Tips to Make Your Open Inspection a Success

We often hear the saying “first impressions matter” but when it comes to open inspections, the motto to remember is “every impression matters.”

The reason is that the way a home is shown for an open home can determine whether prospective buyers are left in awe or dread.  Open inspections are not only impressing potential buyers with a home’s lovely features, but also presenting how well it is cared for and maintained.

Here’s what I recommend sellers pay attention to before starting an open inspection.

 

The General Vibe

Presenting the home in its best possible light is the simplest advice you can follow. Make the property neat, tidy, cool and fresh – all things that buyers check when looking at properties. Open doors, turn on the lights, adjust the temperature and attend to any awful pet smells to satisfy all senses.  I also recommend getting rid of personal items in your home, but it’s a fine line. There is no need to completely depersonalise because you don’t want your home to look and feel sterile. You want prospective buyers to see that your home is loved.

 

Hire Furniture

Hire furniture for the length of the sales campaign. With hire furniture, you can sell the dream of how a buyer would live in your home. A living area is just an open space until you add furniture, and then it transforms into a room where people could see themselves living there.

 

Styling

I always warn against “over-styling” your property. When styling for open, less is more. Make your property feel loved and comfortable and not overdone.

 

Don’t Overlook the Exterior

Focusing only on the interiors of a property is a trap. Outdoors is essential, especially if it’s an area for entertainment. Apply the same level of beauty you do on the interior to the exterior. Arrange tables and chairs and tidy up the gardens, lawns and edges.

 

Getting Ready to Sell

Typically your open home should run for around 30 minutes but sometimes I will recommend a longer open home time for larger homes or for your first open home.   This will depend on the number of active buyers attending viewings or the amount of enquiry coming in on your home.  I may also suggest a weekday open home or VIP Open Home!    The next step is to ensure that you are not present or spying on the property from your car or a neighbours home.  It’s now time to leave your home and let both your buyers feel comfortable and for your agent get to work! 

Thinking of selling this year?  Call me to arrange for an appointment to discuss my ideas to increase the value of your home and to make recommendations specific to your home!

Warning Signs to Watch Out For When Buying a Renovated House

You might consider a freshly refurbished house as a dream purchase, but you have to look beyond the new paint, shiny tiles, and polished floorboards before parting with your money.

While many homeowners make sure their properties are renovated to high specifications, there are still those who cut corners or ignore major issues to try to get the highest possible price for their property.

Being aware of the warning signs and having experts to help you can boost your chances of buying a quality home instead of a problematic house.

Look Out for the Flip

A home that had been refurbished prior to sale can fall into one of three categories, which may impact its quality.

The 3 categories are:

  • A DIY renovation by the owners who lived in it and loved it. This is normally not bad because the renovation has been made according to the owners’ standards.
  • A renovation that the landlord did for their renter. This is fine too because renters will tell you if they aren’t satisfied.
  • A flip, can be a warning sign. This is because someone who is doing a flip is trying to maximise their profit, and maximising profit sometimes means minimising costs.

Discovering Problems

It’s not uncommon to see pre-sale renovations where many corners get cut. They are done to hide problems or sometimes use cheap, low-quality products to save money. The house might be lived in, so you might find it hard to ascertain if all is in good working order. You have to be prepared to check everything.

One example is painting over problems without properly fixing the surfaces. There is a correct way of removing mould, but people renovating their homes may not know this. Mould can remain inactive on a dry surface but can spring back to life once moisture is introduced.

Another hotspot for problems is bathroom renovations. Some of the issues you need to check out are improperly repaired subfloors, insufficiently waterproofed surfaces, and joint failures or leaks due to the use of the wrong adhesives and sealants.  Having a pre-purchase building and pest inspection done on any home is a wise move.

Experts suggest that buyers ensure that the renovations are council-approved, ask for the information of any engineers, architects, or tradespeople hired for the project, and find out if there is any warranty related to the project.

