenants a card, perhaps with a small gift, gently reminding them of payment dates during the busy Christmas season. ‘Create a relationship with the tenant and treat people as you would want to be treated. The mentality of a tenant is they are paying you this money and they want bang for their buck – they want the property maintained, repaired and the landlord to be respectful.” The first step in preventing late payment is to select the right tenant from the start, Hamilton-Flanagan says, which involves checking a tenant’s payment history by contacting previous agents and landlords.

Carolyn Majda, executive manager at landlord insurer Terri Scheer Insurance, says one of the best ways to protect yourself is to use a professional property manager. ‘That way you have someone who is looking after the rent religiously,” she says. Majda says a lot of property managers send out pre-Christmas newsletters with rental payment dates included. ‘It’s nice to send a Christmas card – we all lose track of dates around this time of the year.” She says investors who manage a property themselves need to be on top of any late payments immediately. ‘Don’t let it start accruing. The longer time goes, the bigger the problem for both landlord and tenant,” Majda says.’Even if it is a day late, be on top of it.’It’s also really important that you take out insurance at the start of a tenancy, before you have people in there, because if they are behind in their rent it can create some issues – it’s almost like having a car accident and then insuring your car.”

The original version of this article appears here

Horrifié! A landlord’s worst nightmare

640px-SledgehammerIn the news this week we’ve seen a report about a French tenant who decided to let loose in his landlord’s apartment after his landlord refused to return his $2,500 deposit. Not only did he do some major damage wielding a sledgehammer but cleverly (read: not clever at all) recorded himself doing the damage and then posted it on YouTube. The video is titled “vengeance d’un locataire” (revenge of a tenant) and shows him doing his finest work to the bathroom toilet, mirror and shower before moving into the living area to do a bit more impromptu demolition. Whilst we don’t know the background story to this situation, the response by the tenant might be seen by some to be a touch extreme. I think we can also safely guess that not only will he now not be getting his deposit back, but with video evidence plastered all over the internet this outburst is likely to end up costing him a whole lot more than $2,500.

Some lessons to learn from this example –

  1. Get a professional property manager to take care of all things to do with rent and bond payment.
  2. Make sure you always have current landlord’s insurance with a good amount of cover.
  3. Don’t leave sledgehammers around near a disgruntled tenant.

Doing the sums #2

I had some great responses to my post on October 13th about doing the sums when looking at investment properties and how important (and sometimes surprising) it is to get an idea of how much it will cost you to start and also to maintain. I’m always keeping an eye out for great examples so will post them when I come across something which shows a simple and affordable approach.

main

This property is a simple one bedroom unit in a complex of 12 units. It’s in a well established suburban area which is well regarded and in the same city as my first example. The area again demonstrates good infrastructure and is close to necessary facilities (shops, hospitals, schools etc). 

On face value the unit appears to be well maintained but of course you would want to inspect not only the property itself but also look around the complex and the units around it. It is for sale for $142,500 and is returning a healthy $190/week. Let’s say that it ticks the boxes as far as the quality and standard of the complex and we manage to get a realistic offer of $140k accepted. What do the figures look like and is it affordable?

How Much Will It Cost Me?
 Property Price – $140,000 Deposit (10%) – $14000 Mortgage – $126,000
Stamp Duty – $3470 Interest Rate – 4.69%
Conveyancing – $800
Mortgage Insurance – $1800
Total Costs (estimated) $20070

Once again, these are the main costs with a deposit of 10%, if you can get to 20% for a deposit the mortgage insurance disappears and the total estimated cost would then be $32,270. So you could get this property for an initial outlay of between $20,070 and $32,270. This is all great but let’s once again look at how you maintain this. Rather than being overly conservative, this time I’ve gone with one of the better interest rates that I can find at the moment of 4.69%

How Much Will It Cost To Service?
 Loan Amount
– $126,000/$112,000
Council Rates – $900 Rent Income – $190/wk
 Interest Rate – 4.69% Water Rates – $900
 Repayments/Wk (10% deposit)
– $150.50
Body Corp – $800
 Repayments/Wk (20% deposit)
– $134.00
Property Mgmt. – $700
 Yearly Repayments – $7826/6968 Yearly Costs – $3300  Rent/Yr – $9880

For a 1 bedroom unit the rent is very good and in a tight rental market this is becoming increasingly realistic. If you started with the 10% deposit you would find yourself out of pocket $1246 a year (or $24 a week). If you managed to pull together the 20% deposit you would be out of pocket $388 a year or less than $7.50 a week! A dollar a day really is loose change! Come tax time and factoring in some depreciation I’d think it could even be likely to end up being cost neutral.

Again remember this is a ‘one moment in time’ scenario and things can change, but even with some unforeseen expenses and the odd maintenance request a property like this has the potential to be a great starter for an investment portfolio!

Renovating Housing Policy

mza_8623053361525323846.170x170-75The Grattan Institute was formed in 2008 as an ‘independent think tank’ intended to develop public policy for Australia. This week there has been a lot of media commentary about a publication by the institute addressing housing policy in Australia. Renovating Housing Policy was published on October 20th and states:

This report looks at our complex housing system as a whole. By quantifying the major government outlays on the private housing system, it reveals the cumulative impact of housing policies both on individual choices of where and how to live, and on productivity and inequality in our cities.

The initial part of the report examines some fascinating trends and demographics related to home ownership in Australia, there is interesting data presented on the change in home ownership rates over the last 100 years as well as examination of current ownership rates by age as well as earnings. It then continues on to look at renting in Australia and it is from here that the information presented starts to become increasingly relevant to property investors. There is also significant focus within the report looking at the different government support provided to property owners versus those who rent a home. The report states that support for residential property investors costs $6.8 billion a year,or about $4,500 per year for each investor household. If you want to skip to the really interesting part though I’d suggest heading straight to page 36 where the recommendations commence. There are three main recommendations looking at stamp duty and property tax, reform of tax incentives for property investment and also reform of the private rental sector.

Whilst I certainly don’t agree with all of the proposals there appears to be some strong evidence available to support the statements being put forward. What I have found interesting is the way that it has been portrayed in a range of media and particularly the comments that have been posted by readers. I’d be eager to hear people’s thoughts on this as it would have a significant impact on property investors should these recommendations be put into practice. Don’t be afraid to comment below! Click here to read the article.

You can also check out some of the following media articles, don’t forget to check the reader’s comments, it’s certainly stirred up some debate!

The Age property section – Domain

ABC News

The Herald Sun

Business Spectator

Your Investment Property Magazine