The following tips are provided in good faith on a on a no-responsibilty basis.

Getting the most from self storage

  • Store items youll need most often at the front of the unit.
  • When you pack your storage unit, create a center aisle for  access to all items.
  • Do not place boxes directly on concrete floors, but use pallets or  skids to allow  air flow around and under items.
  •  If youre storing tables and other furniture, remove legs and store tabletops and  sofas on end, to save space.
  •  Old photographs tend to curl over time. To keep them flat, place them between  two pieces of cardboard and tape them together.
  •   Drain petrol and oil from lawn mowers and other items with  small engines.
  •   Common sense and state law determines what may be stored.   You alone control  access to your storage space therefore never store firearms, illicit drugs or drug  paraphernalia, live animals,        perishables, liquids, explosives, flammable liquids  and fuels, toxic materials, or other items that need a controlled  environment.
  • Use rubbish bins to store shovels, hoes and rakes.
  •  Mattresses should be covered and stored flat on level surfaces.
  •  Use protective covers and treat wood surfaces before storing.
  •  When storing metal items, to retard rust, wipe all metal surfaces with a rag  containing a few drops of machine oil.
  •   Pack blankets, draperies, and dress clothes on the hanger in a wardrobe box.
  •   Always use high quality locks on your unit.
  •   Whenever possible, place dressers and tables top-to-top to save space.

De-cultter your house for sale

Tips from a Valuer:
  1. Repair/repaint any cracks which might indicate a structural problem.
  2. Replace any old out-of-date items/furniture which might date your house.
  3. Remove any clutter and put valuable items into STORAGE to achieve the current fad "minimalistic" look.


PACKING & MOVING


Moving Planner

House Moving Planner
You may now be thinking about moving, hopefully to Warwick or Stanthorpe or Glen Innes, rather than away! They are great areas, offering some enjoyable spots like Girraween National Park and Storm King Dam, but my favourite are the National Parks around Glen Innes. A good family attraction is located on the banks of the beautiful Quart Pot Creek at Stanthorpe – Kidspace. Kidspace is four themed recreational activity areas based on Stanthorpe’s seasonal calendar – Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn and incorporates playground themes and design elements associated with each season. There is even a cute version of the Brass Monkey on top of the Winter Garden jungle gym!  Just another reason why Stanthorpe is proving to be such an attractive place for young people to move to and raise their families. Warwick is sports mad and enjoying strong growth.
So hopefully you’ve got a job lined up or are ready to join the many business operating here. .

4 WEEKS TO GO
Notify your Landlord or Agent that you are moving and ask for a referral letter, for you and your pets.
Check if your Employer might pay any of your moving costs, or if these are tax deductible
If moving interstate, check any changes with Drivers Licences
Contact the local Council’s about relevant facilities and permits you may need
Make any travel or accommodation reservations
Work out what you want to store with us and compare our costs.

3 WEEKS TO GO
Start packing!!
Get any school and medical records or prescriptions forwarded to your new area
Get a quote from our recommended Removalists and buy/rent packing stuff: boxes, tape, bubble wrap from him. Label your home, room by room. Read the contract and keep a copy.
Visit schools or childcare in the Glen Innes/Stanthorpe/Warwick and enrol children
Start keeping newspapers for wrapping breakables
Book storage space with one of our Agents.

2 WEEKS TO GO
Arrange for childcare for moving day if necessary.
If moving your pet in the car, get them used to car travel to see how they react
Confirm details with removalist.
Organise to disconnect/connect essential services; gas, water and electricity
Transfer all home deliveries to your new address.
Get your car serviced if you coming from a long distance
Update Insurance policies


FINAL WEEK
Organise any household repairs and thorough cleaning
Keep a few playthings out for kids on move day
Get Australia Post to redirect all your mail to your new address
Start using up all canned and frozen foods
Ask family and friends to help you on moving day – keep a cold beer for afterwards!
Transfer bank accounts if need be
Thoroughly clean your existing house or garden
Send emails to everyone with your new details
Return any videos and library books, collect all dry cleaning or items for repair
Empty petrol or hazardous chemicals before moving any machinery
Gather all keys from old address, get spares from family and friends
Leave out vacuum for last minute clean ups
Keep a bag free with all the things you'll need for your unpacking and cleaning
Ensure direct debits are still covered if you close any accounts
Organise pet care for the whole of moving day
Defrost freezer, clean oven and empty pantry

MOVE DAY
Take beds apart.
Have final payment ready for your Removalist
Leave a note at your old address with your forwarding address
Lock all doors and windows as you leave
Have someone supervise the removalists while they are unpacking
Check all items during unload, look for any damaged or missing items
Test all keys and consider changing your locks


AFTER MOVE
Unpack everything and store things with Allstorage that you can't bear to get rid of that don't fit in your new home.
Get your pets familiarised to the new area as quickly as possible so they don't try to find their old place
Make a list for your landlord of any appliances that aren't working or any defects and ask your if you can add picture hooks/redecorate your new house

Good luck! We hope you make a successful move to our region and look forward to meeting your storage needs.☺


Packing Hints

Step 1 - Get Things in Order
While deciding to move can be exciting, packing is something we all dread. Using this guide will help ensure your things get to your new address in one piece, and you're able to find everything when the time comes to unpack and get settled.
The more pre-planning you do, the easier your move will be; So

1. Create an inventory of what you will be moving to your new address
2. Take photos of, or videotape unique and valuable belongings
3. Make a note of the serial numbers on your electronic equipment.
4. Take out insurance.
Before you can start packing, buy some proper removal boxes from Rose City Removals (46615888) and supplement these with ones from the supermarket. You’ll need a few Wardrobe Boxes with Hanger Bars, Packing Tape, Bubble Wrap, Wrapping Paper, Newspaper, Tissue Paper, Ziplock Bags and Texta Markers.
Notes for Wrapping
Newspaper will leave ink smudges on your bits and pieces, so use bubble wrap, wrapping paper, or tissue paper to wrap all your breakables. Newspaper and towels, old linen, and blankets to wrap and cushion fragile items. Ziplock bags are good for small odds and ends that usually clutter your drawers.

