News Feeds (RSS) Gardening advice Life and style Gardens Ornamentally barking up the right tree | James Wong <p>Flowers get all the attention, but don’t overlook the dramatic effect that decorative bark brings to a garden<br></p><p>When it comes to picking out trees for small gardens, there are several attributes that jostle for top place on people’s wish lists: spring blossom, autumn colour and winter wildlife value to name just three. However, there is one spectacular feature guaranteed to delight the senses all year round that somehow rarely gets a mention, the dazzling colour and reach-out-and-grab-it texture of ornamental bark. With smart species choice and the right design technique, I believe bark can rival any other botanical feature for real wow factor, so here’s a beginner’s guide to doing just that.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Sun, 19 May 2019 10:00:07 Z Photograph: Gunter Ziesler/Getty Images Photograph: Gunter Ziesler/Getty Images James Wong 2019-05-19T10:00:07Z 2019-05-19 10:00 +00:00 2019-05-19 22:00 +12:00 Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Upper East Side (Manhattan, NY) Riverdale (Bronx, NY) Larchmont (NY) Greenwich (Conn) Tenafly (NJ) Syosset (NY) What's Selling Now: Homes That Sold for Around $1,500,000 Recent residential sales in New York City and the region. Sun, 19 May 2019 09:00:05 Z C. J. HUGHES 2019-05-19 09:00 +00:00 2019-05-19 21:00 +12:00 Chelsea flower show Gardens Food Science London UK news Hi-tech gardens bloom at London’s Chelsea Flower Show 3D printed soil, urban farming and artificial intelligence will all make an appearance at this year’s event<p>Weed is not a word often associated with the immaculate gardens of the <a href="" title="">Chelsea flower show</a>. But with hydroponics and urban farming making grand appearances at this year’s event, it will be on a lot of visitors’ lips.</p><p>“With the right lights you can grow whatever you like, even if you’re inside a dark, north-facing flat in London or Birmingham,” said <a href="" title="">Jody Lidgard</a>, one of Chelsea’s most decorated designers. “It’s almost like marijuana,” he chuckled. “It’s funny, but it’s true. They’ve been leading the way.”</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Sun, 19 May 2019 08:59:07 Z Photograph: Sophia Evans/The Observer Photograph: Sophia Evans/The Observer James Tapper 2019-05-19T08:59:07Z 2019-05-19 08:59 +00:00 2019-05-19 20:59 +12:00 Property commentator: Flatpack homes are great, but not the future for inner-city living Flatpack homes have taken off with a hiss and a roar in New Zealand, however, one property commentator does not believe they are the future for inner-city living.In the last year, Bunnings Trade has sold more than 50 of the two-bedroom... Sun, 19 May 2019 17:25:19 +1200 2019-05-19 17:25 +12:00 2019-05-19 17:25 +12:00 Gardening advice Life and style Gardens Good gardening is also about good eating | Allan Jenkins <p>It’s time to grill sausages and talk about hopes and plans for the plot</p><p>Spring barbecue, the tribal gathering. The collecting together of the allotment community after winter. Much strimming and sweeping of sheds and paths, cutting back overgrown spillage, sorting through the compost bays. With sausages, spicy chicken, vegetarian options.</p><p>It is the busiest day of the year so far. Tables are laid with an oilskin cloth. Chairs are cleaned, early summer flowers gathered for a jug: borage, dandelion, bluebells and forget-me-nots. There is a carpet of them, the beauty of benign neglect from a neighbour no longer with us. This was a favourite plot, a couple of fruit trees, a few cardoons, a quiet sitting space against a warming wall. It is more productive now, feeding a family, vines and yellow marigolds, a different beauty.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Sun, 19 May 2019 05:00:15 Z Photograph: Allan Jenkins/The Observer Photograph: Allan Jenkins/The Observer Allan Jenkins 2019-05-19T05:00:15Z 2019-05-19 05:00 +00:00 2019-05-19 17:00 +12:00 North Fork (NY) Wines Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Agriculture and Farming Bedell Cellars Paumanok Vineyards (Aquebogue, NY) Palmer Vineyards Pindar Vineyards Shinn Estate Vineyards Aquebogue (NY) Cutchogue (NY) Riverhead (NY) Mattituck (NY) The Next Chapter for the Wineries on Long Island’s North Fork The East End’s first vineyards were planted in the 1970s, and some family-owned businesses are now attracting investors from elsewhere. Sat, 18 May 2019 16:27:11 Z Louisa Hargrave, 71, is a Long Island wine-making pioneer. In 1973, she and her then-husband Alex founded Long Island’s very first vineyard on a potato farm in Cutchogue. Tara Striano for The New York Times CLAUDIA GRYVATZ COPQUIN 2019-05-18 16:27 +00:00 2019-05-19 04:27 +12:00 Interiors Life and style Homes The artist’s mews: small and perfect in Devon <p>A considered layout and bold use of colour elevate this studio apartment in Devon above its humble proportions. Rachel Ward gets the grand tour</p><p>As an artist and interior designer, Gemma Dudgeon is used to transforming spaces on behalf of clients up and down the country. This studio apartment, however, proved a different challenge – one that involved designing for herself, and from scratch. “My work is very client-led,” she says. “Deciding for myself was much harder. I had a blank canvas, which was a privilege, but also quite daunting, as I understood the sheer magnitude of choice and looks I could go for.”</p><p>Dudgeon moved to south Devon with her husband Alastair, a chef, in pursuit of a better quality of life. “I wanted my kids to grow up climbing trees and playing on the beach – to be in touch with the environment in which they live,” she says. In 2017, they bought a house in the market town of Totnes, which they share with their two young daughters, Olive and Frances, and their whippet, Skye. At the same time, the couple also purchased Mount Plym mews, an 1830s coach house located 100 yards away, for far more prosaic reasons: parking. “It’s a real issue in Totnes,” says Dudgeon.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Sat, 18 May 2019 15:00:37 Z Photograph: Simon Upton/Interior Archive Photograph: Simon Upton/Interior Archive Rachel Ward 2019-05-18T15:00:37Z 2019-05-18 15:00 +00:00 2019-05-19 03:00 +12:00 Hot Property: Kaley Cuoco looks to exit Tarzana with a bang <p>Kaley Cuoco, who this week wrapped up a 12-season run on the sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” has put her Tarzana home on the market for $6.9 million.</p> <p>Once owned by Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom, the 8,000-square-foot home has seen some significant changes during Cuoco’s five years of ownership....</p> Sat, 18 May 2019 06:30:00 -0700 Neal J. Leitereg, Jack Flemming 2019-05-18 06:30 -07:00 2019-05-19 01:30 +12:00 Let a cat cafe and cupcakes lure you to Melrose Avenue's shopping district <p>Melrose is one of the most famous streets in Los Angeles, known for its luxury shopping and celebrity spotting — and hordes of tourists trying to do both.</p> <p>But don’t let that keep you away.</p> <p>There’s a reason why many flock to this stretch of town: It’s an achingly cool place to meet with a friend...</p> Sat, 18 May 2019 06:00:00 -0700 Tara Paniogue 2019-05-18 06:00 -07:00 2019-05-19 01:00 +12:00 Actor Douglas Tait has a thing for monsters — and his backyard gym/party zone <p>Sporting frightening masks while crawling on the ground like an animal might seem an unorthodox workout routine, but for actor and professional monster <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Douglas Tait,</a> this is any old day in his backyard.</p> <p>The expansive space and privacy of his Northridge yard are ideal when preparing for roles such...</p> Sat, 18 May 2019 05:30:00 -0700 Arielle Paul Actor Douglas Tait studies a script in his favorite space, his backyard patio. Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times 2019-05-18 05:30 -07:00 2019-05-19 00:30 +12:00 In L.A., my car was an escape hatch from dates that didn’t work out <p>A man I once dated in Los Angeles broke up with me in his car, then immediately asked if I wanted to get dinner across the street.</p> <p>“I don’t think this is working,” he said, his long eyelashes flickering, as he gripped the steering wheel and stared straight ahead. And then: “Are you hungry? I’m...</p> Sat, 18 May 2019 05:00:00 -0700 Erin Kuschner Our cars offer us personal space that allows for grieving. Johanna Goodman / For the Times 2019-05-18 05:00 -07:00 2019-05-19 00:00 +12:00 Home of the Week: A rural vibe in Santa Ynez <p>Nestled in a bucolic canyon surrounded by rolling slopes, this sprawling ranch in Santa Ynez was once part of a Mexican land grant given to former Sgt. Octaviano Gutierrez in the early 1800s. Originally more than 13,000 acres, the rancho known as La Laguna has since been divided and subdivided...</p> Sat, 18 May 2019 05:00:00 -0700 Neal J. Leitereg Actor Douglas Tait studies a script in his favorite space, his backyard patio. Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times 2019-05-18 05:00 -07:00 2019-05-19 00:00 +12:00 Hot Property Newsletter: Well-heeled <p>To borrow a phrase from F. Scott Fitzgerald, the rich are different from you and me. Although most owners think of a house as a place to live, for the wealthy it can be a place to stable the horses, store the skis or park Mom — at least if this week’s collection is any indication.</p> <p>Our <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Home of the...</a></p> Sat, 18 May 2019 00:05:00 -0700 Neal J. Leitereg and Lauren Beale The great room in our Midcentury Modern Home of the Week in San Marino sits beneath vaulted and beamed ceilings. Compass 2019-05-18 00:05 -07:00 2019-05-18 19:05 +12:00 Leasehold Property Money UK news Housing Society 'A terrible shock': council hands flat owner £146,000 bill <p>Nurse faces losing his property after council demands gigantic sum for refurbishment of block</p><p>How would you feel if a council bill for £146,000 landed on your doormat?</p><p>This monster demand – for £146,257, to be precise – was sent to Lloyd Onuoha, a 62-year-old nurse, by Southwark council in London.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Sat, 18 May 2019 06:00:30 Z Photograph: Martin Godwin/The Guardian Photograph: Martin Godwin/The Guardian Emma Lunn 2019-05-18T06:00:30Z 2019-05-18 06:00 +00:00 2019-05-18 18:00 +12:00 Raymond, Roberta (1938-2019) Blacks Race and Ethnicity Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Segregation and Desegregation Oak Park (Ill) Oak Park Housing Center Deaths (Obituaries) Bobbie Raymond, 80, Visionary on Racially Integrated Housing, Dies In Oak Park, bordering Chicago’s West Side, she fought for a fair housing law and helped curb white flight using a strategy that became a model. Fri, 17 May 2019 23:19:06 Z Bobbie Raymond in the 1970s. She was a young woman with an academic background in sociology when she took up the fair housing fight in Oak Park, Ill. via The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest. SAM ROBERTS 2019-05-17 23:19 +00:00 2019-05-18 11:19 +12:00 Shopping and Retail Real Estate (Commercial) Outdoor Advertising Buildings (Structures) Advertising and Marketing Palace Theater Square Feet: Visit Times Square? These Projects Want You to Experience It TSX Broadway, which will a feature a theater, a hotel, a shopping center and an outdoor stage, is the latest effort by developers to lure visitors. Fri, 17 May 2019 21:26:54 Z TSX Broadway, a $2.5 billion mixed-use renovation of a tower in Times Square, is expected to be completed in 2022. Jeenah Moon for The New York Times C. J. HUGHES 2019-05-17 21:26 +00:00 2019-05-18 09:26 +12:00 ‘CSI’ creator Anthony Zuiker tries to track down a buyer for Malibu architectural <p>Anthony Zuiker, the creator and producer behind “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” is probing into the Malibu real estate market once again. His breezy architectural estate is back on the market for around $10 million, up about $500,000 from last year.</p> <p>Clad in concrete, the home opens to a much...</p> Fri, 17 May 2019 13:40:00 -0700 Jack Flemming &quot;CSI&quot; creator Anthony Zuiker is on the hunt for a buyer in Malibu after listing his architectural abode for $9,995,000. 2019-05-17 13:40 -07:00 2019-05-18 08:40 +12:00 TV attorney Lisa Bloom lists infamous murder house in Los Feliz for $3.5 million <p>Lisa Bloom, the civil rights attorney and former truTV host, and her husband, entrepreneur Braden Pollock, have listed the so-called murder house in Los Feliz for sale at $3.5 million.</p> <p>The Spanish Colonial Revival-style home, which dates to the 1920s, gained notoriety in 1959, when then-owner Dr....