What is a Form 1?

What is a Form 1?

A Form 1 statement is a legal document providing important information about a property. If you are selling a residential property in South Australia you are required by law to serve a Form 1 document to the prospective purchaser. The Form 1 is usually prepared by your Agent or Conveyancer and signed by the Vendor prior to advertising the property for sale but it can also be prepared and served after the contract is signed.

What is included in a Form 1?

Whilst not an exhaustive list the Form 1 includes but is not limited to:

  • Property Title
  • Particulars regarding any mortgage
  • Particulars regarding any easements
  • Council rates, Water Rates, Emergency Services Levy and Land Tax details
  • Zoning information
  • Council approvals for building works

The Form 1 may not include information about encroachments, condition of the property, whether building regulations are complied with or if the survey of the land is accurate. A prospective purchaser is responsible for finding out anything that is not covered in the Form 1 and needs to do their due diligence on the property they are purchasing.

What does the Form 1 have to do with cooling off rights?

If you buy a property other than at auction, the purchaser has a cooling off period. The cooling off period expires at the end of the second clear business day after the contract was made if the purchaser received the Form 1 prior to making the contract or after the Form 1 was served on you, if you received the Form 1 after making the contract. The Vendor does not have the right to cool off, only the purchaser. The Form 1 details your right to cool off and how you must go about serving the cooling-off notice if you change your mind.

What can happen if the Form 1 is not accurate?

The Form 1 must be factually accurate and complete. If it is incorrect or there is insufficient information, the purchaser may be able to withdraw from the sale or take legal action. It is a very important document and you need to be sure your Agent or Conveyancer understands the law when it comes to preparing a Form 1. A good Agent or Conveyancer is critical to the sale process of one of your biggest assets – your home! So, take care to choose your Agent and Conveyancer wisely and check their qualifications. 

How much does a Form 1 cost?

The cost can vary depending on the property and who prepares the Form 1 for you. Government searches required to be ordered will vary with the type of property you are selling. For example, if the property you are selling is part of a strata group managed by a body corporate, you will require body corporate searches and the body corporate manager will charge a fee for this. The nature of the property determines the number of Government searches required to be ordered and this will impact the cost. The other cost involved is the preparation of the actual Form 1 document, some Agents will prepare this document and include this as part of their fee for service, others outsource to a Conveyancer for preparation or will request the Vendor to arrange with their chosen Conveyancer. The cost for a Form 1 with Government searches is significant; however, you will require this legal document to enable you to sell your home. For the 2021 Financial Year the price for a Torrens Title residential property would be in the vicinity of $750 to $850 including GST and for a Community/Strata Title $900 to $1,000 including GST. Please note, this cost is just an indicator, as discussed, it will vary depending on the number of Government searches required and what your provider charges for the service.

What is important is your Agent advises you early in the appraisal process that you will require this document to sell your home and there is an additional expense if it is not included in the Agent fee.

Changes to the Form 1

From 1 July 2021 the South Australian Government has updated the Form 1 to include additional disclosure requirements and deleted some items. It is important your Agent or Conveyancer is across these to ensure an accurate Form 1 is served on the purchaser after 1 July 2021. The last thing you would want as a Vendor is legal action from the purchaser for a faulty Form 1!

Ask your Agent to explain the Form 1 document to you, if they cannot explain the Form 1 and all the information in it, then is this the right Agent for you?

Why use an SA Listings agent?

SA Listings offers a fixed agent fee for service, with no hidden extras. You will be advised of the Form 1 costs prior to listing a property for sale. SA Listings understands the Form 1 disclosure requirements and will ensure the document is explained to you and any potential purchasers of your property. The team are licensed land agents, qualified lawyers and conveyancers, providing a strong skill set with the sale of one of your biggest assets – your home! To find out more visit SA Listings.

Justine Thomson

SA Listings is back in SA

After a time spent overseas, I am now back in Adelaide and what a tumultuous year it has been! Glad to be back on home soil and back doing what I love – selling real estate. A big thank you to all SA Listings clients for their unwavering support and calls of hello on our return to Adelaide.

On a positive note, the market in Adelaide is definitely on an uplifting trajectory, catching up with its interstate cousins with year to date growth to the end of February 2021 in home values of 7.3%, according to recent CoreLogic research. A combination of limited supply, low interest rates, additional Government supplements and purchaser demand is fueling the growth. 

