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21 May 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

Decorating Ideas For Small HomesImage Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

An old home with a lack of square metres might feel limiting to some, but the 83-square-metre, 1900s-era Sunset Smart Cottage proves any space can be transformed with strategic decorating and innovative home gadgets. Even the interior design concept for the cottage involved an emerging tech trend: virtual interior design services. Sunset tapped designers Jessica McCarthy and Emily Gaydon from Decorist, a virtual decorating service that offers a fresh approach to the design and remodelling process. “Online services such as Decorist are often budget friendly and more accessible to the masses. We liked the idea that users can get matched up with designers based on their personal style and goals and can work through the process over email, FaceTime, and even texts,” says Sunset home editor Chantal Lamers.

So what exactly was the design strategy behind this tiny tech oasis? POPSUGAR caught up with Decorist designer Jessica McCarthy to get her insights on the smartest solutions for living large in a small home. Read on to discover the optical illusions and space-planning secrets she used in every room!

  1. A Bold First ImpressionA Bold First Impression

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Even the tiniest cottage can have major curb appeal. Jessica suggests painting your front door in a bold hue and replacing the exterior hardware. The cost-effective upgrades are details guests will definitely notice. Keep landscaping affordable and low-maintenance by planting drought-friendly shrubs and perennials from the Sunset Western Garden Collection. Top off the look by adding a few potted plants to the porch for an extra touch of greenery.

  2. Layered TexturesLayered Textures

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    To combat the claustrophobic feel of a narrow living room, Jessica suggests opting for a neutral colour palette and avoiding bold patterns to make the room feel large and airy. Since colour and pattern take a backseat, you can go wild with texture. Grasscloth wallpaper, leather seating, linen curtains, and a variety of throw pillows give the space a rich, layered feel. To complete the look, add a semi-flushmount instead of a hanging pendant or chandelier to make the ceilings feel even taller and hang curtains as high as possible.


  3. A Discreet Media Station

    A Discreet Media Station
    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Take advantage of precious wall space by creating a media station that is discreet and beautiful. Jessica suggests thinking outside of the gallery wall box by incorporating gorgeous baskets instead of framed art to distract from the floating TV screen. Keeping baskets in the same colour family is Jessica’s trick for achieving a clean and uncluttered vibe.

  4. Stylish StorageStylish Storage

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    While Jessica wanted to keep the colour minimal, she used an accent colour throughout the house for fluidity. In this case, a custom-built cabinet in navy ties in with the sofa pillows and kitchen, but it also conceals clutter behind cabinets and displays beautiful objects on shelves.

     

     

  5. A Mini Breakfast Nook

    A Mini Breakfast Nook

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Just because you have a small kitchen doesn’t mean you can’t eat in it. Jessica loves the idea of pushing a narrow console against a wall and adding bar stools for a makeshift dining nook.

  6. Open Shelves
    Open Shelves
    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Eliminating upper cabinets can visually expand a small kitchen. Jessica leveraged the brightening power of counter-to-ceiling white subway tiles paired with white floating shelves for an airy and undeniably stylish effect. If a remodel isn’t in the works, Jessica suggests painting cabinets and installing new hardware for a customised look.

     

  7. Plug-In Sconces
    Plug-In Sconces

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    If spacious nightstands aren’t in the cards, swap in petite side tables and free up table space by installing plug-in sconces that don’t require expensive or permanent electrical work.

     

     

  8. A Calm Colour Palette
    A Calm Colour Palette

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Like the living room, the bedroom also follows suit with a calming colour palette. Jessica chose a single tone and explored a range of shades on the walls, bedding, rug, and accent decor.

  9. Statement Art
    Statement Art

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Small bedrooms don’t necessarily require diminutive art. In fact, Jessica recommends doing the exact opposite by hanging large baskets, textural pieces, vintage finds from travels, and oversize prints to really make a statement.

  10. Well-Utilised CornersWell-Utilised Corners

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    To make a big design impact in a corner of the room, mix pieces with varying textures. Jessica especially likes the way the leather wall object, wicker chair, and fur throw create a cosy effect that feels curated.

  11. A Modern Murphy BedA Modern Murphy Bed

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    A murphy bed can be the perfect solution for children’s rooms that require space to play or a guest room that can double as an office. Jessica likes the idea of hanging something dramatic but soft above the bed, like the woven wall art. The texture adds interest but won’t break or budge when the bed is closed.

  12. Customised Closets

    Customised ClosetsImage Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Katy Milton of California Closets designed the built-in cabinetry to make the most out of a tiny closet. Jessica recommends adding baskets and bins to cleverly conceal clutter while keeping things in order.

     

  13. Multitasking Work Space

    Multitasking Work Space

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Multifunctional pieces like a small desk, which can be used as an extra table surface for displaying decor, doing homework, and being creative, are one of Jessica’s favourite small-room staples. If you have multiple pieces of children’s art or a group of family photos without the space to hang them, consider investing in the Meural. It’s a digital canvas that gives you instant access to over 30,000 works of art, but which also allows you to upload your child’s drawings and rotate between images.

  14. Wall StorageWall Storage

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Jessica believes shelving can double as eye candy when you mix in your favorite artwork and accessories.

     

     

  15. Minimal AccessoriesMinimal Accessories

    Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

    Create the illusion of more square footage by selecting the right colour palette and working in some cosmetic details. Jessica likes to use large mirrors and extra layers of lighting with sconces to make the space appear larger. Keeping the space clutter-free and minimally accessorised is another tricks she recommends for small bathrooms.

  16. Small-Scale Patio Furniture

    Small-Scale Patio Furniture

Image Source: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Publishing Corp

If you don’t have room for an outdoor sofa or settee, consider using an Adirondack chair with a foot stool that can be moved. Pair it with a small table and you have the basic comforts needed for lounging

 

 

 

 

 

 

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18 May 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

How to Make Your Home Smell GoodImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

 

Have you ever come home from a long day of work, stepped through your door, and noticed that your home smells a little musty? Between lingering food smells from the kitchen, damp towels in the bathroom, and other day-to-day activities, there are lots of things that contribute to your home smelling a little less than fresh. It happens to the best of us, but luckily it’s an easy fix! DIY air fresheners, houseplants aplenty, and some essential cleaning tips are some of our favourite ways to get a fresh home that smells amazing.

Burn a Candle

Burn a CandleImage Source: Francois et Moi

Scented candles add a whole lot of cosiness to your room and can make your entire home smell fresh or festive, depending on the scent you choose! Try this DIY soy candle to get a fresh scent while skipping the harsh chemicals.

 

DIY an Essential Oil Diffuser

DIY an Essential Oil DiffuserImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

Candles should never be left unattended, so if you want something that you don’t have to pay much attention to, DIY an essential oil diffuser instead. They can make your home smell great for months and you can choose your own scents.

 

Deep-Clean Your Bathroom

Deep-Clean Your BathroomImage Source: Studio McGee

How often do you actually deep-clean your bathroom? You should really try to get behind all those nooks and crannies that you don’t always pay attention to once a week. Without a good, regular deep clean, your bathroom will eventually start to smell.

 

Get an Air Purifier

Get an Air PurifierImage Source: Love Grows Wild

There are lots of things to love about air purifiers, from getting rid of harmful pollutants in your home to making your home less dusty. They also help contribute to a crisp, fresh smell in your home.

 

Make a DIY Air Freshener

Make a DIY Air FreshenerImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

When it’s not really possible to crack a window for fresh air, try a DIY air freshener instead. You can also use them to freshen up fabrics and get rid of musty smells.

