Tag Archives: Property

Property investment basics from a long-term investor

Have a plan

Back in the 1990s when rents were around $200 per week for the average home in Christchurch I envisaged owning 10 investment properties. My thinking was this would give me a gross income of approx $100,000 per year and with costs roughly around 50% that would leave me with a net income of approx $50,000 – not bad as a passive income I thought at the time. As critical as having a plan, is executing that plan. I still have clients thinking about committing to investment property 20 years after our first discussion!

 

The bank, the tenant and the tax man

These three will immediately put their hand up to help you build a property portfolio. With reasonable capital/equity and income most banks will back you to buy investment property and with current interest rates so enticingly low, it’s really a no brainer. Add to that national population growth which equates to tenants never being too far away from knocking on your door needing a roof over their heads. They too, driven by their need for accommodation will assist with your property investment plan. Then of course there is the tax man. While he plays strictly to the rule-book there are still good tax incentives for owning investment property in New Zealand. All your related expenses are tax deductible and with owning investment property is also likely your overall taxable income will reduce too. This makes it even more attractive if you are pulling a reasonable income and are on a higher tax code.

 

Using somebody else’s money

Property is one of the few investments I know of that you can actually make money from debt. While if you are only buying property for capital growth reasons you may be disappointed with the short term growth rate, it is interesting to note that over the years property typically doubles in value every 7-10 years in New Zealand. Getting a return on little or no cash down is about as good as it gets and it is important to remember that capital growth is based on market value not the size of your mortgage.

 

Good debt – bad debt

This is probably the most profound advice my accountant has ever given me and I have never forgotten it! I still find myself applying this principle in business and investment decisions. In a nutshell, good debt is money borrowed for assets that appreciate in value, while bad debt is money borrowed for assets that decrease in value. For instance a car loses value the moment it is driven out of the showroom while real estate largely increases in value. It’s not that difficult to determine which will bring long term benefit. Remember this basic investment principle and you are well on track.

 

A mortgage can be great savings scheme

Paying a mortgage can often be better than paying into a saving scheme. One, it is compulsory, two, it doesn’t get bigger (smaller if you also pay off principal). Thirdly, the cost of the mortgage you are paying off is offset by the return you are getting on that money. With property yielding a much better return than term deposits, it makes total sense to keep or invest in real estate in this low inflation, low interest rate era.

 

Not a get rich quick scheme

Property has never been a get rich quick scheme and my experience is those that are normally implode before you get the time to check out their validity or typically don’t stand the test of time. As above, with national population growth placing increasing demand on housing stock and with no more land being made, unquestionably pressure will remain on available real estate. An investor with a steady hand on the tiller and focus on the distant horizon is unlikely to go wrong with a long term focus.

 

Christchurch ideal for property investment

Clearly in the post-quake rebuild phase greater Christchurch now has a property surplus. On the scale of larger cities throughout the country, Christchurch has some of the most affordable real estate currently available and it is my belief it will not be sustainable for this to remain at such levels for too much longer. It is also my professional opinion that as the current heart and vibe of the city continues to build it will sell itself both nationally and internationally resulting in strong attractive growth. Investing in Christchurch sooner than later makes total sense for the astute and those poised to take action. Personally, I plan to hold my local property portfolio as I strongly believe we are on the cusp of another growth phase, besides I am struggling to find anything better to sink my funds into.

 

Right now I’m thinking that investment in bricks and mortar is a better option than money in the bank.

Team Griff has long term experience in the property investment market and are happy to assist you with devising a plan to build your property portfolio. Coffee is a great place to start!

EQC announces new policy for on-sold over-cap properties

At EQC.govt.nz:

On 15 August 2019 the Government announced a policy that allows owners of on-sold over-cap properties in Canterbury to apply for an ex gratia Government payment to have their homes repaired.

If you’ve bought a home in Canterbury and discovered that it is damaged over the EQC cap, you may be eligible for an ex gratia payment to cover the cost of repair.

Under the policy, you will have twelve months (no later than 14 August 2020) to register your interest for the ex gratia payment. After that time, the policy will not be available.

If you qualify you may be able to receive an ex gratia payment equal to the agreed cost of repair.

