API Magazine’s List of Blue-chip Cheap Suburbs

 

Two reasons why you should grab the latest issue of Australian Property Investor (API) Magazine this month: first, the cover story reveals 60 of the nation’s most promising suburbs – undervalued yet with blue-chip quality and potential!

kaz-young-api-october-2016

Second reason: EPI’s, Kaz Young, was among the experts who chipped in their knowledge of these high-growth suburbs ripe for investment.

We’ve focused on the up-and-comers and affordable entry prices whilst located  near amenities, transport and all the good stuff that make the cheapie suburb of blue-chip quality.

On our list are the suburbs of Mt Gravatt East, Moorooka, Morningside, Wavell Heights, Stafford, Brighton.

Meanwhile, 10 other property experts from around the country helped fill out the list and shared their top picks. You can download the article by clicking on the image below.

blue-chip-and-cheap

 

The 2015 Telstra Business Women’s Awards—We’re A Finalist!

 

It’s been a little quiet around here lately and we apologise for the unannounced hiatus of the EPI podcast. We’ve been quite busy of late being on the ground doing what we love doing, what else—buying property!

But we’d like to break the silence by sharing a fantastic news, host of EPI, Kaz Young, has been picked as one of the finalists to the 2015 Telstra Queensland Business Women Awards, Startup Category(Yay!), for her Buyer’s Agency business Property Zest.

TBWA 2015 QLD_Finalist_neg_RGB_purple_V3

The Telstra Business Women’s Awards is one of the most prestigious and highly recognized programs for businesswomen in Australia. The annual Awards celebrate businesswomen who have remarkable spirit, display leadership, and have a compelling vision that shapes what they do in their business.

Now on its 21st year, the Telstra Business Women’s Awards “not only celebrate women who have the courage to start their own business and lead their industries, but also offer them a platform to encourage others to challenge the status quo and think differently,” said Telstra Chief Operations Officer and Telstra Business Women’s Awards Ambassador, Kate McKenzie.

We join 27 brilliant and talented Queensland finalists from diverse industries— childcare, public safety, farming, energy, real estate. Aside from Startup Category (where we are one of the finalists), other categories include: Entrepreneur, National, Purpose and Social Enterprise, Government and Academia, Corporate and Private, and Young Business Women’s Award.

We started Everyday Property Investing in 2010 aiming to share the knowledge we’ve acquired (good and bad!) throughout the years of our property investing journey. After two years, we opened a startup company, Property Zest, and since then have endeavoured to help investors get started in property and build their portfolio.

The regional winners of the 2015 Telstra Business Women’s Awards will be announced on 29 September in Brisbane. Queensland winners will proceed to the national finals to be held on 18th November in Melbourne. Wish us luck!

EPI 103 | How to make more money when you sell

What’s news

Feature – Making More Money When You Sell

Quick tip and action

  • Look at your properties for add value opportunities, whether or not you are selling or for revaluation

2015 REIQ Awards Buyer’s Agent of the Year

 

Karen Young is 2015 REIQ Buyer's Agent of the Year
We’re thrilled, happy, eager, elated, giddy (please take this thesaurus away from us!) to share with you that Karen Young of Property Zest (aka Kaz to Everyday Property Investing community) has been awarded the 2015 Buyer’s Agent of the Year by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ).

The announcement came during the glitzy awards gala night held last 5th of February in Brisbane.

The REIQ Awards is an annual event recognising real estate practitioners who have made an outstanding contribution to the State’s real estate profession.

To be included amongst the finalists is already an honour.  To be chosen the best in the category is definitely something that will motivate us even further to deliver only the best buyer’s agent service in the State.

Below are some of the photos during the awards night.

townhall room
menu stage
podium award

Now we’ll be off to Perth in March to represent Queensland at the Real Estate Industry Australia Awards night.

We join an elite list of winners this year. Below is the complete list in various categories.

