Understanding and generous

Selling the family home of 25 years can be an emotional time. The owners of 5 Forest Street in Castlemaine turned to Waller Realty agent Liz Bell after an unsuccessful campaign with another agency.

Disheartened by the process but determined to sell, they knew they needed to find the right agent for their home.

They felt an instant connection to Liz and fellow agent Tom Robertson who arrived with new ideas for marketing and presentation and an overall sense of positivity around their ability to sell the property.

They found Liz to be understanding and extremely generous with her time. Always available, Liz encouraged them to contact her whenever they had questions or concerns and was able to provide support through some more tricky negotiations.

The vendors couldn’t be happier with the recent sale of their home and are now enjoying a peaceful time, relaxing and watching the wildlife at their new property.

If you would like to speak with Liz about your property contact our Castlemaine office on 03 5470 5811, call Liz on 0417 311 733, or email her at liz@wallerrealty.com.au

From 70s relic to contemporary stunner

Injecting older homes with a whole lot of style Part 2

Do you dream of turning a rambling farmhouse into the quintessential country retreat or dragging a creaking Victorian into the present day with a sleek, modern makeover?

When we think of renovating it’s often these homes that come to mind. Highly sought after (with a price tag to match), with ageing wiring, stumps and dated layouts, costs for these fixer-uppers can skyrocket before anyone’s even started swinging a hammer.

So what about tackling a home from a less popular era like the 70s, 80s or 90s? Could there be one tucked just around the corner from that dreamy California Bungalow crying out to be updated?

While they might not have the initial street appeal these homes can really shine with a little love and offer excellent value for money.

Ask the experts

In Part 1 of this story we heard from Wayne Zantuck of Wayne Zantuck Design and Landscape Construction. Now, Dugald Campbell from Edifice Construction and Adrian Kowal from Kowelec share their ideas.

We’re also lucky enough to be able to show you the transformation of a 1970s Castlemaine home purchased from Waller Realty in 2015. From 70s relic to sleek, contemporary home.

“I think the best place to start with homes of these eras is by opening up the floor plan,” says Dugald. “This will bring in more light and create living spaces more in line with current trends.”

“One of the great thing about these homes is that the trusses usually extend to the external walls so removing internal walls isn’t an issue, ” he adds.

Dugald also suggests using skylights and solar tubes to bring in more light and one of the simplest renovation options of all – paint!

For our 70s transformation everything from the walls and lintels to door jambs has been given a coat of bright white and the change is striking.

Princess st Dining

Electrics can be a significant cost when renovating. Adrian says cabling in these homes is generally in good condition and won’t require re-wiring.

“We tend to find most fittings are compliant and safe and if switchboards do need to be upgraded it’s a pretty easy job,” he says.

Both Adrian and Dugald recommend checking how much power is at the property as mains may need to be upgraded if renovations include adding swimming pools or large air conditioning units.

Bathrooms are often a sticking point in houses of this era. Dated and dingy, gutting them is often seen as the only option. But with some simple changes like new tiles and taps, a bit of re-grouting and paint they can be brought back to life.

See the transformation above. New vanity, taps and toilet and suddenly this dated relic is looking right on trend.

When it comes to bathrooms no one likes to share. Homes of this era are more likely to have an ensuite than your ageing Edwardian and, while it might not be the one of your dreams, Dugald says this can be a real advantage.

“Cosmetic changes like replacing old style shower bases and screens with modern walk-in showers and updating tired tiles and vanities can all be done for a lot less than the cost of adding a new bathroom,” he says. “When it comes to managing a budget this can be a real advantage.”

Next time, local interior decorator, Lynne Mewett from Creative Ambience shares some ideas for simple upgrades in the kitchen and living areas.

Renovation images by @lynchmobmedia

Private sale or auction: which is better in the country?

If you’re looking into property in our region, especially if you’re relocating from somewhere like Melbourne or another major city, you’ve no doubt noticed private sale is the norm. But have you ever wondered why?

In a fast moving market like Melbourne where properties sell quickly and demand is high an auction is ideal.

Vendors are banking on strong competition on auction day pushing the sale price up. Buyers are hoping they’ll snag themselves a bargain. There’s a sense of overall urgency because the campaign has a set end date (auction day) and everyone is compelled to make a decision on the day.

