Tiny House Movement

Tiny House Movement

If you want to learn more click this very colourful Tiny House to view the Tiny House, Australia, Facebook.

Come across one of the many photos of the “tiny houses” circulating on blogsand Pinterest, and your first reaction will probably be how cute they are — itty, bitty, bite-size domiciles straight out of a fairy tale. Your second reaction, depending on who you are, is either: How do people fit in there? Or simply, why?

Welcome to the world of tiny housers, people whose choice of living space more or less forces them to embrace the simple life. Many of them live off-the-grid and are of the DIY mentality; they’ve built a community through blogging about their space-maximizing decorating strategies, renting out their homes as novelty hotels (the 165-square foot house pictured above is available on Airbnb) and getting together at tiny house conferences, all while attempting to legitimize their housing choice in the eyes of building codes drawn too narrowly to include their alternative lifestyle.

Emotionally Detaching When Selling

Putting the home you’ve lived in for years on the market isn’t an easy thing to do. When you’ve built up strong emotional connections to your home, having to get ready to part with it can be challenging.

Unfortunately, severing those emotional ties when selling your home is necessary. Otherwise, you could end up making it harder to find a buyer. Here are a few effective ways to become less emotional and more practical about selling:

  • Expect stress. When you admit that putting your home on the market is going to be tough for you, it can actually help you handle it better. By acknowledging the stress involved, instead of trying to ignore it, you’ll be better prepared to move forward with selling your home.
  • Confide in others. Your real estate agent will understand the emotional hardships involved with selling your home, and talking about your feelings will help you determine if you’re really ready to sell. If you have to sell due to your job or some other reason, share your concerns with family members and friends. Having emotional support will make the selling process easier for you.
  • Make your home less personal. Removing personal items, which you’ll need to do if you’re staging your home, will help you think of your house as a product to sell instead of your personal home. Taking your real estate agent’s suggestions on changes to make, such as repainting the walls, can also help you sever emotional ties when selling your home.

When you get into the mindset that your home is a product, you’ll have an easier time selling it and you’ll be more likely to list it at a fair price instead of one that’s too high.

Ticks All The Boxes

Good quality real estate agents can be hard to find. As a house seller or buyer it can be stressful dealing with an agent who is not a great communicator. The real estate market is time sensitive, so you need an agent who will let you know quickly where you stand with your current buying or selling situation. It is not surprising, therefore, that when you find an agent who ticks the box on the qualities an effective agent has you will turn to them time and again.

Speak to the vendors who sold this property in Adam Street Castlemaine and they will tell you that their agent, Liz Bell, is ‘worth her weight in house bricks of gold.’

Liz BellLiz has helped them buy and sell a number of properties and, according to them Liz reads her clients needs and has proved to be ‘more than a little bit fabulous’. Not only is she a good communicator but she is proactive, reads her clients and meets specific needs.

Unlike other agents they have used Liz did not waste their time showing them properties that did not meet their requirements, she listened to what they wanted, had their interest at heart, worked within their time frame and closed deals swiftly.

Moving With Pets

moving-dog1. Gather Vet Records

If you are moving a considerable distance away from your current home, it is important to ask your current veterinarian for records that will be requested by the new vet office. These can usually be easily printed out of faxed over to the new medical-care provider, but the source says to always keep the former vet’s contact information on file, just in case of an emergency

2. Update Tags With New Address

It is also crucial to update your pet’s tags with proper identification including up-to-date contact information and your new home’s address. This will be helpful if something were to happen during the moving process. Including a cell phone number is best, as your new home phone may not be set up yet.

3. Manage Their Stress Exposure

Studies show that pets can easily be stressed out during moves, so The Pet Realty Network suggests keeping them secluded from chaos that can ensue on moving day. This means keeping them in a separate and familiar room or even asking a friend or family member to watch over them while multiple people are in the house and items are being moved around. If you’re keeping your pet in the house while movers are present, make sure they are in a room that has already been cleared out and post a do-not-disturb sign to keep those helping out.

4. Remember Pet Meds and Pets First Aid Kit

When preparing a first aid kit be sure to  leave medications and food outside of moving boxes, as they could be needed in case of an emergency. If your pet is on medications, be sure to get them filled before relocating. When preparing your first aid kit, be sure to include bandages, towels and hydrogen peroxide.

