Top 5 Reasons to Renovate Your Home in Australia

Top 5 Reasons to Renovate Your Home in Australia

                    Irrespective of why you choose to renovate your own home,
the most important underlying factor must always be the enhancement of its capital value.

                                                             ~~~O~~~

The writer of this article is a CPA of Australia. He has worked in one of the Big-3 international Accounting firms and has developed and renovated numerous residential properties in Australia.

As I write this article, home owners and real estate investors are facing the most challenging times in the history of home ownership in Australia.

Real estate prices are trending at historic highs in Sydney and Melbourne, two cities which I consider premier and the most cosmopolitan in this country. National wage growth is practically stagnant while household debt to income ratio is riding precariously thin. And despite a string of rock-solid economic credentials – inflation of less than 2% per annum, unemployment rate averaging at a respectable 5.5% for the last four years and annual GDP growth of around 3%, interest rates are at 60-year lows of 1.5% and is forecast for at least another cut in 2017.

Notwithstanding the fact we like to change prime ministers like we change BBQ sets every couple of years, the political system is stable and robust as it should a developed nation like ours. Australia is also a $1.6 trillion economy which is inextricably linked with the dynamism of China, the new upstart that is increasingly determined to flex both her soft and hard political muscles in the Asia Pacific region.

The fallout from these factors is a generation of aspiring homeowners destined to become life-long renters in a vast, land-abundant country they call home. For this group of young people, the Australian dream of home ownership is being shut out with each failed attempt at weekend auctions dominated by cashed up investors and baby boomers.

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Words of paradise

Bird of paradise plant on our front lawn (money plant in foreground)

Bird of paradise plant on our front lawn (flowering money plant in foreground)

“Why don’t you harvest these beautiful bird of paradise and place them in your home?” my friend Molly says as she wanders around my front lawn. Simple as these words may seem whilst rummaging through the day, I feel something is amiss.

(Music to accompany this blog post ~ click on the image above before proceeding)

You see, I just got home on my own after a short trip in Singapore because Mysaucepan is still there with her parents.

But just like any other day, the cockatoos, parakeets and minors are out in force. They are vying for karaoke rights in a street that barely hears anything else apart from the giant gum trees whispering in the wind.

Despite such tranquil surroundings on a beautiful winter day, why does it feel a little different today? Continue reading


Welcome to our home

Jasmine at 11 trigalana place

As I took the steps leading down to the backyard for the very first time, I sensed a good feeling.

It is a feeling that comes when all you hear is the gentle rustling of giant gum trees and the choir of cockatoos, kookaburras, minors and crickets. And as I would later discover, the shy feral rabbits nibbling away in the garden would soon become the conduits I was so fervently seeking. For they do a better job than me in bringing a smile to her face every morning, cajouling Mysaucepan into this tranquility she finds so foreign compared to city living.

They say one needs to be “in tune” with oneself to feel alive. I know I am in tune with myself when I am surrounded by the greenery of nature … white creamy magnolias and birds of paradise blooming in the sparkling sunshine. I was born in the year of the wood dragon after all, so I am supposed to like these kind of things, aren’t I?

Perhaps it is the fragrance of white jasmine curling its way up the wall next to the red entrance door last spring. Or the backyard we enjoyed so many BBQs last summer. For the very first time, I feel the rays of the autumn sun bursting through these windows onto my back as I pen this post from my bedroom. I love cold weather anyway so perhaps there is little wonder I look forward to winter every year. But this year, the warmth of the winter sun will be radiating through our northern-eastern lounge room every morning. Perhaps it is all of these things and much more that have drawn me to this house.

Much more because I am about to embark on major renovations and additions. I foresee a stressful time, especially for Mysaucepan. It is challenging enough when we have major, and I mean Really. Major. Dog. Fights. over an issue as small as the shape and size of the bathroom tiles for our new ensuite let alone colours. And by colours, I mean different shades of white, turquoise and magenta. I have heard horror stories about home renovations breaking up marriages and why shouldn’t they when we cannot even agree on whether it’s going to be white polyurathane for her or earthy wood panelling for me, blond spotted gum floorboards for her or giant black slate tiles for me.

My dear sister-in-law once told me … “There can only be one captain on the ship and that captain is your brother. He makes all the key decisions for our family.”

For Mysaucepan and I, we could not even agree on where to live in Sydney let alone “dragging me here to the sticks”, as she would call it. How could it be, I say, when we are merely ten minutes from Chatswood? But over the last eight months, as I observe her from a distance pruning the rose bush, agapanthus and hydrangeas on Sunday mornings, I can sense that perhaps she is, albeit slowly, making the transition from seeing this place merely as a house to being our new home. But for whichever tile, colour or texture that we so violently argue and fight over, I know in my heart that I love her dearly.

This new blog will become a journal for our lives over the next few months and beyond.

But unlike our food blog ChopinandMysaucepan, 11 trigalana place will document and share our home renovation trials and tribulations, choice of building materials, our favourite tradies, interior design, gardening and the family lifestyle around the north shore and northern beaches of Sydney. There will be loads of before-and-after pics of our renovations for DIY and home renovation enthusiasts. I know we will most likely throw in the odd home recipe for good measure because Mysaucepan and I are both avid home cooks. We can hardly wait to share our escapes from our new kitchen with all of you!

However, my mission for the next few months is to ensure I get to toast a glass of champagne with you from our brand new backyard deck by Christmas 2016. It’s a tall order considering I have yet to engage a builder let alone decide on the myriad of building materials … colours, shapes, sizes and all with so many suppliers though I am firmly holding an approved Development Application (DA) in my hand.

Please join us in our home renovation journey because it is my hope that Mysaucepan will soon discover the method in my madness and eventually be fully “in tune” with this serenity I call home. Alas, I cannot consider this home unless she see it as her home too. Until such time, I have my work cut out but I know it will be all worthwhile when we finally wipe the dust off our new kitchen benchtop and call this place our home.

Best,

Chopinand