Let’s face the facts … most of us only ever buy a very small number of properties in a lifetime.
But for us, it is our profession, so to help property buyers, we have complied the following 7-steps to outline the process so you can have more confidence when buying a property.
1. Step 1 of the Buying Process – Get Finance Ready
We wanted to start this article at the very beginning – right when you first make the commitment to invest in your future and purchase your very own property.
When you first decide that buying a property is your next step, there are a number of things you will need to do to get on the front foot.
First, get out and about and do solid research into the current market and property values. This will assist in making realistic goals for you next property purchase. The market will change when the time to actually buy comes, so monitor the market right up until you are ready to put in offers. This will keep you educated so you don’t frequently miss out on properties that appeal to you.
Look for a mortgage broker that you trust so you can discuss your property goals with them. You may need to meet a few mortgage brokers until you find the right one for you. Some will be more focused on finding you the lowest interest rate. Others will create a longer term finance strategy. This will depend on you as an individual and what you are hoping to achieve in the future. All mortgage brokers will have their ideal clients so it is best to ask which type of property buyer that they specialise in.
You may find a mortgage broker that caters to the first home buyers’ market which may be great if you are feeling nervous about the process and need a bit of support. However if you are looking for a Mortgage broker who has experience with investment strategies then that may work better for you if you are looking to invest. We always recommend talking to your mortgage broker about your long term plans, because even if you are buying a home, if you have plans to upgrade in the future, then some mortgage strategies might be better suited than others if the first property is to be retained and converted into an investment.
Make sure you are on board and comfortable with the broker you have selected.
The Mortgage Broker will be able to put a plan in place and will be able to help you with the following:
How much you can afford to borrow
Give you education on current interest rates
Educate you on the different set finance options and loan products (principal & Interest vs. Interest only, fixed & variable rates, offset and redraw facilities)
If there is a particular budget you have in mind they can let you know if that is achievable
Educate you on all fees involved when purchasing a property
Set a plan in place so you have a clear idea of what you can afford to buy
Mortgage brokers are also free for consumers to use, mortgage brokers get paid by the lenders they place the home loan with so you are not up for any costing with going with a broker.
Once you have your goals in place as well as a plan on how to achieve them you can move to the hardest step in the entire process…
You may find that your bank may do a bundle package to provide an attractive rate so it is important to look into all of your options and work out which one will work the best for you.
2. Step 2 of the Buying Process – Saving the Deposit
Saving the deposit for your property purchase can feel like the longest journey so it’s important to stay focused during this process. It is very easy to lose sight of what you want to achieve when the end goal seems so big.
Our top tips for saving the deposit are below:
Revise your budget to see how much can be saved each month and each pay date, ensuring you break down the savings goals into smaller more manageable goals helps keep you motivated and on track.
Now is the time to stop any unused memberships and look at ways you can reduce your spending. This may be gym memberships you don’t use or cutting down take away from three times per week to once per week. The important thing to remember here is not to go overboard, restricting your spending too much may end up being more harm than good, you still need to enjoy yourself during this process but make a conscious effort to manage your money a lot closer.
Pay yourself first. On each pay day it is important to revise your budget and move the amount you have allocated straight to a savings account, this way you don’t accidentally reach into that amount with your everyday spending, out of sight, out of mind. Treat your savings account like a bill that is due each month.
Have a designated saving account for your property purchase. This is important and there are a lot of options on how to do this so look into what would work best for you. Term Deposits can prevent you from spending money due to limits on withdrawals. Be disciplined and avoid potential spending sprees.
By following the above steps you will be well on your way to your first property purchase.
3. Step 3 of the Buying Process – Pre-Approval stage
Once you have your deposit saved you are ready to put things into action. The hardest part is complete and now it’s time for the next step in the buying process.
What is a pre-approval you may ask?
A pre-approval is an “in principal” commitment from the bank that you can borrow up to a certain amount of money for the purchase of a property. Banks will assess your financial details and credit history to ensure that you are a suitable candidate for a mortgage. Having a pre-approval in place gives you confidence when entering the searching phase. This is because you will know what your top budget is and you can confidently know where you stand when negotiating with agents.
Re-engage with your chosen mortgage broker at this stage. They will be able to assist you in this process and run you through the steps of getting that pre approval in place. The pre-approval phase is a valuable step in getting you closer to your new purchase.
Pre- approval is not formal approval so be careful when putting in your offer as you still may need a finance clause in the contract of sale in order to for banks to make a final assessment on your application. Your mortgage broker will be able to assist in how long the finance clause may need to be in place.
4. Step 4 of the Buying Process – The search begins
This is where the fun really begins. There is a lot of decision making during this phase so it can often feel quite stressful during this part of the process.
We have compiled three tips to remember when searching for a property to buy:
If it is meant to be… it will be. There may be instances where you may miss out because another buyer was willing to pay more than you, especially when the demand for property is high and there is a lot of competition. If you miss out simply, move on as your ideal property is still waiting for you. It is ok to feel disheartened … but do not let it consume you!
Going to multiple open homes every weekend can become overwhelming and exhausting. You may be feeling very excited for the first few weekends, however if the right property is not presenting itself, then this can get exhausting very quickly.
We recommend completing comprehensive research before inspecting. Do you like the area? Does it have the right floorplan for your needs & is the property still available?
Just because it is listed online, it should be available…right?
You would be surprised how many agents still show homes that are under contract or sold off market. This is the agent working for the seller in case the contract doesn’t work out, but it is also wasting your time so give the agent a call and ask them as many questions are you can.
Take photos and a measuring tape. In high demand markets there is not usually a second… or third opportunity to inspect and take measurements, or you may have forgotten what some parts of the house or site look like.
After you have walked through and made an assessment if you really like it then take another walk through to take pictures or videos of every corner of every room & measure the important spaces (eg. fridge space, washing machine space, bedrooms and living areas) to ensure your furniture fits.
If you are overwhelmed by this searching process or want to know about off market opportunities, then looking into how a buyer’s agent can help may be of benefit to you.
5. The Buying Process – Making an offer
Making an offer on a property is serious business.
There is so much to consider in such a short space of time and this process can become overwhelming, especially when the competition is high.
You need to understand how much to pay and how to present your offer to the seller or their agent. We have written an in depth Article on the Contract Process in Queensland that you can find HERE.
