Viewing by month: March 2017

The Ultimate Moving House Checklist | Century 21

Moving house is often said to be one of the top 10 stresses in life. However, we all have to do it sometime, and usually several times over a lifetime. With organisation and forethought, moving house can run like clockwork and cause the least possible stress to all concerned. Just follow this ultimate moving house checklist full of essential moving tips to ensure a smooth, chaos-free move. 

Four to six weeks before moving day

Get quotes from removalists (in writing), select your removalist and book the day of removal for the day after settlement on your new home. Be sure to get moving transit insurance to cover all your household goods while in transit.

Using a floor plan of your new home, determine where all furniture will be placed on arrival. If anything won’t fit in your new home (e.g. your fridge is too large to fit in the kitchen) sell it before moving to reduce costs. 

Start collecting boxes or buy removal boxes for packing. Large zippered plastic storage bags are also a boon for packing linen and clothing. You will also need a large roll of bubble wrap for wrapping delicate items and artworks, several rolls of duct tape or other strong tape and indelible marker pens for labelling boxes. 

Start packing all items you can go without for a few weeks, such as books, decorative items and out of season clothing.

Organise a garage sale or charity pick-up to dispose of any goods you don’t want to take with you. 

Arrange to have your mail redirected to your new address and alert the Electoral Office of your new address.

Book children into their new schools or day care centres. 

Put important legal documents and small items of value, such as jewellery, aside to carry yourself during the move.

Arrange final inspection of your current home with your real estate agent for the week before settlement. 

Arrange for utilities set-up at your new address and home and contents insurance from the date of settlement. 

Two to three weeks to moving day

Returned all borrowed items such as library books and DVDs.

Prepare everything you will need for moving day such as a kettle, tea and coffee, snacks, basic bathroom necessities and cleaning equipment.

Start cleaning your house thoroughly ready for the final inspection and/or book professional cleaners. 

Arrange final readings of gas, water and electricity meters. 

Discontinue any delivery services, such as newspaper delivery.

Organise items you will need most urgently on arrival at your new home so they will be unpacked first. This should be anything you will need on the first night before all unpacking is done such as sheets and quilts for beds, basic cutlery and crockery etc.  

Confirm all details with your removalist and ensure they have all necessary contact details. 

Clean up the garden, water pot plants you are taking with you lightly and pack into plastic-lined boxes. 

Have a final clean-up and take all rubbish to the tip. 

The day before the move

Defrost the fridge and empty any contents you wish to take with you into an Esky filled with ice. 

Do any last minute vacuuming, mopping and dusting and mow the lawn. 

Prepare a welcome note for the new home owners with any relevant information they may need to settle in comfortably. 

Unplug all appliance cords. 

Set aside all items you are taking with you personally where the removalists will not touch them.

Farewell your neighbours. 

On moving day

Provide your removalist with parking information at your new address and a furniture placement plan.

Alert the removalist as to which items, such as beds and essential kitchen items, should be packed into the removal van last so they are the first you can access on arrival.

Do a final check that everything is in order, pack anything left into your car and lock all doors and windows.

Give all keys to your real estate agent to give to the new owners. 

Get ready to say ‘hello’ to your new home!

If you follow the above moving house checklist you should find your move goes smoothly with no last minute panics. If you are dealing with a Century 21 agent, either as a vendor or a buyer, don’t hesitate to ask their advice on any detail of moving house you are not sure about. They are ready and willing to help you out with moving tips and advice to reduce the stress of moving to your new home. 


1 comments | Posted by Administrator on 29/03/2017 at 3:59 PM | Categories:

What Happens At Settlement? | Century 21

You’ve purchased a home or investment property, contracts have been exchanged, the deposit has been paid and a date for property settlement has been set. So what happens in the meantime and what happens on settlement day?

Settlement day is when you finally get the keys to your new home and are able to move in. If the property is vacant, you can request access after exchange of contracts to do some painting or other minor work on the property prior to moving in but you will need to pick up and return the keys daily via the vendor’s real estate agent. 

Before settlement happens, however, you need to take care of a few things.

Before settlement

Between exchange of contracts and the agreed settlement date, you will need to contact your mortgage broker or lender and finalise and sign all loan documents. You will also need to get quotes from removalists, book a removalist and start packing. It’s best to book the removalist for the day after settlement in case of delays on the day. 

In the week before settlement, you will need to visit the property you are purchasing to conduct a final inspection to ensure that everything is in accordance with the contract and that agreed inclusions, such as curtains or a dishwasher, have not been removed. 

