May 30, 2016

Property depreciation: What you need to know

Tax season is right around the corner and with this in sight, expect many accountant offices filled with property investors. This time of the year is a great opportunity for property investors to get their finances in check to further understand tax deductions which in turn puts money back in their pockets.

To those unfamiliar, depreciation is performed against your assessable income. It essentially reduces the amount of taxation payable for property owners. One will need a depreciation schedule to keep track of the financial deductions each year.

What you need to know
As property owners and investors know too well, the higher the income, the more tax you’re obliged to pay. This is where depreciation schedules come in handy as it assesses and increases your investment’s value hence, reducing your tax and maximizes the return of investment.

If you’re new to the whole discussion on property depreciation, here are basic knowledge you should know to get the most from your entitlements.

Get your property assessed for depreciation deductions

The first step to get you on track for figuring out depreciation deductions available for your property is by contacting a qualified Quantity Surveyor. This person will be the one to appraise the value of your property and create a report or depreciation schedule.

A lot of investors tend to skip this as they believe their property is less likely to have any depreciation deductions at all. Property owners and investors need to know that even if the property was constructed in the 1960s or 1970s, chances are it still has significant deductions available. Properties of this age surely have had renovations and improvements done through the years by previous owners which attracts depreciation deductions you’re now entitled to claim.

Any updates, renovations, reconstructions or general improvements such like kitchen renovation, there will be something there to claim.

If you’re still unsure, there’s no harm if you speak with experts to determine and assess your property. Who knows maybe you have thousands worth of depreciation deductions under your claim.

Back claim for missed deductions

As mentioned previously, assessing your property for tax depreciation is a must, it’s a step you shouldn’t skip. Now if you purchased a property, say years ago, there’s a good chance you’ve missed out on a lot of deduction due to failing to have a depreciation schedule prepared.

There’s a catch though, from four financial years of back claim, it has decreased recently to two financial years. Still, those two years added up is a lot.

Prepare a depreciation schedule that starts at your settlement date and from there, shows all the available claims you’re free to access.

Be sure to get yourself a qualified accountant to settle your missed deductions and prepare you a depreciation schedule in order to amend years’ worth of previous returns come tax season.

Prepare a depreciation schedule ASAP

Just in case you don’t think we’ve stressed enough how important depreciation schedules are, we’re here to remind you once more.

Even if you’re only able to purchase a property days or weeks prior to the financial year, you’d still have some good number deductions due to tax legislation. Have your schedule prepared upfront. This is important especially if you plan on scrapping.

On the other hand, if you plan on renting a property and conduct a renovation, it’s crucial to have a schedule of depreciation deductions on hand before the works are completed. The reason behind this is depreciation on plant and equipment assets (i.e. blinds, curtains, microwave oven, stoves, etc.) will have residual or written down value. If you ever throw away these items, you may have the ability to claim 100% residual value of such assets.

Having a report of your deductible assets written down can add up to thousands worth of deductions that can aid you with future or present reconstruction costs.

Itemize repair and maintenance costs

Renovations and reconstructions, some can be counted as capital improvements which can be depreciated at a good value over a number of years.

Keep track of your expenditures. Your hired Quantity Surveyor will highlight which assets can be considered repairs and maintenance which in turn can be claimed at 100% of the value. Examples are HVAC system repairs as well as touch-up paintings.These can be claimed at full value, no need to wait for 40 years.

Got anything to add in this list? Leave a comment below!

About Chie Suarez

Chie is a daytime writer for Depreciator- Tax Depreciation Schedule, a company dedicated completely to Tax Depreciation Schedules that aids the Australian property market.

