Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Now this is a Real Tree Change

Ever wanted to live on a mountain and still be within 30 minutes of the CBD?

Wished your kids could walk to school and you could watch them walk home form your front door?

Wanted to wake up to the sound of Bellbirds?

Dreamed of running a funky coffee shop for the passing tourist trade?

Maybe a natural therapies Centre high in the hills?

Then this may be the place for you..........................

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sustainability Declaration - how many questions

Add ImageSection one of the new Sustainability Declaration is all about the Energy Efficiency of your home:
Questions like how many out of the total number of lights in your home are energy efficient.
Do you have solar power, Gas, air conditioning, pool or spa, what type of hot water system, insulation where and what type, window glazing , roof colour, roof ventilation and ceiling fans.
Section two is aboout Water and has 7 questions:
Is there a rainwater tank and what size?, greywater, water recirculation,shower heads, type of taps,dual flush toilets,garden irrigation.
Section three is about Access:
and has six questions - entry level, steps etc, level access to bathrooms and toilets and living areas, grab rails in bathroom and level entry to shower, toilet grab rails, wide doorways and wide hallways. Very pertinent for an aging population
Section four:
Safety five questions :
Smoke alarm installed (on standard REIQ contract anyway), Electrical safety switch also on standard REIQ contract, Pool fence maintained, Hot water system tempering device installed, Property number clearly visible from street (for emergency services)
The questions are set out simply and are easy to answer and very logical and the type of things we should know about our new homes.
There is also a column on the right that tells you what the savings for various things are.
As I mentioned before there has been some opposition to this form and there are petitions circulating right now to stop or curb it - I think we all need to get on board and support this initiative it takes not too long to complete (yes my husband and I did it for our house - it took about 20 minutes plus a few minutes searching receipts and paper work to confirm a few things and fill in the kilowatt usage from which you calculate your green house gas emissions).
Go to the website and check out the form and then give it a go fill it in and see how your house rates. Then get back here or go to my facebook page and let me know how you did.
If you have joined The Green Streets forums you will have no problem answering these questions.
Until next time

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Perfect Example ......

This beautiful lowset home may look like many other lovely properties in Samford Valley and that is the thing about sustainable homes they look just like less sustainable ones.

This home has four bedrooms, three living areas and all the modern conveniences but with a water tank installed and hooked up to a tap in the kitchen for drinking water, solar hot water, solar panels for electricity, cardiff air and ducted air conditioning there are some amazing savings to be made.

For example having a water tank installed could save you up to 70000 litres per year or 26% of an average household water consumption.

A solar hot water system can save you up to $346 per year or 26% of an average household consumption. and the solar power panels a whopping saving of $546 per year or 42% of average consumption.

The new sustainability declaration that comes into effect on January 1st will tell what features your prospective new home has in place and the handy information on the form will give you an indication of how much your new home will cost to run.

There are a lot of Real Estate Agents complaining about the Sustainability Declaration - but you'll hear none of that here. Being accountable for the impact our lifestyles have on the planet is something we should all be aware of. There may be some who will do nothing more about it but for some it will be the deciding factor in their next home purchase.

For more information visit the Department of Infrastrcuture and Planning's website or post your question here in the comments and I will find the answers for you.

Until next time - always here to help


Monday, November 30, 2009

Sustainability Declaration

Some of you may have heard of the new Queensland State Government initiative regarding a "Sustainability Declaration".

This takes the form of a questionnaire that needs to be completed by the SELLER of a home that is marketed after January 1st 2010. That is all homes even if you are on the market now you will have to Complete this declaration so it is available for buyers prior to private inspections and on display at all Open Homes.

The nuts and bolts of it I will explain in another post but for the moment the big question on most people's lips is WHY???

This is one official explanation published by the Property Council of Australia on their website (for some inexplicable reason the full article is under the SA tag not the QLD one!!)

"Mandating a sustainability declaration at the point of sale for houses, townhouses and units will:

• increase community awareness of sustainable building features and thereby over time help to improve the sustainability of our community;

• promote the relevance of sustainability features for the value of homes;

• encourage sellers to improve the value of homes by adding sustainable building features; and

• provide valuable information about how the features of an existing home compare to most of the mandatory minimum energy and water efficiency features of a new (or in some cases renovated) home."

Although intially it may be a bit of a headache as Sellers navigate the unfamiliar terminology of the questionnaire I think this will be FABULOUS. This goes right to the heart of my beliefs - a more sustainable future by changing the small things, tread more lightly on the planet starting in your own home and in your own yard - It is the whole 'eating an elephant one bite at a time' scenario.

Eventually all Commercial and Office buildings will also have to complete a similar form which will go a long way to alleviating some of the more blatant "wasters" in the community....all those empty office towers with the lights and air conditioning on in the middle of the night. It may even spark a mini revolution back to the "converted house for office space" that we saw a lot of in the early 1980s here in Brisbane.

I am by no means an expert on this - yet - but if you have any questions please post them in the comment box and I will answer them (after consulting with those who are the experts!).

Until next time


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Number one

It would seem approriate that my first post has a link to this great little property I have for Sale in Gaythorne. Have a look at it here

(You will notice it is hosted by my good friend and co agent on this one Jason )

It is appropriate not because it is a property I have for sale but because it epitomises my philosophy about Real Estate. This wonderful cottage has been lovingly renovated by its owners over the last ten years, using recycled timbers and keeping the integrity of the original feel of the property - but making it modern, versatile and practical.

Sustainable Real Estate is not just about buzz words like "carbon emissions", energy rating and "Carbon Offsetting" but it is about knowing the best place to put the vegetable garden, what rainfall the area gets and how much extra water storage you might need. The pratical things like solar hot water, insulation, building to face the most favourable aspect, solar collector panels, accessibility to public transport, closest neighbourhood shopping (not necessarily a supermarket), educating new owners about the local community how they can be involved, where the parks are , where the library is, what sporting clubs and community groups are available.

When anyone decides to buy a home it is rarely just about the building or the price, it is almost always about the lifestyle it offers. Much of my time is spent listening and building up a picture of my sellers and buyers and what is important to them . Sometimes the right home for you is not the one you think it is - be adventurous, look at everything you never know what gems you may uncover.

Until next time