5 renovation mistakes to avoid!

5 renovation mistakes to avoid!

Thinking about doing up your home before selling it? Great idea – you could significantly raise your sale price without much investment from your end.

But beware of these five common mistakes people make!

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Australia’s most affordable suburbs within 20km of the CBD

Australia’s most affordable suburbs within 20km of the CBD

As the cost of housing within the inner-city of Australia’s capitals continues to rise, potential buyers are looking further afield to get into the property market.

Middle ring suburbs – those within 10-20km from the city centre – are proving an attractive option for many. These established suburbs often offer greater amenities than those suburbs located further out from the CBD.

Middle-ring suburbs typically offer more affordable housing than the inner-city suburbs. Buyers may also find larger lot sizes for houses and a lower density unit landscape.

While overall amenity may not be as significant as within the inner 10km ring, because they are well established suburbs and still close to the city centre they are typically well catered for with regards to amenities and infrastructure.

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Tax Time - Negative Gearing for Dummies

Tax Time – Negative Gearing for Dummies

This week’s post is one for the beginners out there – anyone who’s just starting out or thinking about getting their hands on an investment property.

This is probably the easiest ever explanation of negative gearing. Granted, it’s not very detailed, but it’s simple to understand!

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Better Apartments' planning scheme reduces market choice and increases cost

Better Apartments’ planning scheme reduces market choice and increases cost

The cost of constructing a new building in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane is comparable, so why is there such a dramatic difference in the price of apartments?

By mandating minimum apartment sizes in Sydney after the implementation of the SEPP 65, the result was an increase in the number of bright, large, luxurious apartments, absolutely – but only for those who could afford to live in them.

Developers immediately lost out on yield in their proposed developments and delivering projects simply became too expensive. This drove down supply and as a result, drove up prices to an unsustainable level.

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Realising Your Property Tax Depreciation Potential

Realising Your Property Tax Depreciation Potential


If yes, you are definitely not alone. Many property investors that are new to the property market are not realising the potential tax savings that can be generated from incoming producing properties, which could potentially be tens of thousands of dollars!!

More often than not, the property investor is generally unaware that property depreciation exists or they think that it would not be worthwhile, as the property is old or in poor condition.

The good news is that the boat has not left. Whether the property is old and/or in poor condition or even renovated, it is always worthwhile obtaining a property tax depreciation schedule for your investment property.

Realising Your Property Tax Depreciation Potential

So take advantage of the potential tax savings now and put more money in your pocket by contacting us either via email or phone 0401 673 762. We would be pleased to provide free initial advice and help you unlock and realise the property tax depreciation potential of your investment property!

Should you wish to proceed with obtaining a Property Tax Depreciation Schedule, we guarantee that we will save you twice your fee in the first full year or the report is free!

To order a Property Tax Depreciation Schedule by downloading the Application Form at

QS-ING Quantity Surveyors and Cost Engineers are specialists in property tax depreciation and our service provides an accurate and current report that complies with the ATO requirements.

What is a Property Tax Depreciation Schedule?

A Property Tax Depreciation Schedule is the name of a report that determines the amount of money that can be claimed for the wear and tear that occurs on your investment property. The ATO allows property investors to claim a deduction related to the building portion and plant and equipment items that form part of the property.

What you should know about super, retirement, and selling a property

What you should know about super, retirement, and selling a property

You might have heard the news stories recently about superannuation pro Jeremy Cooper saying $1 million isn’t enough for a comfortable retirement.

Whether or not his calculations were valid is a debate for another day.

But it got me thinking… how would all this fit in with property, super, retirement, and so on? Click through for the facts!

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Landlords, do less work

Landlords, do less work!

If you’re currently managing your own properties and finding it too tiring or time consuming, maybe it’s time to pass the mantle onto someone that does it for a living.

Most of the time, landlords don’t need much convincing other than experiencing problems and difficulties firsthand. But if you’re still doing it all yourself, give this post a quick read – you might change your mind!