Why to find a property with a real estate agent

Finding a property is a long and overwhelming journey, and it often requires plenty of time to stroll through all the options in www, or to search for a real estate agency. Indeed, a great tip is to start from searching for a real estate agency, because they are professionals who know the situation in your region and thus they can easily show you the best properties according to your expectations. Yet it is not that easy to specify your expectations, because you have to talk with all the family members, to consider the budged for the new property, to consider the location according to the school of your kids and your working place, and to consider many other factors. If you plan a relocation to another city - then you have to search for a property that can fit all your belongings, furnishings and other possessions that you will get from the old house. Moving house requires some very important steps and to find the perfect house is perhaps the key step. The real estate agent, just like the agent from the removal company, can help with this choice and can make everything go much easier, than you have expected. Check out why.

Why to find a property with a real estate agent
There are three main real estate agencies and each offers unique advantages when it comes to buying, renting or selling properties. Respectively, the first type of agencies are the ones that are specialized only in buying properties. They can provide you a full assistance when looking for a property and the best thing is that they know exactly what to search for among the numerous properties in the desired region. The more details you know, the easier the search for a property. Know at least the type of the desired property, such as a small flat, an apartment, a house with a backyard or a coastal cottage. The preferred region is another important factor, because it determines the price and the type of the properties in that region. The real estate agent could provide you with a list of the best options, according to your requirements and thus will save you plenty of time and troubles if you do this by yourself. Not to mention that some companies offer numerous complimentary services, such as dependable removal services, temporarily storage services and others.

The second main type of real estate agencies are the ones, which specialize only in selling properties. Respectively, they have a better connection with the sellers of properties. Most of the real estate agencies are payed by the seller and not by the buyer, so make sure to discuss the details in advance if you plan to sell a property and to buy a new one.

Yet there are agencies that buy and sell properties at once. The choice of such a real estate agency can save you more time and efforts, but if you plan only to buy a house - then make sure that the company is at your disposal.

Furthermore, finding a property with a real estate agent is recommended, due to the reputation of the company. If you meet directly the property owner, he/she may prefer a contact only with an agency and therefore may not review your requests.

A relocation with a removal company is the next important step that you should think of in advance. If you hire a bigger real estate agency with removal services – then you can usually take advantage of greater discounts and make the after moving journey easier. If you found this helpful read more tips at:

Different Characteristics Of A Good Real Estate Developer

There are plenty of real estate developers nowadays. Be aware that not all of them are experienced and reliable when it comes to providing what you need for your next home or commercial space. You need to know what traits must be avoided when choosing the right service provider. 
What Makes An Excellent Real Estate Developer? 
Creative & Innovative – The desire of a developer to create exciting and fresh design ideas will play a huge role when it comes to building very unique structure. Most people today would want to have their properties different from the rest of the buildings surrounding it. Oftentimes, this strategy is being used by business owners. This is a great way of making their business stand out from the competition. Due to the fact that the world is rapidly growing every day, be sure to work with a developer that can catch up with the most modern and newest trends as this will allow you to enjoy convenience as you stay in your new building.

 Good Real Estate Developer
Experienced & Reputable – Development and construction are two different forms of business or trade. Both will involve proper planning, designing, flawless execution, and proactive team management. Opting for a reputable and experienced property developer will definitely have a positive effect on the construction and property. Hence, it is a must for you to ask the portfolio as well as the credentials of the company you want to hire.
Punctual & Can Meet Deadlines Under Pressure – It will certainly cost you more when the project will exceed the construction timeframe. Of course, laborers will continue to be paid. Apart from that, equipment rental companies will continue to charge your developer until the project is finished. Hence, it is very crucial for you to look for a service provider that can assure efficiency with their work to meet the deadline. In case unexpected situations like an earthquake or a typhoon have occurred during the construction phase, the experts you chose must not be discouraged; rather, they must work positively to meet the schedule as they can. So it is very significant for you to take notice of the morale and camaraderie among the members of the team as you choose.
All of these qualities must be possessed by the property developer you hire. Remember though that you cannot always have a perfect team so the company will still need your suggestions or ideas as a client to enhance their work’s output.
About the author: Oliver Finney is an enthusiast of the real estate industry who loves to continuously learn and share knowledge as well about the vast and comprehensive world of the real estate business, off and online. He has first realised his passion for real estate at the age of 18 after attending an auction. Since then, he has continued to be an avid real estate enthusiast and has recently made the final step to earning his real estate license. He visits sites like

