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

www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

© 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

www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

© 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
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

© 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

www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

© Toop Real Estate Group