There are more interesting articles, commentaries and analyst reports on the Web every week than anyone could read in a month.
Each Saturday morning I like to share some of the ones I’ve read during the week.
The weekend will be over before you know it, so enjoy some weekend reading…and please forward to your friends by clicking the social link buttons.
The Block 2017 saves period homes from ‘Death Row’ for its latest season
The Block has arrived in Bayside – and while we’ve been used to seeing the show take on high rise apartments, this year they’re shaking things up .
An article on Domain.com.au takes a look at the new season ahead of it’s premier, and gives plenty to get excited about.
Five tired period homes from around Melbourne were cut in half, put on the back of a truck and painstakingly reassembled on the site of the new season of The Block.
This year, the renovation series heads to Elsternwick, a small bayside suburb in the city’s south-east.
Channel Nine paid more than $10 million for the vacant 3000-square-metre block on Regent Street, roughly 9 kilometres from the CBD.
Contestants will renovate the ageing weatherboard heritage houses transported to the site from Pascoe Vale, Moonee Ponds, Brunswick, Preston and Brighton.
“They’re all in their 90s now, relics from a bygone era, and sure, they need some TLC, but it would have been heartbreaking to see them all bulldozed,” said the show’s host Scott Cam.
Architect Julian Brenchley said the houses were on “Death Row”, earmarked for demolition to make way for developments. “And they would have ended up as chipboard somewhere,” he said.
Welcome to Elsternwick
Now in its 13th season, the show will draw the nation’s attention to Elsternwick, a relatively quiet neighbourhood ranked sixth in The Age‘s most liveable Melbourne suburbs list.
“Elsternwick has long been one of Melbourne’s best suburbs but it’s also been a bit under the radar,” said Gary Peer real estate director Phillip Kingston.
“It’s a village-like suburb that is overindulged with some of Melbourne’s best facilities,” he said, citing public and private schools, shopping strips, public transport and a strong community feel.
“And as a consequence those that live there guard it,” he said.
“I think The Block is going to blow the lid on Melbourne’s secret gem.”
Domain managing editor Alice Stolz, who will appear on the show each week offering contestants advice on what buyers are looking for, said Elsternwick had become “one of Melbourne’s ultimate suburbs”.
“It appeals to families, savvy professionals and expats for the high quality schools in the area, as well as offering the best of Melbourne lifestyles.”
Mr Kingston expects the show will push up house prices in the area, where the median price for a four-bedroom home already sits well above $2 million.
He said residents look for “period facades but with cutting-edge luxury details”.
Period homes in Elsternwick have recently sold for up to $5 million, according to local agents.
The fully-renovated houses on the series are expected to attract more buyers and fetch higher prices than the apartments featured in previous years.
The contestants will have 12 weeks and a budget of $250,000 to give the houses a second chance at life.
Read the full article here
Job vacancies up by a quarter from 2013
Australian Job vacancies are seeing a positive light.
Increase in ‘quality’ jobs
The recovery in the labour market has been slow, surreptitious, and shallow, so you’d easily be forgiven for having missed the bottom, but job vacancies do indicate a steadily improving immediate outlook.
After a solid result in the month of May, trend vacancies improved again by +0.9 per cent in June 2017.
Vacancies are now +23 per cent or +32,100 higher than at their October 2013 lows, and sit at their highest level in five years.
Notably Skill Level 1 jobs have seen a +25.3 per cent since increase since the lows of ~50,000 in August 2013.
Skill Level 5 jobs have increased more modestly by +14.8 per cent since their 2015 low of 19,400.
Read the full article here
Scott Morrison’s crackdown on tax deductions for property investors has been revealed
Tax rules are set to see significant changes for property investors.
According to this article from Business Insider the Australian government has put in a proposal to ‘crackdown’ on tax deductions.
Treasury has released details for proposed cutbacks on the deductions for travel and household goods for residential investment properties as part of plans announced in the budget.
Treasurer Scott Morrison announced plans to eliminate travel expense deductions for negatively geared properties in May.
While the legislation has yet to pass, it will be backdated to July 1, applying to all travel to residential investment properties, including inspections and maintenance.
The changes are also in response to concerns about the rising level of asset allocation being attributed to household goods in investment properties, which are then written off.
The items range from washing machines to fridges, air-conditioners, ovens and curtains, with Treasury saying the change “ensures that the reduction is targeted to situations in which there is a particular risk of overvaluation of previously used depreciating assets”.
The new laws will stop investors claiming deductions on second-hand goods in the property amid concerns that some people are using “excessive deductions” in a bid to reduce their personal tax bill.
The changes do not apply to corporate tax entities, superannuation that is not self-managed, or large unit trusts.
“These amendments are intended to address incentives to obtain excessive deductions,” the Treasury briefing paper on “housing tax integrity” says.
From the start of this financial year “plant and equipment” depreciation deductions on negatively geared properties will be limited to new items.
Depreciation will still be allowed on plant and equipment used or installed in a residential investment properties before May 9, budget night.
