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Licensed Real Estate Agents Shelley and Mark are renowned for their exceptional customer service, strong local knowledge and high ethical standards. 

 
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Styling tips for a Christmas sale

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

07 December 2018

If you are selling your home for sale over Christmas you may think you and your family will need to miss out on any Christmas cheer in the home this year. But that is not the case at all.

While we advocate simple styling when preparing your home for sale, there are ways to keep it simple and stylish while still incorporating some festive season cheer.

Tip No. 1 – less is more
The first rule is to keep it simple. If you normally love to go all out and deck the halls as well as every other part of your home with Christmas lights and decorations, you will need to cut back this year if you are on the market.

A beautifully decorated Christmas tree, a festive centrepiece on the dining table and perhaps a welcoming wreath at the front door would bring some Christmas spirit to your festive season Open Homes without cluttering your home.

Tip No. 2 – A subtle Christmassy aroma
Research has shown that pleasant scents help sell and unpleasant smells have the opposite effect. A tip when selling over the festive season is to create a subtle Christmassy aroma in your home. You could bake some gingerbread or shortbread biscuits, burn a festive candle or have a real Christmas tree.

Scents evoke memories and the festive season conjures up happy memories for most people. Ideally you would want potential buyers to imagine making happy memories in their new home.

Tip No. 3 – curb your desire to light up your home
When selling, it’s best to let the normal street appeal of your home sell it rather than the light display you take pride on each year. It can be a distraction for many buyers.

Tip No. 4 – Keep it classy
This tip is similar to keeping things simple but it goes a step further. We suggest classically elegant decorations (keep the inflatable Santa for your next home).


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It’s about perspective

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

29 November 2018

While Perth’s housing recovery remains fragile, we can’t lose sight of the fact that Australia’s GDP growth rate remains strong, confirming our resilience as a nation.

According to the latest National Accounts figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, we are now entering our 28th consecutive year of economic growth. Furthermore, between 2019 and 2023 our economy is predicted to outperform every other major advanced economy in the world. More significantly, Australia is the only country in the developed world to have experienced uninterrupted economic growth over the past 27 years. These are pretty impressive figures amidst all the ‘doom and gloom’ reports we keep reading about the national housing market.

What should we all take from this news? The bottom line is, while it may not always feel like it, we really do live in the lucky country, and things aren’t always as bad as they are portrayed in the media.

While the Perth housing market remains fragile, according to the latest figures released by CoreLogic, for the housing market to recover, demand must be created through sustainable employment opportunities in industries that are more stable than the mining and resources sector. With substantial infrastructure spending underway in WA, including the multi-million-dollar overhaul of many shopping centres like Garden City, those employment opportunities will come.

Our message to you is this …

If you want (or need) to sell your home or investment property, then you must employ a professional real estate agent who will work harder for you than anyone else, someone who has the experience to lead you through this less than ideal time.

Choose an agent who:

• Has the experience, skills and resources to implement world-class marketing campaigns that ensure your property will be noticed in a crowded market place,

• Won’t over-inflate your price or tell you what you want to hear just to please you but will be totally honest about the need to be realistic in your price expectation right now,

• Will advise you on the best way to present your house for sale so it appeals to your target markets.

• Will keep you informed every step of the way, and

• Suggests changes to your marketing and/or pricing to avoid the property become stagnant on the market.

As experienced real estate professionals, you can trust us to deliver all those benefits and commitments to you.

REMEMBER …

Last but not least, when you sell your home and buy another during a time when the market is less than ideal, the home you buy will also be priced lower than it would be when the market is performing well. So, the key is to focus on the changeover cost rather than just the price you achieve in your sale. If you wait until the market picks up, the price of your next home will go up too. So why wait?


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How to style that awkward space in your home

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

23 November 2018

Do you have a space in your home that you just don’t know what to do with? It’s that spot that is not quite big enough to be its own room but too large to do nothing with. Perhaps it has little natural light and seems in limbo between other rooms.