So basically, strong market, lots of competition, more auctions.

Regional areas where demand is not quite as high and properties tend to move more slowly are better suited to private sale and there are a number of reasons why.

“Auctions are competitive,” says Waller Realty Agent, Tom Robertson. “For a vendor this can mean the property sells for more than the expected value. This sounds great, but in a small community there’s a downside”.

“In the country, people don’t like to bid against their neighbour or their friends,” says Tom. “With a private sale, buyers are less likely to know who else is interested and specific details can be kept out of the public eye. This makes everyone more comfortable.”

Another reason auctions tend not to be so successful in regional areas has to do with the length of time properties are likely to sit on the market before they sell.

In an auction when the hammer goes down the deal is done. The sale is unconditional, there’s no cooling off period and the contract is signed on the day.

“This works in a market where a buyer can purchase a property and reasonably expect they could sell their own quickly, ideally within the standard 4 – 5 weeks of an auction campaign,” says Tom.

“If you know you’re going to be able to sell your own place quickly you’ll bid with confidence.”

In the country the average time on the market is longer, around 120 days, and offers are more likely to have conditions: extended settlement periods, subject to finance or the sale of the buyers own home, so unconditional sales are far less common. Generally, conditions are much better suited to private sale.

According to Tom one of the common misconceptions people have about auction vs private sale is that at auction you’re likely to pay over the top of the range and for private sale you’re likely to pay less.

“This is not necessarily the case,” he says. “A private sale is just as likely to go up if there are several interested parties.”

It’s quite normal for another buyer to come in during a private sale negotiation and push the price up, not unlike what happens on any given Saturday at an auction in any street in Melbourne.

“Ultimately, the onus is on the buyer to get the contact signed and back to the agent. The sale is only final when the vendor signs whether it’s an auction or a private sale,” says Tom.

Like to know more about buying or selling in our region? Speak to one of our agents or call the Waller Realty office in Castlemaine on 03 5470 5811 or Maldon on 03 5474 1055.

Cycle the Goldfields

Image: Tread Harcourt

If you really want to experience our region there’s no better way than on a bike.

Cyclist of all ages and abilities are spoilt for choice with sensational bush bike trails, touring options and kilometres of exhilarating, scenic road riding. And now, with a world class mountain bike park in Harcourt scheduled for completion towards the end of 2017, we’re about to take it up a notch.

Backed by the Victorian Government, the Harcourt mountain bike park will provide up to 34 kilometres of trails for all abilities with stunning views in a natural forest setting. Built to International Mountain Bicycling Association standards the park is expected to attract 100,000 visitors each year.

It’s an exciting development for our region: great for tourism, great for jobs and yet another fantastic way to fill in your spare time if you’re lucky enough to live here.

But our region has long been a popular destination for cyclists.

Image: Tread Harcourt

The iconic Goldfields Track which stretches from Ballarat to Bendigo winds its way through the district and we’re only a short drive from Bendigo’s trail network. In March this year the upgraded Maldon to Castlemaine Rail Trail was officially opened, a leisurely, scenic 18 km trail running between the two towns alongside the heritage Victorian Goldfields Railway. You can even pit your speed and skills against the train at the annual Race the Train event each November.

We’re renowned for our single track riding, with loads of great, well promoted trails to find yourself, or you can talk to a local and get them to send you in the right direction.

One local who’s always happy to talk about cycling is Peter Grant, owner of The Bike Vault in Castlemaine. Peter grew up in the area and he and his brother and business partner Gary Grant will celebrate 10 years in business this year.

“I think what cyclists love is that we’re close to Melbourne so the cycling is accessible but because we’re out of the city it’s safer,” says Peter.

“The road riding is excellent. The roads are quiet and there’s anything from undulating loops around Castlemaine to longer rides out to Maldon, around Baringhup, to Harcourt via the reservoir at Golden Point. There are so many options.”

“The Maldon Rail Trail is a fairly easy ride so it’s good for all abilities and if you pick a day when the train is running you can ride one way and get a ride back on the train, which is great for families” he says.

“If you’re trying the Goldfields Track, I think the best part is between Mount Franklin and Vaughan Springs, it’s a really great flowing area that’s easily accessible.”

