Time to upgrade your home? My top 8 tips to help you get there!

 
 

Our lives are always changing, sometimes through choices we make ourselves and sometimes life will throw us a curve ball and turn our life upside down… and sometimes when your life changes, it’s time for your home to change too.

If you’ve come to the decision that it’s time to find a new home, one that will suit the new you, ensuring you have as much knowledge as possible is so important. NAB have a super helpful online resource called the Life Moments Hub which is literally a source for finding your way through life’s unpredictable moments - the perfect resource to help you through the life changing moment of upgrading to a new home. Just because life is unpredictable, your finances don’t have to be.

It’s time to turn a daunting and overwhelming situation into an enjoyable and exciting life changing experience…  

 
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1.  Research

It is 100% worth taking the time to research the area that you are looking at. This will ensure that your new home will be your dream home and for some people it may even be your forever home. So, let’s talk through all the things you should be looking out for before signing on the dotted line. Check out the neighbours - if you’re brave, strike up a conversation with the neighbour to see what they are like, remember you will be living next to them for a long time and there is nothing worse than a difficult neighbour. If they seem nice, ask them what it is about the area they like, getting insider knowledge from a local is always beneficial. Look in to the level of crime in the area. Is there a lot of construction going on in the street? Are there properties with planning permits being advertised? If so go onto the local council website and have look at the plans being advertised to ensure there aren’t any apartment blocks going up next door, or across from you. Check the zoning of the area to see if high rise apartments are allowed, or if there are any plans for major roads in the future, as these could be deal breakers. Drive around the streets to make sure that it’s a neighbourhood that you would feel comfortable buying and living in. Another tip, always do drive by’s at different times of the day/night and weekday/weekends, so you will gain a greater understanding of what it would be like to live there.

2. Finance

Make sure you have your finance in place before you start seriously looking, or looking at all. There is nothing worse than searching online for hours, going to several open for inspections every weekend, finding the perfect property and then going to the bank and realising that your borrowing capacity isn’t what you thought. Remember just because you have the deposit, doesn’t mean you can loan what you need, so make an appointment and sort out your finance before you start looking. This will give you peace of mind as well as making sure that you don’t have your heart set on a house you think is your dream home, which you later realise you can’t afford. If you’re also considering whether you should or shouldn’t sell your current home before purchasing a new one, NAB has some helpful info here.

 

3. Do you have a growing family?

Do you already have children, or are you planning on having more children? If kids are in the picture there are even more factors to consider when choosing where you want to buy your new house – what are your thoughts on inner city versus the suburbs for raising your family? If you are a city dweller through and through what are your thoughts on compromising on a backyard for closeness to the city? It’s also a good time to check out the local schools, think about your new work commute and consider things like public transport and if you’re anything like me, taste testing the local coffee is a must!

4. What do you really need?

What do you need in a new home? Make a list of what is non-negotiable and what you can live without. How many bedrooms do you actually need? How important is ample storage to you? If the kitchen isn’t perfect do you have the budget to renovate it once you move in? Write everything down and it will make your life so much easier when deciding whether each home is a real contender for purchase.

 
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5. Building inspections

You’ve found the one, but what should you look out for before handing over the cash? Always get a building and pest inspection on all homes, units and apartments, even if they are new. Only the professionals know what to look for when inspecting for termites, sinking floors, cracked walls and ceilings as well as damage from things like mould, rising damp and failing waterproofing. A building inspector will also point out issues to you such as poor workmanship and design flaws which you may not have noticed.

 

6. New or Old?

Have you ever considered buying a brand new home? In some cases, buying a brand new home, either off the plan, or recently finished is a great option to get all the things you want and need with the added bonus of it being perfect when you move in. Moving in without the need to fix or change anything sometimes means a little bit more money in your pocket.

 
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7. Have you ever considered building?

Is building an option for you? If you have been looking and researching as well as going to inspections and auctions and you just aren’t winning the property, or maybe you can’t even find the right property, maybe it’s time to think about building. Building a home from scratch means you have all the choice in terms of your home’s design, floor plan, layout, fittings, fixtures, finishes and overall aesthetic. Although it’s a daunting and seemingly stressful exercise to take on, building a home to your exact needs, lifestyle and specifications can not only be a very rewarding and exciting experience but it also means that you will have your dream home!

