Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rental Yield

How to Increase Your Rental Yield

Rents are definitely on the rise but increasing the rent is not the only way to increase your yield. You can also decrease your expenses and decrease the length of your vacancies.

Here are seven tips:

  1. Increase the rent. This is the primary income producer but know your market.
  2. Decrease the rent. This applies to those who are still suffering vacancies. You can go through prolonged vacancy periods when your rent is set too high that chew up all your profits.
  3. Prepare a depreciation schedule. The tax office offers this deduction. So why not take advantage of it? Many investors don't realise that depreciation is available on older buildings too - not just brand new apartment blocks.
  4. Consider pets. Half the Australian population has pets. So you can broaden your market by allowing your tenants to have pets.
  5. Make your property more attractive. The time to do this is when you have a vacancy. This attracts tenants and allows you to increase the rent.
  6. Include air-conditioning. Properties with this feature rent for an extra $10-15.00 a week over those without it. Not only will you be able to claim depreciation on it, but you will also attract a wider range of tenants lessening any chances of a vacancy.
  7. Keep the property looking smart. It is recommended every 5 years to give your property a good overhaul and every 10 years a full refurbishment. This keeps the tenants happy and minimises vacancies.

If you have a real estate need or question feel free to phone me Noel Thompson Principal Professionals Logan Lifestyles on 0418 517 525 or call into our friendly office at Waterford for further assistance.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Investment Properties

Investment Properties Still Popular

Australians still love their property and in uncertain times in the stock market investments that you can touch and feel are getting increasing attention from investors.

Plus there are still plenty of areas where demand continues to be strong despite the higher interest rates and Logan is certainly one of them.

"Property as an investment class is always popular and Australian home ownership remains a fundamental part of the Australian psyche", comments Real Estate Institute of Australia president Noel Dyett.

Property fundamentals never change, too "what matters most is position, position, position. None of the fundamentals change regardless of whether interest rates are going up or down or bumping along" Dyett adds.

To understand position you need to look at transport, community amenities and schools.

"climate, convenience and lifestyle are the overriding factors driving property hot spots" according the Bernard Salt, KPMG partner. "But if you can add another factor - like infrastructure - it will give a burst of appeal because if the lifestyle equation of the town changes overnight it can have a rapid effect on property values".

Record migration levels, rental property short shortages and a generation of baby boomer's looking to re-locate are some of the forces behind price buoyancy.

One thing to remember in investing, make sure you can service you debt. There maybe a dearth of rental properties but you can't keep increasing rent forever to meet higher interest rate costs.

If you are interested in viewing investment properties or have and investment query feel free to phone me Noel Thompson Principal Professionals Logan Lifestyles on 04185 517 525 or call into our friendly offices at Browns Plains or Waterford for immediate assistance.

Purchasing a Home Extra Costs

Budget for Extra Costs When Purchasing a Home

When purchasing a home be sure to account for all the costs beyond the purchase price itself.


  • Stamp duty, this is a compulsory tax charged on any exchange of property at the time of purchase

  • Legal fees, generally a conveyancing firm or solicitor will need to be hired to analyse and oversee all documents. A title search is always needed to assure outright ownership and that there are no legal encumbrance's.

  • Building and pest inspections, necessary inspections to identify all potential defects in the buildings as well as in the environment and to look for termites and other pests.

  • Council and water rates.

  • Mortgage insurance, this may or may not be applicable depending on the funding source and their requirements.

  • Home and contents insurance expenses generally you will want to be fully covered for fire, damages and theft.

  • Moving expenses this covers the removal fees.

  • Disconnection and re-connection of utility services this includes telephone, electricity, gas and internet connections.

  • Strata levies when moving into a strata unit these are quarterly assessments for property maintenance and leisure services.

There are concessions available for First Home Buyers on some of the above. A $14,000 grant is offered through the State Government to counter the effects of the GST on home purchases. Plus there are concessions for stamp duty.

If you have a real estate question or need phone me Noel Thompson Principal Professionals Logan Lifestyles on 04185 517 525 or call into our friendly offices at Browns Plains & Waterford for immediate assistance.

First Home Saver Case Studies

Here are two examples given by the Federal Government of how a First Home Saver Account actually works.

1. A couple Belinda and Josh Smith each open up an individual First Home saver Account when the scheme opens on 1 October 2008.

Both of them earn an identical wage of $61,000 so they decide to put aside 10% of their individual salaries into their respective accounts. Each one then receives a 17% government contribution on the first $5,000 of their contributions made to their accounts each year.

After 5 years Belinda and Josh will together have saved a deposit of approximately $88,500 to use towards the purchase of their first home.

If they had instead decided to for go the government plan and get a term deposit with the same 7% earnings rate and the same yearly contributions their total deposit for the house after 5 years would be about $75,900.

This means that the First Home Saver account would have earned Belinda and Josh an extra $12,600 over 5 years because of the extra contributions of the Government.

2. In a second case study 19 year old Ria saved $1,000 per year for 4 years while attending university. She then started working and contributed $5,000 per annum for the next 6 years.

With the First Home Saver Account she would have accumulated a home deposit of $50,400 by the age of 29.

If you have a real estate need or question fee free to phone me Noel Thompson Principal Professionals Logan Lifestyles on 0418 517 525 or call into our friendly office at Browns Plains or Waterford for further assistance.

How to prepare for a Storm

A storm is on its way. What can you do?
  • The first thing is to clean your gutters and downpipes of any debris. This is because run-off from rain can back up under the eaves and into your ceiling causing structural damage.

  • If safe and you have permission from your local council you should trim any overhanging or dangerous limbs from trees that are growing around your property. Large tree limbs can cause major damage to buildings if they fall and can also block access to your property, close roads and damage power lines.

  • If a power line is involved you can also seek assistance from your electricity supplier.

  • The next thing is to clean up the yard of any loose items as well as those on your balcony. This prevents things like deck chairs from becoming dangerous missiles in high winds. Other items of concern include light-weight garden furniture toys and even pet accessories.

  • Another major concern is securing the material on your roof. Make sure it’s in good condition so water will be prevented from leaking inside.

  • And don’t forget to park your car under secure cover and away from trees. Of course you’ll also want to make sure any children and pets are indoors.

  • Finally keep a list of emergency numbers on your fridge or in a handy place. These will be very handy should any emergency arise.

Have a real estate question or need? Feel free to phone me Noel Thompson Principal Logan Lifestyles on 0418 517 525 or to call into our friendly offices at Browns Plains or Waterford for immediate assistance