Author archives

The start of my environmental journey

The start of my environmental journey

“I was using a plastic fork a few days ago for a 20 minute meal and realised after I threw it out, it will not have decomposed in 500+ years.

Hi I’m Dean Berman from Berman Buys and today I’m talking about the environment and what I’m trying to do to make a small difference.

Whether you buy or occupy a unit, townhouse, villa or house, you will have some relationship with the environment, be it positive, negative or indifferent.

Lately I’ve noticed more information about sustainability, the ‘zero waste movement’, greenhouse gases, consumption patters, minimalism, clean travel, recycling, reusing etc…

It seems as a society maybe we are becoming more conscious of what we can do to make a small difference, maybe not.

I feel like that simple plastic fork was a reminder that I should be more mindful of my choices.

Thus, I’ve decided to take some small initial steps.

Over the last few days I’ve started committing to zero food waste. I’ve classified this as scraps such as fruit and vegetable peelings and leftovers.

The purpose is to turn these scraps into compost which is meant to stop the decomposing food going into landfill and getting trapped under layers of garbage creating methane gas. Which isn’t meant to be great for the greenhouse effect.

I’ve also just purchased a small worm farm to enable these scraps to turn into compost quickly and at the same time provide 5 star accomodation to our little worm friends whilst they chew on the waste.

They can apparently eat half of their bodyweight in a day! So if you have 500g of worms they can eat through 250g of your waste a day. That’s like a full cup.

I feel like the future of property and the environment are intertwined. Like chocolate sauce on an ice cream sundae. Sustainable construction practices have and will continue to become more and more important as our cities densify. We’ll need more innovative and creative ways to connect to green space amongst a sea of buildings. How we occupy and live in our properties will need careful thought and planning as with greater technological advancement, I only hope we don’t lose our environmental sense.

Feel free to subscribe as I will continue to share my environmental journey and on topics of property and on homelessness.”

Off Market Property

Off Market Property

“Hello and welcome back to weekly buying tips, I’m Dean Berman from Berman Buys.

Today we’re going to talk about what is an ‘off market property’.

I often hear buyers wanting off market property.

These are properties which aren’t listed on the traditional real estate platforms.

Such as and

They are properties that are usually ‘unlisted’ or ‘silently listed’.

i.e. they are generally in a sales agents arsenal in case a buyer may have such a requirement.

There are times when sellers will directly approach me as well.

I think for buyers off market property is attractive.

However, they doesn’t always come at the cheapest price.

Sometimes they do, due to various personal circumstances of the sellers.

Such as needing to transact the property as soon as possible.

Whilst keeping discretion and limited numbers through the property.

As some sellers don’t like big groups walking through their property.

Sometimes they can attract a premium price.

As it is usually before a sales campaign may start i.e. ‘pre-market’.

This can be a time when a seller has a higher price expectation.

i.e. it might be a very different story 2 months into the campaign.

When market feedback has indicated a lower level.

There are pros and cons for buying off market.

Pros being more options and sometimes less buyer competition in theory.

However, this can be a con as sellers can still have a certain price they may only accept.

This price might be above where you as the buyer is willing to purchase at.

At the end of the day, more buying options aren’t a bad thing.

Which is really what buying off market property is all about.”

The 66W

The 66W

“Hello and welcome back to weekly buying tips I’m Dean Berman from Berman Buys.

Today we’re going to talk about the 66W.

I’m not a lawyer and can’t advise on the legal side of the 66W.

However, I can give you my thoughts on the importance of the 66W as a buyer.

This important piece of paper completed by your solicitor or conveyancer waives the cooling off period.

Like all of us, sellers like guarantees.

Which is why this document is so important.

The 66W or unconditional exchange gives the seller a guarantee.

It locks you as the buyer into the purchase.

Along with your 5% or 10% deposit.

Compare this to a 5 day cooling off period.

Which typically occurs during a normal private sale.

This cooling off period gives you 5 days to decide if you want to go ahead or not.

Think about those sellers.

5 nights of disturbed sleep, wondering if you will proceed or not.

Waiting for their sales agent to call them with any updates.

The unconditional exchange means this doesn’t need to happen.

You can also think of this unconditional exchange in the same way as an auction.

When you are the highest bidder in an auction, you purchase the property.

Same goes for the unconditional exchange.

Once the 66W has been completed along with the signed contracts.

Then the property goes ‘unconditional’.

Therefore it is important to get all your research and due diligence done beforehand to ensure you are 100% happy with the purchase.

From my experience the unconditional exchange can often be the difference between your purchase and yet another one you liked that didn’t quite come off.”

Why Affordable And Expensive Property Markets Differ

Why Affordable And Expensive Property Markets Differ

“Hello and welcome back to weekly buying tips, I’m Dean Berman from Berman Buys.

Today I’m trying to work out why a property market is affordable or expensive?

Is it just one certain point or multiple reasons.

