Interest rates now at 2.5% are a blessing for buyers.

Low mortgage rates mean home buyers can afford to looking at purchasing a home or buy bigger homes if the banks pass on the rates in the next few days.  However, low rates of return on savings and other investments mean that the reduction in 0.25% doesn’t help those not in the market to purchase

Low interest rates such as this week’s reduction to 2.50% can also help renters see how it may be cheaper to own than to rent.  According to RP Data, a recent report shows that there are now 3,230 suburbs across Australia in which it’s considered cheaper to buy than to rent.

Tegan DeClark from Ray White Toowoomba have been working with some tenants who have considered purchasing a first home instead of continuing renting.  “A lot of renters are surprised they can buy a house with as little as 5 percent deposit and with housing regional areas such as Toowoomba with the median price around $300,000, it is much more affordable than in the larger cities.”

The interest rates have been low since the start of 2013 and with spring just around the corner, agents are anticipating the reduction will provide boost for buyers entering the market or adding to their portfolio.  People who have planned putting their property on the market in Spring should start getting their property presented for a busy spring buying season.  “Winter is almost over, so if you are selling in the next few months, start getting ready, if you haven’t called your agent yet, then now’s the time”

Ray White Agents take part in Charity Abseil

On the 19th of May, 2013 four Ray White Toowoomba agents took a leap of faith and stepped into the hands of the organisers of this year’s Ultimate Urban Abseil.  The 2nd annual charity fundraiser saw almost 200 people step outside their comfort zone for Queensland’s most vulnerable children.  The agents took great joy in representing Toowoomba and Ray White through their participation in the event as ‘Team Ray White Toowoomba’

Karleen Harrington who is a Fundraising & Marketing Coordinator for the Save The Children organisation said that they were grateful for the support of everyone who was involved “Collectively, the participants with the support received from their sponsors and donors, were able to raise an outstanding $169,699.11 to support our local programs.  This, in addition to abseiling 140m from the top of a CBD high-rise is an extraordinary achievement”

This year’s event took place from the top of Brisbane’s Gold Tower over 3 lovely days as opposed to last year which was hampered by strong winds.  Tegan DeClark, team leader said it was a challenging experience, but was worth it for the cause.  “We can only imagine what daily challenges are faced by the kids supported by this organisation but our only challenge was just to put on a brave face for the camera, while backing over the edge”

Participant, Chris DeClark said that family, friends and the Toowoomba community really stepped up to help out with donations and fundraising support.  “We’d like to thank everyone who donated and cheered us on.   A number of businesses helped out such as Born and Bread Bakery in the Mort Estate donated bread for our sausage sizzle and the James Cook Building for donating the space.  We especially would like to thank the Toowoomba Adrenalin Climbing Gym for their support”

With only $301 short of the $170,000 target, additional donations are still being accepted.   Go to www.raywhiteabseil.com to make a donation or alternatively, consider getting a team together for next year’s event and taking the plunge yourself.

  Chris Action shot2 Chris Action shot 36 Floors Abseil Complete
L-R: Chris DeClark, Tegan DeClark, Nick Browning, Mike Craft

Interest Rate on hold, good for both buyers and owners.

This week’s decision by the RBA to keep rates on hold are helping buyers make the decision to step into the market with a huge number of enquiry over the last week.   Keeping the rates at record lows mean that buyers entering the property market can do so with confidence and owners wanting to refinance or renovate can also enjoy the benefits of the current borrowing rates. 

Many owners are also taking the opportunity to borrow against their property to renovate their property or purchase an investment property.  Real Estate agents are often the first port of call when people are thinking of making changes to their homes or their investment portfolio. 

Tegan DeClark of Ray White Toowoomba echoed the trend.  “Not only have we been seeing more and more sellers cashing in on the current demand, we have also been doing appraisals for people who would like to know how much equity is in their home to possibly refinance, renovate or purchase additional investments” 

Plenty of property owners however are just happy to see continued relief on their monthly repayments.   However, knowing the current value of your property, gives you options says Mrs DeClark “It’s worth doing an appraisal if you’re curious as to what your property is now worth.  Regardless of your plans, an annual appraisal keeps you informed, just in case you ever need to use the equity”

Tegan DeClark is offering free appraisals for Toowoomba home owners, contact her on 0400 262 277 or email tegan.declark@raywhite.com to make an appointment.

Countdown on for Charity Abseil – Ray White Toowoomba

A charity abseil from the 36th Floor of a Brisbane office building will be taking place on the 17th and 18th of May in the annual Ultimate Urban Abseil to raise funds for the Save The Children Foundation.  Four local real estate agents are in the final stretch of fundraising the $4,000 that ‘Team Ray White Toowoomba’ needs to raise to take part in the challenge.

With less than a month before the big abseil, a small team of brave real estate agents from Ray White Toowoomba are making the final preparations for the big decent down the outside of Gold Tower at 10 Eagle Street in the Brisbane CBD.

Each team member is required to raise at least $1,000 in order to participate in the event, which will take place over two days, 17th-18th of May.   The agents; Michael Craft, Nick Browning and husband and wife team, Chris and Tegan DeClark are off their fundraising target by $3,400 and are asking local businesses and individuals to help make up the shortfall.

One local business, Paul Price Toowoomba Antennas donated $250 and the team are asking for other businesses to follow suit.  Tegan DeClark says the funds donated will stay in Queensland “These funds raised will provide essential support for vulnerable Queensland kids in education, family support, child protection and youth engagement.  This is a fun way to contribute and a personal challenge to each member of our team”

Mark and Cathy Billingham who own the Adrenalin Climbing Gym in Toowoomba, recently donated the space and a lesson in rock climbing/abseiling  to assist in the preparation for the 130 metre high drop.  Any individual, group or business who would like to show their support can get in contact with Tegan DeClark on 0400 262 277, email tegan.declark@raywhite.com visit their fundraising page: http://www.raywhiteabseil or their facebook page 36 Floors – Ultimate Urban Abseil Team Ray White Toowoomba.

