23 February 2017
By portermathewsblog

Article modified via @REIWA Author: Rachel Preston-Bidwell

Buying your first home is a big deal and one of the biggest investments you will make in your adult life.

There are many factors to consider when researching the suburb and type of property you’re interested in buying. Do you buy an estphoto-character-house-brickablished home or build off-the-plan? Live in the city or on a quiet suburban street? Then there’s the question of transport, proximity to work, cafes and amenities. The list goes on.

If you’re keen to buy a house without sacrificing on an inner city lifestyle then looking into older, more established properties might be for you, especially if you’re into DIY and don’t mind getting your hands dirty or renovating.

We spoke with Kareena Ballard, Director at Jones Ballard Property Group, to get her expert advice on why you should consider buying an older property for your first home.

Why buy established?

Older homes come with greater responsibility and you may need to consider the renovation costs to modernise or touch-up the property. Some maintenance should be expected and it’s recommended a thorough building inspection is conducted before you buy. But if you’re prepared to do the work, buying an older, established property can bring some major benefits.

Typically, you can purchase an older property for a reasonable price near the CBD or an inner city suburb. Buying and living in these areas means you’re closer to the action for events and festivities, plus if you work in the city, it can cut down on transportation costs and time. This is an attractive prospect for tenants, should you decide to rent out the property in the future.

Additionally, older homes tend to sit on large blocks, making them ideal for subdivision, redevelopment or extension if you want extra living space.

Ms Ballard recommends looking out for houses built between the 1960s and 1980s, or those that lend themselves to the charm of the art deco era. Look for timber floors, high ceilings and simple design layouts, which you can easily bring up-to-date whilst preserving the character.

“Benefit from a ‘live in them or hold now’ approach. Renovate the property by renewing kitchens and bathrooms, restoring timber floors or putting down tiles, rendering the face brickwork and painting a concrete tiled roof,” Ms Ballard said.

Units and villas are also a good option for first home buyers living alone or as a couple, and there are often good buys within close proximity to the CBD.

“Older units are mostly larger than those being built new today. Many opportunities exist to invest and make money for both investors and first home buyers.

“Ensure the building is well managed and strata maintenance is being taken care of,” Ms Ballard said.


Renovating old houses in WA

It might be a dream for some to ‘flip’ a house quickly and sell it for a higher value. However, Ms Ballard advises this concept rarely works in Perth’s current market.

“To do this successfully, you need a rapidly rising market. A second story addition may work in this case if built well and quickly – the addition must blend well with the old,” Ms Ballard said.

If you’re buying your first home with the long term view in mind however, you can potentially build equity in an established property by renovating it bit by bit over the years.

“First home buyers could start with a property under $300,000, live in it, renovate and then move out, using the equity that has been built up as the deposit on the next purchase,” Ms Ballard said.

If you do decide to buy an established home with the aim to renovate, be sure to use quality fit-outs and reputable trade companies.

“There’s nothing worse than a renovation done cheaply, it will look as cheap as it cost and be difficult to sell. Buyers and renters alike have so much choice now, you need to stand out in the crowd to achieve a profit.

“Good luck and happy hunting. The property no one else wants is often a property worth researching,” Ms Ballard said.

If you’re looking for an established house with old-world charm, find properties for sale on


Tags: Buying, News, Tips
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14 February 2017
By portermathewsblog

Team SPICY are currently looking for a buyer manager to join their successful team.

You will ideally ;

  • Have 2 year’s experience minimum as an agent or in a similar role
  • Have an enthusiastic and approachable personalilty
  • Be able to work weekends

We can offer a chance to;

  • Work in an award winning team
  • Mentoring from experienced staff
  • Be rewarded with an attractive commission structure & bonus
  • Fun office environment and social events

You will not need to do;

  • No Vendor management
  • No Listing presentations
  • No Marketing expenses

If you think this role suits you, please send your confidential details through to (PDF only).

Tags: Jobs, Team Spicy
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08 February 2017
By portermathewsblog

Author: Bettina Deda

We all want to live in a happy home where we can relax and feel good. However, what makes you happy at home, or in your life, is very subjective, and you have to find your own recipe for happiness. As I mentioned recently, being surrounded by beautiful art does make some people happy. Others might find happiness in using bright colours and energy oils in their home. Or, maybe, being organised and living in a tidy house is your take on happiness. Often, it is the simplest pleasures that make us feel good. To be happier at home does not have to be expensive.

