Frequently asked questions

Select one of the frequently asked questions below to learn more about buying, selling, and renting real estate. Also, begin to think about important things to consider when diving into your real estate search.

Question about selling

Can a home depreciate in value?

Generally, real property never depreciates in value, or more so, it is not very common for property to depreciate.  This is why it’s a great investment. Make sure you carefully consider location and community when choosing a home, it can effect the homes future value greatly.

If you are in a newly developed area, do some research on the construction of the surrounding areas being developed to determine if they may effect your homes value.

Is an older home as good a value as a new home?

This is really just a matter of preference, but both newer and older homes offer distinct advantages, depending upon your unique taste and lifestyle.

Older homes can generally cost less than new homes, however, there are many cases where new homes can also cost less then older homes. Most new homes will not have any backyard landscaping and some don”t include any front landscaping either. With an older home, the landscaping is normally already completed and could have 10”s of thousands of dollars in landscaping done, which is included in the purchase price.

Taxes on some older homes may also be lower. Some people are charmed by the elegance of an older home but shy away because they”re concerned about potential maintenance costs. Consider a home warranty to get the peace of mind you deserve. A good Home Warranty plan protects you against unexpected repairs on many home systems and appliances for a full year or more after you move in.

In a new house, you can pick your own color schemes, flooring, kitchen cabinets, appliances, custom wiring for TV”s, electrical, computers, phones and speakers, etc., as well as have more upgrade options. Modern features like media rooms, extra-large closets and extra-large bathrooms and tubs are also more attainable in ground-up construction. In a used home, you rely largely on the previous resident”s tastes and technological whims, unless you plan to farm thousands into a remodeling and rewiring.

New-home designers can use new building materials such as glazed Energy Star windows, thicker insulation and other technology that will lower future energy costs for the owner. Most states now have minimum energy-efficiency requirements for new construction. Kitchens and laundry areas in new homes are designed to house more efficient energy-saving appliances. Older homes, unless they have undergone an energy retrofit, usually cost much more per square foot to air-condition and heat.

Builders have to follow very strict guidelines in new-homes and additions, especially in the West and Northwest, where earthquake safety standards must be observed. In general, new homes are usually more fire-safe and better accommodating of new security and garage-door systems.

Older homes can be better judged for their quality and timeless beauty. New homes that now possess a smooth veneer might reveal the use of substandard building materials or shoddy workmanship over time.

As you can see there are advantages and dis-advantages to each, but it really comes down to what fits you and what you are looking for in a home.

What is the difference between being prequalified and preapproved for a loan?

If you’re prequalified it means that you POTENTIALLY could get a loan for the amount stated to you, assuming that all of the information you provide to the bank is accurate and true. This is not as strong as a preapproval.

If you’re preapproved, it means that you have undergone the extensive financial background check, which includes looking at your credit history, previous tax returns and verifying your employment – and the lender is willing to give you a loan, basically meaning you’re approved!

You will usually be provided an accurate figure which shows the maximum amount that you are approved for.  Most sellers prefer buyers that have been preapproved because they know that there will not be any problems with the purchase of their home.

How can I avoid private mortgage insurance?

The easiest way to avoid PMI is by putting 20% down payment; however, PMI can also be avoided if you only have 5% or 10% for the down payment. The way to accomplish this is via a first and second mortgage combination commonly referred to as 80/10/10^s or 80/15/5^s.

These two methods combine a first mortgage lien for 80% of the home price with a second mortgage lien for either 10% or 15% of the home price leaving the remaining 5% or 10% as the down payment. Because the first lien is at the magical 80% loan=to-value, there is no PMI required, even though a second mortgage is being |piggybacked| onto the financing thus allowing for the lessor down payment.

While the second lien terms are not as attractive as first lien rates, the second mortgage is still home mortgage interest and thus deductible as such on your federal tax return where PMI is insurance and offers no deduction.

How is interest calculated on a mortgage loan?

Most mortgages originated today calculate interest in arrears, unlike consumer loans which calculate interest to the date of payment receipt. As an example, when borrowers pay their February mortgage payments, they are paying the January interest. This method of calculating interest is based on a 360 day year in which each month has 30 days.

Is there a minimum credit score?

Title insurance is insurance that protects the lender and buyer against any losses incurred from disputes over the title of a property.

What benefits do I receive from private mortgage insurance?

Title insurance is insurance that protects the lender and buyer against any losses incurred from disputes over the title of a property.

How long does the loan process take?