Get Packing
The best advice we can give is to begin packing well ahead of the move, you use good, strong boxes, and always fully secure the bottoms. Concentrate on one room at a time, and clearly label every box by item and room. Designate an area close to your front door to place all your filled boxes before the move.
Start by packing the items you don't need for your daily living routine. Pack all your one of a kind items (including wills, share certificates, jewellery, photographs, and home videos) separately so that they can be carried with you on moving day. Or put these in storage. Pack your breakables loosely with plenty of wrapping. Make sure the boxes are clearly labelled FRAGILE, and stack them towards the top of your piles. Pack your non-breakables tightly in smaller boxes. Try to keep them to a weight you feel comfortable carrying. Pack your books flat and alternate the bindings so they stack evenly. If you can, pack small appliances and electronic equipment in the boxes they came in, and tape them securely. Make sure you have enough wardrobe boxes, as it'll save you ironing later.
Bulky Things
When you take your bed apart, bind the frames together with tape or rope. Fill your drawers with clothes or wrapped items. Cover the entire drawers with old linen or a blanket. Don't tape the drawers shut - you may damage the finish. Cover your tables with old linen or a blanket. If you can, remove the legs. Wrap the nuts and bolts in a plastic bag and tie them to a leg. For whitegoods, appliances, and other electronic equipment, check your owner's manual for any special instructions for moving. Fill your washing machines with stuffed toys, towels, old linen, and blankets to keep the tub from moving around during the move. Secure all drawers, ice containers, and other loose parts in your refrigerator. Pad any exposed coils to protect them during the move.
Tricky Things
Loosen the handlebars on your bikes and turn them sideways. Cover the chains and pedals to keep oil and grease off other items. Wrap your small mirrors and pack them in boxes. Cover your wall mirrors, large paintings and other artwork with cardboard. If they'll fit, slide them into wardrobe boxes. If your outdoor furniture is too heavy or bulky to move intact, disassemble what you can and place the nuts and bolts in a plastic bag to be taped to one part. Roll up your carpets and rugs and secure with rope or tape.
Make sure all sharp edges on your tools or attachments are wrapped to prevent injury. Pack your power tools with plenty of cushioning, and tape or tie your tool chests securely. Carefully dispose of the petrol and oil from your lawnmower and other machinery, as well as any flammable or poisonous household products. Do not pack oil rags: dispose of them to avoid spontaneous combustion.
Good luck! We hope you make a successful move to our region and look forward to meeting your storage needs.☺

Storage Hints


If you read our previous articles, you should now be thinking about storing those precious items and kids stuff before the big move to the Warwick/Stanthorpe area. To help cater for bigger kid’s who have eventually moved from home to study or work, we have some economical small units. And yes, we have parents who put their kids stuff in and then get us to send the bill to the kids!
HINTS
The use of packing accessories such as Cartons, Porta Robes, Paper, Tape, Bubble-wrap and Plastic covers will maintain and protect your goods whilst in storage. Fill cartons to capacity; partially full or bulging cartons may tip or collapse. Heavy items like books or tools should be packed in small cartons so they are easy to handle. Books should be packed flat, not on their spines! Packing and labelling cartons room by room makes the unpacking much easier, and if you need to find something in storage you will have some idea of which carton to begin looking in.
APPLIANCES: Fridges, freezers and other white goods should be thoroughly DRY and CLEAN before storing. Whilst in storage the door should be secured slightly ajar. A deodorizer placed inside fridges or freezers is also a good idea to maintain freshness. Don't place items inside fridges or freezers as the shelves and linings can be easily marked and damaged.

FURNITURE: Disassemble & empty the contents of wardrobes, drawers and cupboards to protect the shelving and structure of these items. Clothing and personal goods should be packed in strong secure cartons with some naphthalene, mothballs or similar product to protect and maintain their condition. Where possible remove the legs from items of furniture e.g. bed bases, tables etc to avoid damage and save space. Vacuum food crumbs from lounges to prevent attracting vermin.

DISHES AND GLASSWARE: Place a layer of packing inside the bottom and top of cartons containing breakables. Protect fragile items by wrapping them individually in packing paper (newsprint ink can be very messy and possibly stain). Nest cups and bowls, stand plates, sauce platters, casseroles on their edges. Fill any gaps the cartons with packing e.g.: scrunched paper linen. This will keep your fragile items well protected and prevent them from moving around in the cartons whilst in transit. Label all cartons containing fragile items and avoid storing heavy items on the top of these cartons.

MIRRORS, WINDOWS, SCREENS AND PAINTINGS: These items should be protected by packing material e.g.: bubble-wrap or in a flat-pack carton store them standing on their edges in an upright position (not lying flat).

METAL ITEMS: Wrapping silver in NON ACID tissue paper or plastic bags can help reduce tarnishing. Wipe chrome or cast iron with a little machine oil/spray WD40 to help retard rust.

ELECTRICAL ITEMS: Your electrical equipment is very delicate and sensitive and should be handled with care. The original boxes are ideal to repack in. However wrapping items individually in bubble-wrap, packing them in cartons, and sealing the top will offer protection for your electrical items. Remember to pack out any gaps in the cartons. Pack records or similar on their edges to prevent warping.

BATTERY OPERATED APPLIANCES AND TOYS: We recommend that you remove the batteries to avoid damage from leaking batteries.

COMPUTERS: Computers, like your other electrical items, need special care. The original boxes are highly recommended for packing. However bubble-wrap and good quality packing cartons will do the job. Remember to use some packing or linen in the bottom and top of cartons. This provides extra protection to the contents. Pack out any gaps. Modern computers have "self parking heads." If you are unsure about your computer, refer to the manufacturer's manual, or consult your retailer, especially if storing for longer than six months.

MOWERS AND OTHER MACHINERY: Drain fuel and oil from all machinery. This reduces risk of leakage, spillage and damage to other goods in your space. Petrol and oil are also a fire hazard.

CLOTHES: Use wardrobe box - saves unpacking your clothes.
PLANNING YOUR STORAGE SPACE: As a general rule place large, heavy items that you can stack upon at the rear of the space. Then work forwards and upwards with lighter, fragile items. Those items that you may need to access often, place in the front of the space. Depending on the goods you have stored, you may need to allow for walk ways. Packing in professional storage cartons will make the storing and unpacking easier and safer, saving you time and worry. Professional packing and storage accessories will provide your goods with the preparation they need for storage and maintain their condition for the term of the storage.

MOVING CHECKLIST: Arrange disconnection and reconnection of services e.g.: Power, Gas, Phone. Cancel any deliveries e.g.: papers, milk, soft drinks. Your local Post Office will assist you with mail redirection. Important Authorities and Business Houses to notify of your change of address are: Electoral Office, Motor Vehicle Registration and Licence Authority, Taxation Office, Banks and Financial Institutions, Insurance Companies, Educational Institutions, Department of Security (re Pension payments. Family Payments etc), Medicare, Club Membership and Subscriptions.

THE STORAGE AGREEMENT: Our agreement based on the Self Storage Associations model, is designed for the protection of you, the storer and the facility owner. Be sure to read it thoroughly. If you have questions, please ask Cec Mann & Co. in Stanthorpe or Rose City Realty in Warwick.

WHAT NOT TO STORE: Any goods that are illegal, stolen, inflammable, explosive, environmentally harmful, hazardous perishable or that are a risk to the property of person. e.g. Chlorine, acid, paint, petrol.