To qualify for the support package, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:

  1. You have purchased a property in Canterbury after 4 September 2010 (the date of the first 7.1 magnitude Canterbury earthquake) and on or before the announcement of this support package on 15 August 2019; and
  1. Before selling the property the previous owner settled a claim with EQC on an under-cap basis; and EQC cover depends on how the natural disaster damage occurred.
  1. Post-sale you have discovered the property has incomplete or insufficient repairs either as a result of defective repair or through damage which had not been properly assessed; and
  1. The cost of the repair, together with the amounts previously paid by EQC for the property is more than the EQC cap ($100,000 +GST); and
  1. You are unable to access private insurance to cover the cost of repairs.

This is will be a welcome resolution to many homeowners who found themselves in a seemingly impossible situation of having no recourse to the original insurer of their property due to believing that all necessary earthquake repair work had been completed. However, the fact that this will require agreement with EQC as to the extent and cost of necessary repairs will be cold comfort for some!

Reminiscing 30 years of real estate

Having just celebrated 30 years with Harcourts one cannot help but reminiscing on the past. In this modern age it is hard to believe that 30 years ago we didn’t have the internet and the internal computer listing system didn’t even have photos – how painful!

Open homes were few and far between and it was taboo to advertise an address – oh how times have changed.

One of the most consistent factors of the real estate market is change. An experienced salesperson soon learns to change the game plan before lamenting of a poor market. One thing that never changes is the need of establishing lasting relationships of loyalty and trust. Trust is not something you can buy, but it is something you can earn. Like money, it can take years to accumulate and if you are not careful you can also lose it overnight.

With December being the time for me to hand over the reins to Caleb and move onto new horizons in Central Otago it is comforting to know my clients will be in good hands. Team Griff places importance on ensuring the needs of our clients come first, as we say “it’s about us keeping you in the driver’s seat” ensuring your agenda is our agenda.

Spring is coming – it’s time to get your house in order

It’s a widely held belief amongst sellers that spring is the prime time to sell your home. The weather has cleared up, the garden is in full bloom and buyers have come out of hibernation. However, there are a few things you need to be mindful if it is your intention to market your home in the spring.

 

  1. Consult the right people

If you haven’t already, get the ball rolling by requesting a market appraisal from your real estate consultant. We’ll be able to advise you on what can be done to maximise your home’s appeal, an effective marketing strategy, and walk you through the timelines you wish to meet – as well as providing you with an indication of the estimated price you’re likely to achieve.

 

  1. Be careful not to leave your run too late

Every year we see sellers who take advantage of the annual spring-time fervour in the market place. We’re already seeing it in August with very high clearance rates at our auctions, and new properties on the market getting snapped up very quickly. Typically, listings tend to spike in October and November – when the majority of sellers who initially thought of selling in spring time finally get round to getting their homes on the market. The laws of supply and demand dictate that this will at least have a moderating effect on prices, as buyers then have a greater selection of properties to choose from. By getting on the market by early September, you’re likely to still have time to sell, then find, purchase and move into your next your home before the end of the year.

 

  1. Cross those items off your home maintenance ‘to do’ list

Prior to getting on to the market, we suggest you get cracking on those outstanding home maintenance tasks that need completing. In the ‘steady-as-she-goes’ market that we currently have, any glaring jobs for buyers to complete can simply result in them moving on to the next, more appealing property. It’s also a good idea to have a builder or inspector cast a critical eye over your property during this time, to bring to your attention any urgent matters that require attention. This will pay off at the time of sale, lessening the likelihood of the sale falling over due to an unfavourable building report.

 

  1. Presentation is paramount

In a hot market, a seller can get away with listing their property in any condition, knowing that they’re likely to still be able to deal with a multitude of buyers. However, in this even-keeled market, we advise our sellers to ensure their home is presented in its best possible light. Ruthlessly declutter, give your home a deep clean, see to any deferred maintenance (see point 3) and have your garden look as appealing as possible. Determine for yourself what is the most you are prepared to do in preparing your home for the market, so that when it comes to decision-making at the time of sale, you know for yourself that there is nothing more you could have possibly done to affect the ultimate value of your home.

 

  1. Engage an effective marketing strategy

We have learned over the past 18 months that this is a market that rewards proactive and intentional marketing strategies. We’ll be able to assist you in preparing a marketing campaign that will ensure that your property is seen by the right cohort of buyers and achieve your objectives. This would normally be a combination of professional photography, grunty online upgrades, social media advertising, database contact and print advertising where appropriate.  Be wary of agents who say they can sell your property with little or no marketing investment – they’re either focused on the quick sale at any price, or are simply using hope as a strategy to sell your property.

