10 Ways to Create Shade in Your Backyard

Summers are best spent outdoors. But it has to be a place where you can relax and eat comfortably. This can be achieved with shade.

Adding shade in your outdoor space will keep direct sunlight away from you and your fragile plants, as well as keep them cool.

Here are 10 ways you can create shade in your garden or outdoor area:

  1. Plant a tree

Gardens and even balconies have to have trees. But you need to choose the right kind of tree that fits the space.

If you have a small balcony and can hang baskets from the roof, plant broad-leafed plants that will provide a canopy and shade without taking up space below.

You can have both shade and privacy by positioning planters with a tall sprawling shrub or bamboo. You could bring in a potted palm to transform a small city apartment or unit into a calming space.

There are several factors to consider if you’re considering planting in the ground, including how tall the tree is going to be, what impact it will have on the view of the neighbours, are there pipes that the roots will block, etc.

  1. Outdoor umbrellas

For small outdoor spaces, an umbrella is perfect because it is inexpensive, simple and temporary.

There are many options available, including collapsible cantilever umbrellas and artsy collections of suspended Japanese style paper umbrellas.

  1. Build a tent                                            

If your taste runs to the bohemian style, but you prefer something temporary, build a canvas or cotton canopy or tent above an outdoor seating area or build a teepee with some cushions on the ground. For added shade, use drapes and curtains.

  1. Install a canopy

A hot day can be bearable with a simple canopy hang between trees. You can install a more permanent canopy that can serve as a blind and let the sun in when you need it.

  1. Make a trellis

Another great idea is an overhead wooden trellis with a matchstick blind or a dark screen as cover. A climbing plant like wisteria is a good idea as it lets in the sun during cool weather but still provides greenery and shade during the summer.

  1. Hang a shade cloth

For a streamlined contemporary look, an affordable, simple option is by hanging a sail of shade cloth between two posts. This is perfect for courtyards or on a pergola.

You may need to talk to an expert since it is a structure that needs to be firmly attached so that it won’t be blown away by a strong wind or during a storm.

  1. Use DIY screens and shades

DIY screens and shades are available in different styles at your local hardware store. Options include traditional lattice, more modern laser-cut metals, decorative screens and outdoor blinds.

  1. Create a green wall

Plant a high green wall along the western border of your property to block out the harshest sun. Make sure to follow council rules on fence height. Lastly, choose the right sun-resistant plants.

  1. Construct a gazebo

A small gazebo or rotunda is worth considering if your yard has enough space. Aside from providing shade, it could also be a feature in your garden.

You have the option to purchase them flatpack and DIY, or have one custom made.

  1. Construct a verandah or pergola

A verandah or a pergola is the most effective and functional shade, but not the most economical. It can prevent your house from getting natural light and it requires painting and maintenance. You also need to secure planning permission before you can build this type of structure.

So there you have it.  10 great ways to create a little shade in your backyard.


What is a property appraisal?

Ever wondered what a property appraisal is? Why online calculators to determine the value of your home don’t really work? And also, why a Real Estate Agent can’t always provide you with an appraisal on the spot. Understanding the process of how your property’s worth in the current market is determined is important.

A property appraisal is an estimation of what your home may be worth in the current market. It is a free-of-charge service provided by a real estate agent who will produce an educated opinion based on several elements and factors.

In determining a market opinion of your property, agents take into consideration the following factors:

• Recent sale prices of similar properties in the area,
• Location, aspect and outlook of the property,
• The presentation, features, age and condition of the property,
• The current state of the property market.

Most potential sellers will usually request an appraisal from a few agents before making a selection of who will ultimately sell your property. However, beware – it is recommended that you conduct your own research so you can decipher and make an educated decision about whether you agree or disagree with the agents information and marketing proposal.

