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Property Tips

Harcourts Charlton Realty Blog

Invest To Impress

Your Property Investment Starter Guide

If you’re looking at taking the next step to your first investment property then there’s a few things you need to consider first. Property Investment is one of the most popular types of investment in New Zealand, and it’s a big one! So, read the books, magazines, reports and religiously check trade me and realestate.co.nz to get a fair idea on what you’re looking for.

Getting started

  • Learn the basic principles you need to know about property investment
  • Understand how to turn your first investment property into a portfolio

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Check your finances! - Can you afford to buy it? Rent it out? How easy will it be to rent out? Work out how much equity you already have along with any savings then get pre-approval from the bank or a trusted mortgage broker to get an indication on how much money you will be able to borrow.

Buying at the bottom
Start off with a low-cost property to make sure you can handle it. Be sure to purchase in a good location where you can generate more of a profit in the future. Also, before you jump the gun and decide on a property, make sure you thoroughly check through the Land Information Memorandum (LIM) and building report to safeguard your investment.


Rental Income or Capital Gain?
Whether you’re purchasing to rent out, or purchasing to add value for capital gain property investment can have significant financial benefits. However, it does have both pros & cons so lets break it down.


Pros

  • Can provide you with extra income, as long as the rent is higher than the mortgage payments and other expenses combined.
  • Flexibility to sell at the right time.
  • Future financial security and Tax Benefits.
  • If you have an investment property, you can also use the existing equity in the property to get another loan or to purchase another investment property.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Cons

  • Management Costs – Compared to other investment types, property is expensive to buy, sell and maintain.
  • Bad tenants can be a nightmare. Not only can they affect your cash flow, but if they don’t pay their rent on time they can cause emotional stress.
  • Sudden changes like rental vacancies or rising interest rates can put huge strain on your cash flow.
  • You may not be able to find tenants for your property quickly.​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re venturing into something as fraught as property investment. But don’t give up! Tell yourself this; in ten years I’ll be leaning back with my feet up, cocktail in hand celebrating the decision of going down the property investment road.

From Small to Spacious


Our Tips On Making Small Spaces Appear Bigger

Its a problem encountered by all part time interior designers; Making things look good! Its harder then it looks. And thats why is a specialised industry for getting your home looking perfect no matter what the space is! Here we have a few tips.  

Flooring
Multiple flooring types define the border of spaces. One type of flooring  through multiple rooms creates a flow making it feel like the rooms are all one big space rather than separate little areas.

Walls
Pale shades make a room seem bigger and brighter and maximise the natural light. Painting skirtings and door trims slightly lighter makes the surfaces recede. Keep the same wall colour to give the feel of flow throughout the house, it also gives the effect of a big space rather than lots of confined areas.

Windows
Try to keep the window sills the same colour as the wall for a more seamless look. Hanging curtains higher than the window gives the illusion of height.

Doors
Internal doors that swing can waste space and close off areas, so take it out or replace it with a sliding door. Curtains can even be a great way to keep areas separated instead of a door or wall but then give the option of opening it up as well.

Shelving
Floor to ceiling storage gives a sense of space as it draws the eyes up. Having closed shelving makes it less cluttered. Underneath stairs can be a great storage space too.

Furniture
Using bigger but fewer furnishing pieces not only declutter, but give the illusion of a bigger area. Avoid seats with legs that splay out, and consider the height of sofas, or the back of chairs, so they don’t block the view which would split the room into smaller sections. Round tables take up less space and as there are no corners they don’t interrupt the flow of traffic. Try hanging things on your wall rather than leaving them free standing on the ground, TV’s and shelves can be mounted to the wall to maximise floor area. It may seem obvious but finding furniture with multiple functions is key- tables can be used as a desk, a fold out sofa can double as a guest bed. Mirrors can make your space seem larger and lighter. There are so many creative ways to maximise space, one that we thought was cool was using the space under a bunk bed as storage or to sit / have a desk, instead of having another bed.