8. Location, Location, Location

Do you have a dream suburb that you just need to live in? Most of us do and only some of us ever achieve it. It’s always great to have something to work towards, but if your dream suburb is currently just a little outside the budget, why not look at properties in the next, or a few suburbs over, to see what is available? Expanding your suburb search area a little wider may show you new and exciting places you had never considered living in, but have all the things that you would like. 

 
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This article is a NAB paid promotion and was written in collaboration with NAB. As always, all opinions are my own. 

 

 
 
Source: If you’ve come to the decision that it’s ...

Renovating - how to keep your budget healthy!

 
 

Renovating everyone’s talking about it. You turn on the TV and there’s a show about it on every channel. You scroll through your Instagram feed and yep, everyone is renovating! So how do people find the time, the inspiration and most importantly the money to start the process of renovating their home?

I’m going to share my top tips for succeeding with your renovation and how to do it within your budget, which is 100% the hardest part of renovating. Having renovated several houses, some a quick face lift and some literally starting from scratch again, I have learnt many things and finding ways to save money has been the most beneficial. Renovating can be an expensive exercise - but with some guidance and helpful knowledge it doesn’t have to break the bank.

NAB have a super helpful online resource called the Life Moments Hub which is literally a source for finding your way through life’s unpredictable moments - just because life is unpredictable, your finances don’t have to be. 

 
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1 - Do as much as you can yourself 

You’re probably thinking, ‘easy for her to say when her partner is a builder’ and yes, that has meant that we have been able to do incredible things and some things that others couldn’t on the same budget but that doesn’t mean you that you still can’t do a lot of it yourselves. There are some incredible resources for learning skills to aid you in tackling your renovation in a DIY fashion.  Use blogs, google, YouTube, the staff at Bunnings, your father in law, or your chippie friend, to gather as much knowledge as possible. And you will be surprised at how much knowledge and skill your friends and family have, so ask around and even ask for a day’s help here and there… your mates will love helping in exchange for a slab!

2 - Shop around

If you love it, don’t buy it…just yet! It’s so easy to fall into the trap of buying things on the spot because you love it…. ALWAYS shop around, as in most cases you will find that exact item somewhere else for a cheaper price. This is especially the case for interior fittings and fixtures - the main items to always shop around for are: carpet, tiles, floor coverings, light fittings and tap ware.

3 - Do your research 

The most important aspect of any renovation is to be prepared with as much knowledge as possible. This is true for every single part of the renovation journey - what are you planning to do? How are you going to do it? What trades will you need? Do you need council approval? do you need plans and permits? and how long do you estimate it will take? Make a plan, plan a timeline, a schedule and LISTS before you start.

4 - Get several quotes 

Always get at least three quotes for everything, especially trades and you will be amazed at the savings you can make. 

 
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5 - Be prepared

Depending on the extent of the renovation you plan to undertake try to be as prepared as possible. When you have trades coming to quote, try and have your plans mapped out as clearly as possible to ensure that you’re using everyone’s time efficiently. If you know your plumber is coming, ensure you have all your tap ware on site as neither of you want them coming back another day to finish the job because you couldn’t decide on black or chrome.

6 - Don’t get too excited and pick all the trends you see on Instagram

This saying applies for all sorts of things across your renovation! For example, if you are renovating your bathroom, do you really need 3 or 4 different tiles for the space? NO. This not only costs you more money in purchasing costs, it also costs a fortune more in tiling costs, mitering the edges of those bevelled edge, handmade, hexagon tiles you saw on Instagram means HOURS more work for your tiler, equating to an expensive bill! Before you go out shopping, know your style, pick your colour palette and don’t go over your budget.

 
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7 - Do you really need it?  

This tip is following on from the above, just because someone else has it, does it mean that you really need it? So often we see beautiful images online and want that for ourselves, but if you’re renovating on a budget sometimes it’s necessary to go without, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style, aesthetic or quality. Know your style and stick with it - you can’t go wrong. For example, a huge saving can be made in your bathroom by removing ‘the double basin’ - how often are two people both needing to use the basin at the exact same time? One basin means one set of tap ware, one basin, one mirror and a considerably cheaper plumbing bill.

8 - What can you live without for now?

