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10 things that'll make you want to move to Noosa

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10 things that'll make you want to move to Noosa

Noosa on the Sunshine Coast is well known for its beautiful beaches, trendy cafes and sophisticated boutiques. It’s well known as being one of Australia’s most desirable holiday destinations. But, why stop at a holiday? Why restrict yourself to just a few days of joy when you can immerse yourself in it as a way of life?

Here’s a stack of reasons why Noosa should be your next move.

1) Improve your mental health.

The natural world has a calming and healing effect and sharpens performance. Research shows that depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, asthma and migraines occur at a lower rate among those who live within around half a mile of green space. You can do your overstressed brain a favour by moving closer to nature.

2) Biosphere status.

The Noosa Biosphere Reserve encompasses an impressive 87,000 hectares of land and several waterways. It extends approximately three kilometres seawards. This is a really unique offering. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, it shines a light on the kind of people Noosa attracts. There’s a huge focus on sustainable living. In Noosa, they take the biosphere so seriously there’s even a governance framework that was developed in 2014 to ensure it stays on track fulfilling sustainable goals. The plan is for zero emissions by 2026.

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3) Boost your creativity.

Not only does nature lower stress, research also shows that nature relieves attention fatigue and increases creativity. In Noosa, your creativity will be stimulated and your soul will be stirred.

4) Unique homes.

From circular homes to quirky designs, Noosa is a great spot to find something a little out of the ordinary if you’re looking for that extra wow factor in your living environment.

5) Surfing.

Noosa Festival of Surfing has established itself as the leading surfing cultural event. It’s the biggest surfing event in the world by competitor numbers with around 900 entries from 20 regions in 2017. This is a whole week of fun and entertainment for surfers, their families and draws fans from all around the globe. Expect live bands and cold evening beers by the beach.

6) Family friendly.

Noosa is great for families of all ages; whether you have a young family, are looking to start one, or you’re after a wonderful spot to retire and make sure your family always wants to come and visit. Many people who loved Noosa in their childhood come here to retire – they want that Noosa magic every day!

7) Ions.

The human body’s magnetic field is made up of both positive and negative ions. Over-exposure to positive ions is caused by electrical equipment, computers and mobile phones. All of those things that are rife in the city actually affect our magnetic field and drain energy. Always feeling tired or lethargic? This could be why. Water in motion produces negative ions which make us feel more energised. Not just a few, in abundance! That’s why a walk along the beach, watching the waves as they come crashing in, can give you a boost. We inhale these negative ions and when they reach our bloodstream they produce reactions, which increase levels of serotonin. That’s the feel-good mood chemical. So, the air from the ocean can nourish and heal.

8) Get sporty.

Noosa supports a whole range of sports and fitness activities for those looking to improve their health. The Noosa triathlon is Australia’s highest profile triathlon event and the largest Olympic distance triathlon in the world. Over 8500 competitors take part. The multi-sport festival is a five day hallmark event that celebrates sport, healthy lifestyles, fitness and fun!

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9) Dump the urban grind.

Are you done with the rat race? Tired of city-living? It may be time to ask yourself why you're choosing to put yourself through the relentless, draining urban grind when you can make a sea and green change in one go. Imagine a dream office (complete with high speed fixed wireless broadband) with stunning views of the surrounding scenery. Imagine waking in the morning not to the sound of traffic but the soft melodic birdsong of honeyeaters and magpies. The daily show of beauty and nature in Noosa is enough to give even the greatest landscape painters goosebumps.

10) Food, glorious food!

Noosa is home to some amazing chefs; their restaurants are one of the key reasons Noosa is such a popular tourist destination. There are incredible award-winning restaurants and cafes in this region. Many use local suppliers for fresh, first-class organic produce. From Hastings Street to the beachfront, you’re really spoilt for choice. The Noosa Food and Wine Festival is a showcase of this incredible local talent.

This escape to the country by the coast is not about running away from it all; it’s about elevating your lifestyle to the next level. So, what are you waiting for?

Author bio:

Cameron McNeill is a proud member of the Villa Prestige Property team on the fabulous Sunshine Coast in Queensland Australia. He has always been a lover of fine properties and inspired architectural residences and having owned two award-winning apartments in Brisbane, he made the ‘tree and sea change’ to Noosa Heads to take up residence in a magnificent property called ‘Nautilus’ to live in nature by the sea.

For more information on homes in Noosa contact Cameron on 0438 111 438. #lovelivinginnoosa

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About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sunshine real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne.

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 impact of new NSW strata laws on everyday living

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The impact of new NSW strata laws on everyday living

The new NSW Strata Laws came into effect on 30 November 2016. Now almost two years in, these changes have in many ways overhauled and simplified strata living for the 15 per cent of New South Welshmen who live in a strata scheme.

Here is a quick recap of the most significant changes the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, has had to everyday strata living.

1. Parking.

Strata schemes are now able to engage local councils to monitor their above ground car parks. If engaged, council parking rangers are able to issue warnings and fines to vehicles misusing the facilities. This regulation change has had a positive impact on many schemes located near busy commuter hubs.

Likewise, owners corporations also have the ability to tow illegal parked vehicles, provided they have taken the appropriate steps prior.

2. The classification of smoking as a nuisance.

Second hand smoke is now defined as a nuisance. This makes it significantly easier for residents to raise concerns to the strata manager and for their concerns to be actioned.

3. Name change to committees.

Executive committees are now known as strata committees. This change was made to remove confusion around members of the committee having special privileges or secret perks. The function of the committee did not change once the Act was implemented.

4. Increased levels of financial transparency.

Many strata agencies are able to use their size for buying power to partner with various insurance agencies to generate deals for customers. It is now compulsory for strata managers to make it known when they are receiving commission on the sale of compulsory insurance to a scheme.  

5. Changes to strata contract limits.

In the interest of consumer choice and keeping prices fair, strata management agencies can now only be appointed for a maximum of three years on an existing plan. New schemes are offered even more flexibility, with strata contracts only being allowed a maximum 12-month term, to allow property owners the opportunity to assess services levels before making a commitment.  

6. Meeting participation changes.

Under the Act, owners corporations can decided how meetings are held and how owners can cast votes. Meeting attendance can now be done remotely via telephone and participation in voting can be conducted online through voting applications should the owners corporation pass a resolution to approve this.

7. An increase in fines.

Owners corporations can now issue fines of up to $550 to residents for regular by-law breaches. Overcrowding fines have also skyrocketed with first time breaches costing owners $5500. Owners with subsequent overcrowding offences can be fined up to $11,000. 

For more information about strata rules and regulations check out these rules of apartment living 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 and strata 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 development services. Follow the ‘PICA Group’ on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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 Sunshine real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne.

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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Double hung timber windows 101

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Double hung timber windows 101

Windows are an integral part of any home’s design, both functionally and from an aesthetic perspective. It can be difficult to determine what style you’re looking for, but you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about double hung timber windows.

Benefits

Double hung timber windows are timeless, versatile and one of the most popular styles of windows available. Whether you have a mid-century modern ranch or a Victorian mansion, double hung timber windows add character and class to the place you hang your hat.

One of the main benefits is the ventilation control. You can direct incoming and outgoing air through either the top or the bottom. You can also ventilate using both sashes at the same time.

 Image: Valley Windows

Image: Valley Windows

Features

Double hung timber windows have many standout features. A concealed spring block means that you don’t need a spiral balance in order to lift your windows. The concealed spring block is discreet, hidden away inside the window frame. This elevates your window and makes it both secure and energy efficient. It’s important to call out the shifts in the engineering of this window to make it as energy efficient as possible.

Another standout feature is the tackle balance system. Thanks to this, operation is smooth and free of any rattling. Older versions used a system designed with kite string and iron weights, but they’ve evolved to include stainless steel springs and a pulley system like those used in cars.

A parachute cord moves the actual sashes of the window. Again, this is hidden inside the interior of the window. It’s rare that these ever need to be replaced, but if they do, they’re the easiest system of their kind to replace. To paint a picture of their reliability, you can get 48,000 cycles out of the system, ensuring you can open your window at least once a day for more than 130 years.

The double hung timber window also boasts a finger grip groove that ensures lifting your window takes no effort at all with a cam catch. The cam catch is key as far as weather protection and home security goes.

 Image: Valley Windows

Image: Valley Windows

Double hung windows are a flexible option as well. In fact, you can even install a single hung window. The difference is there is one fixed sash and one that slides. Your options for design additions or shifts are many and varied. We’re talking a range of choices for the glaze, so that they properly compliment the paint colour of your home, shutters and doors.

For warmer summer days, you can add aluminium insect and fly screens so that you can leave your windows open without the fear of pesky insects flying in. There’s an abundance of window style configurations and even colour-matched jambs and hardware.

Home owners choose this style for many different reasons, whether they’re installing new windows or replacing those that have seen better days. Many choose double hung windows as replacements for windows that have leveraged balance systems besides the tackle. Specifically, they’re a great step up from spiral balances or cord and weight windows.

Types

While the featured material for this style is generally timber, double hung windows can also be designed with aluminium. Fly screen frames are extruded, providing even greater strength than the roll-formed alternatives that you see on the market. Inline reveals of double hung windows that are designed with aluminium mean the frames are as easy to fit as timber windows. This inline reveal also shields the aluminium frame, improving the energy efficiency of the product. They even have dual weather seals on moving panels to help exclude drafts, rain and intrusive noise.

Maintenance

We touched on maintenance of the tackle balance system and how easy it is, but in general, this type of window requires very little maintenance. If you’re opening and closing it regularly, you’ll be able to spot issues right away.

As with any style of window, we recommend that you clean it regularly – at least once a month and more frequently during hot or dusty weather. There are no stipulations on cleaning products that you need to avoid with double hung timber windows, feel free to use general glass cleaner. You can also mix your window cleaner at home, using vinegar and water if you want to go the natural and chemical-free route.

Ready to make the shift? Feel free to reach out to the Valley Windows team. We’d love to hear from you and help provide you a better view.

