All posts by Ray White

Darn good fun in Dingley Village

Is it time to settle down with the family and buy real estate in Melbourne? Those looking for a neighbourhood that’s bursting with great local facilities and parklands, as well as being just 12 km from the Monash Freeway, should pay attention to Dingley Village.

This quaint suburb is located just over 30 km from the CBD, although Dingley Village residents often don’t need to head into the city because they’ve got everything they need at their fingertips.

This south-eastern suburb is part of the City of Kingston local government area. Those on the hunt for houses for sale would be wise to check out Dingley Village.

Go exploring in Dingley Village

If you’re a fan of being at one with nature, then you’ll love what’s on offer in Dingley Village.

Head along to the corner of Caruana Drive and Wheatland Crescent and you’ll find yourself at the aptly-named Caruana Woodland Reserve.

This beautiful area doesn’t just host residents completing their morning jogs or evening walks – there’s an awe-inspiring variety of creatures that live in the area. From parrots that feed on the reserve’s River Red Gum trees to frogs, skinks and Blue Tongue lizards, this cherished area of Dingley Village is overrun with exciting fauna.

Kids will love exploring the area – why not head down during the weekend and teach them about the magestic Eucalyptus camaldulensis trees that grace the reserve?

Fancy a game of golf?

Like the outdoors but fancy a game of golf rather than a walk or run? Head along to Kingswood Gold Club, which is located on Centre Dandenong Road.

There are numerous other parks dotted around the area, from Chadwick Reserve and Amersham Avenue Reserve to Spring Valley Park on Clarke Road.

Need to do a spot of shopping or run some errands? It’s all here in Dingley Village – simply head along to Springvale Plaza on Heatherton Road for all your everyday shopping needs.

Get the help you need to settle down in Dingley

If you’re keen to settle down in this cherished Melbourne suburb, be sure to get in touch with the team at Ray White Dingley Village.

Selling Principal Dora Kambouris is well-known in the local community and uses her cheery, personable nature to connect with people looking to buy or sell real estate.

Dora is known for her smile, but there’s a serious side to her as well. As an award-winning agent, she is always focussed on improving her industry skills with ongoing professional education programs.

When settling down in Dingley Village is on the agenda, don’t go past Dora!

Reasons you’ll enjoy charming Broadway

When you’re looking for an area that’s got plenty going for it, you can’t look past Broadway.

For those wanting to buy property in the heart of Sydney, Broadway is an obvious pick. The University of Sydney is on its doorstep, while nearby Surry Hills and Darlinghurst ensure a wealth of options when it comes to picking an eatery for Sunday brunch or a mid-week dinner.

Plus, for individuals working in the city, buying property in Broadway is also a common sense choice. It’s got the perfect balance between access to the vibrant corporate life, as well as having a plethora of green areas located a hop, skip and a jump from the area’s selection of dwellings.

Get active in Broadway

It’s all very well to want property in Sydney that’s not miles from central hubs, as well as having plenty of parks to go for a morning jog or take the dog for a walk.

Fortunately, Broadway has the best of both worlds. Its selection of parks are second-to-none and a huge drawcard for those who choose to reside in the area.

There’s the beautiful Victoria Park, which is located off Parramatta Road and is a hit with Broadway locals. Boasting nine hectares of public park space, it’s a great spot to head to in order to get the day off to a good start – whether that means an early-morning jog or a spot of yoga.

There are plenty of trees in the area if a family picnic is on the cards, while the decorative aspects of the park – such as the ornamental wooden bridge – make it perfectly picturesque.

Opportunities for exercise also extend to the Victoria Park Pool, if you fancy plunging into the lap pool and getting your heart rate up. There’s even a cafe in the park!

Relax in Broadway

If you want to kick back and relax after a long day at work, Broadway is the place to be.

Given that it’s located less than 4 km from the CBD, making the commute to and from work is unlikely to put a huge dent in your time, giving you more opportunities to enjoy your workday evenings.

Perhaps a night at the flicks sounds desirable – if so, there’s a movie theatre in Broadway that’s sure to please all kinds of movie buffs.

Alternatively, a meal out might sound more like you. You can treat your tastebuds in Broadway, thanks to the impressive selection of eateries in the area.

Buy in Broadway

If securing property in a vibrant Sydney location is a priority for you, it might be time to get in touch with the Ray White Broadway team.

With a wealth of localised experience, the team will help you find the right property for your needs.

Questions to ask before buying waterfront real estate

It’s hard to find a person that doesn’t enjoy a beautiful waterfront view. What could be more enjoyable than drawing back the curtains in the lounge to open up an expansive beach front vista?

