Bathroom Space Saver Ideas

Bathroom space savers

Tips to maximise the space in your bathroom

The majority of new homes generally have a second bathroom. The main bathroom that is usually attached to the main bedroom is what is called an ensuite. The ensuite is usually spacious enough to accommodate two people. However, the second bathroom is usually a bit tighter for space. So, how can we maximise the space in which we have for the bathroom?

Paint
The first thing you should do is paint the bathroom in the right colour. Colour has the power to create a believable illusion. The right colour or colour combination can make even the smallest space seem large, airy, and inviting. By pairing enhancing hues with contrasting colours or accent walls, you can easily make your small room seem spacious. The best colour to create this illusion of space is white. If you need a little colour variation you could opt for shades of citrus, pastels or light blues that offer the ocean feel.Bathroom space savers

Light
The more light that enters a space the more it illuminates the area and expands your outlook. The main source of light generally enters the space through the windows. However, you can also direct more light into the bathroom with a “sun tunnel“. These sun tunnels will add more natural light to your bathroom. They are fitted through the roof to the ceiling.

Storage
There are so many space-saving ideas when it comes to storage. There are simple options available to you that you may never have thought of.

  • Use the back of the bathroom door to hang your towels
  • If there is space above the door then create a shelf for storage
  • Use tension rods in the basin cupboard and hang cleaning products
  • If you have a shower screen then purchase clips to hang your hair and body products from
  • Over the toilet, standing rack to hold magazines, toilet paper, bathroom products
  • All walls have studs. You can cut in between this space to create shelves (make sure there are no electrical cables)

The ideas for saving space are endless. Here is an article on 25 space saving ideas.

Shelving

As mentioned shelving can be created over the toilet or the basin. You can use tall thin shelving units in the corners or against the walls. Or, you can add small hanging or attached shelving units that expose the contents.

There are unlimited ideas to improve the space in your bathroom and to give the impression to the bathroom’s size.

Related articles ~ Garage Storage Solutions

 

How to Babyproof Your Kids Bedroom

Babyproof kids bedroom

5 Tips to Babyproof Your Childs Room

Your child’s safety should be at the top of your list. Sometimes there are hidden traps that may not be visible to you. Just as a baby learns how to walk and talk new parents are also learning how to care for an infant. We want to highlight 5 things you can do to eliminate dangers that may not occur to a parent.
Babyproofing bedroom
1. Choking Hazards
There are a number of potential choking hazards in a child’s room. The number one offender is toys. These include plastic shapes, the eyes of stuffed toys, marbles, beads, lego and deflated balloons to name a few. Any small object that glitters is an attraction to a child. The simplest object such as the top of a pen or a coin can lead to injury. Do not introduce toys that are breakable or have loose parts. We also suggest the removal of toys that have button batteries.

2. Electricity and wires
What is it that attracts a child to electrical outlets? Perhaps it is that the connection looks like a face. There are also holes that objects can be inserted into. Whatever it is children are often fascinated by these outlets. What you need are caps that can be inserted to cover the outlet. Bunnings have a number of child safety outlet covers that have dual locks that are hard to remove for an infant.
Babyproofing electrical outlet caps
However, most of the time you need to utilise the power outlet. You can use a guard to cover over the wires. This will prevent the child from pulling out the wires. Make sure any wiring is not attached to a heavy object such as a lamp. Children love to pull on anything this loose. So make sure the wires are not attached to objects that can easily be moved.

3. Furniture and windows
Babies love windows. They will do whatever they can to see what is on the other side of that window. Babies love to climb. So remove any stepping stone that they can use to elevate themselves. This would include chairs, tables or stools. Do not rely on the window screen to prevent your child from “escaping”. The window screen will not hold your baby’s weight. The best solution is to keep these windows locked at all times. Preferably with a key. If you want to have the window open then use a guard on the running rail that can limit the gap. Make the gap no bigger than 100 centimetres.

