Featured

bigstock-modern-living-room-with-design-18426827HOMEBUYERS and renters value a good neighbourhood above any other property feature, a new survey has found.

Nearly 70 per cent of respondents made this selection in a recent Aussie Home Loans questionnaire.

The results were generally in line with what professional valuers consider to be the property features which add most value to a home.

A modern kitchen was the third most sought-after feature, appealing to 63.4 per cent of respondents.

This was pipped by that man haven and all-round storage space, the garage (63.7 per cent).

More than half said they were on the lookout for big bedrooms, air-conditioning and a modern bathroom.

Lifestyle features such as a swimming pool (11.3 per cent) or a home cinema (3.9 per cent) were a long way down the wish list.

The main factors that deterred buyers were tobacco odour (67 per cent), a busy street location (65.8 per cent), a dirty interior (61.6 per cent) and noisy neighbours (60 per cent).

Herron Todd White Perth managing director Brendon Ptolomey said location was the biggest factor in determining a property's value.

For example, a 4x2 in Peppermint Grove was not going to be the same value as a 4x2 in a new estate.

After location, valuers would rank modern kitchens, modern bathrooms, parking spaces, alfresco areas and extra bedrooms as the biggest value add-ons for a home, Mr Ptolomey said.

"There is a massive emphasis on kitchens from the market place," he said.

"People are much more aware of what's in there, and they're aware of features like the size of the oven or finishes like stone bench-tops."

Extra features added to a kitchen's value, but storage was a bigger factor.

Valuers would rank a garage further down the list, but in newer suburbs an enclosed garage could add between $20,000 and $30,000 to a property, Mr Ptolomey said.

The number of bathrooms also added value. He said valuers were seeing more homeowners put in a third bathroom.

"It could be a powder room with a shower, or a laundry with a shower," he said.

"People tend to want to shove teenagers down the end of the house."

A second bathroom added more value than a third, however.

"A second bathroom is almost essential in today's market," Mr Ptolomey said.

 

Parking space could also increase the value of a property.

"The closer you get to the city and the more difficult it is to park, then it can add anything from $20,000 to $50,000,'' Mr Ptolomey said.

"We certainly see a difference in value between one and two-bay apartments in the city."

A patio upgrade could virtually be relied on to lift the value, provided the job was well done.

"There are not too many homes without an alfresco it's pretty important to the market," Mr Ptolomey said.

"It can be a massive selling point."

Valuers said it was difficult to judge the dollar benefit of an extra bedroom.

"There's no perfect formula - you can't say a fourth bedroom will add $10,000 to a property," Mr Ptolomey said.

"But they always get used as a bedroom or a study, or most often as the junk room."

But he said living area was vital and the space taken up by a fourth bedroom might be at the expense of a lounge room.

Curtin University property studies professor Andrea Constable said bedrooms were also subject to the "law of diminishing returns'' - a fourth bedroom would be likely to add value but a ninth bedroom probably would not.

REIWA president David Airey said storage was an underrated influence on value.

"We are living in smaller households but accumulating more possessions," Mr Airey said.

"Homes with plenty of storage space are likely to be more valued."

But extra features, such as swimming pools or outdoor kitchens, were likely to be an over capitalisation.

Mr Ptolomey said a swimming pool could cost $30,000 to put in and add only $15,000 to the property's value.

Top 5 killer features

1) Kitchen 
"A well-designed, functional and spacious kitchen with quality draws and cupboards, bench-tops and appliances is an increasing priority for home buyers.'' - David Airey

2) Bathrooms 
"The market values a second bathroom and toilet or ensuites very highly due to the convenience and privacy they offer.'' - David Airey

3) Parking
"The closer you get to the city and the more difficult it is to park then it can add anything from $20,000 to $50,000.'' - Brendon Ptolomey

4) Undercover al fresco area
"We see everything from a BBQ shoved under a patio to an extensive outdoor kitchen, under patios with high ceiling fans. It can be a massive selling point.'' - Brendon Ptolomey

5) Bedrooms 
"Many homes today are occupied only by one or two people. Regardless of this shrinking household size the desire for larger homes remains strong and the market tends to put higher values on four-bedroom houses and three-bedroom apartments. Extra bedrooms offer flexible lifestyle options such as a home office or guest room.'' - David Airey

(source: Perthnow)

INVESTORS SHOVE OUT FIRST HOME BUYERS

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

bigstock-housing-team-844036AS low interest rates prompt a fresh surge in real estate activity, a Battle Royale is looming between first-home buyers and property investors.

