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.

Buying a new home vs buying an established home

Buying a new home vs buying an established home? This is a question we constantly get asked, the truth is, there are advantages and disadvantages for both!

We’ve pulled together a list of what we love – and less than love – about purchasing an established home and purchasing a brand new home.

An Established Home

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Established homes tend to have an architectural beauty, charm and individuality about them – characteristics that are certainly difficult to find in brand new homes. They also bear a mature garden, which means there’s no need for costly landscaping, fence fitting or time spent nurturing a young, dependent garden.

Older homes are located in older suburbs, where the streets are lined with large, fully grown trees and established nature strips – a site that, in a new home, could take decades to come to fruition. Older homes also have larger blocks, meaning a bigger backyard and more space between your neighbours.

When purchasing a pre-loved home, buyers also tend to have more flexibility in their negotiating power on the price of the home. There’s also a good opportunity for savings/investment. However, if you’re lucky enough to save a bit on money buying an older home, it does beg the question – what do you need to spend money on to update or revote the house? Fixing up older homes can often be very costly. Renovations could range from simply replacing a toilet suite to needing an entire new kitchen. Then there is always the unknown, because you never really know what will need fixing (and the costs associated with it) until you move in.

Plus, there are a range of inspection and residential reports that you should get when buying an established home. These include building inspection reports, pest inspections etc, and range in cost.

A Brand New Home

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There’s nothing like the luxury of moving into a brand new home. No maintenance or renovations are required because everything is brand spanking new; the paint is fresh; the floor is unscathed; and the kitchen and bathrooms are modern are functioning properly. There’s also the comfort of knowing that the products and components of your new home are still under manufacturer’s or builder’s warranty, so if something breaks you can get it fixed quickly and easily. And did we mention that new homes are guaranteed asbestos free?

The orientation of a new home is also likely to be much better compared with an older home. These days, houses are built to maximise sunlight in the right rooms at the right times of day. Not only does this boost the amount of natural light in your home, it also helps to ensure that you use your air conditioner less in summer and your heater less in winter, saving you money in the long run! New homes are also much more energy efficient than old homes. They use current, energy-saving materials, technology and appliances to reduce the impact on both the earth and your pocket.

While new suburbs tend to be in a more remote location, they are also better planned with nearby schools, shops, parks and other community and recreational facilities. Although, as mentioned above, it can take years for these suburbs to develop the natural beauty of an older suburb.

When purchasing a new home, buyers do not usually have much negotiating power on price and have less opportunity to for savings/investment. In saying this, if you’re an investment buyer, a new home can be quite appealing due to the depreciation benefits that can be transferred to tax benefits.

New homes also aren’t entirely complete just because the build has finished. There’s usually landscaping to be done, proper fences to be built and sometimes a driveway to be paved. Due to space restrictions, new homes are also built on smaller blocks, meaning they compensate the backyard to ensure a reasonably sized home. On the plus side, if you shop around, you should be able to find affordable, value-for-money house and land packages in a suburb to suit your needs!

First Home Owner Grant: What You Need to Know

Are you a first-time home buyer that’s finding the First Home Owner Grant all very confusing? You’re not alone. We’ve answered the most important questions you’re probably asking yourself about the grant, to help make life a little easier while you search for your new home:

The First Home Owner Grant was introduced in 2000 as a way to offset the effects of GST on home ownership for people who are purchasing their first home. It is a national scheme which is funded by the individual states and territories and administered under their own legislation.

Are you eligible for the First Home Owner Grant?

To qualify for a First Home Owner Grant in the ACT or NSW you must meet the following criteria:

  • Each applicant is a natural person and not a company or trust.
  • At least one applicant is a permanent resident or Australian citizen.
  • Each applicant must be at least 18 years of age.
  • All applicants and/or their spouse/de facto have not owned a residential property, jointly, separately or with another person, in any State or Territory of Australia before July 2000.
  • All applicants and/or their spouse/de facto have not previously owned a residential property jointly, separately or with another person in any State or Territory of Australia, and occupied that property for a continuous period of at least six months.
  • This is the first time an applicant and/or their spouse/de facto will receive a grant under the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000 in any State or Territory (unless subsequently repaid).

What makes a property eligible?

The First Home Owner Grant applies to new or substantially renovated properties with a value of less than $750,000. A new or substantially renovated property is:

  • a home that has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence; or
  • a substantially renovated home that, as renovated, has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence; or
  • a property which is subject to an “off the plan” purchase agreement.