If you are fortunate enough to purchase property using cash, then your offer will be strong. However most people do have to go through the banks and obtain a loan to purchase a property. This means that there needs to be some conditions on the contract before the offer is made.
The items you need to consider when putting forward an offer are:
Initial and balance deposit amounts
Finance clause and how long to satisfy
Building and pest inspections and time frames
Any other special terms that are needed (due diligence, rent back, body corporate searches etc)
You may think that the highest bidder always wins … and this is likely is most cases, but not always. There are many instances where the highest offer has not been the accepted contract due to other offers having better terms in place.
Our best tip to you is to talk to the agent and figure out what is really important to the seller when it comes to selling their property. Once you have this information, you can use it to make your offer more appealing to the seller. For example, this may be a longer settlement because the seller has not yet found their next home and therefore needs more time to relocate.
Sometimes the agent may pre-populate the information for you on a contract to help guide your offer. However it is important to note that you can change these particulars to suit you or the seller more favourably.
Everything is negotiable ….
6. The Buying Process – Conditional and Unconditional Stage
Once you submit your offer and it is accepted, if the offer is subject to any conditions then you enter the conditional stage in the Buying Process. This is where you would organise a building and pest inspector and work with your mortgage broker and bank to satisfy any finance clause included in the contract. You will need to engage a solicitor that is based in the state you have purchased to communicate with the sellers solicitors and handle the conveyancing process.
It is very important for you to get a building and pest inspector to provide a report if the contract is conditional to a building and pest inspection. They will look into all the sections of a property that you cannot physically see from a standard property inspection and provide a report of their findings. You want to know that the property has no hidden defects or maintenance concerns, as there are huge costs associated with buying a property and mistakes can be costly.
If you do find something that you may need to fix, you can try and negotiate the cost of repair off the purchase price or get the seller to rectify it prior to settlement. It may be something structural that could put you out thousands of dollars without actually adding any value to the asset, so uncovering these issues at this time is critical. You also may have the option to withdraw from the contract if the results of the building and pest inspection are not to your satisfaction. These are all options available to you under a building and pest clause.
Once you have completed your inspections, obtained your final finance approval and satisfied any other conditions in the contract, your contract will become unconditional. This is time to celebrate! At this time the solicitors will prepare for the settlement to take place on a specific date.
7. The Buying Process – Settlement
This is the final stage of the buying process and one to be heavily celebrated! All that hard work has now paid off. Settlement day is when the seller will receive the payment of the agreed contract price and the buyer will legally take ownership of the property.
This is where key collection takes place, that picture in front of the sold sign can be taken and the moving in process begins.
I hope the seven steps have brought some ease to the buying process journey. If you need help with finding and securing your property please reach out at Streamline Property Buyers.
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Have you been living overseas, or interstate, for a few years or longer? Ready to move back to Brisbane? Or maybe you’re moving to Brisbane for the first time?
There are a lot of things that you need to consider before making the move to ease the stress of relocating to Brisbane.
This beautiful city has changed a lot in the past few years and is continuing to evolve and develop.
Before relocating to Brisbane, it’s important to realise that areas you might have known previously, could have changed dramatically. New roads, commercial hubs and expansion may mean that your ideal location has changed from what you remember. There are some exciting Priority Development Areas in Brisbane which you can read about here. But of course you don’t want to choose an area that has been over developed.
For an expat, or a new citizen moving to Brisbane, there is a lot to consider which a relation and this article will address some of the top things that will help you along the way.
Things to know before moving to Brisbane to ease the stress of relocation.
How do you avoid making a costly mistake of choosing where to live when relocating to Brisbane?
Firstly, think about what you’re looking for in the area and what type of lifestyle you want in Brisbane.
Do you want to live in a high-density area, close to the CBD? Do you love nightlife and need to be close to restaurants, cafes, bars and the buzz of the inner-city areas? The amount of roof top bars, lane-ways and live music venues have increased exponentially in Brisbane – not only in the inner city areas but also in the middle ring suburbs popular with families. You can find some of the entertainment locations listed here.
Or would you prefer a greener area with lots of parks, family homes and a slower pace of life?
Do you now have a child (or children) and need to consider kindergarten and school? Raisingchildren.net.au has some really good information for families with children. More details on things to know about school catchments in Brisbane can be found in ‘Logistics’ below.
Does access to public transport or bikeways have importance for you? It’s important to consider what kind of lifestyle you want and also accessibility to work places.
Do you want to rent first and then buy? Or do you want to skip the extra cost and hassle of moving again and buy straight away?
When buying, be aware of the city’s development zones as identified by Brisbane City Council, as the area may be planned as a future higher density hub. You can access the local neighbourhood plans on the Brisbane City Council’s website. In conjunction with this you need to know the zones in residential areas to make sure you don’t buy your dream home today and then work out that the house next door is due to be demolished and town homes built in its place!
How do you get Information on Relocating to Brisbane?
Do you have someone living in Brisbane you can ask? Getting advice from friends and family is a great source of information, as long as they understand what kind of lifestyle is right for you. Just keep in mind – are they in the same life-stage as you and/or understand your needs and wants?
Public forums and social media platforms are an independent source of information. Groups who are in a similar situation join and share ideas. For example, “Aussie Expats Coming Home” and “Moving to Australia Tips” are two great Facebook Groups that can provide some useful hints and tips.
When relocating to Brisbane and looking to purchase a home before you arrive, Buyers Agents who work as your advocate can be an excellent help. They will interview you to get your brief of what you want then search, inspect and negotiate on your behalf. It’s important that they inspect the property in person and provide due diligence on every property that you’re considering. What due diligence is necessary? Here’s a short video to provide an overview on some of the key areas you should check.
Not all buyers agents are of the same standard! Make sure that the Brisbane buyers agent you choose is qualified and has a good network of agents to be able to source properties off market. There is a lot of competition in the real estate market so having someone with knowledge and experience in the industry is invaluable. A Brisbane buyers agent should be focused on working for you, by finding you the perfect home for the best price possible. You can find out more about the services of a Buyers Agent in the Blog Why Use a Buyers Agent in Brisbane?