Good luck! We hope you make a successful move to our region and look forward to meeting your storage needs.☺


Schools: selecting a new School




Where do I start finding a school for my child?
• Consider whether you will be sending your children to Private or State schools
• If your child’s current school is willing, ask them to assist you by recommending a school in the area that you’ll be moving to In
• Contact schools, ask to get some information sent to you, or arrange to go there in person
• Check the phone book and browse the Internet for school listings
• Pay attention to recommendations – this is often the best way to make a decision

What aspects are important?
• A nearby school is a lot less travelling.
• Visit a few schools with your child so that they can get a feel for the environment
• Arrange to see the principal during school hours – this way you will see what the students are like, discipline etc.
• Visit classes during school hours; observe whether the children are attentive, bored or disruptive. Will your child feel comfortable attending this school?
• Does the school have any particular emphasis? If your child plays an instrument, a arts-based environment will be better
• If you are looking at secondary schools, have a look at the range of subjects offered in years 11 and 12 and student performance levels. Your teenager will want a wide selection to choose from, and relevant ones to what they want to study at university

Found one?
• If possible, get your children to meet their teachers beforehand. Knowing a few faces will make things easier
• Buy necessary stationary items and books as soon as possible
• Send school records to the new school. Double check all paperwork and other details are taken care of before the children start
• If your child is taking any medication, or has any special needs, let the teachers and principal know
• Buy bus passes

For the first day...
• Are uniforms compulsory? Get a uniform if they need one, and if the other students don’t wear them, don’t worry. But, there is nothing worse than being the new kid in the wrong clothes!
• Choose a safe route to school and set a day aside to show them the route. Walk to the station, bus, or tram stop with your child, and travel together to the new school
• Let your kids pick what they’d like to take for lunch. Having some control of the situation will make them feel better
• If you’ll be picking your children up from school, arrange where you’ll meet, and devise a plan for what the procedure will be if you’re running late

Other issues....
• Make sure you attend parent-teacher interviews each term.
• If your kids are in their last years of primary school, find out which secondary school most of the students will go to, and enrol them there. Avoid sending them where they will have to make a new group of friends yet again


Good luck! We hope you make a successful move to our region and look forward to meeting your storage needs.☺


Moving Your Pets


If you read our previous articles, you want to consider how a shift affects your pets. Stanthorpe can get especially cold and has the lowest reading in the State often this winter – so your pet will need an extra blanket as might you! Still, the Stanthorpians don’t mind so much with the “Brass Monkey” tourist season in full swing. And geez, do they get some tourists visiting – we wanted to book for the jazz in the vineyards session, but couldn’t get accommodation – serves us right for leaving it so late. Had to have a giggle over Scott Mann’s comment (from Cec Mann & Co. Real Estate); “beats me why the Brisbane tourists want to come down here and freeze their butts off – still its fine as long as they keep coming”. I guess it’s an acquired taste, but a few days in the cold can be quite refreshing, but the focus should be on your pet’s feelings.

Get the Facts
• As soon as you decide to move, find out whether local councils have strict requirements or restrictions on pet ownership. Ring the Community Services section at Warwick OR Stanthorpe Shire and they will help you.
• Sometimes, you should take your pet to have a check-up. Ask for any veterinary records to be forwarded to your new vet.
A Short Move
• If you're only moving a short distance, it's probably easiest to transport your pet in the car with you on move day.
• In the meantime, keep your pet outside, or in a room that won't be used. Make sure your pet has plenty of water, and enough toys to occupy their time.
Moving Pets by Car
• Some cats and dogs find car travel distressing, some even get car sick. Be prepared to make frequent stops along the way. McDonalds in Stanthorpe has a nice grass area at the front where many pet owners sit with their pet.
• Rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, and other petite pets can easily be transported in your car. To help keep them calm and quiet, cover the cages with a dark cloth.
• If you'll need to stop overnight, shop around for a hotel that will allow pets. Some caravan parks and motels are now making a feature of the fact you can bring your pet.
Moving Fish
• Visit your local Aquarium or Pet Shop and ask for special Fish Bags to transport your fish. They will offer advice on what's best for different types of fish.
Creating A Pet Pack

If you're transporting your pet by car, there are a few things you should keep aside to take with you on move day.
• An old blanket to protect your car upholstery.
• A favourite toy and on old T-shirt of yours with your scent on it.
• Two plastic containers: one with food and treats, one with water.
• Any medication your may need.
• A leash for when you let your pet out of the car for a toilet break.
• Plastic bags, paper towel, a sponge, and some disinfectant spray, just in case!
Pet Transport
Depending on your pet's size and temperament, and for an extra long distance, it may be wise to enlist the help of a pet transporter, who will organise every aspect of moving your pet from A to B. The service can include:
• Sound advice on preparing your pet for the trip
• Information about requirements or restrictions on pet ownership at your destination
• Collecting your pet at the airport
• Lodging your pet until you arrive
• Delivery of your pet to your new home.
If going by air, your cat or dog must have the following:
• A recent health certificate provided by your veterinarian
• A pet carrier that complies with airline regulations – if you make a lot of trips think about buying one, as they are dear to hire.
Trip Tips
• Do take your dog for a long walk before the trip.
• Do keep your cat indoors for at least 24 hours at your new home.
• Don't feed your pet too much before the trip.
• Don't sedate your pet unless it is absolutely necessary.
Other Bits and Pieces to Consider
• If you're planning on renting, prepare a pet resume for prospective landlords. Your vet may agree to write a referral letter about the pet’s temperament.
• Don't forget to get a new registration/ pet ID tag with your new address and contact phone numbers.
Good luck! We hope you make a successful move to our region and look forward to meeting your storage needs.☺


Moving your Family


If you read our previous articles you might be thinking about the social aspect of moving a young family. Both Warwick and Stanthorpe areas cater well for children with good child care facilities and lots of parks and sports grounds, but if you have one of those jobs with successive moves, you might want to think through the affect on young children. Having had to make quite a few moves for carer reasons, I can vouch that adults don’t handle it too well either. Luckily when you’re moving into Stanthorpe with its village feel and Warwick as a rural centre, you will find people are far more friendly and more interested in helping you. Actually for the oldies, the Stanthorpe Golf Club is worth a hit – say hello to Bob Watts the Club’s president – I doubt you’ll meet a nicer fellow and find a more welcoming Club.

When to Move School Age Kids
• If your kids are school age it can be tempting to plan your move for the school holidays. This can actually make things harder for your kids. Because school is the first place kids can be assured of making friends, moving on the school holidays places your child in unfamiliar surroundings at a time when their chances of making friends are low.
• To make things worse, when school resumes, your child will be a stranger on the first day hustle and bustle.
• Moving during the school year allows your kids to go from one social setting to another and when your child is the only new person, the teacher and the other kids will be keen to show him or her special attention.
Does Age Make a Difference?
• Generally, the younger the child, the better they will cope with moving home. Although infants and young children may be confused, try to explain to them what's happening and make it like an adventure.
• What worries school age kids most is the question of how easily they will fit in and make friends at their new school and this why teenagers are generally more resistant to the idea of moving home because their friends provide them with a sense of identity.

