When it comes to home reno know-how, you can’t go past the Selling Houses Australia team! Here they lend us their top tips from the latest season.
Want to know what’s going to be on trend when it comes to renovating, landscaping and selling in 2015? We’ve asked the experts Charlie, Shaynna and Andrew for their must-know tips from the new season of Selling Houses Australia to help you save time, money and your sanity!
SHAYNNA’S TOP INTERIOR DECORATING TIPS
1. Think about flexible lighting in your dining room.
For intimate occasions, keep the lights low with dimmers or brighten them for something more casual. If your dining table is rectangular, use a row of pendant lights or track lighting. For round tables, use a group of pendants or even a chandelier.
READ MORE: Choose the right lighting
2. Minimise your clutter.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking open shelves are the answer. They’re great for displaying well placed key items. But if your open shelves are crammed to the gills, they tend to come towards you and make the room feel smaller. The best answer is to put your clutter behind doors.
READ MORE: Small house storage solutions
3. Maximise your space
Using the maximum height of your room is a great space saving trick.
Floor to ceiling cupboards utilizes all the available space and act as a stylish feature as well. Your bed can also have a double function. There are some great options on the market that lift up for storage or have built in drawers. This reduces clutter in the bedroom and creates more room.
4. Floorboards too damaged to polish?
I have a great alternative - and that’s to paint them. Painting floorboards is an effective low cost solution and can create a real statement in any room. Its important to use a specialised floor paint – there are a number on the market
5. Update your Laundry
Quite often the laundry is a pretty small room – so it will pay to really think about the floor plan and where things will go. If you don’t it could end up with a jumbled mess. Putting appliances under a bench is a smart move in a tiny room, and it can double up as a workspace for folding.
6. Fuss free window blinds are great for small houses.
When they roll up, they’re sleek and streamlined.
7. Update your Wall Tiles
If your wall tiles are ghastly, but in good condition, it’s a much quicker and cheaper job to simply lay new tiles over them. This saves you the costly trouble of tearing out the offending décor and waterproofing.
ANDREW’S TOP BUYING AND SELLING TIPS
1. You wouldn’t buy a house without seeing it or doing your research – the same applies for selling.
Make sure your agreement with your real estate agent contains an estimate of total fees, charges and expenses. Understand their fee structure and pin them down to a sales figure they expect to achieve. If the offers are falling short of the mark and the agent is encouraging you to take lower offers this could be time to re-negotiate the fee. There commission is a big chunk of money and if you are getting less than you expected so should they!
READ MORE: Choose the Right Real Estate Agent
2. Make sure the rental value of any home you buy will cover the mortgage and leave a little left over for maintenance.
If prices in your area are low it means you aren’t forced into a sale - you can walk away and rent somewhere else until things pick up. It may be 5 years or so - but rarely longer than that.
READ MORE: How to Successfully Climb the Property Ladder
3. Make sure your house reflects the right demographic of buyers in the area.
Think about kind of buyer you are expecting to attract when it comes time to sell
It’s no good aiming at the family buyer if your property has dangerous steps in the garden.
4. It’s vital you do your research before buying Heritage.
Heritage listing can affect an individual building or whole suburbs. This can be a big turn off for certain buyers – especially those looking to develop. The same planning controls that maintain the beautiful façades also restrict development potential.
5. If you’re living in a large family home but the kids have flown the nest then you may want to consider downsizing.
If you are going to downsize, my recommendation is: do it in an area you are comfortable with. If you are considering a totally new location then rent there for a while first.
6. Land prices on islands can be cheap, but think hard before you part with your money.
The cost of building in these areas can be almost double the square meter expense of an urban location. If you’re dead set on island life, modernising an existing property may be cheaper.
CHARLIE’S TOP LANDSCAPING TIPS
1. Use vertical gardens to maximise space or spruce up a bland wall or fence.
One of the key things with a vertical wall is to get the plant selection right. And it will all depend on where you’re putting it. If it’s in full sun go for succulent plants that need less water. The little pots can dry out quickly though, so you need drought hardy plant like agave. Or, if there is less sun, you can still create a tropical style green wall like I have here. The peace lily is good for this. It has big leaves which that can handle less light.
READ MORE: How to Build a Vertical Garden
2. How To Lay Paving.
If you’re laying paving next to a property make sure it slopes away from the exterior wall.
You can take extra precautions against rainwater flooding back into your house by installing a drip drain.
3. Build a retaining wall.
Building a wall may seem like an afternoons work but it’s vital to get it right and it’s a good idea to bring in a professional. Depending on the size of the wall you may even need to consult a structural engineer. The key to the success of a retaining wall is drainage. Remember, any retaining wall over 600mm high is going to need council approval.
4. Badly maintained, or incorrectly installed gutters, can cause no end of damage to your house – so don’t leave it until the next downpour to think about them. Giving your gutters the once over a couple of times a year may seem like a chore, but a little bit of love now cold save you a lot of heart ache in the future.
5. Parking on a grassed area can crush the living plants very quickly. But there’s a great product out there called – ‘sure pave.’ It’s a plastic reinforcing grid that goes under the grass and protects the roots. This helps and damaged grass on the surface regenerate.
6. A really useful garden product to hide ugly fences is bamboo screening. It looks great, and couldn’t be any easier to use. Simply buy it by the pack, roll it out, and secure it to the fence with galvanised nails. No special tools required, and it adds instant impact.