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Are you a fan of home fragrances? If yes, you’re in good company!
Whether fragrance products are used to cover up stale odors or to enhance living spaces, sprays, diffusers, and scented candles are big business.
However, along with growing popularity, there has been increasing concern about potential risks to indoor air quality. If you want your living spaces to smell good while preserving a healthy environment, here are seven preferable options.

1. Open the Windows

Even in colder months, you may find a day warm enough to let nature come in and whisk away stale odors.
In warmer weather, plan on opening your windows at least once or twice a month. Set up fans to help circulate the air and create a breeze that flows across the house.

2. Fresh Flowers

Select a few highly-scented flowers and place them in the rooms where you spend the most time. This will improve your home’s smell AND its appearance.
Ask your florist to help you select among the best stems currently in stock. Think roses, gardenias, lilies, jasmine, lavender, lilac, and hyacinth.
Consider planting a few of your favorite varieties in your yard so you can harvest your own!

3. Essential Oils

Skip artificially-synthesized fragrance oils and go for the real thing. Just make sure you purchase essential oils from reputable brands that produce high-quality, chemical-free products.
You can use sachets dabbed with your favorite oils in your closet and drawers—or your air vents! Put a few drops of oil on cotton balls and tuck them inside bathroom toilet paper rolls for fragrance each time the roll is used.
Consider using electric essential oil diffusers or sprinkling essential oil over a bowl or basket of pine cones.
If you love scented candles, skip the highly-processed chemical versions and opt for beeswax or soy candles infused with your favorite essential oils.

4. Linen Spray

Between laundering, give your sheets and other bedroom linens a cleaner smell with a make-it-yourself fabric freshener. A search for “DIY linen spray” returns many recipes, using these components:

  • Distilled water
  • Preservative – vodka, rubbing alcohol, or witch hazel
  • Essential oil – lavender is most popular, but you can combine various scents
  • Spray bottle

Shake the bottle before lightly spraying sheets, draperies, and other textiles. In addition to helping your bedroom smell better, lavender is considered a natural sleep aid.

5. Natural Cleaners

Household cleaning products often include potentially harmful chemicals and artificial scents. Consider replacing them with a general, all-purpose cleaner that you make yourself.
First, select a dish detergent that contains no fragrance or dyes. Pure castile soap is a good option. Then, gently mix one teaspoon of your soap with two cups of water. Add 20 drops of essential oil.
In addition to smelling good, savory, lavender, oregano, peppermint, and bergamot have demonstrated antibacterial properties.

6. Bake Cookies

Few things make a house smell more inviting than the aroma of fresh-baked goodies. Bread or cake will produce the same smell-good effect.
If you’re watching your waistline, you can achieve a similar no-calorie (and no temptation) result by simmering water on the stove and adding cinnamon, cloves, and orange peels or cranberry, nutmeg, and rosemary.

7. Natural Reed Diffusers

Instead of purchasing an expensive reed diffuser, you can create your own by placing rattan reeds (purchased at a hobby or craft store) in a glass or ceramic container.
First, add a mixture of 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, ⅓ cup of almond oil, and 20 drops of your favorite essential oil.
Consider using a fresh scent in the kitchen (like lemon) and something soothing for the bedroom (like lavender).
Helping your living space smell great doesn’t have to be expensive—or unhealthy!

Chady Melhem | Property Consultant

Call me for any advice you may need!

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Everyone needs an occasional escape from the world, even in the solitude of their home. Dedicating space for a reading nook can be one of the best ways to create an at-home sanctuary. Make yours perfectly suited to your individual preferences. Here’s how:

STEP ONE: Select the ideal location

Your reading nook needs to be a place where you, or another family member, can temporarily disappear from the rest of your home to chill with a book in comfort and solitude. Few things are more irritating than being engrossed in an enjoyable book, only to be repeatedly interrupted by other people or house activities.
Turn your eye toward the corner of a guest room or study, or even the end of a seldom-used hallway.
You may want to find a spot with a large window framing a good view. Or you may prefer a darker area so that you can cuddle up with a book like a bear in a cave. It all depends on how you like to read.
Once you have found the best place, create your space.

