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  • Construction Update – Teri – 85 Market Street, South Melbourne

    Teri

    Happy New Year to you all.  Here is our first progress update for the Teri Project for 2017.

    As a recap, here’s what was completed in December 2016.

    Building Structure – Included slab, column, lift core

    Services – Services work to Level 3

    Partition walls and Windows – 

    Partition walls framework to Level 5. Installation of windows frames to Level 2

    After the end of year break, we are now full steam ahead on site.

    We are aiming to complete all structural work in January, which allows our build team to work quicker on solid platforms. Partition wall frames from Levels 3 to 9 are scheduled to be completed. Delivery of window frames and installation is also targetted to be completed.  We will also commend lift installation.

    Architects and engineers are finalizing roof services. Design for garden, foyer and common area at final stage.

    Estimated completion for the project is May 2017

  • Construction Update – Teri – 85 Market Street, South Melbourne

    Teri

    Happy New Year to you all.  Here is our first progress update for the Teri Project for 2017.

    As a recap, here’s what was completed in December 2016.

    Building Structure – Included slab, column, lift core

    Services – Services work to Level 3

    Partition walls and Windows – 

    Partition walls framework to Level 5. Installation of windows frames to Level 2

    After the end of year break, we are now full steam ahead on site.

    We are aiming to complete all structural work in January, which allows our build team to work quicker on solid platforms. Partition wall frames from Levels 3 to 9 are scheduled to be completed. Delivery of window frames and installation is also targetted to be completed.  We will also commend lift installation.

    Architects and engineers are finalizing roof services. Design for garden, foyer and common area at final stage.

    Estimated completion for the project is May 2017

  • Construction Update – Teri – 85 Market Street, South Melbourne

    Teri

    After a solid couple of months on site we have finally completed the concrete pours for the difficult transfer levels and are currently completing the finals pours for level 3. We aim to have the buildings envelope finished by November of this year. With the majority of the remaining structure consisting of precast concrete panels we are confident we will be able to hit this target, which allows 6 months for the fitout of the building. In the background Valeo and the development team are working on completing sewer and water upgrades and new connections to the site as well as finalising joinery products and materials for the apartments.

    Estimated completion for the project is May 2017

  • Construction Update – Teri – 85 Market Street, South Melbourne

    Teri

    Since the last update the following have been achieved on site, including:

    > Basement slab poured to 50%
    > Concrete for lift bases poured
    > Car park ramp poured
    > Commenced installation of precast columns to lower ground car park

    The team at Valeo Constructions have been busy and expect to have the basement slab poured in its entirety in the coming week, with lower and upper ground car park slab to be completed shortly after. We expect to see lift cores start to develop this month with reinforcement and formwork being put in place at the end of March. In the background we are working with the authorities to ensure services to the site meet both the project and councils requirements.

    Estimated completion for the project is May 2017

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  • Construction Update – Teri – 85 Market Street, South Melbourne

    Teri

    With everyone back into work mode, coming off a great Christmas break, the month of February was extremely productive. We poured our first slab on ground along with associated hydraulic works. Our civil contractor has completed core piling for the buildings lift shafts and stair cores. Precast columns have commenced installation as have the formwork and Bondek for the carp park ramp and lower ground slabs. Our Tower Crane was erected at the end of February which will mean works will ramp up on site! In March we look to continue with basement slab and lower ground concrete pours that will hopefully set us up well for the next couple of months.

    Estimated completion for the project is May 2017

    Car Park Ramp Form Work     Lower Ground Precast_Bondek

    Lower Ground Precast_Bondek_Lift Core     Teri Crane

  • Construction Update – Teri – 85 Market Street, South Melbourne

    Teri

    Happy New Year!! The month of December was a busy one, with excavation and piling works being conducted throughout the entire site up until Christmas. As of the end of the second week of January we are nearing completion of those excavation works, with commencement of internal capping beams in the coming days. There’s about another months work we have to do in the ground before we commence our basement works. We will be looking at mobilising our crane in early February so to be sure to look for our signage in the South Melbourne skyline!!

    Estimated completion for the project is July 2017

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  • Construction Update – Teri – 85 Market Street, South Melbourne

    Teri

    We’re happy to provide you with a further update on the construction of Teri.

    The month of October has been the most productive on site to date. We have been able to work through a number of the issues surrounding the access of Browns Lane by the public and the numerous truck deliveries, which were causing delays in the demolition of the Browns Lane wall. However, this demolition activity has now been completed. We now have a relatively clear run up until the Christmas shutdown where our geotechnical engineers and civil contractors have commenced piling and bulk excavation. Our objective is to hit the bottom of the basement by the end of December with full building permit to be issued early 2016.

    We’ve included some photographs below which represent these works being carried out.

