Close to the bottom? The upside to buying in a down market

The right time to buy has long existed as a question for property analysts and agents alike.

But with the latest Corelogic data showing an ease in the rate of the housing market decline, it’s a question that can now be answered with far greater certainty: time is officially running out to snap up a property bargain in South West Sydney.

While there is no reliable system for predicting the housing market, results mark a steady improvement, with Sydney’s rate of decline easing from 4.1% to 1% over February 2019.

For first home buyers and investors, it’s almost a solid plateau that could in fact mean that the bottom of the market is arriving, with housing affordability at its prime.

According to Prudential Real Estate Director Michael O’Sullivan, “if you’re selling, you can sell now with certainty. Buyers are genuine, and there are lots of homes on the market after you sell.”

While the bottom of the market won’t be clear until it’s passed, it’s without question that now is the time to buy with prices continuing to drift.

The prospect has already excited a number of home seekers who hope to secure top value for their money, before a sudden rush to the market drives further competition and causes prices to go back up.

Looking for your next home?

Our friendly sales team can make it a stress-free, enjoyable experience!

Contact us today: (02) 4628 0033 | campbelltown@prudential.com.au.

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I recarpeted my investment property…can I up my rent?

The crucial difference between renovations and maintenance

If you own a car, you’ll be familiar with the terms repair and maintenance from a routine trip to the mechanic.

You might have had a service inspection pick up a squeaky brake, uneven tyre wear or the need for an oil change – and while it’s never a nice surprise or bill to pay, you know that it’s vital for the value and longevity of your vehicle.

In real estate, properties are no different; unless your home is completely void of all weather and human contact, it’s going to deteriorate and decline.

Unfortunately this means ongoing maintenance for every homeowner in order to prevent major structural damage and consequently, numerous lost sales down the track.

But when it comes to putting money into your home, what exactly can you get a return on – and how does maintenance differ from renovation?

Let’s take it back to cars for a second. If you were to replace your brake pads or air conditioner, much like replacing a hot water system, broken oven or mouldy carpet in a home, this is simply maintenance; preserving your asset by correcting a defect or preventing its deterioration.

However, if you happened to add a premium sound system or snazzy rear wing to your car, you would be improving your vehicle beyond its original state. Similarly, the act of adding an outdoor deck or additional room to your home, or for instance double glazing your windows or throwing on a second storey, classifies as a renovation; it is increasing the value of your property above its original state.

While in some instances the boundary is blurred between maintenance and renovation, only changes that are deemed renovations or capital improvements can boost the income-producing capacity of your property. Renovations can make a case for an increase in rent whereas maintenance simply keeps your rent up at the same level. When in doubt it is always best to seek the advice of your agent at Prudential Real Estate about how this might affect the tenancy of your investment property. 

Want to know more?
Contact Prudential Real Estate on (02) 4628 0033 or via campbelltown@prudential.com.au.

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Protect the roof over your head!

As many Sydneysiders have discovered in recent weeks, heavy rainfall can bring with it an awful mess.

Dispersed branches, endless debris, burst plumbing, hail damage or even mould from flooding and steady moisture. While all else is looking lush green and lovely, there’s no denying that the aftermath is nothing but a crummy cleanup.

But what if it were possible to minimise rain damage and potentially avoid a costly insurance claim?

Short answer: it is.

The solution lies in the roof of your home – your strongest line of defence against any weather condition. And if you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of a leaky roof and unanticipated water damage, chances are it’s been linked to overflow from clogged gutters.

As gutters are the veins flowing from your roof to the ground, clean ones are essential for protecting the foundation of your home and preventing build-up above, which certainly won’t make for pleasant company on the couch during bad weather.

Excess water can also wreak havoc in and around your home by forming cracks in walls, which can allow water to seep inside and provide the perfect breeding ground for mites and mosquitoes.

So if you don’t fancy a swim in your living room or a flourishing supply of insects, a regular inspection and removal of leaves in your gutters is a must. It might be at the bottom of your weekend jobs, but it could save you from hitting the roof (quite literally) in many storms to come.

Need help? Get in touch with the team today!
Call (02) 4628 033 or email campbelltown@prudential.com.au.

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Why everyone sells with Prudential

More and more people are requesting Prudential Real Estate to oversee their rental properties, with our extensive rent roll and award-winning property management team.

