Homely Advisor Blog


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

How to minimise maintenance & repair costs of apartment living

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How to minimise maintenance & repair costs of apartment living

The cost of maintaining an apartment and common areas can be high if your building maintenance requirements are not properly assessed, but with careful planning and preventative measures, your ongoing costs can be considerably reduced.

Find out who is responsible for what

Don’t spend your time or money working on common areas of your building, such as hallways, gardens, pools and the gym, without first finding out who is responsible for the upkeep of those areas.

Typically, the committee will be responsible for maintaining all common areas in your property, as you're already contributing towards the cost of their upkeep through your fees or levies. So you'd be throwing time and money away by spending your own cash to fix issues in those areas or making any improvements yourself.

Instead, if there is something in your building that you feel could be improved, or if you see something that needs to be repaired or cleaned, let your strata manager know so they can organise the necessary quotes and approvals.

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Learn what to look for

For the things within your apartment that you're responsible for, such as your appliances, flooring and electrics, schedule regular checks and keep an eye out for any signs of wear and tear. If you address any issues early on, rather than waiting until something breaks down, it will save you money in the long run.

Things such as plumbing and electrics should be left to qualified technicians, but there’s no reason you can’t do the more basic jobs yourself, such as giving a room a fresh coat of paint or landscaping in your courtyard. Again, this will save you money, and by keeping your property in an excellent state of repair, you will also ensure that it holds its value if you ever decide to sell.

One thing that puts potential buyers off buying an apartment more than anything is the idea that they will have to do a lot of work in the place before it is liveable, so it pays to keep on top of things when it comes to maintenance and repairs.

Research new builds

When purchasing off the plan or in a newly completed development, be mindful that new build apartment blocks may have defects that can be costly to fix.

Research conducted by the UNSW City Futures Research Centre back in 2012 found that 85% of apartments built in NSW since 2000 have defects. These results are indicative of the new apartment market across the country, and it’s usually the owners who end up footing the bill to rectify the issues, which can add huge costs to your purchase and leave you in negative equity, so research the developer and building you're intending to buy in and speak to the committee to find out if there are any major issues with the building before committing to buy.

These three measures are the best ways to minimise maintenance and repair costs of your apartment in the long term.

For more information on apartment living check out these need to knows before buying off the plan, challenges of apartment renos and 8 rules of apartment living to be aware of.

Company bio:

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

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

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About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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Homely’s most popular stories of 2017

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Homely’s most popular stories of 2017

As we only have a few weeks of 2017 left, this time of year is a great opportunity to take a moment to reflect and look back on some of the highlights of what we’ve shared over the past 12 months.

Nothing pleases us more than seeing homely house hunters reading, enjoying, commenting on and sharing content from our Homely Advisor Blog.

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From housing affordability to DIY tips, suburb quizzes, home improvement ideas and reno success stories, we can see what issues and topics were most important to homely readers and Australians more broadly this year.

This short list will help to guide us towards producing more quality content that informs, inspires and matters to you most in coming years.

If you happened to miss these stories the first time around, here is your chance to take a squiz at and enjoy our very best articles of 2017.

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

This guest post analysed and graphed median house prices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth from 1970 to 2016 in an to attempt to understand swelling house prices in Australia's capitals.

2. Melbourne’s 10 best growth suburbs under $1M

This piece listed the 10 best growth areas in Melbourne for under $1 million and what unique lifestyle features they provide residents. With Melbourne’s median house price climbing to $740,000 in September 2016, it was pleasing to note that four of the city's best growth suburbs had median house prices under the $550k for homebuyers looking for affordable opportunities. 

3. 11 ideal homes to fix & flip

We rounded up some of the best fixer-uppers from desirable suburbs around Australia that were ripe for a reno project.

4. What’s really behind Australia’s soaring house prices? 

We're starting to see a pattern here, with three out of our top four stories relating to housing affordability. This is a two-part in-depth look at the many and varied factors that have contributed to the Australian housing affordability crisis.

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5. Kitchen design trends 2017: What’s hot & what’s not

With the uptick in renovation loans this year, it's not surprising our readers were eager to discover what's in and what's out in terms of materials, appliances, features and lighting for their kitchen projects.

6. Interview: A breathtaking Victorian masterfully transformed

We had a chat with savvy renovator Kirsty Ristevski about the third home she has fixed up in Albert Park. Looks like third times the charm, where the stunning home sold for $4.735 million in February this year!

7. How to build a home that oozes luxury but doesn’t break the bank

Five pieces of advice for new home builders to ensure their new home is luxurious and elegant without breaking the bank.

8. Quiz: Which hip Melbourne neighbourhood is the best match for you?

If you’re thinking about moving to Melbourne or want a change of scene, this quiz will help you figure out which trendy Melbourne borough you belong in.

9. The best swimming pool designs for small backyards

This article summarises the most attractive and functional pool designs suited to small spaces.

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

This makes four housing affordability articles in our top 10 most popular reads. We did the hard work for you and tracked down nine reasonably priced homes from around the country with a stellar street presence that didn’t blow the budget.

We hope this retrospective provided you with a fun trip down memory lane and the opportunity to revisit some of your favourite blogs of 2017.

If we missed your favourite story, feel free to share it in the comments section below.

Thanks to all our readers and guest bloggers for supporting the Homely Advisor Blog this year. Keep your eyes peeled for more great content in 2018!

Happy house hunting!

The Homely Team

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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Invest in the west – WA’s best investment hotspots

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Invest in the west – WA’s best investment hotspots

The sunny coast of Western Australia gets its great reputation for a reason. It’s home to some of the world’s best beaches, a laid-back lifestyle, untouched wilderness and great weather. It’s also the place where property investment is on the move. For first-time homeowners or investors, WA is one of the most affordable states to capitalise on right now.

Despite the property market looking a little bleak since the end of the mining boom, the last 12 months have seen a significant improvement. It’s now more affordable for first-home buyers and investors to enter the market in WA than it was a year ago. Housing developments, job opportunities and all the wonderful things we love about Perth and the rest of our state make WA one of the most livable locations to set yourself up in.

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2016 was a challenging year for the Perth property market but as things begin to stabilise, 2018 comes with fantastic investment opportunities and a more affordable market.

According to Peter Taliangis, an agent at Professionals Fremantle, investors and homeowners should be looking to trade up in this market if they can afford to.

‘Something that cost $600k two years ago might be purchased for $500k. I would recommend people looking to buy for investment purposes to look at the Metronet route and buy close to the stations planned. Otherwise, I would suggest sticking to the tried and tested principle of location location location– close to the city, river, beach and good schools are always going to be a booming market’, Taliangis says.

Considering investing in the west? Here are our some property hotspots to explore for future investment opportunities.

Subiaco

WA is all about its vibrant, yet relaxed lifestyle. If being close to the city centre is important for your property investment (and let’s face it, the perks that come with it are fantastic), Subiaco is a prime hotspot to put your feelers out in. Subiaco is an affluent and desirable area for many, however over the last two years, Subiaco’s commercial sector has created downward pressure on residential values. This commercial loss has affected property prices, making the location great value for investment and living opportunities.

The location is close to the city and public transport which are two very desirable considerations for homeowners, renters and investors. Despite the loss of the famous Subi Markets, which contributed towards the falling house prices, Subiaco has new plans in motion which are set to trigger new interest in the suburb.

Kingsley

Perth’s north has been leading the city’s property market recovery over the last 12 months. Sorrento, Heathridge, Joondalup and Carine are all on the rise as far as investment opportunities and sales go. But Kingsley has topped the lot for long-term growth in waterfront areas or strong family suburbs. *The median price in Kingsley is $459,000-$577,000, making it very affordable for first-time buyers and investors. It’s also close to the railway link, schools and major shopping centres, encouraging higher density living and a desirable, affordable lifestyle.

Karawara

Often overlooked, Karawara is just eight kilometres from Perth’s CBD and is packed full of high-quality amenities giving it plenty to offer. A small suburb in the city of South Perth, it neighbours the more affluent suburb of Como and is adjacent to Perth's largest university. There is good public transport and access to the area with two main arterials being Kent Street and Manning Road, which connects to the Kwinana Freeway.

The suburb also features a large variety of parklands as well as the popular Collier Golf Course. While there remains a high proportion of student housing due to its proximity to Curtin University, the area as a whole is currently undergoing gentrification, with upgrades of Waterford Shopping Centre leading the charge.

Fremantle

With the redevelopment of Fremantle’s city centre, the waterfront and Victoria Quay, Freo’s tourism and community facilities have been on the rise and have increased the housing demand in the area. Fremantle is all about its vibrant atmosphere and buzzing live music scene. Character homes make the suburb easy to fall in love with and it’s in close proximity to the beach, transport, schools and all of life’s essentials, making it one of the coolest towns in WA to live and invest in. *The median unit price is $471,000, with a rental yield of $360 per week, while houses $748,750, bring in an expected rent of $500 per week.

Scarborough

Scarborough is one to watch over the next 12 months. With the beach foreshore works almost finalised, the already desirable location has taken an even bigger turn in the property market. New infrastructure, cafés, fine dining and a beach-front swimming pool are just some of the features that make up the recent $100 million redevelopments. Scarbs has changed a lot since its rock n’ roll scene in the 50s but it still thrives on surf, beach and skate culture that both tourists and residents alike love. The latest improvements have only made the suburb a better catch for investors and homeowners.