 

Bake Some Bread

Bake Some BreadImage Source: Damn Delicious

What can make your home smell better than baking a fresh loaf of bread? There are plenty of simple bread recipes out there, like this no-knead rosemary bread recipe that will instantly make your home smell amazing.

 

Rid Your Kitchen of Grease

Rid Your Kitchen of GreaseImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

If you cook often, grease can really start to build up, even in places you never expected. Citrus-based cleaners work wonders for cleaning up grease on your counters, range hood, microwave, and more, leaving your kitchen smelling fresh.

 

Create Lavender Sachets

Create Lavender Sachets
Image Source: House*Tweaking

These DIY lavender sachets are a great option if you have specific rooms or areas in your home that need freshening up. Just hang one wherever you want your home to smell good!

 

Simmer Your Favourite Scents

Simmer Your Favourite ScentsImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts

One of the best air fresheners you can make is one on your stove. Combine your favourite scents, like citrus, cinnamon, cloves, or anything else you like, and simmer it on the stove in some water for as long as you like.

 

Use Houseplants

Use HouseplantsImage Source: Sarah Hearts

It’s no secret that houseplants are one of the best natural air purifiers on the market! Many houseplants help to produce more oxygen in your home while ridding the air of toxic chemicals and carbon monoxide, giving your home a fresher scent.

 

Make Dryer Balls

Make Dryer BallsImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography

DIY dryer balls are a great, less toxic alternative to dryer sheets, but you can use them in similar ways. Put them strategically around your home, like in your linen closet or in your drawers, to keep things smelling super fresh!

 

 

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07 May 2018
By portermathewsblog


via therealestateconversation.com.au

In an ideal world, property developers should have a graceful exit from each project, whether they are selling or holding the properties.

Of course, life is rarely graceful, and many newbies fail to even consider the end at the start. This is important as there are a number of exit strategies that you must consider long before you begin any development.

Exits plans aplenty
The first exit is when you transition out of a construction loan, which is when you’re moving from a high interest loan to a more affordable one. Clearly you must be financial enough to still qualify for the new loan – even though it’s cheaper. The thing is the goalposts could have changed dramatically in the length of time it has taken for the project to complete and many a novice has come unstuck because their numbers no longer stacked up in the bank’s eyes. Another exit strategy is out of a joint venture, which I’ll explain in more detail below.

The next strategy, which is also the easiest but not necessarily the best, is selling up and moving on. In my experience, joint ventures (JVs) are a great way to develop property but everyone must agree on what happens at the end. My preference with JVs is to both sell or hold instead of buying the other party out. The reason for that is that you don’t want any recriminations in the future, say, if the property you buy off your JV partner increases in value spectacularly, especially where family or friends are involved. Soon, the green-eyed monster will rear its ugly head, and your former JV partner might even accuse you of short changing them.

I had a situation once where I had the opportunity to buy my JV partner’s property but it made me feel uneasy because I knew that it would likely increase in value significantly in the years ahead and I didn’t want any bad blood between us. We ended up selling & splitting the profits.  It’s not all about money.

Even though that waterfront property is now worth about $1 million, I believe I made the right decision because we mix in the same circles so there was never any finger pointing later down the track. So with joint ventures, my recommendation is that both parties agree to either hold or sell to keep everything simple.

The biggest mistakes
The biggest mistake with exit strategies is not having one at all!

The next one is selling prematurely or holding for too long thinking the market will shift, without taking into consideration holding costs.

The best exit strategy is the one that suits your own unique situation, but sometimes making a smaller profit by selling and moving on is better because of the reduced holding costs as well as opportunity costs, too. My exit strategies have been a mix of selling and holding and even though I’m not afraid to sell I usually regret it when the values go up!

One I don’t regret, however, is the property I sold to pay for my father-in-law’s medical bills because he got very sick here and he was here only on a tourist visa. He had no insurance so each day in intensive care was $4,500 plus myriad other medical costs. I sold that property for $340,000 but today it’s worth about $650,000.

Financially and personally it was the best and easiest thing for me to do to fund his medical treatment and it also an important point.  At the end of the day, property investment and property development is all about improving your financial position and being in a better situation when the chips are down.

Too much too soon
Another major mistake is newbie developers using the profits from their first projects leasing flashy cars to show off their newfound “wealth”. While that’s just silly if you ask me, that lease also kills their borrowing capacity which impacts them financially for any future developments. I have 20 years of investing and developing experience under my belt, but I have never undertaken a large multi-unit development or housing subdivision.

I could if I wanted to but I’d rather be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond. That’s because if things go wrong, there are more potential buyers for the project. If you’re a small fish in a big pond and things go wrong, you’ll likely be eaten by the top-end of town and there’s nothing graceful about that!

One of the most common stumbling blocks for new developers is their egos get in the way. As soon as they start supposedly making “big money”, they splash it out on fast cars and various other things that aren’t overly helpful to their future success.  Often these cars are on leases, which, of course dramatically reduces their borrowing capacity. And that’s because they’re not mentally ready for the money.

If I look back at many of the mistakes in my life, I can drill it down to three simple things: greed, ego, or plain old stupidity. Some of those you can do something about but you have to be honest with yourself to do so.

Property development can be a vehicle to vastly improve your wealth, but you have to take your time to learn the ropes – and be prepared to learn plenty about yourself along the road, too.

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30 April 2018
By portermathewsblog


Although housing affordability has improved in WA in recent times, it remains a legitimate concern for many West Australians.

A recent Housing Affordability Report by the Real Estate Institute of Australia and Adelaide Bank showed while affordability improved in WA on an annual basis in the December quarter 2017, it had declined when compared to the September quarter 2017.

It’s concerning that despite favourable buying conditions and record low interest rates, housing affordability remains such a pertinent worry for many West Australians.

State property taxes are a barrier

REIWA is a strong advocator for addressing housing affordability, and we firmly believe current state property tax arrangements significantly contribute to this problem.

When REIWA surveyed the WA public about this topic last year, respondents overwhelmingly told us that property taxes negatively impact their lives. This is a growing issue and we need to do something to address it.

Home ownership still attainable in WA

The good news is; WA remains one of the most affordable states in the country for housing. Particularly in comparison to east coast property markets like NSW, where the median house price is higher and first home buyers find it more difficult to enter the property market. Here in WA, home ownership is still very much attainable.

In fact, we have the highest proportion of first home buyers out of any state or territory in Australia, with the Housing Affordability Report revealing 34 per cent of all owner-occupier home loans in WA in the December 2017 quarter were to first home buyers.

Additionally, although the average home loan amount to WA first home buyers increased during the December 2017 quarter, it was still $50,000 more affordable than the average loan amount required in NSW. A considerable difference.

However, more needs to be done. While the McGowan Government continues to face a challenging fiscal environment, REIWA still believes an incremental reform of property taxes will encourage both owner occupation and investment.

The residential property market is a key contributor to state revenue, specifically through transfer duty – one of the most inefficient and ineffective taxes. In the long term, we would like to see the Government transition to a broad-based land tax instead of relying on transactional taxes for revenue.

All West Australians deserve to have access to affordable, accessible and appropriate housing stock.

We call on the McGowan Government to commit to conducting a state tax review to look at more sustainable ways of funding essential services that doesn’t impact so heavily on affordability.

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23 April 2018
By portermathewsblog


via domain.com.au

When was the last time you ventured to the very back of your bathroom cupboards? Here are some tips to declutter and organise this area to save you time (and money).