5. When Traveling Protect Your Pets

If you are transporting your pet to your new home by car, be sure to keep them in a crate, as allowing them to roam freely around your vehicle can be dangerous and unsafe for both of you. Pets can be a major distraction when behind the wheel and giving them their own space can also keep them calm. When flying, be sure that you and your pet meet all necessary airline requirements and purchase a proper crate for their travels. The source notes you should also consult your veterinarian before making flying arrangements, as not all pets are fit to do so.

6. Ask Your Current Vet For a Referral

Pet owners should ask their former veterinary clinic for a referral for their new location, while talking to other pet owners in your new community can be helpful. Selecting a new vet is important, so be sure they are convenient and that facilities are kept up. Asking for a tour and meeting the doctors, technicians and assistants can help you make the best decision possible.

More tips for moving with Pets

Home Staging Tips

Home staging ideasThe art of staging a home for sale not only takes time and dedication, it also takes experience and creativity. While moving a couch and organising the family room are a good place to start, homeowners really need to put in a little extra effort if they want to see a great result – including a higher priced offer and a faster sale!

To help get your clients moving in the right direction, here are some tips from professional stagers that are sure to impress potential buyers from the moment they set their eyes on the listing:

  • Start on the outside: Make a great first impression by cleaning up your lawn and garden, adding in some potted plants around the front steps/doorway, polishing the numbers on the house and updating the lighting fixtures and doorknobs.
  • Contain the clutter: Having extra clutter lying around can take away from the spacious feel of a home. Before the open house, find a new place for your car keys, shoes, coats and any other random accessories found in your foyer, cabinets and on counters. Barb Schwartz of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals says you should consider putting at least a “quarter of your furniture in storage, a third of your books in boxes and at least half of your knickknacks away.”
  • Use decorations to highlight, not hide: Re-arrange your furniture to highlight the unique details of your home, including fireplaces, crown-molding and beadboards. However, be careful to not block the flow of traffic – this could make the home feel much smaller and more confined than it really is.
  • Out with the old, in with the new: Paint is a great way to quickly update the look and feel of a room, but there is only so much a new coat can do if your furnishings are outdated. If you can’t afford a whole new set, trade pieces with a friend or relative, or place your existing furniture in storage and rent a more contemporary style for the time being.
  • Create a blank slate: Buyers need to imagine themselves in your home, and they can’t do so if they are surrounded with the personal items of its current inhabitants. Observe the following the rule of a furniture showroom: anything you wouldn’t expect to see on display in a showroom (including art, personal photos, makeup, blow-dryers, toothbrushes, etc), box it up and put it away!
  • Do an open for inspection dress rehearsal: Ask a few of your friends to come over to do an open house “dress rehearsal.” Ask them to give their honest opinion about improvements that you could make.
  • Last but not least, CLEAN: Your final step before the open house is to clean from top to bottom – including the windows (inside and out), behind the toilets, the tiles in the bathroom and under all the sinks. If you don’t have time to regularly do this deep of a cleaning, bring in a professional to tackle it for you while your home is on the market.

Travel to Maldon Twilight Festival by Steam Train

Tickets for the 2016 Twilight Festival are sold out. This video from a few years ago provides a taste of what participants can look forward to.

For those who have already booked the twilight dinner why not travel from Castlemaine to Maldon and back in old fashioned comfort and elegance?

For just $30 each you can travel on the heritage train. The plan is to use a steam engine but if it’s a day of total fire ban the will run the train with heritage diesel.

 

Summer Sales

SummerThere are an number of things to think about before selling your home. This is a time of big change so you’ll want to make the best of the situation to ensure you get the best result possible. If you’re looking to sell over the warmer months there are a couple of things you can do to make your property appeal to a summer buyer.

Maximising outdoor space

It’s easy to let the summer sun get in the way of going some routine gardening but making sure that your outdoor area looks its best is a sure way to capture a buyer’s attention. Your buyers will be looking for a space where they can enjoy the sun so sprucing up the exterior of your home and keeping a high level of kerb appeal will massively improve your chances of securing a sale. Water the grass and garden so it looks lush come inspection time and clean up any outdoor entertaining areas. A lick of paint on fences or a new coat of oil on your deck will freshen up the outside’s appearance.

Keep it cool

Scheduling inspections at the beginning of the day can have two benefits. First, buyers are more likely to venture out house hunting earlier in the morning when they have plenty of time rather than late in the afternoon when the day’s coming to an end. Second, an early inspection will avoid the heat of the afternoon sun. There is nothing worse than a stuffy home so keeping doors and windows open for ventilation or switching the air con on low will make the inside a pleasant place to be on a warm day. Little details like a vase of flowers or a scented candle can also make the indoors a nice place to be.

