A Bond for Landlords…Outrageous, or Ingenious?

It’s the one word that has the power to make any tenant squeamish and reduce even the most fearless to tears when it comes close to vacate time…bonds. That one word can signify the difference between being reimbursed a month’s worth of rent or never laying eyes on it again, and bond refunding is (unfortunately for both sides of the equation) still an extremely prevalent issue. Continue reading


Spring garden tips to improve your home’s value

Maybe it’s just us, but it has felt like a loooong winter. However, the sun is out today, a brace of long weekends is fast approaching and it’s time to get cracking on your garden.

It’s no secret that a well-landscaped garden can improve your property’s value. Plants are proven to lower stress levels and improve concentrations in the workplace, so it’s no wonder that gardens are something people are attracted to when buying property.

In fact, a study from the Michigan State University found that homeowners received a 109% return on their landscaping investments, improving sale prices by 5 – 11%.

So how do you best harness this good-vibes power? Here are 5 things you can do in your garden this weekend:

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How Your Parents Can Help You Buy A Home

Buying a home is a huge step, but one that can be facilitated by the helping hand of your parents. We’re going to be up front with you and say that not everyone’s parents are in a position to help their children buy a home. The Perspective team has done some digging and it turns out there are more ways in which your parents can help you buy than doling out raw funds. We investigate the possibilities for parental assistance in purchasing property below:

Receive a Cash Gift

One of the hardest things about purchasing property is having the ability (and patience!) to accumulate a deposit. If your ‘rents have funds to spare, one of the best ways in which they can offer assistance to First Home Buyers is to give a non-refundable cash gift. This can either act wholly as the deposit or contribute to what you’ve already saved to increase your deposit. If the cash gift is your entire deposit, it needs to be non-refundable (not a financial agreement – see below), but if it’s less than 10% of the property value, your lender may require 3 months’ worth of genuine savings. Continue reading


Auctions: A Survival Guide for Sellers

“My husband Mark and I were both shaking, listening from where we stood in the kitchen. The Independent team reassured us and made sure everything went well. They’d been through it all before and so we knew what to expect, but for us, it was still something we’d never experienced before.”

Such was the experience of Raquel Valerius, a recent seller at auction. We spoke to Raquel about what she describes as a positive auction experience that resulted in a bidding war. Her advice to would-be sellers considering going to auction, is to be prepared.

An auction is a curious mixture of retail stocktake sale, theatrical performance and, if the sale goes well, Christmas morning. For sellers, an auction is potentially anxiety-inducing, but it can be a very lucrative way to sell a home.

An auction needs careful planning and there’s a lot riding on the outcome. So how can you make the most out of your home in the pre-marketing phase and come through the auction experience successfully without going mad? Award-winning auctioneer, Mark Larmer, also offers his top tips on how to survive an auction below. Continue reading