November 8, 2012
Investing in property has always been considered a safe and good long term investment. Investors consider investing in property as a safe bet. With a little planning and research, buying an apartment off the plan usually turns out to be a good investment. But there are some pros and cons that you should be aware of before investing in this venture.
You get the benefit of buying the apartment right of the drawing board. You pay the current price and not the price it’s expected to escalate to after completion. It’s very rare that an apartment bought of the plan does not increase in value.
Low capital outlay:
You just need to pay a maximum 10% of the agreed price to secure the apartment. This gives you enough time to plan your finances and arrange future payments.
Stamp duty saving:
Some state governments of Australia offer reduction in stamp duties and bonuses for buying off the plan. You can easily save thousands of dollars.
Choice of apartment:
Property developers give you a choice when buying off the plan. This means you get to choose an apartment with a garden, or one with the best view. You can also choose the interior, color of walls; fittings, etc.
Brand new property in Australia has a 7 year builder’s guarantee. So you don’t have to worry about any structural or interior fault that might occur, as this will be fixed at no cost to the owner.
Increase in value:
Apartments tend to go up in value once they are completed and people start moving in. If the apartment building is in a good location, and well constructed the price is bound to increase. That’s when you can decide whether you want to hold on to it or put it up for sale.
Drop in property market:
Investing in any form always has a risk associated with it. The fear of a sudden drop in prices is one of the biggest fears that haunt investors.
Rising interest rates:
Interest rates might rise when the property is completed as the time lag between buying and the apartment being ready can vary between 6 months and 2 years.
The developer may declare bankruptcy anywhere during the construction phase of the project. You must ensure that your risk is covered in case this happens. Get a solicitor to review the agreement to ensure that you are protected.
Not up to the mark:
What you envision and what you get can differ. This can happen if you are not very good at visualizing what to expect by looking at drawings. Or the developer fails to meet the standards of construction that you were expecting.
Before you sign the agreement
These are some steps that you must take before signing on the dotted line and handing over the check.
· Check out the developer’s reputation; financial position, and history.
· Scrutinize the plans; model, interior finishing, fittings, and fixtures.
· Visit the proposed site area and see if there are any other buildings coming up in the area.
· Research the property market in the area. Get to know current and future property trends of the area.
Contributed by one of the leading property advisors in Australia. Money Choice can help you in buying and selling off the plan apartments in Australia. They offer a complete range of services including market research, access to financing, portfolio reviews and investment property management. Visit website or call on 1300 625 626 for more information.
, financial planning
, real estate
June 26, 2012
No one ever wants to think that something terrible might befall them or their family, or even their car, flat or home, but unfortunately, these things do happen. Many wind up in quite large amounts of debt, or even bankruptcy, simply because something that they were unprepared for happened, be it an illness, a car accident, or even a home repair disaster.
In most cases, insurance will cover the necessary damages, but not always, and that is where the concept of having an emergency fund comes into play. An emergency fund, also called a rainy day fund by some, is basically just as it sounds a stash of money which has been saved and is to be used in the event of an emergency.
Many people stockpile their emergency fund for things like sudden car repairs, say on the way to the office the brakes on your automobile start squeaking, unless you have planned for brake replacements, or have your rainy day fund in place, it could be quite difficult to just reach into the wallet and fork over hundreds of pounds for an unexpected issue. Home repair problems are another big source of uses for any emergency fund, a flooded shower, a termite infestation, a hole in the roof, are all things that can put any sort of emergency fund to use quickly.
And in this volatile economy, building up an emergency fund is an intelligent idea for if another deep market fluctuation occurs and jobs are made redundant, getting sacked, while certainly an unexpected disappointment, might not be quite as terrible if a few months mortgage were sitting in the rainy day fund.
So how to get started, right then, first things first, take a look at your budget and determine just how much funds you will be able to put away. Next, set up an automatic withdrawal from your account, preferably right at the same time you might receive each pay check, then you won’t even know the money was ever there. Set up these withdrawals each month, or even every two weeks. After six months or so of saving, you will be pleasantly surprised to find such a tidy sum sitting in your emergency fund.
The goal of this fund is really to never use it. Do not borrow from the emergency fund to go on holiday, or buy the family Christmas gifts, the funds in that account are only be used in case of an emergency. Once this fund is set up, you will be able to rest easily that if any unexpected crisis were to occur, you would be able to finance it with the money in your emergency fund (or at least partially finance it), and not skip much of a beat in your regular financial life. It is a piece of mind that is relatively painless to set up and get going.
Article is provided by Real Business Recovery. Contact them to determine if a company voluntary assistance program, which can provide much needed breaks from creditors is the right situation for your firm.
, Cash Flow
, financial planning
, real estate
June 18, 2012
In the current climate, most people are struggling to get on the property ladder and renting is becoming increasingly popular. But how can you find out about paying a lower amount and save money on your biggest monthly outlay? Perhaps you are under the impression that your monthly rent payment is set in stone and the only way to pay less is to move to a cheaper rental. It may surprise you, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
Communicate with your landlord.
If you are struggling financially, speak to your landlord. Landlords don’t want the hassle of looking for new tenants and chasing late payments with the chance of receiving nothing if their tenant can no longer afford their rates.
Your landlord is human and in all likelihood, will understand if you fall on hard times. You could try asking for a decrease in rent in exchange for signing a longer term’s lease – this keeps the landlord happy, as they don’t want the expense of hiring an estate agent to look for a new tenant.
