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What to look for when buying a renovated house


A newly renovated home might be considered a dream property purchase, but diligent buyers need to look beyond the fresh paint, sparkling tiles and polished floorboards. Many home owners ensure their properties are renovated to a meticulous standard, but others cut costs or overlook major issues to try to maximise their return when selling.   Knowing the warning signs to look for and the experts to enlist will improve a buyer’s chances of purchasing a quality home rather than a problematic property.   Beware the flip   If a home has been renovated before sale, it can fall into one of three categories, which may affect its quality, according to buyer’s agent Cate Bakos.   “There’s the renovation the owners did for themselves and lived in it and enjoyed, and that’s usually not bad because it’s been done to the owner’s standards,” she says. “There’s the renovation the landlord did for their tenant, and...


It's not roquette science': How to kickstart your own edible garden


Summer has ended, but in the world of edible gardening, that means we’re (hopefully) enjoying summer fruit and veggies from our gardens and still snipping away at our luscious leafy greens. A few hot days saw some of my leafy greens and herbs bolt to seed faster than I’d like, ending their life but opening up space in the garden for some cooler season annuals.   If 2021 is your year to start growing your own or if you’re ready to turn that thumb a little greener, it will save you loads of time, energy and stress knowing what to plant and when.     Knowing what to plant when will make all the difference to your end of season hauls. Photo: iStock   Allow me to briefly explain some of the things I notice people do when starting out in edible gardening. Knowing this first will hopefully save you time and money as well as raise your confidence with a nice harvest in a few months.   For sure, you will have some failures &ndash...


'Zoombarrassment' trend sees interior updates peak


Home is not only where the heart is, it’s where everything is now.  And, while we previously considered what impressions the shoes we wore, bags we carried or fragrance we sprayed would make on our colleagues, it’s now what’s creeping into our Zoom frames that’s making those impressions for us.    This inviting of our professional lives into our personal spaces has made Zoom rooms or space decor updates big business – and birthed the term Zoombarrassment – a self-conscious or uncomfortable feeling about the appearance of our homes when video calling for work or socialising.    First coined in the UK in The 2020 Renovation Nation Report by mortgage comparison site money.co.uk, it cited a spike in small home renovations as partly due to the increased time we’ve spent at home, and partly due to “Zoombarrassment”, with 40 per cent of people reporting experiencing the feelin...


What landlords should look for when choosing a property manager


Appointing a property manager to take care of a rental property is a major decision, but there is more for landlords to consider than fees alone.   The right property manager can mean the difference between a hassle-free experience and a regrettable one.   Property owners can start by researching the different companies that service the area where the property is located. Landlords can typically choose between full-service real estate agencies or dedicated property management companies.   Many landlords focus on fees when comparing property managers, says Property North Agency director Ben Benny. “For some people, it’s all about money – they don’t look past that.”   Fee structures can differ between agencies. Most charge a fee based on a percentage of the rent, with rates in capitals typically varying between four and eight per cent, depending on the area and services included, plus a monthly administrati...


How to quickly upsize your home in a rising property market


How to quickly upsize your home in a rising property market     As auction clearance rates surge and median house prices rise to record levels across the country, would-be vendors are eagerly watching the market wondering whether it’s time to make a move.   “People are looking to upsize more than at any other time in the 18 years I’ve been in real estate,” says real estate agent and Clarke and Humel principal Michael Clarke. “They can’t travel the way they used to, so the lifestyle their home represents has become more important. They are focusing more than at any other time on things to do with the home.”   Growing families with roots in their community are increasingly seeking more space, says Village Real Estate director and auctioneer Huss Saad.   “They just want to stay in the area, so upsizing is the next step,” he said. “We’ve started to see a l...


The decor decisions that could mean you're turning into your parents


A generation ago, the biggest signifier of adulthood was marriage. Twenty years ago, it was buying a house together. But 21 years into the 21st century, with renting and singlehood more popular than ever, there are no clear-cut signs that you’re officially “adulting” anymore. Instead, we must rely on more nascent symbols, such as being tired all the time, and signing off using the word “best” on your emails.   But for those fully immersed in adulthood; the ones who’ve been at it for a while, clearer signs may become visible, not in the purchase of a home, but what is inside it. If you have any of the following in your place of residence, then, congratulations, you’ve hit peak grown-up. A motivational quote    If you’re a properly grown-up person, you recognise that frameless posters have no place in your house any longer, but phrases, slogans and words somehow mean more than ever.    Do you...