Remove any heavy furniture items from tables and drawers. This includes lamps, radios, TV and so on. If a child can shift it they will. Look for sharp edges on your furniture and cover these. A good idea is to get down on your knees and identify dangerous areas. You will be surprised what the bedroom looks like from a child’s perspective.

4. Stairs
If you have a 2 storey home then a baby gate is a must. It doesn’t matter if your child’s bedroom is on the ground floor or the first floor. Install the baby gate at the top of the stairs and the bottom. If the child’s room is on the first floor then you will want to prevent them from falling down the stairs. And if the child’s room is on the ground floor then you don’t want them climbing the stairs. Either way, block the top and bottom of the stairwell.
Childproof door locks

5. Monitors
Baby monitors are an essential item in a child’s bedroom. You can choose from a sound-activated monitor to a full video monitor of the bedroom. Either option should be adequate. These monitors can react to sound, motion and temperature. The video monitors can be connected via wi-fi and viewable on your mobile phone, tablet or desktop. You can be in any room or in the backyard and pay attention to your child’s safety.

You can even auto record and take images via some of the video monitors. And you can have two-way voice communication.

We hope these tips can help eliminate some of the hazards that you may not have thought of and that your child is safer in their bedroom.

Setting Up A Home Theatre System

Home Entertainment System Setup

In your downtime are you an avid TV watcher? Or, perhaps you like to listen to your favourite songs?

Depending on your budget home theatres can become expensive. But the biggest question is generally – how do you set up all the parts to get that full entertainment experience?

Try this simple 5-step path to setting up a home theatre.

Step 1 – Select the roomSetting up a home theatre system

Where do you want to set up your theatre? Perhaps you want to use the living room or even the garage. Do you want the theatre to be separate from other rooms or do you want it to be inclusive of your main living areas?

Usually to get the full effect a large space is required.

A separate space is generally the ideal setting. You can block out the noise from the remainder of the home and it gives a little more privacy to enjoy your experience.

Step 2 – Projector and screen

Opt-in for a projector and screen solution.

The projector is mounted to the ceiling and all the cabling is run through the ceiling. So, you will also need a ceiling mount. For a professional installer, this is not a hard task.

Now that you have your projector mounted the next step is what surface do you project on to? Here are two choices. One, there is a projector screen paint that you can apply to the wall surface. This is not a bad solution that reflects the light very well. But maybe you use this wall to hang photos or use as shelving.

The other alternative is to purchase a projector screen that you can mount to the ceiling or wall. A projector screen can roll up into a small space when you are not using it.

There are manufacturers that sell manual roll-up screens and motorised screens. If you are going to opt-in for this solution then project your image onto the wall to determine the size of screen you require.

Step 3 – Sound System

The sound is an important component of any home theatre system. A good sound system can elevate your experience to a new level.

Once again cabling is an issue. In this wireless world there seem to be more wires than ever. For aesthetics, it is best to hide all cables wherever possible.

To get that true theatre sound you will need –

  • Two large floor speakers set up on either side of the projector screen
  • Then add four ceiling speakers. The first two should be placed in front on either side of the screen. The other two speakers can go behind the seating area. This gives a true surround sound.
  • And a subwoofer

All the cables should eventually be channelled back to the video and audio receiver. This is your central command station that gives power to all your speakers. Make sure you get this right and choose the best possible arrangement.

There is a multitude of brands out there that produce excellent sound. Here a few of the top-rated sound system manufacturers – Bose, Sennheiser, Bang & Olufsen and Harman.  Prices can range from $150 to $1000 and more for the best systems. The top 10 sound system makers.

Each brand will come with a full set of instructions on how to distribute the wires back to the receiver. If this is a do it yourself task YouTube generally has someone who has created a video on how to wire speakers for specific brands. All the wiring for the speakers will then go back to this receiver.

Step 4 – Mission Control 

So you now have everything in place. The next step is how do you get all these parts to run from the one device?

