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25 June 2018
By portermathewsblog


via therealestateconversation.com.au

Many investors steer clear of vacant land because they mistakenly believe they can’t claim interest repayments on it.

Corbett-Road-Land-for-Sale-Rm-of-Springfield-2-624x403

In fact, the biggest thing that most accountants get wrong when advising clients on vacant land is that the interest component on it isn’t tax deductible.

I’ve had many arguments with many accountants about this topic over the years!

The key component is the clear intent to build a property within a reasonable timeframe. If the investor was audited, the investor would need to prove that the timeframe – whether it’s a few weeks or months – was necessary to enable to construct the investment property.

I’ve heard this ‘non-advice’ so many times over the years and that’s why it’s so important that you get advice from a property accountant with a strong understanding of the relevant legislation.

Which land is best?
With vacant land, there are a number of different strategies that you could implement.

The first one is residential land that is being carved up by a developer, but you buy before the titles for each individual block have been registered. Effectively, you’re buying land off the plan, but it’s important to understand that there are pros and cons to this strategy.

The pro is that if it’s in a high-demand area and you’ve bought during the early stages of development, you tend to make some money. You also generally only need to put down a few hundred or thousand dollars as the deposit. Naturally, because you are very much dependent on how fast the developer can register each block, you’re at the whim of the market, which can be a con. For example, in my portfolio, I once bought 18 blocks of land that were not yet registered.

In fact, registration wasn’t supposed to happen for another two years. However, it happened in just eight months and I wasn’t ready. So all of a sudden I had 18 parcels of land that I had to settle on, but I didn’t have my finance organised.

After discussing it with the developer, I ended up settling on four of them and he released the other 14 back to the market, which worked out well for him because the market had improved.

So, if the land is registered well ahead of time, you can be left scrambling.

On the other hand, if registration takes longer than expected, the market could have slowed down. Like any off-the-plan project, you only need one bad valuation to negatively impact
the entire subdivision or development. Plus, everyone will be building at the same time, which means you’re competing for trades and will likely be finished at the same time, too, and that means a strong likelihood of softer prices.

What about greenfield and infill sites?

When I say greenfield sites, I mean blocks of rural land that you intend to rezone for residential usage. Now this is a strategy for more advanced investors because there is more risk as well as a higher financial component required for earthworks and approval costs. Greenfield sites can be bought for an affordable price, but if you can’t get the subdivision approved you need to have the money behind you to fight all your way up to the Environment Court if necessary.

A better strategy is to target infill sites within already established residential areas.

In this scenario, you buy a larger block of land, usually with a house on it, to carve off the land at the back or the side to sell as vacant or with a new property on it.

The other option is to subdivide, then construct a new dwelling and then keep both. Infill developments can also lean towards knocking the old house down, splitting the block into two and selling the vacant land, or building two houses or even multiples. It must always come back to whether there is a market for your project and whether the numbers add up, because you must take into account all of the costs on the way in and on the way out.

That way you can make an educated decision whether to keep holding long term or take your profits to invest elsewhere.

Whichever strategy you choose, you must do your figures on the worst-case scenario to see if it adds up. That’s because land generally has a lower, or no yield to start off with, which means your holding costs can be higher than with a house, for example.

At the end of the day, vacant land as a strategy, does work. You just need to have your eyes wide open to ensure your figures are correct and you must understand that it might be a while before income rolls in.

Finally, it goes without saying that you must get tax advice from a specialist accountant who understands  property. If you don’t, you could end up with pockets just as vacant as the land you’re investing in.

 

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22 June 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

The Best Home Organising Products

If searching for your keys is a part of your morning ritual, it’s time to break the cycle. Being organised is more than just a personality trait, it’s a lifestyle decision that’s easier to achieve if you stock your home with the right tools. These 15 clutter-busting essentials will make your days feel longer and less stressful. Cheers to that!


Idea:
 If you don’t want to hang a key hook, do yourself a favour and get a key catchall. Having a designated place to place your keys when you walk through the door will save you from the “running late” syndrome. Don’t be that person.

Get it: Making your own leather catchall is easier than you’d think. Follow this tutorial on A Beautiful Mess to DIY your own

  • Shelf Dividers

Shelf DividersImage Source: Bahar Yurukoglu for Domino

Idea: You know how it goes . . . You take the time to meticulously fold sheets and towels, and by the end of week, it looks like a bomb exploded in your linen closet. Here’s where clear shelf dividers come in. They’ll keep your stacks of linens in order without creating an eyesore.

Get it: Stock up on these acrylic shelf dividers to tame your most unruly closet.

 

Idea: Put your pantry on display by keeping dried goods and other treats in lidded glass jars.

Get it: You can get her kitchen jars at Ikea.

Idea: If you’ve seen these used to hang pots and pans, you’ll be happy to know that the idea translates for any room in the house. We love how Sugar + Cloth blogger Ashley Rose used one for above-the-bed storage and decor.

 

  • Drawer Organisers

Drawer OrganisersImage Source: Paul Costello for Domino

Idea: If shuffling through a drawer to find a tube of lipstick gives you anxiety, you’ll be amazed by the efficiency that a simple drawer organiser can offer.

 

Idea: Forget the space-saving allure of forgoing a knife block — we’re crazy about the fact that you can see the shapes and sizes of your most utilised knives while keeping them in reach.

 

Idea: It’s amazing how quickly a tray can corral clutter. Bonus points for turning the top of your toilet into an extension of your medicine cabinet (with the addition of a slim bud vase and framed picture, of course).

 

  • Labelled Boxes

Labelled BoxesImage Source: Cahan Eric For Domino

Idea: Labelled boxes are a great way to organise the things you want out of sight.

 

Idea: Sure, you can use them to hang a curtain, but they work wonders in making the most out of shelves. Follow Martha Stewart’s lead, and use them to organise kitchen items like pot and pan lids, trays, and cutting boards.

 

  • Wall-Mounted Drawers

Wall-Mounted DrawersImage Source: Lesley A. Unruh for Domino

Idea: Whether you need more storage space for clothes or craft supplies, these wall-mounted mesh drawers allow you to customize your storage and easily see what you’re storing.

 

  • Makeup Brush Cups

    Makeup Brush Cups

Idea: Instead of cramming makeup brushes into a messy drawer or makeup bag, keep them within easy reach in a stylish cup.

 

Idea: Whether it’s a drawer filled with neat rows of spices or a creative DIY that frees cabinet space, every organized cook seems to have their spice collection under control.

Get it: A Beautiful Mess has an easy-to-follow tutorial for making these nifty magnetic spice jars.

 

  • Clever Toilet Paper Storage

Clever Toilet Paper Storage

Idea: Running out of it when you need it is the worst, but stacking it in plain sight can cramp your bathroom’s style. Kill two birds with one stone by turning a basket into a toilet paper organiser and dispenser.

  • Stainless Steel Shelving

Stainless Steel ShelvingImage Source: Monica Wang for The Everygirl

Idea: A lack of cabinet space doesn’t have to stop you from owning bulky appliances like KitchenAid mixers and high-powered blenders. Some of the cutest rentals we’ve seen use stainless steel shelves for stylishly organization, making it easy to keep everything within sight. The best part? You can extend them or shorten them for a customized height.

Get it: This shelving unit is a great starter package.

 

  • Ceramic Egg Racks

    Ceramic Egg RacksIdea: While they’re intended for eggs, that doesn’t mean they can’t work for another use. Use the shallow cups to organize rings and earrings.

    Get it: This ceramic egg crate is a solid buy.

    Source: Kelsey Foster via Style Me Pretty Living

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18 June 2018
By portermathewsblog


via therealestateconversation.com.au

Buying and selling property in WA has traditionally been by way of a conventional private treaty arrangement, however buyers and sellers are missing out on a more pure form of transaction, and that’s the auction.

property

Granted, auctions are becoming a more accepted selling method and the numbers of weekly auctions in WA has increased significantly over the past five years, but still lag a long way behind private treaty sales and the Eastern states. So why is that we’ve been slow to jump on the auction bandwagon?

Firstly, WA’s law for property transactions using the current “Offer & Acceptance” method protect both buyer and seller and in the majority of cases are easy to follow.  The system works effectively for all parties to the transaction including the buyer, seller, settlement agent/conveyancer and banks. The downside of this system is that is can be time consuming and in many cases is conditional upon buyers obtaining finance, property inspections, having to sell their current home, etc.

More importantly, the system has a major flaw in it and that’s the asking price is disclosed and typically buyers knock the price down to where they feel comfortable – so it’s not good for sellers.

So why should we look to auctions? The auction system is the most pure form of selling and buying as there are no “secrets” surrounding price or selling terms; all terms are provided in the marketing campaign and the buyers set the price on where they see value.  Selling by auction in most cases is quicker than private treaty. And the seller has three bites of the cherry; sell before auction day, on auction day or usually within 30 post auction day.

There are two main misconceptions surrounding auctions:

1. They cost too much. The cost of the auction is merely the auctioneer’s fee for calling the auction and working with the seller, buyer and agent to achieve the desired result. Typically, an auctioneers’ fee is in the vicinity of $700 to $1000. All other costs are associated with the marketing campaign to promote the property.

2. Auctions only “work in expensive areas”. That’s just a suburban myth. There’s many examples of properties below the current Perth median price of $510,000 selling at auction.

WA is one of only two states, the other being Tasmania, that don’t have a cooling off period in our property contracts.  A cooling off period allows the buyer to “break” the Offer to Purchase usually between 2 to 5 business days after the offer has been signed. In other words, if the buyer changes their mind for whatever reason they can legally break the offer and walk away for a very small consideration to the seller, usually between 0.2% – 0.25% of the purchase price.

As WA doesn’t have cooling off provisions in our property contracts, this makes it far too easy for sellers and agents to default to Private Treaty transactions. If cooling off provisions were introduced to our property contracts, I’d predict a huge increase in the number of property auctions taking place in WA.

Finally, too few real estate agents embrace auctions and the auction process with vigor. They lack confidence and in some cases, the ability to explain the different marketing options available to sellers and automatically default to Private Treaty. This is a marketing injustice to sellers and the sooner we can demystify and legitimise the auction process for both buyers and sellers, the better.

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14 June 2018
By portermathewsblog


via domain.com.au

If you’ve ever bought a heating appliance only to find it woefully inadequate for the task at hand, you need Christian Hoerning’s advice. A technical expert at EECA Energywise, he tells us how to stay toasty without getting burned by the end-of-month bill:

For larger rooms you want to heat regularly, it’s worth paying a bit more upfront for a fixed heater with lower running costs and more heat output than a small electric heater can provide.

Electric heaters may be enough for smaller rooms and rooms you only heat occasionally.

Hang on the wall electric fires can be two or three sided and have floating shelves such as those in the Skope Trento Suite from The Fireplace.Hang on the wall electric fires can be two or three sided and have floating shelves such as those in the Skope Trento Suite from The Fireplace. Photo: The Fireplace

Avoid unflued gas heaters (either portable or with pipes fixed to the walls) that release toxic fumes and moisture, and open fires that are draughty and inefficient.

Match the size of your heater to the space. An oversized or undersized heater won’t work effectively, and can cost more to run.

To minimise the environmental impacts, choose a heating option that uses renewable energy, like wood, wood pellets or electricity (which is about 80 per cent renewable on average).

An Escea outdoor cooking fire completes this outdoor kitchen by Dravitzki Brown Architecture, it comes with an adjustable cooking plate for flame grilling.An Escea outdoor cooking fire completes this outdoor kitchen by Dravitzki Brown Architecture, it comes with an adjustable cooking plate for flame grilling. Photo: Escea

Choose the most efficient model for the job, and use and maintain your heater properly – for example, have heat pumps serviced and regularly clean the filters.

Fireplace: The expert advice

One reason wood fires have fallen somewhat out of favour is increasing clean air regulations in our cities. But wood is a renewable resource – and a real wood fire has romance on its side. So if you’re a sucker for the crackle and the ritual of stoking the logs, look for one that is clean air approved for urban areas.

