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Three ways to take advantage of the coronavirus lockdown to prepare your house for sale


    Selling a house amid the coronavirus lockdown comes with some extra complications, but it’s not impossible.   Agents have adapted quickly to operate within the current legislation by offering private viewings. The most serious buyers are attending inspections and agents have more time to spend time with each potential buyer.   While the latest restrictions might mean some vendors put their plans on hold, other home owners don’t have the luxury of time.   Neville Katz, of Katz Vendor Advocates, has some clients who have to sell now including those who recently bought a new home and need to sell their old one, as well as separating couples and deceased estates. “People should just persevere trying to sell if they can get a reasonable price,” he said.   PS Property Advisory director and QLD spokesperson of the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia Scott McGeever says, even under normal circumst...


'Green shoots': early signs of recovery in housing market but risks remain


  Sydney’s housing market is showing early signs of recovery but not every city region will escape a fall in prices and some will emerge from the COVID-19 crisis faster, economists warned. Green shoots are beginning to emerge in parts of Sydney’s property market, suggesting doomsday predictions of a housing crash may have jumped the gun. Real estate experts said the same patterns that preceded prior housing market recoveries have been reoccurring over recent weeks. This included a rise in auction clearance rates, increased sales in the premium end of the market and a higher rate of sales inquiry.   The early signs of recovery pointed to a buffer for prices that would insulate the market from a collapse, although a return to pre-COVID-19 conditions could take years.   It comes as economists savaged recent predictions of a more than 30 per cent crash in values as “unrealistic” and failing to account for a major drop in listings, which has ...


Financial year end: It's time for property investors to think about depreciation allowances


  As financial year end approaches, many people will be considering end-of-financial year tax issues, so we believe this is a good time for investors to be thinking about depreciation on their asset.   It is important to know what you can and cannot claim as a tax deduction on an investment property. This is because the Taxation Office spends a great deal of time checking through investment property owners’ tax returns. There are some expenses you can’t claim. For instance these include stamp duty and legal costs associated with purchasing the property. Keep a record of these as they should be added to the property’s initial cost to determine a capital gain or loss when you eventually sell the property.   Tax deductions   If you have been thinking of making improvements to your investment property, it is worth remembering that repairs attract tax deductions against the year’s income. Ideally, you should not take action purely to...


How to keep your home clean and free from coronavirus


    As households continue to bunker down across Australia, attention has turned to the best ways of protecting homes from coronavirus.   Key points:Households are a new frontier in the fight against coronavirusExperts advise detergent and disinfectant are needed to clean surfacesThey say to target high traffic areas like doorknobs, handles and benchesHealth experts have recommended a series of practical steps for maintaining good hygiene at home. UNSW virologist Dr Sacha Stelzer-Braid is confident households can minimise their exposure if the right procedures are followed.   How do I stop COVID-19 spreading to my home?   Take off your shoes at the front door.   "We just need to be really quite vigilant and strict," she said. "It's not a bad idea to take your shoes off before you enter the house, especially for children who like to jump on beds," she said. "Definitely don't put your shoes anywhere you would touch with your hands like your c...


How to enhance your chances of best price possible


  If you are thinking of selling your home, a key point to consider is what can you do to ensure it is presented at its very best, especially given the current market conditions.   Good presentation can make a significant difference to how buyers feel towards a property. Even the cosmetic aspects of a home have a bearing.   Would it be worth your while replacing the carpets, upgrading the kitchen and so on?   It is important to know that there must be a balance to this. It is easy to go too far in spending money that will not yield a  worthwhile return on the money spent.   It is for this reason that anyone thinking of selling should read our special report on home presentation. It outlines what has been found to be worth spending money on – and what is not, so it can save you from a number of easy to make, expensive mistakes.   If you would like us to send you a free copy of this report titled: “Preparing for the market: Things...


Working from home during coronavirus shutdown? These hacks may help keep ease the pain of your home office


  Kitchen bench tops and dining room tables around Australia have become workspaces as office workers have been advised to work from home in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.   Where the opportunity to work from home in your PJs might have once seemed like a treat, the rapid shift to working from home — if that is even an option for you — is challenging.Suddenly, you may find yourself working in the same space as your family, bent over a laptop instead of sitting or standing at a dedicated workstation with ergonomic equipment.   The combination of long hours on a laptop on the kitchen table can be both physically and psychologically stressful over the long haul.   "It's worth investing some time thinking about how to make this work to protect your physical and mental wellbeing," said Jodi Oakman, who leads the Centre for Ergonomics and Human Factors at La Trobe University.   Here are some tips and hacks that may help you make your ...