Monday, June 19, 2017

Why Queensland Property Buyers Need a Conveyancer

Death by paperwork may be the funny term given to the risk of drowning in real estate documents, but when you’re buying or selling property, it’s no laughing matter!

If you’ve ever transacted property before, you’ll know that it involves a lot of document preparation and review, such as the contract of sale, land titles, transfer documents, and duties forms. Processing these property sales documents is the domain of a conveyancer, who is an essential member of your real estate team.

There are several reasons why Queensland property buyers in particular need to hire a qualified conveyancer, including following:

A conveyancer can handle any type of property transaction

A conveyancer can provide guidance and support for almost any type of property transaction – whether you’re buying or selling the property, updating a title due to inheritance or estate transfers, or even just registering a covenant or an easement. In all of these cases, there are legal documents that need to be updated, and your conveyancer can assist.  

A conveyancer knows the ins and outs of property transactions in Queensland.

Your conveyancer for a Queensland-based property transaction is based in the state, and they know the requirements for the sale to be legally finalised and filed with the registry. They know all the documents that are required before, during, and after the sale of the property, and can assist with ensuring you meet all the obligations of settling your property by the settlement date.

5 Interview questions to ask your conveyancer >>

A conveyancer helps you save time and effort.

With a conveyancer on your team, you do not need to do the actual nitty gritty work of calculating adjustments or filing of the documents yourself. Your only job is to focus on negotiating the sale of the property, as the time, effort and hassle of collating and organising all the required documents and adjustments are handled by the conveyancer.

For instance, consider the fact that council rates are paid by the current owner until a certain date. Your conveyancer will calculate how many days of council rates have been paid; how many of these days are post-settlement; and will arrange a financial ‘adjustment’ between buyer and seller to account for this. These little tasks add up, and having a conveyancer handle them for you saves you time and stress.

A conveyancer can help you avoid any legal pitfalls.

Though not all conveyancers are lawyers – all conveyancers in Queensland have legal qualifications, but some have more legal expertise than others – you can be sure that your Queensland-licensed conveyancer is knowledgeable when it comes to Queensland property laws. They are required to thoroughly study these rules and regulations, giving you peace of mind that they can help you avoid legal mistakes and pitfalls.

If you are buying or selling property in Queensland, you should look for a licensed conveyancer who is an expert in Queensland property laws. At Think Conveyancing, many of our solicitors are qualified and experienced in handling conveyancing transactions in several states and territories across the country. Every state has its own set of property rules and it’s important to work with a legal professional who is experienced in your specific state or territory.   If you have any questions about your property transaction or the conveyancing process in general,or to request a free quote, call us on 1300 932 738 to speak with one of our team members today.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

5 Costly Mistakes Made by Property Buyers

Investing in property offers the opportunity to enjoy big potential projects, just as buying your own home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. However, buying property has its own set of risks.

If you’re not careful in the choices you make as a property buyer, you may risk making some costly mistakes when buying real estate:

Costly mistake #1: Becoming emotionally attached

How does playing poker have anything in common with real estate? It doesn’t, except that in both situations, there should be no emotional attachment to the outcome – to anyone who is watching you, at least!

Particularly when you’re buying your own home, it can be very easy to fall in love with a property and become so attached to the idea of living there, you’re willing to move mountains to make it happen. This can lead to costly mistakes, like paying more for a property than you can afford, or borrowing a greater amount.

Costly mistake #2: Going local when investing

First time investors tend to buy a local house from a neighbourhood where they are already familiar or comfortable. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can limit your options for strong future growth if you fail to look elsewhere.

When looking for good investment properties, you should follow an objective set of criteria. Is this property attractive to tenants? Is the location a prime spot that is growing in population, infrastructure and amenities? How has the suburb performed historically, in terms of capital growth? Answering such questions increases your chances of making a profitable investment.

Big Property Market Trends In 2017 >>

Costly mistake #3: Lack of due diligence

Due diligence is another way of saying “do your research”. It’s essential, whether you’re buying a home or investment – and while it starts with the location and local amenities, it also includes research on the particular home.

Learning everything you can about the property can give you a better idea of what you’re in for once you move in (or for investments, rent it out). For example: do all the elements on the stove work? Does the air conditioning unit operate efficiently? Are there any maintenance issues that are raising red flags? These can be costly to fix once you own the property, so you’re much better off investigating deeply before you buy.

