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Samford Valley Steiner School’s festiValley returns in August 2018

festiValley, Samford Valley Steiner School’s biennial fair, is returning on Saturday 4 August 2018.  Between 10.00am and 4.00pm, the school’s bushland grounds will be transformed into a vibrant marketplace of food, craft, and entertainment!

Activities cater for all ages. For younger children, there will gem fossicking, face painting and baby animals. Older children can enjoy silk painting, tie-dyeing, wooden sword making and candle-making.  For teens and adults, there’s henna tattoos, crate climbing, and a forging workshop. Activity tickets can be pre-purchased online at www.trybooking.com/UVDW.

This year a series of talks will be held in The Conversation Space ‘Yur imbar’. A selection of high school art will be auctioned and there will be something for everyone at our Second Chance Stall – quality clothing, books, and toys!

Local artisans and craftspeople will be selling their unique creations and local entertainers will be roving the fair. From puppet shows to storytellers and musicians, our festival has something for everyone. An ATM will be available onsite for your convenience.

Nutritious food is always a highlight of festiValley. As well as two school-run cafés and a Chai Tent in the main festival space, there will be a café in the kindergarten where parents and carers with small children can relax in an enclosed play space.  A large selection of home-baked sweet and savoury food, with organic, gluten-free and vegan options will be available, along with fair-trade coffee!

We are working towards a single-use plastic free and sustainable festival. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own water bottles and coffee cups, and water will be freely available freely at a special stand.

This year there are two incredible Raffles with a fantastic array of prizes totaling over $10,000.  Tickets can be purchased on the day (full prize listing here - www.samfordsteiner.qld.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/Raffle-Prize-Listing-updated.pdf ).
• Raffle 1 has 4 prizes, each valued at $2,000 which will be drawn in order of prizes.
• Raffle 2 is a Pamper Package valued at $2,030.

After the raffle draw at 4 pm, festiValley will draw to a close with a final musical performance from students and staff.

Samford Valley Steiner School an easy 35-minute drive from Brisbane, and just a few minutes from Samford Village, making festiValley the perfect day out for the whole family!

For more information, the program of events and festival highlights please visit us at www.facebook.com/festivalley or see our website https://www.samfordsteiner.qld.edu.au/news-events/festivalley/  

About Samford Valley Steiner School

Samford Valley Steiner School offers an inspiring and comprehensive education for children from Pre-Prep through to Year 12 and provides the only high school in the Samford area. The school is located on 20 acres of leafy, natural bushland in the semi-rural Samford Valley.

Samford Valley Steiner School, 5 Narrawa Drive, Wights Mountain.

SUMMARY

  • Activities & entertainment for all ages
  • Local artisan stalls
  • Second Chance Stall – quality toys, clothes and books
  • Nutritious food with organic, gluten free & vegan available
  • Sustainability – please bring your own water bottle and Keep Cup
  • ATM available onsite
  • Free entry, gold coin parking
  • festiValley is Family Friendly, Smoke-free and Pet-free Event!
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The end of an era as Everton Park’s Luv A Coffee closes

Pictured: Annette and Colin Thwaites behind the counter at Luv a Coffee where they have greeted customers over the years and prepared umpteen cups of coffee. Photo By Sheree Lenton

 

July 21, 2018, will mark the end of an era in Everton Park when Annette and Colin Thwaites open Luv a Coffee in Everton Park Plaza shopping centre for the very last time.

The Kiwi couple first opened their doors 12 years ago when there were few places in the neighbourhood to get a coffee and a meal. At Luv a Coffee’s peak Annette and Colin would serve 140 breakfasts on Saturday mornings and an average of 200 cups of coffee every day. 

The venue became one of the mainstays of the centre with shoppers and staff stopping by at all times of the day for to socialise over their favourite refreshments. It was particularly popular with people visiting the Australia Post shop to pay their bills, collect mail or post letters and parcels.

 

Colin Thwaites making coffees for Madeleine Hicks Real Estate's entire team!

 

Other longstanding regulars were mums with children at the dance school and the Everton Park Business Club which has been meeting there for breakfast first thing on Wednesday mornings for nearly 10 years.

Luv a Coffee’s business started to decline when Australia Post closed and, while it will be a relief to finally shut up shop, the couple do have mixed feelings about that. They have become a part of the community, seen customers’ children grow up around them and they will undoubtedly miss that community connection.

Annette and Colin were already coffee shop veterans when they arrived in Everton Park having started BB’s coffee shop in Brookside Centre twenty years ago. Colin reckons he’s made over a million-and-a-half cups of coffee since then and we’re sure they are going enjoy a rest before going on to something else.

