Avoid Mistakes

Avoid These Mistakes

When selling your home, its value helps determine how much to list it for and how much you can realistically expect a buyer to pay for it. That’s why it’s important to make sure you don’t do anything that could diminish your home value.

Avoid the following mistakes, which could negatively affect how much your home is worth:

  • Enclosing your porch. You might be tempted to do this in order to create a space that can be enjoyed all year round, but don’t do it. Closing off the porch can hurt your home’s value by making it seem too cut off from your neighborhood. Instead, opt for a screened-in porch or only close off part of your porch if it’s big enough. This still lets you enjoy the extra space without lowering your home’s value.
  • Not hiring a contractor. Some homeowners believe that they’ll save money by doing home improvement projects on their own. This might work for those who have the right skills and tools, but it’s usually better to leave it to the professionals. If you’re planning on doing a big remodeling project, spend the money on a professional contractor who will ensure that it’s done right.
  • Focusing on trends. When remodeling your home, don’t base your upgrades on what’s currently in style or trendy. These trends and styles can become outdated quickly and hurt your chances of selling your home. Go for timeless upgrades instead that won’t diminish home value.

Take the time to have one of our agents here at Waller make an appraisal and offer expert advice. Client reflections post sale  reveal that clients really do appreciate the advice offered.

Some Smart Pre Sale Improvements


Getting your home ready to sell is a time-consuming process, but it’s well worth it. By making some changes, you can get more money for your home and even sell it faster. Just make sure that you spend your time on projects that are good investments.

The following smart home improvements are great ones to focus on:

  • Change or fix up your front door. Buy a new door if yours isn’t in the best shape anymore or to boost your home’s curb appeal. A steel door is a good investment, since you can recoup almost all of its cost. If you don’t need a new door, repaint your current one and install new hardware.
  • Build a patio or deck. This project has a significant return on investment, since many buyers appreciate having an outdoor spot for relaxing or entertaining friends and family. You can also add a fire pit or other outdoor feature if you already have a patio or deck.
  • Fix up your kitchen. Minor or major projects are smart home improvements, since buyers tend to zero in on kitchens. Doing simple things, like painting cabinets, has an 82 percent return on investment rate, while major projects have an impact on investment rate.
  • Get new windows. When you invest in more energy-efficient windows that also improve your home’s appearance, you can recoup a significant percentage of the cost.

Need help preparing your home for sale and finding information on market conditions? Visit Waller Realty to find a local agent, and follow our Facebook page.

Gracious Mud Brick Home on Acreage


As you turn into this property and follow the sweeping drive, past the field where sheep or horses can graze, you cannot help but be taken by the natural beauty of this Yapeen setting.


This gracious mud brick home on the Yapeen Muckleford Road, Yapeen, offers not only a rural family lifestyle but the possibility of renting the completely separate, self contained, two bedroom cottage. Indeed, there are a number of options for making use of the accommodation that is available here.

Chalet Style Home in Sedgwick

Stringybark Court

The Australian obsession to own your own home has been so entrenched in our culture that it has become known as the Australian Dream. The dream began immediately after the Second World War and continues to this day. Originally ‘the Dream’ was to own a modest 2 bedroom dwelling in the suburbs with enough land for a vegie patch and a spot for the kids to play.

The owner/builder who created this private universe on ten acres in Stringybark Court Sedgwick has taken the dream to another level. The building has influenced by the architecture of Switzerland and Austria. The influence of time spent in Europe can be seen in the steep pitches, big gable roof, the use of open beams and the extensive use of stone work.

This extraordinary property represents over a decade of work. Ten acres of secluded bushland have been transformed into a wonderful family home that caters, not only for dual occupancy but which provides a rich array of ‘extras’ for big family gatherings.

Vintage Newstead


Expert professional opinion stated that this home in Wyndham Street Newstead “was quite typical of the Spanish Mission/California bungalow style pioneered in Australia by a young architect whose surname was Snedden.”

Snedden promoted architecture of Spanish Mission architectural style in Australia. In the 1920’s as a young architect, Snedden went to California to study this style and upon his return, he established a successful practice specialising in that style.

By contrast the North/NW/West aspects of  the house is very typical of French/ Belgian country/estate bungalow style. It is a lovely blend of the two styles, not to mention the really sound architect/builder know-how!

Be this as it may this property has become a gracious sanctuary offering a number of options for shared living or for professionals to live and work from home.

Perhaps even more alluring is the magical, semi bush setting with glorious views of the Newstead oval.

This really is an oasis in Newstead, a thriving village with a rich sense of community.

Inexpensive Home Upgrades

Budget Upgrades

Doing some remodeling to boost your home’s value is important when you’re planning on selling it. If your budget won’t accommodate larger home improvement projects, don’t worry! There are plenty of inexpensive home upgrades you can do if you have the right skills and tools.