“For large, open-plan rooms you can’t go past double-sided fireplaces as room dividers. They visually connect two spaces, and add intimate zones to the setting.” – Alex Hodge, Escea.

Escea's double-sided DX1500 gas fireplace adds its magic to both the kitchen and living space of this home, designed by Product X Architecture.Escea’s double-sided DX1500 gas fireplace adds its magic to both the kitchen and living space of this home, designed by Product X Architecture. Photo: Escea

“Electric fireplaces, using sophisticated LED technology that mimics flames with different effects and colours, are no longer confined to in-wall options. Products such as the Gazco Skope Outset fires can be installed as a two- or three-sided fire so they make a stunning visual centrepiece.” – Geoff Dunn, The Fireplace

“A fireplace in the bedroom is the ultimate luxury, but definitely a better option with gas due to its on/off button convenience and controllable temperature. No one likes to sleep in a room that’s too hot. Escea’s multiroom DX Series has the ability to duct heat into different rooms – a good option for bedrooms as 90 per cent of the heat is ducted, not radiant. – Alex Hodge, Escea

“A fireplace in an outdoor room will add value to your home and extend your living space. Fireplaces provide a central social hub and make alfresco dining a lot more inviting. Escea’s EF5000 outdoor gas fireplace is an easy-to-install option that doesn’t need a flue, so it’s great for balconies and roof gardens that have views you don’t want to obscure.” – Malcolm Burton, Stoke Fireplace Studio

If you love the authenticity of wood fireplaces but live in the city, you'll need one that's clean air approved. Stovax Studio wood fires can be in-built or freestanding.If you love the authenticity of wood fireplaces but live in the city, you’ll need one that’s clean air approved. Stovax Studio wood fires can be in-built or freestanding. Photo: The Fireplace

Other ways to heat

Sarah Moore from Rinnai says whole home heating (or central heating) is can be unusual, as most of us are used to spot heating just the living area. “Whole home heating allows you to have a warm, comfortable dry house and we have seen strong growth in this space over the last few years. We expect this trend to continue as more people understand the benefits of heating their whole home.”

Fan heaters are ideal for small spaces such as home offices or powder rooms that measure around 15sqm. Installed in a bathroom, they also reduce steam and should be turned on before you take a shower.

Wall mounted and perfectly quiet, convection panel heaters are a good choice for hallways and bedrooms. Choose one with a timer and an accurate digital thermostat.

Radiant heaters are for personal warmth; if you work from home in an open-plan space you could possibly do with one in the depths of winter but they will make no difference to the ambient temperature of the room.

Don’t forget to move the heat outdoors. A 2400W electric outdoor patio heater, for instance, provides heat for areas up to 10m away.

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11 June 2018
By portermathewsblog


via therealestateconversation.com.au

photo-first-home-buyers-happy-on-couch

Buying your first property is hard, so let’s make it easier for you.

Congratulations! You have decided to take the plunge, you have done some reading on what the various responsibilities when it comes to being a homeowner, you have spoken to the bank and have an idea of how much you are able to afford.

These steps take some time so we are here to encourage you to take the next step in home ownership. We know it’s a little bit nerve wrecking and a little bit scary, but we have compiled some advice from our in house experts to help you with this exciting time!

Looking for affordability without compromising on location

For many of us, your first home is not going to be your forever home. We recommend taking a holistic approach to purchasing property. Even if you are going to be living in that property, look at it as an investment as well.

For those first homebuyers who do not want to compromise on space, you may have to look further out depending on your budget or look for townhouses or terraces. If you are looking to keep more of your lifestyle, an inner city apartment may be the apt living situation for you.

What we emphasise is buying smart and seeing your home purchase as more than just a living situation but a step in growing your portfolio. You might want to ask yourself “How much rent will I get for this apartment?” or “What has been the capital growth in the area over the last few years?”.

We think asking these questions will not only give you peace of mind if you have to move out and rent or sell your property, but it is also how many people start their property portfolio. The first one does not have to be picture perfect, but it helps if it is a sound investment.

Location and amenities

The building, home or internal features are not the only things that you should consider when you buy. Are you in a desirable school catchment zone, are there amenities or transport facilities planned in your area or has a new shopping centre been planned?

Looking at the amenities and area around you is particularly important, as they are great financial health indicators that the area you are looking to buy in has infrastructure and amenity to attract people to live there.

Look on suburb out from your dream location

Looking for undervalued suburbs next to the pricier areas is always a something we recommend to our first home buyers – over time, population growth and gentrification will mean that there will be capital growth in your area.

It’s always good to also look at areas with employment growth as this will increase demand for homes in that area. Finally, do your research. It takes time to go through all the listings in the area you love and view the various prices they get sold for but it’s all worth it when you know you are on to a great purchase.

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06 June 2018
By portermathewsblog


via reiwa.com.au

The latest REIWA Curtin Buy-Rent Index for the March 2018 quarter has revealed it’s the best time to buy in Perth since 2013.

The Index, released quarterly, assesses whether it’s better to buy or rent in Perth based on past and current trends in the economic and property market climate.

REIWA President Hayden Groves said the March 2018 quarter index showed the annual rate of house price growth required over 10 years to break even in the Buy-Rent Index had declined from 3.3 per cent to 3.1 per cent over the quarter, suggesting an improvement for prospective homebuyers weighing up the decision.

“To put that into perspective, Perth’s annual house price growth rate has been 5.9 per cent for the last 15 years. Based on the March 2018 quarter Index, house prices in Perth would only need to grow by more than 3.1 per cent annually for buying to be considered more financially beneficial than renting,” Mr Groves said.

“This improvement in buying conditions can be attributed to the Perth median house price softening by 1.9 per cent during the March quarter, while the median house rent price increased $5 to $360 per week. We also saw the 10 year average mortgage rate drop to 6.43 per cent, which means home owners are paying less on their mortgage repayments.

“This is the most affordable buying environment we’ve seen in Perth for some time, so if you’ve been weighing up whether to buy, now is the time to take advantage of favourable market conditions,” Mr Groves said.

