Key things to consider when you refinance Exclusive Property Group


Key things to consider when you refinance

October 27, 2020

With interest rates at record lows, it may be a good time to think about refinancing your mortgage. There are several advantages to refinancing including the potential for lower repayments, special refinancing offers and additional loan features such as an offset account which you don’t have with your current loan. While all these benefits are tempting, there are key things you need to consider when you’re thinking of refinancing your home loan. In this article, we outline what you need to consider.

Choosing when to refinance
There are times when refinancing can be particularly helpful. If you’re thinking of renovating your property, in need of more streamlined money management or looking for debt consolidation, refinancing your home loan can help. For big expenses such as home renovations or making a big purchase, you may opt to access some of the equity in your home when you refinance. Just make sure you understand how accessing this equity is going to impact your new loan first.

Beware of costs
Depending on your lender, refinancing can involve costs such as application fees for the new loan or discharge fees on your current loan. Further, if you have a fixed rate home loan, you may need to pay a break cost to refinance. These fees add up, especially if you regularly refinance to take advantage of lower interest rates. While these rates may be attractive, the fees to keep changing could render any of your savings redundant.

Lenders mortgage insurance (LMI)
You’ll need to pay lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) if you borrow more than 80 per cent of your property’s market value when you refinance. Even if you previously paid LMI on your current loan, you’ll still need to pay it on the new loan if your loan to value ratio is equal to or greater than 80 per cent.

Check your credit rating
If your credit rating isn’t strong, it may not be worth refinancing your home loan. The application to refinance will impact your credit score, so you’ll reduce your bargaining power for future loans if you get knocked back now. This is where it may be more suitable to stick with your current loan.
Refinancing is just as big of a decision as securing the initial home loan itself. In fact, you’re replacing your current home loan with a new one, so make sure you complete your due diligence and make an informed decision. It’s best to speak with a broker and your chosen advisory professionals to make sure refinancing is a fit for your financial situation.
Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.

Upcoming development trends and impacts on the property market

September 25, 2020

Knight Frank recently released its 2020 Outlook Report, outlining the ten most important factors for the residential property market throughout the remainder of 2020.

According to the Report, apartment supply across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane is expected to slow with approximately 142,000 high-density apartments currently under construction or marketed for sale to be built by 2023. This equates to a 27.3 per cent drop compared to the number of completed apartments in the previous four years.

While apartment supply is expected to slow, the developments that do go ahead are expected to be bigger and taller than previous years. The Report outlined that people can expect apartments to grow in size as apartment buildings get taller.

In Sydney, apartment towers will average 14 storeys, compared to nine storeys from 2016 to 2019. Similarly, Melbourne will see apartment towers average 16 storeys, instead of 15 storeys, while Brisbane apartment buildings will average 13 storeys, which is two storeys higher than previous years.

Interestingly, the findings in Knight Frank’s Report outlined that newbuild detached homes may get smaller as the newbuild housing pipeline slows along with the availability of land. The average size of a block for residential development is expected to increase slightly in 2020 to 421 square metres, which is a small increase from the average of 417 square metres in 2018.

A key challenge highlighted in the Report was the expected rise in construction costs as a result of COVID-19 physical distancing requirements. These requirements are expected to slow the construction of detached homes and small-scale residential construction sites. In 2019, construction costs increased by 2.7 per cent.

Another trend expected to continue into next year is the preference for high-density development sites. According to the Report, high-density development sites made up 70.6 per cent of developer and investor sales in 2019. It’s important to note that while local investors and developers may still have an appetite for high-density developments, there will be a slowdown in offshore demand for these sites.

The state of Australia’s property market will be clearer as the country makes some strides in returning to more normalcy and further easing of COVID-19 restrictions. However, a slowdown in new apartment supply and newbuild homes could be welcome news for property investors as continued uncertainty across the economy is causing mixed results across Australia’s residential property market.

Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.

Emerging bedroom trends that real estate agents love right now

September 4, 2020

Just like other parts of the home, bedroom furnishing and decoration has evolved a lot over the years. From the sponged feature walls of decades past to neatly pressed valances to today’s houseplant-donned rooms, there’s a lot you can do to make sure your property reflects current trends to either attract buyers or your ideal tenant.

In this article, we provide an overview of some of the bedroom trends that have emerged as COVID-19 has changed our lifestyles.