The home must not have been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence. For a renovation to be considered as ‘substantial’, they must have affected most of the rooms in the building.

Further requirements to be met:

New home: The home must be complete and ready for occupation at the time of the application for the grant.

Off the plan purchase: The land must be intended for the site of a new home and must be built before completion of the agreement.

Vacant land purchase: Foundations of the property must be layed within 26 weeks of completion of the purchase, however there is no limit on the time of construction. Agreement or transfer of vacant land must be for the whole of the land. If the land is a parcel of land where two or more homes are to be built, the agreement or transfer must be for that part of the land which has exclusive occupancy.

Once all these criteria are met, the owner must live in the new home for at least 6 months. If you move out before 6 months the grant must be repaid.

How much is the grant?

ACT: As announced in the 2015-16 budget, the FHOG was reduced to $7,000 tax free for grants on or after January 1st 2017.

NSW: The FHOG in NSW offers a $10,000 tax free grant for homes that meet all criteria.

Are stamp duty concessions available?

Yes, in the ACT for properties under $468,000 you can expect to only pay $20, and for properties up to $590,000 you’ll be paying $14.70 for each $100 over $468,000.

For amounts in NSW, click here.

Does your income affect your eligibility for the grant?

No, the grant is not affected by your income, however it does affect your concessional duty amounts.

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.

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.

Everything you need to know about First Home Owner Grants

There are a few certain milestones in life that come with a large price tag and purchasing your first home is one of them. Buying your first home is a big decision to make, and it can be equal parts exciting and daunting.

If you’re on the hunt for your first property, it pays to do some research on the grants and other concessions available to you before taking the plunge. In this article, we shed some light on First Home Owner Grants in both ACT and NSW to help you get a foot in the property market.

The consideration of where your home is located depends on your circumstances, your career and can have a substantial effect on your ability to meet current and future needs. Making the decision as to where your home is located will mean that your First Home Owner Grant will vary from NSW to ACT.

The Australian Government’s criteria into being eligible for the First Home Owner Grants is extensive, so be sure to do some additional research. It’s also important to note in both states/territories, that to be eligible for this grant you must be considered an owner-occupier, meaning you intend on living at the property, not capitalising on it through investment.

ACT First Home Owner Grant

The ACT’s First Home Owner Grant provides $7,000 financial assistance to eligible purchasers once the contract is signed and exchanged (not the settlement date) and if you are an owner-builder, this commences from the day you start building.

Requirements to be considered include:

  • The value of the property is $750,000 or less
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age
  • At least one applicant must be a permanent resident or Australian citizen
  • The home will be moved into within one year of completing the eligible transaction, and;
  • The applicant/s resides in the home as a principle place of residence for at least one year

Would you like to know more about eligibility for the ACT First Home Owner Grant? Visit the ACT Revenue Office’s website here.

NSW First Home Owner Grant

The NSW’s First Home Owner Grant also provides $7,000 financial assistance to individuals if:

  • Each applicant is a natural person and not a company or trust
  • Applicant/s are at least 18 years of age
  • At least one applicant is a permanent resident or Australian citizen
  • Applicants must not have previously owned a residential property
  • The value of the property meets the NSW Government’s cap
  • The applicant is a first-time grant receiver, and;
  • At least one applicant will occupy the home continuously for 6 months commencing within 12 months of settlement or construction

More information can be found on the NSW Government’s Revenue website, here .

 

 

Creating a financial plan that will help you buy a home

Buying your first property is an exciting prospect.

But, before you can get there you need to establish the financial foundations that make it possible to achieve your big purchase. As a result, it’s necessary to create a savings plan that’ll bring you closer to your home ownership goals.

The benefits of creating a savings plan

When you want to buy a house, taking a haphazard approach means you’re unlikely to reach your goal in a time-sensitive manner. When you sit down and calculate how much you need to save and when you can realistically reach your goal, you create an actionable and realistic plan.

Having a target means you’ll become a homeowner faster, you can create a lifestyle budget that’s conducive to your plans, and you demonstrate financial responsibility to your future mortgage provider.

