Archive for August, 2011

It’s enough to do your block

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

I’ve just watched the final episode of the reality TV show The Block. For those who are unfamiliar, it’s the one where four couples compete against each other in doing the best renovations on four run down properties adjacent to one another, which are offered up for sale at auction after all the work is complete. The couples are average people and the renovations are done quickly under heaps of pressure.

I guess in a way it is meant to reflect what lots of people do all over the country – buy a run down property, do it up then sell at (hopefully) a profit.

When the four properties in The Block went up for auction, three of them were passed in (they didn’t sell). The one that did sell sold for only $15,000 above the reserve. The reserve price in a normal auction is the lowest price the seller will accept, but for The Block properties, the reserve price was based on what the properties were professionally valued at before the renovations were done (yep, when they were dumps – holes in walls and floors, etc).

Why did only one property sell? Was it because auctions will never get you the highest price, because the renovations were done too quickly or not to the potential buyers’ liking, because the property market in the area has dropped significantly since the valuations were done, or because potential buyers did not want their face to appear on TV? Perhaps it was a combination of all these factors.

And here is a scary thought for people holding lots of debt laden investment properties: will the millions of Aussies watching tonight’s program think to themselves that this is signalling a turn in the property market? What effect do you reckon that will have on investment properties, particularly if they are ones that have had lots of time and money spent on doing them up?


Monday, August 1st, 2011

There’s a corner store just near our place, owned and run by a family. The couple who have served me on many occasions are lovely people, always smiling and giving great service. Despite having young kids, they work long hours, seven days a week. I don’t know how they do it.

When I first wrote Financial Freedom years ago, my main aim was to be able to show people that working hard, long hours was not the only way to get the bank off your back. In fact if you choose to live this way you may end up gaining financial independence but losing those most dear to you. I have found that a little bit of the right information, delivered in a way that’s easily absorbed, makes a huge difference to people’s lives.

My favorite saying (not sure who said it) is “Nobody ever said on their deathbed – I wish I had spent more time at the office.” I hope the people at the local shop never regret the hours they have worked and I hope you never regret not spending more time with those most important to you.