  • Large Residential Agency of the Year — Place Estate Agents
  • Medium Residential Agency of the Year — Explore Property
  • Small Residential Agency of the Year — Urban Property Agents
  • Community Service of the Year — LJ Hooker Ormeau
  • Commercial Agency of the Year — CBRE
  • Commercial Salesperson of the Year — Peter Court (CBRE)
  • Commercial Property Manager of the Year — Julie Magennis (CBRE)
  • Residential Salesperson of the Year — Brett Andreassen (Doug Disher Real Estate)
  • Residential Property Manager of the Year — Loretta Morgan (Jam Property)
  • Buyers’ Agent of the Year – Karen Young (Property Zest) — that’s us!
  • Business Broker of the Year — Ian Salter (Benchmark Business & Commercial Sales)
  • Corporate Support Person of the Year — Amy Wolter (Place Estate Agents)
  • Rookie of the Year — Susan Brant (Amber Werchon Property)
  • Auctioneer of the Year — Mark MacCabe (LJ Hooker Paradise Point)
  • Best Real Estate Report of the Year — Kieran Clair, (Australian Property Investor Magazine)

 

Suburb Review: Zillmere, Qld (and case studies)

 

(This is a shorter version of the suburb review we wrote for the June-July 2014 issue of Property Wise magazine.)

For many investors proximity to the CBD is a big factor in selecting an investment property.  The issue that we face when trying to secure a property that is close to the CBD is higher pricing. One of the most attractive things about Brisbane for investors currently is its affordability in comparison to other major cities such as Melbourne and Sydney.  Zillmere is a small suburb just 14 kilometres from Brisbane Central Business District. It’s an older suburb where the government built prefabricated houses here under the Housing Commission in the 1950s post World War II. These old houses still exist in the area and Zillmere has had a bit of patchy past, has made investors reluctant to invest here.

Over recent years, as pricing in neighbouring suburbs has increased, we have seen home owners, investors and developers moving into Zillmere.  This has seen the suburb’s reputation of not being safe be diminished and regentrification of this area is well underway. Over the last few years as more families and educated, working couples have moved in to the suburb owing to these relatively cheaper houses, the space for anti-social elements to thrive has significantly gone down.

With good proximity to the CBD, affordability, new units, transport (including a train station), schools, shops and an ever-improving community, Zillmere is continuing to gain the interest of investors.

In this article we’ll take a quick look at Zillmere from a demographic, housing and facilities perspective as well as present a recent case study of two purchases we have made in this area.

The Location

Zillmere-map

Zillmere is located a mere 14 kilometers from Brisbane CBD, making it ideal for investment.

Zillmere is surrounded by the following suburbs: Aspley, Chermside, Fitzgibbon, Geebung and Taigum. Population in Zillmere saw growth of 8% from 7,481 in 2006 to 8,105 in 2011.

As the city expands and the demand for housing grows, the price of real estate will rise in the suburbs. Zillmere is already on the list of suburbs, which are expected to be high performers.

The demographics

Next to location, the next important part in your due diligence in looking for a potential investment spot is knowing who lives in the area—where they work, how they travel to work, their family composition. Knowing the location’s demographics will help you decide which property caters to certain population type.   Let’s take a look at Zillmere’s demographics.

Zillmere-agePopulation

Zillmere has a young population with majority of residents belong to the 25-29 years age group. Median age in Zillmere was 34 years.

Marital Status and Family Composition

In Zillmere, majority of residents aged 15 and above were single (41%). Around 37% were married and 14.9% were either divorced or separated. Of those couples, 38.9% were without children whilst 33.9% have children.

Occupation

Most people employed in Zillmere worked in clerical and administrative jobs (17.8%). These were followed by professionals (16.9%), technicians and trades workers (14%), and labourers (12.6%).

Housing

Most properties in Zillmere are standalone houses (71.8%). Around 19% were semi-detached or townhouses.  There are a high proportion of rental properties here with 47.8% compared to the state statistics of 33%.

Mortgage and Rental Payments

The median weekly rent in Zillmere is $365, higher than that of the state average, which is $300, though lower than many Brisbane suburbs.   Median mortgage repayments were slightly higher at $1800 per month compared to that of state average of mortgage repayments in Queensland at $1850, but once again, lower than many Brisbane Suburbs.  Having been a traditionally ‘blue collar’ area we are seeing a shift in Zillmere to more of a ‘white collar’ area over recent years.

Facilities and Infrastructure

Zillmere is conveniently connected Brisbane with its own railway station. It has a busy local shopping centre adjacent to the railway with four other shopping centers within a 5 kilometer radius. Zillmere also has good air connection, with the Brisbane Airport being only 15 minutes away. The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are also easily accessible via the Gateway Motorway.

