How long can a pass-in auction negotiation go for?

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I am often asked the question in every pre-auction client meeting. Typically we meet for a cup of tea about an hour before the auction bell rings. The cafe is usually nearby (but not too close… fear of chatting about strategy within earshot of a competing buyer always spells caution for cafe selection). We order… Read more »

CMA’s…. helpful or useless?

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CMA’s (acronym for Comparative Market Analysis) are often downloaded and referred to as Buyers navigate their way through their due diligence in preparation for bidding on, or negotiating for a property.  Frustratingly though, they often steer buyers in the wrong direction when data in the report is insufficient or when the integrity of the data is… Read more »

Valuation Shortfalls… what do they mean?

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In this tough investor market, the term “valuation shortfall” is dreaded by all. It is a banking term which means that the bank valuation is less than the price paid for a property. This is a particularly rare occurrence for an auction property but nonetheless, it is something that every buyer should be mindful of… Read more »

The Sporadic Nature of Auctions

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Yesterday we bid on a rare property; a classic single-fronted Victorian cottage in Footscray on just over 300sqm of land with dual street frontage. Many such blocks have since been subdivided and it is no surprise to familiar locals that these streets boast a blend of period cottages and street-frontage townhouses.   When our investor clients selected… Read more »

What makes an investment property a great one?

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Last Saturday a delighful new investor client followed her itinerary through her first weekend of inspections and later that afternoon we received her diligent feedback. One property was a strong ‘green light’ and clearly stood out from the rest. Situations like this can prove to be a real challenge. Quite often we’ll identify a winning property in the first… Read more »

Appraising a unique property… science vs art

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Yesterday we had an auction bidding assignment in Armadale at a beautifully renovated, substantial family home in a pretty street near the train line. While we knew we’d have tough competition, gauging the interest and appraising the property was indeed a challenge.  This is because of the uniqueness of the house. This beautiful brick Federation… Read more »

When a property passes in…

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Our Melbourne property market has been going strong, particuluarly in the housing market throughout the inner and middle ring suburbs for some time now. Unprecedented low interest rates, strong demand, stock shortage and the rising popularity of inner-ring urban living for young professionals and downsizers alike have been drivers for this growth. When auction stock… Read more »

When making an offer can make a mess

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In the last two months we have had a surprising number of buyers contact us about assisting with a purchase strategy that has glided off the rails. All have had one thing in common; they have presented offers in the wrong way. From misunderstanding the process to making verbal offers, the outcomes could have been… Read more »

Our Auction Cross-Section – Where is the Market Right Now?

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Many of us receive the auction reports on a Saturday night with the clearance rates, but in the sea of contradicting media articles about our housing market, how can we digest the auction reports and make sense of them? As at this morning, Melbourne’s auction clearance rate is 75% for this pre-Queen’s Birthday weekend. Not… Read more »

How would you invest a million dollars in property?

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I am often asked this question. Risk averse buyers like the idea of spreading their risk and often ask whether three or four regional purchases would aid a safer journey. Buyers who apply their own love of period properties will ask where they could buy in order to secure a beautiful Victorian at this level. The… Read more »

Auctions: What are the four reasons you should stop bidding?

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Yesterday was a dismal day for us out at five auctions. Three bidders, five properties, five lovely anxious clients.  We secured none of them. Weekend auction success rates vary, but in this hot and unexplained market, our overall auction success rate is considerably lower than past years… and so it should be.  Yesterday’s auction misses… Read more »

Where can sheer determination lead us?

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Two years ago this week marks the date which a family bought a house for $406,000 at auction in East Geelong. There was nothing ordinary about this adventure though… not for us, nor for them. The journey has been noteworthy from the conception of their idea to build wealth, to the finished product that they… Read more »

Will the First Home Buyer Stamp Duty Changes Skew Our Market?

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The first half of 2017 is shaping up to be defined by our business as the change of our normal blend. We have historically helped a larger proportion of investors in their quest to build a wealthier future; and our blend of home-finders has generally sat between 20-40% of our active clients. The Home-Finder client numbers currently sit… Read more »

Mentored Advocacy – the Value of Homework

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When we commence a Mentored Advocacy assignment with our locally based clients, the process is quite different from a traditional Buyer’s Advocate brief where the tasks are totally handled by the engaged third party. The essential process steps are the same, but the role our Mentored student plays is the differentiator. Equipped with a tailored weekly itinerary, Mentored clients… Read more »

Townhouses, Subdivisions, Owners Corporation, …Shared Land?