So just how do you optimise and style those awkward spaces? Here are five tips from interior designers.

1. Assess your home for spaces that need some love

Take a good look through your home to identify under-utilised areas that you normally pay no attention to. It could be the void under a staircase, or an awkwardly sized wall between two windows. For the void under the stairs, you could create some amazing storage or even create a small reading nook by adding an armchair or a bench seat that neatly tucks underneath when not in use, along with some nice shelving to display books.
For the awkward wall between two windows, consider adding a small floating shelf and some artwork.

2. Give the space a purpose

Consider functionality as well as aesthetics when assessing your awkward space. Perhaps your space lends itself to a compact study area or a media nook where family members can plug in their digital devices – the perfect 21st functional use of an awkward space.

3. Use the power of paint

Given that most awkward spaces in the home attract little natural light, it is a good idea to get creative with paint to combat this. Introducing a feature wall in a study nook is a great way to use colour to highlight the space and help add a distinction between other spaces in the home. If the space is quite dark, adding a lighter, cooler colour can help brighten it up while also creating the illusion that the space is a bit larger than it actually is.

4. Look for smart furniture

When it comes to furnishing small awkward spaces, take the time to measure the dimensions and physically look at items of interest in-store rather than buying them online. Don’t forget to bring your tape measure when shopping for the right furniture piece. It is also a good idea, where possible, to look for furniture items that lend themselves to having a dual purpose. For example, a bench seat can be used in a small entryway for seating, but can also be used to store shoes underneath.

5. Style it to perfection

Soft furnishings and artwork will add the finishing touch to the solution for your awkward space. A rug, a beautiful painting or photo, a feature wall, a statement mirror (always an effective style hack for creating the illusion of space) or a plant, and clever, decorative lighting will help define the zone you are creating and give it a warm, welcoming ambience.


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Should we stay or should we go?

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

15 November 2018

Love it or list it? Should we stay or should we move? It’s a commonly asked question in lounge rooms all over the country. Perhaps it’s on your mind right now.

We have put together a list of simple questions and suggested answers to help you decide…

1. Do you love your street and your neighbourhood but your bathroom is in a terrible state? STAY & RENOVATE THE BATHROOM

2. Are you planning to grow your family in the next five years and know you will outgrow the home you’re in? MOVE

3. Do you expect that your older kids will be leaving the nest soon? MOVE

4. Is the aspect and size of your home perfect, but it’s very dated? STAY & MODERNISE

5. Have you just had surgery on your hips, knees or back and you live in a multi-level home? MOVE

6. Are you on acreage and you hate gardening? MOVE

7. Do you live in the worst house on the best street? STAY & RENOVATE

8. Is your home too small but there’s no cost-effective way to extend? MOVE

9. Do you constantly have to do the car shuffle at home and you want to buy a boat or caravan but you’ve only got a single garage with no room on the block to extend it? MOVE

10. Do you have a pool you no longer want and you’re constantly maintaining it? MOVE

11. Do you envy the lifestyle of your friends who can walk to cafes and restaurants etc. from home but there’s nothing wrong with your house? MOVE

12. Are you keen to get your kids into a particular school but you live out of zone? MOVE

The above Q&A is just a guide. There is no definitive right or wrong answer. But it may help you rationalise your thinking before making a decision. Call us if you would like to have an obligation free chat about your plans and goals. We would be more than happy to come out and listen as well as take a look at your home.

No matter what your reason for moving there will always be buyers looking for a home like yours. Just married, just divorced, just had a baby, just retired, just got a new job, just had the kids move out, there is always someone looking to move.


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6 reasons to live in a walkable neighbourhood

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

05 November 2018

Living close to it all is no longer just reserved for inner city living. These days a lot more thought is being put into planning outer suburbs to make them more liveable and promote a greater sense of community, health and wellbeing.

The old-fashioned notion of village-like, leave-the-car-at-home living is enjoying a resurgence in popularity across the generations.

Here are six reasons why walkability should be a key factor when you’re looking for your next home.