    Estimated completion for the project is July 2017

    Market Street Entrance 28th of October Browns Lane 28th of October from Spotlight Market Street Retention 28th of October York Street 4th

  • Farewell Tom Maloney

    It is with fond memories that we farewell one of our longest servicing Financial Advisers Tom Maloney. Tom has been with National Sterling for 9 ½ years and he leaves us now to pursue his personal religious vocation, where he will study and teach others.

    Tom’s contribution to National Sterling is something that we just can’t quantify – he has been heavily involved in the production of our internal training videos that have contributed to the success of our Advice team and the success of many a client. Tom has always been there with an ear and a solution.  His dedication to our clients is testament to the number of times Tom received the internal accolades and positive external feedback.

    It’s not just a work colleague some of us are saying farewell to – we’ve shared engagements, weddings, 21sts, 30ths, 40ths, 50ths and baptisms – for some it is family. And I know that on behalf of Tony, Fabian, Brian, Ari and myself – together we wish Tom and his family nothing but happiness and success.

    We will endeavour to contact each every client that has dealt with Tom over the years in the coming weeks. We will ensure we introduce you to your new Financial Adviser and our ongoing support team. In the meantime please feel free to send Tom and email and wish him luck and a final farewell.

    As always you can contact us via the ‘Contact Us’ tab on our website, via phone (Monday-Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm) on (03) 9533 8555 or alternatively you can contact Alice in our Client Service Team via email alicea@nationalsterling.com.au and she can help you arrange an appointment.

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  • Why Is Life Insurance So Critical?

    h

    Research shows a dramatic difference between the number of Australians who rate the importance of life insurance and the number who have it, and those without financial protection usually have the most to lose from setbacks such as an death, accident or illness. This includes retirees and those approaching retirement.

    And those without financial protection usually have the most to lose from setbacks such as an accident or illness. This includes retirees and those approaching retirement.

    This research was commissioned by Australia’s largest life insurer TAL to help better understand consumer attitudes and behaviours.

    More than three-quarters of those surveyed (79%) rate life-related insurance as important or very important.

    This contrasts sharply with just 52% of people who say they actually hold some form of life insurance.

    Australians were asked to rate the importance of the four main kinds of life insurance in the event their income suddenly stopped. The four life-related insurances are: life cover, critical illness, income protection and total and permanent disability insurance (see note below).

    TAL Group CEO Jim Minto said: “The results show that most people rate financial protection as important or very important to have yet only around of half of the population say they actually have some form of protection in place.

    “On the one hand it is encouraging that people recognise the vital role of life insurance but the relatively low protection levels reflects just how much work is to be done educating the community about the need to protect themselves and their families.”

    Those with a mortgage were the demographic group most likely to recognise the importance of life insurance, but their actual protection levels still lagged.

    And while renters also recognise the importance of cover, they have worryingly low levels of protection in place.

    “In the event that one’s income stopped suddenly due to accident or illness, what is left to ensure ongoing commitments such as bills, rent or mortgage repayments and schools fees to maintain current lifestyles levels, let alone the dreams of the future,” Mr Minto said.

    “And having appropriate protection shouldn’t stop once the mortgage is paid. Having protection such as critical illness insurance, which can finance special treatments, pay everyday bills and for costly rehabilitation and modifications such as wheelchair access remains relevant long after the home is paid off.”

    Mr Minto said people should not fall into the trap that because they have one type of insurance that they no longer require any of the other types of cover, because they each serve specific purposes to meet different needs.

    “Eight out of ten people with at least one type of life insurance also have a much higher appreciation of the importance of the other types of cover, even though they do not hold those types of protection,” he said.

    “Overall, however, it is hard to reconcile that most people understand how important it is to protect their lifestyles and their families’ financial wellbeing, but at the same time are not taking the action they need to do so. We just need to overcome this gap through more education and information.”

    If you’re worried about being un-insured or under-insured, contact your National Sterling Adviser on (03) 9533 8555 to organise a time for a review of your financial situation. Alternatively you can contact the Client Service Team to assist you with organising an appointment or review. You can contact Alice in the Client Service Team on (03) 9533 8555 extension 204 or contact us by using the ‘Contact Us’ located on our website.

    This article first appeared here.

  • Finances and the Festive Season

    christmas-piggy-bank-savings

    With the holiday season well and truly upon us, it can be easy to veer away from our budgets and lose track  of your finances. There seems to be endless presents to buy, preparation for parties, food and drink to purchase for family and guests to enjoy! Too often, come January, we find budgets have been blown and we are faced with quite a few more charges on our credit cards than expected.

    However, fighting back the post-Christmas finance blues is achievable, and with some easy planning and budgeting, you can lessen the load and truly ring in the New Year with less financial stress.