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This week we proudly helped three clients with double story townhouse purchases. All three had one thing in common; they were on their own title with no shared land. But each presented us with a range of important questions about registered Owners Corporations. Why is the unit numbered the way it is? Is Body Corporate… Read more »

Understanding the Popularity of a Genre of Property

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As Buyer’s Advocates, we are privy to the more common briefs, the areas which are highly contested and the property genres which are in tightest demand. Clients often appoint us to help them have a point of difference in an otherwise very competitive market. While it feels tough out there for most buyers, there are… Read more »

The Importance of a Criteria List

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Recently we had the pleasure of working with a lovely guy who was searching for his first home. He’d been looking for a while, but made the decision to enlist some professional help because he was ultra time-poor and felt a bit out of his depth when establishing correct pricing. Home buyers source the help of… Read more »

The Agent’s *RULES*

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There is no doubt we find ourselves in a  tough buying climate (technically referred to as a Seller’s Market and characterised by demand outpacing supply, and defined by the auction clearance rate figures being above 65%). Auction success for most buyers is threatened by heated bidding, crazy budgets, and desperate buyers.  It is little wonder that buyers… Read more »

Beautiful Black Rock

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Some assignments go down in history as being particularly memorable for good reasons. Sometimes the journey is a long one with a fantastic reward at the end, and often our clients are an absolute delight to work with from the minute we commence our search. This assignment was both. Back in October we commenced our… Read more »

The perfect investment for time poor investors

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by Amy Mylius One of the best things about an ‘off market’ property is that it hasn’t had the exposure of online advertising and a five week auction campaign with dozens of buyers walking through the door. One of the worst things about this type of property is that the vendor hasn’t committed to any marketing expenses… Read more »

Is the Quest for 100% Costing You In a Moving Market?

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We enjoy our home-finder briefs, but the process is enormously different to our investor briefs  at the strategy phase.We don’t look at metrics, nor do we cover off rental yields or vacancy rates. We just  focus on two segments, but they are often complex, difficult and confronting for buyers.  These two critical steps upon commencement… Read more »

Houses vs Units.. and where do Townhouses fit?

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Our auction bidding list this weekend featured a combination of houses and units…. units of varying style and size, but well-located, beautifully proportioned and enticing for tenants and home-buyers alike. Sadly for two particular clients, their hard work, patience and due diligence didn’t pay off yesterday and we were mildly surprised by the strength of… Read more »

The importance of understanding cashflow

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This week we have had the pleasure of working with a mixed array of client briefs; from home-finders to investors. Not unlike other weeks, our investor assignments have all been unique and our metrics we’ve targeted have been engineered based on cashflow. Many investors assume that investing is all about capital growth, but there are other… Read more »

Investing in Ardeer…

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One of our first purchases of the year was for a young investor-client with a budget of circa $600,000. When we started our journey in late 2016 our strategy focused on well located townhouses whilst concurrently keeping our eye out for opportunities in Sunshine and surrounds for houses on full blocks. Not surprisingly, the median… Read more »

The Potential Cost of Social Proof

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Yesterday’s 11am auction at Yarraville’s Free Street was our first official auction bidding assignment for the year. The three bedroom, modernised old house in the heart of the Yarraville Village on this quiet and hidden away little dead-end street had caught our client’s eye for more than one good reason. The proximity to work, generous… Read more »

How to prevent value-adding turning into over-capitalising…

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Back in October I had the pleasure of working with a fantastic duo who had targeted Brunswick houses with possibilities and potential for their investment strategy. Aside from their sheer drive and energy, their draw card was their professional experience; accounting and drafting. Being able to look into the possibilities, consider design options, understanding town… Read more »

Our first 2017 Spotlight

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After a very busy 2016 Spring selling season which drifted well into December, house-buyers could be forgiven for wondering when the market conditions would ease for them. Auctions were generally well attended and properties highly contested; and it’s fair to say that even with higher stock levels in late November and December, houses on the market… Read more »

2016 Highlights…

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We’ve had some really exciting assignments this year, from welcoming Sydney investors to our fabulous city, to fighting it out for beautiful homes at auction. We’ve witnessed out-performance capital growth in many postcodes, particularly the inner north, north-west and inner west. One defining aspect of 2016 was the sheer competition for houses at auction. Our… Read more »

What Makes Spotswood So Unique?