For developers, builders or those considering development in SA, from 21st March new planning and building laws come into place across SA with a new State based planning and design code. One significant inclusion under the planning reform relates to administration procedures for domestic dwellings at handover.

A Certificate of Occupancy must now be issued by the relevant authority verifying the building is fit for purpose before people can move in. The current system only required a Statement of Compliance be completed, the Certificate of Occupancy is now an additional step.

An applicant applying for a Certificate of Occupancy can nominate either the local council or building certifier to issue the document. The decision must be made at the start of the building process when lodging the Development Application. A final inspection prior to issuing the document may be done by the council and they can withhold the certificate if the building is not constructed to standard. Any person occupying before the certificate of occupancy is obtained may receive a $750 expiation fee or be issued with a maximum penalty of $10,000. This may have an impact with banks releasing the final payment for the build and is something all builders need to be aware of.

It’s great to be back and I look forward to assisting clients with their future property sales.

Justine Thomson

National Property Statistics


Adelaide property values have recorded a modest increase of 0.1% during the month of November, according to the latest CoreLogic Home Value Index released today, Monday December 3, 2018. This small increase contributes to an annual return of 1.4%. While this small increase may not be music to the ears of property investors and owners, it certainly is sounding better than Sydney and Melbourne, both continuing their pull back with -1.4% and -1.0% respectively.

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Source: Corelogic.com.au

As always, please be in contact should you need assistance with any property matter.

If interested in an individual property appraisal or statistics on your suburb or local area, please be in contact through SA Listings.

Justine

Land Title in South Australia

When buying property in South Australia, be it purchasing land, a house, investment property or even an apartment, you are purchasing a “title” specific to the parcel of land or property which determines the type of ownership. Essentially, the main difference between the types of “titles” is whether or not the land is “shared” or owned in “common” with other owners. There are two main titles in South Australia, Torrens and community.

Torrens TitleA South Australian invention, Torrens title is a system which records and registers land ownership. Your name is “registered” on the Torrens title register when the Certificate of Title is lodged at the Lands Titles Office. You then become the owner of the property to the exclusion of all others.

This means that you, as the property owner, are responsible for everything within and related to, your property. You are wholly responsible for council rates, services of water, sewerage, storm water and any land tax applicable on the land. This title is particularly relevant to free-standing homes and some townhouses.

Community TitleThis an updated version of the older strata title, meaning that you own your block of land (or apartment) but you share aspects as a “community” i.e. responsibility of common areas is shared with other owners. While strata title is still relevant for existing titles, all new common allotments are now community titled.

A property such as a villa, townhouse or unit is often purchased under community title. When you buy one of these properties, there are ‘common areas’ (driveways, gardens, entryways and so on) used by all of the people living in the development or apartment block. These common areas have to be maintained by all of the unit owners collectively, through a community corporation, because they are shared. The individual owner is responsible for upkeep of the inside of their land and property, but they must share the expense of maintaining common areas.

Your lot entitlement (in simple terms the proportional size of your property compared to the entire property) determines your share you contribute to insurance and other fees charged by the corporation. All community schemes have by-laws that include provision for the administration, management and regulation of the use and enjoyment of the common property. The by-laws are an extremely important aspect of community title new purchasers must be aware of – how much are the fees and what rules exist that you must abide by. For example, many community corporations restrict pets to certain sizes or numbers.

Moiety TitleNow rare and sometimes referred to as a cross lease, moiety ownership of a property comes from being the registered owner of a share of the land the property sits on. The owner then leases the right to occupy their property, along with the right to use common areas, from the other unit owners. It is now common for moiety title to be transferred to either community or Torrens title.

Should you have any questions regarding the title of your land or apartment, or are considering purchasing a property and are unsure of the responsibilities that come with the title, please be in contact at info@salistings.com.au.

Justine

National Property Statistics

Australia’s housing market correction continued through August with the CoreLogic Report National Home Value Index tracking 0.3% lower over the month. Since peaking in September last year, values have been consistently tracking lower, down a cumulative 2.2% through to the end of August 2018.