1. Leave the car at home
We are so fortunate in the area we call home and service clients that so many of our suburbs are within a pleasant strolling distance from so many conveniences, from Garden City, public transport and restaurant/cafe strips to beautiful parks, cycle ways, the lakefronts and local schools.

2. Health and wellbeing
Leaving the car at home has obvious health and wellbeing benefits. And there have been University studies to prove it, comparing the health of people living in suburbs in which you need a car to get anywhere to those who live in communities that cater to residents walking more. It’s not just physical health benefits either. The stress relief people gain from a regular walk outdoors is well known too.

3. Child safety
From walking a few blocks to the local school or parks, or strolling to the shops, cinema and sports field with their friends, a well-planned walkable neighbourhood provides both safety and a happy, healthy environment for kids to grow up in. This in turn provides peace of mind and extra time for busy parents.

4. Getting to know the neighbours
How many people do you know that don’t even know their neighbours let alone live in an environment that encourages neighbours to look out for one another? A walkable neighbourhood encourages engagement and connectivity, just as people used to enjoy in villages a long time ago.

5. The chance to dine out close to home
There’s nothing better than being able to walk to and from your favourite local cafe or restaurant to meet friends for a coffee or a meal. No need to worry about where to park or how to get home if you’ve had a couple of glasses of wine.

6. Better on the hip pocket
Living in a walkable neighbourhood also delivers financial benefits. Proximity to public transport and amenities will cut down on petrol and motor vehicle maintenance costs. And, according to property expert, Michael Yardney, owning a home in a walkable neighbourhood can also boost your property’s value as it delivers so many features that people want.

The CSIRO’s new Liveability Ranking lists ‘living local’ (a connection to community, village feel, bike paths, walkways and public transport) among 17 features that contribute to a property’s overall liveability score.

Scroll down and you will see that many of the properties we currently have listed for sale tick so many of the boxes mentioned in this article. Aren’t we lucky to live where we do!


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What’s the key to a successful tenancy?

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

25 October 2018

If you own an investment property, you need assurance that you will receive both short-term regular income and long-term capital gain. While both objectives are, to a large extent, driven by the market, there is one sure fire way to dramatically improve the likelihood of achieving both – good property management.

Firstly, let’s take a look at the two main causes for a breakdown in a rental agreement:

The number one cause of a breakdown in a rental agreement is financial hardship. It only takes the loss of a job or a relationship change to leave a tenant in a dire financial situation.

Landlords can also face their own financial pressures, resulting from a number of things including tighter lending criteria, a shift from interest only loans to principle and interest, a reduction in rents over the last few years and loss of equity.

The result can be insecurity on both sides.

The second most common cause of a rental agreement breakdown is damage to the landlord’s property caused by the tenant.

How do you mitigate these risks?

The best way to mitigate these risks is to have your investment property managed by a good property manager. A good property manager will keep the lines of communication open, acting as the conduit between tenant and landlord. As soon as there are signs that trouble is brewing, the property manager can take steps to resolve the issue or, if it can’t be satisfactorily resolved, terminate the tenancy and find someone more suitable in as short a timeframe as possible.

REIWA receives thousands of calls a year to the REIWA Information Service from both property owners and tenants seeking advice and it is evident from those calls that there is a great lack of knowledge and understanding about the rights and responsibilities of each party.

The Residential Tenancy Act is complex. Hiring an experienced property manager with the skills and knowledge to deal with any situation that arises is the best way to safeguard against the early termination of a lease. When it comes to property managers, the benefits far outweigh the costs.

What should a good property manager do?

A good property manager works hard to maximise the return on your investment. To do this they focus on the big picture. There is a lot more to it than just collecting the rent.

He/she should:

• Find and keep the best tenants,
• Coordinate repairs and maintenance,
• Conduct regular inspections,
• Avoid lease expiry dates in periods of low demand,
• Maintain awareness of local development that may affect your rent, and
• Assess the rent annually so your rent remains in line with the market.