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On the last auction weekend of 2016 we attended four auctions for our clients. One in particular was in Watt Street Spotswood, and this property was one of only two which we vied for during the entire year. Sadly we were the under-bidders. But there is a good explanation as to why properties in Spotswood… Read more »

A scramble to sell before Christmas?

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This weekend was a successful one for quite a few of our clients. Our auction success rate record 75%; a record for 2016 for us. Was it chance? Good luck? Or a reflection of  pre-Christmas market conditions? Buyer activity is slowing down now as people are preparing for Christmas, or away at end-of-year parties. Some of… Read more »

Buying Prior to Auction

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Yesterday in Victoria 1438 properties went under the hammer and as at last night, just over 75% of them had sold. By any measure that is a strong clearance rate and a very large number of auctions for one Saturday. We bid at six auctions ourselves, yet didn’t secure a single property. What could we… Read more »

A strong market or pre-Christmas desperation?

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Today marked the fourth last weekend of 2016 and buyer motivation was evident in many suburbs despite the strong number of properties auctioned today. We had our record number of auctions ever, and the ones we missed  were not near-misses. They flew past reserve. So what was it that enabled these stronger-than-anticipated results? Missing out in Albion,… Read more »

Gauging the heat in the last four auction weekends…

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This weekend marks the start of the final leg for 2016 Melbourne auctions. With only four possible auction Saturdays left, we can anticipate that new auction listings for December will  make their last foray onto our alerts searches in the coming week. By this time next week, we will have every auction listing on our… Read more »

Fabulous Footscray…

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We’ve been saying it for years… Footscay is quite special. Just 5km from the CBD, demonstrating impressive amenity, and offering some of the best food around. This brief was special because our client was keen to stay as close to the city and transport links as possible, and really wanted a property without common area and… Read more »

Beautiful East Ivanhoe….

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Yesterday was an exciting auction day for three buyers who all had something in common. They’d been searching hard for the right home, and some for longer than others. One delightful couple had been looking for three years. Another had cleverly noted selling prices and market capital growth trajectories. He’d overlaid all of the areas… Read more »

Our Settlement Terms Enabled this Purchase…

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After several meetings early this year, we commenced this assignment in March with a delightful couple. Their brief was tough for two reasons: firstly, they wanted us to help them secure a period house in Brunswick for $900.000. Secondly though, they’d added one significant challenge which trips many buyers up. They wanted an A grade investment… Read more »

Rear Lane Access…. Why is it so valuable in the inner-ring areas?

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Yesterday’s two auction wins for two wonderful families had a few things in common. Both properties were inner-ring, period homes. Each client had experienced their fair share of disappointments in this tough buying climate. Both houses were set on long blocks with rear laneways behind them. Securing houses on laneways is a challenge in itself…. Read more »

Newport’s Surge in Popularity

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Identified from afar by the power stack on the horizon, characterised by a great community, and boasting some beautiful period houses, Newport has been one of the inner-west’s sleepy little performers. Locals love their suburb for many reasons, and new visitors to the area are starting to see what the fuss is about. A blog… Read more »

Exploring St Albans…

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Yesterday was a significant day for two of our lovely investor couples, and an exciting afternoon for us. Both secured their properties under the hammer on the same day, in the same suburb. One couple’s strategy was based on locating a property offering a strong combination of growth and rental yield within a gentrifying, metro growth suburb… Read more »

Special “Sight-Unseen” Ex-Pat Home Assignments

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Every now and then we get the privilege of assisting clients who are based overseas with the acquisition of their return-to-Australia home. It’s an assignment based on trust, patience, and collaboration. Unlike a local-home-finder who can share in the inspection process and give feedback after an actual visit, overseas-based ex-pats rely on our ability to tap… Read more »

What is it about period houses that makes them so special?