Adding an office space to the bedroom
With many people now working from home, and some not having a dedicated space in their home for work, makeshift offices have become an integral part of the bedroom in some people’s homes. This will be something to think about if you’re thinking of selling an investment property or if you’re looking for new tenants. People want to be able to picture themselves living and working at home.

A quiet, wellness space
As some people have been using part of their bedrooms as a workspace, other people have been using parts of their rooms as a space for health and wellness. Recent trends include the addition of equipment such as a yoga mat and incense for a quiet meditation and yoga corner, or free weights and resistance bands for those after a more intense workout. Whether there’s space for working out in the bedroom or other parts of the home, think about this when you’re marketing your property to potential buyers and tenants.

Space-saving updates
If your investment property is vacant, and you know the size of the bedroom has been an issue for previous tenants, you could look at some small changes to help save space and potentially attract higher quality tenants. Small finishes such as bedside pendant lights free up space on bedside tables.

Natural light is key
The amount of natural light in a home is important to potential buyers and tenants alike. If your property is currently vacant, look at how much natural light your property is getting and think of ways to maximise the amount of natural light the flows into the bedroom. This may include changes to window coverings or removing obstructions outside if it’s possible.

Whether you’re currently selling an investment property, or you’re looking for some fantastic new tenants, ensuring your property looks like a space where people want to spend a lot of their time is critical, especially right now. Investing a bit of time, and possibly some money, now into making your property look and feel as liveable as possible will pay off in many ways depending on your objectives. You could sell your investment quicker than you expected, you may secure a better price than you wanted, or you may secure dream tenants, making a bit of extra effort now completely worth it.

Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.

The cost of being a landlord

August 25, 2020

Property investing is an excellent vehicle for building long term wealth. But you need to factor in the upfront and ongoing costs of being a landlord. Throughout the duration of holding each property, you need to have stable cash flow to cover your key expenses and the regular shortfall (if you’re negatively geared). In this article, we’re outlining the key expenses you need to factor in for each property as a landlord.

Landlord insurance
One of the key things you should have in place is landlord insurance. Depending on the value of your property and its risk profile, you can get a policy from as little as $1 per day. A good policy should cover tenant-related risks, including loss of rental income and damage to your property by a tenant.

Repair and maintenance costs
Throughout the year, there’ll be little things around your investment property that need to be maintained or repaired. This may include fixing small water leaks, fixing the hinge on a door or resealing wet areas such as the kitchen and bathroom. On a less regular basis, however, you may need to complete larger repairs and maintenance projects that will be more costly. These projects include replacing a hot water system, replacing air-conditioning units and replacing major appliances such as the oven or dishwasher. This is why it’s a good idea to have cash set aside for routine repairs and maintenance and larger emergencies.

Finding new tenants
Sourcing a new tenant for your properties can be a lengthy process. You’ll need to pay advertising fees, cover expenses such as the mortgage while the property is vacant and pay the let fee once the property is leased. Further, the longer your property is vacant, the faster these expenses will add up. Make sure you speak to your property manager to ensure your property is appealing to quality tenants and priced appropriately for the market.

Rates and body corporate fees
As a property owner, you’ll need to pay council rates such as water rates and body corporate fees. If you have an apartment or are looking at adding an apartment to your portfolio, make sure you check not only the body corporate fees but other potential fees such as a maintenance fund. You’ll also need to get an idea of the large repairs and maintenance that may be required in common areas throughout an apartment building so you can plan for a potential increase in body corporate fees and one-off payments to fund these projects.

While property investment is exciting and helps people build wealth, you’ll be more effective and profitable in the long run if you identify and are aware of all the expenses you may incur as a property investor. If you feel like you’ve been playing catch up on the expenses associated with owning your investment property, talk to a qualified financial professional to get on top of your expenses.

Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.

New report says the number of renters to increase in Australia

July 7, 2020

A new report, Australian home ownership: past reflections, future directions, produced by researchers from Swinburne University of Technology looks at the levels of homeownership in Australia since World War II and what we can expect in the future. Owning a property, for many Australians, is still one of the key things they want to accomplish in their life. It’s still the great Australian dream, but for some, in the decades to come it could remain a dream as up to 40 per cent of Australians could rent in the future, according to the report.


The expected increase of renters in Australia in the coming years is expected to be driven by several factors, including ongoing affordability challenges. Interestingly, the report found that home ownership levels in Australia have been relatively stable. In 1976, approximately 68 per cent of people were owner-occupiers, and in 2016, around 67 per cent of Australians were owner-occupiers.