    Our tips for a financially fun festive season;

    Make a list and check it twice

    We may have taken this old adage from Santa, but it pays to thoroughly document what you will be buying. So make a list and be prepared to check it twice!

    Research

    Using your newly formed list formulate a plan of attack. Heading into the shops at this time of the year can be a headache but it can also set you off track. Research the products you wish to purchase, where you will be buying it from, and how much you expect to pay for each item. Find out what stores you need to go to for the best deals. Set a realistic spending goal for each item you want to purchase based on your research and don’t be afraid to negotiate the best deal once you are armed with the knowledge of what the product costs elsewhere. We suggest researching products you want to buy online first or in sale catalogues. Then, when you hit the shops you are able to head straight for the retailers you have pre-planned and avoid making impulse purchases while browsing other shops.

    If you still have time, shopping online can also be useful as you can shop around for the best prices without leaving home, incidentally also saving money on petrol!

    Budget

    Once you know the items you need and the approximate cost of each one you can create a budget for the rest of the Christmas holiday period. You may need to cut back in other areas to ensure you get the products you want or you might decide to go back to your list and cut back on the products you want to buy. Most Australian’s overspend at Christmas so don’t feel bad for leaving out a few items here and there.

    Make sure you include often forgotten items in your budget such as the cost of wrapping paper, cards and any decorations/ornaments/table toppers etc. that you are likely to buy.

    Get creative

    If money troubles extend into the holiday period, there are ways to keep the Christmas spirit alive, without blowing your budget. Have your kids paint on butchers paper to make your own wrapping paper, have fun in the kitchen and prepare some homemade goodies as presents, the possibilities are endless. You could also ask guests to bring a plate of food to share, which saves on the grocery bills and lets you step out of the kitchen and enjoy more time with family.

    Of course, it may be too late to implement some of these tips, but it is never too early to prepare for next year. Perhaps think about making a budget and setting away funds from January in order to lessen the load next year? For example:

    Gifts for 6 people at $50 each = $300

    Christmas cards, gift wrap and decorations = $75

    Food = $300

    Alcohol and drinks = $200

    Incidentals = $125

    Total = $1000

    Divide by 52 weeks = around $20 per week

    By starting early, your end goal becomes a lot easier to manage and maintain. Whether you decide to keep the funds in a growth savings account or in a piggy bank, come Christmas, you might be surprised by how much you have available to spoil your loved ones!

    If you are still having finance worries, you can always contact your National Sterling Financial Adviser, or our client service team, and we can assist you with budgeting and debt reduction strategies that can be beneficial for you, not only now but in the future too! You can contact our Client Service Team on 03 9533 8555 or via our website http://www.nationalsterling.com.au/about-us/clients-services-team/

    We’d also like to take this time to remind you that our offices will be closing from 5pm Tuesday the 23rd December 2014 and will re-open at 8:30am on Monday the 5th January 2015. From all of us at National Sterling, we wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas, and a safe and prosperous New Year.

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  • Setting goals and staying in touch

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    One of the most important parts of a Financial Plan is ‘staying in touch’. A financial plan is not something that you ‘set and forget’ and it needs to move and change as your financial and personal circumstances change.

    Whilst you should set reasonable and real goals with your Financial Adviser at your initial and subsequent appointments, we encourage you to always stay in touch with our Client Service Team as well. This will ensure you are provided with the advice, products and services you need regardless of whether your Financial Adviser is currently available. We have a team that is here and dedicated to you – use them!

    As time goes by, this will become more and more important as you will sometimes change your goals, reach them and set new ones for yourself. Your financial plan must be adjusted to reflect these new goals and like anything else you may need to re-evaluate the steps you can take to achieve your goal, what protections you need in place whilst you are trying to achieve your goals and what steps you can take to get there faster.

    The goals you set will help to establish what products and support services you need and will also establish how long you will need these products.

    So, in summary;

    • Make the most of the time you spend with your Financial Adviser and ensure you spend sufficient time while you are face-to-face.
    • Always stay in touch with the Client Service Team
    • Advise us as soon as your circumstances change

    Whilst there are many key factors involved in deciding what your ideal Financial Plan is, each party involved in setting up the plan should make a conscious effort to re-assess it from time to time as some products may not be appropriate for you forever. For example, you may want to decrease your insurance once you have paid off or sold a major asset/debt and on the other hand you may want to increase your cover when you have a child or secure more debt/buy another asset.

    If you think you need to review of your Financial Plan, or any of your financial planning needs, you can contact a member of our Client Service team at any time either via the Contact Us section of our website, or by phone on (03) 9533 8555. The Client Service Team are available between Monday to Friday 8.30am-5pm Eastern Time.

    We pride ourselves on keeping our promise to you of supplying exceptional Client service and guarantee a reply within 48 business hours.

    goal-setting-exercise

  • Trauma Insurance – are you covered ?

