Of all the trends to make a mark on interior design, personalisation is the most pervasive.
It comes from an innate desire to stamp our individual style on our homes and make them uniquely ours.
Choosing the colours and textures that speak to personal tastes can really make a house a home.
The trick is ensuring what looks good is also functional and will suit your family’s lifestyle.
Striking this balance is especially challenging when building a new house from scratch.
As more homeowners opt to demolish their properties and rebuild rather than selling, personalisation has become increasingly essential.
Once upon a time, home builders offered little choice to their clients beyond a handful of stock standard facades and floor plans.
Tweaking these selections for an extra doorway here or a larger pantry there was simply not an option.
Today, canny builders are starting to embrace the personalisation trend by offering designs that can be customised to a buyer’s every whim.
Full flexibility allows buyers to ultimately create a bespoke home, says Drew Glascott, Metricon’s Victorian sales manager.
“Most of the time builders will hand a brochure out with different plans and say, ‘What do you want? A single or double? How big do you want it?’ and they just sort of come up with a home,” he says.
“But people who go through volume builders still want a design that’s not like other people have purchased before, so it’s uniquely their home.”
Metricon’s Signature service gives customers the freedom to alter existing floor plans so it suits their needs – an experience that would otherwise be much more expensive.
“Signature experience is all about working with the clients on what their lifestyle is, what their needs are, finding out all about them … then going to what home design would suit,” Glascott says.
“For example, with a family with five kids who play football on the weekend we’d recommend a mudroom, because when they get home on a Sunday from football they want a mudroom off the garage where all the footy boots can be left.
“It’s all about finding out about people’s lifestyles and finding a home for that lifestyle.”
Close consultation between the builder and the buyer – on everything from the window sizes to the paint colours, the size of the island bench to the locations of power points – is the key to getting it right.
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.
Bank of Mum and Dad is fifth biggest lender in country
It seems that despite several banks approaching lending with a great deal of caution – one bank continues to rise in loans….
The bank of mum and dad!
This article from News.com.au looks at the increasing rise of parents funding their children’s property dreams.
NEARLY a third of home buyers’ hopes of nabbing a property hinge on getting financial help from their parents, with most NSW buyers relying on close to $90,000 in aid from mum and dad, new finance data shows.
The increasingly generous parental assistance has turned the “bank of mum and dad” into the nation’s fifth largest lender behind the big four banks, according to financial comparison site Mozo.com.au.
NSW parents contributed almost $33 billion to help their children buy their first property, accounting for roughly half the $65.3 billion property aid parents gave to their children nationally.
The most common way parents helped was allowing their children to live rent free in their home and contributing money toward a deposit.
Others acted as guarantor on loans, helped with repayments or bought as a partner with their children.
Two thirds of parents did not expect to be repaid and 9 per cent delayed their retirement to help their children.
The Mozo research asked parents how they helped their children and how much they contributed, with 29 per cent revealing that they had given their children financial help for property.
NSW parents gave an average of $88,250 in assistance.
Mozo director Kirsty Lamont said it showed many first home buyers were unable to take their first step onto the property ladder independently.
“I think it was certainly surprising that the bank of mum and dad is such a major lender in the property market,’’ Ms Lamont said.
“I think it is really interesting (that) many parents don’t expect their kids to repay them.”
Parents were helping their children in this way because they realised it was too hard for their children to pull the money together to service a mortgage and pay them back, Ms Lamont said.
“For many first home buyers, house prices around Australia can be absolutely daunting.
It can take years to scrimp and save for a home deposit, all the while house prices continue to skyrocket, becoming increasingly inaccessible,’’ she said.
Financial adviser Melissa Browne said parents who decided to help their children needed to be aware of the risk, especially if tapping into the equity in their own homes to help their children.
Read the full article here
Youth unemployment down
When it comes to employment among the younger generation – it would seem things are looking up.
Youth unemployment is now down to 12.7 per cent.
That’s down from the cyclical peak of 14.3 per cent in 2014.
Youth unemployment can be a fair indicator of labour market sentiment.
The young and less experienced are, after all, often the first to get pinged when the going gets tough (but can be hired again when things pick up again).
Read the full article here
The ANZ has upped its national housing price forecasts
As the year slowly approaches it’s end – the questions remains; what can we expect from the Australian property market?
This article from Business Insider looks at the ANZ forecast on what’s to come.
ANZ Bank analysts have increased their forecasts for property price growth in Australia.
“Given Melbourne’s recent resilience, we have nudged our 2017 price forecasts higher, and now expect nationwide prices will finish the year 5.8% higher,” write economists Daniel Gradwell and Joanne Masters.
However, they see further evidence that the housing market is cooling.
