Am I better off selling

Am I better off selling?

Have you thought about what you might be able to get for your home, or dreamt of the possible opportunities that could open up if you released the funds tied up in it?

If not, perhaps give it a try. Most people only ever put their homes up for sale when something changes in their life (kids, jobs, spouses, etc.) – this means that they don’t want to sell, but they need to sell. Which isn’t ideal.

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Think twice before buying that CBD unit…

Think twice before buying that CBD unit…

Think twice before buying that CBD unit. High-rise CBD apartments used to seem like such a sure-fire investment option. Rents were huge, maintenance was low, and vacancies were rare.

But not anymore. What happened to the Brisbane apartment market? Why are owner-occupiers and investors still choosing homes and units in established suburbs over inner-city apartments?

Let’s find out!

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What to do with your old fixer upper

What to do with your old fixer upper

You’ve got an old, not-particularly-inhabitable property sitting there collecting dust. For years you’ve been going on about doing it up and selling it, or perhaps rebuilding and moving in.

You know you’re sick of it sitting there empty, but you’re not sure what exactly to do with it. Well, now you do – here are your options, with our recommendations included.

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Who should you trust to sell your home

Who should you trust to sell your home?

Selecting a real estate agent to help sell your home is a tough decision. It’s equal parts business and personal – you want someone who knows the industry and will work hard for you, but you also want someone who ‘gets’ you and is easy to deal with.

We’ve put together a quick guide on the common factors that usually affect this decision. Have a read!

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Where to spend your renovation dollars

Where to spend your renovation dollars

Putting a few dollars into a renovation can add significant value to a home – just watch an episode of The Block and see how much difference a few thousand dollars makes!

But where should you focus your spending? What needs more attention? Which areas aren’t as important? Here are our picks and pointers.

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Late Summer Everton Park’s busy period

Late Summer: Everton Park’s busy period!

The post-Christmas and New Year period is usually one of our busiest here at Madeleine Hicks Real Estate.

There are pros and cons to having high market activity at this time. Here’s some basic info on how to look at it, whether you’re buying or selling.

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First home buyer FAQs

First home buyer FAQs

First home buyer FAQs: Buying your first home can be a daunting experience; after all it’s a big commitment and involves a lot of money. To help you on your journey, we answer some of the most common questions asked by first home buyers.

How much money will I need?

At a minimum, you will need a 10% deposit plus enough funds to cover legal fees, a building inspection and stamp duty.

If you buy a property with a deposit of less than 20% of the purchase price, most lenders will require you to take out mortgage insurance as well.

Is it better to save up more or buy now?

If interest rates are low and the market is rising, the growth in property prices will usually outstrip your ability to save.

That means it’s often better to purchase your home as soon as you can afford it. First home buyer FAQs.

Where should I buy?

The best location is different for every homebuyer, depending on their needs.

Start with the locations you would like to live in and where it’s convenient for you to travel to your work and to visit family and friends.

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Don't visit Brisbane. LIVE in Brisbane!

Don’t visit Brisbane. LIVE in Brisbane!

Whether or not you’ve been to Brisbane recently, you would’ve heard a lot about it in the media, with the G20 Summit, Brisbane International Tennis and even the Lonely Planet’s “Capital of Cool” article that came out in 2014.

While our little river city might not yet have the same reputation as Sydney or Melbourne, there’s a lot more to Brisbane than meets the eye. So much, in fact, that we’re going to go out on a limb and say that rather than visiting Brisbane, you should try living here.

Click through to find out why. Read more

2015 The year to buy property in Brisbane

2015: The year to buy property in Brisbane

Here’s some good news: Brisbane is expected to overtake Sydney and Melbourne as the hottest area for property buyers in 2015.

While the big southern centres are predicted to see a bit of a slowdown, Brisbane’s growth is expected to increase by 4-5% while still remaining affordable – especially compared to Sydney and Melbourne, whose median prices are much higher (up to 70%!) across the board.

Low interest rates and land prices coupled with healthy interstate migration and a relative glut of inner-city highrises means the property market in Brisbane is suited to buyers and investors at all levels – particularly in the middle to upper categories.

Click through to find out more about why 2015 will be the year for buying property in Brisbane. Read more

Tips to make your garden a summer oasis

Tips to make your garden a summer oasis

The biggest part of most gardens is the lawn,you know the story – when you’ve had the time to mow it’s been wet, and when it has been dry you’ve been busy.

The good news is if you do mow it after work in the cooler part of the day it won’t go through as much stress. Just because it is long doesn’t mean you have to slash it.

A longer lawn that’s mowed to be uniform looks fantastic, it’s more inviting and it’s easier than pushing the mower on a lower setting.

The longer the leaf on the grass the more traffic it can handle and that means it can stand up to backyard cricket.

Now is not the time to be buying big bags of smelly fertiliser for the garden, unless you want to stay inside with the windows closed. If the garden needs a feed, think about a liquid fertiliser or a synthetic, slow-release fertiliser that doesn’t smell.

I have noticed my paths are dirty, even slippery, from all the rain, so a pressure wash will ensure safety and will give them brighter look.

Tips to make your garden a summer oasis

While you’re cleaning, wash your outdoor furniture. Spiderwebs are everywhere. If your furniture is wooden, sanding the timber lightly and giving it an oil is a quick and easy job.

Some new mulch will brighten the garden beds. I like to use composted bark fines. If you don’t want to spend the money, rake and move your existing mulch around. It will come up like new because mulch exposed to the sun fades.

Now is also a good time to remove all the Ds in the garden – dead, diseased and damaged.

I just removed all the dead flowers from my gardenias and they are transformed – from shrubs where dead flowers were all you could see to beautiful foliage and some new flowers blooming.

Diseased plants that have made the garden look messy should be removed or cut back. Plants don’t repair – they grow out of a problem if you manage it. So I like to remove the diseased foliage so the plant looks neat and tidy, and with dead plants remove and replace with fresh mulch.

It’s not too late to plant some colour in the garden. Nurseries and hardware stores have potted colour plants for a few dollars. By positioning them well around your entrance and around your outdoor entertaining area you can make a big impact for not a lot of money.

Most importantly, enjoy your garden over summer. I showed someone a photo of my lawn and they said, “make sure you enjoy it as much as you enjoy looking at it”, and I will.

Story by Jason Hodges; Story source: