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The 5 mistakes you're making when staging your home yourself

DIY doesn't always work when you're selling your home.  There are some recurring common mistakes I see people make when they opt for DIY home staging – unfortunately if you do these things, you’ll most likely miss the opportunity to sell your home quicker and for more money – and end up scaring away your potential buyers! Here are the 5 common mi...

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The upfront costs that hit the hardest when buying a house.

  You’ll need more than a deposit.    When you’re saving towards a deposit for your first home or a new property it can very easy to forget about all the upfront costs that are associated with buying a house. When planning your budget for the purchase of property, make sure you take these additional costs into consideration. ...

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Simple things you can do to increase the value of your home.

  Buying and owning a property is one of the largest financial investments you are likely to ever make. Although the property market ebbs and flows, its important to always put some effort into maintaining – or growing – the value of your property.   Property experts Ben Kingsley and Bryce Holdaway are the authors of Money Simple Again, and ...

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The pros and cons of renting versus buying

  Whether you’re a renter or prospective buyer, there is no right or wrong decision when it comes to property. Both options have positive and negatives aspects but deciding which situation best suits you ultimately comes to down to evaluating your financial means, your lifestyle, where you are in life and what your personal goals are.   Accordi...

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7 ways to boost your borrowing capacity and land your dream home

  There’s no point looking at dream homes if you don’t know what your budget is … or is there? “One of the most important factors buyers need to consider is how much they can borrow,” explains Andrew Crossley, property investment strategist. “If the borrower is unaware of what is achievable for them, the best intended goals, ho...

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Two-thirds of house hunters are put off by this one feature

But you can easily address it          It's no secret that Gen-Y and Gen-Z are desperate to get on the property ladder. But in a time when home values have skyrocketed, it turns out there's more than a price tag that's putting off first home buyers. Accor...

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Steps to a warm and inviting home.

Feel instantly at home the second you walk in your front door with decorating tips that put comfort first.   A cosy home is warm, inviting and familiar. No judgment or pressure to impress or keep up appearances – this is your space to be YOU! While clutter-free benchtops look great in real estate brochures, we're big advocates for putting things out where they can be...

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10 Quick Home Fixes To Get Your House Ready For Sale

When you’re in the market to buy, first impressions are everything. They can get you all amped up, or equally, bummed out. With that in mind, here are 10 quick fixes to get your house ready to sell. A well-prepared and well-presented property invokes a sense of home, and in most cases, assists in a sale for the vendor. Just as you have to make a mess to be able to clean up,...

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Landscaping on a budget.

Design your dream garden - for less! The best – and first! – thing to do when considering landscaping your property is to set a budget.   If a landscaper knows, from the beginning, exactly how much money they have to work with, they can be honest with you right from the start.   You may not have enough cash on hand to afford your absolute dream garden, but...

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Tax deductions you can claim on your investment property.

Own an investment property? These are the tax deductions you can claim for renovations and costs incurred.   Renovating a rental property can be an expensive and time consuming business but the good news is that many of the costs you incur can be claimed as a tax deduction, reducing your tax bill for the financial year you undertake the work.  That's the good news...

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40 ways to feng shui your house, office & life.

Discover what feng shui is and how to apply it to each aspect of your life - by Lottie Dalziel   For beginners, dipping your toes into the world of feng shui can be overwhelming to say the least. Here we explain exactly what feng shui is and its meaning, the five elements, major principles and how you can apply it to your home, office and life. What is Feng Shui? Fe...

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Werribee City Centre Parking Strategy 2019

The Werribee City Centre Parking Strategy was officially adopted by Wyndham City Council at the Ordinary Council Meeting on 25 June 2019. The Parking Strategy was developed using detailed research and traffic analysis and informed by feedback from customers, residents, business owners, workers and other stakeholders. The Parking Strategy’s actions will be rolled out commencing in 2019/2...

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Indoor plants: 10 best house plants and how to care for them.

  From cleaner air to creative decor – there are so many benefits of having indoor plants  around your house. However, it can be hard to know which varieties of plants are suitable for indoor conditions plus how to properly care for them. We’ve rounded up the 10 best indoor plants that will thrive within four walls and asked t...