Most mortgages originated today calculate interest in arrears, unlike consumer loans which calculate interest to the date of payment receipt. As an example, when borrowers pay their February mortgage payments, they are paying the January interest. This method of calculating interest is based on a 360 day year in which each month has 30 days.

Question about renting

Can I collect the keys to view the property myself?

Under NSW Law and Legislation, it is illegal for a Real Estate Agent to hand out keys to a prospective tenant.  For this reason, it is really important to contact the property manager to arrange an appointment to view the property, or attend the advertised open time.

How do I apply for a property I'm interested in

It is imperative, under the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and Regulations 2010 that interested parties inspect the rental premises that they wish to apply for.  Once you have decided on what property you wish to rent, you will need to complete a Tenancy Application providing all the relevant details our property manager will require to assess your application.  You must also provide us with copies of identification so that we can verify your identity and keep the information on file.

Once you have submitted your application to us, we will process it immediately and provide you with a prompt response.  Part of this process will include a reference check as indicated on the Form. Please be sure to include your preferred move-in-date as indicated on the last page of the Form. Once our qualified staff are happy with the reference checks, we will contact the Landlord to seek their approval of the details as provided.  In accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 and Anti-Discrimination Act 1977, we do not disclose any private or confidential information about you, the applicant.  Please remember though, that it is at the Landlord’s discretion to approve an application.

How do I pay my rent?

Once your application is approved you will be contacted and asked to transfer a one (1) week holding fee into the Trust Account of the Agency in order to secure the premises for you. This fee will only reserve the property for the agreed period and you will forfeit this payment, should you decide not to proceed or if the holding period is exceeded. It is in your best interest to sign the Residential Tenancy Agreement as soon as practicable after paying the one (1) week holding fee, to ensure the tenancy is granted to you.  Please ensure you make an appointment with your Property Manager to sign the lease and prevent any delays.

All rent payments are done via direct credit by the tenant into agency’s Trust Account.

  • 2 weeks rent in advance. Rental amounts can be either FORTNIGHTLY or MONTHLY (if requested by the tenant)
  • An amount equal to 4 weeks rent as Bond. You will be contacted by the Rental Bond Board – Renting Services and guided on how to lodge your rental bond in time
  • The bond will be lodged with The Rental Bond Board as required by the legislation
  • Cash will NOT BE ACCEPTED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES

How do I register and pay my rental bond?

The rental bond is lodged in trust with the Department of Fair Trading at the commencement of any tenancy.  Rental Bonds Online is a new service helping tenants, agents and private landlords to lodge, manage and refund bond money easily and securely.

  • Give your email address to your agent (or private landlord)
  • You will receive an email from Rental Bonds Online with instructions and a link to the secure Rental Bonds Online website
  • Follow the instructions to create an account and pay your bond. This should take only a few minutes.
  • You can pay your bond with a credit card (Visa card or Mastercard) or BPAY, through the secure website
  • Once the bond money is received, NSW Fair Trading will issue you a receipt and notify your agent or private landlord
  • Your agent or landlord will then arrange for you to sign the agency agreement

What is the initial Condition Report?

Upon the commencement of your tenancy your Property Manager will undertake an inspection detailing room by room the current condition of the home. You will then have the opportunity to review this condition report with photos, add any items you feel are necessary to it and return to your Agency within seven (7) business days. It is important and in your best interest to read the report carefully and provide any comments within the time frame provided on the report, as your Property Manager will refer back to this report at the end of your tenancy.

What if I have repairs during my tenancy period?

All repairs will only be accepted in writing by email  to your Property Manager.

In the case of Emergency Repairs?

For emergency repairs (urgent) please contact your property manager.  In the event you cannot get in contact with a representative from Vesta Property Group regarding your emergency repair, please send a message to Danny Mirtillo 0412 229 250.  State your name, address, that you are a tenant with Vesta Property Group, and the nature of your emergency.  Danny Mirtillo will call you back and give you further instructions.

The law distinguishes between urgent (emergency) repairs and those which are not so urgent. Urgent repairs are:

  • A burst water service or a serious water service leak
  • A blocked or broken toilet
  • A serious roof leak
  • A gas leak
  • A dangerous electrical fault
  • Flooding or serious flood damage
  • Serious storm or fire damage
  • A failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply to the premises
  • A failure or breakdown of the hot water service
  • A failure or breakdown of the stove or oven
  • A failure or breakdown of a heater or air-conditioner
  • A fault or damage which makes the premises unsafe or insecure.

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