According to the report, approximately 50 per cent of Australian households under 60 years old will rent from private landlords over the next 20 years. At the same time, owner-occupiers are expected to decrease to 63 per cent. Of those people who will be renting, it’s expected that 51 per cent of these people will be in the 25 to 55-year-old age bracket.


So, what does that mean for property investing?


While the report is interesting, it’s important to remember that these numbers are all forecasts. In any case, the changing proportion of owner-occupiers and renters will likely happen steadily as it has over the last four decades.


Keeping these changing demographics in mind and balancing this with your priorities as a property investor is key as you look forward over the coming years. The fundamentals in the property market are unlikely to change. People want to live close to amenity, decent infrastructure and close to employment opportunities. If you can find properties that tick these boxes, while structuring your investments in a way that helps you meet your long-term goals, you’ll be well on your way to building a strong portfolio for yourself.


The important thing for investors right now, and all the time, is to regularly check-in and ensure your portfolio is working towards meeting your long-term goals. And if it’s not, that’s ok. It’s a timely note to shift things around to make sure you’re building sustainable, long-term wealth.


Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.

What’s Lenders Mortgage Insurance?

July 1, 2020

Rethinking Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance


Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance (LMI) is typically seen as an additional cost when people buy a property. Some experts, however, think that investors can make LMI work for them. LMI is critical for the lender as it protects them if you’re no longer able to pay your mortgage. But, how can LMI work in your favour as an investor? In this article, we’re taking a look at how LMI comes into play for investors.


The LMI logic


If your loan-to-value ratio is higher than 80 per cent of a property’s value, your monthly repayments will be higher than someone who paid a larger deposit, and you may be at higher risk of defaulting on your loan. This is the key reason why lenders require LMI — to ensure they are protected by the increased risk exposure of properties with high LVRs.


How is LMI calculated?


LMI is calculated in different ways, depending on the insurer. Your premiums will vary based on your loan amount, deposit amount, loan type and your employment status. Some property investment websites have LMI estimators, which can help you weigh up different options. Your mortgage broker may also be able to assist.


If you work in a high-demand and well-paying industry, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty finding an LMI provider. Some LMI providers consider professions such as doctors, dentists and lawyers to be low risk and may waive the LMI on a loan.


Viewing LMI as an investment


While LMI is a lender’s safety net for people who borrow more than 80 per cent of a property’s value, some property investment experts, such as Mario Borg, Mortgage Broker and Director at Strategic Finance, believe investors should see LMI as an “investment rather than a cost”.


For investors, LMI can help you buy a property when your deposit is lower than 20% of the property’s value. This can help you to buy a property quickly instead of waiting to save up a deposit and missing out or being priced out later down the track. In these cases, it’s helpful to calculate and analyse the cost of capital growth and LMI versus staying out of the market to keep saving a deposit and missing out, which can cost more than the LMI premium.


A good way to grow your portfolio


If you’re an investor looking to grow your portfolio, LMI can help you secure your next property without using too much equity from your current property. This can help you add more properties to your portfolio faster and with a smaller deposit.


Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.

What can we expect from the property market for the rest of 2020?

June 29, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many industries, including real estate. With inspection arrangements altered to adhere to the government’s isolation and social distancing measures, and some landlords and renters facing financial hardship, it’s understandably a stressful time for people. For property owners and investors, how the property market performs as we move to the other side of COVID-19 is top of mind.


Depending on what you read, some economists believe we could see an 11 per cent decline in property values across Australia. Some more bearish scenarios predict a 32 per cent decline in house prices. Rather than get too drawn into the media hype around the potential for a fall in house prices, it’s more empowering to understand what’s going to drive property prices in Australia over the next couple years. Below, we’ve included an overview of the key factors that may impact the rental market over the coming months and years.


Downwards pressure on rent

With short-stay platforms such as Airbnb experiencing a significant decrease in demand, many of the properties from these platforms have come onto the rental market. This is placing downward pressure on rent prices as more stock becomes available. In areas with large international student populations, vacancy rates have increased, also placing pressure on rental prices.


Conditions across capital cities

Since isolation measures escalated across Australia in March, the rental vacancy rate across Australia increased by 0.8 per cent to 2.5 per cent in April. Sydney and Melbourne fared the worst with rental listing increases of 36.2 per cent and 34.1 per cent, respectively. Areas with large populations of retail or hospitality workers, international students and other people from overseas have been hardest hit in these cities.



