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4 Tips To Help You Choose The Right Home Builder

Posted by on Jun 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Tips To Help You Choose The Right Home Builder

At the end of a long day at work in the city, people want to retreat to their fortress, their home. A house is not just a place to live; it is where life activities happen. Family gatherings, birthday parties, dinner dates, or simply just a relaxing afternoon spent on the patio all create memories that can last for a lifetime. Many people want a home so perfectly tailored that it can only be constructed from scratch, to their specifications, by a new home builder. In order for this dream home to become a reality, the appropriate builder must be carefully selected. Whether you are building a condo, townhouse, a house in a subdivision or a luxury home, selecting a reputable builder is essential. Here are some tips to help you choose a builder that meets your needs. Define Your Needs The first step in choosing the correct new home builder for a project is knowing your wish list. The list should include home size, type, price range and specific add-ons such as a pool, garage or intricate patio can all influence which builder is right for you. Some builders construct a broad range of homes, while others specialize in specific types. Whether looking for a starter home or multi-million dollar mansion, certain new home builders will be better suited to assist. Gather a List of New Home Builders It is important to look into several different builders and gather several estimates. There are many different ways to find reputable builders. A local home builders’ association can provide a list of who constructs in the area. The real estate section in the newspaper can also contain ads and articles featuring new home builders that might be a good fit. Finally, friends and relatives who have dealt directly with a new home builder can also provide great advice. Ask the Right Questions Once a list of new home builders is gathered, it is time to start asking questions. Make sure the builder is licensed and insured in the state, what type of warranty is offered and how invoicing will occur. It is also essential to determine how communication will flow and the process for change orders in the event you choose to go a different route once construction has started. Finally, ask to walk through a model home and be sure to continue questioning as the walk through occurs. Often times specific features that seem to make the home stand out, are a costly add-on that you may want to include when budgeting. Choose the Best Fit Finally, it is time to sit down and evaluate all of the options. At least two new home builders should be interviewed throughout the process, but three is an optimal number. This gives the best frame of reference when comparing costs, time to completion, and expected involvement levels. Select a new home builder that falls within your budget, has a strong reputation, and who genuinely seems interested in constructing the home that you want, not the home that they want to build. With these tips listed above, you will be well on your way to selecting the best new home builder suited to construct your dream...

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Tips on Renting Out Your House

Posted by on Mar 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips on Renting Out Your House

Are you looking to let your house for extra income? Do you need a bigger home, but don’t want to sell your current one? Do you want to take some time out and travel? Good news: now is a great time to become a landlord. Property value in Australia has risen by a median of 6.9% in eight major cities in 2014 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, making it an excellent time to invest in real estate. Here are 3 things you need to think about before becoming a landlord. Decor The decor of your property can make a difference to the value of your rental. What will you include with the property when renting it out? Leaving your appliances and furniture in the house can add value and make your property more desirable. If you do leave things behind, they will need to be in good condition. Consider giving your house a fresh lick of paint and buying new carpets and fixings. These improvements may add value to your property, allowing you to recoup the initial expense in a short space of time. Check with a real estate company to find out how much more a freshly decorated house is worth, and do the sums to see how long it will take to recover the costs. If you’re not replacing carpets, consider getting them cleaned. A thorough cleaning of your home will make it more desirable. Don’t forget the outside — get any damaged fences fixed and make sure the garden is tidy and inviting. Management You can choose to rent your property out yourself, or you can go with a property management service like PRDnationwide. The services offered will vary with each company,  as will the percentage you’ll pay. A thorough service can take a load off your shoulders, collecting rent and lodging the bond. They can advertise your property, screen tenants, and provide a tenancy agreement. In addition to these services, some property management companies will pay utility bills and regularly inspect your house, carrying out property inventory checks and more. Using a property management service will bring you peace of mind. You’ll know that you have good tenants who’ll look after your house, and you’ll gain free access to invaluable advice on things like insurance. Tax You need to consider the financial side of renting your property. Your rental income will be treated as income and must be declared as such. You will be able to claim deductions for expenses associated with the house, including interest on your home loan. You should also be able to claim for maintenance and repairs. You can learn about what repairs and maintenance can be claimed as income tax deductions on the Australian Taxation Office’s...

