Monday, December 10, 2007

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells...

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells... Yes that’s right, Christmas is looming, carols are playing in all the shops and it’s the prime time to be leasing a property.
Why you ask?
At the end of every year and beginning of the next we always see a lot of movement in the rental market. As a high volume of Interstate transfers and country university students move into the Adelaide Metropolitan area, demand for both basic and executive level homes increases drastically.
Now into December we are already seeing a strong increase in these tenant enquiries. The majority of our prospective tenants are registering their interest with us through allowing us to notify them via SMS and email as soon as a property appropriate to them becomes available.
This technology teamed with marketing each home on our own website as well as, is allowing us to reach the ideal target market for each property in the most cost effective way for our landlords. In most cases, this also means that the time a rental property is remaining vacant and available is greatly reducing.
As the Property Management Agency of the Year for 2006 & 2007, we are continually striving to provide the best possible service for our landlords & tenants alike.
If you are looking to lease out your property or are an eager tenant looking for a home, call your local Toop&Toop Property Management team today for a free, no obligation appraisal.
Fleurieu        8555 8888
Glenelg      8294 8888
Golden Grove    8251 4044
Norwood    8362 8888
Port Adelaide    8200 9888
Stirling         8339 0888

Anthony Toop, Managing Director <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, November 30, 2007

Mining for information in Roxby Downs

Mining for information in Roxby Downs One of the most talked about topics of 2007 would have to be South Australia’s Mining Boom. A subject that most people usually know nothing about is all of a sudden cropping up in discussions over dinner tables, corporate lunches and at social functions. Let’s face it, after a little while you start hearing the same bits of information over and over again, delivered with a slightly different slant. So, we decided it was time to do a bit of investigating ourselves and visit the town at the heart of this discussion - Roxby Downs.
Last Friday night, after a 5 hour road trip, Troy Tyndall (from our Port Adelaide office) and I pulled into town and headed straight to our destination for the evening… the Tavern. After all, what better place to meet the locals and find out all about Roxby? Drink in hand we starting mingling with the locals, introducing ourselves, chatting about the mines and, of course, the all important topic of real estate! Thanks to one of the mine managers we learnt all about how the industry operates, the workers shift patterns and the “Who’s Who” of Roxby.
The next day we set up a little stall at their monthly markets and prepared for the very hot day ahead. Throughout the morning we had some steady response from the locals as we continued to gather information. As the afternoon hit we went further a field and visited the mining camps at Olympic Dam and traveled on to Andamooka.
While we can’t give away too many of these little pieces of ‘gold’ that we gathered, here’s an interesting point for those of you looking to, or currently selling. The miners like to get out of town on their days off, travel to Adelaide and invest in properties – particularly those near water.
After this whirl wind trip, I think we can officially say that we have a few new angles to present on the mining boom next time we find ourselves amidst this topic at a social function!
Anthony Toop, Managing Director <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, November 23, 2007

The changing face of our property market

The changing face of our property market We like to keep you up to speed with the latest Market news, so here’s a recent article from which will aid the astute property investor.

The recently released 2006 Census shows us that the way we live, who we live with and where we want to live is changing and to ensure that you own the type of property that will appreciate in value strongly during the next property cycle, it will be important to own the type of property that will remain in continuous strong demand by both owner occupiers and tenants.
Based on what has happened in the past – over the next property cycle some properties will increase in value 2 or 3 times more than other types of property. Wouldn't it be nice to own these properties?
One of the key drivers to the resurgence of our east coast property markets is our population growth and the 2006 Census reveals the big impact on population growth from overseas migration. There is a rising influx of permanent migrants, overseas students and people on working visas. As property investors, we need to keep an eye on where these people are settling because most are coming into the country with money and while they are often tenants for the first year or 2 here, many permanent residents buy their own home after being here two or three years.
The rise in Australia's population last year was the fastest growth since 1990. But, according to an analysis by Matusik Property Insights close to 500,000 migrants will call Australia home in the current financial year. Where are we going to put them? With a current shortage of both rental properties and owner accommodation in all our major cities our population growth is one of the factors that will sustain the next property cycle.
South Australia has worked hard to attract skilled settlers to Adelaide. Of the 756,000 people who had arrived since 2001 to stay in Australia for one year or more, 31% settled in Sydney, 24% in Melbourne, 11% in both Perth and Brisbane, 5% in Adelaide and 3% on the Gold Coast.
Despite what much of the media has been reporting, home ownership has remained relatively stable over the last decade at 70% of households, but an increasing proportion of households had a mortgage.
A statistic that didn't surprise me was that around one in eight Australians lives alone. This means 12% of our population or 1.8 million people live on their own and one-person households represented about 23% of all households in Australia. An interesting fact to know if you want to know what type of property will be in strong demand!
Karen Raffen, CEO <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, November 16, 2007

Sit back and relax...

Sit back and relax... The election, housing affordability, rate rises, the list goes on! Every time you turn on the television these topics continue to crop up, and let’s face it, after a while it does start to get to you.

So, turn off the TV, take a break from the news and invite friends or family over to make the most of these fantastic spring evenings we’re having! Here are a couple of quick, easy and delicious recipes which are sure to impress your guests.

Moscato with a twist
Well, this drink may have a little more than a twist but it’s definitely a great take on this wine. All you need is some crushed ice, a couple of wedges of fresh lime, Gin and Moscato. There is no right or wrong way to create this drink, just make to your taste and serve in some hi-ball glasses.

Fresh Asparagus Canapes
To begin with blanch some Asparagus spears (if they’re quite long, cut in half). Take a spear and wrap a piece of Prosciutto around it, then finish it off with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper – easy and tasty!

Goats Curd & Relish Tartlets
Our own Sylvia Toop is a bit of a wiz in the kitchen and just last week she whipped up these tiny taste sensations for a client evening. Start with a visit to Bottega Rotolo on Osmond Terrace at Norwood to purchase some bite sized pastry cases. In each little tart put a half teaspoon of Goats Curd and a half teaspoon of a sweet tomato relish – and there you have it! Trust me, one won’t be enough.

If your taste buds have started watering after reading the above, hop on the phone and organise an evening with your friends to try out these recipes. We hope you like them.

Karen Raffen, CEO <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, November 09, 2007

It's time to have some fun in the name of the kiss!

It's time to have some fun in the name of the kiss! Fundraising. When people hear this word they often run for cover. It dredges up memories of your kids constantly bringing home boxes of chocolates to raise money for the school netball or football trip – chocolates that you often ended up buying yourself, just because it was easier.

The thing is that raising money for a fantastic cause can be painless     
and so much fun!

In April 2008 Variety, the children’s charity will launch the V2 Classic Bike Run.

Haven’t heard of it before? Well, that’s because this is Variety SA’s newest motoring event and some of the children who will benefit from funds raised are the ‘mini miracles’ prem babies at the Women’s & Children’s Hospital.

Conjured up by a team of local business people this is an ‘upmarket’ event designed to attract motorbike enthusiasts who would enjoy firing up their bikes for a four day luxury cruise on their classic bike. Departing Adelaide on the 24th of April we’ll travel to Kingston, Robe, Mt Gambier, Pt Fairy, Pt Campbell, Hamilton, Penola, Keith & Murray Bridge. This is the perfect reason to fire up your bike and have some fun, while feeling great about helping our kids in need.

With the generous sponsorship of Adelaide Brighton Cement our passionate committee includes Mark Pickard (MPG), Ron Barton (Yellow Corporation), Bill Vis (VIP Home Services), Alister Haigh (Haigh’s chocolates) Ray Stevens & Jan Whitington (Plumbing Werx), Peter Curtis (Deputy Chair of Variety) and myself Anthony Toop. We’re a group of big kids with big toys wanting to do our bit for SA’s kids in need and we are ready to Rumble!!!