How is a Property Valuation Different?
A property valuation is usually performed by a Certified Practicing Valuer who will charge a fee for the service.  A valuer will inspect the property, carry out research and provide an analysis into the local market and report on issues affecting the current market value of the property. This type of service is commonly ordered by a bank or financial institution prior to approving a home loan.  Valuers are not real estate agents or associated with any real estate agency.  Some property owners wanting an independent opinion may also require a valuer for family settlements, capital gains tax or even building insurance.

How to Research the Market Yourself
You can do your own research to find out what your property may be worth in the current market.

  • Inspect local homes that are similar to yours. The level of interest from buyers will help you to measure the current market conditions and give you an idea of how your home compares.
  • Study websites like www.domain.com.au, www.realestate.com.au and the agency websites for sales in your area and specifically look for houses like yours.

What is a Seller’s Market and How Can it Affect Your Price?
A seller’s market is when buyer demand outweighs housing supply.  It’s when greater competition inevitably drives property prices up favouring the seller.

What About a Buyer’s Market?  How Does it Affect the Sale Price?
A buyer’s market is when market conditions favour buyers. In a buyer’s market there are usually a greater number of properties for sale and less buyers. This may come about because of rising interest rates, inflation or a slowing economy. In this type of market, sellers need to be competitive with pricing in order to achieve a sale.  The consequence maybe that they just help everyone else sell their home instead!

Property owners love to discuss the market – what’s happened, what’s going to happen, how it will happen and for how long!   Sellers are always debating if they should sell now or wait for something better, and buyers often think that they should hold off buying believing housing prices will drop.

Booking a property appraisal with Annette Pinkerton of One Agency Pinkerton Properties will allow you to discover current market trends and gauge where your property is positioned. To get your free property appraisal simply call Annette on 0418447856 or click here.


5 Things to Consider When Rightsizing

Rightsizing is replacing upgrading and downsizing as the hottest trend in lifestyle change. Home buyers are trading big, high-maintenance homes for spacious high-end apartments.

Experts share the 5 essential things you need to consider when rightsizing your property.

  1. Your Spending Power
    Having equity, and plenty of it, is a big advantage when rightsizing. You can unlock your equity by selling your family home and using the proceeds to purchase a new home in cash.  Apartments are generally less expensive than houses, so at a comparable price point, you can afford a more luxurious address in the apartment market.  Or, if you have a family home with rental appeal, you can refinance and keep it as an investment property. This will allow you to buy another property without using your savings.  It gives you purchasing power without reducing the value of the asset and not losing the potential for future capital gains.
  1. Design and layout
    You’re not swapping your home for a shoebox when rightsizing – you are searching for a space that is right for you.  Rightsizers can include retirees, families and even young professionals. It can be diverse, so choosing the right floor is important. The common preference is two-to-three bedroom apartments with house-like sizes, particularly the kitchen, bathroom and living area, as well as a laundry and storage for their hobby and recreational belongings.  The varying requirements of rightsizers are motivating developers to focus on flexibility and not on the “one-size-fits-all” approach.
  1. Lifestyle amenities
    The exclusive perks on offer is one of the major drawcards of rightsizing. Unlike normal homes, apartments provide extra amenities such as pool decks, gyms, dining rooms and barbeque areas that can use for entertaining with friends.  Some apartment complexes even have a rooftop bar, spa, outdoor cinema, playground, dog run, visitor parking, garden clubs and more. These facilities and amenities not only offer long-term appeal but are also important for creating a sense of community among residents.
  1. Location
    According to research, rightsizers prefer to be near the city, in walkable suburbs, and in proximity of cafes and shopping. This makes inner-city suburbs attractive to rightsizers.
  1. Incentives
    New builds commonly offer buyer incentives, including appliance upgrades, gift cards and even cash amounting to tens of thousands of dollars. You should allot time to explore the kinds of deals on offer.



The Hottest Colour Trends for 2022

Life has not been the same since Covid-19 happened. But the one thing that remains unchanged, bringing joy and comfort during these most difficult times, is the magnificence of our landscape.

