Category Archives: Buying Tips

2022-23 Federal Budget – What We Know And How It Effects Real Estate

The 2022-23 Federal Budget has officially been handed down, so what does this all mean for Real Estate? Within the budget there were a few different strategies aimed at assisting the housing industry, read on to find out more… 


National Housing Accord

Housing supply has been one of the focuses with the Federal Government setting a target to build one million affordable homes over a five year period which commences in 2024. This will be done through a new National Housing Accord, which has been seen as a good start to tackling the housing crisis but is definitely far from a solution. Under this accord both state and territory governments will be accountable for meeting these targets and changing land release and zoning of properties. 

Another item the accord is focusing on is 10,000 new affordable 7-star rated, which is the new standard raised from 5.5 stars,  green homes which will be funded through a new financing model through the accord. The Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) rates Australian homes out of 10 based on its energy efficiency, things that impact the rating are: Layout, Insulation, Design Features, Building Materials, Orientation and Aspect.

The breakdown

The Federal Government has also extended the exemption of home sale proceeds from asset testing which is especially important for pensioners looking to relocate without affecting their pensions. 


A few other mentions are the previously announced: Help to Buy equity scheme, First Home Guarentee Scheme, Regional First Home Support Scheme being actioned. All housing tax settings are safe (including negative gearing). The acceleration of the $10 Billion Housing Australia Future Fund. 

What the experts say

REIA President Hayden Groves highlighted the importance to remember that the recent budget won’t be an immediate fix to the housing and rental affordability issues. 


Mr Groves mentions “Since May, repayments on a $500,000 mortgage have increased by almost $700 each month, and household savings is forecast to slump below pre-pandemic levels,” 


“Constraints on housing supply, including a backlog of new builds from supply chain pressures, all mean affordability pressures for home buyers and renters are unfortunately likely to continue.” 


“affordable housing measures, whilst both necessary and welcome, will have no immediate impact on housing and rental affordability and availability woes for many Australians”. He concludes.


So we can definitely see a firm stance on housing supply and affordability with the 2022-23 Federal Budget.

The importance of conducting a pest inspection before purchasing a property

One of the biggest financial investments in life is to buy a house for yourself. Purchasing one is nothing less than one of the biggest decisions you make in your life. Any potential home buyer always has check list of their various requirements and important features that they look for in a home.

One of the most important procedures before buying a home is the pest inspection. It is always good to make sure the house that seems to be your dream home is not going to be one of the biggest mistakes of your life.

To ensure you are making the right decision before purchasing a home, a pre-purchase inspection is essential. It will also help provide you with having the upper hand in negotiating with the seller.

A pre-purchase pest inspection aids you in finding out if the property you are about to purchase has a pest problem even though it might not seem like it at first.

Everything You Need to Know About Pre-Purchase Building Pest Inspection

As the name suggests a pre-purchase building pest inspection is an inspection to check on the risk/status of a pest problem in the property you intend to purchase.

In most scenarios a building inspection is conducted that provides a potential home buyer with a building inspection report before investing in the property. This helps them know the status of the building as per noticeable visual damage caused by pests. The report will not include if there are pests present in the property that can cause severe damage.

A pest inspection on the other hand helps identify if there is an existence of pests in the property before the purchase. A pre-purchase pest inspection helps you avoid the extra expense of potential damage caused by pests after the purchase of the property and having to pay for pest control. It also provides the benefit of negotiating on the price with the seller giving you an upper hand in the deal with the reports.

Importance of a Pre-Purchase Pest Inspection

Here are 3 major reasons you should consider getting a pre-purchase building pest inspection done before you invest your finances into the property.

  1. It helps you know the pest problems or status of the property beforehand.
  2. The report can be useful to help you negotiate for a lower price for the property with the seller as you may have to get some repairs or pest control done after purchasing the property.
  3. You can seek professional help beforehand to inquire about the seriousness of the pest problem and the adverse effects of the same in the near future in case you purchase the property.
  4. A professional can also provide you with an approximate amount that you will need to invest to resolve the pest problem so you know exactly how much money you are investing on a whole.
  5. It helps avoid future regret that comes from purchasing a property without researching well enough to notice more than just visual damage.

