Tag Archives: NSW Government

$7,000 to move to Mudgee

Travel-SMHWhile many Mudgee residents were out enjoying the start to the New Year on January 1, those in the city may have been busily planning their regional move.  The NSW Government has made changes to their incentives, designed to bring young families, young professionals, small business owners and tradespeople to regional areas of NSW, including our beautiful town.

From January 1, the $7,000 Regional Relocation Grant became available to long-term Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong tenants for the first time.  Furthermore, the Government have created an additional $10,000 Skilled Regional Relocation Incentive, aimed at those who can bring needed skills to regional areas.  It seems the time is now to buy in Mudgee!

If you’re living in metro Sydney and would love to take advantage of the new Grants with a move to our gorgeous Mudgee, simply head over to the NSW Government website by clicking here.  You’ll find more detailed information about how to qualify for the grants, how the two Grants are paid, and links to submit your application.

We see these changes as extremely positive, and our view seems to be shared with many of the Mudgee residents and Mudgee business owners we’ve been speaking with.  We think these Grants will encourage a healthy Mudgee economy and help our region’s sustainability for many years to come.  We’d love to know your thoughts.

Why do you/don’t you like these changes to the NSW Government Relocation Grants?

Are Current Solar Rebates Sufficient?

If you don’t think that current solar rebates are sufficient you may be interested in signing a petition that a group of Sydney home owners have started, calling for electricity retailers to provide one-for-one feed-in tariffs for energy produced by home solar panels.

Mudgee currently has a number of home owners that have taken up the option of solar power with the aim that they will put energy back into the grid and get a rebate in return for the energy they produce. The compensation however isn’t seen as a massive incentive for new solar panel buyers.

The “FairGo for Solar” campaign has been launched with a petition appealing for retailers to pay the same rates for power as we the customers do. Homes with solar panels feeding energy back into the electricity grid are currently paid by electricity retailers between 5 and 10 cents per kilowatt hour, whereas NSW residents are charged more than 21 cents per kilowatt hour for the energy that they use. Many home owners believe that the solar rebates are insufficient, and if you agree, you can have your say about having a 1-for-1 solar feed-in tariff by visiting the FairGo for Solar petition here.

The Greens have estimated that retailers could be receiving about $100 million worth of free energy a year, so do you think that current solar rebates are sufficient?

Changes to the NSW First Home Buyers Grant

Mudgee First Home Buyers may be interested to know that the NSW State Government has announced in the recent state budget that the first home buyers grant will be increased from $7,000 to $15,000 as of October 1st 2012. From January 1st 2014, the First Home Owners Grant will then be reduced to $10,000. This is welcome news for people entering the real estate market for the first time, however there is a catch.

The First Home Owners Grant will no longer apply for existing dwellings and will be focused directly on new dwellings. Therefore those who want to buy an existing home should take advantage of the current $7,000 grant on offer before it expires on September 30th 2012.

There have also been changes made to stamp duty concessions with full stamp duty concessions now only available for properties worth up to $550,000 (the current amount is $835,000). From $555,000 to $650,000, stamp duty concessions lessen by 1 percent for every $1,000.

Stamp duty concession for off-the-plan apartments and house and land packages will be scrapped in favour of a $5,000 payment to anyone who buys a newly constructed home and for vacant land purchases, stamp duty exemptions will apply for land valued up to $350,000, and concessions will apply up to $450,000.

The change in property concessions will likely encourage new home buyers to look to new homes over established ones and it has been brought in to help promote property development in NSW.

With all of the changes about to take place in property concessions, it’s important for first home buyers to think about their property needs and either wait for the new grant to come into place if they want to buy a new property, or make movements now if they’re interested in buying an established home.

If you’re a buyer and need assistance looking for homes in Mudgee please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via our Professionals Mudgee Real Estate office.

If you would like to find out more about First Home Owner Benefits you research information released by the NSW State Government at www.osr.nsw.gov.au/benefits/first_home/.

Are You For or Against Boxing Day Trading in Regional NSW?

We’d love to know whether the people of Mudgee are for or against the NSW Government’s plans to lift restrictions on Boxing Day trading in regional areas of the state because from what we’ve heard, retailers in other regional areas aren’t massive fans of the idea.

The plan would be that Boxing Day would remain a public holiday and workers would be paid public holiday rates in accordance with their employment, but the question is whether there is a demand for it in regional NSW areas such as Mudgee, and whether it is going to be profitable for local businesses.

Other concerns include the impact of working on the public holidays will have with families and whether it’s sustainable in our local economy.

The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA) have started up a state-wide campaign called “Take the Time” to help people of regional areas voice their opinion, namely their opposition of the state government’s plan. You can find out more about the campaign at www.takethetime.org.au but if you’re not into signing petitions or contacting local MP’s, then you can comment here as to whether you’re for or against Boxing Day trading in Mudgee.

NSW State-wide Smoking Ban

Even though we’ve been used to non-smoking laws indoors throughout Australia for some time now, NSW still doesn’t have a uniform law governing outdoor smoking, and as such the NSW State Government has just announced new smoking laws that will restrict where people can smoke outdoors throughout the whole of NSW, not just in some council areas where local governments have imposed smoking bans.

The state-wide law will see smoking banned at all of NSW’s sports grounds and children’s playgrounds, as well as bus stops, taxi ranks and swimming pools. In addition, there will also be a smoking ban applied to outdoor commercial eating areas from 2015.

