Homely Advisor Blog


Find helpful hints for buying, selling, and renting Australian real estate and property.

The 4 hottest rug colour trends this season

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The 4 hottest rug colour trends this season

Nothing refreshes a room quite like a new rug – choosing the right colour of floor covering to suit your space can truly ground a room, and provide a great jumping off point for selecting the colour scheme for the rest of your décor.

Whether your tastes are traditional or contemporary, bold and graphic or soft and organic, colour plays a huge role in selecting the perfect rug for your home.

For sale: 66 Gordon Street, Gordon Park, QLD, 'Eroded' rug

For sale: 66 Gordon Street, Gordon Park, QLD, 'Eroded' rug

The Pantone list of 2017s hottest colours is the perfect place to begin for on-trend colour inspiration. This year’s predictions are playful and vivid, igniting the imagination and inspiring a new wave of bold interior choices. These predictions definitely seem to be ringing true in trending colours for a wide range of products, and especially for floor rugs.

The latest releases from Designer Rugs are on the mark with their bright hues, and an ideal way to keep your living, dining or bedroom in vogue. With over 30 years of design history, plus the option to customise size, shape and colour to create the perfect fit, you’ll be sure to find the rug of your dreams in exactly the shade you need!

Here are four rug colours that will give your home an on-trend refresh:

1. Pink Yarrow

Pink Yarrow is definitely the boldest choice of the season, and is sure to lift your spirits and elevate your space. 'Evelyn' by Petrina Turner provides a nod to retro crocheted rugs of 70s decor, but with a luxury twist – beautiful New Zealand wool and bamboo is hand carved to provide incredible texture in this contemporary hue.

2. Lapis blue

Energetic, radiant and yet calming, Lapis blue is a rich and majestic option to centre your room around. 'Powder Room' by Romance Was Born uses this shade as a base, with pops of whimsical pinks and greens forming the overlayed design. With so many colours to pull out and use as inspiration, this quirky rug is a perfect departure point for an interiors update.

3. Primrose yellow

Bring the sunshine into your home with Primrose Yellow! This joyful, vibrant colour has been paired with subdued greys in 'Reflector' by Gavin Harris, creating the effect of the sun streaming through the clouds. This simple, geometric design has subtle diagonal detail, perfect for drawing the eye to certain areas of your room.

 

4. Flame

An ideal colour for adding warmth to a cool contemporary space, Flame creates a perfect centrepiece for a room, and pairs back well with many complimentary colours and wood tones. Luxury handknot style ‘Malabar’ has a lavish, touchable texture, and contains shimmering silk highlights in copper and orange tones.

Which of these exciting colour trends is your top pick this season? While these trend predictions are bold, they are extremely versatile in their application and can be toned down or amped up to suit your tastes. No matter your choice, a new floor rug is one of the easiest ways to update your space.

Author bio:

Designer Rugs is Australia’s leading rug company, specialising in handmade custom rugs and carpets for both residential and commercial interiors. Designer Rugs has a successful history, operating since 1986 in the Australian and international flooring market and has developed a strong portfolio of clients and projects around its core value of quality, design integrity, originality and service excellence. Their range includes exclusive world renowned collections by Australian artists and designers. In addition, customers looking for ready-made rugs are provided with creative collections of handmade rugs in a wide variety of styles, influences and sizes.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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 9 ways to save money around the home

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9 ways to save money around the home

We’re not talking radical lifestyle changes, or living extremely frugally, but by adopting some simple money-saving measures, you can trim down your outgoing costs and see a notable increase to your bank balance. It makes complete sense that spending less and having more in the bank is going make most people happier and less stressed, so who wouldn’t want to live a low-cost day-to-day lifestyle, so that you have more to spend on the bigger treats? Seychelles here we come!

Here are nine lifestyle changes and household habits to help you pad out your savings.

Learn a new DIY skill

Whether it’s mending your own clothes, upholstering furniture or even building your own garden deck, being able to tackle a DIY job on your own, without having to seek expensive external help is going to save you a fortune. Simple online courses or YouTube videos offer quick and easy instructions, while basic evening classes could offer more extensive training. Just imagine if you knew a little about plumbing? Your wallet would certainly be happier!

Personalise your pressies

Try getting creative with your gifts and cards by making them at home, rather than relying on shop-bought solutions. Keep some great ideas up your sleeve by researching online, and make more than one at a time so you have stock in the cupboard for last-minute presents that you can whip up. Homemade children’s presents are going to make a heartfelt treat, and the kids will also enjoy helping make the gift. You can also make adult gifts in the form of homemade condiments, sweet bakes or even wine, again stocking up a few batches in the cupboard so you never arrive empty handed.

Bake your own bread

Who doesn’t love the smell of baking bread wafting around the house? And what greater special treat can you offer guests than home-made crumpets or muffins? Buying a bread maker is a large initial outlay, but it will help you save on grocery bills in the long run, particularly if you have bread storage that will keep it fresh. What’s more, home-baked bread is sure to encourage home-made lunches, thanks to the appeal of yummy doorstop-sized sandwiches.

Drink your own coffee

In a similar vein to baking your own bread, investing in a coffee machine and bean grinder will encourage you to make your own good-quality coffee to drink at home and take away. A thermos flask, or a sustainable coffee cup, not only keeps a few extra dollars in your pocket each day, it will save on environmentally harmful coffee cups too.

Revive furniture instead of trading it in

When furniture gets a bit tired and worn around the edges, we often take the easy, but costly route of trading it in for a new model. However, before throwing it out, or selling it on eBay, consider if you could revive it so it will last a little longer. 

Maybe a wooden dining table can be sanded down, revarnished or repainted? Or commissioning new covers for a well-used chair or sofa is going to be a lot less expensive, and more convenient, than buying a brand-new piece.

10 Ways To Fit In A Dressing Table

Repurpose old items

Becoming a keen op-shopper and nature-strip hunter is going to make life interesting, not to mention cheaper. Keep up to date with council clean-up days. Think up creative uses for everyday items, such as wooden palettes, and you can forego those designer buys for more unique and individual one-offs.

DIY Cushion Covers To Revive Your Home

Grow your own

You don’t have to own loads of land to grow your own vegies, even city balconies can be ripe pickings for homegrown produce. All you need is some good containers and a bit of dedication, and you’ll be treating yourself to delicious organic salad leaves, herbs and tomatoes in no time. Look up courses and videos on propagation as a way to reduce spending on plants at garden centres too.

Shop-bought herbs can add a hefty amount to grocery bills, particularly when they don’t last long in the fridge, so growing your own is a must for keen cooks who want to save money for other luxurious food treats.

Turn the power off

This is a well-worn money saving tip, but one that needs to be reiterated in a tech world where we continue to fill our homes with more and more devices. Turning off the power on computers and unplugging idle chargers is going to save on energy and electricity costs. No matter how small the savings, it all adds up in the end.

Rent out a room

This is a bigger lifestyle change that will take a bit of planning, but renting out a spare room to either casual Airbnb guests or Monday-to-Friday lodgers will see a huge contribution towards your weekly bills. It’s a big sacrifice to make, but if you’re prepared to share communal areas with strangers and are happy to clean up after them, then you could be looking at a significant financial boost to put toward your mortgage payments, and that’s priceless!

10 Small Changes That Will Save Big Money at Home

What lifestyle changes have you made to your daily routine to save the cents? Share your tips in the comments below.

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

Author bio:

Louise O'Bryan is a Houzz Contributor with over 15 years as an interiors writer, stylist and content producer for digital and print media. Specialising in house tours, room renovations and decorating solutions, her previous clients include Inside Out (Aus), Ideal Home, The Times weekend supplement and Sainsbury's magazine. I never tire from the thrill of discovering a jaw-dropping, inspirational home to feature and having an insight into other people's spaces. Call me curious or just nosey!

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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5 kitchen splashback material heroes

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5 kitchen splashback material heroes

When you’re renovating or designing a kitchen for a new home it’s important to get your splashback material selection right as it is such a significant feature that runs through the entire kitchen.

The right splashback material choice will complement the rest of your kitchen and draw the eye to your kitchens best assets.

If you’re tired of seeing the same old coloured glass and subway tile kitchen splashbacks everywhere, we’ve put together a short list of our favourite material alternatives that’ll quickly become the hero piece of your kitchen.

Window

One of our favourite trends in kitchen splashbacks right now is glass window splashbacks. They look especially great when they showcase a stellar view or lush garden or green wall beyond.

You could even plant veggies, citrus trees and herbs in pots right outside your splashback window to create a nice green leafy view and to use in cooking.

Plus, window splashbacks let natural light stream into the kitchen, are easier to clean than tiles and make a kitchen feel airy and more spacious.

Glass digital print

If you aren’t lucky enough to have a good view from your kitchen or the ability to easily add in a 4m long window as your splashback, go for the next best thing; a glossy digital print glass splashback.