Then, it is no surprise that Dulux’s Colour Forecast 2022 got its inspiration from our natural surroundings, echoing our longing for a simple life and improving wellbeing through our ties to nature and other people.

This pandemic has helped us feel more connected than ever to our home. Simultaneously, there is a renewed longing and excitement for the future without the pandemic. Aptly, then, the pandemic helped shape the 2022 forecast, which consists of three main colour palettes: Restore, Flourish and Wonder.


Focusing on simplicity and sustainability, Restore comprises calming neutrals and sharper, natural shades ranging from buttercreams to pumice and moss.


Comprising ripe, bolder tones like dusty rose, petrol blue and desert red, Flourish stimulates our yearning to experience everything to the fullest.


Featuring summery and playful colours, including cornflower blue, lilac and lemon. Wonder brings regeneration and growth.

The colours can be used alone or combined with the other colours, adding tonal furnishings for a pleasant domain. Colours connect us to a space, giving it a different feel from other parts of the home by bringing a different mood or vibe.

If you are still unsure about adding colour to your space, start with the bedroom, whether it’s the master’s or your child’s bedroom, because outsiders will not see your creation. Since it’s private, you may do something as simple as painting the wall behind your bed with one colour to serve as a focal point of the room.

The study corner, which has probably become your home office, is another space where you can add colour, as it will distinguish the space from when you start work and when you end during each work day.

Another is the front door, where a beautiful colour will make a personal statement, setting apart your home from your neighbours.

6 Tips to Attract the Right Tenants

House affordability continues to be an issue in Australia, forcing many people into rentvesting. This is when people rent their dream home while they either purchase in another area or save to purchase a place eventually.

For those who are seeking to make some roots in a particular location, making your property a dream will help you attract good quality tenants.

Here are the 6 helpful tips to make your rental property a dream home for potential tenants:

  1. Spending, even a little, on your investment property is beneficial in the long run

Some landlords’ reluctance to spend money on their property may cause long vacancies between tenants. A little spending on some quality features will be a great help not only in attracting the right tenants but making your property standout among all the other properties.

  1. Purchase top-quality appliances

Although quality appliances will be more expensive, the useful life of these items tend to be longer. Spending right the first time will pay off in the long run and good quality appliances will definitely appeal to quality tenants.

  1. Choose minimal and classic

It’s so enticing to purchase fancy and modern fixtures, fitting and appliances. However, you might be wasting your money if these items go out of style in a year. Pick minimal and classic styles for downlights, ceiling fans, and other fixtures.

  1. Stick with easy-care and simple

In line with the classic and minimal style, ensure your property is an easy-care, fresh and clear blank canvas for future tenants to create their own. Don’t be tempted to excessively design or furnish your home, unless it’s right for the space.

  1. Climate control is essential

You’re probably not concerned whether your property has property heating and cooling if you’re not living in it. But this can be a turnoff for prospective tenants. Make sure you install heating and cooling, where you can. A split-system air conditioner in the living room, and the bedrooms, if you can afford it, will help in providing comfort and ensure your property attracts good tenants.

  1. Prepare your property for inspection

Similar to purchasing a home, prospective tenants want to see a property and be wowed by it and imagine themselves living in it. If you currently have a tenant and they are not exactly tidy, you could ask if you can have a cleaner come in the home for a day or two before inspection day.

Getting quality tenants is not easy sometimes, but with some smart spending on your property and thinking about how to improve your property in the eyes of prospective tenants, the chances are high of your property standing out among other competitors.

What Sellers Need to Know About Auctions

Auctions, in real life, are not that complicated but it’s important for sellers to understand everything about this popular sale method.

Here are some tips for sellers on auction day:

Before auction day

Planning your strategy requires work. Here are the things that will happen before the auction.

  1. The marketing campaign

A marketing campaign usually runs for three to four weeks before auction day. A campaign consists of advertising and open homes, working with prospective buyers and delivering contracts.