For sale: Scarborough, WA

For sale: Scarborough, WA

Burswood

Just 10 minutes outside Perth, Burswood has also seen some new redevelopments take place. The new Perth stadium, due to open early next year, has been underway in Burswood for some time now, helping to drive property sales and investment prospects. These improvements have not just seen the Burswood property market boom, but also its neighbouring suburbs. Belmont Park, Burswood Park Golf Clubs, new train stations and the $650 million Crown Tower developments ensure this location will bring in great rental yields in the long term.

We hope these insights put you on a path to securing a stellar Perth investment property. For more info on WA housing take a look at these five reasons you should invest in Perth and the top land developments in WA.

Author bio:

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for 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. Catch Jayde on Google+.

(*Note. All stats provided by Momentum Wealth)

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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Brisbane Christmas lights 2017 – Where to see the very BEST of the best!

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Brisbane Christmas lights 2017 – Where to see the very BEST of the best!

Are you looking for Brisbane Christmas lights to tour with your family? Not only do Families Magazine have an easy-to-follow downloadable guide to the lights but they’ve also prepared their ten MUST-SEE homes for 2017 for us!

Brisbane Christmas lights gold standard- 4KQ competition

Since time immemorial, 4KQ 693 Classic Hits have judged the very best in Brisbane Christmas Lights. This tradition is the very highest honour for those amongst us dedicated to spreading the Christmas spirit (via millions of tiny lights).

The setups, the spectacles and the real-life Santas make many of these displays more like carnivals than simple homes decorated with a string or two of Christmas lights.

There are special bus tours covering different regions in Brisbane that leave from the CBD and various shopping centres to ensure that each and every family gets a chance to partake in the spirit of the season.

Without further ado, here are Families Magazine's top 10 picks for the MUST-SEE Brisbane Christmas lights of '17!

11 Lucy Drive, Edens Landing, QLD

11 Lucy Drive, Edens Landing, QLD

1. Addison Court, Morayfield

Accolades – 4KQ Best Display 2016, 4KQ Best North Winner 2016 and Runner-up Best Northern Suburbs 2015.

A flying Santa and reindeer, Nativity scene and specific themed areas make this a must-see. It’s located on a cul-de-sac which can make parking an issue. Our top tip is to park further away and walk to the house! 

25 Addison Court, Morayfield, QLD

25 Addison Court, Morayfield, QLD

2. Huron Street, Banyo

Accolades – Judges Commendation 4KQ 2016, Grandma’s Garden Christmas Lights and Best Northern Suburbs 2016.

This is a winding, magical display that includes many themed sections (including fairy gardens)! Lots of cute photo opportunities available for families with excited kids.

3. 116 Board Street, Deagon

Not only is this a great example of Brisbane Christmas Lights but it’s also a mini-festival! It’s a church that’s on HUGE grounds and has carolling as well as baking stalls. The whole community gets involved so make sure you come close to Christmas to get the most out of the experience. 

4. 4 Gordons Crossing Road East, Joyner

Accolades – 4KQ Bill Stratton Hall of Fame 2016.

This is…intense. In a good way! These lights are split up into lots of different sections, so you can wander through taking it all in. There’s even beautiful overhead lighting to take in. Wonderful!

5. Curragundi Road, Jindalee

Accolades – 2014 4KQ Best West Finalist.

The western suburbs offer a number of great opportunities to view some beautiful lighting setups and this is but one of them! Definitely not to be missed.

20 Curragundi Road, Jindalee, QLD

20 Curragundi Road, Jindalee, QLD

6. Hawk Place, Sinnamon Park

Accolades – 4KQ Best Neighbourhood Winner 2016, 1st Place Best Neighbourhood 2015 and 3rd Place Best Neighbourhood 2014.

Let your little ones stroll the entire neighbourhood to take in all the delights! There are animated displays, inflatables and wonder after wonder. Cars are banned from the street during the peak Christmas light season so make sure you park appropriately. There are just too many people to risk it!

7. Everard Street, Westlake

Accolades – 3rd Place Best Neighbourhood Christmas Lights 2015 and 2nd Place Best Neighbourhood 2014.

There are almost a dozen houses here that all take part but be cautious of cars trying to turn around in the middle of the street. It’s a great way to take kids out for that one ‘all in one’ hit of lights before getting them to bed at a decent time (as if there’s any such thing during Christmas!).

8. 25 Lacewood Circuit, Warner

Accolades – Best Themed Display 2014 and 2015, Bill Stratton Hall of Fame.

This is a veritable WINTER WONDERLAND with very high-quality decorations. Some Australiana-themed sections will excite animal lovers and there are animated miniatures! Very cool and very cute!

Huron Street, Banyo, QLD

Huron Street, Banyo, QLD

9. Brandella Place, Belmont

This street in Belmont consistently place high on 4KQ’s list of Best Neighbourhoods – for very good reason! 12 to 15 houses in this stretch take part as hundreds (even thousands!) of people come from near and far to gaze in wonder at the displays. Very much worth the trip!

10. Lucy Drive, Edens Landing

For the last Brisbane Christmas lights hot-spot on our list, travel safe to Logan. This gigantic display uses eco-friendly power. There are themed areas (including some chilled polar bears!) This is a hugely impressive display that’s sure to amaze kids (and adults as well!).

These are our top picks that are spread out all over the city. If you’d like to visit some lights that are near to where you live, make sure you print off these maps. Each local map is organised by the best driving route for maximum views in the shortest distance. The closer to Christmas you go, the more likely the displays are to be at their best so time your visits accordingly!

Happy twinkling! 

Have a favourite Brisbane street we missed? Feel free to share it in the comments section below or on our best Brissy Xmas lights discussion page.

For those of you situated in Melbourne here are some of homely's favourite Melbourne Xmas light destinations.

Company bio:

Families Magazine is a print and online resource for parents with children aged 0-13. Families Magazine is the Clever Resource for Thinking Parents. Their website has DOWNLOADABLE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS MAPS – make sure you get yours!

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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5 tips to ensure your home is adequately protected

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5 tips to ensure your home is adequately protected

Undoubtedly, a house is one of the most important assets we will ever own. Despite the significance a home plays in our lives and that of our family, alarmingly many homeowners lack adequate financial protection for their property and possessions.

Research shows that almost 29 per cent of homeowners don’t have a home and contents insurance policy in place and as many as 40 per cent are underinsured in some capacity.

Not only does having home and contents insurance give you peace of mind, it ensures you are suitably prepared for any accidents, natural disasters and even something as inconvenient as accidentally dropping your phone in the toilet!

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Preparation is key when it comes to protecting your assets which is why life admin experts, iSelect have shared five handy tips to consider when sourcing a home insurance policy to suit your personal circumstances.

1. Value

Ensure your policy accurately reflects the value of your home and the contents of it. One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is opting for a policy with a low premium that doesn’t necessarily cover all items and overlooks minor things such as accidental damage – so be sure to check the fine print and understand what is covered.

2. Savings

Explore whether your selected provider offers any discounts and reduced premiums due to added security and safety measures, such as alarm systems and smoke alarms, that you may already have in place. Some insurers even offer multi-policy discounts by bundling home and contents with another insurance offering, so it pays to ask the question.

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Read more: Security tips to save money on your insurance bill

3. Records

It's good practice to keep documentation and references of correspondence between you and your chosen provider in case any disputes arise. Save yourself future headaches by holding onto receipts (especially for big-ticket items!) and capturing photos that show the condition of your home and the contents in it.

4. Cover everyone

Make sure your house insurance policy covers everyone living in the household, this is particularly important to check if you're renting. Pet owners might also like to consider a policy that covers any unforeseen damage caused by a mischievous animal.

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5. Shop around

Don’t just settle, always do your research. All policies have their limitations and perks so find out what’s on offer from a range of providers to ensure your policy delivers both in terms of price and personal circumstance. For example, if your situation is likely to change, such as you're planning to renovate or vacate your home for an extended period, be sure to check you're covered for this event.

Taking the time to understand and chose a policy that suits your personal situation may ultimately save you future financial burden and loses if your home or possessions are ever damaged or stolen.

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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10 on-trend outdoor privacy screen options

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10 on-trend outdoor privacy screen options

You’ve just accomplished one of your life-long goals - acquiring your own home, complete with the outdoor space that you’ve always dreamt of. However, along with the pleasure of having your own patio, balcony or backyard, is the question of privacy. The last thing you want to do is avoid this part of your new home altogether just because you feel uncomfortable with the idea that your neighbours can see your every move.

Owning a home should come with the luxury of your own private alfresco space where you can entertain and relax beyond the line of sight of your neighbour’s balcony, yard or house. At first, it may seem like a situation that you have no choice but to live with, but there are many ways to solve overlooking issues.

Privacy screens can easily be installed in your space to keep you and your guests away from the prying eyes of passers-by and neighbours. If you want to explore your screening options, here are some living, man-made and repurposed material ideas that work wonders to stylishly preserve the privacy of your outdoor space.

Living screens

1. Creeping vines – Vines that climb along a trellis, fence or balustrade not only serve as an effective partition for areas you want better concealed – it is also a living screen that keeps things a bit cooler in your outdoor area on hot days. Some of the most attractive and best climbers to consider planting include:

  • Clematis
  • Ivy
  • Morning Glory
  • Trumpet Vine
  • Wisteria

2. Green wall – This green screen works well on small porches and balconies where space and gardening options are limited. Stack a series of potted plants in a wire mesh fence or on a wall mounted pot system to add some greenery, as well as privacy to your space.