How to Choose Between Portable and Window Air Conditioners

Air conditioning is, beyond any doubt, one of those things people these days cannot imagine their lives without, and the fact that you are reading this article just stands as a testament to this claim. There is nothing wrong here, either - Summers are sometimes too unbearable, and gas supplier’s plans are not always in-tune with your current winter needs. So the real question is not whether you should buy an air conditioner, but which one. Here, we will take a look at two of the most common types – portable and window air conditioners, see which one of them excels in which particular area, and try to find out which one suits you the best.
How to Choose Between Portable and Window Air Conditioners
Let us start with the easiest issue and that would be how these two types of air conditioners look, and how well they fit their environment. As you would imagine, we have to give an advantage to the portable air conditioners here. They are simply sleeker, better looking and fit wider variety of window types. It should also be pointed out that some homeowners’ associations ban the use of window air conditioners because they hang outside the window and could potentially pose a threat. However, if you are concerned only with the sheer look, you can find some pretty good looking windows units too.
For what they lack in the design department, window units more than make up in regards to their price. Of course the bigger they are, the more expensive they will be, but when you look at the average prices of models with the same cooling capacity, window units will almost always come out as winners.
Noise Level
Much like the price, the level of the noise your air conditioner will produce will vary from model to model. Portable units, however, are known to have much wider “range of noise” than the window units that are consistently louder. Also, the window air conditioners tend to rumble against the window quite a lot, so, if you want to keep the air conditioning as quiet as possible, you should probably skip them.
It should not be too hard to guess that portable air conditioners are much easier to install than the window ones, and, as we already mentioned they fit wider variety of windows, so you will have more options while deciding on their place. To window units’ defense, once they are mounted on a window they are entirely outside, and do not occupy your living space.
Energy Efficiency
This is the tricky one, mostly because in some countries, like for example United States, there are no regulations to define the energy efficiency of portable air conditioning units. The EER rating and real life performance indicate, however, that the window units are, in general, more energy efficient than their portable siblings. Check commercial air conditioning in Sydney to get the general idea what are the energy ratings of the similar ducted and multi-split systems, so you know what you should look for.
Surprisingly enough, portable air conditioners are not that convenient at all. First of all, their portability is still pretty limited by their exhaust hoses. Given the fact that they weigh somewhere around 45kg (100lbs) you will not be too eager to move them around, either. Finally, unlike the window units that leave no tray of water inside, portable units will require that you regularly empty the tank in which the water is collected. Immobile as they are, window units are, in the end, much more convenient.
All you have to do now is to determine what of these properties are the most important to you and decide which type of air conditioner you will buy. There is no need to bee to be too zealous, though – As long as they do their job, both of these types will satisfy your basic needs.

May 27, 2016

Can I get a loan with no credit?

Does the following description apply to you? No history of taking prior loans, no credit cards (or maybe only one) in your name, absolutely no debt obligations in the past and a clean credit slate. You now are thinking of buying a car or a house and decide to apply for a loan. You are fairly confident that you will be approved with your unblemished track record. To your shock, you are rejected precisely because you have no previous loan/credit history. It seems like you are in an impossible situation – you can’t get a loan because you have no credit record, and you can’t create a record because no one is willing to give you a loan. How do you resolve this situation?