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They are usually over a hundred years old. Sometimes they need re-stumping. They cost a lot more to maintain, and they can’t easily be changed or redeveloped. Many don’t cater for cars being off-street. Worse yet, they don’t offer particularly strong rental yields. So why would any investor want one? Period properties in the right locations are often… Read more »

Why Off-Markets are Challenging

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We are often asked about off-market properties by prospective buyers. There is little surprise that these types of sales are made available to advocates based on our market reach and agent relationships. But there is one other strong reason why advocates partake in these types of sales more than a regular buyer. They can be challenging…. Read more »

Extroardinary and Unusual Properties are Often Unpredictable at Auction

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As we transition from Winter into Spring, a lot will change on the Melbourne Real Estate landscape. Listing numbers will increase, relative buyer-to-seller ratios will decrease, and competition will feel a little less fierce in the popular inner and middle-ring pockets. Mainstream homes with strong owner-occupier appeal seem to be selling week on week for… Read more »

Revelling in Richmond

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We had an exciting brief for a Victorian cottage located in a quiet street within what is otherwise a very vibrant area. Our client’s Melbourne office is based in Richmond and the criteria was interesting. We were instructed to find a  two or three bedroom cottage within walking or cycling distance of the office, boasting… Read more »

Our off-market Californian Bungalow in Coburg

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Last week we were alerted to a Californian Bungalow in Coburg’s Donne Street which caught our attention. On some 300sqm of land, boasting a beautiful floor plan and great neighbourhood, our biggest challenge was gleaning enough details to send to our interstate investors who would need to be able to make a swift decision if… Read more »

Fascinating Fairfield..

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Yesterday on the still, crisp winter’s day at Gillies St Fairfield, the crowd milled in anticipation outside the gorgeous three bedroom, period styled co-joined cottage. Houses like this are often termed “crowd-pleasers” by us, because they have broad owner-occupier appeal based on a third bedroom, generous rear courtyard and great open-plan living area. From couples… Read more »

Sparkling Seddon… a feast of Victorian-era beauties

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Selecting an out-performance property takes a lot of facets into account. From cashflow considerations to capital growth drivers, quality of tenant and amenities to name a few. Diving a little deeper and looking carefully at the demographic make up, any changes in this data, and the rate of change can give way to some really exciting discoveries…. Read more »

A Late Off-Market Twist…

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A recent adventure with two investor clients took us on a trail in Melbourne’s inner west. We were on the hunt for a period two bedroom property in a pretty street offering easy accessibility to rail and cafes. The biggest challenge we faced throughout our quest were the competing buyers out there; home-finders, investors, and other… Read more »

The Battle for the Brunswick Converted Church

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Yesterday was a busy auction day for us. After a strange few weekends either side of the election, Saturday 16th July delivered some strong results in the tightly held inner ring suburbs, and we certainly felt the brunt of the energetic bidders out there. One of the few we missed included this stunning church conversion… Read more »

Cashflow-Neutral House Buying in Ballarat East

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A recent assignment with a wonderful client took us to Ballarat East; once home to the goldfields of the 1800’s, and now a thriving and popular part of Ballarat city. Greater Ballarat is home to 96,000 people and is Victoria’s third largest city. Ballarat’s property market is quite different to Melbourne’s in many ways. From… Read more »

Winter Auction Blues….

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Yesterday proved that any pent-up buyer nerves about our looming election were just hearsay. Buyers in the inner-ring suburbs not only bid hard yesterday, but showed strong evidence of the effect of our recent rate cuts. For many properties, records were broken, and reserves were exceeded beyond Vendor’s and Agent’s dreams. Right now, a shortage of… Read more »

Buying Property on a Long Weekend…

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This long weekend has been a busy one for us (and some of our clients). It’s not dissimilar to other long weekends… intensive negotiations, auction activity and some interesting purchases of properties prior to their scheduled auction dates. Whether it be coincidence or a combination of factors, there is no doubt that our successful acquisition rate… Read more »

Captivating Coburg

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Two months ago we met a delightful couple who were on the quest to find their family home. Their criteria list was sensible, exciting, challenging but achievable, so we set out on our assignment with them. A family home with potential to improve, on a 400sqm+ block is no mean feat when the target area… Read more »

