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6 interior design trends set to be big in 2018

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6 interior design trends set to be big in 2018

With a new year comes new trends and interior design is no exception! So if you're just about to move into a new home, start a reno project or you're simply interested to know more about what's in this year, Milray Park Australia's Home of eDecorating has compiled a list of their five favourite interior design trends that are going to be big in 2018.

1. Window seating.

In 2018, it’s all about self-care at home and where better than a comfy window seat to get your much deserved daily dose of 'me time'. The best part is that it’s totally up to you how you spend it. Perhaps you’ll be simply watching the world go by while catching some rays, getting stuck into a good book or even zenning out with a super restorative meditation session.

Not keen on making a permanent change to create a window seat with custom joinery? No problem! All you really need is a bench, a bench cushion and a window! Don’t worry if you don't have a suitable window to perch by, a bench under a beautiful artwork or photographic print can serve as your window to anywhere your heart desires.

Image: Milray Park, styled by Milray Park Designer Peri Mooney

Image: Milray Park, styled by Milray Park Designer Peri Mooney

2. Wall Art.

This year, bare walls are simply gallery walls waiting to happen! In 2018 it’s a case of go big or go home (at home). So gather all your favourite paintings, illustrations and photography, a few quirky frames (or washi tape if you want to mix up framed and non-framed images) and get creative to showcase your very own art collection. The more the better.

3. The colour sage.

Say goodbye to the white and blue-y greys of 2017 and hello to sage this year! In 2018, this greyish green shade is the NEW neutral. It's easy to understand why as this perfect tone blends seamlessly with just about anything. Walls, ceilings, soft furnishings, there are plenty of ways to incorporate some refreshing sage shades into your interior.

Image: Openhomesphotography.com

Image: Openhomesphotography.com

4. eDecorating.

Yes, this is the next big thing and it's taking the world by storm. In 2018, we will all be embracing the opportunity to collaborate with a personal interior designer online to decorate our homes at a fraction of the cost of in-person services. So with ideas and advice from the best in the business your next-level magazine-worthy home is a click away.

Image: Milray Park, styled by Milray Park Designer Laura Downie

Image: Milray Park, styled by Milray Park Designer Laura Downie

5. Terracotta and terrazzo tiles.

While our general obsession with tiles has been going on for a while, 2018 is all about terrazzo and terracotta. Firstly, forget everything (you thought) you knew about these two styles. Now think about the million ways you could integrate terrazzo and terracotta into your interior (floors, walls and even lighting). Not ready to take the plunge? Dip your toe into this palette by incorporating terracotta shades into soft furnishings. We bet you’ll be painting (and tiling) in no time.

6. Indoor jungle.

Proven to be good for your health as well as pretty to the eye, in 2018 you need to get your hands on indoor foliage There are plenty of options out there even for those who don't have a green thumb! Monstera, devil's ivy or succulents actually thrive on neglect.

Image: Leden Design

Image: Leden Design

If you're still sceptical, think no more, art is the answer. Beautiful organic plant themed prints, paintings and photography will instantly bring you closer to mother nature minus the watering responsibilities. Winner!

Now that you know what to expect this year, all that's left to do is figure out how many of these beautiful trends to add to your home! Happy decorating.

Company bio:

Milray Park gives all Australians access to personalised interior design service online for one simple $299 flat-fee price.

Whether looking to pull together the look for a space with just a few finishing touches, or for a full-on transformation, Milray Park provides a tailor-made interior design service.

Just about to move into your new home or planning a reno but not too sure where to start? First thing first, take Milray Park's short quiz to find out what your decorating style is.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Springfield Lakes real estate for sale and properties for rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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5 ultimate value-adds when renovating your home

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5 ultimate value-adds when renovating your home

Are you looking to unleash the potential of your home? Knowing which renovations to invest in for the best return can be one way to work your way up the property ladder. Whether you’re a homeowner looking to make a good profit or a first-time investor, choosing the right renovations to add value and impact is essential if you plan on selling.

Not all renovations are guaranteed to provide you with a tidy profit though. There’s nothing worse than pouring your time, money and energy into a property makeover that doesn’t improve your home's value or rental income. Smart renovations will improve functional space and visual appeal. Here are a few value-adds to get your reno plans started.

1. Add more space.

Homeowners, renters, buyers and investors all crave the feeling of spaciousness. Extending the living area and kitchen to create more internal living space is a big-ticket item when it comes to resale value. Knock out a non-structural wall and establish a sense of flow between the dining and kitchen areas. If an existing kitchen island is taking up too much space, you may want to consider installing a moveable island that can be adjusted as needed and to create extra storage and bench space too.

The resale value of your home can be drastically increased with a bedroom addition. Whilst this can be more costly than pulling down a few non-structural walls, it can have a massive financial upside when you sell. Be careful not to jeopardise the size of other rooms to squeeze in an extra bedroom. Adding another room may deflate the property’s value if it makes an average-sized living area feel too small.

If budget permits, more space can be added to a home by building upward or outward through a specialised home renovation builder. Attic, basement and garage conversions are also popular to make better use of existing space too.

2. Invest in quality flooring.

Old carpets, tiles or lino can be replaced with attractive and inexpensive alternatives. Laminate is a popular choice for its durability, solid hardwood look and low maintenance appeal. It’s also an affordable way to achieve the dream timber floor appearance desired by many homeowners and renters. Whichever flooring you choose to invest in, make sure you choose neutral and timeless shades if you’re wanting to resell.

3. Create fantastic kerb appeal.

The first impression a property gives when you first lay eyes on it, whether that's online or in person, matter a great deal. If you’re wise enough to invest in your home's exterior properly, the extra effort can make a positive impact on value. Kerb appeal is essential to grab the attention of as many potential buyers and renters as possible. It doesn’t have to be over the top, simple updates that make a big impact are key.

Unattractive bricks can be rendered and painted a fresh, modern colour. Window frames can be repainted or replaced with a more visually-appealing version and roof tiles can be spray-painted to colour-match the rest of the home. Landscaping should be updated, with tasteful plants and greenery added to the mix. Keep garden beds weed free and add mulch, pebbles and a paved walkway to the front door for simple aesthetically pleasing improvements.

A new letterbox and house numbering, a boldly painted front door to contrast with the home’s neutral colours and updated fencing all add to the property’s kerb appeal too. Cement rendering and a bit of ‘rip-and-tearing’ of any out-dated features is also recommended.

4. Focus on the hub of the home.

The kitchen is the hub of the home and thus plays a big role when selling a property. A fantastically functional kitchen with plenty of storage, a functional layout, updated appliances and plenty of bench space is at the top of most people's new home wishlist. That’s not to say it’s the room to go over the top with, however. Any updates you make should match the home’s current style and be appropriate for the property and its surrounding area too.

For a cost-effective kitchen upgrade, modular kitchens are a great idea. If the kitchen is still structurally sound and the layout still practical, replacing the kitchen benchtops with marble or granite and updating the cabinet hardware and appliances can easily transform a tired looking space. Make sure you pay attention to the flooring too, so it’s appealing, durable and water resistant.

5. Add luxury touches with fixtures & details.

You can add a luxurious feel to a property through quality fixtures. The kitchen and bathroom are the most important areas here. Buyers and tenants will demand modern and up-to-date in these spaces, with clean and stylish fixtures and fittings to add that luxury charm.

Pay attention to the details. One or two elegant fittings within the house can create a big impact – visually and value wise. Chrome-plated accessories will add a modern appeal, but choosing coloured fixtures can bring a sense of indulgence. For example, copper tapware teamed with black splashback tiles is a stunning contrast that oozes elegance. Sheer curtains, carpet that shimmers (a silk and wool blend), large gloss wall tiles in the bathroom and unique lighting pendants are all great ways to lift the luxurious feel of a home too.

Choosing quality materials, appliances and finishes offer longevity and appeal in a property – one buyers and renters are willing to pay a premium for. Select the best you can afford, stay within your budget and know what renovations to invest in and which ones to leave to get maximum home value when the time comes to sell.

Author bio:

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Stella Design & Construction – a specialised home building renovation company that focuses on high-quality house additions and renovations. You can catch her on Google+.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Springfield Lakes real estate for sale and properties for rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Do you have a bright front door? Here’s how to complement it

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Do you have a bright front door? Here’s how to complement it

Painting your front door a bright, bold colour is one of the easiest ways to change the look of your home and create a welcoming first impression. But once you’ve chosen a vivid shade of red, orange, lime or purple, it can be tricky to know what other exterior colours work well with it. Nail your entryway style with paint colours and garden plants that complement a bright door, as shown by these eight fresh, colourful examples.

Colour strategies

Balance a bright front door with exterior paint and window trim in neutral colours that will complement and enhance the door colour. Flowering plants, evergreen shrubs and potted plants placed by the entryway provide another opportunity to complement a bold front door. Pull a bright paint colour into the landscape with flowers and bright berries in a similar hue, or use dark green and blue-green foliage plants to balance a bold door.

Aqua

Wake up a home’s entryway with an unexpected splash of light turquoise paint. The bright, spring-like colour looks equally fresh on traditional and contemporary homes, and pairs well with white or light grey exterior paint.

Robin’s egg blue looks particularly charming with mixed cottage-style perennial beds planted with pastel-coloured blooms such as coreopsis, dahlias, foxgloves, delphiniums and lavender. For landscapes that favour foliage over flowers, pair a blue-green door with silvery lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina) and medium-green evergreen shrubs like boxwood or pittosporum.

Coral

Peachy medium orange-pink paint feels cheerful, inviting and also a little daring to use on a front door. Emphasise bold coral with exterior paint in charcoal or medium grey.

In spring and summer, coral mixes well with lush foliage and tropical blooms, like creamy yellow angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia spp.) and peachy-petaled rose of Sharon (Hibiscus spp.). In winter, coral acts as a welcome bright spot in a darker, sparser landscape.

Chartreuse

Lime green is a popular colour choice for bright front doors, particularly those on contemporary-style homes. It feels fresh and modern without looking like you’re trying too hard. Plus, it works well with a range of exterior paint colours, such as white, grey, beige, black, brown and navy.

Pull the lime colour into garden beds with a few accents of chartreuse plants such as Mediterranean spurge (Euphorbia characias ssp. wulfenii) or coral bells ‘Key Lime Pie’ (Huechera hybrid). For more drama, pair chartreuse with dark plum-coloured plants like purple smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria).

Meyer lemon

As fresh as a bowl of citrus, a zingy yellow door feels at once carefree and contemporary. Yellow works equally well with traditional-style homes – picture it with light grey cladding and white trim – as it does with more modern architecture. For this home, the designer used yellow with a stark white-and-black colour palette for a contemporary look.

Dark green or variegated foliage shrubs would make great entryway plants for this look, as would flowers like yellow-centred, white-petaled Marguerite daisy (Argyranthemum spp.). Draw some of the lemon yellow into the landscape with a citrus tree in the front yard. All citrus fruits ripen in winter, providing a welcome jolt of colour in a more subdued landscape.

Cherry red

Like a bright red flower that draws in the bees, there’s something about a red door that seems to pull you in. The colour complements just about every home style, from traditional to contemporary. Keep the door colour as the centre of attention with neutral paint colours, such as white, grey or beige, on the home’s exterior.