While this living privacy screen adds intimacy in your space, it also allows you to use your vertical space to grow herbs and plants that can improve the beauty of your home.

3. Pot plants – You can get creative with where you position your plants. Simply grow bamboo plants, shrubs or hedges of your choice in rustic repurposed planters made from everyday items such as plastic tubs, wine barrels, pallet planters or any container to hide your porch from view. Below are some of the best options for pot plant privacy screens:

  • Boxwood
  • Cacti
  • Jasmines

Man-made screens

4. Wattle– A cheap and simple option for adding privacy, wattle screens can be easily made by repurposing twigs, reeds or branches. It adds a cool sculptural and rustic feel to your balcony or patio and can be easily repositioned.

Image: RuntedRun

Image: RuntedRun

5. Bamboo Screens made from bamboo are ideal solutions to create a private space outside your home. They lend a warm organic appeal and are guaranteed to last for years.

There is also a huge selection of bamboo privacy screens that can offer privacy while lending a traditional or even modern appeal to your yard.

Some of your options include:

  • Bamboo rod screens
  • Custom & mobile screens
  • Natureed® screens
  • Bamboo screening

Tip: Clumping bamboo plant varieties have a beautiful fast growing evergreen foliage that can be used as a bushy and tall hedge to boost backyard privacy.

6. Lattice & laser cut – These simple and elegant privacy solutions complement minimalist or traditional home designs nicely. You can also hang small planters in the lattice or laser cut sections so your screen can double as a vertical garden as well.

7. Timber slats - For homes with a minimalist or modern design, a slat screen would be a good option. Timber slat privacy screens are simple but render elegance and warmth that can add impact to your home’s landscape design.

Kempas screening is a great option made from plantation hardwood timber that can be used as an attractive & highly functional screen to make your patio, balcony or outdoor space more private.

Image: House of Bamboo

Image: House of Bamboo

Upcycled options

8. Outdoor curtains - Fabric curtains are a ready-made privacy solution that is highly customisable. Add them to a pergola or install curtain rods to enclose your porch whenever needed. You can even repurpose the fabric from your old interior curtains to add beauty to your home while keeping the budget down.

Image: Eac Designs

Image: Eac Designs

9. Shutters – On a more creative side, you can use louvre shutters or old shutters to build a privacy screen. Mix and match old shutters that have different dimensions and colours for a practical and arty addition to your backyard. You can also opt for equally-sized shutters, repainted in white for a cleaner more unified look.

10. Bottles – You can also repurpose and assemble empty bottles to create a colourful privacy screen. Depending on the look you want to achieve, it’s up to you whether you will use clear empty bottles or tinted ones. Whatever your choice is, you can assemble those bottles to create a privacy screen that can greatly improve the outdoor area of your home.

Image: Who's Got Thyme

Image: Who's Got Thyme

Owning a home should entitle you to certain privileges, comfort and privacy. Whether you want to reclaim your outdoor space away from prying eyes or simply make a certain area of your home more attractive and sheltered, there is bound to be a screening solution that suits your needs and budget.

Is there a privacy screen solution we missed? Let us know in the comments section below.

For more ways to dress up your backyard this summer check out 5 tips to beautify your yard, how to give your garden a blissful resort feel and outdoor kitchen essentials.

Author bio:

George Katsoudas is a Digital Marketing Professional. He works as the Managing Director of Low Cost SEO, a digital marketing firm in Sydney and as Digital Media Manager for House of Bamboo, offering Australia the most varied collection of classic and new natural materials.

Company bio:

House of Bamboo is Australia’s trusted source for eco-friendly and high-quality natural materials that can be integrated into contemporary settings. Their range encompasses high-quality bamboo fencing, timber screens, privacy screens, decorative screens, ceiling panels, rattan cane webbing, fence panels and pool certification.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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Paint colours that’ll boost your home’s value

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Paint colours that’ll boost your home’s value

When December rolls around each year it’s a great time to assess whether your home could use a fresh coat of paint inside or out. This is especially important if you’re looking to sell in 2018.

On warm summer days you can slap on a second coat in next to no time and you may even have some time off to save some coin by doing it yourself over the festive season.

While we know there are many ways to improve the value of your home, the paint colour you chose may not be one of the most obvious one.

Most homeowners assume sticking to a predominantly white paint colour palette is a safe bet. But a paint colour analysis earlier this year by Zillow showed how certain paint colours can positively or negatively impact a home’s sale price, and surprisingly white wasn’t highly rated.

‘Colour can be a powerful tool for attracting buyers to a home, especially in listing photos and videos’, says Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist.

‘Painting walls in fresh, natural-looking colours, particularly shades of blue and pale grey not only make a home feel larger, but also are neutral enough to help future buyers envision themselves living in the space’, Gudell advises.

If you’re thinking about selling in 2018, these are the paint colours to use in key areas of your home to maximise your sale price.

Bathroom- Powder blue & periwinkle blue

If you’ve only got the budget or time to give one room a fresh lick of paint before you sell, select a pale shade of blue for your bathroom. Zillow’s study revealed that homes with blue bathrooms sold for $5,440 more than expected, the highest sales premium of all colours analysed.

Check out Dulux shades Sea Breeze Half, Foresight and Pre School.

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Image: Decor Pad

Image: Decor Pad

Kitchen- Light blue & soft grey-blue

Homes with light blue or grey-blue wall colour in their kitchens made $1,809 more than expected. Gudell says, ‘incorporating light blue in kitchens and bathrooms may pay off especially well as the colour complements white countertops and cabinets’.

Check out Dulux shades Vanilla Ice Quarter, Airborne and Featherbed.

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Image: Colin Poole for Style at Home

Image: Colin Poole for Style at Home

Bedrooms- Light cerulean blue & cadet blue

Yet another big win for cool shades of blue, bedrooms with light cerulean or cadet blue walls sold for $1,856 more than expected. For a dramatic effect opt for a bold shade of royal blue to enhance a feeling of sophistication and tranquillity in the bedroom.

Check out Dulux shades Blue Oar, Whimsy Half and Blue Satin.

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Image: Havertys

Image: Havertys

Living rooms- Beige, pale taupe & oatmeal

Living rooms with warmer neutral tones came out on top in the study, where living spaces with light beige, pale taupe or oatmeal coloured walls sold for $1,809 more than expected. These warm neutrals help to create a welcoming and happy vibe in living spaces without being too overpowering.

Check out Dulux shades Bread Crumb, Clay Pipe and Ecru.

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Exterior- greige (mix of grey & beige)

Don’t forget the exterior of your home acts as a billboard for your property, drawing potential buyers to look inside. So, it’s important you get the colour scheme spot on before selling. Zillow’s research showed 'greige' exterior colour helped homes achieve $1,526 more than expected.

Dulux’s Natural Beauty exterior colour scheme is the perfect timeless look to increase your street appeal. Inspired by tactile elements the scheme features colours drawn from nature with a focus on neutrals, warm greys and charcoals.

‘The Natural Beauty colour scheme achieves a look which is relaxed with colours such as Dulux Vintage Beige, Malay Grey and Domino which can be paired perfectly with materials such as brick, timber and stone,’ says Bree Leech, Creative Consultant and Stylist for Dulux.

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Front door- Grey & blue

For an instant lift to your home’s exterior, consider painting your front door a bold shade of blue or grey. Zillow’s study found homes with navy blue, dark grey or charcoal coloured front doors sold for $1,514 more than expected.

Take inspiration from Dulux’s Bright Spot colour palette, which is ideal for mid-century architecture.

‘Experiment with hues to achieve a modern take on architectural colour palettes. Use bold hints of colour such as Dulux High Blue or Go Alpha in architectural details such as the front door, pot plants and even letterboxes,’ Leech says.

Also check out Timeless Grey, Terrace White and Surf’n’dive by Dulux.

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Image: Styled by Bree Leech and Heather Nette King. Photographed by Mike Baker.

Image: Styled by Bree Leech and Heather Nette King. Photographed by Mike Baker.

We hope these paint colour insights help you to achieve a good result when it comes time to sell.

For more home decor ideas take a look at these paint colour trend predictions for 2018 and low-cost ways to dress up plain white walls.

Happy painting!

The Homely Team

About homely.com.au:

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

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

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

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Should I make my investment property dog-friendly? The pros & cons

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Should I make my investment property dog-friendly? The pros & cons

As much as bringing a four-legged friend to a rental is most investor’s nightmare, dog-friendly properties are a smart investment and one that’s rapidly becoming the norm.

There’s no denying that Australians have a love affair with their pets. And why shouldn’t we? In fact, more than 63% of Australian households include a pet and new research shows that owning a dog can help you live longer, making man's best friend a vital part of our families, lifestyle and homes.

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Thanks to recent changes to Victorian rental laws, dogs are set to get off the leash and be put on the lease, limiting a landlord’s ability to refuse pets. One can only hope the rest of the country catches on soon too. The new law means landlords now have to give reasons for refusing pets, shining a light on the fact that retaining a pet makes a huge difference towards tenants feeling comfortable, secure and happy in a rented home.

Dog-friendly rental properties are in high demand and it’s a trend that any landlord should consider if they want to open their doors to more tenants and better investment opportunities.

Unfortunately though, there’s still an extreme shortage of pet-friendly rentals where pet owners struggle to find housing. Is making your investment property dog-friendly worth it? Here are the pros and cons to weigh up before you decide.

Big benefits for the owner & the renter 

Dog-friendly rentals can be a competitive advantage for landlords willing to introduce a pet-considered policy. Not only is there a larger pool of tenants to choose from, but those that are refused rentals because of their four-legged friend will be eager to impress. Dog owners tend to be written off as bad tenants, but they can make great tenants with big benefits for both parties. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Longer leases meaning landlords can reduce advertising and vacancy costs, and take the hassle out of finding new tenants. Tenants generally want to find a home where they can stay for the long run too, as moving frequently can be disruptive to their four-legged friend.
  • Pet owners can be willing to pay more in rent or bond to secure a pet-friendly home.
  • More pet-friendly rentals would help reduce the number of animals being unnecessarily surrendered to shelters, with many tenants being forced to do so as they struggle to get into the competitive rental market.
  • Dog-friendly properties rent faster and get more enquiries so property managers can be extra selective in choosing the right tenants.
  • Responsible pet owners make excellent tenants! They understand how hard it is to find a suitable home, so they’re more likely to go out of their way to abide by the rules to avoid having to search for a new place and move again.

The cons of dog-friendly investment properties

If you put yourself in a landlord’s shoes, it’s easy to see why many don’t favour the presence of pets in their investment property. It’s not about disliking animals, but the risks to the property itself that comes along with allowing pets as tenants. There’s the potential damage from pets chewing, scratching, clawing or digging to consider, nasty smells and stains, and increased insurance costs. Barking dogs are frustrating for neighbours too, with the possibility of noise complaints from nearby residents.

It’s not all bad news though. Many of the risks associated with dog-friendly rentals can be minimised by pet owners taking action and landlords implementing the right measures to better protect their properties.

When selecting a tenant, it’s crucial they have a well-trained dog to avoid any issues down the track. Tenants can increase their chances of securing a rental property considerably if Fido is well behaved. There are many services that can help out pups with digging, barking and other behavioural problems renters should consider.

Landlords can make small but effective changes to their investment properties to better cater for tenants with pets. Keeping courtyards secure with fencing, adding secure screens or replacing carpet with tiles or laminate flooring in the main living areas can go a long way to protecting the property and keeping pet owners happy too. Setting clear guidelines in your lease for what will happen if the dog is excessively noisy, dangerous or causes damage is also important. You can also meet with the pet and tenant prior to signing a lease, to gauge whether or not they’re suitable.

Does your pooch hit the mark? Get pre-approved with a pet resume.

The introduction of pet resumes can make it easier for tenants to secure a dog-friendly rental property and landlords to protect their investment properties. Pet resumes are designed so dogs can make a good impression and can turn pet-intolerant landlords into pet-friendly ones. It also gives tenants a competitive advantage, proving they’re serious about the rental application and finding the perfect dog-friendly rental.

Investing in a pet-friendly rental can provide great advantages to landlords. Don’t just write off dog owners in fear that your hard-earned investment is going to be destroyed. With most Aussie households including pets, and pet-friendly rentals in such short supply, the right changes to a lease agreement and precautions can open up your pool of potential tenants significantly.

Author bio:

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who recommends Bark Busters -  an award-winning team of specialists that offer home dog training in Perth. Bark Busters’ expert trainers work with your and your best friend to address any obedience and behaviour issues, opening the door to fun and new learning opportunities. You can catch her on Google+.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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Simple, effective & permanent ways to improve household ventilation

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Simple, effective & permanent ways to improve household ventilation

Is your home often stuffy? Do you feel like the air is stale and there is no real airflow? Or are you conscious of persistent and unpleasant odours that you can’t seem to get rid of? Maybe condensation buildup is a problem and you’re constantly fighting mould inside? If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of those questions, it’s highly likely that your home isn’t sufficiently ventilated. 

Adequate ventilation is crucial to maintaining a happy, healthy living environment inside your home. Poor ventilation leads to mould, which is more than just an unsightly nuisance. It’s a common allergy trigger and severe health hazard. 

Proper ventilation is also important in maintaining the structural soundness of the home. Dampness can facilitate the onset of rot in key structural components of the home and undermine the integrity of the whole building.

To comply with energy ratings, modern homes are often tightly sealed. The result? - poor ventilation. But hey, that doesn’t mean you should fold your hands and meekly accept that you’ll just have to cope with these problems for the rest of your life! There are solutions, and what’s more, they’re simple, effective and permanent.

Let’s look at a few easy ways you can help ventilation issues in your home.

Open windows & doors

This may sound like a no-brainer, but funnily enough, it’s something we often forget to do! Simply opening the bathroom window after your shower can help draw all that moist, humid air out of the room and dry out the shower cubicle. This, in turn, will help solve mildew issues - mould loves warm, wet conditions and that’s why bathrooms are such problem areas.

Provided it doesn’t compromise the safety of your home, use this basic trick to help flush out unpleasant odours, cooking smells and dry out any other damp corners of the home. It’s simple, it doesn’t cost anything and it’s very effective. 

Exhaust fans

Installing exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen is a great way to get rid of warm, humid air. Exhaust fans are not expensive and they can make a huge difference when it comes to dealing with stale air and odours. Drawing the stale air out and replacing it with fresh, clean air will make that room a much more pleasant and healthy environment.

Total ventilation via heat recovery

If your budget allows, consider installing a ducted ventilation unit in the home. This is a mechanical system which uses a series of fans and ducts to remove stale, moisture-laden air and replaces it with clean, filtered air from outside. These units have been proven to vastly improve the quality of air inside the home and help create a healthier living environment. In addition to ventilation benefits, they’re also highly effective in maintaining temperature control.

Installation costs do vary depending on the size, age and structure of your home, but generally, a fully installed ventilation system will set you back about $5,000.

If you're budget conscious and not ready to install a complete home ventilation system, installing a few whirly birds would be a good way to go, and won’t break the bank. Installing two or three whirly birds will cost you around $600, obviously, this price can vary depending on the style and age of your home. Keep in mind, this is a rough estimation, its best to talk to the experts before making a final decision.

It’s important to consider the ventilation of your home. Not only can you solve obvious dampness issues, but you can do things to improve your health and overall quality of living. Healthy home = happy life!

Author bio:

Louise Procter writes for Natural Home Solutions. Living by the beach, on the sunny South Coast of NSW she enjoys sipping a good strong coffee whilst creating articles that provide information and inspiration to readers to help them in their everyday lives.

Louise Procter 1.png

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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How to care for a real Christmas tree

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How to care for a real Christmas tree

Artificial trees may have increased in popularity, but for the Xmas purist only a real tree will do. No matter how realistic it looks, an artificial tree can’t compete with the scent and feel of a real evergreen. It’s a living part of nature that, for a short time, we give a place of honour in our homes.
And no matter which kind of tree it is – spruce, fir, pine or cypress – once it’s indoors, the goal is to keep the tree fresh and green. This means keeping the needles pliable and on the tree until the holidays are over. The only thing that does that is water, and lots of it. Think of it like a big, green pet: just as a dog or cat needs fresh water every day, so does a fresh Christmas tree.

Get the tree in water immediately

Once you get your tree home, put it into water as soon as possible, or at least within eight hours. If the trunk wasn’t freshly cut at the place where you bought the tree, then saw an inch or two off the bottom of the trunk and put it in a tree stand filled with fresh water. If you’re not ready to set it up, put it in a bucket of water in a cool place. The water temperature doesn’t matter.

Use the right stand

Your stand should comfortably fit the diameter of your tree’s trunk. Whittling the trunk down will only dry the tree out faster. The US’s National Christmas Tree Association recommends that a tree stand should provide roughly one litre of water per 2.5cm of stem diameter. Be sure the tree stand you choose has a large water reservoir. A tree can take up almost four litres of water in its first few hours in the stand.

Water, water, water

Big trees mean lots of agua. Watch that the cut part of the trunk stays below the waterline. Adding aspirin, lemon squash or other concoctions to the water won’t extend the tree’s life, but it might sicken pets or children if they drink out of the water reservoir.

Once indoors, a live tree’s branches will relax and open. Allow enough space when siting the tree for the lowest branches to fall open and not get in the way of foot traffic.

Keep the tree cool

To an evergreen that spent years growing in a field, your house is as dry as the Sahara Desert. And where do Christmas trees often look best? Centred in front of windows, where the strong summer sun streams in.

Position the tree out of the sun and away from other heat sources. Keep the temperature in the room as low as is practical. But also be careful if cranking the air con – this can also work to dry out your tree.

As magical as it seems to come home to a sparkling tree, don’t leave the tree’s lights on overnight or when no one’s in the house.

Even with daily watering, cut trees will eventually dry out. When needles drop when you touch them, and branches droop so low that ornaments are hitting the floor, it’s time to take off the decorations, wrap the tree in an old sheet, and take it outside.

You can saw off some of the tree’s branches and cover garden beds with them to protect plants, or turn them into mulch with a chipper or shredder. If you have the room, drag the tree to an out-of-the-way spot for birds and animals to use as cover.

Some communities now collect spent Christmas trees and make mulch or compost from them, which they offer back to residents. The saddest end for a tree is for it to be hauled off to a landfill, instead of being turned back into soil – allowed to decompose and feed living creatures, the way nature intended.

