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!): www.open2view.com

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!

Closing time for open-plan living?

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Is anyone else over open-plan living?

I, for one, have found myself craving walls and doors for the last year or so. Honestly, where did all the walls go?!

The whole open-plan movement seemed like a great idea at the time. It was hailed as the answer to the modern lifestyle, where the kitchen is often the hub of the home.

But it definitely has it drawbacks and they’re starting to become more and more apparent in our household.

“Isn’t this great guys, we can chat while I’m cooking dinner.”

“What did you say? I can’t hear you over the rangehood, TV and little Robbie’s iPad.”

The competing sounds, the unwelcome smells – I’m pretty sure no one really took this into account when we all decided to get out our sledgehammers and let loose on the kitchen wall.

More architects and homeowners are now moving away from open-plan towards split-level or “broken-plan” living with areas that are linked yet separate.

If you’re thinking of the sunken lounges and split-level arrangements of the 70s you’re not far off – but picture that with less orange and garish prints.

Broken-plan living allows for living spaces to be visually linked but have separate, distinct areas that can give families more room for privacy.

Steps, different ceiling heights and contrasting textures are what sets broken-plan apart from open-plan.

Here are some great examples:

                                                                                                                          Novak + Middleton Architects

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                                                                                                                                       Alamy/Guardian.com

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                                                                                                                                                 Patrick Reynolds

I don’t think this layout hugely helps with the noise-pollution issue but don’t worry researchers are working on combatting this problem.

Quiet kitchens without noisy kettles or deafening range hoods are on their way.

An instant hot water tap could have you kicking that kettle to the kerb and a rangehood with a motor outside the home will mute that annoying humming sound.

Researchers have even come up with a sink with deadening pads to prevent the metallic sound when water hits the bottom.

I’m still not sure that’s enough to bring me back around to open-plan living – but broken-plan sounds like a great compromise.

 


What do you think about open-plan vs broken-plan living? How do open-plan or traditional living areas work for you? Let us know in the comments below or on our NZ and AU Facebook pages.

 

 

 

Landlords: Is It Time To Go Pet-Friendly?

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A visually-impaired sheep is one of the latest casualties of the soaring housing market.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Poor old Coco the elderly arapawa ewe had to be surrendered to a sanctuary after her owners’ rental home was put on the market and they were unable to find another suitable for her.

Coco is just one of the sheep, goats, hens, ducks and dogs in the same predicament, with renters struggling to find homes for themselves and their pets.

With landlords selling up to take advantage of the hot market and only a small pool of landlords willing to take in pets, it’s little wonder it’s a growing problem for renters.

But research from Barfoot & Thompson has found that it can pay for landlords to go pet-friendly.

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I’m not suggesting letting Coco the sheep crash at your inner-city pad. Obviously the council wouldn’t be too keen on that idea either.

But the data reveals landlords who make their rental properties pet-friendly are able to widen their pool of potential tenants, keep their properties rented for longer and even maximise their profits.

Typically, pet-friendly landlords are able to charge more on a weekly basis, due to high demand and competition, according to this research.

And tenants with pets have been found to stay on average a further 7 months than their non-pet counterparts.

But what about protecting your investment?

Here’s some advice for landlords looking to make their rental pet-friendly:

  • Add a pet clause to the Tenancy Agreement.
  • Think about the size of your property and what it can manage – does it have fencing? – is the outdoor area appropriate for larger pets?
  • Check references and ask for a pet resume – if a tenant has been allowed pets at a previous rental, your property manager will be able to ask their referee about how the tenancy went and flag any problems or allay any concerns.

Pet Resumes

Renters, a pet resume is a great way to emphasise that you are a responsible pet-owner.

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                                                                                                                               Cathy Klein, PetResumes.Net.

For dogs, you can mention:

  • obedience training
  • the number of times your dog is walked a day
  • whether they go to “doggy daycare”
  • the dog’s temperament, size, age.

It’s a great way to let a prospective landlord put a face to your pet’s name.


Landlords and property managers – what do you think about pet-friendly rentals? Renters – have you had any trouble finding a rental that will accept your pets?

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

7 Tricks To Sell Your Home This Winter

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Selling your house this winter?

We all know the old adage that spring is the best time to put your property on the market, but in the real world that’s not always possible.

Here are seven simple tricks to get your property looking its best when the weather’s at its worst.


1. Wash down the outside of your home

1457744_851298364904018_111069934829042365_nMake the outside of your home gleam like this house.

Kick mould, grime and moss to the kerb and give it an easy and cheap facelift.


2. Let there be light!

Turn on any outdoor lights to brighten up your property and make the house look inviting from the driveway.

If the outside is still looking a bit dull, then adding some extra solar-powered lights to line pathways and brighten up other features can be a quick fix.


3. Cut back any trees, bushes and shrubs that are stealing light from your home

c4ff839328928e41ca402471abca824ebd63f369There’s no shortage of light in this Wellington home – but check if any trees or shrubs are blocking light from any rooms in your house.

During winter you really need to try to get as much natural light into your house as possible. If there are any dark rooms or spaces, it might only take a few minutes with the secateurs to allow more light to flood in.


4. Show off outside spaces

Demonstrate how the outdoors – whether it’s the garden, deck, courtyard or porch – can be used in summer and during colder months.

This might mean uncovering outside furniture and showing off features like built-in barbecues, pizza ovens, pools and ponds for open homes and viewings.

It doesn’t matter if you’re not using these spaces yourself at the moment – it just allows buyers to get a better picture of the property and start to imagine living there.


5. Make sure your home is warm

A warm house projects a cosy, homely feel for prospective buyers as soon as they step in the front door.

