Hero Image

News Hub

Tiny House Trends

 

The idea of a tiny home isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Most of us have accumulated too many possessions that have incredible meaning, sentimental value – maybe we just bought that extra table or two of those awesome lamps because we really liked them! And that’s totally fine. But then comes the question – where do we put it all?

 

Having a home to call your own is a significant dream for many people, and an amazing achievement for all of us when the day finally arrives. So, to think of cutting down your whole life, of going ‘minimalist’ and keeping just the essentials – well, it’s harder than it seems! So what motivates people to give up their “stuff”? And what do they get in return? We explore the tiny homes trend and what it means for those choosing small over having it all

 

The tiny homes movement is a recent popular trend (there’s even a new show about it on Netflix), although people all over the world have been choosing to decrease their environmental impact and live in smaller homes for centuries. Not only is owning a small home much more eco-friendly when compared to the average Australian home, but it really promotes an in-depth look at consumerist culture and the “things” we buy throughout our lives. However for bigger families, going tiny isn’t an option, so it’s really a trend marketed to first home buyers, younger couples, those who feel more in touch with a nomadic lifestyle, or retirees looking for a change. Of course, there are many others who proudly downsized for the benefit of the planet over their own luxuries, and they seem to be the driving force behind the movement as it grows rapidly in popularity over recent years.

 

Reasons to keep it small:

  • Freedom. When your house is on wheels or small enough to be transported, there really are no restrictions to where you can live or what you can do (aside from some legal barriers, of course). Yet with a home smaller than 47 sqm, it is truly possible to literally pick up and shift elsewhere – a very attractive notion for a lot of people craving change and adventure.
  • Money saver. Many Australian and international sites advertise that you can own your own tiny home for around $70,000 – substantially cheaper than a smaller ‘regular’ home! You can see why it appeals – the money saved could go to installing solar panels or other more environmentally-friendly additions to make the tiny home ‘greener’. Or, you could use the extra cash for a holiday?!
  • Restrict your impact. Smaller footprint, better for the planet. Many tiny homes can connect to power grids and water systems much like a caravan does at a trailer park. Often the toilet and shower can also be rigged to become a composting or grey-water-recycling unit, or you can connect to the local septic system once you’re settled in place. As mentioned previously, there’s the option for small scale solar panels too. Yet whatever method you choose to power your tiny home, the impact is undoubtedly going to be far less than a regular home, making them quite eco-friendly and boosting their popularity.
  • It’s the simple life. Evaluate what’s important to you and discard the rest. Living small forces people to come to terms with their impact, to make more environmentally conscious choices and also to assess their possessions. It can be a real life-changing feat to restrict your life into a few drawers, but ultimately you’re choosing simplicity and easy living over material goods and buying into our consumerist culture. It seems tiny homes actually represent a movement away from social norms and expectations, as people begin to realise what’s really necessary for a happy life.

 

However, maybe you’re making the move to something smaller to save for your dream future home? Whatever the motivations may be, going tiny is a popular and growing trend that has many followers internationally and at home – there’s even an Australian Tiny House Association! – so the movement is only set to expand.

 

What about you, do you think you could enjoy living in a tiny home?

Handy Moving Tips

 

Moving to a new house can be overwhelming for so many different reasons – the last thing you want to worry about is having your beloved possessions broken or damaged during the big shift. Although we’re all familiar with the basics of how to sort and pack stuff, there are some amazing hacks we bet you’ve never heard of! Since we know all there is to know about moving, Harcourts can show you how to properly prep your treasures for transportation. Check out the article below for more info!

