Buyers return …

As housing finance lifts even further. In other news this week, households report financial stability; where to use matt or gloss paints around your home; and we look at outdoor heating for the colder months…

Why I love buying at auction

In my experience I would say very few properties sell for fair money at auction.  The majority of properties are either sold for over fair money to emotional buyers who are not prepared or they are sold at a price which is below fair money to a lucky or an astute, well researched buyer with a plan and options – which is why I love buying at auction.  If you go to an auction well researched and prepared you either win and purchase a property at a price you’re happy to pay or you don’t buy, so either way it’s a good outcome. Read More. 

Lending turns up again

Housing commitments continued on their upward trend in May, according to data released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The seasonally adjusted figures show that the total number of owner occupied housing commitments rose 1.8 per cent in May 2013. The total value of dwelling commitments excluding alterations and additions rose 2.0 per cent.

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Winter heating options for the great outdoors

Winter is certainly upon us. Snow is falling in the alps, rain and winds are raging and families all around the country are huddling around heaters at night in an effort to keep warm. But what about our outdoor living spaces?

Many Australian homes are designed in such a way that we spend much of our time outdoors and with the range of heating options available today this can continue even through the colder months. We take a look at some of the ways you can make your outdoor space just as cosy as inside...

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Household finances sitting pretty

An increasing number of Australian households reported being debt-free, or at least in a steady financial position halfway through 2013, according to a new report released this week.

The June St. George-Melbourne Institute Household Financial Conditions Report showed that 82.0 per cent of households indicated they were in stable financial position, with 43.6 per cent managing to put savings away.

More have found themselves able to pay off their mortgages completely...

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Make the sheen work for you

Gloss, high gloss, matt. When it comes to selecting an interior paint for your home, there's more to consider than quality and colour. Most paints come in a variety of sheen levels - as many as six, depending upon the brand - and some are better suited for certain rooms than for others.

The Paint Quality Institute offers the following helpful hints and tips on selecting the right sheen for the job...

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We love a good home – or two

Australians’ love affair with bricks and mortar shows no sign of abating, it seems.

A recent survey* of homeowners showed that 25 per cent already own an investment property, and of those, 68 per cent own one property, 19 per cent own two, and 13 per cent own three or more properties.

What do investors look for when buying new investment property? The survey showed that it is all about the area or ‘right suburb’, rather than the home; they look at tenant demand, amenities and entertainment, population growth and infrastructure going into the area.

*the 2013 Homeowner Intentions Survey, conducted by Mortgage Choice.

Raising the bath

Baths are more than just a way to get clean. It is widely accepted that a good soak in a warm bath can relax and refresh even the weariest minds and bodies. Whether you're in the tub club or not, a Russian designer is changing the way we look at baths.

Bathsphere, the creation of Alexander Zhukovsky, aims to redefine space within space - in this case, a relaxing escape pod within the comfort of home. Essentially, it is a hanging, clear glass sphere that acts not only as a bath or shower, but bestows a feeling of weightlessness, with settings to vary its internal temperature, humidity, light, sounds and smell – even to simulate rain.