Look for other ways to pull red into the entryway and garden, such as placing a box on the porch in a red delicious hue or using plants with red berries as foundation plants. Evergreens with deep green foliage, like tea plant (Camellia sinensis), also mix well with cherry red and add year-round interest.

Periwinkle

Purple hues are rarer choices for front doors and make a home stand out on the block. In this home, a bright periwinkle door works well with a sage green and natural wood exterior. The vivid colour makes the entryway stand out beneath the shade of an overhang.

Rambling ‘Rozanne’ cranesbill (Geranium ‘Rozanne’) and Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas) bring the violet colour into the front planting. The silver-grey leaves of the evergreen olive tree complement the purple door and sage green exterior.

Poppy

A splash of punchy orange on the door immediately draws attention to the entryway from the sidewalk. Bright shades of orange – such as tangerine and poppy – work well with contemporary or mid-century-style homes with clean lines and neutral or cool-toned colour palettes.

Keep plantings contemporary by choosing plants for form rather than flowers, such as upright horsetail reed (Equisetum hyemale) or clipped evergreen hedges. A potted kumquat tree placed to the left of the door would pick up the bright orange paint colour in decorative clusters of tangy fruit.

This article was originally published on Houzz.com.au. Read the original article here.

For more ideas to dress up your home's exterior take a look at these front yard projects to up your home's style and upgrade your kerb appeal for under $5k.

Author bio:

Lauren Dunec Hoang is a Houzz Contributor. Landscape designer, a former garden editor for Sunset Magazine and in-house designer for Sunset's Editorial Test Garden. Her garden designs have been featured in the Sunset Western Garden Book of Landscaping, Sunset Western Garden Book of Easy-Care Plantings (cover), Inhabitat, and POPSUGAR.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Springfield Lakes real estate for sale and properties for rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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What's the difference between strata managers & property managers?

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What's the difference between strata managers & property managers?

The role of a strata manager and property managers are often confused with one another, but they perform very different and distinct duties.

If you're thinking about buying off the plan, moving into or investing in a strata building it's important to know the difference between the two roles.

The role of a property manager

A property manager typically works in a real estate agents’ office. They look after individual properties on an owner’s behalf, finding and vetting tenants, collecting the rent on time, and ensuring that the property is well maintained and repairs are carried out when required. They're also responsible for the regular monitoring and inspections of the property to ensure that the tenants are not in violation of any of the terms of their rental agreement.

Property managers also act as a liaison between the tenant and the owner, so if the tenant wants to ask permission to make any changes to the property, they can let the property manager know, who would then pass on their request to the landlord. Conversely, the owner uses the property manager to convey updates to the tenants, such as a notification as to when tradespeople will need access to the property to carry out maintenance, or from what date they will be imposing a rent increase and what the new amount due will be.

property manager vs strata m.jpg

The role of a strata manager

A strata manager is responsible for an entire building, ensuring that the building and its common areas are well maintained and compliant with current industry and insurance regulations. They also act as a point of contact to coordinate meetings for the buildings property owners to discuss matters, such as the appropriate use and management of common areas, parking issues, repairs, maintenance and so on.

Strata managers also deal with correspondence regarding the building, be it from existing tenants, owners or prospective buyers. They often assist in arranging quotes and hire tradespeople to carry out works on the building, submit insurance claims, and keep a record of all activities that are carried out in relation to the property so that all expenditure can be accounted for.

Why is there a difference in the roles?

One of the main reasons why a strata manager should not also perform the duty of property manager and vice versa is a conflict of interest.

Say, for example, a dispute arises between two property owners in a building which requires the intervention of the strata manager to resolve it. If that strata manager is also the property manager for one of the owners involved in the dispute, there is a clear conflict of interest, and the strata manager could be open to accusations of bias in favour of the owner that they are also acting as property manager for.

Strata managers also have several legal obligations when it comes to the management of a building. Some of these obligations, such as recommending costly repairs to the building, may go against the wishes of a landlord, who wants to keep their costs to a minimum, so there should be a clear separation of these roles so that conflicts such as these cannot arise.

For more info on strata properties take a look at the pros and cons of a strata manager vs self-managed strata, how to dismiss your strata manager and strata 101: what you need to know before buying off the plan.

Company bio:

PICA Group is one of Australia’s leading property services companies. As a market leader, we aim to continuously redefine the experience of owning a property for the better through a range of businesses offering strata management, facilities management, receivables management, and property developer services. Follow the PICA Group on Facebook @thepicagroup and LinkedIn.

Disclaimer: The information provided is a general guide only, and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. The company disclaims all responsibly and liability for any expenses, losses, damages and costs which might be incurred as a result of the information provided by the company.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Springfield Lakes real estate for sale and properties for rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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6 tips for renovating an old house

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6 tips for renovating an old house

Buying an older house is your chance to create the stylish and luxurious home you've always wanted at an affordable price.

One of the things we love most about transforming older homes is the opportunity to preserve and celebrate the soul of that particular property. This kind of character and charm cannot be found or replicated in brand-new builds so it's definitely, in our opinion, worth saving.

The reality is that it takes time and dedication to bring the old glow back into an older home, but the result is well worth it. Here are our top tips to keep in mind when it comes to fixing up an old home.

Assess the damage

Perhaps you feel confident enough on your own, but it doesn't hurt to have an expert assist you with estimating any damage and wear a house has suffered over the years in a building inspection report before putting in an offer.

  • Water damage - You would be surprised by how much damage water can cause. It can soak the floors and beams, speed up the rotting process of wooden parts, cause corrosion of pipes, and make the perfect breeding ground for mould.
  • Insect damage – Have all structural wooden elements assessed for rotting and termites. Replace them if there is a need before you start the renovation.
  • The settling of the house - If you find that the foundation has cracks in it, find a professional that can fix this issue for you. You cannot leave foundation issues unchecked as they may compromise any structural changes you make, let moisture through or build up radon, a natural radioactive gas.

Check plumbing & wiring

Another thing to take care of is the state of plumbing and wiring. Chances are, depending on the period the house was built and whether anyone has done anything to it since, that some pipes and wiring may need replacing.

  • Check plumbing- If your water is cloudy or rusty and you have no water pressure you will probably want to look into replacing the plumbing and the hot water service. Rust typically comes from the corrosion of old copper piping over time and may lead to a burst pipe and flooding in the not too distant future. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry in old homes and fix any minor plumbing issues before they turn into a major one.
  • Old wiring - Your major concern should be that the electrical outlets may not be grounded, which we now know is a must. The electrical box will most likely need upgrading to be able to support a safety switch, which is especially important while renovating to minimise the risk of electrical fires and shocks.
Ripe for reno- For sale: 1 Alsace Street, Brunswick East, VIC

Ripe for reno- For sale: 1 Alsace Street, Brunswick East, VIC

Check the roof, windows, & mortar          

  • Windows - If the current windows are still in good shape, you can refinish them and avoid the expense and hassle of replacing them. If you're looking for energy-efficiency or the windows cannot be refinished, you could replace them with modern double-glazed windows. If you're splashing out on a few new windows try to make them similar in style to the rest of the house to keep as uniform an appearance throughout as possible. Also check out auctions, antique dealers and landfill recycling centres for old windows you could reclaim and reuse in your house.
  • The roof – You may need an entirely new one or just to fix up certain areas to avoid roof leaks ruining your freshly renovated property. I suggest using the same two options as for the windows mentioned above, either buy a modern version or find old roof tiles to match the few that need replacing.
  • The mortar – If you purchased an old brick house you may find that the mortar is crumbling and falling out. This isn’t much to worry about, you can easily replace the mortar yourself with a little skill and a lot of patience.

Decorating

Since your house already has its own personality, perhaps you should consult it first when it comes to styling and decor.

  • Preserve original features - When painting the home, work around the historical architectural features and use colour carefully to accentuate them.
  • Lead in paint - Speaking of paint, lead-based paint was commonly used for both interior and exterior surfaces in Australian homes built before 1970. Commonly painted features included window frames and doors, railings, gutters and other metal surfaces, as well as kitchen and bathroom cupboards. It was combined with red and pink primer which also contained lead. Cover any potentially hazardous areas with latex paint to be on a safe side. If the paint has started chipping off and you really want to remove it, the safest option is to hire experienced professionals to do the job using methods such as wet scraping, wet sanding, heat processes or chemical stripping.
  • Old meets new – Mixing different styles has become a great trend in contemporary home décor. Mix historical style with modern features to make the house more personal, functional and connected to modern living but remaining true to its roots. Depending on whether the house has been occupied recently or not, you may have to find space for some new appliances that were never planned for in the original layout.

Ventilation

Check whether there is a ventilation system in the house, as well as a cooling and heating system. If the house has been occupied within the last two or three decades, you might actually still have functional systems ready to go. An AC repair and heating service may end up costing you much less than installing new ones. If this is the case, you’re in luck.

Check for asbestos

We cannot talk about old houses without mentioning the A-word. Have a professional building inspector check for asbestos in your new home and how friable it is. If there is a need, get the permits and hire the right people to do the job of removing and disposing of it for you.

Your old house is a great opportunity to create something completely customised and unique. Allow enough time to complete the necessary repairs and don’t rush your move-in date. It is easier to build a house from scratch than to repair an old one, but the satisfaction you get from conserving and living in a refreshed piece of history makes the extra work and time well worth it.

For more advice for aspiring renovators take a read of our guide to avoid a money-guzzling reno nightmare, how to renovate for your target market and 'Renovate or detonate? That is the question'

Author bio:

Neil is a student of a digital marketing, DIY enthusiast and a beginner at the blogging scene. His home is the whole world because he travels a lot.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Springfield Lakes real estate for sale and properties for rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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7 jobs to complete before moving day

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7 jobs to complete before moving day

You’ve done it! You just purchased a new home and you’re eagerly awaiting the big move. With so much happening, it can often become overwhelming and place your stress levels at an all-time high. Take some deep breaths. There are several ways you can make sure it all goes smoothly – and that’s through planning.

While one of the first things you’ll do when planning the move is to organise removalists and enlist the help of friends and family, there’s a lot more involved in making a smooth transition. Organising utilities, updating the details of various accounts and organising home and contents insurance are just some of the things that need to be taken care of prior to moving day.

Whether it is a new build or an existing home, here’s a handy checklist to follow leading up to the big moving day.

preparing to move.jpg

Set up utility accounts

Before moving into your new home, it’s important to set up your utility accounts so you can have access to water, power and gas as soon as you walk in the door. Not having access to crucial utilities will make the move much harder and will cause delays. It’s also important to set up accounts for your new phone line and internet if you wish to have a connection in your new home straight away.

Water

If you’re moving, buying or building, you'll require access to water on your property. Head over to the Water Corporation website for guides that walk you through the processes involved with accessing water on your property. These easy to navigate guides will provide you with all the information you require.

Power

Electricity is essential for most homes, powering your home appliances, hot water systems and electrical devices. There are multiple power providers in Australia which all have their own rates and fees. Compare a few well-known providers before making your final decision on which company best suits how your home will use electricity.