    We come in to contact with many demographics through our financial planning appointments. Throughout all demographics there are a few constants;

    1. A large percentage of everyday people are under insured based on their relevant personal circumstances

    2. Although most people have some type of insurance in place there can be large gaps between what they have and what they should have

    3. Due to cost and other factors a large percentage of clients opt out of or don’t  take up Trauma insurance at all

    Now we have talked about the importance of updating your insurances in a previous blog post, (http://www.nationalsterling.com.au/have-you-looked-over-your-insurance-lately/) today we want to concentrate on Trauma.

    So what is Trauma insurance?

    Money Smart magazine describe Trauma insurance as ‘A type of insurance cover that provides cover if you are diagnosed with a specified illness or injury. These policies include the major illnesses or injuries that will make a significant impact on a person’s life, such as cancer or a stroke. Trauma can also be referred to as Critical Illness cover.’

    Other insurer’s describe it as ‘cover that can help with medical costs and help to lessen lifestyle changes that result from any of the 48 major illnesses or injuries, including heart attack, stroke, cancer and blindness’

    Put simply, this type of insurance was designed to provide you with a lump sum payment to assist you with your financial, medical and lifestyle commitments and readjustments that may be needed in the event of any of one or more major illnesses or injuries occurring.

    Now this is all just a bunch of words until we look into it a little more, so we thought it would be helpful to provide some information that we can all relate to;

    Cancer in Australia

    The Cancer Council Australia have recently published some shocking statistics which we would like to share with you;

    – It is estimated that 128,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia this year, with that number set to rise to 150,000 by 2020

    – 1 in 2 Australian men and 1 in 3 Australian Women will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85

    – Cancer is a leading cause of death in Australia with more than 43,200 people dying from cancer in 2011. This means that Cancer is responsible for 3 out of 10 deaths in Australia!!!

    – The most common cancers in Australia are Prostate, Bowel, Breast, Melanoma & lung cancer. These 5 cancers account for over 60% of all cancers diagnosed in Australia

    The good news is that for many common cancers, survival rates have increased by 30% in the past two decades and 66% of people diagnosed with cancer in Australia are still alive 5 years after diagnosis.

    Heart Attacks and Strokes in Australia

    Heart Foundation Australia statistics from 2011 are available online and are as follows;

    – 45,600 deaths in 2011 which were attributed to cardiovascular disease (CVD). This means CVD kills 1 person every 12 minutes in Australia

    – CVD was the main cause of 482,000 hospitalisations in 2009-2010 and played a secondary role in a further 800,000 hospitalisations

    – Coronary heart disease and heart disease affect around 1.4 million Australians and claimed the lives of over 21,500 Australians in 2011.

    – Coronary heart diseases kills 59 Australians each day or one Australian every 24 minutes.

    – Over 380,000 Australians have had a Heart attack at some time in their lives

    – In 2011 Heart Attack claimed the lives of 9,811 people or on average 27 each day.

    – Each year around 55,000 Australians suffer a heart attack. This equates to one heart attack every 10 minutes

    So the statistics are quite confronting especially when you consider them and think of your friends and family. Most people these days will immediately think of a friend, brother, sister, mother, father or grandparent that has been affected by one of the above conditions however this is just scratching the surface. Some of the best ways of considering whether or not you can make room in your budget for Trauma insurance is to look to those people and consider what had to change for them and their family once they were diagnosed with a serious illness or suffered a major injury…

    Below is a table  published by Insurance Watch that sets out some of the other major illnesses and injuries that are covered by Trauma insurance (although be sure to check your specific policy disclosure statement as cover may vary from insurer to insurer):

    Trauma

     

    What does this mean for the person who is diagnosed and their family? Chances are they have had to make some big changes to;

    – Their lifestyle

    – Financial commitments

    – Career

    – House

    – Even the ‘everyday schedule’ may have changed to accommodate treatment, medical bills and recovery?

    There is little point in seeing the value in an insurance policy after an insurable event has occurred! And chances are you may then be uninsurable!

    Even a small amount of Trauma insurance can make a big difference! Contact us on (03) 9533 8555 today to review your insurance needs and make sure your personal goals and that of your families are taken care of in the event of an insurable event.

    If you don’t have time to call during business hours you can also contact us via email: headoffice@nationalsterling.com.au or via the ‘Contact Us’ tab on our website: www.nationalsterling.com.au/Contact-Us/

    External References and Links

    http://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/what-is-cancer/facts-and-figures.html

    http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/INFORMATION-FOR-PROFESSIONALS/DATA-AND-STATISTICS/Pages/default.aspx

    http://www.aihw.gov.au/cardiovascular-health/

    https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/managing-your-money/insurance/life-insurance/trauma-cover3

    https://www.insurancewatch.com.au/life-insurance-trauma-insurance.html

     

     

  • Adviser Profile – Troy Clark

    Troy Clark

    Many of you will have spoken to Troy Clark over the last few years, probably for varying reasons, but we thought we’d put a face to the voice.  Troy has been with National Sterling in the Client Service Team since 2011 and has a real customer service focus.