 

Let’s just get straight into it – if you’re getting ready to move or you’re in the process, then you won’t have time to muck around! So, here are our top packing tips:

 

  • Plan and organise. If you want to make things as simple as possible on the other end, then you really need to think about how you’re packing and be clever from the very beginning. Take your time and don’t rush the process, if you’re stressed and not thinking things can get broken or damaged. Avoid this outcome by taking some time to organise your possessions before you start wrapping or packing. Lists are your new best friend.
  • Don’t put everything into boxes. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not actually helpful to have all your stuff neatly stored in cardboard. When you get to your new home, having bulky boxes everywhere can make it harder to move furniture and other items into various rooms, plus even if you label each box it’s going to be a long process finding everything you need.
  • Use new or sturdy materials. Yes, it’s awesome if your neighbour has a bunch of old bags and crates you can use for the big move – but take care to test the durability of everything you’re using – you don’t want bags splitting mid-move! A good idea to reinforce the seams of bags and boxes with masking tape or duct tape.
  • Heavy stuff at the bottom, light stuff on top. Well this tip is pretty straightforward, and you probably figured it out a long time ago. But hey – it never hurts to be reminded of the basics. Shoes and books first, toys and clothes on top.
  • Wrap it up. Newspaper is a tried and tested material for protecting delicate items or crockery. However, clothing or linen also works well, and nothing goes in the bin after you unwrap your precious things. Plus, you won’t get ink residue all over your hands!
  • Check! A check list is invaluable when trying to remember what you’ve already packed and what’s left to do. You could even rope the kids into having their own lists, so they’re responsible for organising their own possessions and making sure each bag or box makes it into the new bedroom. There’s even an App for this nowadays, so no excuses for being unorganised people!
  • Hang in there. If you have your finer clothing hanging up in the wardrobe, then group a handful of hangers together, place a clean garbage bag underneath, bring it up around the clothes and tie the ends around the grouped hooks at the top. This way, you can just hang everything back up in your new wardrobe, remove the bags and you’re done!
  • Cling on. Instead of emptying out smaller drawers in the furniture you’re taking with you, just pull out the drawers, wrap the whole thing in cling wrap and transport like so! This will keep things like cutlery or bathroom products grouped together, in one spot, and make it so much simpler to put away at the other end.
  • Ice, ice baby. Furniture left deep dents in the carpet? Place some fresh ice cubes a few centimetres apart, all the way along the crease. Once they’ve melted, push the carpet fibres back into place with a clean spoon. Ta-da! No more dents.
  • Snap! You may like to think you’re a tech wizard, but once the stress and effort of moving has gotten to you, it might be hard to remember your phone password, let alone how to get the TV working again. Easy fix: snap a photo of the back of your TV, DVD player or home computer so that you know exactly which wires go where. No fuss, and you could still pretend you figured it out all on your own.
  • Recycle, don’t throw away. Obviously, any old clothes, toys or kitchen items make fantastic donations to local charity shops (make sure to give them a clean first) but what about batteries and electronics? These can be disposed of in specific recycle centres too, so don’t just chuck them in the bin! Make another pile of things you’re not taking to the new place and dedicate some effort into trying to find new homes for those things, only resorting to the trash if you absolutely must.
  • Ask for a hand. Sure, we all wish we could do everything ourselves sometimes. But when it comes to moving many, heavy boxes and bags – it’s totally ok to ask for some help! Grab a few family members or friends to help and things will move a lot quicker, there’s less chance that someone will injure themselves trying to lift something too weighty, and you can all go out for a meal together to celebrate at the end!

 

There you have it, some awesome tips for moving day! Good luck from the Harcourts team and remember – organisation is key – it will pay off in the end!

 

First Home Buyers

Tasmania is hot property right now. It seems everyone is either flying in to soak up the amazing food and wine culture, see the sights, explore the untouched wilderness or get their hands on their own slice of the island. For Tassie locals and newcomers alike, finding a property you love and making the huge decision to buy in is a complex process, one with many twists and turns. Harcourts Signature are veterans in the business – with highly experienced and knowledgeable staff that really understand the desire to own your own home on this stunning little island. We also know exactly what it takes to get there financially, as well as the correct route to securing the home you’ve always wanted with all the formalities in line. You can trust Harcourts Signature to supply you with the proper information, advice and support you need in making this life changing decision. Here’s a little about what we know, and what we can do for you.

 

There are so many things to consider when buying a property. It can be an understandably stressful time as you search for the right location, the correct size and style, organise your finances, research the ins and outs, inspect different properties – it can move at a snail’s pace or like a bullet train depending on your unique experience. Harcourts Signature appreciates and understands that every buyer’s experience is different – which is exactly why our agency takes the extra time and allocates the added effort into catering to your specific situation.

