News


Decorating Tips


  Going in and out of style Just like clothes, home styling goes through trends. What looks great one year, might be completely dated the following. Each season new styles arrive, and while some will stand the test of time, others should be avoided at all costs.   Here are some fad ideas, and some fab ideas, to make sure your home decorating doesn’t belong in a time capsule.   Nordic style   Be warned: While it looks like Viking decor might be making an appearance in 2019, you’d want to make sure your love of fur and studded wood is true, otherwise be careful not to get caught up in this Scandinavian maelstrom. You don’t want your home looking like you’ve pillaged and plundered coastal villages.   Go for it: Though it seems that IKEA’s dominion over our houses has died down, this is one trend that will keep you in good stead. Practical, simple furniture and decor is always a good idea - it provides a neutral palette and f...


Hunter Tree Change


Why the Hunter is the place for a tree change   There’s much to love about cities: the excitement, the energy, the opportunities. There is culture and activity, high-paying jobs and plenty of things to spend your money on like restaurants and entertainment.   But, there are the downsides too. Along with the opportunities come all the people looking for them. There’s the noise, the traffic, the pollution and a million neighbours on your doorstep. Costs are higher for things like property, and to get on the property ladder, buyers are either mortgaging themselves up to their eyeballs, of living further out of the CBD, resulting in longer commutes.   It’s not hard to see the appeal of the tree change.   Moving to a smaller, rural area. Trees and nature all around. A calmer, slower pace of life. Services and work you don’t have to drive hours to reach. Neighbours you know and a strong sense of community.   It’s no surprise ei...


Sophisticated property marketing hits dollar highs


  We’ve all seen real estate advertisements with cliches about properties for sale. Perhaps ‘renovator’s delight’ or ‘cosy with potential’? Or fuzzy photos that only show the outside of the house? They make you wonder if the agent actually cares about the home they’re selling.   Buyers are looking for authenticity, for creativity and transparency. If you want your home to stand out and get more attention, then you need to market it in a way that no one else is.   An agency’s approach to marketing is what makes it unique. It’s something that Natasha McElwaine, founder and director of McElwaine Estate Agents, understands inherently, and it’s the foundation of her business.     “We do things differently,” Natasha said. “Our vision is to simply provide an inspired way of selling real estate.”   “We believe the transaction of real estate is about capturing th...


It's not all about the house - love your yard


Whether you’ve built on a new block of land or working with what you’ve already got, the landscaping you do to your property can play an important role.   Hiring a professional can become expensive, but leaving your block barren isn’t a good look either. Adding in a few plants can assist with the cooling and aesthetic of your home, making living more comfortable and aiding with marketing it if you decide to sell.   Think long-term and smart - we live in a hot climate so you want to use drought-resistant plants that can withstand a bit of sun and materials that can handle heat. Plants, gardens and additions to the yard should provide shade down the track and add ease to your standard of living, but not create more work for you.   Stick to some simple DIY solutions and your front and back gardens will be looking like you did a Backyard Blitz.   Grass Whether it’s real or artificial, a well-kept lawn is a thing of beauty. Keep it bindi ...


Buying a house: the steps you need to know


    Buying a house isn’t like buying a new pair of shoes - it’s not easy to return if it doesn’t fit properly or if you change your mind. And there’s a lot more money involved. If you think about the time it has taken you to save for the deposit, the chance of that money going to waste would be heartbreaking.   For a purchase this significant, it’s best to call in the experts to help you on your way. And there are a few of them to touch base with.   Pre-contract   Firstly, you’ll need to talk to your bank to find out if they’ll lend you the money. If it’s all systems go, the next step is looking for a house to buy.   This is where you want to be dealing with a top real estate agency who will only put their name to quality properties - you don’t want to be trudging from open house to open house and be disappointed by misleading house descriptions and over-hyped marketing.   In the Maitla...


How to prepare for an open home


  While open home inspections can seem a little daunting, they give potential buyers the chance to see if the property is the right fit.   And first impressions count then more than any other time. Think of it as the buyer’s first date with their future home - you want to present it in the best light so they fall in love.   There are obvious steps to take, but it’s also those little details that can really make your place seem special. Let’s have a closer look at what you can do in preparation for the big day.   Clean your house This is a no-brainer. Vacuum the floor, dust, mop, scrub the shower and the toilet, wash the windows, wipe the bench tops and make your home sparkle. If you’ve got carpet stains, get the professionals in. “Just make sure the spray smell isn’t overpowering,” suggests Natasha McElwaine, managing director of McElwaine’ Estate Agents. A clean house represents a loved house and buyers want t...