National Water Week is popping up again in the third week of October. The theme for 2018 is ‘Water for me, Water for all’, and is aimed at encouraging young people and the wider community to think about how we use water on a day-to-day basis and how we can protect it so we have it in the future.
Water usage is a particularly topical conversation in Australia, and more specifically, in Queensland at the moment, where drought is plaguing our shires. Currently 58.1% of the state is a drought-declared shire. Additionally, with a drier-than-average spring approaching, it is become more and more vital that we save water in all ways that we can.
We have compiled some tips from the Queensland Government Water Initiative to help you save water in your own home…
Up to 16 per cent of household water is flushed down the toilet. The following tips can reduce the amount of water used and in turn help reduce your water bills.
Don’t flush needlessly. Use the half-flush option on dual flush systems and never flush items other than toilet paper down the toilet.
Replace your older-style toilet suite with a 4-star WELS Scheme dual-flush system. This can save up to 8 litres of water with every flush.
Use tank water to flush. Talk to your plumber about having your rainwater tank internally plumbed to your toilet.
A standard shower can use 20 litres of water per minute, and accounts for up to 24 per cent of household water use.
Install a water-efficient shower head. A WELS Scheme 3-star rated shower head will use no more than 9 litres of water per minute.
Take a shorter shower. Shorter showers not only save water but help reduce the amount of energy associated with heating the water.
Insulate your hot water pipes. This means you won’t need to wait as long for the hot water to flow through—saving you both water and energy.
Make sure your hot water system thermostat is not set too high.
Use a bucket to catch water while the shower warms up. You can then reuse this water on your garden.
Selecting the right washing machine is the best way to save water and energy. Choose a washing machine with a 4-star WELS Scheme rating or better; you could use up to 50 per cent less water.
There are a number of other ways you can save water in the laundry.
Try not to use your washing machine every day. Instead, sort clothes and wash bigger loads less frequently.
Pre-treat stains to limit the need to rewash.
When adjusting warm water tap flow, always turn the hot water down rather than the cold water up.
Use small amounts of water if washing clothes by hand and reuse this water in your garden.
Make sure that everyone picks up and sorts the clothes they wear each day so clean clothes don’t get washed by mistake.
Divert grey water from your washing machine for immediate use on your garden (except vegetables).
Water use in the kitchen contributes up to 13 per cent of total household consumption. There are many ways to save water in the kitchen.
Use the dishwasher with a full load. Running a full load in a water-efficient dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand.
A 5-star WELS Scheme rated water efficient dishwasher uses as little as 7 litres of water.
Scrape your dishes and soak your pots and pans to remove food rather than rinsing them under running water.
If you have two sinks, half-fill the second sink with rinsing water. If you only have one sink, rinse the washed dishes in a pan of water.
Rinse vegetables in a bowl and then use the water on your garden.
Don’t use running water to defrost food. Place your frozen food in the fridge to thaw overnight.
Store drinking-water in the fridge—running the tap until it’s cool wastes up to 15 litres a minute.
Encourage children to empty water bottles onto the garden or pot plants instead of down the sink.
As pool and spa owners, you can reduce water consumption in several ways.
Use a pool cover. A properly fitted pool cover can stop up to 97 per cent of evaporation and reduce the amount of chemicals required to treat the water.
Check your pool for leaks. A tiny leak could result in a large amount of water loss.
Build your pool in an area that is shaded during the hottest parts of the day. This will reduce evaporation and help avoid the sun’s harsh rays while you swim.
Maintain the correct chemical balance in your pool and clean it regularly. Top up your pool with rainwater runoff.
It’s spring. The sun is shining, the flowers are in bloom, the birds are chirping, the grass is green, and you are feeling considerably more cheerful as the cold months have come to an end. With the bloom of the jacarandas comes a reinvigoration in the property market for those on a house hunt. Not only does spring give you a great excuse to declutter and commence a spring clean, but it also provides the perfect environment for an open home.
If you are considering selling your property this spring and wondering how you should prepare your home to sell in the property sales boom, we’ve compiled some useful tips to ensure you’re ready!
Probably the easiest and cheapest alteration you could make to your home is to declutter it.
Reducing the number of personal items filling your home not only allows for a cleaner feel but it also allows visitors to envisage themselves living in the property, not to mention the wonders it does for your closet and cupboard space!
Embrace the spring clean
Ensure your windows and mirrors are sparkling, wash the curtains and blinds, have your carpets professionally cleaned, polish tap fittings, hardwood floors and door knobs, rake the lawn and trim the bushes. Attention to detail is vital in making your home look its best (and only requires a bit of one-on-one time with the dustpan and brush)!
Set your home apart from the rest
The finer details might not be glaringly obvious to a buyer; however, these small touches are a cost-effective way of setting your home above other options on the market.