Before the Move
• When you start making plans for your move, it's important to focus on what your kids can look forward to.
• Remember, if you see your move as an exciting adventure, your kids will be enthusiastic too.
• A great way to do this is to take them with you on house-hunting adventures. If it's simply not practical to have them tagging along, bring back pictures of hot prospects you're considering and then once you've found a new home, take photos of local places of interest.
Communication is the Key
• It's important that your family spend time chatting about the move. Before and during your move, encourage your kids to voice their uncertainties.
• If you're honest, you're probably feeling a little hesitant too, no matter how promising your new situation is likely to be, so after your move, time sitting together and listening to each other's stories will be the best way to find out how everyone is coping with the change.
Getting the Kids Involved

It's natural that your kids will want to feel part of what's going on. Some examples of ways to involve your kids include:
• Asking them to help organise your garage sale by making colourful posters to stick up around the neighbourhood
• Helping them choose a small number of toys to keep with them on moving day and letting them pack and label a few of their own boxes
• Giving them a special job to take care of on move day so they'll feel they're making a valuable contribution.
• Letting them decide how their new rooms will be arranged and decorated.
What about Childcare?
• You'll no doubt be offered a lot of conflicting advice whether you should keep your kids with you on move day, or arrange childcare, so don't forget that you are the best judge of what's right for your kids.
Saying Goodbye
• It's important that your kids have the opportunity to say good-bye to the family members and friends they're leaving behind, so encourage them to exchange contact details. These days, it's easy to keep in touch as pen pals via email.
Settling In

Realise that there is a grieving period for children than can last for weeks, or even months. There are a few simple things you can do to make moving easier for your kids, such as
• Explore your new neighbourhood together
• Wander around the new school together to help them find their bearings
• Go with your kids on their route to school until they want to travel by themselves
• Sign them up for after school activities where they can make new friends with similar interests
• Encourage them to keep in touch with old friends.

Keeping an Eye Out for Early Warning Signs
• It's always hard giving up the known for the unknown. Even the most well-adjusted child can have difficulty coping with moving home.
• It's important to pick up on early warning signs that your child may need extra help adjusting.

Here's some things to watch out for
• Withdrawn behaviour
• Loss of appetite
• Problems sleeping, or regular nightmares
• Outbursts of anger or tears
• Reluctance to stray far from the house or family
• Difficulty making new friends
More Handy Hints for Moving Kids
• There are children's books that help kids come to terms with an upcoming move, and cope with some of the feelings they may be experiencing.
• If you've got young children, it's important to survey your new home for possible danger areas, and kiddie proof them.
• The sooner you teach your kids your new address and contact details, the better.

Good luck! We hope you make a successful move to our region and look forward to meeting your storage needs.

Moving Plants


If you read our previous articles, you should now be thinking about packing up your plants before your move to the Warwick/Stanthorpe area. The cold weather and shorter days make moving a bit more difficult and you need to allow for this.
Speaking of cold weather, the winter season still brings out the Victorian holiday makers and we lost count of the number of vans on the Warwick section of the highway. Increasing tourism brings dollars even into our smaller towns and there is a new caravan park and motel opening in Allora to help cater for travellers.

Moving Your Indoor Plants
A couple of weeks before you move, prune your plants so that they can be packed easily. If you're not confident with pruning, head down to your local nursery and ask one of their staff for advice. If you already in Warwick you could contact Enchanted Gardens nursery, but we hope this means you are just moving with town and not out.
With problem plants, a week before you move, place your plants in a black plastic bag with a flea collar. Keep this package in a cool area overnight. You'll kill any pests on the plant or in the soil.
The day before you move, place your plants in cardboard boxes. Hold them in place and cushion the leaves with damp newspaper. The Trader has more uses than just being a good read! Lightly cover the plants with a final layer of damp newspaper.
If you must leave your plants behind, it's time to prepare cuttings. Wrap them in damp newspaper and put them in a plastic bag.
On move day, close the boxes and punch air holes in the top. Make sure the removalists are instructed not to take these boxes – if you have room, take them with you in your car. When you arrive at your new address, unpack your plants as soon as you can. Use a sharp knife to carefully cut the bottom out of the boxes and remove your plants through the bottom to avoid breaking the stems.
Pick a shady spot and avoid exposing your plants to lots of sunlight at first.

Moving Your Outdoor Plants
Gather any seeds you plan to take and pop them in an airtight container.
Dig up your bulbs during their dormant season. Pack them in a mixture of loose and dry peat moss and vermiculite. A lined cardboard box is ideal.
Speak to staff at Cheery Lane Nursery in Stanthorpe about the best time to transplant your favourite plants to your new address and if you are right into growing things, and might want to find some people with common interests, then contact the Warwick Branch of the Society for Growing Australian plants which meets regularly in the Council Offices (more information is available from their web site: www.sgapqld.org.au/warwick.html)

Good luck! We hope you make a successful move to our region and look forward to meeting your storage needs.☺



FINDING A RENTAL PROPERTY

With a continuing shortage of housing, there is steady demand for rental properties in the Warwick & Stanthorpe areas with the southern part attracting 3 new resident families per week. There are still retirees seeking a quality lifestyle, temperate climate and friendly village atmosphere. And of course, the lower property prices are an attraction too!

Here are a few tips on Finding a Rental Property. (There are more tips on Storage and Moving House on our web site www.allstorage.com.au)

1.Know What You Want
2.Be Prepared
3.Get Organised
4.During Inspections
5.Moving Out is Not Cheap

When you find something you like, act quickly. Often, finding a suitable rental property is a matter of first in, best dressed. Don't be too disappointed if your application is unsuccessful: something just as good is probably waiting around the corner.

Know What You Want
• Spend some time researching what the SW region has to offer by way of lifestyle and work opportunities. There are many social Clubs and sporting organisations in this region. A long list is published in the Stanthorpe Informer.
• There is a good highway system in our region, but see how far away from your work, family and friends you will be if you decide to live here.
• It's also worthwhile checking out local facilities including shopping centres, restaurants, wineries, recreational and entertainment complexes, parks, gardens and National Parks.
• When you've decided where you want to live, think about what you need and want in a rental home. How many bedrooms and bathrooms would you like? Do you require heating and air-conditioning? What about a dishwasher?
Be Prepared
• It's important to work out what you can afford, set your limits and stick to them. The average Australian renter spends no more than one-third of his or her monthly salary on rent.
• Get some written references together, and ask some reliable contacts if they'd mind putting in a good word for you.
Get Organised
• Undertaking a lease is a significant responsibility. Make sure it is the standard REIQ lease agreement. You'll need to commit to reside there for a specified period of time, and keep the home and garden in good repair.
• Finding a place that you like may take a few weeks. Expect to spend your spare time on inspections. Scan the local newspaper and ring local agents. A small “wanted” classified add might help.
• Most agents will require you to leave a refundable deposit in exchange for a key.

During Inspections
When you start inspecting properties, there are a few things to consider:
• Is there any obvious damage or things that need fixing?
• How much storage space is there?
• What appliances are included?
• Is there heating? Ceiling fans? Air-conditioning?
• Are the laundry facilities suitable?
• Are there safety and security features such as security lights?
• Are there enough power points and phone lines?
• Will you be able to set up your PC and Internet connection easily?
• Will the hot water system meet your needs?
• Is there sufficient parking for yourself and your guests?
• Will your pets be allowed at the property?
• How long is the lease?
• Will you be close to work and amenities?