</p> Fri, 17 May 2019 12:55:00 -0700 Neal J. Leitereg &quot;CSI&quot; creator Anthony Zuiker is on the hunt for a buyer in Malibu after listing his architectural abode for $9,995,000. 2019-05-17 12:55 -07:00 2019-05-18 07:55 +12:00 Gardening events: Learn the traditional Japanese art form of kokedama <p>If you have a plant-related class, garden tour or other event you’d like us to mention, email me at <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></a> — with at least three weeks’ notice, please! — and we may include it later. Include a high-resolution horizontal photo, if possible, and tell us who to credit and what...</p> Fri, 17 May 2019 11:45:00 -0700 Jeanette Marantos Learn the Japanese art of kokedama &mdash; wrapping ferns and other houseplants in moss instead of pots &mdash; on May 18 or May 30. Sill 2019-05-17 11:45 -07:00 2019-05-18 06:45 +12:00 Clinton Portis’ former waterfront home seeks $4 million in the Sunshine State <p>In Florida, a Mediterranean home once owned by retired running back Clinton Portis is rushing onto the market for $3.995 million.</p> <p>Unlike his football career, during which he played in two Pro Bowls, Portis’s investment in the waterfront estate was a total failure. He bought it in 2006 for $4.1...</p> Fri, 17 May 2019 10:30:00 -0700 Jack Flemming The two-story Mediterranean expands to an entertainer's patio with a saltwater pool, spa, boat dock and 86 feet of water frontage. Douglas Elliman 2019-05-17 10:30 -07:00 2019-05-18 05:30 +12:00 Portfolio of eight Westgate retail properties Eight tenanted freehold titles, leased by 12 retailers paying over $4.1 million in total annual rent, are for sale as a package or individually in the Westgate Shopping Centre 17km northwest of Auckland City."The portfolio's size... Sat, 18 May 2019 05:00:02 +1200 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 Three industrials featured in Barfoot's portfolio Two South Auckland industrial properties and another in West Auckland are featured for sale in Barfoot & Thompson Commercial's latest Insite portfolio.In Penrose a well-located two-level corner property built in the mid1980s and... Sat, 18 May 2019 05:00:01 +1200 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 European style lands firmly on Whangapar&#257;oa Peninsula Impulse buys don't always turn out perfectly, but+ Elizabeth and Friedhelm Sommer have got it right more than once. They did it with their first New Zealand home, and more recently with the clifftop home they built at 324 Pinecrest... Sat, 18 May 2019 05:00:00 +1200 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 Best point of view Ask most Aucklanders to find Pipimea Head on a map and they'd be scratching their heads. But hundreds pass it every day on the corner at the end of Mission Bay and at the turn of last century, was the site of the Kohimarama Wharf.Peter... Sat, 18 May 2019 05:00:00 +1200 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 See the light Family bonds can trump almost anything, in this case an architecturally designed Orakei home from which wild horses couldn't normally drag owner Bill McDonald away. Bill and his wife Sarah Stokes live here with their teenage children,... Sat, 18 May 2019 05:00:00 +1200 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 Don't worry 'bout a thing Mark and Bobi Petch have been hanging out on the site of Parnell's White Heron Hotel on and off for 50 years. First, when the hotel was the place for rock 'n' roll in the city and later when they came to own apartments on the site... Sat, 18 May 2019 05:00:00 +1200 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 Light-filled spaces on a lofty scale The neighbours here know what 10-year-old Jaden Gamman is up to when he turns up with a bucket. He's not pinching fruit — he's gathering cricket balls he has hit over the fence. By all accounts, it was like this when the original... Sat, 18 May 2019 05:00:00 +1200 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 Recent Deals for Saturday May 18 Eden Terrace property An Auckland city fringe commercial property on a 900sq m freehold site at 16-22 Virginia Ave East, Eden Terrace, has sold at auction for $3,607,000, representing a passing yield of 2.15 per cent and a market... Sat, 18 May 2019 05:00:00 +1200 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 Napier's historic Mid City Plaza Mid City Plaza, a meticulously refurbished heritage building with six national and international brands among its nine tenants, is for sale in the heart of Napier's Art Deco precinct."The property was recently refurbished and seismically... Sat, 18 May 2019 05:00:00 +1200 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 Wealth from whisky as well as property More than 300 Bayleys clients recently gained insight into how global investors are deriving good returns from whisky, classic cars, art and jewellery - as well as from commercial and residential property.The information was contained... Sat, 18 May 2019 05:00:00 +1200 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 Ideal work-live unit in Birkenhead A three-level live and work commercial unit is for sale in a new complex near Birkenhead town centre on Auckland's North Shore."This property is ideal for a business owner-occupier or for an investor to lease to a commercial tenant,"... Sat, 18 May 2019 05:00:00 +1200 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 Adjoining orchards near Hastings for sale The owners of two neighbouring Hawke's Bay orchards in Pakipaki, just southwest of Havelock North and Hastings, are selling them at the same time, presenting a rare chance to purchase and consolidate both properties."The properties... Sat, 18 May 2019 05:00:00 +1200 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 Havelock North aged care facility The land and buildings housing one of Hawke's Bays most established, privately-run, aged care facilities is now for sale by negotiation through Bayleys Real Estate,. Salesperson Daniel Moffit says the land and buildings are available... Sat, 18 May 2019 05:00:00 +1200 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 BOB IRVINE Fighting them on the birches and in the backyard Never have so few given so much to keep the beloved backyard free and clean of foreign enemies. Fri, 17 May 2019 17:00:00 Z 2019-05-17 17:00 +00:00 2019-05-18 05:00 +12:00 Property Homes Money Life and style Let’s move to Hertford: if it’s cool enough for George Ezra… <p>A picturesque commuter town (with a fine collection of toothbrushes)</p><p><strong>What’s going for it? </strong>Hertford is a gentle place of small pleasures, like its greatest son <a href="" title="">George Ezra</a>. Everyone fancies a bit of George – even if it is just singing karaoke drunk at a ’Spoons on a Friday night. Likewise, only the harshest of hearts could savage <a href="" title="">Hertford</a>. It might not be where you want your life to end up, but there are worse places. Its grand Saxon street pattern sprawled across the confluence of four rivers, its castle grounds and handsome centre of Georgian townhouses draped in creepers, and half-timbered salmon-pink cottages, speak of a time when Hertford was a big kahuna. Local lore even suggests this is the burial place of the Holy Grail, lurking somewhere in mysterious tunnels beneath the streets.</p><p>These days, though, Hertford is comfortable with a more sedate lot in life, a picturesque commuter town for those priced out of Edmonton. The museum has the largest <a href="">collection of toothbrushes</a> in the country (plucked from the Addis factory when it closed). Enjoying a pint on the riverside terrace at the Woolpack; small pleasures. That’s not to say Hertford can’t cut some rug when it wants to. Look at the 1970s theatre and <a href="">arts centre</a>, poised for reinvention by zippy architects Carmody Groarke, as avant garde as anything one could find in, ooh, <a href="">St Albans</a>.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Fri, 17 May 2019 15:30:07 Z Photograph: George W Johnson/Getty Images Photograph: George W Johnson/Getty Images Tom Dyckhoff 2019-05-17T15:30:07Z 2019-05-17 15:30 +00:00 2019-05-18 03:30 +12:00 How splashing out on a home gym, tennis court or pool could end up making financial sense  With family health club membership often resembling a mini-mortgage, it might make more sense to turn part of your home into a private fitness centre. Fri, 17 May 2019 14:10:38 Z None 2019-05-17 14:10 +00:00 2019-05-18 02:10 +12:00 ‘Flip or Flop’ star Christina Anstead’s triple threat: new house, show and husband <p>HGTV “Flip or Flop” luminary Christina El Moussa has a new show, a new house and a new husband: British TV star Ant Anstead — and yes, the couple’s <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">December Newport Beach wedding</a> brought forth a new name. Make that Christina Anstead.</p> <p>Anstead weathered a tabloid-splashed split with “Flip or Flop”...</p> Fri, 17 May 2019 05:30:00 -0700 R. Daniel Foster &quot;Flip or Flop&quot; star Christina Anstead's new HGTV show &quot;Christina on the Coast&quot; features renovations of Southern California homes. Gilles Mingasson / HGTV 2019-05-17 05:30 -07:00 2019-05-18 00:30 +12:00 Top sales: April brings two Westside sales north of $33 million <p>An eyewear mogul’s spec house, an investor’s Brentwood estate and the polished pad of a late Vancouver businessman were among the most expensive homes sold in L.A. County during April. Here’s a closer look:</p> <p>$34.65 million — Beverly Hills</p> <p>Eyemart Express founder Doug Barnes and his wife, Molly,...</p> Fri, 17 May 2019 05:00:00 -0700 Neal J. Leitereg The Oakmont Drive estate sold by investor Bruce Karsh centers on a 1940 Georgian Regency-style home designed by architect James Dolena and styled by former White House interior designer Michael Smith. Simon Berlyn 2019-05-17 05:00 -07:00 2019-05-18 00:00 +12:00 Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Sag Harbor (NY) Shelter Island (NY) On the Market: Homes for Sale on the East End of Long Island This weeks homes include a four-bedroom on Shelter Island, N.Y., and a three-bedroom in Sag Harbor, N.Y. Fri, 17 May 2019 11:53:05 Z JULIE LASKY 2019-05-17 11:53 +00:00 2019-05-17 23:53 +12:00 Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Hamptons (NY) Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Calculator: A Snapshot of the Hamptons The housing market in the Hamptons is slow. So why are the homes that do sell going so fast? Fri, 17 May 2019 11:50:49 Z MICHAEL KOLOMATSKY 2019-05-17 11:50 +00:00 2019-05-17 23:50 +12:00 Real Estate and Housing (Residential) East Hampton (NY) Exclusive: East Hampton’s Own White House The seven-bedroom mansion known for the geraniums in its many window boxes goes on the market for $12.5 million. Fri, 17 May 2019 11:48:15 Z JULIE LASKY 2019-05-17 11:48 +00:00 2019-05-17 23:48 +12:00 Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Architecture Hamptons (NY) In the Hamptons, Modernism Rises (Again) Instead of classic beach houses with cedar shingles, developers are building more sleek, contemporary homes with flat roofs and lots of glass. Fri, 17 May 2019 11:43:13 Z The informal dining area on the ground floor of this $53.9 million spec house overlooks a walkway and views across the dunes to the Atlantic Ocean. Daniel Gonzalez for The New York Times MARCELLE SUSSMAN FISCHLER 2019-05-17 11:43 +00:00 2019-05-17 23:43 +12:00 Real Estate and Housing (Residential) East Hampton (NY) Hamptons (NY) In the High-Flying Hamptons, Real Estate Is in a Rut With inventory up and prices down, a persistent buyer can negotiate a great deal. Fri, 17 May 2019 11:39:39 Z This 3,300-square-foot home in Sag Harbor, N.Y., was originally listed for $1.825 million, but with the market softening, David and Sindhu Nordquist were able to buy it for $1.35 million. Daniel Gonzalez for The New York Times MARCELLE SUSSMAN FISCHLER 2019-05-17 11:39 +00:00 2019-05-17 23:39 +12:00 Mount Maunganui development wins national retail award A Mount Maunganui commercial development has been recognised in the New Zealand Commercial Project Awards.Mount Central was announced the winner of a Silver award in the retail category at the awards at Auckland's Sky City on Friday... Fri, 17 May 2019 22:31:57 +1200 2019-05-17 22:31 +12:00 2019-05-17 22:31 +12:00 Surfing Hurricane Sandy (2012) Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Real Estate (Commercial) Beaches Arverne (Queens, NY) Rockaway Beach (Queens, NY) Are Surfer Cafes and Green Markets What a Working-Class Beach Neighborhood Needs? Sleepy Arverne is attracting entrepreneurs from its neighbor to the west, Rockaway Beach. As gentrification there