Tag Archives | Paddington Estate Agent

Platinum Plus Forum – Always aiming higher!

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Each year RE/MAX Australia and RE/MAX New Zealand invite their top performers to participate in a forum of shared knowledge and experiences. This year Grant and Christina with some of the team from RE/MAX Profile attended the two day gathering, June 18th – 20th in Hamilton Island.

Christina, having won the RE/MAX Australia’s ultimate individual honour ‘The Eagle Award’ earlier this year, was invited to speak about what we do differently at RE/MAX Profile to generate record prices for our clients. Christina always has a willingness to impart her knowledge and guide other Agents to succeed in the RE/MAX network.

The gathering of around 50 people was an intense professional and personal development, and networking opportunities. The forum’s theme was about not expecting others to make things better and instead to create your success for you. The program had panel and round table sessions featuring RE/MAX top performers explaining how they’ve created successful businesses, plus three exceptional external speakers – Kylie Davis, Head of Real Estate Solutions at CoreLogic; Mike Storkey, a business trainer, coach, licensed real estate agent and Toastmasters International President-Elect; and Chantelle Baxter, co-founder and CEO of One Girl.

Chantelle was inspirational, having personally changed lives of 12,000 young women in some of the world’s poorest nations. Mike spoke about how communication is being affected by technology and that personal communication, either face-to-face or by telephone, is still the most effective form of communication.

Those that attended this excellent event are like-minded and all want to strive to succeed with providing their clients superior service and outstanding results.

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Slip, slop and slap on a fine for non-compliant pool owners

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe deadline for residents to bring backyard pools in Queensland up to scratch has passed and if your pool, spa pool or portable swimming pool does not meet the State Government’s pool safety standards you may face penalties in excess of $800.

The November 30 deadline has loomed for some months now and from today if your pool fence isn’t high enough or the gate doesn’t lock properly and the Council inspectors catch you out, be prepared to fork out some serious coin.

If your pool isn’t registered with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission residents could be stung with a $2356 fine and further penalties up to $18,785.25 can be issued to pool owners if they fail to comply with the safety standards.

All pools need to comply with the standards, get signed off by a licensed pool safety inspector and be registered with the QBCC.

Pool safety inspector Marcel Stam* from Gladstone Building and Pest Inspections thought there was still about 40% of pools in the Gladstone region that weren’t compliant. An inspection will cost anywhere between $185 – $300. “Even if your pool is compliant, just about every pool will need new CPR signs because child resuscitation has been added,” he said. “The most common thing are gates not self-closing, vegetation growing through fences and gardens built up too close to fences.

If you’re unsure your pool complies with the State Government’s safety standards, here’s the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Pool compliance checklist (QBCC).

To see if your pool is already registered, you can check online at http://www.qbcc.qld.gov.au/ and click on the Pool Safety link.

If you’re selling your property, you don’t need a pool safety certificate. But if you don’t provide a certificate, you must give the buyer a ‘Form 36-notice of no pool safety certificate’ before entering a contract of sale. They buyer must get a pool safety certificate within 90 days of settlement.

POOL FENCES

  • The height of your pool fence must be at least 1200mm.
  • The gap between the bottom of the fence and the ground must be no more than 100mm.
  • The gap between your pool fence rails cannot be closer than 900mm apart.
  • You must ensure there aren’t any climbable objects within 900mm from the outside and 300mm from the inside of your pool fence.
  • All pool fences must be properly maintained.

SIGNAGE

  • A current CPR sign must be easily visible to anyone near the pool.

DOORS

  • You must ensure that no doors or windows provide direct access from the house to the pool and windows which open onto the pool area must be fixed so that they don’t open more than 100mm.

GATES

  • Pool gates must open away from the pool.
  • The gate must self-close and self-latch from all open positions.
  • Gate latches must be at least 1500mm off the ground and 1400mm above the top part of the lower horizontal railings.
  • If your latch is located on the inside, it needs to be a minimum of 150mm below the top of the fence and covered with a 450mm radius shield on the outside.
  • The hinges on the pool gate must be at least 900mm apart or the lower hinge has a non-climbable safety cap.

PORTABLE SWIMMING POOLS

  • Portable swimming pools greater than 300 mm deep are to be fenced. In Queensland this depth is 450 mm and the portable pool cannot be greater than 2000 litres in volume nor have a filtration system. Aligning Queensland with the national depth of 300 mm will improve safety and increase consistency. Research suggests that mandatory safety warnings on portable swimming pools would be unlikely to reduce the number of children who drown or become immersed in portable pools. A public education and awareness campaign is considered to be a more effective approach.

This is a guide only and if you’re still unsure you should contact a licensed pool safety inspector to carry out a full safety audit.

* Source: The Observer, Gladstone

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Brisbane Market on the Move…find out what the experts are saying

Herron Todd WhiteIt is exciting times at the moment and it is great to see Brisbane has been moving more confidently towards year’s end.  Purchasers are often buying properties that are currently achieving a good rental return and would normally appeal to investors as well.  There have been some stronger numbers coming out of residential markets and improvements in buyers’ choice for quality finishes and fittings.

Find out which parts of Brisbane are most desirable and where multiple offers are being achieved in the latest snapshot of the Brisbane Market provided by Herron Todd White Valuers.

