Fashionable Flowers at the International Flower and Garden Show

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There are always ways to add value to your property – whether that is by renovating, decorating or re-building. One area that is often neglected is that of landscaping and garden design, which can boost the worth of a home substantially if done well. Here at Chisholm and Gamon we celebrate the opening of Melbourne’s International Flower and Garden Show by highlighting ways in which a dedicated landscape design can increase the value of your home – and how this annual floral extravaganza will offer inspiration and motivation to get you started. Green thumbs – get ready!

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Celebrating its 18th year, the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is regarded as the largest and most successful horticultural event in the southern hemisphere. Held in the beautiful heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building and stunning Carlton Garden surrounds, this event runs from Wednesday the 20th until the 24th of March – so you’ve still got the weekend to enjoy its array of displays. Featuring the best in landscape design and floral talent that Australia has to offer alongside an extensive range of garden retail products, this event is now regarded as a ‘must see’ for garden enthusiasts in Melbourne.

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There is an impressive array of highlights at the 2013 show, which will provide anyone looking to boost the value of their home with a myriad of inspiration. To create a vibrant garden that would be appealing to any potential home buyer, create a colourful flower bed that adds beautiful detail to your garden and instant appeal. This could be in hardy natives which are both beautiful and (relatively) easy to maintain for those with busy lifestyles. Look no further than the show’s Hall Of Flowers (which sees the Royal Exhibition Building transformed into a floral spectacle) to gain information from Australia’s best floral designers and florists. Enjoy strolling down grower’s avenue and take a look at the glorious fresh flower market where you can buy blooms directly from the grower.

If you’re looking to add a special art piece to your garden, the Garden Sculpture Exhibition features a selection of sculptures from which you can admire or even purchase. Organised by the Association of Sculptors Australia, these sculptures can assist you create a domestic landscape look that is unique.

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For overall landscape design inspiration, have a look at the International Flower and Garden Show’s Landscape Gardens, which features beautifully created landscapes that can be replicated at home. Brought to life by some of Australia’s most reputable landscape designers, these gorgeous, interactive outdoor displays feature a wide range of exotic plant life, flower beds, outdoor constructions and living spaces.

Melbourne’s International Flower and Garden Show is positively bursting with inspiration! Featuring an assortment of floral displays, landscape gardens, expert advice and garden supplies, it truly is the perfect location for your ideas to bloom.

The Great Debate: Houses versus Apartments

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Almost everyone has a well-meaning yet brusque Uncle, an overly enthusiastic neighbour or an opinionated co-worker who feel it their duty to comment on your property investment plans. Are they trying to help ? Almost certainly. Should their advice influence your resolve to purchase either kind of property? In a word, no. Today’s C&G blog looks at ‘the great debate’ and clarifies the role that both kinds of property play for purchasers.

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Australia’s preference for a quarter-acre block and a home draws deeply on our national psyche. Once upon a time, the ‘Great Australian Dream’ was typified by ownership of this kind of dwelling. As years have passed, however – this kind of ‘dream’ is out of reach for many purchasers. Particularly those starting off their property investment career, wishing to achieve proximity to the city and employment. Should price be no obstacle, purchasing a house located close to the city or well-serviced suburbs will prove a good investment. Quality homes in premium positions enjoy good capital growth and strong demand from family purchasers. Occasionally, we overhear parents wondering at the high cost of apartments in premium locales – encouraging their children to instead purchase land and house packages in the outer rings of Melbourne for a similar price. It is important to remember that the value of a house is predominantly based on its location. You may be able to acquire a new home in an outer location for a similar amount to an apartment in Elwood or Elsternwick – but what kind of growth might you expect? Is the home close to amenities, or is it located on a new estate? Houses in the right position are a strong investment decision – but don’t think that the house’s physicality will determine its success as an investment long-term.

Apartments

Once considered a ‘second best’ option, apartment ownership is fast becoming the norm for singles, couples and families who want to enjoy an urban lifestyle. With work-hours becoming longer, there’s less time for people to spend taking care of a property and garden. A modern apartment suits many, particularly those who want the convenience of living close to work and pleasure. Compared to attitudes of yesteryear, apartment ownership is no longer stigmatised. If possible, it is ideal to look for apartments in boutique, lower-density development. As with houses, rarity is also a commodity of value when it comes to unit ownership. Be careful to understand your body corporate responsibilities (and fees). Should a development have extremely high maintenance fees, it may affect resale value in the long term. That said, remember that home ownership also requires maintenance and upkeep which can become costly if not addressed.

Ultimately, demand is what makes an investment – apartment or house – attractive. It is demand that increases the value of your property in the long term. By sticking to premium suburbs close to everything that’s loved by the public such as transport, shopping, schools, hospitals and entertainment – you’re onto a good thing. Remember – success leaves clues!

Chisholm and Gamon: Identifying ‘Blue Chip’ Property

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When deciding to purchase a property, it is important to realise that not all real estate is equal. Although it takes time and effort liaising with property experts in your investment area of choice and seeking out knowledge, purchasing ‘blue chip’ well-researched property means that your investment will show terrific capital growth in the long term. There are a number of factors which validate a suburb as blue chip, which include a property’s proximity to schools, public transport, and the suburb’s overall closeness to the city and employment opportunity. Today’s Chisholm and Gamon blog addresses the topic of blue chip property and suburbs in Melbourne, helping to ensure you have all the necessary information to choose your next property wisely.

