oc | Thursday 23rd January

What is driving the market?

Market News

To say the market is experiencing incredibly growth in capital values is an understatement.
Last year we reported values increasing by as much as 30% despite what the stats people were saying and there are ever greater increases this year. These large increases as per most of the rest of the world are largely confined to inner suburban quality properties. Land itself, meaning land where homes can be pulled down, is particularly well sought after in all Melbourne Bayside and inner eastern suburbs

What is driving the market?
It is being driven by overseas buyers, stock market wealthy buyers, buyers whom have seen large increases in their own properties and buyers who are confident in their future.

However rather than focus on what is now being largely reported in the press we thought we would dedicate this newsletter to showing what we are buying and what we can do to help you.

Why Use an Advocate?

Buying the right property is an art and a science. Think of a few houses in similar areas with similar characteristics and ponder what they were worth 10 years ago. What are they worth now? Will they have increased or decreased in value at the same rate? If that is a priority for you (and it should be) James Buyer Advocates through our ratings, processes and experience show you the good ones.

Strategy is vital to buying the right property. How to buy, how to minimize cost, what to buy, and where? How do I make an offer? What do I really want and how do I get it? Where do I want to be financially in the next decade? Why do some people own multiple properties without a mortgage and others have one property and are struggling? The answer is strategy. James Buyer Advocates helps you define and execute your action plan to buy the right property.

We will save you money – and make you money in a highly competitive market. This is the number one reason why most people think about advocates in the first instance, and in many, many cases we do just that. We know this is of primary importance in all business negotiations but it’s interesting to note that clients we’ve surveyed after the buying process often rate savings as the Number 3 benefit in using James Buyer Advocates. Buying property well is as much about MAKING money as it is about SAVING money. We’ll be happy to explain this in detail at our first meeting.

Understanding the true value of a property is tough. Working out what a property is worth is a lot more than looking up a few statistics. And we definitely need to talk some more if you think saving money is about finding a cheap place “below valuation”. In many cases if you are not crystal clear about property values, you could well be negotiating at a level that will not buy the dream home you want. It might also leave you with a compromised property in the long run. Another expensive and distressing mistake a buyer can make is to pay way too much or never buy at all.

We help ease the stress and emotion in buying property. Buying a home is about as bad as it gets. It’s emotional, exhausting and sometimes terribly discouraging. You only need to miss that perfect property, drive for miles to find the picture on the brochure didn’t nearly match your expectations (or what you’d been told), have agents leave you hanging or be gazumped in the negotiation stage. It hurts. At James Buyer Advocates we provide a barrier.

“Hidden” properties do exist – so understand ALL your options. “Hidden” properties do exist – so understand ALL your options. There are hundreds of places out there you may never find or get to see. Quiet sales, private transactions, sales without boards. There are places you won’t be given the opportunity to inspect because they aren’t advertised. We deal with agents every day. We find “hidden’” houses that will never be listed because agents and vendors approach us quietly all the time. And we are involved in a number of property purchases “off market” without any publicity or fanfare.

Agents are not your friend, mentor or guide in the buying process. We actually like and respect many selling agents, but they act for sellers or vendors, not buyers. They work exclusively for the vendor. James Buyer Advocates works exclusively for the buyer.

Your privacy is guaranteed. Most agents don’t know who you are, and it’s a good idea to keep it that way. That’s because if you don’t buy today, you might buy something else tomorrow. It’s not in your best financial interests if an agent knows “what you were prepared to look at before”. Our role as a buyers advocate is to keep you ahead of the game without revealing your hand.

Finally, if you are looking in this market at the million dollar and above level

  1. You will be negotiating against a selling agent who has a strong level of experience – have you got that?
  2. The selling agent will be very good at his or her job of “slotting” you into a home and into a price that fits nicely with the seller – but that’s not you! Good selling agents work diligently for the seller first not you the buyer; otherwise they are breaking the law.
  3. Other buyers will have professional help whose job it is to purchase for their client – often before you have a chance.
  4. If it’s an easy buy with a smiling agent then well ………

What are some of our money-saving tips?

Don’t confuse saving money with buying the wrong property. What happens if it’s not the right place and you have to sell again in two years? An inner Melbourne home in a good suburb will cost you $100,000 to $200,000 in stamp duty and agent fees, not to mention the cost of moving and stress. If you think negotiating is all about money and arguing the edges then you will not buy or negotiate well at Melbourne’s higher levels unless you are a very lucky person. Higher end Melbourne agents in the main (eg companies like Kay and Burton, RT Edgar, , Bennison MacKinnon, Jellis Craig, Hodges, JP Dixon, Buxton, Hocking Stuart to name a few) have very good top end agents.

We all need expert advice, strategy and tactics sometimes. Would you go to court without a lawyer? Or would you handle the court case yourself and just call a lawyer in for sentencing? It’s a bit like that getting somebody at auction to put their hand up when they have done no research into worth, the seller, the agent, other buyers or more importantly, your needs. We have the experience to know what, when and how to make an offer.

