Real Estate

Quality Tips for Property Owners

Month: May 2020

Rent a home

What does the 6-month moratorium on evictions mean for tenants?

The 6-month moratorium means safety and security for tenants. It prevents landlords from evicting people unable to pay rent due to financial distress as a result of the COVID-19 environment. If you have exhausted all financial relief subsidies and are still falling short, you will still have the comfort of knowing that your home is safe no matter what.

However, this doesn’t mean that late rental payments won’t have to be paid after the moratorium ends. This is why it is crucial to always communicate with your property manager if you are (at risk of) facing hardship. This way, you will be able to work on finding a solution together and prevent the situation from becoming critical after the moratorium ends.

My work arrangement has changed. What options are available to alleviate the stress of making rental payments?

First of all, remember that the 6-month moratorium will prevent you from being evicted, so you will always have a home during this difficult time.

The Government has announced that people and businesses can apply for wage subsidies to assist those affected by the coronavirus crisis. You should look at and make enquiries on:

Income support for individuals

Payments to support households

Reducing social security deeming rates

However, if you are still worrying or in a position where you cannot pay the rent, get in touch as soon as possible with your property manager. Together, you will be able to explore the options and work on a plan. By being transparent and communicating early on about your financial distress, you will manage to bypass potential issues before they arise.

If you show good faith and because this situation is unprecedented, most landlords should be willing to compromise. If they can afford it, some might even be ready to negotiate a temporary rental reduction to help you get through this tough time. We buy houses in San Francisco

What does the 6-month moratorium on evictions mean for landlords?

The whole concept of the moratorium is about keeping people safe and secure during this unprecedented time. Due to different legislations, each state and territory will respond with their specifics. Still, there are many government subsidies available to tenants to help them pay their rent.

If you are a landlord with tenants having exhausted all those avenues and coming to you with a plan, we suggest that you:

Get in touch with your insurer and enquire about rental default cover. Be aware that, as of now, any insurance company still accepting new policies, is likely to have removed the section covering rental defaults. Seek independent advice.

Speak with your financial advisor or accountant

Contact your mortgage provider to discuss your options

If you are confused or unsure about what to do, and if you are renting your investment property through a real estate agency, then get in touch with your property manager. It is his role to help and guide you to navigate this COVID-19 crisis.

How can I secure tenants during this economic downturn?

Even during the lockdown, your property manager will look to secure tenants by organising virtual home viewings, with online tenancy applications and electronic lease signing.

To make sure your property is chosen against the competition, review the rent prices asked for the nearby, similar properties for lease and ensure that your online presence is a standout. You and your property manager can look to use all the available resources such as virtual tours, professional photos, virtual staging, floorplans, etc. Also make sure to write a catchy, descriptive copy for your listing.

Put yourself in the shoes of potential renters looking to find a new home from the comfort of their couch and browsing through properties. You need to make sure that the experience they will get from your listing is as informative and lifelike as it can be.

How can potential tenants inspect my property?

If you are trying to rent your investment property, you have the option to conduct open homes and viewings by private one-on-one appointments only.

However, the easiest and safest way to find new tenants is to offer virtual tours of your property or organise live viewings. Your property manager may use platforms such as Virtual Tour Creator or video communication apps and software such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom or Facebook and Instagram live.

What is going to happen with routine rental inspections?

Physical routine inspections are likely to become prohibited. However, property managers can still conduct virtual inspections using tools such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom, etc. If they require a closer review of such or such feature or aspect of the property, they can request photos to be emailed to them.

We started conducting routine inspections virtually with tenants who were self-isolating. It has proven to be a great experience. It is also an opportunity for tenants to ask any question or discuss any worry they might have about the property or their situation during this unprecedented time.

How can I buy a home during COVID-19?

Yes, you can still buy a home or an investment property.

Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, you should even get access to more information than ever to help you make the best decision. Most sellers will create virtual tours for their properties and offer live viewings, as it will become the norm.

If you find your dream home, or if you would like to know more about a property that retained your attention, get in touch with the real estate agent by email or on the phone to discuss the next steps.

How can I inspect a home I am interested in?

Virtual tours and videos are tools that more and more sellers will start using. These are perfect to give potential buyers a great insight into the home they are looking to purchase.

Most real estate agents will also organise live viewings. They will use video communication apps and software such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom, Facebook and Instagram live. Buyers will get the opportunity to ask the real estate agent to look at precise features in the property and have all their questions answered on the spot.

Facebook Live also offers the added bonus of being recorded. Replays will be available on the real estate agent’s Facebook page as soon as the live ends for people not available at the time of the inspection or wishing to have another look.

However, if you really wish to inspect the property in-person, most real agents will be able to offer one-on-one home inspection by appointment. These private inspections will be conducted following all government social distancing and hygiene regulations.

How can I make an offer on a home I would like to buy?

If you wish to make an offer on a property or start negotiations with a seller, you can do it the exact same way you usually would. The only difference is that most activity during your buying journey will likely happen online and over the phone.

If you are unsure about how to proceed, or if you wish to get the ball rolling, simply get in touch with the real estate agent in charge of selling the property.

Is there a risk in buying a home only using online tools and resources?

No matter how you buy a home, you need to seek independent advice. However, even before the coronavirus outbreak, many people were purchasing properties sight unseen. The reasons were that they might have been interstate, overseas or simply unable to attend an open home before buying it.

These days, in a COVID-19 environment, the way you inspect a property has changed, but not the way you actually purchase it (even if this happens with an online auction). Indeed, what matters most when buying a home is making sure that the property is structurally sound and is all that it appears to be on the surface. Despite the lockdown, all the standard procedures and checks remain (such as pest and building reports).

Can I still get a home loan in a COVID-19 environment?

Interest rates are at record lows and banks are still very eager to lend and secure quality borrowers. Moreover, they also have access to a $90 billion stimulus package from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

This makes getting a loan easy, as long as you have a secure job and a good credit history.

Should I wait after COVID-19 ends to buy a home?

Because of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 environment, some buyers will hold off on deciding to purchase a property. Therefore, it could be a good time to look for a home or an investment property as competition from other buyers could be softer.

The coronavirus pandemic should also create opportunities to make better deals, as some homeowners will be forced to sell. These sellers can be people who might have already bought another property to live in or found another job elsewhere.

Just like it was the case before COVID-19, buyers can also benefit from interest rates at record lows. This means that if you are financially stable, now could be the best time to buy a home.

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