Developing Our Farm

5 Simple Steps to Improving the Office Environment

Posted by on 5:59 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Simple Steps to Improving the Office Environment

Surveys show almost two-thirds of Australians feel emotionally detached from their job. They show up, do just enough work to avoid being fired, but don’t enjoy coming to the office or spending time with their coworkers. If this unenthusiastic attitude describes your workforce, then making just a few simple changes to their environment could help to banish gloom and help employees look forward to coming to work. Try these five tips to improve your office environment and get workers feeling good about your company. 1. Encourage Employees to Take Breaks Together Regular breaks are essential for employees’ concentration and productivity. They’re also an opportunity for workers to chat, make friends and share work-related worries that are playing on their minds. Encourage your employees to take regular breaks by providing a break room with a coffee machine, water cooler, plenty of comfortable seating and welcoming decor. 2. Provide Supportive Office Furniture A shocking 80 percent of people experience back pain at some point in their lives, often as a result of working long hours at a desk without the right support. If your employees are complaining of aches and pains, consider investing in new ergonomic chairs and desks to bring them some relief. It’s much easier to feel enthusiastic about your work when you’re not in pain, so this simple measure could result in a boost in employee morale. 3. Let in Natural Light Natural sunlight makes many people feel happy and relaxed, but many offices shut out the sun to prevent computer screen glare and overheating. Rather than pulling down the blinds on a beautiful day, consider rearranging the furniture in your office so workers can avoid glare without having to miss out on natural light. You can address the overheating issue by using slatted blinds, which block out a lot of direct sunlight while still allowing employees to see out of the windows. 4. Purify With Plants Office plants can reduce feelings of stress, as well as improving indoor air quality by soaking up airborne pollutants and releasing oxygen. No-one likes to see dead or dying plants around the office, so select plants that can thrive indoors with minimal care, such as the peace lily. 5. Keep It Clean Forcing employees to work in a dirty environment shows a serious lack of respect, which is likely to lower morale. Hire an office cleaning service to give the office a deep clean and ensure that regular cleanings keep it that way from now...

read more

Purchasing Investment Property? Here’s How to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

Posted by on 5:27 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Purchasing Investment Property? Here’s How to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

Many prospective property investors hear about buyer’s remorse and imagine that it cannot happen to them. Of course, this is until the real estate agent hands them the key to the property and the regrets kick in. Buyer’s remorse can have severe consequences, and not just the palm sweating, anxiety, or nausea. It can cost you your financial future. Here are some tips on how to avoid the buyer’s remorse before you make a serious investment mistake. Take time to research The real estate market is a tricky one if you dive in without understanding what to expect. Before you approach an agent, do a little research on what is expected when purchasing an investment property. Researching on the current real estate trends in your area and property pricing can even help you negotiate a good deal. Don’t go in blindly. You don’t have to be an expert, but knowing the basics will help prevent obvious mistakes. Learn to walk away When you have the money and urge to buy an investment property, everything looks appealing to you. Have a checklist of what you want in the property you want to buy. No matter how good a particular property looks, walk away if it doesn’t meet your criteria. Again, if you are not sure of what you want, it’s best to walk away and come back to your agent only after you have figured out your needs. Otherwise you might make a purchase and end up regretting once you have signed the contract. Get the property inspected Property inspection can save you from making costly mistakes in your investment. Even if a property is new, having a professional inspect it is crucial in the buying process. The process entails inspecting the following aspects of a property. Structural integrity of the building Electrical, plumbing, security, and HVAC systems Indoor fixtures, furniture, equipment, and appliances Compliance with building codes and regulations Inspection of the grounds, lawns, and outdoor fixtures The report submitted after a property inspection should give you the go-ahead to purchase a property or decline. Have a solid purchase contract Most property investors wait for the agent to present their contract so they can negotiate their terms from the seller’s perspective. Prepare your purchase contract. Doing so will ensure that you are not sidelined and that most if not all of your interests will be met. You will be able to close the deal comfortably and as a happy investor. Once you have signed a property contract, the deal is done and sealed. Avoid regretting your purchase later by following these simple tips before making any decisions on investment...