The only thing it requires is for you to take action and change something if you do not feel well. So follow the advice of the British politician and writer Benjamin Disraeli, who said, “Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”

Tidy up and declutter
As Marie Kondo explains in her bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a tidy and uncluttered home can make all the difference to your life. Once you get rid of physical clutter, your mind will free up as well. And, as a consequence, you will be able to focus on more meaningful things and eventually improve your lifestyle. Once you have experienced the impact of a tidy home on your wellbeing, you will never want to go back to a cluttered house.

Find out more about Marie Kondo’s philosophy

Write a happiness journal
Find out more of what makes you happy by writing a happiness journal. Writing about joyful experiences will help you stay positive and foster creativity. Each night, capture what made you happy during the day. Explore different areas of your life that affect your happiness. Set monthly objectives to work towards being happier at home and in your life.

Buy fresh flowers
Add a touch of colour and happiness to your entrance hall, dining table or kitchen bench with a bunch of fresh flowers. Use the happy colours yellow and orange to make you feel good. Buy a big bunch from a flower market and divide it to embellish several areas in your home at the same time. Arrange single stems in small glass containers next to each other to create a beautiful display. You could also find quirky containers, such as old teapots, for example, to show off your flower arrangements.

Browse a wide selection of dining tables on Houzz

Photo: Dave Tozer/Bettina Deda colour design

Make your bed
I work a lot from home and can’t be creative or productive if I know that my house is messy. Therefore, I make my bed every day. Making my bed takes only a few minutes, and it has a positive effect on my wellbeing. Start with these little things to experience how a tidy space can increase your happiness level at home.

Relish in the simple pleasure of fresh sheets

Use the power of smell
Aromatherapy can reduce stress and anxiety. According to aromatherapist Julie Nelson, the citrus family of oils – also called energy oils or happy oils – are a great way to enhance your happiness at home. Essential oils can be used as room or body sprays, for baths and foot baths or as oils, substituting conventional perfumes. The most important thing is that you enjoy what you are using. Go with what your nose tells you.

9 smells that’ll boost your health

Photo: Kate Hansen/The Eclectic Creative Studio

Photo: Kate Hansen/The Eclectic Creative Studio

Display your favourite objects
I am a big fan of a tidy home, but I also love buying and collecting beautiful things. As Gretchen Rubin puts it her book, Happier at Home, “buying things is a way to engage with the world.” And if we only buy things that are meaningful to us, they become precious and valuable. You can engage with your belongings by simply using them or just seeing them and being reminded of a precious experience from the past. I love displaying my favourite books with selected pages open. Every time I walk by, I read an inspirational quote or see a beautiful image. Decorating interesting vignettes with objects and colours you love will make you feel happier at home, too. Change your displays as often as you like for some decorating fun.

Introduce feng shui principles
Optimise the energy flow in your home. Research Houzz for feng shui specialists to help you determine which energy you need to add or remove in each of your rooms to optimise the feng shui. In keeping with this harmonising philosophy, you should also repair everything that is broken or discard it.

Feng shui for beginners

Photo: MisuraEmme Interiors UK


Dress for success
Are you wearing the same stuff every day? In busy lives, people can often get stuck with wearing the same old T-shirt, jumper or jeans. It seems to be easier to stick to what is familiar than try something new. But according to psychologist and author Fiona Robards, how we project ourselves to the world has a strong reciprocal relationship with our self-confidence and happiness. If you’re not feeling happy about your wardrobe, and if you don’t know what to wear even if your wardrobe is overflowing, maybe it is time to step out of your comfort zone and engage a personal stylist to help you boost your self-confidence. Choose someone whose style you like and with whom you can connect.

Upgrade your closet space with the help of a storage designer

Tags: Lifestyle, News, Tips
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07 February 2017
By portermathewsblog

Have a look at our client discussing the benefits of selling their property with Team Spicy and Porter Matthews Metro.

To find out more please give us a call on 9475 9622 or email us at

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07 February 2017
By portermathewsblog

via @The

The new year has delivered a small boost to Perth’s beleaguered property owners with values lifting in the first month of 2017.

Figures from CoreLogic show dwelling values in the city improved by 0.2 per cent in January to be 2.1 per cent up over the past three months.

The increase was driven by units with values lifting by two per in the month. Over the quarter, unit values were only up by 1.5 per cent and down by 3.8 per cent over the past year.

House values were flat but thanks to a pre-Christmas improvement they were up by 2.2 per cent over the quarter.

Through the past 12 months, however, values were down by 3.2 per cent.

Nationally, values were up by 0.7 per cent led by a 1.8 per cent increase in Hobart house values.

House values in Sydney lifted by another 0.5 per cent to be 16.6 per cent up over the year while house values in Melbourne have improved by 12.9 per cent through the year.

CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said there were signs the bottom of the market had been reached in both Perth and Darwin where values have climbed by 1.8 per cent over the past three months.