Here are five ways to fix up your home on a tight budget:



  • Paint your interior walls. Putting a fresh coat of paint on your walls can make your home shine. If you’re feeling more adventurous, opt for a bolder color than you would normally pick in order to give each room a more memorable appearance. All you need are basic paint supplies and, of course, paint.
  • Make stairs safer. Install a stair runner for just a few hundred dollars, using woven runners and some basic hardware supplies. This is a much more affordable option than having carpeting installed on your stairs.
  • Add interior shutters. These types of shutters add more charm to a home than plain old blinds or shades. Install swinging wood shutters or another type of interior shutter on doors or windows where sunlight comes in the most.
  • Paint your kitchen cabinets. If your cabinets are dark or scuffed up, you don’t have to replace them. Instead, grab some paint and painting supplies to give your cabinets a makeover. Before painting, you’ll need to use sandpaper to even out the surfaces.
  • Install a water filter. Invest in an under-sink water filter to get clean water for drinking. At the least, you can install one that fits onto your faucet. This saves you money on bottled water and ensures that you’re drinking water that’s safe.

All About Lifestyle

Richards Road Castlemaine

At the time of the rush for gold it is said that Richards Road was lined with hotels servicing thirsty miners. Today there is no evidence of that period and, rather than all those associated sounds, this part of Castlemaine enjoys a quiet stillness that has become sought after.

After the miners had all gone the land returned to farming and when the Droney family owned the land it supported a diverse range of livestock. Now the cottage Edna Droney’s lived in has been faithfully restored and extended to become a comfortable family home offering all the benefits of rural living, yet set just five minutes from Castlemaine.

103 Richards Road is a beautiful place of refuge and tranquility. It has been a home that has provided office space and enabled the current owners to live and work  from home, to lead a modern, self sufficient lifestyle.

Bushland Home


One of the striking features of this property at 176 Ranters Gully Road, Muckleford, is the pristine bush setting and the stunning views of Mount Franklin. As the owners of this 10 acre property will tell you, it is the bush, the sense of sanctuary and the privacy which is what they have loved most about living here.

Given that there are three dwellings within relative proximity of one another it is all the more amazing that each seems to have a bio system of its own and that they do not impinge in any way upon the other. As a result it is possible to rent two and live in one and still enjoy all the sense of solitude that this property offers.

Another feature is the sense of contrast in the styles of living provided. The main home offers a divine, retro world while the light airy, two bedroom barn will suit those who like the modern, ‘industrial’ feel. In contrast the compact, snug Studio is an ideal place to escape completely.

Hillside Stone House


A hillside of what became Chewton was used as the site for the first government camp of the diggings. Thus it was to this very spot that the many thousands of prospectors first came before spanning out in search of a claim. Chewton itself would prove to be one of the state’s richest goldmining localities and one of the most enduring.

Right in the heart of historic Chewton lies what was known, in colonial, gold rush days, as Post Office Hill. It was here that, arguably, some of the richest alluvial gold was mined and stories have it that you could all but pick up nuggets from the ground.

Gold in Brickwork

Today you will not only find slivers of that gold in the brick work of this stone home on Fryers Road Chewton. You will find lots of quirky repurposed features that give this house so much character. For example  the bars from a portable prison are featured in the kitchen, along with handcuffs and other ephemera that has been found on the property.

Investing in Rental Properties?

Investing in rental properties can provide you with significant financial returns. In order to accomplish this, though, it’s crucial to make sure you don’t make common mistakes that could end up costing you.

These are three ways to lose cash on a rental property:

Renting to unreliable tenants. This mistake can cost you a considerable amount of money, especially if you have tenants who suddenly stop paying rent or take off without notifying you. You could even end up losing out on up to five months of rent due to the eviction process. Bad tenants can also cost you by not taking care of the property and leaving you with several repairs to do after they move out.

Having a poor price-to-rent ratio. When buying a property, you need to make sure that you’ll be able to get enough rent from it to cover the cost of expenses. Otherwise, you’ll have a price-to-rent ratio that will make you lose cash on a rental property month after month. Choose your rental properties carefully, based on the cost of expenses and real estate prices in the area.

Buying an older home. Routine maintenance and having minor repairs taken care of as soon as possible can cost you a bundle. Unfortunately, you can’t skimp on these tasks, since they could result in even bigger problems that are much more costly to fix. Your best bet is to purchase a newer property, since it will be less likely to have problems than an older property.

Protect your investment! Work with one of our highly professional Property Management Staff!  Ring the office for an appointment 03 5470 5811 and ask for Cecilia or Brooke.

For Lease in Castlemaine – Perfect for a Family


Are you looking to rent a family home in Castlemaine? Look no further! This family home at 1 Tomkies Street Castlemaine is the ideal location for a family. Apart from the home being a spacious, comfortable three bedroom home this has a wonderful separate ‘rumpus’ room that would be ideal for a teenager. It also has a spacious back yard that is well fenced and safe for young children. And there is outdoor shedding and a good carport!