STEP TWO: Find the perfect chair

Comfort is essential. The best chair depends on how you like to read. You may prefer a daybed, a recliner, a window seat, a wing-back chair with an ottoman, or a rocking chair.
There is no wrong choice. Just be sure that whatever you select is best for you. Your reading nook is not the place for that extra chair you stuck in the garage.
If you don’t already have a favorite chair, invest in one, so you can create the ideal space to enjoy your next book!

STEP THREE: Accommodate the extras

If you prefer reading physical books, you should include bookshelf space in your nook. A tall shelf provides easy access to all your favorites, but a shorter version delivers a convenient surface to hold the book you are currently reading.
If you prefer reading on an electronic device, include a place to store and use your charging cables. You may also want to include a stand to hold your tablet at eye level and keep your hands free.
No matter which platform you prefer, the most enjoyable reading nooks also have space for a drink (water, iced tea, a cup of coffee, hot tea, or cocoa) and enough surface space for a snack. (After all, reading and relaxing is often improved by snacking!)

STEP FOUR: Let there be light

If there’s enough surface space beside your chair, you may want to use a table lamp. Otherwise, consider a floor lamp.
If your nook is tiny, a sconce or an adjustable wall-mounted lamp can keep your reading material illuminated.
Whatever you choose, be sure your light source can be positioned so you can read without eye strain. Your reading nook should be all about comfort!

STEP FIVE: Involve all the senses

If you want the ultimate reading nook, make it a delight for all your senses.
Add a cozy rug and a throw that’s a joy to touch.
Make sure the colors and textures are pleasing to the eye.
Add essential oils or a vase of fresh flowers that smell amazing.
Create a reading playlist and let your favorite instrumental sounds waft through your space.
Sip herbal tea or enjoy another flavorful treat.
Sink into the experience and let yourself cozy up and revel in the luxury of this out of the way nook where you can hide from the world and explore new literary ones. Enjoy!

Chady Melhem | Property Consultant

Call me for any advice you may need!

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You don’t have to leave your home to “get away from it all.” With a little planning, you can create a private spa experience and escape within the confines of your home.
Here are eight simple ways to turn your master bathroom into a personal oasis where stress melts away, and little intensive self-care is your top priority.

1. White Towels and Wood

Invest in several uber-thick, over-sized white bath towels and washcloths, plus a cushy white terrycloth robe to wrap yourself in. Nothing says “spa” like luxurious all-white robes and towels.
Heat your towels while you soak. If you don’t have a heated towel rack, try tucking a hot water bottle into the folds and stacking the towels on a wooden stool, placed inches away from the tub for fingertip access. Imagine how good the warm towels will feel against your skin.
In addition to a wooden stool, add a bamboo mat, to improve the spa vibe and avoid soggy rugs.

2. Scented Delights

The spa experience isn’t just for your skin. Delight your nose with bath salts, bath oil, calming essential oil diffuses, or candles in your bathroom. Be sure to select safe,nontoxic candle options.
Consider flowers or an aromatic green plant (eucalyptus, rosemary, cotton lavender, lemon verbena, or chocolate mint). The more senses you involve, the more effective the spa experience will be.

3. Go Natural with Colors and Textures

Take your cues from nature when selecting colors and accessories. Paint the walls soft shades of gray, brown, blue, or green. Add a wooden bowl filled with smooth round rocks that beg to be touched, a large quartz crystal, a simple vase of flowering tree branches, or an orchid.

4. A Luxury Shower

If you have the money and inclination, consider creating a walk-in shower that uses earth tone tiles and includes a glass half-wall or a frame-less glass door to expand the visual size of the shower. Install an overhead rainfall shower-head and a hand-held shower with a massage head.
If you can’t do a complete shower overhaul, there are other ways to move toward a spa-like experience. Start by hanging a high quality, heavy white shower curtain. To step up your spa game, trade an old or basic shower-head for something more exclusive.