Benefits of Conducting a Pre-Purchase Building Pest Inspection

  1. Awareness

Ignorance is not always bliss and it is important not to hasten an important decision of investing in a house. Just visiting the house will not help you ensure there is no critical damage in the house you are going to purchase.

Having a professional inspect the house for pests and pest problems is a wise decision before investing your hard earned wages into a house. It is good to be well informed about every detail of the property especially the status of pests before you proceed with purchasing it.

  1. Value assessment

Pre-purchase pest inspection plays an important role in assessing the true value of the property you intend to purchase. It helps you judge if you are being provided with the best deal for your money considering the status of the property.

Pest problem are not always resolved easily and can take a big bite out of your wallet. It is good to ensure that the property you are purchasing will not be resulting in a hole in your pocket even after the purchase.

If the property seems overpriced as compared to its pest inspection reports, negotiation of price with the seller is easier based on the reports.

  1. Unseen flaws

Only a professional/expert can easily help identify the unseen flaws of a property before purchasing it, as there is always more than meets the eye.

A pre-purchase building pest inspection can help locate these unseen flaws and bring them to the knowledge of potential buyers to provide them with the information required to know the true depth of the matter and how the pest problems can be resolved.

  1. Knowledge of the overall investment

A pre-purchase building pest inspection can help you negotiate with the seller if there are existent pest problems that make the deal seem overpriced.

Considering the fact that you will need to also invest in resolving the pest problems, it might help the seller provide you with a more reasonable and budget friendly price for the property you intend to buy.

  1. Aid in Negotiations

Pre-purchase pest inspection reports help to equip you with the knowledge of the true value of the property you are buying. They can aid in price negotiations will the seller to help you acquire a better deal.

  1. Safety of your loved ones

The safety of your loved ones is what matters most overall. In order to make sure you are purchasing a property that does not have any unseen structural damage due to pest infestations it is good to conduct a pre-purchase pest inspection.

A few reports might even help you change your mind about the property instead of regretting it in the near future after the purchase. This is good as not every potential home buyer might chose to repair the damage and buy the home some might prefer not to purchase a place with any possible pest problem at all.

  1. Confidence in your decision

Many a times, one might still be unsure about the investment in a house. A pre-purchase pest inspection helps you remain assured that you have made the right decision for you and your family.

Professional Requirement

One needs to make sure they are choosing the right person for the job of inspection of their property. Only a professional with the expertise of pest problems can help you know the true pest status of the property as only they will know what to look out for in a property.

It is always better to be sure of the judgement by hiring a professional instead of trying to conduct the inspection yourself when you lack the skills of a professional.

A professional can also help you with resolutions and the estimate cost on resolving the pest issue or guide you on whether the property is worth your money or not. He will also need to ensure that the report is formatted and the content is drafted in compliance with Australian standards.

What are the things to consider before hiring a pre-purchase inspector?

Make sure that the person you choose has adequate insurance cover so that in case of any accidental occurrences you are not burdened with the extra cost of their medical expense.

The said inspection professional having an insurance cover also reflects as one who is aware of the duties and hazards of his job. Do a check on his or her professional background so that you have some concrete points to back their credibility and expertise.

Pre-purchase building pest inspection can never go wrong or leave you with regret. It is a key procedure to go through before purchasing the property to ensure complete satisfaction of the investment of your money.

How long does it take to do a building inspection

Buying a home, old or new, or having one constructed for your family is both an exciting and a stressful time. It’s mostly exciting when you picture your family living comfortably and happily, and making wonderful memories, in your new home.

But before you start this amazing new chapter, you have to go through the experience of having the house inspected by a professional building inspector.

So, what is a building inspection?

A building inspection presupposes that the house might have structural problems and, of course, discovering and dealing with such problems is the last thing you’d want when your family is eager to move in.

At the same time, it’s something you should prioritise to make sure that your family’s new home is structurally safe and sound, or, if you’re having the house built, to make sure that your contractor is complying with the proper building standards.

Do I really need a building inspection?

