Simple Hacks to Keep Your Home Warm This Winter

We all know that Canberra winters can be testing to say the least. With negative temperatures, frosty mornings and snow blowing cold winds down from the surrounding mountains, it takes more than an extra jumper, thermal socks and a hot water bottle to stop us shivering.

It’s commonly thought that the easiest way to beat the winter chill is to turn up the central heating or blast a space heater. While this might bring some relief from the cold, it will also bring a hefty electricity bill. So, instead of overusing these expensive, energy consuming appliances, we recommend giving some of these simple tips a go.

Let the sun in during the day 

Once the sun in shining, it’s important to capture as much of this free, natural heat as possible. Even on some of the coldest winter days, the sun is still a good source of warmth. Before you leave your home for the day, simply open-up the curtains, and let the sun shine in.

Close your curtains at night

When the sun begins to set, it’s important to close the curtains to avoid heat escaping through the windows. If you’re in a particularly cold home, you can also put up temporary curtains (or even sheets, rugs, etc.) over doors and windows while you’re sleeping to further ensure that the heat stays inside.

Use timers on your central heating

The Centre for Sustainable Energy advises that programming your heater to turn on a little earlier, at a lower temperature (such as 30 minutes before you get up in the morning), is cheaper and more effective than turning it on just as you need it at a higher temperature. However, be careful not to make the mistake of leaving your heating on low all day – because then you’re just paying for heat when you don’t need it. 

Close internal doors

If you spend a lot of time in certain rooms, you can close other internal doors to ensure that the heat stays in the rooms where it’s needed. If you leave the doors open, the heat is likely to go upwards and outwards. While it may not seem like much, any blockage that keeps air from escaping a little less quickly will help keep you warmer.

Move furniture away from vents

A simple way to keep your home warmer in winter is to double check that furniture has not be unknowingly placed in front of heating vents. Ensuring that vents are not blocked means the flow of heat is not disrupted and every room gets the maximum potential heat.

Canberra’s most affordable suburbs

As Australia’s third most expensive capital city to buy a house, it’s important to keep in mind which suburbs are the most affordable when searching for your new home in Canberra.

The capital city is becoming more urbanised, and has a stronger economy with a high employment rate. In addition, the city’s affordability compared to Sydney and Melbourne makes Canberra a strong competitor in the Australian housing market. All of these factors have resulted in the higher median house prices.

During autumn this year, the median house price reached $733,786, a significant increase from the $705,059 a few months ago. It’s also expected increase to $770,000 by 2020, according to Domain Group. If these numbers sound alarming to you, take a look at the median prices for these suburbs.

The Cheapest Places to Live in North Canberra

North Canberra hosts the majority of the most affordable houses, which is why many first homebuyers are choosing to invest in this side of town. Here are the median prices of five noteworthy suburbs:

Belconnen: $423,500

Belconnen plays host to a diverse population of students, families and professionals and surrounds the bottom three quarters of Lake Ginninderra. Host to parks, a shopping district, a number of excellent restaurants, and also The Basement for those of you who love seeing live music on the regular. There is plenty to do right at the doorstep of the homes of Belconnen residents. 

Charnwood: $455,000

Charnwood sits north west of the hustle and bustle of Bruce and Belconnen but is fast becoming a sought-after location for a first home among the population of young professionals looking to set down roots. Having gone through a transformation through the last few years, we are confident in our view that this is one of Canberra’s most underrated and affordable suburbs.

Macgregor: $463,500

Macgregor is one of the quieter suburbs in the northern parts of Canberra. But the locals will tell you that that is a good thing. Surrounded by parkland and featuring a golf course, Macgregor residents are only a short drive away from major retailers and supermarkets.

Holt: $473,500

Holt is a balance of built up and quiet. With restaurants, schools, churches and places to do your shopping in the eastern section, and a golf course taking up a large section of the west, there is a bit of both worlds in the suburb named after Australia’s late Prime Minister.

Ngunnawal: $475,000

Named in tribute to the Ngunnawal people, and you will see plenty of references around the area to the people who inhabited this part of the world thousands of years prior to European settlement. This area is great and highly affordable for young families, with plenty of day care options and facilities. 