If you’re a local business person it’s time to dust down your classic motorbike or acquire a sparkling new classic and get on board with this fabulous event. Sounds like you? Well, numbers are limited so to get involved give Jane Coldbeck of Variety a call on 8293 8744.
Anthony Toop, Managing Director <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Monday, November 05, 2007

'Tis the season to be jolly... Well almost!

'Tis the season to be jolly... Well almost! With Christmas decorations appearing in shops and talk in every household of pageants, the man in the red suit and, for those of you with little elves, the magic cave, it would appear that we’re nearing the end of 2007 and Christmas is rapidly approaching.

Is it your turn this year to host the big family Christmas bash? Wouldn’t it be great if you could relax in your new home or be comforted by the fact that your home is sold and you can look forward to what the new year brings?

Well why not look at selling now before the festive season takes hold?

At the moment a shortage of properties combined with plenty of willing buyers is pushing up housing prices and putting the real estate market at quite a high. So this is the time to put your home on the market and look to achieve a sale prior to Christmas.

At Toop&Toop we are selling a number of properties prior to them going onto the active market. Our active database of VIP buyers allows us to target the ideal purchaser’s for your home - It’s a great way to get the sale of your home up and running with very little fuss.

Are you looking to buy?

We know how difficult and tiring house hunting can be so to take away some of the strain make sure you are the first to know about any of the new houses coming onto the market by logging on to In return we’ll alert you by email or SMS as new properties matching your requirements come up for sale with Toop&Toop. Best of all this service is free, so you can keep saving!

With November now upon us there isn’t much of 2007 left, so if you’re looking at selling contact the Toop&Toop office closest to you for a no obligation free appraisal.
Karen Raffen, CEO <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, October 26, 2007

Who's Buying Property in Adelaide!

Whenever you are looking to sell your home it is only natural that you want the best possible price!

So when we are working with you to market your home our aim at Toop&Toop is to reach the widest possible number of people who are looking for a home just like yours. Lots of other agents say that our marketing is “gimmicky” or “not needed”, getting back to basics is all that is needed ! Sure, the buyer may come off a card in their window advertising your home, but would you want to miss the chance of reaching national & international buyers who may not be well versed in Adelaide prices and be prepared to pay it’s true worth ?

In the last month alone (Sept 17 to Oct 17 2007)at Toop&Toop we have had the following hits on our website from buyers looking for
property in Adelaide :
The level of interest from interstate, particularly Sydney, Perth & Brisbane as can be seen above has been amazing. The interest has been focussed on the newer apartment type dwellings as well as the growth suburbs of Adelaide such as : Golden Grove, western suburbs, and city & coastal fringe. In addition to the buyers around Australia we have also seen an influx of purchasers from Asia, UK & USA as they look to settle in metro Adelaide & the Hills.
If it were me I wouldn’t want to miss these buyers accessed by Toop&Toop when selling my home !!! Call us as to how we can help you !

Monday, October 22, 2007

Industry Awards

And the winners are...

Australian television stars mark their success with the logies. In this industry our night of nights was marked last Friday with the Real Estate Industry of South Australia Awards for Excellence… and what an excellent night it turned out to be!

A buzz of anticipation was in the air as a rather suave bunch of real estate practitioners gathered at the Hilton International. Each year the quality of these awards and the calibre of finalists goes from strength to strength and this year the bar was raised once again. The competition throughout the 26 categories was fierce but our team at Toop&Toop were honoured with finalist positions in 11 of them.

The night started and ended well for the Toop team. After an adrenalin filled night we walked away smiling proudly with a staggering 6 commendations. Well done and congratulations to all our finalists & winners who are recognized for their outstanding contribution to the industry.

Winner South Australian Sales Person of the Year - Peter Veitch, 3 years in a row

Winner Rookie of the Year – Troy Tyndall

Winner Large Property Management Agency of the Year, 2 years in a row

Winner Innovation of the Year, 2 years in a row (Nathaniel Wolff, Natasha Burfield and Anthony Toop)

Winner Large Agency of the Year, 3 years in a row

Winner Website of the Year, 3 years in a row

Finalist Local Residential Sales Person of the Year East & City – Peter Brown

Finalist Local Residential Sales Person of the Year North/North East – Wayne Lands

Finalist Local Residential Sales Person of the Year Hills – Anne Einarson

Finalist Community Service Award – Tom Bailey

Finalist Corporate Marketing of the Year

Being acknowledged for our efforts is rewarding in itself, but rest assured we won’t now stop in our tracks. We will move forward and continue to provide the best possible service, recommendations and innovations for all our clients.

Congratulations to all our staff on a fantastic effort and to our clients, we’d like to thank you for your continued support and can’t wait to assist you further with any of your real estate needs.

Anthony Toop, Managing Director

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, October 12, 2007

The future is to register!

The future is to register! Do you ever find yourself at the first open inspection of a property, madly keen because it’s the ideal home for you, only to be told by the sales partner it’s already under contract? Why not avoid that disappointing situation by being one of the first people to be informed when a property, that’s right for you, hits the market?

With Toop&Toop it’s easy. Just go to, and fill in the criteria with the type of home you’re looking for. In return every time we have a suitable property for sale we’ll send you an email or SMS with the property details and an invitation to a VIP inspection. You’ll be able to “beat the rush” and view your potential home before it appears in the newspaper – best of all this service is absolutely free! So why not take some of the hard work out of house hunting by registering with Toop&Toop, it makes perfect sense doesn’t it.

We’re also developing our website even further to provide the best possible information source for our clients. The just .toop it! phenomenon continues to develop every day and we have some massive new innovations being launched this spring. We’re starting to trial a few of these concepts and they’re proving popular already with our website traffic going almost vertical! See if you can discover these new innovations… we’ll tell you much more about them in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, if you’re in the market to buy remember to

Anthony Toop, Managing Director <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Footy's finished- time to look at Real Estate!!

The Footy's finished- time to look at Real Estate!! Now that the AFL Grand Final has been played, we can officially say that winter is over for another year. In the real estate terms this means we’ve hit one of the best times to put your home on the market.

Spring is known for being a huge month in this industry - whether you’re buying or selling this is the time to do it! However if you’re currently looking to buy you may be finding it a little bit difficult. Although there are some fantastic homes on the market, they are being snapped up at a rapid pace.

We’re experiencing a very buoyant yet tight market. Compared to this time last year, open inspection numbers appearing in The Advertiser have been down by around 600 for the last few weekends! Sitting at around 1000 opens it’s no wonder house hunting is proving a little difficult. These numbers are unheard of for this time of year!

 If you’ve been thinking of selling and putting it off, there are no more excuses. With the footy season over and the Grand Final barbeques out of the way, now is the ideal time to put your property on the market.

Toop&Toop have literally thousands of qualified, registered buyers ready to purchase a home. If you’re ready to sell give your local Toop team a call for an no obligation, free appraisal and to hear how we can give your home it’s own home on the web!


Norwood                     8362 8888

Golden Grove             8251 4044

Coast                          8294 8888

Port Adelaide              8200 9888

Hills                              8339 0888

Fleurieu                        8555 8888

Karen Raffen, CEO <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, September 28, 2007

Tips on how to maximise your valuation

Tips on how to maximise your valuation If you’re looking to re-finance on your existing property to invest, you’ll need to obtain a valuation from a licensed valuer. Obviously the chances of a favourable valuation come down to your choice of property in the first place and what the market is doing at the time. However there are a number of things you can do to make sure you pull off the best valuation possible on the day.

1. Presentation
Make sure the gardens are looking nice and the house is de-cluttered. First impressions do count, even with property valuers so prepare your home as you would if you were holding an open for inspection.