Water views are a hot commodity in the real estate market, and fortunately, real estate in Australia is great for those who want to take advantage of the country’s stunning natural landscape.

Whether you’re looking at houses for sale next to a river, beach, creek or lake, here are some questions you should ask yourself before you buy a waterfront property.

Is the location right? 

Some people dream of living in a home next to a tranquil lake that’s undisturbed by others. On the other hand, there are also people who love the thriving, surfy beach scene.

Before you go searching for a home, ask yourself what kind of lifestyle you want. This can help you determine what kind of property you should look at and where.

For instance, if you love the surf but don’t want to be disturbed, perhaps properties nestled above the beach on a cliff might be the answer.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to take advantage of the beachy scene near the city, a luxury apartment could be a solution for you.

Will there be damage to my home?

Living close to water means you could be more susceptible to flood damage, so it’s a good idea to assess this risk before you buy a home.

Properties that are quite close to the beach could also see wear from sea salt spray, or even build-up of salt on windows and screens. Make sure you speak to your real estate agent to find out if the home has had any issues surrounding these problems previously.

If it’s near the beach, inspect the property during both high and low tide to see if it has any effects on the land or the home itself.

Is it safe for activities?

People don’t just buy waterfront properties for the view – it’s also access to the water they want, too. This means you’ll need to ensure that it’s safe for whatever activities you want to participate in.

If you’re an avid fisherman looking at a property by a lake, check if you’ll need to obtain a recreational fishing licence. You might want to check if the water levels are safe for swimming, too, especially if you’re buying a family home.

For any boat enthusiasts, find out if there’s an appropriate jetty or launch point nearby.

How to make the best use of a small space

Whether you’re listing apartments or smaller houses for sale, chances are you want to make your property look its best.

But when you’re working with a small space, it can be hard to make it look neat, tidy and presentable for open inspections.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can change this and make your small space look better.

Reconsider your furniture

Can’t move from one side of the room to another without bumping into the coffee table? Or maybe you can’t close the lounge door because the couch is in the way. If that’s the case, you probably need to think about finding furniture to fit your home.

For small rooms and spaces, buy furniture that is visually light weight. This could include couches and cushions that are light in colour, and even chairs and seating that have space underneath.

You can also rearrange furniture to make the best use of the space you have. Place furniture in the centre of the room away from the walls to give the illusion there’s extra space.

Use paint and mirrors

These two tools are very handy to have if you want to make a space look bigger. Painting the walls a pale, neutral colour, such as white or cream shades, helps to make the room look expansive. Place mirrors near windows and doors to reflect light onto the walls, and make sure your furniture matches the overall colour scheme.

You don’t want your home to end up looking like a medical facility, though. Feel free to add small bursts of colour throughout to contrast with the neutral shades.

Install storage

The one problem about storage is that most homes never seem to have enough of it. If your property is on the smaller side, think about ways you can increase your storage capability without making it look overcrowded.

Hidden storage is a good option, as items will be kept out of sight. Consider seating with storage underneath or even drawers under the stairs.

For bedrooms and lounges, there’s always nesting tables. When they’re not in use, simply stack them so they can’t be seen.

Think vertically

If you have high stud ceilings or space above head height, make use of it! Hooks and small shelves are great for this. Just make sure that whatever you store there is neatly arranged.

To seamlessly tie these into your room’s decor, make sure hooks or shelves are the same colour as your walls. Feel free to add a bit of colour with the items that you’re storing. You might even want to organise your things by colour for a great effect.

Record breaking sale after first inspection

A new suburb record in the Brisbane town of Grange was set with the settlement of 79 Montpellier Street for around $4 million.

“This is the highest price ever recorded for the suburb. The property sold after the first inspection,” Damon Warat, selling agent of Ray White Ascot said.

Mr Warat sold the residence before the formal marketing campaign had launched.

“I had two buyers on my database who I knew were looking for this type of home. I took them both through before the online ads went live.

“Both parties made offers after that first inspection and the property was sold within 24 hours,” Mr Warat explained.

The colonial-style home, set in one of Brisbane’s most coveted areas atop Wilston Hill, features four bedrooms, three bathrooms and parking for two cars.

“The property sits on 2238m² of land and includes a tennis court, fully landscaped gardens and a resort style pool.

“Inside the home there’s a multitude of living spaces with period features and the property benefits from a north easterly aspect with district and bay views,” Mr Warat said.