Woman on laptop creating a financial plan

Steps you need to take to create a savings plan

Now you know that you want to make a plan, it’s time to take the right steps towards achieving one. Start by figuring out how much money you can realistically borrow and use that figure to calculate a prospective deposit. From there, you need to:
  1. Look at your monthly income and outgoing expenses, then form a realistic idea of how much you can deposit into a savings account.
  2. Figure out how long it will take for you to reach your goal. While doing so, factor in one-off expenses such as holidays and birthdays.
  3. Identify the type of savings account that can meet your needs. Are you aiming for the highest interest rates? Or, maybe you would prefer one that doesn’t let you access the funds until you reach your goal? Some people enjoy the convenience of using one that connects directly to their online banking.
  4. When your earnings come in, pay into your savings account before spending money elsewhere.
  5. Set up motivational tools to ensure you stick to your target. For example, you could stick a calendar on your wall that shows how much you’re saving each day or the percentage of your savings you’re currently achieving.

Planning your savings means there are fewer opportunities to skip making deposits because you would rather have more money to spend. When determining how much you can put away, stay as realistic as possible to avoid feeling a squeeze that distracts you from your goal.

 

Close-up of set of keys on orange background, goal of creating financial plan

Reaching your target takes time, but it’s worth it

Depending on the cost of your prospective property, reaching your target may take a number of years. However, when you have a solid plan in place, you’re putting yourself on a realistic path towards becoming a homeowner.

Having savings also delivers financial assurance, plus it gives you an idea of what it’s like to make a solid financial commitment. As a result, when the time to pay your mortgage comes around, you’ll find it easier to make your monthly payments.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended as guidance only. Please seek expert advice before making any major financial decision.

Reasons to make landscaping a priority

Landscaping, or a lack thereof, can really make or break a home’s appearance.

The good news is, it doesn’t take much to transform a home’s appearance thanks to a few carefully considered ornamental features and plants.

Depending on the look you’re after and your budget, landscaping can also encompass larger alterations such as adding lawn, pavements, a deck, fencing or even planting a large hedge to provide some privacy. In this article, we’ll take you through the benefits of a landscaped yard and share some quick DIY projects to get you started. Let’s jump right in!

Enhance your kerb appeal

Did you know that well-thought-out landscaping can make your property more appealing? The first thing a prospective buyer, renter or even a guest will see when visiting your home is the front yard. First impressions are a big deal, particularly when buying or selling is on the cards.

If the property presents well from the outside, there’s a much greater chance prospective buyers will want to go inside to take a look around. Enhancing your kerb appeal doesn’t require a significant investment though. Simply adding a few plants and a DIY pathway with some pebbles and stepping stones can improve first impressions.

Aerial photograph of suburban houses with a road running through the middle

Increase your property’s value

Enticing prospective buyers aside, the right approach to landscaping also increases your property’s value. According to Investment Property Magazine, making small changes can add as much as $15,000 to your home’s value.

Such changes could include installing new turf, adding screening plants to your fence, and mulching with pine bark. Many of those changes won’t break the bank, so they’re worth investing in.

Semi-aerial view of a large suburban property

Enjoy environmental benefits

If you’re excited by the idea of creating an eco-friendly home, landscaping could be a great next step. Did you know that adding even just one young tree to your property will remove approximately 5kg of carbon dioxide from the air?

Hiring a professional landscaper can further enhance eco-friendliness in your garden. A landscaper will be able to make suggestions about plants to improve air and water quality, as well as what flora can be added to create a healthy eco-system within your yard.

Flat lay photograph of gardening tools including plastic trays, gloves, secateurs and plastic tubs

Improve health and wellbeing

Numerous studies have revealed health-related benefits of creating green spaces. Those who live in green areas report feeling healthier and there’s evidence to suggest that living in a green environment will help you live longer.

Simple landscaping ideas with maximum benefit

If you’d like to tackle some DIY landscaping projects, here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Lay a new lawn, especially if your existing grass is looking a bit tired
  • Make a simple pathway with some pebbles and stepping stones or planks
  • Select and plant some easy-care plant and shrub species
  • Lay larger rocks around the perimetre of garden beds to create defined areas
  • Add mulch to keep any existing garden beds neat and tidy
  • Create a garden that celebrates native plant species

For more complex landscaping jobs, seek out a local landscaping professional who can offer advice and recommendations specific to your needs and block.

Large block? Consider a subdivision

If you own a large block of land and want to increase your wealth, consider a subdivision.

Subdivisions are an excellent way to turn vacant and unused spaces into profitable areas of property.

