Tag Archives: Harcourts Complete Australia

Buying Property To Renovate And Sell For A Profit

Have you been considering buying a property to renovate and then sell for profit? Sometimes it can be tricky to know where to start. There are a lot of considerations, from where to buy, to proper budgeting and ensuring you’re up-to-date with any restrictions and compliance.

Here, we take you through the first steps to help you buy, renovate and sell for a profit.

Scope your location

As is the case with buying any type of property, deciding on the right location is usually your first step towards finding the right property.

However, the location of a property you’re buying to rent, to live or to sell can vary greatly.

When it comes to buying a property to renovate and sell, there are a couple of considerations. Primarily, you’re looking for a location that has steadily been increasing in value, or one that shows signs of increasing in value in the very near future.

Some key things to look for:

Investment in infrastructure

Are new shopping centres, entertainment, or recreational centres popping up in the neighbourhood? This can be a sign of investor confidence, and in population growth which could indicate the area is becoming more popular.

New transport facilities

New bus terminals or train lines are a great indication of recent population growth, as investment in major public transportation usually occurs to support or attract a growing population.

Some areas increase in value quite substantially when new public transport facilities reduce the time it takes commuters to get into metro areas.

Quality schools and childcare

Families are willing to move and pay top dollar to be within the catchment areas of quality public schools and childcare facilities. Several Australian news articles ran recently stating some parents were willing to pay a premium on a home if it meant their children could attend the best local public schools.

Decide how long you’ll hold the property while you renovate and sell for a profit

If your plan is to renovate and sell the property, then the question becomes, “How long do we hold it for?” The answer really depends on your local market. So do your research.

When looking for properties, ask real estate agents about the local market and how it’s been tracking over the last few years and their thoughts on what’s contributed to any increases in property values.

Go online and check out any data you can find on your desired locations. There are lots of sites out there that now provide sales history on properties for free.

If you’re buying a home that requires a lot of work, but is in a great area, it might make sense to sell as quickly as possible after renovating, especially when considering holding costs.

If you buy in an ‘up and coming’ area, it may mean you need to factor into your budget the time it takes for the area to increase in value.

Understand any government restrictions and compliance

Once you’ve found and bought the perfect property, the next thing to do before you even consider possible renovations is to get familiar with any codes, restrictions and compliance involved in renovating the property.

Most government websites will have sections dedicated to information on building restrictions, so make sure your plans comply.

Plan your costs

Like any renovation, costs can blow-out really quickly. That’s why it makes sense to budget not only for the cost of the purchase and renovation costs, but any potential holding costs and any costs which may be unforseen. A good rule of thumb is to budget 20 percent more than you believe the renovation will cost.

Decide to do it yourself or employ contractors

Doing a lot of the work yourself will certainly save money initially, but make sure it’s something you can realistically take on. If it’s something you’re not confident you’ll be able to complete to a high standard or on time, it will only cost you more when you need to hire a professional to come in and redo the work.

The best scenario is one where you break tasks into those you’re positive you’re able to do yourself and those best left to the professionals.

Note also that some things need to be left to the professionals by law, like any electrical work for example, so make sure you’re across these restrictions before starting.

Lots of risk goes into buying a house to renovate and sell for a profit, but with careful planning, research, and budgeting, it can also come with some pretty great rewards.

The Harcourts Foundation achieves three million dollar milestone

Harcourts Foundation logo

The charitable arm of Harcourts real estate group, The Harcourts Foundation has surpassed $3 million in funds raised to support local non-profit community groups across the country and internationally.

The Harcourts Foundation was established by Harcourts in 2008. The foundation operates as a charity 100 per cent, with all funds raised going directly to non-profit organisations.

The Foundation is funded through Harcourts employees’ salary sacrifice, ‘off the top’ contributions from commissions and organised fundraisers.

There are currently more than 264 of Harcourts global offices participating in the Harcourts Foundation programme, donating a percentage of every property sale.