Sadly for the first-home buyer crowd, it's a one-sided contest.  Low interest rates help both parties with their repayments, but investors typically have more financial firepower when it comes to a bidding war.

Data released this week by mortgage broker AFG shows that investors snapped up between 28 per cent and 50 per cent of all mortgages processed in August, depending on which state you live.

And the RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index reported the strongest quarterly gain in house prices in four years.

It's good news for sellers, but not so great for buyers who have been scraping a deposit together and now must fight cashed-up investors for properties, plus a growing number of wealthy foreign buyers.

So in the interests of helping the underdogs, here are some ways that first-home buyers can compete in the real estate market.

Firstly, get pre-approval for a loan. If a seller has a choice between a pre-approved offer or one that is subject to finance, it's no contest.

It's also important to think about supply and demand.  If there is high demand for an area or property, you're going to have to pay more and battle others for it. In many cases taking that first step on the property ladder makes more sense in an area where there is abundant supply and lower demand. You can always trade up later once you have built some equity in your property.

Remember that most property investors think with their heads rather than their hearts and will seek simplicity in their purchase. That means first-home buyers may have a better chance at grabbing a bargain if they target properties that need a little renovation work to get them into good shape.

Search for opportunities before they get listed by building a network of real estate agent contacts.  Property experts suggest always making the first offer and asking the agent for the opportunity to make a counter offer.

Finally, take emotion out of your buying decisions, just like good investors do.  New properties will always be popping up.

(source: Perthnow)

WHO needs a man?

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

bigstock-Happy-Young-Woman-with-Sold-Fo-47691676Not financially savvy Gen Y women, who are outstripping their male counterparts in their determination to crack into the property market.

And Gen Y ladies also have a better grasp of finances, with 81 per cent understanding what a variable rate is compared to only 60 per cent of Gen Y men.

The men also lagged behind in understanding offset accounts (39 per cent compared to 50 per cent of women).

The Westpac Home Ownership Report found 73 per cent of Gen Y women were focused on the benefits of paying off their loans early, while only 56 per cent of the men were concerned about early ownership.

Almost half of women aged 18-34 ranked home ownership as their top priority, ahead of having a family (14 per cent) and marriage (5 per cent).

Rosalind Davis, 27, who bought her one-bedroom Randwick apartment for $425,000 a year ago, hopes to climb the property ladder by upgrading in a few years time.

She said home ownership is a goal for lots of her friends.

"I don't know if it is more important than getting married and having kids but it is more controllable. You can't control when you are going to meet the right person but you can completely control your income and save enough.

"It is definitely a priority for all my girlfriends.''

Researching on the internet and the ability to secure a loan without a formal interview with a bank manager made getting a mortgage less intimidating, she said.

"As a young woman going into the bank is a really daunting thing on your own. Now with the internet you can just figure out how to do it and just go for it,'' she said.

Gai McGrath, Westpac's general manager of retail banking, agreed: "I think those days of a man as a financial planner are long behind us.

"There is this cohort of young women who are very determined about getting a platform for financial security from a young age.''

She believes men of the same age may not be as driven because of the comforts of home.

"There may be something in the proportion of Gen Y men v Gen Y women who are still living with their parents,'' she said.

Social researcher Mark McCrindle said Gen Y women were better educated and commanded rising incomes.

Just under 30 per cent of men aged 25-34 have a university degree, compared to 40 per cent of women, he said.

"We are really starting to see the rise in the financial power of the next generation of women,'' he said.

"They are getting education, they are getting careers and they are taking charge of their financial future.''

(source: Perthnow.com.au)

What suburbs are “Hidden Gems”

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

bigstock-Beautiful-view-of-the-cityscap-49641488Realestate.com  joined forces with Westpac and RP Data to uncover the areas where Australians can buy a home at a lower cost than its more popular neighbouring suburb.

These areas provide an opportunity for house hunters to use the money saved by purchasing in a lower-cost neighbouring suburb to own their home sooner.

