Living in your house while it is listed

Packing UpWhen your home is on the market, it’s important to make sure it will appeal to buyers as much as possible. That means making a lot of changes to the way it looks, especially when it comes to your personal possessions. This can be awkward for you since you’ll still be living in it while buyers are looking at it.

Use these tips for living in your home while it’s listed to help things go more smoothly:

  • Do a lot of packing and organising beforehand. Pack up what you’re not using, then organize what’s left to make it easier to pack the rest away later. The more stuff you put away, the more spacious your home will appear to potential buyers. Getting most of your packing done ahead of time will also make the moving process much easier for you.
  • Rent a storage unit. If you have larger pieces of furniture to store or a lot of boxes around, consider renting a storage unit. That way, you won’t have to worry about finding somewhere to keep them at home during showings.
  • Keep things to a minimum. Clear out as much from your kitchen and bathroom cabinets as possible, except for the things you use on a daily basis. This will help buyers picture their stuff in those cabinets instead, which can help them determine if they want to buy your home.
  • Have open inspections arranged at convenient times for you. Instead of having your home available for inspection at anytime, ask your agent to schedule them during certain hours or on certain days. While you want your home to sell, you also don’t want to be inconvenienced too much.


Keep Fire Safe

wood-burning-fireplace1Use these safety tips for cleaning out your fireplace to reduce the risk of fires:

  • Have your chimney swept. You should be doing this each year before winter in order to get rid of soot and creosote buildup. Hire a certified chimney sweep to perform this job.
  • Have your chimney inspected. A chimney sweep can check for signs of deterioration or damage, such as loose bricks or cracks. If you use a chimney liner, the chimney sweep will also inspect it to make sure it’s still in good condition.
  • Install a chimney cap. This serves as a cover for your chimney, which prevents birds and other wildlife from getting in and building nests or getting into your home’s interior. A chimney cap also keeps rain from coming down your chimney. If you have one already, make sure it doesn’t show signs of damage.
  • Skip softer woods. Burn hardwoods that have been kept dry for about six months, such as oak. Softer woods, especially those that contain resin, create higher levels of creosote, which is a flammable substance.
  • Keep fires small. Stick to smaller fires, rather than piling on a bunch of logs. Bigger fires produce more smoke, which results in more creosote inside your chimney. The excess heat from these larger fires can also damage your chimney.

These safety tips for cleaning out your fireplace will help make your home more appealing to buyers and provide them with peace of mind.

Professional and Approachable

Blakely Road Castlemaine

Speak to the vendors of this charming property in Blakely Road Castlemaine and they will tell you how pleased they were with the sale of their property.

They chose Waller Realty because they had heard of their proven sales record and they were not disappointed. They were won over by Liz Bell’s professional honesty, her appreciation and understanding of the property and her empathy and effective communication. They felt that this made all the difference to the sales process.

The owners particularly appreciated the fact that Liz  was dependable, energetic and proactive. She followed up after an open for inspection and provided detailed feedback about comments and responses of those who came. They found Liz easy to talk to and appreciated her obliging, responsive manner. They also valued the fact that was ready to answer any questions and that if there was any doubt that she would seek clarification and get back to them quickly.

On the basis of their personal experience these owners have no hesitation in recommending the services of Waller Realty.

Liz Bell

Meet Liz Bell

Sarah and I count ourselves extremely lucky to have had Liz Bell working for us on both sides of the real estate equation. She not only sold our house within three weeks, but in the same period introduced us to our new home and made both transactions seamless. She’s more than just a little bit fabulous.

Liz BellLiz Bell has lived and worked in the Central Victorian Goldfields for many years, having previous experience in media sales and retail management.

Liz’s detailed approach to servicing client’s needs ensures that the process of buying and selling is as streamlined and stress free as possible.  Having renovated a number of properties, Liz brings a unique perspective to the marketing process of real estate with an interior design qualification aiding vendors to present and promote their property at its best.

A firm believer in an open and transparent sales environment, Liz understands that good communication is key to clients achieving their real estate goals.

Small Space Solutions

You don’t have to renovate your home or add on rooms to make it bigger. Instead, there are plenty of ways to make small areas seem larger than they really are. This will come in handy when you’re ready to sell your home and want to impress buyers.

Here are some ideas for opening up small areas in a home:

  • Hang mirrors. Having mirrors on opposite walls makes rooms appear more spacious. It’s also a good way to reflect more light into the room to make it brighter, which can also make it seem larger.
  • Paint. Painting the walls can make a room look more open when you stick to cool tones or white. Another paint tip is to have the crown molding painted the same color as the ceiling to make the room seem wider.
  • Put in bay windows. Having bay windows installed provides a room with a little more space and a lot more natural light. The added square footage and sunlight will give it a roomier feel.
  • Choose furniture wisely. Keep furniture in smaller rooms simple, so it won’t take up valuable space. Look for taller pieces when buying dressers, entertainment centers or shelving units. These can make your ceiling appear higher, which makes the room itself look larger.
  • Go with streamlined cabinets. Kitchen cabinets with simple lines make rooms look less cluttered than ones with ornate designs. You can make a kitchen look even larger by putting in stainless steel appliances, which provide reflective surfaces.

