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The unique combination of Shelley and Mark’s team-based way of working and proven business philosophies, presence and marketing tools is your winning formula for success and the reason so much of their business results from word-of-mouth referral and people who keep coming back.

The pros and cons of ‘rentvesting’

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

16 February 2019

If you have been following our newsletters lately you would probably have noticed the term ‘rentvesting’ in recent newsletters. It’s not a term we made up but a buzzword for an alternative way of getting into the property market and achieving property ownership.

So what is rentvesting?

Rentvesting is simply renting where you want to live (typically in an area you love but can’t afford to buy in) and buying an investment property in a more affordable suburb to rent out.

Just like any investment strategy, there are pros and cons that should be considered.


Live where you want, while still getting your foot in the door of the property market

Rentvesting allows you to live where you want to live and invest where you can afford, enabling you to get into the property market sooner using a lower deposit.

Freedom and flexibility

Let’s face it, when you’re young, perhaps without any kids, the ability to move around as you please is very desirable. This could be to a different suburb, state or even country. Renting allows you to do that (within the terms of your lease of course).

Tax incentives 

Property investors have the benefit of being able to tap into numerous tax benefits, which aren’t available to owner occupiers. Tax deductible expenses include advertising for tenants, repairs and maintenance, home insurance, and water and council rates.

The opportunity to build an investment portfolio

If the rent being paid by your tenants is more than your loan repayments, you will benefit from extra income. This could enable you to reinvest these extra funds elsewhere and use it to grow your property portfolio at a much faster pace than if you were waiting for a property to appreciate in capital growth.


Being a tenant 

A rentvester is in the unusual situation of being both a tenant and a landlord. As a tenant you must deal with regular inspections and the uncertainty of having to move should the owner decide to sell. Furthermore, as your home is not your own, there are restrictions on what you can and can’t do to it to make it how you want it to be. If you are looking for a long term permanent home for the security, then rentvesting would not be for you.

Paying off someone else’s mortgage 

Many people refer to rent money as ‘dead money’ because it is essentially helping the landlord pay off their mortgage. If you can’t bear this thought then reconsider rentvesting. The whole premise behind it is to live where you want to live and buy where you can afford, so it requires a change in mindset.

Time consuming 

Being a tenant and a landlord simultaneously can be time consuming. Having a good property manager will make it much easier and far less stressful.

You will miss out on the FHOG

The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) is only available to first homebuyers who are buying an established or building a new home to live in themselves. So if the first property you buy is an investment property you will forfeit your eligibility for the grant. Click here for more information on the FHOG eligibility requirements in WA.

You may be up for Capital Gains Tax

When you sell your investment property, you will have to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the profit margin unless you live in the property for 12 months before selling it.

How to rentvest successfully

Successful rentvesting requires you to do some research before you jump in. Analyse the average rental returns and capital growth predictions of a median priced investment property in a suburb you are considering investing in.

Once you’ve done that, compare this to the rental returns and capital growth of the property you want to live in/rent (in the more expensive area).

If the sums and lifestyle advantages don’t add up, reconsider the idea of rentvesting. But if you love where you live and want the freedom and flexibility to move around before you settle down without sacrificing the chance to get your foot in the door of the property market, give rentvesting some serious consideration.

Everyone’s financial situation is unique

Always seek independent financial advice before making a decision of this magnitude.

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How to stay cool without blowing out your power bill

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

08 February 2019

As we swelter through another heat wave in Perth, it may be very tempting to crank up the air conditioner or head to the nearest cinema or shopping centre.

So when we saw an article on how to keep cool without ramping up your power bill written by an experienced building designer with a Masters degree in sustainable design it caught our attention.

He says there are a number of measures we can all take to reduce the internal temperature of our homes at various times of the day to the point where the need for air conditioning will be reduced, saving money.

His number one tip is to protect your home from the sun during the hottest part of the day.

Lower temperatures in the home at the start and end of the day by opening all doors and windows, using cross ventilation to draw a breeze through.

Then, as the mercury rises, close all the openings and window treatments (as a lot of heat transference comes via glass windows) to reduce radiant heat from entering.

Block-out shutters or external venetians are great options but if you don’t have the budget to retrofit your windows you can simply call in to your local nursery and invest in a small tree with a good-sized canopy to plant near your windows to the east and west of your home.