Image: The SplashbackCo.

Image: The SplashbackCo.

The great thing about this type of splashback is you can supply your own image and customise the splashback to exactly your taste and suit your décors style. It also doubles as a piece of art by adding an interesting focal point to your kitchen.

Make the kitchen your happy place with a statement visual that makes you feel at ease. Think tranquil rainforest landscapes, a beach at sunset, a vivid geometric pattern or a pretty city skyline view.

Pressed metal

Traditionally a decorative feature used on ceilings in heritage homes, pressed metal has had a revival of late popping up as a charming kitchen splashback material.

Pressed metal panels are quick to install, durable, relatively affordable and come in a range of patterns. Best of all you can have it powder coated in the colour of your choosing and re-coated when it’s time to redecorate.

Image: Melbourne Pressed Metal

Image: Melbourne Pressed Metal

Mirror

A mirrored splashback will give your kitchen an instant update and make it feel modern and sleek. They are especially good for making a compact kitchen feel bigger and lighter than it is.

There are also a range of different tints and hues available in mirrored splashbacks, like rose gold, charcoal grey, bronze and copper.

Image: EKBB Magazine

Image: EKBB Magazine

For a more edgy and cool industrial look check out distressed or tarnished mirror splashback styles.

Marble

No other kitchen material says luxury and high-end quite as well as a beautiful marble splashback.

Marble is a timeless material that is easy to clean and available in a wide variety of colours ranging from deep blue-greys through to bright white Calacatta.

Just make sure you seal the stone with a high-quality stone sealer to protect it from absorbing any stains.

We hope these kitchen materials have helped inspire you to choose something a bit outside the box when choosing your next splashback.

For more kitchen ideas take a look at our kitchen design tricks and tips, practical kitchen must haves for your next reno and the five best materials for kitchen cabinets.

Do you have a favourite kitchen splashback material we missed? Please share it with us in the comments section below.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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Real life reno: Tuscan inspired Perth palace

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Real life reno: Tuscan inspired Perth palace

A home of impressive scale and grandeur that wouldn’t look out of place on a Tuscan hillside sits overlooking the Swan River at 12 Gibraltar Way, East Perth.

A unique buying opportunity to say the least, the palatial four-level mansion undertook extensive renovations using the finest materials and finishes sourced from all over the world.

Kerry Simpson and her husband decided to renovate their home a few years ago because it was looking dated inside and out. They felt a home in such a commanding position at the opening of Claisebrook Cove right on the water’s edge needed a façade to mirror its premium positioning.     

They also aimed to modernise the layout and make the most of the spectacular setting. ‘On the inside, more needed to be done to open the house up and enhance the amazing river and park views’, Kerry explains.

The project took 18 months where the home was completely gutted inside and out and stripped back down to the concrete.

All windows and balustrades were replaced and decorative mouldings and render were added to the exterior ‘to give the house a totally new look’, Kerry says.

In terms of style they settled on a Tuscan theme because the home already had features that leant itself towards this grandiose look and being so close to the water the location feels very Mediterranean. Kerry tells us she's ‘always been inspired by the look of Tuscan villas in Italy’ and wanted to emulate that romantic feel in her home.

Externally they enhanced the Tuscan theme by using a rich and earthy coloured render, sandstone mouldings, bronze wrought iron and rumbled stonework. ‘I do feel we were able to capture that luxurious Mediterranean feel beautifully’, Kerry says.

Internally no expense was spared on fitting out the home with the best of the best. In the entry foyer stained glass windows, an artisan designed wine cabinet and marble floors hint at the luxury to follow as you move through the rest of the house.

What could highlight the Tuscan flair of the home better than the private balconies off all bedrooms to take full advantage of the incredible river and park views.

The show-stopping whole floor master suite includes a sitting area, walk in robe, kitchenette and decadent ensuite. The ensuite features marble tiling, a dual vanity, a huge walk-in shower/ steam room with mosaicked bench seat and a freestanding tub to take in the views. Bellisimo!

Other luxe features of note include a traditional fireplace, two living areas plus formal dining, a granite wet bar, an outdoor Tuscan stone pool, courtyard and expansive BBQ area.

Perhaps best of all, what Italian home would be complete without a lavish kitchen to whip up a feast for the whole family. With granite benchtops, premium cabinetry, a walk in pantry, European fittings and a $30,000 ILVE oven shipped from Venice (that had to be craned into place!) tops off the decadent chef’s kitchen.

Kerry says the thing they love most about their home is the connection they have with the community where they sit on the balcony with a wine and people watch whilst looking out over the river, occasionally having a chat with passers by. Sounds like it'll be a tough spot to give up!

For more home reno inspiration check out the story behind a breathtaking Victorian masterfully transformed and a quirky Collingwood apartment makeover.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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4 home security tips you need to implement today

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4 home security tips you need to implement today

Home security measures are vital to feeling at ease in your own home. Gone are the days where you were able to just lock the door and leave – instead, homeowners are investing in security cameras, deadbolts and other essential tools to keep their home and belongings safe and secure.

Discouraging break-ins and keeping your investment, stuff and family safe should be everyone’s top priority. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in an area with a high crime rate or not, thieves are finding smarter ways to get into properties and it’s up to you to act smart. Here are security tips you need to implement today to help safeguard your home.

1. Change the way you hide the spare key.

We think we’re smart by leaving a spare key out for emergency situations and most times, it is a good idea. But where are you hiding it? If it’s under your door mat or that potted plant on your front porch, burglars will look there first and won’t even have to ‘break’ in. It’s surprisingly common how many people do hide their spare key in these locations, under an inconspicuous pair of shoes or in the meter box.

If this sounds like you – it’s time to change things up! Move that spare key to a more secure and less obvious location. Key safes are ideal and can be attached to your house and accessed with a unique pin code. You can even purchase regular everyday items that look like what they’re intended for, but are there to disguise a spare key. Sprinkler key holders are a classic example of this and will ensure thieves don’t find that easy way into your home.

2. Utilise alarm systems, cameras or motion detection lights.

Alarm systems are a well-utilised safety measure to deter thieves. You can set them up to notify local police immediately if there’s an attempted break too. Most times, the sound of an alarm system going off is enough to scare thieves off if they're trying to get into your home. Security cameras add an extra level of security too and can be linked to alarm systems and motion detection lights.

Putting up security signs and stickers to inform potential intruders you have an alarm or camera system setup can be a good scare tactic too. Even if you don’t have anything set up, visible stickers on key entry points can help deter thieves. If you don’t have the funds to install a security camera, faking it can sometimes help – but don’t let this be the only security measure you have in your home!

3. Know who has access to your home.

Most of us have a few family members, tradespeople, babysitters, cleaners or friends who have or have had access to a spare key to the house. Over time it’s hard to keep track of who has access to your home – and whether you want these people to be able to or not. Especially if you have lived in your property for a long time, it can be worthwhile looking at getting the locks changed. This way, you can start fresh and only give trusted people a spare key.

If you have recently moved into a new house, it’s a smart idea to get the locks changed by your local locksmith. In situations like these, you don’t know who has access to your home, if past occupants have copied keys – anyone could be able to enter your home. You just don’t know, so it’s better to start fresh.

4. Take advantage of technology.

With technology continually advancing in leaps and bounds, it makes sense to tap into tools like smart home automation systems. These tools allow you to monitor your home and check in remotely from anywhere in the world. You can control security systems, set up motion detection lights on timers and trigger notifications to come to your phone or smart watch. Surveillance cameras can be checked whilst you’re away from your home and if you have smart locks installed in your home, every coming and going can be tracked.

Doors can be opened and locked through such tools and with Bluetooth technology. This can be beneficial when you need to grant access to tradesmen to the home when you’re not there too. Having smart locks and other devices like lights or thermostats connected to the automation system keeps everything in check and offers a better level of security.

Everyone has the right to feel comfortable and secure in their home. Investing in a level of security suitable for your needs and location is a crucial consideration.

For more ways to keep your home secure check out our guide to choosing the right door locks, keeping your home secure during renovations and security tips for moving house.

Author bio:

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Lock, Stock & Farrell – Perth’s award-winning locksmith with a strong commitment to providing excellent home, commercial, car and emergency security services. You can catch her on Google+.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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​Practical must-haves for your next kitchen renovation

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​Practical must-haves for your next kitchen renovation

The challenge of specifying fittings and appliances for most kitchen renovations comes down to the function versus form argument: Do you base your decision making on what is more practical or do you stick to what you find most aesthetically appealing? The end result is often a compromise whichever side you lean towards, with your budget playing as referee.

Here is a list of practical ‘must-haves’ that will add plenty of functionality to your new kitchen design without compromising the look.

