Real Estate Archive

Are You Buying the Right House in Brisbane?

Buying a Brisbane PropertyBrisbane is one of the most liveable cities in Australia. It's easy to overlook Brisbane when you’ve set your eyes on the bustling city of Sydney or the quaint and sentimental Melbourne. Through the years, Brisbane has created an image of being relaxed, laid-back, casual and not short on any cultural activities. However, when buying a property, you still need to make sure you get your money’s worth. Here’s how.

Decide on how far you want to be from the CBD.

If you're single or married without children, and you're moving to Brisbane for that job in the CBD, look in–or at least near–the centre. If you want to live in the suburbs, make sure you’re not off the grid, and that everything you need is accessible.

Investigate the property and the area.

You may have found the house you think is perfect for your family. Should you get it right away? No. Take time to investigate and uncover everything–the good and the bad.

Ask the owner why they are selling the property. If you don’t get a straightforward answer, it might be a red flag. This is the time to dig deeper. For instance, you may find out that it’s prone to floods. If this is something you don’t want to risk, move on and continue your search.

Get a property valuation.

Make sure you're paying for market value. Even if the house is within your budget, this doesn’t mean you're paying right. Usually, sellers get the service of property valuators to know how much their property is worth. However, it’s best if you double-check through professional valuation. A certified property valuator will factor in attributes such as location, building condition and local council zoning.

Find out more about the community.

The house, the location and all the technicalities are not the only factors. You're buying it so you can live in it. You'll want to look into the neighbourhood and the community more closely.

Do you feel safe living there with your family? How active is the community when it comes to family and cultural activities? Also, consider whether you're a perfect fit.

Buying a property isn’t as easy as pointing where you want to be on the map. It's not enough that it's only a four-hour drive from Bundaberg or the Mon Repos Turtle Rookery. It's going to be your home, so you need to feel at home.

Here’s How You Can Make Your Home Safer for Kids

Childproofing Your HouseAs a parent, it is normal to worry about your child's well-being and security, be it in your home or outside. That's why before any unfortunate things happen, it is always good to take action in advance. One good way to do that is to make your home safer and less harmful to them. Read on to learn some child-proofing hacks for your home.

Choose Crib & Baby Items Carefully

Buy crib that follows the safety standard regulated by the government. Avoid accepting hand-me-down baby bunk because chances are some parts of it might be already loose and are missing. It is best to purchase a new one, especially for baby items to avoid contamination or possible transmission of germs or viruses.

Limit Pillows, Blankets & Plush Toys

Putting too much pillows and plushies on your kid's crib may cause suffocate him/her, so just limit on using these items. Two to three pillows are more than enough to make it comfortable for your little one.

Gate Off Unsafe Areas

Block the entry to unsafe rooms or danger zones in your home by installing safety gates or handrails for baby. Accidents related to falling is the most common cause of injuries for kids, especially when they are starting to walk, crawl, and stand on their own.

Keep Away Tiny Objects

Remove all small items within your kid's reach to avoid him/her from choking on it. Find a cabinet or drawer where you can lock these items for safekeeping.

Avoid Sharp Edges

Cover up sharp edges and corners of your furniture with protective rubber padding. This is to prevent sustaining bruise or injury to your child whenever they accidentally bump into these surfaces.

Make your home a safer place for your kids with these childproofing tricks. Along with that, be sure to keep an eye on them to monitor their every action, so you can immediately take action whenever you need to.

Utah Restaurants: Now Accepting Tips–Again

Utah RestaurantsUtah is not new to changes. Neither is it opposed to it. As a state recognized for its education system, Utah is at the forefront of innovation. But sometimes change is not a good thing. 

Case in point: The switch to no tipping, and why several companies decided to go back to the "traditional" way of doing things. 

No tipping at the back end

The “no tipping” policy should have addressed the wage difference between those with client-facing jobs, such as the waiters, and those in the kitchen, such as the cooks and dishwashers. According to a restaurant owner in San Francisco, the kitchen staff received a $13-$20 hourly wage, while the front of the house staff earned at least $25. Their wage could go up to $40. 

So why did Joe’s Crab Shack, which announced the move to the no-tip model late last year, decide to revert to the old ways? There was the issue of attrition and the imminent increase in minimum wage. 

Where the salary increase came from

Attrition became a major concern when companies started hiring and training younger staff (who would agree to the initial pay). And then these employees leave, eager to find better opportunities elsewhere. Companies also had to hike up their menu prices to cover the wage increase they awarded their current employees. 

Double T. Inc quips that with such money, imagine all the new sidings, chef training, and perhaps kitchen remodeling plans that the money could have been used for. That may have been one of the many thoughts of business owners who decided to go back to tipping. 

With spring setting in, carrying with it a cooler and wetter environment, it’s no wonder businesses in the service and hospitality industry would rather use a tried-and-tested method while keeping their prices low and having enough money to keep their establishment in good shape.

Granny Flats: Your Home Away from Home in the Big City

Granny Flats in PerthUrban centres in Australia are seeing a surge in demand for smaller apartments. People who are used to living in sprawling farms in the countryside might scoff at the liveability potential of smaller spaces. Now, the opinion has shifted in favour of small living spaces boosted by the efficient design and layout afforded by innovative construction and design methods.

