Homelessness and the virus

Homelessness and the virus

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

Today we’re going to talk about homelessness and the virus.

Most of us are dame lucky that we have shelter and a place of refuge.

A place where we can relax in.

A place we can be safe in.

In these times, a place where we can self quarantine.

Our fortresses. Our fortresses of solitude.

There is a part of our society who don’t have this.

They don’t have a place to stay.

A place to call home.

No four walls and roof.

No keys to open the door.

They don’t have shelter.

As we try our best to stay safe.

What are they doing?

How can someone possibly stay safe in this environment when they don’t have shelter?

The answer is shelter.

See, as of the last Census there were 116,000 homeless in Australia.

What many don’t realise is this doesn’t mean 116,000 sleep outside on the street every night.

It means that most of the 116,000 people are basically living in some sort of temporary accomodation.

The crucial part that we are talking about today, are the ones sleeping rough.

The ones living in ‘improvised dwellings, tents or sleeping out’.

These people are literally exposed to all the elements.

This makes up 8,200 of the 116,000 figure.

These are the most at risk.

NSW has almost 2,600, QLD has over 1,700, VIC has over 1,100, NT and WA has over 1,000.

Thankfully Governments around the country are doing something.

Generally in all states and territories Governments are paying for temporary accomodation for the homeless.

These range from hotel and motel rooms to self-contained apartments.

To me this is a win-win-win situation.

The people who really need help are getting it.

Accomodation providers who would be empty, have paying customers.

The Government is doing what they should be doing.

This brings us to an interesting debate.

Why has it taken an epidemic to shelter the unsheltered?

Yes, it costs taxpayer money.

But shelter, is a basic need.
People’s lives are literally being saved because of the spending.

In my opinion it’s worth every cent.

The NSW Government has allocated $34m, QLD Government $24.7m, VIC Government $8.8m and the SA Government has stated they will place rough sleepers in motels. There is a one month trial underway at a Perth hotel called ‘Hotels for hearts’.

Why can’t our Governments use this situation as a springboard as the NSW minister for families Gareth Wood’s vision is:

‘For temporary housing to become stable housing’.

We should look to Adelaide’s Zero Project as the gold standard in the country.

A program whose community knows its homeless by name.

This is a vital point.

If you don’t know who the people are, how can you help them?

This is a small city, that is setting the benchmark on how to treat the homeless.

A city that foresaw what was happening.

A Government who pre-empted the virus and who since February have provided accomodation to all the reported 150-250 rough sleepers.

They have shown amazing foresight to end street homelessness.

Let’s see the bigger states stepping up and achieving this outcome.

An outcome that could continue once this virus eases.

Maybe a springboard for positivity to end street homelessness in Australia?”

The process to buy your very own property

The process to buy your very own property

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

Today we’re going to talk about the process to buy your very own property.

It can be a very confusing process, like solving a rubik’s cube to some, so today I’m gonna explain the process from start to finish for you.

The first step is simply setting your goal. Like I want to buy a house for my family within 6 months or I want a property that can pay for itself or I want a property that I can build equity from. There are a few points which affect the goal such as your buying timeframe, which type of property, amenities, lifestyle, beds and baths etc…

Second, is working out your budget with a mortgage broker or bank. How much can you afford and how much can you repay. Will it be your place to live or an investment?

Third, is researching what is possible. Can you afford a grand mansion on the water or a studio apartment? Will it be in a prime location or a developing area? Near the city or away from the city?

Fourthly, the search. This is looking on the main online portals and through offline channels to come up with as many options as possible.

Five, is selecting an option or options you like. I generally recommend focussing on a select few options at once to limit confusion.

Step six. You will generally either like or dislike the property. Remember you can generally change things in the property such as the cabinets or bench top.

Seventh day of the week, is almost metaphoric, as the negotiation can often come to a conclusion over a number of days or can happen relatively quickly. Depending on the strategy. The ultimate goal is securing the property.

8th part of the process is exchanging. After the solicitor/conveyancer has ensured the contract is fine, the pest and building inspector has made sure the structure is fine and the lender has made sure the finance is fine and any family or other professionals have made sure they think it’s fine. Then you can sign and pay the deposit!

The final step 9 is when the property settles. You will be given the keys once the settlement period has passed (usually around 42 days), the final inspection goes well, final deposit has been paid and mortgage has formally come through.

Now you know, how to buy your very own property.”

Property news of the day

Property news of the day

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

Today we’re going to talk about the main property news of the day.

2 days ago property inspections weren’t allowed in Melbourne. As of 11am today, they are.

Extensive talks were undertaken over the weekend between the REIV and consumer affairs Victoria.

It seems one of the key points may have been the argument that “shelter is a basic human need”, implying the real estate agent service would be essential and necessary with the relevant safeguards to stop the spread.

I think this makes sense, as it preserves a lot of jobs, provided the distancing and safety measures are thoroughly adhered too, which from my experience so far, seems to be the case.