2. Recent sales evidence
The easiest way to keep tabs on sales in your area is to attend open inspections nearby. Whether it’s an auction or a private sale, hold on to the brochure when you attend the open home so that your valuer will be able to track down the agent to confirm the selling price.

3. Be honest
Don’t exaggerate sale prices in the area, costs of renovations, etc.  Valuers are experienced, professional people who will in most cases be able to see through this.

4. Make your improvements prior & keep a record of them
If you have improvements to make, do them before the valuer comes around, as they have to value the property as they find it on that day. A tip: A well presented bathroom & kitchen which isn’t dated will have a positive impact. If improvements have been made to the property recently, provide a detailed list of works conducted and the cost of these. Supplying project specs and a building contract would give the valuer an idea of exactly what has been spent. Bear in mind that cost does not equal value in all instances.

5. Don’t overcapitalise
Do not spend more on a particular improvement than that particular area can cope with. Putting on a large extension will obviously increase the value of the property but it may not increase the value more than what it actually cost. That’s generally dependant on the quality of the area.

6. Outdoor living areas
Outdoor living areas are one thing which can add more value than cost. So, aim for a well presented and functional outdoor area as it generally reflects well on a valuation.

7. Be patient
Lastly don’t ask the valuer what they think it’s worth just as they’re leaving.  After visiting the property the valuer needs to go away and complete their analysis.
Karen Raffen, CEO <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Monday, September 24, 2007

Just .toop it continues to grow!

Just .toop it continues to grow! At Toop&Toop we’re driven by innovation and technology. We love tapping into the unlimited boundaries of these resources and in doing so providing our clients with new and efficient portals through which they can sell or buy properties with our company.

By now you are probably aware of how “just .toop it” works, with every home having it’s own home on the web. Well, it doesn’t stop here, we are continuing to develop this phenomenon and are so excited about what we are able to provide to you – our clients.

Here’s just a few of the new .toop it additions…

Not only can you now locate a property by suburb or specific street address eg. you can also narrow the field by criteria!

This means if you want a home with a tennis court, it’s easy If you’re after a place with a pool, or even if you’re specifically after a unit then  

But wait, there’s more! If you want to invest in a property and are sick of wading through everything on the market in order to find the ideal investment then here is the ideal short cut just for you…

We’re also introducing initiatives to enable us to easily communicate with our overseas clientele. Not only is our website now incredibly user friendly to all of our English speaking clients we’ve incorporated translation pages in order to make purchasing a home easier for our clients of other nationalities.

How does this work? Well, at the top of a lot of our web pages you will notice 5 flags which represent different languages – Chinese, French, German, Japanese  & Spanish. By clicking on one of these flags, the page you are currently on will be translated into that particular language. Cool hey? We’re continuing to further develop our site with this bilingual technology.

Stay tuned as we have more exciting developments on the way including the ramping up of ‘Toop Home Videos’ on our site for each property on the market!

If you have any queries on how Just .toop it works feel free to contact, call any of our offices, drop in and collect a Just .toop it booklet or collect one from a sales partner at any open inspection.

Anthony Toop, Managing Director <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Empty Holiday Home?

Empty Holiday Home? The good old Australian beach shack is a great piece of real estate to own…as long as you have time to sit back and enjoy it! With today’s fast paced lifestyles – sometimes finding that precious holiday time isn’t easy.

Picture this situation… When the family was younger you spent summer & school holidays at your beachside home, usually with a number of extra friends in tow. Now with the family a little older and all doing their own thing, you only really use it for a few weeks each year. Does this sound like you or someone you know?  Well do we have a solution, or two, for you!

Option #1
It’s time you did some renovations on your current home. New Kitchen and bathroom perhaps – or why not bring a bit of the beachside into your own backyard and put in a swimming pool? This would be easily affordable if you ‘cashed up’ and sold that shack that you never spend any time at! Think of all the savings - no extra council, water or power rates to pay, not to mention the continual maintenance. Ok, so you wouldn’t own your own holiday getaway – but remember there’s always the option of a holiday letting to get you away from the hustle and bustle of life, which brings me to…

Option #2
Can’t bear to think of parting with your favourite family beachside home? Well, why not keep it and cover your costs at the same time? Holiday lettings are a popular way to rent out your ‘home away from home’ during the times that you don’t want to use it yourself. Summer runs for quite a while, especially down on the Fleurieu, so enjoy a break during a few weeks of this piping hot season and lease it for the rest. You’ll well and truly cover your up-keep costs and someone else will also have the pleasure of enjoying such a lovely location.

The team down at our new Fleurieu office is ready and willing to help you out with either of these options.

Mark Richards, Mark Thwaites, Michele Phillis & Rob Heaslip are there to provide you with advice on the sale of your beachside property. While Kay Leopold, Nici Knott & Roanne Turner will be only too happy to assist you with any Holiday lettings.

So, if you’d like to have your shack work for you, drop in and see our team at 158 Hindmarsh Road, Victor Harbor or give them a call on 8555 8888.

Karen Raffen, CEO <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, September 07, 2007

Toops become part of the Fleurieu

Toops become part of the Fleurieu If you’re from the Fleurieu region, the Toop name will be well known to many of you and not through real esate. Toop Motors and the RAA in Victor Harbor have been around a lot longer than us!

Well we have decided to spread our wings a little bit further and open a new office at Victor Harbor. For Anthony & Sylvia there were both business and personal reasons for opening in Victor, including Anthony’s memories of spending time with his Grandparents and family as a child and the time spent in the old Toop Motors Garage.

We have committed to the region, purchased a beautiful building with a great history for our office and have a fantastic team on board to service the Fleurieu’s real estate clients in both sales and rentals.

Last Tuesday night, the 28th of August, we held the official opening of our brand new office on Hindmarsh Road, Victor Harbor. To help formalise the event the Hon Alexander Downer MP was there to mark the occasion, along with local identities and the Toop&Toop Fleurieu Team.

We are so excited to be launching into the Fleurieu region which is continuing to flourish. At Toop&Toop we believe in having ‘super’ offices – being fully resourced and covering a wide area, rather than little offices on every corner. So our new office encompasses the area from Myponga Beach through to Carrickalinga, across to Meadows down through to Clayton and, of course, back across to Goolwa and Hindmarsh Island. Our office may be in Victor Harbor but this region of service is why we’ve named it our ‘Fleurieu’ office.

So if you’re after advice on any properties, rentals or sales, throughout the Fleurieu region, give us a call on 8555 8888 or drop in and visit the Toop&Toop team at 158 Hindmarsh Road, Victor Harbor – they will try out their Barista skills for you on our new coffee machine and will be only too happy to help with your enquiry.

Karen Raffen, CEO <>
© Toop Real Estate Group

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Flying the auctioneering flag

Earlier in the year Toop&Toop’s Phil HarrisPhil Harris was named the winner of the 2007 Golden Gavel Awards.

He is heading off to Perth this weekend and flying the flag for SA in the Australasian Real Estate Institutes Auctioneering Championship. Currently positioned as the #2 auctioneer in Australia, Phil will be battling it out against the ‘best of the best’ auctioneers from around Australia and New Zealand.

As at last year’s Australasians in Auckland, Anthony will be supporting Phil throughout the competition in Perth.

This high profile event is a demanding two day long process. The auctioneers will be put under the spotlight during the heats on day one with four finalists being named to put their gavel to the test the following afternoon.

Phil, we are so proud of your auctioneering achievements and as you prepare for this highly contested event, we wish you the best of luck!

Karen Raffen, CEO <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Another Win for Toop&Toop in the SA Business Arena!