Does your agent conjunct?

Finding the right person to assist in selling one of your biggest assets can be a daunting task. One question to ask your agent is will they conjunct with other agents. Typically your listing agreement will state the conjunction terms and fees to all agents involved. By offering a conjunction, your agency shares the commission with other real estate agencies who may bring your property to the attention of buyers in their network.

This offers another marketing strategy for your property, the opportunity to receive offers from buyers who have built up a relationship with another agent, in addition to your own agents generation of enquiry.

Most agents agree to a conjunction, but don’t always offer it, as it means splitting the commission. Some say there is also an outdated, unwritten rule that agents don’t conjunct in the first week of listing a property. Which goes against the property act and is a dis-service to the vendor says Tegan DeClark from Ray White Toowoomba.

“My policy is to conjunct with an agent who brings a buyer, from day one, if it means getting the best price and result for my vendor” Agents will often call and ask if she would conjunct on a listing, to which the answer is always yes and according to the instructions outlined in the listing agreement. “I have had buyers in the past, who have contacted me upon seeing a property they are interested in and the agents representing the property would not conjuct, so my buyers bought elsewhere. It’s a mindset which needs to change, the focus should be always on what is in the best interest of the client you are representing”

When selling your property, it’s prudent to check your agent’s position on conjunction. Mrs DeClark would expect nothing less of her agent. “If I was selling my own property, I know I would want my agent to use every opportunity to secure the buyer who is willing and able to purchase, regardless of which agent they put their trust into”

Spotting an Investment hot spot in Regional Queensland

With the interest rates on hold at 3%, investors are in the game and they are looking at Queensland. A number of investment experts have laid down the golden rules for investors who are new to wealth creation using property investments. Tegan DeClark from Ray White Toowoomba has noted an increasing number of calls from buyers who are first time investors and are looking to gain knowledge about areas to invest and have mentioned Queensland and in particularly, regional areas as investment hot spots by the experts. With a tightening rental market, low stock levels and planned development in infrastructure, such as the Wellcamp Airport Project and heightening discussion around the Toowoomba by-pass, markets such as Toowoomba are on the move.

When it comes to investing, listen to the advice from experts in property investment. Here are some tips for investing in Real Estate in today’s market

Don’t trade in and out of property

Karen Young from Property Zest explains that buying in and out of properties quickly can erode any profit you may have made in a short amount of time. “There are taxes, duties, legal fees, agent commission and more. Think of property as a 5 year investment and in the least, you’ll be better off.” Also she suggests, look for projects and investment in the region. “I’m particularly interested in large scale projects with long term effects, all these things bring people to the region both during the construction phase and in the long term.”

Buy where it’s booming

“My mantra is ‘buy where it’s booming’. I believe that it’s the location that makes you money, not the property itself. The property is simply a vehicle” Says Daimien Patterson of http://www.propertyinvestmentmentor.com.au , he believes that when you’re looking at the location, you need to consider four factors; lack of land supply, lack of skilled labour, increase in population and an increase in average wages.

Investing is a business

Trent Cripps from Your Future Strategy explains that you need to approach your investing like a business. “You need to understand your market, therefore you have to take all the factors into consideration, you would not be completing your due diligence if you overlook one or two things” Mr Cripps also notes that timing is important. “You want to get into the market before we possibly see 1 or 2 more interest rate cuts this year, which could lead to strong growth in the market, don’t wait until later in the year, if you do your due diligence and buy right, now is a great time to invest.

Look for signs of positive growth

“Investment in key infrastructure and new developments are always key that an area is about to take off.” Says Kim Clarke, Managing Director at Xcel Properties who mentions that Innovation and creativity from local councils and industries who are taking something old and giving it a new life is also a sign that things are beginning to turnaround. Ms Clarke has picked the top 5 hot spots in Queensland; Toowoomba, Mackay, Rockhampton, Moreton Bay and Gladstone “The reason I choose these areas is that they are on the upward cycle right now, the best time to purchase property is when it is just about to come out of a downward cycle and is on it’s way up”

Toowoomba CBD

Toowoomba CBD

Median Weekly Rents up in Toowoomba

According to the Rental Tenancy Authority (RTA), median rents for 3 bedroom units in Toowoomba are up $25 per week, as calculated for the period between 3rd Qtr 2011 – 3rd Qtr 2012 based on bonds received.  The increase from $275 to $300 per week is quite substantial says Tegan DeClark from Ray White Toowoomba.  “If you have had a tenant in place for 12 months or longer and are not having rent reviews when the lease is due for renewal, you may not have your rental income at market value”   4 bedroom homes in the same region went up $20, from $350 to $370 per week.  3 bedroom homes saw a rise of $15 to a median of $290 per week.

If you are selling your property and there is a tenant in place, a few dollars more a week could make the difference how quickly your property is sold and for what price, if the purchasers are choosing your place as an investment.   “Do the calculations to find out what the yield would be for potential buyers, if you are marketing it with a tenant in place.  Buyers are demanding a good yield and asking for current rental appraisals when they enquire about properties, so make sure your agent can organise an accurate rental appraisal for the sale process regardless of if it’s currently tenanted or not” 

With the rental market tightening, we are also seeing a demand for the higher end market, with homes which are tipping over $400 per week have very low vacancy rates.   To check if you are receiving current market rent, the steps are easy, says Mrs DeClark “It’s worth the call to make sure you are getting the most out of your investment and if selling, ensure you get the best price”