How to find the best real estate agent to manage your property

Whether you’re a seasoned investor or a brand ‘newy’ to owning a rental property, it can be difficult to know and find the best real estate agent to manage your property.

It seems like everyone in the property management business in Newcastle is offering pretty much the same thing, so how do you know which agent is the best?

Sadly, and all too often, an investor ends up choosing a real estate agent purely based on a financial reason going for the lowest management fees.  Sometimes the investor makes their choice based on a high rental appraisal price.  Unfortunately, both of these decisions are flawed if made in isolation and not considering any other factors. ​

Beware of Choosing an Agent based on the Lowest Fees or the Highest Rent Appraisal

Are you aware that based on a rental return of just $500 per week, the annual difference between a 6.6% and 7.7% management fee is $286pa and is equivalent of having your property vacant for just 4 days?

Consider this….  Why is the agent charging you less?  Is it because it’s the only way they can get new business?  Perhaps they are inexperienced or simply trying to win your business because they have a quota to reach for the month.

Imagine for a moment that your agent has not managed to notice that the flexi hoses under the bathroom vanity have begun to rust.  Then the hose bursts while the tenants are out and the bathroom, hall and all other nearby rooms are also now flooded. That $286 pa and the cost of a replacement early in time is now beginning to look much cheaper than the excess you now have to pay on your insurance claim!
This is just one example of why you’ll be making the right choice with Annette Pinkerton at One Agency Pinkerton Properties in Newcastle.   Minimising vacancy is also another reason. Annette works closely with your vacating tenants to ensure she has enough time to find the new successful tenants helping with a smooth transition between tenants where the new tenants usually move in on the first available day.  She is the owner of the business, so the buck stops with her and she has a vested interest in making sure she’s getting great results fast without cutting corners.  Annette has been running her mobile business for 9 years and has always offered a lot of flexibility to clients and potential tenants.  You’ll be able to contact her directly on her mobile rather than leaving a message with a receptionist.

When you feel you aren’t getting the service you require from your property manager, switching to a new team is your best option. Many agencies, us included, can take care of this with as little as a phone call.

If you’re thinking about switching property managers, Annette Pinkerton at One Agency Pinkerton Properties will handle the entire process and it won’t cost you a cent. Whenever an investor wishes to transfer their portfolio to our care, we handle the changeover from start to finish – all you need to do is sign some paperwork. We can do everything from contacting your old property management company to give notice, arrange paperwork, pick up keys, notify your tenants and arrange an inspection to view the property  – you just need to give me a call.

You don’t have to worry about feeling uncomfortable about approaching your property manager to let them go.  The whole process really is easy and stress-free for you as the landlord.  All you need to do is make the decision and notify us.

Be Vigilant – Mould is Moving Into Our Homes this Winter! 

La Niña has brought torrential rain and high humidity creating the perfect breeding ground for toxic mould. So what do you need to know and how can you get rid of it?

As the east coast of Australia experiences a lashing of wet weather combined with high humidity and a lack of airflow, we now have the perfect breeding ground for mould.

The recent wild weather has encouraged an epidemic of mould breaking out in homes.  If you haven’t already noticed it, start looking.

Places to look include anything made from fabric like carpets, curtains, cushions, blinds, clothing, shoes, fake flower arrangements and mattresses, like under a baby’s cot.  Wooden floors, untreated wood, wooden furniture, plaster ceilings are also places to look.  There’s so many places mould can lodge and grow if there is moisture, particularly the ‘wet’ areas of your home like bathrooms, kitchens and laundries which all require ventilation even when the weather is perfect.

What is mould?
Mould is a type of fungi that is present virtually everywhere, both indoors and outdoors.  But it can become a big problem once it finds places to grow inside your home and the recent warm humid weather is the perfect environment for mould to spread.

Any damp ares in your home will be susceptible to mould growth and is mainly due to lack of ventilation.

