Property Council of Australia: Women Make Up for What They Lack in Super by Investing in Property

An analysis of the latest Australian Tax Office statistics by the Property Council of Australia has revealed that 47% of Australians who own an investment property consist of women.

The findings imply that women are investing in property to build wealth in addition to superannuation. With investment properties, women can depend on the profits from asset growth even when they are no longer employed.

According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, women still seem keen on buying investment property despite the fact they continue to earn less than men (28.7% less in ASX 200 organisations and 16% less across all companies and occupations).

Of the people who earn less than $80,000 and negatively gear their investment properties, 55% are women compared to 45% of men earning the same figures.

Previously the numbers were reverse. Today, an increasing number of women are investing and becoming more proactive and ingenious when it comes to their financial situation and capitalising on property to guarantee their financial future.

The research found that 15.2% of Australian women taxpayers are owners of an investment apartment or house, just a little below the 15.7% of males who own one or more.

Also, the percentage of women who negatively gear their purchase is 45% versus 55% of men. However, the men claim a larger portion in those deductions – an average of $9904 compared to $7253 by women. This is perhaps due to the gender pay gap as women tend to not take out a loan as much and have a diverse risk assessment from lending institutions.

Over the last five to 10 years, more and more women are investing in property. Today, the opportunities to earn income to finance investments are equal for both men and women, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see a larger proportion of women investing in property. In addition, women are staying single longer and wanting to be more self-sufficient.

Call me today for more information or to enquire about your own personal situation.  I can put you in contact with specialists in the field who predominately work with female investors!


Does a Handleless Kitchen Fit Your Style?

Handleless kitchens are becoming popular these days. The clean and effortless look seems to appeal to homeowners, particularly to those who are going after contemporary kitchens. It was also popular back in the 1970s, but it has gained popularity again, particularly over the past few years.

If you are determined to veer away from handles, then think about how you might create a handleless kitchen design without compromising on practicality. For instance, you don’t want to be running around the kitchen in tizzy and finding that there are no handles on cabinets or drawers to hold on to.

Here are the pros and cons, as well as different approaches to making a handleless kitchen design, to help you decide on whether or not a handleless kitchen is right for you.


Ageless style  –  One of the major concerns of homeowners about kitchen cabinets is whether or not it will become out of style.  Handleless kitchens have a stylish, ageless look that becoming dated should not be a worry at all. They display a sleek unfussy profile that guarantees the style will forever be a ‘less-is-more’ design classic.

Safety  –  Aside from the fact that the lack of handles is a no-fuss, stylish option, it also offers safety. There would be no handles to unintentionally catch you clothes on and for young kids to walk into and bang their heads on.


Cleaning   –  The channel at the top of each door or drawer that creates a space to pull the drawer or cabinet can collect dust and crumbs, and this will need to be cleaned regularly. You might want to keep this in mind if you prefer to have a low-maintenance home.

Cost  –  Contrary to popular belief, handleless kitchens don’t cost less because the expense of handles is eliminated. Depending on the option selected, the cost of handleless kitchens is roughly between 20-50 per cent higher than a kitchen with customary handles.

This is due to the extra work needed in the manufacturing process of handleless cabinetry, plus the cost of specialist hardware needed like electric mechanisms or finger pulls.

Another factor to consider is your appliances. If you’re looking at integrated appliances, like a dishwasher or a fridge, there are certain kinds of handleless kitchens that would match your design.

Firstly, pick the appliances you’d like to put in your kitchen, and talk about this with your kitchen designer. This would allow him or her to offer you the handleless kitchen that is right for you.

Types of Handleless Kitchens

Here is a look at the different types of handleless kitchens and the methods of cabinetry construction used in each type.

Overhead Cabinets
The door of an overhead cabinet can extend further than the body of the cabinet to form a finger pull lip at the foot. You can open the cabinet just by hooking your hand under the door and pulling it. You can also choose to have a push-to-open mechanism attached to the cabinet.

It is easy to open overhead cabinets without using handles that the following techniques are only used for under-bench cabinet drawers and tall pantry cabinet doors.

True Handleless
A true handleless kitchen is characterised by a continuous rail that is put into the cabinet. The rail is found behind every door and drawer front, and forms a space that you hold and pull to open the cabinet or drawer.

PRO: No alterations are needed for the doors or drawer fronts.

CON: The specialist labour needed for installing the continuous rail is an added cost to a true handleless kitchen. This is conducted on-site after all the cabinets have been installed.

Moulded Finger Pulls
This style features a channel that passes through the top edge of the door or drawer front, creating a tiny lip for gripping and pulling to open.

PROS: No extra hardware needed, which makes this style one of the most inexpensive types of handleless kitchen cabinetry. Plus, the cabinet doesn’t need to be altered.

CONS: The channel at the top of the door can be shallow, leaving with just a small lip to grasp. This can be irritate a person who has large fingers or long fingernails. Plus, the slim piece of wood or other material left at the back of the channel can be vulnerable to chipping or cracking. To avoid this problem, make sure to hire a contractor that uses only quality materials.