Zillmere has a government school, the Zillmere State School established in 1877, as well as a parish school along with a number of churches. It boasts 2 football clubs, the North Star Football Club which plays in the Brisbane Premier League and Zillmere Eagles Australian Football Club.

The Brisbane City Council is planning extensive urban renewal of the public areas within the suburb. Chermside offers Zillmere residents access to two hospitals (Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital and The Prince Charles Hospital) and Westfield Chermside, the largest shopping centre in all of Queensland, featuring all major retailers, restaurants, a 16-screen cinema complex and a 26-lane Hyperbowl Bowling Centre.

Major roads such as Gympie Road or Sandgate Road cut down the commuting time to Brisbane city to about 25 minutes.

A significant portion of Zillmere’s residential properties reside on land that is suitable for further development into units and townhouses and this has seen an influx of developers of recent years with many new apartment blocks.

The Case Studies

Case studies

We have recently purchased two properties in Zillmere that are indicative of the types of opportunities you may see in this area and although the houses are very similar (right down to the exact same floorplan!) they contrast two different approaches.  Our first property is a straight buy and hold property which has already been renovated and the second is a ‘renovator’s delight’!

Case Study 1: Buy and hold, already renovated

case-study-1This property is a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1 car garage on 749m2, purchased earlier this year.  The house had just been renovated and had a fantastic new kitchen, polished boards and was fully repainted internally.  The buyers spent a little money on putting built in robes, ceiling fans and a new side fence on the property.  The property was purchased for $412,000, approximately $7,000 was spent on the improvements and the property rented at $400 per week.

 

Case Study 2: Buy, renovate and hold

case-study-2This property is a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1 carport on 635m2.  In contrast to our first case study, this property was definitely a renovator’s delight in need of quite a bit of cosmetic work internally.  The property was purchased for $360,000.  The buyers allocated $40,000 for cosmetic renovations to be conducted by a licensed building company as they were located interstate.  This project is currently underway and estimated rental at the end of the project is $400-$410 per week.

Here are the cashflow scenarios for these two case study properties:

cashflow

Summary

Zillmere is a bit of a ‘rough diamond’.  An older suburb with a housing commission background, it’s found itself in a perfect position in the present property climate in Brisbane. It’s relatively close to the Brisbane CBD at 14km.  It’s well supported by transport including train and bus.  It has major shopping facilities, hospital facilities and industry close by.  Most of all, it has affordable housing on good sized blocks ripe for renovation and suits first home buyers and investors.  At the time of writing, it is possible to buy at under $400k here – but for how much longer will this be the case?

Brisbane Case Study Part 4: Why Some Contracts Fail (aka The Building and Pest Inspections)

 

So your offer on a property has been accepted. You’re full of excitement, you’re giddy, and felt relieved now that the crucial part is over. You’re about to celebrate—but you realised there’s still some more work to be done. There’s the building and pest inspection.

And this phase of property purchase is just as crucial as the rest of the process. Many contracts fail or crash even after an offer has been accepted and there are several reasons for that. But majority of the reason is because of either finance or an unsatisfactory building and pest inspection.

The latter is what we experienced in our latest Brisbane buyer’s agent property purchase case study.

If you’ve just tuned in, here’s the first three parts of this series:

Brisbane Case Study Part 1: Meeting Peta
Brisbane Case Study Part 2— Suburbs Analysis
Brisbane Case Study Part 3 — Finding THE Property

 Building and Pest Inspection and Reports

Being presented with a bulk of papers containing comprehensive reports about the state of the property can be intimidating for any prospective buyer. We’ve been to a number of building and pest inspections and have read reports and we totally understand how these can be overwhelming.

 building-and-pest-inspection

 Just how comprehensive a report can be? Well it covers not only the state of property but also all the defects and their potential consequences. Now you understand why this phase can be one of the reasons why some contracts didn’t push through?

That is why it is important (whenever possible) to attend the building and pest inspection—and this is what we usually do—in order to see for ourselves the issues inspector finds and to raise questions on behalf of our clients.

building-and-pest-inspectionIn the case of Peta, while there were minor issues reported (which were not unusual given the age of the property), two serious issues were highlighted in the building and pest inspection report. First, a number of concrete stumps under the house had cracks. Second, there was a little damp under the house. This can really be a concern as the inspector pointed out that when the damp fall of the land, the house’s drainage mechanism may not be sufficient to move the water away from the footings.