I am imagining your theatre will have a Pay TV box, a Blu Ray player and some kind of media box. A media box typically is a computer that can stream music and videos. A pre-built PC with a dedicated graphics card should work fine.

If you operate a Plex server and know what you are doing, you can stream from that to your media box.

Connect all of your video devices to the Audio Visual receiver that has HDMI in ports and a single HDMI out cable that you will have to run to the video in on the projector.

Finally, make sure your internet connection is reliable and can handle the download capacity should you need it. Thankfully the internet is moving forward and there are numerous providers out there that deliver the necessary data space and speed required.

Step 5 – Seating Arrangements

This is more of a personal choice. Some want single-seat recliners and others want to share the experience on the couch with their loved one. Or, a combination of both single-seaters and sofa.

It all depends on the number of people that will be sharing your super home theatre system.

Related articles – Revamp your garage space

Garage Storage Solutions

Storage solutions garage

Garage storage space storage solutions
There are basically 3 solutions to creating storage space in your garage. But first, you have to eliminate all the unwanted clutter. Once you have cleared out everything you don’t need you can decide which method suits you best and is within your budget.

Hooks and Shelves

Storage solutions garageSo if you like to keep your items visible and away from the floor hooks and shelves is a good option. There are different ways to hang your tools. The common method is by attaching a hook system to the wall. These can be made from plastic, metal or wood. The bigger hardware stores such as Bunnings usually stock all three hook systems.
Pegboards
These are a good solution for organising items. A pegboard has a series of holes that are equally spaced. You can insert hooks and practically hang anything you want. Pegboards are generally available in plastic or masonite. You can buy pegboard kits that come with wall mountings and a series of hooks.

Using Baskets and Bins
So you don’t want to search for your items but you want them visible, secure and in a container. There is a range of mesh and wire baskets available that can be attached to a wall. Also, you can purchase plastic bins as a tougher option.

Garage space saving pegboardCabinets
If you are inclined to want everything orderly and packed away neatly then cabinets would be for you. There is a multitude of cabinets available on the market. You can get upright metal cabinets with doors or cabinets that have drawers. These items can also have wheels attached to the base so you can move them around effortlessly. The cabinets can also be made from mesh so you can see the contents.

It is really up to your imagination on how you use this garage space as a storage facility. Make a plan and a visualise what you want to achieve. The garage is a space that can be used more effectively and efficiently. And it can add value to your home if organised properly.

 

Related article – How to revamp your garage

Keep Your Home Safe During Inspections

Indoor home security camera

How to secure your home during inspections

An inspection is inevitable during the sales process of your home. Naturally, the buyer wants to see the inside of the property. It is always a good idea to take safety measures and not tempt theft. Below are some suggestions that can ease and eliminate potential safety risks when selling your home. Remember not all thefts are of a physical nature some are the theft of information.

1. Make sure the selling agent is gathering as much information as possible from the potential buyer. This would include recording their name, address and phone number. The agent should also visually site their driver’s licence and make a note of the licence number. This has the effect of securing the property for the seller and letting buyers know you take your job seriously.

2.  Hide and store all the valuables
Find a secure space in your home to place all your valuables in. The majority of home buyers are honest. However, it has been known that children by accident like to pick up shiny things and keep them. And there are those who pretend to be buyers. For these types, there is no breaking and entering. The door is open and if they can steal valuable items they will. The most common items that go missing from homes are:
front door security camera
Jewelry, watches, iPods, tablets and laptops.
The stolen items, however, aren’t just limited to these. Children’s toys, kitchen items, expensive artifacts, etc. are some of the other things that are known to be stolen. Keeping these things away doesn’t give a chance for you to regret later. Hiding your personal stuff also depersonalizes your home and helps prospective buyers to imagine themselves in the house.

3. Setup Security Cameras
It is a good way to keep a watch on every nook and corner of your home without being actually present all the time. The internet security cameras are cost effective and they have the facility of live streaming and recording. Apart from using as a safety guard while selling the home, it is an additional asset and increases the home value as well.