5. Legendary Lighting

Bright white lights have no place in a spa. They are too harsh. You need relaxing, “mood lighting.” Install dimmers to your bathroom light switches or improvise with a low-wattage bulb in a lamp. Try draping a cloth over the shade to dampen the light further.
Candles are an instant and portable option that can be placed on your sink or even around your tub! If your bathroom is large enough, try threading a string of white lights through a ficus tree, which can light up a corner and add a soft glow to the whole room.

6. No Clutter, Easy Access

Bathrooms are notorious collection spots for personal care products and related accessories. Clear the clutter from all your surfaces and place the products you need for your spa experience in a wooden bowl, a basket, or a bamboo tub tray. Clutter has been shown to cause stress, and your spa should be a stress-free zone!

7. Tasty Treats

Be sure to offer your sense of taste something delightful to enjoy during your spa experience. Options include a mug (or china cup and saucer) of herbal tea, ice-cold seltzer water with a fruit garnish, a square of dark chocolate, or a glass of wine. Sip, nibble, and soak!

8. Music, Of Course!

No spa experience would be complete without soft, relaxing, meditative music. You can pipe in a full-blown music system to fill your bathroom and bathe yourself in sound.
Or, rely on your phone and use a small, waterproof Bluetooth speaker to bring your music next to the tub, while keeping your phone a safe distance from the water. Create your own spa playlist or try a meditation music app.

Look for ways to envelop all of your senses in a private spa experience. Just be sure to put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the bathroom door and inform everyone else in the house that you are officially off call!

Chady Melhem | Property Consultant

Call me for any advice you may need!

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What Is Real Estate Investing?

Real estate investing is using land or the buildings on it to make money. There are several ways to approach it including residential or commercial properties. 

To give you a full picture of real estate investing we’re going to answer these questions:

  • What are the real estate investment types?
  • How can I make money in real estate?
  • How do I get started?
What Are the Types of Real Estate Investments?

There are four basic types of real estate investments: Residential, Commercial, Industrial, and Land.

Residential Real Estate

Residential real estate is what most people are familiar with. It’s where you invest in a residence. Purchasing a single or multifamily home, and renting it out is the most common form of residential real estate investing.

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial Real Estate is businesses or apartments with more than four units. If you want to invest in a restaurant, for instance, that would be considered commercial real estate. It’s easier to get into residential real estate as there are more tax regulations and city codes to worry about in commercial real estate.

Industrial Real Estate 

Industrial Real Estate is like commercial real estate on steroids. It’s where you invest in power plants, warehouses, or any large scale factory. If you’re a beginning investor, this probably isn’t the path to go down as the purchase price is typically extraordinarily high, and it’s a lot more complicated than either residential or commercial real estate.

Land Real Estate 

Investing in land is one of the easiest ways to get into real estate investing. Land real estate is where you purchase undeveloped land and either rent it out or hold on to it and wait for it to appreciate.

How Do You Make Money in Real Estate Investing?

So now that we’re here, how does investing in real estate make you money? There are three main ways to make money in real estate.

  • Collecting Rent
  • Selling it for more than you bought it (also called appreciation)
  • Collecting interest from loans

Collecting Rent

The most common way to earn money through real estate is by collecting rent. You own property, and someone pays you money to borrow it. Pretty standard. For this to be a good investment, you’d need to rent it out for more than your mortgage payment plus any needed repairs. A good rule  is to buy a property that you can earn around 4% of the purchase price through rent yearly.

Flippers vs. Buy and Hold

Another common way people make money in real estate is by looking for deals and turning around and selling those deals for a profit. If you’re explicitly buying so that you can turn around and make a quick profit it’s called being a flipper. Flippers are looking to buy it, fix it up, and sell it as quickly as possible. It’s a pretty hands-on way to make money in real estate,
Some people aren’t interested in flipping houses and instead buy and hold. They’re banking on the housing market going up, which would allow them to sell for a profit down the road. While this is a common tactic, it’s more like speculation and less like straight real estate investing. It also usually takes a lot of time for the housing market to increase enough to be worth your time.