Australia’s property market has been buoyed in recent years by immigration. The COVID-19 pandemic could see immigration decrease by around 300,000 people over the coming years. For cities and regions that have typically had a large migrant population, property prices and the rental market may be hardest hit in these areas.


Ultimately, no one knows where property prices will go, and what kind of policy response the government may have if we end up in a more bearish scenario. The key way to prepare for any scenario is ensuring your mortgage is suitable for your situation and can weather an economic downturn. Regardless of COVID-19 or other macro events, having this approach to your mortgage at all times will ensure you don’t need to buy into media hype around any scenario.


Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.

Time to catch up on all your investment property admin

June 2, 2020

As the end of the financial year fast approaches now is a good time to catch up on all your paperwork and administration for your investment properties. And with additional time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the extra time you spend on getting organised now will give you something productive to do, while leaving yourself time before EOFY. Here are the administrative tasks you can get on top of right now to get to EOFY feeling organised and in your accountant’s good books.


Review insurances

Tax time is a great opportunity to review your insurances on your properties. Yes, it’s a painstaking task, but it can save you hundreds or thousands per annum. If one particular insurer is affected by a major event (like a bushfire) then they can increase premiums across the board, so checking your insurances is vital.


Review your credit cards

While you’re at it, have a look over your credit cards. See if there are any better deals out there for you, in both interest rates and loyalty programs such as frequent flyer programs or cashback offers.


Review your rental prices

At the same time, take five minutes and review the rents you receive on your portfolio and compare them to rents available on the major real estate websites. This will be particularly important as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and potential market effects make their way through the community. If you have tenants whose leases are due for renewal, make sure you get in early and be extra diligent about prices across your portfolio.


Review your loan interest rates and payment options

Great fixed home loan rates are common, but these rates are subject to market fluctuations. With rates as low as they currently are, assess whether having a fixed or variable rate loan is best for your situation. With many people currently facing financial challenges, you should also evaluate your options and put together your contingency plan if you may be unable to pay your mortgage, or if a tenant can’t pay their rent.


Taking the time now to get the administration side of your investment property portfolio organised will help your tax time to go smoothly and help you make sure your investments are structured for long-term growth and success. Before you make any changes to your insurances, finances or other costs associated with your investment property, make sure you seek personalised advice from a professional.


Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice.  Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.


Bullet-proofing your rental property in a competitive market

May 20, 2020

It will take some time before we know the full effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the property market. Like everything else that’s affected, which is largely all parts of society, it can feel overwhelming to think about all the possible outcomes. This is why it’s particularly important in the current environment to focus on what you can do to look after yourself, your loved ones and the other big focuses in your life. As a property investor, your investment properties are likely a key consideration for you. Here are some key things to think about to ensure your property remains a great place to live for your current tenants and a popular prospect for future tenants.


Indoor and outdoor paintwork

If you’re thinking of updating the paintwork at your investment properties, ensure the quality of the paint you use is of a good standard, is a trusted brand and is durable enough to withstand regular washing to remove marks and grime. For outdoor paintwork or staining of timber fences and decks, make sure you use a durable product that can handle harsh weather conditions. This is particularly important for parts of your property exposed to the afternoon sun.


Blinds and curtains

Make sure blinds and curtains are easy to operate and clean. A simple roller blind is a great option that blocks out light, is kept out of the way during the day and can be easily removed and cleaned.



Try to have the same approach with carpet as you do with blinds and curtains. Choose low pile carpets that are made tough, so it doesn’t wear quickly. Avoid light colours that show up marks and small stains. If you’re unsure, speak with a carpet specialist to choose the best ‘tenant-proof’ carpet that’s still good quality.

Easy care tiles that can be replaced (have some spares on hand) and also laminate ‘floating floorboards’ look great and wear well. While having softwood floorboards might look great, the material dents and scratches easily. Again, if you’re unsure, speak with a flooring specialist for the best products that offer durability and quality, while complementing the aesthetic of your property.


Replace appliances

Replacing that tired old oven or adding a new dishwasher improves the appeal of a property. If you’re expecting your current tenant to move on, consider updating any appliances that are old and not in great working order.


When you rent your properties, it is important to have the right expectations and to understand that the better product (home) you can offer to the market, the better customers (tenants) you will attract. That doesn’t mean you have to spend mountains of cash on your investment properties, but it does mean ensuring your properties are looked after and well maintained. And don’t forget, most of these home improvements will be tax-deductible.


Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice.  Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.




