Buying property in Queensland

Buying property in Queensland

So you’ve found your dream property, now what?

Buying property in Queensland is a little different to the rest of the country, and I hope these steps below clear some common questions up for you.

After you have done all your market research and found the home loan that suits your needs it’s time to get ready to buy your perfect property.

Once you have found the property, you wish to purchase it’s time to make an offer. Now in Queensland, a sale is only legally binding once the contract of sale has been initialled and signed by both the buyer and the seller. Here is where you need to be prepared when buying a property up here.

Once you have talked to the selling agent about the property you are interested in purchasing, you will be asked to make an offer. Now, this depends on a few things, but you may be asked to either submit an expression of interest or an offer form or sign a full contract.

In Queensland, it is the agents that draw up the contracts, and they should have a blank copy ready for you to look over. It is always advisable to get a qualified Queensland lawyer to look over the contract before you sign it, but remember that until the contract is signed off by the seller you haven’t secured it yet, and another buyer can still purchase the property. If this is your first time buying in Queensland, you may want to get yourself familiar with the contracts that we use.

The standard contract-

Now here is where it gets formal and how a contract of sale in Queensland should be presented to you.

In accordance with the Property Occupations Act 2014 your attention is directed to the below pages

a)       Relevant Contract pages to be filled in and signed or initial and witnessed where stamped

b)       Body Corporate Disclosure Statement

c)       Form 23 Pool Safety Certificate

d)       Electronic consent form

Once you have been given all the relevant information in the contract make sure you read over it and understand what you are signing. Your lawyer will be able to answer any questions you may have and advise you on any conditions and clauses you may wish to have inserted.

If you are buying at auction, there is no cooling off period. When you register to bid, full auction conditions of sale should be available for you to read over.

Please note that the information above is only written as a helpful guide. You should always contact a qualified lawyer for any legal advice, as they will be able to tell you information that suits your specific needs and situation. I only write this information to help people clear up some common questions about buying property in Queensland. It does not take into account your needs and goals in property, so the advice contained above should only be taken as a general guide.

To find the best professionals to make the whole process easy go to the professionals I recommend page for more details


For more buying tips and information on the property market, please subscribe and follow me on the below websites and if you liked this post, please share around.




Until next time as always, do your research before putting pen to paper.


Happy investing and have fun.

Penski 🙂



Buying At Auction- The Penski Way


Buying at Auction- The Penski tips

For some people purchasing a property at auction can be a daunting experience. The following information is designed to clear up the auction process so that you can proceed with confidence. Most people I come across, don’t like auctions. The reason for this I think is because the process is not explained clearly.

Buying property whether it is your first purchase or you are a seasoned investor is still a stressful process. It takes the time to research the market, so you know that you are fully informed. When considering buying a property at auction usually the buying conditions are not on your side, but at least you know that you have purchased the property for the actual market value.

During an auction, bids for the property are called for on a given day and time, and you can see what other buyers are offering. This takes out the often hidden process of not knowing what the other party is offering, especially in a multiple offer situation and missing out without fully knowing what was going on.

If you are interested in buying an auction property, or any other property with the market turning, don’t play the ‘I’m not interested card’ unless you don’t mind missing out altogether on the property. In this market properties that may be going to auction in a few weeks or even days, are being sold before the auction. My advice is if you are interested in a property to make it known to the agent or if you still don’t want to do that, get a friend to make enquiries and get them tell the agent that they are interested in the property.

Frequently asked questions about buying at auction

Q1. Do I have to have the cash to bid?

Yes. To bid at an auction you need to have pre-approved finance so that you can bid with no conditions of sale (You can always try to get conditions approved before the auction, but this can affect the purchase price). A 10% deposit of the purchase price is required for an auction (again this can be less but has to be approved by the seller before the auction). Make sure you find an excellent finance broker who knows the area you are buying in, they will help you have your finance in order before the auction.

Q2. How long of a settlement?

Usually, auctions are 30-day settlements from the date of the auction. However, it is often possible to extend the settlement date, talk to the selling agent before the auction.

Q3. How do I find out how much the property is worth?