You should remember that a building inspection, no matter how stressful it might get, is a process that you should not rush. In fact, you should make sure, and even demand if necessary, that the building inspector you hired or hired by your realtor does a thorough and accurate job.

This means that you should also expect the worst. It is best, however, to identify any and all problems and potential problems so they can be dealt with immediately and properly. As you should already be aware, some building problems, when left unresolved/unrepaired could cost you more money in the long run and put your family at risk.

What types of building inspection services are there?

These are some of the most common types of building inspection services:

  1. Building Inspections
  2. Timber Pest Inspections
  3. New Home Stage Inspections
  4. Defect Inspections

One of the most common questions asked by home buyers is how long a building inspection usually takes. Depending on the size of the house and the issues that an inspector might find, the whole process can take between 90 minutes and two hours, or even longer.

What features will a building inspector assess?

Generally, a building inspector ensures that a house’s structural safety, accessibility, energy efficiency, and (in the case of a house under construction) adherence to the original building plans. The qualifications of your building inspector will determine exactly what the building inspection will cover. These are the common property features and issues that a qualified building inspector usually has on his checklist:

  • Structure
  • Foundations
  • Ceilings, walls, and retaining walls
  • Floors
  • Guttering
  • Eaves
  • Fencing
  • Electrical
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
  • Plumbing and drainage
  • Hot water system
  • Moisture problems
  • Asbestos
  • Pest problems
  • Maintenance issues


What should I do before a building inspection?

Prior to the building inspection, do your research (on the property and the location’s history) and write down the important questions that you might want to ask the inspector, as well as any concerns you might have.

Especially if you’re buying a house, knowing its condition is going to be an important factor in whether or not the price is right and in determining if a house is the right one for your family. You wouldn’t want your “dream house” to turn into a nightmare later on when hidden problems suddenly come out of the woodwork (pun intended) after you have moved in.

About the Author:

Sofia Colston works at River City Conveyancing in Brisbane, specialising in commercial and residential conveyancing.

Looking to buy, but unsure of the process? We’d love to help! Give us a call on 08 6254 6333 and we’d be happy to step out the process for you.

The Ultimate Checklist for Evaluating A House

GUEST BLOG | Congratulations on your decision to buy a house! We know that reaching this milestone takes a lot of effort and determination, which is why you should be proud of yourself. We also know that for so many people, especially those who are new to real estate, the prospect of buying a house can be quite terrifying. Nobody wants to buy a money pit, which is why we’ve put together this ultimate checklist for evaluating a house.

Before we begin, we must mention that even though this list is quite comprehensive, you must not rely on it alone when you’re evaluating a house. You will need a much more thorough inspection, which is why we highly recommend you hire a house inspector. Their training, expertise, and experience will prove vital to your purchase.

Begin with Your Must Haves

Everyone has a list of must haves for their future home, so begin with that. Maybe you simply can’t live without a skylight? Or a yard for your beloved lab! Make a list of 5-10 must haves and use it as your main guide.

Environmental Hazards

There are four types of environmental hazards: chemical, physical, biological, and psychological. Here is what you will need to take into account when evaluating a house.

Chemical hazards:

  • Arsenic – a poisonous element which can be found in wallpaper, paint, and various pesticides
  • Asbestos – asbestos coating can be present in the water heating, and on pipes.
  • Heavy metals
  • Herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides – are there any on the property
  • Lead – under federal law, all houses offered for sale should be free of lead-based paint, but unfortunately, it is very common in older buildings.
  • Radon –a radioactive gas that naturally occurs in the environment and tends to accumulate in buildings. It is highly carcinogenic.

Physical hazards:

  • Drought
  • Earthquake
  • Floods
  • Pollution
  • Noise pollution

Biological hazards:

  • Air ventilation – poor indoor air quality has been linked to a condition called sick building syndrome, which includes symptoms such as headache, eye and throat irritation, fatigue, and nausea.
  • Mold and mildew

Psychological hazards:

  • Stress – heavy traffic and sound pollution among some of the things that can cause stress.
  • Violence – is the house located in a violent neighborhood?