4 Ways To Optimise Your Rent Returns During a Crisis

April 29, 2020

We’ve never experienced anything like COVID-19 in our lifetimes, and when faced with uncertainty, it’s easy to worry about your investment returns. So, whether you’ve been a property investor for decades, or you’ve just purchased your first investment property in the last few weeks, there are a couple of things to consider as you optimise your rental returns on your investment property during a crisis like this.

Check Your Landlord Insurance

Landlord insurance is something you rarely claim, but you always want to have protecting your investment property. In times of crisis, you must check your landlord insurance. Collect information on how you’re currently protected and what you’re covered for.
You also want to reach out to your landlord insurance provider to find out what action you are expected to take, if you are in a position where you need to make a claim. Follow the instruction you’re given by your insurance company to ensure that you’re able to make that claim quickly and easily, if required.

Understand Your Tenants

If you’re approached by your tenants to request a rent reduction, take a moment to understand their position. It’s important to acknowledge that your tenants are responding from a place of fear, especially if their income is being impacted by the crisis. However, this doesn’t mean that you automatically have to give this rent reduction. Speak with your property manager and landlord insurance company to obtain professional advice on how to respond to this request and act logically and respectfully.

Speak With Your Bank

If you’re financially impacted by this crisis, speak with your bank about any mortgage relief that might be available to you, in your circumstances. Remember to remain calm and patient through this process, as there many be delays in getting this information from your bank. During a crisis like this, banks are being bombarded with calls, emails and in-person requests, so wait-times are going to be much longer than usual.

Keep Leasing Your Property

If your property has become vacant during this time, speak with your property manager to obtain professional advice on how to secure a tenant in this market. Your property manager will likely be following recommendations from their local Real Estate Institute and governing bodies on best practices for showing tenants through your property and optimising your rental returns during a crisis.

In a time of crisis, remain fact-based and focused on solutions for your investment. Follow local government recommendations and stay in contact with your property manager to preserve the best outcomes for your investment property. Remember, this information is not to be considered legal advice, to be sure to obtain appropriate advice before making any financial or legal decisions.

Tips on how to keep your tenants long term

April 28, 2015

You have a great tenant and now you want to ensure they stay as long as possible. How do we hold onto good tenants’ long term? The answers are very simple.

Ensure the property is in good repair at all times and be responsive

Maintaining your property to a high standard at all times not only increases the value, but it also minimises the risk of vacancy. Tenants appreciate landlords who are willing to maintain their properties to a high standard and in return, they will work hard to look after the property.

 Increase your rent regularly but in smaller increments

No tenant will appreciate a large rental increase, however all tenants understand that rent increases are inevitable. Showing your tenant a list of comparable properties and reducing the amount of the rental increase will prove that you are being reasonable and fair.

Be proactive

At the commencement of a Tenancy Agreement, try to diarise when the lease is due to expire and contact the tenant at least 60 – 90 days prior to find out what their intentions are and renew their lease accordingly. If you are looking for security, renew the lease as soon as it expires.

Appreciate the tenants

Reward tenants when they look after your property. If a tenant has maintained the property to a high standard, I show them that I appreciate them, whether it is leaving behind some chocolates or movie tickets or a personalised hand written thank you card, it demonstrates appreciation and your tenant will appreciate you for it.

If you combine the above tips, you will be sure to hold onto your tenants and minimise the vacancy periods. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact Liza Baghdassarian on 9199 7501.

Christmas decorating tips

December 18, 2014

Are you feeling overwhelmed with so much to do over the silly season?

Why not make your home into a festive space for your friends and family to gather into. I will provide you with some fast and simple ways to inspire you to decorate your home with some Christmas cheer.

  1. Give your guests a breathtaking welcome by dressing up the front doorway. Placing some tall urns on either side of the front door with small decorative Christmas trees on top will not only look spectacular but will also leave a fabulous first impression. A couple of large bells with festive ribbon can also look very pretty on the front door knob.
  2. Decorate Your Staircase with swags of greens, beautiful red bows and some other unique embellishments. You can use clothes pins to string Christmas cards along the staircase if you wanted to.
  3. Decorating the Christmas tree and sticking to the same colour scheme throughout the home is one of the most important things you can do.
  4. Placing presents under the Christmas tree prior to Christmas creates a feeling of excitement, not only for you but for the whole family.
  5. Wrap candles of your choice with some colourful Christmas ribbon and place them on tables and mantles in the bathroom.
  6. Christmas stockings can be hung anywhere, not just over the fireplace. You can use door knobs, hooks under the window sill, or even onto some pieces of furniture.
  7. Table trimmings; Forget the expensive china and extravagant centrepieces. You can create your own personalised runner by placing pins along the sides of a guided poster board and creatively weaving a coloured string from pin to pin which will make a modern textured focal point.