Now this is the part that may scare off purchasers. Just how serious those issues are and what are the potential consequences of those issues? More importantly, what are the  financial implications to rectify them?

Ask the Experts

In this case, what you don’t know can  hurt you. It is easy to be scared off by uncertain things, things that you don’t understand. For some, it is better to chicken out this early than suffer the consequences later on.

But this is the part where experience and knowledge can be powerful. In this case, we sought the help of some experts to help Peta decide. But first things first: we requested the building and pest date be extended by one week to give us time to do further investigations. We then had a plumber inspect the property. This cost Peta $132 including GST. We found out how severe the issue was and were given two quotations on how to rectify the situation.

We also had concrete stumping experts who provided verbal opinion on the severity of the stump issue and we were given a written quote on fixing those stumps. This was provided for free.

Bear in mind though that you must get a formal report if you were to pay a consultant or an expert to look at your building and pest inspection report issues.

To Purchase or Not, that is the question

After obtaining all relevant reports about the issues and discussing the pros and cons, we were then confronted with three options:

  1. Proceed with the sale based on the current Contract of Sale
  2. Negotiate a discount on the purchase price, given the issues found
  3. Pull out of the contract

Peta decided to proceed with the contract—provided purchase price will be reduced.

Another round of negotiation

We previously agreed upon a purchase price of $430k but with the issues that crop up during the building and pest inspection and the implications of those issues, we requested a reduction of $25k. As expected, intense negotiations with the property’s real estate agent occurred until a new purchase price has been agreed upon: $417,500.

Now you understand why the contract period can be a crucial phase.

 We’re happy to share that Peta’s property has now settled and she’s the proud owner of her new investment property. If you missed our podcast episode where we interviewed Peta about her experience, click on this to listen.

 

Brisbane Case Study Part 3 — Finding THE Property

 

We’re back with the next instalment in our latest Brisbane purchase case study. As a review, below are the links to the first and second parts of this series:

Brisbane Case Study Part 1: Meeting Peta
Brisbane Case Study Part 2— Suburbs Analysis

Now to recall Peta’s buying criteria, we were looking for a property that is in a high growth location, something that is ready to rent out ‘as is’ or have renovation potential to add value but need not require too much work. To say that finding THAT property would be not easy is an understatement—but we were determined and well, our determination paid off.

But before we present you that property, allow us to share with you the almost cinematic events that lead to finding “the one”.

Property Inspections

So we went with our usual drill of desktop analysis where we made a lis of properties for consideration and research. There were about 70 properties that made to the list; amongst those we did a “drive by” on around 50 and physically inspected around 25 properties.

While we did made offers on four properties in three different suburbs (Chermside, Geebung and Wavell Heights), we were still no near THAT property and so our search continued.

Now we’ve mentioned in Part 1 of the series that Peta is from Sydney so distance is one of the factors that made her decide to tap the services of a buyer’s agent. And this is one of the key reasons why it is logical to seek the services of a buyers agent: to enable you to purchase in a location that is logistically difficult for you to perform inspections. Other main reasons why people use a buyer’s agent are:

  • To save money—a buyer’s agent can ensure you select the best location based on your criteria and have the skills to negotiate a good deal based on market knowledge
  • To save stress—a buyer’s agent is an experienced investor who can guide you through the process, explaining and making recommendations
  • To save time—a buyer’s agent does all the research, analysis, legwork and get back with you having all the key information relevant to your qualifications

The Part Where Peta Flew In

Now buying an investment property is a huge responsibility and while you can benefit a lot from having someone do the nitty-gritty aspect for you, having a better understanding of the locations and the houses your buyer’s agent is looking in can make you more confident in putting forward offers. And Peta, being a smart investor herself, knows this. So when she was able to find a day in her extremely busy schedule, she flew up to Brisbane and spent a day inspecting properties with us.

It was quite cinematic, actually, that the very day we placed an offer on a property and just as Peta was rushing to meet her departure time, she was talking to us whilst we were talking to the sales agent. And just about she was to board her plane, the call I got in was to say ‘Congratulations—we got it!’. How dramatic is that!

Presenting…THE Property

Here it is, a three-bedroom-plus-study weatherboard in Geebung. For a purchase price of $430k, this property has a  modernised kitchen and bathroom.  The property can be converted to four bedroom and an ensuite and walk-in robe for the main bedroom.