    Troy’s current role as a Financial Adviser puts him in front of many of our clients to provide financial advice reviews in relation to existing products and services. Troy says he ‘feels a real sense of accomplishment by reviewing existing financial plans and finding new and improved ways of assisting our clients in achieving their goals’.

    Many clients make financial plans which are later forgotten or need to be adjusted as personal circumstances change.  At National Sterling we pride ourselves on offering an ongoing service to our clients that helps you adjust your financial plans to accommodate those changes and realign with your goals.

    What was appropriate for you yesterday may not be appropriate for you today!

    If this sounds like something that you would find helpful you can always request a review with Troy or one of our other Review Advisers today. As always you can contact us via the ‘Contact Us’ tab on our website, via phone (Monday-Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm) on (03) 9533 8555 or alternatively you can contact Alice in our Client Service Team via email alicea@nationalsterling.com.au and she can help you arrange an appointment.

  • When should you consolidate multiple superannuation accounts?

    Super Pig

    We often have clients call us to help them ‘consolidate their super funds’ however this is not always the appropriate action. So when is it appropriate to consolidate? Well there isn’t one answer, as everyone’s financial goals for superannuation are different.  It’s important to get the right information before consolidating and that can be done easily enough by seeking out a Financial Adviser and requesting some advice.

    At National Sterling we provide a full scope of advice and very rarely recommend limiting the advice to just one area, as we think it’s important to take into consideration all of your relevant personal circumstances, such as;

    1. Your short , mid-term and long-term goals

    When looking at your superannuation accounts it’s important to understand the underlying benefits they may offer to you and your financial plan in the short-, mid-, and long-term. Sometimes, your short term goals may take preference, meaning your long term goals may need to be adjusted accordingly. For example, one of your short term goals may be to repay your home loan. To do this quickly and with minimal interest it may be your priority to pay all of your surplus income into that mortgage. This may not immediately assist with your long terms goals of retiring on an income of $60,000 per annum, because to achieve this you may need to put additional funds into super that you just don’t have right now.

    2. You have access to Insurance you may not otherwise  be eligible for

    In a lot of cases Superannuation will carry with it or offer some type of personal insurance. While superannuation is mainly there to assist with retirement it is also there to provide an avenue for insurances to everyday Australians that for reasons such as pre-existing medical conditions, or high risk jobs, they would otherwise not have access too.

    3. You may not have a choice of Superannuation in your current job

    People who work in the public service, health sector, construction sites and education sector may only be able to put their Super into an industry fund. For this reason, your adviser may advise you to run two superannuation accounts. One that better suits your goals and investment return goals and one for you employee contributions. As part of your ongoing financial plan, they may then perform further rollovers from the retail fund in order to top up and maximise your investments. The idea of this strategy would be to reap greater returns if possible.

    There are many other situations where your adviser recommends keeping more than one super fund open. However, the reasons mentioned above are the main ones we come across on a day to day basis. Just as your long term goals are different to your neighbours, the investment strategy for your superannuation may be too.

     

     

     

  • Investment properties, tax deductions and negative gearing – do you know what you can claim?

    Property Tax Depreciation - Blog Pic (2)

    You may or may not know that investing in residential rental property is one of the most common assets every day Australians acquire to create wealth. Whilst this is true, and according to the Australian Tax Office, there is a large percentage of property investors that don’t claim all of their available tax deductions. Something that can contribute to this is the gap in useful information surrounding tax deductions and claimable items. A lot of the information you need is readily available to industry professionals such as Accountants and Financial Advisers, however how do you ensure you are getting the most out of your professional services? Well, that is simple – educate yourself on what can be claimed. Whilst your accountant can assist you with the actual claiming process and may be a good source of information we feel it’s also important to empower YOU. There are many tax benefits available to investment property owners and with 2013/2014 Financial year now at an end we have listed the top ten tax deductions for owners of residential rental property.

    1 Interest

    Interest is usually an investment property owner’s single biggest deductible expense.  This includes interest payments on loans used to acquire or improve the investment property. If only a portion of the loan relates to the property, then the interest must also be apportioned accordingly. Individuals may claim up to 12 months of investment property interest in advance if they are permitted by their financier to pay such interest upfront.

