The Silent Killer

Carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty gas appliances has killed nine Victorians in the past decade. The main causes of these deaths have been faulty or badly maintained gas heaters. It has become known as the silent killer, as carbon monoxide gas can’t be seen and does not have a smell. Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is…

Understanding Overlays

State and local governments have introduced a greater number of controls on the use of land over the past five years. Also, more land is now subject to overlays than ever before. Overlays are a restriction on the use of land in a designated area. In many cases, if a property is affected by an…

Property Inspection Utopia

“I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain, what a glorious feeling I’m happy again” This is what every property buyer should be singing if they are lucky enough to be inspecting a property while it is raining. Over 80% of domestic building faults are related to water. Hence when it is raining…

Beware Self Managed Super Funds

Residential property investors should be extremely wary if contemplating buying real estate using a self managed superannuation fund structure (SMSF). This structure which has created a lot of media attention lately may prove to be a fad that burns many a property investor. At the time of writing more than 400,000 investors are running their…

Foreign Investment Debacle

The changes to the rules governing foreign investment in residential property announced by the assistant treasurer in April of this year have done nothing to benefit the Australian economy or struggling first home buyers desperate to enter the market. One of the more significant changes is that all temporary residents seeking to purchase existing property…

Building Clause Beware

The standard Real Estate Institute of Victoria building defects clause that is used by real estate agents has proven to be ineffective by a recent decision of the Victorian Supreme Court. The clause states that a buyer can only avoid a contract of sale if a “major structural defect” is found. I have never agreed…

Specification Specific

When buying off the plan the most important documents in the transaction are the plans and specifications. In this situation the purchaser is essentially buying two elements, the land and the plans/specification document. Unfortunately many buyers are not aware of the importance of getting these documents absolutely right. In the construction of a dwelling there…

Beware of Blind Cords

Tragically at least 15 Australian children have died in incidents related to curtain and blind cords since the early 1990s. Most recently, two Victorian infants died after being strangled by cords in August and September 2009. The cases described below occurred in Australia before 2009. Case 1 While a mother was hanging out washing, her…

Financial Institutions place restrictions on lending for 1 bedroom apartments – must be 50 sq mt

Most financial institutions place restrictions on lending in relation to genuine 1 bedroom apartments based on internal floor area. This policy is ridiculous and archaic. The fact that these financial institutions place such a high emphasis on floor area only demonstrates that they do not understand the fundamentals of real estate, an amazing reality given…