“Downsize” to “Upside” on the Northern Beaches of Sydney

“Downsize to Upside ! ”

The above sounds ridiculous and illogical but many empty nesters and soon to be empty nesters are taking the step to release some equity in their homes and buy something smaller and perhaps more modern.

 

There are many advantages and a few challenges to this strategy particularly on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

 

The upside to downsizing include the following

1] Weekends are not spent maintaining the older family home.

2] The adult children, revolving door syndrome is broken.

3] There is hopefully some spare cash following the move.

4] Life is a little simpler and time doing D.I.Y. is hopefully substantially gone.

 

The challenges of downsizing

1] Reduced space in the new home may make for a huge adjustment.

2] There may not be much money left particularly if a modern home is sought.

3] If the downsizing involves a change of area then this has it’s own stresses.

 

The truth is the role of a good estate agent is to do more than just sell houses.

At Kathryn Hall Real Estate we have a responsibility to help people make the right decisions regarding their futures.

 

It is important to go into any life style change with your eyes open.

 

The knowledge of what realistically your home is worth along what you will probably have to pay for the next one is critical. Agents who exaggerate what a house may sell to get business, ultimately don’t do a vendor any favors when the sale price is 100’s of thousands less and all that has been planned goes out the window.

 

At Kathryn Hall we achieve some great prices but we try to provide vendors  with realistic appraisals, which help them plan towards a “Downsize” becoming an “Upside”.

Whether it’s Anywhere between Manly and Palm Beach or Dee Why to Terry Hills we enjoy helping Downsizers make a move a reality and come out the other side with a massive Upside.

 

By Peter Brooks

 

DISCLAIMER

 

The information in this article is of a general nature. While care has been taken preparing this information Kathryn Hall Real Estate does not warrant, represent or guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or fitness for any other purpose that the article may be used. Kathryn Hall Real Estate accepts no liability for any loss or damage (whether caused by negligence or not) resulting from use of information.

Guiding Vendors and Buyers through the Process of Selling/Buying a Home on the Northern Beaches

 

“Different Strokes for Different Folks”

No-one is quite sure where the above phrase originated although the earliest known pop-culture reference is from the song “Everyday People” by Sly and the Family Stone.

 

The truth is everybody has different tastes and everybody has different ways of doing things. This phrase certainly applies in the world of Real Estate and at Kathryn Hall Real Estate based on the Northern Beaches we appreciate this.

 

When viewing a property whether it be in Cromer, Dee Why, Narraweena, Collaroy, MonaVale , Avalon or wherever , everybody has a different way of doing things. Whilst some consider a potential property a “Knock Down” others see enormous potential and long to put their own unique stamp on it.

 

Even when entering a property some people rush in to a property desiring to remain anonymous grudgingly giving their name and address whilst others are quite happy to chat about their lives, their desires and what they are looking for. The former have walls knocked down and floor plans radically changed in minutes whilst the latter group often meander inside, taking time to drink in the serenity and the feel of the place and would stay for hours if given the opportunity.

 

I love real estate because you get to work with different folks who have different strokes.

People are fascinating and so different!!

 

Working with people to help them achieve their dreams and desires is part of a real estate agent’s bread and butter. Achieving great results for the vendor whilst placing a buyer in a property that will become a great home for their next season is one of the joys of being a real estate agent.

By Peter Brooks

 

 

DISCLAIMER

 

The information in this article is of a general nature. While care has been taken preparing this information Kathryn Hall Real Estate does not warrant, represent or guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or fitness for any other purpose that the article may be used. Kathryn Hall Real Estate accepts no liability for any loss or damage (whether caused by negligence or not) resulting from use of information

Sydney House For Sale under $700,000

The Sydney real estate market is currently experiencing a strong demand especially for properties at the entry level.

 

Apartments in Sydney for first home buyers are in high demand with the price ranging from $450,000 to $560,000 for a I bedroom strata title apartment and $650,000 to $950,000 for 2 bedroom apartment.

 

It is rare to see that there is a house for sale for $699,000 within the Sydney region at Great Mackerel Beach Post code 2108.

 

Kathryn Hall Real Estate has been selling properties at Great Mackerel Beach since 1993 and has seen a good number of properties sold and inquiries in the last 6 months.

