Bring burglars to heel

Bring burglars to heel

If you completely close all of your blinds and curtains or leave a lamp on when you head off for holidays, you may be signalling to burglars that your home is empty.

That’s the finding of a study into the tricks of the trade for home robbers in Australia, conducted by Perth’s Edith Cowan University.

Researchers from the university’s school of law and justice teamed up with the Australian Institute of Criminology to interview 69 criminals who admitted to having committed a burglary.

The study found that burglaries were usually spontaneous and the homes that were most vulnerable were the easiest to gain access to.

On average it took burglars just five to 15 minutes to break into a home and make off with cash or goods – often worth up to $5000 per home.

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How to Prepare your Home for Spring

How to Prepare your Home for Spring

Spring is the time of the year when the trees bloom and the home environment needs fresh and proper cleaning after a long cold winter. Spring, indeed, has always been by tradition the most appropriate time of the year to do a thorough “Spring Clean”. However, as you can see, there is much more than just home cleaning that you can and should do in Spring.

This is the time when there is some warmth seeping back into the atmosphere. As such, it is the time to push back the shutters and welcome the fresh air and sunshine into your home.

Here is a cross-section of services that you should consider when preparing your home for Spring.

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DIY Floating floors

DIY: Floating floors

Floating Floors can really enhance a room if they are installed carefully.

Floating floors can be a relatively cheap, quick and easy update for your floors, the trick to getting a great floor is, as usual, all in the preparation.

Through all the fickle trends of the last century, one style of flooring has consistently triumphed: floorboards.

They come in so many different types, shades and widths of timber, that you’ll never be hard up finding a timber floor that suits. However, they can be expensive.

A much cheaper and often more practical alternative is an engineered timber floating floor. It’s literally a floor that “floats” on top of your existing one.

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Tips for decorating with Cushions

Tips for decorating with Cushions

Cushions are like shoes and handbags for the home – they are the perfect accessory. While a girl can’t have too many shoes and handbags, a home can’t have too many cushions.

So if you have (or have recently purchased) the perfect lounge you will be looking for the perfect accessories – the cushions and throws that will make your room come together.

Coming into winter the trend at the moment is soft and cosy, which means more cushions on the lounge. A room (and indeed a lounge) can look more inviting with a generous quantity and range of cushions. Don’t be afraid to be daring by combining different textures, colours and patterns.  By changing your cushions every three or six months you can completely transform the look and feel of your room – for very little expense. Read more

How to warm your home

How to warm your home

Oh to live in Darwin at this time of the year! Temperatures in that city this week are expected to average 32 degrees, with overnight lows of 21.

For the rest of us, the pre-winter chill is certainly starting to bite. As we move into the colder months, here are 10 ways to warm up your home. Read more

Trick Up The Outside For Best Result When Selling

Trick Up The Outside For Best Result When Selling

Obtaining best price for your home is the goal. So how do we create competition and increased interest in our property when it comes time to sell?

Renovating or “tricking up” the outside of our home is one way.

Madeleine Hicks of Madeleine Hicks Real Estate Everton Park says, “The key to getting the very best price for your home is to create interest and hopefully competition between interested buyers. Sellers should do everything possible to enhance their property and make it more appealing to the market place.”

“Tricking up” your home needn’t cost a fortune. By following a few rules you can enhance your sale price without breaking the bank.

Trick Up The Outside For Best Result When Selling

Madeleine’s tips on renovating the outside of your home include:

  • Pick a colour scheme that enhances your home and its street appeal. Avoid colours that will clash with others or colours that are “out there.”
  • Choose the right sheen. Glossy paints generally show imperfections, but can look fresher. As a general rule use higher gloss paints for small areas, window sills etc, and save flat paints for the bulk of the house.
  • Replace the front door. The front door is your welcome point. If your door is shabby, warped or worn replace it.
  • Replace the letterbox. Again first impressions count, if your letterbox has seen better days, replace it
  • Install new house numbers.
  • Tidy the garden. Remove weeds and hide the garden hose.

If you are thinking of selling and would like the best possible price in the shortest possible time contact the team at Madeleine Hicks Real Estate on 3355 6845 or visit

Tax Tip

Tax Tip

With the ATO increasing their audit activity all the time it is important to keep your tax receipts. The ATO motto is NO RECEIPT = NO DEDUCTION so you could be costing yourself thousands of dollars by not keeping them.

