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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 popsugar.com.au

The Perfect Plant For Every Room in Your HomeImage Source: Armelle Habib

When it comes to the upsides of green thumbs, many of us are well-versed. Plants can be air-purifying, calming, insect-repellingsleep-inducing, or lighten up a space. Bringing parts of the outdoors in though, can often present challenges — where are the plants going to go? Will they suit the room? What if I’m already short on space? What about the temperature?

To save you spiralling into an endless Google search for answers, we’re breaking down the best indoor plants for every room, right here. With some handy styling tips, too, so now, there’s really no excuse not to go green.

This is an edited extract from Plant Society by Jason Chongue, published by Hardie Grant Books ($29.99) and available in stores nationally.

Living Room

Living RoomImage Source: Armelle Habib

The living room is the perfect place to go wild and use multiple plant types when styling. Use plants both individually and in groupings to get different effects. Tall, tree-like plants, like the rubber plant and dinner-plate ficus, are great specimen plants if you want to add drama into your room. You can also mix plain-leafed plants with more textured types.

Some good living room plants include:


Bedroom

BedroomImage Source: Armelle Habib

We spend a large portion of our lives in our bedroom, but it is often the last place we consider when introducing plants into our homes. Your bedside table is perfect for a compact plant that will help aerate the air while you sleep. Textural plants like devil’s ivy, philodendron and monstera make a nice addition to your bedroom and are a great thing to look at when you first wake up.

Some good bedroom plants include:

  • Arrowhead plant (Syngonium)
  • Begonia
  • Devil’s ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
  • Fruit salad plant (Monstera deliciosa)
  • Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)
  • Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)
  • Wax plant (Hoya)


Dining Room

Dining RoomImage Source: Armelle Habib

There is nothing more special than having guests sit around your dinner table when it’s adorned with some delicate plants. The best plants for your dining room are plants that will remain small and compact. There are several well suited species with a range of colours and forms.

Some good dining room plants include:

Bathroom

Image Source: Armelle Habib

The bathroom is the perfect location for growing plants that love humidity. If you’re short on space, try hanging devil’s ivy or pitcher plants from shelves or the ceiling. Plants like peace lilies, queen of hearts and arrowhead plant are great for creating small groupings of plants placed next to your shower or beside your vanity.

Some good bathroom plants include:

  • Arrowhead plant (Syngonium)
  • Devil’s ivy (Epipremnumaureum)
  • Peace lily (Spathihyllum)
  • Pitcher plant (Nepenthes)
  • Queen of hearts (Homalomena)
  • Tassel fern (Huperzia)
  • Zebra plant (Aphelandra)

Office / Desk

Office / DeskImage Source: Armelle Habib

Compact plants are perfect for decorating your desk at home or at the office. There is often limited natural light at work and air circulation is poor. Try using some hardier table plants such as the Zanzibar gem, cast-iron plant or peace lily.

Some good office plants include:

  • Cast-iron plant (Aspidistra elatior)
  • Fruit salad plant (Monstera deliciosa)
  • Peace lily (Spathihyllum)
  • Zanzibar gem (Zamioculcas).

Meeting, Hallway and Reception Areas

Meeting, Hallway and Reception AreasImage Source: Armelle Habib

Plants make for a nice welcome when placed in hallways in your home and in reception spaces. They are comforting and create a calming first impression. These spaces are often used heavily and have limited natural lighting so try using plants like the cast-iron plant, rubber plant or umbrella tree.

Some good hallway or meeting room plants include:

  • Bird of paradise (Strelitzia nicolai)
  • Cast-iron plant (Aspidistra elatior)
  • Dumb cane (Dieffenbachia)
  • Lady palm (Rhapis)
  • Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)

 

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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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