Gas

Although many newer homes are moving away from the inclusion of gas, most houses still use it for stove tops and heating. If you do require gas to be connected to your new or existing home, research online or speak to your family and friends to find the right provider for you.

Check key days with your local council

Each local council will have their own set watering days, hard rubbish and bin collection days, and local events. Before making the move, get in contact with your new local council to request a calendar of key dates. You can check your watering days by visiting the Water Corporation website and inputting your street number and postcode.

garden sprinkler.jpg

Complete change of address forms

One of the most common problems for new homeowners is updating their address on an extensive list of accounts. One of the easiest ways to ensure you still receive your mail at your new address is to complete a redirect mail form with Australia post. For either one, three, six or 12 months, Australia Post will redirect your mail to the new address, giving you some room to breathe while you update the address details on various accounts.

The Australian Government have put together a change of address checklist to make the process of moving house and updating your details easier. Remember to include any additional accounts to the list before working through it.

Re-key your new home's locks

While your home is being built, access will be given to many tradesmen, contractors and real-estate agents. Or, if you’re purchasing an existing home, there’s no telling how many people still have access to the property.

Therefore, one of the first things you should do when moving into a new home is to rekey your locks. Find a reputable local locksmith service that can rekey your entire home to prevent previous owners or tenants from gaining entry. To make access to your home even easier, this would be the perfect time to ensure all locks in your home use the same key.

Organise home & contents insurance

Before moving into your new home it’s vital that you take out a home and contents insurance policy with a reputable insurance company. The unexpected can happen, especially when moving home so taking out the right policy before the move is crucial.

Re-paint your rooms before moving furniture in

If you’re planning to change the look of your home, get started before moving the furniture in. Manoeuvring around furniture to paint walls or position art only becomes harder once you’ve packed the home with your belongings.

Prepare for the first night

After the big move, you’ll be left with boxes towering up to your ceiling. You’ve just completed a big move and you’re lacking the energy to go through every box searching for the essentials. That’s why it’s important to prepare yourself for the first night.

Pack a labelled 'first-night' box containing the essentials such as:

  • A change of clothes.
  • Nightwear.
  • Toiletries.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Towels.
  • Bed linen, pillows and doona.
  • Prescription medicine.

You might even add some extra kitchen items to the list to make you feel at home, such as tea or coffee and a kettle for the morning. This makes it much easier to settle in and get a good night's sleep before a big day of unpacking.

We hope completing these seven tasks helps to make your moving day that little bit easier. For more moving tips and tricks take a look at these three ways to make money when moving and five lessons from someone who just moved.

Author bio:

This article is written by Alex Hamilton, who recommends Central Screens & Locks – A security screen and locksmith company based in Western Australia. You can catch Alex on Google+.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Springfield Lakes real estate for sale and properties for rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Quiz: Find your perfect real estate match

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Quiz: Find your perfect real estate match

No date lined up for Valentine’s Day? Don’t stress. Take our quiz to find your property soulmate. Whoever said money can’t buy love?

Finding the perfect place to live is kind of like searching for the perfect partner. You want something nice to come home to, that’s comfortable, reliable, clean, preferably conveniently located and ridiculously good looking, of course!

Simply answer these eight questions to discover the home that’ll have your heart racing. Hopefully, it’s love at first sight.

1. When you look out your bedroom window you want to see?

A. Mesmerising ocean views.

B. Your kids playing on your generously sized lawn.

C. People passing by in the bustling inner-city street below.

D. Nothing but serene and green Australian bush.

E. Pretty manicured gardens.

2. Your favourite style of architecture is?

A. Cape Cod.

B. Queenslander.

C. Contemporary.

D. Rustic.

E. Spanish.

3. You're most likely to spend your Saturday evening:

A. At a trivia night at the local pub.

B. Chilling out at a casual BBQ or pool party.

C. Enjoying a meal with friends at the hottest restaurant in town.

D. Snuggled up in front an open fireplace with a good book.

E. Hosting a fancy cocktail party at your home with your nearest and dearest.

4. Your ideal backyard…

A. Has contemporary landscaping and a huge alfresco area for entertaining.

B. Includes a large swimming pool, fire pit and room for a trampoline.

C. Is a paved low maintenance courtyard with space for a BBQ and table setting.

D. Has 25-acres of sprawling bushland to explore.

E. Is a hectare of idyllic landscaped grounds including a resort style pool, fountains and a tennis court.

5. Your favourite piece of home décor is:

A. A boho macramé wall hanging.

B. A timeless leather chesterfield lounge.

C. A super sleek oversized glass coffee table.

D. An artfully arranged stack of firewood.

E. A glam chandelier.

6. Your dream home location is:

A. Within 20 metres of the surf.

B. On a large block out in the burbs.

C. Conveniently positioned within 15-minutes of the city.

D. Peaceful and secluded.

E. In a semi-rural location with a small-town feel.

7. Your drink of choice is:

A. Pina colada.

B. Beer.

C. Espresso Martinis.

D. Scotch on the rocks.

E. Champagne.

8. If you could live in any country for a year you’d chose:

A. Indonesia.

B. Cuba.

C. Sweden.

D. Canada.

E. Spain.

And your real estate perfect match is…

You chose – mostly A: Beachside masterpiece.

Congrats, you've found the one! And what a stunner it is. Australia’s most easterly beachfront residence ‘Whalewatchers’ is situated overlooking Wategos Beach in Byron Bay. This magnificent property features four spacious ensuited bedrooms, five bathrooms, a decadent master suite, second-storey pool and spa, C-Bus smart home automation system, wine cellar, underfloor heating and a spectacular ocean outlook. Hello, heaven on earth!

You chose – mostly B: Captivating classic Queenslander.

Your love for this beauty will stand the test of time, just as charming Queenslander style has endured over the past hundred years or so. Set on a generous 1,012 square metre lot, the home has been meticulously renovated from top to toe with easy family living in mind. Highlights include polished timber floors, a laundry chute, a large backyard pool, high ceilings, an enclosed balcony, landscaped gardens and poolside deck area. What’s not to love.

You chose – mostly C: Smart inner-city townhouse.

This elegant architect designed townhouse would easily win the heart of any stylish city slicker. Showcasing deluxe finishes throughout, the sleek black and white kitchen and cosy courtyard take sophisticated living to the next level. The property offers a convenient lifestyle, just a quick commute to the city and walking distance to Rozelle’s shops, cafes and restaurants. But, if you don’t feel like venturing out you even have your own wine room and bar, score!

You chose – mostly D: Luxe log cabin.

For sale: Buxton, VIC

For sale: Buxton, VIC

A romantic abode in many respects, this secluded hand-crafted Canadian alpine style log home is the ultimate woodsy retreat. You’ll fall for the valley views, the tranquillity of 25-acres of bushland, two large open fireplaces and the impressive 100 square metre bluestone deck. The fact that it is designed to the highest fire protection rating will also give you good peace of mind.

You chose – mostly E: Opulent Spanish estate.

We’re guessing you like the finer things in life and this chateau is no exception. It’s sprawling 1.45 hectares of beautifully manicured grounds, hand-crafted iron gates, sculptures, water features and grand ballroom will surely sweep you off your feet. You’d never run out of things to do if this was your home base, with a resort style pool, cocktail bar, music room, billiard room, gym, sauna and tennis court all on the premises.

For more enchanting abodes and quiz fun check out these 10 breathtaking homes that'll inspire your V-day plans and 'Which interior design reflects your personality quiz?'.

Happy Valentine's Day!

The Homely Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Springfield Lakes real estate for sale and properties for rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Natural ways to keep your home cool

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Natural ways to keep your home cool

It may be because of the weather, or the location you're currently living in – with hot temps comes a steady reliance on air conditioning. Not only is this expensive, but it’s also an unnatural way to regulate your home’s temperature.

So, this summer, do things a little bit differently and try keeping your home cool in the most natural way(s) possible. Every family’s needs are different, and every property’s capabilities will vary depending on position, age and structure. Here are six tried-and-true ways to keep a space at a refreshing temperature — no air-con required.

1. Start with a fan.

It might just go without saying, but fans are an effective way to create a breeze inside your home without the use of air-conditioning. Ceiling fans work because they keep the air inside of your home moving: stagnant air gets heated faster, so keep air flowing with either a portable unit or ceiling fan.

Surprisingly, you can make your fan work even harder for you. If you fill a bag with ice and attach that bag to the rear of your tabletop fan, you’ll get even cooler air. The device pulls in air from behind its blades, and the container of ice will cool the air as it pushes it through.

You can also make use of other ventilation tricks, like the exhaust fans already installed in your home to keep temperatures low. After a hot shower or while cooking a meal, turn on your exhaust fans to get that heat out of your home ASAP.

2. Keep blinds closed.

When it’s sunny, our first instinct is to throw back the curtains, pull open the blinds and let the sunshine flood in. However, with the sun's rays comes additional heat that you’ll have to stave off with air-conditioning, so you’ll have to go against your instinct to let in natural light to keep your home cool. In fact, keeping your blinds and curtains drawn throughout the day is one of the most budget-friendly ways to cool your home.

Check out five reasons to install external blinds.

3. Plants & trees.

The work you do outside of your home can make the inside of your space feel exponentially cooler. Nowhere is this truer than in abodes surrounded by trees. For some builders, the instinct may be to chop down trees to make space for a structure and reduce interruption with foundations— and to show the resulting design off to passersby. But keeping tree cover means your home will sit in the shade, which we all know is the freshest place to be in the scorching summer sun.

If your home is already surrounded by foliage, do your best to preserve what's there. There's still hope for properties built in lots without high-growing trees: planting a fast-growing variety of tree will have you relaxing in the shade in no time.

There are also several house plants worth investing in that absorb warm air and release oxygen and cooling moisture into your home’s air. Some of the best candidates include aloe vera, mother-in-law's tongue, peace lily and Boston ferns.

Take a look at our list of the best hard to kill houseplants.

4. Add an awning or extend your eaves.

Again, you can tackle the heat by building outdoor barriers. Installing awnings over your windows is another way to create shade and keep hot, sun rays from entering your home and spiking the temperature. Of course, they might be a bit of an investment, especially depending on the number of windows you have. But you’ll save — and stay cool — for years to come, so the cost will be worth it over time.

Another construction project would come with extended eaves, which are the edges of your roof. If they’re stretched out further, less sunlight will reach your home’s exterior, keeping the whole thing cooler. You can even extend the eaves to create a shaded porch perfect for summer sitting, too.

5. Swap your sheets.

In winter, you probably wanted to surround yourself in soft, thick linens. You covered your beds in thick blankets, flannel sheets and comforters full of down to keep you warm and snug. Now, though, this type of insulation will only make you sweat — and reach to turn on that air-conditioning unit.

So, start your summer off by swapping the wintertime linens you love for their lighter summertime counterparts. Most people go for cotton options because they’re thinner and much more breathable. And, as a bonus, you’ll get the chance to give your room a breath of fresh décor that’s perfect for summer.

6. Grab a cold one.

Even without air-conditioning, you’ll still have your refrigerator and freezer running to keep things cool, and you can use this appliance to your advantage. For starters, keep a jug of water in your fridge so that it’s as cold as possible whenever you’re in need of a sip — it’ll be much colder than what your tap produces.

