Viewing by month: March 2010

How to make moving a positive experience for your kids

Working in the real estate industry, I often get friends coming to me with questions about moving house and moving with kids seems to come up quite a bit. 

Moving can often be very traumatic for children as it involves saying goodbye to friends and familiar surroundings.  Make sure you help your kids say a proper farewell to both your home and the local community you are leaving, but also plan some fun things to do as soon as you get to your new house.   When my own family moved for the first time, I took my youngest daughter down to our local corner shop for ice-cream and to say goodbye to the lovely couple who ran the store.  After the move, we ventured out to find a new ice-cream shop and it really helped my daughter to understand that our new neighbourhood could be fun too! Just say taking your kids for icecream and to the local park etc. are great ways to help kids acustomise to their new surroundings.   

Maintaining normalcy is key in these situations.  Re-establishing family routines such as bedtimes and mealtimes as soon as you can says to your children “we’re the same family, just in a different (not to mention better!) house!  When unpacking, it is important to focus on the ‘high-use’ rooms such as the kitchen, bathroom(s) and family room to establish some normalcy in your new home.  A high priority should also be setting up your children’s bedrooms.  Allow them some freedom in the setup, such as choosing where their bed will go.  Children will be more comfortable and settled if they feel the space is truly theirs.    

Try to become familiar with your new neighbourhood as quickly as possible by taking your children out on walks and bike rides.  This way your family will uncover all the fun new activities that the area has to offer, such as parks and playgrounds, as well as help your children feel comfortable and safe in their new environment.  Be active in helping your kids make friends in your new community, but remember that it is also important to help them to stay in touch with old friends.  After all, you can never have too many friends!  

I hope you find these tips helpful for what can be one of the most stressful experiences of your life! Remember that our CENTURY 21 agents, Australia-wide, can always give you more personalized advice whenever you need it.

0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 31/03/2010 at 4:52 PM | Categories:

Prime factors to consider when investing in Residential Property

With all of the recent media buzz about house prices increasing substantially over the coming years, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me to give my two cents worth on the best types of locations to consider if you are thinking about investing in residential property now. 

Ask anyone who has investment property; the best returns are made when your choice of location is based on thorough research and your entry into the area is well placed (that is, early) in a growth cycle.  You also need to be prepared to hold onto your investment for a reasonable period of time, to allow the cycle to gain momentum and your investment to mature.   

So what types of factors should you be looking for when researching different areas in which to invest? A new or planned influx of employment is always a great start, such as that which comes with a company building a new factory, government programs, or if a new industry has developed in the area, such as mining.  

Areas with intended infrastructure schemes are definitely worth looking into.  Projects such as new off-ramps on freeways will attract residents, as will roadworks that reduce travelling times into major employment centres.  Increased population growth and strong incomes are also important factors to consider. 

You may have noticed that most of the factors I’ve just referred to apply more so to regional areas than to prime city locations and I assure you this was not by accident.  When buying an investment property you also have to consider rental rates and recent analysis shows that some regional rents are surpassing growth in Australian cities.  In areas such as Dubbo and Toowoomba in NSW, rental rates rose over 8% in last year alone.   

There are definitely many factors that must be considered when investing in residential property, but a well-thought through purchase will definitely reward you in the long-term.  CENTURY 21 Australia's nation-wide network of offices, in both city and regional areas, prides itself on having a thorough knowledge of Australian real estate, and will be able to provide you with support and assistance throughout the life of your investment.  

1 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 29/03/2010 at 10:58 AM | Categories:

Leaving the nest - when?

I was speaking with a good friend of mine on the weekend about his 34 year-old son who was yet to leave home. As you can probably imagine, the conversation was not ‘when’ he would leave the nest (as this question had been hanging in the air for approximately a decade), but ‘how’ my friend could make this happen!

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the median age for first leaving home for people aged between 18-34 years of age is 20.9 for men, and a slightly younger 19.8 for women. However to me, it seems that young people are leaving home much later that they did in my day – particularly in city areas. There also appears to be a growing tendency for children who have left home to return at a later date – according to the ABS, there is a 46% (nearly 1 in 2!) chance of your children moving out yet returning to live with you at least once before they turn 35. Just when you thought you could sell up and spend your retirement sailing the tropics….!

There are probably a myriad of common, as well as individual reasons why young people are leaving the nest later. Rising house prices, as well as the later median age for marriage (and more relaxed attitudes towards marriage and living together) are some that come to mind, as well as the increasing number of people undertaking tertiary education. Some cultures place more importance on extended family, and tend to live together as a larger family unit. However I am sure that for some parents (such as my friend) there comes a point when they are just about ready to leave a very succinct eviction notice on their 30-something child’s bedroom door!

So how exactly does one encourage ones spawn to stretch their wings and leave the nest? And how does one prepare them for this – so that they don’t come back defeated after a few short months?

Preparation and communication are key factors to consider. Talking about independence and responsibility, and giving your children household responsibilities at an early age are important here. Make sure that (regardless of their gender) they know how to do everyday household tasks and chores.  Doing everything for someone certainly doesn’t teach them anything!

Talking about money and budgeting strategies regularly with your children will assist them greatly when it comes to them managing their own. Prepare them for the responsibility of juggling their own finances by not always bailing them out. Sometimes they will have to miss out on that concert, or not buy that pair of shoes so they can pay bills and eat! However with responsibility comes great reward…i.e. they can play that death-metal as loud as they damn like in their own digs!

Another friend of mine successfully enforced the ‘old enough to vote, old enough to pay rent’ policy, and despite home-cooked meals and a lovely home environment, paying market price rent to live way out in suburbia was not exactly an appealing prospect for his 18 year old son! Although this scenario is not for everyone, he did grow up to be an extremely independent young man (who sometimes, only sometimes returns home to raid the kitchen cupboards!)
0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 10/03/2010 at 11:45 AM | Categories: