Research

The 3 things to look for in a law firm for your strata

By Bianca Dabu
A man holding binoculars

Lawyers often play a big role in outlining a road map for investors looking into developing a property — making a streamlined process for a more efficient and lucrative investment journey.

ClarkeKann Lawyers' James Nickless and Ian McKnight, together with Smart Property Investment's Phil Tarrant, lists three things for developers to look for in a law firm that could provide them the best service possible:

1. Law firms with end-to-end approach

The right law firm will be able to handle every single important matter throughout an investor's strata journey—from property development, banking and finance, litigation, and other aspects.

"There are some firms that are boutique in the property development space, but then, once the development's up and out of the ground, they don't really do anything from there. And there are other firms that do a lot of things like levy recoverment and by-law enforcement and all those sorts of things, on the back end, in the litigious side," James said.

"You want a firm that does the whole ambit so that throughout your whole strata journey, whether that starts as a developer, [or] goes on as a lot owner and [who] might deal with site acquisition in the future, you've got skill sets within that firm, that can handle every single matter."

2. Lawyers who admit their limitations

While investors will obviously be looking for the best of the best, Ian and James believe that truly good lawyers will have the courage to say that there are aspects of a particular matter that is better handled by experts outside the firm.

"I think experience is important, too. I mean, no lawyer knows everything, and it may well be that there may be an aspect of a particular matter for which you need to go outside the firm even," Ian explained.

"I think a good lawyer will admit that. He might need to go to a barrister to get a particular point clarified. He might need to go to a particular expert in another area of the law."

"While the wide range of the firm is important, again, it's a case of knowing who to look for, when to look for them... to bring about a complete package," he added.

3. The best law firm, not the cheapest

In building a financial team, investors must pay attention to the quality of the service that can be provided by the law firm.

"I would say that you shouldn't really price shop on lawyers. Just because they're the cheapest, doesn't make them the best. Sometimes you need to pay good money for good advice," Phil said.

Tune in to Ian McKnight and James Nickless' episode in The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the rules behind strata, the politics involved with the owners' corporation, as well as their tips and tricks to ensuring buyers receive the right advice at the right time.

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  string(46) "A property investment plan years in the making"
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Will Magee has had ambitions to enter into the Australian property market for quite some time, but it has been more than just finances holding him back.  Having been granted permanent residency just two weeks ago, Will is wasting no time and is now in the process of signing papers and finding his first investment property.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(2483) "

In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Will joins host Phil Tarrant to share why he is purchasing his first property in partnership with his brother, discuss the complications that can arise from such a strategy, and unpack the ongoing plan for building a joint property portfolio with his brother.

Will will also share how they approached saving for their first property, why he is taking out the mortgage in his name exclusively, and share their savings plan for the year ahead.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

From property in Australia to a ski lodge in Japan
Mortgage Trusts, an alternative first step for property investors
Should a real estate title be in one person’s name only?

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Median house prices in regional Victoria outperformed that of Melbourne in the June quarter, the latest REIV figures reveal. 

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Median house prices in the regions rose 4.0 per cent to $419,500 but in Melbourne they dipped by 0.6 of a percentage point to $840,000.

The result in Melbourne was due to a 0.8 of a percentage point fall in prices achieved at auction; this was despite a lift of 2.3 per cent in private sales.

Inner Melbourne suffered due to auction prices, where median prices fell by 4.9 per cent to $1,459,000 but it was middle Melbourne that was hardest hit, with a 5.4 per cent drop to $974,500.

Outer Melbourne had a good quarter with the median rising by 0.5 of a percentage point to $681,000.

Apartment prices in regional Victoria grew by 3.7 per cent to $304,500 while the metro media was up by 0.5 of a percentage point to $604,000.

REIV President Richard Simpson said that despite fewer sales, many sectors of the market were performing well.

“2017 was a bumper year and while the trendline has flattened, despite the fall in median house prices in the June quarter, median prices are still up this calendar year for both houses and units, in Melbourne and in the regions,” Mr Simpson said. 

In particular there was been strong growth in regional centres which is probably due to the first-home buyers’ concessions said Mr Simpsons.

“The first-home buyers’ concession has been a boon for regional areas. A new entrant to the property market buying a house at the regional median will pay no stamp duty, while a first home buyer of an apartment in Melbourne at the median price would pay stamp duty of nearly $25,000,” he said.

Mr Simpson said that more prospective buyers are looking towards regional Victoria which is also having an effect in Melbourne.

“Melbourne’s outer perimeter continues to grow. Small increases in the June quarter mean that the median prices for both houses and units have risen over 10.5 per cent from a year ago.

Mr Simpson said moving forward that vendors need more realistic expectations as the highs of 2017 are now over.

“Negative chatter about the future of the sector coupled with stronger lending controls by financial institutions has created some uncertainty and vendors need to be realistic with their price expectations,” Mr Simpson said.

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Regional Victoria showing up Melbourne in price performance, new data finds
object(stdClass)#1180 (52) {
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  ["title"]=>
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  ["introtext"]=>
  string(381) "

If Mark Hodge’s face looks familiar to you it could be because of his time working as a professional entertainer which saw him working with the Australian ballet, appearing on multiple seasons of Dancing with the Stars and touring in musical theatre for 17 years. What you may not know is that Mark is also heavily involved in the short-term property rental marketspace.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(2718) "

Mark joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss his transition from entertainer to investor, a journey pushed forward by dance related injuries and even a hit and run which saw him needing to find alternate methods to bring in an income. Mark shares how bad long-term tenants and a gang member guided him to the short-term rental market, and how this pushed him into helping others to realise the same benefits.

Mark will also address the common concerns, discuss what his company Maisonnets specialise in and unpack how they are making the process of filling short term rentals easier for investors.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

The hard-to-swallow truth: The prickly points of the Airbnb reforms
Airbnb reforms unpacked for property investors
Airbnb leasing: What are a landlord’s rights and responsibilities? 


AREAS MENTIONED:

Melbourne
Sydney
Rushcutters Bay
Maroubra
Potts Point

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From pirouettes to property investment

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