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Buying an off the plan apartment


Buying ‘off the plan’ was once a rarity but every year thousands of Australians are choosing to buy a unit that has not yet been built. And while it may seem like a daunting path to home ownership, in the majority of cases it pays off with people successfully designing apartments that suit their needs and style, and also delivering.     What is an ‘off-the-plan’ purchase? Purchasing a property off the plan is exactly what it sounds like. You’re signing a contract and paying a deposit for an apartment that is not built and is still in the planning stage. Now, buying real estate that does not exist may sound crazy, but it is actually quite common when it comes to apartments and can result in big benefits, although there is also some risk involved, as you’re buying something that has not yet been built.&nb...


'Zoombarrassment' trend sees interior updates peak


Home is not only where the heart is, it’s where everything is now.  And, while we previously considered what impressions the shoes we wore, bags we carried or fragrance we sprayed would make on our colleagues, it’s now what’s creeping into our Zoom frames that’s making those impressions for us.    This inviting of our professional lives into our personal spaces has made Zoom rooms or space decor updates big business – and birthed the term Zoombarrassment – a self-conscious or uncomfortable feeling about the appearance of our homes when video calling for work or socialising.    First coined in the UK in The 2020 Renovation Nation Report by mortgage comparison site money.co.uk, it cited a spike in small home renovations as partly due to the increased time we’ve spent at home, and partly due to “Zoombarrassment”, with 40 per cent of people reporting experiencing the feelin...


In Sydney property boom, more buyers turn to units as record prices push houses out of reach


Anita Lai, pictured with partner Graeme Hickey, is selling her Petersham apartment to upgrade to another inner west unit. Photo: Peter Rae     Sydney buyers are increasingly turning their gaze to apartment living, as soaring prices push their dream of owning a house out of reach.   The price gap between units and houses in Sydney is at a record high, with freestanding homes in some neighbourhoods costing quadruple the median apartment price.   Greater Sydney house prices jumped more than $100,000 over the past quarter to a record-breaking median of about $1.31 million, while the unit median climbed only $16,300 to $751,000.Houses now costs 74 per cent more than apartments, up from 55 per cent more last year.“The jump between the two is the biggest it’s been in our history of prices, making the leap to upsizing much harder,” Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said.Houses cost more than double the price of a unit across t...


Everything You Need to Know Before Renting Your First Apartment


Renting your first apartment is an exciting prospect, but it can also feel overwhelming once you begin to navigate the rental process. Finding a rental in your desired location can be challenging—and finding one that suits your budget is no less daunting! But if you stay informed and organized, you can manage the apartment hunting and rental agreement process with ease. Here, we’ve outlined everything you need to know before you sign a rental lease.      The First Things to Consider When Renting    When you begin to search for an apartment, you’ll want to consider a few essential first steps. Rental costs are going to be your primary concern. You’ll want to find an apartment that you can afford along with your other living expenses. Keep in mind that apartment rental costs vary widely, often from one neighborhood to the next. Once you establish your rental budget, consider location. If you opt for a rental close t...


How 'FOMOA' is driving up house prices - and driving us all crazy


Is there any pursuit that causes you to become so completely unhinged, as insanely competitive and as financially irresponsible as buying a house?   Auctions can be equal parts exciting and terrifying. Photo: Peter Rae   Gambling on horses might be the only illogical pursuit that comes close, but at least we are encouraged to feel reassured by the fact that buying property in the current lava-like market is no real gamble at all.   Unlike investing in shares or some other unexciting “securities”, buying a house involves dangerous levels of emotional involvement and a powerful FOMOA (Fear Of Missing Out Again) effect.   Moving is a pain, but the fear of missing out on the perfect property is worse. Photo: Stocksy   I imagine there must be people out there who go shopping for a house, fall in love with the first one they find and buy it without any stress or disappointment, but I’m yet to meet them. Perhaps they live in Wo...


Refinance, upgrade or both? What home owners should do while rates are still low


Upgrading to a larger, better-positioned, or more valuable home can allow home owners to take advantage of surging prices, but a booming market can make the move challenging.   Upgrading in a rising market could build wealth, provided owners can meet borrowing costs into the future. Photo: Vaida Savickaite   While it might be easier to achieve a great price when selling, it’s just about impossible to score a bargain in the current market, considering countless upgraders – who have put off a move for several years – are diving in at once.   “It’s when demand outstrips supply that the prices are high,” says Real Estate Institute of NSW president Leanne Pilkington. “We’ve got a couple of years of suppressed demand happening right now. Eventually, that demand is going to start to ease off, but even if the clearance rates are down in the mid-70s, it’s still a really strong market.”   When prices r...