Avoid over-capitalising on your renovation

We’ve all seen the reality TV shows where people transform their homes with amazing renovations before cashing in big when it’s time to sell.

While property owners can certainly make a lot of money through smart renovations, the risk of over-capitalising is ever present.

Over-capitalising, which is when the cost of your renovation outweighs how much value it ultimately adds to your property, is a common pitfall among Australian property owners, so be sure to consider your motivations before reaching for the sledgehammer to start knocking down walls.

From the outset, it’s always a good idea to have your property valued, and also consider other property values in your neighbourhood. This will give you an indication of what your property is worth and where it sits relative to median property prices within your suburb, and in turn provide guidance on what budget you should allocate for your renovation.

Be strategic about your renovation and develop an understanding of what will deliver the most value. For example, updating kitchens and bathrooms can be a great way to add value that prospective renters and purchasers really notice, while energy efficient homes are also increasing in popularity.

Importantly, establish a budget and stick to it. Knowing how much money you can afford to spend will encourage you to focus on upgrades that meet your budget and help avoid over-spending.

And if you’re renovating an investment property or preparing your own home for sale, keep a broader audience in mind rather than incorporating too much of your own personal design flair, which may not be to other people’s tastes.

There are plenty of other considerations too, so do your research, plan accordingly and remember that a clever renovator will only spend money to add value.

If I can assist you regarding the sale of your property, please contact me: phone 0400 221 592 or email Jamie.hershman@century21.com.au


New Year’s Resolutions for Buyers

Will 2018 be your year for property? If you plan to get serious about entering the market either as a first time buyer, investor or want to upgrade your home to the next level, you might like to consider these new year resolutions.

If you want to buy a property in 2018, make sure you’re ready financially and that you have a rational plan that doesn’t over extend your capacity.

Pay down bad debt as much as you can including credit cards and other high interest loans, draw up a budget and stick to it and identify where you can be saving for a deposit.

Make sure you have a solid savings plan, and enough saved for a back-up plan if things go wrong. Insurance is worth considering. If something happened to you, could you still afford the mortgage repayments you’re looking to take on?

Get financial advice from a professional and understand exactly how much money you can borrow and repay comfortably before you start falling in love with properties. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by giving yourself no room to move when you’ve found the perfect property.

It’s a good idea to get to know the area, you are planning on purchasing in.  Talking to the locals  is a good way to get to know the best places to eat, drink, shop, work, play and relax.

Before you even find a property you love, shop around and find out which bank’s deals and home loan products are best for your financial situation and property goals.

No matter how smart and seasoned you are, buying and investing in real estate isn’t something to do on your own. Work with a local expert, who’ll have your interests at heart and who can put you in touch with a reliable conveyancer, lawyer and accountant, if you don’t already have contacts.

Home hunting and buying is a big commitment that involves a lot of paperwork, furrowing and lots of emotions including stress, disappointment, and frustration and at the end of the day when you strike a deal, relief, satisfaction and a sense of security.

Give yourself the time and space to enjoy the search, the discovery, and the moment it becomes yours.

I’m always happy to arrange an appraisal of your property either for rental or sale and to help with style and maintenance tips that will give you the edge in the market.  Phone me on 0400 221 592 or email Jamie.hershman@century21.com.au

Make your property shine in spring!

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Spring is definitely in the air with lots more blue sky and fine days to be enjoyed.

At this time of the year we do experience more activity with more property coming onto the market, so I thought I’d share with potential sellers some of our team’s ideas to get your property sparkling in preparation for your first open home.

Steam clean

If you’re contemplating re-carpeting your home, consider giving it a serious steam clean to freshen up the colour first. If you’re time poor, you can hire a professional to do this for you. However if you’re trying to save money, you can easily hire a steam cleaner and do the work yourself.

Tidy up

No one likes to see a messy or overgrown garden, it’s simply not appealing. Take some time to trim branches, rake leaves and plant some spring flowers.

Fresh coat

If you haven’t repainted your walls in a while, the warm spring-time weather is great for getting painting projects completed. You may want to consider repainting any brightly coloured feature walls in a neutral colour to make the room appear larger.