Set out fresh flowers or freshly clipped lilac branches, integrate towels, throws and pillows in complementary colours throughout your house, offer an outside mat for guests to clean their shoes, fill the sink with ice to chill bottled water for visitors or set out individually wrapped treats in cellophane or ribbon. Each of these small gestures are not only cost-effective but will ensure your guests feel at ease in your home.
Use a Real Estate Agent
As buyers and sellers spring into action, the property sales race is likely to be very tight. Utilising a real estate agent will help you to be at the front of the pack. At Arrive we have an amazing team of professionals ready to value your house, suggest a niche method of marketing tailored to perfectly suit you and you home, and to offer you a suite of services to mold your house into an irresistible property.
If you are interested in finding out more on how to sell your home this spring, please feel free to contact us at Arrive. We have a number of professionals with a wealth of skills and knowledge, ready to help you in your sales journey!
Painting over a wall patch so it looks invisible isn’t easy—ask anyone who’s tried it. It needs to be done carefully in order to look good.
As a property manager or landlords, we have all seen this too often:
Paint ripped off when tenants are trying to remove double sided tape wall hooks
Doorknob smashing hole in the wall.
Can you repair this by just painting over the spot? Well, it depends. Will anyone ever looks at it? Sorry, but it will be painfully obvious what you did. So this depends on how critical the observer is. If I was your landlord and I saw a poorly done patch when you were moving out, I’d mutter a few obscenities under my breath, then quietly mention to you about how you just forfeited your bond unless you have it fixed.
The problem is that paint won’t match that well. The colour difference will be obvious. Plus, due to the hole in the surface, there will be small shadows that will be quite obvious, so you will need to fill in the surface so it is smooth, BEFORE painting. Anyway, if you tried to paint in just that small area with a brush, one would easily see the texture differences from painting with a brush compared to what was an original roller applied paint surface.
However, maintaining the rich colour and smooth finish of your home’s interior doesn’t mean you have to repaint the whole room to fix the dents, dings, scratches and marks that can, over time, mar your walls’ surfaces.
By using the proper technique and the right colour, you can touch up select spots of your wall paint, and keep your walls looking flawless and freshly painted again. however, in most cases, it’s easier just to repaint the entire wall.
Can I Do My Own Maintenance At My Investment Property?
Too many Landlords believe that they are saving money by attending to maintenance themselves, however, often the “quick fix” is not always the best solution nor outcome for both Tenant, Lessor and Agent.
Public Liability issues can come about if the repair is not performed correctly or worse, someone gets injured by the inexperienced repair.
In most cases now, it is against the law to carry out Electrical or Plumbing issues, unless you are a qualified contractor.
Utilising a managing agents list of preferred contractors, has many benefits.
Advantage of Letting Your Property Manager Handle Maintenance
In most cases their Contractors are:
Have completed a Contractors Agreement prior to attending your property, which indemnifies both you, the Lessor and us the Agent of any liability, in the event that a mistake is made
Many expert Property Managers have educated their contractors in;
how to present their time and labour onto an invoice
How to liaise with a Tenant to arrange easy access
Prepared to collect keys from the office if the tenant cannot be at home
Call the office is the suspected cost will be more than $150
Provide photos if issues if required
Recommend replacement over repairing if warranted
Will return to fix for free is the problem repaired reoccurs
Are the eyes and ears in so far as the state of the maintenance?
Report back to the office with anything untoward with the Tenancy.
For peace of mind and a small investment, it is recommended utilising qualified tradespeople to maintain your investment property and in most cases, these are a tax deduction.
It’s a grey area (or black or green) and the cause of mould is a commonly asked question when it comes to maintenance of a rental property.
Mould comes in all shapes, forms, and places in a house or unit, and it can be more wide spread depending on the season and where you are located in Queensland.
Mould in the home can usually be found in damp, dark or steamy areas, e.g. bathrooms or kitchens, cluttered storage areas, recently flooded or wet areas, and areas with poor ventilation.
Mould in a regular shower recess could result from a persistent leak or be a matter of domestic hygiene on the tenant’s part, whereas mould on the living room ceiling might indicate a structural problem or lack of ventilation, and therefore be a matter for the dwelling’s property manager or owner.
In the aftermath of severe weather events there’s ample opportunity for mould to take hold of water-damaged properties.
With winter here, hot showers become the norm so tenants are advised to ensure proper ventilation to prevent the mould from blooming.
What Should I Do If I Find Mould?
If mould occurs, it should be dealt with thoroughly before it becomes a bigger issue.
When mould spores are present in large quantities, they can present a health hazard to humans, potentially causing allergic reactions and respiratory problems.