Harcourts Managing Director Mike Green says that in just a short time the Harcourts Foundation has touched the lives of thousands of people throughout Australia, and across the globe.

“Internationally, the Harcourts Foundation has made more than 500 grants to community groups, helping with everything from supporting programmes for women affected by violence, at-risk youth, children with disabilities and to help make communities safer.

“Our Harcourts businesses are wholly committed to making a positive difference to the communities where they operate and we’re incredibly proud of the work The Harcourts Foundation is doing,” says Mr Green.

Harcourts employees including a National Board of Directors, Coordinator, Accountant and Regional Ambassadors all donate their time and expertise to oversee and administer The Harcourts Foundation.

This year, The Harcourts Foundation will once again partner with White Ribbon Australia to support the charity’s Breaking the Silence schools campaign, which supports principals and teachers to embed models of respectful relationships in school culture. The programme aims to prevent the perpetration of violence against women and girls.

To support White Ribbon’s cause, Harcourts offices across the country will take part in the Walk a Mile in Their Shoes event being held in each state. The walk encourages both men and women to don a pair of heels and walk a mile in a show of solidarity for those affected by violence against women.

Visit mycause.com.au/events/walkamileintheirshoes to find out more about the event, including how to support and participate.

For more information about The Harcourts Foundation, including information on individual grants made and the grant application process, visit harcourtsfoundation.org.

selling your home in autumn

Five Reasons Autumn Is The Perfect Time To Sell Your Property

It’s been a long-held belief in the real estate world that the best time to list your property is in spring. There’s definitely merit to this, with gardens looking their best and with the warmer weather, but that doesn’t mean you should hold off listing your property as we come into autumn. Here are five reasons why:


Typically we see fewer properties coming onto the market during the cooler months, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be fewer buyers out there. Listing your property during autumn means your property will have fewer properties to compete with and may attract more interest.


In early autumn, namely March, there are no school holidays to compete with, meaning most buyers will be available to attend open homes. Unlike summer where the long Christmas and New Year break often means potential buyers are distracted and possibly travelling, March is a relatively quiet month with students still in school until the Easter break in April.


Much like spring, the weather in autumn is actually great house-hunting weather. We’re just past the storm season of summer, and we’re not yet into the much colder months of June through August. This means crisper, sunny days and less sweltering, humid, rainy or cold days that may deter potential buyers from inspecting in other seasons.


One drawback to listing your home in peak seasons is the interest you’ll get from ‘tyre kickers’. These are the browsers who go from open home to open home without the serious intention of buying. In off-peak times, you’re far more likely to attract serious buyers who are looking to move due to circumstance rather than season.


Lots of us make a plan to tick off the big ticket items on our list after New Years and that includes buying a property. Serious potential buyers are trawling through new listings in the first few months of the year and making plans to attend open homes, so make sure yours is listed!

If you’re wondering how many homes are on the market in your local area, chat to your Harcourts agent. They’ll have a comprehensive list of homes on the market and can let you know if now is a good time to list your property for sale.

Where are the affordable properties hiding in Auckland and Sydney

Where are the affordable properties hiding in Auckland and Sydney?

In January, major cities in both New Zealand and Australia were listed as some of the world’s most unaffordable, with both Sydney and Auckland appearing in the world’s top 10 most unaffordable cities according to the 11th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.

It’s not exactly great news if you’re looking to buy, invest, or live in these markets, however, despite Sydney being listed as the third least affordable city in the world, and Auckland as the ninth least affordable, there are still reasonably priced pockets in both property markets.

Where are the affordable properties in Sydney?

Blacktown in Sydney’s west remains an affordable and family-friendly suburb, with the area becoming a major commercial hub, close to schools, and transportation, and still only 35 minutes to the CBD.

Blacktown had an average list price $535,500 over the month of December 2014, but two bedroom homes in the area averaged even less, at just under $500,000. Two and three bedroom units offer even more affordability, with the average two bedroom apartment listed for $360,000.