Lovingly written by long-term coffee drinker - Allan Jackson, Allan Jackson Communications.

 

School Holidays……..Kids Bored, Need to get out of the house?

One more week of school holidays. Are the kids driving you nuts? There’s so much still to do and some free. Get out of the house and let’s burn off some of their energy before they go back to school. Here’s some of what’s happening locally and in the city:

EVERY DAY UNTIL 15/7
9AM – 4PM THE INFLATABLE FACTORY, WEST MITCHELTON RUGBY LEAGUE CLUB, 20 PROSPECT RD, MITCHELTON
http://theinflatablefactory.com.au/event

KIDS EAT FREE PER FULL PRICED ADULT MEAL PURCHASED A THREE LITTLE PIGS TAVERN, STAFFORD
https://www.facebook.com/staffordcity/posts/1251324504909441

KIDS COLLECTIVE AT ROMA STREET PARKLAND
https://www.visitbrisbane.com.au/…/whats-on-at-kids-collect…

ICE SKATING IN KING GEORGE SQUARE
http://brisbane.skatingat.com.au

SATURDAY 7/7

4.30PM NORTH LAKES TAVERN, A MAGICAL AFTERNOON WITH MAGIC GLEN
https://www.facebook.com/events/2079610238987483/

12 NOON – 10PM WINGS AND TINS FESTIVAL, KING OF WINGS, BOWEN HILLS
https://concreteplayground.com/…/chicken-wings-tins-festiv…/

KIDS COLLECTIVE ROCKET SCIENCE WORKSHOPS, ROMA STREET PARKLAND
https://www.visitbrisbane.com.au/…/kids-collective-rocket-s…

SUNDAY 8/7

11AM – 5PM MEGA SCHOOL HOLIDAY JUMPING CASTLE FESTIVAL, EAT STREET NORTHSHORE
https://theweekendedition.com.au/…/mega-jumping-castle-fes…/

12 NOON – 10PM WINGS AND TINS FESTIVAL, KING OF WINGS, BOWEN HILLS
https://concreteplayground.com/…/chicken-wings-tins-festiv…/

3PM SCARDY CAT BOOK RELEASE CELEBRATION AND PAWTY (FOR PRE-SCHOOLERS AND EARLY PRIMARY SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN)
https://www.visitbrisbane.com.au/…/free/scaredy-cat-book-la…

KIDS EAT $5 ALBANY CREEK TAVERN AND KIDS TREASURE HUNT
https://www.facebook.com/events/263381081078230

MONDAY 9/7
10 AM BROOKSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE, KOKEDAMA WORKSHOP (FREE KIDS HOLIDAY FUN)
https://www.brookside.com.au/whats-happ…/kokedama-workshops/

TUESDAY 10/7
10 AM BROOKSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE, KOKEDAMA WORKSHOP (FREE KIDS HOLIDAY FUN)
https://www.brookside.com.au/whats-happ…/kokedama-workshops/

STAFFORD CITY SHOPPING CENTRE
10-14/7 BRISSTYLE CRAFT ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
https://www.facebook.com/…/pcb.219076792…/2190765360965346/…

WEDNESDAY 11/7
10 AM BROOKSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE, KOKEDAMA WORKSHOP (FREE KIDS HOLIDAY FUN)
https://www.brookside.com.au/whats-happ…/kokedama-workshops/

STAFFORD CITY SHOPPING CENTRE
10-14/7 BRISSTYLE CRAFT ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
https://www.facebook.com/…/pcb.219076792…/2190765360965346/…

12NOON – 1.30PM KIDS PIZZA MAKING CLASS, OPEN BOOK CAFÉ
https://www.facebook.com/…/a.10024139231…/2216889704993881/…

THURSDAY 12/7
10 AM BROOKSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE, KOKEDAMA WORKSHOP (FREE KIDS HOLIDAY FUN)
https://www.brookside.com.au/whats-happ…/kokedama-workshops/

STAFFORD CITY SHOPPING CENTRE
10-14/7 BRISSTYLE CRAFT ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
https://www.facebook.com/…/pcb.219076792…/2190765360965346/…

FRIDAY 13/7
10 AM BROOKSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE, KOKEDAMA WORKSHOP (FREE KIDS HOLIDAY FUN)
https://www.brookside.com.au/whats-happ…/kokedama-workshops/

STAFFORD CITY SHOPPING CENTRE
10-14/7 BRISSTYLE CRAFT ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
https://www.facebook.com/…/pcb.219076792…/2190765360965346/…

CONEXIO GAMES CAFÉ
https://www.facebook.com/conexiogamescafe/

OTHER GREAT SITES TO CHECK OUT IDEAS OF THINGS TO DO:-
https://www.visitbrisbane.com.au/whats-on/this-week…

http://www.mustdobrisbane.com

https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/facilities-…/…/whats-library

https://www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/schoolholidayfun/

Written by Robyn Baker, Busy Connecting

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Goodbye to 8 Culworth Street – after 56 years

8 Culworth Street

Taking a break from appraising 8 Culworth Street for its sale potential were Sales Agent Justin Hicks and Jim Spencer.