Treasury says there are “unintended incentives for individuals to move personal assets into rental properties” and gives an example of “Craig” who “purchases a new fridge, but rather than place this in the apartment, he uses it to replace his personal fridge, that he acquired a number of years ago for his personal use.
He instead places his old fridge in the new apartment.”
He will no longer be able to claim depreciation on the old fridge in the apartment.
Click here for the full article
What you need to know about living in an apartment
While there are many elements about apartment living that seem enticing – there’s plenty of hard truth no one tells you about.
This article from News.com.au looks at the less ‘glamorous’ side of apartment living, with plenty of things to be considering before moving in.
JASON Butler has lived on one of the top floors of a 19-storey building in Sydney suburb Wolli Creek for six years, but said he would much rather be on ground level in his own home.
The 36-year-old said he was attracted to high-rise living partly because of the price and its proximity to Sydney CBD and public transport.
On the positive side, Mr Butler said he enjoys the views, the fact that he doesn’t have to worry about maintenance of common areas (as a renter) and the sense of community.
But there are many things he doesn’t like about being an apartment dweller.
Here are some of the factors to consider before you aim sky-high.
WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT …
High-rise living can become unbearable if elevators aren’t working and this could become an issue if blackouts become more frequent.
TARGET FOR THEFT
Rows and rows of letterboxes are like candy to wannabe thieves looking for documents to take over people’s identities..
BRINGING UP BABY
Apartment living is becoming a more popular among families but governments and developers have sometimes been slow to cater to this.
WHERE’S THE SERENITY?
Living in the same building with hundreds of others is bound to be a bit noisy and not as private as living in a house.
NO ROOM FOR YOUR FURRY FRIENDS
Pet ownership is also pretty difficult if you live in a high-rise with many developments banning dogs and cats.
IT’S SOMEONE ELSE’S PROBLEM
Just because there are bylaws covering things such as pets, noise and barbecue smoke, it doesn’t always mean these are enforced.
IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY
Fire safety has also become a focus after the Grenfell fire in London and while Mr Butler said he was confident Australia’s building regulations were more robust, there was no question trying to get out of an apartment building would be more difficult than evacuating a home.
RENOVATIONS CAN BE DIFFICULT
In recent years, unit owners in NSW may have been forced to get approval for even minor cosmetic changes such as installing a picture hook, although some of these have now been relaxed.
YOU COULD BE SHELLING OUT
If you want to buy an apartment, Ms Stiles recommends doing a strata search of the scheme to see if there are any large repairs or maintenance on the horizon, and if meeting minutes reveal any potential disputes.
Click here for the full article
5 bedroom mistakes that can ruin your sleep
Are you getting a good night sleep?
If not, the problem could be in you bedroom decor.
An article from The Heard Sun looks at 5 simple tips to ensure you get your well earned beauty sleep.
If you haven’t been reaching the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep every night, your bedroom decor could be to blame.
When designing and styling your sleep palace, there are a few things you should avoid to ensure an undisturbed slumber.
Cheryl Fingleson, The Sleep Coach, talks us through what NOT to do:
#1 Loud colours
“Muted, pastel tones are far more appropriate than loud, bright colours.”, says Cheryl.
“Tone it down a notch and opt for soft blues, shades of yellow or green, which can all add a sense of serenity to your bedroom.”
#2 Too many or too few pillows
An arrangement of pillows is such an easy way to make your bed look cosy and inviting, but when it comes to actual sleeping, the number you use can mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and tossing and turning to get comfortable.
“The idea [is to] use enough pillows to remove the angle between your shoulder and head”, explains Cheryl.
The standard practice for most is generally:
– One pillow for the head
– Two pillows, one for the head, and one to hug
– Two pillows, one for the head and one for the feet
– Three pillows, one for the head, the feet and one below the knees – this can be helpful for back and neck problems to maintain an even resting position.
#3 Blue lights
Blue is often considered as a soothing and calming colour, but for lighting it actually has the opposite effect.
“Blue light is a stimulant that actually boosts attention.”, says Cheryl.
“The best colour for night-lights is red or orange; similar to the colours of the sunset, nature’s very own way of telling you to get ready for bed.”
#4 Big, heavy duvets
Don’t be fooled by the allure of a big, bountiful duvet. It may seem like the cosy answer to your sleep problems, but getting your bedroom temperature right is more important.
“If you become either too hot or too cold during the night, you’ll probably wake up, so it’s important to check your bedding or duvet.” says Cheryl.
“The warmth or heaviness of a duvet is measured in togs; the lower the tog the lighter, and the higher the tog, the warmer the duvet.”
If you sleep with your duvet year-round you may need to switch to one with lower togs for summer.
Alternatively, Cheryl says “Some places sell all-season duvets, which combine a lightweight and medium duvet that you can separate for the warmer months and join together for cooler months.”
And last but certainly not least, Cheryl says to “be mindful of keeping mess and clutter out of the bedroom.”
Click here for the full article
Weekend Video: How to Wake Up Early – And Not be Miserable
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