You’ll be amazed at how little things like wall colour can make your house seem a lot bigger than it is. Be creative, there are so many new ways to make spaces double their purpose.

Kitchen Renovation Guide

Our Top Tips For Kitchen Renovations

kitchen is not only one of the hearts of the home, it's a huge make or break point for future buyers!

When it comes to renovating your kitchen, you know that there’s a lot of work that’s about to be put in and a lot of money that’s about to be spent. There’s so much planning that needs to be done before you even start to renovate, so make sure you’re well prepared and know exactly what you’re doing. Here are a few tips for you to think about before you start on your future kitchen.

Firstly:
How do you want your kitchen to look? The most important step in kitchen renovating is to make sure you know what you want before you commit. Talk to a few professionals and see what they recommend then decide on which design company you want to go with. Have a shop around and get a few ideas on what materials and options are on the market and how much they cost then set yourself a budget, but be prepared to go over with all the extra temptations.


Painting
If you’re looking at painting the walls in your new kitchen, then this needs to be done before the floors are laid. Choose a colour scheme that will blend in well with your chosen cabinets and bench tops. Also think about your appliances, will these be colored or simple? Choose these appliances before you plan your cabinetry. The key is to make sure everything is going to tie in well. 
 


Layout & Design:
Ask yourself this, “Why are you renovating your kitchen in the first place?” lay out on a plan what you really need.

  • What are the pain points of your current Kitchen?
  • What do you need more of?
  • What do you need less of?

Use your space well! It’s crucial that your layout is practical and suitable not only for you, but for future buyers. Don’t rush into anything. Figure out what is going where and place everything on your design knowing that it's exactly where it needs to be. Are you using a double or single fridge? How big is your cooktop and oven going to be? Will you be using electricity or gas? These are all the things that need to be thought of when it comes to layout and design.

 

Electricity & Plumbing
Are you using existing sockets and plumbing for your sinks and appliances? If this is not the case you need to make sure that all of this is organised before the flooring is laid. For you plugs - make sure you know the placement of your appliances first so you know exactly where your sockets need to go. Wherever you decide to put your sink, make sure your dishwasher is nearby, it’s an obvious fact, but you never know what can travel from the mind in the stressful times of kitchen renovating.


Storage 
Storage is everything! To really know that you have enough, think of every utensil out there and make sure there is a place for it. If you have the budget, we recommend investing in soft close drawers. These are a huge hit point, as it saves the sound of slamming drawers.


Islands or Breakfast Bars
Even though you might only be a family of two, make sure your breakfast bar can fit at least three chairs. Make sure there is a power point nearby for those important phone and laptop chargers.


Finishing Touches to Make Your Mark
Is your home filled with character or is it modern? One of the big things when it comes to renovating is to make sure your new kitchen is going to flow with the rest of your home. Put in some quirky but modern lights above the breakfast bar and an eye-catching splash back behind your cooktop that will really bring your kitchen to life. Think about the colour of your taps to the handles on your drawers and cabinets. Also take a look into current ‘Kitchen Design Trends’ and see if there’s anything that could really bring your kitchen to life.

 


Published by Harcourts Charlton Realty LTD


 

Investing In The Future

Our Proven Tips To Increase Your Homes Value

Whether they be major or minor changes, there are so many things that can be done to increase the value of your home. At the end of the day, who doesn’t want to sell their home for more than they brought it for? So here are our top tips to get you on the right path to increase value throughout your home.

Captured From The Curb
The outside presence of a home is equally as important as the inside, if not more. The more appealing your property looks from the street the more eager the buyers will be to get inside, so get the landscape of your home looking fresh and vibrant. 


To Do - Make sure your lawn is freshly mowed and onsider planting colourful flowers and plants to catch the eye. Also, a brand-new fence could be a great feature to give that little bit of extra privacy.

Inviting Interior
You want to keep the interior of your home as modern as possible. When it comes to the kitchen and bathrooms, if these are out of date it could really affect the buyer’s impressions. 