continues, the community adjusts to the spotlight. Fri, 17 May 2019 09:00:19 Z Residents fish along Jamaica Bay. Lily Landes for The New York Times KATE BRANCH 2019-05-17 09:00 +00:00 2019-05-17 21:00 +12:00 Four of the best paint colours to transform a new-build home The colours are from a range of paint suppliers, including Farrow & Ball, Little Green, and Valspar. Fri, 17 May 2019 08:52:37 Z None 2019-05-17 08:52 +00:00 2019-05-17 20:52 +12:00 Property Money UK news Homes in quiet cul-de-sacs – in pictures <p>Get away from busy traffic with these peaceful properties, from Hampshire to West Yorkshire</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Fri, 17 May 2019 06:29:40 Z Photograph: Savills Photograph: Savills Virginia Wallis 2019-05-17T06:29:40Z 2019-05-17 06:29 +00:00 2019-05-17 18:29 +12:00 Can homelessness be solved? The term "homelessness" conjures up images of people sleeping on park benches and inside shop doorways in our bigger cities. It describes an aspect of our society with which many of us are uncomfortable — partly because it's not the... Fri, 17 May 2019 17:40:26 +1200 2019-05-17 17:40 +12:00 2019-05-17 17:40 +12:00 Canada Real Estate and Housing (Residential) New Brunswick (Canada) Retirement International Real Estate: House Hunting in … Canada In the Atlantic province of New Brunswick, sales are up, inventory is down and sellers are in prime position. Fri, 17 May 2019 03:11:13 Z An arched doorway connects the living room to the library. Julian Parkinson for The New York Times LISA PREVOST 2019-05-17 03:11 +00:00 2019-05-17 15:11 +12:00 MARY LOVELL-SMITH / HOMED What to do in the garden this weekend Good companions for strawberries: which plants help increase yield and control pests. Fri, 17 May 2019 03:00:00 Z 2019-05-17 03:00 +00:00 2019-05-17 15:00 +12:00 Watch: Inside Auckland's first Bunnings $91k flatpack home, national retail chain aims to disrupt traditional construction methods It took just three months for a $91,000 Bunnings' flat pack to become a house in Auckland's Onehunga in the new construction system launched by the national DIY home improvement and outdoor living chain. In a challenge to traditional... Fri, 17 May 2019 13:33:02 +1200 2019-05-17 13:33 +12:00 2019-05-17 13:33 +12:00 NATACHA MALOON Prince Harry to hide gift for baby Archie to find in future Prince Harry already has plans in motion to surprise his newborn son when he's old enough to walk. Fri, 17 May 2019 00:49:56 Z 2019-05-17 00:49 +00:00 2019-05-17 12:49 +12:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b47bc6c6d2a734027a42ef5 What are the costs involved in the removal of asbestos? <p class="">This checklist can help any property owner to determine the <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>cost of removing asbestos</strong></a>.</p><p class="">Because the health and safety regulations vary between residential buildings and commercial buildings, the costs also vary for homeowners and other property owners.</p><h3><strong>There are two&nbsp;checks&nbsp;any property owner can undertake to get started:</strong></h3><ol data-rte-list="default"><li><p class="">First check that the building was built before or after the year 2000. Asbestos was virtually eliminated from building products from that year, so any structure built <strong>after that date</strong> is probably free from the problem of asbestos.</p></li><li><p class="">Any building built <strong>before the year 2000</strong> will need to have a certified sampling company check for asbestos.</p></li></ol><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true" class=""></p><p class="">Costs for this service vary between the different licensed companies but a rule-of-thumb indicator is that one visit to take a sample for laboratory testing of asbestos on any part of a building, should cost about the same as any other service attending to a job on the property; such as a plumber or electrician.</p><p class="">The cost can increase if extra samples are taken, which will also cover their processing in a licensed laboratory with a report back to the property owner.</p><p class="">The asbestos sampling is a first step in an asbestos management plan for the building. It is also valuable information to be held in the property’s file in case of future re-sale. Buyers will ask for this type of information.</p><p class="">If a building is shown to have asbestos in its materials, <strong>what will that cost?</strong></p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="800x800" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="asbestos-sample.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5cdcb0860e645d0001350ddd" data-type="image" src="" /> <h3><strong>Residential properties.</strong></h3><p class="">It is important to obtain quotations from<strong> licensed</strong> disposal companies, who will be happy to provide a quote once they have a full understanding of what needs to be removed. The cost varies from <strong>Class A to Class B</strong>. The general rule-of-thumb is that the Class A jobs that you will find inside the house such as asbestos vinyl flooring, will be more expensive than the Class B jobs you’ll find outside such as asbestos cladding.</p><p class="">You’ll also find that the square metre cost does not include the replacement of the removed materials with non-asbestos materials,</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="520x800" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="150 Kiwis die each year from Asbestos related illness" data-load="false" data-image-id="5cdcb24d15fcc0f2a9cd545a" data-type="image" src="" /> <p class="">150 Kiwis die each year from Asbestos related illness</p> <p class="">Homeowners, under the new regulations, are not required to produce their own asbestos management plans. The new regulations allow for professional services to help homeowners manage incidents of asbestos. Builders, plumbers, electricians, roofers and other professionals will raise the issue of asbestos when considering a job however large or small.</p><p class="">Under the regulations, homeowners are also permitted to remove up to ten square metres of asbestos material as part of their occasional home maintenance. However, the asbestos must be “non-friable.” This means it must not be crumbly or dusty. And that is the time asbestos can be inhaled and cause serious long term health problems, probably death.</p><p class="">Any home owner cannot be accused of “over-doing” safety with asbestos. However, <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>asbestos-related illness</strong></a> continue to take the lives of over 150 New Zealanders every year.</p><p class="">Identifying asbestos materials in a home is the <strong>first step</strong> to a safer future for the occupants of all buildings.. How and when the asbestos materials are removed, can, in most cases, be planned according to a budget available. Asbestos, if it is embedded into plaster or cement materials, is quite safe and unlikely to be released into the atmosphere and cause harm to people. This is a factor which can be taken into account when considering its removal and the costs involved.</p><h3><strong>Costs for commercial, industrial and retail property owners</strong></h3><p class="">These property owners are required to produce and keep on site, an <strong>asbestos management plan</strong>.</p><p class="">This plan enables all occupants of buildings to understand where asbestos is located and under what time frame it is planned to be replaced.</p><p class="">Similarly, the fact that asbestos is often contained or “bound” into different construction materials, means it can be safe for many years, giving property owners time to budget its replacement with non-asbestos materials.</p><p class="">Each plan begins with the Checklist at the beginning of this article.<br></p><p class="">If you are concerned about the asbestos in your property and the asbestos survey has proven that the materials need to be removed, Chemcare is a licensed asbestos removal company that can help. Get in contact today to get an <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>asbestos removal quote</strong></a>.</p><p class=""><br><br></p> Thu, 16 May 2019 19:49:08 Z Emily Fly What are the costs involved in the removal of asbestos? 2019-05-16 19:49 +00:00 2019-05-17 07:49 +12:00 Actors Anne Heche and James Tupper seek $4 million for Hancock Park home <p>The marital home of actors Anne Heche and James Tupper has come on the market in Hancock Park for $3.95 million.</p> <p>The two-story home, built in 2009 with a design inspired by Mediterranean Revival architecture, is set behind hedges and gates on just under a quarter-acre. The property includes a swimming...</p> Thu, 16 May 2019 12:10:00 -0700 Neal J. Leitereg The Mediterranean Revival-inspired home, built in 2009, has been leased out in recent years from $15,000 to $20,000 a month. The Agency 2019-05-16 12:10 -07:00 2019-05-17 07:10 +12:00 Comedians Scott Aukerman and Kulap Vilaysack list three-story home in Hollywood Hills <p>Married comedians Scott Aukerman and Kulap Vilaysack are staging a sale in the Hollywood Hills. Their architectural abode, stretching three stories on a hillside lot, is up for grabs at $2.049 million.</p> <p>That’s $379,000 more than they paid for it five years ago, records show.</p> <p>Clad in concrete, the...</p> Thu, 16 May 2019 09:35:00 -0700 Jack Flemming Built in 2005, the three-story home takes in canyon and city views from a deck and two balconies. 2019-05-16 09:35 -07:00 2019-05-17 04:35 +12:00 Dax Shepard’s biggest hit is a podcast he records in his attic <p>Dax Shepard, a tired dad who hates waking up in the middle of the night to pee, was floating an idea. Adult diapers: What's the downside?</p> <p>To explain: The actor is 44 now. He just wrapped the first season of <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">“Bless This Mess,”</a> an ABC comedy in which he stars with Lake Bell, and “Spin the Wheel,”...</p> Thu, 16 May 2019 08:00:00 -0700 Abby Aguirre Dax Shepard and his-cohost, Monica Padman, in the improvised studio where they record their hit podcast, &quot;Armchair Expert.&quot; Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times 2019-05-16 08:00 -07:00 2019-05-17 03:00 +12:00 Beck’s former Hancock Park home hits the market at $8.4 million <p>Over the years, Beck’s real estate portfolio has come to rival his decade-spanning, genre-bending discography.</p> <p>In addition to homes in Los Feliz, Malibu, Brentwood and Santa Monica, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has owned multiple properties in Hancock Park, including this 1920s Mediterranean...</p> Thu, 16 May 2019 07:45:00 -0700 Jack Flemming Built in 1928, the Mediterranean-style home features arched doorways, stained-glass windows and wrought-iron accents across 6,568 square feet. Gabriel Felix 2019-05-16 07:45 -07:00 2019-05-17 02:45 +12:00 The designer secret for decorating tight spaces? Curves <p>Sexy, curvy furniture is increasingly a trend as home designers embrace sinuous silhouettes, rounded shapes and soft, plush materials to complement sleek, contemporary interiors — and cleverly give the illusion of more space.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Kenneth Boyer</a>, principal designer at Los Angeles-based interior design...</p> Thu, 16 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 Bonnie McCarthy Curvo pink velvet sofa, $1,999 at CB2. CB2 2019-05-16 07:00 -07:00 2019-05-17 02:00 +12:00 Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Clinton Hill (Brooklyn, NY) Jersey City (NJ) Westchester County (NY) Thornwood (NY) On the Market: Homes for Sale in New Jersey, Westchester and Brooklyn This week’s properties are in Jersey City, N.J., Thornwood, N.Y., and Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Thu, 16 May 2019 13:03:31 Z JILL P. CAPUZZO, ANNE MANCUSO and KIM VELSEY 2019-05-16 13:03 +00:00 2019-05-17 01:03 +12:00 Come kick around cowboy country with me, while we still can <p>TONOPAH, Nev. — I’m toeing the abyss, and the very edge of civilization, here in Nevada, on an adventure that reminds me why I adore a good road trip — the endless possibilities, the greasy grub that sometimes tastes like pavement, the last slice of steamy-warm Americana.</p> <p>Get your Americana while...</p> Thu, 16 May 2019 06:00:00 -0700 Chris Erskine Roadside attractions, including old mining gear, against the rosy desert sunrise. They wear their whiskers low here in cowboy country. Chris Erskine / Los Angeles Times 2019-05-16 06:00 -07:00 2019-05-17 01:00 +12:00 What $400,000 buys right now in three San Bernardino County communities <p>Here’s a look at what roughly $400,000 buys right now in Ontario, Apple Valley and Twin Peaks in San Bernardino County.