The more property you inspect in the area, the better you will become at determining approximate values. If you need help, ask the agents selling in the area for guidance. They will be able to show you similar properties and what they have sold for. You can always pay for a registered valuation, or check out real estate websites that list the properties and the prices they have sold for. The best things to do is your research and find an agent that you can trust, go to a few auctions and see what happens. Hire a buyers agent as they are worth every dollar as they will save you money and time when it comes to purchasing your property.

Q4. Can I make an offer before the auction day?

Yes, you can always make an offer before an auction, some owners may consider selling before auction day, some may not. It is a good idea to make an offer so that the agent knows you are interested and will keep you informed of any developments with the property.

Q5. What is a seller or vendor bid?

The conditions of sale state the seller has the right to bid for themselves in the form of a vendor bid. This can be compared to a counteroffer during private negotiations. This bid may be used by the auctioneer to start the auction or bid during the auction to build bidding momentum. The auctioneer will disclose all vendor bids by saying “My Bid” or “Vendor Bid” and will only bid below the reserve price. Make sure you stand at the back of the auction and also walk around so you see who else is bidding and when.

Q6. Can I buy the property if I’m not there?

Yes, there are many ways which you can bid if you cannot attend. This is where having a buyers agent working for you is best, as they can bid using strategies that they know will get you the property for the best price. The selling agency can bid for you by telephone providing you have written authorisation for them to do so. You can also have a friend or relative bid on your behalf make sure you contact the agent before the auction day to arrange this.

Bidding and Buying at Auction-

I trust that you will find the following information useful and helpful in securing your next auction purchase.


Am I able to bid on the terms and conditions advertised?

Do I need to request a variation of these terms? E.g. settlement or deposit

Have I made enough enquiries about recent sales?

Have I provided the relevant forms and identification to enable me to bid at auction?

Penskis Bidding Tips

Arrive on time, unflustered and composed, pick your favourite bidding number for good luck. Set your bidding limit by writing it down before the auction.

When setting your limits, you should have 5 levels in place.

What price would I love to pay for the property?

If I could secure the property for this price, it would be an excellent buy.

My regret price – at what price would I regret not paying more, and you wish you had offered more?

If I had to, I would pay $…….., that is my “okay price”

My walk away price – No! I don’t want it at this price.

Remember at an auction there may be a limited number of people in your position to bid. Some people may wish to purchase the property but may have limitations such as requiring a sale of their current property, which may prevent them from bidding at auction.

Another point to consider is that the seller will be more negotiable when they are selling under auction conditions as it gives them the certainty of achieving a sale. So you can bid in confidence knowing that you are in a superior position to the other conditional buyers waiting in the wings.Review your strategy on how you will bid on the day, remember that the majority of buyers do not plan this well and start to consider this at the auction.

Your best position is to have a plan and to have the confidence to act quickly. By preparing before the auction you will be in a more controlled position than others, you will be non-emotional, structured and have complete dominance of the auction.

QUIT! When the property reaches your limit!

Good luck!

For more buying tips and information on the property market, please subscribe and follow me on the below websites and if you liked this post, please share around.



Until next time as always, do your research before putting pen to paper.

Happy investing and have fun.

Penski 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, I would love to hear about your experiences with bidding and buying at auction.

Does Size and Height Really Matter?



Buying apartments the good, the bad and a few things to think about.


The research you need to do when buying an apartment is different from buying a house so here we go. I’ve broken them down into sections that I feel buyers either ask me most or get the most misinformation about, so I hope this clears some questions up and as always if you do have any questions more than happy to help.

Over the years, I have noticed the ever-increasing demand for high-rise apartment living. The Australian dream of owning the large house with the garden is changing more to the apartment either in a high-rise building or small unit complex. I think this is mainly due to the way we are living our lives now.

Younger people are getting married and starting a family later in life and are moving out of the family home to live alone first, so why have a big house to look after when it is only you. Retirees are selling the family home when the families have all moved out and choosing apartment living as they do not need so much space. Having lived in the heart of Surfers Paradise for over 10 years now and in many different complexes, I have found that doing your homework before purchasing can save you many a heart and headache.

So here are a few tips from me when it comes to buying apartments, either as a lifestyle or investment purchase.

Does height really matter?

