Auction Wrap for the week ending 17th November 2019

Here we are Mid November and the end of year the is just around the corner. Corelogic, Australia’s leading source of property information has realised a statistic that October 2019 saw the highest month on month gain since 2015 nationally.
In Victoria there were 1130 Auctions scheduled in Victoria and of the results collected thus far there has been a 77% clearance rate recorded.
Auction is still proving to be the preferred method of sale for those looking to transact in under 30 days on market, the average days on market in all suburbs for OBrien Real Estate properties sold at auction has constantly been 24 days for the 3 months.

Boost Your Property Value With Solar Panels

roof solar panels

Adding solar panels can not only save you money but increase buyer attention if you are thinking of selling.

From simple paint jobs to full renovations, the objective is to offer something that the other houses down the road simply can’t.
Rooftop solar panels

One of the best ways to gain an advantage over the rest of the properties on the market is to show buyers that your home is more energy-efficient. Not only does this mean cheaper to run, but also with less of an impact on the environment. This is where solar panel installation comes in, and in this article, we’ll be looking at what makes them such a smart property renovation.

Solar panels add value

If we were to look back 5 years the thought of adding solar panels may have seemed a little too expensive. The cost of the panels and installation was just too high. Fast forward to 2019 and you will notice that these costs have fallen. This price reduction has encouraged many homeowners to install solar panels and generate their own power. For property buyers in Melbourne, there are all sorts of legitimate reasons to purchase a home that already has solar panels installed.

Solar panels will increase buyer attention when the property is placed on the market.

As the technological advancements in the making of solar panels progress there should be an upturn in the number of households installing the equipment.

The main reason to install solar panels is to save money. Secondly, the environment also gets a benefit. I expect that in the future the design of solar panels will be incorporated into the look and feel of the home for aesthetics.

Australia is a sun-drenched nation more so than most counties. Taking advantage of this makes sense in having solar energy. Cutting emissions in any way possible is going to benefit the sustainability of the earth. So, if you are selling your property as “green” this will be a high advantage.

Put simply solar panels save money.

There is no shortage of benefits to installing solar panels. There is a cost to property owners if you go down this path. However, if you plan to stay in your home for the long haul then you will no doubt save a lot of money. The most current research suggests that it will take 6 – 7 years before you start saving money. If you are still in your home after 25 years your savings will be over $100,000!

Not all solar panels are the same

Before you decide to go down the solar panel path do your research. Not all solar panels are made the exact same way. Fortunately, there are forums that do all the research for us. Choice has written an article How to buy the best solar panels for your home This article will explain what you need prior to purchase. You can also visit clean energy reviews which lists the best manufacturers including LG and Sunpower.

Australia is a leading developer in the technology of solar power. Australia has more solar radiation per square metre than any continent. If you are contemplating adding value to your home solar energy could be for you.

If you want to know the value of your home, contact OBrien Real Estate today.

New York City Marathon 2019

Nerve cells (neurones) control the muscles that enable us to move, speak, breathe and swallow. Motor neurone disease (MND) is the name given to a group of diseases in which these neurones fail to work normally.

Facts about MND in Australia
– MND can strike anyone
– There is no known cure for MND
– Each day in Australia two people pass away from MND
– Each day in Australia two people are diagnosed with MND
– People with MND progressively lose the use of their limbs and ability to speak, swallow and breathe, whilst their mind and senses usually remain intact
– Average life expectancy is 2.5 years*
– More than 2,000 people have MND in Australia of whom 60% are male and 40% are female*

To raise funds for MND OBrien Real Estate Director Stavros Ambatzidis & General Manager Jason Mudford set a goal to run the New York Marathon. MND Vic supports almost 600 people with the disease yearly. With many months of hard work, obstacles and challenges the duo completed the marathon on the 3rd November. The duo started in Staten Island running 42.2km through Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and finishing in Manhattan. With everyone’s ongoing support & donations Stavros & Jason have so far raised a total of $22,222.85 for MND.

If you would like to donate and support an incredible cause please click on the link below.

Auction Wrap for the week ending 3rd November 2019

October Month in review.
OBrien Real Estate saw the highest volume of auctions scheduled for the group in the last 24 months.
The team achieved an 89% clearance for the month with an average days on market of 25 days.
This week due to the Melbourne racing carnival activities there was a lower volume of auctions across Victoria yet still a strong clearance rate of 73% with the results collected thus far.