Company bio:

Valley Windows are architecturally inspired for superior style and performance. We use only quality sustainable materials. Everything is designed and manufactured to exceed Australian Standards for performance and durability, Valley Windows stands by our reputation for quality materials, hardware and workmanship. Manufactured in Victoria from premium, locally sourced materials, Valley Windows are designed to perform and built to last. Featuring bi-fold doors, sliding doors, awning windows, stacking doors, corner units and more in both timber and aluminium, there’s a Valley Windows product for every aesthetic and application. Find us on Facebook!

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sunshine real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne.

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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10 ways to embrace flower power at home this spring

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10 ways to embrace flower power at home this spring

This year don’t shy away from embracing all the flowery positivity and renewal the wonderful season of spring brings. Instead of getting caught up in the dread of seasonal allergies and the thawing of winter, look forward to all the goodness that comes with spring by working the season into your everyday home life.

Read on for classy and effortless techniques and inspiration to embrace flower power at your place this spring. You’ll love way these simple spring themed ideas will cover your home and lift your spirits.

1. Get into gardening.

Gardening can be anything from growing organic vegetables on the porch of your apartment or watering a tiny flower in a pot by your bedside. If you haven’t found you have a natural green thumb, look online or talk to local nursery staff to see what plants are best for beginners, and see if you can grow some flowers on your own. The earthy smell of soil and the vibrant sight of beautiful fresh flowers is what spring is all about.

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2. Do a literal spring clean.

Every year, people talk about what they want to achieve when they do a spring clean. There’s something about throwing away the old and ushering in the new during spring that feels so right. Crunched on time? Do a quick spring clean that will be short but satisfying without ruining your Saturday afternoon plans.

3. Host a dinner party.

The other thing about spring that seems to infect everyone is the desire to get outside again. Even if you don’t have summer temperatures just yet, anything warmer than freezing is still a great reason to get outdoors. To make the most of the slightly warmer temps, host a spring dinner party outdoors. Here are some spring decorating trends to make the dinner even more festive. Plan a menu that will emphasise the transition from winter to warmer months.

4. Plant seeds of wisdom.

As the plants around you start to blossom and bloom, people will embrace spring as a season of personal growth as well. Reading inspirational books or attending public lectures about wisdom, new ideas and beauty will allow you to go back to your friends and family with seeds of knowledge you can plant in their hearts and minds.

5. Floral inspired decor.

For those who aren’t lucky enough to be blessed with a green thumb, there are hundreds of ways bring pretty spring vibes into your home with organically themed decor. Try your hand wabi-sabi style which is all for showcasing natural materials and the imperfect. Alternatively, incorporate bold floral textiles, patterns and prints into art, soft furnishings and surfaces.

6. Invest in a dehumidifier.

Having more plants and floral arrangements around your home will invite allergens into your living space, even if you carefully select plants to grow yourself. A dehumidifier will help remove potential allergens from the atmosphere in your home so you don’t have to live in discomfort while enjoying everything spring has to offer.

7. Try floral essential oils.

While you’re waiting for your plants to grow, or if your indoor plants just don’t have the sweet scent you’re after, try out some floral essential oils instead. They’ll provide the floral aroma you desire this spring without adding any harmful chemicals or additives into the air within your home.

8. Enjoy a spring drink.

After the weather starts getting cool, one of the natural reactions to a change in temperature is to switch up your daily eating routine. Sandwiches and salads get replaced with stews and steaming mugs of coffee. The same goes for spring! Get creative and try a new refreshing spring drink that will look just as good as it tastes. You’ll love having something new to enjoy on your own or make for others at your next dinner party.

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9. Try new foods.

Seasonal foods and recipes will soon be all over your social media feeds as people go strawberry picking and start experimenting in the kitchen. Foods in spring typically focus on light, seasonal fruit and produce, and aren’t typically hot dishes, which is why so many people eat salad in the spring.

So make sure the fridge is stocked with fresh salad supplies and luscious fruit to snack on. You can set out a delicious strawberry salad for dinner between floral arrangements and even get spring table decor to make the whole theme sing.

10. Buy a lovely wreath.

Certain decorations only look right at certain times of the year, like sparkling snowflake lights during the Christmas holidays. A welcoming door wreath is wonderful because they fit any season. Get a basic green wreath as a foundation and add lush spring blooms to it from there. You can take them out later and replace them with different colours over the warmer months and even transition it into a autumn and winter theming when the time is right.

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You might have failed to embrace past spring seasons because of time, finances or one of the other millions of reasons plans can get derailed at a moment’s notice. This spring, don’t let time fly! Hand pick your favourite ideas from above to welcome the new season and warmer weather into your home.

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.


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About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sunshine real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne.

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 factors make for long-term property investment success?

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What factors make for long-term property investment success?

If only we had bought more property 20 years ago! With the benefit of hindsight, we all look at historical property prices and wish we had bought more back in the day. It’s all too painful to look at a multi-million dollar property only to find out that it was once only a small fraction of the current price.

This problem has plagued us for generations. Time and time again, we look back on the property prices of our youth and wish we had scooped up more when we had the chance.

Whether you’re looking to invest or buy a home to live in, there are a number of important factors to take into account when making any property purchase.

Outlined below are seven important factors for you to consider when evaluating the viability of your next long-term property investment.

Foresight

If only we had a crystal ball. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2000 the median house price in Sydney and Melbourne were $287,000 and $191,000 respectively. This is a far cry from the house prices of today.

Back in 2000, if you had told everyone that Sydney’s median house price would be above a million dollars there would have been many sceptics. Lots of people would have argued that nobody could ever afford that much! However, here we are.

Long-term investing requires the foresight to imagine what the world will look like (and how much property might cost) in the future. This is actually very difficult as it is hard to perfectly imagine the future. It is also a very challenging task to imagine properties potentially costing many multiples of their current value. To make the best purchase decisions possible, use different data tools and expert opinions to research predicted property prices in areas you're considering buying into.

Supply & demand

Australia’s population is approximately 25 million and growing faster than ever before. When making long-term investment decisions you need to consider how this continued population growth can work to your benefit. Essentially, you want to invest in assets that have a limited supply with an ever-growing demand.

As the populations of our major cities continue to grow through migration, consider how you think these pressures will impact house prices. Can ongoing migration be absorbed by the current supply? Is there enough land and amenities near our major cities for continued expansion? Or is there a finite supply of suitable land for housing?

In your investment approach, if you have the budget for it, focus on properties with a decent amount of land – they’re not making any more of it.

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Location, location, location

Following on from supply and demand, location feeds into the same reasoning. For long-term property investment location is an extremely important consideration. You want to make sure that there are lots of factors that’ll continuously drive the rental demand and capital growth of your property. Such as proximity to public transport, education facilities, shopping, parks and upcoming infrastructure projects.

We focus on investing near major cities because there are multiple drivers of both market resilience and growth. By investing in a property that can service workers from multiple industries it means you’re not going to suddenly be caught out by a sudden market change. An example for us would be to avoid locations that are reliant upon a single industry (such as mining or car manufacturing).

Location is a fixed factor, unlike the actual dwelling which can be updated or replaced, you’re stuck with a location choice until you sell. So, choose wisely.

Buy & hold

Don’t wait to buy property, buy property and wait. One of the good old property investment sayings!

Buy and hold is one of the simplest real estate investment strategies, but it does require significant patience.

While past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance, history shows us that it has been one of the most successful property investment strategies. This strategy is to simply buy a property and have a tenant help you pay off your loans through rental income. You can potentially draw down on the equity to buy more property. The real question you need to ask yourself is – how long can you wait?

Test of time

Will your investment stand the test of time?

The construction quality of your investment becomes very important when making long-term investment decisions. If you invest in a property with poor construction you might run into lots of additional costs down the track for repairs and maintenance.

To help protect against buying or investing in a property with poor construction, a thorough building inspection by a qualified expert is a must do. A qualified professional will help to identify any signs of poor quality construction or damage that might become an issue. Always make sure you’re working with a fully licensed building and pest inspector to go through the property with a fine-tooth comb to cover yourself from buying someone else’s problems.

Diversification

A great challenge with any property investment strategy is diversification, having a property portfolio with assets in multiple locations. When investing for the long-term you want to be in the best performing markets. However, there will always be individual market cycles that’ll impact the performance of your different properties.

By holding a diversified portfolio, you can reduce the risk that comes with only investing in a single market. Sometimes Sydney will be the standout and other times Melbourne, or another capital might be the strongest performer.

Whilst achieving diversification is a challenge, it is something all investors should consider. This is one of the key drivers of a successful long-term investment strategy.

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The cash flow dream

The great thing about long-term investing is that you lock in your purchase price when you buy the property but your rental income has the potential to grow every year with the market. This means your cost base is fixed, but the earning potential of the property can grow in perpetuity.

Imagine earning rental income today on a property you bought 20 years ago. This is where the cash flow dream becomes a reality.

Use these seven important factors when deciding on your next investment purchase and whether it fits in with your long-term buy and hold strategy.

For more insights on what is involved in property investment take a look at our guide to the ongoing expenses of holding investment property, our first-time investor FAQ and tips to secure a good investment.

Author bio:

This article was written by Grant Brits, the CEO of Superestate. For more information on how Superestate makes investing your super in residential property possible check out our website

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This post was prepared to provide you with general information only. Happy investing.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sunshine real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne.

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 helpful strategies if your property doesn’t sell

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5 helpful strategies if your property doesn’t sell

It all sounded so simple…'Let’s move house,' you said.

So, you tidied up the garden, gave the lounge walls a coat of paint and listed your property for sale.

And you waited…and waited…and if you’re reading this, chances are you’re still waiting for that elusive buyer to come along with a big fat cheque, so you can hand over the keys and skip off into the sunset to your next new home.

Getting your property sold comes down to the three Ps: presentation, promotion and price – and if no buyers are biting, there’s a problem with one or more of these areas.

So, if your property hasn’t sold, don’t lose hope – try these tips instead!

1. Analyse your agent.

Don’t underestimate the importance of having an excellent agent – one who is a great negotiator and an expert in the local market.

Trying to save a few dollars by listing with the cheapest agency is a false economy, as your home is likely to languish on the market for longer, and the eventual selling price could be less than impressive.

The cheapest agent is the one who sells your property for the highest price – not the one with the lowest commission.

You need an agent who will nail the promotion of your property, can give you pointers to improve presentation and can read the market and help you decide on a suitable price.

