API Online

August 31, 2011

Don’t sell too early!

I own a unit in a complex of five and I noticed this week that one of the other units in the complex is up for sale.


Of course I was very interested to see this, because I’m keen to see how long it takes to sell, if it does sell and how much it sells for.

After informing my co-owner (also my brother) that one of the units in our complex is up for sale, he pointed out to me that when it sells, ours will be the only one that is with the original owners. You see, the unit was brand spanking new when we bought it just shy of four and a half years ago.

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August 29, 2011

Understanding repairs and capital improvements: it’s tricky!

Last year more than one million property investors claimed over $25 billion worth of rental deductions.


Quite staggering isn’t it. No wonder the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has placed property investors on notice this year!

And there’s a good reason why the ATO focuses on this topic.

In my opinion it’s quite a grey area – and according to the investors we speak to, filled with confusion. Read more →

August 26, 2011

Mining boom or bust – avoid property investments near the coalface

All the talk of a resources boom that might last for decades has encouraged investors to look at buying property in mining towns, chasing the next hotspot.


Only last week Chris, a builder from Tasmania, asked my opinion on investing in a mining town, saying he was chasing capital growth but was worried about the effect the new carbon tax may have on Australia’s resource sector and the towns that rely on this booming industry for economic prosperity.

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August 24, 2011

Are the rules for rents and evictions unfair to landlords?

I’ve always believed that if you’re kind to tenants, they’ll be kind to your investment. It’s a naive thought but one I still try to go by, basically so I can sleep at night and not have to worry about what is or isn’t happening inside my retirement nest egg. Even so, the rules around rents, bonds and evictions can create all sorts of headaches for landlords, depending on the state you live in, as they’re often stacked in favour of the tenant.


I consider investing to be a fun and rewarding process, as well as a long-term plan, so I’m not too fussed about a dollar here or there. Over the past two years, I’ve given my tenants on the Gold Coast anything they asked for. They could change colours, drill holes, put shelves in, etc. I fixed and repaired anything they wanted without question. I even recently put air conditioning in the unit for free and didn’t ask for any sort of increase in rent, simply because I figured this would make them happier there and also add some value to the unit (the sun can be a real killer with my west-facing apartment in summer.)

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August 23, 2011

Do fortnightly repayments really make your mortgage shrink?

There’s no shortage of talk at the moment about rising interest rates and the need for more Australian homeowners to carefully consider their financial strategy when it comes to better managing debt.


One option that’s been widely discussed in the media of late is refinancing and with increasing competition in the lending arena, this is definitely worth considering. But less has been said about how to best manage repayments in order to save not only interest, but years on the life of a standard, variable rate home loan. Read more →

August 19, 2011

An important lesson for turbulent times: this too shall pass

While we’re in uncharted territory in our financial markets and many investors are confused and concerned, older and more experienced investors have lived through similar times before.


If you look back over the past decade, we’ve had the introduction of capital gains tax, the dot-com stockmarket crash, the September 11 tragedy, we’ve gone to war overseas, had a change of government, periods of high interest rates and low interest rates, the global financial crisis (GFC) and a myriad of other factors out of our control that seemed scary at the time and created uncertainty for our investments.

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August 16, 2011

A forthcoming spring of discontent – will it affect our market?

It seems we’re in for a ‘spring of discontent’. The release of the long-awaited carbon tax details were intended to produce an element of certainty. It’s been spruiked as a simple effective plan ensuring pollution is reduced ‘at the lowest cost to the economy’ with a large spoon of sugar for us ‘ordinary folk’ designed to sweeten the pain and lessen any complaints.


The question is simply one of trust. As any good sales rep understands, you don’t sell the product, you sell trust. And let’s be honest – with questions and retaliations flying from the right and left, we’re doing little more than swimming against a tide of economic uncertainty.

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August 12, 2011

Australians continue to stash their cash

It seems many Australians have bid farewell to the days of excessive and frivolous spending as a new era of conservatism takes hold in an environment of global economic uncertainty.


It wasn’t that long ago that most of us were living beyond our means, chalking up credit card debt and treating the equity in our hones as an ATM as we became caught in the grip of mass consumerism.

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August 10, 2011

Block your ears!

From what we’re hearing on the television and radio, and reading in newspapers and websites, it’s all doom and gloom out there at the moment.


Consumer confidence has been down for some time and the renewed turmoil in the global economy really isn’t helping. People are scared, understandably. They’re not sure if another global financial crisis (GFC) is around the corner. And the uncertain political situation in Australia, with a government throwing around something as controversial as a carbon tax at a time like this, is making matters worse. Even some property experts are starting to waver on their staunch optimism faced with these current conditions.

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August 9, 2011

Once upon a time…

Many people treat property investment like a fairytale. You know how it goes… pretty girl marries charming prince, they live in a castle and it’s ‘happily ever after’.


Well, the reality is there’s also a wicked witch (or two) around, who, with a quick wave of her wand, can deliver enough evil to derail the best-laid plans. Interest rate rises, termites, floods, or perhaps even the new neighbours who’ve boarded up the windows and set up a meth lab next door. All of these have the potential to turn the fairytale into a nightmare when you haven’t assessed the risks and put plans in place to minimise them.

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