read more

Real Estate Investors: What The Riverina Intermodal Freight And Logistics Hub Means To You

Posted by on 6:01 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Real Estate Investors: What The Riverina Intermodal Freight And Logistics Hub Means To You

Wagga Wagga is the largest inland city in New South Wales. Compared to other parts of the state, property prices in the city remain relatively affordable, with an average three-bedroom property costing around $370,000. However, the new Riverina Intermodal Freight and Logistics Hub could spell good news for property investors. Find out why here. The appeal of Wagga Wagga As property prices spiral out of control in Sydney city centre, Wagga Wagga is an increasingly popular choice for investors and buyers. With direct daily flights to Sydney and Melbourne from Wagga Wagga airport, the city is a good choice for people who want an urban lifestyle without the price tag other locations require. Major industries in Wagga Wagga include Cargill and Heinz, but the area also boasts thriving retail districts. Nonetheless, new investment in the area means that Wagga could become a more attractive proposition for investors. About the rail hub Wagga Wagga is on the main railway line between Melbourne and Sydney. The Riverina Intermodal Freight and Logistics Hub will bring millions of dollars of federal, state and private investment to the region, improving the rail and road infrastructure and creating new jobs. 95 hectares of land at Bomen Business Park will allow the project to create a new freight terminal for the region, including a new 5km master siding. The development will allow freight trains to pull off the main line to load and unload. In turn, this will allow more businesses to use the freight route without disruption to passenger services, improving Wagga Wagga’s role as a central hub. How the hub could help property investors The new rail hub at Wagga Wagga could see a future increase in property prices. Demand for homes in Wagga is likely to increase as people move to the area to take advantage of new jobs created at the hub. These new jobs won’t just include rail and freight workers. The development includes around 300 hectares of heavy and light industrial land, which will lead to a further increase in job opportunities for local people. The new infrastructure will bring with it increased demand for property, especially in key suburbs within commuting distance of the new hub. This demand may increase across several property types, although demand for apartments will almost certainly grow as younger, single people move to the area, during the construction project and beyond. Wagga already has comparatively low unemployment, with a skilled workforce. The rail hub development would almost certainly fuel growth in the region. While state and federal governments continue to finalise plans, shrewd property investors should carefully consider Wagga as a viable investment proposition. For more information, contact a real estate expert in the Wagga Wagga...

read more

Considerations When Contemplating Extensions to Your Home

Posted by on 6:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Considerations When Contemplating Extensions to Your Home

A home extension is a great way to incorporate additional space to your current home without having to consider moving to a new home. No matter your reasons for this, whether you have an expanding family or simply need additional entertainment space, it is ideal to consult with new home builders so as to make the most of your renovations. It should be noted that opting for an extension is not simply about wanting an extra room and having builders come and knock down a few walls on your residence. The following are some of the considerations that you should have when contemplating extensions to your home. Consider the space you will allocate for your extension When it comes to home extensions, some homeowners tend to assume that the best way to go about it is to use up the extra space they have in their yard. Although this is a popular option, it may not be the best for you for various reasons. Firstly, the extension could take up too much yard space, leaving you with little room for your kids to play outside or for you to entertain outdoors. Secondly, extending out into the yard could be more costly, as it will need additional processes such as excavation, laying a foundation and more. If you are on a budget and are looking to create a reasonably priced extension, you should consider building your extension upward. Typically, it tends to be more affordable extending your home by adding another floor rather than having to construct it from the ground up. Consider the design of the extension Another thing to consider when seeking to create an extension to your home is whether you would like the design to match the original design of your home or not. Generally, homeowners will try to match the design of the new extension, and this requires purchasing exact building materials as your original structure. If you home was built with expensive building materials such as stone, then you could end up paying a pretty penny. Instead, consider substituting expensive materials with more reasonably priced ones, such as using natural stone veneers rather than concrete. This gives the same appearance as a stone structure, without the added expense. Another aspect to consider when contemplating the design of the extension is incorporating passive design. Passive design refers to construction techniques that enable your structure to be more energy efficient for you. For instance, having the new home builders incorporate absorbers into stonewalls will ensure that your structure remains warm during colder temperatures. This is because the absorbers gradually take in heat during the day and release it into the home at...