Contact an electricity provider and phone and internet provider and let them know you will need their services at your new address from the settlement date. Also be sure to organise building and contents insurance to start on the date of settlement. 

If you are buying the property as an investment, rather than your own home, now is the time to engage a property manager to advertise for tenants and vet them carefully on your behalf. 

On settlement day

On settlement day itself, unless you are handling your own conveyancing almost everything will be conducted by the legal representatives of both yourself and the vendor. 

The deed to the home will be sent to the titles office where your name will be registered as the new owner. Your lender will register the mortgage against the title and provide the funds to purchase the property as well as pay stamp duty and registration costs to the government. 

Cheques to settle all adjustments will also be drawn up and paid out for outstanding council rates, water rates or land tax owed by the vendor. Your solicitor or conveyancer will ensure any existing mortgage on the property has been paid off and all caveats removed. He or she will also ensure that all clauses in the sales contract are fulfilled and the transfer of property and mortgage is complete. 

As soon as settlement has completed successfully, your solicitor or conveyancer will contact you and the real estate agent for the vendor will release the keys to your new home to you. Usually they will meet you at the property and let you proudly post the ‘SOLD’ sign on the signboard at the front. 

Finally, comes all the excitement of moving into your new home! 

If you are purchasing a new home through a Century 21 agent, you will be in good hands and he or she will guide you throughout the process from the time your offer is accepted by the vendor to final property settlement and handing over the keys to your new home. Ensuring the entire sales process goes smoothly for both the vendor and buyer is an important aspect of their job!

0 comments | Posted by Administrator on 22/03/2017 at 3:58 PM | Categories:

8 Tips to Help You Prepare for Open Inspections

Our top-selling Century 21 agents around the country are in accord: the more inviting a vendor’s home appears at open inspections, the more likely the home is to sell for top dollar and to sell more quickly.

Before listing your home for sale, your Century 21 selling agent will advise you on all the improvements you could make to maximise the sale price of your home. These could range anywhere from fixing a leaking tap to doing some repainting. The next step is readying your home for the marketing photography with a scrupulous clean and tidy up, decluttering and some depersonalising such as packing away family photographs and soccer trophies. These photographs and the advertising copy on the internet are vital in attracting as many potential buyers to your open inspections as possible. Next, it’s show time and those interested buyers will be arriving at your home for the first open inspection.

Here are a few tried and true tips for open inspection days to ensure your home looks inviting and, ultimately, desirable enough for those offers to start rolling in.

1.    Make sure your home is clean as a whistle

In the week before, do a thorough house clean from sparkling windows to cleaning inside the kitchen cupboards. On the morning of an inspection, dust, vacuum and mop to not only ensure your home is clean but give it that just cleaned, fresh smell. Add to this effect by polishing any timber furniture with a pleasant-smelling polish such as orange oil (available from hardware stores).

2.    Get the outdoors ready

A final run over the lawn with a mower and a few minute’s weeding can get your garden looking top notch. Ensure your entrance looks inviting with a brand new doormat and some stylish potted plants. Empty any old flyers from the post box. Put the council waste bins out the way somewhere they will not be prominent.

3.    Do a quick declutter

Make all beds, put clothes, toys and paperwork out of sight and remove all pet bowls and pet beds. Empty all bins, laundry baskets and wastepaper baskets.

4.    Style your home

Make beds beautifully and arrange flowers or vases of greenery from the garden in key places around the home. Plump sofa cushions and arrange them nicely. In the bathroom, add brand new fluffy white towels (don’t use them until the house has sold), attractive new toiletries and soap and a new roll of toilet paper. In the kitchen, make sure benchtops are clear and not cluttered with small appliances.

5.    Hide or lock up valuables

Don’t leave anything valuable lying around. Hide valuables, lock them away or take them with you.

6.    Temperature check

Is the temperature inside your home at a comfortable level? If the day is freezing or scorching try to get the temperature inside as comfortable as possible well before the inspection time.

7.    Those final touches

Do a final check that nothing is out of place. Open all blinds and curtains to let in maximum light, open windows if the weather is suitable, open all internal doors and switch all the lights on, including bedside lamps. Place a couple of scented candles (choose a fresh not cloying scent) in strategic locations such as the entrance and bathroom to give a pleasant scent and inviting glow.

Also, consider some welcoming touches for your ‘visitors’ such as leaving out a bowl of mints or a jug of cold water, drinking glasses and a plate of biscuits. For your potential buyers, spending a day rushing around to open inspections can be exhausting and they will appreciate your considerate touches.