Pricing Refurbished Homes

You shouldn’t believe that a renovation will add more value than it costs. Unless you have the related experience and qualifications of a tradesperson, you tend to realise that the money you spend on refurbishing a home is about what you add to it. People making more is the exemption rather than the rule.

Buyers should be aware that a cosmetic renovation doesn’t make them overlook the major issues that haven’t been fixed.

That is where buyers become victims of a flip. If there are costly problems hiding under those renovations, you will still pay the premium.  But homes that have undergone high-quality renovations will command wide-ranging interest, and buyers of high-quality refurbished homes should expect to face plenty of competitors.

If you’re purchasing a property that has been refurbished or reconstructed, search for high-quality construction, fixtures, and fittings.  You might even consider asking the sellers if they have any before, during and after photos – particularly when it’s structural work and behind or in walls.

 

One Agency For Rent

7 Ways to Make Your Rental Property More Appealing

Securing a good tenant as fast as possible is the goal if you decide to rent out your house. But even with so many competing tenants out there, achieving this goal may not be simple.

Especially when rents are high and tenant are expecting a lot for their money.  Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to help increase the appeal of your rental property and ensure you find the right tenant.

The first step is to determine your target tenants. For young professionals, convenience and neutral tones are highly preferred. If you think, fly-in fly-out (FIFO) or shift workers would be attracted to your home, pay attention on security, privacy and sun-blocking window treatments.

Keeping these tenants in mind, here are seven tips for increasing rental returns and enticing the right tenants.

  1. Spotless Appliances

You can save a lot of money in the long term with minor repairs that are done upfront. Check your house to make sure all your appliances are spotless and in good working condition – repair and replace if necessary. From stove tops to dishwashers, give them a thorough cleaning so they are germ-free and ready for use by tenants.

  1. New Blinds and Curtains

Your house can get an instant facelift with new window furnishings. Additionally, these items will allow you to target your ideal tenant. If your house is close to the airport, block out blinds are recommended as they appeal to FIFO or shift workers. Choose stylish custom roman blinds if you have an apartment in a trendy suburb. If you have a beachside holiday home, choose wooden shutters for a coastal feel.

If your existing curtains or blinds are still good, clean them thoroughly to remove mould and grime.

  1. Clean Walls

A house with dirty walls looks unkempt, so clean up all marks and then fill in holes or cracks. A freshly painted house can never go wrong, as not only the right hue makes a space look larger, new paint will make an older home look neat and tidy.

Pick light neutrals, but don’t paint the whole house white because it can make the house look harsh and unwelcoming.

  1. Renovated Kitchen

There is no doubt that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes, but they also get renters. Before undertaking any renovation, ask your real estate agent about the costs, as there may be a few DIY jobs that will suffice. Consider painting the walls and cupboards, then change the door handles to fit the new colour. You can also renovate the countertops and put in a new sink.

  1. Bathroom Update

If your bathroom is old and grubby, there’s a likelihood that prospective tenants would be turned off. Inexpensive items to pay attention to include repairing leaking taps, replacing light fittings and getting a new shower head. A major turn-off in bathrooms is mould, so having the grout professionally taken care of is worth considering.

  1. Well-Ordered Fixtures

Further boost your chances of success by making sure your tenant won’t have anything to complain about regarding damaged fittings or fixtures. Make sure all your fixtures, from the letterbox to the light switches and all taps, doorknobs, fly screens and locks, function properly and are in good condition.

  1. Have Dirt-Free Carpets

Grubby carpets don’t look and smell good. They can also have dust and dirt. If the carpets are professionally cleaned at the beginning of their lease, then you can ask them to do the same at the end of their lease.  If your carpets are beyond saving, replace them because nice-looking carpets will make a house feel homey and well-maintained.

Think like a tenant, repair any nagging issues and add a few personal touches according to who will be living in your home. These things will let you set expectations, appeal to better tenants and increase your returns.

 

 

Maintenance Tips to Help Extend the Life of your Deck

Timber decking is exposed to the elements throughout the year – heavy downpour, scorching sun, and high and low temperatures. This makes the wood expand and contract, which can cause it to deteriorate.