Costly mistake #4: Too much financial optimism

When you find the property you want, it can be tempting to try and make the numbers work regardless of how your finances actually look. If you work out that can afford a mortgage of up to $530,000, but you find a home that will give you a mortgage of $560,000, you might try to get the loan anyway. But that extra financial commitment could put you under financial stress. If the numbers don’t work, then you should not push ahead with the purchase – there are plenty more properties out there, including those that won’t add pressure to your budget.

Costly mistake #5: An unwillingness to walk away

The ability to walk away is crucial when it comes to buying real estate. If the figures don’t add up, you need to be able to walk away from the property. Similarly, if the terms are not going to be beneficial, you should walk away.

It can be a difficult call to make, especially if you’ve already invested a lot of time and effort (and even money on inspections and research) in the transaction. But committing to a property that is too expensive or somehow unsuitable can cause major headaches in the long term, so you need to review the property with a clear head and ask yourself: is it going to be in my best interests to continue with this, or would I be better off walking away?

At Think Conveyancing, we have seen first-hand the pressure that these kinds of costly mistakes can create. If you have any questions to do with your proposed property transaction, our highly experienced lawyers are available to you around the clock. For more information or to request a free quote, call us on 1300 932 738 and speak with one of our team members today.


5 Costly Mistakes Made by Property Buyers posted first on http://thinkconveyancing1.blogspot.com

5 Costly Mistakes Made by Property Buyers

Investing in property offers the opportunity to enjoy big potential projects, just as buying your own home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. However, buying property has its own set of risks.

If you’re not careful in the choices you make as a property buyer, you may risk making some costly mistakes when buying real estate:

Costly mistake #1: Becoming emotionally attached

How does playing poker have anything in common with real estate? It doesn’t, except that in both situations, there should be no emotional attachment to the outcome – to anyone who is watching you, at least!

Particularly when you’re buying your own home, it can be very easy to fall in love with a property and become so attached to the idea of living there, you’re willing to move mountains to make it happen. This can lead to costly mistakes, like paying more for a property than you can afford, or borrowing a greater amount.

Costly mistake #2: Going local when investing

First time investors tend to buy a local house from a neighbourhood where they are already familiar or comfortable. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can limit your options for strong future growth if you fail to look elsewhere.

When looking for good investment properties, you should follow an objective set of criteria. Is this property attractive to tenants? Is the location a prime spot that is growing in population, infrastructure and amenities? How has the suburb performed historically, in terms of capital growth? Answering such questions increases your chances of making a profitable investment.

Big Property Market Trends In 2017 >>

Costly mistake #3: Lack of due diligence

Due diligence is another way of saying “do your research”. It’s essential, whether you’re buying a home or investment – and while it starts with the location and local amenities, it also includes research on the particular home.

Learning everything you can about the property can give you a better idea of what you’re in for once you move in (or for investments, rent it out). For example: do all the elements on the stove work? Does the air conditioning unit operate efficiently? Are there any maintenance issues that are raising red flags? These can be costly to fix once you own the property, so you’re much better off investigating deeply before you buy.

Costly mistake #4: Too much financial optimism

When you find the property you want, it can be tempting to try and make the numbers work regardless of how your finances actually look. If you work out that can afford a mortgage of up to $530,000, but you find a home that will give you a mortgage of $560,000, you might try to get the loan anyway. But that extra financial commitment could put you under financial stress. If the numbers don’t work, then you should not push ahead with the purchase – there are plenty more properties out there, including those that won’t add pressure to your budget.

Costly mistake #5: An unwillingness to walk away

The ability to walk away is crucial when it comes to buying real estate. If the figures don’t add up, you need to be able to walk away from the property. Similarly, if the terms are not going to be beneficial, you should walk away.

It can be a difficult call to make, especially if you’ve already invested a lot of time and effort (and even money on inspections and research) in the transaction. But committing to a property that is too expensive or somehow unsuitable can cause major headaches in the long term, so you need to review the property with a clear head and ask yourself: is it going to be in my best interests to continue with this, or would I be better off walking away?

At Think Conveyancing, we have seen first-hand the pressure that these kinds of costly mistakes can create. If you have any questions to do with your proposed property transaction, our highly experienced lawyers are available to you around the clock. For more information or to request a free quote, call us on 1300 932 738 and speak with one of our team members today.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Why Do You Need a Conveyancer?

Why do you need a conveyancer, anyway?

Buying or selling property is not a simple matter of transferring ownership. As anyone who has been through it before can attest to, the whole process can take a huge chunk of your time to coordinate, especially if difficulties or setbacks arise.

