Taking the bias out of investment

When you are looking to invest in property, it is important to leave emotions out of the decision making. It’s also important to acknowledge that, like every one of us, you will have inbuilt biases that can also affect our decision making.

One of the key biases that exists for most of us is the effort we go to maintain the status quo – change is not something that is easy for many of us. When it comes to property investment, this can impact the locations you look at or the type of property you prefer. If your biases are based on where you currently live, it can sometimes be hard to look further away. If you’ve never lived in an apartment you may feel a bias toward the possible lack of outdoor space. Investing in property doesn’t necessarily mean you will be living in the property, so biases need to be set aside for factors such as ‘rentability’ and potential investment value.

Friends can sometimes push their own biases on to our situations, especially when they are asked for advice. Keep in mind that no two situations or list of financial goals is likely to be exactly the same. If taking someone through a property for support, it is better to aim for an unbiased opinion, rather than someone with whom you have a friendship.

Fortunately, there are unbiased views that you can find through the use of a property acquisition service, such as Accrue Real Estate. With many years’ experience of the Melbourne property market, our staff know how to assist clients meet their property goals. Accrue has the data on the best performing suburbs and the connections to access a unique range of properties.

Mornington Parks

As gateway to the Peninsula, Mornington has a great deal to offer. It’s not just a place to pass through though; there’s many reasons to stop and enjoy what there is on offer. Here’s some of our favourite places in Mornington for recreation.

Pine Avenue Reserve, 36 Mariners Retreat,  Mornington

This is a great place to start – especially for the furry member of your family. This park is securely fenced and allows dogs off leash. It’s a great venue for playing with your dog, as the times we have been there, everyone has been relaxed and friendly, whether they are dog owners or just enjoying the park. There are plenty trees to keep your dog’s nose fascinated and letting him mark his territory but there are also seats and tables for the two-legged animals to sit and share a coffee or even a picnic. Near one of the gates is a water tap which caters both to the dogs and their owners. Bring your own poo bags, though as these are not provided.

Fossil Beach, Esplanade,  Mornington

Another one for the furry member of the family, but a great place to visit with or without your dog. This is an off the leash beach, making it perfect for running or long games of fetch. While this is not the sandiest of beaches (and you may want to wear diving shoes or similar), it is still a great place to wander and spend some time. If you do take your dog, you need to be aware that the off leash area is only that section of beach – your dog needs to be leashed when you arrive and leave. Again, remember your responsibility and bring the poo bags – it makes the experience pleasant for everyone. You might also want to spend time looking for fossils – the name’s not just for show – there are fossils along the cliffs of the beach.

Mornington Memorial Park, Barkly Street, Mornington

As the name suggests, the key feature of this park is ‘memorial’ and in fact, there are a number. The Mornington Memorial Park is pretty special in that it has separate memorials for the major conflicts that Australia has been involved in, not just the two World Wars. There is even a garden remembering all the prisoners of war. Given this, Memorial Park is the venue for local ANZAC Day remembrances, and as such is a significant local venue. While chiefly a memorial, there is also a playground at one end with slides, a climbing wall, balance beam and other play equipment which will delight the kids.

Which Suburb Should You Choose?

What makes us choose one item over another? Take our fascination with phones for example. A colleague of mine will only buy Apple products and has done so since the first iPhone way back in 2007. Others in my office have all manner of phones, Samsung, Huawei and even Google and from all accounts these phones are cheaper, have more features and are even better quality than the equivalent Apple product. Now before you start thinking this is an ad for Apple, my point is simply that sometimes we have one idea in our heads and we stick to it, despite other information that may come along or the way in which things change. In term is getting your next phone, there’s really nothing wrong with that.

In real estate, we often see people who get stuck on a suburb. They’ve been told by a friend or relative that the particular suburb is the ‘value’ one – “you’ll make your money back there”. Sometimes these friends and relatives are right. But if you are after an investment property – as opposed to the house you want to live in – it is often more sensible to have a range of suburbs and to be open to suburbs that, for whatever reason, you might not choose to live in.

To be a successful investor, you need to have all the facts on the table and leave the preferences (especially those based on emotion) out of the equation until you have considered all those facts. The name of the suburb is certainly one of the factors you will consider but this should be outweighed by factors such as rental yield, median property price and capital growth.

For this reason, many people choose to seek the assistance of a property short listing service, such as Accrue Real Estate to help them with their property investment. Accrue have helped hundreds of Melbournians wade through the facts and figures needed to make a decision as to which suburb best suits their investment goals.

Suburbs Suburbia Neighborhood Neighbors Homes

Werribee Attractions

Werribee isn’t just a great place to live or invest. The suburb boasts a number of Victoria’s most popular tourist destinations. So, in between checking out you next investment property, take time out to check one of these great attractions.

Werribee Open Range Zoo, K Rd, Werribee South

This offers a totally unique zoo experience and at times can almost seem like a real safari as the zoo provides the animals with the closest possible authentic natural habitat. There are trails to walk or for the full experience grab the safari bus and see the whole zoo. If you are there late, take advantage of the sunset safari, an experience which also includes food and drink, as well as African themed entertainment. The night we were there the guides, who were knowledgeable, humorous and engaging, made the experience even more enjoyable.

