All Topics / Opinionated! / DIY vs. Professional Help?

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  • Profile photo of BreeceBreece
    Participant
    @breece
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 43

    Hi everyone,

    I was looking back over some old forum posts across a range of topics and a question came to mind.

    Do you prefer to do everything yourself, or are you happy to engage a professional to do the work for you?

    Be it tax accounting, selling your property, developing your land, arranging finance, renovating… etc

    What path do you follow?

    Why do you choose one over the other?

    Is there a financial benefit in your choice?

    Is there a risk the professional will not follow your instructions, or that you will not cover an important point due to inexperience?

    I remember a Council meeting in Melbourne's leafy eastern suburbs a number of years ago where a Doctor stood up and ripped into the Council Planner over a modest proposal for a dual occupancy development.

    The good Doctor was incredulous that Town Planning and Architecture should be so complex and difficult to understand to a layperson.

    Amongst the ranting and personal attacks, he demanded the repeal of the Planning Scheme and for Architects to be compelled to explain their complex drawings in terms he could understand.

    The Council Planner simply turned to him and said:

    "Dr XX, I assume you don't expect me to understand Medicine do you? That's what I would turn to you for. So please don't disrespect my profession, as I have 15 years experience doing the job I love"

    On this occasion, I think she has a wonderful point.

    What do you think?

    Have a great day,

    Breece

    Profile photo of RPIRPI
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    @rpi
    Join Date: 2012
    Post Count: 308

    Hi Breece

    I am a big believer in using professionals, but not blindly.  It helps to try and understand something about the area if possible, if not seek advice from different people and weigh it up.

    One good thing about using a professional, is that if there is a bad stuff up, their professional insurance may give you some recourse, if you do it all yourself, you have nothing.

    D

    RPI | Certus Legal Group / PRO Town Planners
    http://www.certuslegal.com.au
    Email Me | Phone Me

    Property Lawyer & Town Planner

    Profile photo of BreeceBreece
    Participant
    @breece
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 43

    Good point Darryl,

    I hadn't considered the benefits or advantage of our PI insurance over an individual's position.

    Which leads to another question..

    What factors influence your choice of one professional over another? – Is it purely on cost? Results? 'The vibe?'

    When we established our practice, we were fortunate to have access to one of the 'Big Four' Accounting firms. The added value we have received from this relationship far outweighs the additional cost involved. 

    Thanks Darryl, happy Australia Day!

    All the best,

    Breece

    Profile photo of RPIRPI
    Participant
    @rpi
    Join Date: 2012
    Post Count: 308

    When dealing with property, it has always started with trying to find someone who has some idea about.  Unfortunately not many accountants and lawyers do.  And even when they do, a lot don't advertise the fact, so hard to find out.  Much easier now with most having websites and a lot being on forums etc.

      I always prefer dealing with people who have been there and done it themselves.  

    Cheers 

    Happy Australia Day to you to

    RPI | Certus Legal Group / PRO Town Planners
    http://www.certuslegal.com.au
    Email Me | Phone Me

    Property Lawyer & Town Planner

    Profile photo of TerrywTerryw
    Participant
    @terryw
    Join Date: 2001
    Post Count: 16,213

    I've seen several people set up trusts incorrectly. They thought they may save money by doing it themselves but each time it has resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in lost tax, legal advice etc to fix.

    Terryw | Structuring Lawyers Pty Ltd / Loan Structuring Pty Ltd
    https://terryw.com.au/
    Email Me

    Lawyer, Mortgage Broker and Tax Advisor (Sydney based but advising Aust wide) http://Terryw.com.au/

    Profile photo of CatalystCatalyst
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    @catalyst
    Join Date: 2008
    Post Count: 1,404

    The problem is "you don't know what you don't know".   Lots of people "think" they know it all.

    The trick is knowing where to draw the line.

    Terry has a good point. With important things such as structure, tax etc you need to know your limit and hire a professional. I know some people with multiple properties that do their own tax. To me that's crazy because laws are changing all the time.  Same as the legal profession.

    Same with tradies.  I'm a DIY renovator but I know our limit. Sometimes it's even more cost effective to hire a tradie.

    Profile photo of BreeceBreece
    Participant
    @breece
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 43

    Good point there Catalyst, good luck with your renovations!

    Your comment reminds me of Rumsfeld's famous quote:

    "There are known knowns;

    there are things we know we know.

    We also know there are known unknowns;

    that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know.

    But there are also unknown unknowns

    – the ones we don’t know we don’t know."

    All the best,

    Breece

    Profile photo of Jamie MooreJamie Moore
    Participant
    @jamie-m
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 5,069

    I take the same approach as catalyst. I'm a bit of a weekend warrior when it comes to DIY but I'm fully aware of my capabilities so have no issue with getting the pros in for reno work that I'm not capable of doing.

    There's also an opportunity cost I need to consider when carrying out renos – I enjoy doing some stuff myself but outside of business and family commitments, it's difficult to find time so paying others can be a good option.

    As for accountancy, legal services, ect – I leave that to my trusted professionals. 

    Cheers

    Jamie

    Jamie Moore | Pass Go Home Loans Pty Ltd
    http://www.passgo.com.au
    Email Me | Phone Me

    Mortgage Broker assisting clients Australia wide Email: [email protected]

    Profile photo of TerrywTerryw
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    @terryw
    Join Date: 2001
    Post Count: 16,213

    Wills are another DIY thing that the individuals usually stuff up, or do in a less than efficient manner.

    Terryw | Structuring Lawyers Pty Ltd / Loan Structuring Pty Ltd
    https://terryw.com.au/
    Email Me

    Lawyer, Mortgage Broker and Tax Advisor (Sydney based but advising Aust wide) http://Terryw.com.au/

    Profile photo of RPIRPI
    Participant
    @rpi
    Join Date: 2012
    Post Count: 308

    And, especially with the family provision  issues, ends up eating up a large part of the estate in legal fees.

    RPI | Certus Legal Group / PRO Town Planners
    http://www.certuslegal.com.au
    Email Me | Phone Me

    Property Lawyer & Town Planner

    Profile photo of CatalystCatalyst
    Participant
    @catalyst
    Join Date: 2008
    Post Count: 1,404

    That's why I got you to do mine Terry. smiley

    Profile photo of TerrywTerryw
    Participant
    @terryw
    Join Date: 2001
    Post Count: 16,213
    Catalyst wrote:
    That's why I got you to do mine Terry. smiley

    Well, I hope it won't be needed for many years. And, I wonder who you really are Catalyst????

    Terryw | Structuring Lawyers Pty Ltd / Loan Structuring Pty Ltd
    https://terryw.com.au/
    Email Me

    Lawyer, Mortgage Broker and Tax Advisor (Sydney based but advising Aust wide) http://Terryw.com.au/

    Profile photo of alpakkaalpakka
    Participant
    @alpakka
    Join Date: 2012
    Post Count: 5

    I think you make some good points!!

    You need toi spend money to make money and by utilizing the services of professionals you can potentially save yourself lots of money down the track and also find better opportunities.

    As you said, they key is knowing where to draw the line! It's also important to understand exactly what these professionals will do for you and ask the right questions.

    Once you fully understand what they are doing, it's much easier to make strategic decisions..

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