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May 29, 2022

Tips to save your energy budget this winter

Rising costs and tightening household budgets are front of mind as we head into the winter months and as the temperatures start to cool off, the increased use of appliances to heat our homes can contribute to the biting energy prices. To avoid the bill shock that can sometimes arrive in time with your next energy invoice, there are a few things that you can do to reduce energy consumption and the costs associated with it. Fix draughty areas Look at areas where draughts may be prevalent in your home, typically under doors and windows. Around 40% of heat from the home escapes from windows and if you are a homeowner you may consider investing in double glazing which can bump up the energy efficiency of your home and have the added benefit of reducing sound. If you are renting, many hardware stores have solutions for draught excluders around windows and doors. Thicker curtains can keep colder air at bay and thicker rugs over hardwood floors can provide a cost-effective insulation approach. Check the hot water Hot water usage can contribute a substantial amount to energy costs. Tips like adjusting the temperature as well as washing with cold water or ensuring that you are only washing full loads are key to reducing those energy outputs. Turn off appliances Appliances in standby mode, not in use can still use energy. Even your phone charger that is switched on at the wall and not in use is still generating power. If you are not using the appliance or going away, ensure that you are switching appliances off at the wall to reduce the energy consumption being used by those appliances. Price check your current plan There is a myriad of energy suppliers in the market now. Check your current electricity and gas bills to make sure that you are getting the best deal and negotiate to find the best solutions for you.  The Australian Government has created a very useful website to easily check all available competition within the market and provides estimates on how much each company charges.  This can be one of the most useful energy saving tips to follow through with. Swap your light globes Where possible, make the switch with your light globes to those that are the most energy-efficient for the types of light fittings that you have in your home. More energy-efficient bulbs use as much as 75% less electricity and have the added benefit of lasting longer, which means replacing less often. Making a few small changes in our living spaces and habits can assist with reducing those energy bills and adds to one less shock the next time you receive your electricity or gas bill. Have you checked your property for signs of mould lately?  Recent weather conditions has caused mould to appear in all sorts of spaces it isn't normally seen.

May 27, 2022

Open home? Impressions matter

There is an old saying about first impressions - you never get a second chance to make a great one. When you consider selling your home, it is important to know that the impression the prospective buyer has when they walk through the property during your open home could be the make or break of their decision-making process in the sale.  Take steps to make that moment in time count. Presentation is key Your sales agent will often work with you and suggest components such as property styling, which can assist in presenting the property in the best possible light to a prospective buyer. Your agent may make suggestions about minor improvements that will be key to the sale and highlight the features that are the best-selling points of the property to show during the open home. Take care of minor maintenance The little things can make all the difference when it comes to showing prospective buyers through your property during an open home. Even something as small as light globes can make an impact to the success of the open and your sales agent will want to turn on lights to brighten up rooms. Maintenance items may also affect the final sale and have the potential to be deal-breakers if items are not repaired. If you have had tenants in the property, it is beneficial to speak with your property manager and sales agent about minor improvements that may need to be carried out and factor this into preparing the property for the sale and opening. If the tenants are to remain during the sales campaign, your Property Manager and Sales Agent can communicate with the tenants on expectations during the open homes. Don’t forget the exterior If you have a property with lawns and gardens, employing a gardener to tidy up the lawns and gardens in the week leading up to your first open home is beneficial to ensure that they are presented at their best for potential buyers. Don’t forget pool and spa areas that may be part of the property, confirming that they are compliant with legislation as well as clean and presentable. A green pool is never a good look come open day and your pool certificate of compliance is usually required as part of the sales contract. For properties with trees on the perimeter, cleaning out the gutters and washing exteriors may be an area to consider as prospective buyers will take the maintenance of these areas into account. Clogged gutters have the potential to lead to roof leaks during wet weather and building inspectors will pick up these items during their inspections. Having these rectified before the sale will save potential stress down the track. Talking about saving potential stress down the track, have you noticed mould in your property recently? Have you considered buying an investment property in a different town or city to your own? Take a look at what is available in Ipswich.