Summer clean

Forget spring – summer is the perfect time to thoroughly clean your home. If your kids are off school for the holidays get them involved in the clean up. Not only does decluttering add a bit of polish, it can help put you in the right frame of mind for a move.

Our office is open on January 4th
Make an appointment for an appraisal.

Styling Your Home For Sale

Home StylingThe internet is the first stop for most people who are looking to buy a house, and research shows that most buyers decide whether or not they want to buy a house before they even set foot through the front door. Beautiful images are a must if you want your house to sell for top dollar, so it pays to know a thing or two about styling before the photographer arrives. Set the scene with these simple tips and give your home a chance to shine for the camera.

Pavement appeal: Make sure the front of your property looks appealing and inviting with a weed-free garden and some attractive pot plants.

Clean and bright: Before every viewing give your property a once-over, ensuring that windows are clean inside and out – it’s surprising how much difference it makes to the light.

Cut the clutter: You want the prospective buyer to be able to imagine their own belongings in the property, so de-clutter to keep things tidy. Less clutter will also help make rooms appear larger.

Set the scene: You may want to hire furniture to create the look you desire. This is a great way to transform your home and give it extra appeal.

Fix it: From leaking taps to a broken bulb, make sure the minor repairs are taken care of. A lick of paint will freshen scuffs and scrapes in the woodwork. Basic maintenance work will help to ensure buyers don’t find any faults.

Freshen up: Get rid of smoke or pet odours. Open the windows, brew some fresh coffee and brighten the place up with fresh flowers.

Lighten up: Increase the sense of space with mirrors and lights and leave all internal doors open.

Pets: Always clean and tidy up after your pets and take them out of the property during open times.

Warmth: Create warmth by preparing your home to suit the temperature of the day. If it’s cold, light fires, turn on patio heaters and heating. If it’s hot, turn on fans and cooling systems.

They Sell Houses

‘At the end of the day they are the crew who are selling houses in this area. Lots of people who have been with other agents end up jumping ship and turn to Wallers’
Terry

BarkersCreek16 months on, when this property in Barkers Creek was still on the market, the owners of this property might have made the shift to another agent. They didn’t do this because Tom Robertson had never led them to believe that it would be easy and because they felt that he was genuinely working hard for them and had the capacity to attract a lot of potential buyers.

Over the months the owners came to understand the realities of the real estate sale process. Not only did they come to understand that it was a ‘buyers market’ but they realised that a home on the hill doesn’t suit everyone and that it was often small detail about the house and property that stopped potential buyers from committing.

Despite having some moments during the process, Terry will tell you that he has absolutely no problem recommending Waller Realty and Tom Robertson in  particular. He would not deal with anyone else!

According to Terry, Tom well and truly earned his commission. Not only did he consistently attract potential buyers to well attended Open Days but he never ‘fed them any nonsense’ and he was always kept them ‘in the loop’. Perhaps most importantly Terry felt that it was Tom’s ‘tough’ negotiating skills which finally enabled them to seal the deal and secure the best the market would offer at the time.

Tom Robertson

Tom Robertson

The bottom line is that selling your home is a major life event. In this situation having an objective, honest agent who is genuinely on your side takes some of the stress out of the process.

Going on Vacation? Protect Your Castle!

Vacation Tips

Murphy’s Law for travelers: If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong while you’re on vacation — which is arguably the worst time a household calamity can strike. Coming home from your honeymoon, African safari or Mediterranean cruise can be gloomy. But returning from a memorable journey and learning something has gone seriously wrong at home can be downright devastating.

To make matters worse, a house left empty while its owners are traveling is a tempting target for criminals. We don’t want to scare you — or leave you fearing for your treasured belongings while basking on a at beach over summer. But it’s imperative that every traveler take certain key steps to keep his or her home safe and sound while seeing the world. Basic preventative measures (which take only minutes to complete) can work wonders to help you avoid power surges, broken pipes, home invasions and more.

1. Hold Your Mail

A huge pile of mail on the front doorstep, or envelopes pouring out your mail slot is an instant tip-off that no one’s home. If you’ll be gone for more than a few days, go to the post office to place a hold on your mail. Put a hold on your daily paper, too. If you don’t have the time or inclination, ask a trusted neighbor to collect the goods daily.