When it comes to buying an apartment in a high-rise what is the best to buy? It is a question that buyers ask me all the time, and it does make a difference depending on what you are buying the unit for? If you are living in the apartment and it is your new home, then buy what suits you best, as for resale value high floor doesn’t always get more than lower floor as not everyone likes heights.

Just how high should you go?

Surprising, as it seems for returns alone height doesn’t matter as much as you would think. Some people don’t like heights so will request a lower floor apartment when they come on holidays.  In some buildings your body corporate will be more the higher the floor you are on, so even if your rental returns are better on a higher floor, after the higher purchase price and holding costs, your returns may be just the same as that unit on the ground floor looking at a brick wall.

Always remember investments are just that an investment that you want to make money from and get a return so takes your emotion out of it. If you are buying a holiday home that you are going to use then make sure it does suit you for when you are going to use it, and the returns are enough to justify the purchase.

Does size really matter?

This relates not only to how many bedrooms should you buy but also to how spacious the unit is. When I first start talking to many buyers, they all want to buy a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment for no other reason than it’s got to be a better resale opportunity. I have always questioned this as you can lose many future buyers, as it may just be out of their price range. Also, the holding costs for these units is generally higher than maybe a 1 bedroom plus study with a door that can be rented out as a 2 bedroom. Yes, it only has one bathroom, but as an investment when you crunch the numbers they can stack up significantly more in favour than the other.

So buy what suits your budget and for what you are looking for and don’t overlook a 1 bedroom or even a 3 bedroom unit if it suits your budget and the returns are there go and have a look at that as well.

For more buying tips and information on the property market, please subscribe and follow me on the below websites and if you liked this post, please share around.




Until next time as always, do your research before putting pen to paper.


Happy investing and have fun.

Penski 🙂


Thank you for taking the time to read this post, I would love to hear about your experiences when you have bought an apartment contact me below.


The Ongoing Costs To Owning Real Estate


The ongoing costs of owning real estate

When you decide to buy a property whether it is for you to live in or as an investment, you need to remember that there are more costs involved than just the initial deposit and solicitors fees.

Owning any real estate is a substantial financial commitment, so you need to know exactly what those costs are going to be so you can prepare for them. Most people often overlook some of the extra costs that are associated with owning property, and this can affect your overall return.

The below lists some of the costs that go with owning real estate and I hope this helps you with your purchasing decision.

The Mortgage Payments

Finding the loan that suits you best, is one way to make sure that one you won’t be paying high fees. Many mortgages have costs hidden inside them, so don’t just go for the cheapest interest rate. Make sure you shop around and get all the included fees explained and pointed out to you. Also, you can always negotiate the deal the bank offers you, as in many cases, they will remove some of the fees.

Government fees and charges

Once you buy your property there are government charges to pay, stamp duty is once off payment when you buy your property, and the amount that is charged is different in each state. It is always best to check these prices out before you purchase, so you know how much you will have to pay.

Then there are the local council charges of rates and water; they may be in separate bills as well. Make sure you have factored in both of these costs, in some areas they can be high. Keep this in mind; also they may have different fees depending on if you are living in the property or if you use the property as an investment.


Somehow a property seems to know when it has a new owner, it is just one of those things that happen and something major will break down after you take possession of the property. Keep at least a couple of months expenses in the bank so you can afford to repair these items. You may also want to upgrade some of the fixtures when you own the property. Always have more than you budgeted for as they rarely ever cost less than you are expecting them.


Make sure you always have insurance on your property, if you have it as an investment get the best cover to make sure that any loss of returns and tenant damage is covered. It makes it a lot easier when you know that you are covered for any incidents that may happen.

Body Corporate

If you are buying an apartment or into a complex that has a body corporate, make sure you do your research into the fees. The amount you have to pay may increase over time, and if you are on a fixed income, then this may affect what you can afford later on. Most body corporates also have a discount on the fees if you pay before the due date, this can help with keeping your expenses down.

Pools, gardens and the property

If you are buying a freestanding home, then you will have to look after these yourself, and if you are renting out the property, I suggest maintaining these items yourself. If you leave it up to the tenant, they may not look after it very well, and when they leave, you may find that things are broken and that the repair costs exceed the bond held on the property. I find it is best to add-on a little bit more to the weekly rent and look after these items yourself.