Mr J-Han Ho, a Property Researcher and Senior Lecturer in the School of Economics and Finance at Curtin University, said the data indicated a continued improvement for the home buyer in the near future.

“Our analysis shows home buyers gaining an advantage, largely due to the low interest rates for home loans, home ownership costs continuing to be affordable and the median rents stabilising,” Mr Ho said.

View the March 2018 quarter Buy-Rent Index.

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01 June 2018
By portermathewsblog


popsugar.com.au

How to Get Ready For a PartyImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

 

If the idea of getting your home company-ready is keeping you from hosting a dinner party or even your out-of-town in-laws, we can help. Sure, you could spend all day cleaning and decorating in anticipation, but who has the time? Here are the only things you really need to do before your guests arrive. Don’t worry — they are nothing but easy.

 

The Scent of Your Home

The Scent of Your HomeImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Brinton Parker

Decor isn’t the first thing guests
notice when they walk through your door — it’s the smell. Whether you’re
concerned about the fish you cooked the night before or your dog skipping a
bath — or worse, the scents you’ve become nose-blind to — put your
mind at ease by lighting a candle or simmering a small pot of citrus peels and
cinnamon sticks a half hour before guests arrive. We can’t get enough of these yummy-smelling candles.

A Well-Stocked Bar

A Well-Stocked BarImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

After greeting guests, the first
thing that you will want to do is offer them a drink. You don’t need to be full
service, but make sure you have the home bar basics covered.

 

Fresh Flowers

Fresh FlowersImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Mark Popovich

Flowers are the only decoration a
house really ever needs, no matter the occasion (although we feel pretty
strongly about candles too!). To get the most bang out of your buck, buy potted
flowers, like orchids. They may look delicate, but with proper care, they
will last for a month or longer.

 

The Lack of Clutter

The Lack of ClutterImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Grace Hitchcock

Even if you don’t have time to do a
deep cleaning, you can still organise your clutter. Get a tray or a set of
lidded boxes for each room and corral all the odds and ends — remotes,
keys, mail — in one place. Guests will feel relaxed in a space that
appears organised, even if it is just for show!

 

A Tidy Bathroom

A Tidy BathroomImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Grace Hitchcock

Before guests arrive, make sure your
bathroom has clean hand towels and enough toilet paper. Extra points for wiping
down surfaces and lighting a candle

 

An Organised Entryway

An Organised Entryway
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

Not only is it the first place and
last place that your guests will see, your entryway is also where they will be
dropping their coats and bags. Depending on how much room you have, add a coat
rack, umbrella stand, and a place to sit while taking shoes on or off.

 

 

 

 

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28 May 2018
By portermathewsblog


reiwa.com.au

Understanding what buying 'as inspected' means - reiwa.comOne of the most widely misunderstood elements of real estate is what condition a property should be in at settlement or possession.

What does ‘buying as inspected’ really mean?

In short, a property is sold “as inspected”. If there was dust on a ceiling fan when you first inspected before contracting to buy then the fan can be dusty at settlement. The same goes for a dirty oven, a blown light globe or a squeaky laundry door. If it was dirty, blown or squeaky at inspection before purchase then so it should be at settlement.

Buyers will typically expect that the property is handed over to them spick n’ span and thankfully most house-proud sellers leave their homes in an appropriate condition when moving out, however legally there is no obligation for them to do so.

What should you expect at settlement?

If you’re buying a home, it’s smart to have a realistic expectation of what to expect at settlement.

Unless otherwise specified in the contract, the seller is under no obligation to have the property professionally cleaned for settlement and it is surprising how few buyers ask that such a condition be included.

The seller’s only obligation under the contract (Clause 6.1(b) 2 of the General Conditions) is to “…remove from the Property, before possession, all vehicles, rubbish and chattels, other than the Property Chattels.”

Many modern contracts to purchase include provision for essential plumbing, gas and electrical components to be working at settlement. Hence, if at settlement the toilet cistern leaks then the seller ought to make good because the contract says so.

It is trickier when, for example, a telephone jack doesn’t work at settlement. It is not strictly electrical but it is probably reasonable for a buyer to assume that it was functioning at inspection. This is partly because, caveat emptor (buyer beware) has all but disappeared according to some legal practitioners. The onus is probably on the seller to disclose (in this case) that the telephone jack didn’t work.

How to ensure you’re happy with the property at settlement

My view is that buyers need to take reasonable steps to ensure the property they have bought will be presented to them in a condition they are satisfied with.

This can be achieved by either contracting with the seller to guarantee it and/or being more thorough when inspecting the property in the first instance. Ask the agent if it’s ok to turn on taps, flush loos, flick switches, open and close doors, open the oven, turn on the dishwasher and so on before making an offer to purchase.

Buyers ought to have a realistic expectation of what to expect at settlement when buying an established home and acknowledge that opinions of presentation are subjective.

Speak to our market experts on 9475 9622 to discuss about your property concerns

 

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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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21 May 2018
By portermathewsblog


via reiwa.com.au

First home buyers are active in Perth’s property market, with data for the March 2018 quarter revealing an increase in sales for properties priced $500,000 and below.

REIWA President Hayden Groves said after observing subdued first home buyer activity during the December 2017 quarter, it was pleasing to see the lower end of the market strengthen early in 2018.

“The final quarter of 2017 saw the composition of the Perth market shift. Last quarter there were significantly more sales in the higher priced end of the market and less in the first home buyer price range. It’s been a different story this quarter, with the balance of sales shifting back to the lower end of the market,” Mr Groves said.

Median house and unit price

Perth’s preliminary median house price is $510,000 for the March 2018 quarter.

Mr Groves said once all sales settle, this figure was expected to increase to $517,000, which would put the March 2018 quarter median marginally lower (by 0.6 per cent) than the December 2017 quarter.

“Although Perth’s median house price experienced a minor adjustment during the March 2018 quarter, the median house price is up 0.4 per cent when compared to the same time last year, which shows prices are stable,” Mr Groves said.