Paying the right price is about establishing the value of the property. Are you happy getting $50000 off the asking price when you could have got $500,000? Do you know how to make a low offer and not risk losing out to another buyer? Are you paying $800,000 too much for the wrong place? It may take you a long time to recover from these decisions if you are wrong. If you think homes with similar price tags are similar homes with similar long term outcomes then many selling agents with poor homes would love to do business with you now. You need to know the sometimes subtle differences between a $2M home and $4M home and unfortunately for some buyers (selling agents call them wood ducks) the only difference was the price you paid.

You will save the most money by matching the correct property to your needs. You don’t want to pay $1.5 million when a house is worth $1 million, but similarly you don’t want to not pay $1.1million if it’s the right property for you. Understanding your needs can take less than 48 hours to do, but it needs to be done.

Renovating or re-building will not always save you money. Say there’s a 10,000 square foot property and the price is more than $2 million. The house is arguably a knock-down job. If you had $2.5-$2.7m to spend, would this be a good buy if you could put a new home on the block for $500,000? The answer is probably no. You couldn’t put a half-decent home on the block for that money that would be viewed by new buyers as value when it came time to sell.

Buying property is all about achieving capital growth. There’s no point saving money on the asking price if you don’t make money in the long-term. The major part about buying property is that it is all about making money. None of us have money to waste, and we can stop you spending more than what is fair.

What we have bought in recent times at James Buyer Advocates

$3/4m – $1.2m* $1.2m – $2m* $2m – $5m*
Albert Park – Danks Street Armadale – Kooyong Road – Black Street
Armadale – Clarendon Street Black Rock – Potter Street Brighton – Carpernter Street
Balwyn – Raynes Street Brighton – Black Street Brighton – Foote Street
Balwyn – Yerrin Street Brighton – Kinane Street Brighton – Hall Street
– Cromer Road Brighton – Middle Crescent Brighton – Ramsay Street
Bentleigh East – Gardeners Road Brighton – New Street Brighton – Rippon Grove
Box Hill – Asquith Street Brighton – North Road Brighton – Winmarleigh Grove
Brighton – Hamilton Street Brighton – St Andrews Street (2) Brunswick – Sydney Road
Brighton – North Road Brighton – The Esplanade Camberwell – Christowel St
Burwood – Parer Street Brighton – Were Street – Milton St
Camberwell – Cornell Street Brighton East – Margaret Street Clifton Hill – Queens Parade
Carnegie – Neerim Road Camberwell – Queen Avenue – Grenville Street
East – Moodie Street Carlton – Drummond Street Hawthorn – Kooyongkoot Road
Ferntree Gully – Burwood Highway Carnegie – Neerim Road Hawthorn – Linda Crescent
Fitzroy North – Rae Street Caulfield – Arthur Street Kew – Rowland Street
Hampton – Linacre Road Clifton Hill – Queens Parade Kew – Young Street
Hawthorn – Caroline Street Elsternwick – Somerset Street St Andrews Beach – Moana Court
Kew – St Anthony’s Place Flinders – Spindrift Avenue Toorak -Verdant Avenue
– Oak Grove Hampton – Beach Road Toorak – Mathoura Road
– Repton Road Hampton – Crisp Street $5m – $10m*
McKinnon – Capitol Avenue Hampton – Imbros Street Armadale – Hampden Road
Mentone – Mentone Parade Hampton – Margarita Street Kew – Grange Road
Ormond – Maud Street Hampton – Willis Street Kew – Sackville Street
Parkdale – Fourth Avenue Hawthorn – Mason Street Malvern East – Waverley Road
– Beach Street Hawthorn – Rosney Street Toorak – Grange Road
Queenscliff – King Street Kew – Argyle Road Toorak – Kooyong Road
Sandringham – Abbott Street Kew – Pleasant Avenue
Sandringham – Balmoral Avenue Middle Park – Langridge Street
Somers – Tasman Avenue (2) Parkdale – Fourth Avenue
– Henderson Street Port Melbourne – Beach Street $10m+
South Melbourne – Napier Street Portsea – Franklin Road Torquay
South Yarra – Howitt Street – Highbury Grove
Surrey Hills – Sunbury Crescent Prahran – Perth Street
Torquay – Sunset Strip Prahran – York Street
Williamstown – Chandler Street Queenscliff – Mercer Street *approximate values – some non auction – off market addresses have been modified to maintain privacy
Yarraville – Mackay Street Sandringham – Abbott Street
Sandringham – Balmoral Avenue
Sandringham – Le Fevre Street
Sorrento – Collins Parade
South Yarra – Ralston Street
St Kilda – Park Street
Surrey Hills – Queen Street
Surrey Hills – Wandsworth Road
Toorak – Ross Street
Warrandyte – Oakland Drive

Our Property Focus Areas


Some changes

With growth comes decisions and at James Buyer Advocates we faced accommodation and client service issues. After a few months obtaining advice from various consultants Ian, Antony, Justin, Sam, Courtney, Catherine, Denise, Craig have moved to Hawthorn Road Caulfield to focus on a streamlined investor and owner occupier approach to buyer advocacy. Ian can be contacted on 0418 131 636 or through his website www.jpp.com.au. His new company will cover investors and a far wider geographical area than we have in the past.

Peter, Adam, John and Mal remain at 9 Hillcrest Avenue Brighton with a focus on personal, one on one service for higher end clients – that is clients who are wishing to purchase properties in Inner Melbourne. Our office phone number remains the same 9596 8822. We have launched our new and improved website at www.mjba.com.au

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