If you don’t watch your electricity, gas and sometimes hot water, these bills can add up dramatically. This may leave you short when they come due, so make sure you see a copy of the old owner’s bills before settlement. This way you know what the costs are and based on your usage you can budget for them.

For more buying tips and information on the property market, please subscribe and follow me on the below websites and if you liked this post, please share around.



Until next time as always, do your research before putting pen to paper.

Happy investing and have fun.

Penski 🙂


Thank you for taking the time to read this post, I would love to hear about your experiences with the ongoing costs of owning property and any lessons and tricks that you have learnt.


Management Fees and What Do They Cover Exactly.


Management Fees and What Do They Cover Exactly.  

Like body corporate this is another component of buying units, that becomes a sticking point with most people. The fees do seem very high when you don’t understand exactly where your gross income is going. So usually you have 3 options with letting out your investment property. You can either rent it out yourself, permanently rent it out or have it in the holiday letting pool. Now, depending on what you want your unit for, all have their good and bad points.   

Self-managing your investment property, why pay someone when I can do it?   

If all your answer is to this is to save on paying all those fees, then I would warn you against it. Now if you have the time, are hands-on, have done this before and are familiar with all the laws. Self-managing will work for you and money in your pocket is better than someone else. If you don’t know the first thing about property management, are time poor and really don’t want to get involved with the property, get someone to look after it for you. I’ve done property management and also on-site holiday letting and let me tell you it’s not easy. A great deal of time is taken up finding tenants, making sure tenants and guests are happy and when things break down, trying to organize tradesmen, tenants and informing the owners, takes a lot of time and energy.   

Property management requires someone to:

Find and choose suitable tenants also thoroughly screening them.

Keeping up to date with all tenancy laws, these are constantly changing and something you have to stay on top of.

Maintain the property and organise repairs when needed, including the handling of tenant complaints.

Find suitable daytime and after hours tradespeople eg. plumber, electrician.

Conduct regular property inspections and complete condition report on entry, exit and at inspections.

Handle all monetary transactions including rent payments and receipt and lodgement of rental bonds.

Be able to deal with problematic and malicious tenants and those who pay late or refuse to pay.

Review and renegotiate rental amounts.

Produce rental receipts for monies paid.

So as you can see, a lot does go into property management.

I will stress if you don’t have the time or don’t think that you will keep on top of this, hire a property manager. Your insurance will be more without one as well.   

Permanent rental the good and the bad-   

If you are bad at budgeting, like the security of knowing how much is money is going to come in and are not going to want to utilize the unit yourself, this option is for you. While the overall return may be less than holiday letting, also you will not be able to use the apartment when you want to for holidays. If this option sounds like it would befit you, then I would advise having it unfurnished and start your 12 months leases out at around the summer time. There are a few reasons for this, one is once tenants move all their furniture into a unit they are more likely to stay. Unless something, like they have to move towns or the property really, does not their needs.

The other reason is that in the middle of winter, there are more apartments to rent, this is due to split letting options. This is where you will have a tenant in place for 6 or so months and then have the property in the holiday pool over the busy months. This option will suit you if you are wanting to use the property yourself sometimes. While split-letting options do bring your return down, having the option to use the property a few weeks here and there is a great.   

Holiday letting the good and the bad-   

One thing that turns people off holiday letting is the fees involved. They do seem very high when you look at around 40-50% of the gross income the property will receive goes on running costs. Now when you break it down to what that covers you can see how much is done.  

Services include-

Linen hire and cleaning

Cleaning of the property each time someone checks out

Advertising on all the top websites for holidays

Small maintenance fixes

Pest control

Phone and TV services

Credit card fees

Management fees for looking after the apartment

Letting fees for each time someone uses the apartment   

Usually, your returns are better in the holiday pool than any other option and you can utilize the apartment yourself. The downside is that some weeks you will receive the best return ever and then others hardly anything. Some managers will offer a guaranteed return, which works out less than what you would make in the holiday pool. You know what you will get each week and the option to use the property for a couple of weeks during the year. The only drawback is that you can’t pick when you want to use the property and that when the returns are really good you won’t make any extra money.