These suburbs are all generally close to the city: about 15 minutes by car, which is great for those commuting to work in that area. These suburbs are close to shopping malls including the Canberra Centre and Westfield Belconnen, which are the hub of Canberra’s best restaurants, shops and nightlife. It’s also great for those attending the Australian National University and the University of Canberra, because it’s no more than a 10-15 minute drive.

Other suburbs to consider include: Higgins (540,000) and Jacka ($460,500), a little further afield.

The Cheapest Housing in South Canberra

Buyers who want to be closer to the snow, or generally have a preference for living in the south side of Canberra will find it harder to find affordable housing compared to north side. That’s not to say that the median house prices in these suburbs are significantly lower than the state’s overall median house prices. Consider these top five suburbs you could be living in:

Banks: $480,000,

At $480,000, the median house price in Banks is one of the most affordable in this section of Canberra, and this southernmost suburb is still only a 25-minute drive from the CBD. For those looking for a home in the city with quick access to Namadgi National Park and surrounds, this is a great place for young families to raise their children.

Richardson: $501,000

Richardson is another southern suburb that has seen a great deal of growth in recent years. The relatively inexpensive median house price has attracted a population of young families that has seen the area come to life. Fun fact: each of the streets in Richardson is named after a writer, with a particular emphasis on female writers. Richardson itself being the end of the nom de plume Henry Handel Richardson, the name under which Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson.

Isabella Plains: $507,500

A beautiful suburb tucked in just next to Richardson is Isabella Plains. Around 17km south-west of the CBD, this picturesque suburb has everything you could need, without feeling crowded. The locals might not all be over the moon about the parking situation you might find in the post-school rush, but we wouldn’t let that stop us when looking at this highly affordable and beautiful part of Canberra.

Chisholm $515,000

Chisholm shares a border with the neighbouring Gilmore, and the parkland that runs along that border is a popular place for those looking to get some exercise outdoors or walk their dogs. The suburb itself is full of sporting facilities, parklands and boasts excellent views of the Brindabella Mountains. 

Theodore: $520,500

Just a touch further south is Theodore, a quieter suburb 19km from the CBD and perfect for those looking for a bit of space. There is not a great deal of shopping options to choose from in Theodore itself, but the surrounding areas have plenty to offer only a short drive from home.

Residents in south Canberra can take advantage of the close proximity to nature parks and reserves, including Wanniassa Nature Reserve and Big Monks Mountain. Moreover, these suburbs are suitable for couples raising a young family. In 2013, south Canberra was recorded to have the highest quality of life. This was base on factors including: levels of safety and security, the quality of the environment, young people in full-time work or education, air quality, job availability and Internet access.

Other suburbs to consider include: Gilmore ($525,000) and Kambah ($540,000).

 Affordable Housing in Canberra’s Surrounds

If you have a tighter budget and don’t mind the commute with more peace and quiet, these suburbs could be ideal for you to call home.

Yass: $386,500

Yass is a growing community situated north of Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory. For those comfortable with a slightly longer commute, the 45-minute drive to the Canberra CBD is a trade well worth it for new and growing families. 

Queanbeyan: $498,000

While not technically part of Canberra, or even part of the Australian Capital Territory, you would be hard pressed to find anyone in Canberra that wouldn’t say that Queanbeyan wasn’t ‘practically a part of Canberra’. Nevertheless, Queanbeyan is a city unto itself, and has all the things you would expect to find in a regional hub. While there are some odd disconnects in public services and transport that you might have to negotiate if you’re looking to work in Canberra, Queanbeyan is a brilliant choice for those looking to find an affordable home for themselves just a short distance from Canberra.

Karabar: $485,000

Karabar neighbours Queanbeyan and an excellent opportunity to stay in close to the city, while not having to struggle to find space when you want. With ready access to all the conveniences of Queanbeyan and only a short drive to Canberra itself, this suburb is full of opportunities to grow and live.

Karabar sits next to Queanbeyan and is a great

Please note: prices are subject to fluctuation.

Tips For Buying Off-The-Plan

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When buying a new home there are a tonne of options to consider. One option that should be at the forefront of your decision making is buying off-the-plan.