There should be no need to run your air conditioner well into the evening when the temperatures have dropped by ten to fifteen degrees. Reducing the running time of your air conditioning by as little as an hour a day will result in a significant saving on your power bill at the end of the quarter.

Furthermore, opening your windows to let fresh air in will also improve indoor air quality, which is particularly important for people with allergies and respiratory conditions like asthma.

If you intend to make some structural changes to your home to make it more sustainable, here are a few tips:

• Install louvred widows to the southern and northern ends of the house. Given hot air rises, this feature will expel hot air and draw cool air in.
• Minimise the use of brick and concrete externally as they are very effective at storing heat.
• Soft, cool landscape features such as a pool, water feature, timber decking and soft soil gardens are excellent for combatting heat transference.
• Wall and ceiling insulation is a must, especially in hotter areas (the higher the R-value rating, the more heat resistant the insulation).

Stay cool. Autumn is just around the corner.

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Chinese New Year facts & what the Year of the Pig represents

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

01 February 2019

With Chinese New Year approaching next week (Feb 5) we thought it would be interesting to share some facts about this festival that marks the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar.

In 2019 we farewell the Year of the Dog and enter the Year of the Pig, which is the last in line of all 12 zodiac animals.

The Pig is said to be a lucky animal representing carefree fun, good fortune and wealth. Water zodiac signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) are predicted to have the most success in the Year of the Pig 2019 (according to the Chinese zodiac).

Those born under the sign of the Pig are said to be natural nurturers and have gentle, accommodating personalities. However their weakness is that they can be somewhat naive and overly sensitive.

Random facts about Chinese New Year

1. It is thought that the most fireworks in the world are set off that night.

2. There are 12 zodiac animals and each year is represented by one of those animals on a rotational basis – rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

3. Your own zodiac year is considered your least fortunate.

4. The colour red is said to defend against misfortune, hence the prominence of the colour during celebrations and in the homes of Chinese families.

5. Approximately one-sixth of the world’s population celebrates the Chinese New Year.

6. Celebrations last for a few weeks and typically culminate in a Lantern Festival, which falls on the first full moon of the Chinese New Year (aka the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival)

7. It is tradition for families to exchange gifts of cash on Chinese New Year while the streets are filled the sounds of bells ringing and fireworks and the sights of lion dances being performed.

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Why your first property purchase trumps all others

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

25 January 2019

For those of you who are in your second or subsequent home, you will no doubt have memories (fond or otherwise) of your very first home of your own.

No matter how humble, that first home got you on the property ladder. It was an important stepping-stone to where you are now and towards your next move.

If you are saving for your first property (or looking to buy now) take your time to carefully research the market and the areas you like. Ensure your decision fits your budget and your lifestyle and don’t be too concerned if the place you can afford is not in the suburb where you want your kids to go to school one day. Remember, it is a stepping-stone. Most people don’t live in their first home forever.

REIWA President Damian Collins says the first home you buy is the most important because its capital growth is how you create equity to be able to afford to trade up to the next home.

“Most people buy at the lower end of the property market for their first home and through their lives, many move into higher price brackets as their family and income grow,” he says.

The key is to think long term. Don’t get too caught up on the idea that your first home has to be perfect. Chances are it won’t be and it may need some work to make it how you want it to be.

“Quite often existing homes that are a little older in established suburbs grow in value more than brand new homes in the outer suburbs. It’s nice to have everything brand new, but remember, the first property is the stepping-stone to your dream home,” says Mr Collins.

The other option you could try, as discussed in last week’s newsletter, is to rentvest.

What’s rentvesting?

More than the latest buzzword in property circles, ‘rentvesting’ is when people rent a home (often in a location they want to live but can’t afford to buy) and purchase an investment property in an area that fits their budget. They then rent out the investment property to help pay off the mortgage and pay their rent with a goal of selling the property later for a capital gain.

It could be a means of entering the property market sooner and plan for the second property purchase to be a home to stay put in for a while.

Again, it all comes down to doing your research and buying the first property in an area that has great potential for good capital growth in the not too distant future.

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5 signs you’re ready to ditch the renting cycle

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

18 January 2019

Do you feel like you’re stuck in a renting cycle?

How do you know when it’s time to give renting the flick and buy your first home?

Here are 5 signs you’re ready:

1. You want to own an asset that will grow in value over time rather than fork out money on an asset owned by your landlord.
This is called capital growth. As your property value goes up, so does your equity (the difference between the value of your property and the balance on your mortgage). Later on you could potentially use your growing equity for things like a home renovation, a deposit on your next home, or property investment.

