Faye Kotsis Gives Advice on Unruly Neighbors.


Bad Neighbours

Our neighbors moved out about six months ago, and we were pretty sad to see them go. Don’t get me wrong, we never spoke to them or anything (LOL!) but they were super quiet and we honestly never heard them unless they were outside getting in their car. We live in a gated community and the houses are very close together, so we were a bit worried about neighbor-noise when we first moved in. The house on the other side is completely silent, and the windows are doors are taped over on the inside with black plastic. I know, weird right? We’re pretty sure they’ve got a meth-lab going on in there, but as long as it doesn’t blow up, at least it’s quiet!

Anyway, when the quiet neighbors moved out, the first thing we thought was: What will the new neighbors be like? Well, turns out they have not one, but two, screeching toddlers and a teenage daughter who they’re always fighting with! We haven’t slept in since they moved in. I’ve been freaking out until I read an article by Faye Kotsis about dealing with unruly neighbors.


Talking to the neighbours

Faye says that talking to them should be your first move. Don’t yell at them over the dividing wall or anything! But knock on their front door and introduce yourself, and politely ask them if they notice how easily noise travels. Faye suggests: maybe apologize for any dinner parties you’ve had recently, or if you have kids of your own, ask if they’ve been driving the neighbors crazy. Then work the conversation around to them, and let them know that you can hear a lot of what they’re doing. Do it politely! If you’re like me, and the idea of that freaks you out, Faye suggests writing a letter, basically saying exactly what you’d say in person, and make it really clear what you’re saying to them. Hopefully that works, and if not, you can look at other options. I’m going to try the letter thing this weekend, so wish me luck!!





Okay, so like I said in the last blog post, our neighbors moved out about six months ago, and this really noisy family moved in. These people are nuts, and their kids shriek pretty much from 6 am till it’s time for the fight to get them into bed. As you know, my partner and I write from home, so we need it to be pretty quiet! Anyway, I read an article by Faye Kotsis about dealing with unruly neighbors, where she suggested knocking on the front door and politely telling them what’s up, or writing a letter and putting it in their mailbox if you don’t want to confront anyone face to face.


I’m a chicken, so I took option #2!

In the article, Faye warns not to be passive-aggressive or tell them what they’re doing wrong, but explain what you need from them, and make it about you, not them. Sound familiar? “It’s not you, it’s me.” (LOL!)


Anyway, they were totally nice about it! I wrote the letter and put it in their mailbox, and the next day, the dad stopped me as I was getting in my car. I was like, Oh no, he’s going to yell at me, but he was totally apologetic! He said they had no idea they were so loud, and promised to keep us in mind and keep their windows closed more often. So thanks to Faye Kotsis for writing that advice, because she helped us out so much!


Now, we’ll see if I can actually sleep in on Saturday… Stay tuned!

Selling Your Property: Tips for a Great Open House by Faye Kotsis.

I recently talked to Faye Kotsis about open house events. Faye has experience selling homes and properties, and she knows the difference between an unsuccessful open house event and a great open house event. Faye has seen, too often, sellers being disappointed with the interest shown by prospective buyers. She has also been to many auctions that went very poorly, and watched the homeowners as their dreams of a quick successful sale walk out the door. However, she’s also seen many sellers offered their asking price, and she’s been to many auctions where the sellers have been blown away by the bidding price as it shoots past their reserve, and just keeps climbing!

I asked Faye Kotsis to give me some tips on what makes for a great open house, and here’s what she came up with:


  • FRESH FLOWERS. Having fresh flowers on the kitchen bench, the living room table, or a table near the entrance can really breathe life into the house. Depending on the flowers you choose, you can create a lovely scent or bold striking colours that will make your house seem more dynamic and alive.
  • DO I SMELL BREAD? You know those bake-at-home rolls from Woolies? Buy a couple packs of them and put them in the oven on a very low heat, about ten minutes before the open house is expected to start. You’d be amazed at how this homey comforting smell can make people envision a home, and not just a house, when they’re walking around sniffing the air!
  • COFFEE’S BREWING. If you have a stovetop espresso maker (you know the one – your brother-in-law got it for you and you shoved it way in the back of the pantry because you’re afraid to use it) then it’s time to dust it off, buy some good fresh ground beans from the local coffee shop, and brew some java just before people are expected to show up. It works like the bread to create a very comforting and warm experience for potential buyers.
  • CHECK YOUR ONLINE MARKETING. Most people start their house hunting online. They will not even notice your property if your listing isn’t compelling. Check what your agent has done.
  • POST A VIDEO ON YOUTUBE.  Walk through your home, video the best parts, the interesting parts, what you loved about the house, about the area etc. Its worth gold!
  • PUT YOUR LISTING ON FACEBOOK. Facebook has an amazing reach, If you have 500 friends and they each have 500 friends the reach is amazing!