Because there’s no hard and fast rule about mould, keeping an open mind about the source and cause should help lead to a satisfactory conclusion.
If need be, a mould specialist should be called to the property to ascertain the cause.
Although the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 does not make specific reference to mould, it does refer to the general standard of the property at the start and end of the tenancy, and how it should be maintained throughout the tenancy.
If mould is a problem at a rental property, all parties should be willing to communicate and find a mutually agreeable approach to deal with the issue in a timely manner.
For questions about your rental property, or tips, advice and other enquiries about property management, you can head over to our blog section or contact the Arrive team on 61 733 473 737.
First-Time Home Buyers: The Most Affordable Suburbs for You
Domain has released its First Home Buyers Report which reveals the Australian suburbs that are the most affordable for first home buyers.
The report, which covers all eight of Australia’s capital cities, takes grants and initiatives for first home buyers into consideration, and looks at the average median price that can considered to be affordable for first home buyers.
The most affordable area overall, according to Domain, is Greater Hobart which has the most affordable suburbs that are closest to a CBD.
The Greater Hobart area has the lowest entry price point for houses, with a median at $130,000 in Herdsman Cove, 22 kilometres away from the closest CBD, while the Greater Adelaide area has the best median price point for units.
“While Greater Adelaide is the most affordable region for first home buyers looking for units, with the median price in Rosewater – the most affordable suburb in Greater Adelaide – at $154,000,” Domain’s chief data scientist Nicola Powell said.
The report considers a suburb to be affordable if it is below the average home loan size over the same period per state or territory plus a 20 per cent deposit and additional grants.
The cheapest suburb for each capital city, as determined by Domain, are:
Houses – Gosford ($412,5000, 65km to nearest CBD)
Units – Ettalong Beach ($301,500, 51km to nearest CBD)
First home buyers in Sydney have access to the First Home – New Home scheme and a $10,000 First Home Owner Grant.
Under the First Home – New Home scheme, a new home valued at $550,000 or under are exempt from stamp duty. There are also concessions available for homes valued between $550,000 and $600,000.
The First Home Owner Grant is also available for purchases made on or after January 1 2016.
Houses – Millgrove ($295,000, 70km to nearest CBD)
Units – Albion ($225,000, 15km to nearest CBD)
First home buyers in Victoria have access to the First Home Owner Grant and stamp duty concessions.
The First Home Owner Grant is worth $10,000 for new homes valued under $750,000, with another $10,000 available for homes in regional Victoria, from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020.
Stamp duty concessions are eligible for both new and established homes valued at $600,000 or less up to a potential 50 per cent.
Houses – Brendale ($259,750, 20km to nearest CBD)
Units – Mount Warren Park ($183,500, 39km to nearest CBD)
First home buyers in Queensland have access to the First Home Buyers Grant and transfer duty concessions.
The First Home Owners’ Grant is valued at $20,000 for new and substantially renovated properties at $750,000 and below, but it is only available until 30 June 2017.
Transfer concessions are on a sliding scale, determined by the total amount of duty payable by the value of the purchased home and the concession rate minus the first buyer concession.
Houses – Not considered to be affordable.
Units – Hawker ($277,500, 11km to nearest CBD)
First home buyers in the ACT have access to the First Home Owner Grant, and stamp duty charges at concessional rates.
The First Home Owner Grant is valued at $7,000 for the purchase of new or substantially renovated homes priced below $750,000.
Stamp duty is also charged at a concessional rate for new or substantially renovated homes priced below $590,000. For homes priced below $590,000 and above $468,000, stamp duty is valued at $14.70 per $100 or part of $100 where the dutiable value exceeds $468,000. Homes priced at or below $468,000 have a $20 duty payment.
Homes – Medina ($250,000, 39km to nearest CBD)
Units – Orelia ($165,000, 39km to nearest CBD)
First home buyers in Western Australia have access to various grants, special rates for stamp duty and the Shared Home Ownership Scheme.
Concessions are available in the form of a $10,000 grant and a payment of an additional $5,000, the latter of which is only available until 30 June 2017. Eligibility for the grant is determined by the value and geographical location of the home.
Stamp duty is also charged at a special rate for first home buyers for homes valued below $530,000. Homes, both new and established, above $430,000 and below $530,000 will have duty imposed at the rate of $19.19 for every $100 or part of $100 with the dutiable value exceeding $430,000.
New and off-the-plan homes offered by Western Australia’s Housing Authority are also available to be purchased through the Shared Home Ownership Scheme, which gives first home buyers a SharedStart loan through government lending agent Keystart. This allows for just a $2,000 or a 2 per cent deposit, whichever is greater.
Houses – Elizabeth North ($176,500, 29km from CBD)
Units – Rosewater ($154,000, 12km from CBD)
First home buyers in South Australia have access to the First Home Owner Grant and off-the-plan concessions.