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Real Estate Sale | 4 Photography Tips To Dress Your Property For Success

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

While the decision to sell your real estate home is a big one, you need to follow it up with a couple of other decisions too, including whether you’re going to engage a professional photographer or take photos on your own to add to the listing. Taking photos of your home isn’t as simple as you think – mirrors reflect light, doorframes make the room smaller and windows don’t seem as bright as they do in-person. When snapping shots to advertise for the sale of your real estate home, you need to get it absolutely right. Here are some awesome photography tips to dress your property for success. Low Shooting Angles  Keep in mind that interior photos tend to look much better when they are photographed from below eye level. Interior photographs shot from above eye level can make the room seem smaller and more cluttered – not a good combination when you trying to sell your real estate property. Stay Away From Mirrors  Mirrors can pose quite a dilemma for a photographer – they are likely to either capture your reflection or the flash from the camera will reflect from the mirror to give you a poor quality image. Overall, it’s also a good idea to turn off your flash when shooting pictures of your home because a flash kills ambient lighting. Shoot into the corners of the room from a diagonal position, since the elongated distance will reflect in the image, making your rooms look bigger. Focal Points Make A Difference When shooting images of rooms in your home, stand back as far as you can under a doorway, so that you can capture the room image without getting the doorframe in your shot. Doorframes make a room look snug and small. Now that you’re ready, find a specific focus in the room to capture the shot. Perhaps it’s the fireplace or your large couch that you want as the focal point. Once you find your focal point, declutter and get rid of the extra accessories so that you are able to embellish the beauty of the room through its focal point. Remember, sometimes less tells a better story than more. Instead of trying to capture every single part of the room to make everything appear small and cluttered, show a smaller amount of the room in the frame. Add a few accessories like pillows and photographs to make the room seem more personal and unpretentious. Natural Lighting Works Best Natural lighting adds a touch of beauty to the room that no artificial lighting can. With that in mind, you may want to stay away from windows that are too bright – they will affect the balance and exposure in your shot. Don’t photograph into the light, but use the light coming from behind you for a better shot. Shoot your room at different times in the day to see which lighting looks best in your photographs. When it comes to selling your real estate property, a picture is worth a thousand words – or in this case perhaps a thousand dollars or more in the selling price. For more tips, talk to an expert like McGrath Real Estate...

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3D-printed Skeleton Keys: Is There Any Point in Locking Up the House?

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Humans have been securing their most valuable possession against intrusion for centuries. By fitting the doors of their homes with locks, people have been successfully protecting the sanctity of their private space, the safety of their families and the well-being of their material possessions. Although lock pickers have been around almost as long as locks themselves, the technology of locksmithing has managed to stay several steps ahead of the street level lock picker. However, the invention of the 3D printer casts our relative security in to doubt: is it possible to simply print a key that has the ability to sabotage even the most sophisticated lock? 3D printing: a revolution for lock pickers? 3D printing still feels like a relatively novel technology; however, mainstream access to 3D printers is rapidly becoming affordable. With widespread availability of such a diverse technology, it is not surprisingly becoming vulnerable to criminal manipulation. Australian police  have already seized 3D printed gun parts and knuckle dusters in what is being said to be the first seizure of its kind in Queensland. It is little wonder, then, that crafty thieves are looking in to the possibility of using 3D printers to enhance their criminal prospects.   Last year Jos Weyers and Christian Holler, both competitive lock-pickers and security consultants, discovered a new way to create keys that pick locks, called bump keys. The keys are used to ‘bump’ in to the lock cylinder, causing the pins to jump and move. These “bump” key blanks can be printed using a 3D printer, and have proven to be just as effective as their metal counterparts. However, despite this major lock-picking revolution, it could just be that locksmiths are still one step ahead. The phenomenon of the movable key   The key to avoiding crafty lock-pickers with their 3D bumper keys is to limit your use of keys to those with movable parts. These types of keys are becoming more common, especially in France where they have been patented. Their popularity is largely due to their increased security benefits. These keys comprise of at least one movable “plunger” which interacts uniquely with the lock when it is inserted. The predominant benefit in the present case is that a 3D printed bumper key would not be able to interact with the lock in the way required. Your home would remain secure, and the lock-picker would return home empty-handed. 3D printing has the potential to revolutionise crime. However, in terms of lock-picking, the ingenuity of the locksmith still prevails. Keep your locks updated through professionals such as HUNTER LOCKSMITH...