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

Author bio:

Therese Ciesinki is a Houzz contributor, and freelance writer and editor for national and regional magazines, including Garden Design, This Old House, Coastal Home, and Organic Gardening.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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The 12 most spectacular Aussie homes listed for sale in 2017

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The 12 most spectacular Aussie homes listed for sale in 2017

From edgy warehouse conversions, modern masterpieces and revamped Victorians, we see many examples of exceptional Australian architecture daily for sale and rent on homely.

We thought it’d be interesting to do a retrospective of the most striking homes that sold in 2017.

Without further ado, here are the most popular and astonishing homes featured on homely’s Instagram in the past 12 months.

1. Waterfront wow-factor.

With its jaw-dropping waterfront position and Middle Harbour views, it’s no wonder this was our most liked home of the year. Some of 'The Bluff’s' luxury features include a private jetty, a Spanish mosaic tiled swimming pool and underfloor heating. It sold in June for a tidy $6 million and was later rented out for $3,100 a week.

2. Flawlessly renovated Edwardian.

Elegant from every angle, this attractive four-bedroom property sold in April for $2,575,000. Part of this home’s success can be attributed to the respect with which its period features were lovingly restored, a separate garden studio space and the lush Jaye Metcalf designed landscaping.

3. French farmhouse tree change.

Sold in August for $2,515,000, this incredibly tranquil property features not one but two luxurious three-bedroom European inspired villas on 6 acres of park-like surrounds. But that’s not all! The magnifique property has an orchard, grape vines and a saltwater swimming pool. Perfection!

4. Grand scale family living.

Set amongst stunning parterre gardens, this impressive home sold for $4,755,000 in May this year. There is an abundance of entertaining options with terraces, patios, a poolside cabana and even a wine cellar with tasting room.

5. Bespoke charmer.

Showcasing classic charm on the outside and thoroughly modern finishes on the inside, this five-bedroom home sold for $4.86 million in March. Featuring an integrated sound system, underfloor heating, C-Bus automation and a climate controlled wine cellar, this place has all the mod cons you could ever want for.

6. Cliffside luxury.

Our idea of kitchen and entertaining nirvana, this modern marvel was designed by Koichi Takada Architects. Scrolling through the listing gallery you’ll notice flowing living spaces and bedrooms taking in breathtaking ocean panoramas. It’s easy to see why it sold for $4.1 million last June.

7. Opulent riverfront abode.

Overlooking the Swan River and Perth skyline, this sublime home was withdrawn from the market earlier this year and is currently listed fully furnished to rent for $3,250 a week. The contemporary design includes six-bedrooms, an open fireplace, an infinity pool and a self-contained one-bedroom apartment.

8. Jaw-dropping cliffhanger.

This staggering home is listed for sale for $2million+ and was featured on Channel Nine’s Amazing Homes TV show. Designed by Brad Read the four-bedroom home looks out over the treetops below all the way to the Sunshine Coast.

9. Creative warehouse conversion.

A former mechanic’s workshop, this intriguing property sold in February for $2,945,000. The home includes four-bedrooms, light-filled open pla living and a fabulous rooftop garden with city glimpses.

10. Breathtaking Victorian transformation.

Masterfully renovated it comes as no surprise that this stunner sold for $4.735 million in February. The double fronted home shows off exquisite French Oak parquetry flooring, high ceilings, an open fireplace, polished concrete floors and a tennis practice court kids would love.

11. Sleek country retreat.

Located only 20 minutes outside Byron Bay in the lush hinterland, this gorgeous seven-bedroom is an entertainer’s delight and sold for $2.18 million in March. Boasting countryside vistas, an infinity edge pool, spa, outdoor shower, fireplace, wine cellar and a two-bedroom self-contained guesthouse.

12. Seaside serenity.

Snapped up for $3 million in May, this spectacular home frames beautiful and unique views where the ocean meets countryside. Highlights include low-maintenance landscaping, a heated pool, steam room, open fireplace and high ceilings.

To see more incredible Australian homes take a look at the 10 best homes sold in 2016, ultimate homes for embracing your inner child and enviable home libraries up for sale

Happy renovating!

The Homely Team

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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Low-cost ideas to dress up plain white walls (no painting required!)

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Low-cost ideas to dress up plain white walls (no painting required!)

Whenever you think about how to liven up a boring plain white wall, paint is the first thing that comes to mind. The problem is DIY painting is no walk in the park, taping up edges, dealing with the fumes, getting an even finish, all these things add up to hassles and a considerable time commitment.

So why not skip it altogether? There are many other options out there to dress up that plain wall, which will not require you to pull out the roller and paint tin.

Custom canvas photo prints

With the advent of bubble jet printing technology, printing photos became much cheaper. In particular, when bubble jet techniques for printing on canvas were developed, custom home wall art was finally within reach for everyone.

A canvas print of your favourite family photo, a landscape shot from your last holiday or the family pet doing something silly, can all make wonderful additions to any room. Maybe even a collage from your wedding? They are especially effective as a budget solution to dress up plain white walls, simply because you already have the art (your own photos) and the printing itself is very economical.

Pick out your favourite shots and get them printed professionally, and you’ll have that plain wall brightened up in no time.

Image: The Canvas Factory

Image: The Canvas Factory

Washi tape & decals

Washi tape and decals are decorative tape and stickers made from rice paper, usually coming from Japan. They hold on to walls well and come in basically every colour, pattern or design you can think of. This stuff is great for decorating walls as it comes off without causing any damage.

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Your design can be as complicated or as simple as you like, from creating a full wall mural of mountain ranges to just being content with some even spaced crosses. Both will serve the purpose of making that plain white wall more exciting.

Just remember to wipe down the wall before applying the tape or decal otherwise dust or grime can interfere with the adhesion from lasting long term.

Gallery wall display

This one might go slightly beyond budget for some, though there are economical options available. A gallery wall display consists of multiple panels of large photo prints or artworks, in varying sizes, arranged for greatest optical effect.

Image: RedAgape

Image: RedAgape

It’s essentially an upgraded version of a collage, and turns any blank wall into an interesting artistic feature. Add interest by getting a family happy snap or patterns printed on canvas or use mismatched frames containing swatches of fabric for added texture. It all depends on what will work best for your interior design aesthetic and taste.

Removable wallpaper

Give a blank wall an instant boost by applying peel and stick removable wallpaper. Made from woven polyester, modern self-adhesive wallpaper is easy to apply, tear resistant, fade-resistant and removes cleanly. In fact, it is so durable it can be removed and repositioned as many times as you like. 

From whimsical patterns, landscape murals, bold Art Deco prints, vibrant florals and brick look prints, you're sure to find a style that takes your fancy. Best of all it's easily swapped out for a new design when you want a new accent wall look.

A fabric drop wall

A fabric drop wall can be a great option for adding some colour to a plain white wall, and best of all it is incredibly easy to do and remove so there aren't any issues if you’re renting. Just head down to your nearest fabric store and pick out some patterns you like, and buy a size big enough to cover the area you desire.

Image: Modestlyhandmade.com

Image: Modestlyhandmade.com

Then use tacks or adhesive removable wall hooks to drape the fabric across that plain white wall. instant colour! The best part is just how many different colours and patterns are available in fabrics, so you're bound to be able to find something that will work in your home.

For more cost-effective ways to makeover your place check out our budget savvy interior design tips, low-cost bedroom revam ideas and cheap ways to fix up your bathroom.

Company bio:

The Canvas Factory makes turning your favourite photograph or artwork into a canvas print easier than ever! Canvas prints are the perfect way to display your favourite photos. Our canvas prints, collages and mugs make the perfect personalised gift for that hard to buy for person. Offering 100% satisfaction guaranteed, and the quality that comes from 100% Australian made canvas prints. Follow the Canvas Factory on Facebook.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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Hidden costs of kitchen renovations to watch out for

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Hidden costs of kitchen renovations to watch out for

Back in the day kitchens were small dark rooms hidden at the back of the home. Nowadays the kitchen is the proud centrepiece of the home.

The kitchen is so much more than simply providing a place to cook. They are places to sit down with the family for a meal, entertain friends or help the kids with their homework.

As such a versatile hub of the home, it comes as no surprise that the most common interior renovation project undertaken by homeowners is a kitchen makeover.

If you’re planning a kitchen renovation of your own here are several of the not so obvious kitchen expenses to keep an eye out for when setting out your budget.

Design fee

Given the importance of the kitchen within modern Australian homes, and the typically substantial investment one makes when renovating it, it is essential to have an experienced professional tailor a design to suit your space and home perfectly. During the design phase, potential issues can be flagged by your designer and resolved, which could be costly if left unnoticed until construction starts.

Cooktop update

 

With the increasing popularity of induction cooktops, homeowners need to decide between a gas cooktop or an induction model. There are fantastic options in both these categories, and several things should be considered when selecting the correct cooktop for your you and your family.

Image: GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens

Image: GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens

From a cost and installation perspective, keep in mind that changing from gas to electricity or vice versa can be a costly exercise. If you have gas but would like to go for induction, the electricians may need to run a new circuit to the switchboard, which is not always a simple task. Conversely, if you want to switch to gas and already have electricity you’ll require a new gas connection, which could require a gas line upgrade and extension, which again will add to the cost.

Benchtop material

The choices are almost endless when selecting a benchtop material; natural stone, reconstituted stone, porcelain, concrete, timber, steel, laminate, the list goes on. The pricing for each material varies greatly, so when setting your budget make sure you factor in a realistic estimate for the material you desire.