May 20, 2022

Managing mould removal in your home

Mould removal is a hot topic at the moment. Inclement weather conditions can cause havoc on the buildings that we call home and with large patches of rain and the humidity that can come with it, mould can at times follow affecting walls, ceilings, furnishings, and belongings. As the weather starts to cool and our homes become locked up for the winter months, reduced airflow and moisture from heaters, humidifiers and cooking can also encourage this pesky challenge to flourish. While there are at times potential building issues that can lead to mould growth in properties, generally a few cleaning, care and maintenance tips can assist with keeping it at bay and our homes healthy during the cooler months and beyond. Mould Treatment As soon as you notice mould, it is beneficial to take steps to remove it from the surfaces that it has affected. Without treatment, it is likely to get worse and will continue to return. Clean the area using mould cleaners or solutions of mild detergent or vinegar diluted in water.  Tea tree oil mixtures are also popular for mould removal.  Once cleaned make sure that surfaces are completely dry, and where possible air-dry affected items that have been cleaned in the sun. For areas that have been badly affected or in soft furnishing and fabrics, professional cleaning may be needed. Where required, professional mould cleaning companies can be employed to rectify the issue and restore the property. In some cases, if mould continues to return after cleaning it may indicate that there is a larger issue, and a building inspection with a qualified tradesperson to further investigate may be necessary to ascertain the cause of the mould and work out a plan for treatment and eradication. Mould Prevention Mould loves a healthy amount of moisture to help it grow and eliminating areas of dampness can assist in reducing the potential for it to take hold and cause damage to your home. Some areas to consider in the prevention of mould: Ensure that the property has good ventilation. Turn on exhaust fans, especially in wet areas where steam is produced such as bathrooms, laundries, and kitchens. Dehumidifiers can help to reduce humidity and where possible control the number of indoor plants and use of humidifiers. On warmer or drier days, open windows, and doors to allow for cross-flow ventilation and ensure that weep holes are clear and free from dust or debris. Repair any leaks, clean out gutters and check areas that potentially have rising damp are rectified with adequate sub-floor ventilation. Read more:  Smoke Alarm legislation changed on 1 January 2022.

May 12, 2022

Smarter communities: why do we build them?

Smarter communities can be large or small and are ones where a successful hybrid of residential, commercial and community-focused features and amenities coexist.  These smarter communities are essentially managed by industry experts in the fields of technology, sustainability practices, infrastructural development and individual/family wellbeing. Together, these elements enhance community cohesion. The creation of this cohesion ensures longevity and sustainability for its developments and lifestyle benefits for its residents. To build a smarter community is to adopt a big-picture outlook; melding affordability with investor/owner/renter appeal, state-of-the-art technology with user-friendly applications and design and interior trends that inspire a biophilic quality. As such, developers in the sector of smarter communities quite simply create happier residents. An industry working with a united vision, delivers intelligent solutions to create a better lifestyle for people living and investing in those communities.  Strata and community management firms are driven by customer-centricity and innovation, developing communities and competing in a billion dollar industry. Somewhere near you, this type of community has been built Developed communities are diverse and extensive, covering small-to-medium residential and commercial blocks including townhouses and villas, shop lots and hotels, to large mixed-use high rises.  Like smart homes in the era-of-connectivity, smart communities are a natural progression. Television advertisements for newly developed suburbs may have surprised viewers at first.  Communities used to require time to develop organically and even though they still do this, applied thinking has changed the way that they can emerge. Development and marketing opportunities Opportunities abound for developers and real estate agents to embrace the challenges of building and marketing newly formed communities. Investing in a smarter community is at the forefront of long-term change for all industry proponents. If created to exact standards and marketed within an affordable price range, the sustainability focus and lifestyle benefits of properties within smarter communities invariably sell themselves.