The fees explained a little more.  

Property management fees for rentals are split into two main categories: management fees and letting fees. Management fees generally cover things like regular maintenance, routine checks and printing and mailing of statements to tenants. Letting fees cover the costs of finding tenants for your property, including advertising and conducting prospective tenants through your property. The fees are around 5 to 8 percent for permanent and 10-13% for holiday letting, of the gross rental collected.   

The actual fee, you pay can depend on a number of factors including your location and how many properties are being managed on your behalf. Some property management companies charge additional fees for conducting inspections, completing reports, mailing statements, placing advertisements etc. This usually happens when either the management or letting fee percentage is a bit lower.   

Always find out how much you are going to get charged for ALL services as a low fee may be hidden with many additional fees that will be added on. A property manager may also organize to pay on your behalf for a small fee: your council and water rates, body corporate and insurance fees. This can be beneficial if you are not the best with paying bills on time and keeping track of your bills. This will be added to your end of year statements from your manager, so it makes it easy for you.   

In the end buy what suits you now, make sure you check over the buildings CMS (community management scheme) to make sure you have the option of either holiday letting, permanent or living in there yourself one day. Some buildings don’t allow holiday letting, you can get around this, but usually, it’s something that I would avoid buying it if you want to holiday let. There are buildings that are zoned only for short-term letting of 90 days or less at a time, so make sure you don’t buy into one of these if your end goal is to one day live in the property.   

My advice is to make sure you check all the buildings body corporate rules before making a decision on the unit. I do hope this helps with some of the questions that you may have if you do have any questions or comments feel free to send them to me.

For more buying tips and information on the property market, please subscribe and follow me on the below websites and if you liked this post, please share around.



Until next time as always, do your research before putting pen to paper.

Happy investing and have fun.

Penski 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, I would love to hear about your experiences with your property managers contact me below.

Getting The Best Returns Out Of Your Property.


Getting The Best Returns Out Of Your Property.

As they say first impressions last and when a prospective tenant, inspects your property you want them to feel like this will be their new home. There are small but practical things you can do to your property, to make sure that vacancy rates stay as low as possible for you. You then have a better chance of having that perfect tenant, that will remain for many years.  

Clean the property before showings-  

Make sure that the place has had a good clean before any new tenants inspect the property. Any broken or damaged appliances are fixed or replaced, as this fact alone could be the reason they choose a different property over yours.  

A fresh coat of paint-  

Can make all the difference to a property, it is also one of the most cost-effective ways to take years off the property. Each time you have a tenant move out of your property, you should at least give it a patch paint. Then every 3-5 years, depending on the usage and damage, give it a full coat of paint.  

Keep the flooring simple-  

Torn and stained carpet or cracked tiles, while may seem like a small thing, can annoy tenants, most people renting do consider the property their home. So when they can see damage around, it makes the property less appealing to them. Make sure you buy durable and long-lasting flooring. While it may cost more initially, it will last much longer and your tenants will be happier. 

Blinds and curtains-  

They can date and wear out quickly if not well-kept and cleaned regularly, try to avoid light colours as they will get stained easier. Make sure that at the start of the tenancy that they are all clean and in working order. Also, invest in, block out blinds in the bedrooms, tenants will leave a property that they love because they couldn’t get a good night’s sleep.  

Lights, lots of lights-  

It can be depressing walking into some properties when they don’t have sufficient lights making the property bright. Make sure that all bulbs are in working order from the start and tenants will be able to see the property in a better light.

Power points are another thing, to make sure that there are plenty in each room. With technology becoming ever-increasing, there can now never be too many power points around the place.  

While spending money may be hard at the start, you will see the benefits with higher rents. Tenants will also stay in the property longer, meaning fewer fees in re-marketing the property and tenancy applications.  

For more buying tips and information on the property market, please subscribe and follow me on the below websites and if you liked this post, please share around.



Until next time as always, do your research before putting pen to paper.

Happy investing and have fun.

Penski 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, I would love to hear about your experiences with getting the best returns out of your property.

The Joys and Pains Of Body Corporate.



The joys and pains of Body Corporate.