If you’re nearing the end of your renovation and money is getting tight, try to only spend on the necessities and the less important things can wait until your budget is a little healthier. A few examples of ways to finish your reno without anyone else knowing it’s not 100% complete. Pendants can wait, get all your main lighting such as downlights in and bring the electrician back in a few months to fit off your pendants when you have saved enough to purchase them. Hold off on luxuries such as sheer curtains if you also have blinds. You can have the blinds installed for now and wait a little for the sheers. New furniture - you can probably live with your old furniture in your new house for a little while. I know it’s not ideal when you want to be surrounded by stunning items in the home you have slaved over, but if it’s choosing between landscaping your garden over a new couch, I would always choose having a gorgeous garden first!

 

 

This article is a NAB paid promotion and was written in collaboration with NAB. As always, all opinions are my own.

 
 
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Nailing Design within your budget - workshop event with BuildHer Collective

 

 

Do you want to build your dream home, but still need to stick to a budget? BuildHer Collective can show you how!

BuildHer Collective was created to empower women with the right tools to build the home of their dreams. Rebeka Morgan and Krisbashini Hannon of BuildHer Collective have created an online course that guides you through every step along the journey, with the support of like-minded women. This fantastic duo brings their vast construction and renovation experience and mission to help women create their dream home with clarity and confidence for a unique, strategy-packed workshop!

NAILING DESIGN WITHIN YOUR BUDGET - 4 HOUR WORKSHOP EVENT SATURDAY, 23 JUNE 2018 2 - 6PM

 
4 Hour Workshop

 

The Nailing Design Within Your Budget Workshop!

Learn how to "Build like a BuildHer" and get the design you want, whilst managing your budget at the same time.  It's tough ask though right?... BuildHer get that, and although winning the lottery will solve most of your budget problems, most of us haven't (yet).

Money is a massive thing to think about with any build or renovation project.  You can get crippled by the fear of going over budget… you don't want to blow it and if you do, how can you afford to fix it and finish???

Everyone’s heard ‘those’ horror stories and continue to hear them.  However, the reality is that if you follow BuildHer’s simple process, you can make sure that you are in the best position possible and avoid overwhelm, conflict and regret.

 
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You don't want to put yourself in the position of having to make massive sacrifices at the end of your renovation because of bad budgeting AND you want to be able to shop for the "fun stuff" at the end like fittings and furniture obviously. You know that new couch you've had your eye on would look perfect in your new dream home!

BuildHer Collective can show you how to "get that designer look" whilst managing a "realistic budget".  They can help you set up your build to ensure a winning outcome!

So whether you're thinking about building or have just started, this workshop is for you.  Not only will you learn some super practical and relevant information, there will also be some tasty treats and beverages for you to enjoy from Chef - Michelle Boyle.

 
Build Her Collective

 

Here’s what the workshop covers:

-The practical and relevant information to understand the right renovation and building options, without having to make massive sacrifices at the end of your project.

-The simple steps to navigate a fun and fulfilling building process whilst knowing exactly what to ask from your designers and architects. (Communicate your needs with a clear 3-step process!) 

-The strategies and how-tos to create stunning details without ever being worried about going over budget.

 
Build Her Collective

 

You’ll leave the event with a clear plan that works for the project that’s guaranteed to save you money during your project - without sacrificing an ounce of style.

P.S. It’s important to know that the workshop is limited to just 30 people, so don’t miss out!

The goal is to create an intimate, exclusive workshop for you to get the steps you need whilst sharing your current ideas, challenges, and get your questions answered! Think of it as the opportunity to spend the afternoon with your own renovation and design think tank for just $197.

Plus, the steps and strategies to create your dream home with clarity, confidence, and support.

Grab your spot HERE!

 
 
Source: Do you want to build your dream home, but ...

A builder is just a builder right? 

 
Nexus Homes

Nexus Homes

What you need to know about choosing a builder with Director of Nexus Home Improvements, Matt Keogh.


 

Customer experience is the biggest factor when choosing a builder. You aren’t just purchasing products, you are purchasing a home, your home - something in which to make your life better! Therefore your builder should always make the building process enjoyable for both of you by focusing on providing a premium customer experience as well as a premium product.  

Choose a builder that is suitably experienced. This helps to ensure that there are no costly mistakes made along the way and that you can put your complete trust into them, knowing that you will receive your dream home at the end of the process.

Choose a builder who you feel comfortable with, it's important to be working with someone that will follow your instruction if need be.