Christmas can be wonderfully memorable, all you need to do is enjoy yourself and relax. You will soon find yourself getting into the Christmas spirit. On behalf of myself and the team at Exclusive Property Group, we wish you a very happy and safe Christmas. We are looking forward to a successful and exciting 2015!

How to pick the right time to buy

November 13, 2014

One of the things I see as a property specialist is investors who miss out on a great opportunity because they become so obsessed about timing and market trends that they actually miss the chance to buy.

While timing is very important, it is not the vital ingredient to success. It is important to be cautious about when to buy but dragging your feet will not result in profitability. The property market will always have its soaring or gloomy periods but if you can afford to buy now, then doing some homework on capital growth in the area you are interested in will go a long way.

If your goal is to hold onto a property for a while, then when you buy is not as crucial as what you buy.

The location of the property plays an important role in capital growth. Areas that are within close proximity to transport, shops, and restaurants and located in quiet pockets are usually high in demand regardless of how the market is behaving.

Something else to consider is the fundamentals of the property. If you are looking for an investment property, then look at what’s high in demand. For example do people in the area need parking or do the demographics show that most use public transport. Doing some homework about the common age group of the people in the area will help you pin point what they require. This will assist you to buy a property that meets the demand.

If you are prepared to keep your property for a medium to long term and if you buy in an area that has a proven track record, then you will be buying into success. Good luck with your purchase!

Top mistakes property sellers can avoid

October 13, 2014

Over many years, I see common mistakes people make when selling their homes. Here are some examples of those mistakes and how to avoid them.

Selling your home before you’re prepared

Selling your home can be a very exciting experience but it can take many months if you’re not ready. Preparing the home for sale is just as important as being emotionally ready. Before you decide to put your property on the market, do some research so that you can make informed decisions on price, presentation, advertising and whether you should sell by way of Private Treaty or Auction. This will help you mentally prepare and assist with the whole selling process.


We all love to renovate our homes to suit our requirements, but upgrading a home for purpose of selling is completely different. If you are unsure about how to renovate, visit neighbouring properties and try to stay in line with what your completion is doing. It’s crucial that your property is presented at its best and there are lots of little things you can do to achieve this. An example of this is cleaning. Ensuring that your home is spotless will make the world of difference. You would be surprised how something so simple can go a long way.

Choosing an agent based on their quoted price

Beware of those agents who over quote to get your business. They will tell you what you want to hear which will result in disappointment. Choose the agent who you believe is honest, reliable and experienced not an agent who aims high and fails to deliver.


The amount you spend on advertising depends on the type of property and whether you are going to sell it by way of Private Treaty or Auction. The most effective way to advertise is online. This is where you will usually find your purchaser. There are many agents out there who will try to make you spend thousands on advertising, but what they’re really doing is promoting themselves.


Don’t pick a price based on how much profit you would like to gain.  Obtain at least 3 written appraisals from agents before formulating the price. Take into consideration what similar properties have sold for in the area, how they compare to your property, how long it took to sell them, the condition and age of the property. Keep in mind that buyers are looking at lots of properties in the area within the same price range so they know a lot more than you think.


Do you need a property stylist before marketing your home for sale?

July 28, 2014

Property styling is not about remodelling your home, it’s about increasing the value to your home by maximising its potential.

Many people ask me how the property should be presented for purpose of selling. It is essential to style the property to suit the purchaser’s perception. We often think that our own taste is the best, but unfortunately this is often not the case.

A first impression is extremely important when looking to sell your property. Property stylists are specialised in looking at your home from the buyer’s perspective and converting your property into an appealing haven. They will take advantage of the home’s natural light, surrounding environment and the detail, to create the ‘wow’ factor.

For those of you who are looking to sell or rent your property, we all have the one goal. We aim to achieve the highest possible value. As a rule of thumb, generating a desirable and functional space which matches your property to the surrounding neighbourhood and market will help accomplish this.

Expert property staging has become a crucial ingredient in achieving a successful sale. Properties need to be presented beautifully in order to attract the right amount of buyers and achieve the best possible price.

Is your balcony or deck safe?

June 13, 2014

Recently, I have been hearing a lot about accidents and deaths occurring as a result of unsafe balconies and decks.
Did you know that all balconies and decks must be constructed to the requirements of Australian standards and the Building Code of Australia? Make sure you do your due diligence when purchasing a property.