This is a topic that I would spend most of my time explaining to people, and if you have ever looked at buying an apartment especially in Surfers Paradise, then you will know we have some of the highest body corporate fees around. They can range from $100-$220 a week for a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment in a high-rise building.

Expect the fees: you just can’t have that many apartments and residents, living in one place without sharing the costs associated with running a complex. Make sure that the costs are justified in the body corporate and that there is sufficient money in the sinking fund. This will cover any upcoming major repairs or upgrades needed for the complex. In newer buildings you will find that the body corporate does seem to be higher than in some of the older buildings, there is a reason for this as I will explain later

Body corporate fees cover a range of services including the maintenance of the complex, gardens, pools, lifts, on-site managers, electricity for the common areas and any other amenities that the complex has to offer. The more amenities the complex has, the higher the cost will be. While the cost will be more, your lifestyle or that of your tenants will be better. This will increase your rental returns and also the future value of your property.

Compared to other forms of property ownership, your body corporate is easy to budget for, as it covers building insurance and all exterior maintenance. All you only have to look after really is anything internal of the property.

How to work out how much the body corporate is?

This can be tricky as most agents will leave out as much information as they can. Here in Queensland, our body corporate is broken up into parts, administration and insurance are sometimes together, but can be separated and the sinking fund contributions. You will receive a bill every 3-4 months with the total amount due; some buildings have a discount from 10-20% if paid before a date, most agents will quote this to you as the corporate body fee.

Another thing to make sure that the price you are thinking is the whole amount and includes all of these parts, as you may be in for more than you bargained for otherwise. The administration fund is to cover the day-to-day running of the building. Building insurance is to cover the building for any insurance claims. Lastly, the sinking fund is there to cover upgrades and refurbishment of the building.

Special levies what are they?

From what I have noticed body corporate in the newer buildings, does seem to be run differently from the older buildings. Usually, you will find that they have more than enough money in them, to make sure they have the funds to keep the building looking and running smoothly. Older buildings that haven’t had any work done or only minor items fixed can sting you with a special levy. This means that the sinking fund for the building does not have sufficient funds in place to fix what needs to be done.

The way the body corporate raises funds to fix these things is by charging the owners in the complex a special fee to make sure that these issues are fixed. You may be in for a shock if you don’t make sure that you check if these items are coming up. They can range from as little as $5,000 up to and exceed $25,000. The work that the body corporate may be wanting to do may not all be covered by the body corporate. Some windows and doors are a tricky issue and one that I suggest you do your research into before buying.

Once you have found that perfect apartment for you, the best way to find out about the building is to go and talk to the building managers. Just a tip if you are wanting to get information out of building managers, mention that you are thinking of renting the unit out with them, you will find that they will be more helpful.

In Queensland, before you sign a contract of sale, a body corporate disclosure statement must be included. In this is the costs of the fees, the amount in the sinking fund and where the money has been spent for the body corporate. It pays to get your solicitor to look at the corporate body statement and also the last minutes of the body corporate. They will make you aware of anything that you should know about the complex if there is anything.

For more buying tips and information on the property market, please subscribe and follow me on the below websites and if you liked this post, please share around.



Until next time as always, do your research before putting pen to paper.

Happy investing and have fun.

Penski 🙂


Thank you for taking the time to read this post, I would love to hear about your experiences with your body corporate.

Buying New Versus Old and The Pros and Cons of Each Especially Buying Off the Plan.


Buying new versus what old and the pros and cons of each especially buying off the plan.

Now where to start with this topic, as I find it is one the most disputed areas of buying an apartment there has to be. For some, it’s a no go where others will only buy off the plan. I will admit if it is something you are going to live in, then nothing beats walking into a property that no one else has ever lived in before.

Be warned that developers now can and do rent the properties out. So unless you buy before the property is constructed, your new apartment may already have lost some of its brand new shine. This is where buying a second-hand property in the same complex may end up being cheaper, especially if the seller has no choice to sell.   

Now if you are buying off the plan and it is your first time there is a whole new set of rules that you must know about, it is entirely different from buying an established property. Purchasing a property off-the-plan means entering into a contract to purchase a property before or during its construction. Unlike finished second ownership properties, you will not be able to inspect the final property until all building has been finished.   