Photo by Dulux Paint

Whether you’ve been living in your home for 15 years or 15 weeks, a bathroom declutter will save you time getting ready in the morning. Plus, you’ll be surprised by how much accumulated clutter you can easily let go of, giving you much more open space.

1. Empty out

First, grab a rubbish bag for anything that needs to go directly into the bin. Ensure some wipes are nearby to clean the cupboards and drawers down once everything is out. Then create space on the floor or benchtop where you can sort things. I usually use the floor, as you can empty every single item out of the bathroom cupboards, drawers, shelves and off the vanity top and lay them out so you can see what you have.

While the cupboards are empty, take the opportunity to give them a wipe out, as bathroom cupboards often end up covered in product, dust and hair. No doubt you’ll find some lonely hair clips living at the back of the bathroom cupboard too.


Photo by Zeitgeist Photography

2. Dump expired products

Once you have everything on the floor, the next step is to throw out any expired products. In almost every bathroom there are products that have expired (sometimes ones that are decades old) that need to be thrown away. Grab your rubbish bag and you’ll be surprised how many items end up in it.

Remember that you put these products on your skin, hair and nails, and you don’t want to absorb out-of-date chemicals into your body. If you can’t remember when you purchased it, the chances are it’s time to discard.

This is also a good time to dispose of products that you keep thinking you’re going to use, but probably never will. Orange nail polish? Out. Purple eye shadow? Out. Self-waxing kits? Unless you’ve used them in the last six months, say bye bye.


Photo by Capital Closets

3. Categories and containers

My key organisational advice for bathroom cupboards is to use storage baskets inside the cupboards or drawers, so that you both contain categories and are able to access items quickly and easily. The following categories are common to almost every bathroom I’ve ever helped declutter and organise:

  • Make-up
  • Hair products
  • Sunscreen
  • Tanning sprays and lotions
  • Moisturiser
  • Basic first aid
  • Sanitary products
  • Shaving
  • Nail polish
  • Eye care
  • Medications
  • Perfumes

I suggest using baskets with handles to make accessing things at the back of the cupboard easier. This way you don’t have dead space at the back where products fall out of sight and out of mind. Use either a black marker or label maker to label the containers, so you can quickly and easily see what is there. You can then put things away quickly, without having to pull each basket out first.

One added advantage of having products stored like-with-like is that when you want to paint your nails, for example, instead of rummaging through a drawer trying to find the polish, file and top coat you can quickly and easily grab the basket where everything is kept.


Photo by MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

If you have a large make-up collection, it’s even more helpful to further categorise the contents into different types of products. You might like to have smaller containers, keeping lip colours, eye products, foundations and blushes separate. This will also help you know what products you have, and will save you money. When you run out of one eye liner, you can quickly and easily find another one that you already own instead of buying a replacement.


Photo by Dettling-Architekten

4. Use it

Now that you know what you have, a useful tip is to use the products you already own rather than buying new products. Use the sunscreen you have before you buy any extra. Finish the hand cream you have before you trying a new product. Rediscover lipstick colours you forgot you owned. Your wallet will thank you for it.

You may also rediscover forgotten products that inspire you; think massage oil, a pedicure set, bubble bath or hair treatments. Take some time out one night to pamper yourself a little bit… it can be your reward for doing a great job of decluttering your bathroom cupboards.

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20 April 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

7992823943c6fa91_IMG_8843
Image Source: Woods & Warner

Sleep is important. Like, really important. It contributes to your physical and mental health, happiness and all-round well-being. Step one of getting it right, is creating a space that relaxes and lulls you to sleep, rather than triggering or reminding you of all your to-dos and stresses.

Before you figure out what should be in your snooze palace (yep, that’s what we’re calling it now), it’s good to know what should definitely not be making an appearance behind the palace doors. So we asked interior designers, a lighting scientist and a sleep brand founder (who knows a thing of two about getting a good night’s sleep) to lend their expertise. Heed their advice and nights of perfect rest are all yours. And yes, you will totally feel like a princess. Princess Snooze.

1. Pets

Research shows that 30 percent of pet owners who share their beds report waking up at least once a night because of their furry loved ones. If you want a night of wondrous, uninterrupted sleep, the pooch has to sleep in his own room.

2. Food

“Avoid eating in your bedroom as it sends the wrong signals to your brain,” says Shea Morrison, co-founder of The Goodnight Co.

3. Any work

“Leave your work out of the bedroom, lying in bed processing your work will more likely make you nervous or agitated, or fill your mind with things you’ll need to do in the morning rather than letting you wind down,” says Shea, and interior designer Melita Mayvn of Mayvn Interiors agrees. “Don’t have your office in your bedroom,” she says, “Your bedroom is your sanctuary, not a working space.”

4. Phones and all other electronic devices

After significant research, we now know that staring at the blue and white light emitted from digital screens prevents your brain from releasing the melatonin, which is exactly what you need to for your body to feel sleepy. Without it it’s hard to fall, and stay, asleep. Plus, receiving notifications can be disruptive (especially if you don’t keep your phone on silent).

5. Blue and white light

Other than the sleep-zapping blue and white light that comes from our screens, eliminate all cool white and blue light. “Shades of white light have different impacts on our circadian rhythms,” says Dr Luc Schlangen, scientist and Philips lighting research expert. “Exposure to cool, blue white light suppresses melatonin, and hence makes us feel more alert and awake. That’s why offices, gyms and operating theatres use this shade of white light, whereas exposure to warm yellowish white light increases melatonin levels, and is used in places of relaxation like our living rooms and bedrooms, and also bars, restaurants, and hotels.” Ensure the light bulbs in your bedroom are warm, soft and ideally, adjustable. Try out a Smart Bulb like Philips Hue, $29.88.

6. Bold feature walls

Interior designers Sonia Warner and Jacinta Woods of Woods & Warner say the single painted feature wall is a thing of the past (that they hope never comes back). “Be brave and paint or wallpaper the whole room . . . it will feel more connected and sophisticated.” Not to mention more relaxing, which is exactly why Melita says to steer clear of red, orange or hot pink in the bedroom, “Your bedroom should be soothing and relaxing rather than vibrant and busy.”

7. Oversized furniture

Over crowding your sleep space is a sure way to make yourself restless. Melita warns against furniture that’s too big for your space, “This will make your bedroom feel smaller and cramped.” While Sarah Cichy, director of Piccolo PR says over accessorising or mixing too many patterns will also make things feel cramped. “It’s hard to relax with too much clutter, so keep things open. Select a signature piece and then use a mix of quieter neutrals for the remaining furniture so that the space feels light and open.”

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13 April 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

The Best Home Decor For Small Spaces

There’s an art to living thoughtfully in cramped quarters, but there’s a science to choosing pieces that will make the most of your square footage. These decorative essentials seem to pop up in the most stylish small spaces again and again. So tell us, are these space-saving pieces in your home?

Source: A Beautiful Mess

Nesting Tables

Nesting TablesImage Source: Decor Fix

Three tables for the space of one? That’s the beauty of nesting tables. Fan them out when you need more surface area, move them around if you have guests, then tuck them in when you’re done.

Bonus tip: choose an acrylic option, like the set Decor Fix blogger Heather Freeman has to take up less visual space!


Poufs

Poufs
Image Source: House*Tweaking

If you’re a pouf pessimist, you’re underestimating their versatility. Set snacks out on your coffee table, and watch your friends flock to the poufs for prime seating. Position one in front of a chair, and you have an instant lounger. Place one next to your sofa, set a tray on top, and admire your new side table. Best of all, they can be stacked or stored under your coffee table when you aren’t using them.