The ‘hidden gem suburb’ is one that’s close by to the popular suburb, but has a cheaper average house/unit price.

“By simply considering a suburb just a stones throw away from your first preference, these suburbs represent real value for buyers who want to truly ‘own’ their home sooner,” said Gai McGrath, General Manager of Retail Banking at Westpac.

“For example, if you wanted to buy a house in the third most popular suburb in Perth, Mount Lawley, you could consider neighbouring suburb Highgate where the average house price is 27% cheaper".

Here’s the gems:

1. Innaloo $618,891 – a saving of $81,282 (11.6%) from neighbour Scarborough
2. O’Connor $572,144 – a saving of $229,908 (28.7%) from neighbour Fremantle
3. Highgate $678,530 – a saving of $250,899 (27%) from neighbour Mount Lawley
4. Victoria Park $623,090 – a saving of $415,187 (40%) from neighbour South Perth
5. Langford $367,703 – a saving of $259,270 (41.4%) from neighbour Canning Vale
6. West Perth $709,723 – a saving of $445,324 (38.6%) from neighbour Subiaco
7. Bentley $501,376 – a saving of $200,815 (28.6%) from neighbour Como
8. Ashfield $496,997 – a saving of $101,711 (17%) from neighbour Maylands
9. Mirrabooka $385,485 – a saving of $250,326 (39.4%) from neighbour Dianella
10. Eden Hill $439,378 – a saving of $177,794 (28.8%) from neighbour Bayswater

bigstock-Chairs-On-Deck-Facing-Ocean-6971165Many people reading this column might be relaxing at a beachside getaway, a wine region in the south-west, a great fishing spot in the Kimberly or perhaps in a heritage town in the wheat belt.

Over summer many people will be enjoying Western Australia's delightful holiday spots, particularly along the coast. Places like Dunsborough, Denmark, Dongara, Lancelin, Cervantes, Albany and beyond. Over the years many people have bought holiday homes in these places.

Today, holiday homes are being purchased as far apart as Exmouth and Esperance. It all depends on people’s budget, allowable travel time and their strategy behind the purchase.

The ideal holiday home for most people is one that is always available for short stays, but this is a costly option for people who need to take out a mortgage on a second home. They are not the inexpensive country option they once were, particularly on the coast.

However, these days an increasing number of buyers are choosing to combine the purchase of a holiday home with long-term investment plans. This is possible because many favoured holiday locations have developed viable rental markets with local tenants leasing properties for extended periods, often beyond the summer holiday.

Some of these places might include Albany, Harvey, Busselton, Margaret River, Gin Gin, York  and Cervantes, for example.

Homes initially purchased as investments in these locations can later be used for holiday purposes.

In places where demand for rental accommodation is seasonal, such as fishing towns, windsurfing spots and agricultural areas, there is a greater likelihood of vacancies for rental properties outside the peak holiday or industry period. However, the rentals are normally much higher in properties leased for short periods and this can partly offset the loss of rental income when the place is vacant.

The benefit of this strategy is that the owner can then take advantage of the seasonal rental market by using the property off season.

Another option for holiday homebuyers is to purchase a unit in a resort development. Some resort operators will guarantee a rental income for a fixed period. In many cases the purchaser is acquiring a share of a managed investment scheme, which includes a stake in the total income and expenses incurred by the resort.

Either way, the most important consideration when buying a holiday home is, as far as possible, to set aside the emotional reactions and approach the purchase with a clear understanding of the real value of the property, its ongoing costs and the likely rental income.

If you are travelling around the state this holiday season and maybe thinking of a holiday home investment, why not drop into the nearest REIWA agency office and talk to the staff about opportunities?

(source: propertyobserver.com.au)

Spare room for extra cash

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

THERE is nothing new in using a spare room for a bit of extra cash.bigstock--Room-for-Rent-sign-45888079

However, in these days of legal over-complication, it is important you know your rights and obligations.It can be tempting to be very casual about renting out a room: you meet someone, somehow, and you all agree to terms, they move in, pay cash and everything is beautiful.  Now while this may have been the norm back in the 1970s, this is 2013 and you need to get serious.

Back then, tenants were more conditioned to do the right thing and your extra income could be, let's say, ``discreetly'' earned. It is nothing like this today.  Sourcing tenants today is actually much easier than ever before, contact nearby universities or large employment bases such as hospitals.  Consider putting a print ad in the right section of the paper, or go online.