 

We can assure you that we’ve done our research, plus we constantly keep on top of the latest news and info circulating around the housing market. With our finger on the pulse, we believe that now is the time to buy your first home in Tasmania. According to a recent media release supplied by the Real Estate Institute of Australia, the housing market is finally taking a steadier turn. REIA President Adrian Kelly stated that …“We should see the market, which is already showing signs that the rate of price falls is declining, stabilise” (REIA Media Release, June 2019). Kelly further explained that “The rate cut, unlike the last series of cuts in 2015 and 2016 which stimulated investor activity, will benefit first home buyers” (REIA Media Release, June 2019).

 

REIA went on to state that ‘housing affordability marginally improved across the country in the March quarter of 2019’ and specifically in Tasmania the number of first home buyers has increased 13.1 percent compared to the same quarter in 2018 (REIA Media Release, June 2019). So, things are looking up for those investing in their first home, and Harcourts Signature can guide you on the path to get there. But what else do you need to know?

 

Money – it’s what (unfortunately) makes the world go around. However, the best investment for your future and a great place to direct all your hard work is in buying a home to call your own. Easier said than done, we get that. Organising your finances, budget, working out your mortgage repayments, potential renovation costs and balancing all your other outgoing expenses can be completely overwhelming. Never fear – we’ve got you. While most lenders require a 20% deposit for buying a property, there are lots of other options when it comes to loans. Harcourts Signature proudly offers a complete service – from sorting out a finance plan, putting you in touch with the right people to talk to, and helping you move into your home – we take care of our clients from start to finish.

 

Maybe you have the means, but just haven’t found the right home yet? We can help you there, too. It’s what we’re really good at. We know the Tasmanian market and we have eyes everywhere – Harcourts Signature can find the ideal home for you. When considering neighbourhoods, access to services, transport, and especially whether the investment will pay off in the future – we can direct you to all the right info. Looking online is also a great place to start.

 

There are so many, varied components to consider, but rest assured – Harcourts Signature are experienced in identifying what first home buyers want, need and can achieve. You’re in the right hands with us. Keep up to date with our latest news and posts, or pop in for a chat with a member of our friendly team, today.

Tips for Selling in Spring

 

As the seasons start to shift and change, what better time than a new beginning for you and your family? Now is the ideal time to sell your home, as spring cleaning gets a whole new meaning – out with the old and in with new memories, in a brand-new space to call your own. Harcourts Signature can help with everything you need to know about selling in spring, so keep reading for some great tips!

At Harcourts Signature, we put our clients first. We know the business extremely well and strive to ensure that all our clients get the best advice and the most return on their beloved homes. There are also some things that you can do however that will ensure your home looks its absolute best come open house and auction day. Here are some of our top tips for getting your property looking spick and span for its new owners.