But did you know we’re just as awesome at selling homes?

Now with over 30 years’ experience in selling over 5000 homes locally, we’ve got a long tradition of outstanding results to be proud of – and a powerful layer of expertise to assist diverse people with diverse homes.

Some of the benefits our clients have enjoyed include friendly and supportive customer service, a smooth and stress-free process, constant communication and a reliable professional to count on – just see our 4.5 star average rating on over 170 Google reviews.

Why not compare that with our competitors?

If you’re looking to sell your home in the near or distant future, don’t put it past our team. Get in touch today on 4628 033 or via campbelltown@prudential.com.au.

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OLD vs NEW: Which property should I buy?

Wine tastes better with age, but can the same be said for property?

It can be pretty easy to get caught up in the shiny appliances, unused bathrooms, pinterest-worthy gardens and swanky mod cons. But while there’s undeniable appeal to a new property, the ‘fixer-uppers’ can carry their own cool perks too. So we’ve put together a list of what to consider in both before making your decision.

Character

The obvious benefit of buying new is that you’ll be the first to live in the place; no need for immediate renovations or repairs (you hope!), with everything clean and in working order. On the other hand, buyers looking for an existing property are often attracted to the idea of renovating to their own design taste, or one with a unique history that they can make their own.

Lifestyle

According to Wayne Browne, Client Relationship Manager at Prudential Real Estate, if you don’t have the cash to spend on doing the property up, you’re better off shopping for an updated property so you can ‘move in and unpack’ rather than wait until the work is done. Without money in the reserve to renovate, the decision will come down to one thing; can it be enjoyed now. If you’re just entering the market, an older home can appear to look like a money pit, with luxuries such as a swimming pool, bedroom ensuite or alfresco requiring thought (and a good budget) to add into an older home. For that reason alone, many first home buyers are opting to buy something that’s ready to live in and high on the easy-care factor.

Neighbourhood community

Want to know your neighbours before moving in? An existing property might be for you. Many buyers want to meet people who know the area – the best schools, where to catch the bus, the name of the local butcher or florist. Likewise, others may prefer to start afresh with a new development or off-the-plan purchase, where they can be one of the first to experience and foster a community.

Quality and value

We’ve all heard it; they just don’t make them like they used to. And when it comes to buying old, there’s a lot to be said about those with ‘good bones’ that have stood the test of time structurally. It’s important to remember that in real estate, new doesn’t necessarily mean ‘better quality’ or ‘cheaper’. In fact, many people decide to build a new property when buying an existing one isn’t financially viable. Quite often older homes will carry larger scope to upgrade and resell for more, a great perk for investors who are looking to value-add. New properties in areas zoned for rapid growth can also be at risk of oversupply, and potentially be harder to sell or rent down the track.

Ultimately, the best home might be one where you don’t have to choose between old or new, but which has some updates and scope to convert to your dream abode.

Looking for your next home?

Our friendly sales team can make it a stress-free, enjoyable experience!

Contact us today: (02) 4628 0033 | campbelltown@prudential.com.au.

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The 5 chores your neighbour is outsourcing (and not telling you!)

Tackling the endless pile of dishes, unclogging the drain of hair, cleaning the toilet of a meal gone wrong. They’re called chores for a reason – and if the domestic art of ‘homemaking’ isn’t exactly top of your new years’ priorities, it might be time to swap a bit of coin for a lot of happiness.

After all, outsourcing work is no longer just a thing of big businesses. More and more time-poor Australians are becoming happier to spend some cash in exchange for time with friends and family, by freeing themselves of the ugly home tasks. Just ask the guys at booming Sydney startup Airtasker.

So if everyone’s keeping it a secret, what are the top chores being outsourced?

1. GROCERIES

When all you want to do after a long day of work is hit the couch and not the shops, grocery delivery can be a real bonus. With Woolworths, Coles and other major retailers jumping into the world of online shop-and-delivery, along with an ever-growing host of Australian meal plan and delivery services, it’s now becoming easier than ever to save valuable time and money at the click of a finger.

See: Marley Spoon, Hello Fresh, Youfoodz, Dinnerly, Nourishd

2. CLEANING

With all there is to making a home liveable, outsourcing to a cleaner can be a real time saver. Whether the kids’ sporting commitments are leaving you with no weeknights, it’s killing your back to clean the oven or armies of pet hair are swarming your rental right before inspection, a cleaner can be a serious lifeline for a one-off task or continual help.

