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For many, the great Australian dream is to own their own home. But achieving that dream shouldn't hold you back from realising even more financial goals.

Blogger: Paul Wilson,Educating Property Investors, We Find Houses and We Find Finance

Owning a home was also our parents' dream, yet today that dream can be realised much sooner than our parents ever did, providing youre prepared to grasp the opportunities available to achieve it.

I am noticing a generational trend where younger buyers are becoming investors before they become owner-occupiers, which I actually applaud. In other cases, mostly in the 35 50 age group, there is a more defined and traditional transition that takes place from homeowner to investor.

Unfortunately though, while many do achieve the homeowner dream sooner than their parents, most actually dont retire any better off they forget to reset their goals and fail to leverage/ tap into their true financial potential.

While real estate is considered a safe way to grow your wealth, save for retirement and generate another income stream, the transition from homeowner to investor is a big step.

This step is made a lot easier when the concept of good debt and bad debt is better understood.

For some, there is security in paying off their mortgage and becoming debt free, because the thought of any debt is scary!

But this is precisely where a change of mindset is needed, as there is a missed opportunity to leverage and utilise good debt to fast-track your wealth creation plan.

While there are many aspects that influence your ability to get started and what type of strategy you should start with, let's look at a few important ones.

Understanding your finances

If youre not market ready, experience tells me that regardless of your best intentions to become an investor, you just wont get started.

If you dont understand how much equity you have, what your borrowing capacity is, or what financial result you want to achieve, then how will you know what youre aiming for? And how will you be able to secure an opportunity ahead of the competition if one presents itself?

You also need to understand the difference between good and bad debt, and what impact each of these have on your everyday household cash flow.

You may be surprised when you discover just how beneficial some good debt can be.

Set clear goals

Affordability is not an investment strategy and neither is an unqualified opinion from someone recommending a certain investment.

Every property you purchase has to have a purpose, ie. what contribution will this property make towards reaching your financial goals? You need to be clear what this is before you commit.

You will also need to set tangible targets such as return on investment, cash flow and most importantly, plan your exit strategy.

Ensure that you balance the level of risk you are willing to take when developing your strategy.

Its important to think about investing on a business level, not an emotional level as emotions can often override sound investing principles.

You need to do your research, get a grasp of the market and fully understand your situation before diving in.

Get some help

Taking action and getting started can sometimes be tougher than it seems when juggling all the daily activities that compete for your attention.

For some, you might have already started but have lost your momentum. Aligning with a property investing expert, who can keep you focused and on track, will protect you from falling victim to procrastination.

If you feel like youre falling behind, lack time, knowledge, or confidence, and you know you could achieve so much more with someone on your side, you should enlist the help of a property expert.

A property expert is able to help you gain clarity around your financial capacity, your appetite for risk and which strategies are compatible in helping you reach your desired outcome.

After helping you become market ready, a property expert can also help with your understanding of different market conditions and find suitable properties that are matched to your strategy.

If you are able to secure the right properties, that provide you with additional income and capital growth, you will be well on your way to building a solid investment portfolio.

Read more:

Property prices to grow to "excessive" levels

ATO puts spotlight on holiday lets

Property affordability improves

What to look for at open for inspections

Building approvals bounce back

About the BloggerPaul Wilson Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson is an Independent Property Investing Expert who's been educating and coaching investors since 2001. Author of 7 Deadly Mistakes Property Investors Make and How to Avoid Them, he also manages,, and

Through his books and websites, Paul provides valuable, independent guidance and support by teaching strategies on how you can invest successfully, while protecting yourself from the common mistakes that trap many investors from reaching their full potential.

Paul doesnt promote cookie cutter strategies, instead he demonstrates how you can create wealth as a property investor regardless of your budget, location, strategy and risk profile.Paul makes his home on the Gold Coast and spends his leisure time enjoying adventures, surf and sun with his wife and five children. Protect and grow your portfolio with knowledge. Contact Paul today for a complimentary consultation:1800 690 890 and ask for Paul, or email [email protected]
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Dubai property prices fell by 12.2 percent during the past year, the largest drop in the world, according to real estate consultancy Knight Frank.

The decline in the twelve months through June was the biggest in 56 mainstream residential markets and larger than the 12 percent fall in real estate prices in Ukraine, which has been hit by almost two years of protests, a separatist insurgency, and political upheaval, Knight Frank said Tuesday in a report. Prices in Dubai fell 2.8 percent in the second quarter. Hong Kong was the best performing residential market, with prices up by 20.7 percent.

Over the past decade, Dubais property market has swung from boom to bust and back again. Price gains in the two years through 2014 recouped much of the losses incurred in a 2008 collapse that pushed the city to the brink of bankruptcy. Then, prices started falling again this year amid oils slump and weaker currencies in Russia and Europe. Regulators also introduced caps on the size of mortgages and doubled transaction fees to deter speculation.

