Interview with Chris Liu: Answering First Home Buyers FAQ’s

If you are a first home buyer, you will know that there is a lot to consider before choosing a property that is right for you and your family. The process involves more than just simply buying a house; there are things to take into account such as property value, getting a professional solicitor, government incentives, valuation and location. We have the answers to all of the questions you may have as a first home buyer, and you will have a much clearer outlook on what you need to consider before buying your first home!

We recently sat down with Chris Liu, an experienced sales agent specialising in house and land with extensive knowledge in helping first home buyers find a property best suited to them.  With his architecture background, Chris always introduces a project to his clients with a unique perspective. His aim is to build long-term relationships with his clients, ensuring that they make the best decision for their own circumstances and needs. Read the interview below as we uncover which areas you should consider buying in, how to make sure your property gains value over time and some key insights into the future of the Queensland property market.

 

1. Hi Chris, thanks for joining me today to give our clients some insightful information on the current Queensland property climate and what they can expect buying their first home. We are seeing a lot of interstate buyers looking to relocate to Brisbane at the moment, what would you say are some of the main forces driving property in Brisbane?

I would say that Brisbane has become more and more popular in recent years, and more interstate investors have put their eyes on the Brisbane property market. South-east Queensland’s affordability, lifestyle and climate have always been some of the main factors that appeal to the southern states.  Especially when we compare Brisbane to Sydney and Melbourne, in terms of affordability, the medium house price is only $616,387, which is significantly lower than Melbourne ($936,073) and Sydney ($1,211,488). In addition, the new high-end projects, Queens Warf for example, will definitely push Brisbane into the world-class city and we can tell that the property market still has plenty room to grow in the upcoming years.

 

2. The government has introduced several incentives to help first home buyers enter the market, what are some of the current incentives that these buyers can take advantage of?

In these recent months, the government has indeed helped a lot for first home buyers enter the market. There are 3 main incentives that first home buyer can apply for.

The first is a $15,000 first home buyers grant to put towards buying or building a new house, unit or townhouse (valued at less than $750,000). The government also offers stamp duty concessions to some first buyers if the home is valued under $550,000.

The second is a scheme for eligible first home buyers to purchase or build a new home with a deposit of as little as 5 per cent as well as the ability to make contributions into your super fund to save for your first home. In addition, A $15,000 grant for new builds contracts signed before 31 March 2021 (building + land price within $750,000).

There is also a 50 per cent rates rebate for eligible first homeowners of up to $1000 or a 100 per cent rebate for those who build or buy a brand-new home.

 

3. In the last few months, there has been a big increase in the number of first homeowners in the Brisbane property market. What are some of the things that new home buyers should take into consideration when choosing the best location to buy in?

I would say to the first home buyer to think about the future value for the property you are looking to purchase today. If you have a family, you should buy at least 3-4 bedrooms townhouse or house, because you will need the extra space for your kids down the line. But in most situations, the first home buyer is single or young couple, I would suggest them to have a think about the inner-city apartments. Firstly, it is not duplicatable, Brisbane has and will have only one CBD and one South Bank, it will protect the value of the property. Secondly, the rental returns will be higher than suburban properties, it can achieve up to 6-7% returns easily. And finally, it will save you valuable time to travel from home to work every day and will also bring down costs by not having to pay for parking and transport if you are working in the CBD.

 

4. Following on from the previous question, what are some of the most important things that first home buyers should look out for in a property to ensure that they can gain value further down the track?

One common mistake that many buyers make is skipping the inspection before settlement. I strongly recommend that all the buyers should do the inspection before hand over, no matter if it’s brand new or resale properties. You may find termites on the resales and probably some defects for brand new properties so it is important to inspect the property yourself to check the quality. As I mentioned before, the inner-city apartments can be a good choice for single and young couples. For the apartment market, due to the COVID-19, it has had a significant drop in price. If you are thinking to enter to the apartment market, now is the time to do so because when the international borders open, there will be a large number of overseas investors flooding into the Brisbane market, therefore, the price will definitely go up in the future.