    2 Depreciation

    Assets purchased or included in your rental property are not fully deductible in the year in which you pay for them. Instead, the property owner can claim a proportionate value over time, called “depreciation”. The depreciated value is a non-cash deduction that offsets income of the property owner.  The depreciation amount will depend upon the depreciation method used and Quantity Surveyors can prepare a report with a schedule of the amount to claim each year. This is usually referred to as a ‘Depreciation Schedule’ or ‘Depreciation Report’ and after the initial outlay of the surveyor’s report (which is deductible also) no outlays are required to receive the deduction. Any further purchases less than $300 are immediately deductible.

    3 Capital works

    The construction cost of a rental property is also not fully deductible in the year in which you pay for it. Instead, the property owner can claim a proportionate cost of the construction costs over time, called “Capital Works deductions”. Again this can be detailed within your ‘Depreciation Schedule’ prepared by a qualified Quantity Surveyors and should list the amount to claim each year in association with the depreciation. For buildings constructed after 1987 this is generally 2.5%.  Again, this is a non cash deduction that requires no outlays after the initial report.

    4 Repairs & Maintenance

    The cost of repairs or replacements to a rental property (provided they are not improvements) are fully deductible in the year in which they are incurred. Good examples of deductible repairs include repainting, fixing gutters or floors, fixing roof leaks, plastering, plumbing and replacing broken windows.  If it provides something new and generally changes the character of the item it may not be classified as a repair but an improvement. This means you cannot obtain an immediate deduction but you will be still be able to claim over a period of time as either depreciation or capital works.  Regular pre-emptive maintenance is also deductible, e.g. gardening and pest control.

    5 Travel

    Investment property owners are entitled to a tax deduction whenever they travel to inspect their rental property or to collect the rent. If you drive a vehicle to your rental property, generally you have two options for deducting your vehicle expenses. You can:

    • Keep a logbook and deduct your actual expenses (i.e. petrol, upkeep, repairs) apportioned by the logbook percentage
    • Use the standard kilometre rate (74 cents per km for 2014)

    If you travel overnight for your rental property, you can deduct your airfare, accommodation, meals, and other expenses. However if you are inspecting your property in association with a holiday, it must be apportioned.

    6 Legal and Professional Services

    You can deduct the amount you pay in fees to property management agents, accountants, lawyers, real estate investment advisors, and other professionals. You can deduct these fees as operating expenses in the year they are incurred as long as the fees are paid for work related to your rental income. If they relate to the purchase or sale of your property then they will be considered a capital expense.

    7 Body Corporate Fees and Charges

    If your investment property is a townhouse or unit you will likely incur body corporate fees. These fees are deductible as soon as they are incurred. They are often levied as an administration charge to cover day to day expenses and a sinking fund/maintenance fund charge. Even though sinking funds/maintenance funds do cover expenses for capital items you can still deduct these fees immediately. If however a special levy is raised for a major capital item, that levy will not be immediately deductible.

    8 Taxes

    Council Rates, Water Rates and Land Taxes that you incur for your investment property are immediately deductible. Keep in mind though if you do recover any charges such as excess water charges from your tenant then this will need to be returned as income.

    9 Insurance

    You can deduct the premiums you pay for almost any insurance for your rental activity. This includes home and contents insurance for rental property, as well as landlord liability insurance

    10 Bank fees & borrowing costs

    You can deduct any bank fees or charges associated with your investment property bank accounts as soon as you incur them. You can also deduct the cost of borrowing over 5 years. This covers items such as valuations, loan establishment fees and lenders mortgage insurance.

    Whether you own an investment property or you are looking into buying it’s important that you understand that basics of investing in property over other types of investments and as with any type of investment we suggest that you seek individual and tailored advice. Financial Advice regarding your investment preferences and the importance of understanding the costs of investing, benefits and financial risks Vs gains can be different depending on a number of key factors all of which can change over time or with your own personal circumstances. Some of the factors that should be considered when you are seeking advice or making a financial plan are;

    • Your taxable income
    • The out of pocket expense of owning or purchasing an investment (property or any kind of investment)
    • Long term and projected investment returns
    • The risks of investing
    • Your Loan to Value Ratio of the investment property (Leverage)
    • Whether a particular investment is suitable for your financial goals – will the investment get you to your end goal or closer to it?

    If investing is something you think you’re interested in, contract us today and arrange an appointment with one of our Financial Adviser’s. Making an informed decision can often be the best decision you make!

  • Charman Road, Cheltenham Update

    Charman

    We are looking at 4-6 weeks for completion of this project.  Although internally it is quite advanced, there are some external finishes that need completion.   Finishes are required in the basement and services are awaiting connection including power and storm water.  Defecting and statement of compliance are also still a work in progress.