It’s no secret that in the past two years, opportunities to purchase exceptional property in Melbourne have increased for investors and owner-occupiers. Since the heady market highs of 2009 and 2010, median house prices have decreased nationally and property experts believe now is the time to take the ‘investment plunge’ before the market begins to trend sharply upwards again. The areas offering investors greatest potential are located in blue chip locations and are typified as ‘A Grade’. An ‘A Grade’ property doesn’t need to be immediately renovated or repaired by a new owner, and is located in areas with high median sales prices and strong demand from purchasers and tenants. If you have upwards of $600,000 to spend, an inner city two bedroom property could be within your grasp. While many investors follow the old adage – ‘don’t put all your eggs in the one basket’-  preferring instead to disperse their investment budgets across several B or C grade properties – experts advise against this approach. Many B and C grade properties are attracting insufficient interest to sell, re-iterating that location is most relevant when it comes to long term property investment. A large, brand-new family residence in an outer ring of any capital city is worth less than a liveable, retro property in an inner-city locale – and that is due to a comparable lack of services (transport, schools, hospitals, shopping amenities, parklands). With less desire and market competition from purchasers and tenants, a property’s value on the outskirts of a metropolis is likely to stay static or flounder.

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More locally, blue chip, A Grade homes are located in premium real estate locations around the Melbourne CBD. Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, Brighton, Elwood, Albert Park and surrounding suburbs are all prime examples of blue chip areas south of the city which have retained their value and grown despite decades of market shifts. These suburbs fit the bill for families and singles alike, offering proximity to the city, top schools and an abundance of transport options. Furthermore, if it is land you are after, Black Rock, Hampton, Sandringham and Beaumaris are good value in this current market.

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Ideally, one should be searching for properties off main roads with generous floor plans and off street parking. It’s all about the details when looking at blue chip properties, as even buying on the ‘right’ street is something which can boost the value and market desirability of a home. Your return on investment and capital growth will be stronger in blue chip locations where high buyer demand pushes up the price per square meter. You may need to pay a higher amount for your blue chip property initially – but the rewards will reveal themselves as year-on-year, your investment continues to grow.

Contact Chisholm & Gamon to meet with one of our agents, all local property experts on blue chip suburbs we are pleased to service.

Invest with the best!

PPG_Blog_July_IMage 6July can be a busy time for property investors as they sort through end-of-financial-year deductions and paperwork. Around this time many investors are looking for opportunities and talking with their real estate agents about prospects in the market.

Quality advice starts with encouraging investors to do their research. This gives them the confidence to make an educated purchase.
When researching the market, investors should be mindful of the key characteristics of successful residential property investment.

The better investments are generally in places where there is consistent population growth – which, at the moment, is a Melbourne-wide phenomenon. Currently, vacancy rates are at an all time low, and have been for more than three years.

Tenants like convenience. The better investment properties tend to be those which are easy to maintain, have space for cars, access to main roads and public transport and are located close to shops, schools, tertiary institutions and other community infrastructure.

The ideal investment location is where demand for rental properties exceeds supply. In the current tight market this is almost everywhere, but it won’t always be the case. Do your homework to gain a long term view of local conditions. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has census results illustrating areas of high tenancy rates.

Ordinarily, a good measure of the supply of rental properties is the proportion that is vacant. Suburban or town vacancy rates are not always readily available, but there is no question that metropolitan vacancy rates are currently low at around 1.5 – 2.5 per cent. Another measure is the number of new housing developments and this information is available from the local council.

Look for properties that are affordable, generally at or around the median price, and which have reasonable prospects of good growth in values.

Historical median house price information for suburbs and major regional areas is available from Real Estate Institute of Victoria. This information is useful to discover patterns in values.

Choosing a property with redevelopment potential can also be worthwhile. An investment property that can be subdivided into smaller lots for home units will be popular with some developers and can bring long-term rewards.

When to get a property valuation

PPG_May_image 6_valuations_imageIndependent property valuations are used for many different purposes. For example, the services of a valuer may be required by municipal authorities and state government to assess rate and taxation liabilities or to determine how much a property may be worth in the event of a compulsory acquisition.

One of the main reasons a valuation is requested is for mortgage finance security. Money lenders – mainly banks – will request a valuation on a property before settlement is finalised.

Sometimes people need to settle a property without a sale on the public market, for the purposes of dividing assets in the event of a divorce or deceased estate. In these instances valuers are also needed to provide an estimation.

Valuers utilise a range of tools and systems to form their professional view.  They look at recent comparable sales, the size and location of the property and its particular features. The valuation they provide can differ from the estimated selling price or the actual price paid when a property is sold because they cannot foresee how much a property is worth to a buyer or the amount they are willing to pay.

The cost of a property valuation can vary depending on how in-depth the valuation is and what kind of property is being valued. Who pays for the valuation when it is the money lender requesting it can also differ in each individual case.

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