Thursday, April 1, 2010

Latest Property News from Ted Hanson

Friday 02 April 2010
Wishing you a very safe and happy Easter!

In our special holiday issue a few handy reminders:

Double Demits start midnight 31 March and end midnight Monday 5 April. Please take care on the roads.

Daylight saving finishes on Sunday 4 April. So before you go to bed on Saturday night, put your clocks backwards one hour.

And with winter nipping at our heels, its also a good time to change your smoke alarm battery and give it a good clean.

With all that done, sit back, relax and enjoy your well deserved break!

Have a wonderful Easter everyone!

New home sales dip

After an encouraging start to the year, sales of new homes dropped in February 2010, according to a report released this week by the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

HIA's latest New Home Sales report, a survey of Australia's large volume residential builders, showed a 5.2 per cent dip in sales in February.

HIA Chief Economist, Dr Harley Dale, said that current residential construction activity is relatively strong reflecting the monetary and fiscal policy stimulus of last year.

"This stimulus has been highly successful in driving the first stage new home building recovery", said Harley Dale.

Private sector detached house sales fell by 4.7 per cent in February 2010 while multi-unit sales declined by 9.4 per cent.

Detached new home sales fell by 9 per cent in New South Wales and were down by 5.8 per cent in Queensland, 7.9 per cent in South Australia, and 5.1 per cent in Western Australia. Sales increased by 16.1 per cent in Victoria.

Essential steps in buying a home

Buying a home can be a stressful experience, especially for the first time. But with a little planning, some homework and a clear idea of the steps involved, it doesn't need to be.

The guide below outlines the steps (as well as tips to help avoid some pitfalls) involved in buying a home.


The first and most important step in the home buying process is arranging your finance.

Before you start looking for the house of your dreams, it's a good idea to have finance approved. Choosing a bank or mortgage provider can be a difficult task. A good place to start your research is the internet. Most mortgage providers have their own web site that will list available loan products as well as current interest rates.

Some things to consider include, whether the interest rate is the most important aspect of your loan, how will the repayments affect your lifestyle and over what term should the loan be? Remember to take into account any additional costs such as loan establishment fees or early repayment penalties.

Once you've chosen your lender, you will need to apply for a loan. Often the more information you provide the lender, the quicker your application will be approved. Your application will usually need to include proof of income, employment records, bank statements for any other loans or borrowings including car or personal loans, proof of your savings history and details of any credit cards. Remember to take into account any additional costs of home buying, such as solicitors' fees, insurance, any government duties (for example, stamp duty), inspection costs, maintenance or renovations.

Once approved, your loan is usually valid for 3 months.

House Hunting

Once again, before you start house hunting, do your homework. Think about what you need (as opposed to what you want) in your home. Is a small home situated closer to work preferable to a larger home further away from work? Determine the number of bedrooms required, preferred construction, whether proximity to community facilities is important and other essential features. Make a list and stick to it!

Next, talk to your real estate advisor. Let them know what you're looking for and ask them to let you know if any properties fitting your criteria become available. It can also be a good idea to look in local newspapers, surf the internet or attend open for inspections to get an idea of prices in the neighbourhood you're looking to buy in.

Once you've found the house of your dreams, you can start negotiating to buy it. At this time, make sure you understand what is included in the sale of the property. If in doubt, ask.

Legal Matters

Once you and the seller have agreed on a price, you will usually be required to pay a deposit to show your commitment to the purchase.

The next thing to do is consult a lawyer or property conveyancer. Your lawyer or conveyancer is normally sent a copy of the sales contract by the seller's lawyer or agent. Your lawyer or conveyancer will check the contract and make sure it contains all required documentation. The contract should include a copy of the property title, any local planning certificates, a diagram showing sewerage, copies of any documents pertaining to any easements, special conditions, inclusions and details of any existing mortgages over the property.

Once your lawyer or conveyancer has checked the contract, explained it to you and any changes required have been agreed and implemented, both you and the seller will be required to sign the contract. At this time you will be required to pay a deposit, normally 10% of the property's purchase price.


The final step in the home buying process is settlement. This is when the balance of the agreed purchase price is transferred from buyer to seller and in return the title deeds of the property are transferred from the seller to the buyer. Before the final settlement your lawyer should make sure rates, taxes or strata levies have been paid or adjusted on settlement so you will have clear title. Your lawyer will usually arrange the time, date and place of the closing.

When settlement is complete, you or your lender will receive a copy of the property title and, of course, a set of house keys!

Although the steps above are a guide only, you can see home buying doesn't have to be overly complicated. Remember to do your homework, think about what you want in your new home and find professionals with whom you are comfortable. Most importantly, if you don't understand, ask.

A matter of time

The times are a changing, this week more than usual. While many Australians will set clocks back this weekend to move out of daylight savings, Russia's president has decided the Eurasian country has too many time zones and is removing two of them.

The sprawling country, which makes up around 11 per cent of the world's landmass, previously had 11 time zones. As of last Sunday when most of Russia switched to daylight savings time, people in two regions didn't make the change and are now on the same time as Moscow.

Fox World News reports the president hopes the initiative will help streamline communications and logistics.

Chill out on the greens

Greens are an essential part of every diet, but unless you have the space to cultivate your own garden, it is not easy to always have them fresh on hand. Designer Hanna Sandstrom has put her head together with Green Fortune and Whirlpool to create a refrigerator concept that brings a grass roots approach into the kitchen.

Working with herbs and greens, the fridge has a diorama-like panel that will nurture seeds into plants, along with keeping living plants growing healthily. Even doing the watering automatically, the concept is sure to take the hassle out of incorporating fresh herbs and greens into everyday life.

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