Protect yourself this Storm Season

Protect yourself this Storm Season


With the Courier Mail reporting that “BRISBANE” will become ground zero for wild weather as meteorologists predict a highly active storm season across Queensland.

The severe weather outlook for 2016 and 2017 has indicated a heightened severe weather season with an increased risk of damaging thunderstorms, rain, and cyclones.  Heightened cyclone activity is also predicted with up to four cyclones expected.” Read more

Creating Your Workout Zone Simple and Easy Fitness Additions You Can Make To Your Home

Creating Your Workout Zone: Simple and Easy Fitness Additions You Can Make To Your Home


Whether you are a fitness fanatic or a casual exerciser, it’s always a healthy habit to have a space where you can retreat to, or use to enter your fitness zone. Unfortunately not all of us have the opportunity to build a gym in our home, but we can always create a work out zone. Motivation is key to reaching or maintaining fitness goals, so a personalized and aesthetically pleasing space that does not take up too much space can be very important. Below you will find a few recommended elements and additions to give your home a workout space that is easy on your budget and full of flair and efficiency.

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The problem with home renovation TV shows

The problem with home renovation TV shows

They’re exciting, they’re fun to watch, and the results usually look incredible. What’s not to like about home reno TV shows?

Well, for one thing, they often gloss over the most important aspect of renovating a home.

If you’ve caught the itch and are thinking about making some improvements to your home, make sure you aren’t overlooking this one major factor.

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How to make your bathroom a selling point

How to make your bathroom a selling point

Bathrooms are one of the most frequented rooms in any home, and yet many home sellers go no further than giving them a bit of a clean when putting their house on the market.

These small but important rooms can in fact be the make-or-break point of a sale, so it pays to spend a little time and money making sure they’re in top shape before opening your doors to inspections.

Here are a few tips on how to make your bathroom look its best.

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The Biggest Buyer Turn-Offs! #3 May Surprise You!

The Biggest Buyer Turn-Offs! #3 May Surprise You!

A lot of what goes into selling a home is positive: we do things that we think will make our houses look better and sell for more money.

But sometimes it’s what we neglect to do that has the biggest effect. It’s easier to think of things buyers will like than to look at our own homes and critique the way we live.

So here’s a list of the six most common blind-spots that turn buyers off. How many are you guilty of?

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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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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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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:

How to be a Good Neighbour The List

How to be a Good Neighbour: The List

Who doesn’t love a list? Truth be known, I sometimes even make lists of my lists. Some might call that crazy. But I say: master list. And to that point and without further ado, behold the list of how to be a good neighbour:

  1. Say hello

It’s free. Deceptively simple. It has immeasurable value and it will get you everywhere. Well, not literally, but don’t suddenly take an avid interest in your feet whenever you see your neighbour; look them in the eye, turn the corners of your mouth up in a smile and say hello. Many good friendships have started that way. And even if you’re not looking to add to your friend list, we could all use a good neighbour.

  1. Be first to introduce yourself

Whether you move in, or they do first, doesn’t matter. What matters is being the first one to pop next door to introduce yourself. When we moved last, before we’d even moved in, we were there painting inside and our neighbour popped-by to introduce himself and his son. And that was the beginning of a great friendship as well as cementing the value of this small but great neighbourly gesture. It’s also an opportunity to sticky beak on who is inhabiting the house next door!

  1. Offer to feed the dog/cat/bird when they go away

Some might say this one’s a thinly veiled selfish act, especially if you do it in the spirit of having the favour reciprocated one day. But, hey, that’s what neighbours do and the point here is about offering … it goes a long way.

  1. Check the overhang

We talked about this last week – the obligations of being a tree keeper – so no need to bang on here, but needless to say, if your trees overhang your neighbour’s boundary, do the right thing; remove them, before you make them grumpy. Grumpy neighbour equals bad neighbour.

  1. Ask questions

If you have a dog and you regularly leave the house to go to work, then chances are Fang may miss you. Be sure to ask your neighbours whether they hear your dog barking. No one likes offering this information, but by asking the question, you make it easier for your neighbour to give you an honest answer. And if Fang is barking, take steps to fix it and keep your neighbour informed of the progress (or run the risk of having them think you’re doing nothing). Otherwise we’re back to grumpy neighbour …

How to be a Good Neighbour: The List

  1. Hang out

It’s true – like family – you can’t choose your neighbours, and they may not be your ‘kind’ of usual friend, but take the opportunity to embrace that diversity. Everyone we meet has the potential to teach us something. Neighbours included. So, by reaching out and inviting them over for drinks/potluck dinner or a barbeque you will all enjoy the benefits of a harmonious neighbourhood.

  1. Last but most obvious, keep it down

Noisy neighbours are seriously the biggest deal breaker. Not everyone shares your taste in music or love of large gatherings. When attending a lovely daytime gathering with a few friends recently, the neighbour had just acquired a motorised, remote-controlled esky. Yes. It’s true. If a large mozzie and a lawnmower had had a baby, that’s what we were hearing whaling. Not pretty.

So. There you have it; the list of how to be a good neighbour (minus the remote-controlled esky).

With the pace of life these days, many simply don’t know their neighbours like they used to. And that’s a great loss. Good neighbours are a great gift. Chances are you’ll see your neighbours more often than you see your friends, so it’s worth investing some time and effort into making it a solid and harmonious relationship. That way, if or when issues come up, you can deal with them like civilised people.

And that’s what we are, right?

Turning a Home Into an Investment

Turning a Home Into an Investment

Turning your home into an investment

As life inevitably changes, a property may need to fulfil a variety of purposes. Evolving circumstances, like a new relationship, a baby or a job transfer can cause buyers to re-evaluate a purchase.

Therefore it may be ideal to buy a primary residence that can be rented out and converted into an investment.

An investment property that has a strong rental yield is always underpinned by the qualities that made it a desirable owner-occupied home in the first place, according to agents.

Swimming pools and verdant gardens, as well as decorative exterior finishes, can marginally boost the rental value, but at the same time add enormously to the cost of upkeep, he said.

Turning a Home Into an Investment

The combination of capital growth and solid rental return is the Holy Grail of acquiring a home that will later be a rental investment

A position near schools, shops, doctor surgeries and public transport, as well as a property that is easy to maintain, is a recipe for a good rental return.

But perhaps the most important factor – and the least known – is that two bedrooms, no more, no less, will attract the right sort of renter. It’s the real estate baby bear equivalent in the Goldilocks story – two bedrooms are just right.

Three bedrooms often attract groups of young singles and one beders are limiting in their appeal.

However, two bedrooms will attract young professionals and couples who require room for a study or are planning to have a baby, and therefore tend to be long-term renters who look after the property.

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