If you’re feeling even more creative, fill your freezer with all-natural homemade popsicles that’ll help cool you down — and fill you up. You can even chill or freeze water bottles to bring to bed, similarly as you would in winter with a hot water bottle. Keeping a cold bottle at your feet will help you chill out, literally and figuratively, even on summer’s hottest nights.

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Stay cool the natural way

With these tips in mind, you can forego your dependence on the air-conditioner in favour of methods that are more natural for you and your family. Trust us, your electricity bill with thank you for it. And, with that, you'll experience summer in the carefree way in which it's meant to be enjoyed.

Author bio:

Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine.

kacey mya headshot.png

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Springfield Lakes real estate for sale and properties for rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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The importance of urban design in landscaped areas

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The importance of urban design in landscaped areas

Understanding urban design and its effect on our cities and homes is key to creating multifunctional and attractive spaces. This unique design process plays a pivotal role in shaping the interaction between people and places, the environment and urban form. With that comes the design of landscaped areas that don’t just look lush, but serve a valuable purpose too.

The ever-expanding public environment and the blend of architecture and landscaping must continue to come together to boost our quality of life, drive value in suburbs and cities and craft spaces that are livable, healthy and environmentally beneficial. The importance of urban design in landscaped areas is undeniable, but how does it affect you and what can you do to contribute?

How urban design & landscaping work together

From the trees that were planted to shade city sidewalks to the design of beautiful parks and other vegetated areas, landscaping contributes to the way our cities look, feel and work. Have you ever thought about the city you live in? How it looks and interlinks together? Cities that are well-designed look and feel beautiful. This is where urban design comes into play.

Urban design is a problem-solving tool. Public spaces, streetscapes and landscaped areas that are effectively designed can lead to lower crime rates and increased economic activity. Great urban design drives the way we live and use our cities, and landscaping is just a small – but highly valuable – part of the big picture.

Sustainability in landscaping

For landscaping to fuel urban design, sustainability must be incorporated. Well-planned landscape design can moderate extreme heat, recycle water, reduce energy consumption and lower carbon emissions. It also helps attract people to urban areas, making the space more livable.

It’s more than just green roofs, pretty plants and lush landscapes too. When it comes to urban design, the landscape isn’t just about decoration. It’s fundamental to how cities operate. Thus, it must be planned properly, be protected and be designed in such a way that people want to use it. Without sustainability and effective landscaping, people are less likely to collectivise and live in cities.

Using landscaping to manage microclimate

As cities struggle with climate change, landscaping has developed a more crucial role in urban design. Landscapes are vital to preserving ecosystems and well-designed growing zones can control the microclimate of a particular location dramatically. Walkways lined with trees can lower temperatures in their immediate surroundings by as much as five degrees, shrubs can channel breezes and improve comfort levels both inside and outside.

To use landscaping to manage and control microclimate, you need to select appropriate plants. This includes knowing where to grow plants, shrubs and trees, and how this location will affect the ecosystem around it.

You can use smart landscaping to make a microclimate in your backyard. Do this by combining landscaping with hardscaping and choosing plants that benefit from microclimates in small pockets of your outdoor space. Other tips can be to reduce hard paving and attract nature, like butterflies and birds, to your plants.

Essential features of urban designed landscapes

Sustainability and managing microclimate through urban designed landscapes is only part of the process. To define character and add charm and beauty to a city, landscaping must work within the overall design to craft soft, contrasting spaces. For exceptional landscape design, it must:

  • Improve user experience: The full space should be considered, how it will be used and its purpose. Are you looking to attract visitors or guide them to a different location? The landscape must work with climate and environmental considerations, for example, climate and drainage may limit the types of plants that can be used.
  • Incorporate straight and curved lines: Using both reinforces order and creates movement and flow to a space. Straight lines are common in urban settings and complement traditional building architecture. Plants in straight line configurations can be harder to maintain, needing more pruning to keep their intended forms. On the flip side, curved-line landscapes focus on more natural forms and are common around water features, drawing attention to ponds and fountains. Naturally, curved-line landscapes will encourage movement and link to a central point.
  • Balance and symmetry: Both are integral to urban design.
  • Design for people: Landscape design is mainly used to benefit people. Use texture and colour to inspire emotional context and balance hardscapes with landscapes. High traffic areas will generally have more hardscape materials, whereas decorative courtyards and parks will benefit more from natural green spaces.

Through effective urban design and lush landscapes, our cities and homes become visually exciting, liveable and appealing. Great urban design pushes the limits of what a city and suburb can be and benefits everyone that lives in them.

For more tips on landscape design take a look at our guide to low maintenance, high impact landscaping and five tips to beautify your backyard.

Author bio:

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Veris – national surveying professionals that specialise in urban design and town planning.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Springfield Lakes real estate for sale and properties for rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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9 tips for a super healthy lawn

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9 tips for a super healthy lawn

One of the biggest features that stand out when passing by or stepping onto someone’s property is how healthy their lawn is. Lush green grass will show your guests and potential buyers the effort you put into maintaining a super healthy lawn. Whereas, a brown patchy lawn shows that you may need some help to bring your lawn back to its former glory.

Whether you’re about to lay a new lawn, want to maintain your current lawn or are attempting to breathe new life into your declining lawn, these nine tips will guide you through how to grow and maintain a super healthy, green and lush lawn.

1. Picking the right lawn.

If you don’t currently have a lawn or are in the process of replacing your current lawn, selection and preparation are key. There are hundreds of grass types on the market, each of which perform differently depending on the local climate. Do your research online and speak to local turf suppliers to find out which grass types perform best in your area.

2. Mowing the right way.

While all homeowners understand that there’s a need to mow their lawns, the way you mow will determine how well your grass grows. Each type of grass has its own ideal mowing height, but as a rule of thumb, most grass types stay their healthiest at three to three and a half inches tall.

Check the settings before purchasing a new lawn mower to ensure it allows adjustment (check out this handy guide on different types of lawn mowers you can get). Proper mowing will also help to reduce the chance of weeds and keep your lawn lush and green.

Some tips to keep in mind when mowing:

  • Always keep your mower blades sharp.
  • Mow in different directions each mowing session to prevent ruts.
  • Where possible, mow in the evening when the sun is starting to set.
  • Only use your lawn mower when your grass is dry.
  • Adjust your mower height to a higher length in summer, allowing grass to grow and protect the soil.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment to avoid accidents.
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3. Soak don’t sprinkle.

One of the best ways to keep your lawn lush and green is to ensure deep roots are watered, not just the top of your lawn. Water occasionally, but focus on soaking the grass rather than just sprinkling. For the best results, water your lawn early in the morning or late in the afternoon to reduce evaporation from the sun. It’s also important to increase your watering amount and frequency in dry climates or during warmer seasons.

4. When to fertilise.

Fertilisation will help boost your lawns level of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to promote growth. The ideal ratio for most lawns is usually made up of a mixture of 70 to 60 per cent fast release and 40 per cent slow release fertiliser. This will give your lawn a boost straight away while ensuring nutrients are continually being released in the long term.

You should aim to fertilise your lawn once a year to keep it super healthy and promote growth. The best time to fertilise your lawn is during the cooler seasons but preferably not while it’s raining. Where possible, you should also look to use organic fertilisers as they are usually less harsh on your grass, which is even more important if your lawn is currently in decline.

5. Weed control.

Weeds usually begin to sprout due to problems with your backyard environment. While fighting off weeds with herbicides will help reduce the number of weeds, this will likely be met with unsatisfactory results if the underlying issues are not addressed.

One of the best ways to control weeds is to maintain dense, thick and healthy turf cover. A few small changes such as increasing your lawn mower height and changing your watering routine will help fight off weeds. If you’re still dealing with troublesome weeds and the changes you’ve made aren’t working, it may be time to consider herbicide options.

6. Let your lawn breathe.

One of the reasons your lawn may not be performing well could be related to a lack of aeration. Just like you, your lawn and the soil beneath it needs to breathe and by helping it do so will promote its growth.

One of the biggest benefits of lawn aeration it that it removes lawn thatch. Lawn thatch is the layer of primarily dead grass sitting between the soil and green vegetation which reduces your lawns ability to breathe. Using a ‘lawn aerator’, you can assist your lawn’s breathability and promote its growth.

Where possible, aim to aerate your lawn during spring or autumn for optimal results. This should not be done on a regular basis and is more likely to only need to be done every few years or as needed depending on your lawn’s condition.

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7. Maintaining your lawn.

So, you’ve managed to improve your lawn and it’s currently in a super healthy state, now what?

If you don’t properly maintain your lawn, its health will soon show signs of decline. Proper and regular maintenance is necessary to ensure your grass continues to stay healthy. You should research your lawn type and its recommended maintenance schedule, but as a rough guide, your maintenance schedule should include all points mentioned above on a regular basis.

8. Grass showing signs of decline? Keep off.

If your grass is showing poor signs of growth or declining health, keep off it. Continue with your regular maintenance routine while keeping animals and pests off the lawn where possible.

9. Still not working? Time for an alternative.

Have you tried everything possible with no luck?

It may be that your location, climate or soil is just not up to the standards required to promote a healthy lawn. If this is the case, it’s time to think of some alternatives to ensure you can still have a beautiful backyard. You might want to change your landscaping efforts to include more plants, garden beds, bricks, gravel or even artificial turf.

In order to grow and maintain a great looking lawn, it takes a lot of time, effort and patience. However, once your lawn reaches a green and lush state, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful back and front yard, perfect to entertain guests and enjoy with the family.

Author bio:

This article is written by Alex Hamilton, who recommends Beacon Equipment – A local West Australian supplier of backyard and lawn equipment. You can catch Alex on Google+.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Bibra Lake real estate for sale and properties for rent in Perth. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Weighing up the pros & cons: Single vs double storey homes

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Weighing up the pros & cons: Single vs double storey homes

When it comes to selecting a home design, you need to choose a floor plan that perfectly suits you and your family’s needs both now and in the future. From taste preferences and lifestyle requirements to block size and budget, there are many aspects that need to be taken into account.

One of the longstanding debates in real estate and construction is single storey homes versus double storey homes. Both property styles have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages, which must be weighed up when choosing which type to purchase or build.

Here are some of the pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to go for a single or double storey layout for your next home.

Stage of life

It’s important to choose a home that will grow with you and your needs. Ask yourself if you plan on having children in the near future and what needs they'll have. Alternatively, is this the house you want to downsize into and grow old in? How will you ensure it is suitable for this next phase of your life?

From a practical perspective, single storeys are ideal for homebuyers who might struggle with having a set of stairs. For example, retirees and people with physical injuries or disabilities often prefer single storey homes because they don’t have to worry about going up and down stairs to get from one area to another.

Single level homes are also popular for families with young children as it’s easier to keep an eye on young children and again, stairs will not pose any safety risks to any curious toddlers or crawling infants. Whereas families with teens may opt for a double storey design because they offer a better separation of living areas, where you can set up a teenage or parents' retreat upstairs depending on your preferences.