Two separate sinks

The humble kitchen sink is the crunch point within the home kitchen. It's one of the most utilised features within the kitchen as everyone uses the sink, whether they’re preparing meals or cleaning dishes. During meal preparation items can quickly build-up in and around the sink causing you to work inefficiently.

To get around the problem, include a second sink in your design. It should typically be in a scullery (if space and budgets allows) or on an island. How the two sinks are used is entirely up to how the household operates, but for an example, some choose to have one double bowl sink as their ‘workhorse’ sink for doing the dishes while the other is used for lighter duties like rinsing vegies, filling kettles and filling glasses of water.

Pullout pantry

The pullout pantry is one of those kitchen accessories that few know about yet the idea is incredibly simple. Instead of opening a door and reaching into the pantry, with a pullout pantry the door is pulled open bringing with it all the internal shelves out into the room. The greatest advantage pullouts have over standard pantry cabinets is accessibility.

We've all experienced the problem; you need to retrieve a large item at the back of the pantry but to do so you need to first take out all the items in front. With pullouts, you don’t need to reach past as items at the back are equally accessible. One further advantage is brought about by the way pullout shelves are suspended: By deliberate design or not, suspended shelves (usually wire) make it near impossible for crawling insects to gain access to perishable items stored within.

Ideally, pullouts are best suited to small kitchens where space is at a premium and your pantry cabinet is between 300 and 400mm in width. Within this range your standard pantry cabinet with fixed shelves is just too narrow to be practical. It’s worth noting some models of pantry pullouts have low weight thresholds so heavier items should be stored elsewhere.

Image: Dan Kitchens

Image: Dan Kitchens

Bin drawers

Bin drawers have a number of advantages over the freestanding variety. Firstly, they are more efficient, as bin drawers can be placed closer to prep and cleaning zones. Take for instance the setup in the image above. The person doing the dishes can wipe scraps directly into the bin to their left, rinse off any excess at the sink in front of them and place the dishes into the dishwasher to their right, all without having to move. By locating the bins in a drawer, you are also removing a bulky item from the floor making your kitchen tidier and harder for pests to reach. To improve hygiene, motorise the drawer so it opens with the touch of a hip or knee.

Image: Dan Kitchens

Image: Dan Kitchens

Warming drawer

Appealing more to the home chef, warming drawers are appliances used to temporarily store cooked food in and keep it heated for serving. They are usually designed to fit underneath ovens or under benches and some can be integrated behind drawer fronts. Warming drawers are ideal in situations where your kitchen logistics aren’t perfect and you require foods to be kept heated while you finish preparing other meals. Also, heating dinnerware in a warming drawer before plating up keeps your meals warmer for longer at the dinner table.

Image: Dan Kitchens

Image: Dan Kitchens

Filtered water dispenser with instant boiling/chilled water

You may know of instant boiled water dispensers used in a commercial environment. The manufacturers of these products have been creating similar dispensers for the domestic market for some time, but with a lot more functionality and technology added in. As well as filtering, water units can now dispense instant boiled water, chilled water and sparkling water (some models can do all three). These dispensers are practical additions for the health conscious, for large households and for people who entertain a lot.

Image: Dan Kitchens

Image: Dan Kitchens

Corner unit swing out shelves

While not as space efficient as a corner cabinet fitted with fixed shelves, swing out shelves make corner cabinets much more practical. Normal corner cabinets with fixed shelves are very hard to store and retrieve items from (who hasn’t bent down onto their knees and placed their head inside a corner cabinet to see what’s at the back?). Swing out corner units are specially shaped shelves attached to a clever mechanism allowing the shelves to be independently swung out of the cabinet and into the room. Items are easily reached as they are directly in front. Another clever alternative is the carousel shelf.

Image: Dan Kitchens

Image: Dan Kitchens

Although some of these ‘must-have’ items may greatly appeal to you, there is no one cookie cutter solution to creating everyone’s perfectly functional kitchen as we all have different needs. Before taking on the design of your own kitchen or approaching a designer it is always best to formulate a brief. Consider how you would like to use your new kitchen and what elements would make it more practical for you.

For more kitchen renovation ideas check out our guide to the best cabinetry materialskitchen lighting tips and time saving kitchen appliances.

Author bio:

Graeme Metcalf is an industrial designer at Dan Kitchens Australia. He’s a proud advocate of local manufacturing and has worked in several design disciplines across a range of industries. With their Danish heritage, Dan Kitchens Australia are renowned for designing and producing uniquely designed and well-crafted kitchens for the Sydney market. Visit a Dan Kitchens showroom and see the difference for yourself.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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7 questions to ask the agent before buying an investment property

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7 questions to ask the agent before buying an investment property

Late last year I wrote about the 7 questions that you need to ask yourself before buying an investment property. This covered working out your budget, your strategy, your structure and your risk profile. If you have worked through these questions, and completed the groundwork, your ducks should be nicely lined up. This means you're at the point where you're ready to start looking for an investment property.

Looking for the right property can be exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. When you're inspecting the property for its suitability as an investment, it’s important to get as much information on the property as possible.

Asking the agent these seven questions will help you get more information on exactly what you're buying and whether you should put in an offer.

1. How long has the property been on the market?

Knowing how long the property has been on the market can tell a story about the property. This is especially true if you know what the average days on market is for your area.

If the agent tells you that the property is brand new to the market then it’s experiencing its prime time. It is at this time when the property will likely get the most enquiries and drum up the most interest.

If on the other hand the agent tells you that the property has been on the market longer than average for the area, then you need to ask why. Is there something wrong with the property? Is it in the wrong location? Why has it been for sale for so long? Sometimes it’s simply a case of ineffective marketing or unrealistic price expectations. Other times there could be some potential major issues that prevent the property from being sold.

Of course if the agent discloses that the property has been on the market for a while, you should always follow up with the question, why?

2. What is the zoning?

A good agent will have all the relevant details about the property including the zoning, but sometimes they are wrong or have been provided with incorrect information. The zoning of a property can make all the difference, especially if you plan to add value through sub-division or development.

You should always be armed with this knowledge well before you even inspect a property, but it’s always good to ask the agent as added confirmation that the information you have is likely to be correct.

3. Are there any easements on the property?

This is along the same lines as asking about the zoning. You should have already done your own research before inspecting the property but it’s always a good idea to ask the agent about any easements on the property.

As too, with zoning, any unexpected easements can have a big impact on any development plans. Finding out that a property has an easement that you didn’t know about could prevent you from being able to do what you want. This is definitely something you want to know before you purchase the property.

For sale: Doncaster, VIC

For sale: Doncaster, VIC

4. What's included/ excluded with the sale of the property?

So what are you actually buying? This may seem like a no-brainer, but what is included and not included with the property sale is an important question to ask. It's not always straightforward. 

Sometimes a property will not include standard elements such as the dishwasher or curtains. While other times the property may come with inclusions that you weren’t expecting, such as an existing rental agreement.

It’s always best to be clear from the outset on the details so you have all the facts and can make a more informed decision. For example, a property may be a deceased estate and actually comes with all the belongings of the former occupier. You will need to factor in removal/disposal and cleaning costs if this is the case.

5. Are there any issues with the property? 

No agent will likely come forward willingly with knowledge about a property that would prevent a sale. Their goal is to showcase the benefits and features. However, if you ask them directly if there is any minor or major issues with the property, more times than not they will disclose if there are.

This could include major movement or cracking to the property, termite damage or rising damp. All of these will present themselves at a pest and building inspection anyway.

Other significant issues could be the potential of chemical contamination or if there was a death or murder at the property. These are called stigmatised properties and the laws around disclosing this information vary from state to state. 

There is also the potential for pre-existing or ongoing disputes that you may find yourself inheriting if you purchase the property that might put you off. This could include fencing or tree disputes.

All these issues, plus many other potential problems are good to know prior to submitting an offer.

6. Do you have comparable sales for the last 6 months?

A good agent will have comparable sales on hand for you to view when you inspect the property. This will help you evaluate the market and the current prices.

It’s always important to look at what properties sold for rather than what properties are on the market for. Just because a property is listed at $500,000 does not mean it’s worth that much or is going to achieve that price.

The agent should not only give you comparable sale prices but also provide relevant information about the similarities and differences with each property. Many factors can make a difference to the price. Including, extra rooms, location, land size, plus the nice to haves that we all crave… pool, air con, solar panels, etc.

7. How motivated are the vendors to sell?

Asking the agent the simple question about how motivated the vendor is to sell can give you an insight into the vendors reasons for selling, and you could potentially adjust your offer accordingly to get the deal over the line.

Asking this question opens up the conversation about the vendor and their situation. The vendors may not be in a hurry to sell and are simply testing the market…or on the other hand, the vendor may be highly motivated to sell due to buying elsewhere or for some other personal reason.

Buying and selling property is not merely a transaction. There is always a story on both sides and the more you can learn about the vendors story the better you can adjust your offer to make it more appealing.

