Check out the green houses …

This Sunday is Sustainable House Day. Making headlines this week, no change to interest rates; bushfire warnings; and building approvals get a booster shot …

Adding air-conditioning... a cost or an investment?

Every year Australians have at least a few months of sweltering conditions that make them seriously consider moving to a colder climate or at the very least installing air-conditioning! There’s no doubt that an air-conditioned investment property will be particularly attractive to the rental market especially in the hotter months. So how do the numbers stack up?

Read more 

Approvals go through the roof

Apartment building received a booster shot in July, with new figures showing approvals almost two-thirds higher than the same time last year.

According to data released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the total number of dwelling approvals rose by 10.8 per cent during July 2013, to be 28.3 per cent higher than in July 2012.

Read more

Bank stays reserved on rates

Few were surprised this week that the Reserve Bank of Australia opted to leave the official cash rate (OCR) unchanged at 2.5 per cent for the month of September.

After cutting the OCR by 25 basis points last month to its lowest level since 1960, the Bank has adopted a wait-and-see position, while it assesses the effects of this last in a series of cuts which have seen official rates drop by 225 basis points since November 2011.

Read more

Behind the green door

This Sunday is Sustainable House Day, when homeowners who have built or incorporated a variety of sustainable features into their homes will open their doors to the public.

Now in its twelfth year, the tactile event allows you to look through 'green' homes and talk with their owners who can guide you on sustainable lifestyle choices for your home and show you how easy and economical the move to green living can be.

Homes are open from 10am – 4pm. See the website ( for details about where and when the houses will be available for viewing.

Affordability continues to improve

Housing is becoming even more affordable, according to the latest HIA-Commonwealth Bank Housing Affordability Index.

Figures show that the index increased again in the June 2013 quarter to 72.8, an improvement of almost one-fifth since mid-2012.

Read more

Honey, I’m re-building the furniture

Some of us just love to build things - who doesn’t enjoy helping the kids play with Lego?

For those who would like to build and re-build their own furniture, Netherlands designer David Graas has developed a kit that allows you to construct household items, limited only by your imagination.

Everything But The Manual comes in the shape of a cube, consisting of 177 identical oak building blocks that can be connected with bolts and wing nuts. From there, whatever you create is up to you, though the kit does come with a few inspiring images of a dressing table, lamp, cuckoo clock, basket, stool and desk lamp.

Bushfire alert – make sure your home is ready

Large areas of southern Australia, especially along the east and west coasts extending inland, face ‘above normal’ fire potential for the 2013-2014 fire season.

The Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre this week released its seasonal bushfire outlook showing where outbreaks are most likely to occur this Summer, so we take a look at what precautions homeowners need to take to protect property.

Read more