Beach tinnies

The prices range for houses in the lower end of Great Mackerel Beach have been from $535,000 to $695,000. All houses are on their own block of land in a great community.

 

Buyers have been young families, investors and the over 55 downsizers all appreciating the great purchase potential not only for the great beauty that Great Mackerel Beach can offer and the relaxed lifestyle, with bush-land, beautiful sandy beach the fresh water lagoon and Pittwater but also because it represented great purchasing power.

 

A recent client bought a house from me for $550,000 and has spent about $80,000 and he is currently getting $550.00 per week for rent. Not bad in today’s economic client and low interested rates.

 

We currently have a house at 40 Monash Ave Great Mackerel Beach, 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms large entertaining decks, private charming but in need of some minor repairs such as: painting decks, adding a few skylights and re-place a bath. This property is for sale for $699,000

 

Kathryn Hall Real Estate has been selling and renting properties at Great Mackerel Beach since 1993 and knows her market. It interesting to note how the market is starting to take off especially with holiday and weekend rentals as this is adding a new dimension to investment and holiday homes.

 

We say opportunity knocks! There are not a lot of houses for sale under $700,000 and this is a beauty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER

The information in this article is of a general nature. While care has been taken preparing this information Kathryn Hall Real Estate does not warrant, represent or guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or fitness for any other purpose that the article may be used. Kathryn Hall Real Estate accepts no liability for any loss or damage (whether caused by negligence or not) resulting from use of information.

How to start online banking before you arrive in Australia

 

(日本語は英語の後に)

Online banking

At Kathryn Hall Agency, we understand that, as soon as our international relocation clients arrive in Sydney, they want to secure a rental home, have internet connected, buy a car and enrol kids to school. But to do these things, you need an address and have money in AUD ready. This is why we encourage to open an Australian bank account while you are still in your country.

Most big banks will let you open before you arrive but the questions is, can you start making payments online while you are still in your country? Last time I checked, this is only possible with Westpac. All you need to do is apply online and complete an identity check.

Do you have a Westpac offshore office in your country?

If you are in United Kingdom, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Pacific Islands and Indonesia, you can find a Westpac office and process is easier. If you are from other countries, you can go to Australian Embassy or Consulate. You need to fill in this form “Certified Copy Certificate – Customer Identification Documents” which you can download online and take it to them together with other required documents such as passport and drivers license.

Don’t assume they know what you’re talking about

Although Westpac website directs you to Australian diplomatic offices, don’t assume they know about this service. You will have to explain. I recently called the Australian Consulate in Osaka regarding this identity check process for a client and they had no idea.

When should we get ready?

You can open an account 12 months prior to your arrival so I would start 3 months or so before I hop on a plane. Don’t book your flight until you are certain about your visa. If you want to get the best out of your money that you will be transferring, do these two things:

  1. Monitor currency movements and get the timing right

  2. Use an international money transfer company like OFX, not a bank

Save money and start living straight away

It all went very smoothly for this client of mine once he has done his ID check, which was quickly approved by Westpac. He paid us, his relocation agent, from Japan without having to pay the extra 3 % credit card charge, we found him and his family a home they liked and he paid a deposit before arriving in Sydney (having an Australian bank statement with a substantial balance was advantageous). Since they have an address in Sydney, they can apply for internet connection (usually takes a few weeks), buy a car, get a NSW drivers license or apply for residential parking permit. As for school, my client’s children went to a private school so it did not matter but you will need a contract of your rental property to enroll your children if you want to send them to a public school as you will need to prove that you live in the school’s catchment area.

Don’t use your foreign credit cards

As I advise all my clients, try to minimise use of your foreign credit cards. Have cash available in Australia. Banks usually charge service fees when you use your credit card overseas and if not, they will make money through exchange rates.

Want to find out more about pre-migration online banking and saving money in Australia? Contract us at Kathryn Hall Agency.

DISCLAIMER
The information in this article is of a general nature. While care has been taken preparing this information The Kathryn Hall Agency does not warrant, represent or guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or fitness for any other purpose that the article may be used. Kathryn Hall Real Estate accepts no liability for any loss or damage (whether caused by negligence or not) resulting from use of information.