8.    When the real estate agent arrives

As soon as the agent arrives, let them prepare for the inspection. Grab your phones, valuables, any last minute cleaning equipment, kids and pets, hop in the car and take yourself out and about until the agent calls you to say the inspection is over.

Remember that between each advertised open inspection time, you may have many other private inspections during the week. Also, interested buyers may want to inspect your home several times before they put in an offer. So keep your home in tip top shape the entire time it’s on the market, so you can swing into action and do the final styling touches at short notice whenever necessary.

Preparing for open inspections can be stressful. Your Century 21 real estate agent will have plenty of sterling advice for you on how to sell your house, maximise your sale price and reduce the time your home is on the market. Putting in the effort to heed this advice and present your home in its best possible light for that first real estate open for inspection will pay off in greater buyer interest and potential higher offers. Plus your home will look and feel so inviting, you won’t want to leave!

1 comments | Posted by Administrator on 15/03/2017 at 3:39 PM | Categories:

6 Ways To Cut Down On Your Home Renovation Costs

If you’re thinking of selling your home later this year, you should be acquiring information right now on how to best present your home for sale and what renovations and improvements could be made to ensure you attract maximum buyer interest and the highest possible price. Renovation costs can be prohibitive, however, so you need to take a carefully targeted approach to any home renovation you tackle prior to listing your property for sale.

Every home improvement you make needs to be carefully targeted at the preferences of local buyers in your area. What would attract them to spend more money for your home in preference to similar homes? The best person to call on for the answer to this is your local Century 21 real estate agent. He or she knows the local market and can advise you on exactly what buyers are looking for and which improvements will add value to your property (and which won’t).

Depending on your locale and the type of buyers who would be interested in your home, your Century 21 agent may advise a kitchen renovation, bathroom renovation, repainting the interiors, adding a deck or other outdoor entertaining area or simply updating your lighting and ripping up your old carpets to reveal the beautiful hardwood floorboards beneath.

When renovating prior to selling, there are several points to keep in mind:

  • You are renovating to attract buyers, not to suit your own tastes.
  • You need to invest wisely to gain the largest possible profit margin. A guideline is to set the budget at no more than three per cent of your home’s current value, with the expectation of achieving a return of $3-5 on each dollar you spend.

Renovation costs can explode at an alarming rate if you are not careful, and blow that profit margin altogether, so here are some ways to cut down on your home renovation costs.

1.     Keep an eye on your budget

There are various online renovation cost calculators you can use to set your budget and keep a close eye on your spending. Try out a few to see which one suits you best.

2.     Get quotes and more quotes

For jobs that need a professional, get as many quotes as you can. Even in a small local area, the differences in pricing for a job such as tiling a bathroom can be mind-boggling.

3.     Choose affordable finishes and materials

Seek out the most affordable materials to get the effect you want.  This especially applies to flooring covering a large area. For example, a travertine floor could cost thousands of dollars, a marine ply floor a few hundred. Plain white tiles at $10 per metre for the kitchen splashback look fresh and clean and are much cheaper than a glass splashback.

4.     Seek out bargains online

Scour the web for the best prices on appliances, paint, taps, tiles and just about anything else you will need. The savings can be really substantial. Don’t forget sites like eBay and Gumtree as well for factory seconds, second-hand finds and more.

5.     Don’t move any plumbing

If you are renovating a kitchen, bathroom or laundry, design it around the existing plumbing. Moving plumbing is an added expense you won’t need if you stick to the same layout but with new cupboards and fixtures.

6.     Keep what you can

If your bathroom is looking tired but the fab 1970s floor tiles are in superb condition why not keep them and design the new look bathroom around them? Same applies if you have original hardwood floorboards beneath the carpets. Simply lift the carpets and have the floorboards refinished. If your kitchen cupboard carcases are in good condition, you may be able to simply replace the doors to give your kitchen new life.

Cutting costs while giving your home a fresh new look that will attract buyers will ensure you get a great return when you come to sell. Speak to your local Century 21 real estate agent for advice on where to start and what to do in terms of house renovation well before you list your property for sale.

0 comments | Posted by Administrator on 08/03/2017 at 2:58 PM | Categories:

RBA leaves cash rate on hold at 1.5 per cent

RBA rate hold: 1.5%

CENTURY 21, a real estate organisation with over 100,000 staff in 78 countries, believes the Reserve Bank’s decision to leave the cash rate on hold at 1.5 per cent is prudent in light of disparate conditions across Australia’s property market.