The Bike Vault has bikes available for hire and they’re offering readers of the Waller Realty blog a unique deal. Come to The Bike Vault and mention this article for 50% off the cost of hire. What a great way to experience the region!

If you’re coming to the area we even have our own bike friendly accommodation. Tread Harcourt offers unique cycling-centric accommodation close to everything. They can sort you out with maps of the local trails, take you on a tour, organise a shuttle and help you really make the most of your stay.

You could also check out: Castlemaine Cycling Club Castlemaine Rocky Riders

Don’t write off the 80s 90s house

Injecting older homes with a whole lot of style

Mass plantings of natives and exotics create more street appeal and soften the look of this home. Image: Wayne Zantuck Design & Landscape Construction

They were the decades that brought us Madonna, the rubik’s cube, hyper colour t-shirts, He-man and the Masters of the Universe, mobile phones the size of house bricks, frozen yoghurt and acid wash denim.

The 80s and 90s also brought us a style of home many think will be too difficult to modernise. Generally built of brick veneer, this was the era of colonial or faux period styling, often with dark interiors, lower ceilings and exposed beams.

But don’t be put off. With some relatively simple upgrades these properties can really shine, not to mention offer excellent value for money.

What’s great about them?

Concrete slabs

No re-stumping worries or costs.

Storage

These homes have it in abundance. Think built-in and walk-in wardrobes, double garages, pantries, hall cupboards and living room units.

Space

The trend towards open plan living was really taking shape so they often have great flow and large spaces (surely no child of the 80s could forget the rumpus room?). You’re also likely to find at least three if not four bedrooms.

Low maintenance

Unlike weatherboard, bricks require almost no maintenance. Unless you want to change the colour they’ll look great while you do nothing, forever.

Ask an expert

We asked three experts for their top tips to lift a classic brick veneer. First up, Landscaper, Wayne Zantuck from Wayne Zantuck Design and Landscape Construction.

“Front garden design in this era relied heavily on feature ornamental trees, often either side of a central path to the front door, with boundary hedges and lots of lawn,” says Wayne.

He suggests moving away from the rigid lines and symmetrical design, softening the lines with some organic curves and using ground covers that assist with passive cooling, preferably low evergreens. He also favours using a more simplified planting schedule, which can create street appeal at the same time as being functional.

“These days we’re more water and climate conscious – gardens need to be bullet proof!” he says.

“We’re replacing lawns with larger garden beds and mass plantings of what we call ‘set and forget plants. Usually a combination of natives and exotics, like grasses that don’t need to be pruned, plants like rosemary or euphorbia that are self doming and ornamental grape vines that grow quickly and are super hardy.”

Wayne also installs ‘living screens’, vertical walls of greenery that are often as simple as two posts strung together with open mesh, wire or other material for plants to be trained through. It’s a quick, low cost solution that delivers both a lush backdrop and more of that all important passive cooling.

Living screens add lush colour and help cool the property. Image: Wayne Zantuck Design & Landscape Construction

Here in Castlemaine Wayne likes to add sculptural elements made from materials with a link to our history.

“We often use steel, stone and red brick in our gardens,” he says. “It’s a great way to tie a dated house to the area.”

Steel and stone features help tie this property to the area. Image: Wayne Zantuck Design & Landscape Construction

Next time, a local builder and interior decorator share their ideas.

Nurturing our newest mums

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, a perfect time to celebrate a place that nurtures new mums in our region, Castlemaine Health.

Castlemaine Heath has a long history of providing birthing services to the women and families of our community. Offering a safe, homelike environment with three modern birthing rooms, a team of experienced and dedicated midwives and the support of a network of local GP Obstetricians.

The Family Birthing Suite suits women with a low risk of pregnancy and birth complications.

“We offer a comfortable, safe, friendly space to birth in a natural way,” says Cate Wotley, Maternity Enhancement Coordinator at Castlemaine Health. “We have double beds and en suites so partners can stay and women can bring in any support people or props they want.”

“Our approach is woman-centred. It’s all about enabling them to birth naturally, instinctively and actively in a safe space with good support,” adds Cate.