Named Ray White Queensland’s 2014 salesperson of the year, the record-breaking sale is a significant achievement for Mr Warat.

“To set a new suburb record for an area as prestige as Grange is a huge accomplishment in my career,” Mr Warat concludes.

Ray White NSW takes the lead with Chinese investors

With an increasing amount of activity from Chinese investors in NSW, Ray White has held the first of a series of sessions educating agents and enabling them with tools to engage with the Chinese investment market.

“In 2013, China was the number one foreign investor in Australian real estate with a 42 per cent annual increase. Today, Chinese investors make up more than half, investing $5.9 billion annually,” Stephen Nell, Ray White NSW CEO said

“The question now is how do we best communicate and engage with these investors.”

The sessions focus on building relationships with Chinese buyers and sellers and showcase the resources that are available to agents for targeted marketing through the Ray White Group.

The first seminar, which was held on 13 June 2014, brought to light Ray White’s China initiatives, marketing tools and tips for reaching Chinese buyers.

Guest speakers included Marcus Ng, Head of Ray White Beijing and Karen Hall, Ray White’s Chief Marketing Officer. James Tong, publisher of Domain Chinese, also spoke at length about advertising and social media marketing packages.

“Our Head of Ray White Beijing, Marcus Ng spoke to our agents about the partnerships we are building through our Beijing office. Marcus is very keen to engage with our NSW offices to look at customised approaches,” Mr Nell explains.

The session also showcased why Australian property is so attractive to the Chinese market.

“One of the main reasons we’re seeing so much activity is due to rapid middle class growth in China. They enjoy and want the same things that we do and Australia offers a lifestyle that isn’t obtainable in China,” Mr Nell said

“The stability of our Government, strong yields and long term capital growth are also major factors that bring Chinese investment to Australia.”

Mr Nell says one of the key things for agents to bear in mind when working with Chinese investors is that culture matters.

“Being aware of significant events such as Chinese New Year, being mindful of the buyer journey and tailoring your negotiating style can be extremely beneficial. If you’re dealing with Chinese investors frequently, learning the simple phrases of their language and understanding the basics of feng shui and numerology is paramount to relationship building.”

Celebrating young leaders in real estate

The 2014 Young Professionals in Real Estate (YPIRE) Brisbane breakfast will feature 25 year-old CEO of, Michael Trusler.

Mr Trusler was named the Young Achiever of the Year at the 2013 Australian Mining Prospect Awards.

In the first three months of operation, received over $20 million worth of quote requests and enquiries.

The YPIRE breakfast is on 9 July 2014 in Brisbane and will be hosted by long-time Ray White agent and auctioneer, Haesley Cush.

“YPIRE was born out of an idea to support young people within Ray White. What we learnt was that those involved wanted to hear from people in all groups and industries. Today, YPIRE is made up of young people from all corners of the real estate world.

“YPIRE is not only limited to leaders in real estate but also extends to young professionals pioneering in other industries. What we’ve discovered is that people like to share their experiences with others going through a similar journey,” Mr Cush explains.

“Michael’s involvement in the breakfast is a great example of young people in real estate benefiting from others innovating in their industries.”

Mr Cush says that YPIRE is not defined by age, but is defined by those “young at heart” and now includes activities beyond training sessions and social drinks.

“We provide platforms for mentoring from industry leaders, coaching sessions from international sporting figures and regular fitness activities such as touch rugby league.

“People who are actively engaging in YPIRE activities are building career long relationships with the people they meet along the way,” Mr Cush said.

Mr Cush says that the expectations of sellers are changing and that these new expectations have the potential to favour young and energetic agents.

“The expectation from clients to have round-the-clock service is the highest it’s ever been. Due to this emerging trend, enthusiasm and availability can sometimes overtake experience when vendors choose their real estate agent.”

The 2014 YPIRE Brisbane breakfast will also feature a panel discussion from Cameron Crouch of Ray White Graceville, Katrina Keegan of Harcourts Broadbeach and Simon Caulfield of Place Estate Agents New Farm.

Record breaking sale in Terranora for 2014

Tate Brownlee of Ray White Banora Point has set a new suburb record for Terranora with the sale of 17 Winchelsea Way for $1.33m.

“This home is situated in arguably the most prestigious street in the suburb.

“We achieved the highest price currently recorded for Terranora in 2014. It’s fantastic to see such strength in the marketplace and to sell the most expensive home in the area is a real milestone in my career,” Tate said.

With no luxury overlooked, the four bedroom, three bathroom home features parking for three cars, media room, outdoor teppanyaki grill overlooking the pool, and floor to ceiling windows that showcase district and coastal views.

