Posts tagged real estate
Maximising your property's value

It’s the little things

Sometimes the simplest things have the most impact: replacing door handles, kitchen cupboard handles and light fixtures is a cost-effective means of modernising your home and adding value.

It’s surprising the difference a fresh coat of paint can make in a home. It easily revives and brightens a tired space. If your budget is limited, try painting a feature wall to add depth to a room.

Tired kitchens or bathrooms can easily be updated by changing a portion of the room rather than undergoing a full renovation. Simply updating the flooring, retiling the walls, fitting new appliances or changing out the countertops can change the entire look of a room.


Declutter and deep clean
Try walking around your home and viewing each room through the eyes of a stranger, identifying those items that are simply taking up valuable space. Then, tackle one room at a time, separating your necessities from the things you really don’t need.

    Put away any items that have crept out of their storage space like coffee cups or piles of laundry.
    Recycle any paper, plastic or glass.
    Fix any broken items or throw away anything beyond repair.
    Find a charity or someone in need and donate those items you no longer need.

A deep clean of your home both inside and out, tackling all of those tasks you usually avoid, can have an immediate return on the value of your property.


Avoid over-improving
While it may be your goal to grow your wealth by investing in property, it’s worthwhile remembering not to overspend on renovations where you won’t see a return on your investment.

Before you consider any type of renovation, do your research on the area you’re in to determine how much your property may be worth after renovations. That will give you a good idea of how much you realistically should spend. Or call me over for free advice on getting your home ready for market.

How to turn your homes value into dollars...

Depending on your circumstances and provided you’ve paid enough of your mortgage, you may be able to access some of the equity in your home to do that home renovation you need to do, buy a new car, or even travel.

Home equity loans
Depending on how much equity you’ve built up in your home, you may be able to access that equity through a home equity loan. Typically, this type of loan is set up as a line of credit loan which allows you to withdraw funds up to a set limit, as and when you need to.

It’s a convenient and easy to manage type of lending as your loan repayments are all rolled into one, and the interest rate charged will usually be lower than that of a personal loan or a credit card. The downside is that if house prices go down you could end up with a loan that is more than what your home is worth.

In most instances, provided you owe less on your home than its market value and you have at least 20% equity in your house after you’ve taken out the loan, you can apply for this type of lending.

You can help build equity in your home by paying off your home loan faster, either by topping up your monthly payments or by switching to fortnightly payments so you effectively make an extra payment each year. Improvements to your home could also increase its value and subsequently your equity.

Reverse mortgages
Designed to help home owners over the age of 60 maintain a standard of living by releasing equity out of the home, a reverse mortgage lets you borrow funds using your home as security, effectively freeing up part of the value of your home without you having to sell it.

To qualify for this type of loan you must be at least 60 or 65, depending on the lender’s requirements, and you can only borrow a percentage of your home’s value. Your home must be mortgage-free, although you may be able to borrow if you only have a small amount left to pay towards your mortgage.

Generally, reverse mortgages come with a lifetime occupancy guarantee, which means you can live in your home for as long as you choose, and the lender gets the money you borrow back when your house is sold.  This type of loan also usually offers a “no negative equity” guarantee which means that you – or your estate – won’t have to repay more than what your house sells for. So you won’t be leaving your children with a debt if your house sells for less than the amount of the outstanding loan.

The money you borrow can be taken as a lump sum, drawn on as you need it, or paid out to you as regular payments; by only drawing the money as you need it though, you help keep the interest down.


How have the new RV's effected the property market?

The big talk recently is most certainly about the new CVs (council valuations), or RVs as they are also referred to (rating valuations).

I’ve already seen articles in the media reporting that, as some houses aren’t worth as much as their new CV, it’s a clear indicator of the market being down. This is not the case. 

The last time the CVs  were updated was in 2014 when the market was skyrocketing. We had the same issue then — some valuations were too high, some were too low, and the rest were about right. 
Remember that the CVs are a rates assessing tool for the council — they're not a market valuation. For example, the home I sold recently at 17 Rotoma Rise, Clover Park sold $118,000 above the new CV. I took another home to auction which had a new CV of $980,000 yet the market interest stopped in the high $700,000s.

Auction performance

In the past four weeks of auctions, Harcourts has called 150 auctions, selling 70 under the hammer with a clearance rate of 47%. Compared to October, this is a small decrease of about 10% — but there was a 50% increase in the number of auctions called over the last four weeks.

Market Performance Post Election

No significant change has been noticed at this point and what we are seeing is more of the same: an increase in listings consistent with seasonality and volumes being typical of this time of year.  We haven’t seen panic selling but, at the same time, any hopes home owners may have had of prices increasing at stratospheric rates have evaporated.

The general consensus seems to be that prices will continue to remain firm for the foreseeable future — so long as there are no drastic changes in net migration flows, sharp sustained changes in interest rates, radical shifts in the New Zealand and Australian labour markets, or a sudden big change in Reserve Bank rules.