How will these Super changes affect you?
Did you hear about the recent policy changes that could affect your retirement (no matter how far that is away!)?
From new Stamp Duty policies to new superannuation policies, these could mean changes to your current and future property investment decisions.
We want to make sure you know what these changes, the opportunities created as well as avoiding the risks involved.
Here are the facts:
Retirees are now given incentives to downsize
Australians aged over 65 who sell their home which they have owned for over a decade will be able to put up to $300,000 in sale proceeds into their superannuation.
This incentive to downsize will help free up larger homes for families to move into and offer the sea change lifestyle they might be looking for.
Investors won’t be able to claim travel deductions
Investors who previously has travel expense tax deductions related to their investment property will no longer be able to make these claims, even if travelling to collect rent, maintain or inspect a premises, they will not be allowed as tax deductions.
New Superannuation “transition to retirement” rules have been implemented and there is no longer a compulsory retirement age. Access to your super depends of your super preservation age between 55 and 60 and the age pension age has been increased from 65 to 67.
There are also new contribution caps introduced such as the concessional Contribution Cap is universal $25,000 for all. Non-concessional contribution cap is now $100,000pm (was $180,000pa) as well as the Introduction of Balance transfer Cap at $1.6million per person
New Home Buyers Super Saver
The new super saver scheme will allow first-time home buyers to put up to $15,000 a year, to a maximum of $30,000 into their superannuation.
These funds can later be withdrawn for a home deposit, including any earnings the deposits have made.
This means a tax incentive to save more, and can be taken advantage of as a couple with each claiming $30,000.
For more information of changes please visit your local government’s website.
How to get into the property market
In today’s economy it’s no surprise that Australian homes are some of the most expensive in the world. Many of the younger generation deem buying property as unaffordable and out of reach.
But we still want a piece of the Australian dream and property investing is still a wise financial choice long term.
The plus side is interest rates are at record lows as well as loan options being readily available with so much competition in the market.
But don’t despair, home ownership may still be within your reach. Here are some tips to get into the property market that you may not have thought of!
- Buy with your parents or friends. This option is a way to get a step into the property market by pooling finances and deposits together as well as making repayments more affordable. Just ensure you get legal advice to ensure the right ownership structure to avoid issues down the track such as selling.
- The Shared Home Ownership Scheme (for those in WA)
This is a scheme offered by the WA state government. For as little as a $2000 deposit or 2% of the purchase price, the scheme enables the purchase of a newly built off the plan property using a state government loan. The government retains part ownership of the home but you have the option to buy and sell when you please, and eventually own the property outright. In other states there are companies such as BRICKX where you can buy “shares” in a property much like shares.
- Buy an investment property first instead of a home to live in/ family home. By renting out your investment property you will be able to build a portfolio faster. Regional investment properties are a great option as they can be cheaper with better rent and yields. It could even be a cash flow positive investment that puts money back in your pocket or if it does make a loss it could reduce your taxable income. Ensure you speak to your accountant and get advice with the right loan options.
- Consider a Bridge Loan
A Bridge Loan is a short-term loan to a buyer who is typically in the process of both selling and purchasing or developing real estate. It could be a useful option to not miss out on a property that’s currently on the market.
- Other types of property investment
Other options could also be investing through superannuation or a managed fund. Again ensure you speak to the right professionals to make the best property decision for you.
Saving a deposit for your first home and getting on the property ladder can be a challenge with current house prices, but there are alternative ways of achieving your goal and starting your investment portfolio.
Contact us today to discuss the right loan and potential property investment strategy for you.
How to sell your home in winter
Winter has well and truly hit in WA. Real Estate agents know they have to work extra hard to sell their clients homes at this time of the year as many buyers stay at home instead of venturing to home opens and otherwise beautifully presented homes for sale don’t look their best through the rain and bleak winter days.