Size of the block

The size of your block will have a big impact on what style of home you decide to build. As block sizes continue to get smaller and smaller in new subdivisions around Australia, one way home builders have tried to accommodate for this trend is to offer buyers house and land packages on narrower lots of land. So, with the average home site just over 400 sqm, many buyers are now opting for a double storey design to maximise living space on a small or narrow lot.

Whereas single storey homes generally have a larger footprint and take up a higher portion of the block sacrificing outdoor space. By building upwards you don’t have to compromise on space and can choose a floor plan that suits your needs perfectly. Stacking your spaces instead of spreading means you can maintain good-sized living areas and bedrooms, plus it gives you extra room for any additional rooms you may require in your dream home.

A double storey design also leaves you plenty of room for a spacious garden, alfresco area and maybe even a swimming pool. If you have kids or pets a backyard may be a determining factor when choosing a home plan, or if you enjoy entertaining an alfresco area may be a top priority. So, you don’t necessarily need a big block to have a big backyard, as two-level homes can give you not only more floor space, but more yard space than a single-level home would on the same block.

Layout of the home

When it comes to choosing between a single or double storey home, you need to consider the right layout to suit your needs. You want to optimise the liveability of your property so it becomes a place you enjoy coming home to and spending time in. A single storey home gives you the freedom to design the layout as you like, without having to worry about what’s going upstairs, noise from above and how it will all come together.

However, a double storey home takes advantage of the extra options a split-level layout affords. While floor plans of single storey homes are comparably limited, there's a whole range of different configurations that become available when deciding to build up. You may choose to capitalise on magnificent views with a reverse living layout, where the kitchen and living areas are upstairs and bedrooms and bathrooms are positioned downstairs.

On the flipside, some homeowners prefer a traditional layout of living spaces downstairs and bedrooms upstairs. No matter which layout you choose, having the living spaces and bedrooms over two floors makes it easy to create distinct areas of separation between zones, which gives you multiple options for both relaxing and socialising. Whereas with single storey homes, living spaces and bedrooms tend to be clustered together, not allowing for as much privacy for the different people living in the home and when guests come to stay.

Aspect of the property

If your land has a great outlook, then there’s a fantastic opportunity to build a double storey home to showcase any views and add value to your property. Building up will also help you make the most of capturing natural light and give you more space for extra bedrooms and bathrooms adding value to your property if you choose to sell.

Double storey designs can also provide a more grand and impressive appearance, giving you better kerb appeal. However, you also need to consider the surrounding homes. Do you want to live in a single storey overshadowed by towering double storey homes or vice versa?

We hope these arguments for and against single and double storey layouts has helped you determine which type of home may best suit you and your family.

For more tips on building a new home take a look at our guide to building a home that oozes luxury without breaking the bank, ways to cut costs when building a new home and 10 things to check before hiring a builder.

Company bio:

With over 60 double storey home designs from $228,449, New Level Homes is Perth’s best value double storey home builder. New Level Homes are constantly seeking to refine their construction methods by incorporating innovative techniques and materials from around the world for their double storey homes. This approach enables the Perth based home builders to keep costs down and pass on the savings to you! Follow New Level Homes on Facebook at @NewLevelHomes.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Bibra Lake real estate for sale and properties for rent in Perth. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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6 steps to a sweet ensuite addition

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6 steps to a sweet ensuite addition

An ensuite is a dream for many homeowners. Especially those with kids or who frequently have guests to stay.

An ensuite can be a fantastic addition to the master bedroom, the kid’s section of the home, and to a guest room. This separate bathroom allows its users to have privacy and less stress by easing morning bathroom congestion.

So, how can you achieve your ideal ensuite addition? These steps will help you get started.

1. Find the space.

First things first, where will your new ensuite go? An increasingly popular choice we see homeowners making is to convert their existing walk-in-robe into an additional bathroom. People are finding that they don’t need all the space in their walk-in-robes and would much prefer an ensuite instead.

If you don’t have a WIR but you’re lucky enough to have a large bedroom, you can consider sectioning off a portion to create a new ensuite. The great thing about an ensuite is that it is a smaller bathroom, so you have more flexibility about where you can achieve this addition.

For bedrooms and potential ensuite locations that are underground, a product from Saniflo can easily connect you to sewerage and water mains, without the need for major disruption to your home and plumbing.

2. Select your style.

When planning your ensuite addition, remember to keep your own personal style and the style of your home in mind. It’s a good idea to ensure your rooms compliment each other in order to ensure the addition is as seamless as possible and to maximise the value of your home if you're looking to sell down the track.

There are many ways to make sure your home's style is coherent throughout. For example, the types of ceiling lights, cupboard handles, doors, wall colours, and even your towels and accessories all contribute to creating cohesive links between your new and old spaces.

3. Tailor it to suit you.

Depending on whether your ensuite is for you, your kids or elderly relatives you'll be able to determine what the new bathroom needs to consist of. Consider installing features that are multigenerational, especially if your ensuite will be attached to a guest space as this will ensure your new room can be used by all and will once again add value if you’re looking to sell.

A big selling point for many parents and adults alike is a bathtub for the little ones! If you have space, it is definitely worth considering installing a bathtub in your new ensuite. A trend that we're seeing at the moment is standalone bathtubs, with many beautiful styles to choose from to suit your preferences and Saniflo’s Sanivite to make it possible!

4. Hire the right tradespeople.

When embarking on home improvement projects, it’s important to make sure you have the right team behind you. For your ensuite addition, you’ll want to hire the best plumber, carpenter, painter and possibly even a bathroom designer for the job.

When you’re looking for tradespeople, it’s a good idea to hire people who are specialised in that particular area and skillset. For example, you’ll want a designer who has created small bathrooms before, a painter who knows the correct water-proof paint to use, a carpenter who can create a tailored benchtop if needed and a plumber who is equipped for all of the additions that you need! If you’re using a product like a Saniflo pump, make sure you hire a plumber who has worked with their products before.

Always check references and a photo gallery of their previous work before hiring a trade, to ensure that they’re up to scratch for what you want to achieve in your new ensuite.

5. Remember all the little things.

It’s easy to forget the little things when planning your ensuite, so make sure you have a checklist of absolutely everything you want to be included before you begin construction! To help you get started, we created a bathroom renovation checklist, which you can see here. Our number one tip is to create a comprehensive list that includes everything you need, even the items that you think you might not need!

6. Enjoy!

Now that your beautiful new space is complete, you can sit back, relax and enjoy. If you’re lucky enough to have had space for a bathtub, I highly recommend installing a wooden bath caddy to hold your book or iPad, a couple of candles and a glass of wine or a soothing cup of tea. Pure bliss!

For more tips to get your ensuite addition right take a look at these 10 ideas to maximise bathroom space, sophisticated tile trends set to be big in 2018 and four super cool bathroom appliances.

Author bio:

Clarissa Dimitroff works for Home Renovation Ideas, the go-to site for tips on renovating and improving your home, brought to you by Saniflo Australia. When she isn’t researching the latest home trends, she enjoys spending time at the beach and trying to keep her house plants alive.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Reservoir real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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How to embrace the hottest décor trend of 2018: Wabi-sabi

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How to embrace the hottest décor trend of 2018: Wabi-sabi

Although it may sound like a delicious item on the menu at a Japanese restaurant, wabi-sabi is the latest chic concept to take the interior design world by storm.

Wabi-sabi is a Japanese lifestyle philosophy that celebrates imperfection, impermanence, simplicity, craftsmanship and modest surroundings.

Roughly translated ‘Wabi’ means simplicity and ‘Sabi’ is the beauty of age and wear.

First appearing in Japan in the 12th century, wabi-sabi was made famous more recently by designers Tatsuro Miki and Axel Vervoordt.

Image: Design Father

Image: Design Father

Finally, a home décor trend we can buy into without actually having to hit the shops.

Unlike many other popular interior styles, wabi-sabi doesn’t support consumerism. It isn’t about furnishing your home with new ‘cookie-cutter’ mass produced items to create a particular ‘look’, with specific pieces of furniture and a strict colour palette.

Wabi-sabi is all about reassessing your space and showcasing and appreciating what is already in it, rather than getting new items.

Cracks, chips, scratches, and general wear and tear are not things to be covered up, fixed or replaced according to this philosophy, they are admired and put proudly on show to symbolise the passing of time.

So, hold off on throwing away that comfy worn leather armchair or repainting that peeling kitchen wall in 2018.

Image: Hutsly

Image: Hutsly

Perhaps as you look around your home you’ll recognise one or two elements of wabi-sabi already, like a tarnished mirror, a vase of flowers beginning to wilt or a worn floorboard or two. Maybe you're lucky enough to have some ceramic wabi-sabi gems tucked away in the back of the cupboard just aching to be admired.

Here are five more ways you can nurture a feeling of wabi-sabi in your home.

1. Handmade anything.

Whether it’s a handmade ceramic vase collection, a hand knitted throw rug or a handcrafted recycled timber bench, you can’t go wrong with a beautifully crafted bespoke piece that was made to last. Key to getting an authentic sense of wabi-sabi is to avoid anything perfectly formed, ‘overdone’ or mass produced. So, you can kiss that IKEA catalogue goodbye and head to a local car boot market or garage sale to see what one of a kind homeware finds you can score.

Image: Kin Wallace Ceramics

Image: Kin Wallace Ceramics

2. Perfectly imperfect.

Pieces made from materials in their most raw and natural state goes hand in hand with celebrating the beauty of imperfection. Think exposed brick, rustic timber furniture (the more scratched the better) and, aged and distressed leather chairs. Raw timber Japanese stools are the perfect accessory for displaying small objects, books and for resting feet on.

Image: Lady Darwin Designs

Image: Lady Darwin Designs

3. Unmake your bed.

The good news is you can stop ironing your sheets (if you ever did!) and making your bed every day, as wabi-sabi is all about the crumpled ‘slept-in’ unmade look. Bonus points for layers of soft wrinkled worn linen sheets to help create that effortlessly undone feel.

4. Natural wonders.

Having a respect for the natural world is a pivotal aspect of wabi-sabi living. Before buying a new item see if there is any way you could upcycle a piece or material you already have to serve the same purpose. Like constructing a floaty lamp shade or pendant light from old tatty linen you would have discarded. Use calming and simple earthy neutral tones to guide your décor colour palette too!

Image: Sergey Makhno

Image: Sergey Makhno

5. Show off age.

Wabi-sabi is all about celebrating the beauty in the use and age of objects. Perhaps you could invest in a brass lamp that will age gracefully over time as it oxidizes and changes colour. If you break or chip some pottery or crockery, instead of chucking it in the bin glue it back together as best you can to reuse or display. Wabi-sabi style champions the exhibition of the effects of accidents and the wear of objects over time.

Image: The Book of Life, 'Kintsugi'- The centuries-old art of repairing broken pottery with gold.

Image: The Book of Life, 'Kintsugi'- The centuries-old art of repairing broken pottery with gold.

We hope these examples help to inspire you to embrace a simple interior design aesthetic that celebrates imperfection and modesty.

For more interior design ideas take a look at the 70s home decor items making a comeback and ways to embrace the hanging chair trend.

Happy decorating!