While we don’t handle property management in our agency, we can recommend some excellent property managers in our area. We have received excellent testimonials from the property investors we have worked with who use their services and would be more than happy to pass on their details to you. Contact us if this is of interest to you.


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Storage solutions on the wish list of more buyers

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

12 October 2018

These days we all seem to have accumulated so much ‘stuff’ in our homes that it’s hard to find a place for it all. That’s no doubt why an increasing number of buyers today are placing greater emphasis on the importance of storage solutions when looking for a new home.

Everything from built-ins and walk-in robes in bedrooms (once the exception but now more the norm) to sheds and garage/workshop storage solutions have become high on buyers’ wish lists.

While it is difficult to attach a dollar figure to the impact good storage will have on your property’s value, the existence of storage does affect the buying decision. If there are no notable storage solutions in the home, buyers will be inclined to factor in the need to add their own storage solutions when negotiating the price. On the other hand, having excellent storage solutions tends to improve the competitiveness of a home in a crowded marketplace.

What are the top trends in storage solutions right now?

• Butlers pantry’s – this feature adds to the prestige of a property and is something buyers increasingly have on their wish list.
• Study nook near the main living area – a place to observe kids doing their homework while cooking dinner and store iPads, phones and paperwork, keeping them neatly in one place and out of direct sight.
• Garage/workshop storage – with DIY becoming increasingly popular, people are accumulating more tools and materials which need to be stored somewhere, preferably neatly and out of sight from the house.
• In-roof and under-stair storage – making the most of every accessible space in the home for storage is seen in a very favourable light by a growing number of buyers.
• Customised wardrobe fit-outs. Move over walk-in and built-in robes. Today’s custom-designed wardrobes are next level. They offer a place for everything and are every buyer’s dream (especially women).

Storage ideas to consider if you are planning to renovate

Be creative and think laterally when assessing your existing space for storage solution ideas. Do you have a staircase you could do something with or a roof cavity large enough to access for storage?

Think about the end user when planning to sell. What are their needs going to be? Does your home suit families with young children, professional people or empty nesters? Each target group will have different storage needs. For instance a family with young children would find a games room with built-in toy and game storage cupboards and shelves a huge bonus while professionals may value a home office with built-in shelving for books, files and folders etc.

Last but not least if you are selling your home, make sure you showcase how your home’s storage solutions will enhance the buyer’s life. It’s not much use having a custom-designed built-in wardrobe if all your things are thrown in there in a jumbled mess. Let your storage highlight to the potential new owner how much more ordered their lives could be.


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7 ways to give your bathroom a budget facelift

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

05 September 2018

Anyone who has looked into the costs of renovating a bathroom would know how expensive it is.

Known to be one of the most costly rooms in the house to renovate (second only to the kitchen), a bathroom renovation sets us back to the tune of $17,000 on average.

But there are ways to seriously spruce up your bathroom for a fraction of the cost.

Here are 7 tips to give your bathroom a facelift on a shoestring budget:

1. Replace fixtures and fittings (tap, shower and bath fittings).

2. Hang a mirror – an interior designer’s favourite trick because they create the illusion of space while serving as a decorative feature. Overhead mirrors are on trend right now, especially circular and curved mirrors with minimalistic frames.

3. Update knobs and handles on cabinets
– just be sure to keep them in the same place as the original ones.

4. Styling
– examples include a new toilet roll holder, good quality towels, a tray to hold skincare products and perfumes, a reed diffuser and some luxurious soap etc.

5. Add a tile feature
– a patterned or bold-coloured tile could be just the thing to revive a tired bathroom. The key word is ‘feature’. There’s no need to retile every surface – think a wall or shower niche.

6. De-clutter
– this is the single most budget-friendly way to freshen up your bathroom. Decorative storage items like a stylish wicker basket, store bought simple-to-hang overhead cabinets, a stacked towel rail or ladder etc. will help to retain both order and create style in your bathroom.