Can I get a loan with no credit
Do not worry – there are ways in which you can slowly build your credit history so that you become eligible for loans in a relatively short period. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to get loans with no credit history in the formal banking system. Lenders want to see a record of previous credit behaviour so that they can assess, based on your past record, if you are a low risk customer who has consistently demonstrated responsible credit behaviour.
Banks are unwilling to give loans to customers who do not have a record previous credit history simply because they are unsure of the customer’s past repayment behaviour and do not want to risk default.
How can I build credit from a no credit status? 
There are two main ways in which you can build your credit history so that you become eligible for loans in a relatively short period from scratch: 
Take out a series of small value loans: Taking a small loan is a great way of building your credit profile if you have absolutely no credit history. The advantage of taking numerous small loans is that they do not require an extensive credit history for approval and is a quick way to build a credit score. The interest you pay might seem unnecessary, but it is the price you have to pay for creating a healthy credit profile.  However, it is vital to make all your repayments on time. Any late or skipped payment will have a negative effect on your credit score. If you maintain a perfect repayment record, your credit score will increase quickly and will be a big step towards having a healthy credit profile. 
Apply for a secured credit card: A secured credit card is another way for people with no prior credit history to become loan eligible. It works exactly like a regular credit card, the only difference being that you will need to make a security deposit with the issuing bank in order to qualify. In case you do not make your payment, the bank will use your security deposit to recover their dues, so that they are safeguarded from any default. This is why they do not need to check your credit history when they issue you this card. 
You might wonder how a secured card helps your credit score. The bank reports every monthly credit card payment you make to the credit bureaus. Each payment you make will have an immediate positive impact on your credit score and help you build a healthy credit profile.
Taking out small loans and getting a secured credit card will help you build your credit record immediately and you will be well on your way to becoming loan eligible in a short while.

May 18, 2016

Why a Rental Inspection Matters for Tenants

You've finally found a good paying job. Now you're ready to move out of the apartment you are sharing with your friends or your parents' home. After spending some time looking at available places for rent, you've finally found a suitable place to live in — the rent is affordable and it is within close proximity to everything, including your new place of work.

Rental Inspection Matters for Tenants

But before you pack your belongings, move in to your new home and celebrate your newfound independence, there are a few things that you need to do.

One of the crucial tasks that you need to do is to visit the property and check whether it is ready for occupancy or not. Ideally, the landlord or his agent should be around during this inspection so that you can voice out any concerns that you may have.

But apart from this ocular inspection, prospective tenants may want to see proof that the rental unit has been thoroughly inspected by an objective third party. Why?

As a tenant, you have your rights and responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to ensure that the rental unit is kept in good order. For damage brought about by normal wear and tear, the landlord bears the brunt of paying. However, if the damage is caused by negligence or willful intent on your part, you will have to pay for the costs involved, either out of your pocket or through a deduction from your security bond.

Of course, either party can say that the other one is responsible for the damage to the rental unit. This is why it is crucial that before you move in, the landlord should subject the property to an objective and impartial rental inspection.

This ensures that the actual state of the property before you move in is properly documented, including the insights of the inspector as well as pictures. This can serve as a benchmark which can be utilised before you move out of the property. Immediately after moving out, your landlord will subject the property to another round of inspections to re-evaluate its condition after you leave. If the signs of damage seen during the inspection come as a result of normal wear and tear, everything can be settled smoothly. This eliminates the finger pointing and helps protect your interests should a dispute arise. Plus, you are assured that you won’t be paying for damage which you did not willfully cause.

About the author: Oliver Finney is an enthusiast of the real estate industry who loves to continuously learn and share knowledge as well about the vast and comprehensive world of the real estate business, off and online. He has first realised his passion for real estate at the age of 18 after attending an auction. Since then, he has continued to be an avid real estate enthusiast and has recently made the final step to earning his real estate license. He visits sites like Assetfocus

Choosing Energy Efficient Windows for an Eco-Friendly Home

Did you know that an average home loses around 10% of its heat through windows and doors? This can be a major issue, especially if you are trying to make your home eco-friendly. Luckily, today there is a vast number of energy efficient windows which keep the heat inside of your home. But choosing one may be a tricky business. So before you do so, make sure you check out the following guide.

Eco-Friendly Home
Make Sure You Choose Double-Glazed Windows

Double-glazed windows are the ones that have two sheets of glass with a gap between them. The gap is usually around 16mm long. The gap creates an insulating barrier which decreases the rate at which heat escapes from the room. There are also some triple-glazed windows available on the market today. These have two gaps and provide even more insulation. Getting one of these two types of windows will surely help you use less energy when trying to warm up your home.