Other Sydney fringe suburbs with comparatively affordable average prices include:

Rouse Hill – Average house price: $811,000

Campbelltown – Average house price: $423,750

Dee Why – *Average unit price: $591,000

*Whilst Dee Why house prices are relatively high, units still present an affordable option.

Many of these areas are considered growth areas, with Rouse Hill one of the new North-Western Rail Link subdivisions.

The satellite city of Campbelltown in South-West Sydney is only 50 kilometres from the Sydney central business district and is home to the Campbelltown campus of the University of Western Sydney.

Most of these areas are family-friendly, growth areas, but coastal suburbs like Dee Why present a unique opportunity to invest or buy a unit in a real lifestyle area.

Sydney properties have also proven to be a sound investment over 2014, increasing in value by 2.3%, one of the largest increases of any capital city in Australia.

Where are the affordable properties in Auckland?

According to news website, stuff.co.nz, some of the most affordable houses in Auckland are in the city’s southern suburbs.

According to the website, Core Logic’s Residential Price Index for December listed Central Manukau, Papakura and Franklin as the three Auckland suburbs with an average house price of less than $500,000.

Central Manukau is home to the Manukau Institute of Technology, and is easy to travel to with Manukau Station, a central transport hub for both buses and trains established in 2012.

As of December 2014, the average list price for South Auckland properties was:

Central Manukau – Average property price: $479,063

Papakura – Average property price: $463,342

Franklin – Average property price: $483,529

These areas are all ones to watch for potential growth, not just because of affordability, but because of their relatively close proximity to the Auckland CBD and amenities.

Papakura is home to several sporting facilities, including an international-quality athletics track. Franklin is known for its quiet, country lifestyle and is popular with tourists, with antique stores and fresh produce making it a real lifestyle destination.

As with any outer suburb, commuting costs need to be factored into a move, with the suburbs listed above around 20 to 30kms from the Auckland CBD.

The bottom line? When it comes to entering the seemingly unaffordable Sydney and Auckland housing markets in 2015, it pays to look at growing outer suburbs for your next property.



Mining Area

Property Investment: Where To Invest In Australia In 2015

If adding to your investment portfolio or purchasing your first investment property is one of your New Year’s resolutions then you may be wondering where to invest in 2015. It makes sense to diversify if adding to your existing portfolio, meaning you may wish to consider a different property type in a new location. If investing for the first time, there are a myriad of considerations, and location is chief among them.

Here we look at some of the key areas to invest in 2015 and the pros and cons of investing in these areas.


Mining communities have been popular investment hotspots for the last few years, with traditionally quiet rural areas being turned into high population and high income areas seemingly overnight, thus increasing property values and rental yields. So does that mean they’re still a sound investment? The short answer is, it depends on which type of investor you are. A ‘buy and hold’ investor or a ‘speculative’ investor. According to online industry blog Property Observer, a buy and hold investor, that is an investor who plans to purchase a property and hold it in the medium to long term until the value of the property increases, would do well to steer clear of mining areas. The reason being, a lot of buy and hold investors buy properties in these communities before a price increase and tend to hold the property for too long. When there’s a downturn in exportation of resources, as we’ve seen recently in Western Australia, properties in these areas can take massive hits in value, and leave many investors with huge losses. On the other hand, speculative investors who buy at the right time, take advantage of good rental yields and accurately predict a downturn in the industry, selling up and moving on quickly, could be making a sound, if not high-risk investment.
Go or no go? If you’re a speculative investor, with a diverse portfolio, a high-risk appetite and plenty of experience, then go. All other potential investors, no go.