The Chairman and Owner of CENTURY 21 Australasia, Charles Tarbey, said that while he believes some states would benefit from an interest rate cut, others would not. 

“While Canberra, Hobart, Sydney and Melbourne posted strong price gains in February, Darwin, Perth and Brisbane registered declines,” said Charles Tarbey. 

“This thematic seems to be becoming more pronounced and in terms of the property market, the RBA’s decision might be the best middle ground solution moving forward. 

“The general market outlook appears to be relatively buoyant, however I advise Australians not to rely on headline market figures without researching local market dynamics to ensure their financial commitments are realistic and sustainable,” said Charles Tarbey. 

CoreLogic data has reported a further rise in the value of capital city dwellings in February, with values rising 1.4 per cent over the month.  The strong capital gain over February was led by Canberra (+3.2 per cent) and Sydney (+2.6 per cent). In contrast, dwelling values were down over the month across Darwin (-4.3 per cent), Perth (-2.4 per cent) and Brisbane (-0.4 per cent).

These February results mark a new high point in the current growth cycle, with capital city dwelling values increasing by 11.7% over the past twelve months. 

CENTURY 21 encourages potential buyers who are looking to purchase real estate to ensure they have obtained the appropriate professional property and finance advice before doing so.

With over 3,000 offices, CENTURY 21 is the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region, a region vital to Australia’s continued economic success.

Click here to find out more

0 comments | Posted by Administrator on 06/03/2017 at 7:06 PM | Categories:

How To Invest In Property At A Young Age

You may be young and priced out of the first home buyer’s market in your locality, especially if you live in Sydney or Melbourne. Learning how to invest in property elsewhere could be the solution, allowing you to get a foot on the property ladder and work towards owning your own home in the long term.

Many millennials who despair of saving a deposit for a home of their own are turning to ‘rentvesting’ to secure their financial future. This refers to renting close to work and purchasing an investment property in a more affordable location. There are plenty of regional towns in Australia, for example, that still have affordable homes for sale for under $300,000 and units for under $150,000 and offer good rental returns for savvy young investors. Buying a vacant block of land is another option to consider.

Buying an investment property is very different to buying your own home. Firstly, you are looking for a property with a good rental return that is preferably low-maintenance and has good prospects for capital growth long term – not something that suits your own tastes. That ramshackle cottage may be charming but could need major work and expense you need to avoid.  Secondly, investment loans are often available with as little as five per cent deposit and are generally interest-only for the first three to four years, making the initial repayments much lower than a home loan. Choose a property wisely and the rent should cover your repayments.

As you are unlikely to have any large assets for your lender to use as security, you may need a guarantor (such as your parents or another relative) who owns substantial assets in order to get approval for an investment loan.

If you think property investing could be for you, here are some investment tips and the first steps to take:

1.     Prepare your finances

Prepare a document outlining your assets (e.g. your income and car) and all your regular expenses and take it along to a mortgage broker or your bank to see if it would be possible for you to qualify for an investment loan and how much you could potentially borrow.

2.     Save that deposit

Use an online budget planner to work out where you can make savings, set a budget and stick to it. Work out how long it will take you to save for the deposit on an investment property and look forward to the day when you will reach your target!

3.     Do your research

Haunt the internet property sales sites to identify a couple of areas where there are solid properties in your price range that offer good rental returns. Speak to the Century 21 agents in these areas to ask their advice on rental returns and growth prospects in the regions you are researching. Get to know them, visit them in person if possible and they may alert you to suitable properties soon to come on the market that are not yet advertised.

4.     Get your loan preapproved

Once you have saved sufficient deposit plus costs for stamp duty and other additional expenses and are ready to make your move, revisit your bank or mortgage broker and get your loan preapproved so you are ready to buy as soon as the right property comes on the market.

5.     After purchase

While you are waiting for settlement on your purchase, speak with the local Century 21 property manager to arrange to rent out the property. He or she will carefully vet potential tenants and inspect your property on a regular basis.

Also, visit your accountant so he or she can fill you in on all the tax implications of owning an investment property, including expenses you can claim.

Now you know how to invest in property, you can get started. Investing in property at a young age can become a reality if you are determined and willing to save up for that deposit, do your research and seek plenty of advice. One of your very best sources of advice as a first-time investor is the network of Century 21 real estate agents located around the country. Their wealth of knowledge on their local markets is an invaluable resource for all property investors.

0 comments | Posted by Administrator on 01/03/2017 at 3:02 PM | Categories: