Kids want parents to “stump up” more + Unrealistic sellers come unstuck + Strata buyers beware

Highlights from this week:

  • Review site for off the plan buyers
  • Warning to strata title buyers
  • 90% of sellers have unrealistic price expectations
  • What to look for when doing a body corporate search
  • The bank of Mum and Dad just got bigger


90% of sellers have unrealistic price expectations – Justin Nickerson

Kevin Turner: Well, the release that I read, I’ve got to say, didn’t really surprise me. It talks about nine out of ten vendors have unrealistic price expectations. Now, let me put this into perspective before I bring you to our guest to talk to about this. You know, there’s a saying in the industry that — and rightly so, too — that every seller deserves to get a premium price for their properties. So their expectation is fair enough. It’s meant to be fairly high, but is there too high? Is the expectation too high, and can it become difficult for them to do it?
Kevin Turner: I’m going to talk about this to Justin Nickerson, who is a spokesperson for Gavl, who brought this research out.
Kevin Turner: G’day Justin, how you doing?
Justin N.: Hey Kevin, how are you doing?
Kevin Turner: Good mate. Sorry about that intro, but it really wasn’t a surprise to me, you know, 92% of agents think that sellers have unrealistic sales price expectations. That’s their privilege though, Justin isn’t it?
Justin N.: Yeah, absolutely. Well they’re the one holding the cards, so if they want to decide that the market doesn’t match their expectations for their property, then they’re inclined to do that and hang on to it, but I think, always, that the sellers do have an expectation that their property’s worth a certain amount. I think the data that Gavl have got off the back of the survey just sort of reaffirms that, and in some cases the market might match that, and in other cases the market doesn’t quite get there.
Kevin Turner: Mm-hmm. You’ve only got to look at some of the online third-party sites that purport to tell you what your property’s worth. You can go to three of those, and get three different estimates. I mean there is no one price for any property. It’s really what someone’s prepared to pay for it.
Justin N.: Yeah, it’s the oldest cliché in real estate, isn’t it? But probably one of the truest, I think, because I think the hardest part about it, Kevin, is that emotion is the primary driver behind a property purchase, and how do you price emotion? It’s an unpriceable thing. What something is worth because of a view or because of a location is different to every single person that goes through it, so to stand there and say, “Well it’s got to be worth X,” or, “It has to be worth Y,” it just doesn’t quite match up with that unpriceable element.
Kevin Turner: Justin, the research also said that agents felt that the seller’s expectation sometimes exceeded the market by as much as $50,000.
Justin N.: Yeah, and I guess that’s all scalable on the properties too, Kevin. If you’re talking multiple-million dollar properties, $50,000, although it’s a lot of money to you and I, is not a lot in the scheme of things, of that sale, but if you’re talking an investment unit, perhaps, or a home on the fringes that maybe in the 300s, 50 grand is an awful lot of money. It can be as much as 15 or 20% of the sale price, so I think that is all a little bit keeping within the scale of what it is there, but the analysis that Gavl have done has certainly shown that it’s a pretty common theme across all types of properties.
Kevin Turner: Surely that’s the role of the agent though, isn’t it? To get the seller to see reality, to get them to … well almost accept the unacceptable. If we can accept the fact that most sellers have a higher expectation than what their property’s really worth, the role of the agent becomes critical in helping them to accept the unacceptable, pretty much.
Justin N.: Yeah, you’re 100% right, and I think the unenviable task that agents face is, on the other side of that they’ve got a buyer who doesn’t want to pay what it’s worth, either, so they’re probably trying to burn the candle at both ends by getting both the seller to understand that they’re expectations might be optimistic, and trying to talk to the buyer and say, “Look, your expectation of what you’re going to buy the property for is also optimistic, but in the opposite direction, and then trying to meet them in the middle, is how the deal gets done, I suppose.
Kevin Turner: Right Justin, we’ll leave it there, mate. I know you’re very, very busy. Weekends, of course. Big auction weekend this weekend, for you?
Justin N.: Yeah, yeah got quite a few, both on Saturday and Sunday, so hopefully a few good results ready for us across the weekend.
Kevin Turner: Thanks Justin. Justin Nickerson there, from Gavl … spokesperson for Gavl. Thanks for your time, mate. Good calling on the weekend, too.
Justin N.: A absolute pleasure, Kevin. All the best.

Warning to strata title buyers – Grant Mifsud

Kevin Turner: If you’re looking at purchasing a strata title apartment or a townhouse, you should carefully examine the costs of levies connected with maintaining the property. That’s according to Archers Strata Professionals.  Joining me from Archers, Grant Mifsud. Grant, thank you very much for your time. Tell me what we can learn or what we need to be aware of with these levies
Grant Mifsud: Hi, Kevin. Thanks for having me on. I suppose that there’s              different levels of understanding when it comes to purchasing a property as to what the outgoings are, but then there’s more detail when it comes to a strata property, because there’s levies associated with it. Essentially everybody that is an owner of one of those units has part of what’s called the common property, and that’s where you’ve got the lifts, you’ve got the outside of the building, you’ve got a pool or whatever it may be, so the biggest thing is to do your due diligence before you’re committing to purchasing that property and knowing what your outgoings are going to be.
Kevin Turner: Okay. There’s two different types, though, aren’t there? There’s the sinking fund. Could you just explain to us what the costs are and how we should check on them?
Grant Mifsud: Yeah. So, you’ve got the everyday running cost of the building where you’ve got someone that does the lawns and gardens. You’ve got your annual cost for insurance, pools, those sorts of things, but then there’s also, as you mentioned, the sinking fund. That’s your long-term fund where you’re putting money aside for the future capital costs of replacing things. Like it might be a lift refurbishment, or painting the building is a common one. So, what we do see is those levies at times can be kept low, or understated, which ends up in a problem for the current owners or the future owners, because that fund doesn’t have enough money when it comes to paying for the painting or whatever it may be that’s needed.
Kevin Turner: I can imagine, like on a new block, you probably wouldn’t require much of a sinking fund. How soon after building does the sinking fund have to be established so everyone knows what they’re going to be paying into it?
Grant Mifsud: Yeah. Great question. So, when you’re buying a new block, there’s a requirement to disclose what the future outgoings are going to be, but the body corporate legislation doesn’t require that you actually have a written forecast, which is done by a quantity surveyor or professional that goes out and surveys the property and puts costs to each of those items. But that forecast is required to plan ahead for the spending for the next 10 years’ worth of costs, so essentially you start putting a little bit away for those costs that are going to be in the next 10-year period and beyond.
Kevin Turner: I imagine it would be difficult too, because no two blocks are the same. There could be different construction, even different rooves that might require particular care. I’m thinking of some of the flat-roofed buildings, particularly down in New South Wales and areas like that where they do actually have a lot of trouble with leaking.
Grant Mifsud: Yeah, yeah, and the leaking’s one thing, so that’s more of a general maintenance issue, but then when you’ve got replacement costs, and realistically, that professional you get out to do a physical inspection of the building, they’re going to have a look at that roof and see if it’s, “Okay, you’re having chronic leaks. You’re eventually going to have to replace this thing. Let’s put aside some money in your forecasting or how much you need to put aside on an annual basis so that when we get to two years or three years, whatever it may be, you need to replace the whole thing, you’re going to have enough money.”
Kevin Turner: When you say that leaking is a maintenance problem, it’s something that should be forecast and therefore the money put into the sinking fund. Am I reading that wrong?
Grant Mifsud: Well, not exactly put into the sinking fund, because if you know it’s going to happen or it’s happening, that’s more of an administration cost, so it’s general repairs and maintenance. The sinking fund is more for your capital replacement items, so long-term deterioration before it gets to that point where the water is going to be coming through the roof and damaging the rest of the building. If it gets to that point, you’d need to just replace the thing so you should have money put aside.
Kevin Turner: If the money’s not put aside, that’s when there could be a special call for a levy.
Grant Mifsud: Yeah, well, that’s a bit of a dirty word in strata, special levies. Nobody likes them, because what-
Kevin Turner: But, you know, I tell you what, we see them happen quite often, don’t we? Is that just bad planning?
Grant Mifsud: Yes, it is. Effectively, it’s just bad planning where you haven’t done your due diligence when you’ve bought in. or the strata committee that’s running it has been understating what the levies are when they have a fair idea or having got a professional in to get what the reality is of what they’re going to need for roof replacement, say.
Kevin Turner: You mentioned calling in a quantity surveyor. I’m just wondering, at the time of purchase, if I’m buying an older-style unit, it’s one thing to get the body corporate disclosures, but then should I be checking to see if the amount that’s in the fund is going to be sufficient? Should I be getting a building and inspection report or some sort of quantity surveyor’s report?
Grant Mifsud: What you should be doing is getting a record search completed, so this is going to lead into a few different areas, but one area in particular is to search the records to see if there is a quantity surveyor’s report on record. And then once you get a copy of that report, you can compare it to every year it says what the fund should have in it, and then you can look at what the actual fund is for the sinking fund and what it states in the sinking fund forecast, if indeed there is one, and if that’s out of kilter, you know that there’s going to be a problem.
Kevin Turner: Yeah. Good warning here for anyone buying a unit, is you get a body corporate search done, but unless it goes back far enough and is thorough enough, it may not disclose some of these things.
Grant Mifsud: That’s right, so the advice that we would always suggest for a potential purchaser is to engage professionals to do that search, because they’re the ones that are looking at the records on a day-to-day basis. It’s not just the funds that they’re looking for. There’s a lot of other areas, but when it particularly comes to the funds, they know what to look for with this sinking fund forecast, and then they’re going to give you a report to say, “Well, your forecast in the end of 2018 should have, say, $500,000 in it, but the reality is, it’s only got $250,000  in it.” This is an area that needs to be investigated further.
Kevin Turner: Very timely. Very good warnings there too. Grant, thank you very much. Grant is from Archers Strata Professionals. Thanks very much for your time, Grant.
Grant Mifsud: Thank you, Kevin.

