Making Assumptions Ep 28

Property Insider Secrets

When was the last time you made an assumption that turned out to be incorrect? Making assumptions when you’re buying or renting property can result in heartache. Sometimes, it could have financial consequences too!

It could be losing a house you thought you were sure to buy, or finding out that your belongings as a tenant are not covered by your landlord’s insurance. In this episode of Real Estate Matters, Toni looks at two examples from her own business where making assumptions had bad results. She also talks to us about how to avoid making assumptions in the first place.

Do you assume that when you place an offer to buy a house, that it means that house is yours? It’s not uncommon, especially for young buyers, to have their offers rejected by the vendor, and it’s not always clear why. Toni explains why it’s more complicated than just “making the offer”, and what considerations (besides money!) you should look at, when you’re talking to your real estate agent.

Buying property with others with Nikki Anderson Ep 25

Questions you need to ask whether it is one or more others

Are you considering buying a property with another person? Maybe you’re looking to get on the property ladder by purchasing with a friend, a relative, or with a partner to whom you’re not married? Buying property with others is a common arrangement, but one that can be fraught with pitfalls. If you don’t plan well BEFORE you buy, it could have unintended consequences later.

In this episode of Real Estate Matters, Toni talks to conveyancer Nikki Anderson about some key terms to be aware of when buying property with others, and what things you should consider before you put your name on the title. Nikki also gives Toni some examples of different arrangements you may want to consider when buying property with others.

How OCs and BCs might be part of your life – Property Insider Secrets Ep 24

What are Owners Corporations and Body Corporates?

If you are going to buy or lease a property with a common area, it’s very important that you know what you are getting into before you sign a contract.

In Episode 16 of Real Estate Matters, Toni talked about the various apartment titles and the attributes of each. In this episode, Toni dives deeper into the responsibilities and costs that come with OC’s, (Owners Corporations) and BC’s, (Body Corporates) and the questions you need to ask before making a decision on a property that comes with common areas and other shared expenses.

Are you planning for success?

You can ensure results ...

Time Can Be Your Friend

I spent Christmas in Singapore with part of my family that have lived there for nine years. Two of my granddaughters had birthdays the week before Christmas. Sarah turned ten and Isabelle turned five. Isabelle was born in Singapore.
Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 12.58.32 pm


As we celebrated Christmas Eve this year with a trip to a downtown Singapore hotel to listen to carols the memory of my daughter holding a five day old baby Isabelle at the carols was very fresh in my mind. If someone had asked me how long ago did that happen I would have said most likely two years or perhaps three, yet I knew full well that it was five years ago.


Do you find yourself asking where did that time go? I know as you get older the time seems to go faster but it still seems a shock to most adults how quickly it does go by.

Start Now

So don’t be discouraged if buying your first property seems only possible sometime in the distance future. The time will pass quickly. Start preparing now even before you have a firm plan. Open a specific bank account and start saving now. Push yourself to see what percentage of your income you can save without radically changing your lifestyle.


There are a few golden oldie books about wealth and savings. One is Think and Grow Rich and another is The Richest Man in Babylon. In the latter the suggestion is 10% of income should be saved. Hmm not easy but it is a target.

I read a results formula recently and it goes:

Knowledge  +  Volition  +  Action  =  Results

I have started a podcast series called Real Estate Matters to give beginners lots of background knowledge about different aspects of real estate. Subscribe – it’s free.

Volition is a word I didn’t really know except I have used the phrase “one’s own volition”.  It means using the power of your own will. Let’s call it Grit. Without Grit you just won’t make it happen. You will be a dreamer who just hopes …

There will be lots of actions you can do but just starting to save, no matter how small the amount, is a great first action. Time passes and quickly and so it won’t take long for the amount to be worthwhile. You will discover that somehow that money will attract other money …

You can do it!


Amelia Lee – the Undercover Architect that can be your secret ally Ep. 19

Amelia helps people all over Australia with building, designing and renovating properties

Using architects when you build or renovate - Amelia Lee Ep 19
Using an architect to design a home in Australia is fairly uncommon. Many people use a draftsperson for the design work and the end result is often disappointing and lacking in clever design that suits the occupants.

This week Toni interviews Amelia Lee who is the woman behind Amelia is an extraordinary person who has made architecture available to many people who would not be able to afford working with a ‘traditional’ architect. In this episode, Amelia explains why you should consider hiring an architect for your next renovation or new home and how she is able to help her clients design beautiful spaces while keeping the cost low.

Amelia is a wealth of knowledge and Toni recommends that you check out Amelia’s website, blog, and podcast to learn more on this subject!

Some Topics Covered:

Amelia Lee’s background

  • In business for over 20 years

What it takes to become an Architect

  • 5-6 year university program
  • On the job training
  • Licensed with a state board

Why Amelia is so passionate about architecture

The problem with leaving design to a draftsperson

The average cost of hiring an architect for a project

  • % of total building cost

What Amelia Lee does for her clients

What you should look for when hiring an Architect

  • Like minded person that understands you

Why you need to make sure you have the rights to a design before building

  • You probably don’t own the design even if you’ve paid for it!

Why you should work with an architect

  • You don’t know what you don’t know

Question of the week: What is “overcapitalising”?

  • How an Architect can help you make sure you don’t overcapitalise

Connect with Amelia Lee





 Resources mentioned

Blog Posts:

How much do architects charge

What’s the difference between architect, building designer and draftsperson?

The top 6 reasons to not use an architect

How to have that first conversation with your potential designer


Toni welcomes questions and comments! Feel free to email her at!

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What’s Strata? Owners Corp Lawyer Deborah Andronaca explains it all Ep.13

What you need to know before buying property that is part of an Owners Corporation

whats-strata-owners-corp-lawyer-deborah-andronaca-explains-real-estate-matters-podcastThis week’s episode is all about Owners Corporations, also known as ‘Strata Management’ and ‘Body Corporate Management.’

Toni welcomes Owners Corp solicitor Deborah Andronaca on the podcast to explain what an Owners Corporation is, does, and what you need to know before buying a property that is part of an Owners Corp!

The question of the week is from Robert who wants to know how to calculate rental return on a property. Listen in!

Some Topics Covered

  • The definition of an Owners Corporation
    • Also known as ‘Strata Management’ and ‘Body Corporate Management’
  • When a Owners Corp is required
    • What does it do?
    • Who owns it?
  • How much you have to pay into a Owners Corporation and how the amount is decided
    • When fees are collected
  • Voting in an Owners Corp
    • Not all votes are equal!
  • Why a lawyer is sometimes needed
    • Fee recovery process
  • What you need to know before buying a property that is part of an Owners Corp
    • What are the fees?
    • Are there any outstanding fees?
    • Is the property part of more than one?
    • Listen for more!
  • Question of the Week: How to calculate the rental rate on a property.

Connect with Deborah Andronaco 

Deborah Andronaco

Lawyer | Litigation

Kliger Partners

280 Queen Street, Melbourne VIC 3000


Website: | Subscribe to Legal Updates


Resources mentioned

General Owners Corporation Information –

Buying into an owners corporation –

NSW Fair Trading –

Property Ownership DNA in Australia with Lindsay Spencer-Matthews Ep. 1

With psychologist/author/speaker Lindsay Spencer-Matthews - about Australians and their obsession with owning a property. Is it in our DNA?


For many Australians, owning property is paramount to living a successful life. Why is property ownership such an integral part of Australian DNA, but not a universal goal? In this premier episode of “Real Estate Matters”, Toni interviews Lindsay Spencer-Matthews, a psychologist, speaker, and mentor with over 20 years of experience in his field.