Off-Market Buying in Williamstown…

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Our most recent off-market purchase in beautiful Williamstown was one which was almost tailor made for our fantastic clients.Their search criteria for their investment property included a target purchase price around $600,000, a dated townhouse in a boutique block, and a property within easy walk to train station. When the call came in about this… Read more »

Off-Market Buying in Amazing Ascot Vale

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One of our most recent assignments took us to Ascot Vale. We were on a quest for a well-proportioned, secure two bedroom apartment in a great block, but more importantly, cafes, shops and station all needed to be in easy walking distance for our young professional home-buyer. Circling the pretty streets which run off bustling… Read more »

How home purchases work when the owner lives overseas…

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We often have assignments for overseas-based Australians looking to buy their home before they return. The task is never simple and it requires a lot of mutual understanding and trust. Finding a future home requires more than just market knowledge and investment-grade criteria. Our home searches hinge around our ability to quickly discern what our client… Read more »

Footscray’s fabulous growth rate…

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Yesterday we found ourselves bidding on four properties for clients; two of which were in Footscray. Both properties had an interesting story and we did wonder what the effects of their respective histories would be on auction day. Nineteen Essex St was one of the most impressive and inspiring one bedroom shopfront restorations I’ve seen…. Read more »

Sometimes it pays to be patient…

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Our most recent off-market win was more than just a great purchase. It was the property which was worth the wait and the heartbreak our fantastic clients had endured in their quest for a period property. One the most quoted lines I used for this particular duo over the last three months was “…you just have… Read more »

When a family’s dreams hinge on auction day…

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The weekend before a long weekend will always be a busy auction period, and our little office was humming with activity last week in preparation for seven auctions. Coordinating our bidding schedule between three of us was no mean feat with our auction bidding falling between 11.30 and 2.30 in mixed locations. From Newport to Brunswick, Thornbury… Read more »

Pouncing before auction… when it’s a good idea

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We had one brief recently which had given our interstate buyer her share of heartbreak. We had been under-bidders to one nicely renovated two bedroom apartment in a boutique block in Thornbury and we’d made the difficult decision to walk away from an off market when pending roof repairs were all too hard to cover. After… Read more »

What does a Buyer’s Advocate’s busy Saturday look like?

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This Saturday started just like many others. An 8am meeting in Brunswick West at John Gorilla Cafe to chat strategy with some lovely new clients, followed by a 9.15am back in Yarraville with some locals who are keen to find their home in the area. A 10.30am meeting at my favourite, friendly local cafe The… Read more »

A Thornbury Dream for our Home Buyer

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One assignment we recently completed for a lovely client of ours was particularly memorable because her search parameters were not so easy. Finding an older style house in Thornbury for her to be able to move right into without any renovation required for under $650,000 was the original brief, and while we like to be… Read more »

What’s been happening in Fitzroy North?

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One very special brief we’ve been working on since late last year finally resulted in a sale this Super Saturday weekend. In a sea of some 1720 scheduled auctions, our dear clients had become accustomed to some disappointments along the way and didn’t anticipate that yesterday would be their day in the sun. The house… Read more »

When Auctions Seem So Hard… There’s Always Off-Markets!

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This year’s auctions haven’t been easy. Not that last years’ were easy, but when it comes to houses, the only difference between spring season last year and this current market seems to be stock levels. Buyer competition is highly-fueled and as strong as last year, yet the numbers of quality properties available in the inner and middle… Read more »

A stunning investment…

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We assist many clients with exciting investment purchases; from renovators to “move-right-in’s” but it is rare to find houses quite as beautifully renovated as this beauty. Yesterday in a wave of exhilarating bidding, pass-in negotiations and contract signing, two wonderful clients of ours had to take some time to adjust to the shock of their… Read more »

The quest for an off-market period home in Yarraville

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Late last year a fabulous couple from Sydney engaged our services to help find them a home down south to relocate to. Their mission seemed achievable; three bedroom property, sizeable block size for a garden and entertaining area, private outlook, well lit internal spaces, within walking distance to rail, near to local parkland, and… offering good NBN… Read more »

… a day in our office – Sharyn Raffa

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The lovely Sharyn joined us six months ago today. We love her calming influence, her cheery optimism and her fabulous fritatta dishes she brings in. Unprompted, Sharyn sent us this blog… and we think it says it all. We share an office space of 25sqm and we love it. We overtalk each other when the… Read more »