Is what you see on paper what you will end up with.  

Get everything confirmed in writing on the contract before you sign a thing, I am saying this, especially if construction has not even been started. I meet people all the time who loved the display unit thought they were getting the same finish in their unit only to find that they didn’t even end up with window coverings.

So all I am saying is get all the added extras you want in writing first. Another note is to also make sure that the building plans, dimensions, and layouts are fixed and will not change unless signed off on by you.   

Another thing to consider, especially if buying off the plan before construction has started is what view are you going to have once it is built. I would never recommend buying off the plan if you have not at least looked at the development site and had the agent at least point out to you where your unit will sort of be located.

Make sure that the floor plan is desirable for the living and that unless it’s cheap your view will not look straight into a brick wall of another building. Ideally, you don’t want the bedrooms backing onto the balcony of the unit next door and hallways are great for your noise reduction out to your neighbours, you don’t want everyone knowing your business.  

You should receive a full building specification and also one of your unit. The plans should show the full dimensions of all rooms including bathrooms, laundry, kitchen and bedrooms. Make sure that the doors, windows, tiling and cabinet layouts, and dimensions are to scale and clearly defined.   

The price issue.  

This is tricky, especially coming off a booming market into the downfall that has been the last few years. Here we have seen prices drop by nearly 50% on new projects since people went to contract and some people ruined because the banks, didn’t value the property at the original contract price.

This then makes it very hard for me to recommend buying off the plan right now, but the market is changing. Some people have made small fortunes off buying off the plan. If that is what you are looking at doing, then research into the market cycle and the timing would be your best indicators for when to purchase.

Also always check the clauses of the contract, as when the market is going up the developer may try to make you pay more for your apartment. Their reason will be because the property values more and their construction costs were higher. Developers have many clauses to cover themselves, so make sure you read the fine print of the contract before you sign.

Once the building is constructed the first body corporate meeting.   

This is the most important body corporate meeting I will say ever. It is when all the little items and added extras that owners want gets approved (well mostly).

I highly recommend turning up for this meeting if you can or at least have someone there on your behalf. Ever wondered how some apartments seem to have extras, that no one else has or can be allowed mostly it is because of this initial meeting.  

The costs involved and also the tax advantages   

Find out how much the body corporate, rates, water, and other fees are going to be before you sign anything. Don’t go by approximates always get the facts. The body corporate will not be set until the building is finished and on new buildings, usually for the first few years it is below average.

Also, make sure that the property you are buying can be used for either yourself to live in or that you have the option of holiday or permanent letting. Some buildings also are strict on the type of property manager, you can have, so please make sure you check these options over. It might seem like nothing now, especially if you are looking to move in but for resale value and quickness, it matters.

The tax advantages a very high for brand new properties currently in Australia, so get a great accountant and listen to them as really that is what they get paid to do for you.

Who is the builder and are they going to be around to finish the job?   


Ok, so up until a few years ago I would not have brought this up as a point to think about, but knowing it happened with a very big development here I thought it best to. This building isn’t as good as it would have been had the original developer finished the building. While this is something that usually doesn’t happen, it can and is not something you can control.

This can make a huge difference in the final quality and reputation of a building, I say this more as just something to be aware of. As to finding out about the builder, it’s great to also visit some of their other development sites and even try to talk to some of the current owners living in them.

Look at the other completed properties for the quality of the building finishes. What you see at their past projects, can be what you can expect to see at your new property.   

How long will you have to wait for the finished product?  

Another thing to think about is how long is it going to be before your new property is liveable and ready for you to start using. Some new developments can take years before they are finished so this is something to think about, but there again it can be a great thing, especially as all you need is the 10% deposit and can have years even to get the finance to pay for the rest.   

A few final points.   

Make sure that the information supplied to you regarding capital growth, rental incomes and expected holding costs for the property is current. Cross check all this information with your own independent research, to make sure that the property will work for you.

Still, make sure you carry out your fair share of due diligence on the building complex and also the developer to ensure you are getting exactly what you pay for.   

For more buying tips and information on the property market, please subscribe and follow me on the below websites and if you liked this post, please share around.




Until next time as always, do your research before putting pen to paper.

Happy investing and have fun.