The team of midwives at Castlemaine Health work closely with a group of GP Obstetricians based in Castlemaine. Women see their GP throughout their pregnancy, coming in to the hospital several times to attend ante natal classes and have routine scans and tests. A woman’s GP is present at every birth.

“Research has shown that having a known carer throughout pregnancy, labour and birth is really important,” says Cate. “For women in our community that’s their GP Obstetrician.”

Once baby is born women tend to stay on in hospital for two to three days. If they want to go home early, midwives will arrange for additional home visits so everyone gets the support they need.

New mothers are linked in with the local Maternal and Child Health service when they come home from hospital and, if they need it, support from services like the Australian Breastfeeding Association, counselling and mother and baby services. They’re also linked in with the many local parenting and play groups.

“We have an excellent network of support services for new mums and young families in the community, says Cate. “And because we’re small we all know each other really well.”

If you’re planning for a baby or already expecting and would like to know more about the Family Birthing Suite at Castlemaine Health call the Maternity Enhancement Coordinator on 5471 1471.

Waller Realty is proud to have supported the Family Birthing Suite at Castlemaine Health for more than 20 years. We’d like to wish all the mums in our community, especially our new mums, a very happy Mother’s Day.

 

 

Maldon riders raise over $11,000 for hospital

The Maldon team, hospital staff and sponsors including Waller Realty Directors, Rob and Narelle Waller. Photo: Tarrangower Times

A group of Maldon locals participated in last month’s Murray to Moyne bike ride raising more than $11,000 for the Maldon Hospital.

The Murray to Moyne, a team relay ride now in its 31st year, aims to raise much-needed funds for health care. Teams nominate the hospital or health service they will be raising funds for when they register.

This was the first year a team from Maldon has participated.

“We are extremely grateful to the group for supporting the hospital in this way,” says Katrina Sparrow, Director of Nursing at Maldon Hospital. “We’re also thankful for the sponsors, who helped get the team on the road.”

Funds raised will be used to purchase a new CPR dummy and syringe driver for the hospital. Both pieces of equipment will be used within the hospital and out in the community.

“The syringe driver will be used by our palliative care team in the hospital and by our District Nurses who visit people in their homes,” says Katrina.

“We’re in the process of partnering with trainers who will work with community groups interested in teaching CPR to their members. These groups will be able to use the new CPR dummy.”

The hospital held a thank you evening at the end of April for the riders, sponsors and supporters. Waller Realty Directors, Rob and Narelle Waller, were pleased to be able to attend.

“We’re proud to have been one of the sponsors of the Maldon Murray to Moyne team and to see the money they’ve raised go towards purchasing vital equipment for Maldon Hospital,” says Rob Waller. “Congratulations to the riders on a marvellous achievement.”

 

 

This entry was posted on May 4, 2017, in Maldon.

Bought and sold in less than three weeks

The owners of this contemporary property in Penhallurick Street, Campbells Creek always planned to downsize and move closer to the centre of Castlemaine. What they weren’t expecting was for that to happen in less than three weeks!

When a property in Templeton Street, Castlemaine came on the market through Waller Realty they knew it ticked all the boxes, but with their home not even listed they weren’t in any position to buy.

Tom Robertson from Waller Realty encouraged them to put the house in Campbells Creek on the market immediately. Having just sold a similar property he had a list of prospective buyers looking for this style of home so he felt sure interest would be high.

He was right. After just one open for inspection they had an offer well above their expectations. They were also the successful purchasers of the property in Templeton Street. A wonderful result for everyone involved!

If you would like to speak with Tom about your property contact our Castlemaine office on 03 5470 5811, call Tom on 0408 596 871, or email him at tom@wallerrealty.com.au

 

Part of the process

The owner of this property in Hagues Road, Barkers Creek had a very clear sense of what she wanted to achieve from her sale.

Having already found another property to buy, a quick sale was the priority and she was happy to set a reasonable price in order to achieve this. She also knew she didn’t want to invest any extra time or money on improvements.

Having worked with Nick Haslam on a previous land sale and been impressed by his approach, he was the obvious choice.

Nick’s ability to make her feel included impressed her immensely. She felt listened to and treated as an individual. Nick had the confidence and skill to be able to work with her and develop a tailored campaign to suit her needs and circumstances.