Start as early as possible before your move to plan the logistics. Will you be moving with furniture and need a removalist company? If moving furniture from overseas you also have to consider customs and the time-frames and costs involved. You can find more information on the Australian Governments Agriculture website.
It’s a really good idea to de-clutter as much as possible before moving. This can greatly cut down the cost and time for packing your precious items. There’s also the option of selling your existing furniture and buying new, once you have your new home to move into in Brisbane.
When moving with babies and children look for a playgroup and/or kindergarten to help you ease into the community and make friends. Playgroup Queensland provides a full list of playgroups available here. Of course, this you can only do after selecting the area in which you want to move. There are also lots of classes and groups run through organisations such as PCYC and YMCA.
Do some research into the energy and telecommunications companies you’ll want to use. These services can take some time to set up so it’s great to have your options decided on advance. There are services that can take the stress out and combine your search for all utility companies in the one go such as MyConnect.com.au.
If you’re moving from interstate such as Melbourne to Brisbane then make sure that Australia Post has your new address and you redirect your mail for an amount of time that suits you so as not to miss any important letters. Information on redirecting your mail can be found here.
Update your details! This can be a tedious process so start making a list now of everyone you need to notify. In addition to Australia Post, banks, insurance companies, your Driver’s License and the Australian Electoral Commission are just a few examples of where your details need to be updated.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to know before relocating to Brisbane. It’s best to start planning as early as possible and ask for help to make relocating to Brisbane stress free!!
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Are you moving back to Brisbane with children and wondering where the best school catchment zones are located?
Do you have any idea on where to start to find a primary or high school for your little ones?
Here we explore how to find the best schools for your children and how you can ensure that you buy or rent a home in the perfect Brisbane school catchment zone for your family.
If you moved away from Brisbane when you were younger, you may not have previously thought about what school catchment zones in Brisbane are the best.
It may be a new concept to you now to consider looking at school catchments in Brisbane.
We all want the best for our children. Education is a very big part of our children’s lives. Even as a parent, where our children go to school makes a difference to our way of life. So it’s important to understand how to find a home in a good school catchment zone within Brisbane.
What is a Brisbane School Catchment zone?
A school catchment zone is the geographical area where a state school’s main intake of students must live.
This system ensures that every student from Prep to Year 12 is guaranteed a place at their local state school.
Below is a snapshot of some of the school catchment zones in Brisbane.
Families need to live inside the catchment zone, either in their own home or in a rental home, to guarantee their child’s enrolment in that state school.
You will need to provide proof of this, so please don’t be tempted to use a friend’s address. There can be very strong consequences if you are found to be providing misleading information!
Some state schools in Brisbane are so popular, or cover a densely populated geographical area, and therefore they do not accept “out of catchment” enrolments.
All of the schools in the illustration above with a star before their name are “enrolment managed.” This means that the school is nearing capacity and that they restrict out of catchment enrolments.
This doesn’t mean that they don’t accept students out of catchment. It simply depends on the number of children enrolled from within the catchment zone. This can change from year to year depending on the number of children in the local area.
Why are school catchment zones in Brisbane important?
For parents wanting to save hundreds of thousands of dollars on sending their children to private schools, these Brisbane school catchment zones are critical. A quality high school is so important and those that are high achieving are well sought after.
Here is a brief video explaining some of the other benefits of a good Brisbane school catchment zone.
For example,Brisbane State High Schoolis the only State secondary school in Brisbane that is included as aGPS member school.This provides outstanding opportunities for students to take part in an extensive range of sporting and cultural activities, otherwise only available to the more expensive private schools in Brisbane. This school is highly sought after for this very reason.
For a list of top ranking high schools as per their academic results for year 12, you can check out Your Local Families Magazine. This provides a ranking of Brisbane Secondary Schools – a mix of both private and public schools.
If you want your children to attend a specific school, it is important to remember that living in the same suburb as the school, does not guarantee that you will be located in the same school catchment zone.
Brisbane continues to develop and grow and there are new schools opening to cater for the increase in students. Due to this, the Brisbane school catchment zones can and do change, so it is important to do your research before buying or renting your home.
What are the first steps to finding the best school catchment in Brisbane for your children?
Work out what you mean by “best school”.
Are you looking for academic success, sporting opportunities, a focus on arts, reputation of teachers, overall happiness of students? What do you value most in education?
What are the needs of your child/children? Do they have additional needs where they will need extra support? Is accessibility of the school critical?
Is primary school most important for your decision or do you also need to consider a state high school? Choosing just for primary school may mean you will have a costly move once your children are older. If you are looking to send your children to a state high school then make sure you’re thinking beyond the immediate future.
Do you want your children to attend a large school with more resources or are you looking for a smaller school with community feel?
How much do you want to be involved in the school community? Do you enjoy being involved when possible? In a smaller school more parents are generally needed to help out with fundraising activities.
Will you need before and/or after school care facilities?
Will you need the school to be easily accessible by public transport?
Once you’ve established what the best school means for you and your children then you can do your research. Talking with friends and family who are living in Brisbane and are already in the school system can be a great help.
There are alsoFacebook groupsout there such as “Aussie Expats Coming Home”, “Moving to Australia Tips” etc which can help share information and ideas. Buyers Agents in Brisbane can also be a great source of knowledge with not only the property search but also checking which school catchments the properties are in and a general overview of the area.
Here are some other websites which could help you.
Now that you’ve made some decisions as to where you would like to send your child to school you need to check which area that school catchment covers. There are two ways to do that through the Education Queensland website.
You can search by school which will give you the general area of the catchment but not the exact house number – see below.
Or once you have a particular property you’re interested in buying or renting, you can search by the address.This will give you a result including primary and high school.
So now that you’ve found your ideal location and chosen the best school in alignment with your values and needs, what’s next?
Call the school or visit their website to get the enrolment form and details on documents to provide with the enrolment. Processes can vary from school to school so it’s best to make sure of the exact details so that you’re prepared.
In addition to the enrolment form the minimum you will need to provide is:
Proof of child’s age and identity
Original birth certificate – the purpose of a birth certificate is not only to verify the child’s details (i.e. age and identity), but also to establish that the person applying for the enrolment is a parent of the child, and therefore eligible and obliged to enrol them OR
You will need to provide proof of your residential address to ensure that you reside within the school’s catchment area. The following documents are required:
Home ownership – unconditional house contract or current rates notice OR
Lease agreement – must be current at the time your child commences enrolment
Current gas / electricity bill at the in-catchment address
If the proof of residency cannot be presented, a Statuary Declaration must be provided. Please remember, this is a legal document.