Auction Wrap for the week ending 27th October 2019

This week was the true test of the market recovery with over 1500 auctions Scheduled in Victoria and a clearance rate of near 80 % has been recorded thus far.
At OBrien Real Estate the team had the highest volume of Auctions in any week for the whole of 2019 and achieved a clearance of an outstanding 92%. A number of clients are opting to shorten their campaign which has produced an average days on market of 22 days.

How To Avoid The Pitfalls Of Underinsurance

Pitfalls of property underinsurance

Underinsurance is rife among Aussie property owners, landlords and tenants.

According to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), eight in 10 homeowners and renters are insured for less than their home and contents would cost to replace (or have no insurance at all).
This article was written by EBM RentCover and was originally published here.

Having cover in place is invaluable when things go wrong, but policyholders need to understand their insurer may only fully respond to a loss when the right type and amount of cover has been selected.

A head’s up for renters

Did you know? the ICA estimates that two-thirds of all renters don’t have any contents insurance.

Many renters think their landlord’s insurance will cover their possessions too, but it is a misunderstanding that could prove costly. Landlord cover only applies if the policyholder is found to be liable for the tenant’s losses. To protect their possessions, tenants need their own contents insurance (like TenantCover).

Tips for landlords

At EBM RentCover, we work to educate clients so they understand the value of landlord insurance – and can make the best decisions about the cover they purchase. We never want you to risk being underinsured, so here are four tips for landlords:

Assess your risks

Identify the things that could possibly go wrong and the likelihood of these occurring and their potential impact. Then, compile a list of items you would not be able to afford to cover yourself, should something go wrong. For example, ask yourself if you could afford to pay your mortgage if the tenant stopped paying their rent?

Determine the type of cover needed  

It is important to select a policy that is suitable for the type of property and the way it is rented. For example, home and contents policies typically offer protection for insured events such as fire and storm. However, they often do not cover loss of rent and tenant damage.

Example: A tenant suffers a job loss and stops paying rent for six weeks before unexpectedly moving out of the property. Upon inspection, it was discovered there was malicious damage to the walls, including two large holes in the hallway.

Landlord insurance policy Home and contents policy
Rent default up to six weeks Covered Not covered
Loss of rent during repairs Covered Not covered
Malicious damage Covered Not covered

In addition, if you own an apartment, villa or unit (a strata-titled property), the body corporate may insure the building and common areas in the property – including common hallways, garden and driveway. Because these are covered through the body corporate, many landlords assume they do not need to purchase insurance themselves – this is not the case. The body corporate does not offer protection for unit contents including non-fixed appliances, furniture and electronics, and does not offer protection for loss of rent or legal liability.

Ensure the sum insured is adequate

Did you know? the ICA estimates that more than 40 per cent of households fail to correctly assess the value of their home and contents?

Many owners inadvertently find themselves underinsured simply by underestimating how much it would really cost to replace their investment property and its contents. The ICA suggests the property is underinsured if an insurance policy covers 90 per cent or less of the rebuilding costs.

Remember building costs and standards change and you need to base your sum insured on the amount it would cost to rebuild the property (not on the original purchase price). Engage a quantity surveyor, builder or sworn independent valuer to get an accurate estimate. And don’t forget to factor in other expenses such as demolition, debris removal, and architectural, engineering and council costs.

When it comes to the sum insured for contents, make an inventory of the property within the rental that you own and ensure the replacement costs are up-to-date.

Review and update your policy

Did you know? the ICA estimates one-third of owners risk underinsurance by not updating their contents policies to cover new possessions?

Regularly review the sum insured to make sure it remains adequate (and not just at renewal time, but if your circumstances change). If you renovate the property or upgrade any contents (including appliances), make sure you still have enough insurance cover to account for these improvements.

Sadly, incidents of underinsurance are most commonly picked up on large loss claims and there can be lasting negative ramifications for the landlord (and, as a consequence, for their PM and tenants), ranging from putting them in significant debt, to repairs never going ahead and the property just sitting there in its damaged state.

At EBM RentCover we care about your property so if you have any question about underinsurance please contact us.

Now you have a better understanding about the pitfalls of underinsurance, check out the EBM RentCover range of products to find suitable protection for your property.

*While we have taken care to ensure the information above is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances and legislation after the displayed date may impact the accuracy of this article. If you need us we are there, contact 1800 961 017 if you have any questions. 

OBrien Real Estate REIV Finalists.

OBrien Real Estate are proud in our people and network to be named as finalist over the last three years in a row in multiple categories for the REIV Awards for Excellence. General Manager Jason Mudford said the network is excited to have 3 finalists in this year’s 2019 awards and that it is rewarding to see our staff members’ hard work pay off and be recognised across different aspects of the business.
The 3 finalists with the Network are Property Consultant Michelle Stephens from OBrien Real Estate Carrum Downs for Residential Salesperson of the Year. Anna Molinaro from OBrien Real Estate Blackburn for Residential Property Manager of the Year, and the OBrien Real Estate foundation has been nominated as a finalist for the Community service award.

