Need insurance? RH Assist can help…

April, 2017 by

 

Raine & Horne Assist is your perfect partner when it comes to finding the right insurance cover.

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Santa update: Prep your home now to make sure you get a visit this Christmas

December, 2016 by

Australian homeowners can do their bit to make sure Santa finds them this Christmas Eve, his busiest night of the year.

For starters, organise the kids to create some signs for your front yard that will ensure the Santa convoy doesn’t miss your home, advises David Cotton, Co-Principal Raine & Horne Port Douglas and Mossman, in Queensland’s tropical north.

“A ‘Santa, stop here’ sign will ensure the jolly man in the red suit delivers his gifts on time,” said David.

“Moreover, the signs act as a constant reminder to children that Santa isn’t far away – and that his ‘naughty or nice’ rule will dictate who will, or won’t, take delivery of some prized gifts this year.”

Given the intense heat and humidity that Santa will encounter in northern Australia, David advises that now is the perfect time for checking that air-conditioners are in perfect working order.

“Cleaning your air-conditioner filters helps improve the air quality in your home and makes the machine run more efficiently to ensure that your home will provide a cool escape as Santa delivers gifts to the children of North Queensland,” said David.

Santa delivers presents to billions of boys and girls all over the world in a single night, which makes finding every home quite complicated.

“Fortunately, in Rudolph’s red nose, Santa has his very own Google Maps. However, even the old reindeer needs some directions occasionally,” said Vince Labbozzetta, Co-Principal Raine & Horne Liverpool, in Sydney’s west.

“And this is where plenty of Christmas lighting can be useful. The right festive lights can illuminate your roof or garden just like a landing strip to help Santa and the reindeers arrive safely at your home.”

Even if you don’t have a chimney, Santa will find a way to deliver his presents, according to Vince.

“That said, if you do have a chimney, Christmas is a great time to clean it out,” he said.

If you used a wood fire in winter, then you should arrange to have the chimney swept at least once a year to ensure it isn’t choked with soot, according to Mathew Ivanoff, Principal of Raine & Horne Wollongong.

“For gas fires, make sure the flue outlet isn’t blocked or obstructed as this can prevent dangerous carbon monoxide from escaping your home,” Mathew said.

Pool maintenance is also a must in the run-up to Christmas, according to Mathew.

“Ensure the water is clean and the correct chemicals are being used to ensure there are no nasty bugs that pollute the water. I mean, have a heart for the reindeer—they might be thirsty!” said Mathew.

With summer storms affecting many homeowners, this is also a good time of year to make sure your gutters are clean and to check your roof to see if it needs any repairs.

“Your kids might not mind Santa crashing down and spilling all his presents when your roof can’t hold the weight of his sleigh, but a bunch of startled reindeer in the lounge room is the last thing you want to wake up to on Christmas morning,” said Mathew.

Do you need motor vehicle finance?

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November, 2016 by

With Our Broker, you can get more than just a home loan. You can also access some great loans for private cars, commercial vehicles, as well as plant and equipment purchases for your business.

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Revamped R&H website to help consumer property search

October, 2016 by

Raine & Horne has recently completed a Phase 2 enhancement of its Asia Pacific Property Award-winning website.

“We know the Raine & Horne website is ever-evolving, and we work closely with our network to ensure we meet both their needs and those of our customers,” said Raine & Horne Executive Chairman, Angus Raine.

RH Website Phase 2The focus of the Phase 2 residential website was threefold, according to Mr Raine.

“The first objective involved revising the user interface to put more focus on calls to action such as ‘find an agent’ and ‘appraisal requests’,” he said.

The second step involved simplifying and streamlining the search function, enabling properties to be displayed with one click and then allowing users to refine the search parameters.

“A recent Microsoft study found that our online attention span is down to 8 seconds. So if customers can’t find easily find what they’re looking for fast, they’re onto the next site,” said Mr Raine.

“With this research in mind, we’ve streamlined the website’s search functions to help consumers find what they’re looking for rapidly and to keep them coming back to Raine & Horne.”