For families, I will say that there is one thing that cannot be ignored, which is school catchment. In the past 5-7 years, it shows that the suburban property in the good school catchment zone has increased dramatically, people are starting to think about education facilities for their kids when they purchase new homes. Therefore, I would say good school catchment properties will have more chance to gain more value further down the track.

 

5. There are many steps involved in the process of buying a property, and this can often make new buyers unsure of where to begin. Where do you recommend that first home buyers should start the buying process and what are the main steps that they can take to ensure a successful purchase?

First things first, talk to the professional agents who are experts in the specific property type that you are looking for. What I mean by this is if, for example, you looking to buy in the inner-city apartment, you should talk to the agent who mainly focusses on apartments. And if you are looking for suburban houses, you’re better of talking to a house and land professional. For example, I specialise in house and land and I have been working with big builders like Metricon and Skyfield Homes for a long time, therefore I walk clients who are interested specifically in house and land through the entire process to ensure that they are able to choose the right product for them. Talking to the wrong agent can lead to wasting time and could also lead to a confused outlook on property selection.

 

6. There are a range of extra cost that are involved on when buying a property, what are some of these extra costs that first home buyers need to be aware of when working out their finances?

Firstly, you will need a solicitor to look into your contract carefully, to try to maximize your benefit and protect you during the buying procedure. This usually costs about $900-$1500 for the professional solicitor to work on your contract. Secondly, if you are an international buyer, there is another 7% extra stamp duty that needs to be paid to the government, along with a FIRB approval that will cost you $5,650. Thirdly, it is pretty normal that valuation comes under the contract price when you buying properties.

 

7. Moving into the future, what are some of your predictions for the Brisbane property market in and what trends can you see based off your own experience in the field?

I would say in the next few years, there will be a significant increase for interstate buyers to invest in Brisbane. Especially when Queens Warf has been completed; it will bring Brisbane into the next level of a world-class city and it will boost the Brisbane property market’s value for sure, no doubt.

 

8. Lastly, what tips and advice can you give to first home buyers who are actively considering a purchase in 2021?

My advice would be to definitely go for it, it is the best time ever to purchase property in 2021. People are still suffering from COVID-19 right now, and the international border still remains closed. A large number has been offered in incentives to encourage buyers to make purchases. So, if you are currently in the market and ready to buy, just go for it. When the border reopens late this year or early next year, there will be a huge number of international investors flooding into the local market, which will push the prices up.

 

Chris Liu

Project Leader

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Moving on to 2021!

We welcome 2021!

As we say goodbye to the challenging year of 2020, we are excited to welcome 2021 with the knowledge that it is going to bring about many new opportunities and joy. The Bristar team extends sincere greetings and well wishes as we move forward into a new year full of hope and possibilities! While 2020 was a tough year for many, there were also many positives that remained. Take a look back on the year we have had here at Bristar.

 

 

Gound Breaking Ceremony at Thornlands

On the 7th of March , PARC Thornlands officially commenced. Guest gathered and the Mayor of Redland, Ms. Karen Williams delivered a speech to signal the commencement of the project. This was an opportunity that provided a solid foundation for the PARC Thornlands project to grow in the local community.

 

 

PARC Sunnybank Hills Townhomes

For our PARC Sunnybank Hills Townhouse development, stage 2 was successfully delivered in 2020 by the Bristar Group. We are pleased to say that residents have been able to enjoy all of the wonderful amenities that are available in close proximity to the town homes, and we can see a very strong community forming.

 

 

Metricon Partnership

Our team was invited to visit the exhibition room of the Metricon group, which won the Best Design Award in Queensland. The Bristar and Metricon group have built a strong relationship over 2020 and are proud to be business partners.

 

 

Paradise Lakes Photography Competition

Bristar Group, in collaboration with the Queensland Photographers Association,  proudly coordinated a photography competition for the beautiful Paradise Lakes project to encourage community involvement, awareness of the project and engagement in the local community. The outcome was very successful with many high-quality entries. The judges had a hard time picking the winners!