For those of you who have timber decks or balconies, we recommend that you check for wear and tear and arrange regular termite inspections to prevent your deck from being destroyed. Water can also affect timber so it is important that it is regularly treated.

If you have concrete balconies or decks, make sure you check for signs of leaning, look for flakes in the concrete or cracks. Inspect the side and under the balcony to see whether you can see rust stains or exposed steel.

Landlords must ensure that their balconies and decks are regularly inspected and maintained. If you are unsure of what to look for during your inspections, I would suggest you engage an expert. Licensed builders, building inspectors, structural engineers and surveyors are all qualified to inspect and give you the peace of mind that your balcony or deck is safe.

Would like a balcony safety guide for your property? If so, please feel free to give me a call on 9199 7501.

What to consider when deciding to furnish your investment property

March 27, 2014

I get asked so many times:  Should we rent the property furnished or unfurnished?

There are many advantages of furnishing your investment:

1.  Higher rent

The better the property is presented, the more rent you will be able to achieve.  High turnovers allow greater flexibility both with pricing and also provides the landlord with more frequent opportunities to inspect their property.

Some of the most important things to consider before deciding to furnish your property is what kind of tenant you will be targeting? Does the location of your property appeal to your target?  Is there a lot of other furnished properties in the area and will the demand be high?

2.  Furnished properties generally attract short-term leases

Students, families on vacation, or corporate professionals who are on contract are generally interested in short term furnished rentals. These types of tenants are happy to pay higher rent for the convenience of having a furnished home.

3.  Tax Advantages

There are plenty of tax advantages when renting a furnished home, I recommend that you get the advice of a tax accountant on what items can be written off immediately and which items will be written off over their estimated lifespan.

4.  Less Wear and Tear

Furnished means no removalists and less damage to your most valuable asset.

It’s important to keep in mind that a furnished rental will require good quality modern furniture that is welcoming and easy to clean. Keep in mind that all furniture, appliances and items in the property must be maintained or replaced and updated by the landlord regularly. Using neutral colours such as greys or browns will appeal to most. Try to avoid expensive antiques and electronics or decorative items of sentimental value.

It’s recommended that you obtain landlords insurance which will cover you for damage to furniture and contents. Although deliberate damage is rare, it’s better to be prepared, just in case.

Should you require a sample inventory of a furnished property or would like to know what your property is worth, give me a call today at 9199 7501.

Tips on how to buy a property at auction

March 11, 2014

Auctions can be a daunting process, if you do a little research and get to know the property, it can actually be very easy.  Here are some tips on what you can do:

1.  Research

Find similar properties that are being sold in the area that you would like to buy in.  Look at things like land size, location, the condition of the property and parking availability.  Attending auctions for similar homes in the area will give you a good idea on  the demand and also the price.  Watch the people who are bidding and how they are bidding.   Visit the local council and make inquiries about the area so that you are informed of any issues that may affect your decision to purchase.

2.  Get a pre-approved loan

Get qualified for a mortgage from a bank or lender so you know how much buying power you have.  This is very important as you want to make sure that you are researching properties within your realm.

3.  Outsource help

Speak to agents in the area and get them to show you properties that are within your budget.  Find a suitable property conveyancer who will give you advice on the contract of sale.

4.  Budget

Decide what your maximum bidding budget is and make sure you stick to it.

Good Luck and Happy Bidding 🙂

Mistakes to avoid when managing your own investment

January 31, 2014

Have you ever hired a property manager who never returns your calls, never actions your requests and has no knowledge of current legislation?

Many investors decide to manage their own property because they have had poor experiences with property managers.  Some of the reasons my investors have complained to me about their prior Real Estate Agents:

1. Horrible customer service

2.  No common sense when selecting tenants

3.  No rent reviews are conducted for years, resulting in low returns

4.  No property inspections means that the property is not being maintained

And these are just to name a few!

I like to warn property investors of some mistakes that can be made when managing their own property so these mistakes can be avoided.  Listed below some examples.

1.  Comprehensive screening of quality tenants

It is vital that the RIGHT tenant is selected to occupy one of your most valuable assets. This means that all prospective tenants need to be property screened. Some investors get carried away with placing the first tenant who applies for a property and they end up losing money because the right tenant was not selected and was not capable of meeting the rental requirements.

