Why a Sturdy Home in a Good Location Matters

Owning a home is arguably one of life’s biggest achievements. But given the amount involved in acquiring residential property, it’s also a really big investment. 

Nevertheless, many Australians choose to be homeowners. Data published by Trading Economics in 2016 showed that more than half (65%) of Aussie households own their homes outright. 

The dark clouds that hovered over Australia’s economy for years have also lifted, and GDP growth continues on an upward trend. Strong economic prospects can only serve to benefit vital sectors like real estate.

Home buying is likely to be the biggest financial risk you’ll ever take. That being said, you’ll want to invest in a property that won’t depreciate quickly. This makes choosing the right neighbourhood will be as important as what goes into the house itself.

With that, let’s get into what a ‘good’ home location should look like.

Suburb Research

Safety, proximity to work, good schools, and availability of public services are usually the top considerations for homebuyers. However, you’ll want to buy a house that not only fits but also looks good on your investment portfolio.

This is where suburb research comes in. The goal is to snap up a piece of residential property in a suburb that’s likely to grow and flourish over time. 

How do you tell if you’ve found that ideal suburb? Here’s a 9-point checklist from Urban.

  1. Homes are selling as soon as they reach the market
  2. There are pending infrastructure upgrades
  3. Excellent public transport
  4. An abundance of new businesses and start-ups
  5. Many of the available amenities are within walking distance to many amenities
  6. The neighbourhood is home to many well-regarded schools
  7. Lower rental vacancy rate
  8. First-time homebuyers are flocking to the area
  9. Neighbouring suburbs are already in demand

Once you’ve landed on that ideal suburb, check out property developments in the area. Needless to say, you’ll want to go with a company with experience and a good track record. If you’re house hunting in Queensland or Victoria, AVID has quite the selection of residential developments that are well worth a look.

Property Type

After selecting the right suburb, the focus then moves on to the house itself. Homes come in different shapes and sizes so it is essential to pick one that will make a comfortable abode for all the intended residents. 

Structural integrity is another important factor when looking at houses. Enquiries should always be made about plumbing, electrics, insulation, and materials in the structure. If it’s an established property, it may be good to have the house inspected to check if there are any existing damage.

Do you have a specific vision for how your dream home should look like? In that case, it may be best to build a home rather than spend your time looking for one. If so, your focus then shifts to finding a suitable plot of land for the structure you have in mind.

Head on over to Harmony Living If you’re planning to put down roots in Palmview on the Sunshine Coast. 

At the end of the day, you want a home that ticks all your boxes while being a sound investment. Whether you’re buying or building one, remember that a ‘good’ location is always a must!

 

4 Simple Home Improvement Ideas You Wish You Knew Before

Most of us homeowners want to give our home a facelift but are often bothered by the expenses that come with and the fact that we don’t know exactly what to do. Contrary to what most people think, a home improvement project doesn’t have to be mind-boggling nor expensive. 

As proof, here are four simple home improvement ideas that would instantly make your home look and feel better without putting a huge dent in your budget:

Replace your old bulbs.

Lighting has a huge impact on the look and feels of your home and you just don’t need those harsh white bulbs that make the space look busy and stressful instead of helping you to relax. So if you’re still using the same old white bulbs that came with your house when you bought it, it’s time to replace them with energy-efficient yellow LED bulbs that will instantly make your home feel brand new with its more subtle lighting. 

Yellow bulbs are recommended by experts for their soothing effect, which helps you feel calmer, and LED bulbs also cut down on your energy consumption and they last for a longer time. You can also opt for dimmers over light switches so you can easily adjust the brightness around your house depending on your mood.

Throw in a good blanket.

If you still don’t have the budget for a new bed or sofa, buy a luxurious cotton waffle blanket instead and use it as an accent piece for your bed or couch to make it feel cosier and more comfortable. You can also invest in plush throw pillows in different textures and sizes to instantly add a pop of colour and character to your bedroom or living area without spending a lot of money.

Use floating shelves.

You see floating shelves in almost all home design websites these days. In a time when most of us are living in smaller spaces, floating shelves are a great way to add extra storage that also serves as your accent for your home. You can install floating shelves in your kitchen, dining area, bedroom, and all those unused corners around your house.

Replace your cabinet hardware.

If you’ve been looking at your old kitchen or bedroom cabinets and you’re aching to give them a makeover but you don’t have the budget for it yet, you only need to replace their hardware to update their look. You can either go luxurious with gold or silver hardware or you can go bold with some funky designs to add character to your space. 