Off-the-plan refers to purchasing a property before it is constructed. Most of the time this means you will be buying a property while it is just a hole in the ground, and while it may seem crazy to buy something that has not been built yet, there are many benefits to purchasing an off-the-plan property:

The Benefits

  • One of the biggest benefits of buying off-the-plan is having the ability to customise the finishes and fittings in the home to suit your personal needs.
  • Since stamp duty is calculated based on the value of the land and the building, you will essentially only have to pay based on the value of the land, because there is no building yet!
  • In terms of an investment property, the depreciation tax savings are greater for an off-the-plan property, as the newer the building is, the greater the savings are.
  • You have the ability to lock in the price that you will pay, which is financially beneficial as there is a good chance the property will increase significantly in value by the time of completion.
  • The extra time you have while you wait for your new house to be built will allow you ample time to sell your existing home.
  • If you are a first home buyer, you will be able to benefit from the First Home Owners Grant, as well as stamp duty exemptions.
  • Newly built properties in Australia come with a 7 year builder’s guarantee, which means any faults must be repaired by the builder.

The Risks

  • There is always a risk that you will not get what you have already paid for. That is why it is important to have a comprehensive contract detailing all features, fixtures, fittings and time frames to ensure you have a leg to stand on when expectations are not met.
  • Since there is no way to see your apartment before purchasing it, there is a chance that you simply might not like it. Once completed it may look different to your expectations and it will be too late to change anything.
  • If your circumstances change during the build and you are no longer able to buy, it is important to act quickly and ensure you find another buyer to purchase from you at settlement.
  • A risk of having a locked in price is the uncertainty of the property market. Your property may suddenly lose value but you will still be paying the agreed price for it.

Things To Do

  • Make sure that it is definitely the property you want. This includes the size, suburb, orientation, and whether it is on a level you want to be on.
  • Visit the property site regularly and check if there are any other constructions occurring that may obstruct your view.
  • Carefully inspect the display home, including fixtures, fittings and finishes.
  • Research the market conditions and get advice from professionals on the right time to buy.
  • Research the developer. Do not be afraid to ask detailed questions and inspect other projects completed by them in the past. You may even want to talk with a past client to gauge satisfaction.
  • Have a legal professional look over all contracts and translate key points to you in laymen’s terms.
  • Make sure you have a lender that has agreed to financing. A lot of lenders are reluctant to finance off-the-plan properties given their high risk and the chance that the lendee will sell the property for a high price straight away, meaning the lender will lose interest.
  • Check that your deposit is going into a trust account, and do not let that money be released to a personal name to help build the project. This is a sure fire way to lose a lot of money very quickly.

Essentially, when buying off-the-plan, make sure you do the appropriate research to make sure it is the right option for you!

References

Emily Blatchford, Huffington Post, Buying A House Off The Plan: The Things You Need To Know, http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/02/18/buying-off-the-plan-australia_n_9269506.html, Accessed April 7th, 2017.

Oz Property Law, Buying Property Off-the-plan, http://ozpropertylaw.com/buying-property-off-the-plan/?gclid=CKqb2qX4kNMCFUcKKgodLqkF-g , Accessed April 7th, 2017.

Real Estate View, Things to Consider when Buying Off-the-plan, https://advice.realestateview.com.au/buying/things-to-consider-when-buying-off-the-plan/, Accessed April 7th, 2017.

Tim McIntyre, Your Investment Property, The Trick to Buying off the Plan, http://www.yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au/buying-property/the-trick-to-buying-off-the-plan-148257.aspx, Accessed April 7th, 2017.

New Display Homes Opening This Week!

This Saturday 6 May, we’ll be opening our brand new Googong Display Homes – yes, that’s right, not one, but TWO new display homes for you to peruse. These two new display homes embody everything that Achieve Homes represents — real homes for real people. They also showcase just a fraction of what our talented team can achieve for you.

Situated side by side at 64 & 66 Aprasia Ave, Googong, for your convenience, one home is perfect for a first home buyer or downsizer, with the other being a spacious home for a growing family. Despite these differences, both are packed full of features you can incorporate into your new home.