2. Create the Illusion of Someone Home

Beyond setting your lights on a timer, you can also set the television and radio on a timer to create the typical noise and flickering lights of an average family home at night. But wait, that’s not all! Leave a car in the driveway. Arrange for someone to mow at least once a week (an unruly lawn is as bad as a pile of mail). During the winter, arrange for snow removal in case of a storm (neighborhood kids are great for this, if you get their parents’ word that they’ll remember). If you normally leave toys outside, or keep a hose unrolled, or do anything that shows signs of a home being lived in, don’t tidy up too much before you leave.

3 Mum’s The Word

Never, ever announce your departure or vacation dates on social networks. Sharing settings are not foolproof and with new security updates it’s always hard to tell what’s public and what’s private. Stay on the safe side, and don’t mention your trip – until you’re back, with tales to tell and photos to upload!3. Mum’s the Word

4. Trust a Friend

Give your vacation contact info and a spare key to at least one friend or neighbor. That way, they’ll know how to contact you in case of emergency.

5. Unplug

Unplug all unnecessary appliances (except those on timers, of course) to protect your home from an electrical fire or power surge. This goes for the big stuff, like TVs, but also for your toaster, your coffee maker, and other small appliances.

6. Hide the Hide-a-Key

It’s impossible to forget your key if you’re not even home, so go ahead and take any hidden spare keys out of commission. Just don’t forget to re-hide them when you return!

7. Shhhhh…Stay Quiet

While using personal pages on the Internet may be a convenient way to keep in touch with friends, sharing your itinerary can cause problems while you are away from home. Show some caution when you talk about your trip. Your blog isn’t the best place to announce that you’ll be away from home for a month.

Being aware of who’s around when you discuss your trip in restaurants and even at work isn’t a bad idea either. Make sure that your children are discreet, too. No one is saying that you should be suspicious of everyone you meet, but even a chance remark has the potential to lead to unintended and unfortunate consequences. The less information you put out there, the less likely it is to reach the wrong ears and eyes.

8. Maintaining Appearances

If your house is obviously uninhabited, you may be at risk of becoming a target for a burglar. An occupied home looks lived in. Lights go on and off, and cars come and go. When you’re away, everything stops. To help create the illusion that the residence is still occupied, invest in timers that turn on the interior lights for a few hours every evening. If you can get a neighbor to take out your garbage and put the cans back after the garbage pickup, it’s another way to send the message that everything is proceeding normally at your house.

Paying someone to keep the yard mowed while you are away is a good idea if you will be gone for a significant amount of time in the spring or summer. Parking a car in your driveway also can make it appear as though someone is at home.

Perfectly Pitched

 

Brown Street Castlemaine

The owners of this property in Brown Street, who had not sold a property before, are very grateful that they chose to go with Waller Realty, a real estate agency which they perceive to have the capacity to provide comprehensive team support during the sale process.

From the outset they felt that the marketing was spot on and that the material was perfectly pitched. They were delighted that Tom Robertson not only understood their property but that he was able to tap into expansive networks and extend the marketing reach.

Tom Robertson

Tom Robertson

In this case the owners also felt that the extensive team support and back up at Wallers meant that Tom Robertson had the capacity to devote the time required to meet their individual needs. They felt that many real estate agents would not only have not been able to do this but would have taken the first offer. They were very  impressed that Tom followed up every lead, never missed any enquiries, had outstanding negotiating skills and achieved the best possible result for them.

Pinterest Can Work For You

Pinterest imagescan be a great source of inspiration when it comes time to sell your home.

We’ve all spent time on Pinterest looking at images of fabulous kitchens, perfectly decorated living spaces,luxurious bathrooms and manicured lawns. If you’re like me, you probably think all that time spent dreaming is just that – an escape to that polished home we’d love to have. Reality is usually messier (much messier if there are kids involved).

Once your home goes on the market, however, polished interiors and pristine exteriors become a must for attracting that perfect buyer. That’s the time to turn to Pinterest where you can find:

  • Home staging ideas
  • Inspiration for increasing curb appeal
  • Tips & tricks for cleaning those icky spaces that potential buyers are sure to look
  • Dos & don’ts for great photos. Your real estate agent will usually handle this for you, but this way you can ask the right questions and be sure it’s done well. And it will certainly help if you have a pop up web site feature of your home
  • Secrets for making your open house even more inviting

So, what are you waiting for? Get pinning!