To be the best at what you do is something which we all go through life wanting to achieve. We strive to improve ourselves through continued learning broadening our knowledge and being inspired to further innovation throughout our fields. As a company Toop&Toop work hard to be at the top of the real estate industry and over the years have received a number of accolades within this field.
Anna Cameron, Vanita Millar, Geoff Qurban- Executive General Manager of SA Hudson, Karen Raffen (CEO, Toop&Toop), Jenny Drew and Karen Hall
Anna Cameron, Vanita Millar, Geoff Qurban, Executive General Manager of SA Hudson, Karen Raffen (CEO, Toop&Toop), Jenny Drew and Karen Hall

Last week we were honored to be acknowledged in the wider business arena at the 2007 Telstra SA Business Awards. Following on from our initial application we were named as finalists in the Hudson Business Award category for 50-100 employees. We then went through a 2 hour site visit with two judges before arriving at the awards night last Tuesday. The judging process is rigorous and covers all areas of business performance.

Being in one of the categories announced later in the evening, we sat in anticipation of the announcement – with a few nerves building up! Then the moment arrived, Geoff Qurban, Executive General Manager of SA Hudson took to the podium…

“The recipient of the South Australian Hudson Business Award is…
Toop&Toop Real Estate!”

With Anthony & Sylvia currently overseas on business, there was a very excited group of Toop&Toop employees who made a phone call that night to pass on the good news!

A very big thank you to Telstra and all of the sponsors, particularly Hudsons! We are now off to represent SA in the 50-100 employee category in the National Awards on September 21st, where we will be up against all of the other state winners in our category.

We are so proud of our team and this award acknowledges all of the hard work they put in to making this company what it is today. We’re not perfect, what business is? But we genuinely care and do everything we can to provide great outcomes to our clients.

So, if you have any queries regarding real estate feel free to give us a call, we’ll be only too happy to assist.

Karen Raffen, CEO <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Monday, August 20, 2007

Fighting the Rate Rise

With another interest rate rise announced last week, some of you may be finding it difficult to keep up with your mortgage repayments. Here’s a few tips we’ve found which may help ease the strain.

Interest rate rises can throw your finances into chaos. But only if you let them. For each $100,000 you have borrowed you are looking at about an additional $16 a month. So on a $250,000 loan it is about $40 extra and on a $500,000 loan it's $80 (assuming a 25-year term).

How much pain would this cause you? Might it simply mean one less bottle of wine a week - hardly appealing, but eminently achievable? Or might it condemn you to nothing but noodles with the occasional vitamin tablet for a nutrient burst (a diet incidentally that a friend swore by at university)?

Well, what if I were to tell you that it is probably possible to actually cut your minimum monthly repayments?

Here are three strategies to implement before it's too late:

€ First, if your lender still offers a fixed rate below the rate you have been paying, you could fix your mortgage. If you hold the average mortgage of $222,000, and can get a rate 0.5percentage points lower for three years, your minimum repayments will fall by $73 a month.

€ Second, try uttering the secret password to a mortgage discount, as revealed in a recent column: the words "professional package". This will show your bank that you know it charges some customers less interest than others - up to 0.7 percentage points. If you too can get this deal, your monthly repayments will drop $101.

€ If neither of those strategies work, you could always refinance to a cheaper deal with another institution. Competition is so fierce among lenders that if you go from even an average deal to the best, you will save $110 a month. Just watch out for break fees from your existing lender.

But before you get too excited about these available savings, consider this: should you find it at all possible to keep your repayments at today's level and team this with a better deal, then you will see your loan balance reduce far and fast. And let's face it, having a fully paid off mortgage is the best possible defence against interest rate rises.

If you are able to get a three-year fixed rate 0.5 percentage points below the variable rate, you would save more than $20,000 in total mortgage interest and cut one year off the life of your loan. If the secret password secures you a 0.7 percentage point discount for the life of your loan, you would save $44,000 in total interest and nearly four years off your loan. And if you move from the average to the best variable rate, you would save $45,000 and a full four years.

Don't forget that none of these immense savings have cost you a penny extra.

Of course, if you are experiencing genuine hardship, a rate rise may threaten to tip your finances over the edge. In this case, try a strategy additional to those listed above: ask your bank if it will "re-amortise" your loan. Re-amortise is a fancy word for spreading your outstanding loan balance over a fresh 25 (or better still 30) years, effectivelwy starting the clock ticking again with lower minimum monthly repayments. It can help immensely when you are feeling the pinch and usually incurs only a small fee.
Author: Nicole Pedersen McKinnon
Sydney Morning Herald, 7th Aug 07

Karen Raffen, CEO <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, August 10, 2007

Rental Properties: Focus on Capital growth

Rental Properties: Focus on Capital growth I read this article during the week & felt that it posed interesting thoughts on how we should be viewing our investment properties.....
(source : Quartile Property Network, 3rd August 2007)
Probably the most common question asked of real estate agents by investors is "how much rent could we get for this property?"

A fair enough question, and one of the pieces of information we need to know to assess the merits of a particular property. Almost as important of course are the expenses that we pay out of the rent we receive. The problem is it is all too easy to get caught up in the gross rent (before expenses) or net rent (after expenses) equation, either in judging the investment merit of the property or as a comparison to other properties.

The reason this can be problematic is that it distracts us from the reason we are investing in the first place - to build our wealth or net worth through the increasing value of our property investments - capital growth.

This is certainly true for anybody that substantially borrows to purchase property.

The difference between high and modest rent will not have a dramatic effect on the ongoing holding cost, whereas the difference between strong and ordinary growth will have a MASSIVE effect on the result over time.

It must follow that growth is the number one consideration in the whole property investment equation.

In fact there is a correlation between rent and growth which further underlines the point. At least in general terms, it is usually the case that the higher the rental or income yield, the lower  the growth expectation and vice versa. So while a reasonable rent is important, it still ranks a very distant second in terms of the criteria to use to select the right property.

When you borrow money to buy investment property you are in it for the capital growth. Therefore entering the right market at the right time (as in a researched counter-cyclical strategy) as part of a long term outlook is the key to success.
Karen Raffen, Ceo <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Monday, August 06, 2007

It's boom time & we're not talking property!

At Toop&Toop there has been 1 question on everyone’s minds for the past 6 months and believe it or not, it has nothing to do with houses.

With a total of 7 staff, 5 expectant mothers & 2 eagerly awaiting fathers, anticipating the pitter patter of tiny feet within the next two months the question is…what on earth was in the cocktails at last years Christmas party?!

To celebrate this one-off occasion, we like to refer to as the “Toop Baby Boom”, we held a baby shower on Thursday the 19th July for all mums to be. With pink and blue balloons in abundance Cheryl Heaven-Smith Head of Property Management, Holly Newell HR Manager, Alecia James Corporate Receptionist & Elesa Wood Sales Assistant battled

it out in a game of “dress the baby” with a few added twists. Our two fathers-to-be Brad Griffin Corporate Photographer & Nathan Moore Leasing Manager didn’t participate in the game but hopefully picked up a few baby tips so they will be able to assist their wives Elly & Catherine.

If you’re thinking we forgot one of our mums don’t despair. On the day of the baby shower we received some exciting news which created a buzz around the offices – that’s right the arrival of baby number 1! Congratulations to Zoe & Craig Campbell on the arrival of Isabella Zoe Campbell weighing in at 6 pounds 3.5 ounces.

As all our mums-to-be head off on maternity leave, we wish them all the very best with their arrivals. All the girls have all been a great asset to the team and we look forward to their little ones becoming a part of the Toop family in the very near future.