 

  1. Consider how accessible your property will be to prospective purchasers

Many agents will say that one half-hour open home a week will be sufficient to attract buyers. At Team Griff, we couldn’t disagree more. We regard three open homes a week for the first three weeks on the market as the baseline standard. We hear from prospective purchasers their frustrations at having to prioritise properties to view – which are generally half hour slots between 12 and 2.00pm, either Saturday or Sunday. Making it easier for purchasers to view your property by holding longer and more frequent open homes, we’re increasing the opportunity to get more buyers through your property. More buyers generally lead to more offers, which then increases the chances of creating a competitive environment for purchasers – giving your best chance to secure a premium price for your property.

 

  1. Set out your plan then execute it

It’s said that a goal without a plan is simply a wish. If your goal is to sell your property and move into your next one before the end of the year, simply break that down into small, manageable steps to help keep you on track. We can assist by putting you in contact with contractors, gardeners, handy-men and cleaners – all there to help you achieve that end result you require. We’ve seen many times when sellers have rushed to get their home on the market, ignoring the important preparation, and to only take a “wait and see” approach – results in either selling at a significant undervalue, or languishing on the market for months. Sellers who put in the work behind the scenes and are intentional with their marketing strategy will be handsomely rewarded.

 

Whether you’re looking to sell this spring or are simply keen to get an update as to your home’s current value, contact us today for your free, no-obligation market appraisal. We’re here ready to assist.

Definite safety in numbers when selling ‘as is, where is’

While it is always tempting to take an off the street offer to supposedly save money, beware, this could be a costly mistake.

Time and time again we have proven that effective marketing that produces multiple interest in a property fetch better sale prices. One recent sale we transacted resulted in over $100,000 more being paid for a property than a previous ‘off-the-street’ offer.

Team Griff and Harcourts are renowned for providing a cross-section of buyers when it comes to selling property, meaning more than one party at the time of negotiation. Experience has proven that professional broad-reaching marketing provides the most effective platform to realise true market value – after all you can’t sell a secret!

Benefiting from the choice of multiple purchasers is the key to realising true and top market value when selling ‘as is, where is’.

Here at Team Griff, at the click of the mouse, we can instantly present your property to the inbox and Facebook feeds of over 2,000 subscribers – including some of the most active ‘as is, where is’ purchasers.

Check out these facts:

  • Team Griff currently holds 2137 subscribers in its active ‘as is, where is’ contact database.
  • Team Griff e-campaigns consistently generate an open rate in the vicinity of 40% – well above the industry average of 17%. This means approximately 850 subscribers will check out your property immediately once notified.
  • Team Griff, with 332 ‘as is’ sales chalked up, know the ‘as is’ market like the back of their hand. Team Griff’s marketing campaigns get results – all but one have sold under the hammer year to date.
  • Team Griff take it on themselves to understand the structural status of a property, meaning prospective purchasers are represented confidently with professional reports to support their due diligence.
  • Team Griff will draft the sale and purchase agreement (reviewed by your solicitor) on your behalf mitigating the risk to you upon settlement.

Clearly, to maximise return on your uninsured, ‘as is, where is’ property it is a numbers game. Talk to Team Griff today to get the numbers through your home, and to achieve maximum market value – our numbers speak for themselves!

Counting the cost to sell

Going through the cost, time and inconvenience involved with preparing property for sale is something we all go through, myself included. Recently, my wife and I experienced this ourselves, where one of our rental properties required a pre-sale makeover and costs quickly escalated outside our original budget.

Now, nearing completion, to prepare the property for the market we’re in the process of staging it to ensure maximum effect when prospective buyers see it either online or in person. It’s an often overlooked area of the selling process but one we recommend nonetheless.

In the post-quake era we live in, a current property inspection provides extra peace of mind for prospective purchasers, as does a readily available LIM report (which we consider best practice). The right digital marketing plan is essential these days, and once all that is considered and the property is sold there’s the commission to take into account as well. When you add up all these costs against the investment you’ve made in your property, it goes without saying that you should expect a decent return come auction or sale day. It’s another good reason to hand pick a well-skilled agent with a proven track record and negotiation skills!

We encourage our sellers to give it their very best shot when it comes to selling. That way, when it comes to decision-making time, there is absolutely no question of whether anything else could have been done to extract a better result.