Set in a quiet street, within relatively close proximity to town, the railway station and schools this property enjoys an almost rural aspect.

At just three hundred and thirty dollars a week this really is a house that you need to check out. Ring the office for an appointment 03 5470 5811 and ask for Cecilia or Brooke.

Tomkies Road Castlemaine

Actually Doing Their Job

The sale of 34 Gaulton Street Castlemaine was one that neither the vendor or the team at Waller Realty will forget in a hurry. There was nothing simple about the process! Apart from the fact that the vendor switched to Wallers after a long, frustrating period of time, when the property showed little sign of selling, there proved to be lots of complications and sensitive issues to be navigated during the sale process.

The vendor of this property maintains that the stand out feature of Tom Robertson’s work is quite simple! He actually does his job! This may appear a simplification but at the end of the day it is what stands out about Tom and Waller Realty in general. The team do their job! They actually sell houses and they make a special effort to look after the needs of both their vendors and buyers.

Tom RobertsonWhen pressed to identify anything that could have been done to improve the service the owner could not single out anything. She now recommends Wallers to friends and associates and will tell you that she found Tom to, not only be totally professional and skilled, but willing to put in work that tested the boundaries of what might be expected of any professional. Throughout difficult negotiations Tom maintained regular contact, keeping her informed of negatives and positives. She believes that much of Wallers success and local reputation depends on the proactive approach of agents like Tom.

A Vacation at Home

Vacations at home are becoming more common as homeowners look for ways to save money. Instead of spending it on an expensive vacation, they’re opting to stay home and enjoy their surroundings. You can turn your yard into a perfect staycation spot with some clever landscaping.

Here are a few landscape ideas to consider if you’ll be spending vacation time at home:

  • Woodland theme: Turn your yard into a cozy forest setting with some carefully placed trees and other greenery. If possible, you can take this one step further by having a small stream installed in one part of your yard. Line the stream with small rocks and pebbles to give it an even more naturalistic look. This idea provides you with a relaxing place to stay, along with a high level of privacy.
  • Water theme: Instead of a traditional pool, your yard can become a water-themed getaway that makes it feel like a secluded island. Install a water slide, sandy beach, fire pit and a play area that resembles a pirate’s cove for kids. You can even include a spa that’s designed to look like a beached boat.
  • European garden theme: Dress up your garden by installing an eight-sided pavilion surrounded by boxwoods and colorful flowers and bushes. A decorative fountain completes this look and lets you feel like you’ve traveled all the way to Europe.

These landscape ideas have an added benefit. When it’s time to put your home on the market, you’ll see a boost in its value. Just make sure you properly maintain your stay at home vacation landscape to keep it in good condition.

Leah Panos – Maldon Office

Leah Panos grew up in Maldon. Her parents ran the local service station and she worked in various places around town. Aside from pumping petrol at her parents station she worked at the Kangaroo Hotel and in the local supermarket. In her early twenties she left Maldon and ran a General Store and Post Office near Wedderburn for six years, returning to Maldon in 1999.

It is the local knowledge, the knowledge of people that she has gained from this collective experience, which has proven to be invaluable to her as she has worked with Maldon Real Estate. She has known all the people and understood the dynamics of the town, watched as it has changed with the influx of active professionals seeking a lifestyle change.

Since 2000 Leah has worked her way up through the company and has been influenced by the marketing style of a number of agents. She worked in administration, has been the receptionist and gained experience in property management. She knows that like the agents she has watched she has an approach of her own. Leah prides herself in her attention to the people who list and buy from her. No call or message goes unreturned. She also believes that the fact that she lives in and loves Maldon is affirming to those who are making the choice to come to live here too.

Leah is a strong advocate for the community she lives and works in. She has served on the Agricultural Show Committee and been a member of the local golf club but it is clear, when she talks about the events she goes to being Waller sponsored events, like the Twilight Festival, that her work takes up the largest slice of her daily life.

Leah is a friendly, pro-active agent with excellent communication skills and extensive local knowledge of Maldon and surrounding areas.

Choice Position – Immaculate Home

Properties of the quality of this home at 95B Duke Street do not come up for lease very often. Set at the rear of 95 Duke Street this stylish home ticks so many boxes.

It is light, airy, has four bedrooms and has the perfect cook’s kitchen. The indoor and outdoor entertaining areas enjoy a fabulous rural outlook and, tucked so far back from Duke Street the only noise you will hear is the sound of flocks of birds.

Live here and you are in close proximity to the Castlemaine township and within walking distance of the Wesley Hill Market.

The only down side may be the prospect of becoming addicted to all that the celebrated, next door neighbour, the Wesley Hill Bakehouse, has to offer.

Ring the office for an appointment 03 5470 5811 and ask for Cecilia or Brooke.