Photos: Animal Real Estate Photobombers


An important part of real estate photography is the ability to showcase a property in it’s setting and portray the lifestyle it affords to a potential buyer. Often while our photographers are busy at work capturing this, they get some curious bystanders coming in for a closer look! Here are some of our favourite animal photobombers we’ve captured while out on the job….

On the hunt for a new home? View more property photos on our website (even ones without photobombing animals!):

You can also keep up date date with our latest news, featured properties and giveaways on Facebook:

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What Kids Want From A New Home

Parents might be after double garages and large living areas*, but plenty of hiding places and treehouses are at the top of children’s priorities for a new home.

*Or just a home under $1 million, am I right Aucklanders and Sydneysiders?

A new survey of under-10s has revealed youngsters’ priorities when it comes to property and, not all that surprisingly, a home’s proximity to good schools doesn’t feature on their wish lists.

Estate agent Chestertons surveyed 3,000 parents with children aged between 5 to 10 years who were looking for a new home.

Both parents and children were asked to list their top five must-haves for their new abode.


Kids house survey table

Personally, I’m leaning more towards the kids’ wish list. And unless there is one almighty property crash soon, it looks like a tree house might be all I can afford anyway.

The pint-sized property moguls were a little off the mark about the out-of-control housing market, with the average child thinking they could score a home for about $6,000. Bless.

Most of the children also hoped to own a home by the time they were 19. If only…

When quizzed on property-related terms, the youngsters had their own ideas about what it meant to climb the property ladder.

The majority of them believed the property ladder was a “ladder kept at home so people can reach high places”.

And 70 per cent of them thought house deeds meant “chores that needed doing around the house”.

Oh, to be young again. Good luck with your search kids!

Top 10 Strange Place Names in NZ and Australia

What’s in a name? Well I’m sure the occupants of Gross Avenue would like to assure you, not much.

The street is just one of the weird and wonderful monickers given to Australian and New Zealand roads and towns.

Our Open2view photographers will have seen their fair share of noteworthy street names while shooting properties on both sides of the Tasman.

Some place titles are regarded affectionately by locals and give tourists a quick chuckle as they drive through, while others can be outright offensive…

A plan to change the names of Nigger Hill and Niggerhead in the South Island to the less offensive alternatives, Tawhai Hill and Kānuka Hills respectively, has stirred up 61 objections. Alternative names are due to go out for public consultation this month.

But putting the offensive titles to one side, let’s take a look at some of the best place names hailing from our shores.

10. Cape Foulwind, New Zealand

I dread to think what stench was pungent enough to earn this West Coast headland this unfortunate name.

9. Disappointment Hill, Australia

The story goes that explorer Fran Hann climbed the Western Australian hill in 1903 to find no water and was disappointed. It doesn’t sound like things have improved that much for the hill since.

8. Come By Chance, Australia


The small country town with the unusual name is situated on the Baradine Creek in northern New South Wales.

7. Lois Lane, Australia

Australia is home to a host of streets bearing the name of the fictional reporter and Superman’s love interest.

6. Gross Ave, Australia

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Two Aussie streets carry this title – one in Queensland and one in New South Wales. In fact, Australia is actually littered with “Gross” streets and roads.

5. Little Wart and The Pimple, New Zealand

These hills are located in Otago and Marlborough respectively.

4. Fashion Parade, Australia

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Strike a pose. This Melbourne street has actually very little connection with the catwalk.

3. Snuffle Nose, New Zealand

Snuffle Nose is a point in Canterbury with a delightful sounding name.

2. Nowhere Else, Australia


There’s nowhere else quite like this Tasmanian town … except there’s a place in South Australia which bears the same name.

1. Taumata whakatangi hangakoauau o tamatea turi pukakapiki maunga horo nuku pokai whenua kitanatahu, New Zealand


We couldn’t do this list without giving a shout out to the world’s longest place name. At 85 letters long, this Hawke’s Bay hill holds the world record. Now take a deep breath and see if you can pronounce it.

Honorary Mention: Matata, New Zealand


What other gems have you come across in your travels around New Zealand and Australia? Let us know in the comments below or on our AU and NZ Facebook pages.