Here’s a taste of the features you can expect to see:

At number 66 you’ll find our Essence 4 Bed 23.7 home. With 4 bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms it gives you a generous 180m2 of living space as well as 27.14m2 of alfresco living, and 40m2 of garage space. Packed into this home you’ll find our ‘Plus Living Package’ including:

  • Full height tiles
  • Large modern 600 x 600 floor tiles
  • A t-shaped ensuite to complement the master bedroom
  • Reverse cycle heating and cooling
  • Generous 2.7m ceiling heights
  • LED downlights
  • Timber laminate flooring in the spacious living areas
  • Large alfresco area
  • 4 spacious bedrooms
  • Large walk-in robe for the master suite
  • Huge walk-in butler’s pantry with 20mm stone benchtops
  • Work of art stone retaining walls
  • Energy efficient European appliances including a free standing 900mm BOSCH cooktop and oven, and a 900mm BOSCH range hood
  • 40mm stone benchtops with 40mm stone waterfall edges

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Next door at number 64 is our Serenity 4 Bed 26.6. This home has 4 bedrooms, a study, and 2.5 bathrooms, making up the 213m2 of living space. It also includes 29.12m2 of alfresco space and 34m2 of garage. This larger option boasts some amazing features from the ‘Lush Living Package’ such as:

  • Full height tiles
  • Beautifully engineered timber oak flooring
  • Free standing bathtub
  • Reverse cycle heating and cooling
  • Generous 2.7m ceiling heights
  • LED downlights
  • Additional powder room with vanity
  • Stacker doors to alfresco
  • Separate children’s quarter
  • 40mm stone benchtops with 40mm stone waterfall edges
  • Huge walk-in butler’s pantry
  • Spacious living areas
  • Large alfresco area
  • Large walk-in robe
  • Work of art stone retaining walls
  • Energy efficient 900mm BOSCH appliances including a semi-integrated dishwasher
  • Custom made vanities with 20mm stone benchtops
  • Rain effect shower head (from ceiling) in the ensuite

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You can view our new Googong Display Homes at 64 & 66 Aprasia Ave, from 11am – 4pm, every Saturday – Wednesday. Our helpful home consultants will also be on hand to answer any questions and take you through our processes for home designs and house and land packages.

So You’ve Bought a Mr Fluffy Block…

By now you’ve probably heard of Mr Fluffy. But, if on the off chance you haven’t, here’s the deal – a small business decision to improve Canberra’s energy performance in the 1960’s and 70’s lead to over 1000 established homes having residual loose asbestos, known as Mr Fluffy’s. Of course, we all know that exposure to asbestos can lead to significant health problems.

The ACT Government offered to buy back to those affected and the remediated blocks have been sold to the public. This has resulted in a unique opportunity for Canberra homebuyers to purchase these now vacant lands (known as ‘Mr Fluffy’ blocks) in established suburbs.

If you have purchased, or are considering purchasing a Mr Fluffy block, then you might want to get in touch with us! We can take care of all your Mr Fluffy block needs to ensure that your block is not only safe and free of asbestos, but that you can build your dream home on top of it. This includes:

  • Conducting asbestos reports
  • Disconnection and reconnection of services
  • Obtaining required approvals for design, building and demolishing
  • Demolishing existing home (if required)
  • Site set up and preparation
  • Contour surveying
  • Soil classification reporting

At Achieve Homes, we want to make the process of building on a Mr Fluffy block as seamless and easy as possible. Contact our team today!

Image via All Homes

New Home Buyer’s Guide: Questions to ask a builder.

So you’re ready to build a brand new home and need to source a builder who can bring your vision to a reality.

Building a new home is a huge financial and emotional investment, taking the extra time to do a thorough check on any prospective builder, their workmanship, references and credentials is crucial to finding the right builder for your job.

One of the best ways to find a builder is to visit a range of display homes in your favoured suburb. Once you have found a house with the design you like, it’s time to get down to the details and get the answers you need.

  1. What is included and what isn’t? Display homes feature the best fittings, finishes and appliances which may not be included in the standard package.
  2. Can I make changes to the layout? Now is the time to ask about any layout changes you want, some buyers like to make changes but these can prove problematic for the builders.
  3. How long will the build take? The answer to this question will guide you on realistic and achievable timeframes.
  4. Are you licenced? Be sure to only ever work with licenced tradesmen, a quick search on ‘google’ will provide further evidence of a builders licence credentials.
  5. Do you have builder’s insurance? You need to make sure your builder issues you a Certificate of Currency for Home Indemnity Insurance before you pay them anything. This covers you for financial loss should the builder die, become insolvent or do a runner.
  6. Can I visit recent projects or speak with a recent customer? You should be able to look at the builders’ recently completed work. This way you can see for yourself if the builder is doing the type of job you want for your home. Check out the quality of products used and the work completed. If possible, speak to the builders’ clients and get references. This way you can get feedback about customer experience and satisfaction.