If yours isn’t on top of the three Ps, find a new one who is!

2. Is your marketing off target?

Modern real estate advertising is centred around online listings, so if your property is suited to a retired couple, you might not be reaching them through this medium.

Likewise, a busy professional who rarely drives through the back streets is unlikely to notice your impressive signboard.

Effective promotion of your property is possibly the most important thing to focus on because without it nobody will notice how beautifully presented it is or how reasonable the price is.

Rather than just concentrating on the big property portals, why not promote it on Homely.com.au where your property will get to a wide new audience and not get lost amongst the crowd.

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Another idea if your current strategies aren’t working, why not try sharing the listing on your social media channels and ask your friends to do the same.

3. Look at the numbers.

It’s possible your property is priced too high, scaring buyers away.

Prospective buyers tend to limit their search by increments of $50,000 to $100,000, so dropping the asking price to $899,000 or even $849,000 will mean you could attract a whole new group of prospects.

The same goes for listing at an unusual price – it creates intrigue, drawing buyers to your property over others.

4. Put it on the backburner.

Real estate is a game of timing and it might be that now just isn’t your time.

Instead of spending thousands making improvements to the property or jazzing up your advertising, consider putting off the sale for a short time.

Take a look at the state of the market. What’s the auction clearance rate like? Is the local market flooded with similar properties, perhaps priced a little lower or looking a little better than yours Has buyer confidence plummeted, thanks to factors beyond your control?

If this is the case, it might be better to wait. Once your property has been on the market for around 90 days, buyers become suspicious and wonder why it hasn’t sold.

It’s near-impossible to recover from this kind of stagnation, so often the best option is to withdraw the property from sale and re-list later, for a fresh start.

You may not even need to lift a finger or spend a dime during that period, and if you’re lucky, the market will have even helped improve the valuation!

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5. Don’t be afraid to ask 'why?'.

It seems obvious, but few sellers actually bother to ask their selling agents exactly what has turned potential buyers off purchasing the property.

Until you know what the issues are, how can you resolve them?

If it’s something you can’t change, like a noisy freeway right on your doorstep, maybe you can sweeten the deal in other ways, like dropping the price.

If it’s an inexpensive, easy fix, like painting or flooring, you should be able to rectify it, and if it’s a bigger issue, you can weigh up whether you’re better of sinking more funds to sort it, or accepting a lower price so you can move on quickly and without the hassle.

These five strategies should help you with next steps if your property just isn't selling. Best of luck with the sale!

Author bio:

Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia's leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Liverpool real estate for sale and properties for rent in Sydney.

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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10 inventive uses for Coles Little Shop Minis

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10 inventive uses for Coles Little Shop Minis

It’s the craze that has taken Australian schoolyards, workplaces (Homely HQ included!) and even eBay by storm; Coles Little Shop.

For those of you who have missed out on the fun and swap meet madness of the past few months here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know:

In the wake of the single-use plastic bag ban, supermarket chain Coles launched a marketing promotion that rewards shoppers with mini replicas of popular grocery items for every $30 spent.

From Vegemite to bananas to Vicks VapoRub, there are 30 adorable mini products to collect. Genius right?

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Coles have reported a food sale growth of 1.8 per cent in the three months to July 30, their best result in two years and rumour has it Coles is set to repeat the campaign in 2019. It’s official, we have mini mania!

Whether you have a complete set and display case or just a handful of cute miniature items from your weekly shop, here are 10 ways to get creative and give your Little Shop Minis a new purpose.

Fridge magnets

Pick up some self-adhesive magnetic stripping (available at Bunnings and Spotlight) and some scissors to cut the magnets to size to turn your mini collectables into cool fridge magnets.

You could even use your Little Shop magnets as a 3D shopping list on your fridge. Add a shopping list column to one side of the door with washi tape to place the items you need in it as a handy reminder.

Little shop magnets.JPG

Cute brooches

All it takes is a hot glue gun and a pack of brooch pins from the craft store and presto you can add a Coles Mini or a cluster of minis to any outfit.

Quirky jewellery

From earrings to bracelet and necklace charms, there are so many ways you can turn your favourite Little Shop Minis into fashion. You can pick up jewellery making tools, earring hooks and chains at craft shops. Would you be game to wear some sweet Nutella earrings or a minty fresh Colgate charm necklace?

 Image: @radiumgirl

Image: @radiumgirl

Hair accessories

Make your kid’s hair accessories the envy of the playground with the addition of Little Shop figurines. Using a hot glue gun stick your minis to a headband, ibis clip or several one-touch hair clips.

For smaller hair clips and pins, we recommend using the longer and lighter weight minis, such as Tim Tams, eggs, Pantene and Lipton Tea, for ease of wear. Always ensure the glue is completely set before using your new and improved hair clips.

Keyrings

Take your or your child’s new found brand love to the next level by adding Little Shop keyrings to backpacks or keychains. To make Little Shop keyrings you need a power drill, micro drill bit, steel curtain hooks and a keyring. Watch a video tutorial.

The orange juice and round plastic minis, like Tuna, Milo and Leggos work best for keyring construction.

 Image: @ruth_faithlyn

Image: @ruth_faithlyn

Rainy day game

Like a game of reverse Jenga, use your Little Shop Minis to make a tower where the person who puts the mini on that causes the tower to topple over loses. Alternatively, have a contest with friends for who can make the highest or most inventive tower.

 Image: @vonniewhittakerarbonne

Image: @vonniewhittakerarbonne

Wall art display

For those of you with lots of minis display your collection in pride of place in your living room as a wall art or hanging. You could make a colourful collage of all your minis by glueing them to a canvas in rainbow order. Or string your minis together to make a festive garland to string up over a doorway or kid's room curtain rod.

Donate them

Put your Coles Minis to good use by donating them to a local service or charity that can turn them into educational tools. For example, Distinctive Options a disability services organisation in Sunbury have put the call out on social media for donations of any unwanted minis to turn them into communication aids for people with a disability. Post any Little Shop doubles or unwanted minis to 24 Macedon Street Sunbury VIC, 3429. What a fantastic initiative!

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Baby mobile

The colourful products and lightweight size of the minis make them the perfect subject of an engaging baby mobile for your baby’s nursery. To complete your mobile pick up some string, an embroidery hoop and glue. Here are some more DIY baby mobile ideas.

Original hat

Stuck for ideas this Spring Racing Carnival? Forget flower crowns and exxy designer headwear. Why not turn your minis into a showstopping fascinator or hat? You’ll be sure to turn heads in your colourful and creative one of a kind headdress.

 Image: @rtist_

Image: @rtist_

Xmas tree ornaments

By December the kids will probably be over their minis. So, you could construct Christmas tree ornaments with a difference. Stick your minis on some tinsel, wind your mini garland around the tree or make individual hanging ornaments in a similar way to the keyring tutorial above.

 Image: @ccjustluckygirl

Image: @ccjustluckygirl

We hope these 10 ideas come in handy when the kids and big kids get tired of playing shop with their Coles Minis. Do you have any other ways to upcycle your collectables? Let us know in the comments below.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Liverpool real estate for sale and properties for rent in Sydney.

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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Surprising factors that detract from the value of your home

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Surprising factors that detract from the value of your home

While the Australian property market may have cooled in recent months, the property buzz still remains, which is why it's critical for every homeowner (or prospective homeowner) to understand which factors shape the value of their asset.

For existing homeowners, you need to understand the importance of maintaining your property so you can maximise your future sales price, while for future buyers, it’s all about knowing how to identify a property that will unlock capital growth.

Below are some surprising factors that could detract value from your home – and tips on how to avoid them!

High crime rate

If you’re in the market for a new home, do some research into the level of crime in the particular suburb to determine the risks you might face while living there. Properties in suburbs with a high crime rate will generally have a lower value than those in suburbs where crime is less prevalent and could be more difficult to sell in the future.

In addition, your insurance premium could be higher if you buy in these suburbs and banks may be less reluctant to lend to you, so keep this in mind during your property search.

Bad kerb appeal

First impressions are important, especially in the world of real estate. If your home looks like it's lacking some TLC, potential buyers won’t be so generous with their bids. If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, try to keep its exterior clean and neutral so you capture as much of the market as possible.

Avoid personal touches (such as your obsession with gnomes or bright paint colours) as this will detract rather than add value to your home. If your home looks good on the outside, buyers will be optimistic about its interior and are more likely to bid higher.

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Poor renovations

Aussies love a good DIY renovation, with research from finder.com.au – which surveyed 2,017 people – revealing that 28 per cent of us renovate our home to increase its value. If you’re going to invest time and money in a renovation, you need to do it properly to ensure you’re adding value to your property.

Before you undertake any major renovation, make sure your local council approves your plans so that a later building inspection doesn’t reveal any illegalities, which will significantly delay your project and potentially decrease the value of your home. Incomplete paintwork, broken tiles, windows or doors are all big turn-offs for buyers, so make sure these are rectified (to a high standard) before putting your home on the market.

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Schools with a bad reputation

While close proximity to the local school will generally increase your home’s value, this won’t be the effect if the school is known for being a rough place for kids. Families will be reluctant to move into the area if they’re going to have to drive a long way out of the suburb to do the school drop off and pick up each day, so this can impact local property values.

Before you buy, make sure you get a feel for the quality of the school catchment area so that you can ask for a higher price when you later sell your house.

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Risk of bushfires or floods

Although we all love the idea of our home being an oasis that we can retreat to at the end of the day, be careful that you don’t buy in a high flood or bushfire zone to achieve this serenity. Homes that are prone to floods or bushfires may lose value due to the increased risk of damage. If you’re living in a bushfire prone area, make sure that your home meets the bushfire requirements to minimise the impact that this has on its value.

Being in an area prone to natural disasters also means the cost to arrange insurance for the property will be a lot higher than an area with a history of few or no natural disasters. Buyers may be put off by this extra cost and the worry of fire or flood damage. So always check what adequate protection will cost and specifically cover before making a purchase.

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Bad neighbours

If you live across the road from some rowdy neighbours who throw regular parties, have junk in their front yard or often have visits from the police, it’s likely your home won’t sell for a high price. Prospective buyers only need to take one look at neighbouring run-down houses to make a quick judgment on the neighbourhood. Before putting your home on the market, try to resolve any ongoing disputes with your neighbours so they will be more cooperative when it comes time for you to put your home up for inspection.  