7. Re-grout your tiles
– this is a far cheaper way to freshen and revitalise the look of a bathroom than replacing the tiles. You will be amazed at how much more modern your tiling looks when the grout is fresh and clean.


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Where NOT to spend your money when renovating to sell

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

30 August 2018

The rule of thumb when renovating to sell is that you should aim to make three dollars for every dollar spent (the so-called ‘three-for-one’ rule). This is a good guide for you to gauge whether or not your money and time have been worth it.

Here are 5 renovation features that experts say rarely add value if you do them simply to make more money when you sell.

1. A swimming pool
While a swimming pool will appeal to many buyers if you already have one, it’s not worth installing one simply to make more money when you sell. They are a massive investment and great for lifestyle if you’re sticking around for a few years to enjoy it. But a pool won’t give you bang for your buck otherwise.

2. Extravagant fittings & fixtures
While it’s tempting to splash out on high-end inclusions before selling, unless you are selling to a highly niche market, extravagant and expensive fixtures and fittings won’t result in a good return on investment. That doesn’t mean replacing old for new isn’t a good idea. People love new carpets, appliances and window treatments etc. Just keep the three-for-one rule in mind when buying them.

3. Invisible features
If buyers can’t see what you have done, it’s unlikely to boost your return by much. Examples are things like wall and ceiling insulation, double-glazing on windows, and new air conditioning systems. What the addition of these types of features does do however is add to the marketability of the home (as long as you work with an agent who highlights these ‘invisible’ features as selling points). Just don’t expect to triple your outlay costs for these types of additions.

4. Fancy landscaping
A fancy high maintenance garden is as much of a turn-off for many buyers as no landscaping at all. If you have a garden, make sure there is some lawn and a simple, easy to maintain garden design. Don’t go overboard with water features, cladding, hidden gardens, paving and the like, unless of course you already have it all in place.

5. DIY work that is below standard
Doing a less-than-average job on a DIY renovation won’t only stop you from making more money; it can actually cost you dearly. Dodgy tiling and painting is easy to spot at home inspections. The harsh reality is, half-finished or sub par jobs devalue a house.

If you’re thinking about selling and want to know what it would be worth spending money on to improve the value of your home in line with the three-to-one rule, give us a call. We will provide you with a clear, honest market appraisal and recommendations on how best to present your home for sale in order to achieve the best outcome. Rest assured we will never advise you to spend money that won’t give you a good return.


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Classic timeless ‘trends’

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

23 August 2018

Whether in fashion, music or interior design, trends come and go. But there are some interior design trends that have hung around for so long (or keep resurfacing) that they have earned the title of ‘classics’.

Here is a list of interior design trends that have become classics in the home…

Shades of grey
We saw a resurgence in popularity of the colour grey in 2015 and it has hung around ever since. From soft light hues to bold charcoal greys and dove grey being regarded by many as ‘the new neutral’, it’s unlikely that grey is going away any time soon.

Marble
Natural stone will always be considered a classic and, of all the natural stone on the market, marble is the ultimate. While marble went out of fashion for a while around the GFC because people shied away from appearing ostentatious, people today are no longer afraid of having beautiful, natural and luxurious finishes in their home.

Fine craftsmanship
It’s the detail in the design that makes beautifully crafted pieces so timeless, making them well worth the investment.

Chandeliers
When chandeliers are mentioned many people automatically picture the traditional vintage crystal chandelier, which still has its place in the right home. There are many more contemporary styles of chandeliers on the market like those with exposed incandescent globes or art deco style pendant lights.

Open plan living
These days it’s hard to believe that dining rooms, lounge rooms and kitchens used to be separated by walls and doors. Open plan living suits the Australian way of life far better. It also lets in light, makes a small home look bigger and is far more functional than sectioned off spaces.

Natural timber
Natural timber softens a cold space and makes it more inviting. It’s become a classic in our homes because of the way it creates a sense of warmth, ambience and texture. Furthermore, natural timber endures the test of time.

Click here to read the full article, which includes a few more timeless classics and the complementary images.

 


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