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Seven things interior stylists say you should never do

  HB's stylists share their top tips - by Tilly Roberts                     Home Beautiful's stylists Rachel Peters and Tilly Roberts reveal seven things homeowners should never do. 1. Hanging artwork too high A good rule of thumb is to hang the centre of the picture at eye ...

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51 Luxury Kitchens And Tips To Help You Design And Accessorize Yours

Food is seductive, home cooking is a decadent (for some!) If your kitchen is indeed the heart of your home - or linked with your dining space - then you’ll want to fill it with the kind of luxury you’d expect at your very favourite restaurant. This gallery of 51 inspirational kitchen designs are steeped with luxury for high end homes, but that doesn’t mean that there’s n...

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ATO tax return claim: All the changes coming July 1 | What you need to know

The end of the financial year is fast approaching when Australians will be flooded with a whole range of changes. From looming tax concessions to a superannuation overhaul, as well as changes to the minimum wage, child care subsidies and even luxury car taxes, news.com.au has broken it down into a one simple, if not long, list to help you understand before July 1 falls on Monday. INCOME T...

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The best kind of paint for kitchen cabinet makeovers

Nothing gives your kitchen an instant affordable makeover better than a brand new coat of paint for your cupboards and cabinetry. Choosing a finish can be almost as challenging as choosing a colour, however! Oil-based paints are the most highly recommended as a heavy duty coating to withstand the rigours of daily use in the kitchen, forming a harder shell when dry. Low VOC (Volatile Or...

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TOP TIPS TO GET YOUR HOUSE READY FOR SALE

  Obviously, when selling your house you want the top dollar so it’s important to take the time to make sure your house is well presented. If you home is immaculate, it may be as simple as a tidy up and clean, but for many, we have to make a few changes to get the house ready for sale, have it well presented but still have character to showcase its livability and lifestyle.&...

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Quiet investors pushing FHB activity, especially after ScoMo mortgage bombshell

    First home buyers are becoming an increasingly vital driver of activity in our housing market, especially with investor activity so quiet and this week’s Scott Morrison’s low deposit mortgage commitment, the HIA has said. Chief economist Shane Garrett said the importance of the FHB segment has grown again, with newly released figures for March showing that their...

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What's the Easiest Way to Clean Gutters?

In autumn, the leaves do more than just change colors – they also fall to the ground and into your gutters. If the prospect of crawling around the roof and clawing gunk with a gloved hand has you procrastinating this chore, consider that there’s a better way to clean your gutters! We’ve got two words for you: power tools. Check out these unconventional gutter-cleaning method...

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EXPLORE 2019 KITCHEN DESIGN TRENDS BEFORE THEY LAND

    2019 kitchen design trends are well and truly making their presence known. And what I can assure you of is that these new styles are quite different to the kitchen looks of years gone by. They’re also a little more international in feel. Which makes sense considering the trends come straight from Milan.  While this stunning kitchen and bathroom expo sh...

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What should you know about negative gearing before the 2019 Federal Election?

  With the 2019 Federal Election fast approaching, negative gearing has become a key campaign issue as each of the major parties offer significantly different policies should they win the election. Here we’ve outlined each major party’s election policies regarding negative gearing and the associated tax concessions. We’ve also taken a deeper loo...

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20 Home Design Trends For 2019

  With each new year come new interior design trends and fads to consider and even reconsider so you can update your home with confidence and ease. Last year we saw a rise in client requests for rose gold, subway tiles, and exposed lighting as these were some of the top home decor trends of 2018. But with a new year come new decorating patterns and ideas...

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How to Perfectly Hang Three Pictures in a Row

As a homeowner, you've likely noticed pictures hanging on someone else’s wall, which weren't exactly level. Even something as seemingly minor as this can throw your decorating efforts off kilter! For decades, there's been an unwritten rule that wall groupings contain odd numbers, so you're off to a good start as far as that goes.  How to hang pictures It really doesn't matter...

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ATO to Double Its Rental Audits.

The ATO has warned rental property owners to make sure that their claims are correct this tax time, as it intends to prioritise deductions and double its rental audits. Assistant commissioner Gavin Siebert said that, in the 2017–18 financial year, more than 2.2 million Australians claimed over $47 billion in deductions. He said that this year the ATO has made rental deductions a top p...