Weaker demand, a strong U.S. dollar and ongoing cooling measures have dampened sales volumes in the mainstream sector, Knight Frank said.

The slump in Dubai real estate looks set to continue, according toa separate report released today by Cluttons. Villa prices will fall by a further 5 percent to 7 percent in the second half of the year, it said. Rental prices are also weak and are expected to drop another 1.5 percent to 2 percent in the second half, Cluttons said, although apartments continue to be viewed favorably by some investors.
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Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz is looking for residents to help scrutinize Eugenes newly re-established property tax waiver program for apartment and condo developments.

Under the citys Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) program, developers can apply for 10-year tax waivers, but they must meet conditions for their proposed developments to be considered.

The state-sanctioned program aims to encourage development of apartments and condominiums in designated areas, while having developers provide community benefits.

The council suspended accepting applications from developers in early 2013, after granting tax waivers for a couple of high-profile student apartment projects in and near downtown: the massive Capstone development, near 13th Avenue and Olive Street, and The Hub, a 12-story, recently completed building at East Broadway and Ferry Street.

In July, the City Council approved changes to the guidelines it will use in deciding whether to grant the waivers.

The changes include requirements that local contractors must be hired to work on projects; developments must meet energy efficiency and environmental building standards; and neighborhood representatives must serve on project review panels.

Student apartment complexes are no longer eligible for the tax waivers.

City officials now are accepting applications for technical members of the MUPTE review panel.

The panel will be comprised of six technical members, plus neighborhood representatives who are selected by neighborhood association boards, and by the neighborhood in which the proposed MUPTE project is located.

The panel will meet as needed to review MUPTE applications and previously approved projects compliance with approval conditions. Panel members will prepare annual reports on the progress of approved projects, and reporting documentation, plus conduct annual reviews of the programs effectiveness.

For technical members, the city is seeking people with expertise in architecture and environmentally friendly buildings, a building trades union representative, a developer, an environmental professional, a public health professional, and a human rights representative.

Applicants for the building trades union seat must be a union member or have a written recommendation from a building trades union. Applicants for the human rights representative seat must be a member of a human rights organization or have a written recommendation from a human rights organization.

Member terms will be for either three or four year periods, with chances for renewal.

Sept. 21 is the deadline for people interested in serving as technical members of the committee to apply for appointment.

Interested persons must submit a letter of interest and provide evidence of technical expertise.

Letters of interest or questions should be directed to Amanda Nobel Flannery at [email protected], or 99 West 10th Avenue, Eugene, OR. 97401.
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Apartment prices surged around New Yorks High Line in the years after it opened and experts expect the same for high-rise buildingsnearSydneys Goods Line.

The former rail corridor turned walkway is expected to become a tourist attractionwith the potential to benefitSydney in the same way asNew Yorks High Line.

The new space includes study pods, play equipment and furniture with charging facilities built in.The new space includes study pods, play equipment and furniture with charging facilities built in. Photo:Peter Rae

TheNew York City Economic Development Corporation says prices in the Meatpackers District were 8 per cent less than the Manhattan median price before the High Lines opening in 2009. But in the years following, they were valued higher than Manhattans median.

The area has been rezonedand developers have built more than1370 new apartments.

New York is a taller city and we need to duplicate a bit of this development.Chris Johnson, Urban Taskforce

Chris Johnson, chief executive of developer lobby group Urban Taskforce, is also predicting a building boom around the Goods Line, calling it an initiator for Sydney.

People walk the New York High Line, an elevated park along 10th Avenue.People walk the New York High Line, an elevated park along 10th Avenue. Photo:iStock

The success of the High Line is something that can be duplicated in Sydney it needs to energise a series of new buildings around the line, if it doesnt then it isnt doingits job, he said.

New York is a taller city and we need to duplicate a bit of this development, Mr Johnson said.

We need to look at the zoning [around the Goods Line] and consider greater heights and densities.

Part of this will be a revival in development opportunities with upper-level cafes, apartments and office space, whichcould cause residentialprices to rocket, saidMylesdu Chateau,director of inner-city real estate agencyRichardsElliot.

It will directly affect property prices because of convenience and access to other parts of the city and because it will make it more desirable,like with New York, Mr du Chateausaid.

Apartments nearBunnStreet and Pyrmont Street in Ultimo wouldbenefit, he said, though it would be hard to put a price tag on.

But young professionals, who formerly lookednearer to Darling Harbour, might be attracted toUltimo bythe changes, said Ken Sharpe, principal ofCentury 21 City Quarter Sydney.

The Darling Harbour, Darling Square precinct hasbeen very big with investors and a walkway connecting it to Ultimo will be a substantial change, he said.

He saida slow demographic and cultural shift in the entire precinct is expected, with more interest from families and young couples, rather than predominantly students.

It will have a very positive effect on prices as a result, Mr Sharpe said.