Moving Out is not Cheap

It's important to work out what you can afford. Here's a few expenses you'll need to cover:
• Bond and four weeks rent upfront
• Removalist or truck hire expenses. Real Estate Agents can often help you find reasonable quotes.
• Connection of water, gas, electricity, phone and Internet.

Good luck! We hope you find a house in our region and look forward to meeting your storage needs.☺


BUYING PROPERTY

An Overview

Get a pre-approval for finance, so you know your limits and be ready if a bargain turns up. While you are there, ask who is on the list of valuers for your bank, as you may need to use their services to point you in the right direction if needed. Check your budget & allow for interest increases - you need to comfortably be able to meet the repayments. Cannex.com.au lists the home lenders by comparable interest rate. No Capital Gains Tax applies on owner occupied homes (see 6 year rule at ATO)

Choice of Property:

Establish a size: This doesn’t just apply to number of bedrooms, but size of kitchen, number of bathrooms and size of yards and garages.

Identify what is your primary MOTIVATING FACTOR and then what type of properties are going to meet your needs - investment or as an owner/occupier; closeness to shops, public transport, schools, main roads, crime spots. Proximity to work and cost of daily travel needs analyzing: a dearer property may be justified on basis of saving non-deductible home-to-work travel plus the value of more family/leisure time vs. time driving. Check for negative impacts – new developments, roadways in the area. Lifestyle is a subset – closeness to cafes, sport, and similar professional groups/social. Emotion often overrules rationality!

Prime cost:

Find out what part of market cycle your chosen are is in. Consider re-sale appeal and likely resale value, after Agents fees/marketing. Check Stamp Duty and Land Tax obligations in your State.

A few days looking on the net/newspapers/ agents books/visiting agents/open days and inspecting will give you a "feel" for market values. Write these in a book/take photos/start a folder; as after you’ve looked at 10 or so, they tend to all look the same, so your notes will help. In the unlikely event you spot a "bargain" you need to act quickly. A check in the private classifieds newspaper listings/net is worthwhile, as agents will only sell you what’s on their shelf. For houses, check what a new home will cost from a project builder - quoted in dollars per sq metre is a general guide only. You can get RP Data of actual sales on the net. www.rpdata.com (Agents sometimes will give you a copy for the suburb you're  buying in) In Queensland you can get ownership details/title details from the Department of Primary Industries for around $12 per lot.

If you've narrowed it down to one property in your price range, you're ready to start negotiating. Offers should be made in writing (or in Qld) on the standard REIQ contract supplied by the Real Estate Agent. Many properties seem to be marked up from the acceptance price by 5%.

Be 100% aware, that the Agent is clearly working for the Vendor, not you. In Qld, there is a statutory obligation for the Agent to best serve the Vendor’s interests, by whatever means he can justify to the Department of Fair Trading.

Agents will be seeking to uncover your motivating factor and classify you into a physiological group to save themselves time. Similarly they will show males the "blokey" things:- garage, shed, and the girls the kitchen/bathroom. Guys, be aware, the kitchens/bathrooms are where you need plumbers and electricians = the most expensive to replace. Their broad objective is to talk you up and talk the seller down, so the deal is done.

Investment

Like any investment, direct property investment must suit your needs, both now and into the future. The choice of property for investment purposes is enormous, so here are five useful guidelines to help you make an informed decision.

Do your sums first

Work out how much you can afford to borrow and how much surplus income you have to support the loan and meet the expenses of holding the property (like rates, body corporate fees, insurance and maintenance). There will be a tax break if you negatively gear, but that’s a bonus. The focus should be on the quality of the investment and likely capital gain.

Make realistic assumptions

Do your homework thoroughly. What rental will it attract? What capital gain is reasonable? Don’t forget to factor in potential interest rate rises. If you’re going to invest further by renovating the property, make sure you’re not over-investing your time and money.

Take independent advice

Many organisations that sell investment property will offer to make the process simple by bundling all the services you need together. Don’t be tempted – use your own trusted professionals. Do your own “due diligence” by asking other real estate agents in the area about the rental market, property sales and likely capital appreciation. Always seek unbiased advice (i.e. registered valuer)

Remember that property is a long-term investment

Investment in property is usually at least a five-to-ten-year commitment. The property cycle is quite protracted, and after a boom, prices often stagnate for many years. Buy smart and buy for the long term.

Consider how best to borrow

There is a huge range of loan facilities available. Choosing between interest-only and principal and interest loans is a key question for you as an investor. An interest-only loan means you minimise your costs and maximise the interest expense for tax deduction purposes. The return on your investment will come from the potential capital gain. Don't believe the spruikers!

Principal and interest loans are more expensive, but like a forced savings plan, you gradually increase your equity in the property.

Buying a home is often a once or twice in a lifetime expense and, apart from the obvious cost of the property, the buyer may incur other associated costs; Stamp Duty, Land Tax, conveyancing costs and other legal fees, building and pest inspection reports, a valuation report, and loan fees.
Buyers who terminate a contract under the five-business day cooling off provision may also have to pay a cost to the seller.

The REIQ suggests the following when budgeting the costs of buying real estate.

Price of the Property

You are able to put in an offer on a property that is less than the advertised price. The real estate agent then presents the offer to the seller and they will either accept or reject the offer. The price that the buyer and seller agree upon is countersigned on the contract of sale.

Borrowing Costs

When borrowing money from a financial institution, buyers are likely to encounter costs such as the loan establishment fee, mortgagee insurance (if borrowing more than a nominated percentage of the property’s value, usually 80%) and stamp duty on mortgage registration. Mortgage inusrance can be quite expensive and just protects the Lender in case you go broke!

Buyers will also need to budget for ongoing fees and interest repayments on top of the loan amount borrowed. Fees will vary between financial institutions and buyers should shop around for the loan that best suits their needs. All financial institutions must now publish a comparison rate for their loans which takes into account all fees and charges and any introductory loan rates. Unfortunately, you do need to verify how they've calculated it.

It is a good idea to obtain pre-approval (or at least have an idea of how much the bank with lend you) for a loan before starting the search for your dream home.

Valuation Report

An independent valuation report on a property can be valuable to the buyer to indicate a property's true worth. Sometimes the seller will obtain this for the buyer at his or her own cost. In Queensland, contact the Australian Property Institute by phoning 07 3832 3139 for the names of licensed valuers.

Transfer (Stamp) Duty

Stamp duty is a tax imposed on written documents that record or affect certain types of financial or legal transactions and is  chargeable on documents or statements if they are either:

  • Signed or executed in Queensland; or
  • Signed or executed outside Queensland but relating to property situated in Queensland or to some act, matter or thing to be done in Queensland.