For many of us, our home is our castle (and a massive investment) so it’s in your best interests to understand the factors that impact its value. Keep these factors in mind the next time you’re looking to buy a new property or when you’re considering the value of your existing property.

Author bio:

Bessie Hassan is a Money Expert at finder.com.au, the site that compares virtually everything. She regularly appears on national radio, TV, and throughout online publications sharing her best money-saving tips and property advice. She's passionate about helping Australians make more informed decisions so they can improve their quality of life.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Liverpool real estate for sale and properties for rent in Sydney.

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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Cracking home loan jargon: Key terms you need to know!

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Cracking home loan jargon: Key terms you need to know!

To make the most out of a home loan you need to know and understand what the basic terms that come with a home loan are. Unfortunately, there are many Aussies that need to brush up on the basics of home loan financial literacy to avoid being caught in a jam. Here are a few basic terms that can help you navigate your way to the right home loan for you.

Conveyancing-

Whether you are buying or selling a property you will need a conveyancer who will help you through the transaction of a property between a buyer and seller. A conveyancer’s job is to ensure that the buying and selling of property runs smoothly and is legal. This will also ensure that the transaction of the property is fair for all participants. However, it is vital that you choose an accredited conveyancer to avoid any hiccups that can end up seeing you losing the house and costing you financially.

Offset accounts-

There are plenty of home loans to choose from that come at a competitively low rate to suit your finances. Knowing what features to compare can help you save in the process and also decrease the number of years it will take to pay back your home loan.

An offset account is one of these nifty features that can reduce your interest on your home loan payments.

Bill Tsouvalas, CEO of Savvy, points out that it is important that borrowers choose a loan that has features that can help them maximise their loans, 'Others may not have the right structure such as offset accounts or redraw facilities to save them money right from the get-go'. 

You can get a transactional account that is attached to your home loan which means that the interest is applied to a portion of the loan instead of the full amount.

For example, if you have taken out a home loan of $200,000 and have attached an offset account with the value of $50,000 in it, interest on the loan will only be applied to $150,000 of the loan. The more you put away into your offset account the more you save on interest.

Comparison rate-

Finding an affordable home loan means that you will need to compare a number of products. One of the most important features to compare is the comparison rate. The interest rate will simply show you how much interest will be charged as a percentage of the loan. A comparison rate is expressed next to the interest rate and takes all the fees and charges into consideration. It is by law that lenders advertise this rate next to the interest rate to help borrowers make an informed choice.

LMI.jpg

Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI)-

First time home buyers can find themselves in a muddle when it comes to home loans but ask questions about things that you're unsure of can prevent you from making a costly mistake.

Research released by ME revealed that 88 per cent of first home buyers did not understand what Lenders Mortgage Insurance was or misinterpreted it to be something that will protect them, but in actual case protects the lender if you are unable to repay your mortgage.

LMI is a premium that is charged to borrowers who are considered a high risk. For example, if you take out a home loan that is more than 80 per cent of the value of your property and have little documentation to prove your financial standing you could be charged LMI to protect your lender.

Home loan jargon can be tricky to understand at first, especially when buying your first home. So, hopefully we've helped to clarify the meaning of some key terms you'll encounter when buying a home.

For more tips take a look at 12 steps to get into your own home and nine things to consider before buying a home in the suburbs.

Author bio:

Bill Tsouvalas is the founder and CEO of Savvy, one of Australia's leading financial institution focusing on mortgage and automotive finance. Established in 2010, Bill turned Savvy into one of BRW's fastest growing companies in 2015. He frequently shares his knowledge and ideas on cars, mortgage, money and investment in the media.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sunshine real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne.

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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8 enticing uses for your spare room

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8 enticing uses for your spare room

Spare rooms have a habit of becoming a disorganised dumping ground for household clutter and collecting dust, which can bring you down mentally and physically. The best way to avoid this is to give empty spaces in your home a new purpose that brings you enjoyment.

Whether you want to indulge a passion or transform the space into something more practical, one of these eight ideas is bound to inspire you to make better use of your spare room.

A glam dressing room

Take the hassle out of deciding what to wear in the morning with a glamorous dressing room addition. Transform your spare room into any fashionista’s dream with built-in shoe racks, a hat stand, clothes racks, drawers, a makeup station and a floor length mirror or two.

Put your prized jewellery, hats, bags, shoes and sunnies on display and within easy reach on a dressing table or shelving unit. Don’t forget to add a stool, bench seat or chair to make it easy to pop your shoes on. With an uber-organised and glam dressing room you’ll actually look forward to getting ready every day.

Bathroom value-add

If you have the budget and need for one, you might consider turning a spare room into an ensuite, powder room or extra bathroom.

Some property experts even say adding a second bathroom can add up to $100k of value to the value of a home. With an average bathroom addition costing $30k to $35k it’s unlikely you’ll overcapitalise and you’ll most likely make a tidy profit when it comes time to sell. 

If your spare room is adjacent to a bedroom, it can be the perfect opportunity to create a second master bedroom with a connected ensuite bathroom. An architectural trend gaining momentum, more and more couples are opting for dual master suites to get a better night's rest. It’s also a nice to have feature for guests, when caring for elderly relatives and for multi-generational living.

Work it out

A spare room gives you a chance to set up a home gym to suit your specifications and fitness needs. You’ll have no more excuses to avoid going to the gym, as it will be conveniently located being mere metres from your couch.

Plus, you’ll save money not having to travel to and from the gym and not having to pay monthly membership fees regardless whether you go or not.

Add essentials like a medicine ball, yoga mat, a barbell set, bench press, punching bag, skipping rope and a spin bike. You can often get great deals by buying second-hand equipment online.

Built-in Bluetooth ceiling speakers are a nice touch so you can blast your favourite motivational work out mix as loud as you please. Alternatively add a TV so you can binge watch Netflix in your trackies the healthy way!

Perhaps a chilled out zen zone might be more your scene where you can light incense, practice yoga and meditation away from all the distractions in your household. Paint walls in a soothing shade, add energising houseplants and soft lighting to create the ultimate calming atmosphere.

Make some extra $

Take advantage of the booming sharing economy by listing your spare room on a short-term accommodation website. If you live in a picturesque location (beach adjacent or in the mountains) or close to the CBD make sure you promote that and other neighbourhood highlights in your listing.

Make guests feel at home with crisp bedding, plush pillows, fluffy towels, cosy blankets and maybe even a welcome hamper with snacks or toiletries (hello 5-star ratings!).

Meeting new people in your home can be lots of fun. Best of all you can remove the listing when you want the house to yourself or put it up again when you need some extra cash. However, be sure to weigh up the pros and cons and check with your landlord before committing to being a host. It can be a big time commitment checking people in and out, vetting guests, and arranging cleaning and maintenance.

Home cinema

Movie buffs will see great value in setting up their own home cinema in a disused room. Begin by installing blackout blinds or heavy curtains on windows and painting the walls in a dark shade.

Complete the cinema feel with a couple of gold class style recliners, a big screen, projector, sound system, mini fridge and maybe even a popcorn machine. Beanbags can also be a good idea for hosting larger movie nights.

Entertainment hub

If your home’s living space is lacking a certain je ne sais quoi when it comes to showing your guests a good time, makeover your spare room to be an entertainment hub. If space permits add a pool table, pinball machine, table tennis table or a blackjack table.

No party is complete without a couple of drinks, add in a bar cart or wet bar so that your guests can help themselves to cocktails and beer on tap. Don’t forget bar stools, a couch and TV so you can enjoy sporting events while socialising with friends.

Embrace your passions

Is there something you loved doing at uni that you just haven’t found the space and time for? Or are you looking to take up a new hobby? Your spare room could be the perfect opportunity to create a space for some ‘me time’ and indulge in the creative activities you enjoy most.

But what hobby will you choose? Sewing, jewellery making, vlogging (video blogging), photography, upholstering, flower arranging, writing, knitting, painting, gaming, scrapbooking, woodwork, making music, home brewing beer or maybe horticulture? The options are almost endless! Whatever it may be don’t forget to add lots of storage to pack everything neatly away.

Embrace your fave hobby by turning your spare room into-

  • A dark room.
  • An arts and craft space.
  • A lush indoor greenhouse.
  • A workshop.
  • A photography studio.
  • A mini recording studio.
  • A wine or whiskey tasting room.

Keep mud where it belongs

If your spare room has an outdoor entry you may consider turning it into a functional mudroom. If the kids have a habit of wearing muddy or sandy shoes inside or losing their coats, make it easy to stay tidy and organised with personalised hooks and baskets to store all their wet weather and beach gear.

Add a bench, storage boxes, a coat rack and stain resistant flooring to keep your mudroom looking good and clutter-free. A cork pinboard or chalkboard by the door is a handy addition for displaying the kid’s chores, artwork and weekly schedules.

We hope these eight ideas inspire you to transform your spare room into something more useful, creative or indulgent.

For more home decor advice check out these five must-have accessories when selling and how to nail hamptons decor.

Happy decorating!

The Homely Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sunshine real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne.

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 start your own edible garden

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How to start your own edible garden

While tending a vegetable garden may have once seemed attainable for only the greenest of thumbs, more people are starting to realise the benefits of growing produce in their own backyards.

Indoor plants are also having their own renaissance when it comes to interior design – a quick flick through Instagram or a home magazine shows Australians love a well-placed pot plant or succulent.

A bit of hard work in a good garden will allow you to reap the benefits - whether it’s to save money, avoid pesticides, swap produce with other garden enthusiasts or simply for the love of growing something.

Plants and veggies are also highly sought after at markets, so setting up your own edible garden could turn into a profitable little business.

But it’s not as simple as just digging a hole, chucking some seeds in and hoping for the best – from scaffolding mesh to the soil, tools to cuttings, read on to find out how to set up the perfect home veggie garden.

Planning your nursery

First, you need to figure out exactly what it is you want to do – do you want to grow herbs or vegetables? Maybe succulents or cacti are more your thing? Perhaps something pretty like geraniums or agapanthus?

Whatever it is you want to grow, it needs to be supported by your garden layout. Consider how much sun or shade your plants will require, how easy the area can be accessed for watering and tending, and if it’s free from animals and children.

