Our resident property expert shares his words of wisdom.
Do you find real estate a bit of a confusing game? You're not alone. Whether you're in the market to buy, sell or invest, you will no doubt encounter some risk. So, we asked Andrew Winter to share his insights on how to avoid...
...Over-capitalising on renovations
Andrew says, "One of the classic reno no no’s people make is to over capitalise. This simply means spending more on your reno than the value it adds to the property."
The biggest culprits are kitchens and bathrooms – they can cost tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the finish. So, how do you know how much to spend?
"Some advice suggests using a fixed percentage of the value of the house as a guide to avoid over capitalising. But if you do this you could end up spending too much….or too little. The amount you allocate for your renovation will be dictated by the era of the home. Older properties, for example, can cost more to bring back to life than newer ones."
...Disappointment when buying off the plan
If you’re considering buying a new property before the build is completed, be sure to inspect all the documents carefully.
“Make sure the developer has the appropriate certificate of insurance. This will protect you against non-completion of work and breach of statutory warranties relating to the building,” advises Andrew.
...Investing in a low-demand area
“Personally, I only ever buy investment property in areas where it’s predominantly owner-occupied,” he says. Tread carefully when it comes to properties promising high rental demand.
“Look for somewhere where more than half of the block of units, or houses, in the area are owner-occupied. If you’re reading an advert for a new unit block with high rental demand, the trouble is there could be 50 apartments up for rent.”
...Choosing the 'wrong' real estate agent
Like all things in real estate, choosing the right agent is all about research.
“Fish around online to see what kind of properties different agents in your area sell. Some agencies specialise in certain styles and price brackets,” says Andrew.
“The number one agent in your area may be good but number two may be more hungry.”
...Going it alone
Owning, selling and buying property can be quite intimidating if you don't know what you're doing. Andrew always suggests getting advice and asking as many questions from the experts as you can.
"Have you ever wanted to ask me a property or design question? If so, I encourage you to join myself and Neale Whitaker for the Love It Or List It dinner in Sydney on September 30th," he enthuses.
Fans have the opportunity to enjoy a four-course, fine-dining meal with Andrew and Neale, as well as the chance to ask their own burning property and design questions and get advice from the experts. Interested? Get your tickets HERE.