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Team Building Retreat for the Sales and Marketing Team

Our dedicated sales and marketing team attended a team-building retreat at the beautiful Kooralbyn Valley. Following these couple of days, we know with certainty that the sales and marketing team have become more like a family. Sharing the same goals for BriStar’s future, this team is eager to achieve the company objectives while supporting one another each step of the way.

 

 

Meet the Neighbors at PARC Calamvale

In December, our future PARC Calamvale residents attended the Meet the Neighbors event. This event was a great opportunity for our residents to meet each other and to get know their fellow neighbors.

The afternoon was a great success with developers, builders, sales agents and buyers all gathering together, giving our buyers the perfect opportunity to ask any questions they had leading up to the build of their homes. Families gathered on site over delicious gelato and enjoyed each other’s company.

We are very excited to see the future development of PARC Calamvale and we know that it is going to have a strong and welcoming community!

 

 

It has been a busy year at our Calamvale site regardless of the pandemic! Construction remains on schedule with title registration already finalised! We are on the final stretch now with only a few lots remaining.

 

 

Skyfield Partnership

We are proud to announce that we have partnered up with quality home builders, Skyfield Homes in 2020! Skyfield focusses on developing great relationships with their clients through communication and trust and ensure that every project runs seamlessly. We are proud to have Skyfield Homes as partnering builders and we are excited to see all of these high quality designs come to fruition!

 

 

Christmas Party!

Our ‘medical- themed’ company Christmas party was a great way to conclude 2020 (fighting Corona virus as a team!) A very merry night full of laughter and celebration was had. Our team enjoyed delicious food, company and many games to end the year on a positive note. Throughout the year, the Bristar team members have bonded as a family and have supported each other through tough times. We believe that a strong and connected team deliver the best results and we have become an even more united family in the year of 2020. We are proud of what we have achieved in 2020, and we know that 2021 will only be an even better year!

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Calamvale – Meet The Neighbors

Over the weekend, our future PARC Calamvale residents attended the Meet the Neighbors event. This event was a great opportunity for our residents to meet each other and to get know their fellow neighbors. With the title registration now finalised, our residents are becoming very eager and excited to start the building process for their future at PARC Calamvale.

The afternoon was a great success with developers, builders, sales agents and buyers all gathering together, giving our buyers the perfect opportunity to ask any questions they had leading up to the build of their homes. Families gathered on site over delicious gelato and enjoyed each other’s company.

We are very excited to see the future development of PARC Calamvale and we know that it is going to have a strong and welcoming community!

  

 

 

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Calamvale Progress

Calamvale construction update

It has been a busy year at our Calamvale site regardless of the pandemic! Construction remains on schedule with title registration already finalised! Furthermore, compaction tests have concluded and received certification with soil tests ready to be undertaken from December 1st. We are on the final stretch now with only 5 lots remaining, now is your last chance if you haven’t already taken the plunge!

Meet the Neighbors at Calamvale

As we have made so much progress, we are hosting a “Meet the Neighbors” event on the 6th of December for the Calamvale residents. This is an opportunity for future residents to meet their community and fellow neighbours! It will be held at lot 17 at Calamvale, 58 Menser Street and will run from 3:30 – 6:30 pm.

*Register by 30th November by calling 1300 822 811 OR email info@bristarproperty.com.au!

 

 

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Successes with BriStar Migration: Interview with Elvis

Each month, BriStar Migration meets a new person working in an interesting job overseas. This week, we interviewed Elvis, a student who migrated to Australia  from China with his family and their business. We discuss some of the reasons why they decided to relocate, the process of relocating to Australia and the help that the BriStar Migration team were able to provide them with to assist in the big move.  

 

It is a big decision to decide to move halfway across the world, when and why did you decide to leave China?

My family decided to move to Australia in 2013. The reason of why I decided to move to Australia is that I wanted to study in a different country where people doesn’t speak my hometown language so that I could learn and grow more from being in such a different environment. Over the last 7 years, I have come to realise that I have the ability to that I can easily suit to any environment without being afraid.  Another main reason for the relocation to Australia is that we wanted to move our family business to a place where there are many opportunities.