Measure your area, plan it out on graph paper, then start plotting the boundaries with rope – this will help you determine whether the area is the right fit for your plants.

Use the right soil & fertiliser

When it comes to growing strong, healthy plants, not just any old dirt will do – you need to choose the right nutrient-rich soil that will help your specific seeds and plants develop and thrive.

Once you’ve got your area ready for planting, it’s time to figure out your soil!

An easy way to start off is using a commercial potting mix – you can pick these up from any hardware store or garden centre, and it’s relatively cheap.

You’ll also need fertiliser to mix into your soil at the appropriate times of the season. Depending on what plants you’re planning to grow, you’ll be stuck deciding between liquid fertiliser or dry pellets. Speak to a pro at your local garden centre to find out what will work to achieve your gardening goals.

Protect your plant babies

Australia’s climate can be a bit unforgiving – we can go from hot and humid summers to cold and frosty winters in no time at all!

One of the most important parts of starting your nursery will be planning how to protect your plants – they’ll need guarding against insects, pests, animals, too much sun and cold frosts.

An easy way to protect your garden is scaffolding mesh – it’s tough, durable, and will help keep insects and pests out of your garden bed, and smart placement of the mesh will allow the right amount of sun through, allowing your plants to flourish.

Look for scaffolding mesh that is UV-stabilised and made from monofilament thread – that means it’s durable, can withstand harsh weather conditions and will provide the best shade for your garden.

Start planting

Now you’ve got your backyard set up, you know what you want to plant, you’ve got your scaffolding mesh aligned perfectly, and your soil is ready to go – now comes the fun part.

But what’s the best way - transplants, growing your own seedlings or planting the seeds directly into the ground?

It depends on both your goals and the type of plant you want to grow.

You can start your fruit orchard or veggie garden by buying transplants from your local nursery or garden store and plant directly into your garden bed. This gives you a little head-start and is convenient, though it can limit your variety.

You can grow your own seeds – this can be complex and time-consuming, but you’ll get a greater variety of plants and save a lot of money. It’s also very rewarding when you see your little seeds turn into fledging plants.

Finally, some plants should be directly seeded straight into your garden, not grown indoors and re-planted or bought as transplants. Some seeds will just grow quickly and don’t need help, and some don’t like being transplanted. If you’re looking to grow root crops, corn, beans and greens like spinach and arugula, it’s best to directly seed.

shutterstock_155610059.jpg

No matter what you want to grow, make sure you read your seed packets or catalogues carefully – it will tell you everything you need to know!

Author bio:

This article is written by Alex Hamilton, who recommends The Temporary Fencing Shop – Suppliers of heavy duty and UV-Stabilised scaffold net rolls.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sunshine real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne.

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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Spring home decor trends- What's in this season!

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Spring home decor trends- What's in this season!

A fresh season means a fresh start, so why not begin in the home? Interior designers from online interior design service Milray Park have rounded up the five top trends set to be big in the interiors world this spring, including some expert tips on how to bring them into your own home.

So open the windows, let the warm air in and check out what's on trend this season!

1. Bold interior colour schemes.

'White and grey walls are timeless', says Milray Park Designer Amanda Smythe. 'But if you have grown tired of your neutral interior, perhaps it is time to go for a moodier scheme', Amanda suggests. 

'Bold schemes are currently gaining more attention. One of my favourite interior paint colours is Obsidien from Porters - a beautiful blend of navy and black that puts the spotlight on decor and provides a striking contrast to whites and neutrals', Amanda advises.

Amanda suggest, 'It may also be time to move away from feature walls, a tired trend that gives the impression that the budget did not quite stretch for the full desired effect'.

 Hallway design by Milray Park Designer Amanda Smythe

Hallway design by Milray Park Designer Amanda Smythe

2. Warming wallpaper.

'Wallpaper is making a comeback and this trend is not going anywhere soon', says Milray Park Designer Grace Brooks.

'This spring will be all about traditional patterns and organic colours, so don't be afraid to go bold! Wallpaper is the perfect way to bring interest to a space. And because it ties back to a time of more traditional techniques and our history, it will give your home an instant warmth that is hard to achieve with plain painted walls', Grace explains.

 Dining room design by Milray Park Designer Grace Brooks

Dining room design by Milray Park Designer Grace Brooks

3. Mix & match textures.

 'Texture is a big thing this season', adds Amanda.

'Furniture has a natural handmade feel with materials such a rattan and wicker taking centre stage. Whatever the colour palette, mixing textures can instantly create another layer of decoration and interest. We love the use of macramé, and a simple pendant can transform a space, providing an instant touch of on-trend styling at very little expense', Amanda says.

'And while most of us love white walls, even a strictly colourless palette needs varying shades of white and neutrals with layered textures', Amanda explains.

 Living room design by Milray Park Designer Amanda Smythe

Living room design by Milray Park Designer Amanda Smythe

4. Edgy earthy tones.

'You will see a lot of warm, earthy tones like terracotta, rust, tan and tangerine in interior design this season!', says Grace, 'These colours are perfect teamed with yellow and cream tones for extra depth and layers of tone'.

Grace suggests, 'You can easily introduce some earthy hues in your home with furniture (think velvety upholstered armchairs), on walls, or with accent decor pieces such as throws, cushions or beautiful textured vases or ornaments'.

'But make sure it is textured! It will add to that rich warmth and earthiness to make your home a real sanctuary this spring', she adds. 

 Living room design by Milray Park Designer Grace Brooks

Living room design by Milray Park Designer Grace Brooks

5. Bring the outdoors in.

'With increasing news of health benefits, indoor plants are fast becoming the must-have buy for our homes', continues Amanda.

'Place them in each room, use hanging plants for shelves and mantelpieces and add some green goodness to bare corners and coffee/side tables. Team them with some stylish pendants and a textured rug'.

Happy decorating!

SPECIAL OFFER- Start your interior design project today on the Milray Park eDecorating platform and get $50 credit* to use on your first design project with the promo code: HOMELY50

*Terms & Conditions apply

Company bio:

Need some more help decorating your home? Milray Park gives all Australians access to personalised interior design service online for one simple $299 flat-fee.

Whether looking to pull together the look for a space with just a few finishing touches, or for a full transformation, Milray Park provides a tailor-made interior design service that works with over 50+ top interior designers to choose from nationally.

Start with Milray Park short quiz to find out what your decorating style is!

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sunshine real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne.

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 makes real estate valuable?

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What makes real estate valuable?

Value…it’s such a tricky concept to unpack and define.

We all know that gold, diamonds, oil and even saffron are high-value commodities, thanks to their scarcity, desirability, or the fact that we need them to go about our lives.

It’s the delicate balance between supply and demand that drives up the value of these goods. The illegal drug market is the perfect example of how a highly-coveted, yet hard-to-come-by item can become inflated several times over its original worth because if people want it badly enough, they’ll pay the price.

What makes real estate so valuable?

We live in a country with vast expanses of space, yet we cling to the major coastal cities for dear life and treat the inner-ring suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne like hallowed turf that we can only hope to be worthy of residing on.

Property taps into some of our strongest needs and desires – security, safety, prestige, status, a sense of success and something to leave behind for our children.

We all need somewhere to live, or somewhere to operate a business but lately, real estate values have also been driven up by our desire to accumulate wealth.

As with any asset, when demand outstrips supply, prices go up – as we’ve seen over the past few years in the property boom.

Apart from home buyers over the last few years, an influx of foreign buyers and herd of local investors have helped propel Australia’s housing prices skyward.

However, as we're seeing more recently, the changes introduced by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority aka APRA, the impending results of the Royal Commission into banking and falling consumer confidence has seen the buyer pool shrink rapidly, and with that growth has slowed, and in some cities we’ve even seen price declines.

Having said this, there are a number of key factors that will always play a part in the value of property in the most buoyant or subdued of markets. So let's take a look…

Where are we all going to live?

With Australia's current annual population growth of 1.4 per cent, around 340,000 people are added to our population each year.

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While this may not sound like much, we’re adding the equivalent of one new Darwin every 20 weeks or a new Tasmania has to be squeezed in somewhere every 18 months.

Melbourne is Australia's fastest-growing city, in fact, it's one of the world's fastest-growing developed cities, growing at around 2.7 per cent per annum. This means its population will increase by 10 per cent in the next four years.

Where will all these people live? How will 10 per cent more cars fit on the road?

Sydney is also growing much faster than the national averages and will increase in population by 10 per cent in the next 5 years.

And if it keeps growing at its current pace Sydney will add two million people (the equivalent of another Perth) to its population in the next 20 years.

This growth is causing a town planning nightmare. We're building many high-rise towers in and near our CBDs and new housing estates on the outskirts of our cities.

But there is a lack of the much desired medium density dwellings in the middle ring suburbs where more of us want to live, causing increased value and strong price growth.

It turns out size does matter, after all

The value of a property is driven primarily by the land it’s on, meaning in any given location larger blocks will be worth more than smaller plots.

But that’s not the whole story - the location of the land is very important, because not all land is created equal.

In general land closer to the CBD, the water or locations within a short walk of public transport or train stations are more sought after and therefore more valuable.

Just look at your own neighbourhood – not all spots are considered equal. Some locations will be highly sought after, some streets will be more attractive and even one end of a street can be more desirable and therefore more valuable than the other.

Lifestyle factors

Somewhere safe to sleep at night is just part of the picture – people also want to be close to amenities, their workplace, good schools or the beach – and they’re willing to pay more for the privilege.

These homes also tend to be in established areas, where vacant land is non-existent, adding scarcity to the equation.

If there are only a handful of homes within walking distance to your favourite surf spot, and lots of buyers hoping to snap them up, competition will push prices up and you’ll have to decide exactly how much those lifestyle factors are worth to you.

It's the same close to trendy cafe strips in our capital city inner suburbs. More of us are prepared to trade space (a large suburban block) for a place (close to where the action is) - we're happy to trade our backyards for balconies and courtyards to live close to our most coveted lifestyle amenities.

And accommodation in these desired locations is scarce meaning they become more valuable as people with high disposable incomes are able to and prepared to pay a premium to live there.