When it comes time to renew your lease, don’t be too quick to agree to any increase in rent. A good, reliable tenant is a godsend to a landlord, and they may be more willing than you think to negotiate. All you need to do is ask – you will be surprised how accommodating landlords can be if they think you are saving them time and hassle.
For those living in a complex and who enjoy DIY type work, there may be the option to assist the property owner in carrying out various tasks around the complex in order for a reduction in rent. As well as simple DIY tasks, you could carry out gardening tasks or clean windows.
Everything is negotiable and it pays to keep up with market trends. Speak to neighbours to find out what they’re paying, and even speak to your local tenants Have facts ready before speaking to your landlord to show that you know your stuff and have done your homework.
Highlight the benefits of having you as a tenant:
- always pay your rent on time
- intend to stay there for a long time
- keep the place clean and tidy, and
- don’t give the landlord any other hassles, etc.
Showing yourself in the best possible light with confidence will go a long way in any negotiations with your landlord.
Get a roommate.
Think of the amount of money you could potentially save if you rented out a spare room. This is the best way to gain a massive rent reduction. Always check with your landlord that this is alright. Most will have no problem with it. Renting to someone you know is always preferred. If you do not have that luxury, then make sure you screen any potential lodgers thoroughly, and ask for references in order to avoid problems later on.
Consider rent subsidy.
You may be entitled to assistance from the government if you are on a low income and should make enquiries through your local housing office. You could be entitled to some form of housing benefit and it won’t hurt to ask.
Amy Harris is a writer for FinancialTraining.co.uk – which helps British and international students find the right financial courses in London and the UK. Amy is an American expat herself, and enjoys helping people with their careers and financial advice.
, financial planning
, real estate
May 22, 2012
Mortgage lenders are definitely making it harder for you to obtain a mortgage.
Especially when compared to the boom years when criteria was probably too
relaxed. It is a hard market to research at the moment because lenders are
constantly moving their goal posts as to what is required to obtain a mortgage.
One of the big changes in the market is that lenders are requiring large deposits
to allow you to go onto an interest only mortgage. Historically interest only
mortgages were available to everyone disregarding deposit levels however over the years this has changed. Over the last couple of years it has been pretty
standard for a 25% deposit to be required to go onto interest only however
these levels have increased by some lenders to 50%.
A repayment mortgage will guarantee that the mortgage is paid off by the end
of the term however an interest only mortgage is only paying the interest so at
the end of the term the mortgage amount owed will still be the same. This is a
big concern for mortgage lenders as at the end of the loan they will want the
mortgage to be repaid and is one of the reasons why there has been a reduction
in interest only mortgages.
To take out an interest only mortgage you have to prove that you have a
method to repay the mortgage through an alternative investment vehicle
such as an ISA. These checks are also becoming stricter to ensure that your
investment vehicle is realistically going to be able to pay off the mortgage.
This is just one way in which finding the right mortgage has become more
complicated due to the changes in criteria. There are also many other factors
such as employment status, proof of income, affordability and credit status.
It is wise to get advise if you have any doubt about whether or not you are
applying for the right mortgage because a mortgage broker can ensure that you
are not wasting your time and credit checks applying for a mortgage that you
may not be able to obtain. They can also ensure that you are getting the best
deal on the mortgage market.
, financial planning
, real estate
May 20, 2012
Owning a home can be a very rewarding and fulfilling experience. Many Americans are determined to secure their finances in order to achieve their dreams and become homeowners. There are several steps prospective homeowners can take in order to make sure they are ready to make that life-changing decision.
Firstly, prospective homeowners should do research into the housing market, the location of interest, and determine what time of house and property would best suit their needs. Additionally, homeowners should determine if they are financially prepared to cover the costs of purchasing a house. Another important step before purchasing is to have a full inspection of the house. This step is expensive and can be saved for serious home buying considerations. However, there are several warning signs homeowners should keep an eye out for while they are searching for their dream home.
1. State of the Neighborhood – Potential home buyers should take a glance at the houses that surround the house of interest. They should take note of the curb appeal of other houses, the state of their upkeep, and even if there are a large number of other homes for sale nearby. It is also possible to research the amount of local crime reports in the neighborhood. It doesn’t hurt to contact the neighbors on the street to get their impressions of the neighborhood also.
2. Odor Problems – While walking through the interior and around the exterior of the house, buyers should take note of any strange odors they may come across. Smoke and pet odors are removable over time, but can take quite a bit of effort. If the house smells of mold, there is a chance of potential water damage. Additionally, if the house is covered with air fresheners, the seller may be trying to trick the buyer by covering up any lingering odors.
3. Ceiling Stains- If there are water stains on the ceiling, there is clear evidence that something may be leaking and causing water damage. This is a potential red flag for bathroom plumbing issues. The bathtub may require recaulking, pipes may need to be replaced, or the tiling may require repairs. Either way, this is a potentially expensive undertaking if it is not caught before purchasing the house.
4. Faulty Wiring- When inspecting the inside of a house, buyers should test each and every light switch and outlet to make sure they are in working order. Faulty electrical facilities can be extremely expensive to repair. Wiring problems are hazardous and can cause fires and electrocution.
5. Foundation Problems- When checking out the basement and the exterior of the house, buyers should take note of any sloping, bowing, or slanting in the ground and yard. Cracks at the base of the house are clear indicators of foundation problems and can cause water runoff to flow into the basement.
Arming yourself with the most up-to-date housing market details is a great way to stay informed of current mortgageloan rates. Freedom Mortgage offers some of the most extensive news, homeowner tips and personal finance information in the industry.
, financial planning
, real estate