It sometimes feels as if our area is particularly rich in people with interesting stories and Justin Hicks of Madeleine Hicks Real Estate brought the latest of these to our attention.

He is selling a house for long-time Chermside West resident James Spencer, usually known as Jim, and his interest was piqued when he heard Jim had been living in the same house since it was built in 1961. It was only the second house in the road but in the 57 years since then, the area around it has developed out of all recognition.

The story of the house is really that of Jim, his wife Annette, and their family who grew up there and who eventually left to make their own ways in the world. Along the way, there was hard work earning the money to support the family and pay off the home but there was also a lot of joy and happiness.

The hard work started for Jim at the age of 15 when he was apprenticed as a wood machinist making windows. The habit of hard work stuck even though the bottom soon fell out of that market when metal windows came in.

It wasn’t long after he started work, only two years in fact, that the couple who were to make 8 Culworth Street their home met for the first time. He was 17 and she was 14 but it was clear from the start they were meant for each other and her father granted them permission to marry when she turned 18.

Jim shows off the cupboard door where the heights of his children were recorded as they grew.

In 1959 the young couple was hunting for a place to call their own and eventually settled on the property in Culworth Street which they bought for the princely sum of £450 in cash. In those days Rode Road only came up as far as Webster Road and access was indirect but the land was central to the amenities and near both their families.

They approached the Housing Commission which granted them a £5,000 loan and allowed them to choose from a number of different plans for their dream home. The Commission then appointed a builder, the house was completed and Jim and Annette moved in April 1961.

There are faded black and white photographs taken around the time construction finished and it’s hard to believe they show the same building which now sits in its mature garden in is a mature suburb. The loan took 25 years to pay back at the rate $32 per month which was a lot of money at the time.

Pictures were taken shortly after 8 Culworth Street was built.

They didn’t have much of that but Jim and Annette worked three jobs between them and managed to keep up the payments, raise their children Garry, Vikki, David, and Darryl and have a lot of fun doing it. Jim worked for 30 years in the tyre industry and Annette had a job at the drive-in movie theatre in Albany Creek Road, where the family would often gather as a Friday night treat.

Probably nothing reflects the history of the family as much as the inside of the hall cupboard door marked with the heights of the children as they grew up. The markings show the four kids at various ages and stages from very tiny and must bring back a host of memories.

The home became a gathering place for them and other local children who played in the blow-up swimming pool in the backyard or made fires and cooked damper down at the nearby creek. The kids started off going to school at Somerset Hills Primary School and later moved on to Craigslea State School.

Almost from the start Jim and Annette were extending their home and one of the most important additions was a large back deck where the family would often gather for celebrations. Chief among these were the Christmas parties which were Annette’s particular delight and which often saw up to 20 people making merry.

The Chermside West area gradually became more and more built-up and the children grew up and moved on with their lives. Annette sadly passed away last year but not before she asked for the much-loved Christmas decorations to be put up early so she could at least see them again.

Jim told us that, at the age of 80, the house was getting too much for him to maintain on his own and it led to the decision to move. When we talked to him he clearly had very mixed feelings about selling but has very good memories of his and Annette’s time in the home and genuinely hopes that a new family will be as happy at 8 Culworth Street as his family has been.

Story by Allan Jackson

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Are you prepared for life’s financial turning points?

We face a series of widely-shared financial turning points during our lives. Yet how we handle them obviously differs widely.

Financial turning points include receiving our first pay, joining our first super fund, leaving home for the first time and entering a personal relationship.

Among the others are buying our first (second or third) home, dealing with serious illness in our families, coping with a partner’s death, losing our job and eventually retiring.

A decision to begin saving seriously to meet our long-term goals and the creation of our first financial plan are high among our key financial milestones.

Thinking about the feasibility of ‘downsizing’ to a smaller home as we age is becoming more common and finding suitable age care is climbing higher in the list of life events with the ageing of the population.

There are straightforward ways to help prepare for financial turning points such as budgeting, saving, investing, obtaining adequate insurance, considering quality professional advice when necessary and estate planning.