 

With Australia being one of the most appealing location for migrants around the world and with the processes becoming increasingly difficult, what made you reach out to the BriStar Migration to assist you in the process of moving your business to Australia?

Bristar Migration was recommended to us by some friends who moved to Australia before us. They told us that the Bristar Migration team was has a knowledgeable background in the field and that they had the ability to help anyone relocate to Australia who have a business investment visa. This sounded really promising to us so that is why we chose to use the Bristar Migration services. And we are glad that we did!

 

Knowing what you know now, what are some of the key parts of relocating to Australia that you would like to let other potential migrants know? Furthermore, what are some of the big differences other migrants can expect in culture between China and Australia.

Some of key point that attracted us to Australia in the first place were human rights, freedom, low prices of goods and really good air and food quality.  From my parents’ point of view, they have always thought that Australia is the best country for education and for children and teenagers like me to grow up in. My little sister was only 2 years old at the time and they wanted to make sure that we have all the best opportunities available to us, and Australia was definitely the place for that.

 

BriStar Migration has made the process of relocating painless for many people – in which areas were the BriStar Migration team able to help you with the most?

Some of the main areas in which the Bristar Migration team were able to help is helping me find an exchange program, finding business investment and locating a suitable place of residence for me and my family. I am very proud to say that my sister and I have both now got our Australian citizenship now which we are very happy about. The Bristar migration team were also able to help us hire local people to work in our health food store, which we couldn’t have done as quickly without the help given by Bristar.  

 

While there are many challenges involved in the process of migrating, there are also many rewards that come along with it. What has been the most rewarding part of migrating to Australia?

The most rewarding part of migrating to Australia is well-being, such as Medicare, Superannuation and Centrelink. It is also the quality of the education and the security that it provides. Moving to Australia has meant that me and my family have a safe place to live with many great opportunities for all of our futures.

 

What tips or advice would you like to add, if any, to prepare a future migrant for moving to Australia?

My most important tips that I can give to someone my age moving to Australia is to learn as much English as you can before moving. Get a job, part-time or full-time, as it will make the integration into a new culture and society easier. Getting a job will also allow you to make lots of friends who speak English, and it will make you become a part of the community and Australia as a whole very quickly.

 

BriStar Migration pride themselves on making the relocation to Australia as easy as possible for its clients. Australia is a great place to live for many migrants and it is important for us to provide everyone with that opportunity. If you have been looking at migrating to Australia, or if you know anyone who needs an upper hand to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible, then don’t hesitate to contact us on 1300 822 811 OR visit https://www.bristargroup.com.au/contact/ to submit an enquiry.

 

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Team Building Retreat at the Kooralbyn Valley

Team Building Retreat at the Kooralbyn Valley

Over the last two days, our dedicated sales and marketing team attended a team-building retreat at the beautiful Kooralbyn Valley. Upon arrival, the team enjoyed a pub lunch together, ready and fueled up for the activities ahead.

 

 

After lunch, the team bonded over several team building activities, learning a bit more about each of their colleagues. Some interesting “secrets” and facts unraveled throughout these activities about each team member, and many laughs were shared! Who knew that Joe’s BMI is 24 or that Charlie has a collection of tiny car models? We could feel the team becoming closer by each minute that passed.

 

 

Later in the cooler afternoon, the team geared up to practise their golf swings on the driving range for the next day’s 18-hole golf journey. Luckily enough, we had two golfing experts on the team, Shane and Shuli, who were able to give the team some helpful tips and tricks. While several of the team members had never played golf before, we all managed to hit the ball after a few practice swings. The day concluded with presentations from each of the directors, as well as each of the team members. We shared out journeys with BriStar and the future that we envision moving forward. We gathered a good sense of how we can further build on the successes of BriStar as a team, even stronger and more efficient than we were before.