Often when potential customers visit a display home they are fitted with all the high end optional extras that are not included in the base package, this can lead to a build that far exceeds your original budget. At Achieve Homes we have a ‘what you see is what you get’ transparency which means what you see in the display homes is included in your package. We pride ourselves on building real homes for real people.

Got a question for us? Call (02) 6280 6778 to speak to one of our team or visit a www.achievehomes.com.au/

Federal Government Announces First Home Super Saver Scheme

While the 2017 Federal Budget may seem boring, it contains an exciting benefit for first home buyers.

The First Home Super Saver Scheme will allow people to make additional contributions to their super and then withdraw a maximum of $30,000 for a deposit on their new property. The move is one of several steps the government has made in an attempt to help young people enter the property market.

The new scheme will allow first home buyers to withdraw amounts that have been contributed voluntarily over the 9.5% super guarantee. The threshold on voluntary contributions is $15,000 per year or $30,000 in total. The contributions will be taxed at a lower tax rate of 15% and will allow these people to withdraw not only those contributions, but also any earnings generated from those contributions at a rate 30% lower than the person’s marginal tax rate.

Many people have condemned the scheme, with worries about the repercussions of withdrawing from your retirement income, as well as the fact that super (which is heavily invested in growth assets, such as equities) can fall sharply in value. The scheme however, will not be available to everyone, rather it will be accessible by a relatively small band of first home buyers who have the luxury of being in a position to make voluntary super contributions through salary sacrifice arrangements.

In addition to the First Home Super Saver Scheme, the government has implemented other initiatives to help young people with their progress into the housing market. The budget introduced measures that allow people aged 65 or over to contribute up to $300,000 from the sale of their home directly into their super. This was implemented with the intention to free up housing in desirable areas by encouraging ageing residents to downsize.

Provisions have also been made in the budget to help reduce the pressure on the rental market. Foreign investors who have not made their properties available for rent for at least 6 months out of the year will face fines of $5,000 per property per year. This should hopefully increase the amount of properties available for renters.

Whether you choose to withdraw from your superannuation or not, the 2017 Federal Budget is a step in the right direction to help first home buyers and renters across Australia. More information on the 2017 Budget can be found at the links below.

Image via finder.com.au

References:

Kidman. A, May 10, 2017, Budget 2017: How will it help first home buyers?, https://www.finder.com.au/budget-2017-housing-affordability

Kirby. J, May 10, 2017, Budget 2017: changes to super rules kept to a minimum, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/budget-2017/budget-2017-changes-to-super-rules-kept-to-a-minimum/news-story/5856fdd99f5ffbfe80d3148fbad6912e

Patten. S, May 9, 2017, Budget 2017: First-home buyers can tap up to $30,000 of super savings, http://www.afr.com/personal-finance/superannuation-and-smsfs/budget-2017-firsthome-buyers-can-tap-up-to-30000-of-super-savings-20170507-gvzr7w

Power. T, May 10, 2017, 2017 Federal Budget summary: Superannuation and retirement measures, https://www.superguide.com.au/retirement-planning/2017-federal-budget-superannuation-retirement

Why do Australians love knockdown rebuilds?

Over the past decade, Australia has seen a real surge in the amount of homeowners who invest time and money into knockdown rebuilds.

In fact, according to the Housing Industry of Australia, nearly a third of all new detached homes are the product of a knockdown rebuild. Proving to be a more cost effective method of changing your home than an addition or makeover, Achieve Homes now offers knockdown rebuilds.

So what makes an Achieve Homes’ knockdown rebuild so popular?

Family

You’ve got your kids settled in an area they love, with access to schools and amenities. You love the benefits of living in an established suburb, laced with history and community. Why let your run down house force you to leave all this behind?  A knockdown rebuild lets you update the style of your property to cater to your needs and tastes.

Changing needs

Downsizing? Have your home designed to meet all your storage and lifestyle needs. Many empty nesters see the knockdown rebuild option as an opportunity to stay in the community they’ve become a part of by having their dream home built on their land.

Or perhaps your family growing? Create the extra room and living areas with a functional and modern design from a more cost-effective method than simply tacking a room on the end.

