A lot of factors come into play when considering a home to call your very own. One of the choices many home buyers face is the decision to purchase a fixer upper or a property that is all set and ready to move into.  


On the plus side a fixer upper is often cheaper. It clearly needs work done on it, so the owner isn’t able to sell it for the same premium price that a pristine, freshly renovated property could command. Depending on the work that needs to be done it also means you have a lot of control over making the place truly your own.  


Alternatively, you may find something that’s not really a fixer upper, but it is for your purposes. This property is ready to move into, but is needs adjustments to make it suitable for your personal needs. For example it may have two large living areas, when what you really need is to make one of those rooms into two smaller bedrooms. Whether it’s the perfect location for you or is just the most suitable property in your budget, in your mind it’s still a fixer upper.  


Then we have the property that is all set and ready to go. Perhaps the current owners have just completed their own renovations in the hopes of securing a premium sale price. You benefit from fresh work and upgrades. The house is ready to be set up and claimed and your own.  

If you’re contemplating that cheaper fixer upper, make sure you consider:  

  • The practicality of living in the property while it is being worked on.  
  • Whether you can afford the cost of the necessary renovations, particularly any urgent ones.  
  • If you have the time to devote to renovations. It’s often a bigger task than people realise and there’s nothing worse than living in something that sits half done for years on end. 


When working on projects invigorates you and you can confidently address each of these, then the fixer upper could be the perfect solution for you. If you’re like most people and the concept of renovations is brighter than the reality just think it through a bit more. It could be worth putting in that little extra effort, and perhaps a little more money, to find the ready to roll property that you can just move into without worrying about all the work to do on it. 

Be a smart buyer and know your own capacity before you decide which property is right for you.  


There comes a time when your home just doesn’t do the job anymore. Perhaps you’ve had more kids, or your kids have grown and moved on. Maybe you need a space to work from home or you’re just at your wits end with that tiny kitchen space you’ve been expertly manoeuvring for the past ten years. You have some capital in your property, perhaps some savings, and it’s time to fix your living situation. The big question is, do you fix up what you’ve got, or do you take the opportunity to move into something brand new?  



Your first consideration is your budget.  

The amount of money that you would net selling your property and the amount of money you could borrow through a refinance will not be the same. When you redraw or refinance in order to borrow money for renovations you probably won’t be able to borrow more than 80% of the value of your home (Keeping in mind that renovations may actually improve the value of your property to improve your borrowing or selling power). However, if you sell to retain all the profits towards a new home, then don’t forget to factor in all the additional costs such as:  

  • agent costs 
  • any break fees for the mortgage 
  • legal fees 
  • moving costs  
  • possibly essential repairs that may needed in your new home.  
  • Any break fees for changing or setting up new amenities suppliers 


While working out the exact amounts is a bit of a guesswork, depending on your situation you may find that one option is simply untenable. Alternatively you may find that renovation is the most cost effective for an immediate solution, while paving the way towards moving a little further down the track.  


If both options are possible, then move on to consider the other factors at play.  



Is the house you are currently in within the perfect location for you? Close to work, school, friends, family? Perhaps the appeal of moving is related to finding a location that is more suitable for your current life. Closer to the bustling city, or further away towards the peace and quiet.  Moving is your chance to get into a better location, but it could also be a time to sacrifice the convenience of a great location for other benefits.  



Whether you choose to move or renovate your existing home, effort is required. If you’re doing renovations yourself, it can be a long, hard road to completion, depending on your level of skills and the amount of time you have to devote to the project. On the other hand, moving also requires effort as you pack up the house, and set up a new one.  Of course there is the option to hire people to do renovations for you. There is also the option to hire removalists to pack and partially unpack for you. Neither option will completely eliminate the effort, but they will help reduce it.  Figure out how much you would need to put in, and what you can realistically do for each option.  



Will your home be able to do the job you want it to do with a bit of renovation? If you really need three extra rooms but you don’t have the space to add these in, then renovating is a pointless endeavour. If your property is simply too big for the now empty nest, renovations won’t really change that. Unless you’re turning part of your house into an BnB to bring in some extra cash…  How practical is it to turn your current home into the home you are needing compared to finding a completely new home that is more suitable?  



At the end of the day you also have to factor in the emotional. There can be a sentimental attachment to your home, strong enough to be a decisive factor in whether to stay or move on. For others peace of mind may come from setting up in a fresh new location, away from the bustle of the old. While you shouldn’t let emotions solely rule your decision, it is important to factor them in.  


Ultimately no one can make your choice for you. Weigh up each factor to consider what is actually attainable and what will benefit your family the most. Think short and long term, so that you’re not stuck making a decision that is completely unsuitable for your immediate or longer term needs. After all, renovating and moving are both major decisions that require a lot of time and money to get right.  

So it’s time for you to buy your first home and take that big leap into home ownership. But what is one of the first steps you need to do after you have been trawling the net for that perfect home?

It’s smart to keep a level head and be realistic which I know is hard for your first purchase. I have been in the same boat and even for me it was hard. Most first home buyers will need to borrow to buy so before you go much further you need to know how much you can borrow and if you can borrow at all.


As I have mentioned before its best to speak with a broke like Neil who can help you through all of the options for you. You can quickly jump online to any of the banks and see what you can borrow but it’s about the pre-approval process that matters. Online calculators might tell you can borrow $600,000 but once pre-approval is put through you will find that might not be the case.

When applying for a pre-approved loan you will need to provide some additional documentation, such as:
▪ Proof of deposit
▪ Proof of income
▪ Monthly expenses and other outgoings such as loans, credit cards and store cards.

If everything works and you fit what the banks will approve then you can start to make offers on homes.

Things to remember.

It’s free to get pre-approval
Most are valid for 3 months
You know what your budget is when making bids and offers on home
Shows the agent you are ready to go
If you would like any further information about mortgage brokers please give Neil a call on 0409762581 or email him at nlorrigan@chl.net.au

* A finance or mortgage broker can save you time and money, but you should still do your own research. Be prepared to ask plenty of questions to help your broker find you a loan that meets your needs and offers value for money. Please not that Zac McHardy Is not giving and legal or financial advice *

Tucked away from a bustling capital city, Carseldine and Aspley real estate seems to have it all. Zac McHardy explains why he believes Aspley and Carseldine, with their good-sized properties and vibrant community spirit, are a few of Brisbane’s most family-friendly suburbs.

Brisbane has gone through many changes in the last 20 years. Many suburbs have become hot, then not, then hot again. Others have gone through massive gentrification as Brisbane’s CBD has boomed. The northern suburbs have seen some of the biggest changes; Chermside, for example, has exploded in recent years to become Brisbane’s ‘second CBD’, with its local Westfield, the growth of The Prince Charles Hospital, and the huge development of units and flats.

I’ve been in the area since I was young, and I’ve watched the development firsthand. The growth and gentrification in Chermside and its surrounding areas has been wonderful for both Aspley and Carseldine real estate.


Read more

Here is a quick video on the New QLD First Home Buyers Grant.
If you are a first home Buyer in QLD you may be eligible for $20,000 instead of $15,000.

Now remember as always there some catches.

1. You Must not have owned a property before.
2. You must purchase a brand new property. (Unit, Townhouse, House and Land)
3. This only runs for 12 months starting first of July.

If you have been looking to purchase your first home and think you fit in the above then please give me a call on 0403831596 as we have plenty of contacts around the Northside of Brisbane with options to fit all budgets.

Zillmere, Aspley, Carseldine, Boondall, Chermside and Chermside West have plenty of options currently.

I have included the link below for more information on the First Home Owner Grant.