State Government charges the buyer stamp duty when they purchase a property - the percentage scale will vary according to the amount of the sale price and whether or not the buyer intends to live in the property or rent it out to tenants as an investment. Depending on the nature of the transaction, certain concessions and exemptions are available.

Your solicitor will obtain the appropriate rate, or can just get it from their web site. The buyer pays the solicitor the amount payable who then arranges payment to the Government authority.

The State Government introduced legislation in 2007 to ease the financial burden of stamp duty on first home buyers.

Under the legislation, from January 2007, first home buyers pay no stamp duty on:

  • an established home valued up to $320,000 (current threshold $250,000);
  • a vacant block of land up to $150,000 (this supersedes the $100,000 threshold announced at 2006-07 Budget which was to take effect in January 2007)

First-time buyers also pay less stamp duty on:

  • an established home valued over $320,000 but less than $460,000; or
  • a vacant block of land valued over $150,000 but less than $300,000.

Click here for the current transfer duties schedule or click here to access the Office of State Revenue's website, which includes stamp duty calculators for conveyance duty, mortgage duty and lease duty.

Alternatively, you may first wish to refer to Buying Real Property in Queensland which addresses specific provisions under the Act.

For more information about Stamp Duty, go the State Government's website at www.osr.qld.gov.au or phone 07 3227 8733 or 1300 301 342.

Land Tax

The Office of State Revenue (OSR) collects land tax in Queensland and administers the Land Tax Act 1915. Land tax is levied by the Queensland Government on freehold land owned in Queensland as at midnight on 30 June each year.

For land tax purposes "land" includes vacant land, land that is built upon, building unit plans, group title plans, time shares and home unit companies.

Land tax is payable by the owner of any interest in freehold land in Queensland if the aggregate value of all land interests exceeds the relevant threshold.

There are various classes of taxpayers including residents (natural persons who ordinarily reside in Australia), absentees (natural persons who do not ordinarily reside in Australia), companies (includes clubs, associations etc.) and trustees (includes trustees of deceased persons' estates).

Depending on the use of the land, certain deductions may be available to reduce the taxable value of the unimproved land. Land tax is not payable on land used by the owner solely as their principal place of residence if a deduction has been claimed on the relevant form and allowed.

To see the current land tax schedule or for more detailed information, visit the website for the State Government's Office of State Revenue.

Legal Costs and Searches

The REIQ strongly encourages buyers to seek independent legal advice before signing a Contract for Sale. The Queensland State Government's Property Agents and Motor Dealers Amendment Act 2001 resulted in the introduction of a raft of new forms that affect both the buyer and the seller. "Southerners" are often caught out a bit by the Qld Real Estate Agent prepared Contracts - they are binding...get advice if you are not 100% sure.

Issues that need to be understood by the buyer are: the appropriateness of accepting or waiving the 5-business day cooling off period, seeking assistance with understanding the new State Government forms, the Selling Agent's Disclosure to the Buyer Statement (Form 27b) and the REIQ Contract of Sale. It is recommended that the buyer seek legal advice relating to these forms.

After a buyer has signed the appropriate forms and the Contract of Sale, they are advised to undertake certain searches. These include a Title search verifying the ownership of the property, a local government building report on the legality of existing structures on the property, and a local government search on the zoning of the property indicating any restrictions on the property and encumbrances on the property easements.

Solicitor's fees are negotiable. It is advisable to compare the fees being charged by a few different solicitors. Good referrals and past experience is valuable when choosing your legal representative.

It is possible for a buyer to undertake these activities on their own; however, the REIQ strongly recommends using qualified solicitors for conveyancing. Contact the Queensland Law Society for further details about how to contact a qualified solicitor: www.qls.com.au

Pest and Building Inspection Reports/Vendor Sustainability Declaration Reports

Buyers can make their Contract of Sale conditional on the basis of a satisfactory building and pest inspection report from a licensed professional. See the Building Services Authority website for more information.

The cost of these can vary but it is now required under Queensland law that the Inspector must be licensed by the Building Services Authority. The Sustainability reports are new - as a purchaser you can sue where these are false.

Termination of a Contract under the 5-business day cooling-off provision

If a buyer terminates a Contract of Sale at any time during the stipulated 5-business day period, they will have to pay the seller 0.25% of the property price on the Contract. There is no additional GST payable on this amount.

If the buyer has elected to waive the cooling off period provision they will not incur any cost and consequently cannot terminate a Contract.


Negotiation- Questions to ask when buying:

  1. Why are they asking this price?
  2. Why are they selling?
  3. How long has it been for sale?
  4. What will they take?
  5. Have the owners had any offers?
  6. Who set the price?
  7. How was this arrived at?
  8. Is there some comparison properties to see?
  9. What would you pay if you were the buyer
  10. What inclusions are they leaving?
  11. Why is it a good investment – will you guarantee any of my losses?
  12. Do you have a good record of property investment yourself?

Buying at Auction

  1. Ask Agent to put his estimate in writing
  2. Believe nothing
  3. Normal understatement is 20% i.e. $120,000 means $200,000
  4. Tell Agent nothing.
  5. Check RP Data
  6. Seek a valuation
  7. Do not bid until “it is on the market”
  8. Making an Offer
  9. In Qld, the Agents prepare the contracts, so sign the contract and present it.
  10. In other States, a written letter will suffice – make genuine offers only.
  11. State this is the most I will pay. IE first and final offer
  12. Be trustworthy
  13. Ask to be notified if there are other offers

Five basic principles in discussions

  • Be hard on the problem and soft on the person
  • Focus on needs, not positions
  • Emphasise common ground
  • Be inventive about options
  • Make clear agreements

Where possible prepare in advance. Consider what your needs are and what the other person's are. Consider outcomes that would address more of what you both want. Commit yourself to a win/win approach, even if tactics used by the other person seem unfair. Be clear that your task will be to steer the negotiation in a positive direction. To do so you may need to do some of the following:

Reframe

Ask a question to reframe. (e.g. "If we succeed in resolving this problem, what differences would you notice?" Request checking of understanding. ("Please tell me what you heard me/them say.") Request something she/he said to be re-stated more positively, or as an "I" statement. Re-interpret an attack on the person as an attack on the issue.

Respond not React

  • Manage your emotions.
  • Let some accusations, attacks, threats or ultimatums pass.
  • Make it possible for the other party to back down without feeling humiliated (e.g. by identifying changed circumstances which could justify a changed position on the issue.)

Re-focus on the issue

Maintain the relationship and try to resolve the issue. (e.g. "What's fair for both of us?" Summarise how far you've got. Review common ground and agreement so far. Focus on being partners solving the problem, not opponents. Divide the issue into parts. Address a less difficult aspect when stuck. Invite trading ("If you will, then I will") Explore best and worst alternatives to negotiating an acceptable agreement between you.

Identify Unfair Tactics

Name the behavior as a tactic. Address the motive for using the tactic. Chance the physical circumstances. Have a break. Change locations, seating arrangements etc. Go into smaller groups. Meet privately. Call for meeting to end now and resume later, perhaps "to give an opportunity for reflection".