However this is upside to selling in winter. Less competition and fewer houses on the market can be in your favour together with the following tips:
Leaky gutters, broken roof tiles and other winter problems become more obvious and more important to fix in winter. Ensuring everything is in proper working order will prevent any problems arising in your home opens or after sale.
Focus on making your home winter friendly
for home opens, first impressions count. Ensure your home is warm with heating, there are welcome mats for wet and muddy shoes and even an umbrella stand can make all the difference in welcoming potential buyers.
For Sale Photos
Just because you’re selling your home in winter doesn’t mean your photos need to be wintery! Twilight photos are a great way to make your home stand out on the property portals when sunny days are hard to come by. This will assist your property to stand out above the crowd when others sellers have their photography done on overcast days
Some homes are positioned so they get great winter light and can really stand out during the cooler months. Regardless, by opening all your blinds and curtains you can maximise light for your home opens and photographs.
Additional lighting such as floor lamps and stronger light bulbs can assist creating a warmer environment.
Interior Space Appeal
Although many Perth homes focus on the outdoor BBQ and alfresco areas, use winter as a time to showcase your homes internal features such as a kid’s indoor playroom, theatre rooms and indoor entertaining areas.
You can also feature external areas that are winter friendly. These can be an alfresco that can be sheltered with roll down blind’s, heated/well insulated tool and storage sheds and outdoor heaters and lighting.
Although we can’t control the weather, these tips will help you maximise your house regardless of the weather. Our real estate agents are experienced with selling properties no matter what the circumstances.
Why home staging is so important to sell your home
When preparing your property for sale your pre-market check list is an important step in ensuring your property presents in its best light at your open to the public days. From general maintenance to renovations, de-cluttering, cleaning but one thing often overlooked is home staging and styling, proving extremely popular with property sellers around the country.
A staged / furnished property can help your property outshine the rest in both home opens and appearance in photographs for web and portal advertising.
Getting assistance from a professional property stager could ensure your property reaches its full potential and help get you the asking price you want.
Here’s some ideas from expert home staging property stylists to help you present your home and achieve your property dreams:
- Neutralize the wall colours – There can be no talk about any decor without neutralizing interior/exterior coat of paint and bringing it up to date. Remember that the palette needs to coordinate with the fixed elements of the house, like the roof, the brick, and the stone.
- Alluring scents – A nice clean fresh scent throughout the house is the most important thing that will keep the potential buyers inside for longer. Scented electrical plug ins, essential oils, diffusers are easily accessible on the market and are always a bonus in the house presentation.
- Less is more – Pack up and store everything that is not needed and is just creating unnecessary clutter in your home. Even if you don’t have a storage place or an extra shed, packing your surplus stuff into storing containers and placing them nicely and neatly into one corner of your garage will still look better than having it clutter the space throughout.
- Artwork – Abstract wall art prints are very popular at the moment and fairly easy to find in home decor shops . We always suggest our clients to take the personal photos down as it makes it easier for the potential buyer to emotionally connect to the house when it is de-personalized
- Accessorizing – Color-coordination is the key! Pick a few main colors from your wall art and make it “flow through the space” in the shape of color-coordinated decorative cushions, throws, vases and decorations.
- Size does matter – If your sofas are too bulky, tables oversized or you have that extra armchair that is so comfy but not needed in the living room, it is better to pack it up and store it and replace it with the furniture that won’t overtake the space.
- Layering the light – Adding floor and table lamps in those dark corners will set the mood and create a comfortable feeling in any room.
- Selling lifestyle – Place a cookbook near the stove, your best dinnerware on the table, put a few glasses and a juice jug together with a magazine or your favourite book in the alfresco area. The potential buyer wants to be attracted by the lifestyle that your property can potentially offer.
Professional home stagers like Perth Staging complete an initial, objective property inspection. They will assist you with your budget to freshen up key spaces in anticipation for sale.
As a homeowner you can save money by completing the packing and cleaning and minor repairs yourself. But when it comes to the final showcase part of staging the property, it’s better to leave it to the pros.