How we cope as investors with sharply rising or sharply falling investment markets can be a life-changing event. Investors who set an appropriately- diversified strategic portfolio, and who remain disciplined and focused on their long-term goals are best-placed to cope with market upheavals.

Taylor Financial Advice and Solutions located at The Gap, offers the community, free workshops to educate you on how to prepare for life’s financial turning points. This is purely an educational workshop and guests will have the option to explore their financial advice services.

JUNE Workshops: 

Tuesday, 12 June - How to Manage Your Cash Flow Workshop
5
pm - 6pm @ Taylor Financial Advice and Solution
Shop  35, The Gap Village Shopping Centre, 1000 Waterworks Rd, The Gap.
If you're struggling with budgeting or fill ill-prepared for life's major turning points like buying a house, taking your dream holiday, or getting married?

We'll show you how to:

- understand your own priorities in regards to saving, and set clear and realistic goals

- use comprehensive software to analyse and manage your spending

- approach a variety of saving and investing tools

 

Wednesday, 13 June - How to Grow Your Money Workshop
1
0am - 11am @ Taylor Financial Advice and Solution
Shop  35, The Gap Village Shopping Centre, 1000 Waterworks Rd, The Gap.

 

Would you like to know how to maximize your retirement income so you can enjoy life now and also during retirement?
We'll show you how to:

- minimise the optional death tax on your pension so you can pass more inheritance onto your loved ones.

- spread your investments over different asset classes so you reduce your risk and protect your wealth

- take advantage of the new downsizer super contribution legislation (starting 1 July, 2018) which will unlock capital on the sale of your house and allow you to generate retirement income.

 

If you’d like to attend, please call us on 3510 1333, or email admin@tfaas.com.au.

or visit our Facebook Page

Nexus Care, Everton Park – Alleviating poverty in Brisbane

Our society is supposed to be increasingly selfish but we at Village Buzz have found there are plenty of people working to better the lives of those less fortunate than themselves. This time, the thought was sparked by a visit late last year to Nexus Care which is based in Flockton Street, Everton Park.

The organisation is devoted to alleviating poverty in the northern suburbs of Brisbane and beyond. They do this through a number of programs including food relief, life skills coaching and mentoring and a variety of community activities.

Nexus Care manager Josh Plumb welcomed us in between officiating at the organisation's annual community Christmas lunch which was in progress as we arrived.

Pictured: Welcoming Village Buzz to Nexus Care were manager Josh Plumb and volunteers Kathie Boller and Trish Winter.

He explained that one of the cornerstones of the Nexus Care’s effort is the Fresh Start food programme which is on offer to anyone experiencing food insecurity. Membership of the program entitles the recipient to a food parcel each month for three months and can help feed families and individuals while they get back on their feet.

It costs recipients $7 to join the program and the food parcels contain the makings of 60-80 meals. Thanks to community donations Nexus Care contributes around $25 to the cost of each parcel with sponsors and in-kind partners making up the balance.

A nutritionist designed the parcels to provide complete nutrition and they include a booklet of instructions and meal suggestions. The organisation has found, however, that not everyone has the knowledge of food preparation and cooking to make the best use of their parcels.

To solve that they offer free cooking courses several times each month to teach people how to plan and prepare nutritious meals for themselves or their families. The courses fall under the life skills and mentoring programs offered by Nexus Care where, in addition to cooking classes, families and young people can meet with volunteer mentors who can help them overcome obstacles in their lives.

Josh explained that Nexus Care is also very involved in tackling the problems relating to social isolation in the community. They offer regular community morning teas, school holiday programmes and the annual Christmas lunch, among a number of other things.

We were fortunate to be able to chat to Nexus Care volunteers Cathie Boller and Trish Winter who were attending the party. Kathie began as a life skills coach and mentor in 2014 and now works two days a week in the office and delivers the cooking courses.

Pictured: Helping out at the Nexus Care community Christmas party were Nexus Care Community Program Coordinator Megan Micalizzi, left, and hospitality volunteer Jo Grice.

Trish was introduced to Nexus Care when she brought her children along to school holiday activities and she now comes in whenever a helping hand is needed at events and functions. Both ladies stressed how friendly and kind the Nexus Care family is and how much helping out means to them.

They were united in encouraging people with a bit of time on their hands to become volunteers saying that helping other people would be a source of great satisfaction to them.

Applying to join the Food Relief program is as simple as turning up to the Nexus Care office between 10am and 4pm on any Monday, Tuesday or Thursday. The office is at Car Park 8 on the Nexus Care campus.