Be careful of one thing though, never spy on people. While using the security cameras, inform the realtors or potential buyers that they are been filmed. It addresses the privacy issue, and knowing that they are being watched, people shall keep their hands to themselves.

4. Keep all personal information hidden
Remove all bill payment receipts that show your credit card details. These can include rates, bank statements, car registration, phone bills and so on. Check your fridge door for personal information that might be behind fridge magnets. For example, your wi-fi password which can give access to your internet. All this information is easily collected with the click of a camera.

Though the home selling process is generally safe, by taking these precautionary steps, you can ascertain the safety of yourself and your loved ones.

5 Reasons Why Property Styling is a Must

Why using a property stylist will increase the value of your home

Selling a home is hard – but let’s be honest, can you really afford not to do everything you can to present your home in the best possible light in this competitive market.  

Finding the right agent, having beautiful photography and of course presenting your property in its best light, are key ingredients to achieving the ultimate goal – which of course is maximising the price you can get for your asset! 

There is no doubt that properties need to present beautifully in print, online and design. Ticking these boxes will achieve the best price in the shortest possible time when potential buyers go through the property.

Keeki property styling understands the importance of making a good first impression on prospective buyers. But for those of you still in doubt, here are 5 really good reasons to make sure your property is styled.
5 reasons to use a home stylist
Maximise the selling price – 

Never underestimate the power of property styling.  Setting up your home in its best light is the strongest and most effective way to entice a buyer into first of all viewing your property and then, of course, committing to an offer.  

The way your property is presented encourages the emotions of your buyer and a professional, experienced property stylist will make this happen.  Your stylist should have experience in your market and an understanding of the real estate requirements. They will consider the perfect furniture, the right placement, the perfect artwork and accessories to showcase your home perfectly, showing the true potential of your home.  

Entice the maximum number of buyers to your property

We often hear that the perfect agent with the perfect property is enough to get the buyers to your home when selling. The reality is that there is only one thing that is going to get your buyers through the door and that’s your online photos. 

Does your property stand out from your competitors, does it scream come and visit me, you are going to love me! It’s amazing what an experienced stylist can do with space. You may love your oversized, comfy brown couch but an on-trend neutral-toned sofa setting could allow your buyer to see the space in its best light and functionality. Artwork, furniture and homewares add texture and the wow factor that appeals to buyers. 

Vendors unfamiliar with the success of property styling run the risk of undermining their sale price. A property with the wrong furniture can look small. Even an amazing architectural superior property will not be showcased in its best light without the right furniture and accessories. 

Buyers need to see functional spaces, they need to know a sofa and their TV are going to fit and how to eradicate the guesswork for them. They shouldn’t have a guess if their king bed will fit. 

5 reasons for using home styling

Keep your property listing fresh and current 

Styling your home for sale at the beginning of a campaign is the best way to ensure a successful sale.  

A property that sits on the market will result in a lower selling price and a reduction in genuine buyers. Your buyers will know how long a property is on the market and will remember how it was first presented.

Don’t wait until your property does not sell before you realise the importance of styling your property. A professional property stylist can set the right impression in your buyer’s mind from the very beginning of your sale campaign.

Recognise the potential of your property

I can’t tell you how many times we have had to ‘encourage’ an agent and our vendors to set up a room in a specific way. There are many advantages of working with a property stylist – they see the property to its best advantage. They know the real estate market and the demographics you are marketing to. Our stylists can advise showcasing your property in the best light because many buyers are unable to visualise its full worth or see past what’s there. Sometimes changing a room to an extra bedroom, or second living space can add up to $60k onto the price of your property or even be the deal breaker. 

A stylist can transform your junk room into an extra bedroom. Property styling is a guaranteed way to ensure you are presenting your home to the market to its full potential and maximising the aesthetic appeal. Keeki has proven results that fetch in excess of up to 10 times the cost of the styling investment. 