  • Accessibility – work, entertainment, shopping, airport, etc.
  • Schools

Exterior of the House

  • Automatic doors – do they work?
  • Drain pipes and gutters – any leaks? Does the water go away from or towards the house?
  • Driveway – check for cracks. Ask about age.
  • Exterior siding
  • Fence, patio – check their condition.
  • Garage
  • Landscape – are there trees on the property? Are they healthy? Are they too close to the house?
  • Lot lines – compare the actual lot lines with the ones in the house papers
  • Roof – inspect thoroughly. Are the shingles curling up?
  • Windows – single or double pane?
  • Yard – check its condition. Are there ants? Weeds? Do you like the size of it?

Interior of the House

  • Carpet/flooring – does it need refinishing or replacing?
  • Electrical sockets – are they grounded? When where they last replaced? Are they enough?
  • Lighting – is there enough natural light in the house? Is there good overhead lighting?
  • Mystery switches – do you flip and switch and it does nothing? Ask about that.
  • Paint – do the walls need a fresh coat of paint?
  • Walls – check for water damage, cracks, tap on them.
  • Windows – do they open easily? Are they insulated?


  • Appliances – are the heating, water heater, AC, etc. in working condition?
  • Beams – thoroughly check condition of visible beams
  • Cracks – pay extra attention to the cracks in the basement, they are a sign of shifting foundation which can lead to a plethora of issues, from flooding to windows not fitting properly.
  • Electrical system – fuses or circuit breakers?
  • Light – is there any natural light?
  • Water damage – check for signs of water damage on the walls and ceiling.


  • General condition
  • Insulation – ask about insulation materials.
  • Mold and mildew – while mold can be hidden in the house, the attic is where it will really be noticeable.
  • Storage – can the attic be used for storage?
  • Ventilation
  • Vermin – check signs of vermin in the attic, as well as throughout the house.
  • Water damage – has the roof had any leaks? Has it ever needed repairing?


  • Bathtub – stained, chipped, new, old, big enough?
  • Color palette – will you want to repaint?
  • Drains – are they clogged?
  • Faucets
  • Fixtures
  • Mold and mildew
  • Plumbing – are the pipes old? Do they make any creaky sounds? Does the water come out rusty in the beginning?
  • Shower – separate from the bathtub, shower curtain or glass door.
  • Toilet – check the way it flushes. Does flushing the toilet affect the temperature of the shower and sink water?
  • Wall tiles – chipped, old-fashioned?
  • Water – is it hard water?
  • Water pressure – check it in the bathroom, as well as the kitchen.


  • Appliances – Check the fridge, microwave, dishwasher, oven, blender, etc. Are they included in the price of the house? Are they enough for you? Are they old? Still working? Do they need to be replaced?
  • Countertops – stained, chipped, moldy, cut, scratched?
  • Faucets – any dripping?
  • Gas pipes – how old are they? Does the kitchen have a pilot light or ignition starter?
  • Sink – chipped, dented, stained?
  • Storage – does the kitchen have enough storage for you?


Naturally, you are free to customize this checklist to your own liking! If there is anything you would like us to add to the list, feel free to drop us a line in the comment section below!

Buy Your Home Without Losing Your Partner

Buying a home is a particularly stressful event, especially for couples. Disagreements can damage your relationship, however, planning and open communication can prevent problems.

In fact, there’s every reason to be optimistic. A 2013 homebuying study from Coldwell Banker Real Estate showed that 80 percent of married Americans who bought a home together believed that it strengthened their marriages more than any other purchase. Here are the steps you should take before committing to a mortgage with your partner.

Change Your Perspective

The excitement of open house events and home tours should not crowd out the significance of the investment you are making. Investopedia recommends you look at your house as a life goal rather than as a nice place to live. Many mortgages offer 30-year terms. Are you prepared to commit to three decades of ownership, maintenance and change?

Once you understand this commitment, it’s time to talk with your spouse. The first discussion should cover the most important aspect of buying a home: the budget.