Opening up small areas in a home doesn’t require a big budget or tons of time. With these ideas, you can easily give your home a more spacious look.

Invaluable Local Knowledge


Given that this beautiful property in Elphinstone had been on the market for six months with an out of town agent it is not surprising that the owners were delighted when Rob Waller successfully sold it within just six week.

According to the vendor Rob Waller’s work stood out for a number of reasons.  During the appraisal process Rob invested the time to identify aspects of the previous marketing process that had fallen short and made expansive notes. He was frank and honest and had a realistic sense of the market price. Instead of putting forward a price range he determined what proved to be an accurate fixed price.

The vendor was also impressed with the depth of Rob’s experience, his knowledge of the area, the breadth of stock he works with and the potential buyers he is able to access. The vendor had chosen an out of town agent because of previous dealings but came to understand just how valuable such local knowledge and experience is.

Rob WallerPerhaps most importantly it was Rob’s professionalism that stood out. He was thorough, gave excellent advice and made himself available at all times. He was responsive and present throughout the process and was genuinely supportive.

Given that selling one’s home is high up on the list of major stressors it is heartening to know that it can be a very positive experience and that clients are prepared to publicly say how satisfied they have been.

Some Landscaping Suggestions

Gearing up for a big move and looking to make your home buyer-friendly? Remember: how you present the outside of your home is just as important as the inside. Your landscaping gives off the first impression! Below are some quick tips to help increase your home’s curb appeal.

  • Put down a fresh layer of mulch: Mulch can easily fade or become dirtied after a long outdoor season. In order to make your flowers and other greenery pop, a new layer of mulch can increase contrast and make everything look tidy.
  • Trim overgrown trees and shrubs: Nothing screams unkempt like overgrown trees, shrubs or bushes. Taking the few extra minutes to trim down the overgrowth and shape the bushes, will make your outdoor area look exponentially cleaner!
  • Power-wash grimy surfaces: Things like brick walkways, wooden fences and water-fixtures are bound to fall victim to the elements over time. To avoid an aged appearance, take a power washer to these surfaces to kick off the stubborn dirt.
  • Brighten it up: If you’re feeling like your landscaping is looking drab, brighten it up with some vibrant flowers. There’s nothing like a pop of colour to draw attention toward your home!

She Sheds as compared to Man Caves

She Shed 2

A popular trend is she-sheds. Let’s take a look at the unique features of these petite structures and how you can play them up when marketing your next property.

  • New Kind of Office: She-sheds can serve as a great office space for women who work from home, but also for those who are looking to keep their bills and important documents in an organized, safe place away from everyday household clutter.
  • Creative Corner: From painting to sewing to music and more, she-sheds can help to bring out the creativity in every woman thanks to their peaceful and secluded atmosphere. If gardening is more your thing, she-sheds can also be used to store your tools, grow your plants and improve your green-thumb – a mini greenhouse never looked so good!
  • Gal Time: With she-sheds, you’re able to get away, without going away – meaning they’re the perfect spot for the girls to gather while the kids have a play date. She-sheds can also be used to host book club, movie nights, or even Tupperware/gifting parties.
  • Romantic Night…In?: While she-sheds are created with the woman in mind, these quaint little spaces are actually a perfect spot for a romantic date night. Skip the expensive dinner in town, cancel the babysitter, whip up something in the kitchen and head out back with your significant other – the evening will feel just as magical, especially knowing that you’re saving money and that you could just walk up the stairs and crawl into bed after a few glasses of bubbly!

By playing up these features, you’ll paint a picture of a stress-free, serene space that every woman desires and deserves to have in their home – something potential buyers, male or female, will never forget.

Managing Finances

No matter what we do to prevent it, the dollars start flying out the door the second the temperature starts to rise. It might be very cold now but plan ahead and budget for all of known expenses, the extra expenditures still add up — and hurt.  Spring will come!

A coming cost can be the spring clean-up — mulch, new plants and flowers, and vegetable garden start-up. And then there is the rest? It’s all social — neighbors inviting us over for cookouts, dinners out and card parties. Warm weather stuff.

Nice thought as we all shiver and huddle by the fire.

Entertaining as the weather picks up, and even now while it is so cold can be enjoyable. It is fun to have people over for dinner and no one wants to say “no” to social gatherings or dinner nights when you feel lucky to get an invite in the first place.

Still, most of us need boundaries if we truly want to live within our means and stick to our savings goals. And most of us have at least one set of expensive friends — or sets of friends — to deal with.

And, that’s fine. Obviously, other people are entitled to spend their money how they want — even if it is on events or purchases others might see as frivolous. Paying $100 for dinner is enough to make some people puke, but not everyone feels that way.

How to deal with expensive friends


Here are a few ways we cope with expensive friends while still maintaining friendships:

Offer to whip up a fancy dinner at home.
We celebrated a special occasion with friends the other night, but instead of going out, we made an epic dinner at home. I’m talking crab legs, avocado egg rolls, spicy cauliflower, and all the extras — and all for less than $30 in ingredients.