 

ネットバンキングを出発前に可能にする方法

Online banking JP

様々な移住に関わるサポートをご提供するキャサリン・ホール・エージェンシーが、お客さまにアドバイスすることの一つが、出発前に豪銀行口座を開くこと。

着いたらすぐに住める家を探しておきたい、ネットを即使えるようにしたい、子供の入学手続きをしたい、車を購入したい、と、すぐ生活できるように願うのは、皆さん同じです。しかし、家を借りたり車を購入したりするには銀行の残高証明が必要ですし、ネットを接続するにも公立校に子供を入学させるにもオーストラリアの住所が必要です。

口座開設自体は複数の大手銀行で到着の12ヶ月前からネットで簡単にできるのですが、到着するまではほとんどの銀行がその口座にお金を振込むことしか許可してくれません。でも、少しの手間でネットバンキング、つまり日本にいながら振込などを可能にすることができるのです。しばらく前に確認したところでは、これが可能な唯一の銀行がウェストパックです。

ネットで口座開設をした後、身分証明が承認されればネットバンキングは可能になります。日本の場合、イギリスや香港と違い、現在ウェストパック銀行のオフィスがありませんので、こういった場合は、オーストラリア大使館や領事館に必要書類(銀行が指定する書類 Certified Copy Certificate – Customer Identification Documents、パスポートや運転免許証など写真付きの身分証など)を持参して身分証明の承認をしてもらうことができます(詳しくはウェストパック銀行のウェブサイトを参照)。この場合、大使館や領事館に実際足を運ばないといけないので、東京・大阪から遠い人は楽ですが、行ける場合はおすすめです。ですが、大使館・領事館がこのサービスを知っていると思って行かない方がいいでしょう。先日、大阪から移住するお客さまのために電話で領事館に問い合わせてみたのですが、こちらからウェストパック銀行の認証サービスについて説明する必要がありました。お客さまが実際手続きをしに行った際はスムーズにいったようです。

銀行口座開設のタイミング

渡豪12ヶ月前からできるので、オンライン登録などを3ヶ月ほど前から始めてはどうでしょうか。送金する際、 余裕があれば次の二つのことをおすすめしています。

  1. 豪ドルと日本円の動きをしばらく観察し、最悪なレートでの換金を避ける

  2. 銀行から送金するのではなく、OFX のような国際送金会社を利用

銀行は手数料を取られたり、換算レートが悪かったり、と余計な料金を取られます。また、海外に住むのであれば、一度登録しておけば今後は楽に送金できるので便利です。

現地生活をなるべく早くエンジョイするために

豪ドルが銀行にあれば、豪銀行口座の残高証明を家を借りる際に支払い能力の証明として提出できます。気に入った家があれば日本からでも申込み、家主の審査に通れば前金を払って抑えることができます。前金をすぐに払えれば、他の競争相手に気に入った物件を取られる心配もなく、シドニーに到着してから契約書に署名するだけで安心です。住所が決まれば、インターネット・光熱接続、NSW州の運転免許取得、車の購入、路駐許可証申請など、次々に準備を進めることができます。お子様の学校も、公立であれば学区が決められているため、住所の証明が必要となります。

豪ドルがあれば無駄な出費が軽減

現地に現金があれば、無駄な出費を抑えることもできます。例えばクレジットカードの手数料です。着いてすぐは何かと出費が重なりますが、海外で日本のクレジットカードを使えば手数料や換算レートで損をします。オーストラリアではクレジットカード使用なら3%手数料をとられる、といったことは珍しくありません。光熱費にしてもインターネット料金にしても、銀行振込をすると手数料は発生しないのです。

銀行口座開設や移住とお金について更に詳しく聞いたい、そんな方はぜひ、弊社キャサリン・ホール・エージェンシーにご相談ください。

免責規約
当サイトに掲載された記事は、一般的な情報の提供を目的として制作されています。キャサリン・ホール・エージェンシーでは、掲載内容については細心の注意を払っていますが、内容について当社がいかなる保証を行うものではありません。内容に不適切な記述、誤り、情報の欠落があった場合でも、掲載されている情報によって被った損害、損失に対して一切責任を負うものではありませんのでご了承ください。

Is that a good school? – Moving to Sydney with family

(日本語は英語の後に)

Randomly selected Sydney schools on size, diversity, Socio Educational background, NAPLAN results.