Perth’s preliminary median unit price is $401,000 for the March 2018 quarter.

“This is expected to lift to $410,000 once all sales settle, which would put it equal with the December quarter median.

“These results are in line with REIWA’s 2018 forecast, which expects stable conditions throughout the remainder of this year, with moderate price growth during the next 12 months,” Mr Groves said.

Sales activity

Preliminary Landgate data shows there were 5,865 dwelling sales during the March 2018 quarter.

“We expect around 6,603 sales for the quarter overall, which is marginally lower than volumes recorded during the December quarter,” Mr Groves said.

There was a 5.7 per cent increase in house sales in the sub-$500,000 price range during the March 2018 quarter.

“Increased activity in the lower end of the market is usually a sign first home buyers are active. We are fortunate the dream of home ownership is more attainable for West Australians than it is on the east coast. After seeing activity drop off last quarter, it’s good to see first home buyers are increasing their presence in the market,” Mr Groves said.

Listings for sale

There were 14,413 properties for sale in Perth at the end of the March 2018 quarter.

Mr Groves said listings had increased 10.2 per cent over the quarter, but were down 2.9 per cent when compared to the March 2017 quarter.

“While it is pleasing listings have declined on an annual basis, the increase over the quarter is not cause for alarm. With overall sentiment in WA improving and all signs indicating the market has begun to turn, sellers are feeling more confident than they have been and therefore more inclined to put their property up for sale.

“We’ve also seen a sharp decline in rental listings over the past year which has had a flow-on effect to the established market. With some investors choosing to sell their rental property instead of lease it, this has contributed to the rise in the number of properties for sale in Perth,” Mr Groves said.

Average selling days

It took 67 days on average to sell a house in Perth during the March 2018 quarter.

Mr Groves said although average selling days increased over the quarter, it was still two days quicker to sell than it was during the March 2017 quarter.

“With more listings on the market, buyers now have more choice, which has had an impact on the time it takes to sell. It’s very encouraging though, that on an annual basis, we’re seeing average selling days decrease,” Mr Groves said.

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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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14 May 2018
By portermathewsblog


via reiwa.com.au

With steady rents, declining listings, improved leasing figures and faster leasing times, data for the March 2018 quarter reveals Perth’s rental market is leading the charge in Perth’s property market recovery.

REIWA President Hayden Groves said the first quarter of 2018 showed Perth’s rental market had strengthened, with improvements recorded across all key indicators.

“Perth’s rental market appears to be building on the momentum of the latter half of 2017, which is very encouraging – not just for the rental market, but also for the overall property market. Historically, the sales market follows the rental market during a recovery,” Mr Groves said.

Median rent prices

Perth’s overall median rent price is $350 per week for the March 2018 quarter.

Mr Groves said this was the twelfth straight month of stable rent prices, with no changes recorded since April 2017.

“All sub-regions experienced stable median prices except for the South West sub-region, which saw its overall median rent price increase $10 to $330 per week during the quarter,” Mr Groves said.

reiwa.com data shows there was a $5 per week increase to both the median house and median unit rent during the March 2018 quarter.

“The median house rent increased to $360 per week, while the median unit rent increased to $325 per week,” Mr Groves said.

“It bodes well for landlords that the house and unit median rents are improving simultaneously.”

Leasing activity

There were 14,112 rental properties leased in Perth during the March 2018 quarter.

“Leasing volumes for the March 2018 quarter are up 4.2 per cent compared to the December 2017 quarter,” Mr Groves said.

“Four out of the five sub-regions saw an improvement in leasing volumes, with the Central sub-region (up 7.7 per cent) and North East sub-region (up 6.1 per cent) the stand-outs.”

At a suburb level, reiwa.com data shows East Cannington, St James, North Fremantle, Ellenbrook and Booragoon saw the biggest growth in leasing activity levels over the quarter.

Listings for rent

Rental listings declined 4.5 per cent during the quarter, with 8,508 listings recorded at the end of March 2018.

Mr Groves said there had been a substantial reduction in the number of rental properties available in Perth over the last 12 months.

“Compared to the March 2017 quarter, listings for rent are now 18.6 per cent lower than they were at the same time last year. This can be attributed to an increase in population growth to the state and fewer new dwelling commencements occurring in the metro area,” Mr Groves said.

Average leasing time

It was two days faster to lease a property during the March 2018 quarter than it was during the December 2017 quarter.

“It took 47 days on average for landlords to find a tenant during the March quarter, which is two days faster than the December quarter and three days faster than the March 2017 quarter,” Mr Groves said.

“With stock levels declining and leasing activity increasing, the Perth rental market is finally starting to re-balance. For tenants, now is a good time to secure a longer-term lease before rents rise.”

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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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04 May 2018
By portermathewsblog


via houzz.com.au

Which trends from the eighties are worth a second chance, and which ones should you forget about?

Thought 1980s interior trends were destined to stay in the past forever? You might be surprised to see how many of the interior fashions of that decade are popping up again in our homes now – albeit in very different ways.

Capture Ditch frills for refined florals
Pattern went to town in the 1980s, and in turn took city dwellers away to the countryside. No bed was complete without a pillow and bedspread adorned with florals – and of course a frilly edge and valance in an accent colour. Alas, the twee pastoral look was sadly chucked out with the chintz in the 1990s to make way for a plainer aesthetic.

But florals are back, and this time the look is more sophisticated. Take this gorgeous sleep space, for example. The pattern has been used sparingly on the bedhead and cushion, and tones with the plain surfaces elsewhere. The effect is pared back, elegant and a far cry from the Little House on the Prairie look of the ’80s.

Capture2.JPG
Play with pastels
Nothing sums up the ’80s love of pastels more than the dapper outfits adorned by the stars of Miami Vice. Who can forget the lilac and pink t-shirts that Crocket and Tubbs wore under their laid-back cotton suits? And our homes were resplendent in pastel shades too – pale pinks, mauves, aquas, blues and yellows all vied for centre stage in 1980s interiors.