Werribee Park Mansion, Gate 2, K Road, Werribee

This beautifully restored Italianate mansion, built in the 1870s, is really seeing, even if only from the outside. It is located within superb formal gardens, which are free to wander or for your family picnic. There is also a café and hotel (with spa) as well, but you don’t have to spend money to enjoy these magnificent surrounds. The grounds and buildings have historical, scientific, archaeological and aesthetic significance, so if in Werribee, make sure a visit is on the agenda.

Victoria State Rose Garden, Gate 2, K Rd, Werribee South

This stunning collection of roses is actually located in the grounds of Werribee Park, but is so spectacular it is worth mentioning in its own right. Obviously this is a seasonal delight, however, with over 5000 roses on display, this is a sight worth seeing. The roses bloom between November and April, providing a sea of bright colour. There are gazebos and benches as well so you can break your walk if a rest or shade is needed.

Harpley Estate Playground, Black Forest Rd, Werribee VIC 3030

Just had to include this one for the kids, as it would be a great bribe to keep them on track as you check out Werribee properties. This is a fantastic ‘adventure’ playground and is so big and with so many bits and pieces of equipment that your littlies may need a couple of hours to fully explore it. There are ‘arty’ pieces of sculpture which add to the whole feel of the place, but it will be the flying foxes and stepping stone maze that will really be popular with your little ones.

Melbourne Werribee Zoo Giraffes

Buying property – what NOT to do

There’s plenty of people and lists that will tell you what to do when buying investment property – well, here’s a list of things you should try to AVOID.

Getting emotionally involved

Investing in property is best done with the head – not the heart. Look at the facts and figures not that the kitchen would be the perfect place for you to make your grandmother’s salsa recipe. You need to consider the rental yields in the area. You need to make sure of the tenancy rates. Look at what is close to the property; is it close to schools, public transport & shops? The property might have a colour scheme you love but that shouldn’t matter to your investment.

  • Blowing the budget

Before you look into investing, be sure of how much you have to spend and stick to your limit. This is especially important if you choose to buy at auction where it is easy to get caught in a bidding war. It is essential to know you will cover mortgage repayments, and while the monthly rental will assist, you will still have to cover any shortfall.

  • Not budgeting for all the costs

There are a number of costs associated with the purchase of a property – stamp duty, legal fees, mortgage fees – all of which will add to the total cost. There may also be building inspections, valuation fees and other costs. While these are often added to the mortgage, it is essential to know all these costs so you stay within the limits you set yourself.

  • Going it alone

Investing in property is a big decision and one that can help secure your financial future. For that reason, seeking advice and support is sensible. You don’t have to use Accrue Real Estate, but at least come in and chat to one of our experienced staff members to find out how we can help you turn your financial dreams into reality.

Great places to eat in Reservoir

Café culture is not exclusive to any one suburb in Melbourne and it doesn’t seem to matter which suburb we look in, we can always find a great place for breakfast, brunch, lunch or coffee. Here’s our favourites from Reservoir.

Lady Bower, 1A Marchant Ave, Reservoir

Lady Bower is known its friendly welcome and considerate touches. From a water bowl for the furry members of the family to change tables with nappies for the baby, this café goes out of its way to make sure you enjoy the experience. This also extends to the food and coffee. Lady Bower’s menu is varied and they provide for the vegetarian and gluten free patrons. If you are about in the evening, their pasta is highly rated and the café has just as good an atmosphere for dinner as it does during the day. If you have a sweet tooth, make sure you try the zeppole, which is like a doughnut, but much better.

Clayton & Me, 12 Edwardes St, Reservoir

This is the type of café you just keep coming back to – if not for the food, then for the service and if that’s not enough – there’s the coffee. The service here is very friendly and very efficient. The breakfast menu features all the favourites but make sure you try their house-made cinnamon honey. Options like the Buddha Rice bowl & summer salad at lunch are amazing (and you can always add the Moroccan chicken or haloumi if you are feeling more daring) but our go-to dish at the moment is the brisket Rueben.

Sycamore Meadows, 759 Gilbert Road, Reservoir

This café has amazing ambiance and there’s always service with a smile. The vegan in our group always choose the Sycamore, as they do have an amazing range (even a vegan egg!). The whole menu is fantastic, whether you grab a breakfast burrito or The Sycamore burger for lunch. There are some who say that Sycamore Meadows has the best coffee in Reservoir but if caffeine doesn’t do it for you, try the Snickers milkshake.

Coburg

Coburg is one of Melbourne’s older suburbs and as such it has a rich history. Known for its cultural diversity, there’s a number of attractions that make it a great place to visit (before making the choice to invest).

Pentridge Prison

OK, so you probably wouldn’t expect a prison to be at the top of the things to do list, but the history of Coburg is very much tied to the prison. Originally the suburb was the prison and it wasn’t until later development provided residential living that the suburb’s name was changed. Take a walk around Coburg and you can still see the wonderful bluestone lanes that were built alongside the ‘bluestone college’

Decommissioned in 1997, Pentridge now offers visitors the opportunity to take part in a ghost tour. Operating on Friday, Saturday & Sunday evenings the tour takes around 2 hours and explores the prison’s colourful past, including stories of Ned Kelly, Chopper Reed and Ronald Ryan, the last person to be executed in Australia.

