Increase Your Home’s Liveability With These 5 Practical Features

When constructing your new home, you need to include features that boost liveability.  This can be achieved by simply answering this question: “What can I add to help improve my daily life?”


Life has changed with COVID-19, with people now spending so much of their time at home. This makes it all the more essential that your home functions in a way that fits your lifestyle.


Here are five simple features that can help boost your home’s liveability:

  1. A butler’s pantry

What was once a feature that is considered exclusive for the rich, a butler’s pantry is now a must-have in new homes. It has become popular because it keeps all the mess hidden and not visible and scattered in the area where all the daily activities are going on.

Many butler’s pantries include a preparation bench and storage area for food, glasses, crockery and tableware.

But the more generous setups should accommodate a dishwater, microwave, refrigerator and of course, the kitchen sink.  Otherwise it’s just a pantry!

  1. Built-on office or study corner

While 2020 pushed the work from home trend to the forefront, it has been going towards that path for several years, and many home builders have been taking this work transformation into account.

A home office, or even a study corner, has become a real need for people – with some people even going to the length of transforming their extra bedrooms back into studies.

Each person will have different needs, so for some they might install a big TV screen on the wall for Zoom meetings. Everything should be set up and ready to go, so choose built-in joinery for the workspace, shelves, access to power outlets, and abundance of natural light.

Avoid treating your home office space as an afterthought because you can make a well-designed space as a major selling point in the future.

  1. Cool storage

There are so many smart storage ideas and hacks on how to keep your things organised on the Internet. However, it is important to make sure your ideas are fit for the purpose. Don’t just install cupboards wherever there is a blank space. You don’t want future buyers to find out the linen cupboards are on the other side of the house to the laundry.

One of the items on many buyers’ checklist is additional storage in the garage. If you’ve got the space, use it.

  1. Energy efficiency

Homeowners consider sustainability as a top priority these days. According to the 2020 REA Group Property Seekers Report, 80% of buyers believe sustainable home features are essential.

One area where new home buyers can make a huge difference to their environmental footprint and their bills is energy efficiency.

Building a home involves a tick list and getting the balance right. Energy efficiency is lower with a dark roof. You can balance that out with additional windows or a ceiling fan or probably tinted windows.

There are many other energy efficient measures, including solar to lower energy consumption and bills, double-glazed windows, insulation, LED light bulbs and energy-saving appliances.

  1. Swimming pool

Australian homeowners dream of a backyard pool, but this is an extravagant feature that takes months to build – and expensive, too.

However, this is not true anymore because innovative precast concrete pools are already available in the market. This prefabricated pool can be built quickly – as it can just be craned into the backyard.  Plus with more of us working from home, the swimming pool has enjoyed popularity again!




Housing deadlock – Limited listings as home owners won’t sell if they can’t buy

It’s a deadlock! Housing markets across the country have almost ground to a standstill with the number of new listings being put up for sale in a slump and mostly because vendors fear that they won’t be able to find anything to buy.

Many sellers are also reluctant to put their homes on the market in winter only exacerbating the problem – thinking that spring is the best time to sell. In actual fact, it makes more sense to list your property for sale in winter when there is less competition and a greater chance of getting a stronger result than coming to the market in spring with more competition and when buyers can be more choosy.

The savvy seller is planning to sell now for a premium while demand still far outweighs the level of stock and even negotiating a delayed settlement, then buying at settlement time when it’s spring and there are more properties on the market.  They hope to buy at a keener price when the supply is greater and they have more choice!  It’s the ‘sell high – buy low’ strategy.

Sadly these forward thinking sellers are in the minority.  Most vendors are all thinking it’s a good time to sell but not a good time to buy which is only compounding the deadlock especially when more and more buyers are joining the backlog!

In fact, sellers know they’ll get a brilliant price as we’ve seen fantastic price growth over the last nine months, but that can equally put a hesitation into the sellers’ minds knowing there might not be much out there for them to buy.  Some are even waiting to find their new property before launching theirs to the market.

Imagine if all the property sellers were on the market now!  I’m sure it would put an end to this deadlock situation!

We know we have fewer listings on the market in Newcastle for the same time last year and the numbers are continuing to drop.  According to the latest Domain Group figures, new listings over the four weeks to June 20 in Sydney fell 7.8 per cent while Melbourne’s new listings dropped over the past four weeks by a thumping 28.7 per cent.

Let me know today if you’re thinking of selling anytime soon.  I might just have another seller waiting ‘off market’ who has your dream home!