The bank of Mum and Dad just got bigger – Vanessa Stoykov

Kevin Turner: Well, would you believe that two in three Aussie’s believe their parents should make sacrifices for their children’s financial future? Well, I say maybe the kids are going to make some sacrifices themselves. But let’s deal with this seriously. This is the subject of some research that was commissioned by  money expert and author of the book, The Breakfast Club For 40 Somethings. Vanessa Stoykov. Vanessa, thank you very much for your time.
Vanessa Stoykov: Thanks for having me.
Kevin Turner: Do you get that reaction sometimes maybe the kid should be sacrificing a bit more themselves. Are they expecting too much?
Vanessa Stoykov: Oh look, it’s been a funny reaction to this piece of research. Actually I’ve had a range of reactions from indignation and horror to well kind of makes sense because kids probably are never going to be able to afford their own house now.
Kevin Turner: Okay. Well let’s dig into what the results showed. Was there a dominant a group of individuals, either male or female or age group that sort of had this sentiment?
Vanessa Stoykov: Yeah. Look the highest age group that really wanted their parents to sacrifice were 18 to 25 year olds and I think that’s cool. It’s a bit of backlash. And that was wanting their parents to sacrifice things like nice fancy cars and overseas holidays and dinners out to save for them. So it really is a juggle to think how much do you give to yourself and how much do you enjoy life and how much do you put away so that they’ve got a chance to make more of their life too.
Kevin Turner: Interesting part of this, and I think unless I’ve read this incorrectly, but the second highest group that had that sentiment was 65 plus year olds. Is that right?
Vanessa Stoykov: Yeah, it is. That’s exactly right. And what that tells me is the baby boomers know that they’ve made most of their wealth off property and free university education and a good medicare system and a good pension system, but most of them can see it coming that it won’t be that case for when their kids get to their age.
Kevin Turner: Doesn’t it come down to education? I think one of the pillars that you talk about in creating wealth is that the lessons you learn from your parents and some of the lessons we can teach our kids is how to save, how to invest wisely.
Vanessa Stoykov: Exactly. Well, it’s all about education, isn’t it? And if kids see that there’s a purpose behind saving and a purpose behind investing. Then they’re more likely to do it. But in the economy of, I want it now. If kids think that they want because other people have got it. It becomes very hard for them to understand. Putting away for later makes Sense.
Kevin Turner: Well I know from my own experience we had to sacrifice a lot to get the wealth that we have today. I’m just wondering why we should continue to have to sacrifice.
Vanessa Stoykov: Well this is right. I mean my father was an immigrant who came here with literally the clothes on his back. And then he worked in a coal mine to make sure his three kids got to university. So he sacrificed a lot to get us to where we are. And my husband and I are always thinking about how much we’re going to sacrifice for our three boys.
Kevin Turner: Yeah, I mean we’re prepared to sacrifice, we’re prepared to support them and we have done. But you wonder how far that needs to go. How do you go about … What are your suggestions for having these conversations with the kids?
Vanessa Stoykov: I think it starts around the dinner table. I think money is a real taboo in our society and no one really wants to talk about it. So having conversations around the dinner table, even things around debts, around the evil of credit cards, around paying certain things in cash when you can afford them. And starting those conversations young and having it to be an open conversation rather than we don’t talk about money at the dinner table really helps because that gets them to understand right from wrong and which way to go.
Kevin Turner: The five pillars that I briefly mentioned, the time, desire, action, belief and focus. Does any one of those stand out as a stumbling block that you can see with people more than others?
Vanessa Stoykov: Desire is a big one. I just walked out of the shopping mall, just then and we worship in the mall nowadays. So wanting thing is a massive stumbling block in our society, because the consumption of things rather than the investment of things drives people into debt. And one in six Australians are in more debt on credit cards than they’ll ever pay back according to an asset report that just came out. One in six people have more debt than they can pay back. That’s outrageous.
Kevin Turner: That requires a bit of focus, isn’t it? I mean, you’ve got to be determined to cut back on that debt and if you really focus on it, it’s not too hard to do, to be quite frank.
Vanessa Stoykov: Well, it’s just, it’s persistence, isn’t it? That’s why I wrote this book, The Breakfast Club 40 Somethings because I tried to use fiction and storytelling to show the effects in people’s lives of the decisions they made over the years. Because it’s very hard for people to see 20 years out what could happen if they don’t prepare now. But if you can read stories about other people and how it turned out, you can kind of go, “you know what, I actually want to be a bit more prepared than that. I didn’t want to have to work till I’m 75 because I can’t afford to retire.”
Kevin Turner: Making that commitment and having a plan too. I think in helping the kids, I think we can sort of demonstrate what they should be doing by example as opposed to just words.
Vanessa Stoykov: I agree. Well, that’s do as I say, not as I do. That doesn’t really work as a parenting role, unfortunately.
Kevin Turner: Great Book. It’s called The Breakfast Club For 40 Somethings. I’ve been talking to the author. It’s available at all major bookstores as well as Big W. it’ll set you back $25.95, but it’s a great investment. Vanessa thank you so much for your time. It’s a pleasure talking to you and I look forward to having you in the show again more regularly.
Vanessa Stoykov: Wonderful. Thanks for having me.