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The Best April Fools’ Day Office Pranks Anyone Can Pull Off

When it comes to pranking colleagues, we all know the classics: exchange keys on the keyboard or cover up the ball on their computer mouse. They’re both excellent in a pinch, but these April Fools’ jokes will leave a lasting impression.   Gone Fishing This is better than a prank because it’ll make someone’s day! Who wouldn’t want to open a bor...

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6 knock-on effects of Labor’s neg gearing change

Assuming negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions will be amended in line with Labor’s much-publicised change proposal, there will be a range of implications, from an increase in yields to falling prices, rising rents and increased risks for developers, according to new findings from SQM Research. Managing director Louis Christopher said the analysis suggests that the marke...

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Weekend jobs to add value to your home

When we think about renovating our home, we usually turn to areas such as the kitchen and bathroom, as these high-traffic areas tend to be the biggest selling points of a house. However, you don’t need to fork out thousands of dollars to add value to your property. Simple weekend jobs such as painting and updating old fixtures can quickly modernise a home without breaking the bank. Here ...

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8 ways to refresh your walls on a budget

When you look around your home, what type of vibe do you feel? Does your decor emanate a cosy warmth, a minimalistic modernism or a boho-chic lifestyle? No matter your answer, it’s the right one. Your home should reflect your personality and the things that are important to you, regardless of what those things are. Would you say it does right now? If the answer is no, there are lots of w...

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8 enticing uses for your spare room.

Spare rooms have a habit of becoming a disorganised dumping ground for household clutter and collecting dust, which can bring you down mentally and physically. The best way to avoid this is to give empty spaces in your home a new purpose that brings you enjoyment. Whether you want to indulge a passion or transform the space into something more practical, one of these eight ideas is bound t...

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How to increase the appeal of your rental property.

When you decide to rent out your house, investment property or holiday rental, the goal is simple – to secure a good tenant, quickly. But with thousands of competing properties available for rent at any time, the competition is tough. Luckily, there are a few easy things you can do to increase the appeal of your property and encourage a higher rental return. To start with, think abo...

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Red Velvet Truffles

PREP TIME: 1 hour COOK TIME:  22 minutes TOTAL TIME:  1 hour 22 minutes INGREDIENTS 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder1/8 teaspoon baking soda1/8 teaspoon salt1/4 cup canola oil1/4 cup sugar2 tablespoons buttermilk1 egg white1 teaspoon red food colouring1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract1/8 teaspoon white vinegarFor the rest:3 ounces cream cheese, soften...

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Frosty the Snowman Marshmallows

INGREDIENTS ToothpicksDark chocolate, meltedOrange candy melts, meltedHot chocolate, for serving DIRECTIONS Use a toothpick dipped into melted dark chocolate and melted orange candy melts to dab on eyes, a mouth and of course, a carrot nose. Serve in your favourite hot chocolate and drink quickly before they disappear.

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Christmas Ornament Cupcakes

Makes: 24 CUPCAKES PREP TIME:  1 hr 30 min TOTAL TIME:  02 hrs 20 min   INGREDIENTS CUPCAKES 1 (15.25- to 16.5-ounce) package white cake mix 1 cup Land O Lakes® Half & Half 1/3 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, melted 4 large Land O Lakes® Eggs 2 tablespoons red, green and/or white decorator sprinkles FROSTING 5 cups powdered sugar 1/2 cup Land O Lakes® B...

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Melted Snowman Oreo Balls

INGREDIENTS 1 (8 oz.) pkg. ]ream cheese softened36 OREO Cookies (regular size), finely crushed16 oz . vanilla candy coating , melted (like Candiquick or almond bark)48 Mini OREO Bite Size Cookiesdecorations: decorating icing or gel; multi-coloured sprinkles INSTRUCTIONS Mix cream cheese and cookie crumbs until well blended. I like to crush the Oreos in a food processor and then add the cream...

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Christmas Trees with Chocolate Orange Cream

CHOCOLATE ORANGE CREAM Fills approximately 10-12 small glasses INGREDIENTS 300ml heavy pouring cream200ml milk70g caster sugar6 egg yolks200g good quality dark chocolate, roughly choppedFinley grated zest of one orange HOW TO MAKE Heat the milk and cream together in a saucepan over a low heat to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together in a bo...