Please click the link below to read this month’s Month in Review:

http://htw.com.au/Month_in_Review/Month-In-Review-November-2013.pdf

If we can be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to call.

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Herron Todd White April 2013 Month in Review

Herron Todd WhiteWhat is happening in the Brisbane Real Estate Market?

This is always the question on everyone’s lips! Find out which parts of Brisbane are most desirable and where multiple offers are being achieved in the latest snapshot of the Brisbane Market provided by Herron Todd White Valuers.

Please click the link below to read this month’s Month in Review:

http://www.htw.com.au/Month_in_Review/Month-In-Review-May-2013.pdf

If we can be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to call.

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11 Best Ways to Save Money in Your Home

save moneyFeeling the pinch? With the rising cost of living, this is definitely the time to save more to manage those costs. Here are 11 sure-fire ways to keep your bucks in the bank!

Audit your bills
Go through your bills for utilities and services and check the fine print. Are there fees or products on there you didn’t ask for or don’t use? Cut back things you don’t need and speak up about things you’re not sure about.

Don’t pay any more than you choose to. Challenge things that don’t seem right. And ask, firmly, about ways you could be better served. It’s a competitive market and companies will consider concessions and discounts to keep your loyalty.

Make a maintenance plan
Just like a home budget, a home maintenance plan helps you save serious money. Rather than waiting until things break and you’re held hostage on price because the need is urgent, regularly go around your home (including your car) and perform proverbial oil changes (or actual oil changes).  You’ll be able to catch problems before they become a catastrophy, and regular attention from you can save a fortune in labour costs.

Ditch the disposables
Experts say not buying paper towels is a great way to save money at home. So if you’re a big paper towel user, see if you can reuse a cloth or old clothes instead, and put things like dryer sheets to work as dust cloths for the TV. Better for the wallet = better for the environment.

Keep updates cheap and cheerful
Instead of replacing furniture outright or spending heavily on high end decor overalls, try a simple face lift first. A few bright cushions on an older couch, a coat of paint on a dresser or bland wall, some nice frames with photos; these all give your space new energy without excessive expense.

If you make your own cleaning products, you can update wooden floors and spruce up to add to the shiny new feel. DIY cleaning supplies are becoming increasingly popular as a way to save a small fortune around the home.

Get some (air-filtering) houseplants
Not everyone has a green thumb, but if you can care for a plant or two they can actually help you save money around the home. As well as adding a bit of life to a space, houseplants can help remove toxins from your air and keep a place fresh.

Stop buying expensive air purifiers and fresheners and lean on nature to keep you breathing clear and clean. Do note: some plants might be harmful to pets, and make sure you buy suited to your environment so you don’t create excessive moisture issues.

Rent-tertainment
Don’t overspend on books, movies, music or games that you’re only likely to enjoy once. If you’re going to buy, make sure you truly love that thing or you’re going to get long term enjoyment from it. Look online for free web series’ and other no or low cost ways to relax around the house.

You can still enjoy things as a once off, but look to rent or borrow, not buy. Consider creating a swap or trade group with your community or circle of friends so you can pass things around and vary your home entertainment at little or no cost. And remember that thing called a library?

Get smarter with energy
Get an energy audit performed on your home and identify specific improvements you can make around the house to save you money. This might include install energy saving appliances, smart meters or automated shut off switches, reusing water (i.e. shower water for plants), or line drying your laundry when the weather allows.

Look closely at insulation. It might not be cheap if your property desperately needs insulation, but there’s few better ways to save money in the long term. We often waste up to half our heating and cooling through poor insulation, and it only takes one poorly insulated spot to cause problems. Read up on why and how to get started here.

Clean up to stop doubling up
Have you ever bought something only to get home and find you already had one of them stashed away in a cupboard? It’s actually very common, especially with clothes, appliances and entertainment like DVDs or games.

Apart from making you feel better, cleaning and organising can help you avoid buying multiples of the same thing, or things you don’t really need because you’ve got something that can do the job instead.
Know what you’ve got, so you know what you need to spend on and you won’t be throwing money away.

Utilise online communities
Online communities like Freecycle, Open Shed and Clothing Exchange are just three of many that let you make money with items sitting unused around your house, and get a hold of things you need for cheap or free, like clothes, furniture, tools and more.

Lose the product snobbery
Don’t be fussy about buying name brands. If you can afford it and want to treat yourself, it’s no crime. But if you’re trying to save, buying for the label alone – whatever the product – won’t help.

Economise by buying generic versions of household goods, and think creatively about repurposing. For example, use carpet offcuts as rugs. Make friends with garage sales and op shops. Explore local providers and farmers markets who are keen to compete with bigger players and may offer incentives. Use the generic as an excuse to personalise and add a custom touch instead!

Start a veggie or herb garden
As we said, where you live and your gardening skills might make this more or less practical for your situation, but if you can get a garden – even a tiny or boxed one – up and running you can save plenty in the kitchen by growing essentials like tomatoes, carrots, basil, chives, broccoli and more.

If your resources are limited, consider pitching in with neighbours for a community garden that you can all share in.

Source : www.realestate.com.au (16 January 2013)

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