Review site for off the plan buyers – Cameron Black

Kevin Turner: A few weeks ago I told you about a website called Well, the launch of propertymash took place late last week and was very, very successful. In fact, the portal itself has been very successful over time, now registering more. If you’re looking at buying anything new off the plan, this is the site for you to go and have a look at the propertymash. Joining me, the man behind it, Cameron Black. Cameron, congratulations on the launch. Congratulations on what the portal’s doing. It’s growing from success to success.
Cameron Black: Thanks Kevin. Yes. The launch went really well, and now we’re very, very pleased at how the website’s going at the moment.  We’re getting a lot of visitors and a lot of engagement from buyers, so, yeah, it’s growing very nicely.
Kevin Turner: Because you need the two sides, don’t you?  You need the developments, or the developers, to put their product there, and then you need the eyeballs of people who want to buy it.
Cameron Black: Yeah, no, absolutely right? Yeah. We got a big team. Had to put a big team together to kind of cover all of the projects, because, yeah, the great challenge for us is not only finding every project in the marketplace, because we understand exactly how hard it is for a buyer because it’s hard for us to even find every off-the-plan and new apartment project, townhouse project, house and land project. In Queensland, we’re putting them onto our portal, so that’s a big job. And then, of course, we’re visiting each one and writing our independent reviews.
Cameron Black: So it’s a huge job, but we’ve got up to almost 300 projects now, which is more than twice any other competitor in the marketplace. I think that’s been a really big milestone for us. A buyer can now go to propertymash and look through almost 300, and I think sometime this week we’ll probably top out over the 300. You know, Kevin, the surprising thing is we’ve got another hundred to go and inspect and review, at least another 400 plus, at least 400 plus in the market.
Kevin Turner: I was going to ask you, how big is the market? And we’re really only talking here about Queensland, and I know you have ambitions to go Australia-wide and even worldwide, but is that the depth of the market in Queensland? New off-the-plan developments, about 400?
Cameron Black: Yeah, well that’s Brisbane and Gold Coast only, and that’s not even including Sunshine Coast. So we look at our estimation at the moment is 450. We haven’t had books to go and inspect and write up our reviews on and look there is no doubt more. But, yes, we’re working really, really hard to try and identify everything inside and that’s ultimately … Yeah, other than our independent reviews so that a buyer can come and get some authentic content before they purchase or to validate their purchase before they go ahead. That’s one of the key objectives of Property Mash, so a buyer’s got that third party resource to reference. The other key, value proposition I suppose. The service that we’re trying to offer is they go to one location and find every single project, and, yeah, we’re well and truly on our way now, and as I was saying before, we’re far over twice our nearest competitor in terms of content, which is really exciting.
Kevin Turner: When the consumer goes to the site, what can they expect to see? And are there any developments that you won’t have on the site?
Cameron Black: No, we’re actually trying to put every single project on there. Every now and then, we’ve been really surprised, Kevin. Sometimes we’re writing these reviews, and they’re very, very factual, and some of the people in the industry get a little bit concerned about it, but it’s very, very few. The developers don’t want to be involved, and we’ve been really, really pleased with how they’ve engaged with us. Every now and then, there’ll be a developer that will come to us and say, “Oh, please don’t feature our project.”  We’re actually putting every project on there, so if the developer doesn’t want to be on there, we will still include their project.