More information on taking advantage of any of Nexus Care's programs, making donations or becoming a volunteer and/or sponsor:

P: (07) 3353 7230
W: http://www.nexuscare.com.au/
E: info@nexuscare.com.au

 

Written by Allan Jackson.

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Mobile Phone users may not be able to call triple 0 (are you affected)

mobile phone reception cuts

Mobile phone users in three Brisbane suburbs may be unable to contact triple-0 for weeks as upgrades to a local shopping centre will cut power to telecommunications infrastructure.

Telstra customers across three suburbs in Brisbane's north will not be able to call, text, or use data at times over the next two months, as shopping centre upgrades affect all networks.

Telstra texted customers in Gaythorne, Mitchelton and Everton Park last week warning of network disruptions between January 30 and March 7.

Meanwhile, Vodafone and Optus customers can expect slower data speeds and reduced reception at times, but not complete blackouts like Telstra phones.mobile phone reception cuts

Photo: Henry Zwartz

The Brisbane suburbs which will experience mobile signal disruptions have a combined population of more than 20,000 people.

 

Mitchelton's Brookside Shopping Centre will be upgrading a cooling tower on top of the building from Tuesday until March 7, which will mean all phone providers with towers on the shopping centre's roof, will have to cut off their signal as well.

A Telstra spokeswoman said on Monday that customers in Gaythorne, Mitchelton and Everton Park would lose reception at times while the repairs were underway.

But the spokeswoman said the phone provider had taken necessary steps to minimise the impact on customers in the affected areas.

"We have numerous base stations around the area which will take over ... so that the impact should be minimal," she told ABC Radio Brisbane.

In separate statements, Optus and Vodafone said other sites in the area would provide overlapping coverage during the upgrade works.

"Optus has made changes to nearby sites to ensure they are best positioned to handle the additional traffic," an Optus spokeswoman said.

"Vodafone operates from several other sites in the Mitchelton and surrounding area which will provide overlapping coverage during the works," a Vodafone spokeswoman said.

In the event of an emergency, Telstra phones that can't pick up a signal will switch to another provider's network in order to call triple zero.

According to a statement on the Telstra website, the disruptions to mobile services were expected to occur from Monday to Friday 6am-6pm but not weekends.

The Telstra spokeswoman said a temporary Cell on Wheels will be sent to Mitchelton and payphones in the affected areas would be available to use free-of-charge during the next two months.

She added some customers will be able to receive and make calls using the internet through Telstra Wi-Fi Calling.

More than 20,000 residents live in the affected suburbs, according to the 2016 Census.

Gaythorne mobile users will be affected from Tuesday until February 9, Mitchelton will experience patchy coverage from February 12-22 and Everton Park customers can expect disruptions from February 23 to March 7.

We would like to know what you think about this situation.  Please let us know below.

 

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Don’t Sell Your Home in 2018 (UNTIL You Read This!)

Don't Sell Your Home in 2018 (UNTIL You Read This!)

Don't Sell Your Home in 2018

2018 is here! For anyone who is considering selling their home in 2018, we are going to dive into a great list of tips that will help your home sell fast and for the highest price possible.

One of the first things you should do is discuss in detail your options with whoever is involved in the selling of the home. Look at the homes for sale in your neighbourhood to give you a rough idea of the anticipated sales price. A lot of locals are shocked at the value of their home in Everton Park and surrounding suburbs thanks to the high level of demand and low stock levels.

Don't Sell Your Home in 2018 (UNTIL You Read This!)

10 Steps to Selling Your Home in 2018

Make Sure You're Ready to Sell

Many people begin to consider selling long in advance of actually putting a for sale sign in their yard. If you're considering selling, it doesn't hurt to start familiarizing yourself with the process by doing research. That being said, don’t put your home on the market until you are 100% ready and committed to selling. Take your time to get prepared!

The listing price for your home is going to determine if it sells. The correct amount is one that the market decides, not one that the seller decides themselves. Your Madeleine Hicks Real Estate agent will review the comparable sales and together you will determine an appropriate selling price for your property!

Knowing you are 100% ready to sell is one of the most important parts of selling your home. If you're considering selling it doesn't hurt to start growing familiar with the process. Many people begin to consider selling long in advance of actually putting a for sale sign in their yard.

Many people don't have a choice. Selling their home is a necessity commonly because they've already purchased another home, are being relocated to work in a new area and sometimes dramatic life-changing events.

Sometimes selling your home isn't so black and white. Sometimes you sell as a part of a growing family or an investment opportunity. Maybe you want to liquidate your assets and move your investments around. Either way, you don't want to sell your home without making sure you are ready and have discussed the options.