 
Nexus Homes

Nexus Homes

 

How did you find this builder? A lot of quality builders will source their work through referrals and word of mouth, so speak to your friends, look online, read reviews, can they show you current examples of their work, where was the last house they built? 

Big - but not too big is important. Ideally it’s best to deal with a boutique company where the director or owner will personally work on your project - they will have a support system of supervisors, trades and designers that will assist with the day to day running of your project.

 
Nexus Homes

Nexus Homes

 

Based in Perth, Western Australia, Nexus Home Improvements complete Second Storey Additions, Home Renovations, House Extensions and Custom Designer Homes. Their attention to detail in build quality, design and finish, coupled with modern building techniques ensure that they stand out from the crowd and that their projects are second to none. 

Nexus Homes Improvements major focus is on creating the optimum customer experience through good design, thoughtful consideration of client requirements, expectations and budget. Part of this involves having a skilled and enthusiastic team of designers and trades people, coupled with careful planning to minimise variations and really listening to what you want!

 
Nexus Homes

Nexus Homes

 

Building with Nexus you are always in contact with a director which allows for organised communication throughout your building process.

Something that we love about Nexus is their Prefab 'pods'. They are a super modern ‘pod’ addition which contrasts perfectly against the traditional and/or original facade of your home. The ‘pod’ addition is a modular extension, which in basic terms means it is pre-made and finished offsite and then craned into place (scroll down for progress pics), this allows for a faster build time, less chaos at your home over an extended period of time and it’s obviously just pretty amazing! 

 
Nexus Homes

Nexus Homes

Nexus Homes

Nexus Homes

 
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You’ve renovated your dream home, now it’s time to insure it…

 

As a renovator, the partner of a builder, home owner, landlord and interiors enthusiast, I deeply value the importance of stunning architecture, quality building work and interior design. From my years of experience in the design and building industry I know how much blood, sweat and tears goes into creating a beautiful home for yourself, whether you have designed and built it from a patch of dirt, gutted and renovated a home you have purchased or, if you have completed cosmetic upgrades to a home you have bought to make it your own and put your stamp on it. Regardless of how you did it, this home brings you joy and protecting this home and the happiness it brings you is so important.

When designing and renovating I pour my heart and soul into every single aspect; from the initial sketches, to floor-plans, choosing each and every fitting and fixture, hard surfaces, furniture selection to finding the perfect backyard pieces. Once these ideas, plans, processes and hard work are realised, it’s time to remember the importance of insuring the dream home you have created!

And that’s where RACV comes in…

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RACV home insurance covers you for those unfortunate events that may happen to your home. It is a name you know and trust and a company who looks after its members’ interests. They offer a range of products to ensure that you are covered for just about everything that life throws at you and at your house! One of the key features I love is the automatic new for old replacement cover. It covers your belongings if they’re stolen or damaged, even if you leave a window or door open and there’s no sign of forced entry.

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If you want to go a step further to protecting your beloved home, RACV offers a range of Home Security plans – and let’s be honest, your home is the biggest purchase that the most of us will ever make, so why wouldn’t we take that extra measure to protect it? From high quality CCTV systems, to smart security systems, security monitoring and patrols – RACV will tailor a solution to suit every family’s needs. Fun Fact - having a home alarm system could actually reduce your home insurance premium!

Now, we all know that life can and will throw curve balls at us, like a broken kitchen tap when you have a dinner party about to start or a burst water pipe in the middle of the night. And that’s where RACV’s Emergency Home Assist comes in to save the day. It’s a fast response service for common plumbing, electrical and lock out emergencies and it has 24/7 coverage with no out of hours’ surcharges. You can also feel safe knowing that you will always receive a qualified tradesperson at your door step within the hour.

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Now after all this talk of renovating, dream homes and insurance… it’s time for a competition!!! Who wants to WIN $10,000 towards a home makeover, courtesy of RACV?!

The competition is open to all Victorians - Either go in-store or online here before October 31st to be in the running!

I have received a financial reward from RACV entity for this blog post.  The statements and opinions contained in this post are my own and not those of RACV entity or the issuer of RACV Home Insurance, Insurance Manufacturers of Australia ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678.

RACV Home Insurance is issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Limited ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement before buying. For a copy call 13 RACV (13 7228).