When it comes to investing in a seaside town, it really comes down to the town in question and the type of investment property it will be. Is it a seaside town that attracts a flood of tourists seasonally throughout the year? Then you may be considering renting it out as holiday accommodation for a higher rental price at peak times during the year. This decision will require a bit of research, and you’ll need to ensure your numbers stack up. If you’re planning on using the home as a holiday home when it’s vacant, work out if it would actually be more economical to simply rent the property for personal use each year than to buy it. Another factor to consider is whether or not you plan on eventually retiring to the property, making the investment worthwhile. Alternatively, it might be a growing beachside community that is still within commuting distance to a central business district. In this case, you may be looking at a more traditional investment, buying a unit or house to rent out, looking for long-term growth and high rental yields. Like any up-and-coming area, look at the facts. What is likely to drive continued property value growth? Investment in infrastructure, major development in transport, urban sprawl, the addition of schools and shopping districts etc.
Go or no go? This one requires research into the area and will depend on the type of investment you’re making. Holiday accommodation is a different kettle of fish to a traditional investment property that happens to be in a beachside community.

Rural or farming area


Traditionally we’re told to steer clear of the rural areas in the far corners of Australia, with generally low populations, and slow population growth. However, with Australia’s population rising, and more being drawn to the more affordable regional areas of the country, are rural towns such a no go zone? There are indicators that a rural or regional area may experience population growth quite quickly, and signal a potential increase in property prices, according to Your Investment Property Magazine. Some of these are large infrastructure projects, major developments like airports, new businesses starting up in the area, and amenities like a new hospital. Not only do these developments signal an existing growing population, but can further add to a growing population by offering new employment opportunities.
Go or no go? If you’re looking into a rural town that’s recently given the green light to new major developments, it could be a signal of population growth and may be a worthwhile investment. It’s important to note though, that rural towns generally experience very slow population growth, and property prices can remain stagnate for years.

University and student areas


Student accommodation can be very attractive, particularly to first-time investors due to the usually low capital requirement. Some purpose-built student apartments are sold for well below the market price of other apartments in the area, and can command good rental yields. The flipside being they can’t be owner-occupied and when it comes time to sell you’ll be targeting fellow investors only. The alternative is to look at buying properties within university areas that will attract students, but are not necessarily purpose-built as student accommodation. This gives you the opportunity to rent room by room, and more freedom when it comes to occupying the property and opens up the potential buyers when it comes time to sell. There’s some reliability when it comes to student accommodation, as university campuses are traditionally fixed locations. Your investment may not attract long-term tenants, but there will be no shortage of potential tenants to replace them. Some drawbacks include having periods of vacancy during the December to February period when students traditionally return home over the holiday season, and the property will probably be located in an area known to be popular with students, which might be off-putting to other potential renters or future buyers.
Go or no go? There’s definitely merit to investing in student accommodation, with potentially high rental yields, low capital requirements and low vacancy rates. However student accommodation can be limiting if you’re ever looking to sell the property and wish to open up the potential market.

Apartment or city suburbs


Inner-city units tend to fetch a pretty high premium, but there are still capital cities in Australia with reasonably affordable inner city unit prices for those looking to invest. Brisbane’s median inner-city unit price was $500,000 as of January 2015, and as low as $350,000 for a one bedroom unit. The average weekly rent of an inner-city unit in Brisbane was listed as $565 per week, representing a healthy rental yield of 5.87%. When it comes to the market of potential tenants, inner-city units tend to attract students and young professionals, with as many as over half of our capital cities’ populations being listed as independent youth according to realestate.com.au. One of the main risks associated with investing in inner-city units at the moment is the risk of over-supply. Almost all of our capital cities, with the exception of Sydney, have been the topic of conversation when it comes to over-supply of late. Too many inner-city units in the rental market at one time will obviously lead to lower rents, and potentially lower resale prices, so it’s something to consider in your local market.
Go or no go? Inner-city apartments still attract good rental yields, and are potentially a lot lower risk than some of the other options we’ve mentioned. However, over-supply is one of the major risks to be on the look-out for in a few Australian capital cities at the moment.