</p> <p>ONTARIO: A living room with beamed ceilings and a fireplace sits at the heart of this cozy bungalow built in 1947.</p> <p>Address: 1023 Orchard Lane, Ontario, 91764</p> <p>Listed for: $397,999...</p> Thu, 16 May 2019 05:00:00 -0700 Jack Flemming 1023 Orchard Lane, Ontario 2019-05-16 05:00 -07:00 2019-05-17 00:00 +12:00 Torquay house for sale that looks like a medieval castle While the grounds and boundary walls of the property in Torquay are Grade II listed, the four-bedroom house was completed in 1992. Thu, 16 May 2019 09:37:57 Z None 2019-05-16 09:37 +00:00 2019-05-16 21:37 +12:00 LYNDA HALLINAN Garlic: plant, care and harvest Planning to plant your garlic on the shortest day of the year? Lynda Hallinan offers tips on how to get it right in New Zealand. Thu, 16 May 2019 03:00:00 Z 2019-05-16 03:00 +00:00 2019-05-16 15:00 +12:00 Flat-pack houses: A two-bedroom home for $69,000 - Bunnings sells 50+ models Bunnings Trade has sold more than 50 flat-pack homes in New Zealand in the last year, with two-bedroom 60sq m models selling from $69,000, the company says.The business is marketing its flat-pack homes under a brand it owns, Clever... Thu, 16 May 2019 12:04:40 +1200 2019-05-16 12:04 +12:00 2019-05-16 12:04 +12:00 Singer-songwriter Bill Withers seeks sale of Hollywood Hills home with recording studio <p>It’s a lovely day in the Hollywood Hills, where a home owned by R&B singer-songwriter Bill Withers is for sale at $3.25 million.</p> <p>Owned by Withers for more than two decades, the three-story Mediterranean-style house has a recording studio on the ground floor. The studio, built in one of the home’s...</p> Wed, 15 May 2019 14:15:00 -0700 Neal J. Leitereg Bill Withers, center, bought his Hollywood Hills home more than two decades ago. The property is now for sale at $3.25 million. Glendale News Press 2019-05-15 14:15 -07:00 2019-05-16 09:15 +12:00 Long Island’s Wineries Several vineyards on the North Fork have either sold in recent years or are currently on the market. Wed, 15 May 2019 21:05:06 Z 2019-05-15 21:05 +00:00 2019-05-16 09:05 +12:00 Hamptons (NY) Real Estate and Housing (Residential) A Mini-Versailles in the Hamptons A 7,600-square-foot home in East Hampton that dates to the 1700s goes on the market. Wed, 15 May 2019 20:56:25 Z 2019-05-15 20:56 +00:00 2019-05-16 08:56 +12:00 Singer Kali Uchis nabs a Mediterranean villa in Valley Village <p>Once her tour’s over, Kali Uchis is set to have a nice spot to kick back. The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter recently dropped $1.722 million for Valley Village home on a cul-de-sac, records show.</p> <p>A recent remodel turned the once-drab traditional into a Mediterranean villa full of indoor-outdoor...</p> Wed, 15 May 2019 12:50:00 -0700 Jack Flemming Recently remodeled, Kali Uchis' two-story home holds a marble-washed floor plan full of indoor-outdoor living spaces. Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times 2019-05-15 12:50 -07:00 2019-05-16 07:50 +12:00 Renting and Leasing (Real Estate) Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Herald Square (Manhattan, NY) Renters: A Quiet Retirement? No Thanks, They’ll Take Herald Square A former mayor of San Antonio and his wife have found this busy crossroads to be the ideal retirement destination. Wed, 15 May 2019 18:55:19 Z Carolyn and Bill Thornton love living in the heart of Midtown; they say that “it’s like living in a movie set.” Katherine Marks for The New York Times KIM VELSEY 2019-05-15 18:55 +00:00 2019-05-16 06:55 +12:00 Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Architecture Hamptons (NY) Modern Beach Houses in the Hamptons Instead of classic beach houses with cedar shingles, more developers are building sleek homes with flat roofs and lots of glass. Wed, 15 May 2019 18:05:53 Z 2019-05-15 18:05 +00:00 2019-05-16 06:05 +12:00 Tinder co-founder Sean Rad seeks a swipe right on his Montecito horse ranch <p>Tinder co-founder Sean Rad is hoping a buyer falls head over heels for his horse ranch in Montecito. The scenic estate is on the market for $12.67 million, records show.</p> <p>Rad, who’s currently remodeling the property, is on a real estate roll as of late. In 2016, he sold a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Westwood penthouse</a> for...</p> Wed, 15 May 2019 11:05:00 -0700 Jack Flemming Across six scenic acres, the ranch has two homes, a courtyard with a fountain and a number of horse facilities. Jim Bartsch 2019-05-15 11:05 -07:00 2019-05-16 06:05 +12:00 Youtuber Shane Dawson signs off in Studio City <p>YouTube personality Shane Dawson has ended his stay in Studio City, selling his home of four years for a little over $2 million. That’s about $300,000 more than what the Spanish-style home listed for in March, records show.</p> <p>The two-story house, built in 1953, sits behind gates and is tucked into...</p> Wed, 15 May 2019 10:40:00 -0700 Neal J. Leitereg Shane Dawson, right, bought the 1950s Spanish-style home in 2015 for $1.71 million. Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images for Shorty Awards 2019-05-15 10:40 -07:00 2019-05-16 05:40 +12:00 Springsteen, Bruce Asbury Park (NJ) Bon Jovi, Jon Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Living In: Asbury Park, N.J.: A Seaside Community Reborn The once-desolate oceanfront resort is being restored and rebuilt. But some worry that threatens the quirky energy that made it unique. Wed, 15 May 2019 16:32:06 Z Money magazine ranked Asbury Park’s beach the second best in the country, but many residents cannot afford to use it when lifeguards are on duty. (Seasonal passes are $70 for adults and $20 for teens between 13 and 17; children 12 and under are free.)  James Estrin/The New York Times JULIE LASKY 2019-05-15 16:32 +00:00 2019-05-16 04:32 +12:00 Singer-songwriter Ty Segall settles into a Topanga treehouse <p>Garage-rock artist Ty Segall is parking himself in the hills of Topanga, where he’s bought an architectural treehouse for $1.3 million.</p> <p>Perched on a Fernwood bluff, the wood-and-glass estate takes in sweeping canyon views from a series of terraces. There’s a wraparound deck off the main level,...</p> Wed, 15 May 2019 08:25:00 -0700 Jack Flemming Ty Segall, shown in concert, has bought a glass-and-wood estate with sweeping canyon views. Michael Owen Baker / For The Times 2019-05-15 08:25 -07:00 2019-05-16 03:25 +12:00 In San Francisco, the iconic Victorian from ‘Full House’ seeks $6 million <p>Among the rows of historic Victorians that line the streets of San Francisco, this one sticks out from the rest for TV fans. The 1880s home was used to portray the Tanner family’s residence in “Full House,” and it just hit the market for $5.999 million.</p> <p>After laying low for the last decade, the...</p> Wed, 15 May 2019 07:30:00 -0700 Jack Flemming Built in 1883, the two-story Victorian holds 3,728 square feet of bright, modern living spaces. Christopher Stark 2019-05-15 07:30 -07:00 2019-05-16 02:30 +12:00 Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Memphis (Tenn) Altadena (Calif) Bryn Mawr (Pa) What You Get: $1.7 Million Homes in California, Tennessee and Pennsylvania A midcentury-modern house in Altadena, a grand 1943 home in Memphis and an 1888 house with seven bedrooms in Bryn Mawr. Wed, 15 May 2019 13:01:30 Z JULIE LASKY 2019-05-15 13:01 +00:00 2019-05-16 01:01 +12:00 Portfolio of three Waikato blueberry orchards Land, buildings and orchards encompassing three blueberry growing and processing properties in the Central Waikato areas of Rukuhia and Cambridge will go under the hammer next week.All three sites are being marketed for sale at... Wed, 15 May 2019 22:09:04 +1200 2019-05-15 22:09 +12:00 2019-05-15 22:09 +12:00 Downtown Auckland development site for sale An Auckland CBD development site has been placed on the market with building consent in place for a 17-level high-rise hotel.Colliers International has been exclusively appointed to market 38 Fort St for sale by deadline private... Wed, 15 May 2019 22:04:09 +1200 2019-05-15 22:04 +12:00 2019-05-15 22:04 +12:00 Top of the league: Buying a new home close to a football stadium can be a winner You don’t have to be a Spurs fan to be impressed with the brand new £1billion White Hart Lane football stadium. Wed, 15 May 2019 10:03:12 Z None 2019-05-15 10:03 +00:00 2019-05-15 22:03 +12:00 Jeff Bridges brings Montecito compound to market for $8 million <p>Five years is plenty for Jeff Bridges, who’s asking $7.995 million for a Spanish Revival-style compound he bought in 2014.</p> <p>The Oscar-winning actor and his wife, Susan Geston, paid $6.85 million for the property and remodeled the interiors soon after.</p> <p>Across four acres, there’s a charming single-story...</p> Tue, 14 May 2019 14:35:00 -0700 Jack Flemming On four verdant acres, the property has a 100-year-old main house, a guesthouse, pool house, carriage house and horse facility. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 2019-05-14 14:35 -07:00 2019-05-15 09:35 +12:00 Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Asbury Park (NJ) Living In ... Asbury Park, N.J. The once-desolate oceanfront resort is being restored and rebuilt. But some worry that threatens the quirky energy that made the city unique. Tue, 14 May 2019 19:48:27 Z 2019-05-14 19:48 +00:00 2019-05-15 07:48 +12:00 Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Altadena (Calif) Memphis (Tenn) Bryn Mawr (Pa) What You Get for $1.7 Million A midcentury-modern house in Altadena, Calif.; a grand 1943 home in Memphis; and an 1888 house with seven bedrooms in Bryn Mawr, Pa. Tue, 14 May 2019 19:47:56 Z 2019-05-14 19:47 +00:00 2019-05-15 07:47 +12:00 ‘Cheers’ writer Rob Long sells 110-year-old Venice Craftsman <p>Veteran television writer-producer Rob Long, whose credits include the sitcoms “Cheers” and “Kevin Can Wait,” has sold his Venice home of more than two decades for $3.7 million.</p> <p>Dating to 1909, the same year William Howard Taft began his presidential term, the Transitional Craftsman has curb appeal...</p> Tue, 14 May 2019 12:45:00 -0700 Neal J. Leitereg Owned by the &quot;Cheers&quot; writer-producer for more than two decades, the 1909 Transitional Craftsman features a lavish chef's kitchen, cherry wood built-ins and a dining patio with a pizza oven. The Agency 2019-05-14 12:45 -07:00 2019-05-15 07:45 +12:00 Canada New Brunswick (Canada) Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Retirement Restored Elegance on the Canadian Coast This 10-bedroom home in St. Andrews, a seaside resort town in New Brunswick, Canada, is on the market for $1.5 million. Tue, 14 May 2019 19:26:11 Z 2019-05-14 19:26 +00:00 2019-05-15 07:26 +12:00 Clinton Hill (Brooklyn, NY) Jersey City (NJ) Thornwood (NY) Real Estate and Housing (Residential) On the Market in New York City and the Region This week’s properties include a Jersey City condo, and homes in Thornwood, N.YU., and Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Tue, 14 May 2019 19:15:13 Z 2019-05-14 19:15 +00:00 2019-05-15 07:15 +12:00 Sag Harbor (NY) Shelter Island (NY) Real Estate and Housing (Residential) On the Market in the Hamptons This week we look at active home listings in Sag Harbor, and on Shelter Island, N.Y. Tue, 14 May 2019 19:00:14 Z 2019-05-14 19:00 +00:00 2019-05-15 07:00 +12:00 TV host John Henson sheds Studio City home of seven years <p>It’s a wrap in Studio City, where former “Wipeout” host John Henson and his wife, actress Jill Benjamin, have sold their Silver Triangle home for $2.525 million.</p> <p>That’s around $250,000 less than the original asking price, records show.</p> <p>Shades of dark teal color the garage, shutters and double-door...</p> Tue, 14 May 2019 11:40:00 -0700 Jack Flemming Built in 2008, the Studio City home opens through folding doors to a grassy backyard with a heated pool. 2019-05-14 11:40 -07:00 2019-05-15 06:40 +12:00 Golf course property once owned by Tom Brady fields offers in La Quinta <p>Nestled among the stylish estates of La Quinta’s Madison Club, this empty lot has seen plenty of action over the last decade – but no actual development.</p> <p>The fairway-facing property has cycled through three owners in the last seven years, including New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Now,...</p> Tue, 14 May 2019 09:45:00 -0700 Jack Flemming Found on the fifth fairway of the Madison Club golf course, the property once owned by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady takes in mountain views from its 0.85-acre lot. Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times 2019-05-14 09:45 -07:00 2019-05-15 04:45 +12:00 ‘Law & Order’ actor Benjamin Bratt sends scenic Topanga home to market <p>After a decade in Topanga, Benjamin Bratt is ready for a scene change. The “Law & Order” actor has put his Midcentury home of 10 years up for sale at $4.8 million.