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