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4 Good Reasons To Clear Out Before You Move Out

Posted by on Feb 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Moving house, and especially moving interstate, in the wondrously large country that is Australia can be a big undertaking at the best of times.  The move, however, can be made ever more daunting by an abundance of possessions.  Given that Australians have the largest houses in the world, come moving time many people are often overwhelmed by the sheer number of possessions that they have to move, and the time it will take to do so.  Therefore, if you are considering a move, or, more urgently, if you have committed to one, it is definitely time to declutter.  Here’s why:  It will save you money When contacting a removalist for an initial quote on your moving costs, the first question you will be asked is how much and what kind of furniture you need to move.  They will then calculate the cost of the move based on a combination of how many movers you will need, how long the move will take and how many items of furniture you need moved.  There is a direct positive relationship, then, between the number of furniture items you have and the total cost of your move.  As such, moving is always a good time to consider whether you need that spare set of drawers/extra couch/dining chairs that are just gathering dust in the garage.  It will significantly reduce your stress levels  Moving all of your worldly belongings is, in fact, not the only cause of stress when moving house.  Moving house can mean you will be moving away from family, friends and a neighbourhood you know and love.  Furthermore, you may not be familiar with your neighbourhood, and will have to become accustomed to all of the new features of your new home.  As such, reducing the total amount of belongings you have to move will ensure that you have one less thing to stress about in this already stressful time.   It may actually make you money  With the challenge of moving house, many people do not want the added complication of trying to sell their excess furniture or goods.  However, this is highly recommended, and it absolutely achievable with a little planning.  Websites can be used to sell second hand goods easily.  Therefore, you can not only save money from moving less furniture, but make money as well!  It will give you a great excuse for redecorating  It is often only when you go to move your old couch that you realise it has seen better days! Therefore, clearing out before you move out will give you a great chance to redecorate when you move into your own home, whilst at the same time saving money from moving less.  If you need an excuse, moving out is the perfect time to consider redecorating! Moving can be stressful, so reduce the amount of belongings you have before you proceed can save you money and also make you money, save unnecessary stress, and also give you an excuse to...

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A Traveller’s Guide To Preventing And Treating Bedbugs

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When travelling overseas, or even locally, Australians have long feared contracting bed bugs.  Their fear is certainly not unfounded; recently studies show that the incidence of bedbugs in Australia is sharply on the rise, and many travellers are suffering as a result.  What’s more, their suffering can also cost them financially – this Brisbane resident recently spent in excess of $10,000 trying to get rid of her bedbugs.  As such, it is important to understand how to prevent, and treat, bedbugs.   The best treatment is prevention When it comes to bedbugs, the best treatment really is prevention.  Whilst it may not be possible to avoid bedbugs completely when travelling, it is possible to prevent them from infesting your home.  Here’s how Don’t bring your luggage inside.  Bedbugs love beds, carpets, and even timber, but find it difficult to live outside on concrete, or in a tiled area, like the bathroom.  If you are concerned that you have bedbugs in your luggage, it’s always best to leave it outside your home for at least 2-3 days. Remove your clothes before you come into contact with any non-tiled area in your home.  After you have removed your clothing, wash them at the highest possible temperature.  Knowing if you have bedbugs Due to the size of bedbugs, they are often difficult to see with the naked eye.  Therefore, the following signs can be used to determine whether you may have brought bedbugs home with you: Dark/black spots and stains on your mattress or elsewhere: This is usually caused by bed bug feces.  Sweet, sickly scent: Bedbug infestation is often accompanies by an unpleasant, sickly scent. Remember, the bed is not the only place bedbugs can live.  They can also live between timber floors, in drawers, cabinets and cupboards, in carpet or other upholstery, and even inside electrical sockets.  Therefore, if you are noticing the above signs, it is important to immediately contact a pest control expert.  Getting rid of bedbugs By far the best way to get rid of bedbugs is to contact a pest control expert to do it for you.  A pest control expert can assist by: Diagnose the severity of your bedbug problem Explain different options available—for example, whether chemical or heat treatment will work best and why Devise a treatment plan to ensure that bugs and eggs are all removed in one treatment Ensure that both the infested room and appropriate surrounds are treated to prevent re-infestation Timing is critical with bedbug infestation—the longer you leave the problem the more likelihood that the bugs will be difficult to get rid of. Bedbugs may not be completely avoidable, but if you are travelling, ensure that you take reasonable proactive steps to prevent infestation.  If the inevitable occurs, contact a pest control expert as soon as possible for a consultation. ...