Bonus tip

To complete the look and feel of your home for less, visit Alcyon and invest in one of their aromatherapy diffusers to place around your house and instantly make it feel and smell like a spa. You’ll surely love coming home to a space that smells relaxing. You can put diffusers in your living and dining areas, and of course, your bedroom where you can relax at the end of a busy day.  

Here’s What to Ask Your Real Estate Agent Before Buying

You’re finally ready to invest in your first home and in fact, you’ve been looking at some options in sites like Bloomdale to get a glimpse of what’s on offer in the market. But shopping around is only a small part of the buying process. When you’re putting a huge amount of money on a property, you need to ask your real estate agent these four important questions before sealing the deal:

  1. Why is the property for sale?

 

If you want to get a good deal out of a property, it’s very important to know the motivation behind the sale first. Although some real estate agents may not want to talk about it, you need to ask this question to at least try to get a better idea of who you’re dealing with and what strategies you should take in negotiating for the property. For instance, a seller who’s moving to another country might be in a hurry to sell the property. So you can take advantage of that and negotiate for a lower price because of the urgency of the sale.

 

  1. How long has the property been on the market?

 

Following the same sense of urgency, it’s best to know the time a property has spent on the market so you can negotiate for a better price. Ask your real estate agent to find more information about the listing that you like to see if it was previously listed and re-listed, which some sellers do to keep prices high. Generally, properties that have been on the market for 12 to 24 months have better negotiability than new ones.

 

  1. What is the original asking price for the house?

 

It’s not uncommon for a seller to price his property higher the first time he puts it on the market. But as time goes by and several negotiations are done, prices could become more negotiable. By asking what the original asking price was and how many offers were declined by the seller, you’ll get an idea about the price that the seller wants for his property so you can go in and make the right offer. In most cases, a lot of sellers are actually willing to reduce the price if they see you as a serious and informed buyer.

 

  1. What is the neighbourhood like?

 

Aside from looking at the property itself, it’s also very important to ask your real estate agent about the kind of neighbourhood that you’ll be living in if you choose to buy the property. Location is important when buying a house because any noise, safety or accessibility concerns could affect your daily living, which could mean money wasted on a property that you won’t get to enjoy. 

 

The bottomline

 

Buying your first house shouldn’t happen overnight. Instead, take the time to do your research and communicate with your real estate agent on the things that you want for the property. There are a lot of good properties out there at excellent prices if you know where to look. Of course, you need to work with your agent to find the best deals in the market. 

 

How to Choose the Right Baby Formula

Are You Choosing the Right Formula for Your Baby? Read This

There you are, standing in the middle of the formula milk aisle and thinking to yourself, “what am I going to choose for my baby?” The good news is, you’re not the only one who’s gone through such a mind-boggling experience. In fact, a lot of mothers think that all milks are created equal, only to find out that they come in all shapes and sizes.

To make the decision easy when you buy baby formula, there are a few things that you need to consider first:

The milk type

Of course, breastmilk is still best for babies especially in the first year of their lives. But some mothers cannot breastfeed due to several health reasons, prompting them to use formula instead.  Fortunately, there are milk types suitable for babies that may not have the same nutritional content as breastmilk but are decent alternatives. These include formula milk, cow’s milk, soy-based milk, and many more. There are also specialty baby formulas created specifically for infants with lactose intolerance, low-birth weight babies, and those who are on a restricted salt intake. The right thing to do here is to consult your pediatrician before you make the switch.

The milk preparation

Before the options get overwhelming, it’s also best to think of the milk preparation that you prefer for your baby. Ready-to-use baby formulas are often the most convenient option because you can pour them straight into the bottle. You also have liquid concentrates that are easily diluted with equal parts water, and of course, the most popular and least expensive option, powders that are usually mixed one scoop of milk to two ounces of water.

The brand

If there’s one time when brand does matter, it would be when you buy baby formula milk for your child. The biggest difference between generic and brand name milk formulas is the amount of research done to see their outcomes on babies. It’s not just about whether your baby will like the milk or not, but also how it will benefit him and how his brain will respond to the formula.

Organic or Formula?

It’s worth noting that there has been no data suggesting that organic milk formula is better than the regular milk formula. With the organic revolution in full swing these days, it’s easy for moms to spend more on organic milk formula thinking that it’s the best option for their baby. But if you ask the experts, you could just spend that money on organic produce, which you’re sure would really have the best benefits. Plus, organic milk, e.g. cow’s milk, cannot be digested by babies easily, so baby formula milk is a much better alternative.

In the end, it all depends on the needs of your baby. The Food and Drug Administration regulates all milk formulas, so they’re all safe for consumption. You just have to choose what fits your baby’s nutritional requirements best to make sure you’re maximising the benefits of your milk formula.