That’s a lot for one dinner, sure, but the same meal could have easily cost $200 or more in a nice sit-down restaurant. Splurging is okay sometimes, but it costs a lot less to splurge at home.

Plan a pitch-in.
As long as someone is willing to host, a pitch-in is the perfect way to hang out and enjoy a meal with friends. Not only can it lead to huge savings, but you can also take your time instead of rushing out of the restaurant once you are done. And since we bring our kids with us to cookouts and pitch-ins, it also helps us avoid hiring a babysitter.

Suggest activities first.
This is my favorite trick when it comes to dealing with expensive friends. Any time we have tentative plans with someone, I’ll suggest an activity first. My go-to suggestion is something cheap like a pitch-in or cookout and, of course, I offer to host. Most of the time, it works.

Pick a weekend night to stay home.
Sometimes the easiest way to save money is just to stay at home. Easier said than done when the weather is beautiful, but it is a good strategy nonetheless. I actually find it rather exhausting to have plans every weekend, so we have been trying to stay home at least one weekend night — usually Fridays. Not only is it nice to save money, but it is also nice to have a family night with the kids.

Say “no” when you really don’t want to do something.
There will probably come a time when someone invites you to something you really don’t want to do. It could be a sporting event, an expensive dinner out, or something else. It doesn’t matter. Occasionally, you just have to stick to your guns and say “no.” We have done it before, and it hurts — but it was definitely the right thing. Our noes usually involve invites to expensive restaurant dinners that are late at night. I hate eating at 8:00 p.m. and can’t fathom the idea of overpaying for a meal I wouldn’t enjoy. So when a situation like that arises, I just have to say “no.”

Tell other people about your financial situation.
You don’t have to spill all of the gritty details. However, if you are truly trying to save money, it can help to let your family and friends know. So tell them. Explain your budget situation and tell them about your dreams and goals. They may not share your enthusiasm for frugal living; but if they are real friends, they will understand.

Dealing with expensive friends without losing friendships

For the most part, I tend to believe that it is all about striking a balance. You know you don’t want to be that family — the one that never has the money to do anything fun. But you also don’t want to go off the deep end and spend in a way that undermines your short-term and long-term goals.

For us, it is all about being selective and having fun in the most frugal way possible. It’s not always the easiest choice, but I know it’s the best one. Life isn’t all about having fun today; it’s about saving for tomorrow too. And sometimes, you have to bow out and make the right decision for your family.

How do you deal with expensive friends? What strategies do you use to try to keep the cost of social events down?

Waller Realty is committed to helping our readers save and achieve their financial goals. Savings interest rates may be low, but that is all the more reason to shop for the best rate.

Source: Get Rich Slowly

To Do List for New House Owners

I have always lived my life by making lists. These vary from lists of people to call, lists of ideas, lists of companies to set up, lists of people who can make things happen. I also have lists of topics to blog about, lists of tweets to send, and lists of upcoming plans.
Richard Branson


New homeowners: is your to-do list starting to pile up? Before Spring arrives tick some of tasks off your check list.

  • Streamline your list. If you have multiple lists going, or post-its stuck all around the house, take a few minutes to combine and streamline. Depending on what you have to get done, break your list down by room, or by project category (i.e. painting, decorating, cleaning). Taking the time to get organized will save time in the long run.
  • Use mobile list apps. There are several apps available that allow you not only to make a categorized list on your phone, but also to sync it to your other devices and share it! Create one, shareable list among your roommates or family with all to-do list items and projects. That way, when one person gets a needed supply or finishes a project, everyone’s on the same page. Try do, Awesome Note, Evernote orAnyList to start.
  • Prioritise. Do all of your projects really need to be done right away? Probably not. Think about the cause and effect between various projects – will not completing one create a domino effect? You’ll also start to come across projects that will become regularly occurring ones, and that’s a good thing! Consider thishome maintenance checklist when doing so, which will help you prioritise what’s most timely.


Amazing Ideas for your Castle


We’ve all got some sort of idea of how our dream home might look. Some of us have just got to have a pool, while others want clever modern design, sustainability, or integration with natural elements. No matter what it is that makes your dream home unique, here are a few examples of homes where people have been able to realize some of their greatest home design fantasies.

These ingenious home improvements run from pools and aquariums to cleverly-hidden storage spaces, multi-purpose furniture and… cat transit walkways. Maybe you’ll recognize something that you’ve always wanted to see, or maybe the pictures will get your juices flowing and inspire you to come up with or even build something new.

Warning – viewing some of these images may make you feel dissatisfied with your current home!

De Stress at Home

De Stress at Home

Most of us deal with some form of stress on a regular basis, whether from workplace pressure, the weight of exams, family dynamics, or a myriad of other reasons, and, let’s face it, we’d all like to keep it at bay.

Staff at the Mayo Clinic recommend starting with a meditation session as a way to keep yourself more calm throughout the day, while researchers from Harvard suggest meditation is particularly useful for treating conditions such as anxiety, pain and depression.

Fortunately, you don’t have to climb to the top of a mountain with your guru to achieve this. Like many goals we set, simply having a dedicated space for it helps us stop making excuses and start creating a healthier habit. Read More