Another article on 9news.com.au, comments on a survey by Finder of 969 respondents, stating 42% of the respondents think now is a surprisingly good time to buy property, despite the challenges presented by the virus.

I would agree, but also say that being in the market, ready to buy is the best strategy over the coming months i.e. having finance ready to go and ready to purchase the correct opportunity.

SQM just released some figures on the best and worst case scenarios for what may happen to prices around Australia. There figures vary from +3% growth to -30% decline. This is a fairly vast difference in my opinion. Both scenarios are based on a number of factors such as when restrictions are lifted and whether there is a second wave of infections with further lockdowns, creating greater unemployment.

I think certain markets will be more impacted than other markets and certainly unemployment will be the key driver.

Mr Christopher does state “If we are able to get back too close to normal business by [the] end of May (I certainly don’t think all restrictions will be lifted by that time), then I think confidence in the housing market is going to return.”

This article on the $220m residential rent relief, talks about tenants who fall into rental arrears after losing their income due to the virus, will not be allowed to be evicted under new measures announced by the NSW government. However, according to the article in NSW, any unpaid rent will accrue during this period.

The government has also included financial support for landlords via land tax waivers and rebates. However, the article does mention only 16% of landlords pay land tax, which may limit the effect and most mom and dad investors will probably not have a land tax threshold above $734k (i.e. the value of the accumulated land value), meaning the relief would be limited.”

What may happen in the property market over the next 6-12 months

What may happen in the property market over the next 6-12 months

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

Today we’re going to talk about what may happen in the property market over the next 6-12 months.

I think the government and the banks will play a leading role here.

Property is fundamentally governed by supply and demand.

Supply side issues can occur if multiple owners, are forced to sell at the same time i.e. as they cannot continue to repay their mortgages.

The government and the banks can and should step in, in my opinion to help people in financial hardship such as freezing mortgages for at least 6 months.

The people that will feel this period the hardest in my opinion are the ones in industries where social interaction and public gatherings takes place.

These can be both small business owners and their staff and supporting industries.

Industries such as hospitality, tourism, retail and entertainment.

The other sect are those who unfortunately lose their jobs or are forced to take unpaid leave.

These people will need help.

My solutions if you are in such a position and can’t afford to pay your mortgage.

Maybe rent out one or a few of your rooms for a few months.

I know this isn’t ideal, but that extra income may help in getting you through this tough period of time.

If possible, find a way to turn an unused space into a habitable room such as a garage.

Those extra few hundred dollars a week may make a massive difference to your cashflow.

Landlords need to show empathy at this time.

This isn’t just residential, but also commercial.

These are people with families, before these last 2 weeks, they were happily tracking along.

All of sudden everything has changed.

The big retail landlords such as Westfield, Vicinity, Stockland, QIC and GPT to name a few.

The bulk of your tenants will likely be struggling at this time.

Walk around the shopping centres and you will see for yourself.

Find a solution to make it fair for them.

The other aspect which can greatly affect supply is fear.

Fear, if prices go down, you want to get out before they may fall further.

This is FOMO 101 and would be regarded as the worst way to deal with such a time.

The best advice I can provide is simply, see it out.

Don’t just sell, unless you absolutely must.

Prices will come back.

You need to stay calm.

There is a chance stock levels i.e. newly listed properties may move at below average rates.

I.e. less properties will be listed.

This could also cause prices to stabilise in some areas.

The general thinking is prices will likely decline in many areas, due to sentiment though.

I think some buyers who are in secure jobs and have ample savings and borrowing capacity, will probably be watching what happens and identifying any opportunities they see.

A portion of the market may sit it out.

These might be those in uncertain employment positions.

Whichever place you fall into the market.

Remember we are all in this together.

An interesting quote to think about at this time.

Aristotle once said, “The whole, is greater than the sum of its parts.”

How to stop being gazumped

How to try stop being gazumped

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

Today we’re going to talk about what you can do try limit being Gazumped.

What is gazumping?

I look at gazumping as when you have an offer accepted on a property and are ready to exchange and all of a sudden out of nowhere someone has a better offer and has exchanged from beneath you.

Hence the term, gazumped.

Often times this offer is just higher than your offer.

Gazumping isn’t as common as it used to be in my opinion.

I feel many agents out there have some degree of ethics or morality.

Yet unfortunately a small minority, will let this happen.

I understand they are trying to do what’s best for their sellers.

However, shouldn’t there be some decency or honouring of thy word?

Here are some ways to limit being gazumped.

It comes back to speed, like a cheetah in the wild with prey in it’s midst.

Be quick to provide details for the sales advice.

These are usually your name, residential address, solicitor details.

Be quick to exchange on the contract i.e. signing and often paying the 0.25% deposit or sometimes it’s the deposit to go unconditional and a 66W.

Once the contract exchanges and enters a cooling off period or goes unconditional, you can’t be gazumped.

Try your best to get to that point as fast as you can, particularly if there is competition.”