To Do – Who doesn’t love a new kitchen & bathroom? Look into having these updated, otherwise if you don’t have the big budget you can reface instead of replace. Freshly paint the cupboards & cabinets, add in some new blinds/curtains or maybe consider new carpet or tiles. Swap out the plain looking lights in the kitchen & hang some stylish eye-catching ones instead. Also make sure your appliances are up to date & let’s not forget clean! Maybe invest in a new faucet or stove top to really project that new home feeling.
 


Fresh Coat of Paint 
Adding a fresh coat of paint to not only the interior, but exterior of your home can add major value! 
This will make your home appear clean and fresh from the moment the buyers pull up to your driveway.


To Do – Paint the interior and exterior walls with a colour that’s modern and timeless so it’s very low maintenance for the next owner that comes along.

Open Up To Entertain 
Because everyone knows us Kiwi’s love open plan living so we can entertain our guests while we cook for them in the kitchen. 


To Do- If there are walls that can be knocked down to add more light and space into the interior of your home then get working! The more space and the larger the room feels the better. You can also add a big deck to help the open plan flow to the exterior and create an amazing entertaining area. Space is a huge asset when it comes to potential buyers, so let’s give them a space for entertaining they won't forget. 
 

After following these steps do you want to know how much your home is worth? Then call one of our Harcourts Charlton Realty Offices for a free market appraisal!

Published by Harcourts Charlton Realty LTD


 

The Guide To Your Winter Wonderland



Present Your Home At Its Finest This Season

When it comes to putting your house on the market in the winter season, one of the most common thoughts is “It’s not the best time, we’ll wait until spring”. Well think again! Although the conditions are a culprit for property marketing this season, Winter can be the best time of year to sell your home if it is maintained and presented correctly! As there are less properties on the market, it means fewer choices for your buyers and with these quick tips you can turn your home into the winter wonderland, making your home exterior look the most desirable.  

Deal with the Driveway
Your driveway is one of the first aspects buyers see so keep an eye on it. With the cold winds and rain here in NZ it can be hard to maintain constant cleanliness, but it can be done! In occasions when the sun is up, get yourself out there with the broom or rake at the ready and work on the inviting path towards your front door.

Spotless & Sparkling
Is the surface of your house looking a little green? The water blaster is your best friend this winter! Make sure you clear away all Moss, Mold & Mildew to make your house appear clean and fresh despite the conditions. A clean home is a happy home, lets nail the street appeal.

Windows to Watch & Doors to Dust
Washing windows & doors is never fun when it’s cold, but it’s time to wipe of the winter grime and let the sun shine through. If you have any cracks in your windows then get caulking, A home with air leaks is a like a coat left unbuttoned. Don’t let the cold in!

Gunk in the Gutter
It may not be a glamorous job, but it must be done. As the leaves continue to fall they block our Drains and Gutters preventing rain water flowing through which causes damage, so let’s give these a clean. Why not trim back a few of those tree branches as well to somewhat help any future damage.

Create a Welcoming Entrance
It’s the day to day maintenance that helps keep our home look well cared for. When the weather is good, give your lawns a mow and maybe place those plants in some coloured pots to brighten up the garden. Now stand out on the street and have a look, make your home look enticing! 


Published by Harcourts Charlton Realty LTD


 

First Impressions Count!

The First Five Things People Notice Once Entering Your Home

It's the little things that really create a great mood throughout your home. Whether you're preparing for an open home or having a group of friends round for dinner, here are our top tips to create a great first impression!

LIGHTING
Lighting is guaranteed to create a good impression and is one of the best forms of decorating. When you are lucky to have a great amount of natural light flooding through your home, it can be very easy to light up your home correctly, but for those of us who aren’t so lucky, this can be very difficult!

Our Tips: Change any dim lighting to brighter warm lightbulbs. Also try using those flickering candles as well as a soft spotlight in the evening to really create a mood and show off your property.

CLEANLINESS & CLUTTER
From the pile of shoes and coats in the entranceway to the junk mail on kitchen table, there are plenty of places in your home for clutter to accumulate!   