An investment

Increase the value of the property by creating a stylish and comfortable home. For those who have found the perfect block with a less than perfect house on it, then the knockdown rebuild is what you’re after. Achieve Homes offers pre-designed custom build homes, created by expert consultants. Alternatively, if you’ve got a bespoke design in mind and want to bring it to life, Achieve Homes is here to make it a reality.

If you’re thinking knockdown rebuild, get in contact with Achieve Homes today. We’re here to discuss your needs.

9 Ways to Make Your Home More Environmentally Friendly

Everyone wants to save the environment. But sadly, not everyone wants to deal with the inconvenience of doing so. There is a perception that, while eco-designed homes can save you money on your bills, they are expensive in the short term due to modern, hi-tech features. However, there are numerous ways that we can all live more sustainably, without ruining the quality of our lives or breaking the bank.

We know how to make properties more sustainable, recognising that saving energy needs to benefit you in the long term, without imposing heavy additional costs in the short term. Here are our practical tips for making your home more environmentally friendly. 

Install a Skylight

Skylights cut down on the earth’s emissions and the need for electric lighting. Using daylight not only reduces energy costs and consumption, but also reduces the demand for unsustainable power.

Use Energy Saving Light Bulbs

Energy-smart light bulbs use 70-75% less energy than the conventional incandescent bulb and can last up to ten times longer! By using a 26-watt, compact fluorescent light bulb, you can save up to $59 dollars on energy costs over the life of the bulb, which can be anywhere from five to seven years.

Utilise Indoor Plants

Growing plants indoors is a great way to clean the air by acting as a filter for any common pollutants in the home. The environmental and health benefits of houseplants make them a household necessity rather than an object of décor, because honestly, good health and environmental sustainability should never be out of style.

Install Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans alone can make a room feel four to five degrees cooler. Today’s ceiling fans are more efficient, with improvements in motors, controls, blade design and reduced weight making them a stylish and environmentally sustainable feature of a room.

Use Energy Efficient Appliances

It’s a no-brainer, when we use less energy we save natural resources, cut down on pollution and reduce our bills! This is easily done when we opt to use Energy Star rated appliances; for example, a new refrigerator with an energy star rating can cut down on your energy consumption, saving you up to $160 across its lifetime.

Switch off and unplug

Perhaps the simplest energy saving technique of all is to switch off your power points. Leaving unused appliances plugged into power sources not only wastes precious energy, but also contributes to growing electricity costs. Getting into the habit of switching unused appliances off at the power point is an easy way to save money and energy.

Insulation

A well-insulated home stays cool in summer and warm in winter – which means less time blasting the air conditioning or heater, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions. In many ways, insulation is the most practical and cost effective way to make a house more energy efficient and can assist in saving up to 40 per cent on your heating and cooling bills.

Double-glazed Windows

Switching your single-glazed windows to double-glazed is a simple improvement that can make a big difference. When installed around your home, double-glazing can cut your heat loss by half. This means that you’ll need far less energy to heat your home, as the heat generated will be staying where it should be…inside your home!

Install a Water Saving Shower Head

Low-flow showerheads have been near the forefront of home water conservation efforts for some time now, and it’s no surprise as 20-25% of all household water usage comes from showering. Switching your conventional shower head to a low-flow not only helps in water conservation, but has been found to drop overall household water usage by as much as 40% — if not more!

Knockdown Rebuild: What’s the Process?

The process of a knockdown rebuild can be complex and complicated.

You’ve got your ideas, you’ve got your budget, you’ve got your passion – but who can help put that plan into action? Who’s responsible for demolition, for contracting workers, for architecturally designing your dream home?

The answer is very close to home – Achieve Homes.

At Achieve we take care of your home from go to whoa. We’ll begin by taking care of the demolition of your existing house, and from there we’re straight into site set up and preparation. We’re there to complete your contour survey and soil classification reports. And your design & building approvals and demolishing approvals are all taken care of. All you have to do is sit back and start planning how you’re going to spend your days in your new Achieve Home.

And we take care of things you might not have thought about – asbestos reports, disconnection and reconnection of services, and all the required approvals. Important things that could prove time consuming and costly in the long run.

We’re here to take care of everything. No matter if you’re completely unsure what design you want through to picturing entirely what your custom build will look like, you can find what you’re after with us.

Get in contact with Achieve Homes today or find out more information on knockdown rebuilds and and start getting your plans under way.