2. You are seeking greater stability.
The risk when renting is that you never know what the owner’s intentions are. If he/she decides to sell, you have no choice but to look for somewhere else to live (unless they sell to another investor and then you have to wait and see if they put the rent up). Owning your own home gives you stability.

3. You’re tired of being limited in terms of what you can and can’t do to make your home your own.
Are you tired of not being able to update the carpet, install an air conditioner, paint the walls or mount your TV on the wall? Buying a home means you have freedom to make changes as you see fit.

4. You have worked out that you can afford the mortgage repayments and other ongoing costs.
With historically low interest rates, a mortgage can work out to be more affordable than paying rent. Just be sure not to stretch yourself too thin. Don’t borrow to your limit as interest rates can’t stay this low forever. What’s more, there are some ongoing costs involved in buying a home that you don’t need to worry about when renting, like council rates, strata fees and property maintenance and repairs.

5. You have saved enough to pay the deposit (generally 20%) and other upfront costs.
Even if you are struggling to save 20%, it’s worth investigating your lending options. Some financial institutions will lend against a lower deposit as long as you meet certain criteria. Seek advice from a mortgage broker who can compare loans for you.

Think outside the box – consider ‘rentvesting’

Love the neighbourhood you live in but can’t afford to buy there? How about buying and renting at the same time?

This is known as ‘rentvesting’. It involves living in a rental property while buying an investment property in a more affordable area.

Make 2019 your year!

Now is one of the best times to buy in Perth in many years. But experts say don’t wait too long if you can afford to do it now.

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Planning to invest in 2019? Here are 10 tips for success.

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

11 January 2019

Have you set yourself a New Year’s resolution to invest in property? If so, congratulations! You have selected a great time to buy. However it is important not to jump into the investment market blindly. To get the most out of your property investments and to lessen the associated risks, take a look at the following 10 tips as suggested by leading Australian property investment expert, Michael Yardney.

1. Educate yourself
Subscribe to blogs, online forums and publications from reliable sources such as realestate.com.au, Investor Assist, and Australian Property Investor, to name just a few to learn the do’s and don’ts of property investing.

Research property prices, land tax and government charges as well as socioeconomic factors of the area you are interested in to determine whether or not it represents a good long-term investment prospect.

Michael Yardney says first time investors must understand how property markets work and “not believe the myth that all properties increase in value”.

2. Seek advice

Speak with local real estate agents and brokers to help you better understand the current local marketplace for the area you wish to invest in.

You may also wish to consult the services of an independent property strategist, mortgage broker, financial planner and/or accountant to help determine your investment strategy and borrowing capacity and locate a good high growth area.
A team of independent professionals will help you avoid buying a property based on emotion, which is the last thing you should do when investing in property (leave the emotion for buying your home).

3. Save early

Get into a habit of making regular deposits into a high-interest savings account so you can show your lender that you have financial discipline. It’s also important to set yourself a realistic budget if you are truly serious about investing in property.

4. Consider a family guarantee

Banks generally require you to come up with at least a 20% deposit of the purchase price (unless they allow you to take out lenders mortgage insurance, in which case a lower deposit is allowed).

The other option if you are brand new to the market is to consider using a family guarantor. This is where an immediate family member allows the equity in their property to be used as extra security for your home loan.

Say your parents are willing and able to be guarantor for you. Michael Yardney says to ensure you split the loan in two portions: the portion of the loan they are guaranteeing and the portion they are not guaranteeing. Then you should work hard to reduce the portion your parents are guaranteeing so you can release them as quickly as possible.

5. Consider borrowing options

Co-borrowing is another viable option for young investors. This is when two or more investors agree to share the costs of ownership. If you both have similar financial goals and circumstances this can work well.

Along with sharing the loan cost, the borrowers share additional costs such as stamp duty, strata fees or legal charges, as well as ongoing costs such as maintenance and repairs. Just ensure that all the necessary legal documents are in place first to avoid problems (seek advice from a solicitor).

6. Shop around for a competitive loan

The investment loan market is highly competitive. Do the right research and comparisons and you are likely to find a mortgage product with advantageous features like an offset account, the ability to make additional repayments, a redraw facility and minimal ongoing fees. Such features will allow you to lower your mortgage repayments and interest charges so you can focus on servicing your debt and reaching your investment goals sooner.