Floating Shelves

Floating Shelves
Image Source: Little Green Notebook

Floating shelves are ideal for adding more storage than your floor plan allows for. This cramped bedroom didn’t have room for a nightstand, but Jenny Komenda from Little Green Notebook created a smart floating-shelf alternative.

 

Large Mirrors

Large MirrorsImage Source: Love Grows Wild

If you can’t knock down walls, add mirrors. They have the power to reflect light and visually expand a room, so it looks much larger than it actually is.

Pro tip: try styling a large mirror (like the one in Jillian Harris’s home) by layering it behind another piece of furniture.

Hanging Storage

Hanging Storage
Image Source: SF Girl by Bay

You may not have a walk-in closet, but even an unused nook or corner can serve as an impromptu closet if you hang a DIY copper-pipe rack.

 

Baskets

BasketsImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

Whether you choose larger lidded options to slide under a console table or line shelves with smaller versions, baskets are essential for organising clutter.

 

Rolling Carts

Rolling CartsImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

There are a myriad of ways to utilise a rolling cart. It can be used as everything from a bar cart (or better yet, coffee station!) to a nightstand. Wheels make it easier to move to different spots . . . like the living room, if you’re entertaining.

 

Pretty Boxes

Pretty Boxes
Source: Manuel Rodriguez for One Kings Lane

The key to making any bookshelf look immaculately streamlined is to load it with beautiful boxes. It’s the perfect way to hoard anything from receipts to your washi tape collection without having your belongings look like a mess.

Under-the-Bed Storage

Under-the-Bed StorageImage Source: Tony Vu for One Kings Lane

A bed skirt and a plastic pull-out container is your ticket for storing seasonal clothes without anyone having to know. You have the space, so why not use it?

Hanging Coatracks

Hanging CoatracksImage Source: iStock

Sure, you could hang coats or hats from these racks, but there’s no need to stop there. Display a set of cabinet-hogging mugs in your kitchen, or organise necklaces in your bedroom. The possibilities are endless.

 

Stackable Storage

Stackable StorageImage Source: West Elm

If you’re short on counter space, think vertically. This stackable apothecary set is ideal for keeping bath and beauty supplies within reach.

 

Slim Hangers

Slim HangersSource: Justin Coit for Domaine Home

Former-reality-star-turned-fashion-designer Whitney Port uses these slim hangers to pack in as many clothes as possible in her cute closet space.

 

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23 March 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

It’s no wonder the co-founder of Done & Done NYC, a professional organising, de-cluttering, and staging business, is just as organised in her personal life as her professional life. Abby Löfberg has the scoop on how Kate Pawlowski’s daily routine stays on track.

Image Source: ShopStyle Photography

Our co-founder Kate Pawlowski is 28 years old and the most high-functioning person I know. (Read her bio here) What’s great about her is that she gives advice that someone like me (who doesn’t “run a home” and is not naturally organized) can actually follow and implement.

I grilled her about her entire day, and gleaned a couple of great habits that she does unconsciously and without thinking. She says that these are so easy, they don’t feel overwhelming — they become ingrained into your habits, and you end up looking forward to the feeling of relief you get after such little effort, like brushing your teeth in the morning.

1. Morning

When she wakes up, Kate fills her kettle and turns it on. During the three minutes it takes to boil for her morning tea, she unloads the dishwasher, so she never has to keep dishes in the sink and just pops them straight in the dishwasher all day. Imagine never having to have a terrifying sink full of dirty dishes! (I actually do this too. It works!)

2. Showering

She keeps a magic eraser in her shower and wipes down the walls right after she shuts the water off to keep it clean and mildew-free. This prevents slime and grime from building up in the grout, and she never has to do a deep shower clean other than during her seasonable deep cleaning sprees.

3. Getting dressed

She is all about stylish basics that work for multiple purposes — especially with her underwear. When Kate buys her undies, she makes sure they match a few of her existing bras, so she can quickly pull out a pair and be in a matching set. When she takes off her clothes at night, her bra and undies go right into the mesh delicates bag she has hanging on her closet door, so they’re ready to pop in the wash once a week. (She actually has a bunch of these bags in different sizes and washes most of her clothes this way to take care of them). This way, she never runs out of underwear and has to do a last-minute wash while wearing granny panties.

4. Evening

She spends seven to 10 minutes every night tidying her desk, her coffee table, folding throw blankets, and starting the dishwasher so she can wake up fresh in the morning and get right to coffee and work.

5. Shopping

Living in an organised way is not just about where you put your things — it starts with what you let into your house in the first place. Kate is vigilant about her shopping habits — she does research on clothes and reads reviews before she buys them. She knows what cuts work for her and which materials she is most comfortable wearing. She also takes care of her clothes really well by washing everything on a delicate cold-cold cycle. This way, her clothes stay in top condition and she doesn’t have to buy as much. This is part of a philosophy we at Done & Done NYC call Owning Well — in other words, how to own less things that work perfectly for you is a more efficient and less expensive way to have an organised space.

 

 

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26 February 2018
By portermathewsblog


We are proud to announce that we won 2 awards as the “AGENCY OF THE YEAR” in the RateMyAgent 2018 Agent of the Year Awards.  The awards, which are the largest real estate awards in Australia, recognise those agents and agencies that have ranked the highest based on customer reviews and feedback.

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RAVEEN LIYANAGE WON THE THE AWARD FOR THE “AGENCY OF THE YEAR FOR MADDINGTON”

 

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HASI KODAGODA WON THE THE AWARD FOR THE “AGENCY OF THE YEAR FOR BECKENHAM”

Nick

NICK MITCHELL WON THE THE AWARD FOR THE “AGENCY OF THE YEAR FOR FORRESTFIELD”

The RateMyAgent Agent of the Year Awards compare over 32,000 agents and agencies across the country.  They highlight the leading real estate agents and agencies in each suburb, city and state across Australia, and on a national level.

“The RateMyAgent Agent of the Year Awards are the only awards which use verified customer reviews and feedback, so they’re an honest gauge of the customer service an agent has provided,” said RateMyAgent CEO & Co-Founder, Mark Armstrong.  “These awards are the only industry awards to put sellers’ needs first, using customer reviews as a leading indicator of an agent’s success over 2017.”
Our team was also,

  • David Quadros – No 1 agent by recommendation in Ascot
  • David Quadros – No 3 agent by recommendation in Belmont.
  • Greg O – No 1 agent by recommendation in Belmont.

Click below to find out

View our  RateMyAgent profile here.

https://www.ratemyagent.com.au/real-estate-agency/porter-matthews-metro-ak795/sales/reviews

 

 

 

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22 February 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

9 Decorating Mistakes Even Design Lovers MakeImage Source: The Makerista

 

Switching up your decor can make a surprisingly huge difference in the way you feel at home, but beware of common decorating traps. Before you tackle these bold design updates, be mindful not to do these 9 things:

       1.Don’t Forget About Lighting

Don't Forget About LightingImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

Even the most beautiful of rooms can be thwarted by bad lighting. The most welcoming spaces are filled with soft layers of flattering lighting at various heights (a chandelier, floor lamp, desktop lamp, etc.), not just one harsh light source. If the space has little natural light, use mirrors to brighten it up by reflecting what natural light there is around the room.

    2. Don’t Hang Pictures at the Wrong Height

Don't Hang Pictures at the Wrong HeightImage Source: Honestly WTF

You’ve found the perfect picture, paired it with the perfect frame, and now it’s time to hang it at the perfect height. The centre of the image should be at eye height, around 144cm — lower than most people expect. If you’re putting up a gallery wall, you not only need to be thoughtful with the height of the image but also the layout. Take care to mock up where each picture will go before you start putting nails in the wall.