</p> <p>Reached by a private tree-lined road on five bucolic acres, the property is a retreat in the fullest sense. Known as Powderhorn Ranch,...</p> Tue, 14 May 2019 07:50:00 -0700 Jack Flemming Spanning nearly five acres, the property holds a Midcentury ranch, guest casita, horse arena, swimming pool, spa and a series of decks that take in canyon views. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 2019-05-14 07:50 -07:00 2019-05-15 02:50 +12:00 Marvel, Elizabeth Homeland (TV Program) Real Estate and Housing (Residential) House of Cards (TV Program) King Lear (Play) What I Love: Elizabeth Marvel on Sharing Space With Curiosities and Ghosts The actor known for her roles in “Homeland” and “King Lear” calls an industrial loft in Brooklyn home. But she and her family may not be the only occupants. Tue, 14 May 2019 14:06:42 Z An enthusiastic R. Crumb collector, Ms. Marvel displays a page from one of the artist’s notebooks. Chang W. Lee/The New York Times JOANNE KAUFMAN 2019-05-14 14:06 +00:00 2019-05-15 02:06 +12:00 Real Estate (Commercial) Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Renting and Leasing (Real Estate) Recent Commercial Real Estate Transactions Recent commercial real estate transactions in New York. Tue, 14 May 2019 13:00:04 Z The building at 1 Broadway was constructed in 1884, but is vacant for renovation. Jeanne Rene Barousse, via C. Taylor Crothers Photography ZACH WICHTER 2019-05-14 13:00 +00:00 2019-05-15 01:00 +12:00 Real Estate and Housing (Residential) London (England) mews Looking for Your Own Front Door in London? Consider a Mews. Typically two or three-story structures that once served as stables or garages, mews homes are generally holding their value in uncertain times. Tue, 14 May 2019 09:39:21 Z Houses on dead-end lanes like these lining Pembridge Mews are desirable because children can play cricket on the cobblestones and neighbors can sit out and have coffee or a glass of wine. Tom Jamieson for The New York Times SUSANNE FOWLER 2019-05-14 09:39 +00:00 2019-05-14 21:39 +12:00 Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Marvel, Elizabeth Homeland (TV Program) House of Cards (TV Program) King Lear (Play) The Décor? Whatever Makes Her Smile The actor, known for her roles in “Homeland” and “King Lear,” calls an industrial loft in a converted Brooklyn factory home. Tue, 14 May 2019 01:59:38 Z 2019-05-14 01:59 +00:00 2019-05-14 13:59 +12:00 Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber pick up a vacation spot in La Quinta <p>Supermodel Cindy Crawford and husband Rande Gerber have found a fashionable spot in the desert, paying $4.9 million for a home in La Quinta’s exclusive Madison Club, real estate records show.</p> <p>The stone-finished contemporary home, built in 2013, is entered through a gated courtyard featuring columns...</p> Mon, 13 May 2019 11:55:00 -0700 Neal J. Leitereg Rande Gerber, left, and Cindy Crawford, pictured at a Las Vegas event in April, are the latest celebrities to buy in La Quinta's guard-gated Madison Club resort community. Gabe Ginsberg 2019-05-13 11:55 -07:00 2019-05-14 06:55 +12:00 Housing Communities Homelessness Society Architecture Property Money Society Professionals The UK desperately needs new homes - but not these hideous boxes <p>Even the housing minister admits the soulless developments gobbling up Britain’s countryside will soon have to be bulldozed</p><p>A glance through the window of virtually any long-distance train reveals how much countryside is being gobbled up by identikit, soulless, mediocre housing designed around cars. Earlier this month, the housing minister, Kit Malthouse, predicted that many of the boxes being thrown up on the outskirts of towns <a href="">would soon be “ripped down and bulldozed”</a> as unsuitable.</p><p>The evidence for his claim is simple. As Malthouse observed, housing is the one thing that virtually everyone likes to buy secondhand – and that means the issue of housing quality is now critical, particularly given the government’s aim to get 300,000 new homes built every year by the mid-2020s. But despite new planning guidance, billions being poured into financial support for housebuilding and land supply and growing political and public pressure over the shameful <a href="">growth in homelessness</a>, this government is no nearer to working out how to build enough good quality, affordable homes that will adapt to people’s changing needs. </p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Mon, 13 May 2019 13:03:14 Z Photograph: Duncan_Andison/Getty Images/iStockphoto Photograph: Duncan_Andison/Getty Images/iStockphoto Richard Vize 2019-05-13T13:03:14Z 2019-05-13 13:03 +00:00 2019-05-14 01:03 +12:00 Property Money UK news We're nearing 40 – is it too late to buy our first property? <p>We thought we would never buy, but just came into some money and are wondering about a mortgage</p><p><br><strong>Q</strong> We are at a complete loss. We never imagined that we would be in a position to buy property as we have struggled for years to save but recently we have come into some money which we could use as a deposit. However, both my husband and I are nearing 40 so are we too late? Where do we even start with trying to organise a mortgage? Surely it would need to be a shorter term one. I am fearful of taking out too much and finding ourselves stuck at age 58 or higher. Most people our age are working towards paying their mortgage off whereas we would just be beginning. Should we just stick the money in a savings account instead?</p><p><strong>A</strong> No, I wouldn’t just stick the money in a savings account. Buying a home of your own is clearly a long-term goal of yours even if you didn’t think it was an achievable one. And at nearly 40, you and your husband are spring chickens when it comes to being considered as older borrowers. Most mainstream mortgage lenders set the maximum age you can be at the end of the mortgage term at 70 or 75 so you could easily get a mortgage with a typical term of 25 years. At least 15 building societies – which, according to the Building Societies Association, ‘tend to be more flexible than high-street banks when it comes to maximum age limits’ – have scrapped upper age limits altogether. As a result borrowers can take out a 25-year mortgage regardless of their age at the time they apply for a mortgage.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Mon, 13 May 2019 06:00:06 Z Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Virginia Wallis 2019-05-13T06:00:06Z 2019-05-13 06:00 +00:00 2019-05-13 18:00 +12:00 COMMENT: Ring-fencing impact likely to be limited <p>The new rules around the ring-fencing of rental losses are unlikely to cause a sea-change in investor behaviour, according to CoreLogic senior property economist Kelvin Davidson.</p> Mon, 13 May 2019 07:05:00 +1200 2019-05-13 07:05 +12:00 2019-05-13 07:05 +12:00 Need a Mother’s Day gift? Here are six plants even your mom can’t kill <p>Still looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift?</p> <p>We turned to houseplant specialists Annette Goliti Gutierrez, co-owner of <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Potted</a>, an Atwater Village store devoted to houseplants and pots, and Jessica Lawrence, a horticulturist and indoor plant care instructor at <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Fig Earth Supply</a>, for suggestions...</p> Sat, 11 May 2019 07:30:00 -0700 Jeanette Marantos Fittonia, a.k.a. nerve plant Annette Gutierrez / Potted 2019-05-11 07:30 -07:00 2019-05-12 02:30 +12:00 Four Hours: Exploring the wonderfully weird and wildly walkable Venice <p>The aromas that swirl and dance with the salty air of the seaside neighborhood of Venice are guaranteed to take your olfactory system on a Mystic Journey — pun intended for those of you who know the neighborhood’s legendary new-age bookstore of the same name.</p> <p>From the spray-painted graffiti walls...</p> Sat, 11 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 Tara Paniogue Fittonia, a.k.a. nerve plant Annette Gutierrez / Potted 2019-05-11 07:00 -07:00 2019-05-12 02:00 +12:00 Why I’m so glad Mr. Perfect turned out to be Mr. All Wrong For Me <p>He prowled into the French class at UCLA like a GQ model fresh from a photo shoot. Tall, slender, elegantly yet casually dressed, with tousled brown hair and sleepy hazel eyes under exquisite dark brows, he paused gracefully in front of the room. The hum of pre-class conversation faltered as all...</p> Sat, 11 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 Julia Borovay I didn&rsquo;t learn much French in that class, but I did learn something about male perfection. Irene Renaldi / For the Times 2019-05-11 07:00 -07:00 2019-05-12 02:00 +12:00 Escape to the Chateau's Angel Strawbridge launches home furnishings range Fans of TV's Escape to the Chateau can enjoy the same designs in their own homes as Angel has included it in her new range of home furnishings Sat, 11 May 2019 09:35:14 Z None 2019-05-11 09:35 +00:00 2019-05-11 21:35 +12:00 Real estate Italy Property Art and design Business Culture Money Europe World news Super rich buying up Italy's mansions under new tax regime <p>‘You get the same sort of tax savings you get in Jersey but you get to live somewhere you actually want to live’</p><p>Luxury Tuscan estate agent Ian Heath is developing a taste for private jets. “It’s not that unusual anymore,” Heath says of hitching a ride on a billionaire’s jet to the Italian Riviera last week to give the wealthy client a tour of some of the most luxurious and expensive homes.</p><p>“These guys fly around the world in their jets and helicopters,” says Heath, a senior agent at Italian estate agency Lionard. “It makes sense to use them for viewings. The problem was we still had to drive from Genoa to Portofino.” In one day, they viewed half a dozen luxury villas dotted along the Ligurian coast and <a href=";pagina=1&amp;keepfilter">castles on the hills surrounding Florence</a>. The cheapest one they saw was on the market for €10m (£8.4m).</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Sat, 11 May 2019 06:00:15 Z Photograph: Knight Frank Photograph: Knight Frank Rupert Neate Wealth correspondent, in Florence 2019-05-11T06:00:15Z 2019-05-11 06:00 +00:00 2019-05-11 18:00 +12:00 Property Homes Money Life and style Let’s move to Hornsey, north London: pricey, yes, but not bad for these parts <p>Slightly more affordable than its posh neighbours, and it still has a ‘proper’ high street, nice parks and stout Edwardian pubs</p><p><strong>What’s going for it? </strong>I like a hill. I live on a hill. I get claustrophobic in the vast, mostly hill-free (or hill-lite) stretches of east or west London. I can’t see out. “Always buy on a hill,” an estate agent once told me, “won’t get flooded” – a bit of folk wisdom that, in our benighted times of <a href="" title="">April heatwaves</a>, has an added urgency. It’s borne out in social geography, in the UK at least, where posh Johnnies tend to live on hills, all the better to escape the noxious fumes and hoi polloi. Most of north London’s hills – from Hampstead to Muswell Hill – have long, long been out of bounds for the likes of us. Hornsey, sliding down Lea Valley hillside and touched by Harringay and Wood Green, is still out of bounds, but, I don’t know, maybe on a good day, with the wind behind us, and saving all our pennies from the back of the sofa, we could club together for a roomshare. Its high street is still “proper”, with hardware shops and “continental grocers” alongside the inevitable incoming coffee palaces. There’s a nook of the old village by the parish church, nice parks, stout Edwardian pubs such as the Great Northern Railway Tavern, and, looming above all at the crown of the hill, the crouching bulk of Alexandra Palace. At least the view from the top is free.</p><p><strong>The case against</strong><strong> </strong>Still blooming expensive, just, in the way that London works, not quite as expensive as its fancier neighbours.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Fri, 10 May 2019 15:30:37 Z Photograph: Jill Mead/The Guardian Photograph: Jill Mead/The Guardian Tom Dyckhoff 2019-05-10T15:30:37Z 2019-05-10 15:30 +00:00 2019-05-11 03:30 +12:00 Life on the ‘Biggest Little Farm’: behind the scenes of a biodynamic blockbuster <p>At 6:30 every Monday morning, the 60-member team at Apricot Lane Farms in Moorpark gathers around a campfire in the vegetable garden to discuss what happened over the weekend — maybe a lamb was born, or thousands upon thousands of ladybugs made their seasonal return to the rows of fennel — and...