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A Guide On Using A Carpet Extractor

Posted by on Jan 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A carpet extractor comes in handy when you need to thoroughly clean your carpets and rugs. It is basically a machine powered electrically, and it uses detergent, power scrub brush and hot water to clean. It also has a strong suction system. Carpet extractors are also known as steam cleaners, and you can purchase one or hire when you need it. To clean your carpets yourself, you can learn how this machine works. Step 1 Begin by moving the furniture in the room. Vacuum the carpet with your normal vacuum before using the steam cleaner. Extractors carry two tanks; the upper one holds the dirty water, while the lower one holds the cleaning solution. Remove the lid of the upper tank so as to access the lower tank where you will pour the cleaning solution. Step 2 Put the carpet cleaning solution in the fresh water tank. Most extractors will have a guide on how much solution you should use depending on the size of the tank. Fill the lower tank with hot water until it gets to the brim. Place the upper tank back into position. Check that the dirty water tank is tightly sealed to ensure a tight vacuum between these two tanks. Take the nozzle and adjust it to your preferred height. Step 3 Plug the steam cleaner into the electric outlet. Choose a starting point; preferably from the furthest corner so that you do not step on the areas you have already cleaned. Apply the cleaning detergent on the carpet by pressing the switch, lever or button. For sensitive and dirty areas, apply the power scrub by simply switching on the scrub button. You can also choose to scrub the entire carpet. Step 4 Use forward and backward motions to clean the carpet. Apply more cleaning detergent as you go. If you need to move the machine forward, tilt the nozzle and rock the machine back onto its wheels. Clean as you overlap so as to get every spot. As you proceed with the steam cleaning, check the upper tank for foam build-up. Too much foam can damage the motor. You can add defoaming agent if you notice the foam is too much. Step 5 When the dirty water tank is full, turn off the power brush, solution pump, and vacuum motor. Empty the recovery tank and rinse it. If you had not finished cleaning, refill the lower tank with cleaning solution then restart the machine again and proceed with cleaning. For more information, contact a business such as Cleaning Trade Sales &...

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Self-Storage Packing Tips

Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Any time you have possessions that you don’t have room for, but you don’t want to sell or give away, you need to find a way to store them. Many people find that using a self-storage facility is the best option, for several reasons. When you use one of these facilities, you always have access to your possessions, and you know that they are going to be safe and secure until you need them again. It is important to properly pack your items that are going into storage, both to have enough room for everything and to avoid damages. Here are some tips that will help. Make Things As Compact As Possible In order to be able to fit as much as possible into a single storage unit, it is important to be able to make things very compact. Some items can take up a lot of space, but there are ways to get around this. For instance, if you are storing bedding, draperies, towels, linens or clothing, instead of packing these items into large boxes or suitcases, take advantage of vacuum bags. This is going to make the packages very compact, and leave you with more space in the storage unit for other items. Use Original Boxes It is always a good idea to save the original packaging for electronic items such as televisions and other large pieces. That way, you have the foam inserts, which will protect these items during transport and while in storage. If you do not have the original packaging, try to find boxes that are similar in size to the originals, and be sure to use packing peanuts or other materials so there are no empty spaces and the items won’t move around. Disassemble Furniture If you are going to be storing furniture, disassemble any pieces that can come apart. Once the furniture is disassembled, wrap each part in plastic bubble wrap or with moving blankets or pads. Keep any little parts such as screws and hinges in separate containers that are marked so you know what they are for. Not only is disassembly going to make things easier to store and give you more room in the storage unit, it will also help to protect them from damage. You don’t need to disassemble appliances, but you do need to make sure that the doors are either removed or left open to ensure there is no mould or mildew growth. For more tips, contact a company like Self Storage...