An educated, well-skilled staging professional knows how to style a room to address what the buyer needs to see, how to highlight the best features of your house and how to minimize its less desirable attributes.
Stagers also know how to maximize space by using correct placement of color, lighting and art to harmonize a living space so the buyer connects on every level and makes an offer.
Even if you decide to do the home staging yourself, with your existing set up, but would just like some guidance from a professional stager towards the do’s and don’ts of the home presentation.
Why consider one bedroom apartments
One bedroom apartments have always been a point of contention among investors in the property market.
Affordability factors and changing lifestyle preferences are now seeming to give these a real edge in Australia’s every changing current property market.
Here are a few factors to consider whether to include one bedroom apartments in your property investing search:
1) A better location
Research is showing a one-bedroom apartment in a good inner city location which is close to transport, employment and lifestyle amenities cans outperform a two bedroom apartment in a outer fringe location without the same amentities.
A one bedroom apartment can also get you into the market if you want to buy in a desirable area, close to the CBD and transport. There is also lower upkeep costs for smaller apartment and negotiating finance for one-bedroom units is certainly becoming easier with the banks.
According to some property commentators, there is greater tenant demand for small units, as the trend is moving to inner city locations for lifestyle choice which is boosting prices for one bedroom apartments.
4) It’s not just one bedroom apartments
If lifestyle and inner city living is your focus, there are more than just apartments with one bedroom. One bedroom townhouses and villas, especially in older established areas in major cities are available. Old workers cottages and small terraces could be a great way to renovate and add value to as an investor and you may be able to even extend the property down the track.
Apartment buyers need to remember that these days demand for land isn’t the same as it used to be driving the residential property market.
Many people are out to buy or rent lifestyle and are prepared to make the necessary trade offs just as living in a smaller space to live in a premium location.
Property buyers today whether investors or owner occupiers really are looking for somewhere to live that is conveniently located and packed with amenity and one bedroom apartments fit this mould.
Protect your house from theft
A break in can have effects much more than just your property – unsettling your peace and the feeling of security in your home. There are simple and effective steps you can take to reduce your home’s risk of invasion, whether you’re away on holidays or staying at home.
Here are 6 ways to prevent theft and make your house unappealing to burglars:
1. Windows & Doors
Burglars will get into your home via doors and windows, so ensure they are fitted with visible (and sturdy) locks. If looking to renovate or building, ensure you have thick, solid doors that will be hard to kick in. If your doors have a window, install a secondary floor lock for extra security.
2. Lock Your Doors
It’s amazing how many people fail to lock their doors. Its common sense but lock up every time you go out, but also keep the doors locked when you’re home especially at night. If you leave screened doors and windows open ensure you have good locks and use sturdy screens.
3. Alarm/security System
A home alarm system is one of the top ways to deter burglars from targeting your home. If you do have a home alarm system make sure it is visible and your alarm company has a fast response time. You may also wish to consider whether you want the police automatically notified of an alarm event.
If you have a hidden front entrance or side access to your home these can attract burglars as it provides privacy when they are trying to break in unobserved. Easy ways to deter them are to have motion activated lights or sensor security lights for visibility at night. You can also trim trees and hedges to create visibility from the street or install lights on a timer at the front of your house (such as walkway or front porch lights) to create the illusion of being home.
5. Garbage and mail
Rubbish that shows recent large purchases such as new television screen boxes and lots of mail signifying you’re away on holidays are easy identifiers for burglars. Hide your bins away from the street front when it’s not collection day and consider mail redirection or a friend collecting your mail when away.
6. Safe & Secure
Protect your valuables just in case theft does happen. Have precious valuables safely secured in a safe. Mark all your valuables with engraved identification and photograph valuables to ensure you keep your contents insurance up to date.
In general, following these tips and daily habits such as keeping curtains and blinds closed on the ground floor helps to deter burglars as they can’t assess your property’s value or determine whether you are home. By taking a few key precautions you can keep your home safe and secure.