We’re loving pastels again, however, with aqua, peach and dusty pink seeing a recent revival. Contemporary pastels are muted and look great with soft shades of grey, while peach works well with copper accessories. The key is to choose just one pastel shade and tone it with more neutral hues, rather than going for an ’80s-style pastel extravaganza.

Capture3

Go for a country kitchen – just not in orange
While 1980s florals aimed for a rustic ambience, so too did many of the decade’s kitchens. The farmhouse kitchen was a big look in the ’80s. Cook spaces packed out with wall-to-wall pine cabinets might look cosy, but the orange shade of wood could also put you off your microwave dinner.

We still love our country kitchens, but the look is completely different, mainly because of the paler, more stylish oak we opt for in favour of varnished pine. We can also experiment with other surfaces, mixing and matching for a more interesting look. The kitchen here has all the elements of a rustic design, but it has been given a twist. Wood is teamed with painted surfaces, while a concrete work surface adds an industrial edge.

 

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04 May 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

How to Decorate With ColourstrologyImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

 

When it comes to astrology, let’s admit it: who doesn’t love reading their monthly horoscope? Gaining insight into your future relating to your career, relationships, health, and beyond is not only intriguing and exciting, but often, it can be extremely accurate. So, when we heard about a mashup that existed between astrology, design, and colour theory, we had to know more.

This hybrid idealism, coined “colourstrology” by astrologist and numerologist Michele Bernhardt, is thoroughly mapped out in her book Colourstrology: What Your Birthday Colour Says About You. Michele has created a comprehensive chart of Pantone colours that are assigned to every single day of the year as well as one colour for each month. Using ruling planets, sun signs, and the influence of numbers and other important dates, Michele has determined which colour creates the highest benefit for each.

So locate your birthday month ahead, and read on as we break down your most beneficial colour as well as exciting ways you can incorporate it into your home space for an extra boost of positive energy.

January: Caramel

January: Caramel
Image Source: Anthropologie

Hues of caramel can connect you back to the earth and keep you centered and focused. If you are a January baby, try investing in some terra cotta planters and arrange them on your patio or near your windowsill for the ultimate energy boost. Plus, the dark brown colour of the plant soil will also add to the effect.

 

February: Sheer Lilac

February: Sheer LilacImage Source: West Elm

Sheer lilac can improve friendships and cast a vibe of kindness across you and any of your home visitors. Using lilac-coloured mugs and tableware can be the perfect way to receive the benefits of this colour while you enjoy tea or a meal among pals.

 

March: Fair Aqua

CaptureImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

Fair aqua can increase relaxation and encourage meditation, so it is just the right colour to include in your bedroom design scheme. Choose a bedding set with bursts of aqua, or try to find a solid aqua blanket that can come in handy both at bedtime or for any lazy Sunday naps out on the couch.

 

April: Cayenne


Image Source: Williams-Sonoma

Cayenne is a bright and intense colour, so be sure to implement it in a space that definitely requires a burst of vitality. If you have a home gym, try painting one wall this bold colour, or add a vibrant table runner to your kitchen nook for an extra pick-me-up in the mornings while you eat breakfast.

 

May: Bud Green

May: Bud Green
Image Source: Anthropologie

The colour bud green is closely linked to prosperity and success, so if this is your birth colour, be sure to incorporate it into your home office or desk space. Try including a green upholstered side chair to maximise this colour’s benefits or, if you’re cramped with space, a sleek green laptop cover or mouse pad will do just fine.

 

June: Aspen Gold

June: Aspen GoldImage Source: Designer Living

Aspen gold can promote successful communication, so think about which room in your home receives the most conversational activity. Painting the walls of your dining room a nice golden colour could be a good touch, or hanging art with bold yellow features is another way to get the most of June’s assigned colour.

 

July: Coral Blush

July: Coral Blush
Image Source: Wayfair

July’s coral blush colour is extremely calming and promotes love and sensitivity, so adding this colour into areas of your home that you closely share with a partner is key. An area rug in a gorgeous blush hue placed in either your living room or bedroom is a genius way to infuse this colour into your space.

 

August: Sun Orange

August: Sun Orange
Image Source: Wayfair

A happy, bright sun orange is the best way to promote playfulness and fun, so recreational areas in your home are the best place to feature this colour. Placing a bold orange umbrella out on your patio will not only liven up your space, but it will definitely encourage lots and lots of outdoor Summer fun.

 

September: Baja Blue

September: Baja Blue
Image Source: Grandin Road

The distinct baja blue is synonymous with both beauty and attractiveness and is an amazing color to feature right in your entryway. Grab a welcome mat in this hue, or hang a framed print duo near the door to gracefully (and charmingly) welcome your guests.

 

October: Cerulean

October: CeruleanImage Source: PB Teen

Cerulean is another colour heavily linked to relaxation and tranquility, so it is an ideal choice for your master bathroom. Whether you decide to paint the walls in this shade or find a towel set in a similar hue, you are sure to enjoy the calming benefits.

 

November: Claret Red

November: Claret RedImage Source: Wisteria

This deep claret red is strongly linked to the libido and nurtures physical connection, so incorporating it into your bedroom space can do wonders for you and your partner. And since this colour is quite bold, focus on finding some smaller claret red accents, like a ring tray or small sculpture, to place on top of your nightstand or nearby dresser.

 

December: Pagoda Blue

December: Pagoda Blue
Image Source: Anthropologie

Pagodea blue symbolises vision, wisdom, and travels, so it is the perfect colour to feature in a bookcase display or wall collage to promote interest and vision. Try locating blue bookends or decorative coffee table books with bold blue accents or even a hanging picture frame with blue rims for an extra dose of imagination in these spaces.

Loving colourstrology? If you are interested in finding out today’s specific colour, just click here!

 

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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.

Comments (0)

23 April 2018
By portermathewsblog


via domain.com.au

In Australia’s perpetually crowded rental market, the odds of securing any sort of home – let alone one that ticks all your boxes – can seem daunting.

Fast-increasing prices and the advent of so-called “rental bidding” further complicate the picture. And during the summer months, fluctuations in stock can create wildly variable conditions from week to week.