To help extend the life of a deck, regular maintenance is important as it helps the timber handle extreme conditions while revitalising its appearance.

It is fast and easy to make an old deck look brand new, starting with a nice finish. There are several finishes you can choose from to achieve the look you’re looking for.

Whichever finish you choose, regular maintenance is important to make your deck look great and last for a long time.

The Best Timber for Decks

There are many types of timber available. Selecting the same type of timber for both floor and decking can make the feel and look of indoor and outdoor spaces harmonious while giving a visual connection to the surrounding vistas and grabbing the attention of people who love nature.

One of the popular choices is lighter-blind timbers, like blackbutt, tallowwood or white mahogany offer a clean, neutral backdrop for outdoor design plans and landscaping. To make small spaces look big, choose lighter-coloured timber boards.

Some types, including blackbutt and spotted gum, are more ideal for locations that are susceptible to bushfires. Also, blackbutt is also resistant to termites, which is the right quality for Australian conditions.

No-Maintenance Decking Boards

Composite decking is suitable for you if you will not be able to keep up with regular maintenance. This type combines 95 per cent recycled timber and plastic, needs no upkeep except for random washing with soap and water, and is available in various colours and textures.

Because it is termite-resistant, composite decking won’t decay, warp or break. It is also resistant to fading, stain, scratch and mould, making it suitable for high foot traffic and uninterrupted summer of entertaining.

Signs That Your Deck Needs Refinishing

Dripping some water directly onto the boards is the fastest way to determine whether your deck needs work. If the timber absorbs the water, then it’s time to re-coat it. If the beads of water remain on t

he board, then no work is required yet.

Tips for Refinishing Decking Boards

Preparation is key to a great result from refinishing your deck.

If you have a new deck or your deck has been stained or oiled previously, use a stiff scrubbing brush to apply deck cleaner to get rid of tannins and oils from the timber. These products are good alternatives for algae or moss for eliminating dirt.

Because some cleaners can be detrimental to plants, protect the surrounding shrubs and trees by using plastic to protect the soil around them.

Let the deck cleaner be absorbed by the timber for 15 minutes before hosing it off and let the timber dry for a minimum of one hour before applying the finish.

If you use oil, mix it thoroughly before applying two or three coats with a lambswool applicator. To avoid a blotchy finish, apply the finish in long strokes the entire length of the board. The ends of the board should also be coated because they also need to be protected from the elements.

Read the manufacturer’s recommendations to learn the different varying times and techniques of applications of the stain, oil, paint or varnish you’re using.

Finish: Water-Based Vs Oil-Based

The choice between water or oil-based finishes often depends on the ease of use and longevity.

With water-based decking oils, you can re-coat your deck faster, and they normally last longer than the usual oil-based decking oils. The tools you’ve used can simply be washed off with water.

Oil-based decking oils usually take longer to dry than water-based coatings. You will also smell a strong odour while it dries. To clean your equipment, you need to use mineral turpentine.

Sanding a Worn or Painted Deck

For splintered, previously painted or severely damaged decks, sand the surface back to raw timber to revive its look. Make sure all nails and screws are countersunk to prevent the sandpaper from tearing while you work the deck.

Use a belt sander and coarse-grade belt to sand the surface, making sure that you move in the direction of the grain of the timber. To have a smooth finish, continue sanding with finer-grade belts.

For the hard-to-reach areas and edges, a finishing sander can do the job, but start with coarse-grade sandpaper and then a finer grade.

When you’re done with sanding the surface, then you can begin applying the finish.

How to Maintain Your Deck

To prolong the life of your deck finish, sweeping it or hosing it regularly avoids build-up of dirt and other moisture-retaining residue on the timber.

If your deck has potted plants, place a saucer underneath them to catch any excess water and prevent water from sitting under the pot as this can result in rot.

 

How to Save More When Selling Your Property

When selling your property, you need to know there is a sliding scale between how much value you can add and how much you can spend.