The character, style & appeal of homes

Period, Federation and Art Deco style homes, bursting with architectural features and charm, are both harder to come by and more sought-after than cookie-cutter new builds. As such, they tend to grow in value faster than the same-same newer properties surrounding them.

Home buyers are usually willing to pay more for a home which has character, a level of scarcity or a twist – something special about it.

Infrastructure

Improving the infrastructure around a property can make it more accessible and liveable and therefore more valuable.

Think freeways giving easier accessibility to the CBD or workplaces or improved public transport, shopping centres or job opportunities.

Gentrification

One significant change to occur in Australian cities over the past 50 years, which has pushed up inner and middle-ring suburb property values, is gentrification – the shift in the socioeconomic demographic of a suburb.

Areas undergoing gentrification are suburbs where more affluent residents are moving in and renovating older houses or building new ones pulling up the value of neighbouring properties and suburbs.

Solid return on investment

There's no doubt that increased investor demand for properties in prime locations is part of what has been helping drive prices up in many locations around Australia.

There was a time only a few years ago when close to 50 per cent of all new loans taken out in Sydney were investors who were stiff competition for the average first home buyer, and again, the influx of investor cash resulted in scarcity, which we already know fuels growth.

The bottom line- Like most things in life supply and demand for a property determines its value.

In the future, Australia’s population growth, our increasing wealth as a nation and our desire to live in a select number of locations in our big capital cities will underpin the value of property.

Author bio:

Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia's leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sunshine real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne.

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 negotiate buying a house

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How to negotiate buying a house

Real estate agents have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to understanding the features of a property or what a suburb has to offer.

But what happens when it comes to questions about price and the figure quoted is way above what you want to pay? You'll need to negotiate or move on and keep looking.

So how do you beat the agent and get the best deal? We look at some classic strategies as well as the dos and don’ts of negotiating when buying a house.

Tip 1. Use property negatives to bring the price down.

Does the property need maintenance? Put an estimated monetary figure on how much a repair will cost to justify a lower offer. The agent will be sure to explain your request to the owner when giving feedback.

In addition, many buyers will be put off by homes that require work.

This strategy kills two birds with the one stone. Firstly, you’re choosing a property where price is more flexible as the owner knows what work is needed. Secondly, you'll have less competition from other buyers.

Other negatives you can leverage off are noisy nearby building construction or a train line, traffic congestion at peak times, structural defects on the property, a poorly maintained street or a high maintenance garden.

Tip 2. Everyone loves a good story, so use yours.

When property owners are presented with a lower offer it’s only natural for their defences to come up.

With your offer, having a common, everyday, emotional story of your personal situation helps the vendors relate. This brings down the walls and humanizes the buyer.

Some example stories:

Frist homebuyers that want to start a family and love the property but don’t have much money. Second homebuyers that have large families, looking after elderly relatives nearby and need this particular property. A single parent with kids that love everything about the home.

Once upon a time, the current owners bought the property because they loved what it offered and most likely still have an emotional attachment to it. The owners want to know their home will be in good hands and want to help out someone that’s a battler. Australians love an underdog.

Tip 3. Do your homework on the property.

Due diligence helps you work out if the vendors are asking a fair price for the property.  It empowers you to know when to make a buying offer or when to walk away.

This involves looking at:

  • Prices for similar properties. For this to work effectively, compare sold properties from a 1.5 km radius around the property you're interested in that feature a similar land size and property specs.
  • Are properties in the area selling quickly (via auction) or do they spend a lot of time on the market via private sale (8 weeks or more)? This determines demand in the marketplace. Higher demand = higher price.
  • Why is the vendor selling? You can tailor an offer around the vendor’s future property needs. They may need money quickly or may need a place to live for four months till they finish building their next house. This can get your offer ahead of the others.
  • Long time-frames and inactivity create pressure on agents and sellers. Has the real estate agent sold many properties recently? Has the property spent a long time on the market? All this can work in your favour when negotiating terms or price. 
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Tip 4. Make sure you’re ready to buy. 

Have you ever walked into a car dealer and asked to test drive a car? They ask direct questions like ‘are you buying today?’. They qualify you as a buyer or just a window shopper to see whether they should spend time with you or another buyer.

Make sure the agent doesn’t judge you as a window shopper, you want to be taken seriously. Make sure you:

  • Have your finance pre-approval in place.
  • Know when you want to buy and your move-in date.
  • Know what you want from a property.
  • Tell the agent you're interested in the property and want to make an offer.

Negotiating mistakes:  

  1. Your budget is private, so don’t reveal it to a real estate agent as they'll be asking you for money later down the track. If they don’t know your top price they will be fearful of pushing your price up during negotiations.
  2. Don’t let your emotions get in the way. If a property is too expensive, walk away. A buyer’s biggest mistake is not having a plan of retreat if things get out of hand.
  3. Take the asking price with a grain of salt. In a market where properties are not selling well you would be surprised how low a property price can go.
  4. Never negotiate verbally, always put offers in writing and ask for a written response from the sellers.
  5. Starting negotiations too high will make it near impossible to backpedal.

As you can see, there is a lot of angles to negotiating property and it's normal to feel overwhelmed and nervous during this process.

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How long does a negotiation take?

If you’re buying at auction it can be over within in a few minutes of the auction opening. If the auction passes in, face-to-face negotiation could take up to a few hours.

Negotiation via a private written offer could last for two or three days depending on how many buyers there are or how a real estate agent chooses to manage the process.

Seeking help

Real estate agents are trained professionals that close deals every week so it’s wise to seek out help.

Buyers agent’s offer negotiating only services if you find a property they'll do all the due diligence for you, create a bidding plan and face off with the real estate agent to close a deal.

Assistance in negotiating ensures:

  • You don’t overpay for a property.
  • You save yourself a lot of time and emotional effort, missing out on properties that you could have purchased.
  • A reduction in the risk of buying a capital growth lemon.

The primary role of a real estate agent is to look out for the interest of the seller. A buyer’s agent looks out for the interest of the buyer.

Hopefully, these dos and don'ts of negotiating help you get the best house for the right price. For more info take a look at these four tips to get your offer accepted and our guide to negotiating as a first home buyer.

Author bio:

This article was written by Mark Ribarsky, director of Wise Real Estate Advice (WRA). WRA is located in Melbourne and offers a leading buyers advocacy and buyer agent service. WRA buyer advocates have supported their clients to locate properties and negotiate advantageous sale prices and conditions since 1998.

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About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sunshine real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne.

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 are body corp fees calculated?

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How are body corp fees calculated?

Levies (or body corporate fees as they are known in Victoria) are vital to ensuring the smooth running of a strata property. While levies may seem like an unnecessary payment, without levies important financial obligations may be missed leaving the possibility for detrimental problems!

To clear up the confusion around strata/body corporate levies and how they're calculated let's break it down into simple, easy to understand bites...

What are levies?

Lot owners in a strata property are required to pay levies to cover the financial obligations of their property.

What do levies cover?

Levies cover payments for:

  • Building insurance.
  • Maintenance of common property, facilities, and amenities.
  • Any contracted on-site staff (such as cleaners, gardeners, maintenance personnel or similar).
  • Common property utility bills.
  • Management fees (strata managers and building managers).
  • Building works.

How are levies calculated & approved?

Fundamentally levies are determined by a property’s overall yearly budget and the funds required for the capital works fund (known as the sinking fund in Queensland and the maintenance fund in Victoria) and the administrative fund.

The administrative fund is used to pay for the day to day running expenses of a property, including the payment of insurances, repairs and management fees.

The capital works fund is used to pay for both expected and unexpected large-scale works. For example, repainting the property or replacing roof tiles would be paid for using the capital works fund.

Committees and owners corporations are usually very reliant on their strata professional to determine these figures as expert knowledge and experience are pivotal in producing an accurate budget.

The budget of a building is affected by four main factors:

  • Onsite facilities (pools, lifts, gyms, gardens, garages, etc.).
  • Building structure (including size).
  • Building age.
  • Management fees (strata and building management fees).

Once the overall building budget is calculated it is then divided by each lot's entitlement in determining the levies. The way lot entitlements are calculated varies from property to property. In some instances, all lots within a property have the same entitlements and thus the same levies, while in other properties, entitlements are calculated based upon lot size and the facilities associated with a lot.

The proposed budget and thus the proposed levies are presented at the general meeting. The budget then needs to be approved by a majority of owners.

Levies are usually paid on a quarterly basis but this is dependent on the property. It's important to pay levies on time as if levies are left in arrears interest may be charged. Significantly overdue levies can be recovered by owners in court.

We hope these tips have helped to shed some light on how strata levies are calculated. Check out this article to help you better calculate how much you can expect to pay on levies.

Author bio:

PICA Group is one of Australia’s leading property services and strata 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 development services. Follow 'PICA Group' on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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 Sunshine real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne.

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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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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Weekend jobs to add value to your home

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Weekend jobs to add value to your home

When we think about renovating our home, we usually turn to areas such as the kitchen and bathroom, as these high-traffic areas tend to be the biggest selling points of a house. However, you don’t need to fork out thousands of dollars to add value to your property. Simple weekend jobs such as painting and updating old fixtures can quickly modernise a home without breaking the bank.

Here are a few low-cost jobs you can do this weekend to boost the value of your home when it comes time to put up that ‘for sale’ sign.

Add a fresh coat of paint

A fresh coat of paint can breathe new life (and extra value) into even the oldest of homes. This is an easy and affordable task that you can tackle over a few weekends to give your entire home that new paint smell. When picking a colour, head into Bunnings and have a chat to a colour consultant - for a small fee, you can score some professional advice about what colours will give you the best result for your buck!

As a general rule, if you’re painting a small room, lighter colours will make it feel bigger. Don’t be afraid to invest a bit of money on some new paint brushes and rollers so that you can achieve a clean and professional finish. Remember to properly prepare by sanding, cleaning, covering furniture and floors, and also to tape around windows and doors before you start.

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Add some storage

Think about how you can be smarter with your space and utilise unused areas such as space under the stairs or the attic for additional storage. This also applies to furniture - can that lounge or bed double as a storage box? If you’re handy on the tools, try building a window seat or some floor to ceiling shelving in your living area, which can also double as a feature wall! Investing in some walk-in robes and additional cupboards in kitchens and bathrooms will be a valuable selling point come auction day.