How To Keep Your Home Pest-Free

Pest home 1

Are pesky pests bugging you and your family? Then read on to help banish any creepy critters from your home!

Pest control agency Rentokil helps rid frustrated homeowners of everything from crawling insects and flying pests to rats and mice.

We had a chat with expert bug eradicator Jon Thompson (AKA Rentokil’s Head of Operations) about why bed bugs are invading more and more homes and why it’s ok to step on a cockroach – in fact, he outright encourages you to do so.

What advice can you give to help keep pests at bay?

  • Keep a clean, dry, well-ventilated house.
  • Be vigilant for early signs of pests.
  • Have well-sealed doors and windows.
  • Carefully cover grass clippings and compost.
  • Dispose of pet droppings regularly.
  • Get a reputable pest control company with qualified staff in should you need the extra help.

Describe the worst pest problem you’ve ever had to deal with…

A home in a rural town where I had to move my service vehicle from their driveway onto the street after I started to spray – the cockroaches were streaming out the door towards it!

Sadly, there were dozens of cockroaches in the bedding in the babies cot. It was a nice feeling to be able to remedy this situation.

rat kitchenRats and mice are winter’s biggest pest issue.

What’s the biggest problem during winter?

Rats and mice – they enter homes at the onset of cooler, wetter weather to seek shelter and warmth.

Insulated walls and ceiling voids provide ideal harbourage for them and it is extremely difficult to rodent proof a house – mice can enter a hole the size that a pencil can fit into!

Are there going to be any particularly bad pest problems for people this year?

Warmer summers always produce greater numbers of flies, fleas and ants – the past summer was no exception.

What are the hardest pests to get rid of?

1. Flies – because you basically can’t get rid of them! – they will always be with us!

2. Bed bugs – because of their ability to lay ‘dormant’ for longs periods of time and withstand harsh conditions.

fly kitchen
Flies are the toughest pests to banish.

Are there any pests that you’re seeing more and more of?

Bed bugs have proliferated over the past decade or so – this is generally attributed to increased tourism and budget travel. Bed bugs are great hitch-hikers and can survive up to a year without a blood meal.

What pests bother people the most?

Probably flies and mosquitoes. The best way to manage their annoyance is to physically exclude them – which is often hard to do.

Are there any misconceptions about pests that you’d like to clear up?

There is a common misconception that if you stand on a cockroach you can spread the problem – not so! – step away!!

Any pests driving you up the wall? Have you got some good solutions for keeping them at bay? Let us know in the comments below or on our NZ and AU Facebook page.

Crowdfunding For Your First Home


Vet bills, overseas jaunts, creative projects. It seems everyone and their dog is crowdfunding for something these days.

But what about getting complete strangers to help buy your first home?

That’s exactly what would-be first-time buyers could be doing with the launch of Gifted Deposit – a new site dedicated to helping people get their feet on the property ladder.

Hopeful homeowners will pitch for funding towards a deposit for their first home and rely on family, friends and strangers to hand over their cash.

The fundraisers must sign a document that states they will use the money for a mortgage deposit.

Will strangers dig into their pockets?

Would-be homebuyers will be able to post a video explaining why they need a helping hand and, while there will be no financial returns for investors, small rewards may be offered to those willing to part with their money. Think: an invite to the housewarming or some baking.


The creators say the funding aspect of the site won’t be solely aimed at “strangers” but rather at first-time buyers’ network of family, friends, distant relatives and colleagues.

House-hunters could set up a campaign to encourage wedding guests to forgo the gifts of dodgy kitchenware and ornaments (which, let’s be honest, are shoved straight to the back of the cupboard after the honeymoon) and instead make a donation to their first-home fund.

Lots of couples are already doing this with “wishing wells” at weddings.

The crowdfunding conundrum…

Personally, crowdfunding makes me a little uneasy.

I loved the Abel Tasman beach campaign and think there’s definitely a place for those that fundraise for people in tragic circumstances. But when it’s for something that a lot of other people are just quietly plugging away at on their own, it irks me a bit.