10 Reasons to Hire a Property Manager
When first getting into rental properties, a lot of landlords start off confident that they can handle DIY property management. I mean, how hard could it be to collect rent each fortnight, right?

If only managing a rental property was that simple. But as many of you will know, the reality is that things are never that easy. Tasks and problems can quickly balloon in size and number, and dealing with them becomes a full-time job.

This is where property managers come in. While they do cost money that would otherwise be going in your pocket, sometimes hiring them is what makes the most sense for you, your property and your tenants.

Here’s a list of 10 reasons to hire a property manager, based on what our clients have told us over the years.

1. Shorter vacancies
Vacancies are the property investor’s worst nightmare. But there’s more to finding a tenant than dropping the rent and posting an ad online.

A trained property manager will have experience in marketing and advertising your property. They’ll be able to advertise your property at a commercial discount, and they’ll know how to write the ads and get good photos.

Which leads us to tenants and pricing…

2. The perfect rental price for the market
A good property manager will use existing market data to suggest the ideal rent to charge, along with cosmetic and physical improvements to help attract the right tenants at the right price.

You’d be amazed how much difference a bit of TLC can make to the weekly rent, and to the types of tenants who apply for the lease.

3. More reliable, higher-quality tenants
Experienced property managers will have learned how to spot a bad tenant. It’s not an exact science, but there are patterns that you start to notice after a few years. There are also proprietary databases including TICA and Barclays, which provide detailed tenant histories that private landlords can’t easily or readily access.

Getting a professional to help you with the preparation, price-setting, advertising and applicant-screening process can mean the difference between a 3-month lease breaker and a 3-year stalwart.

4. Better tenant handling and longer leases
Aside from their own lives and life changes, one of the biggest reasons good tenants leave is that they think they can get something better for a similar price.

Professional property managers will minimise this turnover by responding quickly to tenant concerns, from minor maintenance to significant upgrades – all the while liaising with you to make sure that every decision is based on ensuring the best financial outcomes for your investment.

5. Affordable repairs and maintenance
In most cases, even one week of lost rent due to vacancy will exceed the cost of basic repairs and maintenance – and this doesn’t even take into account the discounts that most property managers can get from tradesmen.

That’s right – just as they can secure more affordable advertising for vacant properties, property managers also tend to have working relationships with tradesmen, meaning you get faster, more affordable, 100% quality-assured repairs and maintenance.

6. Legal protection
This is a big one: being a landlord comes with all kinds of legislated responsibilities, and the last thing anyone wants is to have to deal with QCAT or RTA claims.

A trained and experienced property manager will provide an added line of defence, explaining what needs to be done at both ends of the lessor-tenant agreement.

This means faster dispute resolution or total dispute prevention, along with ongoing advice and liaison between all parties.

Think about it this way: one law suit prevented will more than cover the cost of several years of property management fees.

Landlords do less work

7. Control over rent collection and contracts
Private lessors tend to suffer more when issues arise such as tenants who get behind on rent or cause damage.

Property managers have the systems and processes in place (all based on watertight contracts and agreements) to help protect you against these kinds of problems.

They’ll make sure your rent is paid on time and in full. And if not, they’ll help with the process of ejecting the tenant, getting your money back and finding a better replacement.

8. Easier tax and accounting
Unless you’re an accountant yourself, you probably dread the yearly torture that is your tax return.

Having a property manager can make this whole process a lot easier, with clearly presented reports and summaries each quarter or year, along with well-organised advice and documentation relating to tax deductions and other financial matters.

With everything presented clearly, you’ll also have a much better picture of how your investment is doing, and what decisions to make going forward.

9. Help and advice on growing your investment
Regular maintenance, repairs and/or renovations can go a long way towards preserving or growing the value of your investment over time.

In just a few years of occupancy, rental properties can begin to look tired and worn. Regular inspections, coupled with considered advice and experience-based recommendations, will help you ensure your property stays occupied for a good price and for the long term.

10. Less stress and more free time!
This is probably the biggest reason why most people choose to invest in the first place: they want a passive income that requires minimal daily thought or management.

