Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Should I spend money on my property before I sell?

Stop! Put down the brochure for a brand-new kitchen installation and read this article.

Over the years we have run into many property sellers who have literally spent fortunes adding to and improving their property.

When it comes time to sell their property, these same owners make the mistake of adding up all the money they have spent on improvements over the years and expect their agent to achieve a sale price that reflects a return on their investment. This is not always the case.

Such large scale improvements can simply “over-capitalise” a property. For example installing marble tiles in a typical home in Campbelltown with a cost in excess of $10,000 would not be a smart investment. In reality buyers would not be prepared to pay extra for this improvement when a similar home in the same area offers similar tiles for much less.

It is important to remember that all potential buyers are looking to secure a bargain. As such your aging property could net you a greater sale price from a buyer looking to renovate, than investing in the renovation of your property before putting the property on the market. Why? Well you have to remember that a renovator’s dream will appeal to renovators, a booming trend with the popularity of such TV programmes as ‘The Block’ and ‘House Rules’. Also to some buyers, freshly renovated properties can be a real turn-off because they will feel that the seller is presenting the property in search of maximum profits.

Our advice is to stick to small investment, large impact projects such as new carpet, repainting and updating fittings. This will give your property a fresh appearance whilst not hurting your back pocket when it comes to your return on investment.

Before you pick up a paint brush contact us offices today to speak with one of our sales agents. We can provide you with advice on what projects to invest in and whether to invest in a professional tradesman to complete such work. Remember, that although DIY can save you money up-front if you don’t have the know-how to complete the renovation with a great finish, it can cost you thousands extra for a professional to fix it.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

How to secure the best tenant to take care of your investment property?

Making the decision to purchase an investment property is a sizable one. Faced with the up-front costs of a mortgage, taxes, insurances, property management service fees and repairs, it is important to attract the best tenants to lease your home and keep it in a great condition.

So how do you ensure a great tenant leases your property?

Other than employing the services of an experienced local real estate agency to manage your property, a clean, tidy and well-maintained property priced at a reasonable rent will appeal to great quality tenants.

As a general standard here at Prudential Real Estate we advise our landlords to present their property in the best manner possible to attract the right tenant. Poorly presented properties run the risk of failing to attract good tenants, leaving only less qualified tenants to apply.

Here is a quick checklist to help you present your property at it’s best:

  • Spruce up all around the home. Keep lawns and shrubbery trimmed and free of clutter. Keep the garden beds weeded and mulched.
  • Fill potholes in your driveway and tidy up walkways
  • Clean off your outdoor entertaining areas
  • Clear everything out of the garage (and we mean everything!)
  • Straighten gutters, the mailbox, the fence and other things that sag
  • Fix doorbells, tighten loose doorknobs, and oil squeaking hinges
  • Repair broken/cracked windows and shutters
  • Clean everything in and out of sight. Shampoo carpets and rugs and wax floors. Wash or brush walls.Wash windows and clean blinds/draperies. Remember the ‘white glove’ test.
  • Bathrooms are very important. These should be in sparkling condition including walls, floors, sinks etc. Check the shower recess is free of soap scum and have a look at your vanity; repair doors, knobs and water damaged sections.
  • In the kitchen clean up your countertops and cupboards, fix doors, handles and knobs, scrub out the “under sink” area and inside drawers.
  • Completely degrease the oven. Let the kitchen smell fresh and fragrant
  • Remove debris (dust, flies, moths etc.) from all light fixtures
  • Get rid of all stains and install new washers and dripping taps  
  • Repaint where needed. Freshly painted properties rent faster and to better tenants for more money.
  • Fill any ‘holes’ in your gardens with new plants
  • Check every light switch and bulb to ensure they all work correctly

The cleaner and better presented you make the property, the more likely you are to find a great tenant who will maintain the condition of the home.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Should I allow tenants to keep a pet?

Obedience training, vet bills, countless ‘mistakes’ and unconditional love. That’s pet ownership a feature of more Australian households than ever before. The Australian Veterinary Association conducted a study in 2013 to estimate that there were 25 million pets in Australia and that 5 million of the 7.6 million household had a pet.
Yikes! That’s 65% of all household in Australia that have a pet (and maybe more than one). In fact, you may have a pooch, friendly feline or feathered friend in your household. This also means that 65% of all tenants have pets.

So as a landlord, should you allow pets? Every landlord is faced with this very important question as they wonder if a tenant with a pet may damage their property more than a tenant without a pet. After almost three decades of managing properties in the south-west of Sydney we can say there is no evidence this assumption is based on fact.

Certainly we have occasionally seen properties infested with fleas after a tenant with a pet vacates. Equally, we have seen properties left dirty and damaged by tenants without a pet. Luckily such circumstances are rare.

Importantly, however, this simple fact should be considered; if you elect not to allow tenants to have a pet you eliminate two-thirds of all available tenants in the marketplace, any one of whom may be your perfect tenant. When you turn your back on two-thirds of the market place you also extend the time it will take to find a tenant, perhaps by as much as two weeks. Two weeks rent, at $450.00 per week, is $900.00. A substantial loss for the sake of finding a tenant (who may still not be perfect) without a pet.

In all circumstances be assured Prudential Real Estate staff will always abide by your instructions. If you say you would like a tenant without a pet we will diligently pursue your goal until we find the best tenant for your property. Our primary aim is the success of your investment and for that reason we would be concerned about a decision that may cause you to lose two weeks rent.

More pet facts from the Australian Veterinary Association website ...
  • In 2013 there were estimated to be more than 25 million pets in Australia, with nearly 5 million of Australia's 7.6 million households home to pets. At 63%, Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world.
  • Dogs are the most common pet, with 39% of households owning a dog. There are estimated to be 4.2 million pet dogs in Australia; 19 dogs for every 100 people.
  • Cats are the second most common pet, with 29% of households owning a cat. There are estimated to be 3.3 million pet cats in Australia; 15 cats for every 100 people.
  • Fish are the most numerous pet type, with a total population of 10.7 million. The number of birds is estimated to be 4.8 million, with a further 2.2 million other pets including small mammals and reptiles.