If acrowd of professionals do turn to Ultimo, it could furtherattract developers, keen to tap into an already-strongappetite for a local property.

In February, the state government announced intentions to sell the site of thePowerhouse Museumto be turned into apartments. Thisprime block of inner-city real estateisexpected to achieve up to$200 million and is located at the end of the Goods Line.

Yet some developers are ahead of the curve andalready using the new innovation to attract buyers Haymarket developmentThe Quays marketing material mentionedthe Goods Line as an attractive local feature.

Giorgio Koula, associate director at SydneySothebysInternational Realty, solda two-bedroom apartment in the development for $1.89 millionand said theres no signs of interest slowing down, particularly from international buyers.

The new Goods Linecould make the area even more globally recognised as a destination, he said.

You can walk to Pyrmont, to Darling Harbour and back to the CBD, Ultimo is very well connected, Mr Koulasaid.

Demand is expected from local families, creatives, local visitors, and students, all of whom would benefit from the landscape architect-designed creation, saidAustralian Institute of Landscape Architectchief executiveShahana McKenzie.

The area is one of the highest density in Australia, so to have a dedicated open space is really going to have an effect, particularly as our cities aregrowing at such a rapid pace, Ms McKenzie said.

The density of the Ultimo areameans the development will improveliveability and desirability morethan it would if built in aless crowded location.

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Mandalay House is just 10 minutes from Hamilton Island airport and offers unrivalled luxury.Source: Supplied

A FLOOD of Chinese money is breathing new life into Queenslands premium property market as families set their sights on multimillion-dollar villas dotting island playgrounds up and down the Great Barrier Reef.

It comes as the owner of one of Australias most exclusive high-end mansions slashes its asking price by a cool $6 million to lure in potential buyers.

Property developer Neil Murray, the owner of Mandalay House, a 4200-square-metre Mediterranean-style mega-mansion located 11 kilometres from Airlie Beach, said overseas interest in the area was heating up.

Mr Murray has dropped his initial asking price of $25 million to a more realistic $19 million, saying the past year was about testing the water.

Weve had a lot of inquiries from overseas, but also a lot locally, he said of the property, found in Queenslands Whitsunday region. If this house was in Sydney it would be worth $35-$40 million.

How bout that view: Mandalay House.Source: Supplied

In the past few years, Chinese investors have piled into commercial real estate in the Whitsundays, and construction is under way on a $300 million Chinatown precinct at Airlie Beach, where a planned international upgrade to the airport is hoped to bring Chinese tourists from the mainland just seven hours away.

Last December, Shanghai-based China Capital Investment Group snapped up the Daydream Island Resort and Spa for a cool $30 million, down from its $100 million asking price seven years earlier.

An image of plans for the redevelopment of the Lindeman Island resort.Source: Supplied

Chinese cable TV giant White Horse, which bought Lindeman Island in 2012, revealed earlier this year its plans to redevelop the old Club Med into a $600 million resort.

And Nanjing-based businessman Ji Changquns Fullshare Group, having acquired the crumbling Laguna Quays resort along with Christopher Skases old Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas in 2011, is pushing ahead with plans to revamp the Whitsundays getaway.

Thats driving increased interest from Chinese-Australian residents and their families in properties like Mandalay House and Heavens Gate.

The heat is really coming back into the Whitsundays because of the Chinese investment, Mr Murray said. Hamilton Island just had its best year ever, all of the luxury resorts have been at 80 per cent occupancy all year, it has just been sensational.

The Chinese are now the biggest foreign acquirers of Queensland property, investing $463million in 2013-14, according to the Foreign Investment Review Board.

This could all be yours, for $19 million.Source: Supplied

Carol Carter from Gold Coast Sothebys International Realty said there was a lot more interest in the northern Queensland than there had been for quite some time.

Theres quite a Chinese community there now, she said. It started small but mushroomed very quickly. Theres a lot of international interest in property up there.

Many buyers are wealthy Chinese-Australians looking for a new family home base.

A lot of property-savvy buyers [see the growth potential] and are getting themselves into a secure position and buying now, Ms Carter said.

The Whitsundays is the playground for Australians and its becoming much more widely known overseas now.

Mr Murray said it was a shame to have to sell Mandalay House, which he famously built with an open chequebook, but that family circumstances meant it was time to relocate to the Sunshine Coast.

Mandalay House is a cut-price slice of paradise with room for a chopper.Source: Supplied

Its like a private resort. It needs a lovely family now to enjoy it like we did, he said.

The property is a one-of-a-kind, perched on a peninsula at the edge of a national park.

These houses with the folding glass doors, theyre great, but theyre going to date, Mr Murray said.

This house was built to last for 200 years or more. I put the colour in the render of the walls so you dont have to paint it. It will get better and better with age.

The six-bedroom, nine bathroom house, located at 383 Mandalay Rd, Whitsundays.

[email protected]
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