With a total of seven toopettes on the way, in a few years time we’ll be able to start our very own junior mixed netball team – we just need one more for the bench…
Karen Raffen, CEO <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Marina property prospects buoyant

It¹s good to see that little South Australia is keeping up with the rest of
the nation when it comes to developing marina areas. With Newport Quays
underway, Cape Jaffa and Ceduna seeing some development as well South
Australia is now able to offer some prime marina properties which offer
fabulous lifestyle choices.
Earlier this month I received some information from Australian Property
Investor which I¹d like to share with you ­ especially if you¹re thinking of
an investment or a change from everyday life.
Homes with a private marina berth are emerging as one of the property
market¹s most sought-after commodities, according to researcher Terry
Ryder, who has identified marina hotspots in five states.
Private marinas and moorings will attract a premium because few new
facilities for Australia¹s boating fraternity are being developed, Ryder
³Any properties with existing marina facilities, or any new properties
being built with approved facilities, will enjoy strong price growth due to
the lack of stock, the difficulties in developing more stock and Australia¹s
growing appetite for luxury toys such as boats,² he says.
The actual homes that house marina berths are becoming secondary in
assessing the value of properties that have private mooring facilities,
Ryder says.
³The value in this specialist category is all about boating access and
there just happens to be a home attached as well. In fact, the size of
the typical waterfront properties with private moorings is becoming
smaller, while prices are rapidly increasing.²
In a report, Ryder identifies 14 marina hotspots
across four states. They are:
Queensland: Trinity Park, Cairns; Port Hinchinbrook;
Magnetic Island; Townsville; Jacobs Well, Brisbane.
New South Wales: Rozelle Bay, Sydney; Batemans Bay.
Victoria: Martha Cove, Mornington Peninsula; Paynesville and
Metung, Gippsland Lakes.
South Australia: Port Adelaide/Newport Quays; Cape Jaffa; Ceduna.
Western Australia: Coogee.
From The Australian Property Investor ­ July
If this article has gotten you enthused to find out more about the
opportunities of purchasing a marina property in South Australia, in
particular at Newport Quays, phone our friendly team at the port on 8200
Karen Raffen, CEO

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, July 20, 2007

Toops tip for keeping warm this winter

The days just seem to be getting colder! House hunting can be a difficult
time and now that we are well and truly in the midst of winter with the real
estate market in full swing, it doesn¹t make this process any easier.

So to help prepare you for an afternoon out in the cold trekking between
open inspections, here¹s one of our favourite soup recipes to warm you up!

Hearty Chicken & Vegetable Soup

Ingredients (serves 6)
€ 2 tablespoons olive oil
€1 leek, halved, washed, thinly sliced
€ 2 garlic cloves, crushed
€ 1 large carrot, peeled, diced
€ 2 sticks celery, diced
€ 2 small zucchini, diced
€ 1 turnip, peeled, diced
€ 1 1/4 cups dry soup mix, rinsed
NB: Packet dry soup mix is a combination of split peas and lentils.
You can find it near the chickpeas in the supermarket
€ 8 cups chicken stock
€ 1kg skinless chicken legs

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek and
garlic. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until soft but not
coloured. Add carrot, celery, zucchini and swede. Cook for 2
minutes. Stir in soup mix, stock, chicken and 1 cup cold
water. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil.
2. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, partially covered (stirring
occasionally) for 1 hour or until soup mix and vegetables are
3. Remove chicken legs from soup. Allow to cool slightly. Remove
meat from bones. Roughly chop chicken meat and add to soup.
Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into warmed bowls. Serve
with hot buttered rolls ­ Yum!
While you enjoy this delicious soup, get out your mobile phone, log on to and plan your afternoon of Toop&Toop viewings
Anthony Toop, Managing Director

© Toop Real Estate Group

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Guess who's docked at the Port?

Port Adelaide ­ The only port in Australia yet to be developed. Now it¹s
finally happening and Toop&Toop are proud to be a part of this dynamic

We¹ve jumped on board with Urban Construct and their phenomenal development,
Newport Quays. With stage 1 of the project ³Edgewater² now complete and
stage 2 ³Marina Cove² underway the ball is really starting to roll as the
quays take shape. As the preferred agent for any Newport Quays rentals or
re-sales, what our specialized team at Toop&Toop doesn¹t know about this
development isn¹t worth knowing! I have to say, if you haven¹t seen what
this project offers then you¹re missing out ­ it really is impressive and is
going to greatly improve the life and economy of the Port.

To top it all off last Friday night, the 6th July, we braved the stormy
weather for the official opening of our brand new office on Commercial Road,
Port Adelaide. To help formalise the event the Hon Kevin Foley MP was there
to mark the occasion, along with local identities and the Toop&Toop Port
Adelaide Team.

We are so excited to be launching into an area of Adelaide which will be
seeing some huge potential and growth over the coming years.

So if you¹re after advice on any of the new developments or current
properties at the Port, give us a call on 8200 9888 or drop in and visit the
Toop&amp;Toop team at 71 Commercial Road, Port Adelaide and they¹ll be only too
happy to help.
Karen Raffen, CEO

© Toop Real Estate Group

Monday, July 09, 2007

The market is Hot!

Yes that¹s rightŠthe South Australian real estate market is in the midst of
another boom. We¹re not sure how extreme it will be or how long it will
last, but the fact is it¹s happening now.
All across the industry properties are simply flying out the door as eager
purchasers snap them up. There is a shortage of homes on the market (as is
common during these colder months) yet the demand for residential properties
is still very strong.
At Toop&Toop we¹re well and truly feeling this change in the market.
Over the past 2 months Toop&Toop have sold over $100 million worth of
property, experienced a huge surge in the number of properties selling
before auction and our VIP inspections are generating sales before
properties hit the open market!
What does this mean for you?
Well, if you¹re currently looking to purchase a home and are finding that
properties are selling before you hear about them ­ register with us and
become part of our VIP list. It will take only a few moments of your time
and will allow you to get your foot in the door of your dream home before it
hits the open market. There are a few ways to do this.
You can register:
On-line - Just type in the address bar and it will link
you straight through
At Open Inspections - speak to any Toop&Toop agent at an open inspection &
they¹ll help you out
At any of our offices either over the phone or in person.
That way you¹ll receive email or SMS messages of VIP opens for your ideal
If you¹re looking to sell ­ there¹s no time like the present! We have buyers
ready and waiting to purchase your home so feel free to give us a call on
8362 8888 to set up a suitable appraisal time with a specialist in your
Don¹t wait until Spring, the time is now so make the most of it!
Anthony Toop, Managing Director <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, June 29, 2007

Pushing the boundaries

Innovation and Technology - These are two words that we at Toop&Toop love to
push the boundaries of on a frequent basis!
Keeping up to speed with all the latest gadgets and software is always a
challengeŠ but thanks to our highly skilled IT guys, Marcus & Nat, we¹re
managing to grasp hold of concepts which are brand new to the real estate
industry and put them into action.
Talk about exciting times!
Over the past couple of weeks we have launched two new initiatives which
will work to benefit all our clients, whether you¹re buying or selling.
Just .toop it!
As each home we see is unique in itself, Toop&Toop have developed individual
web addresses for every property we currently have on the market - so
basically every property has its own exclusive web address!
It¹s so easy to operate, just jump on the internet and type in part of the
property address you want to know more about in front of, for
example If you¹re looking in one particular suburb
just enter it followed by like or if you
don¹t remember the address but know which agent was handling the property
enter their name followed by
The options are endless! Pick a real estate related word and just .toop it.
Now we at Toop&Toop know that the majority of mobile phones out there have
web browsing technology, so we¹ve developed a website especially for your
mobile. Just get out your phone, locate your web browser and go to
From here you can find all the details you need on the particular property
you just have to have, view other Toop&Toop opens that are on or locate a
particular sales partner, select their contact number and be connected
straight away!
At Toop&Toop we¹ve introduced these concepts so that you as our clients are
given the most up-to-date technology to assist in finding the ideal home or
help reach that perfect buyer with ease.
We¹re working for you to make buying and selling easy &convenient.
Anthony Toop, Managing Director <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, June 22, 2007

Easy & Convenient 

At Toop&Toop we¹re working for you to make our properties more accessible
wherever you are.