Get the fireplace or wood-burner roaring or crank up the heaters before buyers are due for a viewing. Now is not the time to try to save on power bills – no one wants to look around a freezing cold house, let alone live in one.


6. Clear ALL paths of fallen leaves or snow

Don’t just clear the main path and driveway. If your property has pathways leading around the garden then you should be showing them off. A quick sweep of these, along with the deck and any steps, is paramount.


7. Spruce up neglected flowerbeds and pots

11069486_610429452390899_7838415046546435704_nTake some inspiration from this home and plant up the outside of your property with shrubs that will last through winter.

Add a few winter-flowering or evergreen plants to forgotten flowerbeds and plant pots. Even if you’re not the most green-fingered of homeowners – you only really need to keep them alive until you make that sale…


Have you got any other tips to help your house sell in winter? Share them with us in the comments below or on our Facebook pages in New Zealand and Australia.

Preparing your home for photography…

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Your home is one of your most valuable assets. When the time comes to sell, the way you present and market your property plays a big part in attracting potential buyers and gaining the best possible sale price.

Having professional photography taken is often the first step in the marketing process. Even if you don’t have the budget to renovate before selling, there are many things you can do to help present your home in the best possible way, ready for photography and you will also have it looking shipshape for your open home viewings.

Here are some tips….

General

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  • De-clutter the home
  • Clean the windows
  • Ensure all lights are working and are the same colour and type
  • Hide electrical cords as best as possible
  • Ensure all doors and windows can be opened and keys are available
  • Mow lawns (at least 3 days prior), weed gardens, add fresh mulch if possible

 

Bathroom

bathroom

  • Clean shower screens, basins and mirrors
  • Remove personal items, bottles and hanging items from shower and basin
  • Remove mats, scales, waste and linen baskets
  • Ensure toilet rolls are tidy and toilet seats are down
  • Co-ordinate the colour of towels and fold neatly

 

Living Areas

living

  • Remove unnecessary furniture and clutter
  • Clear tables of remotes and magazines. Tidy bookshelves.
  • Ensure curtains are hooked up and properly open
  • Remove sheer curtains altogether if possible
  • Add colour – for example flowers, cushions, throws
  • Remove heaters, fans and dehumidifiers

 

Garden and street front

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  • Remove toys out of sight
  • Remove pet related items and droppings
  • Keep cars out of sight
  • Remove laundry from washing lines
  • Hide rubbish bins
  • Water blast decks if necessary
  • Trim trees to enhance the views

 

Kitchen

kitchen

  • Tidy kitchen and clear bench tops
  • Remove dishes and drying racks from sinks
  • Remove tea towels, mats and remove fridge magnets etc..
  • Remove rubbish bins, pet bowls and litter trays

 

Bedrooms

bedroom

  • Make beds and turn on lamps
  • Clear items from bedside & dressing tables
  • Remove clutter and clear area underneath beds

 

Swimming pools

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  • Clean the pool. Remove pool cover
  • Remove pool cleaner and cleaning equipment
  • Remove pool toys etc.

 

Seek advice from your Real Estate professional as they may have some other suggestions specific to your property. Remember, your property will be photographed as presented, so neat and tidy presentation is essential to maximise the impact of your images. This holds true whether your potential buyer is viewing them on the internet or in a print magazine.

To view examples of how professional photography can enhance your property marketing, check out our services page or follow our facebook pages for our property for the week and other home inspiration ideas…

Facebook.com/Open2viewNZ

Facebook.com/Open2viewAustralia

Time to say goodbye to Auckland?

Above: This 3 bedroom Mairangi Bay home is sitting just above the current average asking price of $820,016 in Auckland. View the listing here: http://o2v.co/1Zi8

Skyrocketing. Raging. Through the roof. Out of control. INSANE!

All of the above have been used to describe the current Auckland Housing market. It seemed astounding around this time last year talking about the average asking price for Auckland hitting a new all time high record of $732,240.

Now for the first time, that has risen above the $800k mark, with realestate.co.nz reporting that for June 2015 the average asking price of an Auckland home is $820,016. That’s a $164,003 deposit you’ll need, and thats enough to have First Home buyers in Auckland running for the Bombay hills, which buy all accounts seems to be the case, with claims that Aucklanders are making up about 30 percent of attendance at open homes in Hamilton.

The average asking price suddenly seems less surprising once you start seeing stories like this: A West Auckland property which sold for 2.2million, $900k over its CV.

West Auckland Property

Even being able to access KiwiSaver contributions and HomeStart grants do little when the cap for Auckland homebuyers is $550,000 and anyone who has looked at any properties and been to an auction lately can tell you that there are very limited options under that price.

So… why not just leave? With Aucklanders are flocking to buy property in Tauranga, Hamilton and the Western Bay of Plenty, let’s see what the average Auckland house price (or close) might get you in some of those other regions.

Bay of Plenty
A stylish 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom ex-showroom in Papamoa Beach.

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View the listing

Waikato
A 5 bedroom 3 bathroom lifsetyle property on 2.86 Acres featuring an entertainer’s kitchen with butler’s pantry, formal dining area and two lounges with bush and waterfall views.

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View the listing

Northland
A 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home with pool and spectacular views over Maungakaramea and beyond to The Whangarei Heads and Hen & Chicks sitting on 6.63ha with 250 Avocado trees.

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Take the 3D HomeView tour 

New Plymouth
Enquiries over $749,00 will get you this fabulous 4 year old, 4 bedroom farmlet on 2.22 Acres.

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View the listing

So what do you think? Comparable, or much better value? Where do you sit? Are you a disillusioned, Auckland First home buyer? Perhaps a retiree, ready to make the most of the high Auckland prices,cash up and move to the regions? Or are you just a non-Aucklander sick of hearing about Auckland House prices?

Share your thoughts in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.