       3. Don’t Have Tons of Throw Pillows

Don't Have Tons of Throw PillowsImage Source: Sarah Hearts

They’re affordable, easy to swap out, and a great way to transform the look of a room; however, it’s easy to get carried away with them, picking up one or two every time you’re shopping until you have no space on your sofa left to actually sit. If throw pillows are deflated and flat, or more tired than trendy, it’s time to toss them. As a rule of thumb, only buy a new pillow if you’re willing to part with an old.

      4. Don’t Blindly Follow Trends

Don't Blindly Follow TrendsImage Source: The Makerista

Of course, you want your interior design to be up-to-date, and it’s great to keep an eye on the 2016 trends — but beware of incorporating every trend into your home. Rose quartz and serenity might be the colours of the year, but that doesn’t mean you need to repaint all your walls. Just as with fashion, certain trends work better for certain people, so adopt and adapt as best suits your home and needs. If the season’s dark and moody hues are too much for your space, paint a single accent wall and incorporate edgy leopard in an occasional chair that can easily be swapped out as tastes change.

 5. Don’t Go Overboard With Decorative Painting

Don't Go Overboard With Decorative Painting
Image Source: StyleMutt

With a bucket of paint, you can do many a wonderful thing to a wall. You can also do many a horrible thing. Stencils, brushes, and the like have their place, but be careful not to gild the lily. In other words, keep decorative paint elements simple. That mural or stenciled design should enhance the room, not dominate it. And leave the sponge painting in the ’80s. Period.

    6. Don’t Hang Onto Pieces That No Longer Serve You

Don't Hang Onto Pieces That No Longer Serve YouImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

It can be hard to get rid of belongings that have sentimental value or that you shelled out big bucks for, even if they’ve outgrown their purpose. If you don’t, however, they’ll begin to overwhelm your home until its more cluttered than cute. Be honest with yourself and sort out the pieces you can really use, and get rid of the rest.

7. Don’t Push Furniture Against the Walls

Don't Push Furniture Against the WallsImage Source: The Decor Fix

Pro designers cringe when they see living room furniture pushed flush against a wall. Not only does it create awkward, empty space in the middle of the room, but it creates a formal, unwelcoming vibe. Make better use of the the space and warm up the room’s vibe by arranging furniture within the room instead of against it. Trust us, no one will mind seeing the back of your sofa.

8. Don’t Ignore Practical Needs

Don't Ignore Practical NeedsImage Source: Inspired by Charm

Get realistic about your family’s needs and budget, and design accordingly. While you may be lusting after the glam mirrored Hollywood regency coffee table, your young children mean you must forgo it for a soft, upholstered ottoman. Blowing your room budget on a single item is equally as devastating to your design. A truly great space is one that functions well for you.

  9. Don’t Design Without a Plan

Don't Design Without a PlanImage Source: Sarah Hearts

Every space has its own distinct style and purpose, and it’s important to figure out what that is before you begin to decorate. Even eclectic-style rooms have a cohesive design theme that holds them together. Without any overarching purpose or theme, a room quickly becomes chaotic and adrift. You don’t need to know exactly where each piece of decor will go, but you should have a general idea of what you want.

 

 

 

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15 February 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

15 Easy Ways to Make an Old Home Look Like NewImage Source: Inspired by Charm

This past weekend, my husband and I moved from the 94-year-old home we’ve been renting in the Berkeley Hills to a 58-year-old home around the corner. I have always had a soft spot for old homes — the architecture, the charm, the doorknobs! — but they definitely come with their quirks. Love ’em or hate ’em — if you’re living in an old house, you know there are some issues to contend with. Read on to find a list of 15 (relatively) quick fixes to make your old home feel new again.

Paint the Cabinets

Paint the Cabinets
Image Source: A Beautiful Mess

This is a big project, I won’t lie. I painted my cabinets once despite being spectacularly DIY averse. But that monotonous oak was killing me, so I persevered. And it is so worth it! A few cans of paint (and many hours of your life) will completely transform your kitchen — in fact, your whole home.

Paint a Tile Backsplash

Paint a Tile Backsplash
Image Source: One Kings Lane

Boring white tile backsplash? No matter — geometric patterns are hot this year, and you can make your own in a weekend!

Give Your Pantry a Makeover

Give Your Pantry a MakeoverImage Source: Polished Habitat

What with layers of paint and warping wood, old house pantries can definitely be lacking, so give yours a makeover! Make it the happiest place in the house.

Paint a Brick Fireplace

Paint a Brick FireplaceImage Source: Inspired by Charm

If your brick surround is an eyesore, not to worry — just paint it.

Cover a Popcorn Ceiling With Wood Planks

Cover a Popcorn Ceiling With Wood PlanksImage Source: Domino

Is this a major project? Yes. But then everything related to the ubiquitous popcorn ceiling seems to be. This is a doable DIY if you plan ahead. And the outcome is gorgeous!

Replace Ugly Doorknobs With Vintage Versions

Replace Ugly Doorknobs With Vintage Versions
Image Source: House Tweaking

This is an easy fix, but buying reproduction doorknobs can get pricey fast. To keep the budget down, shop local salvage yards or source an eclectic collection on Etsy.

Paint Kitchen and Bath Hardware

Paint Kitchen and Bath HardwareImage Source: Brittany Makes

Old kitchen and bath hardware can look pretty tired, and it’s no wonder, what with all the heavy lifting they do for us every day. But with a little sanding, primer, and paint, you can give them a new life. Check out this tutorial on how to spray-paint hardware for some inspiration!

Paint the Floor

Paint the Floor
Image Source: Little Green Notebook

Check out this great tutorial on how to paint a tile floor. Let your creativity run free with multiple colours and a repeating pattern.

Paint a Wood Fireplace

Paint a Wood FireplaceImage Source: The Makerista

Does your old house have a room (or rooms) full of wood siding? Can there be too much of a good thing? Sometimes a focal point is all that’s needed to draw the eye.

Dress Up a Cinder Block Wall With Chalk Paint

Dress Up a Cinder Block Wall With Chalk PaintImage Source: Sarah Hearts

Are you cursed with a dated cinder block patio wall? Do this now! Cutest solution ever, although definitely opt for paint over chalk to make sure your hard work lasts and lasts.

Paint Your Trim

Paint Your TrimImage Source: The Makerista

Old homes often have intricate architectural details — show them off by painting them a dramatic contrasting colour.

Container Garden in Place of Landscaping

Container Garden in Place of LandscapingImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

If your landscaping looks as old as your house but new landscaping is not in the budget, try a container garden instead. Add a few at a time (just remember to water them from time to time), and soon your garden will be looking cheerful.

Spray-Paint ’80s Brass Light Fixtures

Spray-Paint '80s Brass Light FixturesImage Source: Brittany Ambridge for Domino

Sometimes a can of spray paint and an afternoon is all it takes to update an old light fixture.

Tile Over Your Countertop

Tile Over Your CountertopImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

Dated tile? Yucky grout? Tile over it! Click here for the DIY.

Paint Your Stone Patio Tiles With Pops of Colour

Paint Your Stone Patio Tiles With Pops of ColourImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

Leave it to the bloggers at A Beautiful Mess to make even an ugly concrete patio look adorable.

 

 

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13 February 2018
By portermathewsblog


via www.domain.com.au

More Perth properties may soon be sold under the hammer.More Perth properties may soon be sold under the hammer. Photo: Peard Real Estate

With the Perth property market in a state of recovery, agents are predicting auctions will rise in popularity in favour of the traditional offer and acceptance sales method.