Picture thisŠit¹s Saturday morning (most likely a fairly chilly one), you¹re
sipping your latte at a nice little café and working your way through the
real estate section. As you look over Toop&Toop¹s pages you spot a lovely
little cottage in Norwood. As with all property ads, you get a glimpse of
what this property has to offer but would like to know more before calling
the sales partner. Well now you can be informed without moving from that

Over the past couple of weeks you may have noticed a new piece of technology
we¹re advertising to make house hunting even easier ­ the Toop&Toop mobile

Just get out your mobile phone, locate your web browser and go to

From here you can find all the details you need on that cottage, view other
Toop&Toop opens that are on that weekend or locate a particular sales
partner, select their contact number and be connected straight away!

If you¹re looking to rent rather than buy don¹t despair - you can also view
all our available rental properties, some photos and open details.

Toop&Toop mobile web is another bit of technology we¹ve adapted to help make
finding your home more easy &convenient. How cool is that!
Anthony Toop, Managing Director <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, June 15, 2007

Just .toop it!

It doesn¹t matter where you work, what you do or how old you are -
technology is increasingly becoming a part of our day to day lives. In a bid
to make us more efficient and easily coordinate with our busy lifestyles,
anything which reduces time is welcomed with open arms. The internet is a
prime example of this.
Over the past 5 years there has been an amazing increase in the number of
users accessing the internet and in turn this is having a big impact on the
way companies are now doing business.
At Toop&Toop we have found that nearly all our buyers are searching the web
as their first point of call in a quest to find their ideal home or
investment. Detailed descriptions, floor plans, photos, virtual tours and
videos allow purchasers to fully view a home quickly, at anytime of the day
or night without tackling any traffic. What better way to take the ease out
of house hunting?
The only thing that is often frustrating when searching this way for your
new home, is having to go through all those layers on the website. Are you a
buyer? Click here. What suburb would you like? Click here. Which sales
partner are you looking for? Click here. Remember the street name but not
the suburb? Well now ­ that¹s a whole new problem!
Well, starting from now, take the frustration out of surfing the net and
just dot toop it
Confused? I¹ll explain.
Toop&Toop have developed individual web addresses for every property we
currently have on the market, so basically every property has its own web
address. Cool hey?
You can save time and skip past the front pages of our
site by just typing in part of the address in front of, for
example If you¹re looking in one particular suburb
just enter it followed by like or if you

don¹t remember the address but know which agent was handling the property
enter their name followed by

The options are endless! Pick a real estate related word and just dot toop
This is just another bit of technology we¹re introducing to help serve our
clients more efficiently and effectively ­ we hope you like it.
So remember just dot toop it!

Anthony Toop, Managing Director

© Toop Real Estate Group

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What an Amazing month!

It¹s been a big month for Toop&Toop. Since gathering at the start of May to
celebrate the company¹s 22nd anniversary, everyone has been constantly on
the go!

We¹ve had Phil Harris win the pinnacle auction award in South Australia, the
Golden Gavel, and that was just the start for Phil. Only a matter of days
later he faced a crowd at the largest real estate conference in the southern
hemisphere ­ AREC. Held in Sydney, the conference played host to 2200 delegates with the who¹s who of real estate in Australia all in attendance. Phil Harris was one of the keynote speakers. He totally wooed the audience and as one of the youngest speakers was completely swamped in true hero style following his flawless presentation. The Toop gang in the audience were very proud.

Speaking of proud, the national profile of Toop&Toop is just enormous at present. All of the Toopsters experienced this first hand receiving typical comments from delegates all around the nation like ³so you¹re from that Toop company in South Australia².

Further to our office of 'gurus', following behind Peter Veitch as no. 1 in the country, young Alex McGregor-Reid is about to be profiled as one of the up and coming industry heroes with a DVD training program about to be launched in Australia featuring Alex. I was invited to be the co-host alongside Darryl Weekes who plays host to the weekly national property television show ³Myhome². Darryl requested that we co-host this large scale training product which involved 2 solid days of filming in Canberra last week.

While recovering after a full days filming, quite late on the Wednesday evening, we happened to be sharing some fine moments and by coincidence were privileged to meet the Prime Minister of Greece at the Hyatt, prior to him heading to Adelaide. Clearly I'm name dropping, but it was a buzz and I'm easily thrilled! (photo adjacent toprove it!).

Sounds all very glamorous, but boy the pressure is on for us to continue to perform and make sure that we don't drop the ball. All eyes are on Toop&Toop, and our team across the nation. We¹re up for the challenge and looking forward to a fantastic remaining 2007!

Anthony Toop, Managing Director

© Toop Real Estate Group

Monday, June 04, 2007

Another thought : Buying before you sell 

Another thought : Buying before you sell
Knowing exactly how much money you will have from sale proceeds to put
towards a new home is perfectly understandable, but not necessarily a good
idea. Let us put another strategy to you.
Glen and Sandra have lived in a middle suburb of Adelaide since they married
in the mid 1970s. They¹ve raised three children there and their home holds
many memories.
But things change. Glen and Sandra are now semi-retired and the children
have left home. Their house is too large for their needs and they¹re tired
of maintaining the yard. They want to downsize and move to the inner suburbs
to be closer to their children and enjoy the cafe culture.
In keeping with conventional wisdom, Glen and Sandra want to sell their home
before buying the next. They want to know exactly how much money they will
have from the sale proceeds to put towards their new home. This is perfectly
What Glen, Sandra and thousands of others like them don¹t realise is that by
taking the ³safe² route and selling first, they could be creating more
problems than they solve.
Low-maintenance properties in the inner suburbs are hotly contested, and
there are seldom enough to meet demand. The couple are also going to live in
the property instead of renting it out, so Glen and Sandra are relatively
fussy about the features they¹re looking for. This means it may take them
six or 12 months to find the right home. If they sell their house first,
they may have to rent temporarily - meaning another move with all the
associated stress and expense.
Meanwhile, they have lost their foothold in the market but property values
continue to increase. With no way of accumulating equity, Glen and Sandra
are standing still, while the market moves away from them. This will make it
harder to afford the right home when they do eventually find it. A better
alternative for Glen and Sandra is to prepare their house for sale, but
delay putting it on the market until they have bought the next. Engage an
agent and prepare the marketing so, when the time comes, they are able to
put their home on the market with minimal delay.
At this stage Glen and Sandra should get a realistic indication of their
house¹s likely sale value from their agent. Now Glen and Sandra are ready to
search the market, knowing there is no time pressure to find the right
property. And they¹re still in the market, so they are continuing to benefit
from capital growth, which will give them more spending power.
After searching for some months, the couple will find the right property and
They don¹t want to miss out on the property just because they haven¹t yet
sold. At this point, they should negotiate the terms of sale with the
vendor. Most sale contacts specify a 10 per cent deposit with settlement in
60 days, but these are only guidelines and they can be varied. For Glen and
Sandra it would be best to negotiatea lower deposit to minimise the amount
they have to pay out of their own pocket. They should also ask for a long
settlement (at least 90 to 120 days) to give them ample time to sell.
Ideally, the couple should aim to settle both properties on the same day so
they don¹t have to take out bridging finance. Although they¹re asking for a
long settlement, they should include a clause in the contract enabling them
to settle earlier by mutual agreement.
Now Glen and Sandra can put their home on the market knowing there will be
minimal delay.
Mark Armstrong and David Johnston are directors of Property Planning
Australia (see, which advises on property and
finance strategies.
Seven steps to your next home
1. Keep a foothold in the market to maximise capital growth
2. Prepare your home for sale
3. Establish its likely selling price
4. Buy your next home
5. Negotiate favourable terms of purchase
6. Sell your current home
7. Aim for same-day settlement to minimise hassle and expense.

Karen Raffen, CEO <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, May 25, 2007

Auctions are the way to go!

