Category Archives: Lawyers, Conveyancers and Escrow Agents

CAN’T FIND A STATISTIC EVEN IF YOU WANTED TO!

I thought I’d take a peek at where I rent to see how the rumoured ‘re-sales’ have been going.  You know I couldn’t find the place for love nor money. I searched in every way possible.  Gone. Vanished. Never existed.  Ka-Boom!

Turns out the Valuer General (VG) has our Apartment Complex listed as being in an adjacent street!  No wonder I couldn’t find it!  The very nice lady at VG contacted the local Council and Australia Post, who both confirmed the address I have, and she promised to immediately (if not sooner) amend their records to reflect the change!  Imagine the confusion this has caused lawyers, conveyancers and real estate agents?

Anyway, I managed my good deed for the month and now the records are slowly being updated.  And now I could see exactly what’s been going on and whether buying one of these (rather nice) apartments would have been a good idea…

Good News first.  Apt 7 was bought for $580,000 in Dec 2010 and re-sold for $610,000 in Oct 2012.  A profit?  NOPE.  By the time you add stamp duty and legals to the purchase (lets see, maybe $20,000 (not including Bank Fees if there was a mortgage) and take out Agents fees, legals and perhaps some advertising at the sale end, ( lets say around $16,000) the net result was probably a $6,000.00 to $10,000.00 loss (if lucky).

The other 6 purchases and re-sales within a 3.5 year period yielded losses ranging from a minimum $80,000.00 to a staggering $155,000.00.

I don’t know where this BOOM is happening?  Do you?

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MARKET INTELLIGENCE – SURVEY

Oh dear.  People DO get excited about buying land to build on, or an existing house to renovate or move straight into.  They engage a law firm or conveyancer to assist them with the settlement process.  Searches are done to make sure its not flood prone, going to have a free-way or railway line built next door, is set for full or partial resumption or major power-lines nearby now or in the future.

When I was actively selling I’d always advise buyers to obtain a boundary survey even if the property was brand new. Not one of the hundreds of buyers I’ve advised over the years has ever spent the $700.00 – $1,200.00 to obtain a brand new, sparkling boundary survey. Continue reading

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MARKET UPDATE – 06 JUNE 2013

G’Day again and thanks for dropping by.

I’ve taken a peek at a particular street where I marketed and sold a LOT of homes in 2002-2004.

When the market was crazy I was personally selling 2 houses a month in this one street.  In the last two years there have been just 12 sales.

Bought March 2008 for $469,000.00 sold Dec 2012 for $415,000.00.  That’s a loss of $80,000 on the surface but I know they put a very expensive block wall around the back yard, renovated the kitchen, re painted and re carpeted. Mmmmm – they ‘probably’  flushed $120,000.00

Bought August 2006 for $410,000.00. Sold late 2012 for $450,000.00 WHOO HOO – a profit!  Sorry, NO. The stamp duty and legals going in and the real estate agent and other fees going out mean that for SIX years of blood sweat and tears it returned them ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Bought late 2005 for $395,00.00.  Sold late 2012 for $465,000.00  MORE CHEERING I hear! BONG, CLANG, SMASH…  Not if you put an extension on the house, re paint inside and out, new expensive window finishings, new carpet and tiles. Take out stamp duty, legals, agents fees and we have another LOSER.

Bought September 2003 for $310,000.00 and SOLD late 2010 for $450,000.00.  THE ONLY WINNER here.  Good timing.  However, the sale was made by a very dodgy marketing company that took them to the cleaners on fees and questionable marketing expenses but they still did OK.  Or did they?  It cost them $340,000.00 to get in – they “owned” together with the Bank for SEVEN YEARS where they had a series of really bad Property Managers who put terrible tenants in place.  They paid out a fortune in routine and extraordinary maintenance and had to refurbish the gardens three times at huge expense as packs of large dogs had ripped it to shreds. They were charged more than $30,000.00 in sale fees so they netted about $80,000.00 less capital gains tax. Depending on their personal tax circumstances they ‘made’ about $7,000.00a year for all that grief and heartache.

The new owners are also far from happy.  They are from interstate and were also duped by the same dodgy marketers.  They could have bought the IDENTICAL house about ten doors down for $380,000.00.

Turning to the beaches here – WHAT BEACHES?  If we get a couple of bad winter storms where the surf gets much bigger than 6 feet, we will start to see swimming pools and possibly $5 million+ homes and apartments fall into the ocean.  I am not kidding.   Google “Beach Erosion Gold Coast Queensland Australia” and see for yourself.

Later!

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ICARUS

When you aspire to bigger and better things be careful what you wish for. Your state of wealth is subject to the phrase “this too shall pass” meaning I guess…an ability over time to make the happy man sad and the sad man happy.

Be too aspirational and buy what can only be described as a ridiculous house for $7.34 million in early 2007 – pay an estimated $400,000.00 in stamp duty and other costs to find yourself in a SEVEN AND THREE QUARTER MILLION DOLLAR HOLE.

Along comes the Grim Reaper of the late noughties, the GFC and it all goes pear-shaped. No-one wants your ridiculous house and even when it’s sold, the Contract falls over.

Once the receivers, agents and others involved in the eventual DISTRESSED SALE take their cut, you’re left with perhaps $2.8 million.  I’m not privy to the size of the mortgage but I doubt from what I’ve heard that $2.8 million even comes close.

IN 5 YEARS THE SILLY HOUSE HAS LOST YOU SOME $75,000.00 A MONTH!

HOUSE PRICES DO NOT ALWAYS GO UP IN A STRAIGHT LINE…

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DESPERATE AND DATELESS

Desperate investors hoping to recoup losses made here in Australia are looking at the sometimes miraculous returns being achieved in the depressed real estate markets of the United States of America.

I’ve been fortunate to have lived and travelled right across the US of A and whilst it’s an amazing country with great people it’s not a place for out-of-towners to buy real estate just at the moment.

Scammers are working out of the United Kingdom, all over Europe, South America and right here in Australia, successfully liberating millions of dollars from unsuspecting punters who believe their intricate web of lies.

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ACE #3

Welcome to ACE #3, an ongoing ramble of my experiences.

Easements.  Most people don’t understand them and ignore them at their peril. Again ASK your legal representative to explain what easements burden the land or property you’re considering or, in some cases, ADD an area to your land that you don’t own but are free to use.

I’ve inspected a house where the owner, oblivious to the presence of an easement burdening the land, had constructed an enormous and very thick, steel reinforced concrete slab topped with a substantial 25m2 metal shed. Trouble was that the shed was right on top of a 3 metre easement that ran along the entire back fence of the property. He was very lucky that the authorities hadn’t required access to the storm water drain that ran beneath the easement as they would’ve pulled down the shed, ripped up the concrete and sent the owner a bill for their trouble.

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ACE #2

Now, where was I?

Following on from ACE #1 I’d like open the match with Canal, Lake and Riverfront homes.  Years ago I had a call from a builder I knew telling me to come to such n such an address and check out what he’d been called in to inspect.  Once there I found a solid home of 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, triple garage, far from new but very well maintained.  On the canal side, however, lay a disaster.

Continue reading

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ACE #1

ACE (Aspect, Contour and Elevation)…amongst other things!

This post will be broken into 2, 3 or more parts and is a rambling recollection of issues I’ve encountered over the years.

Many of the points I’ll raise are still the cause of much grief as people fail to ask, heed or properly interpret professional advice and rely far too much on advertising, promotional blurb and spin.

Talk to your future neighbours.  Don’t be shy. They know what’s going on.

Continue reading

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