Collect Interest on Loans

A third way to make money through real estate investing is by earning interest on loans. In this situation, you invest your money, and a real estate developer takes care of the nuts and bolts of the operation. You typically don’t earn as high of a return doing this as you would by being more hands-on, but it’s a lot less time-consuming.
For instance, let’s say a real estate developer wants to purchase a property for $300,000. In this case, you’d loan them some or all of the $300,000 they need.
They’d pay you back a certain amount each month with interest. It’s like you’re the bank lending them money.

How to Get Started Real Estate Investing

Now we know the types of real estate investments and the most common ways people make money. It’s time to figure out which route is best for you.

Do You Want to Be an Active or Passive Investor?

The first step is figuring out how hands-on you want to be. Active investors take an active role in their investment. Passive investors let someone else worry about the details. Do you want to be involved in the day to day aspects of your investment, or do you want to supply the money and forget about it? It’s not just if you want to be active, but how active you want to be.

Active Investing Earns Higher Returns

Being an active real estate investor means you’re hands-on with your real estate investment.
You might be the one physically putting new tile in a house you’re trying to flip, or you might just be setting up the contractors to do the work. Either way, you’re taking time out of your day to make sure the job gets done.
An active real estate investor might also do the legwork of getting renters into their apartment or scheduling needed repairs.
The more hands-on you are, the higher your returns are likely to be. The more active you are, the more time it will take out of your day.

Passive Investing Involves Less Time and Stress

Being a passive real estate investor means you hire out much of the day to day work. This can be as simple as hiring a property management company to take care of getting renters and scheduling repairs for you.
As a passive real estate investor, you give up some of your potential earnings via management fees in exchange for your time and sanity.
People who are already very busy, or don’t want to worry about all the responsibilities of an active real estate investor, might like the freedom that passive real estate brings.
The first step to jumping into real estate is figuring out where on the active/passive continuum you see yourself as a real estate investor.

How Risk Tolerant Are You?

Speaking of sinking the whole ship, how risk-tolerant do you want to be? The more risk you take on, the higher your potential rewards.
Are you looking for a safe path to gain a steady rate of return or would you rather risk a larger loss in hopes of a substantial gain?

There are obvious risks with each type of real estate investment. You might buy a duplex only to find nobody wants to rent it from you. You might buy a piece of land in hopes the value goes up, but instead, it goes down.
Investors who lend money to real estate developers take the risk that the developer will lose their money or the market will turn, and nobody will buy the finished product.
When deciding to become a real estate investor, it’s critical to do your due diligence to be sure you’re limiting risk as much as possible. Each type of real estate investor takes on a different amount.

Working with a Real Estate Agent

Having a real estate agent you can trust is essential to helping you feel comfortable investing your money. Whether you want a rental property to generate cash flow, or simply want to buy and hold, a competent real estate agent can make all the difference. They can save you hundreds of hours by immediately narrowing down your search and fit the exact criteria you’re looking for. They also have the experience to know the difference between a good investment and a bad one. It’s one way to substantially lower your risk of ending up in a bad deal.

Chady Melhem | Property Consultant

Call me for any advice you may need!

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What Are The Factors That Affect The Value Of A Property?

Whether you are selling or buying an investment property or home, you need to consider what the property is really worth. So what are the factors that effect the property value?

  1. Location

    The location of your property is one of the most important factors that affect real estate values. Is it close to restaurants, schools, shops, public transportation? Is it in a tourist destination? Is it close to the city center? The more popular and accessible an investment location is, the more valuable the property will be.

  1. Home Size and Usable Space

    The market value of a real estate property is usually mentioned in terms of price per square meter– the total sales price divided by the property’s square meter. A property’s value is determined by the usable space. Garages, unfinished basements, and attics are usually not included in usable square meter. It is spaces such as bathrooms and bedrooms that can significantly increase the home value.