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Christmas Ornament Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS CUPCAKES 1 (15.25- to 16.5-ounce) package white cake mix 1 cup Land O Lakes® Half & Half 1/3 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, melted 4 large Land O Lakes® Eggs 2 tablespoons red, green and/or white decorator sprinkles FROSTING 5 cups powdered sugar 1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened 2 teaspoons vanilla 5 to 6 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Half & Half ...

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Raspberry and Vanilla Cream Napoleons

SERVES:  8PREP TIME:  20 minsTOTAL TIME:  20 mins INGREDIENTS1 c. heavy cream2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting1 tsp. pure vanilla extract24 waffle cookies6 oz. raspberries DIRECTIONSUsing an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar and pure vanilla extract in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Transfer to a ...

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Red Velvet Cupcakes

PREP TIME:     1 hour 0 minsTOTAL TIME:  2 hours 0 mins INGREDIENTS 2 c. all-purpose flour1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa1 tsp. baking soda1/2 tsp. baking powder1/2 tsp. kosher salt1 1/2 c. granulated sugar1 tbsp. liquid red food colour2 tsp. white vinegar2 tsp. pure vanilla extract1 1/4 c. unsalted butter2 large eggs1 c. buttermilk2 package cream cheese1 1/2 c. confectioners’ s...

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Mini Mince Tarts with Cheddar Crusts

MAKES:  16PREP TIME:  30 minsTOTAL TIME:  2 hours INGREDIENTS 2 c. all-purpose flourc. finely ground cornmeal1/2 tsp. kosher salt1 c. unsalted butter4 oz. extra-sharp white Cheddar2 egg yolks1 egg2 tbsp. ice water1 navel orange1 lemon4 c. mixed dried fruit (cranberries, golden and dark raisins, plus apricots, quartered)1 1/2 c. fresh cranberries1/2 c. brandy1/2 c. packed brown ...

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Candy Cane Brownie Trifle

Serves Serves 16 INGREDIENTS1 9×13 inch pan of baked brownies6 ounces (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips3 tablespoons butter1 and 1/4 cup half and half or cream3/4 sugar3 tablespoons light-coloured corn syrup1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract2 cups whipping cream1/4 cup powdered sugar1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract1 cup crushed candy canes (about 12 candy canes) INSTRUCTIONS Start ...

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Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Truffles

Eggless Sugar Cookies INGREDIENTS1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour1 tsp. baking powder1/4 tsp. salt1/2 c. unsalted butter1/2 c. granulated sugar1 tbsp. sour cream1 tsp. vanilla extract DIRECTIONSIn a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5...

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Snowman Cupcakes

MAKES:  8 PREP TIME:  1 hour 35 mins TOTAL TIME:  2 hours 10 mins INGREDIENTS 1 batch basic gingerbread cupcakes1 batch vanilla buttercreamFinely shredded coconutmini chocolate chipsOrange Tic TacsSour candy stripsChocolate jelly rings DIRECTIONS Make 1 batch basic gingerbread cupcakes as directed, lining 8 holes of the muffin pan with red paper liners and lightly coating t...

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Cookie Presents

INGREDIENTS FOR THE COOKIESSquare and rectangular cookiesMelted white chocolate or red candy melts FOR THE RED ROYAL ICING3 large egg whites1/2 tsp. cream of tartar1 lb. confectioners’ sugarred food colouring DIRECTIONS Stack square and rectangular cookies and place on a wire rack set over parchment paper. Pour melted white chocolate or red candy melts over cookies; let set. Using wh...

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Gluten Free Stained Glass Christmas Cookies

Prep Time:  20 minutesCook Time:  14 minutesTotal Time:  34 minutesTotal Carbs:  39 gProtein:  2 gServings:  24 cookies INGREDIENTS 1.5 sticks dairy free margarine, or butter , 175g1 cup sugar , 200g2 large eggs3.5 cups all purpose gluten free flour blend , 450g1 tsp xanthan gum , omit if included in your flour blend1 tsp gluten free baking powder1/2 tsp vanilla ...