read more

5 Steps to Soil Asbestos Management Planning for Site Owners

Posted by on 8:41 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Steps to Soil Asbestos Management Planning for Site Owners

Asbestos remains rather prevalent within Australia’s built environments despite the known health risks associated with asbestos fibres. This is because Australia’s construction sector widely used asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in the time following the Second World War. Therefore, if you’re looking to develop property on a site located within a brownfield (abandoned or unused sites that formerly had heavy industrial activity), it will be wise to ensure that previous occupants did not leave any asbestos from illegally buried waste products and poor removal procedures during demolitions among other historical practices. You can do this by following the practical steps outlined below: 1. Define asbestos risk You will need to engage an expert asbestos soil surveyor as well as assess existing records to determine the likelihood of soil contamination. This critical step will highlight the work that needs to be done in management, helping you to plan in advance for the cost implications – time-loss costs from construction delays, costs of remediation efforts and licencing to allow contaminant handling, etc. 2. Develop management strategy You may have to involve experts and stakeholders to come up with a satisfactory plan of action based on your findings above, and one that causes minimal disruption to your development plans. Formulate an overall plan for remedial work accounting for ACM characteristics, soil type and distribution, cost-benefit analysis, your proposed development plans, local regulations and impact on stakeholders. 3. Formulate plan of work Having a thorough understanding of the site, you can formulate specific procedures to handle your asbestos risk. You must consider your licencing requirements, coordination of remedial work with other ongoing work on the site, site accessibility and layout, plans for personnel and site decontamination, air monitoring and control measures, and waste disposal risks. 4. Select a professional Asbestos is a major health risk but only when its fibres are released into the air and breathed in. Therefore, there is high contamination risk during any work that disrupts asbestos, and such work must be overseen by a competent, qualified professional. You should investigate potential contractors’ accreditation, standards and policies to determine competency. NATA provides this guide to help you assess their proposed plans and methods. 5. Validate your plan Once your plans above have been signed off on by relevant stakeholders (contractors, local and government authorities, investors etc.), ensure that you can access all the validation records. You should also have an asbestos management plan for ACM left onsite. Onsite workers should be trained on the plan so that they can protect themselves and others. There should also be detailed reports on movement of ACM taken out, reuse and/or disposal records, and as-built...

read more

3 Reasons for Your Manual Garage Door Woes

Posted by on 9:25 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons for Your Manual Garage Door Woes

Garage doors are the largest movable components in several homes. A faulty garage door poses is a serious safety hazard. Here are a couple of common reasons why your manually operated garage door may not work properly. Broken springs Broken springs are the most culpable reason behind garage door malfunctions. When the torsion or extension springs on a garage door snap, the weight of the garage door may come crushing on your car or anyone standing in the trajectory of the door. Garage doors that use extension springs often expand to slow the speed at which the door closes, and then contract when the door is opened. Doors that use torsion springs operate by winding up so as to lift the weight of the door. Spring breaks are usually accompanied by breaking of the garage door cable. Therefore, you should replace the cable when you are replacing the springs. This is a job that a professional locksmith can help you do safely. Broken lock handle When the lock handle positioned on the outside of your garage door gets broken, you will not be able to open the door, as there is no tension to engage the springs. In order to restore normal service, broken door handles must be replaced with handles of a suitable or compatible brand. A professional locksmith can provide an appropriate replacement for your lock handle at an affordable price, as they usually stock up many types of door lock handles for sale to their clients. This way, you can regain quick access to your garage. Bent track If your garage door is not working properly, it could be that its track is bent out of shape. Because this door component is made of heavy metal material, you will need an expert locksmith to help you straighten it. Once your locksmith has ascertained that your track does not need to be replaced, they will embark on the repairs. Repair work involves placing a hard metal bar behind the bent section of the track. Using a hammer, the bent track will be hit back into its original shape. This is a job that may sound simple, but it requires a lot of dexterity to do properly. Locksmith problems are common in many residential areas and you might occasionally find yourself falling victim to any of these problems. Not being able to enjoy optimal service from your doors can be really stressful. In case of a problem with your garage door, call in an expert residential locksmith; they can fix just about any garage door...