Home styling

Take the stress out of Selling

Along with your agent, your property stylist is completely invested in making sure that you achieve the best possible results for the sale of your property. Achieving the highest sale price and selling in the quickest time is always at the forefront of our styling.   

Property styling will take the stress out of setting up your home for sale. Let’s be honest, knowing the colours to use, what to keep in the home and what to move to storage can be overwhelming. Your stylist will assist with helpful advice on what needs to be done before your buyers are presented with your property. They will understand spatial planning and elevate interest through quality furniture and homewares that suits your home. A vendor does not need this added stress with everything else that comes with selling a home.

To find out more click on the link and go to the knowledge base of Keeki property styling as they understand what it takes to sell a home and sell it fast. 

 

What is Google Home?

Google Home device

What Google Home can do?

Here is the short version of what Google Home can do. By simply using your voice as a command you can do multiple tasks. These include managing your TV and sound, create shopping lists, monitor home security, manage chores and tasks or even plan out your day. This is just a small sample size of what Google Home is capable of.
Google Home device
Here is a more detailed list of the capabilities of Google Home.
Media access to listen to or watch.

  • Voice Match – Share Google Home with family and friends. Link your Google Account and voice to Google Home to hear personalized info.
  • Music – Play music from popular music services by artist, song, genre, album, playlist, mood, or activity.
  • News – Get the latest news from sources you trust.
  • Podcasts – Listen to popular podcasts.
  • Radio – Listen to popular radio stations.
  • Relax – Listen to soothing ambient sounds.
  • Bluetooth – Play your stored music using Bluetooth.
  • Audiobooks – Listen to audiobooks from Google Play Books on your Google Home device.

Control TVs and speakers

  • Play TV shows and movies using Google Home – Stream video content to any TV that has Chromecast plugged in or built-in.
  • Play YouTube videos on TVs using Google Home – Initiate and control YouTube videos to any TV with Chromecast or Chromecast built-in – using only your voice.
  • Play audio on speakers and TVs using Google Home – Stream audio to any speaker that has Chromecast Audio plugged in or Chromecast built-in.
  • Multi-room audio – Group any combination of Google Home, Chromecast Audio, or speakers with Chromecast Audio built-in together for synchronous music throughout the home.
  • Play audio from your phone to Google Home – Play audio from your phone to Google Home from 100+ Chromecast-enabled audio apps or by playing your Android Audio.
  • Turn TV on and off – You can turn your TV on and off using your voice and Google Home.

Plan your day

  • My Day – Get a curated daily snippet about your day which includes weather, calendar, commute, reminders, and news
  • Traffic – Ask for traffic and travel times when driving, walking, or biking
  • Local guide – Search for local places and ask for additional information
  • Weather – Ask for current weather or forecasts for the week for your home location or any other location
  • Calendar – Ask about an event or get your schedule for the day from Google Calendar
  • Flight information – Get status updates on your upcoming flight
  • Apps for the Google Assistant – Get things done and have some fun on Google Home with third-party created apps for the Google Assistant

Get things done

  • Shopping list – Create a shopping list and check what’s already on it
  • Cook – Find and make your favourite recipes using step-by-step cooking instructions from your Google Assistant.
  • Shortcuts – Create faster, easier ways to do your favourite things with your Google Assistant.
  • Reminders – You can set, ask about, and delete reminders on Google Home.
  • Send information from Google Home to your phone – Your Google Assistant can send information from Google Home to your phone.
  • Find your phone with your Google Assistant – Never lose your phone again! You can ask your Google Assistant to ring or call your phone.
  • Ask your Assistant to remember things – Get a little help from your Assistant to remember things.
  • Broadcast voice messages to Google Home devices – Send a message to everyone in your home by broadcasting messages on all of your Google Home devices.

Manage tasks

  • Timer – Set and manage a timer for cooking, game time, laundry, and even sleep.
  • Alarm – Never run late or miss a flight or meeting. You can set and manage alarms with just your voice.

