29 January 2018 - It may be one month into the new year, but it’s never too late to set goals. While you probably don’t need to be reminded to get fit, eat healthy, and spend more time with your family in the new year, you may need new year’s resolution ideas for your Hong Kong home. Here are some new year’s resolutions for tenants, first-time home buyers, landlords, home sellers (and even property agents)—and our solutions for them:
Save on rent
Now that the holiday season is over, you may have been brainstorming about how to start saving money. One major way to do that is to save on rent. If your lease happens to be due in 2018, this is your chance to convince your landlord to keep your existing rent by reading up on the latest property market information to improve your bargaining power, and seeking the professional advice of your property agent. You may refer to our guide on how a property agent can help you save on rent (and more).
Move homes seamlessly
If you are planning on moving—or simply want to declutter and organise your home—keep things under control by creating an inventory of your belongings, selling any unwanted items, and arranging the logistics in advance. If you don’t know where to start, we’ve got five free apps that could make your mission impossible, possible.
FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS
Get on the property ladder—but be smart about it
You’ve tried your luck at winning the Mark Six. You’ve bet on horseracing. You’ve gambled on the stock market and with cryptocurrencies—but you’ve only earned half of what it takes to get on the property ladder. One way you could get on the property ladder is by buying a property with joint funds, which could enable you to afford a more ideal property, and get a tax allowance sooner. But beware of possible risks, including getting a bad credit rating and illiquidity. Read more about them in our guide.
Keep your new home in pristine condition (for as long as possible)
New homes are flawless: the smell of freshly painted walls, stainless upholstery, spotless tiles and scratch-free countertops... The first thing you should do to keep everything perfect for as long as possible is to make sure you’re not stuck with a faulty product. To avoid unnecessary home repairs or, if you’re a tenant, the loss of a security deposit, conduct a thorough home inspection before you move in. Protect yourself by identifying any water leakage, faulty appliances, uneven floors, illegal structures and creaking doors—among other defects that can lead to bigger problems later if left unchecked. Our property inspection checklist could come in handy when you’re checking for defects.
Keep tenants longer
… by finding a good tenant. It may sound obvious, but, as a landlord, you may be tempted to focus only on the rental terms (e.g. rental price and start date) when faced with multiple potential tenants, and thus neglect the person on the other side of the agreement. It isn’t necessarily the easiest task: expect to be inundated with enquiries, coordinating to arrange viewings, dealing with the risk of letting strangers into your home… But asking some basic questions to get background information on potential tenants (such as employment status etc.) will help identify the more stable prospective tenants and avoid unnecessary vacancies. We talk about simplifying the process of finding a good tenant who will stay for the long haul in greater detail here.
Invest in more Hong Kong properties
Let’s be real: Hong Kong properties are expensive. Everyone loves a good deal and wants to save as much as they can, more so when buying properties for investment, and especially when facing multiple stamp duties. So, if your new year’s resolution is to invest in more properties, perhaps you should consider ways to get more bang for your buck, such as by buying real estate through the purchase of a company. Our guide can help you decide whether this is the right option for you.
Sell your property faster
You have listed with practically every property agency in Hong Kong and property agents have come and gone with multiple clients (or worse yet, hardly any potential buyers). You’ve even lowered your price! Yet, for almost a year now, your home has remained sitting on the market. 2018 will be the year that you sell your property… right? Consider speeding up your sale by presenting your property in a more visually pleasing manner. Alternatively, tap into a reputable property agency’s resources by signing a sole agency agreement with them: you would very likely benefit from faster sales and a higher success rate backed by the agency’s marketing capabilities.
Be green—reduce waste when moving
Congratulations: you’ve sold your apartment! The downside is, you are in-between homes because you haven’t found a new place yet. You’ve managed to find temporary storage for your furniture, but it’s not going to fit everything, and—let’s be honest—you’re a little sick of that vintage rocking chair you bought at the flea market, and that neon pink daybed (it’s 2018, not 2015). You want to hire someone to get rid of them for you—but that contradicts your new year’s resolution to create less waste. Fortunately, there are furniture recycling services that will collect your used (but still good) furniture for free.
Meet more new clients
Sound familiar? It’s probably been your new year’s resolution for quite a few years now. If you haven’t managed to achieve your resolution, well, now is the perfect time to work towards it. We’ve written up ten ways you can find new clients—click here [https://careers.okay.com/en-US/blog-post/5-simple-ways-to-find-new-clients/10] for part one, here for part two, and here to receive more insights from other industry experts.
Diversify with both rental and sales leads
Sure, you can earn a decent income from rental transactions, but if you want to go one step further, maybe 2018 is the year you make your first sale. Earning a handsome income aside, facilitating a property transaction is a great way to hone your craft as a real estate professional and meet more clients. Get started by reading what our seasoned experts have to say on how you should prepare for your first sales transaction.