My partner and I are currently saving for our first home. Watching house prices go up and up is pretty demoralising but it’s something we’re just sucking up and getting on with.

We’re lucky that my parents are letting us stay with them while we save but we’re making sacrifices in lots of other ways to pinch the pennies.

And we’re content with buying a do-up in a suburb a fair drive from the city to get on the ladder.

This new site could be a great way for first-time homeowners to get a boost to their savings but I think we’d still prefer to do it the old-fashioned way.

What do you think of the idea of crowdfunding for your first home? Did you find it a struggle to get on the property ladder or are you still not quite on that first rung?

Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Home Shows & Expos: Get the most out of your visit.

Auckland Home Show

Whether you’re renovating, ready to purchase a big ticket item or just looking for inspiration, home shows and expos are a fantastic place to get expert advice and great deals.

This week, thousands have flocked to the iconic Auckland Home Show. If you’re planning to catch the last couple of days this weekend, here are a few product highlights and some tips to help you get the most out of your visit.

Auckland home show 2

1. Do your research

Knowing who will be exhibiting before hand is very helpful, especially if you have something particular in mind you want to see.  An exhibitor directory and show specials are all listed on the Auckland Home Show website . Take a look before you go and make a list of what you want to see and the stand number so you don’t miss anything. With over 500 exhibitors showcasing the latest products and trends, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

home show 5

2. Parking & crowds

If you can’t find anyone to drop you off & pick you up, be prepared to wait in lines for parking. Don’t forget cash. You’ll need it for venue parking. There is a cash machine on site and most vendors have eftpos, but for small purchases and buying lunch, cash will save you time and hassle.

home show 3

3. Do a ‘warm up’ lap.

When you arrive, get your bearings by doing a walkthrough of the expo. Take note of the stands you want to revisit on the second time round. It’s also a good way to identify stands selling the same or similar products.

home show 6

4. Ask questions. Ask for demos.

That’s what they’re there for. If you find a product that you’re interested in, ask questions and get as much info as you can. Exhibitors are more than happy to give demos and many will have info or even samples to take away with you.


5. Be inspired. Get snap happy.

One of the highlights is the designer living pavilion and landscape areas where many of the stands are set up as rooms and living areas to help you visualise how things can be put together. Have your camera handy to take snaps of displays and products that spark your imagination and give you some inspiration.

The Auckland Home Show runs until this Sunday 13 September, so don’t miss out. Visit their website or facebook page to find out more

Trick or Treat?


When it comes to Halloween, if find that people fall into two categories. ‘Love It’ or Hate it’. I myself, fall into the latter. Partly because Halloween has never been a huge deal where I live and partly because as a child, I was never allowed to go trick-or-treating, so I tend to harbor a bit of resentment against anyone who gets to have fun around this time…

The reality is, I usually cower in my living room, pretending not to be home when trick-or-treaters come knocking on the door. (I have a very long, steep driveway, so trick’s on them!)

This year however, I feel like I shouldn’t be a total grinch and that I should make some sort of neighborly effort, for some reason.

So I’ve been trying to decide how I can decorate my house, with very little effort, because a) Carving pumpkins is dangerous. b) I’m lazy.

Here are some goodies i found:

Giant Spider Invasion


Okay, a little bit of effort to make them, but a completely terrifying result!

Spooky Glowing Eyes

spookyeyeThis is probably more within my capabilities. All I need are some toilet rolls & glow sticks

Hanging Bats


Martha Stewart can show me how to turn my porch into a bat-cave!

Bloody Hand Print


This bloody hand print technique will give a lovely effect on any window of your house. (Hopefully without traumatising the local kiddies too much)

Window Silhouettes
Hello-Halloween-Silhouette-Windows possibilities are endless…

Monster Doors…




Here is how this one was created!

And now for my favourite DIY decoration….

Giant eyeballs in a tree 


Pure genius. It should be mandatory to have these in every tree, all the time!

Whether, you love or hate halloween, there’s certainly no harm in having a little bit of fun!

If you’re decorating your house, or heading off to trick-or-treat tomorrow night, share a pic with us on our facebook page.

Happy Halloween!