See: Airtasker, UrbanYou

3. LAWNS & GARDENS

Are weeds raining on your parade? It’s time to hire that gardener. And unlike other household chores, a beautifully manicured front garden can add some valuable curb appeal that could have you seeing dollar signs when it comes to selling or renting your property.

See: Airtasker, Jim’s Mowing, Procutlawns

4. FURNITURE DELIVERY & ASSEMBLY

If you’ve just purchased a stack of furniture with four flights of stairs to get the couch up, rather than wait until a mate has the day off to help, why not send a quick request for help with a price offer you’re willing to pay. Australian startups are connecting people based on location in need of help moving furniture – so for as little as $30 a day, you might just meet a person in your own street willing to share a helping hand! And if you’re a client of Prudential Real Estate and moving into a new home, don’t forget our complimentary service Prudential Assist.

See: Prudential Assist, Airtasker, Gumtree, MoveYourself

5. ROBOTIC VACUUM CLEANERS

Okay, so while it’s not exactly outsourcing to anything but a battery pack and charger, we couldn’t leave this one out. Starting at under $100 (or much less for savvy Catch of the Day shoppers), these little guys can have you multitasking like a pro. Or better yet, catching up on some Gogglebox while it tackles the pet hair at your feet.

Want more advice and tips? Contact us on (02) 4628 0033 or via campbelltown@prudential.com.au

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The royal commission and mortgage conditions: What buyers need to know

It’s no doubt that the banking royal commission’s recent recommendations have led to some serious media buzz, with strong backlash from the mortgage broker sector about the ‘potential demise’ of the industry.

But what do the recommendations actually mean for the average buyer?

Firstly, it won’t be known what the full implications of the report are until the next few months, when it’s clear whether or not the proposed model will be adopted.

Certainly, it appears there will no further tightening of lending for buyers. But what the RC has recommended (and Labour seems to support) is ‘better regulation’ of the banking sector in the best interests of consumers – and no one could disagree with that.

This would come with the banning of current commissions to mortgage brokers from banks whose loans they sell – as well as through the introduction of lending fees (‘Fee for Service’) to be paid by the consumer to the broker.

This proposed new ‘user pays’ model would require borrowers to pay brokers directly for their service, which could mean taking out a bigger loan to cover broker fees that banks would receive interest on.

It’s a model that’s in the collective interests of big banks and which could end the broker industry, according to Finance Specialist Craig Corbett among numerous other brokers. This is largely due to the belief that forced service fees will deter consumers from using brokers, both in the loan settlement phase as well as every time a consumer wishes to refinance, vary or swap their loan with another lender.

So what would a world without a broker industry look like?

The proposed model is said to put competition at risk, with big banks getting a ‘free kick’ from consumers who can’t afford to seek loan advice from a broker.

In the words of Craig Corbett, the current model allows brokers to run a viable business.

“Imagine asking a first home buyer to pay a $5000 loan arrangement fee out of savings they spent years putting together. Each time you want to refinance your loan, or vary it with the same lender, you are charged this fee. Less chance of changing loans, thereby reducing competition.

“We work with clients every day on pricing structures and loan switches. None of this will be paid for, and we won’t be able to do it with lenders gaining more pricing power,” says Craig.

The government is currently reviewing the decision, which is sure to have wide impact on first and second-home buyers as well as investors seeking to get a good deal on a home loan.

What do you think about the royal commission’s proposal? Tell us on Facebook here!

If you’re in need of the best advice on a loan, speak to Craig Corbett at Moneyquest or get in contact with Prudential Real Estate today:

(02) 4628 0033 or via campbelltown@prudential.com.au.

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No buyers? Here’s why

In the first few weeks after your property comes on the market, you can generally expect one of three outcomes;

(1) There have been lots of inspections and lots of offers

This is the ideal situation. Your property is correctly priced, buyers recognise this and are competing to inspect and buy your property. When this happens a sale is generally just around the corner.