An example of this is finding out the vendor is elderly and downsizing. In this case, selling might be overwhelming and a stressful situation for them, particularly if they have lived in the house for many years and have a lot of possessions that they need to clear out. A simple addition to the offer of allowing the vendor to leave any unwanted items behind for you to dispose of may be enough for them to favour your offer over others.

At the end of the day, everyone wants to achieve a satisfactory price for the property, but making the process less stressful is also an added bonus.

The more information you can gather from the agent during a property inspection the better armed you will be when it comes time to submit your offer. These seven questions will get you started with gathering that all-important information.

Having a Property Inspection Pocket Book on hand during an inspection is also a great way to know what to inspect and what other elements to look out for when hunting for the best property deal for you. Grab your own Property Inspection Pocket Book at: https://www.chicksandmortar.com.au/books/

Author bio:

Katie Marshall is a Property Advisor and founder of Chicks and Mortar®. Chicks and Mortar® helps empower women to make smarter, more profitable property choices. Find out more at: chicksandmortar.com.au

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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Everything first home buyers need to know about conveyancing

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Everything first home buyers need to know about conveyancing

When you’re buying a home your focus is generally on where you want to live, how much you can afford and borrow and working out how to squeeze all the open houses into your already busy weekend. Chances are nominating a settlement agent has not even entered your mind.

At the time of signing the contract there’s every chance the real estate agent or developer will direct you towards their recommended settlement agent. Bear in mind the agent is engaged by the seller and as such is acting in their best interests. Remember it’s your settlement and ultimately your choice.

Who is a settlement agent?

A settlement agent is a trained and qualified professional that is engaged to facilitate the transfer of the legal ownership of property.

The process in Western Australia is property conveyancing by settlement agents. Basically, our role is to get the client from point of sale to settlement as efficiently and effectively as possible.

In order to carry on business as a settlement agent in WA, there is a requirement to be licensed and to hold a current training certificate, which is granted by the Department of Commerce (DOC). This will give the title of Licensed Conveyancer.

Why do you need a good settlement agent?

Your settlement agent should have a thorough understanding of your state’s conveyancing regulations and legislation. In addition, for WA residents they should be a holder of a Settlement Agents Licence, a Member of AICWA and CPC Accredited giving you greater certainty in knowing they are qualified, experienced and capable of providing sound advice.

Some of the things your settlement agent will do include:

  • Review the offer and acceptance contract.
  • Search the Certificate of Title and confirm correct property ownership, and search for any relevant encumbrances. Copies of which are provided to you.
  • Conduct and/or provide Verification of Identity services.
  • Liaise with you, your real estate agent, finance broker and bank regularly so all parties are kept fully informed.
  • Stamp contract and Transfer via in-house ROL service.
  • Provide confirmation of settlement in writing and final settlement statement.

A word of advice; unless you're a licensed settlement agent it would be unwise to represent yourself at a property settlement. Experience and qualifications always benefit the clients best interest in any industry service.

When should you start talking to a settlement agent?

It should be sooner rather than later. Even before looking for a property it’s best to know what your in for in terms of budget. Once you understand your target property budget, visit the KDD Conveyancing website for an instant property settlement quote. Not only does it outline the settlement fees, you’ll also receive the cost breakdown of stamp duty, and Landgate registration fees. This should set you up with an informed property budget so you can start looking for your dream home.

What should you look for in a settlement agent?

  • Accreditation – settlement agents must be licensed by the DOC to operate in WA.
  • Experience – a settlement agent that brings personal knowledge of the local market to your transaction can be a great relief for you (buyer) and the homeowner (seller).
  • Communication – the right settlement agent will consistently be in touch with you, your real estate agent, and the seller’s settlement agent.
  • Listening and understanding – every property transaction is different in its own way. As such, your settlement agent should look into your particular situation by asking you the right questions.
  • Fabulous attitude – it’s important to choose a settlement agent who has a great character, is flexible, adaptive and keeps their cool in negotiations.
  • Fees – A settlement agent must provide you with a written quote. Pay attention to whether the fee is fixed or you’ll end up paying extra fees if your case becomes complicated after the settlement.
  • E-conveyancing – with the real estate industry striving towards 100% online network application, making the change to electronic conveyancing is the best move for future viability. Find a settlement agent that is aware of this trend and embraces the change.

The future of settlements

The introduction of e-conveyancing in Australia is the biggest industry reform for the property sector since the introduction of the Torrens Title system.

E-conveyancing is the electronic settling of the conveyancing transaction through the online platform provided by Property Exchange Australia Limited (PEXA). The settlement agents of the involved parties and their lenders participate in an electronic workspace. The process covers the preparation for and execution of settlement and registration. Basically, the platform is a virtual settlement room.

The benefits of e-conveyancing:

  • Saves time – time no longer spent chasing lenders, instructing agents, attending physical settlement rooms and queuing at land registries.
  • Increased certainty – the platform ensures the involved parties have accurate information before advancing to settlement. You can monitor where your counter-parties are in the process and provide accurate information directly to your client at the click of a button.
  • Flexibility – there is no need to have a physical settlement room to finish a transaction. You can do transactions and updates from anywhere on the planet.
  • Greater transparency – since settlement agents and their clients can check the status of all documents in the transaction.
  • Improved customer service – the platform provides up-to-date information and settlement agent clients will receive instant feedback. Buyers enjoy the peace of mind that comes with real time lodgement on a title.

For more information for first time buyers take a look at our advice for first home buyers, a first home buyers guide to the extra costs of buying a home and the pros and cons of building your first home

Company bio:

At KDD Conveyancing Services we believe property conveyancing is not a one size fits all process; we approach each transaction as individual and unique. We like our clients to feel empowered throughout the settlement process; therefore, we make it a priority to guide them through with professionalism and quality advice throughout the transaction.

If you would like to get a quick understanding of your WA stamp duty costs, download our stamp duty app today or, if you want an instant quote on your properties settlement costs including stamp duty and Landgate fees, fill out our online quote form to get in touch with a settlement agent via our website.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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How to spot & resolve foundation issues

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How to spot & resolve foundation issues

It’s scary that you can’t see one of the most important (and largest) components of a homes construction. We’re talking of course, about the foundation—buried beneath the walls and floors you can see and touch.

Because you can’t see your foundation, it's often overlooked by homeowners and homebuyers and can soon result in maintenance issues. We want to ensure that doesn’t happen to you. So, we’re partnering with Restumping Melbourne, to better understand warning signs of foundation issues and how to best handle them.

Common signs of foundation issues

It’s important to note that there is a spectrum when it comes to the common signs of foundation issues. Yes, they can be a big deal, but they can also be minor issues that you’ll just want to keep your eye on. The key here, is vigilant monitoring.

So, what are a couple of examples of these issues? First up- cracks. Cracks in the floor, cracks in the walls, cracks in the ceilings. If you live in or are looking at an older home, then these may run rampant. Again- don’t freak out right away, monitor. If the cracks are only a millimetre wide and don’t seem to be increasing in size, then you should be alright. If the cracks are more than a couple of millimetres wide, then call an expert. If the cracks are only a millimetre wide BUT when you check later, they HAVE increased in size- then call an expert ASAP.

Cracks are probably the number one sign of foundation damage. Another trouble area to keep an eye on is the different door frames throughout the house. When you swing a door closed, does it do so gently and quietly, fitting squarely into the door frame? If so, great. If not- meaning that there is either a large gap between the frame and the door OR the door sticks because it is now too large for the frame, you’re looking at another opportunity to call in the experts. These shifts have occurred because the ground beneath has moved and settled, so that the weight of the home is no longer evenly distributed across the foundation.

How to reinforce your foundation

So how do the professionals tackle the issues mentioned above? They use three different methods to reinforce your foundation: restumping, reblocking and underpinning.

Restumping and reblocking are very similar, but interchangeable terms. They describe a process where the stumps under the foundation are removed and replaced with new stumps. The problem is that these old stumps see a lot of wear and tear, so they tend to shift and settle- causing the warning signs that we described above.

Underpinning is a bit different. Instead of removing foundation components, underpinning tackles foundations built with huge slabs. These slabs shift over time as well, creating air pockets which can be detrimental to the elements of the home. Underpinning pours new concrete into these air pockets, sealing them up and creating a new, stronger foundation for your home.

Hopefully you feel a bit more educated about the issues that your foundation can encounter, and how experts like those at Restumping Melbourne can easily solve. Head on over to our website if you’re interested in learning more.

For more things to consider structurally before buying a home check out how to avoid a money guzzling reno nightmare, common problems associated with older homes and the pros and cons with of buying a renovator's delight.