Our Tips: 
Take a moment to really go through all those bookshelves and clutter trays. If you have young kids wandering the halls of your home, we know how hard this can be... but make sure everything has a place! We promise you, you will really notice the difference. 

SCENT
Reactions are always positive to beautiful scents. As you make your way through the hallways there’s nothing like an inviting scent to create a great sense of relaxation.

Our Tips: Use some luxurious scented candles and diffusers, or why not throw a batch of baking in the oven in the evening just before your guests arrive. Also make sure you find the culprits to those unpleasant smells, because let’s face it, no one likes a stinky house!  

ART & DECOR
Art is known to capture people’s attention so make sure it’s something you’re proud of! It is a known fact that one of the first things people notice in someone else’s home is what’s on the walls, and what’s on the bookshelves. 

Our Tips: Make sure not to over clutter your room with art, place a few pieces on display throughout your bookshelves and on the walls that really represent you! 

PLANTS 
Plants and flowers throughout a household can really make it feel fresh. They also provide a great, natural colour that can really spark up a room. 

Our Tips: Throw out any browning plants or dying flowers and replace them with fresh new bloomers. Use colours that harmonise with the art on your walls and the cushions on your couch to really bring the room together.


Published by Harcourts Charlton Realty LTD


 

Warm Up This Winter

Our how to on keeping warm and cosy at home this winter.

Winter has approached us quickly and heavily and it’s getting colder and colder by the day.

We believe it’s the little things that really make a house feel like a home and keeping it comfortable is one of them.

Here are a few of our insights on how to be warm and cosy this winter – and make your house a home.

  • Add layers to your wooden floors

Rugs & Carpets were created for a reason that’s more than just sparking up the room! Research has shown that placing a rug on your creaky wooden floor keeps a room 10% warmer than it would without. Not only are they very good at trapping the heat, but also make the room feel that little cosier.

  • Do away with Drafts

There’s no point in focusing on keeping a room warm if you have the draft coming in from another. At next to nothing you could invest in some draft stoppers or even make your own! Gaps blast through cold air so this is the best way to keep the cold outside where it should be.

  • Sun is rare in NZ Winter – cherish it!

Once the sun is up catch as much of its free heat as possible. Open your curtains and let the natural heat burst through your windows. This is a great tip for anyone wanting warmth on a budget. However, make sure you close them once that sun goes down for that extra bit insulation.

  • Is your couch in the right place?

A lot of us kiwis like to move our sofas as close to the heater as possible, but is this really getting your living room to the warmest it can be? Although your feet might be toasty warm, keeping your couch close to heating is not only preventing the heat from making its way around the room, it’s also causing damage to it! Move your couch back to where it used to be, your feet will be just as warm with a nice pair of fluffy socks. 

  • Remember – you have an oven!

It’s one that is usually missed but baking and cooking with the oven will keep your house warm.
Not only will it make your house smell deliciously of home cooked meals and fresh cookies but the warmth will circulate around your kitchen and other nearby room.

  • It’s time to bring out those winter sheets.

As much as they make you feel like not getting out of bed in the morning, winter sheets are the key to being warm and cosy. If you don’t have these already, we recommend investing in these! Whether they be flannel sheets or fleece sheets we promise these will be the icing on the cake this winter. A hot water bottle can also work wonders. Place this under your covers a while before bedtime, and once you hop in, take it all in.

  • Scented Candles don’t only smell good.

A scented candle is a great way to lighten the mood this winter. Choose a warm, wintery scent to really make a sense of comfort.
If you feel like going the extra mile, you may also like to pair this with a nice set of white lights to work wonders in creating that warm and cosy vibe people long for this season.

  • It’s all about YOU!

The house doesn’t care if it’s a little chilly, buy you care if you’re cold! Being comfortable is key.
Bring out those thick blankets, cosy slippers, warm pajamas & dressing gowns. Sip on a nice hot chocolate put on some movie and sit in front of that burning fire and cherish the great parts of this cold winter season.