  1. Age and Condition

    Age is another factor that plays a major role in determining property value. Usually, the newer the property, the more buyers would be willing to pay for it since it does not require any major real estate renovation or repairs. Besides age, property buyers also consider the condition of the structure. People would rather buy a 15-year old house that is well maintained than a newer one that needs major renovation.

  1. Upgrades and Updates

    Upgrades, updates, and home renovations can significantly increase the value of your property, especially older properties that might have outdated features. Kitchen and bathroom renovations are some of the improvements that could have the biggest effect on the home’s value.

  1. Supply and Demand 

    The push and pull of supply and demand has a major influence on the value of property. If there is a high demand but fixed supply, the price of properties will rise as more people attempt to buy. Supply can be increased by splitting large existing structures into several smaller units or building entirely new properties. When supply exceeds demand, prices will then start going down.

  2. Real Estate Comps

    If you want to know the value of a property, check the sale prices of comparable properties (real estate comps) that were sold recently in the area. The properties could be comparable in terms of:

  • Type of home (Apartments-Villas-Duplexes)
  • Year built
  • Square Meter
  • Number of bathrooms and bedrooms
  • Location (near a mall, beach or busy street for example)
  1. Planning/Building Regulations

    Constructing a property today requires building regulations (which include the technical aspects of the construction process) and planning permission (which includes the design, shape, and size of the property). Failure to adhere to these regulations could result in a property being demolished. The amount of planning permission and building regulations required can, therefore, have an impact on the value of the property.

  1. Interest Rates

    The level of interest rates is one of the major factors that affect property value. If the Reserve Bank decides to increase the interest on loans, lenders will follow suit. This will mean that borrowers will have to pay a higher monthly mortgage repayment. Expensive mortgages mean that properties will be sold at a higher price. On the other hand, a reduction in interest rates means that property will be more affordable.

  1. Renovation Potential

    Most real estate investors and home buyers are interested in the renovation potential of a property. This could be the potential to increase the floor space, add an extra bathroom or extra bedroom, add an outdoor patio or add a pool. If there is an allowance for a buyer to personalize or improve a property, then the value of the property will be higher.

  1. Economic Factors 

    The economic conditions of an area will have an effect on people’s ability to sell or buy an investment property. When the economy is booming, there will be more jobs and people will earn more money. As the buying power of people increases, they are more likely to invest in a new home or second home. The increase in demand will eventually result in higher property prices. On the other hand, if unemployment increases and wages drop, less people will be able to afford a home. Subsequently, the prices of property will also drop. It is therefore very important to keep up with the prevailing conditions of an area before setting the price for a property.


It is important to know what a property is worth before buying or selling. This is why you should work with professional real estate agents who have some experience with property valuation and appraisal in the local area.

Chady Melhem | Property Consultant

Call me for any advice you may need!

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Whether to rent or to buy is a major decision. It doesn’t just affect how much money you have left at the end of the month, it also affects your lifestyle and the size of the savings you accumulate over the years. Every day, people buy homes when financially they’d be better off renting because it’s important to them to have a place to put down roots and because they see owning a property is an investment that can grow. Similarly, people rent all the time for the flexibility and minimal responsibility it offers.
Owning isn’t universally better than renting, nor is renting always simpler than owning. Consider the pros and cons of each to figure out whether renting or owning is best for you.


