January 2015Real Estate


HALEY RODDYIf you have finally found the perfect house in the perfect street in the perfect location (for the perfect price) now it is time to get to the fun stuff – Personalising your home to suit your family and lifestyle.

Whatever motivated you to buy this home and no matter how perfect you think it is I am 100% sure that the moment you actually move in you will realise that you need to do some kind of tweaking— whether it is as simple as a coat of paint, or as complex as adding a whole new living area wing – every home is used differently by different families so eventually you are going to become a DIY renovator or engage the services of someone who is to help you out.
If you could hear just some of the horror stories I have been told, of renovations gone wrong, kitchen floors that didn’t quite match up to the cabinetry, timeframes that blew out by 6 months, the plumber who vanished into thin air after being paid, and the all too familiar costs that spiral out of control – these things happen in Darwin every single day so it is important to do lots of research and ask the right questions upfront – whether you are asking them to yourself or to a tradie that you are hiring – planning is key when it comes to renovating. Here are some tips to ensure the whole process as easy as possible.

DIY samples imageQuestions to ask yourself before you start:
• What is my maximum budget?
• Is this a “for now’ home’ or “forever home”?
• What are my must have items? (These are the things you cannot live without)
• What are my wish list items that will be added if the budget allows
• How do you plan on using this space now and in 5 (10, 15) years time?
• When will I feasibly renovate again?(if at all)
Questions to ask a potential Contractor
• How long have you been in business?
• Are you licensed and insured in the NT? (ask for proof of this if it is not immediately clear on their website)
•Can you provide written references that I may contact? (This is super helpful)
• Who will be supervising the work, yourself or a project manager or foreman?
• How will you keep me informed of scheduling and progress?
• Is your work guaranteed or does it have a warranty? For how long?
•How are payments handled? (Be wary of any large deposit requirements before any guarantees are given and get any progress payment details in writing before you start.
me in reno mode Questions to ask a Reference
• Would you use this contractor/ Builder again without hesitation?
• Were you happy with the work and did you find their business practices professional, ethical, honest, and fair overall?
• How did they handle any issues that arose during (or after) the project?
•Was work done as scheduled?
• Did you have any rework or additional items to your original contract?
• Did the contractor communicate with you throughout the project?
• Were you happy with subcontractors and trades people who worked on the project?

I hope you can use some of this advice to ensure your “before-and-after” leads to your happily ever after.

First, BankSA NT mobile lending manager Leonie Attrill suggests you ask yourself four questions…

• Am I willing to tie up funds for a deposit, or pay for a bank guarantee while the property is being built?
• Can I afford to lose my deposit if I can’t go ahead with the purchase upon completion?
• What would happen if my circumstances changed during construction?
• If the completed property is valued at less than what I paid for it, how would that effect my finances?
If you can’t answer those questions, don’t worry. Leonie and the BankSA teams at Darwin City, Casuarina and Palmerston are ready to help.
Bank SA will celebrate 30 years of helping Territorians next year, and currently has 35 staff working across the NT.
Together they offer a full service proposition including personal and commercial banking and lending solutions, home and investment lending, insurance products and financial planning.

Renovating imageIn her role as mobile lending manager for the Darwin area, Leonie assists people with home and investment loans, offering flexible day time, afterhours and weekend appointments at clients’ homes and workplaces as well as the branches.

In the industry for more than 13 years, Leonie has worked in a variety of roles in finance and banking, previously managing branches and working as a district manager and lending manager.

“My passion is helping clients make their own dreams come true through providing financial solutions and advice,” she says.

“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your client move into their first home or buy their first investment property or build a property portfolio and know you were a key part in making that dream become a reality.”
A growing number of BankSA’s Darwin clients are buying property off the plan, which Leonie says requires some special considerations.

“When someone purchases a property off the plan they are essentially buying at today’s prices a property that will be finished in the future,” she says.
“Because off the plan purchases may take months and sometimes years to complete, it often means financiers are unable to provide a full approval for the purchase until it is completed. This is a risk borrowers need to take into consideration when purchasing and paying a deposit for an off the plan purchase.”
Leonie says there can also be advantages to buying off the plan, including the $26,000 First Home Owners Grant and increased property value.

“If you purchase a property off the plan at today’s prices and it takes a number of years for the property to be built, that property may be worth more than you purchased it for upon completion.”

Leonie encourages anyone considering buying off the plan to first sit down with an experienced lender to review their financial circumstances.

Haley Roddy
Lady Darwin Design | 0421 680 221
For further assistance finding any of these products please contact me via my website www.ladydarwin.com.au