Give the front a facelift

In real estate, first impressions are important - a renovated facade will add extra value to your home. It will also give buyers confidence in the quality of your home and will generate optimism about its interior. Research from finder.com.au found that 10 per cent of us decide whether we like a property or not within the first few seconds of laying eyes on it, which makes the front exterior one of the most important parts of your home.

To freshen up your home's facade, get out the pressure cleaner and blast all that dirt, dust and mildew off your driveway and footpaths. Tidy up your garden and update your plants with some new blooms. Keep your colour scheme neutral and don’t add too much of your own personality so it will appeal to a majority of future buyers. Make sure your letterbox and fence are in good condition and update your outdoor lighting so your home looks it’s best day and night!

Put in new doors & windows

Replacing your old doors and windows is a relatively affordable way to add value to your home. When selecting new doors, think carefully about the style of door handles and colour - keeping things neutral and timeless is always the safest bet. Think about installing some bifold doors that open out onto the backyard to showcase modern open plan functionality that integrates indoor and outdoor living. Spending a bit of extra money on your front door will also give your home more street appeal!

When putting in new windows, try to maximise the natural light in a room - this might mean customising a window in an important area of the home, such as the living room or kitchen. Make sure these are fitted properly to avoid cold drafts and opt for double glazing to keep the temperature as comfortable as possible year round. Whatever you pick, remember to keep things consistent throughout the house.

Give your floors some love

It’s easy to forget the importance of quality flooring. Think about adding some dark coloured carpets in the bedrooms to add a level of cosiness and luxury. Remember to also think practically - opt for durable materials like timber or tiles in the kitchen and living spaces so they’re easy to clean and maintain over time. 

The weekend project that will add the most value to your home ultimately depends on the current condition of your castle. Regardless of what you decide to do to your home, make sure it’s done to a high standard to maximise your future sale price!

Author bio:

Bessie Hassan is a Money Expert at finder.com.au, the site that compares virtually everything. She regularly appears on national radio, TV, and throughout online publications sharing her best money-saving tips and property advice. She's passionate about helping Australians make more informed decisions so they can improve their quality of life.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sunshine real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne.

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 much do I need to buy my first home?

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How much do I need to buy my first home?

It’s the question on the lips of every first home buyer - how much avocado toast do I need to forgo to buy my first place? And it’s certainly an important question. Sitting down and properly working out how much you can afford will ensure you won’t be blindsided by extra costs you hadn’t considered.

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Take for example Alex, a first home buyer who had been saving for a home in Brisbane. Alex had factored into his plans that he’d need a five per cent deposit to buy a home – meaning he’d need $35,000 if he found a place for $700,000.

What he soon found, however, was that you need to cover a lot more than just the deposit when it comes to buying property in Australia. Stamp duty, Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI), conveyancing costs – not to mention extra costs for things like pest and building reports if you’re buying a house, all add up and were not factored into Alex’s savings. As he told us: 'You probably need to add $20,000 to $30,000 extra on top of a five per cent deposit to actually acquire a house'.

This is why it's important to go over just what you’ll need to buy property in Australia. We'll also cover the government grants and concessions that are available to first home buyers.

Alex dropped his price criteria back to under $550,000, which made him eligible for a stamp duty concession (Queenslanders can claim a first home concession for stamp duty when buying their first home if the home is valued under $550,000). He was able to buy a gorgeous property 20 minutes from the city in Wynnum.

Deposit

Whether you’re buying your first home or your sixth, the rules for borrowers in Australia are the same. The majority of lenders will require you to have saved at least 10 per cent of the property’s value – although some may only require five per cent. This means you’ll need a deposit somewhere between $30,000 and $60,000 if you’re looking to buy a residential property with a value of $600,000.

You should also keep in mind that a deposit needs to be 'genuine' savings if you’ve only got five per cent. Genuine savings means savings in the bank that are under your name and not reliant on your best friend selling his parents’ vintage record collection and giving you half. Promises like that make lenders nervous. You can, of course, include money from a parent or third party to help reduce the loan you get, but in lending terms this is known as a gift and not considered genuine savings.

If you’re unsure of how much you can afford to borrow with your deposit, using a borrowing power calculator such as this one can be a good starting point.

Lender’s mortgage insurance

Lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI) is insurance lenders take out (that you pay for!) to protect themselves in case the borrower defaults on the loan. It will generally be required if you have a deposit that is less than 20 per cent of the purchase price. The cost of LMI usually depends on the lender, your Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) and the amount of money you borrow but you would expect to pay somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000 in our example above.

Stamp duty

The next big thing to consider is stamp duty. One of the biggest hurdles to home ownership is the cost of stamp duty which, in many places, seems almost as much as the deposit you’ll need. A first home buyer purchasing an established home in NSW for $800,000, will need $31,768 for stamp duty, for example. A good stamp duty calculator will work out how much stamp duty you’ll be expected to pay based on where you’re buying.

Given how expensive stamp duty is, it’s worth knowing the maximum property value for which it does not apply in your state so you can buy a property for less than this and avoid it altogether.

As well as the stamp duty fee itself, you’ll have to pay a transfer fee (around $200 to $300) and a mortgage registration fee of around $100 to $150.

 For sale: 1/8 Devoy Street, Oakleigh South, VIC

For sale: 1/8 Devoy Street, Oakleigh South, VIC

Conveyancer fees

Once you’ve found a home you’d like to make an offer on or bid for, you’ll need to hire a conveyancer (property lawyer) to go over the contract and other home loan documents. They will check for any red flags in the contract and can request a longer settlement if you need one. Costs will differ depending on who you use, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $1500.

Buyers agent fees

Buyers agents are optional but expect to pay up to $15,000 for their services if you do enlist one to help you find a home. Some charge a commission of one to two per cent of the purchase price; others will charge you a few thousand dollars up front and a larger sum once they’ve found and secured a suitable property for you. If they can help you buy the property you want for $15,000 less or purchase a property that does better from an investment perspective, they pretty much pay for themselves.

First home buyer grants and concessions

The First Home Owners Grant, or FHOG, is a state government initiative designed to assist first home buyers. The amounts vary from state to state and, in many states, it is only available for purchases of newly built homes that have never been lived in. Queensland and Tasmania offer the most generous grant, at $20,000 – however, with the high cost of stamp duty in NSW, in that state the overall savings also end up being quite high, at $10,000.

State governments also have concessions for first home buyers when it comes to paying stamp duty. In NSW, for example, first home buyers are exempt from paying stamp duty on new and existing homes valued at up to $650,000, whereas the duty on the same priced home is reduced from $34,070 to $11,356 in Victoria.

In Queensland, where uno customer Alex bought his place, he and his partner dropped their limit back to under $550,000, which made them eligible for a stamp duty concession and changed the game a little bit.

In summary:

  • A five per cent deposit is needed to buy a home, however, having a 10 per cent deposit – or more – is better.

  • If you have a deposit that is less than 20 per cent of the purchase price, you’ll need to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

  • Don’t forget to factor in added costs including stamp duty and transfer fees. And check the stamp duty concessions for your state to see if you’re eligible.

  • Remember to look into the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG), a state government initiative designed to assist first home buyers – there may be some savings to be found there too.

Author bio:

Vincent Turner is the Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at uno Home Loans. uno is an Australian-first online mortgage broker which enables customers to search, compare, and settle a home loan all in one place from a panel of more than 20 brands – including all four major banks. uno operates a ‘technology plus service’ model which combines an online mortgage platform with seven-day service from home loan experts who provide advice via phone, text, chat, video and email and can even negotiate with lenders on behalf of customers.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sunshine real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne.

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 design a lighting plan for your home

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How to design a lighting plan for your home

What's the one thing you do every night before bed? What's the one task you perform every morning? We're talking about that task that falls in between brushing your teeth before bed and in the morning - you flip a light switch.

Being a task so standard in our daily routines that we barely pay any notice, lighting is an integral part of our lives.

Lighting fixtures play a critical role in tying together the overall look of a space. Whether it's a bright white light bulb on top of a dresser that helps you achieve a flawless winged eyeliner each time or the reading lamp by your bedside, proper lighting for aesthetics, specific tasks and the overall ambience of your home is essential.

While lighting in your home can completely transform the mood of just about any room, proper placement and the use of the right lighting fixture is critical.

Are you setting up your new home or finally performing those much-needed upgrades? Taking the time to create a lighting plan can help ensure it looks spectacular.

Ready to get started? Here are some tips to help you design an effective lighting plan for your home.

Understand the appearance of your home

Choosing the right set and style of lighting to illuminate your home is important. However, this doesn’t mean that you head straight for the lighting aisle at your local hardware store and add whatever you can find to your cart. Being able to identify the overall atmosphere and style of your home should be your first step towards establishing a cohesive lighting plan that will help transform your home into a glowing masterpiece.

We recommend spending a moment to identify the personal style of your family or housemates and property. Determine if a modern or maybe a more traditional approach would be best at gelling with the overall theme of your home, and develop your lighting plan around that idea.

Develop individual room by room plans

Draw a dedicated floor plan for each room in your home. We recommend that you sketch using a scale and include as many details about the space as possible. Indicate any windows, doors, and furniture or items that will be placed in the room. This will allow you to imagine how the room might look with a particular shade or style of lighting.

To help you understand this further, let’s take a standard living room for example.

Your living room is the space in your home where your family will most likely spend the majority of their time. Whether it involves catching up on an episode of everyone’s favourite Netflix series, playing board games, or surfing the internet, your living room is the centre of life in your home.

Having said that, for rooms where people will be spending long hours, choosing an approach that offers ample lighting to all sides of the room, establishes brightness in the space, avoids shadow formations, and potentially bounces off the walls and ceilings, without being too heavy on the eyes, can be an excellent choice.

For large living rooms, in particular, we recommend the use of a central lighting fixture paired with the use of smaller lighting elements, such as table lamps, spotlights and faux-cove lighting to light up the place. This approach is perfect for a wide variety of settings.

Similarly, other areas of your home such as your kitchen, bedroom and study all have unique needs when it comes to lighting.

Consider the use of different fixtures

Floor lamps, wall-mounted fixtures and pendants are different types of fixtures, each serving a unique design and purpose. With almost limitless lighting styles, materials fixture options available in the market, we highly recommend mixing and matching lighting fixtures to create a unique lighting effect in your home.

