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When parties separate, a very common question is, who moves out of the family home?  Another common question is, my friends have told me I need to stay in the house, is that true?

In reality, nobody actually has to move out of the family home for separation to have occurred.  It is entirely possible to be separated and living under the one roof and this is quite a common occurrence.  Sometimes it is not possible for one party to move out of the family home because of a variety of reasons, financial reasons being prime among them.  You generally cannot force the other party to move out, nor can the other party force you to move out – this is so even if one party solely owns the family home.

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There’s good news for investors nervous about purchasing property ‘off-the-plan’. Recent changes to NSW property laws will make it harder for unscrupulous developers to back out of off-the-plan contracts for residential property.

What are off-the-plan contracts?

An off-the-plan contract is a contract to buy a property which has not yet been created.  That property may be vacant land to be created on registration of a plan of subdivision (e.g., the Shearwater Landing development at Greenhills Beach), an apartment to be constructed and created on registration of a strata plan (eg. the Woolooware Bay apartments) or anything in between.

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Australians are known to love property as an investment vehicle. Generally this has been achieved by borrowing from a bank to purchase property before paying it off over time. Since 2007 self managed superannuation funds (SMSF) have been allowed to borrow money to acquire property, which has seen a large increase in the amount of SMSFs and the amount of property owned by SMSFs.

What is a SMSF?

A SMSF is a superannuation fund that has four (4) or fewer members and is an alternative to retail and employer sponsored superannuation funds. In a SMSF, the members (who are subject to strict rules) have control over the superannuation fund, its investments and decisions.

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We’ve all heard the statistics about children living with their parents into their thirties, but while crippling house prices may be to blame, some parents are taking a more pro-active approach and shuffling their children out the door and into their very own first home.

Even the most kind-hearted parents however must think about how this may affect them and their children moving forward. Is the help going to be a one-time offer or ongoing, what sort of exposure will you face and does the reward outweigh the risk?

The more common approaches to helping your children buy property are:

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