A Beginner’s Guide to Positive and Negative Gearing

If you’ve considered investing in the property market, there is a chance that you may have been baffled by the complexities of “positive” and “negative” gearing schemes.

However, determining whether your property will be positively geared or negatively geared is an important step in the investment process. For a better understanding of the benefits and potential drawbacks of these schemes, we have compared the two strategies below:

Positive Gearing

Opting for a positive gearing strategy is generally considered the safer and more conservative option. Positive gearing occurs when the rental income on your investment property exceeds the cost of maintaining it. This includes the cost of mortgage repayments, interest rates and maintenance fees. Positive gearing schemes are sometimes more favourable, as the extra cash-flow results in an immediate short-term profit.

Benefits

  • Immediate short-term profit – Investors will immediately gain an additional stream of income.
  • Low risk – If circumstances change and the investor loses their income, they will not be under pressure to pay the costs associated with multiple mortgages.

Drawbacks

  • The additional funds are taxable – As with your regular income, any funds obtained on a positively geared property are subject to income tax.
  • Less long-term gains – While you are immediately rewarded with additional income, it lacks the long-term payoff of a negatively geared property.
  • It is circumstantial – Due to a range of circumstances, a positively geared property can quickly become negatively geared. For example, if you are forced to reduce the rental income, you may have to cover the extra costs personally.

Negative Gearing

Negative gearing occurs when the rental income is less than the costs of maintaining the home. As the property is running at a loss, investors need to use their own funds to make up the difference. The benefit of a negatively geared investment is that the value of the home is likely to grow in time. It is expected that the increased profit from selling the property will outweigh the initial financial losses. Further, thanks to the available tax deductions, negative gearing can be a helpful strategy for offsetting the costs of acquiring an investment property. Negatively geared homes are likely to be in more populated areas like capital cities, where there are fewer factors that can affect their value.

Benefits

  • Greater long-term profit – Over time, the value of the property can be increased to the point where it exceeds the cost of maintaining it.
  • Tax deductible – A negatively geared home allows you to claim tax deductions related to any expenses you incur, so you can reduce the shortfall in rent and ultimately reduce your taxable income.

Drawbacks

  • Higher risk – If your circumstances change, or an investor loses their source of income, they are still required to cover the additional rent.
  • Housing markets – Investors will need to be careful that the property does not lose value over time. They will also need to ensure that the property is sold at a time where the housing market is strong.
  • You will need to budget – The ongoing costs associated with a long-term investment will add up. You may also need to consider you will be taxed on capital gains accrued when the property is sold.

Why NOW is the perfect time to build

There are many factors that contribute to making the decision to build a house, but underpinning all other decisions should be your financial security.

If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you’ll know that interest rates are now at a record low after the Reserve Bank of Australia cut them earlier this month.

With rates at 1.75 per cent, the banks are beginning to pass along the cuts, meaning there’s never been a better time for you to build, whether it’s your first home or a new home.

Which banks are cutting interest rates?

The big four banks – National Australia Bank (NAB), Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corp and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) – have all agreed to cut variable home loan rates. Starting this month, these banks will begin rolling out their all-time low rates, check out when your bank’s cuts will take effect here.

What you’ll save

According to Canstar, the typical homeowner will save $72 a month on a $500,000 loan. This brings the average standard variable home loan rate down to 4.52 per cent. For those taking a $300,000 home loan, the cuts will push the variable home loan rate down to 4.4 per cent, introducing a saving of $44 a month.

Now, these savings may not seem like much, but they definitely allow extra breathing room for the bulk of home buyers who are looking to have a larger mortgage. For those who are first home buyers, these savings mean repayments will be similar to rental payments, meaning you won’t be paying “ridiculously above what (you’re) paying in rent” for your repayments.

Things to consider

There’s a few things to consider before diving in. Although the rates are low now, it’s inevitable the rates will fluctuate. While it is possible rates will continue to drop, they will eventually rise. First home buyers should make sure that they can afford repayments even if the rates were to rise.

If you want to make the most of the all-time low interest rates, now’s the time to start talking to Achieve Homes about securing your new home. Achieve Homes offer a whole range of home designs and house and land packages fit for almost any budget.

Disclaimer:  This information does not constitute financial advice and you should speak to a qualified financial advisor and your bank about your individual financial circumstances before buying a property.