Renting means you can move without penalty each time your lease ends or before if you give a notice for the owner, but it also means you could have to move suddenly if your landlord decides to sell the property.
The biggest myth about renting is that you’re “throwing away money” every month. Not so. First of all, you need a place to live, and that always costs money, in one way or another. Second, while it’s true that you aren’t building equity with monthly rent payments, you also aren’t building equity with much of the money you’ll put into owning a house.
When you rent, you know exactly how much you’re going to spend on housing each month. When you own, you might pay nothing more than your mortgage and regular bills one month, and an additional $12,000 on a new roof the next.
As a renter, though, you do face unpredictable rent increases each time your lease is up for renewal. While if you get a fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly house payments will never increase (though property taxes and insurance premiums probably will).
While home ownership is often touted as a way to build wealth, your home can lose value. The acceptable neighborhood you moved in could decline. You might buy a house for $200,000 tomorrow and in 30 years find that it’s still worth $200,000, meaning you’ve lost money after inflation.
Do you like having your evenings and weekends to use as you please? Do you work long hours or travel frequently? If so, then the time commitment that comes with home ownership might be more than you want to take on. There are always projects around a house that you will need or want to take care of.
If you rent, your landlord will take care of all the major repairs and maintenance, though of course they may not be done as quickly or as well as you would like.


Home ownership brings intangible benefits such as a sense of stability, belonging to a community, and pride of ownership. Real estate is the original illiquid asset. You might not be able to sell when you want if the housing market is down. Even if it’s up, there are significant transaction costs when you sell. Changing your mind about where you want to live is far more expensive when you own.
The overall cost of home ownership tends to be higher than the overall cost of renting, even if the monthly mortgage payment is similar to (or lower than) the monthly cost to rent.
Here are some expenses you’ll be spending money on as a homeowner that you don’t have to pay as a renter:

  • Property taxes
  • Water and sewer service
  • Major property and common areas Repairs and maintenance
  • Homeowners insurance

Perhaps the biggest throw-away expense is mortgage interest, which can make up nearly all of your monthly payments in the early years of a long-term mortgage. Take this typical scenario: You borrow $100,000 at 4% for 30 years. Your first monthly payment will be $477.42, of which $333.33 is interest, and $144.08 is principle. It will be about 13 years before more of your monthly payment goes toward principal than toward interest, and in total, you’ll lose $71,869.51 in interest.
Even renovation projects don’t often increase the value of your home by more than what you spend on them.
Once you add up all these costs, you might find that you’re better off renting and investing the money you would have put into a home into a retirement account.


Which option is best for you isn’t just about money, it’s also about comfort and your vision for your life. Ignore people who tell you that owning always makes more sense in the long run, that renting is throwing away money or that it makes more sense to buy if your monthly mortgage payment would be the same or less than your monthly rent payment. Housing markets and life circumstances are too varied to make blanket statements like these.
Still, despite the added expense and extra chores associated with owning a home, many people chose it over renting. It provides a more permanent place to raise children and often it offers the only way to have, or create, the sort of residence people want. Ultimately, the decision to rent or to own is not just financial, it’s also emotional.

Chady Melhem | Property Consultant

Call me for any advice you may need!

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If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, one of the first things you need to know is how buyers and sellers are faring in your local market. While you might occasionally find a market in perfect balance, more often than not you’ll find yourself in one—either a buyer’s market, in which home buyers have the upper hand, or a seller’s market, which favors those selling their properties. Knowing which type of market you’re in can not only inform your strategies for the transaction, but can also make your efforts more successful, and help you close the deal faster.

What Is a Buyer’s Market?

In a buyer’s market, there is a larger supply of homes for sale than there are buyers for them, and overall conditions favor the home buyer.
Signs of a buyer’s market:

  • Listings are staying on the market longer
  • Sellers are reducing their prices
  • There are lots of listings to choose from
  • New home construction is on the rise

What it means for buyers: 

  • You have more options
  • You may be able to negotiate more
  • Prices may decrease
  • You’ll have less competition
  • You’ll see fewer bidding wars

What it means for sellers:

  • You may need to reduce your price
  • It may take longer to sell
  • There is lots of competition from other sellers

What Is a Seller’s Market?

A seller’s market generally favors the home seller. It means that the supply of homes is thin, and there is not enough inventory to meet buyer demand.