 

   

 

Early the next morning, after a delicious buffet breakfast, the team eagerly set out to put all of their practice to good use. While we can’t say that we have all become golfing experts over-night, we say that it was a day full of fun, laughs and getting to know each other even better

 

   

 

Following these couple of days, we know with certainty that the sales and marketing team have become more like a family. Sharing the same goals for BriStar’s future, this team is eager to achieve the company objectives while supporting one another each step of the way. A strong and connected team is key to the success of every business and we know that 2021 will be an even more successful year for BriStar! We want to say a big thanks to the sales and marketing team who embraced the weekend with all of their energy and to the organizers, Brett and Nian who ensured a successful outcome for the team building retreat!

 

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The Future for Real Estate in a Post-Covid World

Covid-19 has changed the way in which many industry sectors operate. The health restrictions and social distancing measures have forced businesses to adapt their processes so that they align with government restrictions. This has given rise to rapid adoption of the latest technology in order for businesses to stay afloat in these uncertain times. The Real Estate industry has typically been a slow adopter when it comes to technology, however this has changed significantly amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, where we have witnessed an industry shift towards adaptation. This new trend towards innovative approaches as agents connect with buyers has uncovered new and exciting methods of making sales including; 360 degree video, virtual reality, augmented reality and online contract signing.

From the latter decades of the 20th century and the birth of the information age, digitisation has been at the forefront of commercial industry. Technology continues to evolve with companies spending billions of dollars in making information readily available to their consumers. Covid-19 has brought the real-estate industry into the fold and many experts expect to start seeing a more futuristic approach as we move forward. Studies show that with over 80% of people now searching for property online and Real Estate companies need to continuously adapt to ensure that they are accommodating these buyers.

At the forefront of these innovations is Joe Zhang, an expert in the field. Joe has been in the real estate industry for the last six years and has gained significant insights and knowledge about the property market. Today will Joe share his insights and will highlight key changes in the Real Estate industry. Come with us as he uncovers the future for the property market in Brisbane post-Covid 19 and shares his calculated opinions on what people can expect moving forwards.

 

1. Good morning Joe! Thanks for being with us today! The Real Estate Industry has had to alter its strategies and processes in order to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic. What would you say has been the most significant changes in the industry since the pandemic?

Thanks, it’s wonderful to be here! Covid-19 has indeed been the single biggest factor of uncertainty that we have experienced since the day I began my career in Real Estate 6 years ago. The most significant changes we’re seeing at this moment is that people are getting more serious about buying or owning their own homes. Renting is no longer the best option for people who have the capacity to buy, and sales have been surprisingly steady due to the reasonable prices in Queensland compared to some other major cities in the country.

 

2. The home builder grant has been an effective government intervention to reduce the impact of the pandemic on the industry. How do you think the industry would be affected when the Home Builder grand ends?

We’re definitely seeing motivation from buyers to apply for this New Home Builder Scheme which is probably the main reason why most of the transactions during this time went to house & land for under $750,000 threshold. When this does end, I think we’re going to see housing market diversify again where apartments, townhouses and villas are going to pick up again, and house & land will potentially drop slightly. Right now we are seeing apartments artificially undervalued and land slightly overvalued because of these incentives and popular opinion.

 

3. How has the consumer purchase behaviour shifted from pre-Covid times to the present where uncertainty is a main concern for many buyers?

Before Covid-19 hit, we saw a larger number of buyers who searched for properties before thoroughly researching the project or other options. Now, we’re seeing buyers becoming increasingly savvy, hunting for bargains and coming in with their finance pre-approved, with good knowledge of the project. It is evident to see that buyers are becoming more informed while considering all of their options before locking in a purchase. Conversely, we are also seeing people entering the market earlier than ever with the help of increased government assistance.

 

4. Since the pandemic, many Real Estate agencies have started to adopt and rely on technology and doing business online. To what extent has the process of buying and selling property been digitized and how do you think it has impacted the overall experience of the customer?