Even if you don’t sell the properties, you’ll build a strong portfolio for when you retire or have the option of renting them out as another income stream. Before you choose to subdivide, it’s worth understanding the benefits of doing so and how it works.

What is a subdivision and who does it suit?

Subdividing involves taking a block of land that one person owns and building one or more properties on it. There are certain categories of people who stand to benefit the most:

  • Those living in sought after areas
  • People living close to universities that need more student accommodation
  • Individuals living in suburban areas where large blocks and duplexes are likely to sell
  • Those who own land in desirable school catchment areas

In short, if the local real estate market indicates that you’ll successfully sell the property you subdivide, it might be worth investigating.

Aerial photograph of a cross intersection with houses and properties surrounding the area

What are the benefits of subdividing your land?

The first and most obvious benefit is the ability to make a profit. Providing you plan your project with an experienced conveyancer, you can build a high-value property and sell it on for a profit. Alternatively, there’s the opportunity to rent and enjoy an ongoing rental yield.

Other scenarios where subdividing works well include:

  • Building property for family members

If you want a home for your children or an elderly relative to live in, using your own land is convenient.

  • Creating a block of flats

Areas with a dense population can often benefit from additional living spaces.

  • Entering the short-term accommodation market

From running a bed and breakfast to offering holiday lets, this option works especially well in areas that tourists frequent.

  • Achieving flexibility

If your current property doesn’t meet your living requirements but may do so again one day, having another one to live in becomes advantageous.

Whatever your aims are for your subdivision project, it’s wise to discuss their feasibility with a professional conveyancer.

A photograph of recently built townhouses with empty backyards and no landscaping

Is a subdivision right for you?

It’s worth noting that a subdivision isn’t for everyone. If you aren’t able to meet the financial outlay, the project could prove stressful.

At Achieve Homes however, we aim to make the subdivision process smoother for our customers with a comprehensive approach that covers all aspects. Our service includes an initial feasibility report, comparable sales results, and initial plans detailing budgets and timelines, as well as the project management and construction from beginning to end.

By using a dedicated service such as the one we provide at Achieve Homes, you bring yourself closer to creating a subdivision that’s valuable and right for your future.

To learn more, contact us.

Best suburbs for millennials to buy a first home

When you’re looking to buy your first home in the Canberra area, pouring through the suburbs can feel confusing.

While each has its attributes, how do you know whether it’ll be right for you in the long term? Fortunately, we have prepared a guide on which suburbs are best for your first home.

What makes a Canberra suburb good for a millennial?

Aside from affordability, the Financial Times reports that millennials want to live in locations where they can spend time with friends. As such, you might be looking for a home that’s close to cafes, bars, and parks.

If you don’t own a car, commuting features start to come into play. How reliable is public transport in your area? And, will it get you to work quickly?

With a greater emphasis on well-being than many other generations, you may also crave an abundance of local amenities that facilitate your lifestyle, such as green outdoor spaces, gyms, and meditation centres. On the topic of mindfulness, if you’re thinking toward the future, you might want to look at suburbs that complement future family life.

Landscape photograph of Lawson area in Canberra
Image credit: Suburban Land Agency | suburbanland.act.gov.au/lawson/about

Which Canberra suburbs are good for millennials buying their first home?

  • Googong
    With affordable housing and plenty of green open spaces, Googong is ideal if you’re after a relaxing lifestyle with essential amenities nearby, whilst still being within reasonable distance to Canberra’s CBD.
  • Greenway
    The local population has a median age of 35, plenty of edgy coffee shops and restaurants, and some affordable property developments, illustrating that it’s already a popular choice amongst millennials.
  • Taylor
    As an area in development, Taylor is set to feature two dedicated primary schools, a top-of-the-range shopping centre and other excellent community amenities, in a natural setting.
  • Lawson
    With low traffic and bordered by a lake, Lawson is perfect if you want urban living in a new community, just moments from some of Canberra’s most prominent facilities including University of Canberra, AIS and Canberra Stadium.
  • Watson
    Based in north Canberra, Watson is an established suburb that combines affordable house prices with a litany of desirable schools, close proximity to Dickson’s dining precinct and moments from Canberra’s CBD.

Doing your research before buying your home

Before purchasing your first property, consider what makes it perfect for you in terms of location. Try to look towards the future while doing this. For example, if a property’s main selling point is a quick journey to work but you’re likely to change office locations, could you look for something more suitable? Or, if minimalist living is quirky now, will it remain so if you have a family?