Signs of a seller’s market:

  • Homes are selling for over asking price
  • There are multiple bids and bidding wars
  • There aren’t many listings to choose from

What it means for sellers:

  • You’ll likely see multiple offers
  • You may get more than asking price
  • Your Property will sell quickly
  • You may not need to make concessions or negotiate

What it means for buyers:

  • You’ll face stiff competition
  • You might need to offer more than asking price
  • You may need to make concessions or waive contingencies
  • You’ll have fewer properties to choose from
  • It could take a while to buy a Property
  • You may be outbid or see your offers rejected

Seasonality can affect the supply and demand in the market. Typically, summer sees higher prices and transactions while winter sees lower prices and less activity. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, the season could help you determine the right real estate strategy.

Strategies for Buying in a Seller’s Market

In a seller’s market, you may need to use extra finesse when searching for a property and putting an offer on one. Here are a few strategies that can help:

  • Move quickly. Houses go fast in a seller’s market, so if you like a property, don’t delay.
  • Make your bids competitive. Bidding under the asking price probably won’t get you noticed in a seller’s market.
  • Get pre-qualified for your mortgage loan. This can give sellers more confidence in your offer.
  • Include an offer letter. Make a personal appeal to the seller by writing a letter.

Strategies for Selling in a Buyer’s Market

If you’re selling in a buyer’s market, offloading your property may be more difficult. In order to sell your home, you might want to consider one of these strategies.

  • Price it right. Make sure your home’s listing price is based on comparable sales in your area.
  • Be flexible. Being willing to change your move-out date or price, leave appliances, or make other concessions can all help. In order to maximize the number of buyers who see your home, you should also be flexible about showing times.
  • Prep your home. Make all necessary repairs, clean the property, and consider staging it before putting it on the market.
  • Be patient. It may take a while to sell your home in a buyer’s market.

Chady Melhem | Property Consultant

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1. Upgraders

The gap between what they sell and what they buy shrinks in a buyers market. This is a good thing!
The opportunity you have been waiting for!
First mistake – waiting to see what’s going to happen in the market instead of grabbing the opportunity. They’ll wait until prices rise again before they do anything, which means the window has closed.
Lower Transaction Cost!
Second mistake – fixating on the sale price of their own home. Instead, focus on the big picture – the total transaction cost of the sell/buy/move.

2. First Property buyers

First Property buyers can really take advantage of falling prices and less competition from investors in a buyers market.
Shiny & New
First mistake buying brand new. The RISK – you pay too much, lose money, builder might go broke. Existing property with potential to add value will serve you better in the long run.
Bank of Mum & Dad
Second mistake – getting advice from your parents. Well meaning parents like to be the font of all knowledge for their kids but often they are not that experienced themselves. Also, they often help their kids pay too much. Be very aware of the limitations of relying on your parents for advice.

3. Property owners with no investment properties

If you bought a property  more than 10 years ago, you could be sitting on a good chunk of equity. Depending on your income and other liabilities, you might be able to access this to buy an investment property to help you build your wealth and establish long term financial freedom. luck happens when opportunity meets preparation.
First mistake – not even looking for opportunities in a buyers market.
Second mistake – thinking the risk is in the borrowing and not the asset. Not all investment properties are good investments. . People often borrow a small amount of money and buy a low quality asset instead of focusing on doing their numbers around a low risk asset, which might require them to borrow more money.
Good advice is valuable!
Third mistake – getting advice from the wrong people. Friends and family are not great sources of advice. Usually, there are 5 advisers needed to fully understand your options – but only one can advise you on the actual property. the real estate agent, of course. The other advisers you’ll need are: Accountant – Mortgage Broker – Financial Planner – Lawyer.

4. Cashed Up Buyers

Individuals that are cashed up are buyers who have sold and haven’t yet bought! So, what are you waiting for? This type of buyer has a lot of power in a buyers market, however, you only get one shot at buying the right property. Make sure you choose a high performer, in the right location at the RIGHT price!

Chady Melhem | Property Consultant

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A home is typically the largest single investment you’ll ever make, By the time you’re ready to buy, you’ll already know a lot about the house. However, it’s a good idea to do a little more detective work and get answers to a few investigative questions. It will give you additional peace of mind in your purchase.
Here are the 8 investigative questions to ask;

1. Why Are You Selling?

There are many reasons why people move, while you may not always get a truthful answer, asking why the seller is moving can be helpful in determining how much room there is for negotiating. Depending on the reason for moving.