Get answers

  • Facts and information – Ask Google what you want to know.
  • Finance – Ask about current individual stock prices or current points of an index, like the ASX.
  • Sports – Ask for scores, live updates, or next game date, location, and time.
  • Calculator – Perform complicated calculations.
  • Translation – Get translations for words or phrases in supported languages.
  • Unit conversions – Get unit conversions.
  • Nutrition – Get nutrition information for ingredients or food.
  • Dictionary – Get definitions and spellings for words.

Control your home

  • Control your smart home devices – Control supported smart home devices like thermostats, plugs lights, and more
  • IFTTT – If this, then that – Control countless online services and third-party smart devices that aren’t directly integrated.
  • Stream your security camera – Keep an eye on what matters by streaming your security camera on your TV using Google Home and Chromecast or a TV with Chromecast built-in.

Does Google Home cost money?

At between $99 and $149, this speaker is set at a fairly good price. Its the intended improvements going forward that should add value. If you would like to purchase a speaker that is portable then this Google Home smart speaker is perfect.

Tips On Investing In Property

OBrien Real Estate property investment tips Melbourne

How to invest in the real estate market.

No one can predict with any certainty how the real estate market will trend. However, there are lessons to learn from those who have been property investors for many years. If you follow certain principles you can increase your wealth over time whilst owning an asset.

With every positive upturn in property, there is an inevitable downturn. But if you hold your property over a long period of time you should see your equity grow. So, how do you minimise the risk prior to making a real estate purchase? There are multiple property forums and advisors out there.  Take your time and talk to as many people as possible who are experienced in property investment. There are many people out there who are happy to advise you on the best path. And they will do this freely.

Property investment tips Melbourne

We have created a few tips on the basic principles of property investment.

1. Think like a tenant and make a list of requirements

  • Generous sized bedrooms with ample wardrobe space.
  • Parking space
  • Separate laundry facilities
  • A living area that is comfortable
  • What are the neighbours like?

2. Property access that is close to amenities

In an ideal world, your property is at the end of a court and only two blocks from a school, shopping centre, public transport and healthcare facilities. These are factors that will help your property grow in value. Also, properties in these locations tend to hold their value if there is a negative correction in the market.

3. Do your homework

As they say, buy the worst house in the best street. Look for the median price of properties in your desired suburb. See what the average annual capital growth and the 12-month capital growth is in that suburb. You can also find what the gross rental yield is for most suburbs via certain websites.

4. Increase the value quickly

If you have done your homework and have been patient in purchasing your home that is below the median price of other properties in your neighbourhood then you can quickly increase the value. Minor fixes can include some new paint, carpet and gardening. Do the blinds need replacing? Is the kitchen a little tired? There are multiple minor renovations that you can do to increase the value for a minimal cost. Factor in these costs before you purchase the property.

5. Refinance your investment property

Has your property increased in value over time? As a safeguard, you can refinance your property as a warranty against you losing your job. This is insurance that should enable you to keep up with your mortgage repayments.

6. Keep your tenants happy

Property management is a skill. Engage the services of a registered property manager and let them deal with the rent collection and any maintenance issues. Having tenants that pay their rent and maintain your property is gold. Make sure you have 12-month rental contracts that are bound by Government, State and local laws. A property manager should also furnish you with ready to submit tax accounting documents. You have gone to all the trouble in finding your property now let a professional manage it for you.

What Is The Minimum Deposit For A Home Loan

What is minimum deposit for home loan

How much do I need for a home loan?

Go back about 10 years and the majority of housing lenders would willingly give borrowers 100% of the loan to purchase a property. In some instances, they would lend up to 105% of the loan to valuation (LVR).

Times have changed today. Banks and mortgage broker companies have tightened their lending policies. The loan to valuation is not as generous as it used to be and certain stipulations have been put in place that borrowers need to meet.