As such, it’s important that you have a qualified support team around you to make the process as seamless as possible. Hiring a conveyancer falls into this category – but what does a conveyancer actually do for you?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property from one person or entity to another. Though you don’t legally need a conveyancer to buy or sell a property, they can help make the process much less stressful. Furthermore, a professional and experienced conveyancer offers a number of other benefits:

#1: Conveyancers can help save you money

Technically speaking, you will spend a little money to hire a qualified conveyancer. But the complexity of the conveyancing process means that this small outlay will be recouped (and then some) during the transaction, particularly due to the high risk of making mistakes while attempting to do it yourself.

Conveyancers help you avoid unwanted and expensive complications with your property transaction, which can lead to more savings down the track. For instance, as conveyancers perusing your contract, we may notice in the strata report that the apartment you are buying requires substantial and costly repairs. Alerting you to this early in the process can allow you to rescind the contract if you wish, rather than being stuck with a property that turns into a money pit.  

#2: Conveyancers can save you time

Conveyancing matters can take a fair amount of time and effort to review, analyse and finalise. You have to deal with real estate agents, vendors, banks, mortgage brokers, building inspectors and government agencies. Aside from that, you also need to understand all the legal, financial and governmental documentation involved, or you’ll risk putting yourself in hot water with your property purchase.

Hiring an experienced and qualified conveyancer will save you hours of paperwork and legwork as they take care of almost all the legal work for you. They liaise with real estate agents and building inspectors, keep your settlements on track with the vendor, and arrange reports for government agencies, all on your behalf.

#3: Conveyancers provide you peace of mind

A quality conveyancer always has your best interest in mind, so you can be sure that they will perform their tasks to the best of their abilities and expertise.

This means you no longer have to worry about preparing and lodging legal documents, as your conveyancer will do this for you. They are also responsible for the checks that should be undertaken to find any easements, as well as the investigations of other key areas involved in the transaction. They will even handle the practical financial aspects of your property transaction, such as liaising with your lender to draw cheques for settlement and calculating adjustments to be paid at settlement.

If things go sideways, having a licensed conveyancer on your team provides you with priceless peace of mind, as you can rest assured that they will handle things for you and guide you towards a positive outcome.

A conveyancer is indeed an important asset when you’re buying or selling a property. Just make sure that you deal with a licensed and experienced conveyancer who knows the ins and outs of your local property market.

At Think Conveyancing, we are committed to delivering exceptional customer service. To get in contact with our friendly team today about your conveyancing needs, call us on 1300 932 738, or request a free quote online.

Why Do You Need a Conveyancer?

Why do you need a conveyancer, anyway?

Buying or selling property is not a simple matter of transferring ownership. As anyone who has been through it before can attest to, the whole process can take a huge chunk of your time to coordinate, especially if difficulties or setbacks arise.

As such, it’s important that you have a qualified support team around you to make the process as seamless as possible. Hiring a conveyancer falls into this category – but what does a conveyancer actually do for you?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property from one person or entity to another. Though you don’t legally need a conveyancer to buy or sell a property, they can help make the process much less stressful. Furthermore, a professional and experienced conveyancer offers a number of other benefits:

#1: Conveyancers can help save you money

Technically speaking, you will spend a little money to hire a qualified conveyancer. But the complexity of the conveyancing process means that this small outlay will be recouped (and then some) during the transaction, particularly due to the high risk of making mistakes while attempting to do it yourself.

Conveyancers help you avoid unwanted and expensive complications with your property transaction, which can lead to more savings down the track. For instance, as conveyancers perusing your contract, we may notice in the strata report that the apartment you are buying requires substantial and costly repairs. Alerting you to this early in the process can allow you to rescind the contract if you wish, rather than being stuck with a property that turns into a money pit.  

#2: Conveyancers can save you time

Conveyancing matters can take a fair amount of time and effort to review, analyse and finalise. You have to deal with real estate agents, vendors, banks, mortgage brokers, building inspectors and government agencies. Aside from that, you also need to understand all the legal, financial and governmental documentation involved, or you’ll risk putting yourself in hot water with your property purchase.

Hiring an experienced and qualified conveyancer will save you hours of paperwork and legwork as they take care of almost all the legal work for you. They liaise with real estate agents and building inspectors, keep your settlements on track with the vendor, and arrange reports for government agencies, all on your behalf.

#3: Conveyancers provide you peace of mind

A quality conveyancer always has your best interest in mind, so you can be sure that they will perform their tasks to the best of their abilities and expertise.

