Save Money and Sell Your Own Home

Posted by in Selling

Private homeowners are increasingly turning to the DIY route when it comes to selling their own homes. Many websites have reported FSBO listings nearly doubling between 2012 and 2014. In states seeing the majority of the property boom, like Perth, growth in the FSBO sector has reached decade high peaks of over 30%.

The proliferation of websites that offer information on property prices and comparable prices in neighbouring areas has armed the FSBO with an easier way to price and market their homes. The addition of social aspects and ease of posting photos and description of homes online means sellers have an unprecedented level of exposure than they ever have in the past.

In most Australian states the attraction to sell your own home comes from the money you reap from saving on the real estate agent fees, which can typically run anywhere from 2% to 3%. This means in WA where the average sales commission charged by real estate agents is 2.42% a home owner with a $500,000 property will be paying the agent $12,250 in fees. Some will also ask for an upfront “marketing fee” typically around $3,000. So, more than $15,000 could be saved for a FSBO.fsbo Perth vs commission

There will of course be costs incurred by a FSBO, namely their time but also additional marketing of their own, like signage and advertising. However, attribute $2,000 to this cause and they are still saving over $13,000 and that could easily take 2 years off your mortgage!

Add to this saving the fact that a lot of agents will also talk the seller down on their price before they ever try talking the buyer up and you’ll probably sell your house for less when using an agent. All the agent wants is their commission, a piece of the pie really. If a quick sale is easier by reducing the price, then that will be their motivation to be able to move on and sell more properties.

If you do choose to sell using a real estate agent then be sure to check what you should expect here or find more information about for sale by owner options from Direct Move.

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Solar Power for Home Hot Water Heating

Posted by in Trade Services

Did you know?

… About 30% of the energy used to heat water in home hot water systems is wasted via heat loss from the tank and or pipe work.

If you are building your first property privately or upgrading an existing real estate development, we have found doing your research really pays off.

You can reduce the cost of your own system by choosing the right one for the job.

Two of the best for sale on the market are ‘solar’ and ‘heat pump’ hot water systems.

  • Solar hot water systems absorb the energy from the sun to heat water
  • Heat pump hot water systems draw heat from the air to heat water

Neither the Australian governing body nor the Clean Energy Regulator will provide advice on system choice but you can ask local retailers or installers for advice on the best system for your application.

The specifics of your own project can have a large impact on the suitability of each setup.

Find an agent and determine if your solar heater of choice is eligible for government scheme discounts.

Under the government scheme, solar panel system installers can apply to become registered agents for the Clean Energy Regulator.

You can find a list of these agents who are selling these systems here:

Note that this is not a complete listing of all agents in the scheme; and that they are not impartially endorsed by the Clean Energy Regulator however, it is still a good place to start to find your own local installer to plan the project.

We used Wayne for our solar hot water systems in Perth. Wayne was able to determine the correct heat pump for my own project and ensured it met the eligibility criteria:

  • A new system that is listed on the ELIGIBLE SYSTEMS LIST
  • Accompanied by the provision of a “small-scale technology certificate” ( A registered agent creates these on your behalf)
  • You must be the owner of the system at the time of installation

For more information on the scheme and help going solar visit or the Governments Renewable energy help going solar page.

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Planning for your Granny Flat Construction

Posted by in Building

It’s always best to do your own due diligence and seek professional advice when planning any construction. It took us 3 renovations to learn this lesson. That’s right, we didn’t learn the first time – but after going through the same mistakes twice we sought out an expert on our latest granny flat extension.

“The first thing we ask people to do is sit down with us so we may collaborate on the planning and zoning of that particular property,” says Bruce Sertorio, managing director at Modern Home Improvers, builders of some great granny flats in Perth. “From there, we go away and ensure to process all the required planning approvals and property change permits so that we save owners their valuable time and money”

All new construction needs to comply with the Western Australian Proposed Planning and Development Regulations. Although, most of the planning comes down to what type of granny flat you plan to build.

The first step in the planning process is ensuring your own home construction falls within the local government’s definition of a granny flat for approval.

Granny Flats are generally grouped into 3 kinds;

  1. Detached Granny Flat – the typical detached home structure.
  2. Conversion – making internal changes to the existing structure to create a self-contained dwelling.
  3. Extension – making external additions to the existing structure which will become a self-contained dwelling.

The best way to plan whether you build,  renovate or extend is to get in touch with local builders that specialise in granny flat construction like Modern Home Improvers; have them quote you on the 3 kinds of variations outlined above.

Then get a real estate agent to estimate the market value for the completed upgrades; both in terms of rent (if you will rent it) and in net value of the whole property. This is the only way to know if your proposed changes will reap you rewards when it comes to selling.

Many companies can provide planning approvals and building permits to cover the entire process and take most of the headache out of the logistical process of organising separate general contractors, construction managers, designers, builders and tradespeople.

Choose the right company and they will also take care of town planning regulations. The government puts restrictions on what private property owners can build so if your construction plans vary greatly from the average residential construction, you might fail to pass approval.

Typically restrictions cover, but are not limited to:

  • Size of property (usually no smaller than 450 m2)
  • The current zoning of the land
  • Presence of existing granny flat
  • Size of floor space (usually limited to 60 – 70 m2)

If you take just one piece of advice from us today it is that; dealing with a specialist construction company we reduced the frustration and sleepless nights that previous solo projects dealt us.

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Making Your Property Investment Work

Posted by in Property Investment

Why do some property investment owners simple do better than others?

Why do some investors seem to win with all their investment picks?

Witha  few simple steps you can make sure your property investments perform everytime?

The performance of your property investment portfolio is dependant on minimising expenses while maximising capital growth. A good property planner can help you balance this equation by ensuring;

  • You dont pay too much for a property from the outset
  • Correct selection of property to eliminate low capital growth selection
  • Your property loan is always structured properly and is taken out in the correct name
  • You maximise your non-cash tax deductions
  • Outstanding property management to eliminate vacancy periods

By taking the correct steps prior to investing in property most headaches can be eliminated.

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