While latest Domain Group auction data revealed there were 180 auction listings in Perth in November, with a clearance rate of 30 per cent — in comparison to Sydney data for the same month of 4,187 listings with a clearance rate of 55 per cent — there were signs more homes will be sold under the hammer in Perth in 2018.

Domain Group data scientist Nicola Powell said a seasonality effect was obvious when looking at auction data for Perth, where there tended to be more homes for auction in the spring months.

Auctioneers expect to be busier in Perth this year.Auctioneers expect to be busier in Perth this year. Photo: Dan Soderstorm

She said auctions were ingrained in the Sydney and Melbourne vendor market, and as the Perth property market began to recover, auction conditions might improve.

JLL buyers advocate Lachlan Delahunty said “auction” seemed to be a foreign word in WA.

“However, we should start to get comfortable with the process, as it will soon hit our shores,” he said.

“Properties sold under the hammer signify only three per cent of Perth property. Unfathomable when comparing that to the likes of Melbourne and Sydney with clearance rates of 80 to 90 per cent.

“Hot markets attract auctions – like bees to honey, as we have seen in Sydney in the early stages of last year.

“However, this form of selling is certainly no place for a soft market, which Perth has experienced in recent years, recording clearance rates as low as 30 per cent in the final parts of 2017.”

Mr Delahunty predicted if the WA market continued to improve during the first few months of this year, properties in coastal and blue chip suburbs would start to see the benefits of a bidding frenzy.

LJ Hooker national auction manager David Holmes said auction volumes in Perth remained steady and almost unchanged: 1973 in Perth last year, compared to 1964 in 2016.

“Perth is still a long way off the auction volumes of the eastern states – Melbourne recorded more than 50,671 auctions last year (a 19 per cent increase year on year) with Sydney notching 40,281 (a 16 per cent increase),” he said.

“However, at the end of 2017 and already in 2018, our offices have fielded more inquiries from sellers about the opportunities to auction their properties. LJ Hooker Kalamunda Foothills auctioned four times as many properties in 2017 than they did the previous year and expect to hold even more in 2018.

“Data has indicated a shift in the Perth market, with the first positive price recorded in the last quarter for a long time. When markets begin to recover, that’s when auctions rise in popularity as buyers openly compete to determine what new market value is.”

Rob Druitt, First National Real Estate Druitt and Shead principal and auctioneer, said auctions were on the rise in Perth, with buyers becoming more savvy in their understanding of the process.

“It’s unlikely in the short to medium term that we will catch up to the like of Melbourne or Sydney, however, as our market improves we are likely to see more auctions,” he said.

Mr Druitt said there were many benefits to selling and buying at auction.

“For the sellers, it is a quicker sale process and if the property is worth more than we all think, they will achieve it,” he said.

“For the buyers, in what is becoming a more competitive market place for certain types of properties, if they are organised, they have a genuine opportunity to buy the property in an open fair forum as opposed to properties selling off the market or quickly with multiple offers.

“For the market, it is good as it helps to genuinely set the market value of property and provides immediate feedback to the market on sales evidence and interest.

“Also, if the property doesn’t sell on the day of auction it will come on the market post-auction and is available to conditional buyers.”

Acton auctioneer Boyd Fraser said the benefits of auctions included a compressed campaign for 21 days and a 50 per cent chance of selling under the hammer on the day.

“Both buyers and sellers are in the same forum so transparency in the process is guaranteed. There is a significant difference in the number of days on market,” he said.

Western suburbs were popular areas for auctions, but other standout areas included Spearwood, Hamilton Hill and Coogee, Mr Fraser said.

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08 February 2018
By portermathewsblog


via hartpartners.com.au

Parliament has passed the legislation allowing first home buyers to save for a deposit inside superannuation through the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) and also allowing older Australians to ‘downsize’ and then contribute the proceeds of the sale of their family home into superannuation.

From 1 July 2018, a first home buyer will be able to withdraw voluntary superannuation contributions they have made since 1 July 2017(up to $30,000 each, with individuals being able to contribute up to $15,000 a year within existing caps), along with a deemed rate of earnings, to help buy their home.

Also, from 1 July 2018, when Australians aged 65 and oversell a home they have owned for at least 10 years, they may contribute up to $300,000 from the proceeds into their superannuation accounts, over and above existing contribution restrictions. Both members of a couple may take advantage of this measure, together contributing up to $600,000 from the proceeds of the sale into superannuation.

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27 November 2017
By portermathewsblog


Adrian Ballantyne via realestate.com.au

With the real estate market continuing to roll from strength to strength, trying to determine a property’s true value is an ever-present challenge for buyers.

Snaring the property you want while avoiding paying too much is the dream, but how do you make that happen? As a buyer, how do you ensure you purchase at the right price every time?

Some of Melbourne’s leading buyer’s agents share their tips.

suburbs housesBuyers need to know what a property is really worth. Picture: Getty

Know your goals

The “right” price for a particular property won’t be the same for everyone.

For example, a first-home buyer might see a certain price as fair for a property, while an older couple looking at downsizing might be perfectly comfortable paying $100,000 more to ensure they get hold of it.

Kristen Hatt, from buyer’s advocates Woledge Hatt, says being crystal clear about what you want from a property will help determine what your right price is.

“It’s about having a really good understanding of what you’re trying to achieve, and then making sure that property will meet all of those goals, because then you can make decisions around price as well,” she says.

“Understanding what the property is and the likelihood of (a similar property becoming available again), will determine the right price for you.”

How to negotiate a property price:

Capture23

Research, research, research

When it comes to determining the right price for a property, there’s no substitute for market knowledge and conducting your own research.

Luke Assigal, from Parley Property Advisory, says it’s important to frame your own market, rather than blindly following the selling agents and their indicative price ranges.

“That includes taking the statement of information with a grain of salt as well,” Assigal says.

“The statement of information gives you a bit of an idea, but there’s been a lot of examples where the indicative selling range is out by 10% to 20%.”

“Look at the location, look at the council area. What is it close to? Is it close to commission housing; is it close to industrial; is it on a main road; what age is the property; has it been renovated in the last five years; what is the aspect of the property; what is the floor plan like? All of these little characteristics add up to what the property’s worth. At the end of the day it’s like a science.”

Get a property value estimate as part of your market research.

researching property prices

Inspect in person

All property knowledge isn’t necessarily equal. While looking at properties and results online will give you some measure of knowledge, there’s no substitute for checking out properties in the flesh, Hatt says.

“Just getting the results of properties doesn’t necessarily tell you about the properties,” she says.

“Sometimes a property sells for a certain price because it has a major structural issue, and you can say: ‘Well that’s why it was cheap’. Understanding more about each property is important.”

Home tips  for buyers:

Capture24

Calculate based on square metres

Some agents are reporting that for many properties, calculating the likely sale price based on the rate per sqm of land is proving increasingly accurate.

Again, it’s about research. If a number of properties nearby have sold for around $5000 per sqm often you can expect a very similar rate for the house you’re eyeing off.

“You can do square meterage, particularly when you’re dealing with larger blocks and development blocks in blue chip areas,” Assigal says.

“You can get access to stats quite easily – most properties have the square meterage listed online.”

It doesn’t necessarily mean the property will be the right price for you, but at least you’ll know how much you’re likely to be up for if you decide to bid.

Use a buyer’s advocate

Studying the market yourself each week is one thing, but consider for a moment that there are people who do it professionally.

buyers downsizers

While the average punter researches properties only when they’re actively looking to buy one, buyer’s advocates/agents have knowledge and expertise built up over many years, and can give an almost instant appraisal of what a property should be worth.