Having said that here is a guide to what banks are willing to give and the deposit you will need when buying a home.
How much do i need for a home loan

Banks and Non-Bank Lenders

The four major banks Westpac, CommBank, ANZ and NAB will typically lend up to 95% of the value of the home. However, this is predicated on the borrower having employment, current savings and minimal debt. Of course, the amount of the loan will influence any lender on how much they can lend. The loan amount will also strongly influence the lender’s decision. To give yourself an approximate on home much you can borrow using a Home loan deposit calculator.

The non-banking lending sector also offers borrowers up to 95% of the property’s value. In addition to this, an extra 2% can be included to cover lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) capitalisation. In other words, the borrower can get a loan to 95% of the property and then add the cost of the LMI to the loan.

Let’s say the value of the property is at $500,000. The lender agrees to loan 95% or $475,000. You will need a $25,000 cash deposit. Now you have to add the cost of the lender’s mortgage insurance of 2% or $10,000. Now your loan amount is $485,00 or 97%.

What you need to qualify for a low-deposit home loan

1. Proven income history
Being able to service your loan is how lenders will determine your risk factor. Lenders also consider your ability to pay the mortgage should you lose your source of income or should your income reduce. If you are self-employed or earn your primary income from investments, you may be seen as a higher risk to a lender.

2. Savings Deposit
You will generally need to prove that you have saved 5% of the purchase price.

3. Clean credit history
You need to have a clear credit history over the past six months. All your bills should be paid on time without exception. This includes credit card repayments, rent, telephone and so on. Lenders can obtain credit history to see if you have applied for bankruptcy in the past or have had foreclosures.

4. Minimal debts
If you have a credit card then put the credit limit to the lowest possible amount. Lenders will include the credit limit as a debt. Let’s say you have a credit card with a credit limit of $5000 and you owe $2200 on the card. This will be seen as a $7200 debt by lenders. As a rule, people who have more than 7% of the property purchase price in unsecured debts such as personal loans and credit cards will struggle for approval.

5. Stable employment
It helps significantly if you have a strong employment history. And if you have been in your current job for at least six months. Your current income will also be a determinant of what you can borrow. Naturally, the more you earn will be evidence you can repay your home loan.
6. Your assets
Lenders will take into account any saleable assets the borrower has. These assets may need to be valued. Sometimes an asset is not worth what you think it is. Ideally, an independent registered valuer can put a price on the asset.

7. Age
Of course, lenders will take into account the age of the borrower. However, the main criteria will still be the amount of deposit the borrower has, their savings history and if there are any debts. What is the maximum age to obtain a home loan?

Creating a Perfect Entertaining Backyard

Perfect backyard entertainment area

Backyards are not oil paintings. They’re not to be stared at and admired. They’re meant to be used. But for some reason, you haven’t quite managed to create a hub for your friends and family to enjoy. It’s nice enough, but it’s missing that ‘oomph’. In this guide, we’ll tell you how you can turn your boring outdoor space into a bonafide entertainment venue.

Seating is Key
The key to a good backyard party is making sure your guests are comfortable. If they have to sit on annoying plastic chairs that dig into your back or, even worse, the floor, they’ll make their excuses and leave your would-be party in a real hurry. Here’s our advice:
Backyard entertainment area

  • Varied options. You want seats in different areas, rather than just one big round circle. It gives people the chance to mingle with different crowds and people prefer small groups for a conversation.
  • Seats should have padding. If you can’t help having cheap plastic seats, for example when running a big event, then the very least you want to do is have padding.
  • Seats that are made to mingle. You want seats that will encourage conversations. Huge chairs that lean back are great for a spot of reading, but it won’t keep the chat flowing.