…buying a Kensington period cottage in February…

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Securing a period single-fronted Victorian cottage in a great suburb is a challenge at any time of the year. But in February, when pent-up demand is still strong, buyer numbers still surpass house numbers, and bidders seem to be stretching to levels which surprise everyone, tackling a purchase like this one is a really challenging feat. This time… Read more »

Our first auctions of 2016…

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Our office had it’s old hum back last week. The auction files sat proudly on our desk and the phones were buzzing with deposit cheque clarification and contract legal review feedback. We’d started to really miss our auction bidding and it had been exactly seven weeks since our last public auction. This break is what shapes… Read more »

Geelong Gentrification

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Back in late 2015 Amy and I met a fantastic investor client who’s apportioned savings, borrowing capacity and cashflow position placed her in an exciting and unique investing position. She desired reasonably healthy out-of-pocket cashflow (not exceeding $650pm before tax benefit) and had targeted a spend of around $500,000. Our client valued the idea of… Read more »

…The stamp duty concession cut-off

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I met with a delightful couple some weeks ago. Their brief was simple – but it wouldn’t be easy. They had a goal to find a three bedroom home in Newport or Altona North but they were capped at $600,000. Like every other first home buyer who is keen to take advantage of the stamp… Read more »

..the pre-Christmas Rush is on!

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With only two more weekends left for the year until Melbourne’s auctions take a break for nine weeks, there is a feel of motivation (and in some cases, desperation) in the air. Some buyers have been searching for weeks, some for months, and we recently met someone who had been searching for a year. Buyers want… Read more »

…What to do when the two you like auction the same day?

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A lovely client of ours enlisted our support to help her find her future home while she juggled the difficulty of balancing ever-changing night shifts at a busy south-eastern hospital. Her brief was simple; she hoped to find a well-lit, secure modern townhouse in a quiet street. Often we assist overseas or interstate buyers who… Read more »

A great villa in Ascot Vale… chancing it at Auction

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We identified a little block of villa units in Ascot Vale earlier this year in our quest for an investment property for a young couple. In a boutique block of four, the unit we had found for past clients was at the rear of the block and had a bonus addition of a huge courtyard on title… Read more »

An amazing and cost-effective renovation in Footscray…

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Back in March this year we proudly bid at auction for this skillion roof, daggy two bedroom house in Swan Street Footscray. Our buyers were excited, but not for quite the same reasons. He had seen through it, understood our intrigue and agreed with me that his dreams of renovation could be easily achieved in… Read more »

Buying an off-market for an interstate investor…

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It’s not an unusual occurrence for us to buy for a trusting investor who makes a purchase decision without sighting the property themselves. In fact, that is our job – to guide investors through the steps, mitigate as much risk as possible, share our media clips and pictures of the property we’ve set our sights on… Read more »

Great buying in Reservoir….

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I had all of the great ingredients for a really fun client brief. $500K-ish budget, capital growth focus, up-and-coming-suburbs, and best of all, a lovely client who was engaged in the whole process and had fabulous questions along the way. We decided to target two main catchments; Sunshine & surrounds and Reservoir/Fawkner. Our aim was to… Read more »

….a little slice of Victorian-style Heaven in Coburg

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A fantastic, third-time client of ours decided to take our advice and diversify his portfolio by adding a piece of Melbourne’s inner-north to it. His mutual love of Victorian cottages and terraces matched mine and we knew that we’d have a challenge on our hands this time with a $650,000 brief targeting quality areas in… Read more »

Six Reasons Why High-Density, High-Rise Apartments Scare Me

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Just this week we had two lovely clients and a prospective new client ask us about our thoughts on a high-rise, high-density apartment they’d each picked out; one in the CBD and one in Docklands. It was an interesting adventure for one who’s preapproval was deemed invalid for the property she’d set her sights on. So while she was… Read more »

How would we define “set and forget” investing?