The major difference with tenant selection compared to when leasing a whole property is you will have this person in your home, this means you will share some facilities, will you cope with bumping into them in the morning? You will need to interview them thoroughly and I suggest building a trial period into your agreement.  You can access a standard tenancy agreement or lease, depending on your state, online.  As much as there may be a temptation to avoid the formal tenancy agreements, I strongly advise you treat this very seriously, get advice, get the right agreement and ensure all is executed correctly, and consider adding conditions to your agreement, these may state how the bills for things such as electricity, internet or pay TV are divided and when the tenant needs to pay.  Define access and the use of other areas of your home - even where they may park their car, not smoking, or playing loud music late at night, are reasonable conditions, for example, but you need to accept they will have a right to live there; asking them to stay in their room at all times and only using the shower on alternate nights after 11pm is not really reasonable.  This is effectively a sharing scenario so, unless the rental space is totally independent, you must give this a great deal of thought.

Successful tenancies tend to be the ones with clear boundaries from the start,  insurance must not be ignored, accidents do happen, contact your insurer before the tenant moves in to make sure your policy conditions cover you, and if the rental allows sole access to a bathroom or more ``self-contained'' space such as a kitchenette or living area, or individual access, expect more rent, but be aware that if all goes well and you want to start renting out other rooms in the house, check with the relevant authorities because different rules can apply the more rooms you let out.

Now the bad news: you are about to generate extra income for yourself, so your accountant and the taxman will want to know how much you made, worse still if you don't tell them and they find out subsequently, ouch! However, letting them know in advance will allow you to discover what, if any, additional expenses can be claimed to reduce your tax liability, if you have the tenancy agreement in place, the right conditions, interview thoroughly and secure the right tenant, plus sort out insurance and the taxman, you are on your way!

(source: Perthnow - by Andrew Winter - host of Selling Houses Australia)

bigstock-A-plastic-calculator-displays--41935279The cash rate will fall to a low of 2.25% before the end of the year says NAB chief economist Alan Oster.

NAB is forecasting two rate cuts - one in August and now an additional one possibly in November if not sooner -  following a more "sober and realistic" outlook from RBA governor Glenn Stevens.

All the major banks expect a rate cut next week with ANZ changing its forecast from November to August.

"Until yesterday the RBA had been expressing optimism about other drivers of growth picking up," says Oster.

"Yesterday Glenn Stevens provided a much more sober and realistic outlook, suggesting that the economy cannot rely on housing and consumption to plug the growth hole.  This is in line with our forecasts and suggests that having recognised the reality of lower growth with benign inflation more rate cuts are likely.

"We had already been forecasting a 25 basis points rate cut in August to 2.5% and with the governor giving the green light for lower interest rates this now looks a sure thing.

"We now also expect an additional 25 basis point cut to 2.25% before year end – most likely in November after the third quarter CPI although it could be earlier.

"Beyond this, we expect the Australian economy will continue to grow below trend, income growth to be weak, and the unemployment rate to rise to and possibly above 6.25%.

"So the RBA will retain a bias to ease well into 2014 and a cash rate below 2¼% remains a real possibility."

(source: Propertyobserver.com.au - By Larry Schlesinger)

Categories : Featured, General, News

Renovating tips for first-home buyers

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

dog as a painter with a brush and colorSOME simple precautions can make life easier and cheaper when doing up old properties.

If the great Australian dream is buying a house on the traditional quarter acre block, then the fantasy is renovating it. Reality TV shows such as The Block, House Rules and Selling Houses Australia don't do anything to dispel the illusion.

Simply follow their lead, knock down a few walls, pull up the carpet to reveal original floorboards and a slap on a new lick of paint to transform a house from dull and drab to sleek and sexy. Well, that's the dream. Reality is something different altogether.

While buying the worst house on the best street is an opportunity to add value to a home, it can also result in stress, tears and cost blowouts if you aren't careful.

INSPECTIONS

Before exchanging contracts, it's essential to conduct a pre-purchase inspection report.

Although they aren't mandatory, Philip Connor from Express Building Reports says it can save a lot of heartache and money.