Under the Australian system of self-assessment it is the individual’s obligation to have the correct documentation in relation to all claims.

Keep receipts and all relevant documentation. Be thorough.

Moving your pets

Moving your pets

Your pets will always be aware that something new is happening. As with humans, your pets enjoy comfortable and familiar surroundings. Moving away from routines will increase the stress levels.

Quotify has an excellent site detailing some of the measures you should consider when moving with your pets. Among the main concerns are:

> Keeping pet routines regular.

> Ensuring animals are registered and have all their identification tags available – especially during the moving period in case they get lost.

> Have your pet checked by the vet before you move.

> Ensure your pet meets local laws and regulations if you have moved interstate – some states have curfews (and in some cases outright bans) for different animals.

> Make sure your pet is accustomed to its familiar surrounding such as bowls and toys, etc, soon after they have arrived at your new address.

If you’re travelling by car, ensure you have the correct size animal carrier for your pet.



> It’s a good idea not to feed pets substantial meals during the trip, but rather have snacks and plenty of water.

  • Incorporate breaks and exercise time for pets into the trip.
  • Take a litter box for cats and scoop and plastic bags for dogs.

> Dogs should be acclimatised to their new surroundings as soon as possible – take them for a walk to familiarise themselves.

> With cats, in particular, it is a good idea to leave one room where they feel completely at home and are not upset by the sight of packing boxes and furniture out of place.

> At a cat’s new location, it is likely to feel out of place for a while and may be happy being kept inside until it’s ready to venture forth.

  • A good solution is to leave the cat in cage outside to check its new surroundings – with you not far away of course.
  • Making sure your cat is allowed to look outside through windows is a good way of letting them acclimatise.

> Animals such as guinea pigs, mice, birds or reptiles, should be kept in their cages, covered and cool.

  • Ensure they have access to water as soon as you arrive at your location.

> You could consider rubbing a towel around your cat’s or dog’s body at your old address and rubbing this around prominent surfaces at your new address to ensure your pet gets a feeling of ‘home’ at its new location.

> Some companies might move pets – always ensure you have up to date vaccination and vet records.

Story by Alice M –

A Guide to Surviving Your Move

A Guide to Surviving Your Move

Below are some helpful hints on everything you need to do berfore you move:

  • Plan your move from as early as possible. Consider also that the first and last days of the month are extra busy.
  • Consider having a garage sale to remove unwanted and unnecessary items.
  • Begin using up large supplies of frozen and canned goods
  • Have you moving company conduct a household goods survey in orcder to provide you with a written estimate as to cost.
  • Pre-arrange for the telephone and utilities to be connected at your new home for the day you move in. .
  • Have rugs and drapes that you are taking cleaned and arrange any alterations that may be required for them to fit into your new home. If you intend on doing your own packing, start collecting suitable containers around four to six weeks prior to your moving date. You can purchase specialised containers from most moving companies.
  • A Guide to Surviving Your Move
  • It can also be handy to collect packing materials such as: tissue paper, paper towels, newspaper, tape, scissors or a sharp knife, felt marker, notebook and pencil.
  • Set goals and deadlines to ensure that all packing is completed by moving day. You may want to pack one room per week. Attach a list of contents to each carton.
  • Pack a box for instant needs on arrival. Such as; cleaning equipment, dish towel, crockery, cutlery, coffee and tea, desired food and drinks, saucepans, toilet paper, toiletries, garbage bags, torch, tool kit.
  • Be on hand when the movers arrive or arrange for somebody to be there on your behalf. They will need to direct the movers and may need to sign documents on you behalf pertaining to costs.
  • When you arrive at the new house, ensure that the house is ready for occupancy prior to the removal van arriving.
  • Check all goods ask they are unloaded.
Choosing the Right Property

Choosing the Right Property

The design of the home, how it functions and how it complements your lifestyle should be a major decision-making factor when buying a property. This way, you will end up in home that will accommodate your needs now and for many years to come that can also save you money.

Too often, people fall in love with the ‘look’ of a home without considering how it will function. If you are aware of the impact that design features have within a home, you will be able to choose a home that is easy to maintain, efficient to run and will suit you lifestyle as your needs inevitably change.