The First Home Owner Grant is currently valued at $15,000 for new and substantially renovated homes under $575,000.
First home buyers buying off-the-plan can also be potentially eligible for concessions on new apartments at or below $500,000.
Houses – Herdsmans Cove ($130,000, 22km from CBD)
Units – Claremont ($174,000, 14km from CBD)
First home buyers in Tasmania have access to the First Home Owner Grant, valued at $20,000 until 1 July 2017 for the construction or purchase of new homes, including off-the-plan. After 1 July, the First Home Owner Grant will be valued at $10,000.
Houses – Not considered to be affordable
Units – Millner ($331,500, 10km from CBD)
First home buyers in the Northern Territory have access to the First Home Owner Grant, First Home Owner Discount and the Household Goods Grant Scheme.
The First Home Owner Grant can be claimed for both new and established homes, valued at $26,000 for a new home and can be potentially available for established homes.
First home buyers purchasing established homes can access the First Home Owner Discount, removing stamp duty for homes below $500,000. Additionally, a $10,000 grant is available for first home buyers to renovate the home.
Also available for first home buyers purchasing or constructing a new home is the Household Goods Grant Scheme, which allows up to $2,000 claimable for new household goods.
Maintenance of your B&D garage door and opener is critical to ensuring its smooth, quiet, reliable operation, and in most cases is necessary to ensure your warranty remains valid.
COLORBOND AND COLOURED STEEL FINISH DOORS
Your coloured steel door has been pre-painted with a silicone modified polyester formulation, which is one of the best paint films available today. However good a product may be, all exposed surfaces require some attention to guard against corrosion and any other harmful atmospheric effects.
Washing the door with clean water and a cloth every 14 days is recommended. More frequent washing is advised in salty or industrial fallout areas.
Remember, when you think of cleaning your car… clean your door!
NOTE: DO NOT WASH THE AUTOMATIC OPENER, IT WILL VOID THE WARRANTY AND COULD CAUSE ELECTROCUTION.
Regular Maintenance Required
B&D recommends that you check the operation of your door at least every three to six months (more regularly in extreme environments or frequent use). The effort required to manually open and to manually close the door should be about the same (if door has an automatic opener, put into manual mode before testing door).
NOTE: IF CORRECT MAINTENANCE & SERVICING ARE NOT CARRIED OUT, WARRANTY MAY BE VOID.
(every 3-6 months)
(Rolling Doors) Clean the internal sections of the guide tracks with a cloth dampened with mineral turps or methylated spirits. Polish vigorously to achieve a smooth, dirt and moisture resistant surface, allowing the Nylofelt to glide more easily. DO NOT USE GREASE OR OIL ON THE GUIDE TRACKS.
(Sectional Doors) Should be cleaned as per rolling door instructions, but do not required polishing of the internal guide tracks.
(If fitted) Sparingly lubricate with an all purpose machine oil. Also lubricate wheel to axle bearings.
No lubrication is generally required, however silicon spray may be used if necessary.
(Where accessible). Wipe over with an oily rag.
Your lock does not require special maintenance, however if the key becomes stiff, a spray lubricant such as RP7 is recommended. Do not grease the lock.
Lubricate with Chain Lube.
Service & Repair
(If fitted). Check for wear through by rubbing. If there is fraying or signs of corrosion contact B&D or an approved B&D dealer. These cables are under extreme tension and should never be adjusted, except by B&D Doors or approved B&D Dealers.
Check all screws, nuts and bolts to ensure they are secure.
It is natural for springs to lose tension. Should the door become hard to operate or completely inoperative, contact your local B&D office, or call the B&D dealer who installed your door.
To keep your door running well, it is recommended that your door be serviced by an experienced technician, every 12 months or earlier if required. Contact B&D Doors for more advice on servicing.
The spring unit is under tension at all times and should never be adjusted, except by B&D Doors or approved B&D dealers. No operator or other person should ever stand directly in the path of the door in its downward travel or walk through doorway while door is moving. Always use the door handle to manually operate the door. If the door is now or later becomes automatically operated, the pull down rope on the door must be removed.
DO NOT PLACE YOUR FINGERS NEAR ANY MOVING PARTS OR BETWEEN THE DOOR PANELS WHEN THE DOOR IS OPERATING EITHER AUTOMATICALLY OR MANUALLY.
*Cedarpanel Woodoil Application Instructions:
To keep your B&D Cedarpanel door in optimal condition, WoodOil needs to be applied.
If you have an automatic opener fitted to your door it is important that you ensure the optimum operation of your door, otherwise you may reduce the effective life of the opener, and void your opener warranty. For more information refer to the maintenance schedule in your opener’s instruction handbook.