Hatt says that with buyer’s advocates, you’re paying for that superior market knowledge, as well as their ability to sniff out properties based on your personal requirements and circumstances.

“We were chatting to clients the other day and talking about a specific bayside area, and I said that over the last five to 10 years I would have been through 80% of the homes in that area that have been for sale over $1 million,” she says.

“That’s knowledge that you can’t just get by going to a few open for inspections and thinking that you’ve got an understanding. A lot of buyers are only in and out of the market in a very short period of time.”

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27 November 2017
By portermathewsblog


The latest data from REIWA shows 53.4 per cent of sellers are having to discount their property in order to sell and the average amount they’re discounting by is seven per cent.

If you’re on the market or considering selling, you need to adapt to the current property conditions. Otherwise, you may need to discount to achieve a sale, which can lead to significantly longer selling times.

The latest September quarter 2017 data shows it takes on average 70 days to sell a property in WA, so if you want to beat the average you need a strategy to encourage a quicker sale.

Meet the market from the get-go

Pricing your property appropriately as soon as it goes on the market is key. The number one reason why a home stays on the market for an extended period is because it’s considered over-priced by the market. If you want an expeditious sale, you need to be realistic about price.

A suitable price will attract more buyers and, subsequently, more offers and competition. If you’ve not had an offer to buy within the first four weeks’ of coming to market then you need to consider either the asking price or marketing/selling methods being adopted.

Consider expressing the price differently such as a price range or shifting to an auction campaign.

Auctions can achieve a quick sale

Auctions are gaining in popularity in WA and are a considerably faster way to sell, taking an average of 27 days for a seller to secure a buyer. While listing numbers are relatively stable across the Perth market, stock levels remain higher than the long term average.

Selling via auction can help your property stand out from the competition and separate the genuine buyers from those just browsing.

Presentation is key

With good choice for buyers (particularly in select markets), you’ll need to take extra care and effort when it comes to presenting your property. While you don’t need to do a full blown renovation, making mild cosmetic improvements to the property, including the garden and any fencing, can go a long way in attracting more buyers.

Do your research before coming to market

If you are buying and selling simultaneously under similar market conditions, the state of the market is almost irrelevant. While you might not sell for a price you want, you’ll also be buying in a market that offers adequate choice and competitive prices.

When you’ve made the decision to sell, do your research and find out how the market is performing in your local area. Speak to our agents in the areas you’re interested in buying in. They’ll be best placed to give you an idea of what’s going on in and around your area.

There are buyers out there and we know that if your property is priced correctly from the start, it will be snapped up by those eager to buy their first home, trade up or downsize.

Visit our website for more details pmmetro.com.au

 

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16 November 2017
By portermathewsblog


Housing affordability remains a hot button issue across the nation, and rightfully so. It’s a significant concern for a growing number of West Australians, particularly those on low and very low incomes, many of them facing the prospect of never being able to afford a home of their own.

Housing affordability has improved in WA

Despite this growing issue, house prices in WA have become more affordable over the last couple of years and have not increased at the rate they have in other states over the past decade. For example, Perth’s median house price for the year to June 2017 was $520,000, which is only approximately $60,000 more than it was at the same time in 2007.

By comparison, the Sydney housing market has seen its median house price increase by a staggering $600,000 over this same period, making it substantially more difficult for first home owners to enter that market market.

We are fortunate the dream of home ownership is still very much attainable in Western Australia. In fact, REIWA analysis shows it’s more financially attainable to be a home owner in 2017 than it was in 2007, with West Australians now spending a smaller percentage of their total income on mortgage repayments than they did a decade ago.

Specifically, home owners were spending approximately 56 per cent of their total income on mortgage repayments in 2007, whereas today that figure has reduced to 27 per cent. This improvement in affordability for WA home owners can largely be attributed to average income levels having increased since 2007. At the same time interest rates have gone down and house prices have remained relatively on par.

Perth property market appears to have stabilised

Home buyers remain in a strong position in Perth, but the signs do indicate the local property market has stablised.

Since July 2017, reiwa.com’s monthly data has revealed steady figures across a number of key indicators, such as median house price, median rent price and listings for sale and for rent. Historically, one of the strongest indicators a property market may be on the cusp of ‘turning’ is a period of stability.

Now is the time to buy

If you’ve been holding off making a property purchase because you’re waiting for the ‘bottom’ of the market to buy at the lowest possible price, I’d advise you to take action sooner rather than later. We don’t usually have the luxury of calling the ‘bottom’ of the market until we have the benefit of hindsight; meaning, we’re not certain the market has turned until it’s on the way back up.

With improved house prices, record low interest rates and a healthy supply of stock to choose from, now is the time to take advantage of Perth’s favourable buying conditions.

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31 October 2017
By portermathewsblog


Peter Williams via thewest.com.au

Billionaire Kerry Stokes has added his weight to the view that conditions are ideal for entering the housing market, staking his reputation on now being the best time to take the plunge.

The Seven Group Holdings and Seven West Media chairman said the situation came as the State showed it was recovering from the shock of miners cutting their costs by a combined $10 billion in recent years.

“Right now any young person out there, any apprentice, worker, tradesman — the best thing they’ll ever do in their life is walk out this weekend and buy a home in Western Australia,” Mr Stokes told a WestBusinessLeadership Matters event on Tuesday.

“With interest rates low, housing prices low, this is the time to think of their future right now. I’d put my reputation on the fact this is the best time for them to do that,” he said.

“If that’s the case and everybody else agrees with that, then we’re past the bottom.”

Mr Stokes’ remarks follow Housing Industry Association figures showing affordability in WA had improved dramatically, in part because of national efforts to tighten bank lending standards for investors.

In the past two years, loan repayments on a median-priced house in Perth fell by more than $260 a month, or $3120 a year. Elsewhere in WA, they fell to $1545 from $1773 a month.

Kerry StokesKerry StokesPicture: The West Australian

However, a report yesterday showed Perth had the nation’s second-most expensive residential land prices at $730 per square metre, a 5 per cent gain over the year to June. The Housing Industry Association-CoreLogic Residential Land Report said land prices rose by 19.6 per cent in Melbourne and 9.8 per cent in Sydney.

Mr Stokes said the State’s economy was showing signs of improvement after miners’ efforts to improve efficiency had contributed to the downturn.

Leadership Matters Lunch with The West Australian: Country Chair for Shell Australia Zoe Yujnovich. Photo by Michael Wilson, The West Australian.Leadership Matters Lunch with The West Australian: Country Chair for Shell Australia Zoe Yujnovich. Photo by Michael Wilson, The West Australian.
Ben WyattBen WyattPicture: The West Australian

“So when they’ve saved some $10 billion in costs that’s supposed to come out of workforces in WA. That’s a shock we have to get over and we’re actually getting over it now.”

WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt told the event that competition in the retail gas market had largely offset the increases the McGowan Government had imposed on electricity tariffs.

Discounts of up to 30 per cent are on offer with new player Origin Energy this month, joining AGL, Kleenheat and Alinta in the gas price war.

At the Leadership Matters event are WA Newspapers Group Business Editor Ben Harvey, Treasurer Ben Wyatt, Rob Scott (Wesfarmers), Zoe Yujnovich (Shell), Tom O’Leary (Iluka) and Kerry Stokes. Pictures: Michael WilsonAt the Leadership Matters event are WA Newspapers Group Business Editor Ben Harvey, Treasurer Ben Wyatt, Rob Scott (Wesfarmers), Zoe Yujnovich (Shell), Tom O’Leary (Iluka) and Kerry Stokes. Pictures: Michael WilsonPicture: Pictures: Michael Wilson

Mr Wyatt said that situation could last until the early 2020s.