Taking into consideration the conveyance fees, capital gains tax, and improvements, sellers may have a hard time finding additional funds to spend on property styling. But styling your property definitely pays off, I estimate it boosts the value of your home by roughly 2.5% to 3% and can help sell your home much faster. 

Here are 9 tips to help you raise the value of your home and get the highest possible price from the sale – without leaving you penniless.

  1. Apply a fresh coat of paint

One of the simplest and most effective ways to give your home a new lease on life is a new coat of paint. With paint, a room brightens up instantly and any wear and tear in the house is erased. If you do it yourself, all you need to buy is paint, brushes and rollers.

Stick to neutral colours such as white, off-white, or cream to attract as many buyers as possible. If your home is done in strong colours or you want to add some character or mood, you have the option to make a feature wall.  Just avoid any clashes, keep the rest of the surfaces simple.

  1. Potted colour

First impression is important, and having a beautiful front garden screams “sanctuary.” If your garden is needing a few more greenery and flowers, plant some more or put some colourful potted plants in to instantly help people feel comfortable. Plants can also make up for harsher frontages, like exposed bricks, by softening the severe edges.

Make your home feel fresh and modern and revitalise the most worn out-looking rooms with indoor plants and flowers. Place small succulents or potted plants on benches and tabletops to create a lived-in vibe in your home, and a larger potted cacti, an orchid or palm fronds in the entrance or hallway.

  1. Boost your street appeal

An overwhelming majority of Australians want a home with a yard for their family and pets, and having a beautiful outdoor area can attract prospective buyers. Landscaping can cost thousands, but there are simple things you can do to make your yards shine.

Plant hedges and trees that are cut and shaped so they look neat, mow and weed the lawns to make them look neat and fresh. Other extras you can invest in to make your outdoor spaces more charming include creating outdoor archways or DIY stepping stone pathways.

And always consider the sate of your letter box!

  1. Open up the space

This involves removing something rather than adding to a room. A space that feels big and open appeals to everyone. It has been shown time and again that removing some pieces of furniture or exchanging them with smaller pieces gives off a sense of space.

Natural light also appeals to buyers, so invest in a window treatment that offers privacy and protection from the direct sun without obstructing too much light.

If there is no natural light, a good alternative is maximising the use of artificial lights. A light fixture with multiple bulbs is effective in brightening a room, and you can create an elegant feature to update the look of the room, even when it’s dark.

  1. Hang mirrors

To make a room appear bigger, use mirrors. They are inexpensive and immediately bring a sense of space in a room. Place a large mirror behind a sofa or shelf in the living area, or behind the headboard in a bedroom. If your hallway is narrow and dark, use mirrors to add space and open up the walkway.

Mirrors can even be used effectively in your garden and outdoor areas too!  Get a little creative!

  1. Instant fixes

Kitchen renovations can be expensive, but they are also the space that can sell a property. If your kitchen is outdated and worn out, one of the best ways to freshen it up without costing you thousands of dollars to give a new coat of paint to the cabinets. You can do this project yourself, and then install new knobs or handles to complete the new look.

A great addition to your living room is rugs. They revitalise the space and transform its look and feel. To make a big impact, use large rugs, but choose ones that match your colour scheme. For example, tribal or graphic prints updates your home and complement most existing furniture.

For bedrooms, make them feel inviting and cosy with new linens. Similar with paints, use neutral bedding linens with minimalist designs, and choose simple patterns, rather than bright colours or clashing prints. To add more character, a bed runner can add style without being pretentious.

  1. Tidy up and remove clutter

Decluttering is one of the simplest styling tricks out there.

In property styling with the aim to sell, the main thing is to design the home like a blank canvas so buyers can visualise themselves living there. If it’s cluttered, your home can overwhelm buyers during inspections. Take away all the personal items and kitchen appliances you have collected over the years, and open all curtains and windows to let in natural light.

Giving your home a deep cleaning, including professional carpet cleaning, is worth every penny. This eliminates odours that may have been lingering in your home and leaves your home looking and smelling fresh and clean.

