Thursday, August 26, 2010

Latest Property News from Ted Hanson

Friday 27 August 2010
Daffodil Day Friday 27 August, 2010

If you have a mother, father, sister, brother or best friend, there's every chance your life will be touched by cancer. No matter who you are, Daffodil Day is for you.

It's a day for all of us to give hope for a brighter, cancer-free future for ourselves, and for those we love. Daffodil Day merchandise is on sale throughout August, and you can donate to Daffodil Day at anytime.

Established as an Australia-wide event in 1992, Daffodil Day has become the largest fundraising event of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Cancer Council now raises around $8 million each Daffodil Day, providing vital funds for research, education and support services.

Wattle it will be

Next Wednesday will be the first day of September and the first day of Spring. It's also Wattle Day, when Australians celebrate our national flowering plant and its historic, patriotic and environmental impact on our lives.

The Australian Acacia, commonly known as "wattle", owes its nickname to a building technique that arrived here with convict settlers in 1788.

Ironically, wattle and daub houses were first introduced to Britain by those other colonialists, the Romans. The technique consisted of setting upright posts into the ground, weaving twigs, reeds, or branches between them and plastering the completed framework with mud.

Because the acacia plant was used for the weaving (or "wattling") by the first settlers, it became known as "wattle".

Australia's passion for property continues

Buying a new home is tops on the shopping list for all states except South Australia during this financial year, the latest Homeloans Homebuyer Barometer has revealed.

According to research by Homeloans of more than 2000 respondents from across Australia, buying a new home will be the largest outlay for nearly a quarter of all states surveyed.

A new home was top of the spending list for 29 per cent of NSW respondents, 26 per cent of
Victorian respondents, 23 per cent of Queensland respondents and 26 per cent of Western Australian respondents. Only South Australians showed different spending priorities, where having a holiday held the top spot (22 per cent).

"Findings from the Homeloans Homebuyer Barometer confirm that Australians' passion for property continues to outstrip other major purchases," says Will Keall, Homeloans' national marketing manager.

"Bricks and mortar investment is obviously a permanent fixture on the must-have list of Australians."

Rising interest rates led the list of the greatest financial concerns for the next twelve months, followed by increased living expenses.

Of the different age groups, those aged over 60 (43 per cent) and 50-60 (33 per cent) were most concerned about the cost of living.

For those 25 and younger, rising interest rates far outstripped the cost of living as the greatest worry (31 per cent versus 18 per cent).

The following is a snapshot of how the surveyed states would prefer to spend their money:

After a new home (29 per cent), on the wish list for NSW residents were:

* A holiday (20 per cent)
* Renovations/extensions (17 per cent)
* Other property (14 per cent)
* A new car (13 per cent)
* Shares (5 per cent)


After a new home (26 per cent), on the wish list for VIC residents is:

* A holiday (18 per cent)
* Renovations/extensions (18 per cent)
* A new car (16 per cent)
* Other property (14 per cent)
* Shares (5 per cent)


After a new home (23 per cent), on the wish list for QLD residents are:

* Renovations/extensions (20 per cent)
* A holiday (15 per cent)
* A new car (15 per cent)
* Other property (14 per cent)
* Shares (4 per cent)


After a holiday (22 per cent), on the wish list for SA residents is:

* Home renovations/extensions (20 per cent)
* Buying a new home (18 per cent)
* Other property (11 per cent)
* A new car (10 per cent)
* Shares (7 per cent)


After a new home, on the wish list for WA residents is:

* A holiday (23 per cent)
* Renovations/extensions (20 per cent)
* Other property (16 per cent)
* A new car (14 per cent)
* Shares (3 per cent)

Affordability drops in June Quarter

Interest rate hikes and rising home values sent housing affordability close to a record low in the June 2010 quarter, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) said this week.

The latest HIA-CBA Housing Affordability Report shows affordability deteriorated in most capital cities and regional areas in the three months to June.