</p> Fri, 10 May 2019 07:30:00 -0700 Bonnie McCarthy John Chester and his wife Molly, founders of Apricot Lane Farms in Moorpark. Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times 2019-05-10 07:30 -07:00 2019-05-11 02:30 +12:00 L.A. Walks: The grittiest L.A. River path you’ve never heard of <p>This walk doesn’t fall into the category of bucolic country stroll, but it offers an unusual opportunity to get outside in the middle of the urban sprawl. A little gritty and not for those who demand beautiful scenery on their walks, the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Bowtie Parcel</a> is still a great leg-stretcher in a fascinating...</p> Fri, 10 May 2019 06:20:00 -0700 Charles Fleming Clockshop, a multidisciplinary arts organization, sponsors art installations and events at the Bowtie Parcel near the L.A. River. Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times 2019-05-10 06:20 -07:00 2019-05-11 01:20 +12:00 Property Money Television Television & radio Film UK news Culture Homes used as film and TV locations – in pictures <p>Tread in the footsteps of the stars with these properties featured in the likes of Harry Potter and Spaced</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Fri, 10 May 2019 06:00:46 Z Photograph: Carter Jonas Photograph: Carter Jonas Jill Papworth 2019-05-10T06:00:46Z 2019-05-10 06:00 +00:00 2019-05-10 18:00 +12:00 MARY LOVELL-SMITH / HOMED What to do in the garden this weekend If you give or receive a potted plant for Mother's Day here's how to look after it. Fri, 10 May 2019 03:00:00 Z 2019-05-10 03:00 +00:00 2019-05-10 15:00 +12:00 RACHEL CLARE / NZ GARDENER How to grow tulips Silken, feathered, fringed or dressed up in loud parrot colours, there is a tulip to please everyone. Thu, 09 May 2019 22:59:59 Z 2019-05-09 22:59 +00:00 2019-05-10 10:59 +12:00 Midcentury Modern dream homes on display: A rare chance to tour 7 Eichlers <p>There’s something special about Eichler homes.</p> <p>With their sun-filled atriums, floor-to-ceiling walls of glass and open floor plans, the mass-produced Midcentury Modern tract houses built by developer Joseph Eichler have come to symbolize the California dream of indoor-outdoor living.</p> <p>In November,...</p> Thu, 09 May 2019 08:00:00 -0700 Lisa Boone One of the seven houses that will be included on the Eichler Home Tour on May 18-19. Valerie Smith / Playa Photography PDR 2019-05-09 08:00 -07:00 2019-05-10 03:00 +12:00 Moms are the only things robots can never replace <p>These mothers and their meals ….</p> <p>They stop by a few times a month to feed us, to ensure that my son and I are alive. As I’ve noted recently, the house looks like a honky-tonk. I’m thinking of putting down AstroTurf in the living room just to give it some class.</p> <p>This isn’t merely a home anymore;...</p> Thu, 09 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 Chris Erskine When Elaine laughs, we laugh. She reminds us of the amazing and funny moms who bring us food. Paul Drinkwater / NBC 2019-05-09 07:00 -07:00 2019-05-10 02:00 +12:00 How to keep your houseplants alive. (Hint: Don’t love them to death) <p>We’ve all seen it happen: A plant that looked so lush and lovely in the store curls up and dies once it enters your home.</p> <p>Maybe this fear makes you wary, or you’ve committed enough houseplant homicide that you never want to try again, let alone give one to your mom as a gift on this Mother’s Day....</p> Thu, 09 May 2019 06:00:00 -0700 Jeanette Marantos Fittonia, a.k.a. nerve plant, is one of many hardy houseplants that are easy to tend and still handsome enough to give on Mother's Day ... especially if Mom is a little horticulturally challenged. Annette Gutierrez/Potted 2019-05-09 06:00 -07:00 2019-05-10 01:00 +12:00 Buy-to-let crackdown takes toll on landlords as rental crisis looms Figures released today by the RICS have confirmed that tenant demand is rising across the the country while the number of new landlords entering the market is dwindling. Thu, 09 May 2019 09:06:52 Z Shutterstock / I Wei Huang 2019-05-09 09:06 +00:00 2019-05-09 21:06 +12:00 Britain’s hottest property markets are Edinburgh and Falkirk reveals Zoopla The average amount of time it takes to sell a property in Britain is 56 days, reveals property website Zoopla. Thu, 09 May 2019 08:38:01 Z None 2019-05-09 08:38 +00:00 2019-05-09 20:38 +12:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b54fba78a922d868ef56893 Friable asbestos in the home <p class="">“Friable” asbestos is the most dangerous form. This describes the “crumbly” state of asbestos fibres.Imagine dry flour held out on the palm of a hand on a windy day and this will illustrate the danger asbestos offers on a windy day.</p><p class="">The difference is that asbestos fibres cannot be seen and they are dangerous, minute forms of rock that can be inhaled into the lungs and do fatal damage over time. The most dangerous situation for homeowners, is the discovery of building materials containing asbestos which are damaged, allowing asbestos fibres free to float in the surrounding air. The microscopic fibres of asbestos still remain the cause of about 170&nbsp; New Zealand fatalities every year.</p><p class="">If fibres are floating free in the air of a home, it may be decades before any occupant or visitor, becomes aware that the fibres accidentally inhaled in one moment, are the&nbsp; cause of death many years later.</p><h2><strong>Asbestos in the home</strong></h2><p class="">Asbestos fibres are contained in many different forms of building materials. The most common in New Zealand include:</p><p class="">Homes built up to the year 2000 probably contain asbestos. The incidence declines after this year as regulations began to eliminate asbestos from all building materials. However, any home built in the early part of the 21st century may still contain some asbestos.</p><p class="">For homes built in earlier years, the likelihood of asbestos can be found in:</p><ul data-rte-list="default"><li><p class="">Old floor tiles,</p></li><li><p class="">Ceiling tiles,</p></li><li><p class="">Roof shingles and flashing,</p></li><li><p class="">Some exterior cladding</p></li><li><p class="">Interior wall linings.</p></li><li><p class="">Insulation (around boilers, ducts, pipes, sheeting, fireplaces),</p></li><li><p class="">pipe cement, and joint compounds</p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true" class=""></p></li></ul> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="800x533" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="Old-tiles.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5cd242b4a4222f7edd86ec6f" data-type="image" src="" /> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="600x915" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="Plastic-seal.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5cd23fff9140b7cfae7a9091" data-type="image" src="" /> <h3><strong>Emergency steps to take when damaged building materials containing asbestos, are discovered:</strong></h3><ol data-rte-list="default"><li><p class="">Immediately close off the area.</p></li><li><p class="">Call a licensed <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>asbestos removal company</strong></a> and arrange the urgent “sealing” of the asbestos materials.</p></li><li><p class="">If the area is indoors, this may be easier.</p></li><li><p class="">If the area is outdoors, safety is more difficult to determine.</p></li></ol><h3><strong>Tackling damaged asbestos materials indoors:</strong></h3><ul data-rte-list="default"><li><p class="">Close doors to seal off the area. Also “seal” the joints in the doors and windows. Asbestos fibres are microscopic and can be blown through the smallest of crevices.</p></li><li><p class="">Leave external doors and windows open so that airflow can remove any potentially airborne fibres.</p></li><li><p class="">Cover the floor with heavy-duty plastic sheeting to catch dust, debris and asbestos material.</p></li><li><p class="">Keep family, visitors and pets away from the area until the work is completed.</p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true" class=""></p></li></ul><h3><strong>Tackling damaged asbestos materials outdoors:</strong></h3><ul data-rte-list="default"><li><p class="">Keep neighbours safe by informing them and discuss any protection they might need to take, such as keeping windows and doors closed for the duration of the work.</p></li><li><p class="">Seal off the indoor areas of the home from the outdoor areas, close windows and doors, seal off any other crevices.</p></li><li><p class="">Cover the surrounding ground area with heavy duty plastic. Asbestos fibres can be trodden or float to ground level &nbsp;and remain there for years. Remember that asbestos is pre-historic rock and will not decay. It can become dangerous at ground level, uplifted by the next strong wind or when the soil is disturbed.</p></li><li><p class="">Any household goods such furniture, toys, tools , even motor vehicles, are best removed from the work site. They can all be potential carriers of asbestos fibres.</p></li><li><p class=""> Keep household members, visitors and pets away until the work is completed.</p></li></ul><p class="">&nbsp;</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="600x818" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="asbestos-outside.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5cd24abff9619ad753c13576" data-type="image" src="" /> <h3><strong>Things NOT to do:</strong></h3><ul data-rte-list="default"><li><p class="">It may seem logical to wet down areas containing asbestos fibres, but this is not always helpful and may cause further dangers for people, especially if asbestos roof tiles are being removed.</p></li><li><p class="">Work during high wind. The safest option is to keep the wind off the damaged area with heavy plastic sheeting and weights. Begin the removal, preferably by licensed <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>asbestos removal services</strong></a>, once the weather is calm.</p></li></ul><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true" class=""></p><p class="">If you aren’t sure about the state of the asbestos in your home, call a licensed asbestos assessor in to give you an educated answer. Once you’re sure that the asbestos is friable or not, make a plan about how you will deal with it. Chemcare is happy to consult with you to find the best <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>asbestos management plan</strong></a> for you.</p> Thu, 09 May 2019 02:07:27 Z Emily Fly Friable asbestos in the home 2019-05-09 02:07 +00:00 2019-05-09 14:07 +12:00 Architecture Housing Communities Culture Cambridge Social housing Green building Design Family Cities Art and design Society UK news Life and style Planning policy Local government Housing market Politics Real estate Business Environment Marmalade Lane: the car-free, triple-glazed, 42-house oasis <p>It may be the only good thing to emerge from the 2008 financial crisis. What do the first families to settle into Cambridge’s new co-housing development make of multigenerational living?</p><p>Imagine a world where homes were built according to the needs of residents rather than the profits of house builders, a place where land was allocated with the best long-term value in mind, rather than flogged off to the highest bidder, and where politicians’ claims of “creating communities” actually rang true.</p><p>It might be something like <a href="">Marmalade Lane</a> in Cambridge, where some innocuous-looking rows of pitch-roofed brick homes represent the quietly radical result of the city’s first co-housing development, almost 20 years in the making.</p><p>The whole site is essentially a collective playground for kids.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Wed, 08 May 2019 13:54:46 Z Photograph: David Butler Photograph: David Butler Oliver Wainwright 2019-05-08T13:54:46Z 2019-05-08 13:54 +00:00 2019-05-09 01:54 +12:00 HAMISH RUTHERFORD Interest rates: A boost for the housing market, but not everyone is a winner OPINION: Just as the housing market looked to be cooling, a dovish Reserve Bank may have reignited war for borrowers. Wed, 08 May 2019 05:37:57 Z 2019-05-08 05:37 +00:00 2019-05-08 17:37 +12:00 Sandbanks is the most expensive seaside town to live in by Halifax House prices at the exclusive Sandbanks have surged by £161,944 in just one year, compared with a £5,000 average at other seaside towns.    