“Thirdly, we were determined the transition to the new design would not require a significant learning curve for office administrators or create additional work for our offices, and would have minimal impact on existing content.

“I’m happy to say it’s been a case of mission accomplished in relation to meeting the three objectives, and the finished product has been well received by our customers, offices and the wider international real estate community.”

To view the revamped Raine & Horne website, visit rh.com.au today.

Auction tips from James Pratt

September, 2016 by

Raine & Horne’s Director of Auction Services, James Pratt, recently featured on Channel Nine’s A Current Affair to discuss how Chinese buyers are excelling at auctions, and shared his insights into how all buyers can maximise their chances when the bidding starts.

To see what James had to say, check out the video below.

Make your life easier with Assist

June, 2016 by

Assist_House_105432932_R300At Raine & Horne, we’re always seeking new ways to make your life easier. This is why we’re pleased to offer our customers Raine & Horne Assist. Assist takes the hassle and stress out of moving, by offering you all of your utility and insurance needs in one place. Best of all, it’s a free, no-obligation service.

Assist offers you a range of services, including mortgages & finance, insurance, utilities, conveyancing, depreciation schedules and home safety – all designed to smooth the path to your new home.

To find out more, go to www.raineandhorne.com.au/assist today.

Your essential real estate glossary

May, 2016 by

If you’ve ever wondered what all those real estate terms really mean, here we’ve compiled a useful glossary to help you decipher ‘agent speak’ and navigate the real estate landscape.

 

Agent: A registered person contracted to act for another in the selling, buying, renting or management of property.

Appraisal: An opinion of the potential saleability of a property by a licenced real estate agent.

Auction: A sale, usually in public, of a property sold to the highest bidder.

Body Corporate or Owners Corporation: The collective ownership of common property such as a block of apartments or multi–dwelling complexes. It is responsible for the administration and upkeep of common areas.

Bridging Finance: A short-term loan, usually at a higher rate of interest, taken out by people who have bought a house while waiting for theirs to be sold, or when a normal mortgage and/or their savings fall below the asking price.

Buyer’s Advocate or Buyer’s Agent: Represents a property buyer in negotiations with a vendor or his/her agent. The buyer’s agent is paid by the buyer. Buyer’s agents should be licensed and certified to act as a buyer’s agent.

Capital Gains Tax: A Commonwealth Tax payable on the capital gain made on the sale of an investment property. Refer to the current requirements of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Certificate of Title: A document issued under the Torrens Title System of Title, showing ownership and interest in a parcel of land.

Commission: A negotiable percentage or agreed amount of the selling price of a property, paid by the seller to the property agent, normally after the property is sold.

Community Title: Similar to Strata Title but applicable to developments combining a variety of dwelling styles and communal facilities where an overall style and theme must be adhered to.

Contract or Agreement of Sale: A legal document relating to the sale of a property which expresses the terms and conditions of the sale.

Conveyancer: A person (not a legal practitioner) who, for a fee, handles the process of transferring property.

Cooling-Off Period: A period of time during which a buyer can withdraw from the sale of a home (if not purchased at auction). Duration varies from state to state. The duration must be outlined in the Agreement of Sale.

Deposit: Percentage of the total consideration, or an agreed amount, paid on exchange of a contract for purchase of an asset.

Depreciation: Is a non-cash allowance that you may be able to claim on your tax which reflects the limited life of an asset.

Equity: The difference between the market value of the property and any loans outstanding on the property.

Gazumping: If someone has agreed to sell you a property and then sells it to someone else for a higher price, you have been gazumped!

Investment: The purchase of an asset, such as real estate, with the ultimate goal of producing capital gain on the resale of the asset.

Land Tax: Value-based levy applied to some property (exemptions include principal place of residence).

Landlord: The owner of property being rented.

Lease or Lease Agreement: The lease (also known as a tenancy agreement) is a legal contract between the tenant, landlord and agent. This covers the amount of rent to be paid, the method of payment, term of the agreement, security bond amount and other conditions and rules.

Lessee: One who leases/rents a property from a lessor/owner.