But there is reason to be optimistic. Despite perceptions that the rental market is somehow rigged – particularly in large cities such as Sydney and Melbourne – agents and advocates say that ordinary Aussies stand a good chance of renting in 2018.

Consider house-hunting in early January when there is less competition.Consider house-hunting in early January when there is less competition. Photo: Edwina Pickles

If you understand what landlords are looking for, are willing to take care during the application process and choose the most appropriate month to search, you might be surprised by what you can secure.

1. Always write a cover letter

Few agents ask for one, but including a cover letter with your application can dramatically improve your chances of securing a rental.

Crucially, a one-page cover letter can find its way to the landlord, who is almost never present at inspections but has final say over who is granted the lease.Making a personal connection with the landlord through a cover letter can be very valuable.

Make sure you have all your documentation ready before the inspection.Make sure you have all your documentation ready before the inspection. Photo: Pat Scala

“Make it a good story,” says Eileen Carroll, sales director of Ray White Glebe. “Tell us why you’re the best person for the property. A little story about yourself will help your cause.”

2. Gather everything you’ll need – and then some

While some agents do not require additional documentation such as proof of ID and written references to be supplied at the time of application, Carroll says prospective tenants should submit these documents anyway.

“Have it all ready, so if you are accepted, you can actually secure the property,” she says. “If I’m chasing people for these documents before they’ve even signed the tenancy, alarm bells start to ring.”

Agents may move on to the next applicant if you don't have your deposit ready.Agents may move on to the next applicant if you don’t have your deposit ready. Photo: Dan Soderstrom

Providing ample references and other documents from the outset can also give you an advantage over less organised applicants.

“If someone submits an application with just a payslip from a month ago and a passport, it’s not really that interesting to me,” Carroll says. “But if the application has a covering letter, two current payslips, a personal or work reference and they’ve completed their 100 points of ID, I’m impressed.”

3. Apply online if you can

Scanning your hard-copy documents and completing an online application form may be irksome and time-consuming, but for agents it’s a godsend.

Even if a property is popular, don't be tempted to pay more than the advertised price.Even if a property is popular, don’t be tempted to pay more than the advertised price. Photo: Eddie Jim

“I had eight properties open two weeks ago and I leased all of them,” explains Carroll, “so the paperwork was miles long. Online applications make my life easier.”

Most online application forms also include a section for additional comments, so make sure you use it. “The standard form we use actually asks applicants to explain why they like the property in question, and I find that really helpful,” Carroll says. “It’s the first thing I go to now in the application because it gives me a better indication of who we’re dealing with.”

4. Think carefully before offering more than the listed price

Australia’s chronic shortage of inner-city housing has led to an increase in so-called “rental bidding”: offering more than the asking price in order to beat out the competition.

Leo Patterson Ross, advocacy and research officer at the Tenants Union of New South Wales, concedes that this strategy can be effective for those who can afford it. But he cautions that rental bidding can set a dangerous precedent.

“It’s pushing up prices not only for others but for yourself,” he says. By indicating a willingness to pay more than advertised, tenants may increase the likelihood of further rent rises in future, which could ultimately make the property unaffordable.

5. Be ready to pay your deposit

Having your application approved does not guarantee that the agent will hold the property for you. “If I call someone in the morning, tell them their application has been approved and ask for their deposit, and they say, ‘Oh, I’ll pay it later this afternoon’, I automatically go to the next application,” says Carroll.

“If they’re going to pay it later that afternoon, that tells me they’re waiting on the outcome of another application or they can’t afford my property.”

Carroll says delaying payment of your deposit by even a few hours can be risky. “I don’t want to lose my other applicants waiting for a deposit to be paid. Waiting a day for the deposit could mean my other applicants have moved on to other properties.”

6. Choose the most suitable month to apply

Unlike most of the year, when the number of properties on the Australian rental market is relatively stable, the months of January, February and March vary wildly in terms of volume.

According to Domain data, rental listings are at their lowest levels between late December and late January, when much of the country is on holiday. But some rental properties are open for inspection during this time.

Carroll says house-hunting in quiet early January can mean less competition and a better chance of striking up a relationship with a rental agent.

If you’d like to maximise your options, wait until late January or early February, when many landlords return from holidays. But remember that university students house-hunt during this time, increasing competition in less expensive suburbs.

If you can afford to wait until March, you’ll find the market returning to normal levels – and there may be an opportunity to pick up a bargain rental that didn’t lease during the February rush.

7. Don’t despair if you are young or haven’t rented before

Many prospective tenants assume that age and wealth trump all other considerations in the eyes of agents and landlords. But the truth is more nuanced.

“Real estate agents and landlords are ultimately trying to assess risk when choosing applicants,” says Patterson Ross. “The factors they are mainly considering are the ability to pay the rent, and the likelihood of damage occurring to the property.”

“A previous rental history is part of demonstrating that you represent a lower risk, but you can do this in other ways as well – most likely character references from employers or other people who can talk about things like your responsibility, cleanliness and so on.”

Carroll says she has rented properties to people without employment who could demonstrate significant savings, and to others who had less money than their competition. “For me, it’s ultimately about whether the application stands out or not,” she says.

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16 April 2018
By portermathewsblog


Hayden Groves via therealestateconversation.com.au

The REIWA has come out in support of the WA state government’s plans to improve housing affordability by increasing housing diversity and density.

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The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia supports a State Government plan to improve housing diversity and density to boost housing affordability.

REIWA President Hayden Groves said housing affordability remains one of the more challenging issues affecting West Australians.

“REIWA believes that access to secure and appropriate housing is essential to the success of communities and the prosperity of our state.

“REIWA is committed to ensuring everyone wins in property and will work alongside the WA Government to ensure the Affordable Housing Action Plan makes a positive impact to the lives of West Australians,” Mr Groves said.

Minister for Housing; Veterans Issues; Youth, Peter Tinley outlined the strategic plan this week, which promotes a ‘connected city’ by ensuring the needs of our diverse population are met.

