Squatters – can they really take your house?

Last week the issue of squatters was in the national news media for the second time in as many months. This time the Victorian government and St Vincent de Pauls are somewhat ironically trying to evict homeless squatters from a row of inner city houses in order to provide other homeless people with housing and services.

This comes only a month after a less down-on-his luck banker moved into an empty heritage house in Sydney’s inner city and told neighbours he plans to claim the property under adverse possession laws. Continue reading

Bad Neighbours movie poster

Bad neighbours. How much will they cost you?

Bad neighbours. We’ve all had them, but unfortunately not all of them have looked like Zac Efron, even if he did come with a frat house. Still, a frat house would be better than this guy in Tennessee last weekend who bulldozed his neighbour’s house after a dispute.

Recently several people on a well-to-do street in New Zealand received notes in their letterboxes asking them to upgrade their cars as the ones they had were not to the standard expected in that street, something that could potentially impact the sale price of nearby houses.

This story had us at Perspective in stitches—not least because some online comments suggested that perhaps the real estate agents selling those houses delivered the notes. The agents have denied all knowledge of the letter, but it got us to wondering:

  1. What are the worst neighbour experiences our staff members have had?
  2. Does it really impact prices?
  3. What can/should be done about it?

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monopoly houses

5 reasons why investing in property is a great idea

Last week at Perspective we discussed ways of getting into the property investment market with no up front, out-of-pocket expenses. We had a super positive response from our readers, but some still needed some convincing. Sure we proved how easy it is to invest, but what makes real estate a better investment than say, shares or sticking the money in savings account?

Here we break down what we consider the Top 5 Reasons to Invest in Real Estate.

1. It’s safe

10 year investment comparison

The Australia Securities Exchanges recently released its 2016 Long-term Investing Report, which identifies residential property investment as the highest performing long-term investment of the past decade.

Average returns on investment property over the past decade reached 8% per annum. On a $400k property that’s a return of $320k over those ten years. The investment assets most able to compete with residential investment were global bonds (hedged) at 7.3% and Australian bonds and global shares (hedged), both at 6.2%.

The above statistics may come as a surprise—after all, haven’t we all heard stories about the $1 share that became worth more than $100? But for every one of these stories there are a dozen failed companies and investments that have gone worse than nowhere.

In addition to out-performing shares long-term, part of what makes investment property a safer bet is that bricks and mortar don’t disappear. Share values can plummet and become worthless in a day and you’re left with nothing—or worse, you’re left in debt.

Cash returns, such as term deposits, are often seen as the safest of investments—after all the Australian government will always bail out the big banks—but:

  • the 10 year investment report saw a return of only 3.1% per annum
  • you need the cash upfront to invest
  • you only see a return on your cash (as opposed to getting a return on the bank’s money)

Continue reading