More bang for bathroom buck

More bang for bathroom buck
Whether you’re looking to rent out and see your investment grow, or flip a property quickly and move on, be assured tenants and buyers will be looking closely at the quality of the bathroom. “The bathroom is a major touchpoint for people looking to rent or buy homes,” says Maintain To Profit operations Director Dean Larritt. “You don’t need to spend too much, but they do need to be done well.” First and foremost, says Larritt, always put a bath in when there is space. “A bath is ideal for families, and a shower over bath is a handy space saving option that can make life easier with young children,” he says. “Just make sure you aren’t using one on an external wall with a window as this will increase the maintenance cycle.” Larritt says that bathroom suites can come quite cheap these days, but suggests always buying branded vanity and tapware, like Methven. “Then if you do have a part failure, it’s easy to replace.” If you are fitting a separate shower, Larritt recommends a fully sealed enclosed unit if it’s for a rental, and to have it installed by an accredited shower fitter. “It will reduce maintenance, but only if it’s done right. An accredited installation should come with a three to five-year warranty.” Larritt notes that moisture is a major issue in bathrooms, so if you are renting, then installing a shower dome can pay dividends. He also says it’s vital to install an extractor fan. “Make sure the power is attached to the light switch with a timer to start after a minute and an over-run....

Effective networking tips for property investors

Effective networking tips for property investors
The following article was first published by the Auckland Property Investors’ Association Incorporated on 16 July 2017 and is reproduced with permission below. Most investors understand that to become successful, you must network.  But so often networking gets cast aside as one of those tedious and dreadful tasks that are somehow less important than buying properties, vetting tenants, and adding value.  For the eternally-shy amongst us, networking is daunting, uncomfortable, and inauthentic.  For the ever effervescent energy balls, enthusiasm can quickly fizzle out when acquaintances fail to develop into meaningful relationships.  Nevertheless, we contend that networking is a fundamental pillar of investment success.  In fact, we believe in networking so much so that we have built our entire business model on promoting networking opportunities for private investors. Many of us don’t realise that there is networking and then there is effective networking.  The former gets you out of the house to talk to strangers, the latter builds the foundation for strong business relationships and opportunities.  Investor, property entrepreneur, and author of How to grow your business through networking, Mark Trafford points out that so many of his successes are down to being an active and strategic networker.  “Your network is your investment mastermind that will inspire your growth and help you out in sticky situations.  When you come along to a networking event, you are being invited to tap into this communal vat of knowledge and experience so why would you pass that up by standing on the sideline?”  There is so much more to effective networking than just showing up.  “So often I see investors keeping to themselves...

Renovate a kitchen for profit

Renovate a kitchen for profit
At every party, no matter what size the crowd, there’s always a second mini- gathering happening in the kitchen. That’s because kitchens are magnetic: they draw us in, bring us together and create a sense of home and family. Get the kitchen right in a house and you make it exponentially more appealing and liveable.  “Think!” says Mark Trafford, owner of Maintain To Profit. “Don’t just go in all guns blazing. Don’t get personal about it.  You need to put in the right kitchen for the right tenants.” The first step is considering your target market. A million-dollar house will need a smart kitchen to attract a high rent. A house at the bottom of the market won’t need such a fancy kitchen. It’s also vital to consider your time-frames. Are you doing up the kitchen to sell the house? If so, you might be less concerned about longevity of the finishes. But if you’re going to own it for another 10 years, choosing cut-price finishes could be shooting yourself in the foot. “Do you see it as an expense or an investment? If you see it as an expense you’re going to spend as little as possible, but if you see it as an investment, it’s not a lot of money to get lasting finishes,” says Nelson Tkatch, owner of Kitchenmakeover.co.nz. He says he sees people taking the cheap option and finding themselves having to do the job again a few years later, spending more than if they’d done it properly the first time. Take a hard look at the kitchen – how bad is it? Does it...

How to raise the rent by 10%

How to raise the rent by 10%
This article is curtesy of NZ Property Investor Magazine. RENOVATIONS SHOULD ADD VALUE.  The reality is if you’re running your property investments as a business, renovations need to bring in a higher weekly rent, or money isn’t being well spent. Well-chosen renovations can add 10 per cent or more to the weekly rent.  Others, however, cost an arm and a leg but only add value on paper, not the rent itself. In order to raise the rent, a renovation must deliver tangible value to your tenant – no surprises then that almost every expert we spoke to said the top renovation is adding bedrooms. A three-bedroom property, for example, will rent for more than a two-bedroom, even if the footprint is the identical size. That’s because renters either want to put more people in the house or would like to use the extra bedroom as a study or media room. THE EXTRA BEDROOM Depending on location an extra bedroom can add $100 to $150 a week, which on a $400 or $500 a week rental is a significant improvement to the yield. The cost of an extra bedroom can range quite literally from $2,000 for a simple dividing wall to a $200,000 extension on a difficult site. Consequently, investors really need to do their homework before buying. Mark Trafford, director of Maintain To Profit says the cheapest way to add an extra bedroom is to choose a property where part of the living area can be walled off to become another bedroom. A simple dividing wall and door costs from $2,000 Trafford says. “If you are adding a dividing...

New laws around property investment deposits

New laws around property investment deposits
West Auckland Property Management (WAPM) has curiously watched ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Westpac and Kiwkbank hit the fast forward button. According to Scoop.co.nz, all five of the country’s leading retail banks have acted early to introduce restrictions on lending to property investors as part of the Reserve Bank’s bid to slow the heated housing market. Last month, the central bank said it intended to have the new lending restrictions that required property investors to have at least a 40% deposit for loans in force by Sept. 1, asking lenders to comply with the spirit of the new regulations immediately. What are the new regulations to be enforced on September 1? Investors: • Restrictions for investor lending extended from nationwide from Auckland only • Banks will be forced to require a 40 per cent deposit – up from 30% – for at least 95% of the loans they make in this area. Home buyers: • Restrictions for owner-occupier lending extended from Auckland to nationwide. • Required deposit level remains at 20% for at least 90% of bank lending. ASB said existing approvals and pre-approvals above the new 60% loan to value ratio would be honoured until their documented expiry date, while BNZ said “all investor home lending applications from today will require a 40% deposit.” ANZ, the country’s biggest lender, said it would extend the maximum loan to value ratio of 60% for property investors across New Zealand. The bank had previously only required a 30% deposit in Auckland. The bank said it intends to honour all existing pre-approvals, but any renewals will be subject to the new policy. How does...