read more

Building a house with a rooftop garden

Posted by on 6:32 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Building a house with a rooftop garden

If you want to knock your house down and build a new home with more space, it can be hard to lose your garden and outdoor entertaining space. One of the great new options in your home design is to incorporate a rooftop garden. Here are some of the advantages of a rooftop garden.   Makes the most of the block If you have a small block, even going up an extra storey may not be enough to give you all of the living space that you require. By incorporating a rooftop garden into the plan you can build  to the edges of your block with our sacrificing much needed green space and outdoor entertaining area. More privacy If most homes in your area are double storey, you can get more privacy by building up and then utilising the roof space for a garden. This can be great for people with young children, or people who like some privacy while tanning or entertaining.  Energy efficiency  Rooftop gardens are very energy efficient as they reduce heat absorption. This reduces the need for air conditioning by keeping it cooler, as well as helping to insulate the building when air conditioning or heating is switched on. This can result in big energy savings in the hot Australian summer, creating environmental benefits as well as offering savings on your energy bill. In order to maximise this effect, ensure that any paved areas and furniture are in a light, reflective colour to minimise heat absorption.  Better garden conditions If you live in a block that has previously been used for heavy industry, as is the case in much of the Australian inner city suburbs, it’s all too possible that your soil still has high levels of lead and other nasties. These contaminants can mean any vegetables or herbs you grow in the garden also have a high level of the same nasties. Instead, by building a rooftop garden, you can start fresh with a layer of soil that is healthy and free from nasties, meaning you can confidently eat anything you grow. In many cases, this also means you’ll have higher yields from anything you grow due to the healthier soil.  If you are looking to build a new house on a small block it can be a great addition to include a rooftop garden in the plans. Why not contact a new home builder to discuss how to incorporate a rooftop garden into your new home...

read more

Co-investing in property with your siblings

Posted by on 4:01 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Co-investing in property with your siblings

With the growing price of housing in Australia, finding the deposit for a property investment can be hard. If you are not yet ready to settle into a property purchase to live in but want to park your existing home deposit in the property market then co-investing in a investment property with a sibling can be a good option and is becoming more and more popular. Here are some things to consider when contemplating co-investing in property with your sibling.  Will either of you be looking at living in the home? If one of you is looking at this purely as an investment, while the other will live in the property, then this can make the decision in choosing the property harder. Make sure that both parties have an equal or proportional vote in selecting the property you will buy, as you both want to be happy with the decision. Decide early on how to prioritise which areas you will be looking at as well as the type of properties you will look at (houses, units or villas). These will depend on whether you are prioritising something that will earn bigger rentals now or is more likely to have longer term capital gains (but is less desirable at the moment).  How will you manage the decision relating to the property? If one of you is hard to locate with, for example if you are on a working holiday overseas or working in a remote site you might need to delegate authority to the other sibling or use a rental agent to make similar decision in the short term. By discussing early on how you will make any decisions you can avoid later arguments about repairs and bills.  How will you exit the property? While you might buy the property together as singles, over time one or both of you might like to either buy a house by yourself or with a partner and need to access the money you have tied up in your investment property. This might not necessarily come at a convenient time for the other sibling, so it’s best to agree ahead of time on how you will deal with it if one of the siblings needs to sell out before the other. It can be useful to record some of these decisions in a document you both sign so you don’t need to remember all of the conversations. Once you have made all these important decisions it’s time to move on to the next decision, choosing a suitable property. A real estate agent or broker can help you to find the perfect property for sibling property...

read more

Property Owners: Are You Too Emotionally Involved With Your Investment?

Posted by on 12:49 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Property Owners: Are You Too Emotionally Involved With Your Investment?