The Homely Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Reservoir real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

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If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Plunge pools: What to consider before getting one

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Plunge pools: What to consider before getting one

Who wouldn’t want to dive into a plunge pool after a long, stressful day? Perfect for cooling off in hot weather or signifying the end of the workday, plunge pools are the ultimate way to invigorate and refresh yourself. But before you rush off to get one, have a think about the different aspects of the pool design, and what you may need to plan for. Doing the prior research could potentially save you a lot of heartache and money later on. Here are some things to consider before you take the plunge.

1. Placement for privacy

'Privacy is always an important part of any pool design,' says Jason Elboz, director of Space Landscape Designs. In the instance of a sloping block, it’s important that the correct pool height is determined so neighbouring properties are not looking into the pool.

The plunge pool pictured maximised the tight space and achieved privacy by sitting right on the boundary of the house. The rendered block work rising out of the pool acted as the boundary barrier, says Tim Chaichana, a designer from GOODMANORS Pool + Garden.

2. Depth & function

'Pool depth is all about function,' says James Dawson, founder of JDLDESIGN. Will young children be swimming in it? Is it for relaxing in, or entertaining? This will determine the depth, style and features of the pool, for example, a plunge pool used frequently by children would generally be shallower and/or have an easy way to exit the pool. Generally, plunge pool depth ranges from about 1.2 to 1.6 metres, but this is not a hard and fast rule.

3. Style

The aesthetic of your plunge pool is an important factor, as any designer will tell you. Dawson notes that the plunge pool pictured was created to echo the contemporary and angular form of the house. 'In this case, the client had a strong connection with Asia and loved the colour green. I picked up from visiting their home their love for abstract art, and this was the inspiration for the pool shape,' he says.

Perhaps you’ll want to add plants or crawling vines to the surrounding walls too – they can add appeal and increase privacy. Search for more plunge pool inspiration, and share your favourites with your designer.

4. Shape

The shape of your plunge pool may be confined to the boundaries of the house, or the space available may allow for more creative shapes. It’s best to consult with a professional, who will understand the space you are working with and guide you through your different options.

5. Sunken or raised

Choosing to get a raised or sunken plunge pool is dependant on the look you want to achieve, and how it will fit into the rest of the space. But it can also be determined by budget constraints, and the foundation you’re placing the pool in.

Raised pools are cheaper, due to less excavation costs, says Dawson. Raised walls can also be used as a pool safety barrier, but this varies according to your municipality, he adds. Sunken pools, however, can allow for better visual connection with the water.

The clients’ brief of the pictured plunge pool was to have the pool as the centre of the area, with 'a modern design with irregular shapes', says Elboz. The small deck off the house has a view over the pool and a large bluestone paving area at the rear means you can see the pool from any angle.

6. Soil structure

It’s best to get the soil tested before getting a plunge pool, as it will help the builder to determine how much rock there is to excavate and add an allowance for this in the contract. This is an essential move for avoiding any nasty financial surprises.

7. Extra features

There are numerous features available to enhance your plunge pool: make your plunge pool extra calming by adding a beautiful water feature, get out of it easier by adding a step, or heat it so it can be used in winter. You may even want to look into a plunge pool that doubles as an outdoor spa.

Chaichana also notes the importance of taking lighting into consideration to add atmosphere and extend the area’s usage into the evening. Whatever extra features you decide on, make sure you and your designer have agreed before the build begins and the price has been set.

8. Decking & fencing

Decide what materials you want to use for the decking and fencing around the pool – natural or otherwise. Deciding on this in advance will help make a seamless connection between the plunge pool and your home.

In terms of practical considerations, you’ll need to think about the impact pool chemicals will have on timber if that is your material of choice. 'This is generally not a problem if you choose a suitable hardwood, avoid oiling it and allow the timber to silver off naturally,' Dawson says.

As for fencing, if it is used as a pool safety barrier, it needs to be compliant under the local building regulations. Traditional pool fencing can be costly, so this is where a good designer can become a little inventive and suggest taking a more sculptural approach to the barrier. 'For example, a line of feature grade timber posts set in a concrete footing can act as a visual feature and a compliant pool barrier,' Dawson adds.

9. Rules & regulations

Pool fencing requirements vary from state to state in Australia, so it’s best to contact your local government authority to discern the specifics of the regulations before proceeding. In NSW, as of 2010, all pools built must be surrounded by a fence that separates the pool from the house. In Queensland, different rules apply depending on whether you are buying, selling or renting a property with a pool.

10. Indoors or outdoors

Have you considered an indoor plunge pool? It could make good use of unusual or extra space, or be located conveniently near a home gym to cool off after a hard workout.

This article was originally published on Houzz.com.au. Read the original article here.

For more pool inspiration and advice take a look at these seven tips for successful pool design, the best pool designs for small spaces and the things to consider before installing a pool.

Author:

Melissa Cowan is a Houzz contributor. She is a lover of boho, Scandi and mid-century style. 

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for North Lakes real estate for sale and properties for rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

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If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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A renter’s guide to safeguarding their bond

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A renter’s guide to safeguarding their bond

Whether you’re finally ditching the flatmates for your very own studio apartment or you’ve just purchased your first starter home, attempting to get your full bond refund is always a daunting task. In fact, according to the NSW government, about half of renters lose some or all of their bond when they decide to end their lease.

Seeing stats like these, we felt we needed to help make a difference to renters' hip pockets. To avoid ever having to head to a NSW Fair Trading tribunal to dispute your bond claim, check out our advice to avoid common pitfalls when it comes to getting your full bond back.

renter vacate clean.jpg

The initial condition report matters

Many renters place a lot of emphasis on the final inspection, but what can often make the most difference is taking the time to diligently fill out the initial condition report.

When first moving in, document the condition of the property on a room by room basis, filling in the necessary fields with as much detail and accuracy as possible. Potential tenants will often forego mentioning minor damages or obvious wear and tear for the sake of speeding up the rental process. But more often than not, these minor issues become the very disputes that tenants and real estate agents disagree on.

By diligently filling out the report and taking photographs to serve as evidence for cleaning, damage or missing items, tenants and real estate agents have common ground that they can base their final inspection on.

Empty out the furniture

Have you ever tried showering with clothes still on? How about vacuuming without picking up the toys first? Of course not. The same logic applies for moving out of a rental property. You’ll want to empty your entire apartment or house before attempting a thorough vacate clean.

Many renters are caught off guard by the mess they leave behind after a big move. From the dust bunnies hiding under the couch to crumbs in the back of the pantry or to a stack of mouldy magazines forgotten in the garage, there are more than a few places that can be overlooked during the lifetime of a tenancy. Emptying your home gives you the chance to easily address all these issues that would otherwise slow you down during your bond clean.

If you’re looking to hire removalists, check out our handy Guide to Finding the Right Moving Company before you make that decision.

Don’t forget the outdoors

While most of your time will be spent focusing your energy indoors, your rental agreement will also require that your outdoor areas be well maintained. For the lucky few in Sydney, that usually means a wonderfully lush garden or a refreshingly cool swimming pool.

You’ll need to mop your balcony, mow the lawn, weed the garden, trim hedges, and if you have pets, double-check that they didn’t leave behind any nasty surprises. With some basic landscaping skills, you can ensure that your garden is more than presentable. Swimming pool owners will also need to remove any dirt, debris and algae from the pool and filters.

Your landlord will walk the entire length of the property to ensure that it wasn’t neglected and a beautifully maintained garden and swimming pool will leave a lasting impression that you were a model tenant. As tenants, keeping these tasks in your regular maintenance schedule will prevent a big backlog of work needing to be undertaken when you move out.

Use a bond cleaning checklist

You wouldn’t have to worry about forgetting the outdoors if you had an end of lease cleaning checklist. Most real estate agencies will provide tenants with a comprehensive room-by-room guide on how to return the property in its original condition. An end of lease cleaning checklist will take the guesswork out of what your agent is looking for and will also ensure that you don’t miss anything important.

Build a good relationship with your agent or property manager

A real estate agent or property manager works on behalf of the owner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get on their good side. With the fate of a full bond refund in their hands, building a rapport with them could be the deciding factor on how critical they are during the final inspection.

You’ll have more than a few chances to meet with your agent. From the first open house to a routine property inspection, take every opportunity to make their lives a little bit easier and they’ll hopefully return the favour.

Immediately informing them of any damage or pressing maintenance issues that could become worse (mould growth, leaky plumbing, etc.), always paying the rent on time, and working around their schedules will help them see you in a favourable light when the time comes to make a decision about whether your vacate clean is up to scratch.

Well there you have it, our tips to safeguard your rental bond initially, during and after you move out. If you’re looking for more moving resources, check out 10 things to do when moving to a new home and your moving and packing survival kit.

Author bio:

This article was written by This is Neat Cleaning, a Sydney based end of lease cleaning service helping keep real estate agents, renters, and homeowners happy from Surry Hills to Strathfield. Moving homes is stressful enough and with their famous bond back guarantee, all tenants need to worry about is packing.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for North Lakes real estate for sale and properties for rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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The 7 best (& affordable) Australian towns for a treechange

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The 7 best (& affordable) Australian towns for a treechange

If you’re looking for better work-life balance, a lower cost of living, a slower pace of life or simply want a change of scenery, have you considered moving to one of the many amazing country towns around Australia?

Thousands of Australians take the plunge each year and according to CoreLogic internal migration to regional NSW, Victoria and QLD is the highest it has been in ten years.

An NBN survey found that the Aussies thinking about a rural relocation typically had two primary motivations including:

  • A slower pace of life and
  • a better living environment.

About one in six of the Australians surveyed were unhappy with their lifestyle due to work commute times. Where those that had made a sea change reported being happier with their work-life balance than those that hadn’t moved.

The survey showed the third highest motivator was financial, where 31 per cent of respondents cited cost of living as the main reason to uproot themselves.

It’s understandable that the lower cost of property in regional areas is extremely tempting, where buyers get much more house and maybe even some land for less than the cost of an apartment in most of Australia's capitals.

The New Daily released a list of the best treechange towns in Australia. A town planner and urban geographer looked at specific criteria when combing Australia for these country gems including employment prospects, vibrancy, natural beauty, housing affordability, infrastructure and climate.

Using the latest property data and the New Daily’s study we’ve compiled a list of Australia’s most attractive and affordable treechange locations. Here's what you need to know about each charming township.

Chiltern, VIC

People relocate to Chiltern hoping to strike it lucky in its affordable housing market. Originally a gold rush town in the 19th century, locals take great pride in the town’s history with a museum and a series of well-preserved 19th-century buildings in the township.

Nowadays Chiltern has many drawcards for all sorts of tree-changers. Hikers, bird watchers and mountain bike riders will love the national park that surrounds Chiltern. Families and retirees will be interested to note there is a neighbourhood watch, a medical centre, a fishing club, line dancing nights, girl guides, and film nights and good grub at the local pub.

Locals say, ‘Chiltern is a vibrant local community mixing daily life with tourist visits. There are two great schools to chose from and plenty of sporting clubs and social groups to get involved with’.

Distance to a major city- 290km north-east of Melbourne or 3 hours drive.

Median house price (MHP)- $240,000.

Population- 1,605 (2016 Census).

View properties for sale in Chiltern.