What if you’re “out of catchment”?
For out of catchment enrolments it depends on the school’s process. Some schools may have a first in best dressed policy and others a ballot system. Some schools are so desired that in the past parents have actually camped out on the street to be one of the first to hand in their child’s out of catchment enrolment!! One such school is Ascot State School. Thankfully many of these schools including Ascot, have moved to online enrolment to save this inconvenience. The ability to submit an enrolment is opened up at a particular date and time so it is recommended to have everything ready and set your alarm!
We hope this has helped you understand the world of Brisbane school catchments! Of course, if you need help and would like to explore using a buyers agent in Brisbane to help you streamline the process please reach out. Check out our home buyers guide on our websitehere.
Would you like to understand more about working with a Buyers Agent in Brisbane?
Have you ever considered using a Buyers Agent in Brisbane? Do you know how a Buyers Agent can help? This article with explain some of the benefits of using a buyers agent in Brisbane to assist you with your next home or investment property purchase.
The process of buying and selling property in Australia is somewhat different to many other countries around the world.
In America, for example, most people buying property are represented by a Buyers Agent and most people selling property are represented by a Sales Agent.
In Australia, the role of a Buyer’s Agent is just emerging.
With the projections for the Brisbane property market looking brighter, now may be a great time to use the services of a Buyers Agent in Brisbane to find the perfect property.
So, you may be wondering, what is a Buyer’s Agent? Well … let’s explore this further.
What is a Buyers Agent?
A Buyers Agent (also sometimes referred to as a Buyers Advocate) is a fully licensed real estate professional that specializes in searching for, evaluating and negotiating the purchase of a property on behalf of the buyer. A Buyer’s Agent works “exclusively” for the buyer and acts in their best interests. A Buyer’s Agent does not SELL real estate.
What does a Buyers Agent in Brisbane actually do?
Working with a Buyers Agent in Brisbane will ultimately make the whole process of buying a home or investment property stress free.
Buyer’s Agents help property buyers to:
Save time – all property searching, inspecting and property due-diligence can be done for you
Eliminate frustration – no time on your weekends wasted looking at properties that do not match your requirements
Stress Less – having professional representation during the property buying process guarantees you a less stressful process
Improve Options – buyers get access to all properties that are available for sale both, on and off-market when working with a buyers agent due to their extensive agent network and strong agent relationships
Get a better deal – having a strong sense of understanding property values is important when it comes time to negotiate and to determine the property price
Improve confidence – know you will not overpay because you are being represented
A quality Buyers Agent in Brisbane will also uncover everything about a property that you may not even think to check.
There are so many layers that can be uncovered that may impact on what you can and cannot do with a property, and also whether a property will be covered by certain insurances or not.
Of course, getting a building and pest inspection these days is mostly standard practice, once a contract for the sale of a property is entered into.
But what about the things you cannot see? The things that are underground, the development that is approved for an area or even the land zoning or overlays that effect a particular property?
Using a Buyers Agent in Brisbane may be worthwhile if:
You don’t know the local Brisbane market very well
You are time poor and don’t have time to search for and inspect lots of properties
You keep missing out on properties that you like because other buyers act faster than you
You are uncertain about what to pay
You are frustrated as a result of dealing with Sales Agents
You feel overwhelmed with the entire process or certain parts of the process
You don’t know where to buy
You are having trouble finding properties to buy
You have found a property but you are not confident to bid at auction
You would simply prefer to be professionally represented.
This short video explains some of the advantages of working with a Buyers Agent in Brisbane.
Also, if you do not already know how to check flood maps, for example, in areas that are affected by river flooding, creek flooding, or overland flow a buyers agent will be able to perform all of this due diligence for you.
All of these types of flood issues will impact on a property, and may also have an effect on the premiums payable on an insurance policy for a property. It may also limit opportunities for manufacturing additional equity in a property through renovation or development.
This is information that, as a property buyer, you would want to be aware of given the size of the investment that is made when you purchase a property. You just don’t want to make a mistake.
There are many more areas that form part of a comprehensive property due diligence search, especially in some areas around our City. By engaging a Buyers Agent in Brisbane, who is able to outline all areas that you need to be aware of, and who can undertake all of the due diligence searches on your behalf, you are ensuring that you are entering into a contract for a property purchase fully understanding everything about a property – both what you can and cannot see during an inspection.
The video below explains some of the pitfalls when relying on on-line property listings. Property buyers can waste a lot of time inspecting properties that do not look like they did in the listing images.
This article has explained some of the benefits of working with a Buyers Agent in Brisbane. It is not for everyone, but for those who are looking to be professionally represented there are huge advantages for property buyers.
Please feel free to reach out if you need assistance with your property search. At Streamline Property Buyers we will ensure you don’t make any costly mistakes.
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Property Buyers purchasing real estate from interstate often are not aware that the contract process in Queensland is different to other states. Often the process of buying a property can be daunting, especially if it is your first purchase.
Questions that are commonly asked include the following:
What is the process of making an offer on a house?
Can a real estate agent disclose offers to other buyers?
What is multiple offer?
When does a contract become unconditional?
What is the normal settlement period in Queensland?
This article will summarize the process of making an offer on a house in Queensland. It will also provide information on various other steps involved in the contract process in Queensland.
The purpose of this article is to help property buyers understand the process in more detail and the various steps involved.
Of course buying at auction has its own set process. In this instance you are buying unconditionally on auction day.
This summary will therefore provide guidance on the contract process in Queensland when buying a property listed for sale by private treaty, which is the most common form of sale in our region.
Step 1 of the Contract Process in Queensland – Making an Offer
So, you have found the perfect property to buy? What is the next step?
Assuming that you have already inspected the property and completed your due diligence process (if not I suggest you read 9 Property Due Diligence Checks before You Buy), the next step involves making an offer on a house, or what ever property it is you are looking to buy.
For many buyers, a phone call to the Sales Agent with a verbal offer of the amount and basic terms is often how an offer is presented. However, in this instance, the details of the offer are often not clearly understood.
