How to improve your EER

 

 

Carly walks over to her mailbox. She’s nervous because it’s at the three months mark and she’s expecting that dreaded energy bill. She grabs the envelopes inside and soon becomes aware that the bill is staring back at her. Carly rips it open—just like a band-aid—and unfolds the paper quickly. Her heart races, stomach sinks, and the dismay overcomes her as she realises that it’s 15% more than her last home’s bill.

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Downsizing with a young family – a true story

 

“As my husband and I built our dream home, we thought we’d live there for the rest of our lives. Our spacious 3 bedroom in Casey was designed exactly how we envisioned it.

As with any first house, effort and love was present and a lot of sentimental memories were created—from married life, to bringing our first child home.

Within a few years, it dawned on us that we faced a lifetime of large mortgage repayments, insurance, and utility bills.

It also started to feel like every spare minute of our free time was taken up by taking care of the house—cleaning, gardening, painting, renovating and household chores. Was this really our vision of life?

We began to ponder selling the dream home and moving into something smaller. But how could we with a 2-year-old? Would there be enough space or room for her to play? What would happen when she gets older and wants to play sports?

Today my husband, my 4-year-old daughter Sofie, and I live in a 2-bedroom apartment at ‘Infinity Towers’ in Gungahlin and we have never looked back.”

This is Cass Atkinson’s experience.

But how relevant is this to Canberra and people like her? We’ve seen a trend of young families looking to downsize to reduce their workload and enjoy their lives, just like retirees and empty nesters.

We spoke to Cass, and Will Honey, Principal at Independent Property Group Tuggeranong for their advice on downsizing with children.

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New Financial Year Resolutions—yes, they exist!

Admit it, we’ve all been swept up in the cheer of the of the holiday season and made ambitious resolutions for the new year—from having a healthier lifestyle to improving your foreign language skills. It’s definitely a time of the year that inspires us to reflect and figure out ways to better ourslves.

Now that we’ve started a new financial year—hooray—it should also be a time to start your new financial year resolutions. In fact, it’s the perfect time to re-evaluate your finances and find ways to improve of your property investments ahead of your next tax return.

Here are four new financial year resolutions you might consider to take charge of your property investments and maximise their potential.

Exercise a healthier investment strategy:

 Many mum and dad investors got into the game through life circumstances, and not a lot of thought was put into what type of investment strategy suited them best. Should they buy and hold? Be negatively geared? Positively geared? Is passive property development something they should look into?

The first step in reassessing your strategy is to determine if your current one is working for you. How do you know if it’s working? This all depends on which one you have chosen, but overall if you’re getting the desired return and see future growth, you’re moving in the right direction.

If you think your property can do better, chat with a financial planner about your circumstances and what options are out there for you. Also, speak to an agent who can look at your rental returns, the tax benefits you could be taking advantage of as well as the expenses associated with your property including asset management fees. An agent can also analyse and benchmark the performance of your strategy and provide possible alternate options. Continue reading

48 Hours in the Life of a Sales Agent

 The life of a sales agent is a busy one, but what do they really do all day?

As buyers and sellers, we only see the calm, unflappable exterior as our agents welcome us to sparkling open homes and walk us through the paperwork. Just like ducks, though, there’s a lot of frantic action going on out of sight to keep things moving along.

We asked Eliana Rojas-Terry, sales agent with Independent Property Group Tuggeranong and definitely not a duck, to share two days from her diary with us so we can see what really goes on under the surface.

Saturday

4.45am

I’m up around 4.30am most mornings to go to the gym before starting my day. Today I let myself sleep in until 4.45am, but then it’s all go. I don’t drink coffee, so the gym is the thing that gives me enough energy during the day. Well, that and the fact that I enjoy my job!

8am

All the agents get together at our favourite Tuggeranong cafe for breakfast. Saturday is usually our busiest day, so it’s a chance to pump ourselves up a bit. We talk about what we have on, how many opens we might have and if anything’s closing. It’s a real part of our team culture.

9am

I have three open homes today, so I have to get moving. The first one is at 9.30am, but I try and get there about 20 minutes earlier. That gives me a chance to check that the house is ready and primp it a little bit.

Right now, I swing past the local florist. I always bring a bunch of flowers to put on the table for each open home. It pretties the place up, and they’re a nice thank you for the owners for all their effort in getting the place ready. Continue reading