Tue, 07 May 2019 07:31:47 Z None 2019-05-07 07:31 +00:00 2019-05-07 19:31 +12:00 Unique Homes unique homes Quiz: Which Perfect Pool Is Cool for the Summer? It's a battle of the backyards! Which poolside retreat has your vote? Mon, 06 May 2019 18:49:30 Z Jamie Birdwell-Branson <p>There&#8217;s nothing more refreshing than a dip in the pool during the dog days of summer. Whether you&#8217;re a floater, a diver or more of a poolside lounger, a pool is the best summer gathering spot for all your friends and family.</p> <p>So, grab your floaties, put on some sunscreen and get ready to take the plunge - it&#8217;s time to choose the pools where you&#8217;d most like to spend a scorching summer day!</p> <div class="riddle_target" data-rid-id="193869" data-fg="#0074E4" data-bg="#FFFFFF" style="margin:0 auto;max-width:100%;width:640px;" data-auto-scroll="false" data-auto-scroll-offset="0"> <script src=""></script> <link href="" rel="stylesheet"> <iframe style="width:100%;height:300px;border:1px solid #cfcfcf;" src="" title="Opinion Poll - Mid-Century quirk or cleanly traditional?"></p> <section> <h2> <p>Mid-Century quirk or cleanly traditional?</p> </h2> </section> <section> <h2>Mid-Century quirk</h2> </section> <section> <h3>Cleanly traditional</h3> </section> <p></iframe> </div> <p><em>Photos from Zillow listings: <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mid-Century quirk</a>, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cleanly traditional</a></p> <div class="riddle_target" data-rid-id="193872" data-fg="#0074E4" data-bg="#FFFFFF" style="margin:0 auto;max-width:100%;width:640px;" data-auto-scroll="false" data-auto-scroll-offset="0"> <script src=""></script> <link href="" rel="stylesheet"> <iframe style="width:100%;height:300px;border:1px solid #cfcfcf;" src="" title="Opinion Poll - Riverfront simplicity or long laps?"></p> <section> <h2> <p>Riverfront simplicity or long laps?</p> </h2> </section> <section> <h2>Riverfront simplicity</h2> </section> <section> <h3>Long laps</h3> </section> <p></iframe> </div> <p><em>Photos from Zillow listings: <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Riverfront lagoon</a>, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">long laps</a></p> <div class="riddle_target" data-rid-id="193874" data-fg="#0074E4" data-bg="#FFFFFF" style="margin:0 auto;max-width:100%;width:640px;" data-auto-scroll="false" data-auto-scroll-offset="0"> <script src=""></script> <link href="" rel="stylesheet"> <iframe style="width:100%;height:300px;border:1px solid #cfcfcf;" src="" title="Opinion Poll - New Orleans charm or California garden?"></p> <section> <h2> <p>New Orleans charm or California garden?</p> </h2> </section> <section> <h2>New Orleans charm</h2> </section> <section> <h3>California garden</h3> </section> <p></iframe> </div> <p><em>Photos from Zillow listings: <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">New Orleans charm</a>, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">California garden</a></p> <div class="riddle_target" data-rid-id="193875" data-fg="#0074E4" data-bg="#FFFFFF" style="margin:0 auto;max-width:100%;width:640px;" data-auto-scroll="false" data-auto-scroll-offset="0"> <script src=""></script> <link href="" rel="stylesheet"> <iframe style="width:100%;height:300px;border:1px solid #cfcfcf;" src="" title="Opinion Poll - Pool playground or indoor slip and slide?"></p> <section> <h2> <p>Pool playground or indoor slip and slide?</p> </h2> </section> <section> <h2>Pool playground</h2> </section> <section> <h3>Indoor slip and slide</h3> </section> <p></iframe> </div> <p><em>Photos from Zillow listings: <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Pool playground</a>, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">indoor slip and slide</a></p> <div class="riddle_target" data-rid-id="193877" data-fg="#0074E4" data-bg="#FFFFFF" style="margin:0 auto;max-width:100%;width:640px;" data-auto-scroll="false" data-auto-scroll-offset="0"> <script src=""></script> <link href="" rel="stylesheet"> <iframe style="width:100%;height:300px;border:1px solid #cfcfcf;" src="" title="Opinion Poll - Room for family or palatial hideaway?"></p> <section> <h2> <p>Room for family or palatial hideaway?</p> </h2> </section> <section> <h2>Room for family</h2> </section> <section> <h3>Palatial hideaway</h3> </section> <p></iframe> </div> <p><em>Photos from Zillow listings: <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Room for family</a>, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">palatial hideaway</a></p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">DIY Backyard Fire Pit: Build It in Just 7 Easy Steps</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Quiz: Should You Renovate Your Home or Sell?</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Quiz: Which Summer Space Melts Your Heart?</a></li> </ul> 89 2019-05-06 18:49 +00:00 2019-05-07 06:49 +12:00 Property Real estate Money Business UK news I sold my home to a neighbour – do I have to pay the agent's fee? <p>The estate agents did all the marketing but I sent them the local couple who wanted to buy</p><p><strong>Q</strong> A few months ago I agreed to have the photographs done and marketing literature for my home prepared by an estate agent in readiness for a move in late summer. I also signed a contract with them to market and sell my home. However, before it actually went up for sale a local couple who are neighbours asked if they could buy the house from us. I directed them to the estate agent who arranged a viewing and they made an offer which was accepted. The house never actually went on the market with the agents or was advertised by them. We are nearing exchange of contracts now and I was wondering if there would be any leeway to negotiate a reduction in the commission seeing as the agent did not actually find the buyer.<br><strong>PP</strong></p><p><strong>A</strong> You could give it a try but I don’t hold out much hope. Because the agent arranged the viewing and the buyers made their offer via the agent, the agent can argue that they did find the buyer. This would not have been the case if you had shown the buyers the property and had accepted their offer from them directly. That’s because if you signed a sole agency agreement with your agent – which is the most common type of estate agent contract - while you can’t instruct another agent to sell your home, you are free to sell it privately without involving the agent you are tied to during the term of the contract. And if you do find your own buyer and don’t involve the agent in the transaction, you are also let off paying the agent’s commission (although you may be asked to cover the costs of getting the photographs and marketing literature done).</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Mon, 06 May 2019 06:00:08 Z Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Virginia Wallis 2019-05-06T06:00:08Z 2019-05-06 06:00 +00:00 2019-05-06 18:00 +12:00 COMMENT: Punishing landlords won’t solve crisis <p>The capital gains tax debate is over, but landlords are still being scapegoated as the focus turns to Healthy Homes, argues Auckland Property Investors Association vice president Peter Lewis&hellip;</p> Mon, 06 May 2019 07:02:00 +1200 2019-05-06 07:02 +12:00 2019-05-06 07:02 +12:00 KATE BARTELS Inside an architecturally designed outhouse in the middle of nowhere It's a one-way mirrored cube that fades into its surroundings. Sun, 05 May 2019 18:47:33 Z 2019-05-05 18:47 +00:00 2019-05-06 06:47 +12:00 Snooker player Steve Davis to make £500k profit if he sells Essex home Having bought the house almost a decade ago in the summer of 2010 for £735,000, he stands to make a cool ‘profit’ of £515,000 - but only if he finds a buyer willing to pay the current asking price. Sat, 04 May 2019 19:23:52 Z None 2019-05-04 19:23 +00:00 2019-05-05 07:23 +12:00 Four Hours: The magical, mystical sights and scents of Burbank’s Magnolia Park <p>As it stretches its way from Burbank to North Hollywood, Magnolia Boulevard is one of Burbank’s most popular “stop, park and walk” destinations.</p> <p>In recent years, as <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">store rents have increased</a>, some of the smaller, quirkier businesses have moved, but Magnolia Park’s small-town charm remains. The...</p> Sat, 04 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 Lisa Boone You can use Symmetry Ball for kettlebell-style swings, dynamic push-ups, lunges and deadlifts. Smart Body 2019-05-04 07:00 -07:00 2019-05-05 02:00 +12:00 She was still hung up on her ex. I fell for her anyway <p>I broke my own cardinal rule by asking Josie out during the holidays. (In college I had determined that any guy who asks a girl out in November comes across as desperate for someone to spend Christmas with.)</p> <p>But this was different. I was coming out of a crumbling, 10-year relationship, and adjusting...</p> Sat, 04 May 2019 05:00:00 -0700 David Bloom My single objective was to get her on the back of my chopper and take her to an annual spring motorcycle rally in La Puente. Joseph Daniel Fiedler / For The Times 2019-05-04 05:00 -07:00 2019-05-05 00:00 +12:00 Comfortable opulence: How to plump up the volume in your home with vibrant cushions    Ever since we first took to decorating our rooms and homes, it was generally understood that cushions were a sign of wealth: the more of them, the greater the opulence. Sat, 04 May 2019 07:44:22 Z None 2019-05-04 07:44 +00:00 2019-05-04 19:44 +12:00 MEI LENG WONG World Naked Gardening Day: Tips for staying warm and safe Planning to celebrate Naked Gardening Day? Don't ignore these safety tips from NZ Gardener magazine. Fri, 03 May 2019 16:30:00 Z 2019-05-03 16:30 +00:00 2019-05-04 04:30 +12:00 Property Homes Money Life and style Let’s move to Oswestry, Shropshire: chocolate-box pretty with skeletons in its past <p>It has seen battles aplenty and the scars are there, if you care to look</p><p><strong>What’s going for it?</strong> With its red-brick Georgian townhouses, porticoed coaching inns, award-winning bookshop and black-and-white half-timbered cottages, Oswestry looks harmless, as pretty as a picture, as if it had peeled itself off the lid of a box of fudge fancies. Don’t be fooled. We are in border country here, and any border country hides a sizable cupboard of skeletons in its past. Oswestry has seen battles aplenty, horrifying dismemberments (don’t even <em>think</em> of Googling the tale of poor Oswald of Northumbria’s arm), pillaging, and regular burnings to the ground. It’s a wonder there’s anything left of the place and its people. The scars are there, if you care to look, deeply incised in the landscape beneath the undergrowth, like the mammoth <a href="" title="">iron-age fort of Old Oswestry</a>, looming at the city limits (and <a href="" title="">home to Guinevere</a> – yes, <em>that</em> Guinevere), and <a href="" title="">Offa’s Dyke</a>, a few minutes further. This is a place that has been fought over for millennia. It’s happy in its slumber these days. Don’t mention the wars. Let sleeping dogs lie.</p><p><strong>The case against</strong> It’s a trek away from anywhere (but a lovely trek), and there’s no train station in town (though there is one nearby, at Gobowen). It suffers, like so many places, from a spot of town-centre blues, although there are plans afoot for revitalisation. Culture-wise, it could do with some rocket fuel; the less easily entertained and those with metropolitan habits should look elsewhere.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Fri, 03 May 2019 15:30:44 Z Photograph: David Toase/Getty Images Photograph: David Toase/Getty Images Tom Dyckhoff 2019-05-03T15:30:44Z 2019-05-03 15:30 +00:00 2019-05-04 03:30 +12:00 Here’s the recipe for L.A.’s famous ‘rose cocktail’ <p>The <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">South Coast Rose Society</a> always enjoys a little social hour before its monthly meetings, but when President Howard Feltham mentions the club’s famous rose cocktail, he isn’t offering something to drink — unless you’re a rose.</p> <p>The 75-member club is serious about growing healthy roses, Feltham...</p> Fri, 03 May 2019 08:00:00 -0700 Jeanette Marantos Roses like this &quot;Jump for Joy&quot; variety at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, do best when they're a little buzzed...with natural nutrients. Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times 2019-05-03 08:00 -07:00 2019-05-04 03:00 +12:00 The one gardening mistake you can’t afford to make <p>It’s warming up — at last! — so of course Southern California gardeners are eagerly roaming <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">plant</a><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> sales</a> and nurseries in search of <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">African basil</a>, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tomato seedlings</a> and a billion other flower or vegetable starts.