Randomly selected Sydney schools on size, diversity, Socio Educational background, NAPLAN results.

At Kathryn Hall Agency, one of the most frequently asked questions by our clients is about school. “Which ones are good public schools in Eastern Suburbs?” “What is Mosman Public School like?” “Should we choose a private school?” Many of our clients are more concerned about their kid’s school than their new work place. So how do we find out what your school is like if you don’t have anyone local to ask?

My School website is a perfect source of information for parents if you want to research on schools in Australia before deciding which school to enroll your kids. The website offers data of over 9,500 schools across the country collected over the past 9 years. Taking into account differences of socio-educational backgrounds of students, it gives parents the fairest possible comparisons of students’ performances and developments based on the results of the NAPLAN test, the National Assessment Program of Literacy and Numeracy.

So how do you use this site? You can see the size of the school (Total Enrolments). Some schools have 5 kindergarten classes whereas others might only have 2. Their assessment on reading may sit around Band 5 (NAPLAN/Results in graphs), while others record a little lower around Band 4 but if you look at the same assessment 6 years ago, you may see that they show a dramatic improvement.

Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) is interesting. About ICSEA 2016This value is calculated based on factors such as occupation and education of parents, geographical location and proportion of indigenous students of the school.   With the national average being 1000, schools that mark close to 1200 is most advantaged and those close to 800 are considered most disadvantaged. In case of Sydney, these values are high in affluent areas such as Hunters Hill (1174), Mosman (1167), Bronte (1158). Those areas have other factors in common. For instance, if you look at “Language background other than English”, these affluent areas record considerably low (17-30%) by Sydney standard.

So if you wanted more diversity and good learning environment for your children, you may look at somewhere like Chatswood for example. This area is known for popularity with Asian population with many Chinese and Korean restaurants and grocery shops. According to the website, 83% of Chatswood Public students speak another language other than English and mark “substantially above” in numerous subjects in their assessment (NAPLAN/Results in numbers).

Just be careful not to make too many assumptions after checking on one school in one suburb. If you don’t know Sydney well, I recommend checking a few different schools nearby. Schools can be right next to each other and yet have a quite different profile or performance. Ryde Public and North Ryde Public might be less than 3 km away but may show 1 Band of a difference in reading assessment.

I find this website quite useful. Some things are hard to talk about or difficult to publish officially as they may touch the issue of political correctness. If you look at these data close enough, you often find answers that you are looking for.

But remember, you can always come to us at Kathryn Hall Agency. We are a relocation specialist, with over 40 years experience in Sydney, we can surely help.

 

DISCLAIMER
The information in this article is of a general nature. While care has been taken preparing this information The Kathryn Hall Agency does not warrant, represent or guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or fitness for any other purpose that the article may be used. Kathryn Hall Real Estate accepts no liability for any loss or damage (whether caused by negligence or not) resulting from use of information.

 

 

小学校・地域選びに頭を抱えていませんか?

 

便利な小学校情報サイト『My School』

家探しを主に様々な移住に関わるサポートをご提供するキャサリン・ホール・エージェンシーがお客さまに一番聞かれること。それは、意外にも旦那さまの職場、交通の便、生活費などではなく、子供の学校についてなのです

How to read school profile page

「この辺りの公立学校はどんな感じですか?」「私立に入れようか迷っています」「学校はエリアでかなり変わりますか?」「子供の学校に目星をつけてから家探しをしたいのですが」お子さんの教育や学校に関して関心の高いお客さまはたくさんいらっしゃいます。

でも、シドニーに住んでいても、誰もが複数のエリアについて詳しく知っているわけではありません。今回は、入学や引越しの際、学校の情報を収集し比較するのに最適な「My School」というサイトをご紹介します。

これは国の教育カリキュラムや学力の査定の報告を担う国の機関が管理するサイトで、国内9500以上の学校から過去9年間収集したデータをまとめています。単に学校を生徒の学力でランキングするのではなく、学校の施設や教育プログラムとは無関係の、生徒を取り巻く社会的な教育環境の差(ICSEA)を数値で表し、なるべく公平で現実的な比較を可能にしたことも、このサイトの利用価値を高めています。これは「ICSEA」という数値で、生徒の成績に大きな関わりがあるとされる親の学歴や職業、あるいは居住地(都市、遠隔地)や原住民の生徒数といった要素を考慮し、生徒が社会的にもともとどの程度、有利または不利な教育環境にあるかを可視化しています。