Talking About The Budget

Open communication about finances can help support your relationship through this process. There are several topics you should cover:

●    Assess your combined income. What type of mortgage payment can you comfortably afford? How reliable are your income sources? How will you pay the mortgage if you lose your job?
●    How much can you afford for a deposit? If you don’t have enough to cover your desired price range, you may need to hold off to build up your budget.
●    What are your credit scores? These will indicate how much of a mortgage you can afford – or if you can afford one at all. They need to be fairly high to get quality loan approval.
●    Fixer-upper options. Are you buying a cheaper home that you’ll renovate? Plan for the timing of the renovations and how much you’ll invest.
●    Additional budget. Don’t forget to factor in the extras: property taxes, closing costs, moving costs, homeowner association fees, etc. These can inflate your home buying costs more than you might expect.

Needs and Wants In Your New Home

Once you’ve settled on a doable budget, the next step is to consider what you want for your new home. Both of you should sit down with a list of “must haves” and “wants.”

The first topic to discuss is location. You should keep in mind objectives like commute time to work and activities, area housing prices, local property taxes and quality of school district if you have or are planning on having children.

Make sure your “must haves” are really a requirement. For example, a backyard could be a must-have but a swimming pool should be optional. Remember that unimportant but pricey upgrades can dramatically inflate house prices.

For Unmarried Couples

If you are an unmarried couple purchasing a home, you need to take extra precautions even if you are planning to marry. Time Magazine recommends putting your agreement in writing beyond your home buying contracts. These agreements can cover an issue like what to do if one party can no longer cover their costs.

You must also make these decisions:

●    Who will be on the title and the loan? Credit scores might impact this decision.
●    What will you do if you split up? It’s an unpleasant discussion but will save you grief in the event this happens.
●    What settlement agent will you use? An independent settlement agent is a better choice than one that you or your partner already retains.

Careful planning and open discussion will protect your relationship during this process. This article from RIS Media has 10 more ways to that couples can protect their relationship when buying a home.

Photo credit by Unsplash

Written by: Natalie Jones.

Looking for your dream home together? Check out our currently available listings to see if we have it!

Is That Included? What Stays And What Goes When You Buy A Property

Is everything you saw when you inspected the property included once you take possession?

Clearly not – some of the items in the property belong to the vendor, so let’s sort the hay from chaff when it comes to what stays and what goes.

There is a general legal principle that when you buy a property you get transfer of a title and that gives you a right to the land and anything affixed to it.

Obviously this includes a dwelling and this extends to anything that is affixed to the dwelling.

A simple way of looking at it is imagining you took the house and tipped it upside down. Whatever falls out doesn’t stay with the house when you take possession.

In legal terms there are generally two classes of items in a property: goods or chattels and fixtures or fittings.

Fixtures (the bit that doesn’t fall out when you tip it upside down) are part of the property and are sold with the property.

On the other hands goods are movable items which the vendor can take with them at settlement.

But it’s not always this cut and dry.

Say, the vendor bought a new dishwasher only a few months ago; it looks built in, but there really aren’t any screws holding it in place. Does it stay or does it go?

That’s why when you buy (or sell) a property it’s important to complete the section of the contract of sale concerning goods.

This is where you list items which as either staying or going.

Often this section will say the sale includes “all fixed floor covering, light fittings and window furnishing, excluding the garden shed in the back yard”.

If there is any doubt about an item ask the selling agent and ensure it is specified in the contract, as it is the different expectations between the buyer and seller that can cause disputes.

With regards to the dishwasher example, in general if the dishwasher is free standing it is a good, but if it’s mounted under a bench it’s a fixture and stays.

Using Your Home’s Equity To Purchase Your Next One

Equity is your borrowing power, the amount of money you have in your home or investment property that you can use to purchase further properties.

This is the tried-and-true formula of property investing across Australia; tapping into dormant equity.

Technically speaking, it is the difference between the market value of your property and the size of your current loan. The bigger the gap, the greater the equity.

Over time, as capital growth pushes the value of housing up and you steadily pay off your loan, the amount you owe compared to the value of the property will widen and your equity grows.

How to calculate your borrowable equity

Calculating how much money you can borrow is a relatively simple task.

Just say you own a home that is worth $600,000 and you have a $300,000 mortgage on it.