5 Nighttime Skincare Routines That Do Wonders on Your Skin

skin care product

This whole premise of getting some “beauty rest” actually has a lot of truth to it. This is due to the fact that your skin absorbs the most nutrients from the products you use at night as compared to during the daytime. Of course, you have no external stressors like the sun or dirt while you sleep, so it allows your skin to breathe, recharge, and replenish for another day ahead.

But what exactly should be the right nighttime routine?

Never sleep with makeup on.

Every good nighttime skincare routine should start with removing makeup. In fact, sleeping with your makeup on is a huge skincare sin because the products you use block your pores and cause breakouts, and a load of other problems. Depending on your skin type, you have to find the right makeup remover that suits you. For instance, you can try coconut oil makeup remover oily skin or micellar water. You also need to use a different remover for eye makeup since they stick more than other products you use on your face.

Cleanse your face.

After removing makeup, you have to wash your face thoroughly to remove any excess makeup or dirt that’s been stuck on it for the entire day. You have the option to use either a water or oil-based cleanser depending on your skin type. Just make sure that you wash everything thoroughly and dry your face to get rid of everything that would make your skincare products not as efficient as they should be.

Indulge in a face mask.

If you have that extra time, it’s actually ideal to use a face mask at least every few days and after you cleanse your face to exfoliate and just get rid of any impurities on your skin. Exfoliating and clay masks are especially popular, and you can choose products that have extra ingredients on them like moisturisers or vitamins for added benefits.

Use the right products.

Once your skin is clean and without a trace of makeup, it’s time to start treating your face with some good skincare products. A lot of people swear by the wonders of using toner as part of their nighttime skincare routine. You can also use a serum to address some skin problems. The trick here is to try different products to see which ones really work for your skin type.

Seal all that goodness with moisturiser.

To cap off your nighttime skincare routine, you have to apply moisturiser to lock in all the benefits of the skincare products you used while making sure that your skin will be adequately hydrated as you sleep. Make sure to apply only the right amount to prevent clogging your pores and give you that soft and plump skin once you wake up.

While there are no hard-and-fast rules for skincare, it’s very important to find a formula that works best on your skin type and schedule. Your nighttime routine could be simple or complex. As long as it benefits your face and it makes you feel good, then commit to it. Learn more skincare tips from Beauticate.

What Makes Queensland the Ideal Place to Raise a Family or Retire?

Palmview house

We go through different stages in life—childhood, school and eventually, adulthood. But perhaps nothing is more important and crucial than the time we start to raise our own family and when we retire. 

 

Queensland is considered one of the best places in Australia to raise a family or retire. Located northeast of the country and its second largest state, there are now so many house and land packages in QLD to keep up with the growing demand for housing in this part of the country. But why exactly is Queensland the ideal location for family and retirement life?

 

It is the sunshine state, after all.

 

Queensland is undeniably beautiful. It has some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world and a lot of other islands that easily make it a coveted destination, especially for sun worshippers. Just imagine having easy access to the beach for those family adventures. You even have the largest living thing on earth right up your doorstep, the Great Barrier Reef. 

 

If you purchase a land for sale in Sunshine Coast, you’ll get to enjoy good weather for most of the year. You can run errands, take a walk, or just lounge by the beach any time you want that you would never have to go on a holiday somewhere else ever again.

 

It has everything you need to live a good life.

 

Being the second largest state in Australia, Queensland has been developed enough to have all the things that you need for a good life. For instance, its capital city Brisbane has some of the best schools and universities to send your children to, several companies where you could work, shopping centres for you to enjoy and most importantly, an affordable housing market that’s perfect if you’re already retired. 

 

But more than the basic necessities, Queensland is also home to historical spots, cultural centres, botanical gardens and 50,000 other interesting places for you to explore. Whether you’re trying to entertain your children or you’re just looking for an activity to keep you active, there’s surely one in Queensland for you.

 

It is one of the most budget-friendly places in Australia.

 

Living in most progressive states is expensive, but not in Queensland. Raising a family or retiring means that you have to maximise your budget at any given day, and the state is one of the best places to move to if you’re already priced out of your current location. In Queensland, you can live in a beautiful home in a nice suburb for less than what you’re paying for in a cramped house in other states. In fact, you can get a brand new home in the area for just an average price of $480,000 and that’s already located near parks, shopping centres and other open spaces. When you retire or raise a family in Queensland, you get to live in such an ideal location for less money.

 

So what are you waiting for? Start considering your move to the sunshine state. We promise that you’ll never regret it.