Tips for Choosing a Home with Good Resale Value

The surest way for homeowners to be able to maximise their resale value by purchasing the right property to start with.

Buyers can be particular and if a home only attracts a small number of people, it may stay on the market or get a lower price than similar homes.

Without a major improvement to the property, a home bought cheap now may still be cheap if you sell it in the future.

Meanwhile, a property with lasting appeal will draw attention from a diverse range of buyers, strengthening competition and improving returns when it is time to sell.

Prevent mistakes

First-time buyers tired of searching can be susceptible to committing blunders because they are not trained to look for the features that they should be looking for in a property.

To save money, inexperienced home buyers in particular take a gamble by failing to do their due diligence. There are many first-home buyers that are not getting building and pest reports, especially if they’ve lost out a few times. This is similar to going to the casinos and putting all your money in one table – not a good idea.

Due diligence is essential particularly when you’re buying an apartment. Some of the toughest homes to sell can be apartments in strata with pending lawsuit against the developer or builder, or trying to generate funds to repair defects.

Aside from issues, buyers can also be turned off by the design of a bespoke home. It may have been built to meet the requirements of the original owners, but their taste may not necessarily be ideal for the lifestyle of an ordinary family.

Promoting competition

Properties can fetch higher prices when there are plenty of buyers who are competing for it.

The local community is the most important factor that can attract buyers to a property. Buyers don’t necessarily prefer the most prestigious areas, just in a wonderful street or a lovely peaceful environment that is close to amenities such as transport, cafes, shops and schools.

Bigger homes are often eyed by upsizing families, who may have enough funds that they received from the sale of their property. The most sought-after properties are single-level, four-bedroom homes.

In terms of the appearance and vibe of the home, those with wide-ranging allure will attract the most number of buyers. Classic, elegant styling, plenty of neutral shades, many whites and greys, natural stone, middle to high-end finishes, and nothing too weird comprise broad appeal.

What is very popular in the market are light-filled homes with open plan layouts and  modern features. These include having north-facing backyards, two living areas and two bathrooms.

Competition is high for period homes in particular. This is because these properties are beautiful and they are likely to have attractive features such as high ceilings, cornices, rosettes and fireplaces. The 1980s and 1990s brown and red-brick homes aren’t really as popular as period homes of a prior age.  So if your home falls into this era then you may need to consider making it more modern or adding some classic features.

Improving appeal

Cosmetic renovations can help improve the future appeal of the properties. Property experts suggest purchasing property with potential. Old-fashioned bathrooms, carpets, fixtures and fittings always give buyers occasions to add value now and in the future.

Also popular are homes with development potential, including properties on corner blocks or having space to extend for a growing family.

But though upgrading a home can boost its value, avoiding homes that require major repairs is a smart thing to do. Those big structural issues can cost a lot of money and the returns are usually elusive.  Likewise if you are selling a home knowing it has major defects, you’d be wise to rectify this before going to the market.



Survey Says: It’s a Buy Market Despite Record Property Price Hikes

According to two in five Australians, now is a good time to buy property, despite record-high buyer competition and prices.

The number of Aussies polled in a recent survey who believed it was a good time to buy was higher than those who doubt that it’s a good time to buy.

The Edentify survey commissioned by Mortgage Choice, which polled more than 1000 Australians, also found that the 42% with a positive outlook was also higher than those who think it’s a bad time.

The results showed that Australians had varied opinions on the property market.

The participants’ view that it was a good time to buy may have been influenced by record low-interest rates and the fear of missing out.

According to figures from property group CoreLogic, home prices grew across Australia in March at the fastest rate since late 1988. Listings, which were rising, continue to be low in a number of markets.

Buyers’ outlook may also be mixed because of the type of properties they want to purchase and how they plan to pay for them.

In a different study by comparison site, nearly one in 10 of participants with plans to purchase their first home were intending to buy as investors.

The most likely to be first homebuyers-investors were the Gen Z, people born after about 1996, followed by Millennials and Gen X.

The Finder study also showed that it is not common for Baby boomers to consider “rentvesting”: renting in one place while renting out another place.

Investing was a typical strategy for people who don’t have the funds to buy in the location they desire.

The concept of reinvesting is gaining momentum among many first-time buyers, as it offers another way towards homeownership for people who have been priced out of the market, particularly in inner-city suburbs.

By “rentvesting”, you can use the rental income to help pay the mortgage, while as a first home buyer you can keep on living in your current home or rent someplace else.