7. Pre-approval

Once you’ve found the right home loan, apply for pre-approval. Why? Because having pre-approval in place gives you greater negotiating power once you have made an offer an a property as you’ll be considered a preferred buyer over those who don’t have pre-approval in place (they are considered a greater risk).

8. Demonstrate financial discipline

The ability to save and practice financial discipline is a crucial part of real estate investing and getting approved for finance:
Follow these three fundamental rules:

1. Spend less than you earn,

2. Save the difference, and

3. Invest the difference and keep re-investing it until you have a big enough deposit.

Michael stresses, “Learn to sacrifice and don’t borrow more than you can afford, especially in a low interest rate environment.”

9. Plan for contingencies

Don’t assume everything will go smoothly. When you purchase a property – especially an older one – things can and do go wrong. It’s crucial to budget carefully to allow for contingencies. These could include the hot water system needing replacement, the tenant losing their job and no longer able to pay the rent, the oven breaking down etc. etc. Ensure you have enough funds in the bank to cover repayments and other expenses at all times.

10. Location & property considerations

Keep the following 3 variables top of mind before you dive in:

1. Your budget (determined by your lender).

2. The location – never compromise on this.

3. The type of property you buy – Michael says, “I’d rather buy an apartment in a great location, if that’s all my budget allowed, than a house with land in an inferior location.” Location is everything.

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4 things NOT to do when selling your home

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

14 December 2018

It seems everyone has an opinion on what you should and shouldn’t do when you’re about to put your home on the market – friends, family, work colleagues, everyone becomes a ‘property expert’ at a very important time in your life. After all, your home is likely to be the most significant financial asset you own.

No matter what the well-meaning people in your life tell you, here are 4 things you should NOT do when selling your home.

1. Don’t think like a seller
Rather than thinking like a seller, you should think like a buyer. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer for your home and look at it as objectively as possible through their eyes. Painting a picture of your potential buyers will help you present your property in a way that’s likely to encourage them to part with their hard-earned cash.

2. Don’t choose the cheapest agent
Choosing the agent with the lowest fee over a professional agent who charges more can cost you dearly in the end. It can be the difference between achieving (or even exceeding) your asking price and falling well short of the mark. Look at testimonials, interview a shortlist of candidates to determine what sets one agent apart from another.

Ask them to demonstrate how they would negotiate with a buyer to achieve the best price, look at their recently sold prices of properties similar to yours in the area and ask them what marketing and communication strategies they will adopt to attract the right buyers and keep you informed. Think of it as a job interview where you’re the boss.

3. Don’t over-inflate the asking price
While price isn’t the only determining factor for buyers seeking their ideal home, it will influence which properties they put on their short list. Price your home too high and you may not even make the list meaning they won’t even come and take a look. Of course you can always adjust the price later, but the first two to three weeks on the market are crucial in generating that initial excitement.

Once a property has been on the market for a long time, you risk people starting to think there is something wrong with it. Listen to the advice of your professional agent as they know what the current market is prepared to pay for a home like yours.

4. Don’t skimp on marketing
An effective and engaging marketing campaign is the best way to expose your property to the right buyers and grab their attention. Saving a few hundred dollars and missing out on some vital marketing elements can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in the end, simply because your property wasn’t seen by enough or the right people.

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Styling tips for a Christmas sale

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

07 December 2018

If you are selling your home for sale over Christmas you may think you and your family will need to miss out on any Christmas cheer in the home this year. But that is not the case at all.

While we advocate simple styling when preparing your home for sale, there are ways to keep it simple and stylish while still incorporating some festive season cheer.

Tip No. 1 – less is more
The first rule is to keep it simple. If you normally love to go all out and deck the halls as well as every other part of your home with Christmas lights and decorations, you will need to cut back this year if you are on the market.

A beautifully decorated Christmas tree, a festive centrepiece on the dining table and perhaps a welcoming wreath at the front door would bring some Christmas spirit to your festive season Open Homes without cluttering your home.

Tip No. 2 – A subtle Christmassy aroma
Research has shown that pleasant scents help sell and unpleasant smells have the opposite effect. A tip when selling over the festive season is to create a subtle Christmassy aroma in your home. You could bake some gingerbread or shortbread biscuits, burn a festive candle or have a real Christmas tree.

Scents evoke memories and the festive season conjures up happy memories for most people. Ideally you would want potential buyers to imagine making happy memories in their new home.