For this reason, we always recommend when making an offer on a house, that the offer should be put in writing because then the Real Estate Agent has an obligation to present your offer to the Seller.
The best way to do this is to ask the Real Estate Agent for a copy of the Contract of Sale.
Some Sales Agents might hand out a “Letter of Offer” Form that can be completed. Whilst this is better than a verbal offer, we still recommend that you ask for a copy of the written contract and put your offer forward in contract form.
This enables you to get the contract reviewed by a Solicitor BEFORE YOU SIGN, and it also ensures that the offer is seriously considered by the Sellers. Additionally, it enables you to clearly define any terms or conditions of the offer.
Some common conditions in real estate contracts in Queensland include the following:
Subject to Finance
Subject to a Building & Pest Inspection
Subject to Body Corporate Searches
Subject to further Due Diligence (which can be anything at the buyer’s discretion)
Subject to a Rent Back (if the sellers have not purchased elsewhere)
There are many other conditions that buyers and sellers might need as special conditions as well, depending on the individual circumstances. You can review many other typical conditions in Queensland contracts in this Quick Guide. Remember all conditions can be negotiated throughout the contract process in Queensland too!
Here is a quick video explaining how to make your conditions more favorable to a seller:
When an offer is presented to a seller in Contract form, negotiations can occur in writing, on the contract itself.
What information needs to be included with your Offer?
The information that is necessary for a Contract to be completed accurately includes the following:
BUYER – The Name must be the full legal name in which the property will be purchased. Make sure the spelling is accurate and include all middle names. It can be costly to change the name on a contract once a contract is complete, so this is a necessary first step. Also, if the buyer is a company or a trust, ensure it is registered and is a legal entity on the date of the contract.
BUYER’S SOLICITOR – Details of the conveyancing firm that will be completing the conveyancing for the purchase. Don’t assume you can do this yourself. Experts are there for a reason!
PURCHASE PRICE – The amount you will be offering to purchase the property for. This will depend on the property value, the current market conditions, the level of competition and many other factors. Of course this is the part that many buyers get wrong. Often buyers either overpay, or they miss out because someone else was prepared to pay more. Getting expert advice from a professional Buyers Agent often saves a lot of money and stress!
DEPOSIT – This is usually broken down into two parts. Both of these are also negotiable, but in Queensland the total deposit can not be greater than 10% of the purchase price. The deposit funds are usually held in a Sale’s Agent’s trust account until settlement.
Initial Deposit – The amount payable once a contract is accepted
Balance Deposit – The amount payable once a contract becomes unconditional
FINANCE – Whether the contract will be conditional to obtaining final finance approval and if it is then details of the number of days required for this approval must be completed
BUILDING & PEST INSPECTION – Whether the contract will be conditional to a building and pest inspection and if it is then details of the number of days required for this purpose
POOL SAFETY INSPECTION – If the property has a pool, then a pool safety certificate is required or a pool safety inspection can be arranged. Check with your Solicitor regarding the details outlined on the contract in this instance so you understand what is required.
SPECIAL CONDITIONS – any other special clauses that you wish to insert (best to get legal advice about this)
SETTLEMENT PERIOD – the number of days between acceptance of a contract and settlement. This is sometimes specified as a date, or alternatively a number of days from the Contract date. In Queensland, the most common settlement period is 30 days, although like most other terms, this is also negotiable.
If all of these particulars are provided on a contract that is signed by the buyer and presented to a seller, it is very easy for a seller to see the entire offer, and not just consider the purchase price. Often the conditions that accompany an offer can influence a seller’s decision to accept a particular offer or not.
In some instances, there may be high competition for a property and the contract process in Queensland can often result in a Multiple Offer situation. There are specific regulations around how this works. See the video below for some hints and tips for buyers in this situation.
It is best to present your offer in Contract form so that the Seller has the opportunity to sign immediately when your offer is presented to them, which creates a legally binding contract, or alternatively, the Seller may choose to put forward a written counter offer back to you to consider further.
This is a powerful way to enter negotiations as each party can see very clearly what the particulars are in relation to the purchase.
Once an offer is presented to a seller, there are three possible outcomes.
The seller accepts the offer and the contract is signed and completed.
The seller rejects the offer and the negotiations come to an end.
The seller makes a counter-offer for the consideration of the buyer.
The counter offer process will continue between the parties until an agreement is reached, or until negotiations come to an end. It is not until an agreement is reached between the parties that the contract is dated and a copy is send to the solicitors acting for both parties.
Step 2 of the Contract Process in Queensland – Offer Accepted
Once your offer is accepted by the sellers, then the Real Estate Agent will date the contract and it then becomes legally binding.
This is the time to celebrate milestone number one!!!!
This is also the time when the initial deposit will become due and payable. You should receive instructions from the Real Estate Agent in relation to where the deposit money needs to be transferred to.
What is the Cooling Off Period when you buy a Property in Queensland?
This commences when the buyer receives a copy of the contract singed by both parties.
If you wish to cancel the contract during the cooling-off period, then the seller may deduct a penalty of up to 0.25% of the purchase price from the deposit paid.
What happens during the Contract process in Queensland whilst a Contract is still Conditional?
If a contract is entered into and it is conditional to finance, building and pest inspections or any other special conditions, then certain steps must be taken by the buyer straight away.
Time frames will be prescribed in the contract to meet the requirements of the conditions (often within 14 days but this can sometimes be longer or shorter because it is as negotiated between the parties).
You will need to book a building and pest inspector (and pool inspection if relevant) to complete the inspection on your behalf. Access is coordinated with the Real Estate Agent.
Your bank or mortgage broker will also coordinate the necessary steps to obtain final approval on finance if the contract is conditional to this. Sometimes this includes a valuation of the property, which again is coordinated with the Real Estate Agent.
Regular communication with your solicitor or conveyancer during this period is critical to ensure you are complying with your obligations under the contract.
Once you are satisfied with the outcome of any conditions under the contract, your solicitor will notify the seller’s solicitor that you are satisfied with the conditions and at this time your contract will become unconditional.
When does a Contract become Unconditional?
A Queensland residential contract becomes unconditional when the buyer gives notice through their Solicitor that they have satisfied all of the conditions prescribed in the contract.
The balance deposit outlined in the contract will become payable when your contract becomes unconditional.