Choose Windows with Low-E Glass

When choosing double-glazed windows, there are few other things you should keep in mind. The type of glass in the windows you choose will also affect the amount of energy you will need to keep the place warm. The glass which is the best eco-friendly option is low emissivity (Low-E) glass. Low-E glass usually has invisible coating of metal oxide on the pane next to the glass. The good thing about this type of glass is that it lets light in but cuts down the amount of heat that is being lost.
Remember to Keep Your Home Ventilated
Another important thing to have in mind is that your home has to be ventilated properly. Your new windows may be more airtight than the originals which may decrease the ventilation in your home. It is necessary to keep all the rooms properly ventilated as that is how fresh air gets into your home. Not only this, but ventilation also allows moisture to escape. Therefore, if your home does not have enough natural ventilation, you should choose replacement windows with trickle vents. These will help you control the air flow into your home.

Choose Windows that Last Longer

The lifespan of the window is another thing you should take into consideration when buying replacement windows. Eco-friendly windows have a typical life span of around 20 years. Still, this can vary between 10 and 35 years, depending on the quality of the window. Less quality windows will eventually start to let the heat leak out. That is why it is important to choose quality energy efficient windows. Not only will you be able to keep more heat inside your home but you will also save money you would otherwise spend on window repair or replacement.

Check for Any Restrictions

In case you are living in a listed building or in a conservation area it is quite possible that there are some restrictions when it comes to replacing your windows. Contacting your local authority before you start any work is always a good thing to do. In case you cannot replace your windows, you can try some other things you can do in order to improve the energy efficiency of your home. You can try to put up heavy lined curtains or sealed blinds.

In most of the cases you will be able to carry out the work you have planned and with the right help you will have your new windows installed in no time. Getting energy efficient windows is a great way to make your home eco-friendlier. Still, do not stop there. Once you get your replacement windows, make sure you keep searching for new ways to aid in battle for preserving the nature.

May 6, 2016

Should I buy a listed building?

Period properties offer a charm all their own that is hard to resist. Many house hunters will seek out character properties because of the wealth of attractive architectural features and personality that most modern houses just do not have. But would you go as far as buying a listed property?

What is a listed building?

Put simply, ‘listing’ a building means that it is on a national register as a property of special architectural interest and historic importance, to ensure that its exceptional character is protected and preserved for future generations. Typically, a building has to be at least 30 years old to be elibible for the register. Most properties dating from 1700-1840 are listed as well as all older surviving buildings.

Should I buy a listed building?
Historic England details 3 categories:

• Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest
• Grade II* buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest
• Grade II buildings are of special interest. 92% of all listed buildings will fall into this category, including the vast majority of residential homes.

There are around ½ million buildings on the National Heritage List for England. You can search here to find out if the property you are interested in is on the register.

Contrary to what many people think, listing covers both the interior and exterior of the property as well as the area around it. The owner has a duty to maintain the building’s character and keep it in good repair. Before any changes can be made that might affect the building’s special interest, listed building consent must be obtained.

Looking forward or looking back?

If you are thinking of buying a listed building, be under no illusion about the responsibility that comes with it. Rather than a mere home owner, you are in effect the custodian of an important piece of history. And to be frank, you need to really be in love with this idea. Imagine the feeling of living in the historic surroundings of a unique and beautiful home full of character – does it tug at the heartstrings? Does it beat the humdrum architecture of modern housing estates hands down?
Restoration costs can be very high and there are strict guidelines about what can and can’t be done, including the use of acceptable historical materials and specialist contractors. That said, the authorities are generally in favour of historic building being maintained, lived in and enjoyed and the great majority of applications for listed building consent are approved. Grants may also be available to help with repairs.

Of course, period properties are highly sought after and their value often far eclipses that of ‘regular’ homes of comparable size, especially if period features have been expertly refurbished and the building well cared for.