Auctions. It seems you either love them or hate them. However the fact is
that more and more vendors are choosing to sell their homes through
auctions. With the current market proving stronger than most anticipated,
auctions appear to be back more popular than ever with some phenomenal sales
results being gained.
However, believe it or not, there is more to an auction campaign than great
marketing and eager purchasers. One person becomes the focal point of every
auction. In a display of professionalism and flair through a process which
can only be described as a true art, the auctioneer works to draw out every
possible bid in an effort to gain the vendor the best result.
Last Friday was the 14th Annual Golden Gavel Auctioneering competition. This
year five finalists took to the stage and amongst them, for the fourth year
in a row, was our own Phil Harris. If you¹ve ever seen Phil in the full
swing of an auction you would recognise that he is incredibly professional -
a true artist. Over the past years he has perfected his auctioneering style,
and on Friday he came out on top.

Congratulations Phil for being the winner of the 2007
Golden Gavel competition!
As in all fields, the best performers always make their job look easy. Our
team of auctioneers here at Toop&Toop are no exception to this ­ day after
day they stand up in front of anxious purchasers and do a fabulous and
admirable job.
So if you are thinking of selling you need to speak to our team of auction
Anthony Toop, Managing Director <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Monday, May 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Toop&Toop- 22 Years & still going strong!

To survive and thrive as a company in any industry for over twenty years is
no mean feat. Real estate is certainly no exception to this. Toop&Toop has
seen many agencies come and go since opening our doors 22 years ago - and
here we still are, continuing to strive ahead of the competition and push
the industry standards forward.

On the 8th May 1985, Anthony & Sylvia Toop started the business from their
home in Toorak Gardens. Over the years Toop&Toop has broken the boundaries
of traditional real estate practices, forging ahead with the use of
innovative technology and continuing to voice sometimes controversial
opinions in an effort to better the industry.

Since the beginning Anthony & Sylvia have been determined to create the best
real estate company in the country. From small business to national industry
awards Toop&Toop has been recognised for achievements in service and

Last Tuesday all the staff at Toop's gathered together at The Queen's Head
Hotel in North Adelaide, to toast the company's longevity, success and
future. As the photos quite clearly reveal, a great time was had by all.

To Anthony & Sylvia congratulations on the fabulous company you have built
and we all look forward to the future journey, which I¹m sure will be filled
with many exciting challenges!

Karen Raffen, CEO <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, May 11, 2007

Winter around the corner 

We will definitely not be complaining about the rain and the cooler weather
with our gardens breathing a sigh of relief at the moment! The colder
weather however always brings the common question of how do I best show my
home for sale?
A clear, sunny day in Summer or Spring can make it easy to show off your
house - but what if you¹re looking to sell in the colder months? The garden
is bare, the skies are grey and maybe damp, and everything is cold!
But let¹s look at this again! Whoever buys your home won¹t just be living
there when it¹s warm, so it can work to your advantage to show your home in
another light.
In the same way that warmer weather can be used to accentuate certain
features like outdoor settings for entertaining or even a cool haven inside
to escape the heat, there are things you can do to emphasise the cosier side
of your home -
Everything¹s better in the light of day:
If possible open your home when it captures the best possible light. For
some homes this will be earlier in the day & for others the afternoon may be
Lighten up the garden:
The garden is a great place to add some colour, so trim back any fading
summer plants and replace them with colourful ones that flourish in winter.
Make sure the pool is covered, or kept leaf and mould free - just because
it¹s too cold to use right now, you still want prospective homebuyers to be
able to see themselves using it in the future. You could even brighten the
area with some colourful furniture.
Follow your nose:
Scents around the house - good or bad - will play a part in triggering past
memories in prospective buyers, as well as creating new ones for the next
time they think of your home. If your house is closed up it can easily
develop a damp or musty smell, and animals, no matter how much we love them,
leave a strong odour in a close, warm environment. So open the windows and
doors before an inspection, keep your home warm and dry, and even create a
scent that is likely to trigger good memories in anyone who enters, like
having roses in the entrance or main room. Try to stay away from artificial
scents, as they can trigger allergic reactions in some people.
Turn up the heat:
Whether you have a fireplace or central heating, make sure your home is warm
and cosy so buyers feel comfortable and at ease looking around the property.
Add some visual warmth too, with the use of throw cushions with warm colours
and fluffy rugs. If there is a spot which gets the sun during the day,
feature it by placing some comfortable seating, books and
cushions around.
Our Home Stylists in your free consultation when you sell your home with
Toop&Toop will be happy to assist you with all of these tips. So if you are
thinking of selling give us a call on 8362 8888!

Karen Raffen, CEO <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, May 04, 2007

³The Reluctant Investor²

I hesitate to make a list
Of opportunities I¹ve missed;
Investments that were in my grip -
I watched them through my fingers slip;
Prime properties I should have bought
Were lost because of over-thought;
I thought of this, I thought of that;
I could have sworn I smelled a rat,
And while I thought things over twice,
Another grabbed them at that price.
It seems I always hesitate,
Then make my mind up much too late.
A very cautious man am I
And that is why I never buy.
I chose to think and as I thought,
They bought the house I should have bought!
The golden chances I had then
Are lost and will not come again.
Today I cannot be enticed
For everything¹s so overpriced.
The deals of yesteryear are dead;
The market¹s soft - and so¹s my head!
At times a teardrop drowns my eye
I had the chance, but did not buy;
And now life¹s saddest words I pen -
Excerpt from
Don¹t miss your opportunity to find an investment property. Register as a
Toop&Toop VIP buyer to hear about possible investment properties before they
become available to the public, or call us if you are looking to sell your
investment property so we can help those looking!
Karen Raffen, CEO <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Monday, April 23, 2007

Why Toop&Toop ?

If you are thinking of selling your home, then one of the first areas you
will think about is who should I employ to work for me ?

The sale of your property is one of the biggest transactions that you
undertake through your life, there is a lot of money involved, and hence I
believe that you need to have complete faith in the company and the sales
person that you employ. So, with all of the different agents on offer how do
you choose the one that is best suited to your needs ?

So….On my list the following items would need to be ticked off :

ð Solid advice, backed up by recent and relevant market information
about what your home is worth. You will have a figure in mind in most cases
that you want to achieve ­ make sure that it is on par with market demand

ð A plan for how to market your home, and, who the ideal target
market is that they are trying to attract . The marketing needs to speak to
the right buyers for your property

ð That the company has the presence in the market to attract the
highest number of potential buyers to your property

ð That the company has systems and resources to back up your sale

ð The sales person you employ has to understand your needs and be
genuinely interested and connected to your property.

There are obviously lots more, but the important thing to remember is that
there is a difference between agents, and it can have an effect on your

We'd love the opportunity to present to you what it is about Toop&Toop that
makes us different and why we'd love to work with you. Call us on 8362
Karen Raffen, CEO <>

? Toop Real Estate Group

Monday, April 16, 2007

Number 1 in website hits!

If you¹re searching the real estate market for an investment or your ideal
home, the chances are that the internet has become your first point of call.
Today, it seems, every business has a website and within the real estate
industry it has become one of our most used marketing tools in matching
properties to buyers.

Having won the Real Estate Institute of South Australia¹s Website of the
Year Award back to back in 2005 & 2006, we at Toop&Toop can proudly say that
our clients properties are being marketed on the best website in town!

Teamed with our own award winning website, Toop&Toop through is providing sellers and purchasers with a first glimpse
of all our properties as they hit the market.

Ranked as Australia¹s number 1 collective real estate website, you will find
that the majority of South Australian agents display the properties they are
marketing on this hugely resourced site together with their individual
company website - I know at Toop&Toop we certainly do, and for us and our
vendors it¹s proving a big success. has just released the Top 10 Agents in South Australia
ranked by the Œnumber of properties viewed per office¹ during the month of
February 2007. Toop&Toop Norwood has come out on top, ranked number 1 with a
total of 135,350 viewings of our properties on the market! With these
figures in hand, our clients can be assured that their homes are certainly
attracting interest from the wider market.