  1. Set price expectation

The day prior to auction day, you and your agent talk about price expectations. An important part of this process is the feedback received throughout the campaign.

Both parties must also agree on the reserve price, the number at which the auction becomes “on-the-market,” plus any prospective seller bids; a method for encouraging bidding.

  1. The agent explain the auction process

To make the seller fully informed, the agent will go through what will happen on auction day. The location of the auction can either be at the property or offsite, like a boardroom.

Auction Day

The rules that govern auctions vary from state to state.

  1. Final public showing

Normally, the final Open for Inspection happens immediately prior to auction day.

At least 30 minutes prior to the start of the auction, your agent must present certain documents relating to the house and verbally provide information to prospective buyers.

  1. The auctioneer will carry out legal disclosure of information

Here are the rules that must be followed during auctions in NSW:

  • The highest bidder at the fall of the ‘hammer’ is the purchaser
  • The auctioneer can make one bid only on behalf of the seller
  • Prior to the auction, the auctioneer is required to disclose that the auctioneer is entitled to make one bid on behalf of the seller
  • The auctioneer must disclose immediately before, or during the actual bidding, that they are making a seller bid
  • The auctioneer has the right to decline a bid that is disadvantageous to the seller
  • The auctioneer cannot accept a bid after the fall of the ‘hammer’
  • With regards to a disputed bid, only the auctioneer can make a final decision
  • The winning buyer’s name must be submitted to the auctioneer as soon as possible

The rule in most states is that prospective buyers must register before auction day to receive a bidder’s number.


This is when the actual bidding commences. The auctioneer will call for an opening bid to commence the auction and then permit succeeding bids.

While the auctioneer can influence the tone of increments, bidders can submit other amounts. A seller’s bid can be utilised to motivate buyers to bid.

It is absolutely against the law for a non-genuine buyer to make a bid, which is called dummy bidding or false bidding.

When the reserve price is reached, the property is deemed to be ‘on-the-market’ and is sold to the buyer with the highest bid. Typically, a 10% deposit is paid up front, with the remaining to be paid on settlement.

If the reserve price is not reached

The property is passed-in if the reserve price is not reached. Commonly, the highest bidder is provided the first opportunity to negotiate with the vendor.

It is your agent’s job to do the work. A property doesn’t necessarily have to be sold at auction. There are circumstances when an auction fails, such as if it rained on the day or the main buyer fell ill.

It is not true that you will get less if your property gets passed-in. Your property can still be sold under auction conditions until 12 midnight on the day of the auction, sold in the following days or at another auction at a later date. 



Common Fears When Investing in Property and How to Overcome Them

Real estate agents help identify and solve their client’s worries about the property market.

Here are the top 5 common fears that are holding back buyers.

  1. Fear of paying too much

Many buyers feel that they are navigating the property investment market blind because of the lack of accurate price guides and the usual method of buying via auction which has no price guide.

The result is that some buyers become overly cautious, spending too much time on researching on an ever-changing market and end up with analysis paralysis in which they are unable to decide whether they should move forward or not.

The only way to conquer this fear is by conducting market research diligently. Don’t take price guides too seriously; do your own sales research, seek experts for advice and rely on current data. Just make sure your research doesn’t hold you back from acting if you come across the right property.

  1. Fear of purchasing the wrong property

 Another common fear among buyers is the fear of missing out on the right property.

Buyers tend to be undecided on many issues. Do they buy a smaller house closer to the city or do they choose a location much further where houses and lands are bigger? Do they buy a house that they renovate or something that is already complete? Which suburb is better to live in?

Real estate agents advise buyers to make time to outline a strategy for their property purchase. Your strategy should take into consideration several factors including where you’re at in your life right now, your short term personal/family goals and things that are important to you, etc.

It comes down to understanding your priorities. There are not many people that can afford to compromise when it comes to buying property.

  1. Fear of past experience with selling agents or auctions

Some buyers can be overwhelmed by the process of buying a property. These buyers include those who are entering the market for the first time or those whose experience with an agent, purchase or auction were not so good.