Aluminium Finger Pull
This style features a J-shape handle in the shape of a piece of moulded aluminium attached to the top of doors or drawer fronts. They are cut to size, allowing them to be customised to each individual door or drawer front. Though this is considered a handle, it offers a streamlined look and evokes a handleless appearance.

PROS: The advantage of this technique is the same as that of moulded finger pull in that it offers complete access to the interior of the cabinet. In addition, the aluminium finger pull makes a kitchen interesting minus protruding handles.

CONS: These handles must have a slim channel directed into the top of the door for fit in the handle. This cannot be done with certain door materials, like those made of vinyl-wrap finish, because it may cause the vinyl to shed.

Push-to-open Mechanics
This type is a pleasure to use. You can close the door by pressing a button on the side of the cabinet, which prompts the mechanism to return the door to a closed position.

PRO: No fixtures between the drawers, no finger pulls and no high-maintenance channels; there is only an even, flat front that is very easy to clean.

CON: Doors and drawer fronts can accidentally open when you lean against them. This can be annoying, particularly if you have inquisitive children.

Alternative Option
If you’re not 100 per cent sure of a fully handleless kitchen, but rather keen on the streamlined appearance, then consider a finger pull with a U-shape profile handle that is found on the top of the door or drawer front.

Now you’ve decided on the type of Handleless kitchen you prefer, finding the right kitchen manufacturer can be the next difficult decision.  Call me and I’ll be able to make my recommendations!  Having recently gone through the whole process myself I can let you know what will suit you best!


Why Hiring a Stylist and Furniture is Worth It

When you put your house up for sale, there are many big decisions you have to make, such as which agent to hire, the best time to sell, which method of selling to use, etc.

But there are also those little decisions, such as whether you should hire a professional property stylist and rent furniture for your marketing campaign.

I always advise my clients to hire professionals to fit out their home, and here are the reasons why:

Play down those imperfections
You’d probably walked into a home for an open inspection and quickly noticed a few flaws like a crack on the wall or worn carpets.  It’s been my experience that simply adding furniture in bare rooms ensures that flaws are not the only things noticed by prospective buyers.  You’re not trying to conceal the imperfections of your house, you’re highlighting its strong features so that the imperfections are not the last thing on the prospective buyer’s memory.

Build a feeling of liveability
For some buyers it’s difficult to envision a life in a home if they only see empty rooms. For these types of buyers, furniture is the solution.  When selling a house, make it as easy as possible for the buyer to imagine themselves living there. Make every room a winner whether you’re selling an apartment or a five-bedroom property.

Increase the price
A stylist will take a look at your house and determine how best to improve its appearance to give the highest possible price a buyer might pay.  The stylist might even recommend additional major improvements that could be worth spending on to increase the likelihood of bringing maximum results.  The job of a stylist is to assist your agents opinion and assess a house that is on sale, organise estimates for furniture rental, and give sellers advice on what improvements they need to do in order to sell their house.

How much does it cost?
The cost of hiring a stylist and furniture is generally between $3500 and $10,000, depending on how much furniture is required.   Though it’s virtually impossible to quantify how much you’ll get for your house than if you’d left it un-styled, it’s a fair bet that it’s higher than what you’d spend and in my experience we have always achieved a higher price than our sellers expected.

For sellers on a budget, you can always opt to partially furniture your property. I often say to my clients that first impression is the most crucial – the spaces that the buyers see first and gravitate towards are the rooms that must be styled. 

There are many other rules and tips to styling which we can discuss at your personal appointment.  Call me directly on 0418447856.



High returns are Attracting Sydney Investors to Buy in Newcastle

Sydney investors are coming to Newcastle looking for their next investment property.  Many have found that they could earn better returns in Newcastle than their Sydney investments for growth.

Suburbs like Charlestown, Cardiff and Wallsend, are popular with investors as many properties purchases are found to be perfect for positive gearing.  Especially if the investor has practically given up on the Sydney market because it is now too expensive.  Buying in Newcastle is far more affordable and often these investors consider making multiple purchases.

The most popular properties are the ones with the potential to be renovated. When one of these properties come up for sale they usually always sell fast and often before the Sydney investor can see it on the weekend.

Increased investor activity in Newcastle and the surrounding Hunter area has had a significant effect on values. The house median price in Newcastle increased by almost 13% over the year to July 2017.

House values in the nearby council region of Cessnock, which comprises the towns of Pokolbin and Kurri Kurri, rose by an average of 9%.

A lot of Sydney’s nearby regions and cities, including Melbourne were markedly less expensive. Sydney and Melbourne are now deemed the “New Yorks of Australia.” But the value disparity between these two cities and the other regions in the country has become very extensive.

The disparity could become narrower over the next few years, but it will not be due to a significant correction of prices in Sydney and Melbourne. It will close as the other cities draw level.

Part of Newcastle’s appeal to investors is its diverse industry and economy. Our city has a good combination of growth drivers. Widespread gentrification is occurring around the CBD; a new light rail line will soon open; and the economy is performing very well.

Rental returns in Newcastle were also higher compared to Sydney, particularly since larger blocks attract investors wanting to create dual rental income from a granny flat or duplex.

If you are thinking of investing in Newcastle, my recommendation is to make it sooner than later as all indications is that prices will continue to rise.