Just thought that I would post an extract of an email I sent my friends & family about our experiences in Brisvagas recently. "On the Wednesday & Thursday Natalie and I went up to Brisbane to look at property with a couple of organisations; One (on Thursday) was a telemarketer (first warning sign) who flew us up on cheap flights and free accommodation (second warning sign) to look at their development in Collingwood Park, next door to Redbank Plains (near Ipswich), their product was lovely and the first development they showed us was very well set out with standard width streets and landscaping, with only one property left, due to a “fall-over” because of failed finance (third warning sign, failed finance usually means the bank valuation did not come up to the purchase price). They then drove us past all the infrastructure development going on in the area to their current estate, which was on very black reactive soil, it felt like you were walking on crushed rubber and had heaps of cracks in it (forth warning sign, extra expense to prevent foundation subsidence), where the prices ($348k to 398k) were $100k above the median value of the suburb and they quoted achievable rents $100pw above the median rental for the area (4th and 5th warning signs). Then they offered all sorts of incentives for us to sign up on the spot, which we NEVER do, and we had advised them that we would not be signing up today at the start. They offered free aircon and fans, blinds, kitchen upgrades, and …wait there’s still more… a rental guarantee at the inflated rental of $350pw (when we knew that similar properties were renting at $250-$260pw in both Collingwood Park and Redbank Plains), well the rental guarantee sealed it.. that definitely meant that the property was overvalued and/or that the rent was overstated – DHA homes are way above the market price to cover the rental guarantee. The above market rental guarantee has been known to be achieved by hiring a relative to rent out the house for 6 months at the inflated rate, then moving out with the owner then having to drop the rent to meet the real market price. We were definitely NOT signing anything – they were too desperate to get us to sign on the day (7th warning sign), and there were far too many warning signs to discount. Also they said that 80% of the sales were to investors (8th warning sign) as investors don’t invest extra capital into their new properties to improve their value, where home owners do (extensions additions nice gardens etc.) increasing the median value of the suburb. We had gone out with Roger Fusker (spelling??) from Navra financial on Wednesday to look at properties in a development in Parkinson (19km from the CBD) that has 90% home owners in it. The house & land packages ($348k) were 20% below median value for the suburb, rent quoted was backed up by our research on realestate.com.au and API, the place we are buying is a 4 bed/2 bath + study in a predominantly 4 bed/2 bath development, is near but not adjacent to a park and bus stop, the development is near shops, transport, schools and entertainment. Parkinson is near Stretton, a very high value suburb, and this should also help capital growth. There was NO pressure for us to sign on the day, or at all for that matter. The only minor niggle was that Parkinson had less capital growth than Collingwood Park/Redbank Plains last year (probably due to conversion of horse paddocks into housing lots tho...), but even so it would take a bloody long time to recoup $100k in an overpriced property!! On returning to Canberra, we rang Mark, our financial planner to say that we were going to buy in Parkinson (sounds old and wobbly and forgetful doesn’t it??) and he said great! What structure are you going to buy it in, and that there was a seminar on the next day…. Pack the bags again and I am off to Sydney… Natalie stayed home, said she was sick of travelling. Hope this finds you all well Steve" I consequently went to the seminar and had a great time, learnt heaps and met heaps of like-minded folks, I also heard Nick M. speak for the first time (heard him again this weekend in Canberra - took Natalie this time ) and was impressed, both with his presentation and honesty, he did NOT do what many others do and invoke the fear factors to speed you into a structure for invesments, he said that many folks don't need them and they may not suit thier circumstances at all, useful reassurance as we had deceided not to put Parkinson in a trust, however we will be doing the rest of our investments in a structure - probably a HDT. Stay well all!