Tip No. 3 – curb your desire to light up your home
When selling, it’s best to let the normal street appeal of your home sell it rather than the light display you take pride on each year. It can be a distraction for many buyers.

Tip No. 4 – Keep it classy
This tip is similar to keeping things simple but it goes a step further. We suggest classically elegant decorations (keep the inflatable Santa for your next home).

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It’s about perspective

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

29 November 2018

While Perth’s housing recovery remains fragile, we can’t lose sight of the fact that Australia’s GDP growth rate remains strong, confirming our resilience as a nation.

According to the latest National Accounts figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, we are now entering our 28th consecutive year of economic growth. Furthermore, between 2019 and 2023 our economy is predicted to outperform every other major advanced economy in the world. More significantly, Australia is the only country in the developed world to have experienced uninterrupted economic growth over the past 27 years. These are pretty impressive figures amidst all the ‘doom and gloom’ reports we keep reading about the national housing market.

What should we all take from this news? The bottom line is, while it may not always feel like it, we really do live in the lucky country, and things aren’t always as bad as they are portrayed in the media.

While the Perth housing market remains fragile, according to the latest figures released by CoreLogic, for the housing market to recover, demand must be created through sustainable employment opportunities in industries that are more stable than the mining and resources sector. With substantial infrastructure spending underway in WA, including the multi-million-dollar overhaul of many shopping centres like Garden City, those employment opportunities will come.

Our message to you is this …

If you want (or need) to sell your home or investment property, then you must employ a professional real estate agent who will work harder for you than anyone else, someone who has the experience to lead you through this less than ideal time.

Choose an agent who:

• Has the experience, skills and resources to implement world-class marketing campaigns that ensure your property will be noticed in a crowded market place,

• Won’t over-inflate your price or tell you what you want to hear just to please you but will be totally honest about the need to be realistic in your price expectation right now,

• Will advise you on the best way to present your house for sale so it appeals to your target markets.

• Will keep you informed every step of the way, and

• Suggests changes to your marketing and/or pricing to avoid the property become stagnant on the market.

As experienced real estate professionals, you can trust us to deliver all those benefits and commitments to you.


Last but not least, when you sell your home and buy another during a time when the market is less than ideal, the home you buy will also be priced lower than it would be when the market is performing well. So, the key is to focus on the changeover cost rather than just the price you achieve in your sale. If you wait until the market picks up, the price of your next home will go up too. So why wait?

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How to style that awkward space in your home

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

23 November 2018

Do you have a space in your home that you just don’t know what to do with? It’s that spot that is not quite big enough to be its own room but too large to do nothing with. Perhaps it has little natural light and seems in limbo between other rooms.

So just how do you optimise and style those awkward spaces? Here are five tips from interior designers.

1. Assess your home for spaces that need some love

Take a good look through your home to identify under-utilised areas that you normally pay no attention to. It could be the void under a staircase, or an awkwardly sized wall between two windows. For the void under the stairs, you could create some amazing storage or even create a small reading nook by adding an armchair or a bench seat that neatly tucks underneath when not in use, along with some nice shelving to display books.
For the awkward wall between two windows, consider adding a small floating shelf and some artwork.

2. Give the space a purpose

Consider functionality as well as aesthetics when assessing your awkward space. Perhaps your space lends itself to a compact study area or a media nook where family members can plug in their digital devices – the perfect 21st functional use of an awkward space.

3. Use the power of paint

Given that most awkward spaces in the home attract little natural light, it is a good idea to get creative with paint to combat this. Introducing a feature wall in a study nook is a great way to use colour to highlight the space and help add a distinction between other spaces in the home. If the space is quite dark, adding a lighter, cooler colour can help brighten it up while also creating the illusion that the space is a bit larger than it actually is.

4. Look for smart furniture

When it comes to furnishing small awkward spaces, take the time to measure the dimensions and physically look at items of interest in-store rather than buying them online. Don’t forget to bring your tape measure when shopping for the right furniture piece. It is also a good idea, where possible, to look for furniture items that lend themselves to having a dual purpose. For example, a bench seat can be used in a small entryway for seating, but can also be used to store shoes underneath.

5. Style it to perfection

Soft furnishings and artwork will add the finishing touch to the solution for your awkward space. A rug, a beautiful painting or photo, a feature wall, a statement mirror (always an effective style hack for creating the illusion of space) or a plant, and clever, decorative lighting will help define the zone you are creating and give it a warm, welcoming ambience.

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