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Should I Rent or should I Buy?

There has always been and will always be a lot debate about this question with some investment analysts suggesting that financially we would all be better off renting the house we live in and buying investment properties to offset against our taxable income. A lot of them say that owning the home your living in is a liability. Sounds good in theory but does this work in the real world or even in our area here on the downs. I don’t think it does.

These “investment gurus” fail to factor into equations the human ability to procrastinate. You see most of us intend to save, intend to buy, intend to get ahead, but sometimes life gets in the way and nothing ever actually happens. This is extremely dangerous if you aren’t locked into paying off that home loan. And let’s face it, without a roof over your head you are in trouble when you get older. This is particularly true in our area where rents are higher than repayments in a lot of cases. My father told me once that buying a home and making repayments to the bank was “Compulsory Saving.” It wasn’t until I sold that house 9 years later that I realised what this meant. Dad – YOU WERE RIGHT!

I have had many conversations with buyers over the years about how much interest they will pay to the bank over the life of the loan which scares the hell out them and sadly some of these are still renting a house rather than buying. In the past 12 months the average house has risen by $30/wk in rent, that’s $1,560/year. Oddly this doesn’t seem to scare the renter as much as if interest rates go up 0.25%.

So, should you rent or buy. Well I’m totally bias on this one. A definite yes from me to buying, especially in our area where rents are On the up.

Should I Renovate to Sell?

Quite often we talk with people looking to sell their home and have discussions about what sort of price they can achieve in the current market. People are not greedy as a rule they just want to get the most money they possibly can so as to comfortably move on to their next endeavour. Often the questions that are asked are similar. Should I put a deck on the back of the house? Should I put a shed up? Should I paint the house?

All these questions point to another question, Will I get more money if I do this to my home?

My answer to this question often varies depending on the circumstances. But generally my thoughts on major renovations to sell are the same. Do not take on major renovations thinking you can make more money! I have seen this lead to a delayed sale and with seller’s money drained for no good reason.

My advice to all sellers is to spend some time closely looking at your home. Anyone can do some general home maintenance at low or no cost. So concentrate on the areas that really matter like the front yard and the entry to the home. First impressions are everything to a buyer so it is wise to put some mulch in the garden beds, get the front steps painted and clean out the gutters at the front of the home. From here move through the house making sure all the doors work and get rid of that crusty old furniture that catches peoples eye for all the wrong reasons. Entertaining areas are important to people so make sure they are appealing, splash a bit of oil on the deck or just give it a good wash and get ready to find a buyer quickly. I am often amazed that sellers sometimes need to be told to tidy up the home but I guess when you live somewhere for years you tend not to look at the obvious.

This type of preparation to sell your home is generally low or no cost and can sometimes make all the difference in the sale. A good agent will be honest with you and tell you what stands out to them as needing attention. Don’t spend $1,000’s on renovations as in most cases you will not get the money back. A general tidy and good clean can sometimes make all the difference in the sale result of your home.

Peter Forbes is a Director of 1 Property Centre in Dalby and Toowoomba. He started his business in 2008 and has grown from a sales only/one man show to 2 fully staffed offices handling sales and rentals in Dalby and Toowoomba. Peter has dealt in real estate in his own right since the day he turned 18. He is a believer in Modern Marketing and Agents offering a worthwhile service not just a “For Sale” sign and an ad in the paper.