Real Estate and the First Home Owner Grant

Australian Property Market News and Information

All new expats to Australia should be eligible for the first home owners grant so that is a nice welcome. It is currently about $14,000 for an existing house and $21,000 for a new one. It does expire in June but most sources say the government will continue it after that date. On the down side, some pundits believe this grant is what is propping up the Australian housing market which is remaining resilient compared to the 20% drops in the US and UK housing markets. Hence, if you sell up in GB, USA or NZ your house money may not go as you would have hoped. Unless things drop here in the future of course. Time will tell.

Are you a bear or a bull?

See http://www.firsthome.gov.au/ for more information.
My husband, who is a real bear, says that $14,000 is nothing anyway if the value of your home goes on to drop by 20% and that it certainly true. It is definitely a case of buyer beware.

Thanks for reading, feel free to add your comments below.

Good luck with all your travel plans!

Advertisements

Writing career conflicts with tenancy agreement

Writing and Renting in Australia

Well, yesterday was a momentous day in my writing career. After all I’ve read about writing, the one thing that seems clear is that you have to be prepared to get many, many rejections before a piece of your writing will be finally be accepted for publication. This is a truth universally acknowledged in writing and everyone knows stories about famous writers suffering multiple rejections, before someone finally showed an interest in their work.

Knowing this, I thought I’d better get the ball rolling and actually submit some work to someone so I could start ticking off those rejection slips and start this writer’s rite of passage. So yesterday, for the very first time, I actually sent a stranger, in this case the editor of the local rag, an article I’d written. Sure enough, I got an instant result and within hours my very first rejection was emailed to me. This is what is said.

My First Rejection Letter (Hopefully the first of many)

“Hello Annabel
Many thanks for your column idea. We are always on the lookout for new ideas and ways to brighten up our publications. At present we are not in a position to add any extra columns, but we would be happy to revisit your column idea at a later date.
Best wishes”
(Name and address withheld)

Wow! I am really pleased with it. Especially because it didn’t contain the words “that sucks” or “you loser” so all in all I think it bodes rather well for my writing career. If he actually read it that is.

Renting a house and tenancy agreements in Australia

Changing the subject now, here are a few thoughts on being a tenant and renting a house as opposed to being the proud owner of your own home. I think we actually got a bit spoilt renting in Costa Rica. We had a lovely Italian property manager who would go out of his way to make sure we had what we wanted in the way of furniture, house keepers, gardeners and pool maintenance people, and all for a price which we found acceptable. How things have changed.

Here in Australia, we actually had to beg a property management company to allow us to stay in one of their houses. We had to provide references and copies of our bank statements, rental history and career progression. Of course, these all needed a bit of tweaking before they were accepted by someone. Now we pay through the nose to stay here, and are obliged to do all the cleaning, gardening and pool work all by ourselves! What’s more, we are treated as second class citizens by the press, who are forever making snide comments about how no one wants to live in areas where there are a lot of renters and little things like that.

Property Inspection Strikes Fear into Mother of Three’s Heart

Meanwhile, our property management company is coming to conduct a property inspection tomorrow. This sounds quite reasonable and they kindly gave us a few weeks notice, but with that notice came a letter that would strike fear into any mother’s heart. It said that the property had to be neat and tidy and the garden free of weeds. It listed the items they would be checking and requested that we do a few obscure things like “clean the grout” in the bathrooms. The timing of this is bad. It comes, just when I am really getting into the flow with writing and have gleefully lowered my standards when it comes to cleaning to avoid exactly these pointless activities that they are now asking me to perform.

So I have to go. Today will be devoted to tidying, cleaning, scrubbing, vacuuming and mopping ready for my big cleaning test tomorrow. Actually, maybe I should just forget the cleaning and carry on as normal. Is it really that much of a sin if my house isn’t 100% clean? After all, it’s not a total health hazard or anything, we do perform a standard clean on a regular basis and, anyway, I like a home that looks lived in, not like a museum. I wonder what punitive action there will be if I don’t make reach their expectations. Actually, it would be quite interesting to find out….

Thanks for reading, feel free to add your comments below.

Good luck with all your travel plans!