Real Estate Investing: Great Advice from Faye Kotsis part 2.

She has been successful as a real estate and property investor, and she has helped many homebuyers and home-sellers realize their dreams. In this series Faye Kotsis offers some of the keys to success that have seen her through the ups and downs of the real estate market.



You’re not just selling a house, you’re selling a home!

Faye Kotsis knows that a successful property sale relies on a buyer feeling like they’re buying something more than just a house, apartment, unit, condo, flat, so on and so on. They’re buying a home! When thinking about investments, it’s hard to imagine falling in love with stocks or shares in a company. It’s hard to imagine falling in love with a brick of gold bullion. But it’s easy to imagine falling in love with your first home, or your holiday house on the beach.


Buyers want to be amazed, they want to see themselves waking up every morning in that place and being happy, they want it to be welcoming and warm. If you’re selling a place for people to live in, wouldn’t it be worthwhile to spend that extra time and money, that extra attention to detail, to turn your investment property into something that people will actually want to live in? Turning a property into a profit too soon distracts some sellers, and they risk missing that very important fact. They forget that someone is seeing this house or apartment as their future home, and the buyer wants to feel a connection when they see it for the first time!


Taking a fresh look at your property and trying to see it as a home can change your whole approach to selling it. People like Faye Kotsis know this too-overlooked secret, and they know how to make sure that potential buyers are able to see their future home, not just their future house.



Stay in for the long haul — Long term investment in in cash flow properties is a far better strategy than short term trend picking.

Buy only positive cash flow properties – Cash flow is king, it’s tough to find positive cash flow properties but keep looking.

Skip the expensive luxury properties – Luxury  properties usually have negative cash flow. Middle of the road properties are the real prizes.

Buy well maintained properties – Renovation specials rarely work out. They are being sold for a reason. Do not take yourself too seriously. Buy properties that are close to ready to rent, relieve the stress, be financial minded.

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is! – As with any investment , anything that sounds too good to be true  is that way for a reason.  Real estate is not very high risk but there are things that can go wrong, sometimes badly wrong! Do your research!

Keep your day job! – To pay your deposit and to be able to obtain bank financing you need a solid job. It also helps in times where repairs and maintenance reduce your cashflow.  Keep your job and use the new cash flow to buy more properties.

Usually the first offer is the best offer!

With her experience in property and real estate investment, Faye Kotsis knows homebuyers and home-sellers aren’t always on the same page. Sellers usually have an attachment to their property, either because it’s a large financial investment or emotional reasons (empty-nesters selling the family home), and want to get as much money from buyers as possible. And of course buyers want to get their money’s worth, and feel like they’re making a great decision and investment of their own.


In Faye’s experience, a good real estate agent will work out the best asking price to meet market standards and to help the seller meet their goals. This means the initial asking price is usually very fair and considered, with room for lower offers from buyers, and counter-offers from the seller. Agents work hard to find the right price for their clients (both seller and buyer) and usually the first one or two offers will reflect what the market will pay.


If a seller won’t accept the offer, and ‘sits’ on the asking price for too long without budging, people in the market will notice that the house hasn’t sold, which can raise some questions. Faye Kotsis has seen this happen many times in her experience as a successful property investor, and she has found that in most cases, the happy home-seller is the one who accepts the first or second offer from homebuyers. Don’t forget that you’re the one who wants to sell, and while you want your investment to work for you, you also want to move on to the next project!

Buy the worst house on the best street!

Real Estate Investing: Great Advice from Faye Kotsis

Faye Kotsis has many years of real estate experience behind her, which puts her years ahead of the competition. Here she offers some principal ideas that have helped her stay in front, and maintain a solid real estate portfolio.

This is an oldie but a goodie for real estate investors. Chances are you’ll want to do some refurbishment to any investment property that you buy anyway, even if you’re buying a house that looks to be in good condition when you buy it. If you’re looking at a ‘great’ house, but it’s in an area that won’t attract attention from renters or future buyers, you may struggle to ever rent or sell it for the price you have in mind, Faye Kotsis tells us.


However, if you buy a ‘fixer-upper’ that’s in an area which attracts a lot of positive attention from renters and buyers, the money you invest in renovations (or even a complete demolition and re-build) can come back to you easily when the house eventually looks like the other properties around it.


A house that’s surrounded by beautiful homes, in a hip and popular area, will net you better gains any day than a great looking house in an unattractive area, surrounded by unappealing homes and properties.

As Faye knows, the first thing renters and buyers do when looking for their next home is search by area. Even a less-than-perfect house in an area which gets a lot of attention can fetch you a much better rent or sale price than a better looking house in an area nobody wants to live in. With advice like this, it’s easy to see why Faye is a trusted name in property investment.