The good news? Adelaide! As we have continually said, slow and steady wins the race, and while 1.0% annual growth does not seems spectacular, it points to value and affordability in South Australia. This coupled with renewed business confidence in the State is great news for both home owners and those looking to get into the market.

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Source: Corelogic.com.au

As always, please be in contact should you need assistance with any property matter.

If interested in an individual property appraisal or statistics on your suburb or local area, please email info@salistings.com.au.

Justine

1 July Property Legislation Update

Well we are a few weeks into the new financial year and, as is usual, property owners and investors should be aware of various changes to property rules from the ATO.

Australia wide, the greatest and possibly the one with the biggest impact on investors, new home buyers and developers is the requirement for purchasers of new residential premises or potential residential land to withhold an amount of the contract price and pay this directly to the ATO at settlement.

Essentially, this means for affected property transactions, purchasers will need to:

  • split the amount of GST from the total purchase price,
  • pay the GST component directly to the ATO by a disbursement at settlement, and
  • pay the GST exclusive purchase price to the property developer (vendor).

The new rule imposes requirements onto the vendor/developer as well. Developers need to give written notification to the purchasers when they need to withhold.

The actual liability for the GST remains with the property developer, however there are no changes to how property developers lodge their business activity statements.

Should you be contemplating purchasing new residential property or potential residential land there are a number of forms that need to be completed by the purchaser or their representative (a conveyancer or solicitor) after contract signing and prior to settlement. Speak to your agent or conveyancer to ensure you comply with the new requirements or visit https://bit.ly/2tLbVri for more information from the ATO.

1 July 2018 also marks the date from which first home buyers can access super contributions for the purpose of buying their first home. Since 1 July 2017 eligible Australians have been able to make voluntary super contributions of up to $15,000 a year, to a maximum of $30,000 over more than one year, to their superannuation account to help purchase their first home. Since 1 July 2018, eligible Australians are able to apply to their super funds to release these contributions (and earnings) for the purposes of purchasing a first home.

Finally, another change on 1 July 2018: Australians aged 65 years + can make a non-concessional (after-tax) contribution into their super account of up to $300,000 from the sale proceeds of their family home (main residence) if they have owned the property for at least 10 years. Couples will be able to contribute up to $300,000 each, giving a total contribution of up to $600,000.

Again, please visit the ATO website https://bit.ly/2udPt9Jor discuss with your financial advisor for detailed information related to your particular circumstances.

Justine Thomson

 

Selling a Tenanted Property

Selling a rental with tenants requires a number of additional requirements the owner and agent must abide by to ensure tenant rights under Legislation are met. While these requirements initially may seem onerous, by keeping a tenant “in the loop” with timely communication, any issues can be dealt with before they become insurmountable problems. There are pros and cons to selling a tenanted property:

Pros:

  • Rental income continues while the property is on the market.
  • Buyers benefit from purchasing a tenanted property – reducing costs such as letting fees and time vacant after settlement.
  • Potential buyers see the property as “rentable”

Cons:

  • Increased legislative requirements for notice to tenant
  • Reduced flexibility for opens
  • Possible lack of control over the standard of presentation of the property
  • Potential buyer pool – buyers after vacant possession may not be interested

A successful campaign of a tenanted rental keeps the tenant “in the loop” before, during and after the sale. A tenant who does not know what is going on, is uncertain of their future, or is kept in the dark with open times and notice will likely not be accommodating with access to the property for opens.

So, how do you do this?

Notice of Sale

It is a requirement before entering a residential tenancy agreement to advise a prospective tenant if owners have or intend to advertise the property for sale. A tenant can terminate a tenancy if the owner enters into a contract for the sale of the property within 2 months after the start of the tenancy agreement and did not inform the tenant of this intention.

Issue Correct Notices within Required Timeframes

On deciding to sell a tenanted rental property, an owner must advise the tenant with at least 14 days written notice they have entered into a sales agency agreement. Advertising the property or access to the property for the purpose of showing prospective purchasers cannot occur before this 14-day timeframe expires.

Once the initial 14 days has passed, the right of entry to the property for opens is outlined in the Act. These requirements include no more than 2 occasions within any 7-day period, at a time previously arranged with agreement of the tenant. If an agreement cannot be reached, at a time within normal working hours with reasonable notice. Reasonable notice is not defined, but at least 7 days minimum is advised.