Geebung purchase

So there, one drama down—what’s next is the contract period. And guess what, that promises to have some more drama in it, too! Make sure you watch for the post…as a sneak peak, I’ll let you in on a little secret…we didn’t end up paying the $430k we went to contract with!

Brisbane Case Study Part 2— Suburbs Analysis

 

We are now on the second part of our Brisbane purchase case study  featuring Peta. If you missed our initial post, head on to the link below to get an idea of Peta’s background and a glimpse of her buying criteria:

Brisbane Case Study Part 1: Meeting Peta

We’ve mentioned in the first part of this series that Peta was keen on buying in Brisbane market, therefore our location analysis was zeroed in on Brisbane suburbs. After identifying, documenting, and finally agreeing upon Peta’s buying criteria—one of which is location must be within 10km radius of Brisbane CBD—we analysed all suburbs that suit Peta’s criteria.

Peta is from Sydney so she needed to know and understand the Brisbane market and the meanings behind the numbers so that she could make informed decisions. This is an important aspect for an investor who is not local to the  market he/she plans to invest in so that he/she can assess the recommendations a buyer’s agent would present.

The Pockets and their Numbers

The first location report we presented to Peta was consist of six subsets of areas or ‘pockets’. We enumerated the ‘numbers’ associated with each of the pockets. These include: projected growth, historical growth for 3 months, 12 months, 3-5-10 years, vacancy rates, rental yield, numbers sold, time on market, among other things.

We also provided maps of Brisbane and plotted on the map the location of major facilities like establishments, universities, train stations, and hospitals.

Zest-Location-Sample-Peta

This process of presenting the numbers help narrow down the target location.  Often investors go back to their buying criteria and make some changes upon presentation of a location analysis. In the case of Peta, she decided to focus on houses within the North and the South, with further focus on the Northside.

In-depth Location Analysis

ZEST-Location-Maps-PetaWe then presented Peta with another location report, this time with the narrowed down areas. We provided other pertinent data about the suburb including location, demographics, style of housing, and heatmaps.

We also provided an even more detailed suburb analysis, which was the product of literally driving around the suburb to map out where everything is, what style of housing exists where, the upside of the suburb, the downside, and all those data that we gathered first-hand.

 

ZEST-Suburb-Mapping-Peta

After the suburb mapping exercise, we decided to focus on Northside and started looking for properties in the area—Gordon Park, Kedron, and Chermside.  Because we were  looking for houses factoring in our budget, we decided to expand our focus a little to adjacent suburbs that still present projected growth. These suburbs are Wavell Heights, Geebung, and Stafford.

And now we’re off to finding actual properties in those suburbs. We will share all about it on our next post so be in the loop!

Brisbane Purchase Case Study Part 7 — Last Stretch Before Settlement

 

We’ve reached the culmination of our Brisbane Purchase Case Study for one of Property Zest’s clients, Luke. Before Luke became the owner of another property, there were several tasks to be done and in this part 7 of our series, we tackle the things that needed to be accomplished between signing the contract and settlement.

For those of you who just came across this part of our case study, we’ve rounded up the series for you here:

 

Contract condition 1: Building and Pest Inspection

One of the first conditions of Luke’s contract was a satisfactory building and pest inspection. Like we always do, we obtained quotes from several providers in the area before finally settling for a certain building inspection company.

Now you’ve seen a building and pest inspection report, haven’t you? They’re lengthy, wordy, and the ironic part of it all is that they often include so much information yet say very little of the things you need to know! That is why whenever possible, I recommend that you be present during the building and pest inspection so you will have a better understanding of the issues that the property may have and the significance of those issues.

In our case, I attended the inspection of Luke’s property and was pleased to find out that no issues are present with the property. A bonus experience was that I learnt a lot about termites, building materials and common problems found within residential dwellings in the area. Very useful information there!

The thing with SMSFs

Arranging finance can be a stressful experience for buyers as it is and when one is buying in a self managed super fund, the stress level could be higher as there’s so much paperwork to be done. That paperwork needs to be passed around and some parties may not be as cooperative or as expedient as you would like them to be!
This is not to say though that things are completely out of your control.  You can do your share of expediting things by being organised and being on top of the things that needed your attention. If one party requests paperwork, don’t be the cause of delay and ensure to hand it back to the requesting party ASAP!

