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Top Ten Tips to Increase Your Home's Value Before Selling


If you’ve been thinking about selling your house at some point in the near future, you’ll want to start getting ready as soon as possible. For many homeowners, this includes grabbing a set of tools from the shed and getting your hands dirty. For others, it just means calling a tradesperson. Selling a home in Australia’s competitive real estate market can be facilitated by having a fully functional, aesthetically attractive home. Simply offering the lowest price on the block is not enough to make a lasting impression. When potential buyers are viewing several homes in your neighbourhood, you’ll want yours to be the one that stands out for the right reasons.   With the solid advice of a local real estate agent, you can make your house as close to turnkey standards as possible. A turnkey home is a house where a buyer can move right in without the need for any initial repairs. Many buyers don’t want to put more money and effort into a project ...


5 quick DIY home maintenance jobs to tackle before winter departs


When it’s freezing outside, being cosy and comfy at home is of the utmost importance. But just like a garden, your home needs to be tended to regularly to ensure it’s in optimum condition.   You’ll save a lot of time, effort and money in the long run if you keep on top of your home maintenance while avoiding the sort of issues that could threaten your warm and peaceful sanctuary.   Start with these simple tasks to keep your home healthy and happy through the colder months.    Clean your gutters Cleaning out gutters twice a year can save major hassles down the track. Photo: iStock “As soon as the leaves stop falling, we say to get your gutters cleaned out, particularly in Melbourne,” says Ross Veitch, proprietor at Hire-A-Hubby in Templestowe, in the city’s north-east. “If you haven’t got clear-flowing gutters, you’re likely to get water backing up. And then you start to get leaks around the eave...


Creating a functional study on a budget in seven easy steps


People regularly ask me how I can improve the functionality of working at home without it costing a bomb.   What equipment do I need? How should I make sure the workflow is optimised for efficiency?   All of these are the right questions. My answer though generally starts somewhere other than thinking about the right size desk or lighting or even the feng shui of the entire room.    I always start by asking the person what motivates you? What inspires you? What times of the day do you feel you’re at your peak efficiency? What kind of environment do you work best within?   Finding your ultimate working space will enable you to be happier and more productive. Picture: Getty   1. Figure out the way you work   These answers are not the same for all people. Some people need a very minimal distraction to get things done. Others feel a bit of isolation and in turn a bit nervous when there are no other stimuli in a room. ...


What's driving the Australian renovation frenzy?


A bathroom renovation – or a trip to Paris and Rome? Taking the kids on a dream holiday to Disneyland – or new kitchen benchtops, splash-backs and cabinet doors?   Pre-COVID-19, many of us wouldn’t have thought twice before buying the tickets and packing our bags. Today, in the absence of that choice, we’re in the midst of a record renovation frenzy, with our spending up an estimated 10 per cent on even last year’s mega $37.5 billion cash splash, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA).      We’re spending even more on renovating this year than we did last year. Photo: iStock   “This year is going to be another record renovation spend,” said HIA chief economist Tim Reardon. “It’s a lot to do with COVID and people seeking more living spaces and working from home and, because of the pandemic, not being able to move home as much.   “We also haven’t had as much househo...


The Aussie suburbs where million-dollar home values have catapulted


The number of Australian homes valued at a million dollars or more has skyrocketed over the past year, and while seven-figure price tags were once reserved for affluent, inner-city suburbs, a COVID-led lifestyle shift has caused prices in some lesser-known areas to surge.    New analysis of Australian property valuations from realestate.com.au shows many outer metropolitan and regional suburbs within commuting distance to capital cities experienced huge jumps in million-dollar home values in March 2021 compared to the previous year.   Major changes to the way people work on the back of COVID-19 shutdowns have driven Australia’s biggest regional shift in recent times, dramatically pushing up property prices in some areas, according to realestate.com.au economist Anne Flaherty.   “We’ve seen a big change in what buyers are looking for during COVID. We’ve seen very strong demand for properties in regional and scenic areas, driven...


Financial support, eviction protections urged for renters amid Sydney lockdown


Swift support and protections will be needed to help tenants through Sydney’s second lockdown. Photo: iStock   Sydney tenants are at risk of falling behind on their rent amid the city’s latest lockdown, with renters’ groups particularly concerned for how income losses will affect those already trying to pay off deferred rent from last year.   Swift financial support and protections will be needed to help tenants through Sydney’s second citywide lockdown, with renters now more vulnerable than they were last year – many casual workers already burning through savings to get through 2020.   Thousands of renters have already sought advice on the Tenants’ Union of New South Wales website, since Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong went into lockdown on Saturday, said chief executive officer Leo Patterson Ross, with renters more likely to be in casual employment in hard-hi...