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Lies, damn lies and statistics 13/05/13

No one really knows who actually coined this phrase, but Mark Twain was the man who made it famous. The truth of this statement is that statistics on their own don’t lie, however the essence of the statement is that anyone can interpret the statistics at hand to prove their case. Or more importantly misinterpretation of statistical data can lead to a false understanding of the situation. Huge statements full of vague accusations and doom and gloom, I know, but it’s time for a little reality reminder guys. I...

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What happens when the price is not right? 22/04/13

I came across an interesting scenario on the weekend while I was out attending auctions that had to do with the suggested purchase price of a home and the actual vendor’s reserve. It wasn’t a straight forward case of underquoting, but if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck….. Allow me to explain. It was a beautiful 3 bedroom home in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne that we attended on Saturday with friends who were looking to buy. The place had been fully renovated and was immaculate in appearanc...

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The blame game. 07/04/13

I’m back out again on weekends “sharpening the saw” as Mr Stephen Covey of “7 habits” fame would call it. When I’m not out with clients on a weekend looking to snap up a bargain for them, I tend to hang out at auctions on a Saturday to get a dose of reality.’ I check the places out, do a little due diligence, figure what I would pay for them and then watch the auction go. I even predict where I see things finishing on my twitter account @thepropertybuyer , and see how close I get. Last weekend was qu...

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Want to win at auction? 26/03/13

“How do I win at auction” is a question I get asked a fair bit, even considering what I do is buy real estate for people for a living. Apparently there is a perception in the general public that buyer’s agents have an innate ability to somehow crush the competition at auction and snap up a bargain. Well guys, sorry to disappoint, but there is no magic bullet here. There are a few tips that work more times than not though. Strategy comes in to play a lot, this is true. However the strategy you employ will d...

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The markets changing look for the signs. 14/03/13

It’s early march 2013 and the sun is still shining in Melbourne. It’s been a while since the end of the world as we knew it, or the global financial crisis as everyone else called it, and in the property game it appears that things are starting to look up. We see a lot of things printed about the state of the property sector in Melbourne and in fact around Australia, and for the most part the doom and gloom content tends to get the headlines. With the recent clearances at auction in Melbourne over the last mon...

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Renovating for cash, the four keys. 15/10/12

One of the most common strategies for making a quick dollar or adding instant equity to a property is to do a renovation. It makes sense to freshen the place up and make it way more presentable for a future purchaser or tenant. There are a few issues with this type of property strategy though and it can come unstuck pretty quickly. A lot of times prospective millionaires find that by the end of the renovation they have over capitalised or under budgeted and as a result the cash cow property is now a money pit. There ...

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I saw the sign… 08/10/12

Do you realise it’s been about 5 years since the GFC came along and smashed world economies and destroyed bank accounts, decimating share portfolios and property prices along the way like some rampant Godzilla type monster? The fact is though, it wasn’t as if we didn’t see this coming. The GFC , not Godzilla. The signs were there yet we chose to ignore them. I’m just as guilty as the next guy here and even though things were progressing at a somewhat unsustainable rate I chose to believe the growth was goin...

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The Four Key Property Variables. 02/10/12

Why is it that all anyone ever focuses on is price? Sure it tends to be one component that drives the ultimate decisions we make when buying property, however it’s not really a relevant factor unless it’s brought in to perspective. Let me demonstrate. If I offered you a property for sale and told you the property purchase price was $1 million dollars, for most of us it would probably be a stretch. It would have to be a super property to get us to leverage that much money. It would want to have a few bedrooms, an ...

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The difference between positively geared and negatively geared investment properties: 27/09/12

Those thinking about investing in property as a way of accruing wealth, have two strategies at their disposal. Generally, it is best to have a combination of the two in order to create a balanced portfolio, and to avoid problems of serviceability with financial institutions. Positively geared properties are those properties whose rental yield exceeds mortgage repayments and thus, puts money into your pocket. The term ‘cash flow positive' is also used. This investment strategy is seen as a good way to get your fo...

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Staying the same is going backwards. 24/09/12

Sometimes you have to take time away from cutting deals and building portfolios and do a little something for yourself. That Philosophy lead me to Sydney this weekend for the 2012 Tough Mudder competition. A 20 kilometre run littered with obstacles like fire and ice baths, and huge jumps into ponds, and crawls through tunnels. Not to mention the two rounds of 10,000 volt electric shocks and what can only be best described as a crawl through a “mile of mud” literally. Thanks to my team and a very positive attitude...

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Let’s Deal…. 17/09/12

Like most people who are up with it all, I subscribe to a lot of social media and newsletters that I tend to read throughout the week. For the most part there is always some nugget of information buried in a load of opinion, and if you are happy to mine for it the results are worthwhile. It’s the one percent-ers that make all the difference between success and the not so successful in real estate, and indeed in life. Whilst reading through some articles this week I came across some “laws of negotiation” writ...

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Don’t get so emotional! 10/09/12

Now that’ easier said than done.  We spend a lot of time now days talking about research and statistics. As buyers we are taught to look at comparative sales data, area vacancy rates, rental returns for similar properties, infrastructure investment by local councils, unemployment and earning demographics, amongst millions of other pieces of information. These are relevant when making a purchase, and form part of a smart homebuyer or investor’s ground work. I certainly pay close attention to all of the above w...

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Flip for Big Cash? Simple as 1,2,3… 03/09/12

I was having coffee again this week with some associates that I do a little work for from time to time and the discussion of market rate for a particular unit size in a particular area came up. Now, as a buyer’s advocate, my idea of what something is worth and what a selling agent thinks its worth are two very different things. I tend to build market instability and urgent resale options in to a price where they will talk about demonstrated growth and upswinging markets. Somewhere between the two views sits the tru...

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Fixed interest rates at lowest point since the GFC 23/08/12

A recent study has shown that fixed interest rates are now at the lowest point since the Global Financial Crisis. Since July this year, 46 major lenders, including the big four have lowered their 3 year fixed loan rate. With that being said it is no wonder many more property buyers are now opting to secure a fixed rate, especially seeing as several lenders have now slashed their fixed rates by between 30 and 40 basis points with the average reduction being 9 basis points. The Australian economy has not seen fix...

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3 Key Negotiation tips. 19/08/12

A lot of people that write for magazines and blogs in this industry are all about wealth creation and making money whilst trading in property. I suppose for the most part that’s what I do as well, however I see myself more as a negotiator and a deal maker than a property portfolio planner. Sure, I am happy to guide you through the fundamentals of property accumulation and the “hows” and “whys” when it comes to property selection and purchasing, but that’s only because to be effective in this game you need...

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