That means you have $300,000 in equity, right?

Well yes, but now we need to make a distinction between equity and usable (borrowable) equity.

Most banks will cap their lending at 80 per cent of the property’s value, although you can go higher if you don’t mind incurring lender’s mortgage insurance.

Assuming you stick to the 80 per cent ceiling, let’s do the sums to work out how much you can borrow:

Your home’s value x 0.80% = $480,000

Your debt is $300,000, so subtract this from the amount the bank will lend up to $480,000 and you are left with $180,000.

This means you have $180,000 in usable equity.

What can you do with this equity?

Some people draw down this equity by increasing their home loan and use it to fund their home renovation

Others use it to fund that expensive European holiday they’ve always been dreaming about.

And many smart Australians have taken an equity release loan and used this as the deposit to buy an investment property to help secure their financial future.

But please be careful!

If you’re going to draw down your equity done just increase your existing home loan otherwise the interest on the loan may not be tax deductible.

It’s important to structure your investment loan correctly as a separate loan against you home rather than an extension of your home loan.

If done correctly the interest on this loan will be tax deductible, even though the security for the loan is your home, because the purpose of this loan is for investment and income producing purposes.

Keep informed with our Finance and Mortgage related blogs

5 Things To Look For At A Home Open

The open for inspection can be a critical time for buyers, allowing you to chat to the real estate agent, turn on the taps to check for water pressure, open and close doors, and mentally move the furniture in to see if it fits.

It often helps if you approach a property inspection with a very clear set of questions in mind.

So what should you be on the lookout for?

1. Noise

There are a handful of obvious noise problems to consider such as if the home is on a main road or smack bang next to a railway station.

But some noises only become evident after you have moved in, by which stage it is too late.

Noisy neighbours, or a noisy party street, can dramatically impact on your home life.

You can listen for noise during the open for inspection, but this is really only a short period of time.

Take a drive past the property on a Friday or Saturday night for a true feel of the neighbourhood.

2. Location

Not only is it important to buy into a good location (ideally a quiet, tree-lined street within walking distance of public transport and shops) but you need to also buy the right house in the right street.

Homes in which the courtyard or back garden face north are prized because they receive sunlight all day long.

But don’t be fooled by those agents who advertise homes as “north-facing”.

This is not always a good thing, as it means the back garden faces south.

It’s also worth noting that homes situated in streets with similar style homes tend to do better.

If you can buy into a street renowned for its single-fronted Victorian cottages, then that home is likely to enjoy greater capital growth than those homes situated in streets with no clear architectural theme.

3. Structural problems

Water damage, pest infestations, electrical and plumbing problems and a poor roof are among the most common of structural housing flaws.

The last thing you want to do is to buy a home only to move in and discover it needs re-stumping or there is an active termite infestation.

There are some ways of assessing whether the home is afflicted with any of these issues.

Doors and windows that do not open and close properly are often signs of a home that has structural problems, and it isn’t difficult to see the signs of rising damp on the exterior of the house.

But the naked eye will only get you so far and I cannot recommend enough hiring a reputable pest and building inspector to write up a report on the condition of the home.

Don’t be surprised if it has some flaws.

At least you will know what you are dealing with and you can factor those costs into your sale offer.

4. Points of difference

Try to track down a home that offers something a bit different.

Perhaps it is a view that cannot be built out or an architectural flourish that enhances the attractiveness of the home.

Space is a premium in the inner city so if the property you are interested in has a two-car garage then that is a bonus.

Don’t underestimate the selling power of solar panels either.

If you buy a home where solar has been installed then you get to reap the benefits of much lower energy bills without the installation costs.

While a fireplace is a warm and welcoming feature in many period homes, you should also look for other methods of heating and cooling.

5. Privacy

When you are inspecting a property, it is often difficult to tell exactly what it will be like to live in it, day to day.

And if there is one thing we all value deeply in our homes, it’s a bit of privacy.

When inspecting a potential buy, it is important to ask yourself how private the space is.

Are you overlooked by a giant block of apartments?

You may tell yourself this does not matter but that may change once you move in and want to spend hours relaxing in your backyard.