With the right property manager by your side, the only time you’ll ever need to think about the property will be when you check your bank statements, or when you give us the go-ahead to send in a repair man.

While property managers don’t come free of charge, when most landlords weigh up all the benefits versus the cost, most of them decide that they’d rather sit back and make the big decisions while leaving the nitty gritty to someone that does this for a living.

If you’re getting tired of doing your own property management, give the team at Madeleine Hicks Real Estate a call on (07) 3355 6845 for a chat!

Why you should get into Brisbane’s inner suburbs right now

Why you should get into Brisbane’s inner suburbs right now

In real estate we generally try not to use over-confident terms like “sure thing” or “no brainer”, but with the way Brisbane’s inner suburbs are currently performing, we’re more than a little tempted to break this rule.

Whether you’re thinking of buying a property to rent out or live in, here’s one piece of advice we urge you to follow: look in the inner suburbs.

While Logan, Ipswich and other outer areas were the star performers last year, 2015 is set to be the year of the inner-suburb house, townhouse or unit, according to experts.

Some of the suburbs to watch in the near future, based on recent profit figures and our own data, include

  • Ashgrove
  • Auchenflower
  • Everton Park
  • Fairfield
  • Ferny Grove
  • Gaythorne
  • Gordon Park
  • Grange
  • Nudgee
  • Oxley
  • Red Hill
  • Stafford
  • Wilston
  • Woolloongabba

Why you should get into Brisbane’s inner suburbs right now

The question is: if these inner suburbs have already jumped in price, doesn’t that mean they’re less affordable? Doesn’t that mean I should look further afield for a better deal?

In a word, no. While these areas have on average made the most amount of money per sale (with Woolloongabba leading with well over $400,000 in profit per sale), this doesn’t mean they’ve finished appreciating in value, and it doesn’t mean there aren’t any affordable options.

Like anything, finding a good investment opportunity or family home in these suburbs will be a case-by-case thing – however, as long as you do your research and act quickly, you’ll be in a good position to make a pretty tidy profit in a relatively short time.

Why are these suburbs performing so well? It’s the usual things: proximity to the city, good transport options, planned or existing upgrades to infrastructure and public services, good schools, good lifestyle and entertainment options, and so on.

If you’re interesting in buying in the CBD itself, there’s currently a decent selection of high-rise apartments available due to the recent explosion of new developments, however for the biggest returns we still recommend the inner suburbs.

Current growth levels combined with low interest rates are making for a pretty attractive environment for buyers and sellers alike, so if you’ve been thinking about a purchase, now is the time.

Want to get started right away? Give Madeleine or the team a call on (07) 3355 6845 or see our listings page to find out what opportunities we have available.

Don't visit Brisbane. LIVE in Brisbane!

Don’t visit Brisbane. LIVE in Brisbane!

Whether or not you’ve been to Brisbane recently, you would’ve heard a lot about it in the media, with the G20 Summit, Brisbane International Tennis and even the Lonely Planet’s “Capital of Cool” article that came out in 2014.

While our little river city might not yet have the same reputation as Sydney or Melbourne, there’s a lot more to Brisbane than meets the eye. So much, in fact, that we’re going to go out on a limb and say that rather than visiting Brisbane, you should try living here.

Click through to find out why. Read more

2015 The year to buy property in Brisbane

2015: The year to buy property in Brisbane

Here’s some good news: Brisbane is expected to overtake Sydney and Melbourne as the hottest area for property buyers in 2015.

While the big southern centres are predicted to see a bit of a slowdown, Brisbane’s growth is expected to increase by 4-5% while still remaining affordable – especially compared to Sydney and Melbourne, whose median prices are much higher (up to 70%!) across the board.

Low interest rates and land prices coupled with healthy interstate migration and a relative glut of inner-city highrises means the property market in Brisbane is suited to buyers and investors at all levels – particularly in the middle to upper categories.

Click through to find out more about why 2015 will be the year for buying property in Brisbane. Read more