“It’s a remarkable home – sitting on an acre of land, the property features its own purpose built storage facility for a boat or caravan.

“Inside, you’ve got views from nearly every room in the house, and you can see all the way to Kingscliff. The soaring ceilings, the sunken living space and the entertainers kitchen are all big features of the home.

“The design is elegant, opulent and of the highest standard,” Tate explains.

With over a decade of experience working in the area, Tate says properties such as 17 Winchelsea Way are incredibly rare.

Another month of price changes for real estate in China

When you hear about the residential real estate market in China, you’ve likely heard about extreme price growth. Various areas in China have seen significant rises in house prices for quite some time. While this puts property investors in a good position to capitalise on this activity, home buyers have not seen the same result.

Fortunately, there are signs of improvement for home buyers across China. New data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China showed that sale prices for residential property are dropping.

Over May, the Bureau of Statistics found sale prices for brand new buildings dropped in 35 cities across the country. In April, there were only eight cities that experienced price declines, showing a large jump from month to month.

While the number of cities that saw declines increased, so did prices. In April, the highest price drop recorded was 0.7 per cent, but in May this figure doubled to 1.4 per cent.

There were very similar results for established dwellings across China, too. In May, prices fell in 35 cities, with the largest drop being 0.9 per cent. However, in April only 22 cities saw a decline in established home prices.

Despite the declines, there were still many cities examined that experienced price rises. In terms of brand new dwellings, 15 cities saw price rises of up to 0.3 per cent for the month.

Established dwellings saw even better results. Sale prices rose in 19 cities by up to 0.5 per cent.

Chinese consumers positive

While house prices saw a decline in May, Chinese consumers are still maintaining a positive attitude toward the national real estate market.

In fact, figures from Westpac – MNI China’s Consumer Sentiment Indicator stated “consumers’ attitudes towards real estate were noticeably firmer in May”.

House price expectations have improved significantly, too. As a result, this has reversed the declines seen in previous months.

“Consumers appear to be looking through recent updates on house prices that indicate that weakness is now more widespread than earlier in the year,
with both the new and secondary dwelling markets visibly deteriorating,” the Westpac report read.

“Countering that, selective policy easing has been announced in terms of both mortgage lending and local controls on investor activity.”

Overall, Chinese consumer sentiment increased 3.4 per cent to 121.2 points in May. Sentiment has actually been improving over the first few months of 2014, painting a bright picture for the coming months if this activity continues.

Designer beachside home hits the market

Leading Australian documentary producer Sue Clothier and her cinematographer husband, Preston, have put their Mission Beach home on the market.

Sue first visited Mission Beach as a young girl when her family lived in Charters Towers. The couple often spent their holidays in Mission Beach but it wasn’t until the coveted block at 169b Alexander Drive came on the market that they decided to move to Mission Beach.

After the property was purchased, Sue and Preston began working on plans for the total renovation of their new home.

“The position was the perfect combination: an elevated block with level access from a private road at the rear.

“The original house was built in the nineties but we wanted to update and extend so we engaged Tony Driscoll Architects from Cairns. Our design brief was for a contemporary tropical home with no luxury overlooked. We created our dream home: a spacious house with open plan living areas both inside and out,” Sue explains.

Marketed through Melissa Thurgood of Ray White Mission Beach, the four bedroom home shares its cul-de-sac location with only two other properties.

“This is arguably the best spot in Mission Beach. The home is completely private and Narragon Beach is just across the road. The property is designed to take advantage of the climate, with a huge focus on outdoor living and entertaining,” Melissa said.

Sue’s career spans more than two decades in the entertainment industry, having produced or overseen the production of more than 180 hours of original broadcast programming.

When the couple moved to Mission Beach, Sue established Northern Pictures, a specialist factual production company which produced the critically acclaimed prime-time series Kakadu for ABC TV. The series has been honoured with numerous local and overseas awards.

The follow up series Life On The Reef is currently being filmed in Far North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. Sue is also Executive Producer of Once Upon A Time in Punchbowl which is currently screening on SBS.

Preston is one of Australia’s most respected cinematographers with 20 years at the ABC and a further 25 years freelancing. His most recent work, the feature documentary Utopia recently screened on SBS.

Due to the growing success of Northern Pictures, Sue and Preston have relocated to Sydney making the difficult decision to place their Mission Beach home on the market.

The property at 169b Alexander Drive is for sale via private treaty and Melissa Thurgood of Ray White Mission Beach is accepting all reasonable offers from interested buyers.