For example, most reconstituted stones have three to four ranges and grades to select from, and the quotes you get will generally be based on a standard range- so keep that in mind! The price difference from one to the other can be quite dramatic. Also, keep in mind you’ll see an increase in cost if you’re wanting under mount sinks, flush mount cooktops or waterfall edges.

Flooring

Are you planning to update your kitchen flooring? You might love your current flooring but will your new design uncover an area that will need treatment, and can that patch be easily mended and matched to your existing floor? This can be an especially costly reality if you have an open plan layout. With open plan designs, your flooring will most likely continue throughout the entire home or at least the living area, not just the kitchen. Replacing flooring throughout an entire home can be costly, and this decision should be considered in the initial design phase.

Appliances

Purchasing new appliances for your kitchen should be viewed as an investment. You will be faced with many options – single or double oven? Wall oven or cooktop combo? Steam oven? The list goes on. The price point for appliances vary greatly, so it's important to set out a budget, and a list of requirements to optimise functionality. The new appliances will likely be the greatest cost following the joinery – so make sure you have your appliances selected and budgeted for during the design stage. Keep in mind the pricing that you receive from builders or cabinet makers quite often will not include appliances.

Another option when considering appliances is the attractive concept of a seamless kitchen. This is a clever way to create a statement kitchen where all the appliances are hidden behind joinery using integrated appliances. The most common appliances used in this method are integrated fridges, freezers and dishwashers. This option will increase the joinery cost somewhat, and it should, therefore, be factored into your budget early on.

Image: GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens

Image: GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens

For more insights into kitchen remodelling check out these 6 lessons from a rookie renovator, the trades you need for a kitchen reno and amazing kitchen appliances that'll save you time.

Author bio:
Illan Elberg is the Sales & Marketing Manager of GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens. We are a specialist design & renovation company in Melbourne, with over 25 years experience, providing our clients with quality and customised transformation. Follow GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens on Facebook and Instagram.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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10 pieces of furniture that’ll never go out of style

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10 pieces of furniture that’ll never go out of style

Furnishing your home, whether it’s a new house or your existing one, can be a daunting task.

So, we’ve enlisted the expertise of Tracey Bright an Interior Designer at Brosa Furniture to share her favourite timeless furniture items worth investing in that’ll serve you well for years to come.

1. Chesterfield sofa

This is the most obvious choices in my eyes. This is not just a sofa, but a historical work of art. Chesterfield sofas dominate the sofa industry, with their deep buttons, rolled armrests, antique brass studs and masculine presence.

The design can be matched with multiple interior style trends. Choose one in a vintage cigar leather, and pair it with some ‘faded and degraded’ pieces to create a gentleman’s speakeasy vibe. Alternatively, pick a soft, natural linen upholstery to create a Hamptons haven. Add luxurious velvet to the masterpiece to create an opulent, extravagant, statement piece fit for a king.

Image: Brosa, Camden Chesterfield Leather 3.5 Seater Sofa

Image: Brosa, Camden Chesterfield Leather 3.5 Seater Sofa

2. Chaise lounge

A chair that is long enough to support your legs AND the test of time. Originating in Egyptian times and progressing with the Ancient Greeks and Romans, the chaise lounge was typically used to provide horizontal comfort whilst socialising. In modern culture, it is traditionally associated with neoclassical French-style boudoirs.

Today, due to the functional nature of the chair, it should be placed in areas of the home that encourage relaxation and leisure, such as the bedroom, sunroom or reading room. It’s also a popular choice for a psychiatrist’s office.

image: Brosa, Philippe Chaise Lounge

image: Brosa, Philippe Chaise Lounge

3. Square Louis XVI chair

There is something incredibly sophisticated and geometrically perfect about the square Louis XVI chair. The strong lines of the frame combined with the elaborate ornamentation of the timber and the soft fabric seat make it a perfectly proportioned creation.

There is an element of grace and charm to this chair. Generally, this design will tie in beautifully with many interior styles – depending on the finish you choose. A varnished frame tends to sit best within a traditional or Victorian style home, whereas a weathered-looking beech timber model lends itself to a Hamptons or French Provincial look. The seats can be upholstered in almost any material to help it fit into the appropriate setting.

Image: Brosa, Petite Fleur Dining Chairs

Image: Brosa, Petite Fleur Dining Chairs

4. Tufted bedhead

The diamond pattern, button-tufted bedhead has been around since the 17th century. It considers both genders with its a strong yet soft elegant look. Just like the chesterfield, it’s utterly timeless. It’s simple yet effective design works well with most interior trends. It can be upholstered in many different materials, such as linen, velvet, silk, leather or suede to suit your taste.

This detailed bedhead tends to steal the limelight within a bedroom – especially if it’s a bold colour. Try a softer neutral shade to suppress its dominance, or a vintage leather to give it an industrial/rustic twist.

Image: Brosa, Stella Tall King Size Bed Head

Image: Brosa, Stella Tall King Size Bed Head

5. Oriental rug

Although not strictly a piece of furniture, rugs are a crucial piece that should not be overlooked when furnishing your space.

There is no rug style more classic and timeless than oriental. The regal look evokes timelessness, interest and creativity. Authentic oriental rugs are hand-knotted in the Middle East and Asia, where their history dates to the 1800s.

Depending on the colour combination, these rugs can fit into any interior scheme; with the popular ‘faded and degraded’ style being introduced to industrial settings. Oriental rugs are fantastic for heavy traffic areas of the home; the multiple colours and intricate patterns create a great resistance to showing stains and wear. A rug ties a space together, anchors furniture, provides warmth and visual interest to a room. This classic trend won’t be going away anytime soon.

Image: Broas, Saser Large Wool Rug

Image: Broas, Saser Large Wool Rug

6. Club chair

This French design was originally called ‘fauteuil confortable’ meaning ‘the comfortable chair’, which is exactly why it has been around for so long and continues to sell well. Although a feature chair should look good, people want to feel good sitting in it too.

Traditionally this chair is seen in leather, however, it’s becoming more and more popular to dress this little gem in colourful or patterned upholstery. It’s a favourite for man caves, games rooms or spaces that desire a relaxed feel.

Image: Brosa, Philosopher Chair

Image: Brosa, Philosopher Chair

7. Wingback armchair

The wingback armchair first appeared in 17th century England. Typically, this chair would be found close to the fireplace for people to curl up and get warm in. Its high back and curved sides were intended to protect against cold drafts, and trap the heat within the area.

This chair has become increasingly popular as a feature within a large living room, a carver chair at the head of a dining table, a reading chair within a library, or a nursery chair within a kid’s room. The wingback can be adapted to many styles and continues to be a popular piece in stylish homes.

8. Ottoman

Round, square, rectangular, tall, small, tufted and storage, these are just a few types of ottomans on offer. These wonderful pieces of furniture are traditionally used for putting your feet up when sitting on a sofa or armchair.

Today, it has a more multi-functional purpose. It can be used as a footrest, a coffee table or an extra perch to sit when guests come over. The bigger the better for most people. This object is also a great way to introduce some colour into your space, without bringing in too much. Match it with the cushions on your sofa, the art on your wall or even your rug to create a perfectly balanced space.

9. Rocking chair

Possibly a little unexpected in this list, however, the rocking chair deserves some credit. It is said that the first rocking chair was invented by Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century. Since then, there have been many developments in both structure and design. Like many items on this list, it can be finished in many ways to give it a unique look.

Quite often associated with parenting and soothing children, the rocking chair is the perfect addition to a nursery, porch or child’s bedroom. It can often be found near windows overlooking beautiful scenery, or in the corner of the TV room as an accent piece. The novelty of a rocking chair ceases to wear thin. The curved wooden legs allow the occupant to rock back and forth in a relaxing manner.

Image: Brosa, Betty Rocking Chair

Image: Brosa, Betty Rocking Chair

10. Trestle dining table

Trestle dining tables were originally created in the Middle Ages to allow for people to entertain their guests to their fullest. Dinner would be served upon the solid timber frame, which would then be folded away straight after the meal so guests could use the space as a dance floor. Sadly, this function rarely still exists, but the stylish form still lives on.

Trestle tables tend to look their best styled within a traditional interior, however, people are beginning to introduce them into their Hamptons and French Provincial homes too. They look stunning when paired with an elegant scoop back dining chair – particularly ones that are upholstered.

Image: Brosa, Chelsea Trestle Dining Table

Image: Brosa, Chelsea Trestle Dining Table

We hope these 10 classic pieces of furniture will help to put you on your way to creating a stylish and timeless interior of your own.

For more furniture ideas take a look at these five must-have items of furniture, our patio furniture buying guide and how to choose the right TV cabinet.

Author bio:

Tracey Bright is Brosa’s very own Interior Designer. She spends her days inspiring and motivating her clients to create their perfect home. Her greatest passion is to convert a confused mind into a self-assured consciousness.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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6 sophisticated tile trends set to be big in 2018

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6 sophisticated tile trends set to be big in 2018

Tiles have are such a hot fashion item in home interior design these days that we constantly find ourselves looking forward in anticipation trying to predict which new trends will endure, especially if renovating is on the cards in the new year.

As with all tile trend movements, we find they normally begin slowly with our designers being the first to jump on board. Once customers see how wonderful new products look in finished rooms the trend expands quickly and we start to see an influx of new tile products.

