API Blog :: Have your say!

April 4, 2012

Is the magic of Moranbah over?


Every investor who bought in the mining boom town of Moranbah last year seemed to be doing very well. I watched as prices went up, rents skyrocketed and average mum and dads hit the jackpot. Then, last month, the bubble finally burst.

BY LAUREN CROSS

I wrote a blog about a month ago, asking if mining towns are really that risky.
Well, as it turns out – they are!
And it’s the seemingly safe and mighty mining town of Moranbah that has come crashing down before anyone even saw it coming. Who would have thought that a town with at least five future planned mines, (see page 24 of this document for details) would currently be a place where landlords can’t get rent. Before Christmas, properties were achieving up to $3000 per week in rent. Now, a standoff between landlords and mining giant BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) is resulting in dozens of vacant homes (there are currently 121 listings on realestate.com.au).
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March 28, 2012

Gazumping – why do agents do it?


Have you ever bought a home, but then found out it wasn’t actually yours? You may have signed the contract and been told the vendor was happy with your offer. You could have even started planning your house warming party, only to be gazumped a day or two later.

BY LAUREN CROSS

Unfortunately, gazumping happens all the time and while it’s still legal in most states, including New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, some people might consider it immoral.

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March 21, 2012

Should it stay or should it go?


They say if a property isn’t performing you should ditch it. But that’s easier said than done.

BY LAUREN CROSS

There are some great opportunities out there right now in realestate.com.au land. No matter where I seem to look (mining boom areas, interstate, even coastal areas that have pulled back!) I keep finding properties that look great, at least in picture. The problem is, I’m stuck. My fiancé and I are pretty much maxed out when it comes to negative gearing and we have a reasonably big personal home loan too. So yes we could borrow again but being in the position we’re currently in, the property would probably have to be positively geared.

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February 29, 2012

Yes we bought a flooded property – what’s the big deal?


Over the past 12 months, I’ve done stories about flooded suburbs or areas impacted by last year’s downpour in southeast Queensland. Each and every time, real estate experts have warned to stay away from flooded properties, claiming the risks far outweigh the benefits. Well, I’m going to throw a spanner in the works and say that last year my fiancé and I bought a flood-affected property and it was the best financial decision we’ve ever made.

BY LAUREN CROSS

I actually think flood-affected properties have heaps of benefits. For starters, most of the best suburbs in Brisbane are near the river. So chances are if you’re buying a flood-affected property, you’re buying in a pretty good suburb. You’re also likely to get a discount and walk into a renovated property that you don’t need to paint or recarpet for at least another 10 years.

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February 22, 2012

Are mining towns really that risky?


Those who missed out on Gladstone’s boom in 2011 are probably wishing they’d bitten the bullet and dived into the market sooner rather than later. If you were like me, you probably watched prices increase by around $5000 per week, every week, for the entire year.

BY LAUREN CROSS

I kept thinking to myself ‘it’s a no brainer to snap something up in Gladstone’, but instead I went with an emotional purchase and bought a house (my principal place of residence) in Brisbane.

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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.

BY LAUREN CROSS

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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June 29, 2011

Why Gen Y should hang on to their investment property


As a fellow Gen Y investor, it’s fair to say that the 20-somethings have only ever known good times. But when it comes to property, our expectations may need to be adjusted.

BY LAUREN CROSS

For Gen X (the 30-somethings), life on the property ladder was great; there was constant growth and equity gains during the early 2000s. In fact it didn’t really matter where you bought – you were guaranteed to make money somewhere.

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