Sort Out Your Garden
Untrimmed hedges. Overgrown lawn. Dead bushes. Creepy crawlies everywhere. If this sounds like your garden, it’s time to sort it out:

  • Take care of your lawn. Your lawn is going to perform a key function in your backyard parties. Keep it healthy and green, rather than a yellowing mess. If it does end up changing its colour, it is important to consider the factors that can lead to discolouration, besides lack of irrigation as the main culprit.
  • Plants and trees are a good thing. They’re nice to look at and offer shade during those warm summer months.
  • Garden paths. Worried that your guests are going to trample all over your garden? Create clear garden paths for your guests to follow.
  • Prune. Plants that look overgrown or messy is not a good thing. It’s not just the aesthetic part of it, but they also tend to get in the way and are just annoying.

Temperature Control
Guests are fragile creatures. You want to ensure they’re kept as comfortable as possible, which often means providing a way to keep warm or cool down as necessary:

  • Buy a decent fan. We’re not talking your tiny desk fan. If you’re used to hot summers, provide the right kind with multiple settings.
  • The shade is important. We all love the sun, but spending too long in it can be uncomfortable and it’s also unhealthy.
  • Blankets. As it gets cooler into the evening, guests will start to feel the chill. Have a few cosy blankets available for them to wrap up in.
  • Light a fire. This may not be possible for everyone, but it sure is nice. If you have space and can afford it, think about a fire pit.

Choose the Right Sound System
Your sound system has worked for every indoor party you’ve had. So it’ll work just fine for your backyard event, right? Wrong. Here are the factors you need to consider:

  • The elements. You don’t want your speakers to malfunction the minute a little rain starts to drop.
  • Ramp up the power. In your house, you have walls to contain the sound. Outdoors, it’s all wide open space. This means you need to ensure your speakers have the right amount of power. Bear this in mind when testing units in stores.
  • Cover the zones. If you have a large garden, it’ll be made up of different ‘zones’ (think of them as separate rooms. You need to ensure the music isn’t super loud at one end, and a faint whisper on the other.
  • Your own for small gatherings, hire for big events. If you usually have small gatherings that spill into your patio, a small set is more than enough. When you do branch out to a big event every once in a while, you can easily hire speakers. It’ll be far cheaper overall.

Clean Up After a Party
The worst part of a party? When everybody leaves. And no, we’re not being sentimental sops with this statement. We’re talking about the empty plastic cups, the leftover food, the dirty dishes, and a lawn that looks like it’s just had a football team run all over it. To keep your backyard in top entertainment condition, do this:

  • Use tablecloths. You don’t want your lovely wooden table to be ruined with spilt drinks or ketchup stains.
  • Use plastic plates and cutlery. You definitely don’t want to use your best china when it comes to garden parties. We recommend (reusable) plastic or, even better, ceramic instead. Don’t throw them away, if possible. Let’s keep it environment-friendly. If you absolutely must go for disposable, check that they are recyclable.
  • Buy garden trash cans. They’re a little ugly, but they work. Get one of those huge garden trash cans so that people can keep things clean for you.
  • Everyone helps out. It’s not just up to you. Grab your partner, kids, or best friends and ask them to give you a helping hand. Doing a clean-up job alone is one of the worst things.
  • Clean the grill right away. Your grill/BBQ requires a little TLC to keep it in tip-top condition. It’s annoying, but it’s got to be done. Clean up that BBQ as soon as you can, making the job easier than if you leave it for days/weeks.

Remember to Relax
You’ve created that perfect space. You’re ready for the first guests to arrive. But then the anxiety starts creeping in. What if you’re boring? Will people like the food and drink? What if they ruin the garden?

Before you cancel the whole thing, remember to relax. This is meant to be fun, remember? Take the tension out of those muscles and breathe. Your friends and family are coming to see you because they like you. Who doesn’t like a good BBQ? And finally, we’ve already told you how to clean up after your guests leave. In short, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.

Follow the aforementioned steps, and you’ll have a perfect entertainment backyard that can rival any festival venue. And that’s all there is to it. Now put that hot dog on the grill, grab yourself a cool beverage, put on some party mood music, and wait for the fun to begin.

Author – Bethany Seton
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