2.  Not acting quickly when repairs are required

We understand that everyone’s priorities are different, some landlords prefer to save their money instead of maintaining their valuable asset.  In turn, the property becomes run down, difficult to re-let and results in a very expensive renovation for the landlord.  On the other hand, if a property is maintained on a regular basis, this minimises expenses for the landlord and maximises returns and also assists with tenant retention.

 3.  Forming a direct relationship with the tenant

For those investors who wish to manage their own property, it’s easy to form a good bond with your tenant as you are usually dealing directly with them.  The issue with this is that it is difficult to form a strong relationship and keep it professional at the same time.  In the case where  your tenant is in arrears, or spills red wine on your brand new carpet, it suddenly becomes difficult to confront them about it.  It is the investors best interest to insure that their asset is well protected.  Therefore choosing an experienced property manager to liaise with the tenant and look after your investment is the smart option.

4.  Regular rent reviews

There are two types of property investors:

1.  Those who review and increase rent on a regular basis and in small increments

2.  Those who do not increase the rent in years then serves the tenant with a huge increase which results in a vacant property.  I personally recommend that regular increases be served (within reason) so that you keep up with market trends and keep the tenant happy at the same time.

3.  Not taking property management seriously

If you want your asset to perform for you, then you will need to trust a professional to manage it.  Property investors underestimate the complexities of managing an investment.  It’s actually not as simple as you think, so many things can go wrong and unless you know the legislation, it can be very challenging to resolve.

4.  No regular inspections

Some property investors don’t have the time to conduct regular property inspections and others avoid them as they feel this is providing the tenant with the opportunity to raise maintenance issues which they don’t wish to address.  Routine inspections are essential, in order to ensure the tenant is maintaining the property to an acceptable standard.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss your future property requirements and look forward to adding you to our list of happy landlords!  Give me a call at 04 1365 8566.

How do you choose a reliable property manager?

January 29, 2014

A trusted property manager will play an important role when managing an investment property in Sydney. A reliable property manager has knowledge of local market trends and can maximise weekly income and supply top quality tenants who can maintain  your investment property. If you are determined to own a property, then we recommend to hire a property manager in your local area of Sydney to represent you and  manage your property.

Once you’ve got shortlisted a number of potential property managers, it’s necessary to meet them individually to compare their property management services and to chat to them about rental returns. Questions To raise once Interviewing a Property Manager in Sydney Does your agency have an infatuated property management department? Some agencies  will not prioritise the task of property management and will hire inexperienced front table employees or receptionists to do a property managers job.

It is vital for you to check whether the agency has dedicated employees to effectively manage your property. Is a director/owner of the agency overseeing the property management department? How focused is that the agency on property management? You should ensure you choose an agency that takes property management seriously.

This is your valuable asset and needs to be managed by a reliable property manager. Is the owner of the business heavily involved in the management side of the business? How many years of expertise does the property manager have? Experienced property managers are required to obtaining quality tenants and dealing professionally with any issues that may arise. Can your property manager in Sydney give you a written comparison on rental values within the market? A real estate agent who has a wealth of knowledge of the local area will be able to easily provide you with a comparable market analysis.

An industry leading property manager can offer an accurate market appraisal to ensure that you receive maximum rental returns. How does a professional real estate agent review potential tenants? How do they verify whether or not the tenant is appropriate for a property? Do they conduct police checks, or checks concerning their past rental history, current employment, etc? How many properties does the property manager manage? Are they representing several others, thence being honourable and successful? Bigger isn’t always better when managing investment property.

A professional property manager will manage a smaller portfolio to ensure special attention is provided to each and every property. Will your property manager represent you at the Tribunal? In the case that you experience difficult tenants, your property manager will need to attend court on your behalf to represent your case. A reliable and experienced property manager will need to be hired to be able to step up in these circumstances.

Does your property manager advise you when a maintenance issue arises? In the event when maintenance issues arise, you will be trusting that your property manager will use their common sense before arranging repairs. Once you have chosen the real estate agent to manage your most valued asset, you should make sure you are clear on all their fees and charges so there are no nasty surprises.

Meet Liza Freitas - Your Property Specialist

Liza Freitas, Managing Director of Exclusive Property Group, has extensive experience in property, specifically in residential property sales and property management.

Liza began her career working alongside some of Sydney’s leading property agents. And it is this unique mentoring, from successful and well known property specialists, that helped enhance Liza’s professional instincts and facilitated the development of her extensive knowledge and understanding of the property market.

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Liza Baghdassarian - Exclusive Property Group Sydney