  1. Ensure your home smells nice

Odour is a big factor when preparing your home for inspection. A house that smells of pets, damp or stale could turn off prospective buyers, so get rid of bad odours by opening the windows or burning essential oils.  Please, please , please….  do not use air fresheners, so many people are sensitive to these kinds of fragrances and they could turn your buyers off. 

  1. Know the value of your home

Put your faith in your agent, but also find out for yourself how much your property is worth. Request the correct appraisals, study the market, check out similar listings and look up the sales history for your location. By knowing the value of your home, you will get a better idea of the sale price you may be offered.

 

How to Find the Right Investment Property for First-Time Investors?

Finding the right investment property can be an overwhelming process, especially if you have no clue what you’re looking for or where to begin.

For first-time investors, choosing a property is not about visualising yourself living in it. It’s all about the numbers going in your favour and your self-assurance that the property is going to meet your requirements to help you accomplish your investment goals.

What are these requirements and how can you be sure that the property you’re choosing is going to fit you?

Here are the following factors you need to consider when looking for the right property investment:

  1. Identify your strategy

Every person will approach property investing using a different strategy. Some will want to just grow their portfolio and acquire as many properties as possible, while others may want to attempt renovations and sell the property for a higher price. Knowing what your investment strategy is before you begin to search for properties will help you narrow down significantly what you’re looking for.

  1. Determine your budget

If you know how much money you have to invest, you can quickly remove areas and properties that you cannot afford. Don’t forget that numbers will play an important role when you’re purchasing an investment property. If the numbers don’t add up, it means the property is not for you.

  1. Know your property type

Identify what type of property you want to invest in – whether a house on land, a unit, a townhouse, or another type of property. Settling on a property type and only looking at these properties will prevent you from feeling confused because you are comparing the same type of properties.

Each property type also has varying requirements that you need to look at and evaluate. Focusing on just one property type will also help prevent you from making mistakes when doing your due diligence.

  1. The location

There are plenty of locations where you can buy a property, and choosing a location can derail investors from taking the first step.

Start by choosing a state, then a region, then a suburb, and finally the best area within that suburb. Being unfamiliar with the areas you’re considering can muddle the process and your experience. Check out suburb reviews to find out the comments and ratings of different locations.

In addition to the above, there are questions you need answers to.

  • What infrastructure can be found in that area?
  • What is the demographic?
  • Are there jobs available there?
  • Is it easy to access services?

You also need to know where the location is in the property cycle. Is it in a bullish market where properties are selling fast or a slowing market where you have your choice of property? Is demand for rentals strong?

If you’re finding it hard to choose a location, then the smart thing for you to do is start on the areas that you’re familiar with.

When you have figured out all these four factors, then you can begin to narrow down on your property requirements in terms of size, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, garaging, etc.

But until you have done your research and have identified your property requirements, your search for a property investment is nothing more than guesswork.

 

 

8 Important Questions to Ask When Choosing the Manager for your Investment Property

Do you know how well your investment property is being managed? You have to know because the quality of service you’re getting from your property manager (PM) can hugely affect your investment journey.

Some of the signs of a badly managed investment property include difficult tenants, low return on investment, lack of support and property deterioration.

So, how do you find a property manager that will care about your investment as much as you do? Here are some important questions to ask your property manager to make sure your investment is in good hands.

  1. Does your property management team get good and sufficient support?

Managing too many properties means your manager is less likely to be proactive in servicing your investment. Property managers overseeing a large portfolio can feel overwhelmed, fail to communicate and commit costly mistakes.

A professional property manager in a large franchise can often be responsible for  between 100 and 200 properties. Consider a boutique agency or a property manager who is responsible for less than 100 properties and experience the difference immediately.

  1. How do you handle late rental payments?

Choose an agency that follows a proactive process when dealing with late payments.

An agent that is committed to reaching your investment objectives is one who never misses a phone call to you as the owner, along with sending written notifications. A good PM will follow up any late rent with tenants straightaway, send payment reminders and in extreme situations deliver a notice to vacate if payment is 14 days overdue.