Use the right lighting layers

The most commonly shared element of every successful lighting plan is the use of different layers of lighting. With the help of more than one layer in a room, you can achieve a customised look for your space and ensure it is illuminated in the best possible way.

There are three most important layers of lighting to take note of:

  1. Task lighting: Marked by reading and desk lamps, vanity and cabinet lights, task lighting is used in work areas such as a kitchen, study or home office to help perform tasks that require focus.
  2. Accent lighting: Outdoor landscape lighting, picture lights and wall lights are a few examples of accent lighting, which is mainly used to draw attention towards a focal point or feature. It is an excellent choice for showing off wall art or emphasising the magnificent architecture of your home.
  3. Ambient lighting: Chandeliers, wall and overhead lighting fixtures are examples of ambient light. Ambient light is commonly used to 'naturally' illuminate the room without causing a harsh effect. This layer is recommended to create a warm and relaxing environment and works well in bedrooms and living rooms.

Hire a designer

There's plenty of work that goes into developing a lighting plan. While hiring a lighting designer may not be the first thing on your mind when planning to redo the lighting for your home, acquiring professional help can offer many significant advantages. First off, a lighting designer can help introduce the latest design and construction elements into your interiors, and produce a fully customised one of a kind look for your home.

Furthermore, being the real experts in the field, lighting designers have a proper understanding of lighting laws in your region (for areas where such laws apply) and have access to the right market resources to ensure that your project doesn't go over budget.

A strategically lit home is not only warm, inviting and aesthetically pleasing but also very functional. When looking to set up your new home or renovate your property to sell, we recommend that you take some time out to create a lighting plan that can help you accomplish a setting that not only looks good but also feels great.

Author bio:

Lisa Wetherell is a lighting designer based out of Melbourne, Australia. She works freelance, and in her spare time, writes about her knowledge of the lighting industry on her blog Lighting House.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Tarneit real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne.

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

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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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Legal considerations when subdividing land

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Legal considerations when subdividing land

When considering how to expand upon your capital gains, it goes without saying that one of the best investment strategies any landowner should consider is the subdivision of a property. Subdividing a property could mean building two homes on your land with the intention to sell one or committing to a large-scale development.

No matter how you want to subdivide your property, it's essential that you check several items off your list to ensure that you're complying with all the legalities associated with subdividing.

Note: For the purposes of this guide to subdividing we'll be focusing on the state of Victoria.

Things to consider

Subdividing can be a complicated matter and there are a number of variables to consider before beginning the process.

It's critical to understand the finer details in order to attain a good idea on how you should approach your subdivision as well as understanding the types of hurdles you may face.

Here are some questions that'll help you gain a better understanding of the subdividing process:

1. Are there any local or state planning policies that could impact your subdividing proposal?

2. Can the proposed subdivided lots be serviced adequately by required utilities and infrastructure?

3. Can the land sustain an increase of intensity due to proposed development?

4. How does subdividing the property relate to or affect any existing buildings currently on the property?

Once you can answer the above questions thoroughly, you'll have a better understanding of the subdivision process and how to go about planning for it.

Applications & permits required

When it comes to subdividing your property, the laws and legal implications involved can be complex. With a fair number of applications and permits required in the process, the load of legal documentation can be overwhelming.

In Victoria, any subdivision of a property will require an application to be made to Land Victoria in accordance with Section 22 of the Subdivision Act 1988. A planning permit is also expected to be obtained from your local council in relation to any proposed developments you intend on undertaking during and after the subdividing of your property.

Should there be any restrictions or ongoing obligation requirements set by the local council for use and development of the land, you'll be subjected to a Section 173 agreement. This agreement is required to ensure compliance with all the conditions associated with the planning permit and is legally binding on you as well as all future owners of the property.

 For sale:  Bentleigh, VIC

For sale: Bentleigh, VIC

Common mistakes to avoid

If this is your first time developing a property or you're unfamiliar with the process of subdividing, you'll need to ensure that you avoid these common mistakes:

1. Losing track of council deadlines - This is one of the most common mistakes made in the subdividing process and is one that doesn't reflect positively on you. It is essential to make sure you do not let your permit time lapse.

2. Underestimating the job scale - Be realistic in your approach to subdividing the property. It’s not possible to run the whole show yourself by being the project manager for the entire development without getting any professional help.

With careful planning, you can easily avoid these common mistakes especially with the help of an experienced subdivision lawyer who can provide you with expert legal advice.

The role of a subdivision lawyer

Just in the same fashion that proper assessments are required when deciding to commit to an investment strategy, it is essential that any subdividing plans are consulted with an expert property legal advisor.

Not only does a subdivision lawyer help deal with the entire process from planning permissions, applications, liaising with your surveyor, obtaining appropriate surveys, and so on, they will help save you the pain and agony associated with legal complications should anything unfortunate arise.

An experienced property lawyer will give you the advantage of having someone guide you through the entire subdividing process including your legal obligations as well as all necessary applications and permits you will need to get the job done.

We hope these legal considerations for subdividing land put you on track to a successful and fortuitous subdivision. For more advice check out these tips to subdivide property for profit.

Author bio:

Joseph Rose is the Principal for Rose Lawyers and Conveyancers. Joseph is a distinguished Notary Public who focusses on assisting clients with Wills, Matrimonial matters, Probate matters, and Business issues.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Tarneit real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne.

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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8 ways to make moving house a cinch

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8 ways to make moving house a cinch

When moving house, the deadline to get everything packed and booked can sneak up quickly. So, it’s easy to let the stress get the best of you and your budget. Here are a few simple ways to make your transition to a new home that little bit easier and more cost-effective.

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1. Get the lay of the land first.

While you walked through the property at the inspection, you pictured your grandmother’s curio cabinet in the dining room, but you need to know where other pieces will fit in best.

Get the lay of the land first before moving any items in, so you only have to move that marble coffee table once! Make a list of your furniture items, their dimensions and the new room dimensions (you can typically find these on the floorplans on the property listing).

Then draw up a layout by hand or using a floor plan app or website (such as RoomSketcher). This will help you plan the best arrangement for where everything should be placed on moving day to maximise space, time, functionality and visual appeal.

Also, on your floorplan highlight any empty spaces for new pieces to be purchased, so you have all the size requirements when you head to the shops later. This will save you from making any expensive mistakes, like buying an oversized couch or bed that doesn't fit in the space available.

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2. Upgrade, sell & donate.

Why pay to move what you don’t want or stuff that will collect dust in storage? From small to large items, now’s the time to upgrade, sell and donate.

Many charity-based op shops offer home pick up services for bulky donations, such as large pieces of furniture, electronics, books and more. Alternatively, you might consider holding a garage sale or putting items on Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree. If you work at it you may even sell enough to cover your moving expenses or make a bit of extra cash to spend decorating your new pad.

Go ahead and upgrade your washer and dryer, mattress and other large items. You may prefer to do it before your move or after, depending on need and convenience. That way you can arrange for the council to come and pick up any hard rubbish you need to be carted off prior to moving day.

3. Plan for moving furniture in & out.

When moving, you may focus more on packing before you get your furniture ready, but it’s an essential step. Organise quotes from several moving companies to ensure you get the most economical deal and you understand the time and costs well in advance.

Measure pieces of furniture before the move by width, height and length. If an item won’t fit through the front door, you must plan an alternative route. Make sure the indoors and outdoors are free obstructions, such as pets, rugs, artwork, wires and outside toys.

Set aside plenty of time to deconstruct any pieces that won't fit through doorways, such as dining tables and bed frames come moving day otherwise the movers will charge you to do it themselves.

Check whether the moving truck lines up better in your driveway or along the street. Some apartment buildings have restrictions on moving times and truck parking. So check with your body corp first before booking the movers.

4. Hire a packing service.

Let's be honest, most people dread packing. Order and care go out the window with your nerves as you hastily pack the dishes, books and linen, fail to label boxes or properly pack beloved items. Stop worrying about tracking down boxes and spending huge amounts on packing materials. Hire a packing service instead! Comparatively, it may save you money, time and all the headaches that come with packing.

5. Host a party & offer helpers bribes.

You can also go the low-cost route of hosting a packing and unpacking party. Arrange the tasks well in advance and do the ones you don't entrust others with yourself.

Got a friend who’s amazing at closet organisation or love their kitchen layout? If they’ve got a weakness for a certain restaurant, order takeout from there in exchange for a helping hand. Bribe your helpers. Don’t have any shame when it comes to meeting your moving deadline and budget.

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6. Carry taller items high & low.

DIYing the physical move? You can’t move a tall, bulky object on your own, and if you do, be prepared to nurse several aches and pains. This is a two-person job where one person carries high and the other carries low. In other words, tip the item at an angle where one person focusses on bearing the top and the other the bottom.

Believe it or not, this carrying tip helps centre the weight of a tall item like a filing cabinet or dresser. When you pivot, the item won’t go barreling out of control.

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7. Invest in a shoulder dolly.

Get more out of your stamina and prevent a bad back by investing in a shoulder dolly or two. Pulled muscles and lower back pain can stem from lifting incorrectly. Most folks know to bend the knees as you lift which uses your larger leg muscles to bear the initial weight. As you move more and tire hroughout the day, it's easy to forget that point.

Leverage more of your large muscle groups by investing in a shoulder dolly. This leaves your hands free to deal with awkward items. Take extra care using a shoulder dolly on stairs or an incline — the weight shifts downhill.

8. Unbox by priority.

What are your necessities? Focus on unboxing those first and getting settled into life with those taken care of first.

Unpack the dishes you regularly use and organise your pantry and fridge. Next, make your bed and get your toothbrush and shower items set up. You know you want to set up Netflix, too. Then, move on to breakable items and so on, according to what you deem a priority.

Remember, settling in is a process. You don’t have to do it all in one night. Getting a moving survival kit together can help!

Transitioning during a move is like coming back to work from a long vacation. You need to allow yourself adequate time before and after the move to get organised and decompress. Don’t let stress affect you or your budget. Use these handy moving tips to make your next home relocation a cinch.

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 Updated Author Headshot.png

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Tarneit real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne.

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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