  • Inspect your home for potential repairs: as industry professionals, we’re trained in noticing those little cracks that need patching, places where the paint is chipping or perhaps a skirting board or two that have come loose. With the help of our experienced team, we can comb through your home together and pinpoint all the smaller repairs you may need to do so that your home truly looks its best.
  • Stage spectacular: as people wander through your home, it’s extremely important that the styling and final touches reflect just how amazing your property is. We can organise a professional team to create a stylish and elegant masterpiece inside your home, or offer you advice on how to best dress your own pieces for contemporary buyers. How a home is presented is sometimes the make or break for those looking to buy – so we take it very seriously. However, as an important first step, it’s crucial to de-clutter and organise your possessions. Often having personal items on display can prevent buyers from seeing their own lives playing out within the home, so encourage those wandering through to view the wonderful spaces as they are and pack away all the extras. This will really come in handy on moving day as well! So why not get started sooner rather than later and begin the great spring clean this weekend?
  • Deep clean: this step is important, as buyers will notice immediately if a home hasn’t been taken care of. Often with the stresses of daily life, we forget to properly clean our homes and especially in the places we can’t see from day to day – the dust really builds up! If you would love all the effort and worry taken care of, then we can organise for a qualified cleaner to come in and work their magic. Since they already have all the latest tools and the best cleaning gear, you’re guaranteed that your home will sparkle and shine after they’re finished – and you won’t have to lift a finger! Plus when you really think of how much needs to be done – scrubbing the bathroom tiles, behind all the cupboards, polishing the windows, the doorknobs and even the ceilings – it’s going to be much simpler and faster to have a professional team come in and tackle the job. Spend a little money, sure, but save a whole lot of time and effort.
  • Consider your pets: for many buyers, pets mean previous damage. Don’t let your furry friends hinder the sale of your home, make sure all things ‘pet’ are hidden from sight so that there’s no chance of anyone searching for scratches on the floorboards or chew marks on the doors. Also, since many people aren’t comfortable around certain pets, keep your four-legged pals away from the house on inspection day. This will also reduce any odours, unwanted hair or curious barks from distracting future new homeowners from your amazing property.
  • Outdoor canvas: we all consider our backyards as another room, a space to enjoy summer BBQ’s, cups of tea and a playground for the kids. This means the outside of your home needs just as much loving as the inside, so don’t cut corners and just give the lawn a trim. Think about small things you can do to really spruce up that yard space. Maybe the fence needs a fresh coat of paint? Could it be time to ditch the sandpit and replace it with a few easy-to-maintain herb boxes? Have you had the same rusty clothesline for the last 20 years? These small things are absolute eyesores to prospective homeowners, as they scrutinise every little thing while walking through your property. Look with fresh eyes at your yard – quite possibly not everyone would appreciate your retro wall hanging, flamingo fountain or garden gnome collection…
  • Curb appeal: similar to the backyard, the front view of your home is crucial. People will most likely be driving by your place to check it out before the open home, so don’t let them be disappointed. Give a lick of paint to the front fence, tidy up all the paths, trim the hedges and even splurge on a shiny new mailbox. First impressions are everything. You may even consider getting a fresh welcome mat or replacing your front door – make those first looks count!
  • Price accordingly: when considering the big number, Harcourts Signature have your back every step of the way. We know Tassie neighbourhoods extremely well and have been comparing and evaluating properties for years. We’ve done all the research so you don’t have to and will supply you with sound advice come pricing time for your home. So, don’t worry on this point, we know exactly how to help.
  • Picture prefect: so, you’ve done the hard stuff and you’re almost ready for potential buyers to experience you cherished home – but there are just a few last-minute ideas that make a world of difference. Think neutral: it’s all about the blank canvas. This notion applies to the styling of your home but also those tiny touches. Remember that you’re selling the house, not your version of it. Clear off all the drawings and paperwork from the fridge, make sure the bare essentials are on the kitchen counters and mantlepieces, choose plain cushions and linen for all the beds, you may even consider replacing the drapes with some that are lighter and brighter – the more minimalist and elegant your home looks, the more likely people will be able to envision putting their own personal touches on each room. But you do need a few brighter touches here and there, especially since it’s spring! Use colourful flowers to decorate the main living spaces or have vases of simple, fresh green foliage on some surfaces. Bringing natural elements into your home evokes a sense of calm and stimulates positive sensations, making people feel at ease as they stroll around your home. You may also consider having a jug of iced water or juice for your guests to drink, particularly if it’s a warm day. A plate of simple snacks or cookies is also a nice touch, reiterating that your home is a welcoming and inviting space for all. Plus the combination of sweet flowers and delicious cookies has been a home-selling trick for decades – it's well known for a great reason, so give it a go yourself!

Well there you have it – some great tips for getting your home ready to sell in the lovely spring season. If you have any further questions or queries, please do not hesitate in contacting Harcourts Signature to chat to a member of our friendly team today! We love helping Tasmanians sell their homes and can’t wait to assist you in beginning a new chapter.

Amazing House of the Week

There are some incredible homes out there, and thanks to the beauty of the internet we can see just what it’s like inside some of these amazing homes. Check out the article below for some dream-worthy properties and start your ultimate home wish-list now!