2. Length of Time on Market

One of the primary reasons a house ends up staying on the market a long time is that it was priced too high to begin with. The longer a house stays on the market, the harder it becomes to sell since the listing becomes “stale,” and buyers think there must be something inherently wrong with the property. If the home has been on the market for a long time, the seller may be motivated and more willing to negotiate.

3Previous Selling Prices

Knowing how much the seller paid is helpful for a couple of reasons. First, it tells you if values in the local market have gone up or down since the seller purchased the home. Second, it may help you determine how open the sellers may be to negotiation.

4. What Is Included in the Sale?

Anything that is permanently attached to the home  is considered a fixture and is generally included in a home sale, but sometimes an item can fall into a gray area. When in doubt, and to avoid disappointment, ask what’s included in the sale. Pay close attention to items that you would be upset to find missing if you moved into the home. 

5. Area or neighbors problem

Neighborhoods can be affected by any number of issues including, traffic congestion, noise (from traffic, neighbors, barking dogs, and/or nearby businesses), poor maintenance, and neighbors who cause disturbances. While you may not get a particularly detailed answer, it’s a good idea to at least try to find out about any problems before going through with a purchase.

6. Natural Hazards

It can be helpful to ask: Are there any potential hassles with this house? You might find out about problems ahead of time and be able to negotiate repair costs. Of course, you should still get a comprehensive inspection before buying the house since there might be issues the seller doesn’t know about or won’t willingly share.

7. Past Problem Conditions

home sellers generally must tell you about any current problems with the property but they don’t have to tell you about any past problems that have been corrected. If it’s already fixed, why is it important to know? Because it might lead to another problem in the future. It’s also helpful to find out who did the work in case there is a similar problem in the future.

8. Age Of Components

Ask about the age and condition of key components of the house so you are prepared for any big expenses you could be facing. Start with the roof, also ask about the heating and cooling systems, appliances, water heater, septic, plumbing, and electrical systems.

The Bottom Line

Listing and marketing materials include lots of details about a house (the number of bedrooms and baths, and the square footage, for example) and the showing lets you see it . But  try to get some of these questions answered through your real estate agent it will help you learn exactly what you could be getting into.

Chady Melhem | Property Consultant

Call me for any advice you may need!

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Property buyers need to know how to make an offer on an apartment so that they don’t act too fast and overpay or, conversely, muck around and end up missing out to another buyer.
The fundamental rule to follow under most circumstances is not to make an offer until you are ready to sign. So, what do you need to do to get ready?

First and foremost – get your finance approved and deposit arranged!
When you find the property you want to buy, recognize that your emotions are probably driving your decision making. For instance, don’t let fear of missing out lead you into paying too much. In a slow market agents often encourage buyers to make offers. Before you do, step back and really consider how strong the market is and whether it is competitive or not.

That said; work with the agent, not against. Don’t play games – it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to out-play the player. Let them know you’re interested and ask them what their negotiation process is. Agents do have favorites and they are more likely to give you information if you show them respect.

Set your maximum limit and true walk away price BEFORE you start negotiating.
There are 5 elements to consider when setting your maximum price:

  1. Your price research and where this property sits in the market
  2. Whether the market is hot or not
  3. How popular this type of property is
  4. How uniquely it suits your needs
  5. What you can afford.

Lastly: don’t forget to walk away if the price goes over your pre-set limit!

It is important to recognize that sometimes the actual price is not the most important thing to a vendor. Consider the terms of your offer. It’s a good idea to ask the agent whether the vendor has any specific conditions that would make your offer more favorable. For example, a long settlement might suit a vendor who hasn’t yet bought, or maybe you could offer a rent-back period. While a short settlement might appeal to a vendor who has already bought their next home.

Chady Melhem | Property Consultant

Call me for any advice you may need!