Once the property is sold, the tenant must be advised in writing within 14 days or as soon as possible after the contract of sale is entered into of the name of the purchaser and the date from which rent is to be paid to him or her.

Remember, the tenant has a right to stay at the property during any open inspections, including on auction day. The tenant is also entitled to the quiet enjoyment of the property – continuous driving past or prospective purchasers walking around the property may not meet this requirement.

SA Listings tips:

  • Start an open and honest dialogue with the tenant as soon as the decision to sell the property is made.
  • All notices MUST be served in a timely manner, erring on the side of caution.
  • Provide the tenant with a complete schedule of inspections as soon as possible.
  • Any property manager MUST be in the loop with the decision to sell, plus the intended schedule. Consider combining routine inspections with other required access (such as photo sessions) in order to minimise tenant disruption.
  • Consider a small rent reduction throughout the campaign. This will show the tenant you are conscious of the disruption to the tenant’s enjoyment of the property.
  • Stay flexible. The tenant must not unreasonably refuse to allow access. However, be prepared and willing to negotiate access times.

SA listings will happily arrange for all of the above requirements to ensure your sale campaign runs smoothly. We also partner with experienced property managers who understand the needs of both tenants and landlords throughout a sales campaign.

Planning and preparation is needed. But if done, there is no reason the sale of a tenanted property should not go smoothly. Contact us for more information.

Justine Thomson

Top Tips for First Home Buyers

To assist First Home Buyers get a step up on the property ladder, there are a few incentives you need to be aware of. To help assist, SA Listings has compiled this go to “Top Tips” for first home buyers looking to purchase in SA.

Top Tips Towards Home Ownership

First Home Super Saver Scheme: You can make contributions to your super account from your before tax pay to save for a house deposit. You are limited to $30,000 per person and capped at $15,000 per year. If you are self employed or your employer does not allow you to do salary sacrifice, you can claim a tax deduction on the after-tax contributions. To find out more, contact your Superannuation Fund direct.

Stamp Duty Savings: There are a couple of ways you can save on shelling out too much stamp duty! The SA Government allows for a stamp duty concession if you purchase an apartment off the plan anywhere in SA. What does “off the plan” mean? This means it is a new building that is yet to be constructed or it is a new building for which construction has commenced and the Commissioner is satisfied the work has not been substantially completed or it is an existing building where the Commissioner is satisfied that the building is to be substantially refurbished and the work has not yet commenced or has not been substantially completed.

The amount of stamp duty concession that applies depends on two things:

  1. What stage the construction is at from the date you enter the contract and 
  2. What the market value of the apartment is that you purchase.

To calculate how much stamp duty you need to pay for an “off-the-plan” apartment, there is a great calculator available on the Revenue SA websiteStamp Duty Calculator

Another way to save on stamp duty is to build. By purchasing a block of land and then building, you only pay stamp duty on the land, saving you considerable money. This additional money can be put towards the build rather than to State Government coffers. For example, if you buy a block of land for $150,000 and build a home for $200,000, you will only pay stamp duty on the land only. At current rates the stamp duty on $150,000 would be $4,830. If you had purchased an established home at $350,000 the stamp duty would be $13,830. This is a saving of $9,000! As a first home buyer this is a considerable amount of savings.

First Home Owners Grant (FHOG): The FHOG is a once of grant paid to eligible first home buyers on the purchase of a new build or construction of a new home. To be eligible for the grant the market value of the property purchased must be $575,000 or less. The amount of the FHOG is $15,000. If you purchase a newly built home, the grant is paid on settlement, if you construct a new build the grant is paid on date of first progress payment.

Pre-construction Grant for “Off-The-Plan” Apartment Purchases: For contracts of “off-the-plan” apartments entered into between 20 June 2017 and 30 September 2017 the State Government is currently offering a $10,000 pre-construction grant.

Savings: Don’t forget good old fashion savings. By saving a few dollars everyday, this can go a long way towards your first home deposit!

At SA Listings we know it is tough for first home buyers to dip their toe onto the property ladder but with sound knowledge and a good understanding of managing your money, the dream can be a reality! We hope this blog assists all those aspiring first home owners and should you have any questions, please send us an email or message us on facebook and we would be happy to help.

