Saturday, 27 November 2010

5 Top Tips for Home Inspections

from a non-real estate expert!

It's all about playing with the senses. You want to be invited into a home, and be tantalised not only by what you see, but what you can smell, hear, touch and possibly taste.
  1. Openness create a sense of space. So removing a piece of furniture here and there, or hiding all traces of mess and clutter takes away a lot of distraction from the room. Neatness and cleanliness is paramount. You want to show that the house has been looked after.
  2. I like a house with rooms bathed in natural light. A house that is bright and airy is a happy, cheery one. We're lucky that this house has windows lined from the front door to the back, and that was one of the main reasons why we bought the place. (This makes cleaning windows a pain in the backside, but hey, they didn't need to know that - make sure all windows are squeaky clean though, no icky finger prints or slobber marks)
  3. A little birdie told me that houses that smell like freshly baked bread makes you warm and gooey in the inside, and will sell better. I concur! So I whip up a batch of cookie dough or bread the night before and leave it in the fridge, then stick it into the oven an hour or so before inspection time. I do serve up the cookies during inspection times too, and the real estate agent promised me a couple of grand more for that reason. And they better stick to their promise!
  4. I try to create a scene and stick to a colour scheme for every room. Like for the master bedroom, a red romantic hideaway. The guest bedroom, a blue countryside retreat. I bought new cushions to jazz up an old couch, borrowed some paintings and pictures to brighten up a wall or two, bought some new pots and plants for the garden, and freshly cut flowers for the lounge. You don't have to spend a fortune, and remember that these things can be used for your new place when you move out.
  5. And finally, a no brainer, a soft lullaby playing in the parents' retreat, a jazzy tune or two in the lounge and the sound of trickling water in the courtyard. Some aromatherapy candles burning (but make sure they don't burn the house down or clash with the smell of biccies).
Fingers crossed, someone will fall head over heels with this house like we did 7 years ago, and bid bid BID!!! But who are we kidding? It is definitely not the seller's market at the current moment, but we're remaining positive, and we can only hope for the best. Best Blogger Tips

Thursday, 25 November 2010

'Tis the be SUPER busy!

What can I say? It has been a whirlwind past couple of weeks. We are selling our house.

It is funny how we've lived in this place we called home for the past seven years, built our little cosy cove, breathe in so much life and in fact made three precious little lives (OK, so we won't go into much more detail here). Damn, we got married in this house, right here in our very own back yard. And we think we know every nook and cranny. It's not until we want to sell the house, that we scrutinize every little mark on the wall, the hair line cracks, the unevenness of the paint, a leaky tap etc etc. Every little scuff has a memory to it. A nail in the wall that held a precious picture. Every little stain on the carpet has a story to tell.

So it is common knowledge that selling your house is a busy and exciting time. You want to ensure that the features that make your home stands out among the rest, really does stand out, so to achieve the best possible price for your house. And that's what it comes down to. Money. Buyers look for negatives to give them bargaining powers in negotiations. So for exactly that reason, we have put in our best effort in eliminating the negatives. And it is here we begin to depersonalise this home. Erase every little scuff of memories that we won't be bringing along with us to our new home, fill up holes that held the nails for our pictures and make some space in the house so someone can come along and say hey, I could make this house mine.

A new coat of paint. Refreshing the carpets and polishing the tiles. Ensuring that every room is as neat and as clean as it possibly can be. Decluttering (a very therapeutic exercise!). Little finishing touches, it does count. And creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere, so that a potential buyer would feel that emotional tug as he or she walks into the house.

First impressions count.

So yeah, we've been busy. 3 little kids tagging along with the ride. Literally, during house inspection times. We practically LIVE in the car during those times. Throw the kids, the dirty laundry, the mess on the floor, dirty cups, saucers etc etc into the car and off we go! Haven't we noticed, kids and mess come in the same category? So that very room every house has, the room that we shove all the mess into when there's an unexpected visitor, our car has become just that. And it's a bloody good one too.

So too-do-loo, off we go for another car ride!

More on Open For Inspections.... later. Best Blogger Tips

Monday, 8 November 2010

Internet Listing is Up!

I am completely happy with the professionalism and services of our real estate agent. Things are happening at lightning speed, and everything seems to fall into place nicely. Even the sun cooperated on the day of photoshoot!

Anyways, here is the internet listing:

Lifestyle With An Architectural Edge

A grand and unique home with the sweeping lines of cathedral ceilings and imposing angles makes ‘The Diplomat’ by Bellemore a truly distinctive residence.

Set on a gorgeous tree-lined street in the company of equally distinguished display homes, the 31 square (approx) family retreat offers lavish living bathed in natural light. A palladium window to the lounge and glass walkway along the dining room’s atrium set a glamorous formal scene, flowing to spacious open plan living set against lush paved gardens.

A magnificent kitchen impresses with north facing light, amazing bench space and a host of lime-washed solid timber cupboards, with the meals area and rumpus room opening to a private palm-lined patio.

Clever bedroom zoning has a parent’s retreat out front with a palatial spa ensuite, walk in robe and a sun kissed sitting room, two bedrooms upstairs for teens and another on the ground floor near the main bathroom and open study. Decked out with ducted heating, evaporative cooling, stylish furnishings, a secure dog run, double garage and a smart Merbau front fence and perfectly placed near Knox City Shopping Centre, Eastlink and The Knox School. This is the home and lifestyle a discerning family deserves.

Click here for more photos. Best Blogger Tips

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Lily @ a little more than 6 months

Babies are so darn flexible! I love how they could reach out for both their feet, and pull their big toes into their mouth. Or arch their back at a 90 degree angle at tummy time. Amazing! The pictures here show how Lily tries to roll over. She props her head up, and unlike the boys who would just tumble and flip, this little girly girl would do this graceful arch with her back. She stretches one arm like doing the arabesque. Then with both hips still planted firm on the ground, she rolls her upper body over, sometimes her head touching her bottom. With a swift motion, she does a little pirouette with her bottom half, and end with a cute curtsy and a smile that covers half her face.

I know her ballet teacher kim-kim would be so darn proud of her!


Best Blogger Tips

Friday, 5 November 2010

We Are Ready!

So, this is the place we called home for the last 7 years. It has served us well, a fairly decent sized house: 4 bedrooms, a study, 4 living areas including 2 dining, a magnificent kitchen, a double garage, a private courtyard and an ultra low maintenance garden.

The past week, busy is an understatement. We have given this house a makeover, a fresh coat of paint on the outside and window frames, a little touch up on the inside. We now have a lawn! The biggest task of all perhaps was to get rid of all the clutter, and it's amazing how much stuff we collected over the years. We are truly lucky to have enlisted the help of both sets of parents/grandparents. My dad dug and levelled the soil for the lawn. My mom looked after the kids. My father-in-law painted the awnings and ceilings. Even my mother-in-law was up on a ladder painting the window frames! My handy husband did an amazing job with the alfresco area, pulling down the old screens and shade sails and replacing it with a new ones with a modern edge. While I had the endless task of cleaning, decluttering, more cleaning and redecorating the joint.

Now, we are ready to sell.

A whole new adventure awaits us. Best Blogger Tips