Digitisation has been a rising trend for many years but Covid-19 has really accelerated the shift to the online environment. I think that the Real Estate industry has greatly benefited from the advancements in technology and the internet’s capabilities in this time of the pandemic. We have buyers that purchase houses without having a single inspection in person but instead we use video meetings after which they are comfortable to sign the contract and eventually settle. I would say that the Real Estate industry is very lucky in the way that it is able to do business remotely and adapt very easily with the technology that is made available to us. As real estate agents, I believe that we must adopt these new advancements and use them to enhance the overall customer experience. I think the general public is becoming more open and trusting with the idea of dealing with purchases in an online environment and now is a good time to focus our energy in that direction.

 

6. What do you think the future holds for the Real Estate industry in a post-Covid world? Regarding customer interaction, customer relationships, property viewing and the adaptation of technology?

We very much look forward to this pandemic coming to an end. I think the changes I would expect and as we’re already experiencing now is that Australians will be much more owner-driven than tenant- driven, meaning most of Australians will seriously consider owning their homes as early as they could and prepare themselves accordingly. We will see more and more online inspections and transactions done now that people have started getting used to the shift online. We will need to keep an eye on the needs of our customers in a technology driven worlds to ensure that their needs are being met and that relationships can continue to form, even in an online space. Regarding the upcoming months with the recent election, I expect to see the interstate demand strengthen in Queensland with a surge in the next few years specifically from Melbourne and Sydney once the border restrictions are all lifted.

 

While Covid-19 has evidently changed the way in which the world operates, it is hopeful to see that the property market, specifically in Brisbane, is pulling through it. Economist are predicting a strong surge in value over the next two years for Brisbane as low interest rates and availability of credit pushes prices up. According to Westpac, house prices in Brisbane could lead the capital city growth predicted to jump by as much as 20 per cent by 2023. While the pandemic has caused many difficulties that we need to continue to overcome, it has also presented us with many opportunities. There is a lot of room for growth in the Brisbane property market and Brisbane’s economy is set to bounce back stronger attracting many interstate relocators in the future.

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2021 Price Increase PARC Thornlands

2021 Price Increase

There are many great features and characteristics that come along with owning land at PARC Thornlands, so it is understandable that the interest has been extremely high with the lots  selling out fast!

Positioned in a great location just 30-minutes from the Brisbane CBD, PARC Thornlands offers the best of both worlds; a calming, nature-filled neighbourhood and the luxury of being close to the city as well. Acreage land is extremely rare to come by in this area, and PARC Thornlands is the only remaining acreage land estate in the heart of Redlands making it a very attractive opportunity.

With this ever-increasing interest we have received in this project over the last few months, prices are being adjusted in the new year. If you have been thinking about building your dream home at PARC Thornlands, now is the perfect time to secure your piece of land at its original prices and invest in your future.

 

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Home Designs

Exclusively available at PARC Thornlands, Metricon has designed this stunning home to fit in with the lifestyle that Thornlands has to offer. With a spacious floorplan and many carefully thought out finishing touches, this home encompasses the style and the convenience that any family will enjoy. We offer a range of other options for you to to choose from with our many quality partnering builders. The possibilities are endless for a future at PARC Thornlands.

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Skyfield Homes, new partnering builders

We are proud to announce that we have recently partnered up with quality home builders, Skyfield Homes. Being in the industry for several years, Skyfield pride themselves on building homes of the highest quality and standard.  They ensure the the utmost care is taken when it comes to the finer details of the home by integrating advanced concepts in craftsmanship and style. Skyfield focusses on developing great relationships with their clients through communication and trust and ensure that every project runs seamlessly.

Skyfield Homes are offering a great selection of unique and high-quality house designs for a future at PARC Calamvale, such as this stunningly designed “Kiana” home featured above. A generously sized layout with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, 2 carports and the ability to customise and add your own personal touches. They offer real-time tracking of the building process of your dream home so you can rest assured you’ll be enjoying your new lifestyle as soon as desired.
We are proud to have Skyfield Homes as partnering builders and we are excited to see all of these high quality designs come to fruition!
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