During this period final searches will be conducted to make necessary arrangements for settlement. The bank will liaise directly with the conveyancer to arrange transfer of funds and to ensure settlement can be booked on time. The applicable paperwork is also submitted to the relevant government bodies to ensure settlement can occur on a specified date.
It is always important to conduct a pre-settlement inspection on the morning that settlement is due to take place to ensure that the property is empty and in the same condition as when you initially inspected it. If there are any problems with the condition of the property it is important to discover this BEFORE settlement – not after.
Here is a short video explaining this process:
Step 3 of the Contract Process in Queensland – Settlement
The property settlement is the final stage of a property purchase.
At this time the seller receives payment of the agreed contract price, and the buyer takes legal possession of the property. Settlement is attended by representatives from the bank and the solicitors.
Keys can be collected from the Real Estate Agent once Settlement has been completed. This is because the property ownership has officially transferred at that time.
There are many stages in the contract process in Queensland and this article has outlined them in detail. Purchasing a property can be complex. Of course, some contracts may be a lot more complex with special conditions and therefore legal advice is recommended in these circumstances.
Buyers should seek the assistance of a professional Buyers Agent or Solicitor to navigate through this process. Of course, We are here to help and guide Clients through this experience.
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This article explores what the seasonal trends are in Brisbane property prices and the causes for these differences. Research has suggested that the most expensive month to buy in Brisbane is January with 0.5% to 0.78% increase in house prices due to seasonality changes.
This has been broadly attributed to the alignment with the start of the new school year and the commencement of public service contracts (especially in education) and the end of the summer holiday period. Others have maintained that often decisions about moving are made during the Christmas break, so listings increase soon after.
But it could be argued that local drivers of supply and demand may be different this year as we have been experiencing very low listing volumes over recent months, and this has already been limiting the supply side of things throughout the spring season.
To get an understanding of what is happening in terms of supply and demand locally, I provide the following commentary…
Throughout 2019, Brisbane has been coming out of a period of oversupply in the inner city unit market, which dampened property values in the medium to high rise unit space and also caused a softening of rental returns and higher vacancy rates in all properties close to the CBD as discussed previously. More recently we are seeing a return to growth in rental returns throughout Brisbane and vacancy rates tightening due to most of that apartment stock being absorbed due largely to accelerating population growth over recent times.
In the sales area, we have had very low listing volumes for several months and there has certainly been a growing trend of a lack of quality properties available in certain locations throughout the city – putting a limit on the supply available. Since mid-2019, however, there have been a growing number of buyers driven by both local and interstate interest, increasing the demand for properties and starting to push prices up in some locations around the city.
There are examples at auctions we have attended where there were 19 and 21 registered bidders in two locations (one south-side and one northside) in November – illustrating the huge buyer demand for quality properties in desirable locations throughout our city.
Going into 2020, construction commencements are down so new supply will continue to be limited in the foreseeable future.
Sales Agents are more optimistic about new listings early in 2020, so we are hopeful that we see more sellers providing their homes for sale in the new year which might have a more immediate impact on supply in line with the findings in relation to seasonal trends – but that is yet to be confirmed. It seems many Brisbanites are holding on to their properties – a reflection of an increase in the number of years property owners tend to own a property before selling on.
In terms of the First home loan deposit scheme available for first home buyers from 1 January 2020, in Brisbane only properties valued up to $475,000 will be eligible and this will most likely push any of those buyers into LGA outside of the Brisbane City Shire if they are considering a house on a block of land, or alternatively, it will enable a purchase in an inner city or inner ring suburb apartment or a townhouse in a middle ring suburb.
I’m unsure if we are likely to see any significant change in the demand for property as a result of this scheme due to its limit to 10,000 borrowers – but I guess time will tell.
From our own internal enquiry we are certainly seeing a spike in interstate investment interest in the Brisbane market driven largely by our affordability and desirable rental yields. There seems to be a lot of optimism around Brisbane – and has been for some time.
Time will tell what will eventually unfold in terms of Brisbane property prices. In the meantime, we have a seller’s market in Brisbane where there are a lot more buyers then there are sellers. This is likely to have a positive effect of price growth unless we see more sellers bring their properties to the market to level out the supply and demand equation.
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Brisbane is known for its warm, sunny weather as well as its relaxed lifestyle. Brisbane Property has been designed to reflect this climate and lifestyle. Our city is the “little sister” city to the larger capitals of Sydney and Melbourne. But in terms of Brisbane homes, our City is quite unique. Let’s explore what is so special about Brisbane Property.
Brisbane suburbs are often distinguished by the architectural form of the typical Queenslander-style residence. Typically, the Queenslander style of home is a single detached house made of timber with a corrugated iron roof. In their original form, a typical Queenslander was a high set, single storey dwelling with large characteristic verandas. The homes were built up off the ground on stumps to counteract the more extreme climatic conditions. The underfloor area served the purpose to cool the building through increased air flow and ventilation as also protected the timber building above from termite attack and other pests. Additionally, it allowed homes to be constructed without the requirement for earthworks to flatten the site for construction and during heavy storms, it also allowed water to flow freely underneath the home.
How can traditional Brisbane Property be adapted for modern living?
The benefit today for many Brisbane property owners, is that the buildings are quite versatile. They can be raised, lowered or moved around on a site. A Queenslander home can even be transported to another location relatively easily.
Due to their unique character, many of these homes are now protected to maintain the unique architectural heritage of Brisbane’s past. Council have placed a higher level of control over what you can and cannot do with these properties and therefore, as a property buyer, it is important to understand what this means.
There are certain things you can do to a character house without approval from council including raising the property and building in under the existing footprint as well as renovating the internal areas of a home. However, there is a growing list of building works that require a development approval from council when it comes to changing character homes, and therefore property owners must understand what additional costs may apply to a property purchase if future works are proposed.
So how do you know if the house you are looking to buy is a “Character” home? Well that’s where we can help. There are certain rules that apply to properties before they are classified as a Character home and you can either check with a Town Planner before you buy, or use the services of a specialised Brisbane Buyer’s Agent who should be able to provide this information for you. It is better to understand the potential costs up front, and getting a clear understanding of what can and cannot be achieved when it comes to improving a property, rather than being surprised down the track.