“Buyers still have a great deal of leverage in these markets, with listing numbers remaining high, long selling times and high rates of discounting,” he said.


“However, in another indication that conditions may be moving through the bottom of the cycle, transaction volumes moved higher across both markets prior to the seasonal downturn in December and January, whilst the average selling time reduced from previously higher levels.

“With economic and demographic conditions remaining weak in these markets, a recovery in dwelling values is likely to be a slow process.”

Since January 2009 Perth is the worst performed property market in the country with values up by 8.1 per cent. In Sydney, values have jumped by 99.4 per cent while in Melbourne they have lifted by 85 per cent.

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07 February 2017
By portermathewsblog


The once-humble kitchen, increasingly the showpiece of any house, is growing ever grander.

No longer content with a basic stovetop and the almost-forgotten art of dish drying, Australian homeowners are lusting after kitchens that wouldn’t be out of place on the set of MasterChef.

But when it comes down to it, what do most of us really need in our kitchens on a day-to-day basis? We asked a couple of experts for their top tips.

Decent bench space

Cherie Barber, a regular TV fixture who also designed the course Renovating for Profit, says having enough room to whip up your creations is one of the essentials.

“In my experience one of the fundamental things with any kitchen design is the bench space. It tends to be a big issue in a lot of kitchens – particularly a lot of older kitchens built in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s,” says Barber.

“I’m having to rip out a lot of kitchens because people ultimately have no bench space.”

An “appliance centre” where you can hide away your kettle, toaster, juicer and other cooking accoutrements can leave your benches feeling less cluttered and more spacious.

The Block's Will and Karlie ensured their kitchen had plenty of bench space for food preparation and entertaining.

The Block’s Will and Karlie ensured their kitchen had plenty of bench space for food preparation and entertaining. Photo: Channel Nine

A large pantry (preferably built-in)

Barber says a good-sized pantry is an “absolute must”.

If you’re short on space, one option is to reclaim part of your laundry.

“More often than not your laundry is very close to your kitchen. Quite often you can steal half of your laundry and that can become your walk-in pantry,” says Barber, noting that a European-style laundry is a massive space saver.

Two bonuses: it’s cheap to do, and you don’t usually need council approval.

A well-planned layout

In designer lingo, the ultimate aim is to go for the “golden triangle”. For the uninitiated, that’s planning your kitchen in a way that spaces its three main elements – your sink, oven and cooktop, and fridge – evenly apart.

“You hover between these three areas in the kitchen,” says Barber. “It’s OK to have a triangle with a really long side, but obviously the longer it is, the less practical it is.”

Likewise, you want to make sure your dishwasher is flush to your sink – not across the other side of your kitchen which could lead to you ferrying dripping dishes across your kitchen floor.

Barber also warns anyone getting new cabinetry designed to take into account the increasingly size of modern fridges, and the extra space they’ll need. Be sure to leave at least 50 millimetres clearance on either side, and remembering your living situation may well change.

“Definitely if you’re designing a new kitchen, design it also with a larger fridge capacity,” says Barber. “You might only be a couple right now, but you could be a couple with two kids in five years’ time.”

The tiny house in Elwood that Melbourne's Schulberg Demkiw Architects designed. The two bedroom plus study home is situated on a tiny 108 square metre block (about 9 x 12 metres).
This Schulberg Demkiw Architects-designed kitchen with its concrete splashback is a real knockout. Photo: Derek Swalwell

A sensible splashback

“A lot of people really screw up in their material selection in their kitchen,” says Cherie Barber. Stainless steel splashbacks are one of the worst offenders when it comes to a high-maintenance kitchen.

“They look great when they’re brand new, but it’s probably about the only time they look great,” she says.

Dennis agrees, saying you need to think carefully when selecting a style of splashback.

“Test them for practicality. All these things you sort of have to think – ‘in an ideal world, how do I live and how often do I clean?’”

Tiles are making a comeback, and Dennis suggests going with bigger tiles. Make sure you get the grout sealed to avoid your errant pasta sauce becoming an accidental feature of your kitchen.

A quality tap that won’t date

Better Homes and Gardens presenter Tara Dennis says a small thing like a tap can make a major difference to the practicality and look of your kitchen.

“The kitchen tap for me is really high on the list. It can sort of set the tone for the kitchen, it’s something you use every day,” she says.

The type of tap you opt for – a sink mixer, pull-down mixer? – will depend on the way you like to cook and the style of your kitchen, says Dennis.

“I love brass taps but I think that the fashion will come and go. I think for long-term value you can’t beat a good old chrome tap.

Tags: Lifestyle, News, Tips
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