Property market is waking up…

It may be Friday 13th today, but the news is all good as lending continues to improve; values continue to lift; and a house that rotates to follow the sun is named the Greensmart Home of the Year.

Building a successful property portfolio

I don’t believe a successful real estate portfolio is about how many properties you have, it’s about their quality. That is of course if you want to build up a nest egg that will provide you with a reliable return on investment well into the future. 

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Another good month for home loans

Home lending continues to improve for the seventh month in a row, according to data released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Housing finance figures for July 2013 show that the number of commitments for owner-occupied housing finance rose 2.4 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms, following a rise of 2.7 per cent in June.

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Smartest green house follows the sun

A house built to turn as the sun moves has been recognised as the GreenSmart Home of the Year 2013.

Named Girasole (which means ‘to follow the sun’), the 4-bedroom home in Canberra is built on a steel-framed motorised turntable controlled by a wall-mounted touch screen panel...

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Perfect season to sell

The property market is set for a perfect spring season, with figures showing reduced stock and values continuing to climb at a more sustainable rate.

The latest RP Data–Rismark Home Value Index shows that capital city dwelling values rose by just a fraction in August, while the number of homes currently available for sale sits at around 15 per cent less than a year ago.

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Beware the domestic robot

A review of robot vacuum cleaners and mops has found the dream of being able to sit down and relax while an artificially intelligent device cleans the house is still a galaxy far, far away.

Consumer research group Choice recently looked into the invading hordes of domestic robotic cleaners currently available and found them to be little more effective than toys.

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Taking the bids to the beach

If you've ever been to an auction you'll know they can reach fever pitch in a matter of seconds. And everyone knows that when you're planning to bid, it’s wise to come prepared and know your limit.

Otherwise you could end up paying well over the reserve, as did two Manhattan financiers recently when a bidding war broke out over a tiny strip of land near their beachfront properties.

The 1,885-foot-long lot is actually only 1 foot wide, and was intended to sell for $10, however according to Newsday, the two bidders had bigger plans for the land that bordered their beach houses. An initial offer of $10 from the local county sparked their interest, and so a private auction was arranged to start at $1,500.

After 34 bids, the price settled at a whopping $120,000.

Share a reflective moment

Co-habitation means learning to share, or at least working to a schedule. But if you're running late you may not have time to wait for your moment in front of the bathroom mirror, and that's where Mirror # 180 works its angle.

Created by Berlin designers Halb/Halb, the circular mirror is split into two halves that are angled slightly away from each other to offer different perspectives to two people standing side by side.

A wooden fixture on the back allows it to rotate to reflect varying heights, so whether you're sharing the mirror with kids, housemates or your significantly taller other, you both get to see their smiling face staring right back before you rush out the door.