With other agents she says felt she was being directed and was losing control of the sale of her own home. She’d also been told the property could take years to sell, because it was on land and in a higher price bracket.

Nick sold the house in just seven weeks.

In this vendor’s opinion, that’s because everything was done exactly right, from the marketing campaign to follow-ups after Open for Inspections, and even the communication with support staff. Everything was exceptional.

If you would like to speak with Nick about your property contact our Castlemaine office on 03 5470 5811, call Nick on 0418 322 789, or email him at nick@wallerrealty.com.au

 

Sold in just three days

For the owners of this property at 10 Maclise Street in Castlemaine the decision to sell was a quick one. Keen to get the best possible price for their family home of 12 years they contacted Tom Robertson from Waller Realty.

Tom was able to visit and appraise the property immediately and within days had presented them with a price they felt reflected current market value and a marketing strategy that showed how well he understood who to target and how to attract motivated buyers. He also offered advice on some quick cosmetic changes that would add to the appeal of the home.

Interest in the property from several parties was immediate and the home sold after only three days for over the listed the price.

The owners were thrilled with this result – if a bit shocked by how quickly it all happened! They were full of praise for how Tom handled the whole process.

If you would like to speak with Tom about your property contact our Castlemaine office on 03 5470 5811, call Tom on 0408 596 871, or email him at tom@wallerrealty.com.au

Pristine Californian Bungalow

Cowling is a classic Californian bungalow in Castlemaine Victoria, which was originally built in the early part of the twentieth century and historically owned by the Cowling family. In 2005 it was lovingly renovated with an emphasis on updating the space for modern family life without losing the original character and period features of this charming home.

The house presents a huge flexibility in how the owner uses the space. The front portion of the home consists of a hardwood floor veranda, grand entrance hallway, large master bedroom, two extra bedrooms, bathroom, a formal sitting room and formal dining room which are connected by original wood folding doors and feature original fireplaces. The current owners have used the formal sitting/dining rooms as workspace, but they could very easily be used as bedrooms, reception rooms or a combination of both. Through the second hallway the modern north-facing addition adds a large open plan space with a lovely sun filled kitchen, dining room and living area with French doors out onto the patio and garden. A family bathroom and laundry with ample storage and pantry space lead out through the side door to the carport. New air-conditioning and heating units have been installed throughout the home, 11ft high ceilings, carefully chosen wall colours and beautiful timber floors add to the feeling of space and warmth.

Goodman House Historic Precinct Daylesford

Set at the foot of the Daylesford Botanic Gardens, with premium views across a town loved for its distinct European flavour, Goodman House offers its inhabitants stylish, private living.

Goodman House, named after Archie Goodman, the town Mayor who lived and entertained Melbourne luminaries here during the 1950’s, was built in nearby Hepburn Springs in 1890 and moved to Daylesford, in one piece in 1910. It had barely been touched before the current owner undertook to breathe new life into the old home. A 70 year old Japanese maple in the back yard inspired the addition of the spectacular steel-framed conservatory with a splendid finial left over from the restoration of the 1880 Royal Exhibition Building.  A striking feature of the conservatory is the Turkish tiled wall, paying homage to the interior design of Ottoman imperial harems of the 16th and 17th centuries.

Goodman house is positioned in Camp Street, within walking distance of the shopping centre, fine dining establishments such as Mercato and Kazuki, the old Convent, Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens and the Hospital. Yet once you are inside the house it is like being enfolded in a cocoon. The outside world becomes oblivious. The choice is yours! You can choose to engage or close the front door and live in complete privacy.

Historic Taradale Home

Long did I build you, oh house!
With each memory I carried stones
From the bank to your topmost wall
And I saw your roof mellowed by time

Taradale is a small town in Victoria, Australia. It is located on the Calder Highway between Melbourne and Bendigo. Its local government area is the Shire of Mount Alexander. At the 2011 census, Taradale had a population of 464. This historic home at 26 Faraday Street Taradale sits on pristine acreage overlooking the hamlet.

Rose Villa (Click this link to view web feature) was named by Florence Hookey, who, newly wedded to Frederick Hookey bought the home in 1902. The home was originally owned and built by William Graham in the 1860’s. Graham was the last Mayor of the Borough of Taradale in 1870 and sat on the bench of the court. He established a butchers business in Taradale.