Mortgage: A written contract giving a lender security over a property.

Mortgagee: One who lends the money for the property.

Mortgagor: One who borrows the money to purchase property.

Negative Gearing: Where the costs associated with your property investment exceed the income received over the tax year.

Off the plan: Buying a property based on architect’s plans, before it has been built.

Principal: The actual amount of money that has been borrowed to buy a property.

Private Sale: The seller does not engage an estate agent but acts on his own behalf, dealing directly with the buyer.

Private Treaty Sale: The sale of property via an agent through private negotiation and contract.

Reserve Price: The lowest acceptable price set by the vendor.

Semi-detached: Two buildings joined by a common wall.

Settlement: The occasion when ownership of a property passes from the vendor to the buyer and the balance of the sale price is paid to the vendor.

Stamp Duty: A government tax imposed on contracts with the amount usually calculated as a percentage of the contract value.

Strata Title: Applies to more than one property on a single piece of land, such as an apartment block. Each unit will have a separate strata title, organised under a ‘strata plan’.

Tenant: One who leases/rents a property from a lessor/owner.

Title Search: A check of public records to make sure that the vendor has the right to sell and transfer ownership of a property.

Torrens Title: The standard certificate recognising land owned by the person registered on that document.

Townhouse: Two storey attached building, usually strata-titled.

Valuation: The estimation of the value of a property by a qualified and registered valuer.

Vendor: A person selling a property.

Get familiar with your smoke alarm

April, 2016 by

Jeremy Batten from Smoke Alarm Testing Services (SATS) advises homeowners to make checking smoke alarms a regular home maintenance task.

“The smoke alarms in many new homes are wired into the mains electricity, however this doesn’t exempt them from the need for regular checkups,” says Mr Batten.

At the same time, the majority of older homes in Australia have battery-operated devices, says Jeremy.

“This means owners need to be aware that batteries should be replaced a minimum of once a year, while the sensors built into the smoke alarm can tend to fail from about the 10 year mark, but in some cases it will be earlier than this.

“Whether you have 1 alarm or 5 in your property, SATS charges a smoke alarm inspection fee of $99 per property. As part of the review, our inspectors will clean all smoke alarms, replace batteries where required, check alarm expiry dates, verify they meet Australian standards and so on.”

Whether you test your alarm now or not, Jeremy says it’s vital you establish a regular date to check its batteries – it could also be Easter, Christmas or the end of daylight saving.

And while you’re on the step ladder, it’s worth taking the time to check the type of smoke alarm you’re using.

According to the Fire Protection Association Australia, ionisation alarms work best for fires where the heat and flames intensify fast, while photoelectric alarms detect visible smoke produced by smouldering fires.

This makes photoelectric alarms the preferred option for homes with rooms and corridors leading to exits, as they can deliver the vital few extra seconds needed to save your home and family in the event of a fire.

Quick tips for creating some bedroom style

December, 2015 by

If you’re looking to overhaul a tired old bedroom, or simply looking for a change, we’ve put together a few handy tips that will help you create an ambience of serenity and space in your night-time sanctuary.

Fresh
BedroomA good place to start is the bed itself, so if the budget allows, splash out on some fresh linen! Single colours and simple patterns create a calm tone – add a sense of space by complementing linen colours with curtains and drapes. You can also add accents of colour with a luxury blanket or a collection of cushions.

Bright
Brighten up your room with a simple vase of flowers – tulips, irises, lilies and roses work well. You may choose to match your flowers to a corresponding print on an adjacent wall.

Elegant
Clear bedside tables of bric-a-brac and personal items, and consider displaying a single luxury item such as an expensive perfume bottle to create a sense of elegance. Again, less is more.

Light
If your lamp shades have seen better days, a quick and easy way to inject some new life into your bedroom is with brand new shades. These can be replaced at minimal cost, and if you want your room to be as spacious as possible, opt for light colours in neutral tones.

Clean
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to clean. Start by cleaning down your windows and fly screens, and then dust skirting and picture rails. Vacuum thoroughly, and aim to steam clean carpets and rugs or polish floor boards.

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