Are you moving to a metropolitan area for work or study? Are you apprehensive about the options awaiting you in regard to living space? Apartment buildings are not your only option. You can scout the area for secondary dwellings for rent as well.

Granny Flats shares why these residential units make for a great option in accommodations. 

A Separate, Cosy, and Comfortable Living Space

Perth is a prime spot, a progressive metropolis where Australians and foreigners alike choose to work and study. Building a secondary dwelling is now popular among homeowners because it can accommodate the needs of an expanding, multi-generational family. Meanwhile, others choose to invest in an additional building to boost their income. While family members often use the self-contained structure, some opt to rent the secondary dwelling on a weekly, monthly, or long-term basis.

Why Should You Consider Renting a Secondary Dwelling?

Restrictions limit only one secondary dwelling for a single residential property. While the primary house and the smaller structure share one lot, the latter has a separate access point and is fully independent of the main house. Essentially, you enjoy full privacy if you live in a granny flat. Although the living spaces are smaller than in typical Australian homes, all the facilities you require for a comfortable stay are there. Most dwellings have outdoor spaces, and when possible an area for a pocket garden where you can grow herbs and flowering plants.

Are you getting ready to move to the city? Get in touch with people who convert or build a section of their property to build a secondary dwelling. They can help you find a home away from home.

Retail in the Philippines: Taking Advantage of the Booming Private Sector

Makati Business DistrictPresently, Metro Manila has become extremely crowded in its main metropolitan cities such as Makati and Quezon City. Even The Fort, which was lauded for being a new and unique emerging city center, is noticeably becoming crowded due to the influx of new residents and investors alike.

If your business is coming from overseas, setting a foothold for your business in the country seems nearly impossible to do. Apart from the intensity of the competition, there’s also the fact that actual properties you can lease are becoming increasingly rare.

There’s a silver lining, though; The Philippines is currently experiencing a significant boom and growth within the private sector. This is partly due to the reemerging interest in the development of suburban sectors in the country.  If you want your business to take off, you need to take advantage of this emerging market.

The Boom in the Private Sector

Historically, the private sectors were left relatively sparse due to a focus on developing the country’s main cityscapes. Early in the country’s history, development was focused on establishing what would be the country’s premiere commercial districts and cities. As a result, the suburban landscape was, as its name implies – suburbs and purely residential developments.

The shift in development focus was only recent, and it’s made the private sector and suburban landscapes ideal environments for foreign brands to set a foothold and take advantage of the boom. Before, retail brands would dominate the private sector and would completely outclass foreign brands due to sheer affordability. This changed due to the growth of the suburbs and the creation of smaller community and commercial sectors within their developments.

Additionally, more people spending money means that competition with local brands will not be as intense anymore.

Leasing in the Country

The boom in the private sector also means that there are now more places to invest in the country. While the original suburban developments remain the top choice, many smaller suburbs and townships now have places where you can establish your retail business realistically.

Master planned communities are a top choice in the country due to being attractive residential developments for the stronger and emerging middle class market. A good example is Lancaster New City Cavite, which has a downtown area with many commercial properties for lease that are strategically placed close to the community’s residential district. These new, fast-growing cities are relatively ‘untouched’, and make good places to establish your retail business in the country.

The country’s booming private sector is a sign of good things to come in the future. The increasing disposable income of people in the suburbs means that it is no longer unrealistic to invest in a commercial property far away from the country’s main city centers.

Why You Are Looking at a Higher-than-Normal Water Bill

BillsThere are many reasons behind a sudden increase in a household’s water bill. Although you do not have to panic right away when you receive a bill indicating a spike in your consumption, a big difference should prompt you to take a closer look at your home, especially the plumbing system.

The number of people consuming water, recent additions (appliance, garden irrigation, fittings, etc.), as well as plumbing problems are the most common culprits to higher-than-normal water consumption.

More people means higher water consumption

During the holidays, water consumption tends to increase in Perth homes because of the increase in the people using them. So when looking at a water bill higher than the previous billing cycle, a possible reason is that you have had several people come and stay in your residence for a few days.

Additions to your home

Aside from people, additions to your home – such as new water-using appliances, irrigation systems (for your garden or landscaping), and fittings – may also lead to your water bills going up.

Although you should expect the increase with such changes, you should still compare your current consumption with the estimated water usage of each addition. It is still possible that something went wrong during the installation or the product is defective, leading to unnecessary water consumption/wastage.

Problems with the plumbing

Of all the possible causes of an increase in water bills, the greatest, most common contributor is the plumbing system. Problems such as a leaking tap can already spike your consumption, regardless of how small the leak is. Add to this a continuously running toilet, a faulty washing machine hose, a dripping hot water system, or a problematic dishwasher, and you can face enormous water bills.

You should contact a reliable plumbing company like to fix your leaking tap as soon as possible, especially if you have not had any visitors or household additions in the past month.

You should never be surprised by unexpected increases in your bills.