 

The architectural wonders of home design are in a league of their own these days, as anything really is possible with modern technology, amazing new building materials and a conscious, design-driven mindset to create something that is interesting to look at – and live within. A quick Google search will show you some drool-worthy international homes, but we’ve picked some glorious Tassie properties for you to have a gander at here.

We all know Bruny Island is a place of rugged, natural beauty. The historic importance of the island for local farmers connects with the contemporary spotlight shining on Bruny as a top camping and adventure destination for Tasmanians and overseas visitors. These elements of past and present come together in the wonderful home by John Wardle Architects. Shearers Quarters House is situated on a historic 440-hectare sheep farm, combining rustic practicality with fluid, modern design. The way the property connects with the landscape, cutting into the hillside yet allowing the land to flow through the home via enormous panes of uninterrupted glass, give this property the feel of a luxurious shack. The materials used inside and out – various timbers and corrugated iron – link to the wool shearing heritage of the location. Combined with Scandinavian-like furniture and a simple interior, this property is unique and oasis-like, a shelter that could have always been here, yet has all the modern comforts you’d ever need.

  1. is a hot topic nowadays, as we move into a new age of architectural design with a eco-friendlier focus. This home, located in urban Dynnyrne and designed by Room 11 Architects, focuses on maximising solar power with its north facing, rectangle structure. Natural light is heavily utilised in this design, with large windows drawing in the warmth and a range of sustainable materials used in the build. Plus, the cliff-side placement and impressive views across Hobart, the Derwent River and surrounding bushland make this amazing house feel simultaneously close to nature and above it all. A truly remarkable family home.

 

Make sure to keep up to date with our posts as we explore more outstanding Aussie and international properties in the future!

Unique Building Options

 

Ever considered building a house out of straw? What about a shipping container? Did you know how many different forms of concrete can be used as eco-friendly building materials? Click on the article below for some unique building options.

 

These days there are so many incredible and sustainable building materials that can be used in creating truly unique homes – the limit really is your imagination.

 

Consider locally sourced and naturally occurring materials, such as straw bales. Using a sturdy frame, compacted straw bales can be a fantastic replacement for wood, plaster, stone or fibreglass as they offer considerable insulation when properly sealed. Working well in a hot or cold climate, straw bales are highly affordable, sustainable and a renewable resource – making them quite eco-friendly! A great way to make sure your straw walls are sealed properly and protected against mould or mildew is to cover the bales in mud. This process has been used for centuries and is considerably long-lasting, remaining a popular process for home construction around the world.

 

Hemp is an amazing product with a hugely diverse range of uses. The latest is HempCrete, a new product out of America made from the inner core of the plant and then mixed with a lime-based binding agent. HempCrete is a bio-composite and so light weight that a block of it can float in a bucket of water! Weighing around a seventh of the weight of concrete, HempCrete makes for an incredible insulator, plus Hemp itself is fast-growing and renewable – win, win!

 

Would you believe that other plants are now being used as proper building materials? What would you say if you heard that there’s now a structure in New York made entirely out of mushroom bricks? Crazy, right? Well, it’s true! Architect David Benjamin and his firm The Living have experimented in creating a towering structure from Mycelium – made from the roots and stalks of mushrooms and other fungi. The building experiments with ‘Biotecture’, blending the line between biology and architecture, and made its debut at MoMA PS1 in Queens, NYC. The Mycelium was combined with shredded corn stalks and hemp, compacted into bricks that are strong, water-resistant and compostable! While this structure may only last around 3 months, David and his firm continue to experiment with the limits of this fantastic new material.

 

Shipping containers are all the rage nowadays, and why not? They’re a recycled object, can be tailored to suit the owner’s needs, are easy to live in and basic in the best way – what you do with it is up to you! There are so many amazing examples of the outstanding homes people have created from recycled shipping containers, a quick Google search will show you loads of inspiration!

 

There are so many amazing, sustainable and recycled materials you can use these days – if you’re building your own home and searching for a way to make your unique property mark – get creative and experiment with eco-friendly or unusual materials.

Stamp Duty Concession