This means you no longer have to worry about preparing and lodging legal documents, as your conveyancer will do this for you. They are also responsible for the checks that should be undertaken to find any easements, as well as the investigations of other key areas involved in the transaction. They will even handle the practical financial aspects of your property transaction, such as liaising with your lender to draw cheques for settlement and calculating adjustments to be paid at settlement.

If things go sideways, having a licensed conveyancer on your team provides you with priceless peace of mind, as you can rest assured that they will handle things for you and guide you towards a positive outcome.

A conveyancer is indeed an important asset when you’re buying or selling a property. Just make sure that you deal with a licensed and experienced conveyancer who knows the ins and outs of your local property market.

At Think Conveyancing, we are committed to delivering exceptional customer service. To get in contact with our friendly team today about your conveyancing needs, call us on 1300 932 738, or request a free quote online.


Why Do You Need a Conveyancer? posted first on http://thinkconveyancing1.blogspot.com

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

3 Biggest Property Risks in 2017

Australians consider residential property investment as one of the safest ways to build wealth, and for good reason: for decades upon decades, the upward trajectory of the property market has ensured that property buyers almost always multiply their initial investment.

That said, it’s important to remember that every investment has its risks, no matter how secure it may seem.

Following Sydney’s recent boom and with the changing real estate landscape in 2017, experts believe that the following risks will start to show up soon – and you should be ready for them:

Risk of rising interest rates

At the moment, global interest rates are at an all-time low, making borrowing costs easy to manage. Though Australian banks have recently tightened their lending criteria, interest rates still remain historically low, with both variable and fixed rates available at between 4-5%.

However, it is hard to predict if this will continue in the medium or long-term, and economists are split on where interest rates will go in the year ahead.

It’s also important to consider that homeowners on interest-only loans may not be able to pay their increasing mortgage expenses when rates increase and the loan converts to principal and interest. During times of evolving lending standards and a shaky interest rate outlook, it pays to ensure your financial ‘house’ is in order, and that you can afford an increase if applicable.

Risk of rising unemployment rates

Australia continues to enjoy a low unemployment rate at 5.8%. However, throughout 2016 we experienced flat employment growth, and more and more employers are hiring part-time or freelance workers instead of full-time.

If this trend continues, it may result in a slowdown of wage growth to a record low, just a little above inflation. Coupled with a possible interest rate rise, rising unemployment and stale wage growth could lead more home loan borrowers to have a difficult time managing their repayments. As conveyancers, we have seen countless situations where homeowners are forced to sell their beloved property due to financial difficulties, with interest rate rises a contributing factor.

Risk of property bubble getting bigger

Australia’s major banks have downplayed talks of a property bubble, but the huge recent annual increases in house prices have many experts worried that some markets are officially reaching ‘bubble territory’.

Across all state capitals, prices have risen 47% since June 2012 (on average), reports CoreLogic, with Sydney leading the charge at 75%. Such a growth imbalance should not be ignored, as any catalyst – like interest rate increases, an unemployment rate rise, a slight economic downturn, and/or higher debt levels – could pop the property bubble and send the market crashing back to reality.

The risks being faced by property owners in 2017 are not limited to what is happening within the country. They are also correlated with the threats within the global economy, such as the rising debt levels in China, the low performance of European banks, and the uncertainties brought about by new United States leadership. As a homeowner, being aware of these risks can help you make informed decisions when it comes to your home and property investments.

At Think Conveyancing, we aim to help you with your property and home ownership needs. To get in contact with our friendly team to discuss any aspect of your property purchase or needs, or to talk about your conveyancing needs, call us on 1300 932 738, or request a free quote online.

Understanding Stamp Duty: State-by-State Guide

Taxes and levies are part and parcel of buying property in Australia. One of the most expensive costs you’ll encounter when buying Australian properties is stamp duty, a tax imposed by the state government.

The revenue the state or territory receives from stamp duty is added to that state government’s budget, so it helps to improve various sectors like health, transport and emergency services. It’s good to know that your money is going to good use – but exactly how much will you need to pay?

The amount of stamp duty varies from state to state, as it depends on certain factors, including first home buyer benefits and concessions. As a rule, the pricier the property you’re buying, the higher the stamp duty is and the amount is generally payable within 30 days of signing a contract or 30 days from settlement, depending on the state or territory the property is situated at.

Most state governments have online calculators to help you estimate the amount of stamp duty that you need to pay, but here is a guide on how much stamp duty should be paid in each state and territory. Note that the following rates apply to residential homes you intend to live in – higher rates may apply to investment property purchases:

Australian Capital Territory

In the ACT, the duty payable for properties worth $200,000 and below is $20 or $1.48 per $100, whichever is greater. The amount increases as the price of the property increases, going up to a flat rate of $5.09 per $100 (applied to the total transaction value) for properties worth $1,455,000 and above.