We’re currently experiencing glimpses of brand new tile designs and colours currently increasing in popularity that we predict will be big in 2018.

Terracotta

This vintage beauty will make a comeback in 2018 mainly because of its characteristic rich warm hues and irresistible handmade qualities.

Terracotta is a natural material that is available in a variety of tones from rich reds to softer peachy colours. It's important to note that terracotta is a product that can vary in thickness, size and colour but these imperfections are all part of its natural appeal.

There is no limit as to where it can be used and large areas in these warm earthy tones will be an attractive option in the coming year. In terms of format, the new trends call for an updated version of the traditional square shape. Think long and sleek, hexagon or for somethin unique go for a lantern shape.

Perini Tiles- Terracotta Prato

Perini Tiles- Terracotta Prato

Handmade

There’s something very special about the look and feel of a product made by hand. Nothing quite beats the unique tactile and 'imperfect' qualities that exist in each individual tile and our love for them will peak over the next year.

We have seen this trend increasing in popularity in the past but we are now starting to see a larger variety of handmade tiles on offer. The trend is so admired that an increase in the production of handmade ‘look’ products has evolved making this style not only more affordable but also a very attractive option for a broader market of renovators and builders.

Perini Tiles- Handmade ‘Look’ Render collection

Perini Tiles- Handmade ‘Look’ Render collection

Earthy tones

Earthy muted tones will be popular in the new year with signs of this trend already starting to appear. These brown, green and tan tones are so easy to work with and provide the perfect opportunity to add subtle colour to the ever-popular grey, charcoal and brown tiles that continue to prevail.

Using these muted hues in combination with other neutrals is an effective way to add interest without committing to too much colour.

Blingy features

New tile collections in gold, copper and silver colours have begun to filter into our showroom and the response is positive. This new trend speaks to the marketplace’s readiness for bold and unique tile colours and designs. We have already witnessed gorgeous metallic colour trends in women’s fashion, bathroom tapware, homewares and furniture so it comes as no real surprise to see our tiles dipped in these shimmery tones.

Perini Tiles- Chrysos collection

Perini Tiles- Chrysos collection

Adding a feature wall with some bling sets a sophisticated tone and not to mention creates some serious luxe-factor in a bathroom, kitchen or living room. It creates a brilliant effect and is a welcome alternative to bold coloured tiles.

Terrazzo

We have seen an emergence of terrazzo tiles over the recent past and this style of tile will continue to be one of our most popular and active over the next year. It’s easy to see why terrazzo has become a favourite with our customers as it undoubtedly exudes an irresistible statement of style and versatility.

New terrazzo colours and impressive patterns will become available next year to keep up with the strong demand and to keep the interest level high. The production of terrazzo ‘look’ tiles are on the increase and are perfect for customers wanting a more low maintenance option but desire terrazzo’s unique aesthetics. 

Marble in pink, green & blue

It’s hard to beat the beautiful tones and natural variations of traditional marbles such as Carrara and Calacutta. It is a timeless look that many of our customers choose as their first preference. The new year will see this marble trend continue but will also offer natural stones in soft green, blue and pink marbles. This look is perfect for those wanting to create a point of difference and introduce subtle colour to a classic stone.

For more tiling inspo take a look at six bathroom tile designs we're obsessed with and the tile trends you'll see a lot more of in 2017.

Author bio:

Kate Fuller is the marketing & communications manager and assists with product development for Perini Tiles. Perini is a family owned business that has been around for over 40 years. With so many years and experience in the business, we have a pretty good sense of what is passing fad and what is a meaningful and innovative trend. When you work with Perini you get a professional partner with the highest standards to achieve outstanding results.

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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The unique challenges of renovating an apartment (& how to handle them)

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The unique challenges of renovating an apartment (& how to handle them)

Given that apartments typically occupy a smaller footprint than a house, they are generally a lot easier to transform and renovate than houses, particularly if the changes required are cosmetic, rather than structural.

As with most things, it is, however, necessary to do your homework and research thoroughly before committing to any type of renovation project. Check with your committee, body corp or strata manager on the by-laws and legislation relevant to your building.

If you're a buyer looking to fix and flip an apartment, determine up front who is responsible for what in the building you're interested in purchasing into, as this will vary from one development to another. That way, you can avoid sinking your own capital into improvements that could be paid for by the strata fund.

Here are some ways to handle the unique challenges you'll face when renovating an apartment.

apartment renovation.jpg

Plan more meticulously

With a house, if you have multiple trades working on it at the same time, they generally have more space to move around. They typically have a front and back yard to store all their tools, materials and rubbish. In an apartment, it’s common that none of that additional space is available. So it is more important when renovating a unit to have tighter control over the scheduling of tradies, so that they're not working on top of each other. By allocating specific dates to each tradie, they will get their job done quicker than they would when having to jostle with other tradies for space to work at the same time.

before and after apartment reno.jpg

Permission before demolition

When renovating an apartment, it is not okay (or safe!) to just start knocking walls down. With any significant apartment renovation, avoid unwanted surprises by reading your by-laws and get permission if required. Your plans may need to be submitted to the strata committee and be greenlit before you (or anyone else) can swing a hammer. Getting this approval can take time, so do so as early as possible to avoid additional costs while you’re waiting to commence works. Do also factor potential delays and unforeseen expenses into your overall budget, so you don’t end up running out of funds before your project is complete.

Keep the neighbours happy

Once you have your plans approved, you should inform any neighbours in the building who will be affected that you're about to commence work. They would certainly appreciate being prepared for it, instead of being suddenly interrupted by drilling, hammering, and tradies piling in and out of the building all day, leaving a trail of mess.

Also, be sure to stay within the approved times for carrying out noisy work, which is usually mentioned in your by-laws, and tends to be no earlier than 7am and no later than 5pm on weekdays. Try to use weekdays for the major works, as nobody wants to be disturbed by excessive noise when they're relaxing at home on the weekend.

Co-ordinating and planning any service interruptions is also critical when it comes to keeping the neighbours onside. Ideally, arrange to do so at the most convenient time that will cause the least amount of disruption, for example, in the middle of the day while most people are out at work.

Remember, in an apartment you may not be allowed to knock down internal walls, or in some circumstances be allowed to have floorboards with no carpeting if you live above another unit due to noise concerns. These are both things you'll need to clarify before planning any works.

Before you start fixing up that apartment that needs extensive remodelling, for you and your neighbour’s sake, remember the importance of doing your homework first.

For more insights into apartment living take a look at the common challenges and solutions of studio apartment living, the pros and cons of apartment living, how to handle neighbour disputes and the rules of apartment living.

Company bio:

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

About homely.com.au:

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

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

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

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

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5 powerful kitchen cabinet colour palettes (that aren’t white!)

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5 powerful kitchen cabinet colour palettes (that aren’t white!)

Let’s face it, white kitchens are everywhere. Contrary to popular belief, white isn’t the only option you have to create a timeless and visually appealing kitchen.

Remember colour is a powerful design tool that can influence your mood in a variety of ways.

So, when selecting a cabinet colour for a kitchen it’s important to not only consider the look you want to achieve but also the impact your colour choice will have on how to feel when you occupy the space.

If a traditional all-white kitchen doesn’t appeal to you or you just want to try something a bit unusual, here are five of our favourite alternatives to white kitchen cabinets.

When doves cry

If you don’t want to go for anything too overwhelming to the eye, a soothing shade of dove grey could be the perfect colour choice for your kitchen makeover.

This subtle and sophisticated hue of grey acts as a neutral and because of this works beautifully with several finishes and fixtures.

Marble benchtops, pale oak timber flooring, and silver tapware and cabinet handles all complement dove grey cabinetry exquisitely.

For a similar look try: Silkwort, Terrace White or Tranquil Retreat by Dulux.

It’s easy being green

Turquoise, pale mint and seafoam green all bring a tranquil, fizzy and fresh feeling to a kitchen.

Accentuate the crisp, sleek and modern feeling of a green kitchen with a shiny white Caesarstone waterfall edge benchtop and splashback.

Rustic kitchen styling with recycled timber benchtops, exposed brick and subway tile backsplashes also work wonderfully with cool green cabinetry.

For a similar look try: Tiamo, Backyard or Misty Moore by Dulux.

Blackout

A courageous and modern finish, black kitchen cabinetry is a hot trend in kitchen design right now.

As a new twist on conventional white shaker style cabinets, go for some seriously sleek glossy black shaker cabinets. Offset these with stainless steel appliances, grey concrete flooring, a white splashback, warm oak counters and timber floating shelving.

The great thing about black is just a hint can go a long way to transforming a kitchen. Employ a few cool charcoal elements on an island bench and overhead cabinetry, for example, to instantly elevate a stark white kitchen.

The addition of a window splashback, sliding glass bi-fold doors or a skylight will also save your black kitchen from ever looking too dark.

For a similar look try: Charcoal Fusion, Domino or Black Caviar by Dulux.

Mellow yellow

Inject your kitchen with joy, charm and warmth by opting for warm timber cabinetry and yellow accents.

Pair shades of zesty lemon, butter or mustard with white or grey elements and light timber cabinets to keep the vibe fresh and modern.

A sunny yellow accent wall, ceiling or tiled backsplash is a fabulous way to create an exuberant focal point in an otherwise plain neutral timber kitchen.