Legend has it that Frederick Hookey’s father John swapped a block of land next to St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne for a bullock team and headed to the gold fields. He never got much further than Malmsbury before realising that there was more money to be made supplying the miners with food.

Three generations of the Hookey family have resided in this home since then so it is no exaggeration to say that this is a rare opportunity to secure this beautiful historic property.

Little Houses built by a big-hearted community

Little Houses, Berkeley Street Kindergarten, Castlemaine. Photo: Christine Sayer.

A unique interactive installation exploring how homes and people make a community brings the early learning sector to the Castlemaine State Festival for the first time.

The Little House Project is the initiative of accomplished central Victorian artist and specialist in early learning arts teaching, Ann Ferguson.

In early 2017 Ann and Kaori Fujimoto ran workshops with 180 pre-school children in the Mount Alexander Shire. Using the Victorian Early Years Learning Framework themes of Being, Belonging and Becoming, the children explored their connection with family and home by creating their own little clay houses.

Cutting, stamping and painting their tiny clay creations, the children also played with pre-made ceramic houses and soft clay, creating their own streetscapes and towns and sharing stories about home, environment and community.

Now glazed and fired, the little houses will become an interactive installation at the Castlemaine Art Museum for the duration of the Festival; a place where children and adults can play and build their own tiny towns.

This is the latest evolution of the Little House Project, something Ann has been working on in one form or another since her time as a specialist teacher at the University of Melbourne in 2004.

Artist Ann Ferguson and pre-schooler work on the Little Houses, Berkeley Street Kindergarten, Castlemaine. Photo: Christine Sayer.

“I’m delighted by how well everything has come together,” says Ann. “I’ve been extremely well supported by the community, from the pre-schools, kindergartens and childcare centres to LaTrobe University, the Festival team, my assistant Kaori and local craftsman Mark Anstey who built the table for the exhibition, everyone has been just fantastic.”

At the completion of the exhibition and the Festival, the little houses will return to the centres as resources for ongoing play and exploration of the theme.

“This ongoing work is just as important as the exhibition,” says Ann. “While the exhibition will be beautiful, by taking the houses back to play with in their own spaces the children will be able to continue to explore the ideas of being, belonging and becoming and what they really mean to them.”

The Little House Project

Castlemaine Art Museum

14 Lyttleton Street Castlemaine

18 – 26 March 10am – 5pm (closed Tuesdays)

Free

Waller Realty is pleased to be able to provide financial support to The Little House Project.

The Little House Project is part of the Festival’s ASCEND* education program. *ASCEND – Arts, Society, Community, Education, Nurture, Development.

Landmark Property in Burnett Road

At the door of the house who will come knocking?
An open door, we enter
A closed door, a den
The world pulse beats beyond my door
Pierre Albert Birot

Pine Hill Castlemaine

Probably named because of two Bunya Pines (Araucaria Bidwillii) and Hoop Pine (Araucaria Cunnighami), these with three Funeral Cypress and several Cabbage Tree Pine Hill is a gracious historic Castlemaine home. Built by Samuel Kelsall in 1862 Pine Hill lies on prize acreage at 9 Burnett Road, Castlemaine, just a hop, skip and a jump from Castlemaine’s Botanical Gardens.

Once you pass through the ornate gates, decorated with peacocks, walk slowly up the winding drive that leads to the period homestead.

Stop to feel the energy of this space and reflect upon the stylistic elements of this home. It features typical gables, an asymmetrical plan and a verandah with open-work supports.

The current owners have a file filled with information about the property, the period when it was included in a Australian Garden History itinerary, and the Yandell family who lived here in the late 1800’s.

A.C. Yandell was a native of the town, the son of a pioneer resident and leading public man. He was a consulting herbalist in Mostyn Street, a consistent advocate of Castlemaine and giver to all progressive movements of Castlemaine.

This is a simply designed, stylish home. Each room has retained original features and with them comes a sense of a bygone time. Make sure to check out the recent owners library, find out which were their summer and winter bedrooms and stop to enjoy the delightful ‘garden room’, the perfect place to have tea and read the paper.

Above all take the time to stroll and discover the not so hidden treasures amongst the magnificent, historic outbuildings.