  1. How often do you do inspections?

Find out how often the property management team conducts property inspections. Inspections are important because they ensure your property remains in good condition and help detect any problems that may need to be fixed.

Tenants must be notified of an upcoming inspection with a written notice sent 14 days prior. When you choose a PM, learn about their inspection process, including their reporting, to make sure they fit your requirements.

  1. How do you deal with property damage, repairs and maintenance?

PM’s must act fast to resolve a damage caused by tenants. Through regular inspections, your PM should be able to identify and resolve any problems sooner rather than later.

PM’s who care about your investment can categorise ‘nice to have’ maintenance or ‘future’ maintenance from necessary or urgent repairs. As the owner, it is your responsibility to care for and pay for basic property maintenance. However, it is the responsibility of your tenants and PM to make sure the requests are sensible, timely and managed well.

  1. Do you give advice on how to maximise rental returns?

You pay your property manager to deal with the important things, but what often proves helpful in steering you on your investment path is the additional advice and recommendations from them.

Talk to your PM about whether they can provide information on how to increase your rental returns. Your PM should have the property and rental market knowledge to give added value to your present investments and prospective investment ventures.

  1. Where do I look for testimonials?

The best agencies have their client testimonials on their websites and social media pages.  Other are with sites like “Rate My Agent”.

References and testimonials help ensure the PM fulfils their promises. Request for references from both renters and landlords to help you make the right decision in your choice of PM. If there aren’t testimonials online, you can always request the agency to give you some.

  1. Do you give end of the month statements?

The right PM will keep you up to date with how your rental property is performing through regular reports like end of month statements.

These reports allow you to keep track of monthly rental income, make calculations and monitor the performance of your investment property.

It is important to choose a PM who has good attention to details. And regular communication is essential to ensuring you are updated with costs and important developments that will impact your investment income.

The right PM can make a huge difference in your investment journey. Do your homework and look for the agent that meets all your requirements. Above all, the PM you pick should be as committed as you are in making sure your investments perform well.

 

 

 

How the Housing Market Be Impacted by Changes to JobSeeker

At the end of March 2021, the provisional supplement to JobSeeker payments in Australia will end. The JobSeeker “coronavirus supplement” was designed to temporarily provide support for new and current beneficiaries of welfare programs in response to COVID-19 including JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, Austudy and the Parenting Payment.

The supplement was increased by $275 per week, practically increasing by 100% the payments for some recipients. It was recently announced that when the coronavirus supplement ends in March, a further $25 will be added permanently to payments. A permanent increase will benefit some, but welfare recipients will lose $250 per week as compared with the start of the pandemic.

But will the end of the JobSeeker supplement affect the housing market?

First, it must be said that the JobSeeker supplement has already been cut significantly in the past months, with no obvious negative impact to the housing market in general.

In late March 2020, the earliest JobSeeker supplement was established at a further $275 weekly. In late September, the supplement was cut by $125 weekly, and further cut to $75 weekly through the first quarter of 2021.

However, during the period when the supplement was reduced, the housing market momentum increased from September to January. The CoreLogic national home value index grew 3.2% and rental value rose 2.5% from the end of September to January.

Additionally, even as the JobSeeker supplement was being reduced, fewer Australians have been depending on welfare, thanks to a solid turnaround in the labour market.

According to the Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS), the number of JobSeeker recipients were 11.7% lower towards the end of January 2020, versus the end of September. However, the risk to wider-spread housing spread remained elevated, because the number of JobSeeker recipients by January was still up 55.9% than at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The impact of the changes to JobSeeker on housing market values would likely be minor. As lower income households mostly have lower rates of home ownership, it is more likely that households benefiting from JobSeeker are tenants. This would suggest an indirect effect on housing values, where lower rental returns could affect an investor’s inclination to pay for a house.

However, upon checking on areas with the highest proportion of JobSeeker beneficiaries in Australia compared with the local population, rental returns have been varied since the huge cuts in the JobSeeker supplement in September.

The table below, which tracks changes in rent from September 2020 to January 2021, shows this trend in the markets with the greatest proportion of JobSeeker beneficiaries.