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Investors’ briefs come in all different shapes and sizes. Our various considerations span from budget size, yield requirement, maintenance limits to future opportunities…. and all the while, our investors want Capital Growth. After all, that’s the main goal for most investors. Getting it all seems a holy grail. But when an investor is prepared to… Read more »

A heartfelt handover… a North Melbourne Cherished Home Sells

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A delightful couple with a tight brief engaged us to assist them. They’d canvassed North Melbourne and they were keen on the ever-popular University High School Zone. Our first step was to print out the zoning boundaries. The A4 page is pinned on our wall and reminds us daily of the streets which are within… Read more »

…the power of TIME….

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Recently we had the pleasure of assisting a family with a very special purchase. Being investors themselves, they’d experienced first hand the benefit of capital growth over many years and found themselves seeking out the option of assisting their children into property investing too. They didn’t claim for one minute that they’d chosen perfect properties… Read more »

…Making your budget work for you…

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Almost a year ago I met a lovely family who were renting in Yarraville and saving hard for a deposit to buy their own home. Their challenge was to find a home for sub-$500,000. Our initial meeting was hard, because they realised that buying in their much-loved community would be limiting due to their budget affording… Read more »

…How to deal with “best and highest offer” sales…

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A very special brief for us recently involved the shortlisting, selection and acquisition of a home for two young interstate-based professionals who are moving down to Melbourne in the new year. We enjoyed profiling suitable areas and arrived at Altona based on proximity to employers, value for money at a mid-fives budget,easy rentability for future… Read more »

…The power of agent-relationships…

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A recent assignment with two fantastic investor clients ended last week with plenty of celebration. Our brief was sensible and with a desired spend range of $700K – $800K, and we felt that the targeted suburbs from the inner west to the northern suburbs of Coburg and Preston should have easily yielded us a quality… Read more »

…A tough, and last-minute choice….

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What do you do when you are set to bid at auction on Saturday, but find a house on Tuesday which catches your interest? Easy – you just try your luck at auction and keep the house as your Plan B. But what do you do if the house has competing buyers who are also… Read more »

..When making an offer prior to auction is a good idea…

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In our Seller’s market, and particularly over the winter months where supplies of properties for sale are low, many buyers come to me requesting that I help them secure an auction property before the auction. But it’s not always a good idea to pounce forward with an offer. There needs to be a sequence of good reasons… Read more »

…finding easy cashflow AND capital growth….

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When a brief requires the ‘out of pocket’ monthly costs to be close to zero for an investor, the implication is that they will need to consider a property which carries some downside. It could either a risky investment, a tough studio apartment or …. a regional investment. We don’t endorse risky strategies, mining towns, tiny… Read more »

What Can Change a Suburb for Better?…

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Often investors will look to changes in an effort to find that special something, that little edge that can make the difference between a sound suburb and a suburb about to boom. From infrastructure changes to planning updates, new developments to exciting tourist magnets. A change of scene and the presence of new and cashed-up buyers can make… Read more »

…Why Newer is not Always Better…

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Recently we had a fantastic brief to assist with for a very sensible first home buyer. Her target budget was low to mid fives, and her questions were fabulous. Should she be buying brand-new? Should she target the grant for those who buy new? Would it be better to buy in a well-established area close to the… Read more »

…a fantastic Off-Market Potential Development Option

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We recently bid on a cute three bedroom house in Watsonia and walked away without the sold sticker. The property sold for $600,000, but because of a large tree in the backyard and a Department of Housing tenant on a further eighteen month lease, our cap of $590,000 stood firm and that property just wasn’t… Read more »

A Very Special Quest for a Large Family Home

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Back in April I had the pleasure of receiving a phone call from a prospective client. He and his fiancee had been searching for months for a suitably sized, long term family home in West Footscray and surrounds. Their search had been drawn-out and painful in part; from being pipped at auction to falling prey… Read more »

Second time lucky!…. a Geelong West Jewell

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Our regional city brief this month was in Geelong – a changing, exciting, waterside city just 50 minutes from Melbourne. Our lovely clients are thinking forward to where they are going to live and work – and came to us to help them make their wish a reality. Geelong never gets shrugged off by us…. Read more »

Winter Blues…. Spring is Just Around the Corner

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On Saturday we attended an auction for two fabulous repeat clients. Their portfolio acquisition plan this time around was to identify a sub-$600K house which could respond to rejuvenation now, and could potentially be sub-dividable in future. No easy feat, but Northern middle-to-outer-ring Watsonia was identified as a possible locality to target.      … Read more »