Weekend Reads – Must read articles from the last week

There are more interesting articles, commentaries and analyst reports on the Web every week than anyone could read in a month.

Each Saturday morning I like to share some of the ones I’ve read during the week.

The weekend will be over before you know it, so enjoy some weekend reading…and please forward to your friends by clicking the social link buttons.

New site to shame dodgy builders

It’s no secrets that apartment living has been booming in the last few years, but whilst the initial appeal seemed like a dream come true, too many buyers were left less than impressed by the final product.

Like most people who feel cheated buyers are ready to shame those who did them wrong, and now they may have a chance.

An article on news.com.au has reported that there is a new website in the works, promising buyers a chance to vent their dismay, and prevent future unhappy customers.

COULD this become the TripAdvisor of residential property?

Anyone who has purchased a new apartment in Australia knows just how much of a lottery it can be.28638913 - 3d building activity

Seemingly reputable developers can throw up poor-quality smash-jobs which bear little resemblance to a display model.

Lax building standards combined with dodgy certification processes have turned Australia’s apartment boom into a defect-ridden ticking time-bomb for insurers and homeowners.

Meanwhile, opaque and inconsistent wording in sales contracts means “quality finishes” in the final product often end up several grades lower than the gold-plated showroom standard used to reel in off-the-plan buyers.

Yet despite widespread concerns of dodgy developers, prospective home or apartment owners often go into the largest financial commitment of their life without all the information they need.

A new website wants to apply the TripAdvisor model to property, giving users a platform to rate and review apartment and home builders, as well as individual apartment blocks.

“The apartment finishes did not match the display apartment set up for off-the-plan buyers 12 months ago,” writes one owner of a Gladesville unit, rating the building a two out of five.

“The workmanship on the building and construction of the apartment complex is poor.”

The site, Unlock Property, has been in soft launch for the past six months, with around 100 reviews posted.

The site’s founders won’t give out traffic numbers.

Find the full article here

The ‘white lies’ and what they mean + Stop winging about ‘unaffordable property’

Another great Real Estate Talk show produced by Kevin Turner.

Michael Yardney answers the many questions surrounding body corporate.  

Shannon Davis has been able to identify 8 white little lies you might hear from time to time as a buyer, he talks about what they mean and how to react to them.

Angie Zigomanis from BIS Shrapnel explains why they predict real price falls of between 1 and 12 per cent across the capital cities by the end of 2018-19.

Todd Hunter gives his opinion on the younger generation who are always complaining about the fact that the older generation seems to have made it more unaffordable for them to buy a property.

Ben Handler joins the chorus of those who are sick of all the talk about un-affordable property in Australia.

If you don’t already subscribe to this excellent weekly internet based radio show do so now by clicking here.

Land prices rise to all-time highs

To own land has always been part of the Australian dream, but it would seem that the reality is far more grim.

According to this Blog by Pete Wargent, the ability to own land has been made far harder across capital cities, with an all time high price rise.

Reported the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

Capital cities saw a solid 3.4 per cent increase in land sales in the March quarter, although the market tightened in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Hobart.

But on the flip side, regional Australia volumes were down by 8.1 per cent.

Overall, land prices (median lot values) rose by another 1.2 per cent in the March quarter to well above $230,000.

Over the past five years, the median lot value in Australia has increased by 20 per cent or $38,000, driven overwhelmingly by rising land prices in the capital cities.


Read the full article here


Beware – Scams Are Happening…

The digital world has bright with it many bonuses; we can speak to our loved ones overseas easier, gain knowledge faster, even find our soulmates.

But like with most quick fixes, there’s a catch.

It’s been reported on zjl.com.au that we are being scammed more than ever – but fear not there’s ways to prevent it.

20213920 - hand reaching out of laptop screen to steal ones money.

We are continuing to see instances of scam emails, SMS or phone calls where criminals are trying to steal your money or your private information for gain purposes.

These scams can be very convincing and unfortuanelty, many individuals fall victim to these each year.

To avoid becoming a victim, we thought that it is important that you know some of the common characteristics of a scam.

Generally, scam communications: – Are unsolicited,

  1. Are puschy and can also be intimidating, threating arrests or penalties if payment for an unknown tax debt is not made immediately,
  2. Demand payment in full and in some instances via unconventional means such as iTunes cards, cash transfers or gift vouchers,
  3. Ask you for personal or financial information or to confirm information they pretend they have,
  4. Are often poorly worded, containing spelling and grammatical mistakes,
  5. May promise you a tax refund in exchange for a payment or personal information,
  6. May contain an attachment or fake links requesting you to lodge a form – opening these attachments or links can cause you to download spyware or a virus.

Click here for the full article

Warren Buffett Donates Nearly $2.9 Billion to Five Charities

Warren Buffer is a man of great accomplishments, and none more so than his philanthropic nature.

According to an article on thestreet.com the third richest man in the world made an enormous donation to five charities.Warren Buffett

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Warren Buffett made his annual charity donation on Friday of about $2.9 billion in holdings of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) as a part of his plan to gradually give away his entire fortune, Bloomberg TV’s Scarlet Fu reported on “Bloomberg Markets” Friday morning.

The CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway has kept his word and donated the money to five charities this year, she said.

The biggest share went to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which aims to enhance healthcare, reduce poverty around the world, and improve education in the U.S.

The four other charities include Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Howard G. Buffett, Sherwood and NoVo Foundations.

Click here for the full article

Weekend Video: Amazing Miniature Bear!

Also published on Medium.

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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au

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