Preparing for winter

With brisk mornings becoming more common and daylight hours beginning to fade, it’s worth being mindful about the winter ahead. And while we’re advocates of selling during these months when there’s less competition, it’s important that you give proper attention to a few key areas in order to effectively showcase your home.

Effective heating, lighting and insulation qualities are given more notice by purchasers when inspecting properties during the winter. Never underestimate the perception these create. If you’re selling an investment property, or a property that is likely to be suitable as a rental, it’s also important to remember that new insulation requirements come into effect from 1 July. Check out the team at Warm Fuzzies, they’ll provide you with an insulation assessment for $50 +GST as well as quotes from a handful of insulation installers to get your property up to scratch.

Appealing to these senses and making people feeling like they can live there like it’s their own home is also key. A warm house with fresh baking on a cold winter’s day is the ultimate welcome home feel! Remember – a home liked in winter is loved in the summer!

New high schools create strong demand

With the keys ready to be handed over, the opening of a brand new shared campus for Avonside Girls and Shirley Boys high schools has created a new buzz in the real estate market. Local property is in demand as families continue  to relocate and secure homes within the zone  of these schools. It’s a great thing to see in the eastern suburbs and we expect to see these trends continue as all Christchurch state secondary schools look set to become zoned in the near future.

Without a doubt, enquiries are greater across the board. Just last week, a new listing triggered double the enquiry of a similar property that was out of zone. It’s a trend we haven’t seen for a while  and it’s incredibly positive for the community seeing families moving into the north-east for schooling as opposed to moving out.

Click here to read more about this state-of-the art educational facility.

Click here to view the latest video walk-through.

Active start to 2019

As predicted the 2019 new year real estate market has a fresh vibrant vibe in the air. Both physically on the street with good open home attendance and online enquiry are showing positive activity, even with a hint of determined decisiveness!

Backing the new year market, we have prepped a number of listings to launch early to mid January, which to date is proving to produce the desired level of enquiry. Often with less stock on the the market immediately over the Christmas – New Year period, being that “first taxi off the rank” is a smart thing to do in the realm of real estate marketing. This equates to heightened interest in the limited available stock from a buying public hungry for new listings.

It’s also worth noting that the Reserve Bank’s reduced LVR restrictions have come into effect from 1 January. This means that banks will now be able to lend 20 per cent of their new loans to owner-occupiers who have a deposit of less than 20 per cent of a purchase price – up from 15 per cent of new lending. The required minimum deposit for investors has now dropped to 30% from 35%. It’s foreseeable that these changes will bring a new batch of buyers into the housing market.

Being intuitive to the marketplace and seasonal trends is something we like to pride ourselves with, meaning we can be on the front foot when tailoring a marketing package with our clients who are looking to sell.

We believe the advantages of the new year market are many, so if you would like to strategise a specific plan to maximise both your property and the current market over a cuppa, be sure to make contact. We’d welcome the opportunity to offer specialised strategic advice to ensure the best possible result. We’re ready to get to work!

The power of effective marketing

Achieving another outstanding result under the hammer in our auction rooms clearly confirms why we continue to recommend auction as best practice for sellers of ‘as is, where is’ properties. The results speak for themselves.

Check out the facts on our most recent auction:

Address:                                            65 Perth Street. Richmond
Days on the market:                        9
Purchaser inspections:                   28
Number of pre-auction offers       2
Bidders in attendance:                   6 (2 active)
Private offer prior to listing           $170,000
Final selling price at auction     $271,000

Team Griff’s as is, where is, under the hammer strike rate year to date: 100%

The reality is there are many “astute” property opportunists active in the greater marketplace hunting for that next bargain. A homeowner who fails to engage in an effective marketing campaign to flush out multiple purchasers can become vulnerable prey for this calibre of purchaser. Such purchasers are governed by their own perception of value, plus their motivation to maximise profits. It goes without saying that they have very little regard for a sellers’ interests.

With 306 ‘as is, where is’ sales under our belt now it would be fair to say we understand this market. Accomplishing results like the above is the most satisfying aspect of the process. Seeing people moving forward with their lives and in most instances realising a greater selling price than expected makes it a very positive experience.

With spring on the horizon, we look forward to creating many more magic results for our clients prior to the end of the year. If your intention is to get sold before the year’s end, we suggest you contact us sooner rather than later. ‘As is’ buyers are hesitant to hold properties over the Christmas/New Year period due to labour shortages, so it’s best to get the ball rolling now.