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!

 

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.