With a large portion of the Australian population being non-smokers the news is welcomed, however there has been some conjecture about the affect the laws will have on local establishments that cater for smokers, such as beer gardens and outdoor eating areas that allow smokers. Will there be a loss in patronage?

There’s no denying the research that shows smoking and passively inhaling second hand smoke can contribute to the early onset of cancer, so for us, the move is positive for the health of everyone in NSW. We’d be interested to know what Mudgee residents think about the new smoking laws – are you for or against them? And why?

The current Mid Western Regional Council policy for outdoor smoking can be found on their website.

TIPS: Lowering Your Electricity Bill

Our power bill keeps getting bigger, so we imagine that it’s the same for many households and businesses around Mudgee. So we thought we’d suggest some tips that might help you lower your electricity bill.

Take advantage of off-peak times – You can save electricity, and therefore decrease your electricity bill, by taking advantage of your energy company’s off-peak periods. Talk to your energy provider about options, or shop around for the best deal. Use off-peak times to run pool filters, recharge batteries and run your dishwasher or washing machine.

Turn it off instead of onto stand-by – Appliances that are left on stand-by instead of being turned off at the power point account for a large portion of our electricity usage. Big screen TV’s and computers use a lot of power when on stand-by, so try turning them off at the power point when not in use and see what difference it makes to your bill.

Try different methods of heating and cooling – We can be quick to put on the air conditioner or heater, but other methods such as rugging up and blocking draughts can be quite effective too. If you do have to run an air conditioner though, it’s more economic to run it at 24 degrees.

Check the energy efficiency – When shopping for new products, sometimes spending a little more on a more energy efficient appliance can save you bundles on your electricity bill. We find that researching products online before going out to buy them can save a lot of hassle, especially if you know the brand and model of the appliance you wish to purchase.

Take advantage of energy saving schemes – There are a number of energy saving schemes and sites that offer great information for businesses, families and individuals. Here are some of the ones that we think will help you –

NSW Energy Saving Scheme
NSW Government Energy Efficiency Strategy
Compare Energy Prices

Being vigilant and trying to save electricity can definitely help you cut back your bills, so give some of these suggestions a try and see if you can give your electricity bill a bit of a trim.

Home Power Savings – Are You Eligible?

Mudgee residents on Centrelink or Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, social housing tenants and some utility customers may be eligible for the NSW government’s Home Power Savings Program, which could see a saving of up to $265 a year on electricity bills… are you eligible?

Eligible participants of the new Home Power Savings Program will be able to take advantage of services such as a home energy assessment, a home power savings kit, and a home power savings action plan, all of which will help reduce electricity bills.

The power savings kit includes things like a standby saver power board, shower timer, water-efficient shower head, tap aerator and draught stoppers and all can be installed for free as part of the program.

If you think you might be eligible, or know some who may be it is a good idea to contact 1300 662 416 or visit www.savepower.nsw.gov.au (UPDATE: Link no longer active) for further information. It’s a program well worth being part of if you can be!

What’s Happening in the Mudgee Real Estate Market

If you’re interested to know what’s happening in the Mudgee real estate market, then here’s a snapshot from my point of view.

At this point in the early New Year, property turnover is pretty much on par with last year although there has been minor fluctuation in property sales prices which appear to have firmed five to ten percent at this stage. We’re also seeing that there is significantly less stock on the market so that combined with the fact that we have the Ulan West Coal Mine kicking off production in February/March 2012, we feel that prices are set to increase further in coming weeks and months.

On the Property Management side of things, here at Professionals Mudgee Real Estate we have a zero percent vacancy rate and have seen rents increase anywhere from $20 to $100 a week over the past 6 to 8 weeks. Again this is mainly due to the influx of new people to Mudgee who are associated with the mining industry amongst other things. Return on investment and future growth is attracting investors from outside the area which is good news, as an increase in rental property supply is definitely needed to meet the demand.

First home buyers were active in the final months of 2012 taking advantage of stamp duty concessions however from our experience, they didn’t rush into buying homes they weren’t happy with and there are still first home buyers looking content with the $7,000 grant. Those looking in the higher price brackets are concentrating on new or off the plan homes to still obtain stamp duty concessions under the “First Home New Home” scheme as discussed in an earlier blog post this week.

For more on the Mudgee real estate market, watch our Mudgee Market Report or contact Adam or Chandelle Woods at Professionals Mudgee today.

First Home Buyer Grants Still Available

It’s not too late!

If you’re a first home buyer, you would know that the 1st of January brought about the end of the First Home Plus Scheme exemptions and concessions here in New South Wales. The good news for first home buyers is that it was replaced by the First Home – New Home Scheme.

For new homes valued up to half a million dollars, the new scheme means first home buyers will still be eligible for Stamp Duty exemptions. The same goes for vacant land valued up to $300,000 which also still allows the $7,000 First Home Owner Grant rebate.

So our advice for first home buyers is to get serious about your property plans. With so many changes happening within Government, it’s important to stay abreast of what rebates and concessions are available to you for the type of property and price bracket you’re looking to buy in so you can maximise your finances.

If you’re interested in vacant land in or around Mudgee, we’d be happy to help you out, or you can check our property listings online.

NSW Stamp Duty Changes – What First Home Buyers Need To Know

The NSW Government recently announced that it will be cutting out stamp duty exemptions for first home buyers purchasing established homes as at the 1st of January next year (2012).

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