学力に関しては、NAPLANと呼ばれる「読」、「書」、「文法」、「スペル」、「算数」といった基本的な学力を測る全国テストがあり、この結果が「My School」の査定の基準になっています。

では、具体的にこのサイトで何が分かるのでしょうか。例えば、学校の大きさ。 一学年に5クラスあったり、2クラスしかなかったり、隣り合わせでも学校のサイズが違うことがあります。総合入学数(生徒数)は、「Total Enrollments」 を参照します。

次は、学力。特定の地域、あるいは学校を検索し、左側のメニューの「NAPLAN」をクリックし、その学校の各科目の学力をチェック。例えば、Year5(日本でいう6年生)のReading(読み)を見てみると、「バンド5〜6」に位置する学校もあれば、その近隣の学校では「バンド4〜5」というケースもあるでしょう。ちなみに「バンド」とは、得点の分布を示す「帯」で、学力レベルです。 「バンド7〜8」をマークしていれば、学力の高い学校です。

過去9年間のデータからなる「My School」は、 過去の結果と比較し、その学校の平均的な学力が向上しているのか、低下しているのか、といったことも知ることができます。不動産も同様ですが、例えば6年という期間で評判や査定がかなり変わる地域もあることを考えると、過去のデータは今後の動向を予測する鍵になります。

前述の通り、このサイトのユニークな点の一つに、ICSEAという生徒の社会的教育環境の差を示す数値があげられます。About ICSEA 2016国の平均を1000とし、『最も有利』が1200、『最も不利』が800。実際、シドニーで見てみると、1150以上の学校は、Hunters Hill (1174), Mosman (1167), Bronte (1158) といった高級住宅地とされるエリアにあり、1000を割る学校は労働者が多く、比較的に犯罪率も高いエリアと言えます。

ICSEA数値が高いところのもう一つの共通点は、家庭で英語以外の言語を話す生徒の割合を示す数値が、17-30%と低いことです。これを、移民の数が少ない、または英語が母国語でない家庭が多い地域、と仮定すると、家庭で英語のみを話す生徒の多い地域はICSEA数値は高く、社会的に教育環境が有利、と言えます。

では、 ICSEA数値と学力は比例するのでしょうか。答えはノーです。社会的教育環境に恵まれ、かつダイバーシティ(多文化、他民族)に富んだ学校を選ぶことは可能です。例えば、シドニーでは83%の生徒が外国語を話すというChatswood Publicという学校があります。中国や韓国など東アジア移民に人気の街、Chatswoodにあるこの公共小学校の学力を見ると、複数の科目において国の平均および類似する学校の平均を『優に超える(substantially above)』と示されていることが分かります(NAPLAN/Results in numbers)。

ひとつ気をつけたいのは、 ある特定の地域の一つの学校を調べただけでその地域の学力や学校の善し悪しを判断するのは危険です。隣り合わせの学校でもバンド1段階くらい学力の差があったりすることは稀ではありません。例えば、3kmも離れていないRyde PublicNorth Ryde Publicがその例です。

予備知識なしに外国からオーストラリアに移住してきた家族にとって、この「My School」は利用価値がある情報サイトです。地元の人に聞いても偏見があったり、それが正しい知識や比較であるのか判断しかねます。土地柄や評判などは政治的な観点から、明確に口に出しづらいこと、または事実として公表されにくいこともあり、外部から来た人間には分かりにくいものですが、こういった数値をうまく読み解くことで自分で判断できるという点では貴重な情報源です。

でも、数字を読むのは手間で苦手、自分でするのは面倒臭い、もっと手っ取り早く知りたい…。そんな方はぜひ、弊社キャサリン・ホール・エージェンシーにご相談ください。

 

免責規約
当サイトに掲載された記事は、一般的な情報の提供を目的として制作されています。キャサリン・ホール・エージェンシーでは、掲載内容については細心の注意を払っていますが、内容について当社がいかなる保証を行うものではありません。内容に不適切な記述、誤り、情報の欠落があった場合でも、掲載されている情報によって被った損害、損失に対して一切責任を負うものではありませんのでご了承ください。