Toodyay, WA

Toodyay, meaning ‘place of plenty’, is a bustling Wheatbelt semi-rural town set on the Avon River. The town has several little quirks and many conveniences that make it a highly attractive treechange prospect. Its local attractions include an old-fashioned lolly shop, a gift emporium, Australia’s second largest Christmas store, the Old Newcastle Jail, a monthly Farmer’s Market and the annual Moondyne Festival. It also has its own train station with services that'll get you to Perth in under two hours.

A local sells the picturesque Toodyay as having no traffic and fresh air, ‘just nature, friendly people and beautiful scenery’.

Distance to a major city - 85km north-east of Perth, 1-hour 20-minute drive.

MHP- $287,500.

Population- 4,500 people (2016 Census).

View properties for sale in Toodyay.

Evandale, TAS

Image: Paul Scambler, The Examiner

Image: Paul Scambler, The Examiner

Evandale has a quaint English country village feel, with a number of Georgian and Victorian heritage-listed buildings. Only five minutes from Launceston airport and set on the South Esk River, Evandale is the perfect combination of pretty and convenient. Children, families and cycling enthusiasts will love the Sunday markets, the annual Village Fair and National Penny Farthing Championships.

A local says 'There are some lovely buildings and we often go down to the river when it is warm to enjoy a barbecue'.

Distance to a major city- 20km from Launceston or 20-minutes drive.

MHP- $319,000.

Population- 1,345 (2016 Census).

View properties for sale in Evandale.

Strathalbyn, SA

Located on the eastern edge of the Adelaide Hills, Strathalbyn is an easy drive to the coast, wine regions and Adelaide airport, making it a favourite for treechangers wanting a quiet semi-rural location not too far from the big smoke. The town features many superb sandstone buildings and churches, a bustling cafe scene, art galleries and runs a monthly market showcasing local artisans and an annual antiques fair.

An impressed visitor says; ‘Have visited quite a few times as we are now looking at moving up this way, it is a lovely country town and we were surprised how easy it is to get to the city and beach. Everyone seems to be very friendly and helpful, and the new estates are brilliant. They have just opened a new library and recently upgraded the pool which will be great for our kids’.

Distance to a major city- 55km from Adelaide, a 50-minute drive.

MHP- $356,500.

Population- 6,884 people (2016 Census).

View properties for sale in Strathalbyn.

Birregurra, VIC

If you had visions of rolling green pastures and fresh locally grown culinary delights for your treechange, then look no further than Birregurra. One of the prettiest and the smallest country towns on our list, Birregurra is located in the picturesque foothills of the Otway Ranges. Foodies will delight in some of the best beef and lamb produce in the country, berry picking at Gentle Annie Berry Farm and feasting at the award-winning restaurant Brae. Other cultural attractions include the annual Birregurra Festival and Art Show, and the Treehouse Gallery.

A local says, 'there are book clubs, sporting clubs, music groups, you name it...I could think of about 20 or 30 community groups (here)'.

Distance to a major city- 130km south-west of Melbourne, under 2-hours drive.

MHP- $362,500.

Population- 828 people (2016 Census).

View properties for sale in Birregurra.

Richmond, TAS

Richmond, TAS

Richmond, TAS

Home to some of Australia’s oldest buildings and structures, Richmond has a charming Georgian village vibe nestled on the banks of the Coal River. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time on the main drag that features beautifully preserved Georgian architecture housing galleries, restaurants, teahouses, pubs and museums. History buffs will love touring the Richmond Gaol, the convict-built heritage-listed bridge, the Old Hobart Town Model Village, numerous churches, the Richmond Maze and Tassie’s History House.

A happy tourist says, ‘The stunningly beautiful town of Richmond is a popular weekend day trip for Hobart residents. It’s craft and woodwork shops are fantastic if you are looking for truly original handiwork of local craftspeople, and the sweet shop, bakery, and ice cream shops – well, need I say more?’.

Distance to a major city - 25km from Hobart, a 30-minute drive.

MHP- $412,500.

Population- 1,610 (2011 Census).

View properties for sale in Richmond.

Dayboro, QLD

For sale: Dayboro, QLD

For sale: Dayboro, QLD

Dayboro is home to many iconic and historic Queenslanders with their sprawling verandas. Avocado, pineapple and dairy farms lie on the outskirts of the township. A great place to raise a family, the town sports tennis courts, a pool, soccer, football and rugby clubs, a ballet school and two childcare centres. Locals rave about the town bakery, picnics at Mount Mee and The Crown hotel.

A local says, ‘I have grown up in Dayboro, it is a fantastic community, perfect for raising your young family. A superb primary school and public transport to all the nearby state and private schools. The kids can be active with great local clubs including Rugby League, soccer, netball and Taekwondo. It is an amazing place to live’

Another local suggests, ‘if you want nightclubs Dayboros not it. If you want acreage, stunning views and peace and quiet whilst still being able to get into the CBD - Dayboro ticks all the boxes’.

Distance to a major city - 45km from Brisbane, a 50-minute drive.

MHP- $586,000.

Population- 2,119 people (2016 Census).

View properties for sale in Dayboro.

If you’re game to make a big lifestyle change in 2018 the ABC has put out a casting call for a new series ‘Escape from the city’ banking on the popularity of people looking to make a treechange or seachange.

The application states ‘we’re looking for people planning to buy OR rent in a new location. Get a glimpse of the life you’ve always dreamt about AND get free expert advice on how to make it happen’.

So, if you’re looking for peace and quiet, beautiful scenery, affordable housing, fresh air and want to escape the hustle and bustle of the rat race, this could be the ideal reality show for you!

Do you know of a wonderful country town tree-changers should look into that we missed? Please share it in the comments section below.

Happy house hunting!

The Homely Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for North Lakes real estate for sale and properties for rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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6 true blue Australia Day BBQ activities

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6 true blue Australia Day BBQ activities

Nothing beats a good old true blue Aussie barbie with friends and family on Australia Day.

Slip on your boardies, slide on your thongs and slap on your sunnies, it’s time to host a BBQ to remember. While the barbecue feast you cook up might be the talk of the town, being the great chef that you are, it’s also a good idea to plan some fun Aussie themed activities for fun in the sun.

australia day barbecue bbq activities waterslide.jpg

In preparation for Australia day, don’t forget to:

  • Make sure there is plenty of seating, tables and shade for guests to get comfortable.
  • Mow the lawn and pack away any kids toys or stuff laying around the yard.
  • Ensure you have enough food, beverages, ice and water on hand.
  • Have plenty of sunscreen, insect repellant and spare towels if guests will be swimming or playing in water.

Once you’ve ticked off all these items, it’s time to start planning for the perfect event. Here are six great Aussie activities to arrange for Australia’s favourite holiday.

Backyard cricket

There’s no doubt that playing backyard cricket is one of the most iconic Aussie ways to spend Australia Day. It’s perfect for friends and family of all ages and requires minimal equipment to play.

All you need is a set of stumps, one or more cricket bats, a few cricket balls (in case some get lost over neighbours’ fences) and a small group of players. Alternatively, if you don’t have stumps use a wheelie bin or even an esky instead. Take it in turns bowling six balls to get the batsman out. If you succeed, you become the batsman and the other players will then attempt to bowl you out.

For more information on how to play, here are the key rules of backyard cricket brought to you by champion former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh.

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The ultimate slip‘n slide

Are you planning on laying down a sheet of tarpaulin and spraying it with a hose and some detergent to make a backyard slip‘n slide?

Why not take the Aussie tradition of a backyard slip‘n slide to the next level with an inflatable water slide. An inflatable water slide will surely give you an Australia Day to remember. Not only will it keep the kids entertained for hours, even the adults can jump on and have a turn.

Inflatable water slides may not require as much space as you’d expect and only need access to power and water. They’re a great substitute for a pool where guests can cool down on a hot afternoon. The slide can be set up quickly so you can get to some slip‘n slide action in no time at all.

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Create your own cork hats

This is a great one for the kids but does require some preparation before Australia Day.

Purchase some wide brim hats, a roll of twine and a large bag of corks. Alternatively, if you’re unable to find wide brim hats, use cardboard and cut it to create a ‘disc’ shape big enough to fit around a child’s head, resting on their ears.

Prepare the wide brim or cardboard hats by cutting multiple holes around the edge of the brim. Cut multiple lengths of twine between 30 to 40cm in length ready for the kids to start creating their own fair dinkum cork hats to keep the flies at bay. The ideal BBQ accessory!

Assist children by showing them how to thread the twine through the hat and tying a knot. With the other end of the string, tie it around the cork to create a shield from the many pesky Australian insects that come out during a backyard celebration. That’s it! Kids will feel like a true blue Aussie outback explorer with these quirky cork creations.

King of the pack

This simple yet enjoyable game only requires an AFL or NRL football and a small group of players. One player (the king) stands at one end of the backyard and kicks the footy to the group of players (the pack) at the other end. The pack all attempt to mark the football and if one succeeds, they become the king of the pack, swapping spots with the current king.

Have an adult spraying the pack with a hose to add to the difficulty of marking the footy. It’s sure to be a game full of tumbles, enjoyment and laughs.

Water activities

As Australia Day falls in the middle of summer, water activities are essential and attractive in the afternoon heat. If you have a pool, have it cleaned and check the chlorine or salt levels a few weeks prior to Australia Day. Purchase some pool toys to keep the kids entertained all day long.

If you don’t have a pool there are still some great ways to have a wet and wild outdoor Australia Day. Sprinklers and water hoses around your home are a terrific way to cool down in the blistering sun. Set up an obstacle course with rotating sprinklers and sprayers. Have children and adults race through the course attempting to stay dry.

If you want to take your backyard water activities to the next level, set up some inflatable obstacles or slides. This will ramp up the wet and wild course, sure to be a memorable experience for your guests.

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Esky freeze

If you’re hosting an Australia Day barbie, you’re sure to have an esky or two in your backyard to keep your drinks icy cold. If you do, then esky freeze is a quick and easy game sure to be a fun competitive challenge for family and friends.

Have players stick both hands into an ice cooler to see who can last the longest without pulling them out. Set a maximum time limit of 5 minutes (3 minutes for kids) to ensure people don’t start to feel like they’re going to lose their fingers. Have some small Australian themed prizes such as miniature boomerangs, Tim Tams, lamingtons or Australian flag stubbie holders on hand for the winners. You could even award the loser with a heaped teaspoon of Vegemite, straight off the spoon. Yummo!

While enjoying the sun on Australia Day, don’t forget to regularly apply sunscreen, wear a hat and protect your eyes with sunglasses. Also, remember to stay hydrated with plenty of water to keep up with all the fun Australia Day activities you have planned.

For more ways to celebrate the upcoming national holiday check out these bonza ways to enjoy Australia Day at home and 6 steps to a fantastic Australia Day BBQ.

Author bio:

This article is written by Alex Hamilton, who recommends Monsterball – Inflatable amusement equipment hire specialists based in Perth, Western Australia. You can catch Alex on Google+.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Mount Druitt real estate for sale and properties for rent in Sydney. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

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Strata manager vs. self-managed strata: pros & cons

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Strata manager vs. self-managed strata: pros & cons

While it is not a legal requirement for a strata scheme to engage the services of a professional strata manager, it is most certainly advantageous to do so.