Company bio:

Restumping Melbourne has been operating in Melbourne for over 20 years. We take great pride in our work and are passionately committed to providing a high level of service and workmanship. We use advanced computer levelling, provide a 20 year guarantee, serve all suburbs of Melbourne and country Victoria, and are fully licensed and insured. We also provide general construction, repair, decking and renovation works.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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Honey, I fixed the home loan

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Honey, I fixed the home loan

For many of us, a house is the beginning of a family. You buy your dream home, have kids and upgrade your hatchback to a practical Volvo.

You enjoy family holidays, be it to the local caravan park or to the whitest beach in the Maldives - or perhaps somewhere in between.

All the while you’re making mortgage repayments as you go. The point is, life ticks along and as it ticks, you don’t stop to question what you’re doing.

When it comes to home loans however, you probably should. Research has shown that over one third of Australians with a mortgage have never refinanced their home loan.

But why should you bother refinancing if you’re making your repayments relatively comfortably? Here’s why:

RBA rates have dropped over the past ten years by almost 5 per cent, from 6.25 in 2007 to 1.5 per cent as of last month.

So regardless of whether you’re making those payments easily, or worrying about making ends meet month to month, there’s a good chance you could be on a higher than necessary rate if you haven’t taken action on your loan for the past 5-10 years.

It’s worth making the most of the rates whilst they’re low in order to reduce the length and size of your home loan repayments - and this is how:

  • As a homeowner, you should act now to take advantage of the increased competition amongst banks and financial intuitions who are competing heavily for your business with generous introductory rates.
  • Switching to an interest rate even just a few basis points lower can not only reduce repayments but also shave years off your loan.
  • If you are a homeowner who is currently paying off a car, school fees or other major expenses you might want to look into saving money on repayments by consolidating all your debts into one loan.
  • When the RBA makes changes to interest rates, this is a good reminder to review your options and consult a home loan expert. They will be able to talk you through all the financial jargon and find out what rate, plan and features best suit your lifestyle and budget best.

With those tips in hand, you are now in a position to reassess your home loan and hopefully make some savings - whether it's allowed you to ease the monthly stress on repayments, or make space in the budget for a revisit (or first visit) to the whitest beaches in the Maldives!

Author bio:

Laura Crowden works for life admin experts iSelect. When she isn't providing advice on how to find the right energy, broadband or insurance plan, Laura can be found tackling home renovations (to varying degrees of success) or eating ice cream. She loves getting a good deal, sparkly things, her cat & G&Ts.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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Don't forget these 6 things when building a house

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Don't forget these 6 things when building a house

Building a house is one of the most exciting and stressful times of your life. Especially when you're a first homeowner, it’s not uncommon to get caught up looking at all the display homes. Being dazzled by the beautiful homes, well-designed plans and house and land packages is all part of the process. But you have to be smart about your investment and weigh up all the pros and cons.

When you’re looking at the big picture of your new home design, it’s funny how many things can be easily missed. Little design flaws that may seem trivial initially, can turn out to be a massive pain once the house is actually built.

There’s always going to be a few mistakes made when building any house. Armed with the right tools and information though, you can eliminate many of these issues. Here are some things people commonly forget when they’re building a home.

Create a budget buffer

The first step when it comes to working out your budget is to be realistic. There’s no point in looking at extravagant homes and being sold on all the extra trappings if it’s going to put you too much out of pocket and under financial strain. You have to be prepared for any hidden or additional costs that can arise in the process. The best way to avoid these is to ask as many questions as possible before signing the contract.

Talk to your builder about what hidden costs there are and if there’s anything that may be added on top of the house price (i.e. site costs, fencing, stamp duty etc.). For comparison and clarity, when possible get a fixed price and an itemised quote instead of a single figure estimate. Avoid contracts that have a list of TBAs. Once you've determined your savings, create a budget buffer which can be used for any unexpected additional costs that crop up. This is a vital part of protecting your finances and being prepared.

Irrigation system

Irrigation systems are really hard to put in after you’ve built the home and done up the outdoor area so plan it early in the design stages. Adding the system before construction begins will eliminate having to dig up newly laid lawns and garden areas down the track. If you want your landscape space to be lush, green and healthy then implementing underground sprinklers and drip irrigation systems will keep things looking good. Not to mention, the time and hassle you’ll save not having to hand water. Professionally installed irrigation systems are great for efficient water usage as well.

Add an extra layer of security

All homeowners will consider security when building a house, but how far have you delved into it? Installing more than just your standard deadbolts on entry points is imperative. Additional security features like adding security screens to windows and doors offer a better level of safety. They’re also great for encouraging extra natural light into the home, and circulating fresh air without jeopardising security, views and decorative appeal.

Alarm systems, motion activated and automated lighting, and utilising quality materials for doors and windows all provide an extra layer of security too. Whilst many of these can be added down the track, it’s better to get them sorted as early on in the process as possible.

Smart storage solutions

Extra storage is a feature that’s usually underrated until you’ve built your home, moved in and realise how much you actually need it. Plan ahead with ample amounts of storage space and opt for more than you think you need – trust me, it’ll get used eventually! Take the time in the design process to map out each room and area to determine where you want the storage to be located. Consider garage storage space too.

Power outlet practicality

Space limitations and poor planning can lead to power outlets being in the silliest spots. When you’re trying to enjoy living in your new home, there’s nothing more frustrating than not having enough power outlets in the right places. Outlet placement in every room is important to plan carefully – especially with most of us relying on electronic devices on a regular basis. You don’t want to be tripping over multiple cords or having extension cords and power boards plugged in everywhere.

It’s also cheaper to install multiple power and TV points during the building process than having to do it later. So, it's better to have a few extra than not enough. Don’t forget to add power outlets to the garage, outside entertaining area and other key locations where you may need to plug in. Consider double power points too and adding a couple to the hallway to make life easier.

Feature lighting

Lighting is an important safety feature for homes, but it also plays a big role in creating the right mood. One of the best parts about building a home is you can design your own unique lighting scheme. You can be as creative as you want from room-to-room with different lighting features. Dimmer switches are a fantastic addition to truly craft the right vibe and don’t forget spots you may not normally illuminate – like under kitchen cabinets which can be super handy.

For more advice on building a house take a read of the pros and cons for building your first home, 6 steps to find the right builder and budgeting for the hidden costs of building a home. 

Author bio:

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Central Screens – a Western Australia family owned business since 1993 specialising in roller shutters, security doors and security screens for your home. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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Strata 101: Need to knows before buying off the plan

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Strata 101: Need to knows before buying off the plan

If you’re looking to buy an apartment, you’ve likely considered purchasing off the plan. New apartments offer buyers a range of financial benefits, flexibility and a choice of stock that existing apartments simply can’t – and all of these are usually front of mind when signing on the dotted line. What a lot of people forget to consider is the type of strata scheme or owners corporation they’re buying into, and the impact it will have on their way of life. Here's what you need to know before you buy off the plan.

What is strata?

If you’re new to apartment living, you may not know much or anything at all about strata or owners corporations. The terms essentially describe how shared buildings are split up: individuals own part of the property (an apartment or lot), and take shared ownership of the remainder of the property, which can include foyers, hallways, outdoor spaces, driveways, external walls, and even the roof. That means shared responsibilities, shared rules, and shared expenses.

In multiple-ownership dwellings, the owners collectively make operational and financial decisions, and create rules that apply to everyone who steps foot on the property. When you buy off the plan, however, a representative body for the owners (called an owners corporation or body corporate) hasn’t been formed yet, and so all decisions are made by the developer.

The lifestyle

Before you delve into buying a property off the plan, it’s important that you first understand the lifestyle on offer, as this will attract a certain type of buyer or occupier, and will in turn affect the types of rules or by-laws, and how much outlay will be expected to keep the property in working order.

If the property you’re looking at is being marketed as high-end living with a bargain price tag, you may not pay much upfront, but your ongoing fees or levies may be higher, simply to keep the property functioning and looking its best – especially if the property boasts ‘resort living’ and includes features such as a shared pool, bathrooms, shared rooftop entertaining and elaborate gardens. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, but you also need to pay for what you get.

The calibre of buyers can often determine the standard of living, too, and therefore the expectation and quality of maintenance, as well as the types of rules in place.

The proposed by-laws or rules

The developer will have set out proposed by-laws and rules, which all owners and occupants will need to abide by. Some of these will not only affect how you use common property, but how you use your individual apartment or lot, too. Some common by-laws and rules apply to smoking, animals, and the use of your apartment as an office space or short-term let. There may also be some proposed restrictions on the use of some facilities such as courtyards or rooftops.

You can ask to change by-laws or rules that you think should not apply, but the final say is at the discretion of the developer. In most cases, it’s best to ensure you’re okay with the by-laws or rules that are proposed.

The proposed levies or fees

One of the most crucial points to consider when buying off the plan is the proposed levies, which will cover the cost of electricity, insurance, maintenance and repairs. Aside from factoring this ongoing expense into your budget, it’s worthwhile comparing the levies to other similar properties.