There is a lot of speculation about which property markets in Australia may outperform in the immediate future. The Australian Property Market as a whole has been going through some very rough times, but not all markets in Australia have been losing value. As a Brisbane market specialist, I can certainly outline why Brisbane is one of those markets with many strong fundamentals in place for upward pressure on housing prices. According to several leading real estate analysts, the Brisbane market is now on the verge of some significant growth. Here I explain the 5 top reasons why Brisbane may be set to outperform some other major housing markets within and around Australia.
1. Accelerating population growth
Brisbane’s population has been consisently increasing over the past few years, and the rate of population growth has been accelerating over the last 4 years straight. This is driven largely by an increase in interstate migration whereby many are giving up on lifestyle offered by the more expensive larger cities in Australia, in search of more affordable housing options, the laid back lifestyle and a warm climate to match. ABS data confirms that Queensland is Australia’s favourite destination for interstate moves, with just over 220,000 people switching their address to the Sunshine State in the five years preceding the 2016 Census of Population and Housing, and the majority of these new arrivals are settling in the south east corner.
Of course, when you have an increasing number of people moving to Brisbane, there have to be employment opportunities for them and also a place they can call home. This increases the demand for housing in a given area, and in some locations where there is limited new supply of housing, it can lead to upward pressure on prices.
2. The Oversupply of Units seems to have been absorbed
A couple of years ago, most commentators were predicting that there would be a bloodbath in the Brisbane unit market because there was so much new supply coming to market and a concern that not enough buyers would be able to settle on their off-the-plan purchases. In actual fact, whilst there has been a softening in the price of inner-city units in Brisbane, we certainly have not seen prices fall significantly as per previous predictions. Furthermore, it seems that the supply has been very well absorbed by the increasing population growth to the region. We now have a situation where apartment completions are decreasing dramatically, and commencements have also dropped significantly, and there is now a very real chance that the whole unit market in Brisbane will be in undersupply by 2020 and beyond. The most recent Herron Todd White property clock places Brisbane units as approaching the bottom of the market and this may be supported by recent values in Brisbane units showing stabilisation of values.
3. Brisbane’s Economy is well diversified
The Queensland economy struggled in years past after the mining boom came to an abrupt halt, but we have now seen a rebound in economic growth. According to Deloitte Access Economics, Queensland is expected to grow at a very healthy 3.4% in 2019, and this comes off the back of many consecutive quarters of positive growth in business investment. There are a huge number of multi-million-dollar projects around Brisbane at the moment, creating jobs and stimulating the economy once again. According to the Brisbane City Council Economic Development Plan, by 2031, the Brisbane economy is expected to be worth more than $217 billion.
4. Relative affordability to Melbourne and Sydney
The value gap between Brisbane and the two southern cities of Melbourne and Sydney is the largest it has ever been. Between 2012 and 2017, median values rose more than 50% in Melbourne and more than 80% in Sydney, whereas in Brisbane during the same period price growth was slow and steady. This relative affordability, is likely to be a contributing factor to the increasing levels of interstate migration.
Additionally, compared to Sydney and Melbourne, Brisbane offers a lower point of entry for property investors, with more attractive rental yields as well. In Brisbane it is not uncommon for property investors to achieve rental yields greater than 4.5%, a number that is much more difficult to achieve in the other East Coast Capitals.
5. Brisbane has a significant number of infrastructure projects underway
The improving local economic conditions in Brisbane is being underpinned by the biggest infrastructure spend since the 2011 flood recovery. Projects include the Queens Warf, Howard Street Wharf, the second airport runway, cross-river rail, Herston Quarter, The University of the Sunshine Coast Petrie Campus, the metro and TradeCoast. The list goes on and on. Of course, these major projects will bring a diverse range of employment opportunities to the region.
Brisbane Market – Summary
Brisbane appears to be a great place to invest right now and certainly the fundamentals are in place for future capital growth. Of course, like all city regions, there are markets within markets, and not all suburbs are likely to perform equally. It is important to understand local drivers of both supply and demand to determine which pockets are likely to outperform the averages. Investors are encouraged to perform their own due diligence before jumping in to a new investment purchase. Brisbane is certainly set for growth, but some areas may be much better placed than others for maximum growth potential with the next property market upswing. To maximize your chances of selecting the best areas to capitalize on the upswing, get in touch today.
The Brisbane City Council has a long-term community plan for the city called Brisbane Vision 2031. This details the aspirations in relation to Brisbane housing for our city’s future and outlines ideas for achieving this vision between now and the year 2031.
At that time, it is anticipated that Brisbane will be a well-designed, outdoor living city which maximises the lifestyle characteristics of our warm sunny climate. To achieve this, planning and development guidelines have been implemented by the Brisbane City Council, to ensure that our city prepares effectively for the population and employment growth that is predicted.
One of the targets that our city has set out to achieve includes accommodating 156,000 new dwellings to meet the anticipated population growth into the future. Of these dwellings, 138,000, or 88%, will be infill dwellings which will consist of Brisbane housing located within the existing urban area rather than in new greenfield locations.
Council manages the process of increasing housing density in the inner city areas by implementing plans and strategies to manage the development and construction of new dwellings. The Brisbane City Plan was implemented in 2014, and its purpose is to guide future development and growth for 20 years. We are already 4 years into this plan an we can already see the effects of changes to land zoning and the consequential development that has taken place in some suburbs. This plan will be reviewed periodically by council to ensure that is responds appropriately to the changes in the community at a local, regional and state level.
Council have also implemented 36 neighbourhood plans since 2006 which involved engagement with more than 400,000 residents. These plans assist with creating neighbourhood zones that their residents desire and involve planning at a more local level.
Knowledge of the plans that guide development in Brisbane is critical to determining the long term growth and development potential of any site. It is important to understand the planning schemes to determine if a house can be removed from a site, if a block of landcan be subdivided or if townhouses or units can be accommodated on a particular site. Planning tools which are accessible by developers, can determine the best use for any site across the city of Brisbane.
There has been a lot of shock media recently about the property market crashing in Australia, including speculation that a housing market crash is already happening. But the reality is that Australia does not have just one property market. There are many property markets in Australia and each of those is performing in a different way, depending on local circumstances. This article will explore how the Brisbane Property Market is performing, and how the local property market performance compares with other property markets around Australia.
