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Tips and Traps

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  1. Current Investment Property Market Advice

Sydneysiders who are looking to start or expand their property portfolio should look towards areas such as:

▪ Chippendale
▪ Darlington
▪ Ultimo
▪ Greenwich

Each of these areas are experiencing vacancy rates of approximately only 1.4%, making them the ideal location for your next investment property.
Chippendale, Darlington and Ultimo.

The attractiveness of Chippendale, Darlington and Ultimo thrive off their proximity to the Sydney CBD and the high demand for rental properties from international students from the University of Technology, University of Sydney and University of New South Wales.


The attractiveness of Greenwich also comes from its proximity to the Sydney CBD, but also from its ease of access to public transportation and proximity to the retail precincts of Crows Nest, North Sydney and Chatswood. Additionally, the high elevation of Greenwich provides the ability to purchase properties with excellent views.
Before purchasing your next investment property be sure to contact AVG Valuers on (02) 9955 4449 to organise a confirmation of your potential rental value and investment return estimates.

2. The Difference between an Appraisal and a Valuation

An appraisal is conducted by a real estate agent through the use of their local market knowledge to arrive at a sales figure the property should be placed on the market at. However, a valuation is conducted by a qualified property valuer for a variety of purposes such as obtaining finance from a lending institution, progress draws, rental review, land acquisition and family law. A valuation will take into consideration factors that an appraisal may not, such as location/aspect, building structure and condition, building/structural faults, features of the home and local council zoning.
If you do require the best indication of price by an experienced and certified valuer, engage the services of AVG Valuers today by calling us on (02) 9955 4449 to arrange a free quote.

3. Common Traps and Pitfalls when Buying and Selling Real Estate

The most common traps and pitfalls for buyers and sellers are:

▪ Structural defects or pest infestations (termites)
▪ Rising damp
▪ Flooding issues and flight paths
▪ Easements on the land (sewer lines, power lines etc)
▪ Encroachments on the land (sheds, eaves, fences etc)
▪ Covenants and Caveats on title (these are registered interests on title which cannot be removed without legal action)

4. Due Diligence Guide to Buying and Selling Property:

By following our 6 Point checklist when buying or selling real estate you will minimise the chances of hidden surprises or getting caught out in a real estate transaction:

▪ Identify what you would like from a home and where you would like to live
▪ Set out a clear budget and put it into a written form
▪ Seek a pre-approval from your bank to ensure you know how much you can borrow
▪ Look religiously for at least 6 weeks by both internet searches and physical inspection
▪ Ensure your solicitor or conveyancer checks the contract and advises you of any special conditions, orders or requisitions before making an offer
▪ If making an offer insist on your cooling off period. Do not waive your cooling off period without seeking legal advice

5. The 8 Biggest Mistakes when Buying Property

1. Prioritising the kitchen

The kitchen is generally the most-prioritised item on people’s home shopping list – but kitchens can be renovated, updated or changed. What can’t be, are things like location, sunlight and parking, so prioritise those instead.

2. Being seduced by finishes

The right ‘look’ can increase the sale price of a property dramatically, but what’s more important are the fixed characteristics of a home (like a southerly aspect, or positioning on a noisy, busy road).

3. Forgoing inspection reports

Inspection reports (such as a strata report, building report, valuation report, pest report and/or electrical safety report) cost between $100–$300 each – paltry change when you think about the tens of thousands they can save. Don’t forgo them.

4. DIY conveyancing

The Office of Fair Trading advises against DIY conveyancing kits. The mistakes you could make are not worth considering!

5. Forgetting to think ahead

Don’t forget to consider how easy (or hard) it will be to sell your new home when you want to move on. For example, is the property near a good school? This is a major selling point for many people, so it is important even if you don’t have kids.

6. Underestimating renovation costs

People have a tendency to underestimate renovating costs – especially when they’re emotionally invested in a property. Do your research, get a realistic ballpark figure, and bear in mind that there are always extra ‘surprises’ when you renovate.

7. Only viewing the property once

Different times of the day can dramatically change the attractiveness of a property. The supermarket underneath your ‘dream’ apartment, for example, may have beeping trucks reversing into the loading dock at 6am. Visit and observe at different times of the day.

8. Buying the most expensive property in the street

The old adage rings true – ‘buy the worst property in the best street’. You can always update, renovate or rebuild a house – but you can’t change a location!

6. How to Become a Suburb Expert

In Australia right now, there’s a lot of ‘out of area’ buying going on. What I mean is, people are buying property in areas away from where they live and work for retirement, a seachange or investment.

On the Gold Coast, 1 agent estimates that 60 per cent of its buyers are from outside the area. With Wentworth Falls higher at 75 per cent. Many regional centres along the East Coast are attracting buyers from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

When you plan to buy outside the area you know or live in, it’s imperative you do your research. Many people buying for retirement or a seachange buy in places they have visited previously on holidays. But investors aren’t buying for lifestyle, they’re buying for returns and many are looking outside our capital cities right now. So, if you’re going to buy ‘out of area’ for retirement, a seachange or investment, your first task is to become a suburb expert.

The most obvious and important step is to spend time in the area you’re considering buying into. Attend some opens and pick two or three preferred suburbs and the type of property that fits your wish list and budget. Then you need to develop an extensive knowledge of recent sales and a keen sense of value. Because if you’re not a suburb expert on property values, you could easily make an expensive mistake.

After a few weeks of looking, you’ll be able to make an informed assessment of what a property is worth. You’ll know what features are fairly standard in the properties in your price range, and how much extras (such as a garage, extra bedroom or view) are likely to add to the price. You’ll know how much demand there is and what the most recent prices are. In short, you’ll know a good buy when you see it.

But there’s more to becoming a suburb expert than simply learning about property prices. You have to get a feel for the area and work out whether it’s a ‘blue chip’ kind of neighbourhood.

Here are a few more ideas on how to become a suburb expert:

1 Talk to local residents. They’re probably well-versed in the joys and challenges of living in the suburb and have no reason to gild the lily
2 Talk to real estate agents. Find out who the best agents are and give them a call. Then call their property managers to find out about average rental values and vacancy rates
3 Local councils are also useful when researching a suburb. They can tell you about any new infrastructure being planned or any major issues in the area
4 Pop into a couple of local shops and talk to the business owners. Find out whether there’s a good local economy in the town
5 Check out the transport. Is it easy for residents to get to the town centre by car or public transport? Jump on the bus and see how long it takes compared to what it says on the timetable!
6 Check out the noise factor. Make note of any late night businesses and their closing times. Call the local police station and ask if there are any noise problems
7 Hire a local property valuer to do an independent valuation of the property for you so you get a fair and unbiased opinion of value.