To best start I think it’s important to answer what is a property market?

I think property has something to do with the answer.

However, I think fundamentally a property market is its people?

Its residents.

Property is a by-product of this.

Almost an afterthought.

Without residents, you don’t have a market.

Wouldn’t you agree?

For example in an extreme case.

A town with the nicest houses in the world sounds great.

But what happens if no one lives there.

Maybe there’s something stopping people living there.

Maybe an environmental incident or some phenomena.

Whatever the case, there’s no demand.

You would achieve a great ‘bargain’ i.e. free, as there’s no competition and ample supply.

But, you would be living by yourself in isolation.

I would think this is the foundation of our question.

Understand the people and you can understand the market.

To get a clearer understanding I analysed only property markets with over 2,000 residents or more in them.

I did this as the statistics could be easily manipulated by small fluctuations in a small populated area.

Which we don’t want.

I looked at the most affordable and expensive property markets in NSW, VIC and QLD.

I looked at all 3 states to try and get a clearer picture of any results that seem to replicate.

From my analysis of over 20 potential reasons.

I found 5 which stood out above all else.

As a youngster you’re generally told to study hard.

Many families buy property near schools with great reputations for this reason.

They want their children to have a great education.

After they have attended primary and secondary school, they can land up at University.

Well based on my analysis this is actually a driver of what differentiates an affordable and expensive property market.

The percentage of the population who have completed a Bachelor degree in the affordable markets are about 10% and just under 50% in the expensive markets.

This is about 5 times more.

Implying there is a higher number of residents in the expensive market with a higher education level.

We could then hypothesise due to this higher education level residents can then achieve greater heights in their career.

This actually seems to be the case.

About 30% of residents in the affordable markets were in professional or management positions compared to 60% in the expensive markets.

Implying a higher proportion of residents are using their education levels and skillsets.

Interestingly leading to higher incomes which is a key point on the topic.

You would think higher incomes would lead to higher property prices as you can afford to save a higher deposit, borrow more, repay more and invest more in the local market.

Based on my research this is actually true.

As residents have nice degrees and are working in positions of power, they tend to earn more.

Median household incomes in the affordable markets were about half of what they were in the expensive property markets.

With these greater incomes residents seem like they want to live nearer to where the action is.

i.e. near the city or where the greater job opportunities may present themselves.

This results in population density increasing dramatically.

Another pivotal point in the research.

In affordable property markets they were below 200 residents per km2 compared to over 3,000 residents per km2 in the expensive markets.

Further implying residents are living closer to each other and in more built up conditions.

Land starts becoming scarcer and the number of houses generally decline.

Resulting in higher levels of apartments compared to houses.

In affordable markets the percentage of houses in the market tends to be above 80% whilst in expensive markets this drops to under 30%.

Implying greater levels of apartments or townhouses or villas in expensive markets.

Leading to higher house prices in the expensive markets due to scarcity.

I found things like median age and unemployment rates did not paint a clear picture of which market was more expensive.

I would have thought a market with a growing population would potentially be more expensive due to more demand on limited properties, whilst a shrinking population would have the opposite effect.

This didn’t seem to be the case, possibly because supply was growing in line with the demand.

I also found vacancy rates and long-term price growth rates didn’t show anything significant relating to whether the area was affordable or expensive.

There are also other points I haven’t touched on such as a suburbs reputation, proximity to amenities, crime rates etc…

In summary the residents are the ones which dictate whether a property market will be affordable or expensive.

The underlying answer seems to stem from the education, jobs and incomes of its residents.”

How to buy property under market value

How to buy property under market value

“Hello and welcome back to weekly buying tips I’m Dean Berman from Berman Buys.

Today we’re going to talk about how to buy property under market value.

As we’ve previously discussed market value is determined by a willing buyer and a willing seller.

Therefore if you want to buy under market value.

Or the perceived market value in your mind.

It comes down to making an offer to the seller.

We become willing at a certain price and we are seeing if the seller will be willing at our price.

i.e. we are testing to see if they will sell.

In a nutshell, we are trying.

Like shopping at H&M or Uniqlo.

You try on the clothes and see which ones you like and which you don’t.

Making an offer is often like this.

Sometimes it fits well.

Sometimes it doesn’t.

Making an offer is one of the most important ways to find out what the seller is thinking.

It’s especially important for those on a fixed budget.

Or those on the border of being able to afford a specific suburb or property type.

Or just about anyone wanting to maximise their money.

I mean, who doesn’t want to pay less.

There’s no point focusing your time and energy on properties outside your budget.

Rather you could be focussing your time and energy on a property within budget.

Offers will be rejected.

Sometimes agents won’t even get back to you.

And you may have to chase them for a definitive answer.

But at least you know once you have made an offer.

You are in the game.

You are in the running.

Like those lottery adverts.

Making an offer is arguably the single most important part of the negotiation.

Because without an offer, properties will usually sell.

And it will be to the person who made the offer.”