In most cases, if the fees seem too good to be true, they probably are. Low fees are highly desirable, but they can sometimes be the result of an overly eager sales team or bad budgeting. A good strata scheme or owners corporation should have a comfortable maintenance fund to cover replacements and upgrades, otherwise owners may get slugged with a ‘special levy’ at a later date. It’s also worth asking if the levies or fees are expected to increase by the time building is completed, and by how much.

For more things to think about before buying an off the plan apartment check out the pros and cons of compact apartment living, what ongoing expenses are involved in property investment and common property investment traps and how to avoid them.

Company bio:

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

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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5 essentials for a super outdoor kitchen

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5 essentials for a super outdoor kitchen

In Australia, our outdoor lifestyle is synonymous with BBQs, parties and dining outside on balmy nights. This is why outdoor kitchens are becoming a natural extension of the home and why we’re finding ways of creating a seamless integration of our living spaces with our outdoor areas.

Especially with house prices going up, smaller block sizes, little time for maintaining a garden and less opportunity to have two indoor living zones, we are seeing a massive trend in people extending their open plan living area into a functional alfresco area for all year enjoyment.

Speaking to our friends at e&s, and some tips from e&s co-Managing Director, Rob Sinclair, we share with you the five essential considerations for a super outdoor kitchen.

Layout

It’s important to think about kitchen design principles when designing an outdoor kitchen. With an indoor kitchen being defined by walls, doors and windows, the outdoor kitchen has rules of its own. However, still being a working kitchen, the same working triangle used in the kitchen should be applied to the outdoor kitchen, especially if you have more than one cook in the house.

Aesthetics

Consider how you can create a space that is warm and inviting, but seamlessly integrate inside and out. The effortless flow between your indoor and outdoor living space, not only increases the living space, but increases the value of your property. Obviously styling will help with the feel of the space, and creating the ambience you’re after. Plants, furniture, cushions and blankets are all ways to style your outdoor kitchen and add to the next level of ‘wow’ factor.

Appliances

With so many appliances available to create the full outdoor kitchen, there are lots of considerations when selecting products. Also, it is important to think about the kind of things you cook, and what appliance 'add-ons' to go for.

'My advice is to have a clear idea of how you plan to use the space and its appliances and only buy what you need', says Rob. 'If you don’t cook with a wok inside then chances are, you won’t outside, so don’t opt for the wok burner,' he adds. 'If the main use for your barbecue – like mine – is to cook fabulous cuts of meat and sausages but less fish and vegetables, then you won’t need a plate, only a grill,' Rob continues.

Some appliances Rob recommends are the Capital 40”
 Built In Open BBQ with Solid Flat Plate,
Husky Triple Door Back Bar Fridge and a BeefEater Artisan Outdoor Fridge & Sink Unit, all available from e&s.

Shelter

One of the great benefits of an outdoor kitchen is that it extends your living and entertaining space. Make the most of this additional space by planning for shade, shelter and warmth. To enjoy your outdoor kitchen during cooler months, you may opt for propane-fuelled units like patio heaters, gas logs, space heaters, or go with something more aesthetically pleasing such as custom fireplace. For those times when you need some relief from the harsh Australian heat, there are portable air coolers, misting systems and if you have a roof over your kitchen, ceiling fans that are designed to keep the atmosphere cool and comfortable.

Protect your appliances

Before you build your outdoor kitchen, consider the types of cooking surfaces you will want to use, and how they will handle the external elements, then design your kitchen with those elements in mind. 'If you spend the money on a barbecue, make sure it’s stainless steel and that it comes with a cover, particularly if it’s being kept outside and not under a roof of any sort,' Rob said. This is especially important if you live near the coast. Invest in a fully stainless steel barbecue and good shelter, otherwise it will become rusty very quickly.

Visit your closest e&s showroom for more tips and ideas on how to create the ultimate outdoor kitchen in your home.

For more outdoor area inspo check out these five hot alfresco design tips, outdoor living trends for 2017 and smart tips for buying patio furniture that'll last.

Author bio:

Jess Sleep is a blogger, social media coordinator and marketing assistant at e&s. With over 50 years experience, e&s live, breathe and specialise in kitchen, bathroom and laundry products. With all e&s products carefully sourced and selected, why not visit your local e&s showroom today.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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Bargain beauties- Homes under $450k with stellar street appeal

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Bargain beauties- Homes under $450k with stellar street appeal

Without a doubt everyone enjoys taking pride in their own home and that sense of achievement starts from the first time you see your new house from the street.

There’s no better feeling than walking up to your place and admiring how good its welcoming exterior and neat landscaping looks. Even better yet, is knowing you got that attractive dwelling for a great price.

Plus, you’ll be content in the knowledge that when it comes time to sell having strong kerb appeal will work in your favour to draw in more buyers and improve resale value.

Here are nine reasonably priced homes from around the country with stellar street presence that won’t stretch the budget too far.

Country town beauty, $329,000, Kooringal, NSW

The gorgeous white picket fenced front yard is a great introduction to what lies within this character-filled recently renovated weatherboard home. The homes stunning features, three generous bedrooms, timber floors, updated kitchen and bathroom, an entertaining deck with outdoor BBQ and kitchen, a wood fire pizza oven, ducted heating and cooling, a veggie patch and massive yard, makes a tree change seem more attractive than ever before.

Low maintenance duplex, $409,000- $439,000, Nerang, QLD

Offering all the lifestyle perks you could wish for living on the Gold Coast, the gated grounds of Riversdale Park Estate include swimming pool and BBQ area access with the Nerang River, public transport and parklands only a stones throw away. The functional floorplan includes three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a double car garage, stone kitchen benchtops, air conditioning, a solar power system and a sweet private courtyard.

Lakeside townhouse, $405,000-$445,000, Madeley, WA

Situated on the cusp of the Lake Goollelal foreshore, lake cycling and walking paths, close to shops, schools, public transport and recreation facilities, this double storey three bedroom, two bathroom home is perfect for families and active individuals. With polished timber flooring to living areas, an entertainer's deck, leafy compact yard and double car garage, what more could you need!

Mountain view serenity, $395,000-$438,000, Warrane, TAS

Peach may not be everyone's first choice when it comes to the exterior colour of their home, but life would be pretty peachy in this stylish three bedroom Tassie abode. Its quiet court location is ideal for families in search of safety and quiet. The open plan living area opens out onto a comfortably sized deck suited to BBQs and hosting gatherings. The tranquil mountain views are also a nice bonus.

Rendered charmer, $389,950, Pennington, SA

Just 30 minutes south-west of Adelaide's CBD, this delightfully presented three bedroom townhouse would make for a perfect first home for a young professional or family. Charming features include plantation shutters, bay windows to the living area and master bedroom, and a large pergola for entertaining.

Contemporary stunner, $380,000+, Westmeadows, VIC

Just 18km from Melbourne's CBD, this new three bedroom home is close to schools, transport links (freeway and train), parks and shops. The downstairs open plan living area flows outside to a private alfresco area and lawn. While upstairs there are three large carpeted bedrooms with built-in robes and two bathrooms. Other advantages include the double car garage, seperate laundry with lots of storage and a downstairs powder room.

Superb 1950s brick veneer, $230,000- $260,000, Montrose, TAS

Adjacent to the picturesque Derwent River and just 9km from the heart of Hobart, this pleasant home has a massive backyard with an expansive deck, garage and workshop space, and even a veggie garden. Inside buyers will love the polished floorboards, modern kitchen and large master bedroom.

Sensational stone party house, $349,000-$369,000, Para Hills West, SA

Behind the unassuming Mount Gambier stone facade and tidy garden are a number of impressive drawcards. Some highlights include the gas log fireplace, polished floorboards, an outdoor bathroom, outdoor kitchen, ducted cooling, updated kitchen and bathroom, and a workshop. Best of all it's only 30 minutes from Adelaide CBD.

Family suburban perfection, $410,000+, Pakenham, VIC

Four bedroom family homes don't get much more affordable than this sweet residence. Showcasing a Victorian style facade with welcoming veranda, a spacious entryway, timber flooring throughout, large manicured gardens and even parking space for a boat or caravan, every member of the family will love this one. To top all that off, public transport, reputable schools, freeway access and shops are all close by.

Which of these bargain homes under $450k would you snap up? Let us know your fave in the comments section below.

For more areas to find affordable property, check out Australia's seven most affordable beach houses and properties in Melbourne for under $350k

Happy organising!

The Homely Team

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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3 tips to subdivide your property for profit

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3 tips to subdivide your property for profit

For those who haven’t subdivided a property before, it can be hard to know where to start with the entire process.

Subdividing a property can be highly lucrative, however for many it’s simply too overwhelming to know where to start.

Here are three questions every investor needs to answer to be better positioned to help turn their subdivision dreams into reality.

What’s the best use of the block?