How do you stop the spread of mould in your home?
There are 3 main steps in controlling mould;
1. Keep your home dry and aired
2. Keep the home clean and free from dust
3. Eliminate dampness 

• Use exhaust fans and range hoods to extract moisture from all ‘wet areas’ such as bathrooms, kitchens  and laundries.
• Cleaning, vacuuming and dusting regularly helps to keep bacteria (food for mould) to a minimum.
• Clothes dryers create condensation in the air and will increase mould growth throughout the home unless ventilated.
• Drying washing inside on clothes racks allows moisture to evaporate into the air increasing humidity which leads to mould growth.
• In winter it’s important to open windows and cross ventilate any property regularly on DRY days, between 10 am and 2 pm, for at least an hour.
• Ceiling fans also help to dry out condensation.
• Gas heating/cooking (Unflued) is considered to be a ‘wet’ heat therefore  increases condensation.  This is evident on windows.
• Electric heating is considered a dry heat and helps keep condensation and humidity levels low. Use the appliance for a short period in damp rooms, usually the rooms on the southern side.
• The use of an air conditioner, when used correctly, reduces condensation.
• A dehumidifier (portable) may help to reduce condensation. 

Whenever condensation forms on the inside of glass windows and remains there after mid-day this is a sure sign that inside your home is just way too wet.

Warning
Specialists warn that using bleach on mould can help the mould to grow as it uses bleach as a food source. Using a dilute solution of vinegar to kill the mould is more effective. Borax and baking soda can also be used effectively.

There are lots of simple ways to control moisture and therefore mould and the secret is living a little drier!

Prevention is more efficient than removal so keep your home dry and free of dust.

 

 

 

Paint Colour Trends for Living Rooms in 2022

For 2022, there is not one colour or shade that’s currently popular. The trend is simply towards colour in general, or just not white!

The trends in home colours change in decades, not years, so it’s too soon for plain white to make a comeback.  With that said, some of the most popular colour trends for living areas for 2022 are:

Green
After a decade of “being beige”, up next is a decade of different shades of green, from the cheerful, stronger greens, to the softer colours, like eucalyptus.  One of the shades that has gained broad appeal is sage green, a light, dusty shade of green. It is the most innocuous pick for people who like colour, but is hesitant to go bold.

Gelato colours
Another trend is more pastel colours, ranging from soft to intense to more low-key. These are the colours you would usually see in Italian gelato shops. There are columns of pure, pastel colours and those faintly dustier tones. Both of these colour ranges have equal space in the market.  You can also consider a bright mango or deep coffee, then you have more subdued pistachio, banana, peach or macadamia.

Subdued Memphis Milano
Memphis Milano is a trend in the 80s, consisting of contrasting block colours in primarily geometric patterns. This style is making a comeback, but with dusty or subdued tones.  This style has many colours together that are contradictory on the colour wheel. For example, it would be common to see a lilac beside a yellow.

Here are more examples of colour wheel opposites:
Red and green
Pink and green
Blue and yellow
Blue and orange

This can be considered wild for people who are just beginning to explore colours and can be quite blunt. However, it becomes quite the opposite when combined with the trend of subdued dusty or pastel colours.

On the other hand, there is also a trend towards pairing colours that are located right next to each other in the colour wheel. For example, a lilac next to a pink.

The colours right next to each other include:
Blue and green
Pink and red
Pink and purple
Yellow and orange
Yellow and green

Again, this can be described as more light and subdued rather than bright and bold.

Cool colours
It is alright for the living area to be a little cooler in relation to colour shades. Your whole house need not be done in warm colours, or it becomes too sweet.
The disparity between faintly warmer tones in the bedroom and colour tones such as greens and blues in the living areas complements each other.

How to choose colours:
If you’re unsure which colour to pick for your home, here are tips to guide you:
1. Ask the professionals. You don’t need to pay for one because there are apps that can help you with colour selection and creation.
2. Be confident. It’s actually rare for people to paint a room and regret it after, especially if they choose soft colours and gentle tones. There is a big gap between people’s fear of colour and then how satisfied they are with the results.
3. Use samples. They are a lifesaver. Paint large squares on your wall, leave it for a few days and then make a decision.

Check out more colour combinations at my Pinterest Board.

6 Tips to Successfully Sell your House

Who doesn’t want a successful home sale? Everyone, both experienced investors and first-time sellers aspire for great results when selling a house.

Here are the things you need to consider before putting your house on the market:

  1. Hire a real estate agent

One effective method of picking a real estate agent is by attending open for inspections and talking to the agents as a buyer. Inspect the house and act like a buyer.  Take them for a ‘test run’.

This approach allows you to understand the services that they are going to provide to you and determine if their selling style is right for you.