Only one region, Queensland – Outback – saw a reduction in rental values, while the rest of the SA2 markets saw an average growth in market rents of 4.2%, which is actually higher than the 2.5% growth in rent values across Australia over the same period.

One significant information to take note of is the absence of data for rental performance in the markets where the coronavirus supplement remained the same. In these situations, rents may have risen even more.

However, what the data underscores is that the looming changes to JobSeeker could cause more discrepancy between incomes and housing costs for some of most vulnerable households in the country. These rental markets may be improving collectively, but housing problems and even homelessness, may be experienced by people whose source of income have been affected by COVID-19. Changes to JobSeeker may not likely to affect the housing market, but reduced welfare could significantly impact housing situations for plenty of people.

 

 

 

The Hottest Garden and Landscaping Trends for 2021

With people on lockdown for most of 2020, there is no doubt that many of us spent more time in our backyards and gardens, or looking for green spaces. 

Local hardware stores and nurseries were definitely not hurting as people tried to revamp their outdoor spaces and create a haven.


For 2021, here are a few trends that we can expect to see according to some top landscape designers.

 

Structural and Sophisticated

Combining lots of big leaf plants, such as fatsia, philodendrons, alcanterias and succulents, with architectural concrete is a trend that continues to increase in popularity.

But more than just your average slab, architectural concrete has steps with a shadow line, clean edges and profiles.

This style is a clean, severe landscape aesthetic at the ground level but made soft by plenty of plants. This is a perfect contrast between hard, solid surfaces and a gentler landscape with leafy plants.

 

More Garden, Less Lawn

The “less lawn, more garden” trend will become popular because it is low maintenance.

More people are using plants within the landscape, not just to serve as borders along the fence line or around the lawn.

This is very different from a decade ago when people would have asked for minimal plants and a really big lawn.

 

More Natives and Plant Biodiversity

Australian gardens have always been influenced by English or European styles, but landscaping professionals are seeing a move away from this trend and more into adopting the Australian native garden, by using plants that are more accustomed to our climate.

Not only will Australian native gardens become popular, but they will also become more diverse as people plant natives and combine them with European, South African, and South American plants like succulents and cacti.

The use of plants that are relatively low maintenance and don’t need plenty of water makes sense as they are a lot friendlier to the environment and less stressful to take care of.

 

The Australian Meadow

A good way to create biodiversity in your yard is through a European meadow-style garden, which involves the layering of shrubs, grasses, perennials, and trees.

An increasing number of Australians are adopting this style, so expect this to become relevant.

And landscape designers are putting their unique perspective with the use of native plants like eucalyptus, banksia, grevilla, callistemon and acacia, and more.

 

Crazy Paving

Crazy paving, or random stone paving, is becoming a top trend again but not as people remember it.

People have a memory of it as being large slabs of brown or Castlemaine slate, but a variety of materials are being imported from abroad with grey, nearly granite-looking random stone, or those grey shades that look great with concrete and timber.

If you want to create a textured, clean and contemporary look that sends a strong visual impact, go for random paving in natural stone then combine it with natural timbers and smooth-finished concrete.

 

Outdoors an Extension of the Indoors

Australians are all-about outdoor living, and this is something that will never go away.

Due to the lockdown, people are beginning to look at their outdoor spaces in a different light, with questions such as “how can we turn it into something that is more practical and more functional?”

Outdoor kitchens are becoming even more essential, the same with barbeques and even pizza ovens.

In the past, people were content with built-in barbeque, but now people want to put everything outdoors. People want to experience that relaxed lifestyle at home – without having to go too far for it.

Insiders expect an increase in flexible furniture that fit both indoors and outdoors, as people adopt a style that connects the indoors with the outdoors.

 

Pools Will Become Smaller

As Australians’ outdoor spaces shrink, so too does our pool size.

But what is important is to make sure the pool is properly designed for the space allotted to it and that it is practical and useful.

Whatever size the pool is, what’s important is to make so that people want to use it, and use it for a long time.