First impressions

If your front door is looking a bit drab, give it a new coat of paint too. It’s the first thing people will see when they enter your property, so make sure it looks clean and inviting.

Minor kitchen makeover

Make some minor improvements such as changing all of the handles on drawers and cupboards to something more modern and clean looking.


Re-finishing your outdoor deck every few years will help minimise annoying cracks and splinters, as well as keeping it looking good. While you are sanding, stripping back, and re-staining the deck, consider re-staining your stairs and some of your wooden furniture too. You could choose a completely different furniture stain colour for a new and updated look.

Clean windows

Wash down your windows with soapy water to get rid of built up dust and cobwebs. It will allow more natural light in, as well as giving off the appearance of a well maintained home.

Upgrade lights

If you haven’t replaced your lighting fixtures in the last decade, it might be time to replace them with something new. Head to your local lighting store and purchase some lighting fixtures which are more modern and elegant, to boost the appeal of your home.

Pressure clean

Concrete driveways or footpaths around the home can look really tired and dirty after a few years. Make it look brand new by using a pressure cleaner to wash away years of built up dirt and grime.

If I can assist you regarding the sale of your property, please contact me: phone 0400 221 592 or email Jamie.hershman@century21.com.au

Property Investment 101

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When it comes to property, there’s no shortage of information available about what investors should do in order to succeed. But more importantly are the pitfalls to avoid so you don’t become a statistic of the property game.

Many people get into property investment hoping to become overnight millionaires. But expecting a ‘get rich quick’ scenario may navigate you towards reckless investment options. Some would-be investors have been caught-out by property development salespersons who will happily tell you of the overnight success you’re likely to achieve overturning a property you buy off the plan.

The safer option is to look at obtaining a property in an area that’s proven to be high performing, and that will grow reliably over the long term. Do your research, and determine a wish list for the ideal investment property – keeping in mind, the property needs to appeal to a wide range of potential tenants and not your own personal tastes. Discuss your requirements with your agent who can help you find investment properties that fit your criteria.

Understanding the market takes time and getting to grips with the cyclical nature of real estate is something that even evades many experts.

You need to gain knowledge of the suburb you intend to invest in. Make yourself familiar with the area by hitting the road and talking to locals, real estate agents and property managers. Find out about the amenities, vacancy rates and historical values of local properties.

Attending open homes and auctions can be a great way to get a feel for the area of interest and the prices of the property your desired area commands. These days, a lot of this information can also be found online, and for a minimal fee, an even greater, detailed amount of suburb and property data can be found.

Understanding the costs involved in purchasing and holding property can be difficult. You need to make sure you can afford to hold onto any property you buy, including times when you might be left without tenants, or when interest rates increase. In other words, how much income will your investment generate and will it be enough to cover your expenses?

When it comes to financing your investment property, seek help from a qualified, professional mortgage broker. Going it alone can be daunting and time-consuming and obtaining the right type of finance can save you thousands in the long run.

When it comes to heading down the path of property investment, the best way to avoid the most common mistakes is to do your research, beware of any scenarios that sound too good to be true, understand the area you wish to invest in and think long term. Good luck!

If I can assist you to source or sell an investment property, please contact me: phone 0400 221 592 or email Jamie.hershman@century21.com.au

Why selling in winter is a great idea

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Winter is typically a slow time of year for real estate sales due to the misconception that it’s best to sell in spring, but selling property in winter offers unique opportunities that would otherwise be missed in the busy warmer months.

In fact, selling property in winter often provides a high sale price as buyer demand is still steady and with fewer properties to choose from, the seller has less competition.

Less homes to compete with = more attention
Because most people think they shouldn’t list their property in winter, there are very few homes to buy during the colder months. However, potential buyers are still on the prowl. With a lot less competition it means a lot more interest in your property; more than you would get in a saturated market.

More motivated buyers
With winter open homes, you are more likely to get motivated buyers, who are actively looking for property. Fewer tyre kickers means a better experience for the qualified buyers, with the likely outcome being they are more willing to pull the trigger and submit an offer.

Stable property value
With less property on the market, yet with stable demand, the rules of supply and demand come into play. With less competition on the market, property owners are able to hold their prices, without having to succumb to competition pressure.