Interview Local Real Estate Agents to Help Prepare

Preparation is key to getting your home sold in 2018.

Maintaining a spotless and presentation-ready home for any last minute showings is crucial because it could be the deciding factor in a purchase. A buyer that walks into a home that is messy will walk right back out without having a second thought. Buyers are driven by their ability to picture themselves living in the home that they are being shown. If your house isn’t prepared or appealing, they won’t feel the comfort that is required for them to purchase. Real Estate agents with experience can do a tremendous job of assisting you preparing your home for a sale. They will make many recommendations and offer advice on how you can keep your home clean and charming.

It starts with curb appeal. Before potential buyers even step inside the house, they will have a front view of the property as they are pulling into the driveway. In this moment, the buyer begins to judge whether or not they are interested in looking inside. As soon as they get out of their car, you want their first thought to be, “Wow this home is beautiful.” In order to get them excited to see the home, you need to maintain an appealing yard. Be sure to have healthy mown grass in the summer, and tidy well kept bushes in the winter.

Next, make sure that the inside is swept, vacuumed, dusted, mopped, etc. When your home is sparkling and spotless, the potential buyers are more likely to leave with positive thoughts. If you can maintain a clean home throughout the selling process, you will have a much higher chance of selling.

Once you've discussed the idea of selling your home in greater detail and everyone involved is in agreement, you'll likely want to begin interviewing local Real Estate Agents. We pride ourselves on having some of the best real estate agents in Everton Park and surrounds! This will help you understand some things you can do before you list your home that may help increase your return on the sale. There are a lot of great Listing Agents out there and some that are not so good as well, so you will want to find one that you can work well with.

One of the best things you can do as a Seller is put yourself in the buyer's shoes. What made you want to buy the home? Would you buy your own home?

Your Real Estate agent will be able to see your home through the eyes of a potential buyer. Most sellers have grown emotionally attached to their home and they may have a differing opinion as to how valuable their home is compared to potential buyers... Sometimes it's worth more, sometimes it's worth, less. The only way to truly determine is to let the market decide!

Improve the Home

Selling your home in 2018 is going to give you a great opportunity to make a great return on your investment.

When it comes to selling your home, you want to get the most profit back possible. Repairing or upgrading different details of your home is very beneficial for your return on investment. If your home is worn down, it would be wise to pay for improvements because the home would be placed at a much higher value with these renovations. To start, check the landscaping around your home. Does your house have a positive curb appeal and look beautiful from out front? If not, it might be time to plant some fresh grass seeds or have a professional landscaper come by to make improvements.

You may also want to remodel the bathroom or the kitchen. These two rooms are very important because many people search for a beautiful kitchen and a gorgeous master bathroom when determining which home to buy. Find out what designs would look best in your setting and make the improvements! For the bathroom, this could be new flooring tiles, polishing the bathtub/shower, and remodeling the sink. For the kitchen, you could start by upgrading the countertops to a finish that is more modern, such as granite or marble.

There are other rooms you should also look at and see if they need any improvements as well. Whether it is a room inside or even adding a patio or deck, you will want to choose renovations that will be well worth the investment. Getting a good listing agent can help you find any red flags and help prepare your home for when it is time to hit the market. All of these additions and improvements will make your house stand out and be more likely to sell when competing against other homes. In addition to this, these renovations will tremendously increase the value of your home, giving you a more profitable return on investment.

Determine the RIGHT Listing Price

Determining the best listing price for your home can be a stressful part of the selling process. Since we tend to grow emotional attachments, everyone believes that the home they have lived in is worth more than it really is. However, any good real estate agent will tell you that it is not the seller who determines the price of the home, it is the market. To get a better idea of what your home would be valued at, research what price homes in your surrounding neighborhood have been sold for.

If you list your property in the spring and summer months, you will experience more buyers searching for a home. Since the demand to purchase would be high, you would have the option to test the market for a few prices. If your first listing price doesn’t draw in buyers, you can decrease the amount and repeat this process until you have a sale! If you’re selling during the winter month, usually you would have less leverage to test the market since there are fewer buyers during these months. At this time, you should list your property at a value that similar homes are selling for so that your home isn’t overlooked by buyers for being overpriced.

Real estate agents assist in determining the best pricing point. Their expertise will guide you through the process and they will find other homes that you can compare yours to. After analyzing a few comparisons, the value of your home should be more clear. As long as you don’t let your emotional attachment get in the way of deciding a price, you will be all set and ready to sell your home!