Justine Thomson

Please note: Information provided in this blog is current as at date of going to print 

Top Reno Tips Before Listing

I am often asked as an Agent, “What reno’s should I do to my home to maximise the price I achieve on sale?” Usually when a person is asking me this question, the work they are doing to the home is not for them to enjoy but to present the property as best they can to maximise return.

To answer the question, there are 5 key reno’s that will maximise the property price.

Paint: this can be done affordably if you manage yourself and can literally add tens of thousands to the sale price. Internally use a neutral white colour on all walls and ceilings. Do not do feature walls, this can polarise people if they do not have the same taste as you. Bring in colour with soft furnishings and wall art. It is also a good idea to freshen up external timber and gutters with a lick of paint if required.

Update the Kitchen: this is a major selling point of a home. Update door handles, fixtures and fittings. If the budget allows and the cabinetry/benchtops are out-dated, consider replacing the cabinetry with white laminate and upgrade the benchtops.

Update the Bathroom: you do not need to rip out and replace the entire bathroom but look at the quality of the sink, tapware and showerhead. If the tiles are dated, consider replacing or painting. Another low cost exercise is to clean all the mould from the grout. There are great products available on the market to make this job simple and easy.

Spruce up the Garden: the front garden is the first thing a prospective buyer sees. Make sure it is neat, tidy and presents well. Replace any dead plants with new, mow lawns and remove all weeds.

Repair and Patch: Consider fixing any maintenance issues including any holes/cracks in walls, cracked tiles, worn timbers and any appliances not working.

Your home is one of your most important assets and when listing to market you want to maximise your dollar return. Some hard work prior to listing should pay good dividends and will reflect in the final sale price.

Justine Thomson

 

Take Advantage of a Government Incentive


NRAS, or the National Rental Affordability Scheme. Don’t be bamboozled by the big words, the scheme is easy to understand and provides benefits to a wide demographic of people in Australia. Not only do investors benefit from NRAS but so do tenants and those looking to get a step up on the property ladder. So what is it? Why did it come about? And how does it work?

NRAS is a Federal Government initiative introduced in 2008. It was designed to encourage investment in residential housing to assist people on low to moderate incomes with an opportunity to rent homes at 20% below market rent values. It is not social housing; rather, it is a scheme to provide affordable private rental homes to individuals and families who meet the income threshold. To attract investors, tax-free incentives are provided to those who invest in and own approved NRAS properties.

NRAS was designed to assist in addressing housing supply and affordability. Pressure on the private rental sector, increased rents, the difficulty of low to middle income households to access affordable private rental homes, plus the reduced supply of public housing contributed to the NRAS initiative being created.

NRAS provides benefits to both investors and tenants:

Tenants: Eligible tenants can access private rental accommodation at 20% below the market rate. Tenants’ income may increase up to 25% before their eligibility is affected. Current income eligibility rates are available here: https://goo.gl/vHuAtF

If you are interested in renting an NRAS property and meet the eligibility criteria, it can be an affordable housing solution, to assist you in meeting your financial goals.

Investors: Approved investors are eligible to receive the NRAS incentive for up to 10 years for each approved dwelling where the conditions of allocation for the dwelling are met including renting the property at least 20% below market value rent.

The NRAS incentive for the 2017/2018 year is as follows:

Federal Contribution:          $8,335.75

State Contribution:               $2,778.58

Total Incentive:                    $11,114.33

The NRAS incentive comprises two components: the Federal Government contribution is a tax offset and the State Government contribution is a direct cash payment.

The benefits for investors can be significant. For example: If Jane invests in an NRAS property where the market rent is $300, she must rent the property out at $240 per week to be eligible for the NRAS incentive. Jane effectively receives $3,120 less in rent per annum for her property. However this is more than compensated by the above annual NRAS incentive she receives from the Federal and State Government. To understand the full benefit of the NRAS incentive and what it means to you financially, it is best to speak with a qualified Accountant or Financial Planner before purchasing an NRAS property.

SA Listings has a strong understanding of NRAS and works closely with relevant providers in South Australia. SA Listings currently has a NRAS property available in Evanston, South Australia. To find out more about NRAS either as an investor or as a tenant, please contact SA Listings for more information.

Justine Thomson