Should you need any extra advice on the right suburb for your first home, talk to us. At Achieve Homes, we have plenty of experience in helping millennials throughout Canberra find the perfect property for them.

Must-have indoor plants to add this season

When it comes to decorating your home, few items deliver as many benefits as adding some indoor plants.

Some of the must-have indoor plants will also have a positive effect on your health, especially if they enhance air quality. Aesthetically, they can give any room a natural feel. We’ve prepared a collection of must-have indoor plants and why they are a worthy addition so let’s get started!

What are the benefits?

Aside from their decorative benefits, indoor plants can reduce carbon dioxide in your house. According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, adding indoor plants to your house reduces the carbon dioxide peaks that occur when it’s busy. This is especially important if you live in an urban area or use gas cooking devices.

If your property benefits from expansive windows but you want natural shading, larger plants can prove effective. For those who crave privacy, a large plant may seem preferable to adding and adjusting blinds.

In terms of wellbeing, there’s a growing body of evidence showing that indoor plants deliver a plethora of benefits. NASA’s clean air study found that certain species can detoxify your household, leading to a reduction in fatigue and less illness. A team at Texas Agriculture & Medicine University found that they boost concentration and happiness levels.

Which indoor plants should you use in your home?

  • Barberton Daisy: A vibrant flower that cleanses toxins such as Formaldehyde.
  • Oxalis Triangularis: Features vibrant purple leaves that open in response to light and purifies the air.
  • Bonsai tree: Aesthetically pleasing and boosts feelings of emotional wellness.
  • Peace lily: Has a naturally calm ambience due to its colour and came at the top of NASA’s air purification list.
  • Spider plant: Easy to maintain if you’re new to keeping indoor plants and excellent for removing carbon monoxide.
  • Chinese Evergreen: Chinese Evergreen cleanses formaldehyde and benzene, both of which feature in detergents and cosmetics.

What to be aware of when choosing plants

Take a realistic approach to your first indoor plant if you’re new to plant care. Try picking those that don’t require much attention, such as the Chinese Evergreen. If you own a pet, remain mindful of the fact that some are toxic to certain animals. For example, cats and lilies don’t mix. Finally, think about the plant’s prospective location and the lighting it provides. While some love light throughout the day, others quickly wither when faced with too much.

Ultimately, the must-have indoor plant you choose should complement your house and your lifestyle. When you find one with cleansing benefits, it’ll enhance your health too.

Benefits of buying or building in a new suburb

Looking to buy or build a home?

It’s worth considering making your next property move in a new suburb. Why? Let’s take a look at just a few of the benefits of buying or building in a new suburb.

Affordability

A high demand and limited supply in inner-city regions has driven government planners to find and develop new land in outer-city areas. These new developments come with one key benefit that all homeowners – whether it’s your first property or not – will love: a cheaper price tag.

This benefit rings especially true in Canberra, where the unique property market is still in growth-mode compared to the rest of Australia. Buying or building in a new suburb could help younger Australians meet their homeownership goals.

Modern homes for modern lifestyles

New suburbs mean new homes, and new homes come with all the bells, whistles, and innovations most of us have come to expect in a property.

Older homes can have costly and potentially dangerous structural issues. New homes, on the other hand, are built with the modern lifestyle in mind. For example, many newer properties come with additional rooms like rumpus and theatre rooms.

Be involved in community development

A new suburb can take some time to develop a unique sense of character. And while that may detract buyers looking for personality and charm, it does come with its advantages.

One benefit is that you can be involved in community development. Although you might find yourself living in a construction site for the first few years, you may be able to have your voice heard in town planning discussions.

What’s more, living in a suburb from the moment of its inception can foster a true sense of home.

Open green spaces

Many new estates and suburbs incorporate open green spaces into their design. For those that value a sense of space and natural features, a new suburb may be particularly enticing.

Potential for long-term price growth

Buying or building in a new suburb could save you money in the short-term – and also make you money in the long term. You will, however, have to wait to earn the capital gains seen by homes in more established communities. Focus on the short- and medium-term savings, and the long-term price growth.

Assess your individual circumstances

Living in a new suburb certainly has its benefits, but it isn’t the best option for everyone. It’s critical to assess your individual needs first, before you make a big decision. Get in touch with the team at Achieve Homes today to find out more.