The Boot Factory

If you haven’t the time or inclination for a ghost tour of Pentridge, how about heading inside (what was) the grounds and getting a tasty meal? The Boot Factory menu offers a variety of tasty dishes, including vegan, vegetarian & gluten free options. The bluestone walls offer a unique ambiance and you can even see the old sentry lookouts from where you dine.

Coburg Farmer’s Market

A great way to spend Saturday morning, either before, after or during the coffee, this market offers the chance to meet the farmers and growers face to face. The market stalls are full of high quality produce, including local wines, cheese, chocolates, olives and nuts. Set in the grounds of a school, the kids can even use the play equipment while you browse or maybe they can get their face painted. As the market is weekly, locals take advantage to stock up on the fresh produce.

Coburg Lake Reserve

This is the type of park that attracts visitors from everywhere. The lake is the key feature but there are also BBQs, picnic tables and a playground to keep all members of the family busy. There is plenty of tree cover for shade and lush green lawns for spreading the picnic blanket. Only drawback is the popularity of the place means you might have to get there early to grab a choice spot.

Buying Investment Property

Unless you have been under a self-imposed media ban for the past 12 months, you will have noticed changes to the Melbourne real estate market and the way it is being discussed. Those of you are regular visitors to our posts will know that this is just an indication that the Melbourne market is moving into a different part of a continuous property cycle. For those who may be thinking it’s not time to jump into the market, then perhaps a different option might be more appealing.

Buying property doesn’t necessarily require you to make a move in dwellings – you could buy to invest.

There are some distinct advantages to buying with no intention to move into the property. While providing a start on the property ladder the purchase can be made with less emotion than when buying a home in which to live. The property will be chosen on its ‘rentability’ – a much more logical set of criteria. Look for strong rental yield and good tenancy rates. The amenities of the area will also be important – a country retreat may be your ultimate goal but this might not be the property for easy rental.

An investment property provides a rental income and this can help you service the mortgage on the property while you sit and watch your asset appreciate. Currently, many of the costs associated with owning a rental property, including the interest you pay on the loan, can have benefit to you at tax time.

Of course, there are always people who can help you through some of these decisions. Accrue Real Estate have been working to help people achieve their investment goals for many years.

Pascoe Vale Cafes

Not just a great place to live, Pascoe Vale also has some great places to eat – especially for an awesome breakfast before the commute to the city. These are three of our favourites…

Jack & Daisy

Love the name, love the café. The menu is a great variety and having eaten there on many occasions, nothing has ever disappointed. One of those cafés that makes you feel cheery just by walking in. But wait! There’s more! The coffee is wonderful and the service efficient and friendly, even when the place is very busy. Those with kids will love the little play area out the back, but it’s the food that brings us back.

st.derby

There may be a little ‘s’ in ‘saint’ but there’s a big S for ‘Satisfaction’ and ‘Service’ at this great little café. This has become one of our key ‘go to’ spots for breakfast and if you are a hash brown fan you are going to be very happy – the hash browns at st.derby are awesome, especially when matched with a couple of poached eggs and the splendid coffee. The staff are marvellous; it’s always service with a smile.

Forty Flips

Another wonderful café for a quick coffee or a long chat over a meal. There are those who say Forty Flips has the best coffee in Pascoe Vale and the barista obviously loves the work. The food is wonderful – some unique choices and everything we have tried so far has been beautifully presented and full of flavour. There’s options that will please our vegetarian and vegan friends and regardless of your order it is delivered quickly and with great customer service.

Saving Space

Lots of Melbournians have swapped the suburban block for a cosy apartment. There’s lots of reasons for this: price point, lifestyle choices and proximity to essential services and utilities. If you are one of the many, many apartment dwellers you might benefit from these tips on how to make the most of the smaller space.

  • Colour can matter

The right colour in a small room can immediately create an impression of more space. White, cream or a light grey are the traditionally neutral colours, and for good reason. These colours give a look that is clean and simple but also make the room feel sunnier and more spacious. 

  • Store smart

An apartment can often be sparing when it comes to storage space, but by making some imaginative choices and staying flexible in your choices, there are ways to keep away the chaos while still making sure you can get to everything you need. Start by taking advantage of overhead storage – hooks can be utilised if need be, or if there is space above cupboards storage boxes keep the space uncluttered while storing necessary items. A step ladder (hung on the inside of a cupboard) is an essential to ensure you can retrieve any overhead items. It is a good idea to use high cupboard spaces for rarely used or seasonal items.

  • Furniture with more

A smaller space means that furniture needs to multitask. Many furniture items have hidden storage or more than one function which will allow you to utilise more space. Some couches have space beneath seating and beds provide a number of options, even if they do not come with drawers.

 Crates beneath a bed can be used to store linen, towels or seasonal clothing.