Professional Real Estate Marketingtips to sell in brisbane

Getting your home out on the market for everyone to see will attract a much larger crowd. Since professional real estate agents have access to a greater network than non-agents, they can get your home sold faster than if you were to sell it yourself (for sale by owner).  Listing your home on the MLS will increase your chances of getting potential buyers to see that your home is active. Your real estate agent will also do marketing on their own to make more buyers aware of your listing. For example, they may use billboards, their own website, open houses, flyers, direct mail marketing, and their network with other real estate agent to promote your home. When you have a listing agent, they are extremely determined to help you sell.

Using pictures is another effective way to draw interest in your home. We love to show off your property with images and videos. After capturing all of the rooms, we put the media online and potential buyers can take their own virtual tour of your house. This way, your home is being exposed to numerous people not only who are checking out homes on MLS, but also people who are on the edge of buying in general. This can motivate them to buy and set up a showing for your house if they like what they see.

Have the RIGHT Selling Strategy

There are plenty of different strategies that work for selling homes. For example,  depersonalizing your home, decluttering it to make it look bigger, and letting in more light by opening up blinds and shades are all effective selling strategies. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes, what is it that they want to get out of taking their time to see your home? They want to walk into a clean home and need to be able to envision themselves living in it one day. Depersonalizing your home is a nuisance but it will help your chances of selling. You can do this by taking out family pictures and replacing them with neutral pieces of artwork. This makes it easier for the buyers to imagine putting up their own family pictures if they purchase the home.

Another selling strategy is removing any pets for showings. Whether you have a dog, cat, bird, hamster or something more exotic, take them out of the home for the day since not every potential buyer will be an animal lover. Be sure to clean up any water bowls, toys, litter boxes, hamster wheels and fur because buyers don’t want to walk out covered in hair. By removing the animals, you also create a safer environment for cleaning supplies and air fresheners to make your home even more appealing.

Let your home shine! Getting as much natural light in through the windows is a smart move to show just how ‘alive’ your home looks. A buyer that walks into a dark home in the middle of the day can leave unsatisfied, without a desire to purchase that property. Natural light makes a home look much nicer and more pleasant. When you have time, walk around the house and determine what is causing light to be blocked from entering the windows. If bushes are causing the unwanted darkness,  cut them down.

Negotiate Professionally, NOT Emotionally

Negotiating can get tricky at times because you have to be careful when it comes to receiving offers from buyers. It is important to not let your emotions take control when you are looking for an offer or if you are making a counteroffer. Remember to always stay professional when you are negotiating, as this would give you the upper hand. Your Madeleine Hicks Real Estate agent will help make sure that you aren’t letting your emotions get the better of you. At the end of the day, you, the buyers and the agents involved are all working toward the same goal:  To sell your house!

When you receive an offer, do not respond right away. Instead, take your time looking it over and review your options. If you are in a multiple offer situation, you will be less stressed out since you have fallback options. When there is only one offeror, that’s when things tend to get hectic. As the seller, you may begin to get unmotivated and worry that you aren’t going to get the best deal. Take a deep breath and take your time looking for the offer to think over your options. Before sending an offer, be sure to debate the pros and cons of making that deal to make sure that it is a smart move.

Let the Buyers Feel As Though They Won

If a potential buyer isn’t constantly showing excitement for the purchase, they may back out at any time. By ensuring that your buyers feel that they are getting a deal of a lifetime, they will remain interested throughout the whole process. As the seller, show that you are excited for them to take this new step!

When it comes to negotiating, it is always important that you make the buyers feel as if they won. When they think that they have received the best deal, they will accept it and the both of you will be heading for a settlement. Similar to negotiating professionally and not emotionally, it is also important that you negotiate strategically. Let the buyers gain as much ground as you think they will need in order to feel like they are getting the better end of the deal. When they are satisfied with the deal in front of them, they will accept it and you both will finally close!

Prepare for your Move-out

Now that you are settling,  all of the stressful steps of selling your home are over and you can let the transactions run their course. Keep in mind that after all of the signing and initiating, you still need to move your belongings out of the house before you are completely finished. Anything that you do not convey with the title will have to go. This may include the refrigerator, the washer and dryer, and anything you specifically jotted down and disclosed to the buyer that would be coming to you after you sold.

Sellers who have already relocated usually have their home completely move-in ready for the buyers throughout the process. This is when a house is entirely empty and vacant when potential buyers are walking through it. If you are a seller that still lives in the home and have not yet relocated, be sure to get pre-approved to purchase a new home ASAP.  You don’t want to be left out in the cold because you don’t qualify for the home you were planning on purchasing. Make sure that you are financially ready to move out so buyers can move in.