A standard report will set you back around $500 and will tell you the present condition of the property, the structural integrity of the building and what potentially expensive problems you'll be inheriting.

As building inspectors no longer have to be licensed, Philip suggests the best way to find someone reputable is to look for a person with 15 years of practical experience and who is insured.

"My first question would be, are you insured?'' he says. ``If they make a mistake and they're not insured you can't sue them.''

APARTMENTS

A property inspection on a house reports on the entire property from fence to fence; it's a different story for apartments.

"With a unit you're inspecting only the unit and the immediate surrounding area,'' Philip says. "It can be problematic because you don't inspect lifts or other people's apartments.''

Philip recommends buying a house rather than an apartment, but if you can't afford to, choose a unit in a smaller block.

"You can get a better feel for the history of smaller buildings,'' he says. "Important issues that apply to units include noise and we don't inspect or comment on noise between units.

"The other is fire. If the unit block isn't certified for fire safety, you could be looking at $15,000-$20,000 to certify it.''

HOUSES

Philip says houses built between 1895-1920 can be affected by rising damp, and those built from 1920-1985 can have asbestos.

"One issue that affects all of these houses is drainage,'' he says.

"Rising damp, termites and wood decay fungi are all basically caused by poor drainage, so if you can solve the drainage problem you can often resolve all three issues with one stroke.

"It's inexpensive, just make sure that the water that comes off the roof is taken away from the base of the building using a stormwater system or conservation tank.

Then you'll need some patience.

"Once you resolve the drainage issue, you need to allow at least three to 12 months for the building to start to dry out,'' Philip says.

RISING DAMP

"Rising damp is like sex; every generation has to find it out for itself,'' Philip says.

"I've been around for so long I assumed everyone knew what rising damp was but that's not the case.''

Rising damp is when moisture seeps up from the ground through porous building materials, such as brick, and up through the walls of the home. It stains the walls, causes paint and wallpaper to peel, rots skirting boards and generates a musty smell.

While it's unpleasant, it's also treatable.

A damp-proof course, made from lead, slate or asphalt, is used to waterproof walls so moisture doesn't penetrate the bricks.

To ensure they do their job, Philip says the soil needs to be kept at least 500mm below the damp-proof course. ``Rising damp rises only to one metre above ground level, however if ground levels are built up it's going to go another metre,'' he says.

ASBESTOS

Philip says that inspections don't cover asbestos because it's virtually impossible to detect without ripping up the home.

"The company may say, `If we see fibro then we will flag that as most likely containing asbestos,' but here is the catch: there may be a painted surface that you don't flag as fibro, so you might miss it,'' he says. ``There are some fibro materials that do not contain asbestos, but as a general rule, you should always suspect fibro as having it.''

WHEN TO BE CAUTIOUS

Philip says it's important to take a realistic look at the numbers before you buy.

"If you're buying a dump in a bad location, watch out. If it's in a great location, it changes the ballpark rules substantially,'' he says.

Paul Myors, energy efficiency specialist from Ausgrid, says renovations over $50,000 require a BASIX certificate, which measures a home's energy efficiency.

Approximately 60 per cent of a home's energy consumption comes from heating, cooling and hot water systems so a major renovation makes it easier to install insulation, reverse cycle air conditioning and a gas hot water system to reduce bills.

John Rose from TKD Architects believes it pays to be aware of local council requirements before buying, otherwise your dream of turning that single level semi into a split level home could be shattered.

"There are always development control plan differences between councils and that can be the character of an area, heritage or environment,'' he says.

"You have to know the local council code requirements, but having said that, in recent years a number of changes have happened to council codes to bring them into line. It's much easier these days to understand how a building can be placed on a site.''

John has seen an increase in clients asking architects to attend site inspections.

"Most people feel that getting a builder's advice is the most important thing but in reality you need to understand if and how you can make it into the home you want. Inner Sydney is full of cottages 40-80 years old that need a substantial amount of work done,'' he says.

"You need to make a judgment call on what good advice is worth to you. Most people are paying for one or two hours of an architect's time, which is between $150-$500.''

John suggests discovering what you can do to a property without approval before purchasing.

Top 10 costly repairs

David Hallett from Archicentre, archicentre.com.au, lists his top 10 renovation money pits.