  1. Pick a time to sell

What is the best time to sell?

Consider your family’s plans. You may not want to time it when one of your children is preparing for exams or if there is a new baby in the house.

Also take into account the weather and which season makes your house and garden really stand out.

Many people prefer spring to sell, but the real estate market is open all throughout the year.

  1. Do the necessary repairs

There may be some areas in your house that need to be fixed before it can be sold. One of the first things you need to do is organise quotes for all repairs.

Once you have all the quotes lined up, you can determine the advantages and disadvantages of doing the repairs.

  1. Presentation is the key

A sales campaign hinges heavily on how you present your house. 

A professional house stylist can help you design your house in such a way that it appeals to many buyers. The stylist will discuss ways to highlight the best features of your home and help you to declutter and depersonalise your home so it’s easier for the buyer to imagine what they want to do in the space and how they will live there.

  1. Understand your sales approach

There are different ways to sell a house – auction, tender, private sale or expressions of interest.

Each method has its pros and cons. Choose the best one for you by looking at the sales data/history in the nearby areas and talk with your agent.

  1. Be realistic in your expectations

The people around you may have an opinion about how much you should sell your house. But we warned that their estimations are most likely not as accurate as your agent’s.

Rely on the agent’s experience instead.

Finding a Community Where You Belong

It isn’t difficult to find a good place in Australia where you can build your dream home. However, a place where you live is not the same as a place where you feel you belong.

How do you know that a place is where you will feel at home?

If you are buying a house, it is important to find a neighbourhood that not only has the best to offer, but it is also the right match for you.

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself when you’re searching for a community where you really belong:

  1. Is it a fit for your lifestyle?

When you’re searching for a home, the most important thing to consider is that it is a place that you want to live, rather than a place that ticks the boxes.

You should choose a place that matches your daily life. For example, if you have children, you should choose somewhere with nearby parks, safe roads and good schools.

Retirees would also want somewhere safe, possibly with a dog park, close to shops, preferably on the flat or where there are also other retirees.

Younger buyers will likely prefer places that are close to restaurants, public transportation and entertainment.

Before starting your search, know exactly what you want. Think about what you like to do during your spare time and then find a suburb that matches you.

  1. Do you relate with the theme?

It is important to consider the general vibe of a neighbourhood as it is what you will experience in your daily life.

If you’re a nature-loving person, then a green-themed community where there is fresh air, peace and quiet will appeal to you.

On the other hand, choose a trendy urban neighbourhood if you’re into the hustle and bustle, easily accessible modern amenities, and a thriving village-style precinct.

You may already know what you want, but the challenge is finding it. Look at as many options as you can and it will feel just right when you find the right one.

  1. Are the amenities you need available?

Is grabbing a cup of coffee from your local café or doing laps at the local pool part of your morning routine?

Or, do you want good schools, a shopping centre or proximity to the CBD.

Amenities are essential because they make life easier and more convenient. They are also an opportunity to meet neighbours and like-minded people in your community.

Think about what amenities matter to you the most and find a development or neighbourhood that can offer everything that you’re looking for.

  1. The availability of community foundations

Community spirit doesn’t just appear out of the blue. There should be opportunities to encourage relationships.

To foster connection, many developments integrate central spaces into their design. However, search for developments that do more, such as running social programs to foster connection among residents. 

West in Wickham have a community garden, growing fresh produce on the mezzanine level which they share with the entire building.  West also arrange for a variety of food trucks to frequent on Friday evenings and even book entertainment for the complex.  They have their own Facebook group for residents and a website connecting everyone who chooses to interact.

Other programs can include special events for major holidays like Christmas, open movie nights and board game nights.

  1. Engaging communal spaces

In most new developments, there will be a park or some type of communal space where residents can hang around. However, these areas should serve a function, not merely an afterthought.

It is important that a park, an open space or an urban cityscape be relaxing, practical and have a great ambiance that gives them value.

Residents have to actually want to go there, mingle and interact. 

  1. Does it bring pride?

We all want to live in a neighbourhood where we get a sense of joy and satisfaction. Your view of your community is important because you want to feel you’ve made the right choice every time you step outside of your home.

If you don’t have pride in your community, you may end up dissuading friends and family visiting, or not telling people exactly what your postcode is, so it’s important to make the right choice before you buy.