Selling property in winter is a good idea. There are always people looking for real estate at any time of year, and it could work to your advantage.

If I can assist you regarding the sale of your property, please contact me: phone 0400 221 592 or email Jamie.hershman@century21.com.au

The Dangers of DIY Real Estate

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There seems to be a bit of a trend towards people ‘going it alone’ these days and wanting to sell their own property without the help of an agent. After all, there’s a wealth of ‘how-to’ information online when it comes to real estate.

People are generally hesitant to DIY their own car repairs, even hair styling is usually the domain of a professional – yet it’s interesting that many are willing to take a gamble on their biggest asset.

I’m sure there are cases where this can be handled successfully, but I’ve heard many other stories that have not had happy endings and have turned out costly and time-consuming for all involved.

Professional real estate agents understand the intricacies of selling property better than anyone. We have the qualifications, experience and expertise to market and sell properties and to help vendors get the best possible price and we can also help you find your new property at the same time.

There are many other good reasons to work with an agent.

Agents act as a buffer between you and the marketplace, saving you time and stress and filtering all enquiries while sorting serious buyers from the merely curious.

Agents also possess intimate knowledge about your neighbourhood. We can quickly and efficiently identify comparable local sales and supply important information on schools, shopping, transport and other demographics.

An experienced agent will do all we can to help property vendors settle on a realistic price and will then guide and manage negotiations – this is an extremely delicate and important process and one that’s incredibly difficult and stressful for the home owner to manage alone.

Agents, unlike most buyers and sellers are removed from the emotional aspects of the transaction. Good agents are not messengers, delivering buyer’s offers to sellers and vice versa. We are professionals who are trained to represent their client’s best interests.

Real estate agents are across the true market conditions and the climate in which you are selling and buying. There’s little value on relying on armchair experts, your best friend’s views or even media reports.

Not only are agents immersed in the sector every day, many agents also network with other professionals and will share useful market information.

Then there’s all the paperwork. There’s a lot to keep track of and small oversights or mistakes can end up being costly and messy to sort out.

It’s also worth remembering that referrals are the basis for an agent’s success. Few agents would survive if their livelihood was dependent on consistently drumming up new business. Agents understand the importance of ‘word of mouth’ as one of the most powerful forms of marketing available, and this gives us a strong incentive to make sure our clients are happy.

Saving on advertising costs and the agent’s commission is the main reason most people consider marketing and selling their own property. But are these relatively small savings really worth it when considering the time, energy, stress, difficulty in negotiating a superior price and the potential costs should things go wrong when handling the sale on your own?

If I can assist you regarding the sale of your property, please contact me: phone 0400 221 592 or email Jamie.hershman@century21.com.au

Common Signs That It May Be Time To Move

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Some people like moving house as it gives them the feeling of having a “fresh start” every few years. But for most of us, moving is a stressful experience we prefer to put off as long as possible.

Sometimes it is necessary though, and there are certain definite signs that the time has come for you to start looking for a new home.

The most common of these is that your family has outgrown your current home. As children get older they need more space, such as their own bedrooms, and their own work/ recreation areas. They also don’t necessarily leave home these days as soon as they’ve finished studying, and if you also need to accommodate ageing parents, it is very likely that you will need a bigger home.

Similarly, if you were single but are now part of a couple, you will probably want to move soon from your smaller house or unit to something bigger. New marriages and partnerships are another major reason for people to move home.

Alternatively, you could be in a situation now where your family has grown and gone off to set up their own homes and you suddenly have too much house – that is, rooms you don’t even use and a big garden that is troublesome to maintain. And if you are about to retire or have already done so, you may feel even more strongly that the time has come to sell and move to a new place that gives you more security, better weather, and more freedom to do what you want.

Some people love home improvement and DIY, but if you want to spend your weekends doing something other than mowing the lawn or retiling and repainting, it could be that you need to move to a newer home with less maintenance required. Or you may just want a more energy efficient, “green”, home that will save you money on utilities.

Century 21 Hills & Country has a range of properties to match a variety of lifestyle and investment needs and would be happy to help you take advantage of the market conditions throughout the year.

If I can assist you to find a more suitable home please contact me: phone 0400 221 592 or email Jamie.hershman@century21.com.au