The age of technology is here and what an asset it¹s proving to be. So if
you are looking to sell or buy, give us a call or jump onto the internet ­
we¹re only too happy to help.

Karen Raffen, CEO <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, April 13, 2007

Need another chocolate delight? ?

After spending time with family and friends over a nice long easter weekend,
I¹m sure you, like me, have had your fair share of chocolate eggs and
bunnies with even the odd chicken thrown in! The last thing you probably
want to think about is more chocolateŠbut if that sweet tooth hasn¹t quite
been satisfied and you have some Œleft over¹ chocolate, here¹s a fabulous
Rocky Road recipe from our Norwood receptionist Alecia James.
Rocky Road
1/2 packet of Ripe Raspberry lollies (chopped)
250gms of white & pink marshmallows (chopped)
100gms of unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup of desiccated coconut
750gms of milk, dark or white melted chocolate (or more as desired!)

1. Line a tray, approximately 5cm in height, with aluminium foil
2. Scatter the Ripe Raspberries, marshmallows & peanuts over the base of
the tray
3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, or slowly over the stove
4. Stir the desiccated coconut into the melted chocolate
5. Pour chocolate over ingredients in tray and place in freezer for 2
6. Remove from freezer, cut into cubes and store in a container in the
Everyone here at Toop&Toop loves this Rocky Road and we hope you will to
Karen Raffen, Ceo <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Monday, April 02, 2007

Adelaide's real estate market in grid lock

Many of you out there who are looking to purchase may be finding it
difficult to find your ideal house within the current market conditions.
After a booming Spring, the Adelaide real estate market is experiencing a
shortage of properties.
The best way to describe this is that buyers and sellers are in grid lock.
There is strong belief that Vendors are holding off on the sale of their
homes until Winter, due to the drought, and aren¹t wanting to sell until
they have purchased; while the houses that are on the market are being
snapped up by eager purchasers. Without any movement from home owners
looking to sell, the flow of homes through the market is slowing causing
this grid lock situation.
Home owners, if you are holding off putting your home on the market now is
the time to reassess. With other vendors also waiting for the winter rains
to Œgreen up¹ their gardens, we will potentially see a flood of properties
coming onto the market over the next couple of months. Along with this
another interest rate rise by the Reserve Bank is being forecast for April
ŠSo if you would like to beat the rush, now is the time to sell and we would
be delighted to assist you.
Karen Raffen, CEO <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Monday, March 26, 2007

SA ŒScoops the Pool¹ at 2007 National Real Estate Awards

Once again South Australia has proven that while we are often referred to as
the Œinferior¹ state by our eastern counterparts, we are most definitely
leading the way in national Real Estate practice.

Last Thursday evening the Real Estate Institute of Australia held the 2007
National Awards for Excellence in Sydney. With 14 awards up for grabs, we
South Australians hoped to be able to claim one or two of these prestigious
titles to bring home. To our complete shock and sheer excitement throughout
the evening we were presented with a total of seven awards! Our two tables
of representatives (out of the 42 in the room), managed to make South
Australia¹s presence known on the night claiming half of these titles. What
a fantastic result and show of both strength and professionalism for real
estate practitioners in this state.

We at Toop&Toop are still reeling from the experience. Having brought home
the title last year for Innovation, we headed over to Sydney keeping our
fingers crossed that we might make it two in a row but not holding our
breath. Our night started out firing with the first category, Innovation,
being awarded to Toop&Toop. Back to Back National Awards - we were ecstatic!
From here we thought the night couldn¹t improveŠbut it certainly did. We
were also awarded Large Residential Agency of the Year for our Norwood
office and without a doubt, the stand out highlight of the night was our
very own Peter Veitch picking up the National Residential Sales Person of
the Year title. Congratulations Peter we couldn¹t be more proud of you.

When it comes to Real Estate, South Australia has proven that we have the
leading edge against all the other states. So if you¹d like an appraisal or
some advise on selling your residential property from one of SA¹s award
winning real estate companies, call us here at Toop&Toop, we¹d love to help.

Anthony Toop, Managing Director <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, March 23, 2007

Market bounces Shortage drives auctions ′?

Strong market conditions prevail !
There is action abound in each of the major market segments :
· First Home Buyer ­ extremely hot
· Middle Market ­ Strong with a property shortage
· Upper End ­ Strong, discerning, property shortage
· Investment ­ Regaining momentum. Good supply and good value in
various price brackets
· Land / Developers ­ Strengthening. Always a shortage of supply

The main market drivers are seen as :
· Predicted hold on interest rate rises over next 12 months
· Tight level of property supply
· New superannuation laws encouraging people to reinvest in property
· Tight rental market
· Continuing increase in Adelaide housing prices

Traditional submarkets are remaining predictable :
· Classic character homes : High demand
· Inner suburbs : High demand ­ discerning
· Suburbs close to defence : Increasing demand to house new labour to
The assessment : Character inner and suburbs in North East & Port are the
³hottest² property !
Timing your sale ?
For analysis of your property¹s saleability and price potential, contact
one of the team or our offices. An area specialist will provide a
comprehensive assessment of your property and it¹s current demand
Karen Raffen, CEO <>

© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, March 16, 2007

Looking to invest? Now is the time!

The last few months has seen a huge rise in the demand for rental
properties. The January vacancy rate for the Adelaide metropolitan area sat
below 1% at an incredibly low 0.8% and from what our Property Management
team report, this hasn¹t eased at all throughout February. Consequently
investment properties are once again the flavour of the month!
If you're looking to buy an investment property, a report recently released
by Helen Collier-Kogtevs from Real Wealth Australia outlines a few tips on
how to avoid the key mistakes investors often make.
1. Falling in love with the property
If you inspect a property and care what the curtains look like, whether the
kitchen has stainless steel appliances and what the colour scheme is, you're
probably making this mistake. Many investors forget that purchasing an
investment property is for someone else to live in. You would be better
advised to speak to property managers about what features are desirable for
tenants in a given area, rather than thinking about what's desirable for
2. Not seeking expert advice
Investors who sign on the dotted line without consulting their accountants,
solicitors or finance brokers are playing with fire. It is important to have
experts as a part of your team. Look at property investing as a business and
the experts are your employees. The benefit is that you pay them only when
you use them. It is also a good idea to ask these experts whether or not
they personally invest in property, to ensure their advice comes from
practical experience.
3. Not having a risk mitigation strategy
Many investors fail to ask themselves questions such as: what happens if the
property can¹t be tenanted or if the property burns down, and what if
interest rates go up or your circumstances change? As an investor you need
to establish a risk mitigation strategy, which is basically a back-up plan
for when things go wrong. Insurance, fixed interest rates & back-up savings
are all important aspects which need to be considered. When visiting your
accountant, ask if you can access your tax refund on a week-by-week basis,
which helps to aid your cash flow.
4. Not performing due diligence
Due diligence is the research done prior to making the purchase, it helps
the investor work out whether the property is a good buy or not. Some
factors often ignored include how far away schools, shopping centres,
medical facilities and transport are, what capital growth the area has seen
and what the vacancy rate is. It is a good idea to do your homework to be
sure that you are buying a great investment property.
5. Not crunching the numbers
Most investors rely on guesstimates rather than sitting down and doing the
hard numbers related to their purchases. If you're not great with numbers,
why not look at purchasing some property analysis software that helps do the
If you're looking to get into or are currently a part of the investment
market give us at Toop&Toop a call!
To view the full report go to
Karen Raffen, CEO

© Toop Real Estate Group