Cameron Black: We won’t go and write up a full review, but if a member of the public comes to us and ask us to go and actually write up that review, we’ll actually go and write that review free of charge, so it’s a free service, and every member of the public can actually just go onto our website and very, very quickly just put it in a submission, and we’ll go out there and talk to the developer, because we’re not going say to a buyer whether they’re a good or bad project. I mean buying property is really a very subjective process. You and I might look at two properties, and I’ll like one, and you’ll like the other, and it’ll be based on not just facts but also their subjective requirements.
Cameron Black: But what we do do, and I think what our journalists are doing very, very effectively is just taking away all of the marketing. advertising agencies. And that’s really going to have and we just put the facts up there so as if we were writing for a brother or a family relative who wasn’t local and so if I can go there and read it and just see for themselves exactly the facts about that project and balance that against everything that they know in the market place and then make really well informed decision to go ahead and buy.
Kevin Turner: Given the size of the site and how well it’s been accessed both by developers and by consumers you would over time, I guess, be getting a really good feel for what sorts of developments in what areas are really got to work. That’d be pretty valuable information.
Cameron Black: I think that’s… Yes, absolutely. I think that’s part of what our vision is, I suppose, is that we’ve got all this information collating it and presenting it back to the marketplace. In new ways to interpret that data. I mean we’re very, very focused on our buyers and we only really talked to buyers of property so we’re not creating services for developers or for the industry. Now our goal is to create a really high quality print magazine. As you know, we’ve got a print magazine in the marketplace as well as a website such as service for buyers. We really think that the property search experience for people buying new and off the plan property is broken. It hasn’t, you know, it just doesn’t work at the moment. You can’t go to any one website until –
Kevin Turner: Until now.
Cameron Black: They should be able go to one website and that should be able to find all the product in the marketplace and I think that’s very antiquated. And then the second part of what we’re doing is if you want to buy a property and you want to go online and actually check out and do a third party validation and make sure that that $500,000 or that $1,000,000 dollar investment you’re about to make to satisfy yourself that it’s the right decision. While our reviews are sitting there and we’re starting to get feedback from buyers as well, which is really exciting. So the buyer is starting to get onto our website and give out some comments about why they purchased this property rather than another property and I think that’s really exciting to hear any buyer can go there and see what other buyers and the reasons why they purchased property again. That’s another element of I guess conversation and any information that you just can’t get in any other website.
Kevin Turner: Listeners to this show. Well basically now that we’ve got the net all over the world, what are your ambitions for growth? How soon do you think we’re going to see propertymash more than just in southeast Queensland?
Cameron Black: That’s a big job, Kevin.
Kevin Turner: I know.
Cameron Black: Such a big job because of the way we do it with our journalist having to visit our project and then writing these independent reviews. It’s a big job and we need to make sure that we do it properly because we know people are really relying upon us to give them the facts. That’s why we were engaging with the development community because it’s so important that we work with them every day and to get our updates and make sure all these articles that we’re producing are as accurate that they can be. So it’s a big job. I mean, we’ll be starting on the sunshine coast shortly.
Cameron Black: And we’re already preparing for other markets. Look, I’d love to give you a date but it won’t be too long. That’s for sure. So we’re pushing ahead and we see the value of the service is absolutely relevant in all these other markets in Australia.
Kevin Turner: Great talking to you, Cameron. Thank you very much for your time. Congratulations on what you’re doing. The website again is called Property Mash P-R-O-P-E-R-T-Y-M-A-S-H dot com. Cameron, thank you very much for your time. Congratulations on what you’re doing.
Cameron Black: Thanks Kevin. Appreciate it.