Speak to a town planner or project manager to understand how to maximise the potential of your block when subdividing. While the zoning of your block will determine the number and kind of dwellings that can be built, there may be clauses in the local planning scheme that allow for greater density, such as design bonuses or lot variations, for example.

What are the associated costs?

Make sure you have a thorough understanding of all the costs associated with a subdivision. The costs vary from state to state but can typically include the following:

  • Land surveyor fees for subdivision plans, cadastral surveys, subdivision clearances and preparation/lodgement of subdivision application.
  • Application fees to the local planning authority to assess the subdivision.
  • Connection fee for water head works.
  • Connection fee for power supply works.
  • Conveyancer fees for application of new titles.

There may also be other fees required including demolition fees (in cases where an existing dwelling needs to be removed), contractor services fees (for required civil works) and contributions to local council amenity initiatives.

Do you plan to hold or sell?

Once you’ve subdivided your block, do you plan to sell the vacant land? Or, in the event that you build on it, do you intend to sell the dwellings or hold on to them for future capital growth?

Depending on the size of the subdivision, you may want to sell some of the newly built dwellings and keep some. It’s important to have a clear end goal in mind as this will have a big influence on many of your initial decisions and final profit. Therefore, detailed calculations need to be completed to determine estimated profits, impacts on your cash flow from holding property and relevant tax implications from selling property.

For more advice for aspiring investors take a look at the ongoing expenses of property investment, common property investment traps and how to avoid them and 7 questions to ask yourself before buying an investment property.

Author bio:

Damian Collins is the founder and managing director of property investment consultancy Momentum Wealth. Offering market leading research and advice on the Australian property market, the company helps clients accelerate their wealth through property investment by assisting them in the strategic planning, financing, acquisition, management and development of their commercial and residential investment properties. Damian has completed a Bachelor of Business at RMIT University and a Graduate Diploma in Property at Curtin University. Damian is a board member of the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) and is the Deputy President of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA).

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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5 secrets to your most organised wardrobe ever

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5 secrets to your most organised wardrobe ever

Do you often find yourself complaining ‘I have nothing to wear’ even though your closet is overflowing? Are you embarrassed by your jumbled, chock-a-block clothes closet? Well it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you’re over wading through piles of clothing clutter, it may be high time to take steps towards your most organised closet ever.

Here are five secrets to decluttering and creating a functional wardrobe that will put a smile on your dial as you get ready in the morning in next to no time.

Clear out

The best first step towards an organised closet is to start with a blank slate to see how much space you have to work with. Empty out shelves, hangers, drawers and overhead storage to take stock of your clothes. If there’s anything you haven’t worn for over a year or if there are ill-fitting or damaged items consider selling, throwing away or donating them to charity.

Divide & conquer

Bring in drawer and shelf dividers to organise all the little things you use every day that can get easily muddled and messy. Think how much quicker you’ll be able to find items and get ready in the morning if your jewellery, socks, underwear, scarves, gloves, belts, sunglasses and wallets are in their own special accessible compartments.

Look up & down

Make sure you use all available space to organise your closet. Keep seasonal and infrequently used clothing on the top shelves in plastic storage containers, baskets or vacuum sealed bags to protect them from dust and bugs. Take advantage of the empty space below hanging items to sort and store shoes on a rack or in a stylish shoe cabinet.

Image: Fantastic Furniture

Image: Fantastic Furniture

Space savers

There are a number of ways to save space in a wardrobe. Invest in slimline hangers and a second hanging rod to maximise hanging space for tops, jackets and pants. Also, add hooks to the inside of your closet doors to keep small accessories within plain sight but tidily tucked out of the way. Replace a bulky closet laundry basket or hamper with a compact laundry trolley on wheels, which handily you can store shoes below and easily wheel out on laundry day.

Little extras

If you’re finding your tiny closet just isn’t cutting it consider bringing in extra support. Try adding wall hooks, a coat rack, storage boxes, hanging door organisers, a freestanding wardrobe or drawer unit into your bedroom to ease the squeeze in your main wardrobe.

Image: Fantastic Furniture

Image: Fantastic Furniture

The last thing you need to do to keep your wardrobe looking good is to get into the habit of returning everything to its special spot after use. Otherwise you'll have to start all over again a few months down the track.

For more decluttering tips to try at your place check out these five handy home organisation tools, hidden storage space you never knew you had and how to cut clutter in your home.

Happy organising!

The Homely Team

About Fantastic Furniture:

From humble beginnings, as a stall at Sydney's Parklea Markets over 25 years ago, Fantastic Furniture has grown to become one of Australia’s largest furniture and bedding manufacturers and retailers. Discover their huge range of bedding, furniture, storage solutions and accessories at amazing low prices.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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Décor inspiration from classic blockbusters

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Décor inspiration from classic blockbusters

Classic films are known for immersing viewers in rich scenery to make them feel like they’re living in the world of the movie. Why not do that for real?

Image: Erin Holcomb, It's Complicated

Image: Erin Holcomb, It's Complicated

The following cult-classic films incredible sets and residences provide amazing inspiration for decorating your home. Now it’s just a matter of deciding which movie will be the inspiration for your redecorating project.

The Great Gatsby

The 2013 version of the film may have gotten mixed reviews—but did you see the gorgeous sets? They’re Art Deco at its most magnificent. While you don’t have to go as extravagant as the movie sets, touches of glam Gatsby-esque design can really make a room pop.

Image: Little Miss Architect

Image: Little Miss Architect

Add a few metallic statement pieces as focal points. A bright mirror, floaty sheer curtains, a vase and other metallic touches make a room. Dark, exotic woods are great to use to balance out the metallic and feminine touches.

Art Deco is all about geometric patterns, too, so try adding an intricate geometric rug to timber flooring or luxe wallpaper. It’s all about looking lavish—even if you choose to do a lot of it using homemade DIY Pinterest projects. They’ll never be able to tell!

Breakfast At Tiffany’s

Holly Golightly’s apartment is basically every girl’s dream. It’s eclectic and fun, with bursts of bold colour to stand out against the neutral scheme of the rest of the place. Patterned wallpaper also adds a fun touch. And who could forget her iconic bathtub sofa or iron scroll bed? Her quirky accents are something that never goes out of style.

Image: Hotel-R

Image: Hotel-R

Follow Holly’s lead by starting with a simple layout and colour scheme—then spice it up with bold statement pieces. If you aren’t into wallpaper, put some interesting artwork on the walls. Use bright colours and zebra print for things you want to stand out. If you really want to go that bit further with the Tiffany’s theme, accent the room with accessories in the unmistakable Tiffany blue.

Image: Visi Build

Image: Visi Build

Mamma Mia

This film showcases a bohemian vibe—but with a Mediterranean costal theme in the mix too. Whites and blues are prominent, along with bolder accent colours like red. The rooms are breezy and laid-back and the furniture looks shabby chic and adorned with interesting textural bed linen and embroidered quilts and cushions.

Image: Amazon

Image: Amazon

One of the best features Mamma Mia boasts is the unique lighting. Try hanging lantern lights, a rustic chandelier or basket pendant light. Open layouts are great for a beachy vibe, so try to maximise the space in the room. Use white washed woods, crochet and wicker furnishings and keep things airy, white and light with curtains. A few focal pieces like a jute rug or handmade quilt help bring the lived-in, cosy familial feeling to life.

Annie Hall

Annie Hall is the perfect inspiration for avant-garde and bohemian style. The film is full of 1970s style, with rich, earth colours and a mismatched artsy style. Spaces look lived in and filled with things that were picked up from flea markets and adventures around the world.

Image: Lotus & Fig

Image: Lotus & Fig

This style isn’t for everyone, but if you’re adventurous, like collecting one off pieces and love travelling, it’s perfect. Hunt for authentic 70s furniture at thrift shops, flea markets and secondhand stores—maybe even keep an eye out for garage sales or on the kerbside come hard rubbish time. If you travel a lot, pick up things from different cultures to add. Look for unique vintage pieces and worldly art. Boho-chic isn’t about matching everything exactly. Throwing things together works best for this kind of design style.

Blade Runner

Dystopian science fiction is a great place to find inspiration for industrial and futuristic design. The film features tile that’s inspired by computer parts and there’s a ton of neon and interesting art pieces. Though it can look a tad bleak, it’s all about the little touches that add life to it.

Image: Architect

Image: Architect

A great place to start for an industrial style is exposed steel piping. Instead of hiding it, embrace it. If you don’t have those already, make the look yourself with shelving or a desk built with industrial iron pipe and reclaimed timber. Edison lamps provide the perfect vintage industrial look when it comes to lighting. The colours are usually limited in this sort of décor, so bring some brightness into it with a bold art piece or a colourful neon sign.

image: Grig Stamate

image: Grig Stamate

It’s Complicated

Meryl Streep’s Santa Barbara home perfectly encapsulates the rustic chic look that’s currently on-trend. It has cottage/barn-inspired décor without taking things too far. The key to the beachy rustic look is to find the perfect balance so it doesn’t look overdone.

