Tuesday, November 22, 2011


One of the most important questions someone looking at having their property managed should ask is; “Do you have a Tiered or Portfolio system of operation?”
What is the difference?
In a tiered system the various duties are the responsibilities are handled by a number of different people in the Property Management Department.
The viewings may be handled by one staff member, while someone else chases rent arrears and a further person is responsible for quarterly inspections.
In a portfolio system, one Property Manager looks after all the duties with the possible exception of the administrative tasks such as end of month payout.
It has been our experience that business owners prefer the tiered system while Owners and Property Managers prefer the portfolio style.
We operate the portfolio style as we are more interested in what our owners want than what we might prefer.
To find out the relative advantages and disadvantages please phone Ross Cutten on 041 9944 029 or Rebecca Cutten on 0404047205.
Ross Cutten
Owner / Director
Noble Real Estate

Thursday, November 17, 2011


There are some strange ideas in the world of property management which owners pick up from various uninformed sources. I will try to address some of the most common misconceptions I have come across in over 2 decade’s involvement in this business.
“There is no need to have rental protection insurance if I use a professional property manager.”
 I cannot think of a single investment that does not involve some element of risk, whether stocks, bonds, futures or even bank accounts.
Residential real estate has a history of offering sound investment, however the unforeseen can happen and this can impact the flow of rental income. The trick is to be prepared.
Take the following for example:
Good tenant, excellent references, been employed by the same company for a number of years. For three years he is the ideal tenant and, always pays rent on time. The tenant loses his job or his wife leaves him for the next-door neighbour and he is left with children to support and no income. Now he would not be considered such an ideal tenant.
A professional property manger puts all applicant tenants through a rigorous screening process at the start of a tenancy to select the best tenants.
However, just like a job applicant, we see them at their best.
In addition, we cannot predict the future of their employer or their marriage.
Regardless of how good the property manager is or how many reference checks are done; there is no way of predicting potential complications to rental income flow.
So just like it is prudent to carry insurance against fire, we recommend owner’s insurance against these sorts of problems.
The best part is the insurance is cheap and the cost is a tax deduction.
Ross Cutten
Owner / Director
Noble Real Estate

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Lately there has been much said about the supposed high price of homes making buying unaffordable for first homebuyers.
At the risk of sounding like a spoilt baby boomer who had it so easy, I beg to differ.
When my wife and i got married we were fortunate enough to be able to move into our own home straight from our honeymoon.
We built our first home on a modest block in Gosnells.
In order to buy it I had to have a 10% deposit and the cost of the house and land was 5 times my annual income.
Here is where the difference arises.
It consisted of a 120 square metre 3 bed 1 bath house with lounge, dining, kitchen, meals area and a built in robe to the main bedroom.
Now for what it didn’t have.
It lacked floor coverings, window treatments, light fittings, driveway, carport or garage, fencing, landscaping, patios, pergolas, air conditioning, fencing, or anything else.
We endured 2 winters on the concrete raft while we saved for the floor coverings and window treatments.
In the Rockingham district there are plenty of homes including extras available for 5 times a first home buyers income, but they aren’t prepared to accept such a modest start.
There is one other difference.
We had no credit cards.
Ross Cutten
Owner / Director
Noble Real Estate

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I saw a new item on TED yesterday in which researchers had scored countries in terms of their level of happiness.
It was fascinating to watch and Australia surprisingly seems to rank only in the middle of the countries studied.
I also saw a programme on the ABC called Big Ideas featuring a discussion which also touched on the development of cities and people’s sense of attachment to the place where they live. The programme also mentioned people’s happiness and their sense of belonging to a community or place.
They mentioned something which has dawned on me as I have grown older and that was how people’s sense of happiness and their sense of having choices are related.
Quite some years ago I was trying to discover a simple key to what all human beings have in common and what it is that everyone is pursuing.
My conclusion; Everyone wants to be happy.
It seems simple enough except that everyone’s idea of happiness is different.
So, the conclusion I came to is that most people complicate this too much- simply find what makes you happy and do more of that- discover what makes you unhappy and do less of that.
When I have talked to people about this in the past they react in predictable ways.
Most often they provide me with a list of HAVE TOs.
You know the sort of thing, “I have to go to work, I have to take care of my kids”.
Lou Tice of The Pacific Institute pointed out years ago that you don’t actually have to do anything- life is a choice. The only thing you truly have to do is take up space. ( I am always happy to discuss these ideas directly).
The older I have become the more I am convinced that the happiest people are those who FEEL they have a sense of control over their lives and are able to choose they way they live.
If you are going to measure the success of your life by what other people are buying, doing, or pursuing then you will have no sense of control because the source of your motivation lies outside your choices. You will be a slave to others choices.
I am currently staggered by the sense of lack that exists where I live in the most prosperous times in the most prosperous State in the best country in the world, both economically, politically and socially.
How does all this relate to property?
When you are renting a home rather than bought, you cannot develop a sense of belonging to a place because, if the owner wants his property back, you are obliged to move on.
In my opinion one of the best places to start developing a sense of control is to put down roots in a place that feels like home.
Ross Cutten
Owner / Director
Noble Real Estate