The OBrien Real Estate foundation Is an organisation that gives back to local communities. A percentage per each house sold by the company is donated to the foundation as well as other donations/contributions to help make a positive impact in other peoples lives. In the last quarter the foundation donated $30,000 across five different local charities and organisations Including the following:
• Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
• Helping Hoops
• Gianni Greco Personal Training on behalf of YNot Help.
• Dogs for Kids
• Blairlogie Living and Learning Inc.
This week each nominated finalist recorded a podcast with Co-founder and Director of OBrien Real Estate, Dean O’Brien. The podcasts involve the OBrien Real Estate finalists talking about their achievements and the steps they have taken to get to this point in their careers.

Sell My Investment Property

Sell my investment property

Investment Property Sales Considerations

Investment properties are generally sold in one of two ways: as a voluntary sale or as a forced sale.

A voluntary sale

If you’re considering selling your investment property, it is worth calculating the cost of keeping it. Layout all monthly and quarterly outgoings – with interest payments, rates, body corporate, and agent’s fees being the most obvious. Add the little extras that always seem to pop up, such as the annual fees for insurance and smoke alarms. With an older property, make an allowance for ongoing maintenance costs.
Sell my investment property
Then calculate the gross return, which is the total of rent collected, and is the figure often quoted in marketing and investment literature. But go further and calculate the net return – that is, the gross rent minus the costs. This is the figure that helps with your “sell or keep” decision.

This will give you either a cash surplus or a cash deficit, and that tells you whether your property is positively or negatively geared. The clue is in the names: a positively geared property makes a profit; a negatively geared property makes a loss.

At the time of writing, you can offset the losses on a negatively geared property against other income to reduce your tax liability. But bear in mind investment legend Noel Whittaker’s golden rule about negative gearing: “Always judge an investment on its merits – any tax benefits should be regarded as the cream on the cake.” That’s a wise policy, considering tax benefits can change on a government whim.

If the cost of keeping the property outweighs the benefits, then the case to sell has been made.

A forced sale

There are situations when an investor is forced to sell.

The reality of residential property investment is a tale of everyday people having a go. Most property investors are normal people with average salaries. Sometimes things go wrong: employment or business opportunities change, tenants get in arrears, and properties always need maintenance.

If you are forced to sell, there is one primary consideration that has the greatest effect on the outcome: should the sale occur with the tenant in place, or should the tenant be moved out?

If you’re forced to sell and time is critical, there may be no choice but to sell with a tenant in place. In this case, you must address some potential dangers.

With tight finances and a sale on the horizon, the first step is to minimise repayments, to give yourself breathing space. Most banks will negotiate with an owner in financial distress when it comes to suspending or reducing repayments. But even though banks might be accommodating with payments, realise that interest will continue to accrue, and your debt will continue to grow.

Next, check the lease. You can terminate a periodic lease at any time with the correct notice. But with a fixed-term lease, the tenant is entitled to stay until the end date, regardless of ownership or financial circumstances. If a sale is looming and a lease expires, instruct the agent to keep the tenancy on a periodic lease. Don’t be tempted with a further fixed term, which will keep the tenant in place and rent coming in but makes the property harder to sell.

If there is a long-term lease in place, you can either see out the tenancy or sell with the tenant in place. With a tenant in place, any buyer for the property must be willing to inherit the tenancy. That means you’re narrowing the buyer pool to investors only, and thus reducing the selling price.

Alternatively, with effective negotiation, tenants on fixed-term leases may agree to move out, compensation such as moving costs or a cash incentive will often help.

A rogue tenant with sub-standard presentation who creates issues with buyer inspections makes a property very difficult to sell. Buyers often don’t give such properties the same consideration they give a vacant or well-cared-for property.

Depending on circumstances, you can give notice and wait for the lease to expire, or (if possible) have the rogue tenants removed for breach of tenancy. After the tenant vacates, restore the property through hard work and repairs. If a rogue tenant isn’t – or can’t be – moved, the price will reflect the tenant and the condition of the property. That is, it will be significantly lower than expected.

On the flip side, a good tenant caring for the property assists when selling, so consider offering compensation such as a reduced rent as a goodwill gesture – and your tenant will often repay that goodwill by cooperating with you on the sale. They make inspections easy and keep the property in shape.