     

    We have been advised today that final inspections for purchasers are scheduled for 18 and 19 July 2014 (between 12noon – 2.00pm).  Your advisor will be in contact with you shortly to arrange a suitable time. As construction works are still underway valuations/valuers are being kept off site until a majority of the works are deemed complete. Our office will notify purchasers and their respective lenders as soon as valuations can be conducted. If you require and update on this please email reception@nationalsterling.com.au and someone will endeavour to call you within a 48-hour period.

     

     

  • Emily Street/Carnegie Road Update

    Emily 1 Emily 2

    Just a quick update on this project which is quickly approaching completion.  The townhouses are complete and preparing for settlement with title set to issue in the coming weeks.

    The apartments are in their final stages and only 3 weeks from completion.  At present we are working with the builder on defects and some external works are still to be completed.  Once certificate of compliance can be issued the vendor will then apply for subdivision (registration of new titles) and Certificate of Occupancy. Settlement of the apartments will then follow.

    As construction works are still underway valuations/valuers are being kept off site until a majority of the works are deemed complete. Our office will notify purchasers and their respective lenders as soon as valuations can be conducted. If you require and update on this please email reception@nationalsterling.com.au and someone will endeavour to call you within a 48-hour period.

  • Have you looked over your insurances lately ?

    Insurance

    Have you looked over your insurances lately?

    Many of our clients are of the impression that their insurances are there to “set and forget”, however as your financial position changes, so too do your insurance needs. Whilst there are many key factors involved in deciding what you’re ideal insurance cover should be you should make a conscious effort to re-assess your insurance needs as major life events occur – this can be done simply by contacting our office and discussing the changes to your personal circumstances.

    So what constitutes a life event you may ask? Well here are some examples that may help you decide when it’s appropriate to contact us;

    1. Marriage / Divorce
    2. Sale of a property / Purchase of a new home or other major asset
    3. Expansion of your family, having kids
    4. Inheritance
    5. Changes to your personal income
    6. Change of occupation / redundancy

    Sometimes when these life events occur your original insurer may be able to extend your existing insurance policy without having to fully reassess your application however there may also be circumstances where your exiting insurance is no longer appropriate.

    National Sterling works with a variety of insurers and aims to provide a variety of insurance options to make sure that our clients have access to the products that are appropriate for their needs.

    If you think you need to review your insurance needs, or any of your financial planning needs, you can contact a member of our Client Service team at any time either via the Contact Us section of our website, or by phone on (03) 9533 8555. The Client Service Team are available between Monday to Friday 8.30am-5pm Eastern Time.

    We pride ourselves on keeping our promise to of supplying exceptional customer service and guarantee a reply within 48 business hours.

     

  • Introducing Alice Ahrens

    photo

    Many of you will have now spoken to Alice Ahrens, but we thought we’d put a face to the voice.  Alice has recently joined our Customer Service Team and brings with her a real customer service focus and for those of you who have had the pleasure of dealing with her I’m sure you’ll agree.

    Alice is our front line problem solver for any concerns or needs that you may have – be it that you’ve changed jobs and need to update your super with your new employer or you need to make a claim under your insurance policy and have no idea where to start, Alice can arrange that for you.

    Another integral part of Alice’s role here at National Sterling is managing the client surveys.  We are proactive in getting your feedback by surveying clients through our processes.  Last month alone we conducted over 400 client surveys and of those we only received 2 poor ratings (which Alice handled straight away).  We do know though that we may have missed you on the phone or it may have been some time since you’ve spoken to us.  Please feel free to call Alice on 9533 8555 or shoot her an email at alicea@nationalsterling.com.au.

    And just a reminder that Rob, Chrystal and Casandra are also here to help you with any of your needs.  You can contact them directly from the Customer Service Team tab on the website or simply use the Contact Us tab.

  • Welcome to 2014

    John Concept Piece

    We hope you all got to enjoy a summer break and have had a great start to 2014.  We’ve been busy planning for the year and we have some great projects coming up that we will be letting you know about throughout the year via this blog.

    We would also love to hear from you as to any topics that you’d like for us to cover off on throughout 2014.  Please contact us via the Contact/Request Form on the website.

  • Construction Update

    NationalSterlingConstruction
    Pier Street, Altona

    Rapid progress continues to be made on site and with 6 weeks until Christmas shutdown the builder is well placed for an early completion. Since our last report,  we can advise all frame work and rough in works (hydraulic, fire services, electrical and plumbing) are completed throughout. Furthermore the associated plaster works are now well advanced.

    As we compile this month’s edition, plaster works are completed to L1 and L2, while L3 has commenced and delivery of L4 is due in the coming weeks. At this stage of the project, the painters and tilers have made a big impression to L1. All apartment ceilings have been completed with three coats of paint, while all the walls have had a base coat sealer and first coat applied finish.

