Reasons to Invest in Newcastle

Newcastle is thriving, encouraging  many investors and owner-occupiers to move in, yet the area remains open investment-wise.  It’s no longer a secret!

What is here in Newcastle that makes it an excellent investment choice? Here are just some of the reasons why:

Beach culture combined with flourishing arts scene

Newcastle, located just two hours from Sydney, was one of the seediest places in New South Wales (NSW). It was a city with a steel-based economy employing mostly miners and sailors. The recession in the 1990s that caused the closure of the BHP steel factories was a blessing in disguise. No one could have predicted that Newcastle would transform into a sophisticated, cosmopolitan city that it is today. It is now the second most populated city in NSW with a large number of Sydney residents migrating to the city each year.

A thriving, self-contained city

Newcastle City (not region) in numbers (ABS Census 2016):

  • Population: 163,884
  • Dwellings: 72,456
  • Median Age: 37
  • Families: 41,504
  • Children per family: 1.8
  • People per household: 2.4

The Department of Planning forecasts that population will reach 190,000 by 2036. Current gross regional worth is more than $14 billion. Unemployment has declined by 2% over the past year. In addition, private and government sectors continue to invest in this innovative and dynamic regional centre.

New investments in infrastructure

Three of the features that are important for any regional hub’s thriving development are found in Newcastle: airport, a major hospital and its own university. A $6.5 billion light railway systems will also be built in Newcastle. It has a thriving aerospace industry. A total of 8,500 jobs will be added to the region with RAAF Williamtown’s $500 million aerospace centre. A $1.5 billion upgrade to add a runway extension and modern facilities at the RAAF Base is underway. This will allow more strike jets to be housed there in preparation for the Australian government’s $12 billion outlay on F-35A joint strike fighters. Another major infrastructure project is the Port of Newcastle, the leading coal export port in the world and the biggest on the east coast of Australia.

Booming property market

According to the Domain Regional House report for September 2016, property values in the suburb surged by 9.3% over the year. In fact, Newcastle is enjoying a successful growth with the median house prices already up by 2.1% and 9.1% compared to those of Sydney and Melbourne, respectively. The median house price in Newcastle is about $530,000 and with the increase in prices over the past five years, the region is fast turning into a sustainable alternative to Sydney.



Three Inspired Ways to Transform the Unutilised Room in your Home

It can be easy to overlook an unused room in your home. But with an open mind and a creative approach, any unused space can be turned from shabby to pretty. Here are three creative suggestions on how to make use of your unused room from the experts.

1. A small powder room

If you have a small disconnected space in your new home, turn it into a discreet powder room.  It will not only be functional but it will add value to your home too!  All that is needed is a beautiful basin, light fitting and the toilet.  There was no need for storage, so a horizontal shelf installed can serve the purpose to add a little design.

2. A bright child’s bedroom

Dark rooms often become dump rooms. With the addition of a skylight, lighter and brighter shades of paint colour or a larger window, these dump or junk rooms can be reclaimed as a bright and cheery room ideal for a child or a quiet spot to read a book.

Natural light is always best but sometimes even a lamp can be all that is required to make the space brighter and usable again.

3. The quaint breakfast area

Empty walls and wide open spaces can be made quaint, cossy, comfortable and functional without having to redesign the whole space.

Think about replacing the bench top with an overhang so you can place stools at the bench to create a breakfast bench.  It’s a great way to add more seating and improves the room’s functionality and makes it more aesthetically pleasing.  Especially when you add some shelving the the empty walls for your favourite ‘bits and bobs’.  Best thing about this is that you only need a limited budget and no structural changes needed.

How to Beat the Competition and Get the Best Deal During Spring Selling Season

The spring selling season has started, and competition is heating up. Proof is the flood of new homes for sales have hit the market and buyers are on the hunt for bargains.

Typically the number of homes that come up for sale is cyclical, with stock declining between May and September before increasing in spring and the early parts of the year.

Spring is considered the right time to sell property, as the warm weather is ideal to hold home inspections, the gardens tend to look more gorgeous, and many buyers would like to move into their new home before the start of the holiday season. However, it means you’re competing against more buyers and it could mean paying more for the property.

Here are the things you need to do to prepare for the spring selling season: declutter your home, pay attention to presentation and take advantage of natural light and the outdoor spaces.

To prepare for the competition, monitor the number of people who are also looking at the property and don’t discount the possibility that the property that no one is looking at could be the best deal.

While spring is customarily the ideal season for buying and selling, a rare high level of competition is seen in the home loan market in 2017. Lenders are competing to draw high quality mortgage clients resulting from the government crackdown on riskier loan types. So you should perhaps consider refinancing with your mortgage broker to find the lowest variable rate for a home loan.

Buying at Auction without a Chequebook? Here Are Ways to Pay the Deposit

Using online banking to buy at an auction is not permitted. Here’s how you can pay the deposit when you don’t have a chequebook:
Personal cheque
Your first option is a little old school – a chequebook on your personal bank account which you can order over the phone or personally at your local branch. It is free but you have to pay minor fees related to using personal cheques. There may be a withdrawal fee for every cheque that you issue on your account but it will be minimal. 
One great thing about using a personal cheque at auction is that if you beat the other bidders, you can write out the exact amount for the winning bid. 
Bank cheque
Another option is a cheque provided by the bank. You have to do this before the auction because banks are close after business hours and during weekends, which are normally when auctions are held.
But using a bank cheque is risky because the cheque must be written for 10% of your maximum bid. This means you won’t have the flexibility to increase your budget if needed and you may fail if the selling price is higher than your maximum bid. There’s no problem if your maximum price is higher than the selling price because it just means more money has been allocated for the deposit on the property.  The bank cheque costs a small fee, normally between $10 and $25, but these can add up if you continuously fail at auctions.
Deposit bond
The last option is deposit bond. Also called a deposit guarantee, it is a form of insurance policy that serves as a guarantee to the seller that you will pay the deposit. One benefit of deposit bond is that you can use it at several auctions because the details on the property and the seller are left blank for you to fill up. This is a great option for those considering buying off the plan provided the developer takes deposit bonds. Another benefit is that you have more time to arrange the financing for the property and potentially claim a discount if the developer is raring to sell.
But you have to ask the seller’s permission to use a deposit bond and be sure to read the contract of sale. 

Electronic transfer or on-line banking
There is an exception to using on-line banking and it’s a little like using a bank cheque because you need to transfer 10% of your maximum bid prior to the auction. The transfer must be made in advance before the auction and must appear in the agent’s trust account.  Most buyers forgo this option as they do not wish to expose their maximum bid but if that does not worry you then it is an option.