What to look for when doing a body corporate search – Miriam Sandkuhler

Kevin: When you’re buying an apartment or a unit, one of the titles that you’ll come up against or you’ll hear about is Strata. So, we’re going to talk about what Strata is all about, and some of the things that you should be aware of if you’re actually buying into that type of title. Joining me to talk about that, Miriam Sandkuhler from Property Mavens. Good day Miriam.
Miriam: Good morning Kevin.
Kevin: Let’s talk about some of the, traps is not necessarily the right word, but things that people should be aware of if they’re going to enter into a Strata title.
Miriam: That’s correct. So what most people don’t understand is when you’re buying Strata title you’re actually buying a share of a larger title and there’s often common property as well. So it’s really one block that’s seems leading to multiple titles and then there’s common property which, everybody ultimately responsible for and they have a share of the ownership also.
Kevin: So therein probably lies the first problem and that is that there are a number of people who are gonna be jointly handling portion of what you think might be yours, therefore you’ve got to get along with ’em. You got to agree with them, don’t you?
Miriam: Absolutely, but before that you need to make sure that you’re getting the contract checked absolutely thoroughly and you’ve got a really clear understanding of what you’re buying into, ’cause when it goes wrong it goes very wrong and there are plenty of owners corporations and body corporations where there is absolute conflict between owners and it’s a nightmare.
Kevin: Okay, what else should we be aware of?
Miriam: So if you’re buying new, understand that buying, well off the plan, is very risky, because you’re basically buying a concept. So while you might save stamp duty buying properly off the plan, you’re buying a concept and once it’s built you’re committed to purchasing it in spite of the building materials used and we are seeing some situations particularly in Melbourne now where there are issues with a cladding that’s highly flammable on a lot the newer apartment buildings that have been built and as a consequence of that, people are gonna struggle to sell their property easily. There’s now massive legal cases that play in terms of who’s responsible, you know the council signed it off, but was it the builder or the developer. Prices and values of properties can be effected. So you really must proceed with caution when you’re buying certainly newer off the plan properties from that perspective.
Kevin: Yeah you talked earlier about taking legal advice on any contracts, but you should also be doing all the proper searches, the body corporate searches and so on. There are two different types of searches that you can make with those and some of them certainly aren’t detailed enough, they don’t go back far enough. I’ve always counselled people to make sure that they go back as far as they can and familiarise themselves with the past minutes Miriam.
Miriam: That’s exactly right. So I suggest at a minimum they want to request one to two years worth of meeting minutes.
Kevin: Yeah, absolute minimum really.
Miriam: Yeah annual general meeting minutes.
Kevin: Yeah.
Miriam: Because then I can go back and track down the history. What are the larger issues within the property and the development that need to be dealt with. Are there any special levees that are gonna be struck? Is there a capital work fund? Is there a pot of money automatically set aside out of all the owner’s corporation contributions every year that gets built up to deal with those expenses when they come, ’cause when they come they’re huge and you legally have to pay your share of them whether you’ve got the funding for it or not.
Kevin: An example of some of the things that can arise, buildings that have a flat roof as an example can tend to leak, and if there’s some remedial work that’s been done and then we go through a dry spell, which in some cases can last for years, no one really knows whether or not it’s been repaired properly and there could be a massive call in future. So you’ve got to go back quite a way, I think, to find out if there’s been any remedial work done on the block.
Miriam: That’s exactly right and it can be anything. It can be concrete cancer, I mean it usually comes down to poor workmanship or it comes down to the wrong, or poor materials used and that’s why again, when you’re buying a property, even if it is a relatively new townhouse, apartment, you still want to get a defects building report done. Certainly with an older property you want to get a defects building report done as well, or a building and pest report because you need to understand what the issues are, not just with the property that you’re buying, but on a bigger scale with the actual development itself.
Kevin: I think it’s also a good exercise when you are looking at purchasing something like this to ask the solicitor or the conveyancer you’re using, have they got experience with this type of title. Do they know what sort of searches should be done and undertaken Miriam?
Miriam: That’s exactly right, because there are some solicitors conveyancers that specialise in dealing with off the plan contracts and it is an area of expertise. There are lots of things that can often be hidden within an off the plan contract. So you don’t want your average conveyancer dealing with that. You want someone who specialises in that to go through it with a fine tooth comb.
Kevin: Absolutely.
Miriam: Because it could be the difference between making or losing an enormous amount of money.
Kevin: Yeah, because not all conveyancers are the same Miriam, are they?
Miriam: Correct. Neither is anyone in any profession. You know you have to assume in any profession that there are people who are experts and there are people that aren’t.
Kevin: Well it was good talking to you Miriam Sandkuhler. Miriam is the CEO and buyers agent at Property Mavens. Thanks for your time Miriam.
Miriam: Your very welcome Kevin.

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