    Floor and wall tiling is underway to all bathrooms and kitchens on L1, while kitchen joinery is arriving on site with installation under way. It is also expected that in the coming weeks glass splashbacks and stone bench tops will arrive for L1 and L2 and we also expect to see electrical fit-off of lights and power points commence to L1.

    The upper levels will follow program accordingly and it is advised that by Christmas shutdown all plastering works through the hallways and units will be completed, L1 will be well advanced and nearing completion with the painters, tilers, and joinery supply making inroads on the upper levels

    Completion: July 2013
    NationalSterlingConstruction

  • NRAS Scheme

    Carnergie
    National Sterling approved

    We are excited to announce that in 2013 National Sterling has been approved to be part of the NRAS Scheme.  Below is some basic information setting out what the NRAS scheme is and how it can benefit you as an investor. The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) is a long term commitment by the Australian Government in partnership with the states and territories, to invest in affordable rental housing. The Scheme, which commenced in 2008, aims to address the shortage of affordable rental housing by offering financial incentives to the business sector and community organisations to build and rent dwellings to qualified households at a rate that is at least 20 per cent below the prevailing market rates.

    NRAS aims to:
    • increase the supply of new affordable rental housing
    • reduce rental costs qualified households

    • encourage large-scale investment and innovative delivery of affordable
    housing.

    The Australian Government is committed to stimulating the construction of 50,000 high quality homes and apartments, providing affordable private rental properties for Australians and their families.

    Why is the government doing this?
    NRAS investors can expect to benefit from the annual NRAS Incentive, rental yields and capital gain.  NRAS is intended to be a commercial, profitable investment for participants, while also assisting Australia to increase the supply of affordable housing.
    With higher returns on direct residential property than returns on office or industrial property over the last 10 years,¹ residential property can be a profitable investment.  While global house prices have fallen substantially globally, the Australian housing sector has shown resilience, primarily due to strong fundamentals – low vacancy rates, high population growth, insufficient housing stock, high employment and sound lending practices.    Demand for residential property is high with the National Housing Supply Council’s State of Supply Report 2010 estimating a current housing supply deficit of 178,400 homes across Australia.
    It is estimated that more than 1.5 million Australian households are eligible to rent NRAS properties.

    Who can rent an NRAS property?
    NRAS tenants tend to be key workers, such as childcare workers, nurses, police officers, fire-fighters and paramedics.  It is estimated that 1.5 million Australian households are currently eligible to rent NRAS properties. Investors can pick any tenants for NRAS properties, as long as these tenants do not exceed a certain income threshold. All tenants will be veted via the normal policies and procedures that National Sterling Real Estate carry out.

    Income levels for eligible NRAS tenants are generous and allow for tenant salary increases of 25 per cent above the entry income limit.
    Contrary to what some people think about the scheme, it’s not another word for “Housing Commission”.  It’s got nothing to do with getting unemployed people and derelicts into cheap housing.  It’s actually about getting the key workers as mentioned above into more affordable housing closer to work.

    What does the investor get?

    The investor gets the following:

    NRAS offers a substantial annual tax-free incentive, the NRAS Incentive, for every dwelling built under its backing.
    Investors need to apply for NRAS Incentives, and if offered, must agree to rent approved dwellings at a rate that is at least 20 per cent below prevailing market rates.
    The NRAS Incentive is a funding stream not available to standard residential property investors.  Each approved dwelling attracts the NRAS Incentive for 10 years, so long as investors continue to comply with conditions relating to tenant eligibility and rent discounts.

    The annual income-tax free Incentive is currently $9,981 per dwelling, and is indexed each year to the rental component of the CPI.

    The Incentive comprises:

    • an Australian Government contribution of $7,486 per dwelling per year (as a refundable tax offset or payment); and
    • a State or Territory Government contribution of $2,495 per dwelling per year (in direct or in-kind financial support).
    The Incentive provided under the Scheme assists investors and property developers to work up proposals that offer an attractive and competitive rate of return.
    The Government is committed to ensuring that the full value of the NRAS Incentive is passed to all investors. Prospective investors are encouraged to talk to the Australian Tax Office before finalising their investment structure or applying for NRAS Incentives, to ensure this policy objective is achieved.  The Australian Government has no legal or equitable claim over an NRAS property.
    If you would like to register your interest to find out more about the NRAS scheme and how you can benefit from it as an investor, please email nras@nationalsterling.com.au.  Include your name and contact details and one of our financial advisors will contact you to discuss further.

  • Thank you

    NationalSterlingOffice01
    Moving office

    You may remember that due to our expansion over the past 18 months, we had to move our main office to Level 9, East Tower, 608 St Kilda Road.  The fit out is now completed and we’d like to share some photos with you and give a big thanks to everyone who helped make it happen.

     

    NationalSterlingReception NationalSterlingOffice03NationalSterlingOffice02NationalSterlingOffice01

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