The HIA-CBA Housing Affordability Index fell by 6.1 per cent in the June 2010 quarter to be 30.4 per cent lower compared to the same period last year. The Index combines interest rates, household incomes, and home prices to determine affordability conditions.

Affordability declined by 6.5 per cent over the June 2010 quarter across the nation's capital cities and was down by 3.5 per cent in Regional Australia.

The largest falls were recorded in Sydney (down by 9.1 per cent), Regional Victoria (down 9.0 per cent), Regional Tasmania (down 8.8 per cent) and Adelaide (down 8.7 per cent).

Light up your home

Although it's often overlooked, good lighting can make a huge difference to a home. We may spend hours poring over paint charts, but it's actually the light that shows off a space to its best advantage or even makes it useable.

Well-planned lighting can make your home feel cool, warm, cosy or spacious.

The key is to create a flexible scheme that takes you through all the different times of day and activities of your room. At the flick of a switch, you should be able to transform it from a bright, vibrant living space to the setting for a romantic dinner for two.

According to the experts there are three major types of lighting - general lighting, task lighting and accent lighting.

General lighting provides an area with overall illumination and radiates a comfortable level of brightness evenly through a space.

Task lighting, as the name suggests, helps you perform specific tasks such as reading, sewing, cooking, homework, hobbies, games, or working in your home office. It can be provided by recessed and track lighting, pendant lighting, and portable lamps.

Accent lighting adds drama to a room or feature within a room by creating visual interest. As part of a decorating scheme, it is used to spotlight paintings, houseplants, sculptures or other prized possessions, or to highlight the texture of a wall, curtains or outdoor landscaping.

The most important rooms in your house as far as lighting is concerned are the kitchen, home office and bathroom.

Kitchens are functional spaces and therefore should have well-diffused general lighting for moving about the room safely, as well as task lighting on areas which require more illumination, such as the stove top, sink or kitchen table/bench.

In the home office, good general lighting is also a must. Here, task lighting should be used carefully and should be focused on the desk space rather than on the computer screen.

Bathrooms are similar to the kitchen and require a good level of general lighting as well as specific task lights over the sink, shower or bath. Dimmers are perfect in this setting, since the amount of light needed for shaving is considerably more than that required for a relaxed soak in the tub or a middle-of-the-night visit to the loo.

When trying to decide what sort of lighting to install in your home it's a good idea to also take into consideration the colour of your walls and furnishings. Dark colours absorb light and therefore need stronger lighting, while light colour schemes reflect light and do not need intense lighting.

No matter how many lights you install in your home it's a good idea to put them on dimmers. This allows you to create instant ambience by mixing the amount of light you have coming from various rooms.

Of course, if you don't have the budget or freedom to rip out those old fluorescent tubes or pendant lights you hate, simply ignore them and scatter lamps everywhere. Your mood lighting will then be a matter of just how many you turn on at once!

White house with a picket fence

A real-estate developer in the United States has found a way to live like the president without all the hassles of running a country.

He may have been born in Israel, but Fred Milani has lived out an American dream very few get to do - in his own White House. While it is one-third the size of the actual White House in Washington DC, Milani's home in Atlanta still has six bedrooms, seven full baths, six half baths, a banquet room, an outdoor pool and a soaring entryway with a domed ceiling, according to CNN.

The home reportedly also has its own Oval Office with a copy of the desk that George W. Bush used during his tenure as president, a presidential seal on the ceiling and Lincoln Bedroom fully equipped with copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Bill of Rights.

Built in 2002 when Atlanta's real estate market was booming, the monument is now up for sale with an asking price of AU$10.58M. Milani told reporters he doesn't need to sell the house; but if he does then he'll build a congressional building across the street, just for the challenge.

Snapshots of real life

Plants have long been the subject matter of art, whether prose, painting or photography. Designer Jung Hwa Jin has found a way to blend the latter with the subject matter, creating Polaroid-like frames that play house to real-life plants.

The planter is suspended in mid-air by a cord which also powers a small embedded lamp, lighting up the living work of art as it makes its timely journey from seedling to fully grown plant within the picturesque frame.

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