First homebuyers may be eligible for concessional rates, but certain prerequisites must be met first to do with property value, property type and occupancy requirements. The ACT government also offers stamp duty concessions and exemptions for eligible pensioners.

Estimated stamp duty on a $500,000 residential home in the ACT (without concession): $13,460

New South Wales

The rate varies widely, but for properties priced between $300,001 and $1 million, the NSW duty payable is $8,990 plus $4.50 for every $100 or part thereof over $300,000. Premium properties worth $3 million and above attract stamp duty of $150,490 plus $7 for every $100 or part thereof that the value exceeds $3 million. Take note that premium duty is only payable on residential land.

Like the ACT, NSW also offers concessions for first home buyers. It also has a First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) of $10,000, however, it does not offer exemptions for pensioners.

Estimated stamp duty on a $500,000 residential home in NSW (without concession): $17,990

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory follows a formula for the dutiable value of properties worth $525,000 and below. The complex formula is as follows: duty payable is equal to (0.06571441 x V2) + 15V, where V is the dutiable value of the property divided by 1000.

The formula is not applicable for properties exceeding $525,000. Instead, those properties (not exceeding $3 million in dutiable value) get a flat rate of 4.95% of dutiable value. If the property prince exceeds $3 million, the stamp duty is 5.45% of the dutiable value.

Pensioners can be eligible for Senior, Pensioner, and Carer Concession (SPCC) if they are at least 60 years old or a holder of Northern Territory pensioner and carer concession card. New homeowners can get up to $7,000 off stamp duty, provided they are not eligible for FHOG or SPCC.

Estimated stamp duty on a $500,000 residential home in NT (without concession)$23,928.60

Tasmania

Stamp duty rates at Tasmania start at $20 for properties priced $1,300 or less. Now, properties in Tasmania are cheap, but not this cheap! Therefore, most buyers will be paying much more than this. For instance, the rate goes up to $5,935 plus $4.00 for every $100 or part thereof over $200,000 but less than $375,000. Tasmania currently does not offer concessions for either first homebuyers or pensioners.

Estimated stamp duty on a $500,000 residential home in Tasmania (without concession): $18,247.50

South Australia

For properties worth $12,000 and below, stamp duty rates start at 1% of dutiable value. The highest amount is reserved for properties exceeding $500,000 in dutiable value in South Australia, as they are charged a stamp duty of $21,330 plus 5.5% of dutiable value over $500,000.

Estimated stamp duty on a $500,000 residential home in SA (without concession): $21,330

Victoria

Stamp duty in Victoria is calculated on a sliding scale, starting at 1.4% for properties valued at $25,000 and below and going up to 5.5% for properties over $960,000.

First homebuyers have recently been dealt a lucky break, with news that from 1 July 2017, they won’t have to pay stamp duty at all for any property that costs less than $600,000, and a reduced amount on properties priced between $600,001 and $750,000.

Pensioners are exempt from paying stamp duty if their property is valued up to $330,000, while they get a part concession for properties priced between $330,0010 and $750,000.

Estimated stamp duty on a $500,000 residential home in Victoria (without concession): $25,070

Western Australia

In WA, for properties worth $120,000 and below, stamp duty is payable at a rate of 1.9%. It increases in increments to $28,435 plus 5.15% of dutiable value over $725,000.

There are no stamp duty exemptions in Western Australia for first homebuyers.

Estimated stamp duty on a $500,000 residential home in WA (without concession)$17,765

Queensland

Queensland has no stamp duty payable for properties valued less than $5,000, and a rate of 1.5% applies between $5,000 to $75,000. However, this rises to $1,050 plus $3.50 for every 100 or part thereof over $75,000 when the property value falls between $75,000 and $540,000, and increases to as much as $38,025 plus $5.75 for every $100 or part thereof over $1,000,000 for properties valued at more than $1,000,000.

First homebuyers get concessions for properties valued at less than $550,000. No concessions are offered for pensioners.

Estimated stamp duty on a $500,000 residential home in Queensland (without concession): $15,925.00

At Think Conveyancing, our goal is to help you navigate the process of buying and selling property with as little stress as possible. If you have any questions about stamp duty or any other aspect of your property transaction, please contact our friendly team at Think Conveyancing on 1300 932 738, or contact us online here.