Has the zoning in the area changed recently to allow for higher-density apartments?

If so, there is a chance the house next door to you could be turned into an apartment block that not only casts a shadow but also takes away your sense of privacy.

It won’t do much for the value of the house either!

If it is an apartment you are buying make sure there is at least some kind of private (not communal) outdoor space, even if it’s a small courtyard in need of some decent gardening.

If you are buying a townhouse of terrace with shared walls it is worth assessing if you are likely to hear your neighbours excessively.

These considerations are by no means comprehensive, but are a good way of framing your thinking when you are walking through your next potential purchase.

If you are looking for a property to buy, check out what we have For Sale

Planning on Building? Consider These Costs

Planning on building? First consider these costs

Many first-time builders consider the land purchase price and construction costs, and even if you need to keep paying rent whilst building, but there are many other financial aspects to consider. These can include:

  • Council requirements.
  • Unexpected building and site works costs.
  • Taxes and bank fees.

Let’s take a look at the costs involved in a bit more details so that you can account for them adequately in your building plans and not get caught short!

Council requirements
Local councils require landowners to abide by different requirements and regulations, depending on the locale and the type of land in the area. For example, some councils will request a landowner to pay for and arrange a storm water assessment report due to the nature of the soil in the locality before they build.

Other council requirements that may induce a cost include:

  • Council contributions – fees to enhance public spaces and community infrastructure.
  • Traffic management – if realigning the sewer or if building very close to a set of traffic lights.
  • Council tree requirements – including if trees are near to powerlines, etc.
  • Geotechnical reports – costs pertaining to specialists who assess the land before some councils will allow building.

There could also be costs to meet building compliance standards for specific areas, including areas near airports or those prone to bushfires, which also needs to be considered.

Unexpected building and site works costs
Those looking to build a home should also consider civil works and engineering costs to prepare the block of land. These can include but are not limited to:

  • Retaining walls.
  • Compacting.
  • Sewer extensions and realignments.
  • Asbestos removal – post demolition.
  • Soil analysis.
  • Temporary fencing.
  • Unexpected design variations.
  • Build inclusions and upgrades.
  • Technological changes – for example, adding NBN connection where it does not originally exist on the land.
  • Delay costs – not just related to construction delays, but delays associated with ‘red tape’, including finance and council requirements. These factors may impede on your build time, costing you additional and unexpected amounts of money.

A builder or building consultant would be able to advise you as to what costs you can expect to pay when developing a block of land. A buyer needs to factor in these costs when assessing the profitability of a block they are interested in.

Taxes and bank fees
In addition to the actual purchase price of a block of land, those looking to buy should consider the additional costs involved as they can easily get out of hand. These can include:

  • GST and capital gains tax if you plan to sell after you build.
  • Bank charges.
  • Loan establishment fees.
  • Drawdown fees.
  • Interest payments on your loan while you build.

By factoring in these unexpected costs you can ensure your budget and expectations match, and further pave a smooth path to successfully buying and building on a block of land. Consider speaking to a buyer’s agent who is well versed in development sites in order to reduce your risk, avoid mistakes and achieve a positive outcome with as little stress as possible.

Anyone can buy a property to develop, but it’s easy to make mistakes throughout the process. An experienced buyer’s agent can not only identify suitable sites, but also build contingencies and safeguards into the contract to double check and investigate all potential development issues.

Expert buyer’s agents will also keep up-to-date with the latest building costs, and how these fluctuate with market demand and supply, as well as changing fees and charges.

If you are looking for land to build on, call us on 08 6254 6333 or, check out what we have available here.

Important First Homebuyer Lessons to Teach Your Children

Important first homebuyer lessons to teach your children

If 2018 is the year for your kids to hop onto the property ladder, first take a look at these ten valuable lessons you can teach your children to get them off on the right foot.

1. Be realistic as to what you can afford

Many young people have grand ambitions when it comes to their first house, far above what they can (and should) borrow to purchase.

Help your child by teaching them how to budget effectively, so they know exactly what they can afford.

Their budget should include all monthly expenses, including insurances, entertainment and of course, things like maintenance costs and rates that come with the responsibility of homeownership.