Re-stumping:An inspection of the sub-soar area is the only way to tell whether the foundations are solid.

Roofs: A dodgy roof, which includes leaks, scracked roof tiles or poor guttering, can cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair.

Wiring: Blackened power points are an syndicator that the home's wiring is problematic.

Pests: If access hatches to the sub-floor or sceiling are blocked, chances are they could be trying to prevent access which would reveal pest infestations.

Plumbing: Rusted pipes in old homes may shave poor water flow. Check water pressure by having a few taps running to test pressure and see if the water is discoloured.

Painting: If paint has been used to mask a sproblem, you could be up for the cost of repair and repainting.

Plastering: Plastering can be as simple as sminor cracks or major work if restumping a home. Framing: affected by termites will also need replastering.

Rising damp: Damp walls encourage mould and weaken a building's frame.

Guttering and downpipes: Guttering that sis badly fitted, rusted or neglected can cause issues during heavy rains.

Stormwater drains: Underground pipework, including stormwater drains and sewer pipes can be expensive to repair.

(source: Perthnow)

What’s trendy in bathrooms right now?

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

BathroomNEUTRAL tones, luxurious freestanding baths, frameless showers and plenty of natural light and fresh air are all the rage in bathrooms nowadays.

But Angela Gianakis, an interior and exterior consultant for Outside Square, says functionality is always key.

Take freestanding baths, for example. She says they can look fantastic and are easy to get in and out of, but must also be easy to clean around.

Anyone upgrading their bathroom should think carefully about whether the freestanding bath of their dreams will be very difficult to clean around the back and underneath.

She also points out they need to be placed in a handy location to taps.

''Make sure you can add a bit more warm water without having to get our of your bath,'' she advises.

Frameless showers, which are easy to clean, can be found in many of the most modern bathrooms, but they also need to be carefully thought-out and installed in order to avoid leaks, Ms Gianakis says.

''The preparation for a frameless shower is important in making sure that they function well.''

Ms Gianakis says large windows and plenty of natural light are another trend in bathrooms.

''Lighting and ventilation are very important in a bathroom - we all know that things like to grow in warm areas,'' she says, adding small windows can be just as effective and sometimes more practical

''Remember that if you can see out, people can probably see in,'' .

She says she is not a fan of bathroom window treatments (such as blinds and curtains) because they tend to gather dirt, dust and steam.

Ms Ginakis says neutral-toned bathrooms are in vogue at the moment, but can be jazzed up with coloured feature tiles.

''Timber-look'' tiles are also very of-the-moment, she says. They can feature on a wall or around bathroom joinery.

(source: perthnow.com.au)

Grow Ideas for your garden

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

GardenKNOWING where to start with the design and construction of a garden can be a very daunting process.

Looking out over a bare grassed garden with no inspiration and no direction can lead you to think that creating a lush inviting space is almost impossible.

The first step is to find out what gardens you like and work out what sort of garden you want and the way to do this is through research. Trawl the internet and glossy magazines and create a mood board of things you love.
All great gardens start the same way - with a design.

You need to measure all your boundaries and plot all your features such as trees, garden beds, level changes and services so you can draw a scale base plan to scribble your ideas down on. Don't forget to make a few copies.

Once you have a base plan you need a list. Think about everything you want to use your space for - entertaining, growing vegies, somewhere for the kids to play, growing plants and hanging out the laundry. However big or small, write it down as you will need to fit it into the garden.

Now you need to translate the list to the base plan. Before any style is added think about the layout of the areas and plot them with shapes such as circles and squares. This will give you an idea of scale and proportion. It will also let you know if you can fit everything you want into your garden or if you need to start eliminating some of the elements.

Don't try to fit everything in if you are tight on space, work to a scale and be realistic - a 2x1 metre area may be big enough for a dining table but there will be no space to move around and enjoy it.

The space between each element is the space you will be in so it's as important as the element itself.

Now you can add some detail to the plan. What shape will the entertaining area be? What materials will you use?

Will there be any vertical elements? Go through each element and try to think in detail about how you want the final product to look.

By carrying out the previous stages of basic planning, your mind is in the right frame to start thinking about the detail - and once you are thinking about the detail you are no longer worried about where to start.

 

(source:  Charlie Albone - News Ltd)

Categories : Featured, News, Renovating, Tip