Some people think that they will be scammed by an agent because they’re not transparent.

You can overcome this fear by doing research on the common buying processes such as negotiating for a private sale or bidding at auction.

Get to know your local agents and you will soon learn how they do business, each of their differences, and become more comfortable in dealing with them.

  1. Fear of the property market crashing

No one can accurately forecast the movement of the property market, leaving some buyers fearing a bubble or a crash.

Some buyers fear purchasing at the peak of the market and paying a high price and that the market might crash. Or if the economy weakens, they might lose their job and become unable to pay their mortgage.

While investors may need to watch the market to know the right time to buy, others might not need to do this. For example, if you’re purchasing a home and plan to live in it for a long time, the market is less of a worry. The perfect time to buy is when you’re financially and emotionally ready.

  1. Fear of missing out – FOMO

The intangible fear of missing out is the most emotional of all property fears. This when buyers feel that the right property is coming soon and they will miss it if they purchase now.

You shouldn’t focus on what properties have already been sold or what properties may be for sale next week. This is pointless. What you can do is to ensure you have carefully covered the whole existing market and learn what the pipeline looks like over the next few weeks.

Fighting the fear

A little fear is all right, normal even. But as everything in life is, too much of anything is bad. What are the fears that are holding you back from the property market and how can you overcome those fears?




Why Use a Real Estate Agent? Here Are the Reasons Why

Today, a wealth of real estate information is right at our fingertips.


It is easier now to access property information using technology leading us to data, expert opinions and investment advice – resources that can help us make the right decision over buying or selling property.


There is also a rise in disruptive digital real estate platforms, which offer services such as flat-fee commissions or platforms that provide agent performance rating.

Technology is truly influencing how we transact property, but we mustn’t forget the value of human connections in real estate.


Three Benefits of Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

  1. Solid networks are good but sound knowledge and experience in marketing is better

With a simple click of a button, properties can be listed and advertised in various digital platforms.

This may mean wide exposure, but the message has to be right, the images need to have cut through to target the right market and the frequency has to be on point.  So what does that all mean?

Your agent has to be a marketing specialist.  Simply uploading your property to the digital real estate portals and putting a sign out the front is not enough!  

Many agents are not specialists and are encouraging you to list with them ‘off market’ at the moment but I ask you – what would you prefer?  To run the risk of over marketing your property by $2,500 or run the risk of underselling your property by $50,000?  

  1. Comprehensive local knowledge

The internet has all sorts of information, but not all information is available on the internet.  you may have access to the sales prices of similar properties in your local area but it’s the agent who has on-ground experience and knowledge which can provide additional information giving light to why some properties out perform others.

Real estate agents will have knowledge of the disadvantages of their area, what dwellings have been selling for, what is popular, or the type of buyers that it attracts.

These pieces of information can help you navigate the selling process, like when you set the price for your home or try to negotiate the highest possible price given the present market conditions.

  1. Helping you achieve your property goals

It can be tempting to hire an agent who charges the lowest fees, but the cheapest agent may not always be the best.

For sellers, it is worth considering the value offered by agents and the service they provide. Find an agent who can best present your property and negotiate on your behalf. You’ll probably get the best results from a motivated agent with a higher commission, rather with a reduced commission. 

Remember, that an agent with loads of current listings may not have the time to effectively work on your property and your home may end up becoming stale with little interest.  An agent who limits themselves to a respectable amount of listings has more chance of selling your property within a reasonable amount of time and will likely achieve a higher price for you.  We all know, that the longer a home sits on the market the more likely it is to adjust the asking price.  

This is why it is essential to do your research, evaluate your personal financial situation and hire a professional to help you consider all options when looking to transact property.

If you are thinking of selling anytime within the next few months, call Annette Pinkerton at One Agency Pinkerton Properties for a current market appraisal.



Settling market as more properties list and buyer FOMO eases