On the other hand, if you buy a listed building with the intention to substantially alter its style or substance or to develop it in any way, you may be in for a lot of disappointment and frustration, as you will have a hard time to convince both Historic England and your local Conservation Officer of your plans. For initial guidance, contact your local Historic England office here.

Do I need a survey?

In a word, yes. If ever there was a case for a full structural survey, considering the purchase of a period property with listed status is surely it. A survey will give you valuable information about the condition of the property, any advice on repairs and how and when they should be undertaken. The survey may also be able to warn of any unauthorised work carried out by previous owners – problems that you may end up inheriting and having to rectify. Finally, the survey may give you the evidence you need to renegotiate the price, or to withdraw from the purchase altogether.

Because of the complexity and age of the building, choose your surveyor carefully. He needs to have a comprehensive understanding of problems that can arise in period properties, so that you get a full and frank picture of what you are letting yourself in for. It is strongly recommended that you look for a surveyor with experience of old buildings and who is familiar with listed buildings in particular. Membership of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) or The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) would be ideal. Some chartered building surveyors are accredited by RICS as having experience in conservation.

This article was provided by Sara Bryant, independent content writer for Southdown Surveyors who
were consulted over the information provided.

Cover These Basics before Actually Moving in

Finding, buying, potentially remodelling and legally covering your new home aren’t the only troubles that plague new home owners. There are many more things to be covered and crossed off the list, when it comes to preparations for moving in. Obvious as they sound, some of these preparations often end up overlooked, and this is why we’ve come up with this article, so as to make sure that you are well-prepared to actually move into your brand new dream house.

Cover These Basics before Actually Moving in

Well, let’s kick it off with a really obvious one – the matter of power. When buying a new home, the general rule of thumb is buying it from another owner – it’s been that way for a while now. Now, when it comes to dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s, power should be the topmost thing on your mind. In order to ebb away from unnecessary legal problems, keep in mind that you should disconnect the energy in the previous owner’s name and connect it to your name. Luckily for you, this process is quite simple – it takes nothing more than getting in touch with your provider and giving him your information, such as address, number, identification and other trivialities that will be revealed to you once you’ve contacted these experts. The crucial thing here, however is to do all the connecting before you’ve actually moved in, so as to avoid inadequate situations where the previous owner has to pay money for your energy usage, or even the other way around.

Change Your Address

Much like the previous paragraph, changing your address is crucial, if for no other reason, than to simply avoid your mail being forwarded to your new address by your previous home’s new tenants. This step too, is quite simple – simply get in touch with your post office and give them your new address, as well as other data that they require. Do this for business and government bodies too, in order to not only properly claim your mail, but also in order to avoid unnecessary legal fees and troubles. Additionally, make sure you’ve updated your details, when it comes to electoral roll and magazine and other subscriptions. Your bank, too, will need this update.

Proper Cleaning

The thing with moving into a pre-owned home is – you can never be quite certain of what the previous owner(s) were like. Even if they look stable and good on paper, or even after you’ve met them, those that seem meticulous, might turn out the exact opposite. Although you might think that you can do the in-detail cleaning on your own, cleaners Sydney suggest that you hire a professional cleaning agency in order to make sure you’ve covered all your basics, when it comes to cleaning. Even if the previous tenants claim that they’ve done the cleaning job on their own, you should always look to remain certain that your new house is completely clean – you don’t want having to deal with many problems that might ensue such as mold, or even creepy crawlers, bacteria and rodent infestations.

Other Things

Make sure you’ve fireproofed your new house before moving in, with proper fire safety paraphernalia, fire extinguishers and such.
- Install a quality anti-burglar alarms and cover all your safety basics
- Make your driveway ambulance vehicle-accessible
For further information, contact emergency services.

So there you have it, a list of things to think about before actually moving in. Make no mistake, although these might seem trivial and logical, many new homeowners experience trouble for not covering their basics on time. After you’ve crossed all of these items of the list (and you’ll need a list, too), you can move in and think about the trivialities that will make your new home more comfortable and pleasing to the eye.