“Weaker auction results point toward slow price growth through the rest of 2017, while tighter borrowing conditions and higher interest rates for investors are also likely to weigh on price growth in 2018,” they say.
At the national level, dwelling price growth has slowed over the past three months.
Prices are now 9.7% higher than a year ago, down from the peak of 11.4% in May.
Here are the ANZ’s forecasts:Source: ANZ Bank
“Much of this slowdown appears to be caused by a retreating investor presence in the market, in line with recent regulatory changes,” they say.
APRA’s further crackdown aimed at investor borrowing, particularly those with interest-only loans, has seen the investor share of total borrowing steadily decline.
“In turn, price growth has slowed across most capital cities and regional areas and across detached houses and the unit/apartment market,” say Gradwell and Masters.
“Having said that, the Melbourne market has recently been more resilient than the Sydney market, perhaps reflecting an element of catch-up after Sydney outperformed in previous years.”
The economists note there is no suggestion that prices will fall outright only that price growth will slow.
“Melbourne and Sydney will continue to be the main drivers of this growth, in line with their expanding populations,” they write.
Read the full article here
Getting personal: Designing homes to be ‘uniquely yours’
Like with most things – properties undergo many trends, particularly when it comes to design.
So what’s the latest housing trend?
This article from Domain.com.au looks the trends of ‘personalisation’ and why it’s become so popular.
Click here for the full article
7 Lessons In Leadership I’ve Learned From My Dog
The say a dog is man’s best friend – but can a dog also be man’s best teacher?
An article in the Huffington Post looks at the best leadership lessons a dog can teach.
I think dogs are great teachers.
Admittedly I’m an exceptionally proud, possibly obsessive dog-mum, but it’s hard to deny our four-legged friends teach us about friendship, fearlessness, and fun for a start.
Recently, while on leave with my prodigious pooch, I realised there’s a lot of parallels between being a good dog owner and growing a dynamic team at work. A mutt-ly take on pack leadership if you like
Everyone needs time to play.
Being the dog can’t be all about guard-dog duty, yelling at the postie, protecting your person and counting kibble.
And work can’t be all serious either or everyone gets stressed and disengaged.
If you want your team to give their best when you do need them to be serious, give them time and space to have fun and be creative.
We all need to eat well and exercise.
You can’t lock a dog up all day and expect it to thrive, we all need balance.
All work and no play does not make happy workers.
As a boss, it doesn’t impress me either.
It makes me wonder what people are doing with their day, why they haven’t spoken up about their workload, or what they’re trying to prove.
We all need time for the gym, family, hobbies, interests outside of work — even just to get home on time to cook a healthy meal.
It makes better and more rounded employees, so don’t shirk, but stop apologising for being human, too.
Some pups take longer than others to train…
Some dogs ace agility training and fly-ball on the first attempt, have a range of tricks, and walk nicely on a lead.
Others need a little more help.
That’s perfectly okay.
That’s why we have leaders and mentors.
With patience and persistence most people can master a skill, but they’re all going to take different approaches.
Like training a dog, with leadership it’s not one-size-fits-all.
Some dogs are toy-motivated, others are food-motivated.
Identify your employee’s motivation (intrinsic or extrinsic) and work with it, not against it.
…And they all have different skills.
Try as I might, I can’t get Woofa to bring the ball back when I throw it.
But, he has a gentlemanly paw-shake and is great at emptying treats from his puzzle-ball.
In the office, some folk are good details people, some are big-picture thinkers, some are the team motivators, some are quiet achievers.
Find your people’s strengths and make the most of them.
You CAN teach an old dog new tricks.
It makes me sad to see old dogs looked over for young pups.
They may not have the years of enthusiastic, in-your-face energy of younger dogs (or staff), but they have a lot of wisdom and ignoring them deprives everyone of a great experience.
They’ll bring a loyalty and steadiness to your home or team.
Pay attention, honour their expertise, and you’ll likely enlist their enthusiasm.
Everyone has an accident on the rug occasionally.
Sometimes it’s a training accident, sometimes it’s over-enthusiasm.
Not everyone is going to get everything right all the time.
For me, it’s very important for my team to feel like they have a safe place to fail.
That’s how we learn and grow.
And we all have bad days, even the ‘Pack Leader’.
Some dogs are just naughty… but identifying the underlying reasons is usually key to success.
Sadly, like humans, some dogs will just stare you in the eye while they pee on the rug.
But this is where you need to dig deeper.
Maybe they’ve had a bad experience in the past that’s made them defiant or scared.
It could be fear of failing or feedback. Maybe they were just not trained to do better before now.
Click here for the full article
Weekend Video: Secret to Correct COFFEE Consumption
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