Owners corporations can perform the duties of a manager but whether they have the required time, expertise or willingness to take on the responsibility of doing so once they gain an understanding of what the job entails, is quite another matter.

Risk protection

The management of shared living spaces (common property) is subject to complex legal requirements, which vary from state to state and continually evolve. Keeping abreast of these changes and making sure that your property remains compliant can take a lot of time and effort, particularly if works need to be carried out to ensure the property remains compliant or if you own investment properties interstate.

A dedicated, professional strata manager tends to be better equipped with the expertise to perform this role much more effectively than volunteers on a committee, and can typically identify when action needs to be taken to maintain legal compliance than would otherwise be the case with a self-managed strata scheme.

An impartial voice

Being independent of the property, a strata manager can also usually achieve a consensus amongst owners when action needs to be taken a lot quicker than a committee that may be seen to have other self-interest motives at play when deciding on how to spend the property’s money or what issues on the property need to be prioritised.

Strata managers can also bring their expertise when determining how much needs to be budgeted to keep the property in an optimal state of repair and attractiveness and, so that money is always available when needed to carry out works.

Limit unnecessary costs

While it is true that there is an additional cost involved in having an independent strata manager looking after your common property compared to the owners doing it, the associated costs of doing the latter can quickly far exceed the former.

For example, a strata manager tends to be more familiar with what the maintenance and repair costs should be and have a list of qualified local suppliers on-hand to ensure the maintenance and repairs are in good order and that costs are kept to a minimum.

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There are also other responsibilities that can be overlooked when a dedicated manager is not in place, such as the submission to the council of an annual fire safety certificate, or ensuring that structural changes to the property in accordance with new regulations are met before the deadline elapses.

PICA Group CEO, Greg Nash, said 'Any issues that are overlooked or not dealt with in the appropriate timeframe, such as scheduled maintenance, reporting, or regulatory compliance, can end up costing a lot more in fines and increased repair costs than it would to have a dedicated strata manager attend to these tasks on their behalf, so it absolutely makes fiscal sense to do so, for the benefit of all owners and residents'.

For more insights into strata management take a look at strata 101: what you need to know before buying off the plan and owners corp fees explained

Author bio:

PICA Group is one of Australia’s leading property services companies. As a market leader, we aim to continuously redefine the experience of owning a property for the better through a range of businesses offering strata management, facilities management, receivables management, and property developer services. Follow the PICA Group on Facebook @thepicagroup and LinkedIn.

Disclaimer: The information provided is a general guide only and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. The company disclaims all responsibly and all liability for any expenses, losses, damages and costs which might be incurred as a result of the information provided by the company.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Mount Druitt real estate for sale and properties for rent in Sydney. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

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How to prepare for tiny living

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How to prepare for tiny living

The tiny house trend is an up-and-coming lifestyle that promotes the benefits of downsizing and reducing one’s footprint and home maintenance commitments. Although there are currently no set definitions for what can be described as a 'tiny house,' such tiny houses are usually residences under the size of 46 square metres that have been built on trailers in order to circumvent certain residential regulations.

What is tiny living?

The tiny living concept originates from the United States in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005. After Hurricane Katrina left many Americans homeless with little savings, there was a need for simple, affordable housing that could be erected quickly with minimal materials and space requirements. Inventors and pioneers rose to the challenge and began building their homes on trailers in order to bypass regulations, which required residences to be of a minimum size. From there, the tiny living movement was born.

In a time where we have become enamoured with the trappings of modern life, the tiny living movement is heading in an altogether different direction. Instead, the concept of tiny living revolves around keeping things simple and focusing on the smaller things in life. For enthusiasts of tiny living, this has become a way of life, with many adopting the philosophy of being content with life and minimising one's effect on the environment.

If the idea of living a simpler, compact and environmentally mindful lifestyle appeals to you, or maybe you’ve already taken the first step to choosing a simpler life, read on to learn more about what you can expect from tiny living.

Image: Tumbleweed Houses

Image: Tumbleweed Houses

Preparing for tiny living

While you may be excited to make arrangements for tiny living, you may want to take some steps to prepare yourself for such a dramatic change in lifestyle. Here are some steps on how you can get a feel for small living and best prep for a move into a tiny home.

Get used to smaller spaces

While this may seem obvious, past experiences of downsizers have shown that suddenly moving into a much smaller space within a short span of time can be quite a challenge for even the most enthusiastic downsizer.

Instead, it would be more prudent that you take some time to get to know other tiny living enthusiasts to glean some insights from them on what everyday life is like in such a confined space. Spend some time in tiny houses, maybe take a holiday to one or stay in a caravan for a few days, to get a feel for what it would be like. You may be quite surprised by the experience. Some folks may find it difficult to acclimatise and may sometimes feel claustrophobic or too cooped up when it actually comes to living day to day in such tight quarters.

Meanwhile, others may take to tiny living like a duck to water and appreciate the increased cosiness and simplicity of downsizing their possessions and living space. After all, downsizing is all about reducing the distractions from one’s life and learning to appreciate the simpler things in life.

Image: This Moving House

Image: This Moving House

Understand your motivations

One of the most liberating (or horrifying for some) things about the tiny living movement is that it forces you to take stock of all the most important things in your life and minimise all the clutter. Tiny living gives you the opportunity to take a step back and take a look at all your possessions to break it down into the most essential and important items you really need.

Without sounding like a yoga guru, we would advise you to, first of all, understand your motivations for downsizing. Are you truly serious about downsizing to a much smaller household, or are you just hopping on the metaphorical trailer?

Are you able to give up a relatively comfortable apartment or house to live in a significantly smaller home on wheels, with limitations on storage and living space?

If you answered yes to all of the above, you might find the experience of downsizing to a tiny home to be a rewarding one, where you're able to find joy in the simpler things in life. But, if you answered no, perhaps downsizing may not be the lifestyle for you.

Tame your inner shopaholic

As a downsizer living in a significantly smaller home, you may find yourself lacking certain amenities such as storage space. One of the core concepts of tiny living is only consuming what is needed, with no space for any excess.

Image: Modern Tiny Living

Image: Modern Tiny Living

Thus, if you're the sort who strolls down the shopping aisles filling up your cart with non-essentials, you're in a for a rude surprise. After moving into your tiny home, you'll begin to learn that there is little-to-no space for any surplus items. You'll have to start asking yourself whether you truly 'need' that particular item on the shelf or rack and whether it is worth the valuable space it will occupy in the limited space in your life.

While it may be difficult for some to adapt to this non-consumer-driven lifestyle, you'll soon be rewarded with a sense of clarity and purpose. You’ll find you start putting more thought into every purchase you make. In the long-term, this will leave you with a greater appreciation of everything you use and own, not to mention a significantly healthier bank balance. Think of all the dollars you’ll save that you can put towards travel, charity, fun experiences and gifts for others.

While there are many more points to ponder when looking into the tiny living movement, we have presented you with three of the most important considerations that any potential downsizer should carefully weigh up. From getting used to living in cosier spaces, to adopting an entirely new mindset, we hope that these three points are a solid base to help you get started on your journey towards tiny living.

If you're still not convinced, maybe downsizing into an apartment could be for you? Check out these pros and cons of compact apartment living to help with your decision.

Author bio:

Elsa Smith is iMovers’ Content Marketing Strategist and a mother of two. iMovers is a network of interstate removalists in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Canberra, and Darwin.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Mount Druitt real estate for sale and properties for rent in Sydney. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Protecting your home from vandalism: 4 top tips

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Protecting your home from vandalism: 4 top tips

We all like to think of our homes as a haven from the outside world where we can feel most at ease and safe. So, it can be especially upsetting and unsettling when your home is the unfortunate target of vandalism and damage.

It can be easy to bury your head in the sand and assume your property won’t fall victim to a random act of damage. But crime stats show residential vandalism is a common occurrence all around Australia.

According to the NSW government, 40,317 incidents of graffiti were reported to NSW Police between July 2011 and June 2016, where residential dwellings were most frequently targeted.

Keep Australia Beautiful estimates the cost of graffiti and other forms of vandalism to the Australian community at a whopping $2.7 billion annually.

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You also need to consider the impact not dealing with vandalism has on property values in your neighbourhood.

'Real estate prices can suffer as prospective tenants or buyers, not privy to a graffiti-affected area, can associate tagging on personal property with unruliness, social decline and antisocial behaviour, despite the property’s interior being in impeccable condition,' says Brett Brook from Lead Estate Agents.

There are a number of ways to give yourself peace of mind, maintain your property value and discourage vandals from targeting your home. Here are four of our top tips to protect your dwelling.

Check your home insurance

Double check the Product Disclosure Statement for your home and contents insurance to make sure you’re covered for malicious destruction of property. If not, you may want to upgrade your policy so you’ll be covered in the event of vandalism damage.

Make your home an unattractive target

There are a few simple measures you can take that will make the exterior of your home unappealing to opportunistic vandals. Such as:

  • Install motion activated sensor lights on external areas of your home or fence line that are poorly lit and vulnerable to damage. Vandals will be put off by not being able to conceal themselves after dark, where the bright light makes it more likely they’ll be spotted by neighbours or passers-by. Also, be sure to report any broken streetlights out the front of your home to council promptly.
  • Keep bushes and trees at the front of your property cut back from the footpath, again to make sure there is a clear line of sight from the street to your home so vandals have no space to hide and lurk in the shadows.
  • If you’re repeatedly targeted you may want to consider investing in an external video surveillance system and video surveillance signage in plain sight to deter would-be-vandals. No criminal wants to be caught in the act on camera.
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Act fast

If you’re unlucky enough to be a victim of vandalism arrange to have it cleaned up as quickly as possible. Vandals get a kick out of the damage they caused being on display, so if they see that their graffiti masterpiece was removed quickly they’ll be less likely to return. This also discourages copycat tagging and further damage from occurring.

Add damage resistant barriers

Install security film on ground floor windows and doors, and opt for shatter-resistant light fittings to make it harder for vandals to smash windows and external security lights.

If you’re frequently targeted by graffiti vandals Dulux has formulated a fantastic DIY product, Dulux Precision® Anti Graffiti Coating. Just two coats enables you to clean off graffiti again and again just with water. No more calling in costly professional removal services, repainting or scrubbing away with harsh chemicals after every attack.

‘To remove aerosol paints from the coating, all it takes is a high-pressure hose to wash away the offending tagging without affecting the surface’, Briana Keenahan, Dulux Senior Brand Manager, says.

Precision SP AG Coating_4LT_screw top_PFO.jpg

It’s suitable for painted and unpainted surfaces (i.e. timber, brick, concrete and render) and it also provides a barrier from dirt, acid, pollution and iron stains, so it can serve dual purposes in keeping your property looking good.

It's wise to report acts of vandalism committed on your property, no matter how big or small, to your local authorities. Even if they don't catch every graffiti tagger running amok, the police will know where to send more patrols that’ll, in turn, make your suburb safer and discourage further vandalism.

For more ways to protect your home and belongings check out these home security tips, and our guides to keeping your home secure during a renovation and while on holiday.

Happy house hunting!

The Homely Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Reservoir real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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