Blog


How 'FOMOA' is driving up house prices - and driving us all crazy


Is there any pursuit that causes you to become so completely unhinged, as insanely competitive and as financially irresponsible as buying a house?   Auctions can be equal parts exciting and terrifying. Photo: Peter Rae   Gambling on horses might be the only illogical pursuit that comes close, but at least we are encouraged to feel reassured by the fact that buying property in the current lava-like market is no real gamble at all.   Unlike investing in shares or some other unexciting “securities”, buying a house involves dangerous levels of emotional involvement and a powerful FOMOA (Fear Of Missing Out Again) effect.   Moving is a pain, but the fear of missing out on the perfect property is worse. Photo: Stocksy   I imagine there must be people out there who go shopping for a house, fall in love with the first one they find and buy it without any stress or disappointment, but I’m yet to meet them. Perhaps they live in Wo...


Refinance, upgrade or both? What home owners should do while rates are still low


Upgrading to a larger, better-positioned, or more valuable home can allow home owners to take advantage of surging prices, but a booming market can make the move challenging.   Upgrading in a rising market could build wealth, provided owners can meet borrowing costs into the future. Photo: Vaida Savickaite   While it might be easier to achieve a great price when selling, it’s just about impossible to score a bargain in the current market, considering countless upgraders – who have put off a move for several years – are diving in at once.   “It’s when demand outstrips supply that the prices are high,” says Real Estate Institute of NSW president Leanne Pilkington. “We’ve got a couple of years of suppressed demand happening right now. Eventually, that demand is going to start to ease off, but even if the clearance rates are down in the mid-70s, it’s still a really strong market.”   When prices r...


What to look for when buying a renovated house


A newly renovated home might be considered a dream property purchase, but diligent buyers need to look beyond the fresh paint, sparkling tiles and polished floorboards. Many home owners ensure their properties are renovated to a meticulous standard, but others cut costs or overlook major issues to try to maximise their return when selling.   Knowing the warning signs to look for and the experts to enlist will improve a buyer’s chances of purchasing a quality home rather than a problematic property.   Beware the flip   If a home has been renovated before sale, it can fall into one of three categories, which may affect its quality, according to buyer’s agent Cate Bakos.   “There’s the renovation the owners did for themselves and lived in it and enjoyed, and that’s usually not bad because it’s been done to the owner’s standards,” she says. “There’s the renovation the landlord did for their tenant, and...


It's not roquette science': How to kickstart your own edible garden


Summer has ended, but in the world of edible gardening, that means we’re (hopefully) enjoying summer fruit and veggies from our gardens and still snipping away at our luscious leafy greens. A few hot days saw some of my leafy greens and herbs bolt to seed faster than I’d like, ending their life but opening up space in the garden for some cooler season annuals.   If 2021 is your year to start growing your own or if you’re ready to turn that thumb a little greener, it will save you loads of time, energy and stress knowing what to plant and when.     Knowing what to plant when will make all the difference to your end of season hauls. Photo: iStock   Allow me to briefly explain some of the things I notice people do when starting out in edible gardening. Knowing this first will hopefully save you time and money as well as raise your confidence with a nice harvest in a few months.   For sure, you will have some failures &ndash...


'Zoombarrassment' trend sees interior updates peak


Home is not only where the heart is, it’s where everything is now.  And, while we previously considered what impressions the shoes we wore, bags we carried or fragrance we sprayed would make on our colleagues, it’s now what’s creeping into our Zoom frames that’s making those impressions for us.    This inviting of our professional lives into our personal spaces has made Zoom rooms or space decor updates big business – and birthed the term Zoombarrassment – a self-conscious or uncomfortable feeling about the appearance of our homes when video calling for work or socialising.    First coined in the UK in The 2020 Renovation Nation Report by mortgage comparison site money.co.uk, it cited a spike in small home renovations as partly due to the increased time we’ve spent at home, and partly due to “Zoombarrassment”, with 40 per cent of people reporting experiencing the feelin...


What landlords should look for when choosing a property manager


Appointing a property manager to take care of a rental property is a major decision, but there is more for landlords to consider than fees alone.   The right property manager can mean the difference between a hassle-free experience and a regrettable one.   Property owners can start by researching the different companies that service the area where the property is located. Landlords can typically choose between full-service real estate agencies or dedicated property management companies.   Many landlords focus on fees when comparing property managers, says Property North Agency director Ben Benny. “For some people, it’s all about money – they don’t look past that.”   Fee structures can differ between agencies. Most charge a fee based on a percentage of the rent, with rates in capitals typically varying between four and eight per cent, depending on the area and services included, plus a monthly administrati...