Once they have a realistic handle on their expenses, this can be subtracted from their income, leaving them with the amount they can afford to outlay on a monthly mortgage repayment.

The trick is then to only shop within your budget and avoid the temptation of looking at properties that are simply unattainable at this stage.

2. Make sure you capture all the expenses

Following on from the above point; when it comes to creating a realistic budget, you have to consider the additional costs that come with owning a home of your own.

First there are the purchasing costs, such as legal and mortgage fees, as well as furniture and whitegoods. Not to mention rates, insurances, repairs and maintenance that you don’t have to worry about when you live with mum and dad or rent from your landlord.

And if your first home is in an apartment complex, there will be annual strata fees payable.

It all adds up so make sure your child is aware of these hidden extras.

3. Get pre-approved

Before they start pounding the pavements, it’s important that first homebuyers find out exactly what type of mortgage the bank is likely to approve.

Knowing how much you have to spend means avoiding disappointment and importantly, being prepared when the right property presents itself.

This is particularly critical if your child wants to purchase in an area where auctions are the preferred method of treaty, such as in most inner suburbs of our major capital cities.

It also makes putting in an offer a smoother process, once you find the ideal property.

4. Don’t overcommit

While our first home might not be the palatial residence we dream of one day owning, it is the first step up the property ladder that can have a significant life long impact on the rest of your child’s journey.

It’s great to have a wish list, but it is important that your children understand compromises will have to be made if they are to remain in the realms of financial reality and not overcommit from the very beginning.

Remember, most of us will upgrade every seven to ten years, so remind them that this is not necessarily going to be their forever home.

5. Look past the little flaws

If your child were to purchase something that needs a little cosmetic work, they can add value and increase their equity, putting them in good stead to continue climbing onwards and upwards and potentially invest in further properties for their future retirement fund.

This requires a bit of vision and a willingness to do some manual labour, but is a worthwhile strategy for first homebuyers to adopt.

Aside from the economic gains to be made in acquiring a fixer upper, there’s also less chance they will pay a premium for the high spec finish achieved by the previous vendors.

You’re far better off paying less at point of purchase and having to put in some elbow grease, than paying for someone else’s hard work.

6. Agree on your compromises

Some things are non-negotiable when it comes to shopping for a first home.

What those specifics are will depend on the stage of life your child is at and their immediate plans for the future.

If they have recently gotten married and are planning on starting a family, a one-bedroom apartment is obviously not ideal.

Make sure they have a clear distinction between their ‘must-haves’ and those features that are more cosmetic than practical.

7. Future-proof as much as possible

When it comes to buying their first home specifically, future planning should include not only their personal needs and desires, but also what the market they are buying into will look like in ten years time when they might be thinking of moving on and selling, or using the equity in their home to purchase another property.

Does that particular property in that particular location represent a good long-term investment, as well as a cozy first home?

This will no doubt require some legwork and research into things like local school zones, future zoning council changes or planning policies from local and state government that might change the aesthetics or value of the property.

8. Suss it out before signing

It’s important that your child inspects the property carefully and more than once to really assess its suitability.

This means visiting during the day, as well as at nights and on weekends when different factors might impact the noise levels and general environment.

They want to see the home in different lights and take in the aspect of different rooms to get a better idea as to how much it will cost to heat and cool, which can really impact the affordability and livability of a property.

Advise them to talk to neighbours if possible and if the home is tenanted, to the current residents to get their take on living in the premises.

9. Get it checked out

It’s advisable that first homebuyers (or any purchaser for that matter) obtain building and pest inspections from properly qualified professionals.

If the previous owners have made any improvements or extensions, you need to qualify that the correct permits were in place for the completed works.

10. Don’t be scared to negotiate or walk away

Teach your child the necessary skills to negotiate effectively and importantly, give them the confidence to know when to walk away from a deal that’s simply not going to tick all of their necessary boxes.


Are you thinking about buying your first home? We can help! With experienced agents, great properties available, and a wealth of knowledge to guide you through the process, make Naked Edge Real Estate your first call.
View our currently available listings here.