Any garbage that is left in the house while moving out must be removed and thrown. Don’t be those sellers who make your buyers clean up your messes for you. Gather your belongings to pack them so that you are ready to move to your new home. If you have many items that you don’t want to keep, two helpful options can be a garage-sale or selling on Gumtree or eBay. By doing this, you are cleaning out the house and making, even more, money at the same time.

Whether you still live in the home or you have already relocated, always remember to leave the utilities on until after the home is settled!

Close and Congrats!

You’ve made it! You have followed all of the steps listed above and you’re finally ready for the last one! The offers are on the table and you have accepted the most appealing one! Congratulations, you now get to move on to closing!  If the buyer’s lawyer and agent approve all paperwork and the bank approves the transactions, there’s nothing much more to worry about. It is a long process for most, and even more, a stressful one. But you did it! Congratulations on officially selling a home!

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We need your help to save Easter this year

Easter egg hunt

I know that we are still in January but Easter is at the end of March this year, and

We have a problem

Regular readers of the Village Buzz would know that Madeleine Hicks Real Estate, have for nearly 10 years now been holding an annual Easter Egg hunt in Teralba Park.

Easter Egg Hunt 2017

 

Last year over 5000 people enjoyed the festivities and certainly the kids were able to gather a lot of extra Easter Eggs.

When we started planning for this year we learned that Teralba Park is to undergo an upgrade and will be closed during the Easter period.  So that means we need to find another location to hold the Annual Easter Egg hunt.

So what we require from you is some suggestions about where this years Easter Egg hunt could be held.  Let us know your suggestions in the comments section below.

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Warning! Fire Ants are in our Suburbs (What to Look For!)

Fire ant warning for brisbane north

Biosecurity Queensland is urging residents and businesses to check properties following the detection of fire ants at Bridgeman Downs.Fire Ants in Brisbane North warning

The red imported fire ants were found by a vigilant Brisbane City Council worker and confirmed on January 5.

Biosecurity Queensland officers destroyed the nest and baited the area to ensure all ants in the colony were destroyed.

Biosecurity Queensland urged all residents and business operators in Bridgeman Downs, Albany Creek, Carseldine, Aspley, McDowall, Brendale, Bracken Ridge, Fitzgibbon, Zillmere, Chermside, Chermside West, Stafford Heights, Everton Park, Everton Hills, Bunya and Eatons Hill to check their properties, gardens and work sites, and report any suspicious looking ants.

Fire ant nests look like mounds of loose soil with no visible entry or exit holes.

Labor MP for Aspley Bart Mellish said fire ants could be identified by their coppery-brown colour and darker-coloured abdomen.

“While small, 2—6mm in size, their sting is incredibly painful and in rare cases can lead to anaphylactic shock and death,” Mr Mellish said.

“Fire ants are one of the worst invasive species to reach Australia’s shores and can ruin our lifestyle, restricting everyday activities such as barbecues, picnics

and sporting events.

“Australia is the closest any country has come to eradicating fire ants, but we still have a lot of work to do to beat this serious invasive pest.”

Places fire ants are likely to be found are in and around logs and rocks, gardening materials such as pot plants, lawns, garden beds, taps and utility pits.

Identifying fire ants

Fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) are quite small (2-6mm) and come in an unusual variety of sizes within one nest. Their heads and bodies are coppery-brown and their abdomens are darker. They are aggressive, particularly near the nest, and can inflict painful stings.

It is vital that you are able to identify fire ants on your property. Watch the video for identification help.

 

Fire ant nests

Fire ant nests have no obvious entry or exit holes.

Nests often appear as dome-shaped mounds, but these mounds are not always easily identifiable. They can be up to 40cm high, but may also be flat and look like a small patch of disturbed soil. They are usually found in open areas such as lawns and pastures, and along roadsides and unused cropland.

Fire ant warning for brisbane northNests can also be found next to or under other objects on the ground, such as timber, logs, rocks, pavers or bricks. Look near pots or any areas of disturbed ground as well as:

  • in pot plants on the ground
  • in stores of topsoil, mulch and potting mixes
  • under landscape materials (e.g. logs, stones)
  • under timber or pallets on the ground
  • adjacent to buildings and other structures
  • in untidy or overgrown areas
  • near areas of permanent water (e.g. the banks of dams, rivers, ponds, aquaculture containers)
  • tufts of grass in open areas, where the soil is built up around the tufts.

If you are worried about possible Fire Ants visit daf.qld.gov.au/fireants or call 13 25 23.