Home Buyers Guide

With Queensland house prices still holding (the lower end was being driven by first home buyers) compared with the other States, and an annual net migration of 80,000 pa inwards despite stagnant national growth, it shows the Sunshine State is still the place to be. Unfortunately this means you’ll pay a premium, but at least you’ll be confident of future capital growth. An average house block in Stanthorpe is now $50,000, but nearby country ones are cheaper. In Warwick the developers are a bit quicker off the mark and several subdivisions have commenced. There is to be a 200 bed retirement village built in Warwick as well and with local retirees taking up some places there should be a wider choice for homebuyers.
Know What You Want
• Spend some time researching areas where you are interested in living.
• Determine how far away from your work, schools, family and friends you will be if you decide to live there.
• It's also worthwhile checking out local facilities including shopping centres, restaurants, entertainment complexes, sports and parks and gardens.
• Hospitals., medical services, public transport depending on your age.

When you've decided where you want to live, think about what you need and want in a home.
• What size and style home do you want to buy? Do you need room to grow? Would you like a garage, a big backyard, afford a swimming pool?
• Is the area suited to your lifestyle and entertainment needs, will these needs change? Houses tend to be held for 7 years.

Know What You Can Afford

You can get a good idea how much you can afford to spend on a new home using the following equation:

The Amount You Have Saved for a Deposit PLUS 3 x Your Gross Salary (How Much You Can Borrow) PLUS
How Much You Can Sell Your Current Home For MINUS The Mortgage on Your Current Home MINUS
Transaction Costs MINUS Personal Loans/Cards EQUALS How Much You Can Afford to Spend!
Allow for legals and inspections (say $1,000) and stamp duty and any loan application fees PLUS mortgage insurance and removal expense.

Don’t forget:
1. interest rates go up and down so allow a good margin
2. education and health expenses are on the rise.
3. many financial “wizards” are forecasting a period of high inflation.
4. check your job security.
5. rentals are rising.


Searching for a Home

There are plenty of useful resources to check out when you're looking to buy a home. Have a browse through:
- Internet Property Sites
- Local, State and National Newspapers
- Real Estate Publications

Its also worthwhile popping in for a chat with Real Estate Agents in the areas you like, and driving around looking for "For Sale" signs. Take a camera and notepad. Also I keep a scrapbook of newspaper cutouts, to keep a ready record of asking prices.

Most homes will be open for inspection on a Wednesday or Saturday, or you can arrange a private inspection with the agent.

What to look for at an Inspection?
When you start inspecting properties, there are a few things to consider:
• Location, location and street appeal.
• Garaging, stairs, ease of living.
• Rates/body corporate costs.
• Is there any obvious structural damage or major things that need fixing?
• What appliances are included?
• Is there heating? Ceiling fans? Air-conditioning?
• Are the laundry facilities suitable?
• Are there safety and security features such as security doors, smoke alarms and a burglar alarm?
• Are there enough power points and phone lines?
• Will you be able to set up your PC and Internet connection easily?
• Will the hot water system meet your needs?
• Is there sufficient parking for you, your caravan, and any guests?
• Is it convenient to work, public transport, and amenities?
• Is a scenic view important?
• Will you need to, and are you prepared to renovate?
• Will this property increase in value?
• Are there any major developments scheduled that may change the area you choose?
How Do I Make An Offer?
• The key to making a successful offer is working out what the property is worth, and what price the seller is prepared to settle on – it is a competition! (You can ask your Lender for their valuers name in your region and request a “drive-buy”.
• Get a feel for the market by finding out what similar properties in the area are selling for. Check with Agents as to actual settled sale prices in the area and trends. You can buy sales data over the net.
• Only decide to make an offer prior to auction if you have considered the market and whether the property is likely to be sold for more or less than the asking amount.
• Making the right offer prior to auction may prevent the possibility of someone outbidding you on the day.

I've been Gazumped!
• When you've made a verbal agreement to buy a property, and the seller then enters into a written contract with another buyer (usually at a higher price) you've been gazumped.
• It hurts, but gazumping is not illegal. Remember, a contract for the sale of property or an interest in property must be in writing and signed to be enforceable.

Going to Auctions
• Go to a few auctions before you're ready to buy. It's the best way to get a feel for what goes on and how they are run. It can be an eye opener!
• It will also help determine the market, you may find listing prices aren't realistic to what properties are actually being sold for.
• You shouldn't exceed the maximum amount you're willing and able to pay.
• If your bid is successful, you'll be required to sign a binding contract and pay a deposit.
• If the vendor isn't happy with the highest bid at auction, the property will be passed in, and the highest bidder will probably be given the first opportunity to negotiate.
• The Auctioneer will say the property is “on the market” during bidding – this means it now exceeds the reserve.
• Decide beforehand whether at what level you will stop as on the day it'll be tempting to offer more than what you can really afford.

What Happens When I sign a Contract and Pay a Deposit?
• Take the Contract to a Solicitor before signing. Make sure Clauses to cover Building Inspections/Finance/Special Conditions are in order.
• When you pay a deposit, the Real Estate Agent is obliged to pay that money into a trust account and issue a trust account receipt.
• It's best to have your solicitor or conveyancing agent manage things from here to settlement. They'll act on your behalf and keep you informed with how things are proceeding.

Making the Legal Transfer

The legal transfer is called conveyancing. You need to ensure the property is properly transferred from the seller to the buyer. This can be done three ways:

Through a Solicitor
• A Solicitor is required to have professional indemnity insurance which protects you if any mistakes are made.
• They will charge a fee in relation to the property price, mortgage and type of title. There may be additional fees in relation to the type of search required and things like photocopying. Get a quote.
• Any purported savings that may be made by using the same solicitor as the Vendor often evaporate – the Solicitor can’t really serve two masters!
• Some Vendors and Purchasers will only use an-out-of-town solicitor to similarly avoid any conflicts of interest with the Real Estate Agent.

Through a Conveyancer
• A Conveyancer specializes in conveyancing only and will usually charge a flat fee for their services. The quality of service can be a bit “hit/miss”.
• There may be extra charges for things like photocopying and complicated searches.

Do it Yourself
• A Do It Yourself kit is available. You must become a member of The Law Consumers Association to obtain the kit though.
• If you make a mistake, you DO NOT HAVE INDEMNITY INSURANCE to fall back on like you do with a solicitor or conveyancer.
• You will also still have to pay fees for searches and certificates.

Good luck! We hope you make a successful move to our region and look forward to meeting your storage needs.☺


Negoiation: The highest paid work you’ll ever do

By: Dale Beaumont, 1/05/2007


The following six (6) points are the author's perspective of the contributor's views on the subject of 'The Psychology of Negotiation'.

1. Understand where the money is made

All successful property investors know that the money is made when they 'buy' and not when they sell. Buying at wholesale or 15-20% below market value is like adding rocket fuel to your portfolio's growth. By buying below market value you instantly build significant equity in your investment. You can use this equity to move onto your next property faster, or perhaps to fund renovations which in turn increases the property's value even further (more equity) and enables you to receive a higher rental return (more income).