Penski 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, I would love to hear about your experiences with buying off the plan compared to purchasing a second-hand property.

5 Signs You Are Ready To Purchase Your First Home 


5 signs you are ready to purchase your first home

So you have been skimming through the real estate section of the paper, scrolling through the internet sites and whenever you seem to walk through an agency’s window, you stop and look. This has been going on for a while, but now you feel like you are ready to purchase a property finally.

How can you be sure, that now is a perfect time?

Buying your first property is one of the most important purchases to get right for your needs and circumstances. It may suit you to purchase an investment first instead of somewhere to live if you are uncertain of where you are going to be working or are happy living at home.

Even renting in the location that you want to live in, can work out better if the returns stack up for you to buy an investment property somewhere else.

Your first purchase does all depend on what you truly want to achieve, gone are the days that buying a house and starting a family was the norm. Now with people working longer and starting a family later in life if at all, it may suit you better to buy two cheaper properties and rent them out as investments than purchasing the dream property now.

Don’t rush into anything and not get forced into buying anything by anyone else a house, apartment or even land.  If you don’t believe it is going to suit you and what you want to achieve in life then just don’t do it. Most people will tell you to buy such and such because that is what they have always done. If your circumstances are not the same as them, then that may just not work out best for you.

1 You have the money sorted.

One thing I would always recommend before you seriously start looking at buying a property is to make sure you know the budget that you want to stay in and can afford. There is no point finding that dream property and then realising, that it is just not feasible to own for you right now.

Shop around for the best interest rates and find a broker that you like and trust. Remember the smaller lending institutions don’t pay the largest referrals to brokers, so make sure you put some effort into finding the right loan for you.
It could end up saving you $1,000’s in the end, and that is money, that you can put towards paying off the loan quicker or saving for your next property purchase.

2 You know the location you want to buy in.

Finding a location that suits your needs and budget can be tricky, also don’t discount the suburbs either side of your desired position as you might just see the right property for you there. Buying a property interstate or not anywhere around you may be a better option, if you wanted a holiday home or if it is a location that you would like to one day live. Most people buy an investment property in the same suburb they live, more to the fact that they want to be able to keep an eye on their investment. Now, unless you plan on managing the property yourself, don’t be afraid to at least look at other places to invest.

3 You are familiar with the buying process, in the state you are looking to purchase in.

Until Australia has the same process for buying real estate in each state, which may be a while off if ever, they all have their procedures and laws that are continually changing. I recommend that once you know where you would like to buy, have a look at the contracts of sale and find a great lawyer to help you with your purchase.

This will make the whole process much less stressful for you also it will make you be able to act quickly, once you find the right property. There is nothing worse than if you see the right property at the perfect price, only to have another buyer get it first just because you were not in a position to sign the contract there and then.

4 You have researched the market.

Going to open homes, auctions and talking to agents is a must if you want to know the market. Real estate is always changing, and prices of properties is a hard one to get right unless you spend the time learning it yourself or engaging an agent to work on your behalf. You also can’t just go on the information you find online, as all the facts and circumstances on those properties may not be there. That sale a few months ago that seems so much cheaper than the rest, may have had issues with the property, could have been a transfer of title or many things. Unless you find out exactly what the circumstances are then you are not fully informed and this could make the decision to purchase, harder than it needs to be.

5 The time is right for you

Owning a property at any time in your life is a huge commitment and not one that you should consider lightly. There is still the massive debate between owning versus renting and it does come down to, what will suit you best at the current time. If you travel for work, looking at changing careers, or even starting a family, then buying a property will have to weigh up against these things. Renting a property in a more desirable location, while purchasing an investment property somewhere else may be an option.

Once again I will say don’t ever just get into the real estate market because everyone else is buying and telling you to as well. The dream of owning the family home is changing; it doesn’t have to be a huge house, especially if you don’t plan on having a family, for a while if ever. Why buy one large home, when you could buy a couple of smaller places earning you money right from the start.

For more buying tips and information on the property market, please subscribe and follow me on the below websites and if you liked this post, please share around.



Until next time as always, do your research before putting pen to paper.

Happy investing and have fun.

Penski 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, I would love to hear about your experiences with buying your last property.