Image: Hooked on Houses

Image: Hooked on Houses

Look for furnishings that are rough around the edges and don’t look mass-produced. Rough woods are perfect for this. Use linen or burlap for textiles so that they have some texture and character. While brown and other earthy colours are staples, make sure it isn’t too bland and neutral. Use some whites or a bright colour like warm oranges and sunny yellows to make sure things don’t get too drab. Wicker baskets are good for storage as well as being great accent pieces.

Movies aren’t just for entertainment—they’re great for style inspiration as well. Who wouldn’t want to live in the world of their favourite movie? If you do style a room after a film, include a framed movie poster or another little nod as to where you got the ideas—it’s like an Easter egg for your guests!

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.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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How to create kid-approved play areas

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How to create kid-approved play areas

Every child needs their own special spot to call their own to play games, study, read, relax and entertain their friends away from the nosy and uncool adults in their lives.

Whether this is a cubby house, rumpus room, granny flat, outdoor area or a cardboard box fort, there are so many ways to get creative when planning out a kid friendly play area.

Here are four ideas to create kid-approved play spaces at your house that are guaranteed to keep the kids happy for hours on end.

Create an outdoor activity zone

Encourage the kids to put down the iPad and get away from the TV screen and video games to spend time outdoors getting fresh air and exercise. The best way to do this is to make your backyard space one of the most fun places to be at your house for a child.

There are so many ways to encourage kids to play outside. String up a tyre swing, buy a swing set, slide or seesaw, use coloured chalk to draw up a hopscotch game, build a rock climbing wall or sandpit, bring in a trampoline, set up a cricket pitch, basketball hoop, badminton net, a mini soccer pitch or AFL goals.

Best of all with all these fun activities right on their doorstep they’ll use up all their energy playing outside and won’t put up a fight when it comes to bedtime.

Make a bedroom fort

All kids love playing hide and seek and having their own little fort to hide out in in their rooms. These come in very handy for sleepovers, nap time, bedtime reading and playtime.

Hang a pretty canopy tent from the ceiling to create a cool spot the kids will love spending time in. The good thing about this type of fort is that once it’s up there’s not much that can go wrong with it and it won’t fall down or sag over time. Top it off with some fluffy blankets, cushions and a super soft sheepskin rug to make the tent extra inviting and cosy.

Teepees are also in vogue right now and make for a fun addition to a kid’s bedroom. These will take a little bit more space and time to put together compared to the canopy tent, but you won’t have to get the ladder out and put a hole in the ceiling.

String up some cheery lanterns or fairy lights from the tent or tepee. They not only look great but function as a night light for any little ones afraid of the dark or those pesky monsters under the bed.

Set up a child’s retreat

Perhaps you have a spare bedroom, underutilised study or rumpus room that would make the perfect place to tuck away a kids only play zone. This can be a great way to give children their own special area to play games, get creative and be noisy away from the other living rooms of the house.

Image: Decoist

Image: Decoist

If you have the space consider bringing in arcade games, a table tennis table, race car track or train set. A child sized table, set of four to six chairs, floor cushions and beanbags are also good additions so you’ll have plenty of seating space for their friends to come over and play too. Don’t forget to add low colourful tubs for easy storage of toys, books, stationary, DVDs and games to make packing up for little ones easy peasy.

Bring in art and craft supplies, Play Doh, pens, crayons, pencils and textas, colouring books, a chalkboard or whiteboard, Lego, a dolls house, dress ups and board games so they always have fun things to do close at hand. Decorate with colourful wall decals and hang up a pin board or blank picture frames so they can display their latest creations with pride.

Cubby house hideaway

Kids enjoy imitating their parents and absolutely love having their own mini-house in the family backyard or playroom.

There are so many innovative cubby house designs available these days, with traditional timber, plastic, cardboard, inflatable and even fabric tent models available.

Image: Mocka

Image: Mocka

Deck out a traditional outdoor cubby house with a chalkboard painted wall for sketching, cute curtains, a slide, shelves for photos and toys, a stool or two, a telescope, pot plants in plastic planter boxes, a watering can, festive bunting and a play kitchenette for all those aspiring MasterChefs.

Get the kids involved in a DIY project one weekend painting their cubby house in the colours of their choice. That way they spend the day getting creative at the same time as putting their own personalised stamp on it.

We hope your little ones approve of the new play zone you create for them. For more home improvement ideas to keep the kids happy check out these six awesome backyard play ideas and decor tips for kids rooms.

Happy cubby house hunting!

The homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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What we can learn from Australia's median house prices from 1970-2016

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What we can learn from Australia's median house prices from 1970-2016

To buy a home now or wait? It’s a question many people are asking themselves as property prices continue to grow across Australia.

Property prices have always been a popular topic of conversation, but the subject of housing affordability has become more contentious as we approach the May budget announcement.

Especially following reports from The Sydney Morning Herald that the Parliamentary Budget Office has costed a proposal that would kill stamp duty and replace it with land tax, saving home buyers up to $40,000 in Sydney and $55,000 in Melbourne.

While everyone is looking to the government for a housing affordability solution, it’s a good idea to do some research of your own and look at past housing price cycles.

Created by Successful Ways, the below graph tracks the median house price in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth from 1970 to 2016, recorded June 30 of each year.

Image: Successful Ways

Image: Successful Ways

What does this all mean?

The Australian property market moves in cycles which are influenced by a wide range of factors including interest rates, consumer confidence, unemployment and of course previous rates of growth that impact on rental yields and levels of affordability.

While Australia’s current annual population growth of 1.4 percent may seem modest, this also adds 340,000 to our population each year, which is one new Darwin resident every 20 weeks or a new Tasmanian every 18 months.

Each state has its own property cycle and there are cycles within each cycle. Different areas, different price points and different types of property have their own cycle.

You’ll find that in each 10-year period there seems to be 3-4 years when the market is flat, 3-4 years of low capital growth, and a few years of strong price growth during the boom stage of the cycle.

When you look at the property prices that prevailed 10 and 20 years ago, and look at property prices today, it’s clear that property investment is a long-term play. You need to be patient as, over the long term, values in our major capital cities have doubled every 7 to 10 years.

With 5 year fixed investor rates as low as 4.29%, it makes sense to invest in Sydney property. With history proving it almost doubles every 10 years, there is never a bad time to buy.

For more information on the current market situation and future direction, attend the Successful Ways First Home Buyers Course located in Sydney’s CBD. Save 50% off tickets with the discount code SWBM2017. Book now, places are limited.

Author bio:

Belinda Morris is the Marketing Manager for Successful Ways, a boutique, Sydney based firm offering a broad range of services to first home buyers and investors. Belinda has a background in design, photography and marketing and is passionate about property investing.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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Is the great Australian dream over? Millennials prioritise travel over saving for a house, study reveals

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Is the great Australian dream over? Millennials prioritise travel over saving for a house, study reveals

Budget Direct’s survey of 2,800 Australians aged 18-24 (summarised in the infographic below) found that 64% of this age group of millennials didn’t have a savings plan.

Of those who had savings plans, 32.6% said saving for travel was their number one priority compared to 16.7% who were focusing on saving for a house deposit.

Is this a symptom of young Aussies viewing home ownership as unattainable in today’s economic climate as housing prices soar? Or is it just a matter of wanting to get out and explore the world before settling down later in life?

The survey showed 29.8% of respondents expect that it will take them over five years to save for a house deposit and other research suggests they’re not far off the mark. Bankwest’s First Time Buyer Deposit Report shows it takes an average Sydney couple over eight years to save for an average deposit ($215,000) to buy a house. In Melbourne, it takes 6.2 years to save for an average deposit of around $150,000.

Alarmingly most of those surveyed (36.4%) only managed to save less than $100 a month, making it virtually impossible to reach a $215k deposit in Sydney or $150k in Melbourne, even for a couple.

These results suggest young Australians are pessimistic (with good reason) about housing affordability and are generally struggling to save for not only their own home, but holidays, weddings, cars and consumer goods.

The moral of the story is regardless of whether you’re saving for your first home, a new car, travel or a bigger TV, it pays to get into good habits early in life and more young Australians could definitely benefit from financial planning and setting savings goals.

A great tool to put your finances back on track is the Savings Goal Planner. Its simple interface and handy suggestions on how to reduce expenses makes achieving all your financial goals easier to follow through than ever.

You can even print off PDF versions of your planned weekly savings to put up on the fridge, pinboard or wall to keep motivated.

For more ways to buy a home sooner check out our blogs on how to save for a home deposit as efficiently as possible, tips for saving money while renting and how parents can help their kids get onto the property ladder.

Happy saving!

The Homely Team

 

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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