There’s nothing wrong with being overly proud of owning an investment property, but is this pride interfering with the way you deal with it? As a first-time investment property owner, you need to know about the dangers of becoming emotionally involved with your rental property. Being able to recognise in advance that you aren’t dealing with this situation effectively could stop you from losing money in the future. What Are The Signs Of Emotional Attachment? Before you can tackle being emotionally involved with your investment property, you first have to recognise some of the signs that you have this problem. Do any of these ring true to you when you think about your rental? Your list of rules you expect tenants to abide with is as long as the list you have for your teenager. You constantly think about the property and make up reasons to visit it. You are overly picky about the quality of tenant who applies for the property. You get offended if there is an issue with the property and the tenant contacts you about it. If you nodded your head to any of these statements, then you can admit to having an emotional attachment to your rental that is going to make it hard for you to manage this investment. Why Is Being Emotionally Attached A Problem? There are two main problems when it comes to being overly attached to a rental property. Firstly, you could be overstepping the boundaries of the rental laws of your state with your constant visiting. In Queensland, for example, the Residential Tenancy Authority states you can only enter the property at any time if the tenant agrees. If they do not agree, then you have to give written notice of your intention to enter. If you wish to do a visual inspection, for example, you need to give 7 days written notice, and you can only do this inspection every three months. If you overstep these boundaries, your tenant can lodge a complaint with the RTA. Secondly, requests for improvements to a rental property are going to increase its value at the end of the day, and they are not a personal attack on you as the owner. When you can’t see that, you could be ignoring maintenance requests that will grow into more expensive problems when they are ignored. If you don’t think you can take a step back from the day-to-day running of your property, then you need to enlist the help of a property management company to take care of this for you. When you’re not forced to think about the property on a daily basis, you will be able to break your emotional attachment to it. This means you can make wiser business decisions with your head rather than your heart. For more information, talk to a company like Verse Property...

read more

Bed Bugs: The Two Best Products For Stopping Them Without Spending A Fortune

Posted by on 3:15 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bed Bugs: The Two Best Products For Stopping Them Without Spending A Fortune

Bed bugs are the silent bandits, staying hidden under your bed sheets and causing mayhem. If you’re suffering from a persistent itch when you sleep in your bed, or you notice small blood spots on your sheets, there is a good chance that you have a bed bug infestation. The reason that bed bugs stay under your sheets, and in dark places, is because they love the warmth and they have easy access to food. Not only do they thrive in bed sheets, but bed bugs are also attracted to areas that contain food sources. This means that you can find them anywhere in your home or even your car. Therefore, you will want to get rid of these nasty pests quickly. In many scenarios, particularly if the bed bug infestation is highly severe, you will likely need to call in a pest treatment professional. However, there are a number of incredibly efficient and cheap tactics you can use in your home to reduce the spread, while protecting yourself from the bites.  The Magic Of Baking Soda Baking soda is an effective bed bug repellent due to the strong drying properties in the powder. As a result, baking soda is effective in absorbing the moisture from the bed bugs. It can therefore act as a strong repellent. There are a few ways to apply baking soda to reduce the impact of bed bugs. If your bed bug infestation is under your sheets, an easy and effective method is to simply sprinkle the baking soda under the bed itself. Along with this, you can sprinkle some of the baking soda directly on your mattress, but only before placing the cover over. This is to avoid smearing the powder on your clothing when you sleep. When doing this, make sure you sprinkle the baking soda in the creases of the mattress. This is because the creases are a popular breeding ground for bed bugs.  It is recommended that you vacuum the baking soda from beneath your bed after a few days, before you decide to re-apply. Lavender Oil As A Handy Alternative While baking soda is the most effective solution that you can use at home, there are alternative options available to you, including lavender oil. While also incredibly cheap, lavender oil is simple to apply and works as a great bed bug repellent. This is because the bed bugs hate the powerful, pleasant smell that is produced by the oil. You can apply a few drops on your bed, particularly on your mattress. This will last for a few days and will help keep the bed bugs away.  ...

read more