I was a fortunate to be Luke’s buyers agent as he was on top of every documentation request made of him and was fast in doing so. We were able to make it to our 21-day finance period without a holdup; however, the bank wasn’t able to make it to the actual settlement time so we had to extend settlement by 2 days. Those two days can be a cause of worry as vendor can charge penalty interest for those two days!

We informed the agent about Luke’s hard work getting everything accomplished everything from his end—and lucky us, the seller did not charge penalty interest.

Time to get insured

Another vital thing to do between purchase and settlement is getting insurance on the property. Once a buyer enters into a contract, he/she will be liable for that property. Should something happen to the property during the conditional period, a buyer could pull out of the contract based on one of his/her conditions; however, it is always best to get covered immediately.

In Luke’s case, after obtaining several quotes we opted for a company that he had used before for building and landlord insurance. They offered Luke a competitive price, which Luke took immediately.

Management and Tenant

We mentioned during the first part of this series that the property Luke has chosen is an ex-display house that is currently occupied by tenants who maintain the property in its display condition and who’d be happy to stay on. Dream property, eh?

While the property is currently handled by a rental manager, as a standard practice at Property Zest, we did scout for comparable quotes from other property management companies. Luke, however, decided to keep the current manager after speaking to her, just to see how things will go.

The tenants are currently on periodic lease—something that I do not recommend. While many believe that it would be easy to remove tenants on a periodic lease, that is not quite true. Such contract/setup also gives the owner little certainty over future tenancy. Luke was aware of these things and was planning to address the issue with the rental manager.

Settlement

It has been mentioned several times on the blogs and on our podcast episodes here at EPI how settlement time can be pretty fast in Queensland. In Luke’s case, settlement was done two days later than first planned and now, he’s officially the owner of this immaculate ex-display house in North Lakes.

It has been another successful case study purchase. Do watch for our next post as we round up this case study in a summary video. See you then!

Brisbane Purchase Case Study Part 6— Going for the ‘Best and Final’ Offer

 

We’re back to continue our series on our Brisbane case study purchase for one of our clients, Luke. We’ve reached the exciting part of the process as we discuss in this part 6 the details of the deal and making an offer.

Time to catch up if you haven’t on the previous posts leading to this part of the series:

Part 1 — Meeting the client
Part 2 — Setting Buying Criteria
Part 3 — Narrowing Down Locations
Part 4 — Brisbane Purchase Case Study Part 4—Location Down to Two
Part 5 — Zeroing in in North Lakes

The Property

After inspecting and analysing properties in Rothwell, Mango Hill and North Lakes, Luke has decided to choose North Lakes and this lovely ex-display house is his target property.

This 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom abode with double garage was built in 2004. It sits on a 429-sqm block, made of brick veneer with rendered finish, and is currently rented at $400/week on a periodic lease. This property is listed at offers over $389k.

Now if you will remember, part of Luke’s buying criteria is a budget of $350k. However, as we go through the process, Luke has decided to go $30k higher, making his budget set at $380k max. While we came across some potential properties within the $350k mark, we deemed to go for the properties within the next price bracket as they were a better option ‘round this area of North Lakes.

There are several factors that enticed us to this property—1) it is located in a more established part of North Lakes; 2) being an ex-display house, the finishes and features of the house set itself apart from the other properties we’ve inspected; and 3) the property is well-kept by current tenants (who wanted to stay).

‘Best Offer’ strategy

Initially listed at ‘Offers over $399,000”, this property had been on the market for approximately 3 months so the vendor decided to drop the price to offers over $389k. Clearly, this property was still beyond our budget so we decided initially to go for the ‘best offer’ strategy.

Instead of starting low and negotiating up, best offer strategy is when you put forward your best and final offer. The key is in determining (and sticking to -well, mostly) your best and final offer as you could end up missing out on a deal if you make an offer while that price isn’t really your best and final offer but it is taken as such.

So we put forward a $370k offer on this property, subject to satisfactory building and pest inspection within 14 days and subject to finance approval within 21 days. We got a counter offer of $385k. Still away from what we were eyeing on. We waited awhile before putting forward an offer of $374k. After discussions with the real estate agent, we then settled on a purchase price of $375k. Contracts signed!

So what happens between contract signing and settlement?  A lot! Don’t miss out on the next part of this series!