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Say Hello to Your House: The Future of Locks

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It’s interesting that the general idea of the  lock and key hasn’t changed much over the last few centuries. Someone from the 1800’s could certainly identify a contemporary door lock, although they would probably be baffled if you tried to explain the concept of the internet to them. But what about the future of locks? Are the days of inserting a key into a lock to gain entry to your home numbered? While it’s still the most secure method, the way in which you unlock your front door might evolve into something quite different in the future. Training for the locksmith of the future might also involve learning some significant computer skills. A Key in Your Pocket OK, so you probably keep your key in your pocket at the moment, but an innovation that is already available means that you’ll only ever lose your key if you lose your phone. Your smartphone can be equipped with an app that allows you to unlock your door without ever touching a key. Of course, your lock will need to upgraded to allow this to happen, but the technology is readily available. Depending on the system used, you can also remotely unlock the door for visitors, or when a family member forgets their keys. A major US hotel chain is installing these smartphone locks across all its properties, so you’ll never lose your deposit if you lose your key. A Key in Your Hand How would you feel about having a key actually permanently installed inside your hand? There are currently around 300 people around the world who have opted to have a tiny radio frequency identification (RFID) microchip implanted into their hand. With a simple wave against an electronic reader, the chip can unlock the door to your home or vehicle, or even unlock your computer. Whether or not this technology becomes mainstream will likely depend on if the general public can be convinced to have a microchip implanted into their body. You’re the Key Perhaps the most advanced lock is one that was developed by a former member of the Israeli military. The lock is controlled by a sensor at the front of your home that simply recognises you. The system matches your face, behaviour and voice to its database when you approach the entrance and then unlocks the door. There’s absolutely no chance of losing your key, since all you need to do is walk up and say hello. While the technology involved is impressive, these innovations are simply advanced mechanisms that are attached to an existing style of lock. Still, it’s funny to think that in the future a locksmith (like those at High Security Locksmiths) might need to convince your computerised house that you are in fact, you. Perhaps the sensors will fail to recognise you if you have a...

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3 Advantages of Utilising Skip Bin Services

Posted by on Jan 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Waste management in residential areas is challenging especially after carrying out special projects such as thorough cleaning or renovations. Most of the rubbish from these activities cannot be disposed in public bins and the amount is often too much to carry out of the property. There are many skip bin service providers who can effectively cover your waste disposal requirements. Here are the benefits you will attain by subscribing to hired bin services. Convenience There is minimal effort required in engaging a company that deals in rental bins for waste management. With the advance in modern technology, you will only need to visit the pertinent website and select the specific details of the desired bin and confirm your subscription. Alternately, you can call the customer support services and request for assistance. When the contract has been signed, a skip bin is delivered to your residence and when it is filled, it will be picked up according to the agreed timetable. Most bins are easy to use because they have doors that are lowered to form a ramp so that you can load your waste easily. An alternate disposal method for large amounts of waste is using a trailer to take the waste to a dumping site or to a recycling plant without professional assistance. This is not only time-consuming and laborious; it is also risky if you do not have past experience in the industry. Cost-effective The accessibility of a variety of bin hire services within every neighbourhood has resulted in affordability. In an effort to get an edge over competition, the companies have incredible discounts to encourage clients to choose them. Since the cost will be based on the size of the bin, you will not have to pay more than necessary. Most companies will even offer advice with regard to proper sizing. If you reside in a cohesive community, you can make further savings through communal skip bin hire. This way, the users only pay a fraction of the costs and irresponsible waste management will be discouraged. Environmental Benefits Most skip bin rental companies are involved in recycling waste to avoid wastage of good resources. Before the rubbish is taken to landfills, useful materials are separated and sent to the relevant depots. In addition, toxic wastes that could become contaminants in water reservoirs and the soil are disposed according to the Environmental Protection Regulations on Hazardous Wastes. For expedient waste management, think about subscribing to rental bin services from a local company such as Suncoast...

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