Incoming Wesfarmers chief executive Rob Scott said while the loss of disposable income and lower population had hit retail businesses hard, there was cause for optimism.

“We still see opportunities,” Mr Scott said. “We see a good path for growth.”

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17 October 2017
By portermathewsblog


Are you preparing to sell your home in Perth? Home staging and styling has become a big trend, particularly in this challenging market. Potential buyers will judge your home and form their opinions before they even attend a home open through the online advertisement, so it’s important to make a good first impression.

By making some small but effective changes, your property photos can play an important role in enticing buyers to attend your home open.

Here are five budget friendly tips to help style and stage your home for a sale.

1. De-clutter your space

The first thing you will want to do when listing your property for sale is to de-clutter and throw out or donate any items you do not want following you to your next home. It is also recommended to store away any personal items just for the home open to create a neutral space for potential buyers. This can include:

  • Personal photos.
  • Artwork on the fridge.
  • Letters and bills.
  • Toiletries and clothes (keep these neatly packed away in the cupboard or draws).

De-cluttering creates more space and shows off the storage potential of your property, whilst also allowing potential buyers to imagine their own life and personal items inside the house.

2. Clean up

Once you have de-cluttered, it’s a good move to clean your house to ensure it’s presented in the best possible way for photos and home opens. Aside from general tidying and vacuuming, this can also include:

  • Cleaning up the outdoor area – trim hedges, clear pathways, lay mulch or pebbles to tidy up garden beds and discard unruly weeds.
  • Address any lingering odours – perhaps due to a blocked drain or a pet’s toilet training accident.
  • Get your cupboards in order – buyers are going to open draws, cabinets and cupboards, so be sure to neaten things up in there and create the illusion of more space.
  • Clean soiled items – such as stains in your carpet and curtains (including your shower curtain), and any other household items.

 

3. Update your paint colour

You may love that red feature wall in the living room, but it might not be quite to your potential buyers’ taste. The most effective way to style your home is to neutralise your space with lick of paint.

Choose neutral paint colours, such as whites, creams and light greys to freshen up your walls and hide any scuff marks or small chips. You can even go as far as re-painting cupboard doors or tiles to update your kitchen and bathroom.

4. Invest in some on trend décor

Update your décor with some on trend pieces, but be sure to not clutter the space. Small, subtle touches are best, not to mention easier on the budget, and can include:

  • A statement rug or hall runner.
  • Pillows and throws for your couch.
  • Decorative ornaments and artwork, such as a vase with flowers or a trendy print.

Don’t be afraid to add pops of colour as well, especially if you have neutral walls and furniture.

5. Create a welcoming environment

For the home open itself, create a great first impression and a welcoming environment with small touches, such as:

  • A scented candle or fresh flowers.
  • Relaxing music.
  • Ambient, comfortable lighting.

Be mindful of the season as well – perhaps pop on a fan or the air conditioner if it’s a warm day, or light a fire (if you have a working fireplace) to create a cosy atmosphere on rainy winter evening.

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10 October 2017
By portermathewsblog


via reiwa.com.au

The McGowan Government has handed down its 2017-18 State Budget and has listened to the concerns of the WA property industry by not meddling with property taxes.

In the Treasurer’s speech, the Hon. Ben Wyatt MLA advised the State Government did not consider increases to property taxes for WA residents as part of their Budget repair measures, recognising the impact of the three consecutive land tax increases in previous Budgets.

REIWA Deputy President Damian Collins said given the McGowan Government had faced challenges when it came to the State’s fiscal position, it was pleasing to hear there would be no increases to property taxes for WA residents.

The Government is planning to introduce a four per cent foreign owner duty surcharge on purchases of residential property by foreign individuals and entities from 1 January 2019. This is expected to create $49 million in revenue by 2020-21.

“The introduction of a new foreign owner duty surcharge could hinder overseas property investment. Despite foreign investors only representing a small proportion of the WA property market, caution must be placed to ensure this section of the market does not reduce further.

“The Government expects to create revenue from this surcharge, however, it may only worsen the situation in terms of transfer duty revenue, as potential foreign investors may be less incentivised to purchase residential property in WA,” said Mr Collins.

In its pre-budget submission, REIWA recommended the Government introduce five key areas of reform:

  1. Make no further changes to rates or thresholds for land tax.
  2. No increase to transfer duty rates or change thresholds.
  3. Undertake a state tax review to assess the viability of a shift to a broad-based land tax system that ultimately removes transfer duty.
  4. Maintain the existing transfer duty exemption for first home buyers at $430,000 and re-introduce the $3,000 First Home Owners Grant for existing dwellings.
  5. Introduce a $10,000 concession on transfer duty for seniors over the age of 65 to encourage ‘right sizing’.

“REIWA welcomes the State Government’s commitment to keep property taxes on hold for WA residents and whilst some of the reforms we recommended were not addressed in the Budget, we appreciate the current fiscal position,” said Mr Collins.

The State Budget also revealed that growth in the State economy is expected to recover from 0.25 per cent in 2016-17, to three per cent in 2017-18. Employment growth is also forecast to recover, with nearly 20,000 jobs expected to be created in 2017-18, attributed to a modest increase in population growth expectations.

“The McGowan Government should be congratulated on their efforts in reducing the State’s debt. REIWA will continue to work with the Government to help home ownership become a reality for more West Aussies and also assist the Government in getting the Budget back to surplus,” said Mr Collins.

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18 September 2017
By portermathewsblog


Buyers are often sellers too. Most people who decide to sell their home also look for an alternate property at the same time and it’s not uncommon for them to find something appealing before they have secured a buyer of their own.

What is a ‘subject to sale’ offer?

Buying a property “subject to the sale of another property” is common and REIWA agents are well equipped to ensure the sale agreement is procedurally correct.

Normally, these agreements enable the seller to continue to promote their property for sale and, in the event of receiving an alternate offer to purchase (normally not subject to the sale of that buyer’s property), give notice to the first buyer of their intention to proceed with the second offer after two business days.

This colloquially termed ‘48 hour clause’ provides the buyer two business days to obtain an offer on their property or waive the benefit of the subject to sale condition.

What does a ‘subject to sale’ offer entail?

Certainly, these arrangements can get tricky. Agents need to be especially careful not to prejudice the second party by giving the first buyer a hint that a second offer might be on the way. Notices served between the parties must also be technically compliant and strictly adhered to so as to not unfairly advantage either buyer.

A crucial point for sellers to be aware of is if they are accepting a ‘subject to sale’ offer, at say $600,000, this then binds them to that sale price within the 48 hour period – even if a second unconditional offer is higher (provided the original buyer can make their original offer unconditional within the 48 hour time frame).

’Subject to sale’ offers can benefit sellers

Although this type of sale requires more effort, contracts for sale that include the ‘subject to sale’ condition, often succeed and proceed smoothly to settlement.

This type of sale also has the potential to put the seller at an advantage, with the buyer often expecting to pay a premium for the privilege and protection of settling after the sale of their own property.

Given the conditional nature of the sale, sellers are justified in asking for a higher price from the subject to sale offer. There have been instances where the seller rejected a ‘subject to sale’ offer at a premium price, only to have that same buyer return to the same property after they’ve sold and pay a lower price.

I would advise sellers to consider all offers presented to them, including those that are subject to sale. In this market where competition is high between vendors, it’s in your best interest to give consideration to all serious buyers.

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