Rental & Housing

Rental & Housing

So you’re taking the leap and moving out of home? Good on you! Here are our top tips to finding and applying for your new forever home. 

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What do you need when applying for a rental property? 

The renting game can be brutal; chances are there will be another 10 – 15 people all at the inspection hoping that they have also just found their forever home. To put yourself ahead of the game here are our top tips to stand out from the crowd and also the things you will need to apply.
 
  • Make sure you dress nicely for the inspection and take the time out to have a chat to the real estate agent, introduce yourself so you are top of mind. Remember they are the person that will ultimately approve you for the property so winning them over is a top priority.
  • Make sure you are on time or even a little early for the inspection, most agents have no more than 15 minutes to show the property so arriving late isn’t a great first impression. The real estate should provide you with a list of the documents you will need but it can’t help to be over prepared. In most cases you will need photo ID, payslips or proof of employment, personal references, a cover letter and of course the completed application.
  • Have everything organised in a folder to give to the agent on the day or email it to them when you get home. You cannot apply for a property without viewing it first, even if you think you have found the one you will still need to attend the inspection before your application will be processed. If you are planning on sharing, ensure all of your roommates are also organised with the above mentioned documents, you will have a much better chance of being approved if all of your documents are completed correctly, agents will unlikely waste time chasing you for missing information, especially when the market is so competitive. 
  • Feel free to follow up via email with the agent if you haven’t heard anything back within 48 hours, don’t be pushy just ask them politely where your application is at as you are super keen to move in. 

Holding deposit

Once you have been approved you will need to pay a holding deposit to secure the property, this is usually 1 weeks rent.

Bond

Once you have signed the lease you will be required to give the agent a bank cheque for the bond (which is four weeks rent) this amount gets sent to the bond board who hold it in their account until you vacate the property, you can read more about the bond board here. Essentially Bond is held as a guarantee so if you miss your rental payments or when you vacate the property there is damage the real estate can claim the amount from your bond to cover the missing rent or pay for any damages. If you are a good tenant your bond will be returned in full at the end of the lease period.

Bills

When renting you will also have bills to pay, water is inclusive so you will only need to pay for gas (if you have it) and electricity as a bare minimum, keep your costs down by efficiently living, turn lights off when you’re not in the room, only use heating and cooling when you really need it.

Wifi

You may also need to set up WIFI if you are planning on doing work at home or if you love your Netflix sessions.  

Happy house hunting!

Student accommodation

Chances are it’s your first time out of home and the process of finding accommodation can be a little daunting, don’t worry too much this is an exciting time in your life, find a home that you love spending time at, that is bright an airy and that you look forward to resting your head there after a long day. Sharing is a great option that way you don’t have to worry about getting furniture, paying bills on your own and you have some company when you get home from a long day at Uni. Here are some websites that can help you to find accommodation that suits you: 
Make sure you meet the person or people you could be sharing with to ensure it is a happy and safe living environment. In most cases, just like mentioned above you will be required to pay a bond plus one or two weeks rent in advance. Ensure you have this paperwork documented and a receipt to say that the owner of the property is holding your bond and will give it back to you once you vacate the property. 

There are also on campus accommodation option Australia wide, there are a wide range of options to choose from such as university operated apartments and housing and off campus home stays. 

Here are some websites to read over if you would like more information: 
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Buying a property

If you are lucky enough to be buying a property then you have your work cut out for you, there are a lot of moving pieces to purchasing a property but why pay off someone else’s mortgage when you can pay your own? Here is a list of what you will need to purchase your first property. 
  • Deposit - You will be required to pay a deposit for the house or apartment you are buying it will in most cases be 10% of the purchase amount but sometimes a 5% deposit will also be accepted if the sellers agree. 
  • Grant and incentives check - The government are offering different incentives for first home buyers and these vary from state to state. You can read more about what the incentives are here through the First Home Buyers Australia website. 
  • Obtain finance - Now you have your deposit saved you will need to contact a bank or home loan specialist to see how much you can actually borrow. They will also help you step by step to fill in all of the required paperwork and with your applications for the first home buyers grand and stamp duty concessions (if you are eligible). Mortgage brokers are also another great alternative they are pretty much the go-between between the bank and you the borrower and they can negotiate the loan on your behalf. This is usually a free service as the brokers are paid commission by the bank when the mortgage is settled.
  • Find your new home - Now your loan has been approved and you know what your budget is you can begin the search for your new home or investment property. Make sure you budget in your loan amount fees for lawyers (to exchange the contracts for you) and also a fee for a building inspection. Don’t buy anything without having a building inspection, this will ensure you know the property doesn’t have concrete cancer or dodgy wiring. All which will be your problem if you buy it! 

Other things to be aware of 

  • Strata fees - If you are buying an apartment as these can be quite costly and are due quarterly. Strata fees get paid to an external company who uses that money to upkeep the building. This includes anything from taking care of the gardens to having the bins taken out for you. Strata fees will depend on the age and quality of the apartment block. Always ask what these fees are when attending the open home. 
  • Buying off the plan - Off course you want to get a bargain and It doesn’t get much better than snapping up a house or unit for less than its value and renting it out for a good return but there are risks involved when buying off the plan. It’s hard to figure out if a place is right for you simply from artists’ impressions or a blue print. There is a lot to consider when going down this road, like is the developer reputable? When can you actually move in? Read more information here at Domain.com.au
  • Private treaty vs Public Auction - Most residential properties in Australia are sold through private treaty. Under a private treaty, the owner sets the price they would like to get for their property at what they consider to be fair market value, often with the help of a real estate agent. Then the owner negotiates with prospective buyers to close the deal. Auctions are a little more complex, a property sale by auction is a competition in the open market. The owner sets a reserve price – the minimum for which they will sell the property – and prospective buyers make their bids, with the property going to the highest bidder. One is not necessarily better than the other, but again you need to have your wits about you to insure come auction day you are indeed not bidding against yourself. 
  • Cooling off period - If you change your mind about buying a property during the cooling off period, you can cancel the sale. As the seller, on the other hand, once the contract is terminated within the cooling off period, you must give back the deposit within 14 days after the cancellation with a penalty amount already deducted. Each state is different so due your due diligence when enquiring about the process in your state. 

Be smart, ask lots of questions and enjoy living the Australian dream! 
 

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