200 Osbourne Street, Williamstown, VIC

200 Osbourne Street, Williamstown, VIC

For a similar look try: Yellow Varnish, Happy, Butter Ridge or Citrino by Dulux.

Moody blue

Dramatic and bold, rich shades of navy, cobalt and royal blue will bring some serious va-va-voom to your kitchen cabinets.

To maintain a peaceful and relaxing feel, break up a daring blue kitchen colour palette using a neutral (such as white, stainless steel, concrete or timber) on the splashback, flooring or benchtops for instance.

Navy cabinetry, white stone benchtops and gold accessories (think pendant lights, tapware and cabinet hardware) are an elegant match made in heaven.

If you aren't ready to commit to a full-blown blue cabinet makeover, consider transforming your island with a statement shade of blue. This vibrant focal point will add interest and anchor a neutral kitchen nicely.

For a similar look try: Sell Out, Jacuzzi or Mystification by Dulux.

We hope these five delicious colour palettes have inspired you to look beyond white as an option for your kitchen's cabinets.

For more kitchen design ideas check out our kitchen design tips and practical kitchen must-haves for your next reno.

Happy renovating!

The Homely Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Kings Langley real estate for sale and properties for rent in Syndey. 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 tips for a productive pre-Christmas clear out

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7 tips for a productive pre-Christmas clear out

Christmas is just around the corner (only 45 days away to be exact!). A time for festivities, holidays, entertaining guests and spending quality time with family and friends.

Perhaps you have some relatives coming to stay and need to clear out the spare room. Maybe your kitchen needs a good clean in preparation for the big Christmas cook up. No matter the reason, it’s a great time to make a to-do list and get started on your big pre-Christmas clear out.

Here are our seven top tips to help you get on top of your pre-Christmas clear out.

clearing garage.jpg

1. Make a plan.

It’s important to put a plan in place before tackling your pre-Christmas clear out. Which rooms need the biggest clear out? How long should you allot to clearing and cleaning each room? What can stay and what needs to go? This will help you stay focused and prioritise tasks. 

Think about potential problems before they happen. If you’re planning a big home clear out, consider hiring a skip bin. Skip bin hire will save you a lot of time and hassle when disposing of old and broken belongings.

2. Think green.

While clearing out your home consider the impact sending all your old belongings to landfill has the environment. Sort your waste into recyclables, non-recyclables, donations and green waste before disposing of it.

There are some great online resources to make your cleaning routine eco-friendly. Discover some more uses for everyday household items such as vinegar and baking soda rather than using expensive and toxic chemicals. Steam cleaners are also a great way to clean your home without the use of chemicals.

Consider the ways you can reuse and up-cycle your old belongings. For example, spray paint a pair of old boots to make quirky and colourful flower pots.

flower pot boots.jpg

3. Donate to charity.

While you’re clearing out items from your home, think about how your old unused possessions could make a difference in someone else’s life this Christmas. Charities are always on the lookout for great gifts for people who are less fortunate. If you have toys, furniture, books, kitchenware or clothes in good condition that you no longer use, consider donating them to a local charity shop.

4. Call in backup.

Clearing out the house is a great family bonding opportunity. Make sure you get every member of the family involved, especially the children, with the reward of pocket-money, a BBQ or pizza night. Have some fun decluttering while teaching the kiddies teamwork, cleaning skills and how to keep an organised household.

5. Declutter & organise.

Before cleaning your house, it’s important to remove all old belongings that you no longer use that are taking up valuable space. Have a look at some handy ways you can declutter your home, closets, bedroom and kitchen. This will make it much easier and time efficient when it comes to cleaning as you don't have to navigate around and reorganise disused belongings.

Clear out overflowing dresser draws, the kitchen pantry, bulging closets, bathroom cabinets, bookshelves, linen cupboards, the garage and junk rooms to get instant satisfaction with your pre-Christmas clear out progress.

overflowing drawers.jpg

6. Make room for new belongings.

Christmas is a great time to repurpose or donate old belongings in preparation for the influx of new gifts you'll receive. If your children have old toys they no longer use, donate them to charity. Then you can get them some new toys as presents for them to open come Christmas morning. A good rule to follow to keep clutter at bay is for each new gift, toss two of their counterparts.

7. Don’t forget the outside of your home.

Once you’ve cleared out the inside of your home, don’t forget to look at ways you can clean up your outdoor areas. Dead plants and flowers should be removed, the lawn should be tended to and new seeds planted ready to grow during the warmer months. Also, check your outdoor furniture to ensure you’re ready to entertain your guests in your alfresco space.

Remember that Christmas festivities are meant to be a time spent with friends and family. Preparing your home now will ensure you have a more relaxing, organised and stress-free holiday season.

Author bio:

This article is written by Alex Hamilton, on behalf of Instant Waste Management – Providers of fast and efficient skip bin hire in Perth, Western Australia. You can catch him on Google+.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Kings Langley real estate for sale and properties for rent in Syndey. 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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Saving up for a house deposit? Here’s what you need to know

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Saving up for a house deposit? Here’s what you need to know

Remember when you could buy a three-bedroom house with a rear garden within 20km of the CBD for less than $350,000? Yeah, neither do we.

According to CoreLogic’s latest property price data, the average Sydney house is now a whopping $1.08 million, with Melbourne not too far behind at $811,000, Canberra at $645,000 and Brisbane at $527,000.

Depending on the city in which you live, your income and saving capacity, it may take up to 10 years to save up for a deposit, especially if you want to avoid Lenders Mortgage Insurance by saving at least 20% of the total purchase price.

They say a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, so if your destination is property ownership, and ideally before your forties, read on.

Work out what you want

The first thing you should do is figure out what kind of property you’re looking to buy. Is it a three bedroom townhouse? A one bedroom studio apartment? A two storey McMansion? Or a few acres of land out bush to drop a shipping container on?

Once you’ve decided on the non-negotiable criteria for your property, you need to map out what area you can afford to buy into. Remember to take in factors like school catchments, access to public transport, proximity to amenities like shops, libraries, sporting facilities, public spaces and any future planned developments that could impact on the value of property in the area.

Work out how big a deposit you need

Once you’ve decided on the parameters of your ideal purchase area, you’ll want to investigate the local market. Jump onto homely.com.au and plug your criteria and location into a property search and check out the prices. This will give you a good indication of:

  • how much you’ll need to save, and
  • how long it’ll take you to do it, depending on what percentage of the purchase price you want your deposit to be (remember, you certainly don’t have to, but if you have less than a 20% deposit your loan provider will insist on Lenders Mortgage Insurance).

Don’t forget to factor in stamp duty into your purchase price. Stamp duty is a state-based tax on the transfer of title to property, and when it comes to real estate it can add several tens of thousands to the cost of breaking into the property market.

Fortunately for buyers in NSW and Victoria, the respective governments in these two states have recently introduced stamp duty relief for first-home buyers.

In NSW, stamp duty now does not apply to new and existing homes valued up to $650,000, or on vacant land up to $350,000. Concessions will apply to new and existing homes valued at between $650,000 and $800,000, and for vacant land valued between $350,000 and $450,000.

In Victoria, stamp duty will not be levied on first-home buyers for properties valued at $600,000 or less. First-home buyers buying a home valued at between $600,001 and $750,000 will be entitled to a concessional rate of stamp duty.

Other states have different rates of stamp duty, so if you’re in doubt use an online stamp duty calculator to find out just how much you could be up for.

Work out how you’re going to save that deposit

The cruellest part of the current housing affordability crisis is that property prices are rising way faster than incomes and that returns on the ‘traditional’ vehicle of first home deposit saving, the ‘high interest’ savings account, are anything but high.

Sydney and Melbourne house prices have risen 13.7% and 13.8% respectively in the past year, according to CoreLogic. Incomes, by contrast, are rising at 1.9% per annum. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that the goalposts keep shifting away from the average first home buyer.

On the savings front, standard interest rates are currently in the 1.4% to 1.6% per annum range. Jump through enough hoops and you could land yourself a rate around 2.8% at the very high end.

That’s not the rate you keep, however. You keep the interest rate after inflation and taxes, so with inflation running at 1.9%, it means someone getting 2.8% and on the 37% marginal tax rate would actually earn a return of -0.14% after inflation and tax.

That’s right, middle to high income earners are currently going backwards even if they’re earning a headline rate north of 2.6% per annum. Not a great way to close that gap between you and your first home deposit.

How do you avoid your money losing value and save for a house deposit faster? Easy. You need your money growing in value at a higher rate than inflation. And the only way that’s going to happen in the current low interest rate environment is if you embrace some amount of growth-oriented investments.

It is certainly not without risk, but the question you have to ask yourself is simply this: do I remain in a high-interest savings account and continue to lose money with a high degree of certainty, or do I accept the possibility of some short-term volatility for the potential for real positive returns that can help close the deposit gap?

Only you can answer that question.

And the answer very much comes down to time. How much of it do you have at your disposal?

If you plan on using your money to purchase a property in, say, twelve months, then you should probably just use the best high-interest rate savings account you can find.

But if your first home deposit savings timeline is several years, then you might be better off by putting your money to work in a diversified portfolio, one that can spread your money across many different shares, bonds and cash-based products.

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

Author bio:

Clover.com.au is an automated investment service based out of Melbourne, Australia. Clover helps Australians better manage and grow their wealth through smart technology. Built by a team of academics, industry veterans and millennials, their mission is to rebuild investing from the ground up, making it simple, smart, low-fee, and accessible to all.

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