(2) There have been lots of inspections but no offers

When this happens there could be three reasons;

  • There is something cosmetic about your property that is causing buyers to shy away. We need to identify this issue and then take action to correct the problem.
  • The property advertisement describes your property inaccurately (it reads or appears better than it is in real life). When this occurs we need to rewrite all or part of the advertisement and / or remove or change some of the photographs
  • The asking price could be too high – buyers may be inspecting your property and then moving on to buy similar homes at lower prices.

(3) There have been few inspections and even fewer offers

When this happens it means your property is being marketed at the wrong price. There is only one solution for this problem and that is to correct the asking price to match the market conditions. 

But what happens if nothing happens?

No buyers at your open homes? No buyers calling to inspect your property? Nothing?

The simple answer is that your property is being marketed at the wrong price. Buyers are comparing your property with others in the same marketplace and are choosing other homes to inspect and not yours.

On a market where there are much fewer buyers than there are properties for sale it is critical that you advertise your property at or close to the current market price. If not, then what few buyers there are will simply gravitate to the lowest priced, equivalent property in your marketplace. And you may not even see them – they will bypass your property altogether.

Just like fishing, you have to get your bait and hook in the same place as the fish!

Selling your home? Don’t go past the experts.
Contact Prudential Real Estate Campbelltown:
(02) 4628 0033 | campbelltown@prudential.com.au

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What EVERY landlord needs to know (and where to find it!)

Have you seen our online property management system?

As part of the many benefits of listing your investment property with Prudential Real Estate Campbelltown, perhaps one of the single most useful resources to landlords (aside from our superhero property managers, of course!) is a convenient online system that houses every record, communication and detail about your investment property.

And if you’re currently a landlord with us, you can access it right now.

This secure cloud system can be used at any time, anywhere; whether you’re on a mobile, tablet or pc, just head to our client page at prudential.com.au and log into the portal (click here for the quick link).

If you haven’t logged in yet, here’s what you could be missing out on:

  • Your last 6 months worth of statements on your investment property
  • Transaction listings, including payments made and received on your behalf, dates and details of rent, or credit paid
  • Copies of your invoices e.g for cleaning, repairs or plumbing
  • Copies of inspection reports
  • A handy message portal to voice any questions or concerns after hours

The best part?

As a landlord, you don’t have to do anything; we’ll do the work for you. So forget digging through the filing cabinet or under the desk for that invoice you’ve been searching for FOREVER – head over to the portal, where you can find it within the sip of a coffee!

For any questions please contact with Prudential Real Estate Campbelltown:

(02) 4628 0033 | campbelltown@prudential.com.au | 47 Queen St Campbelltown

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What you need to know before vacating your rental

Change of circumstances and planning to move? As a tenant, there’s a few things to consider before packing your bags to ensure that the vacating process runs smoothly.

The notice period

If you intend to leave a property, providing as much notice as possible is not only a requirement of the tenancy agreement – but can also determine any costs you may be required to pay. At Prudential Real Estate, this can be done by using our Vacating Form.

There are two types of tenancy agreement in NSW:

  1. A periodic lease, where the term has expired or is not specified. Under this agreement you are required to provide 21 days’ written notice to vacate.
  2. A fixed-term agreement, where there is a specific term. Under this agreement, you are required to provide 14 days’ written notice prior to your vacating date which should be on or after the expiry of the lease if you have reached the end of the specified term. This notice can be given up to the expiry date of the lease.

Breaking a lease early

When you sign a fixed-term tenancy, you are committing to stay for the full term. If you break your lease term early, your landlord may require you to pay “break fees”; a way of compensating them for financial loss including loss of rent, advertising and letting costs.

Returning keys

On the day you vacate, you must hand your keys into the office. At Prudential Real Estate, our property managers will then assist you to complete a Vacating Property Form acknowledging the return of keys and condition of the property. Be sure to return the keys by the due date, as rent will be charged on a daily basis until they are returned.

Final inspection

A time will be arranged for an outgoing/bond inspection of the premises. Tenants are encouraged to be present while the inspection is conducted, as the current condition of the property will be compared with the condition at the commencement of the tenancy greement. Any damage or need for cleaning may incur claims against your bond, however, this only occurs in a minority of cases. Once approved by the landlord, your entire bond will be refunded.

*For Prudential Real Estate clients, bond will be returned directly to your bank account through the Rental Bond Board. 

Want more information? Visit Tenants NSW or Fair Trading NSW, or get in contact your Prudential Real Estate office.

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