“REIWA would like to congratulate Minister Tinley and the WA Government on this initiative that will promote a connected, sustainable and accessible property market into the future,” Mr Groves said.

The McGowan Government aims to deliver affordable homes as part of its METRONET vision and is currently developing its Affordable Housing Action Plan for release in mid-2018.

REIWA will work alongside the Government during the development of the action plan which focuses on:

  • Connection between people, place and home;
  • Real and enduring affordability for those on low-to-moderate incomes;
  • Earlier and more connected housing and support services;
  • Creation of diverse precincts that will include options for low-income earners; and,
  • Diversity of options to meet diversity of need.

REIWA sits on the METRONET industry board and will work closely to advocate the delivery of affordable housing stock and the creation of METROHUBS.

REIWA will continue to actively support Government in ensuring all Western Australian’s have access to affordable housing through collaboration with the private sector.

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06 April 2018
By portermathewsblog


Best Home Decorating Apps
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Julia Sperling

Home decorating is a hefty investment. Whether you’re renovating or rearranging a room, shopping for a new piece of statement furniture, or designing a new home, there’s always plenty of what ifs to consider. Where to put the lounge? Will it even fit? Ivory or eggshell? It’s a process that can make the best of us question our decision-making abilities.

Of course, like any educated 21st-century citizen would do to make life easier, you turn to apps. And of course, like any 21st-century dilemma, there are plenty of technological solutions for it. Below, we’ve found the five best apps to help you in whatever decorating rut you may find yourself in.

For Inspiration and Ideas

For Inspiration and Ideas

Try: Houzz Interior Design Ideas, Free on iOS and Google Play

Browse through countless photos for inspiration, use the sketch feature to bring your dream room to life, or find a local home professional to help you out with all your decorating needs. The app’s also got a nifty product section to make sourcing products easy.

For Colour Selection

For Colour Selection

Try: Color911, $5.99 on iOS

Whether you want to create a colour scheme for a room, or can’t decide what shade of turquoise will match your throw pillows, Color911 makes colour selection easy. Choose and download from more than 100 colour themes, or build your own custom palette library from photos.
For Collecting Measurements

For Collecting Measurements

Try: Photo Measures, $10.99 on iOS and $4.99 on Google Play

Love the look of a couch but aren’t quite sure if it’ll fit in the space you have? Photo Measures takes the guesswork out of this and allows you to snap photos of every room and draw measures on it. Record and save everything from your living room space to bookshelf width.

For Room Planning

For Room Planning

Try: Mark on Call, $4.49 on iOS

Who said floor plans were intimidating? Mark on Call is like having a personal interior designer at your fingertips, allowing you to map out each room to precision. Enter your room and furniture dimensions and you can rearrange pieces until your heart’s content, even with your skin or finish of choice.
For Real-Time Visualisation

For Real-Time Visualisation

Try: IKEA Catalogue, Free on iOS and Google Play

The app’s 3D and augmented reality feature allows you to visualise what pieces of furniture will look like in your home, meaning hassle- and worry-free shopping. You can even pull pieces directly out of current catalogues, or choose from iconic IKEA pieces in the library.

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26 March 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

Money-Saving Tips For Decorating Your First ApartmentImage Source: Studio McGee

Sure, graduation and your first job are huge steps towards adulthood, but what’s the true sign that you’ve officially made it? When you get the keys to your very own apartment. Moving into your first (or second) place is a big deal, but we all know it can come at a high price. It was a rude awakening the day we realised our Pinterest-fuelled dreams didn’t exactly fit our budget. But don’t give up hope! Having an apartment that’s chic and affordable is totally possible. The key is knowing the tricks and hacks that will help you save money without skimping on style. That way, you’ll save your money for what’s really important . . . the housewarming party.

1. Upgrading your wall art? Don’t spend a fortune

Image Source: Domino

Building up an art collection doesn’t have to be crazy expensive. If you can’t bare white walls, there are plenty of websites that specialise in affordable art.

2. Add Something Old


Image Source: Melanie Acevedo for Domino

Add character and save cash by buying your decor secondhand, a trick from former Bachelorette star Jillian Harris. Local thrift stores and flea markets are all full of fun and practical finds that won’t cost a fortune.

3. DIY When You Can

Image Source: Dana Miller / House*Tweaking

If you’re up to the challenge, take on a DIY project — the beautiful results might surprise you. This bar cart is actually an inexpensive Ikea kitchen cart that was repurposed with green paint, wood stain, a bottle opener, and a towel bar.

4. Think Long-Term, Not Just For Now

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Adrian Busse

Since it is likely you’ll be moving around for the next few years, pick items that can travel with you. Avoid oversize furniture and be sure to invest in pieces you’ll love for years to come.

5. Master the Art of Paint

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Adrian Busse

Even the grungiest flea market piece has potential to be beautiful. A fresh coat of bright paint can make all the difference and will help your space look dressed up, even though you’re on a budget.

6. Do Double-Duty


Image Source: Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

Short on space and money? Make sure the few pieces you do invest in can serve more than one purpose. This coffee table doubles as extra seating when guests come to visit.

7. Make the Mattress Your Splurge

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Adrian Busse

Money is tight when you’re moving into a new place, but the one thing you should never skimp on with quality is your mattress. Not only will it get a lot of use, but going cheap can lead to back pain and health issues. Check out these tips for buying a quality mattress.

8. Raid the Garage

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

If you have relatives nearby, get busy exploring the garage or attic for handy items you can commandeer for yourself. Things like silverware, old furniture, or art could make their way into your stylish studio.

9. Get Creative With Storage

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Adrian Busse

Yes, your first apartment is probably pretty tiny, but use organisation to your advantage. While you can keep big items tucked away in a box under the bed or in your closet, keep jewellery, makeup, and other small collectables stored out in the open.

10. Buy Budget-Friendly Essentials

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Adrian Busse

No adult should have to live with paper plates and sheets for curtains, but if you’re worried about all the little things adding up, there are ways to get what you need while staying on budget. Shopping for affordable apartment essentials means that you can squeeze everything you need into your budget.

 

 

 

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