2. Know that the deal you do is the best deal for them

Remember that if you come to a deal with the vendor, it was the best deal they had on the table. So by doing a deal with them, you have in fact helped the vendor take the property off their hands and you've paid more than what others could afford to pay. By understanding this you will make a small yet significant shift in your psychology when negotiating on a property. By having the mindset that you are there to help the vendor out of their predicament you'll be less inclined to become emotionally involved in the negotiation.

3. Get to know the vendor's needs

Although it is true that in negotiation 'information is power', it is information about the vendor's needs that will help you to reach the best deal for both parties. If you can find out the real reason why the vendor is selling, you'll know how motivated they'll be to accept your low offer. What's more, by asking questions, you'll be in a better position to offer more favourable terms and conditions. So show interest and ask questions!

4. Don't act too keenly on a property

When talking on the phone or while doing a house inspection, a trained real estate agent will ask pointed questions of you to extract information which may later be used against you to lever up the price. When this happens stay neutral and even a little nonchalant. But be careful to not come across as disinterested, otherwise you won't be seen as a serious contender and you'll be left out of the communication loop. So stay relaxed and cool but with your eye on the ball.

5. Never lose your cool

Keep in mind that you'll need to be communicating with the agent and vendor over the entire length of the contract, which could be up to 90 days or more. So it's imperative you stay consistent and refrain yourself from sudden outbursts if something doesn't go right. Remember if the vendor believes they have been taken advantage of or felt offended, even the smallest request by you will be seen as an opportunity to get even. It's called human nature!

6. Be prepared to walk away

Sophisticated investors understand the deal of a lifetime comes around once a week, so don't be disheartened if one slips through your fingers. Take some time to sit and think about what happened and what you can learn from the experience. Then get on your feet and keep moving, because another deal may just be waiting right around the corner.



Picking the right mortgage

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT MORTGAGE
If you’ve been reading along, you might wait some help on choosing a mortgage.
House prices according to Stanthorpe Agent Cec Mann and Co. range from $170K , while in Warwick they are typically from $200k. These prices are far lower than the coast or metropolitan areas, but when you add in the cost of interest over the life of the loan, it makes picking the right mortgage even more important. Housing supply is short in both towns and most builders are still booked out well into the year.

General Facts
• Home loan repayments of principal payment and an interest component. are usually made either fortnightly or monthly over the term of your loan (typically 20-30 years) Best to avoid going over 20 years.
• The more often you make repayments (ie fortnightly) and prepayments the less interest you will inevitably pay.

Rates
Do a Google for Cannex interest rates - it is a free service.

Variable Rate Loans
• Broadly, interest charges are usually adjusted every 6 or 12 months and carefully monitored by government as home loan rates are a key economic driver and a touchy political subject!
• As variable rates change, your repayments will change or the term extended.
• You can usually make extra repayments or early repayments without incurring any penalties, and your repayments can be changed if your interest rate falls or your circumstances change. For most people, home loan interest is not tax deductible, so prepayments are a sound “investment”. However, varying repayments will make budgeting harder, and may strain your finances.
Fixed Rate Loans
• Normally these only have a fixed interest rate for 2 to 5 years, which is then renewed, or swapped to another home loan type.
• The advantage of this type of loan is that an unexpected rise in interest rates will not affect your repayments. Of course, if interest rates fall, you may find yourself paying a higher rate of interest than the market. Its worth remembering that low stable interest rates are regarded as good government practice.
• With fixed rate loans, it is common to be penalised for making extra repayments or for changing your home loan, swapping it to variable or your lending institute.
Honeymoon Loans
• Known as capped rate loans or honeymoon rate loans, this type usually apply for 12 months, after which interest will be charged as a standard variable rate.
• You'll have the benefit of a lower rate in the 12 months and lower repayments to help furnish the house, but be careful this doesn’t mean than when the loan reverts to a variable rate, you risk paying a higher rate of interest than market.
• Also, the benefit of a low start loan only runs for a short period, and when the full interest cuts in, you may struggle financially.
Split Loans
• Split loans give you the opportunity to average the risk and split your home loan between fixed and variable interest rates. You'll still pay when interest rates rise, but, not all your loan will be subject to the higher interest rate.
• Check whether the lender treats split loans as two separate loans and fees and charges will drive up your overall payment.

Government Assistance
• First Homebuyer subsidies are $14,000 for new homes – it’s a hard call whether the Government will use ever use these grants to kickstart the building industry again, but they have a dynamic effect.
• you may be eligible for further government assistance from the State (esp. Victoria) and/or Federal Government ( eg stamp duty concessions)

Offset Loans
• Some institutions will allow of your normal banking account and loan account to be combined into one account. This means your current balance offsets the size of your loan, thus reducing interest repayments and making a ongoing saving.
Redraw Facility
• With a redraw facility, extra payments that are made to the lender can be withdrawn later date to pay for things such as a renovation or new car. Of course extra repayments you reduce the amount of interest you will pay over the term of your loan. This feauture is well worth having as long as you don’t pay a premium.

Home Loan Offset Account
• This is a linked savings account which uses the generated interest to offset the principal sum of the loan, thereby reducing interest repayments.
• The interest generated is tax free, and money can be withdrawn from your account when needed.

Home Equity Loans
• A home equity loan gives you the opportunity to consolidate your debt into one loan and so reduce the interest repayments on your debt overall.
• It acts like an overdraft on your home loan and gives you credit up to the value of the equity in your home. For example, if your house is worth $200,000 and you have a $150,000 home loan, your equity or line of credit will be $50,000.
• You will pay a higher rate of interest on your home loan when compared to a standard variable loan, but a lower rate of interest than an overdraft.
• Check first whether your current lender will simply increase your existing loan at the same rate!

Fees and Charges

When you take out a home loan, there are many government and institution fees and charges.
Make sure you find out exactly what you'll be required to pay. In Queensland search for osr stamp duty calculator.
Some of the most common fees and charges include
Establishment Fee
This is your loan application fee, and covers the establishment and valuation fees plus the cost of processing your application.

Ongoing Fee
Also called an Administration Fee, this covers the charges for account keeping and any bank transactions. You'll pay between $3 to $10 each month, payable monthly or quarterly.

Late Payment Fee
This is the penalty incurred when a repayment is late. The fee will be 1-3% of the due payment, levied on top of that payment.

Stamp Duty on Mortgage(Home Loan)
State governments charge stamp duty on the transaction of taking out a loan, usually 0.3-0.4% of the loan amount.

Mortgage Insurance
If you borrow more than 80% of the value of your property, you'll undoutetly be required to pay mortgage insurance. This protects the LENDER in the event that you fail to repay the loan and your property is sold for less than the amount remaining on the loan.

Good luck! We hope you make a successful move to our region and look forward to meeting your storage needs.☺