There is no doubt that the Sydney and Melbourne markets are overheated, but the Brisbane Property Market is showing solid performance. Capital growth indicators are not outstanding, but our local property values are not retracting. Brisbane’s median house price has just hit an all-time high which provides further support for our City’s reliable performance.
The latest Corelogic data shows residential property values grew in Brisbane (+0.9%), Adelaide (+1%), Canberra (+2.3%) and Hobart (+10.7%) over the last 12 months. At the same time other cities experienced declines with Sydney leading the way (-5.6%), followed by Darwin (-4%), Perth (-2.1%) and Melbourne (-1.7%).
The exciting part is that, in the housing sector, the Brisbane Property Market is very well placed for future growth, according to research. The most recent BIS Oxford Economics Residential Property Prospects Report (2018) has confirmed that the outlook for the Brisbane Property Market over the next 2-3 years looks very positive.
Brisbane is predicted to experience growth in house prices of 2-3% up until 2019/2020 and then a much greater spike in prices of up to 6% forecast for 2020/2021. This is great news for the Queensland Capital, which has lagged behind other big Cities for a few years now.
Remember there are markets within markets, so don’t always believe what you may hear. Even within the Brisbane Property Market itself, there are some markets that are not performing as well as others. For example, according to the BIS Oxford Economic indicators, units have been underperforming for a few years, and are expected to experience a further decline in value of between 2-3% per annum between now and 2020, before starting to recover with forecast growth of just over 1% in 2021.
So, for those looking to capitalise on emerging property market opportunities in the near future, it seems the housing sector within the Brisbane Property Market has a lot more to come. Real Estate in Brisbane is still affordable, and our great City offers a fantastic lifestyle as well. Just understand what to buy, and where to buy and you will be more likely to succeed in achieving desired capital growth. Now is the time to get set and ready to grow your property portfolio and take advantage of the good times that are ahead.
Brisbane has a unique style of character homes that in most cases are now located in a demolition control precinct. This means that a lot of older homes cannot be demolished or removed from their site.
Newstead House is the oldest existing house in Brisbane, according to council records, and this was built in 1846. Cottages from the colonial period can be seen in the inner suburbs of Petrie Terrace and Spring Hill and 19th Century housing occupies some areas within Paddington, Red Hill, Highgate Hill and East Brisbane.
The Federation-era then saw the construction of masonry homes as well as larger decorative timber homes in suburbs including Clayfield, Ascot, Hawthorne and Graceville.
However, the most typical style of home that is now located within the boundaries of a demolition control precinct is the classic Queenslander, which is characterised by the porch and gable style of home made from timber and tin.
Brisbane city council provides online planning tools via their website to help businesses and individuals to determine if a building is in a demolition control precinct or not.
Many homes that were constructed prior to the end of 1946 are categorized as pre-war homes, and generally they can be distinguished by their character features.
Many of these pre-war homes can be identified on the traditional building character overlay maps which are part of Brisbane city council’s online resources. What this means is that a home that falls within a precinct where the traditional building character overlay exists, cannot be removed. It is effectively in a demolition control precinct. These homes can be renovated to return them to their original character – just not removed from the site.
Not all homes constructed prior to or during 1946 are protected from demolition. Council have concentrated the traditional building character overlay in neighbourhoods where there are significant pre-war homes with character values in a condensed area. So, in some areas, a home may be a pre-war home, but if it falls outside of the traditional building character overlay map, then it can be demolished. Usually these properties are located in areas where there were not a lot of homes built in the area in 1946 or before so the pre war properties are not typical for the area.
In summary, it is important to know if a property falls within a traditional building character overlay because it has significant implications in relation to whether a property is located in a demolition control precinct, or if it can actually be demolished and removed from the site.
As always, please contact us at Streamline Property Buyers for all your Brisbane property questions … we are always willing to help.
In this article, I outline some of the key principles and actions that have been raised by our Lord Mayor Graham Quirk in his press release on Friday 8 th June 2018 in relation to Brisbane’s Future Blueprint, or how our development codes will change to accommodate the needs and the requests of residents here in Brisbane.
Many of the principles and actions defined by Brisbane’s Future Blueprint will have an impact on small-scale development in Brisbane. At this time, a lot of the details are not known. So, what I’m going to do is outline for you what we do know and then highlight the areas that we’re waiting to receive further information on.
The first is actually a positive in that one of the principles is that Council is hoping to achieve more green space. For small developments, they’re hoping to encourage more rooftop garden and terrace areas. The benefit of this is that Council are not going to count those areas as a storey when defining the maximum height for a proposed development. So that’s the positive impact that these changes will have for small scale development in Brisbane.
On a more negative note, there’s a few restrictions that Council will be enforcing which will inhibit the allowable development on certain sites. I’ll run through some of those now.
The first is that Council are going to stop townhouse and unit development on inappropriately zoned land. They’ve referenced “appropriately” zoned land as being medium-density land. We are not yet sure what impact will be had on low- to medium-density residential land zoning. So at this stage we’re watching very closely for the next updates to determine what effect this will happen on low- to medium-density (LMR) land.
The second is that emerging community zones may be reassessed and Council may be looking to rezone those as residential A to prevent mass townhouse developments from being accommodated on that emerging community land. Council will also look to preserve and maintain minimum setbacks from neighbours and boundaries, and this is going to be enforced in their development codes.
Additionally, we’re going to be seeing an increase in the requirement for deep planting on the site. Currently that’s 10%. That’s going to increase to at least 15%. Obviously this is going to impact on the development footprint, which ultimately will have effect on the yield.
Another significant area raised within Brisbane’s Future Blueprint that will impact on the development footprint is the requirement to increase the number of car spaces for a development. At this stage, the detail is unknown but we know that we’re increasing the car parking requirements we’re also reducing the potential yield for a site. So we’ll also be watching this area carefully to determine what effect this will have on the development yield for some of those low- and medium-density zoned sites.
That’s the update at this stage. As soon as more information about Brisbane’s Future Blueprint becomes available I’ll happily provide another update. I am consulting with town planners to get the most recent information to keep investors and developers informed of what’s actually happening so that we make sure that we can continue monitor the market for opportunities for our buyers in developing areas of Brisbane.