Saturday, August 30, 2014

Auction Day

So today was the auction day for the house we were interested in buying. At this point we haven't bought it...

So we got a valuation that cost us $330 and they produced a value of $770k. But when we were meeting with the mortgage guy at the bank he said that the bank could do a valuation for $50 and if we go ahead with the purchase the fee will be waived as they do this as part of the loan approval process anyway. So we got that valuation too. The median of that appraisal was $800k with a range of $760k to $840k. So I went into the auction with an limit of around $860k in mind. The highest I got to bid was $850k and then the next bid was $865k. The auctioneer was not accepting smaller increments. As we were still below the reserve price I then decided not to push the price higher on the gamble that the owner wouldn't accept this higher bidder's offer and the house will return to market with a listed price. It turns out that the owner's reserve price was $970k but they are willing to go down to $950k but the other bidder would only go up to $870k. So, I expect the house will either be listed now at $950k or taken off the market and the owner will try again at the beginning of 2015 just before the current tenancy concludes.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Independent Valuers

So, we are thinking of getting a valuation on the house. The price of this service varies widely. These local guys charge $330. Herron Todd White - "the largest valuer in Australia" - charges $660. Is this a case where it makes sense to go with the cheaper service or is there some extra quality or service that is worth paying double for?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Gearing Up for Housebuying Again

So, this weekend we went to see several houses in different parts of the city. We are following up in more detail on the one in the picture. The location is convenient to public transport with a position on top of a hill looking out over trees to a mountain - you could almost be out in the bush, apart from the traffic noise at the back of the house. It is the most expensive block in this suburb though it has been subdivided in two in what is called here a dual occupancy. The remaining block is still just over 1000 square metres. The house looks best from the street side, as in the picture. Inside is another story and there may be some structural issues with foundations at the back. The house has been rented presumably to students at my university for the last 20 years. Current rent is $570 a week. But that is only one of the two apartments the property is divided into. The apartment is rented till early next year though the second apartment is unoccupied. I think the price has to be over $700k as the land value is at least $550k. Auction is at the end of the month.

I have a previous history with this house. Fifteen years ago my girlfriend lived there, though we weren't together very long and I didn't visit that many times as a result. It was strange to come back again now. Looks like they didn't do any renovation in all that time apart from redesigning the front garden.

Snork Maiden talked to a colleague to see if they can recommend a builder to assess the potential renovation. Turns out the people who live in the second house on the block are friends of her colleague whose children go to the same school as his children.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Monthly Spending

The graph shows our monthly spending each month since moving to Australia. I've taken out some business related expenditures that get refunded - so this is the same as the core expenditure I report in my monthly reports. You can see that the first year we were frugal and expenditure stuck around or just under the $A4,000 per month level. After that there are lots of spikes associated with travel and other larger expenditures and gradually the average has moved up to about $A6,000 a month currently. Note that $A2,150 a month is our rent. All the numbers are nominal, not adjusted for inflation.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Moominvalley July 2014 Report

Another monthly report... Much of this month was spent travelling and then catching up on work when I got back. I don't post here much because I don't do much trading or make many new investments nowadays. And I put most of my blogging effort into my professional blog. So there are mostly only these monthly reports, reports on tax returns, and occasional new investments etc. Of course we are investing plenty of money into funds and stocks we already own trying to keep in line with our diversified strategy.

The Australian Dollar fell a little this month to 93 US cents. The MSCI World Index fell 1.18%, the S&P 500 fell 1.37%, but the ASX200 rose 4.40%. We gained 1.74% in US Dollar terms and 3.15% in Australian Dollar terms. So we didn't beat the Australian stock market but did much better than the world markets. Net worth rose $A56k to $1.247 million or $US37k to $US1.160 million. The monthly accounts (in AUD) follow:

Other income is non-investment income. It was far above normal this month at $27.9k as we got three salary payments this month and there were refunds and rpepayments for business travel spending. Spending was $9.3k with $6.6k of that not refundable. That's not bad considering that both of us were traveling internationally for part of the month. We managed as a result to save $18.7k from non-investment income. We gained $37.5k on investments with $6.8k of that contributed by foreign exchange gains.