</p> <p>But hold up, people.</p> <p>If you really want a great garden this year, set your seedlings...</p> Fri, 03 May 2019 08:00:00 -0700 Jeanette Marantos Yvonne Savio, 71, a master gardener, at her garden in Pasadena holding Mathiola species also known as Stock in soil. Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times 2019-05-03 08:00 -07:00 2019-05-04 03:00 +12:00 Renting to a disabled tenant can prove beneficial to landlords  Landlords are not allowed to discriminate against a disabled tenant and are required to make required changes to a property if the situation arises. Fri, 03 May 2019 14:23:55 Z Shutterstock / r.nagy 2019-05-03 14:23 +00:00 2019-05-04 02:23 +12:00 Tired of the hustle and bustle? To pastures new! Reap the rewards of the good life on a smallholding There are growing numbers changing their lifestyles and their homes to get closer to nature and give their families a taste of the countryside. Fri, 03 May 2019 13:54:40 Z None 2019-05-03 13:54 +00:00 2019-05-04 01:54 +12:00 Fitness essentials, from body wraps to wheeled headrests <p>Who would have thought self-massage, vibration, heat, foam rolling, hydration and even a kettlebell-type swing could be improved? Here’s a bumper crop of innovative new fitness products that conveniently and more effectively allow you to target your workouts and exercise rehab.</p> <p>Belle of the ball</p>... Fri, 03 May 2019 06:15:00 -0700 Roy M. Wallack You can use Symmetry Ball for kettlebell-style swings, dynamic push-ups, lunges and deadlifts. Smart Body 2019-05-03 06:15 -07:00 2019-05-04 01:15 +12:00 Explorer: Follow this stair master on L.A.'s tough and art-filled stairway walks <p>As we climbed higher and higher, stepping past painted red hearts and bright swatches of yellow, orange, pink, purple and green, I nervously glanced back at my sister and brother-in-law. Cindy and Chris are hardcore hikers who live for the back country. Spend their precious Saturday in the big...</p> Fri, 03 May 2019 06:00:00 -0700 Roy M. Wallack One set of the Swan Street Stairs in Silver Lake that are part of the 6.7-mile loop known as the Painted Stairways Tour. Roy M. Wallack 2019-05-03 06:00 -07:00 2019-05-04 01:00 +12:00 Money Property Houses out of the ordinary – in pictures <p>If you like quirkiness or interesting period structures, here are some homes from the Scottish Borders to Bath</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Fri, 03 May 2019 06:00:37 Z Photograph: Lee Ballard/William H Brown Photograph: Lee Ballard/William H Brown Jill Papworth 2019-05-03T06:00:37Z 2019-05-03 06:00 +00:00 2019-05-03 18:00 +12:00 MARY LOVELL-SMITH / HOMED What to do in the garden this weekend Grow more fruit! Now's the time to plant citrus trees and you might have room for a nut tree too. Fri, 03 May 2019 03:00:00 Z 2019-05-03 03:00 +00:00 2019-05-03 15:00 +12:00 Now THAT'S switching off! JANE FRYER meets the modern-day Robinson Crusoe who lives without power Mark Boyle hasn't switched on a light for three years. Nor has he boiled a kettle, bunged on a wash, turned on the oven, or the radio or made a phone call at his cabin on the west of Ireland. Thu, 02 May 2019 15:33:24 Z None 2019-05-02 15:33 +00:00 2019-05-03 03:33 +12:00 Slow Design: How Kalon Studios creates at its own pace <p>While bigger brands typically take their cues from the fashion industry by chasing trends and rushing collections to market, Los Angeles-based furniture and product designers Johannes Pauwen and Michaele Simmering of <a href="">Kalon Studios</a> take the opposite approach. Designing for how people live today...</p> Thu, 02 May 2019 08:00:00 -0700 Jessica Ritz Michaele Simmering and Johannes Pauwen, the husband-and-wife team behind design company Kalon Studios, in their home in Highland Park, which they use as a laboratory for their work. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times 2019-05-02 08:00 -07:00 2019-05-03 03:00 +12:00 As I approach retirement, I’m embracing a new mantra: So what? <p>For me, retirement will be a verb. In a couple more years, I’m going to find a small town in North Carolina and join the volunteer fire department.</p> <p>It’ll be a healthy outlet for my abundant testosterone, which can be suffocating at times. And I can save lives. And I can keep active, while making...</p> Thu, 02 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 Chris Erskine In retirement, I&rsquo;ll anchor a rowboat in the middle of a rural lake and take long naps in the Southern sun. If I forget to fish, so what? Chris Erskine / Los Angeles Times 2019-05-02 07:00 -07:00 2019-05-03 02:00 +12:00 How to help fireproof your home before the next big wildfire <p>As Los Angeles homeowners prepare to trim grass, weeds and trees for the annual <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">brush clearance inspections</a> in May and June, the L.A. County Fire Department’s Forestry Division advises moving <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">beyond standard procedures</a> when it comes to reducing wildfire risk.</p> <p>“The state is trying to pull away from...</p> Thu, 02 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 Lisa Boone I began to wonder what it would feel like to open the box. Casey Crisenbery / For The Times 2019-05-02 07:00 -07:00 2019-05-03 02:00 +12:00 The luxury €2m holiday homes in Cyprus that can bag a golden visa For super-rich golfers who want a holiday home, a new villa in Cyprus might fit the bill - and for some buyers these ones offer a big bonus: the opportunity of a EU citizenship. Thu, 02 May 2019 12:50:49 Z None 2019-05-02 12:50 +00:00 2019-05-03 00:50 +12:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b56a1f7562fa765b75a835d What are NZ employers' responsibilities around asbestos? There are procedures for managing workplace asbestos you may be unaware of, including employer responsibilities to staff and customers. Read more here. Thu, 02 May 2019 02:42:30 Z Emily Fly <p class="">As an employer in New Zealand, you’re required to follow certain regulations to ensure the safety of your employees. Adequate rest breaks and OHS training are just two requirements of national law to mitigate the risk of injury or harm to workers’ health.</p><p class="">On top of this, you’re also responsible for ensuring your staff have a safe environment to work in. For NZ employers, managing asbestos in your commercial outlet is essential to meeting government legislation on safe working conditions.</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p><h2><strong>What is the legislation around managing asbestos?&nbsp;</strong></h2><p class="">Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015,<strong> anyone operating a commercial business or undertaking</strong> (which covers charity-organisation events and other non-commercial operations) is <strong>responsible for providing a safe working environment for all employees</strong>. As such, business owners must make certain any risk to employee health is well-managed.</p><p class="">Part of this responsibility is defined in The Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016. This laid out employers’ asbestos responsibilities as they pertain to achieving a safe workplace. It summates that <strong>all business owners aware of the presence of asbestos in their building should, as of April 2018, have a management strategy in place</strong> and be willing to take any opportunities to reduce the risk of airborne contamination.</p><p class="">This doesn’t necessarily mean employers need to undertake time-consuming<strong> </strong><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>asbestos removal</strong></a>. If it’s safer and more practical to manage the presence of asbestos with <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>encapsulation treatment</strong></a> - or by providing protective clothing to employees - business owners may choose this option. However, any work done <strong>must be completed by a certified professional</strong>, to ensure any risk of respiratory issues for your staff is minimised.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="600x992" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="legislation.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5cc925c36e9a7f5bf2d91434" data-type="image" src="" /> <p class="">Businesses that fail to comply with this ruling can be <strong>at risk of significant penalties</strong>. This can be a fine (up to $50,000 for businesses and $10,000 for individuals), restrictions on your business operations, or potentially a jail sentence if you’re proven to be deliberately negligent in your responsibility to address airborne asbestos fibres.</p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true" class=""></p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="600x900" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="business-responsibility.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5cc91a4bb208fcaf5a6cec4d" data-type="image" src="" /> <h2><strong>Allocating commercial responsibility for asbestos management</strong></h2><p class="">In some scenarios, it may be unclear who bears responsibility for maintaining workplace safety. Examples include:</p><ul data-rte-list="default"><li><p class="">A landlord/commercial tenant relationship.</p></li><li><p class="">Shared commercial outlets such as airports or multi-lease spaces.</p></li></ul><p class="">Under New Zealand law, landlords cannot contract themselves out of responsibility for managing and treating asbestos in any commercial operation occurring on their property. They can, however, negotiate with leaseholders as to the details of how the asbestos is managed. For example, a long-standing commercial tenant could be charged with conducting an extensive <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>asbestos survey</strong></a> during their lease.</p><p class="">If any asbestos is discovered, the responsibility for managing it could then pass to the landlord. While there are numerous scenarios where this could apply, all parties - landowners and business owners under tenancy - are responsible for the health and safety of all workers on site, regardless of their overall involvement in the day-to-day matters of the business. Consequently, all parties should be diligent in identifying whether asbestos is present in their structure, and treating it appropriately with the help of certified professionals.</p><h2><strong>How do I know if my commercial property has asbestos?</strong></h2><p class="">Asbestos was a commonly used building material for decades, and only become illegal in the late 1980s – as such, almost any modern business could have asbestos in their commercial property. While exposure to asbestos is most common in the construction industry - especially in projects that involve demolishing or refurbishing older structures - business owners cannot be certain there is no threat to themselves and their employees from asbestos deterioration. The only way to know for sure is to seek professional guidance on <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>asbestos testing</strong></a> and management.</p><p class="">To determine if your commercial outlet has asbestos, and to remain compliant with workplace safety laws, you should:</p><ul data-rte-list="default"><li><p class=""><strong>Check building plans</strong> or maintenance records to see if there is any mention of asbestos-removal work.</p></li></ul><ul data-rte-list="default"><li><p class="">If these records aren’t available to you, <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>carefully take a sample</strong></a><strong> </strong>of your building material and send it away for expert asbestos testing.</p></li><li><p class="">If you discover that you do have asbestos in your building, it’s vital you meet your <strong>asbestos-management responsibilities</strong> by taking appropriate steps to manage or remove it as soon as possible.</p></li></ul><p class="">Alternatively, if you want to leave managing asbestos on your commercial property to the professionals, reach out to our asbestos treatment team today. We at Chemcare are trusted industry experts, and our team will be more than happy to help you take the first steps to a safer workplace environment.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="600x900" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="Chemcare-report.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5cc92458ec009a0001168ed7" data-type="image" src="" /> What are NZ employers' responsibilities around asbestos? 2019-05-02 02:42 +00:00 2019-05-02 14:42 +12:00 Shopping for ceramics in Ojai with Susie Crippen <p>Susie Crippen doesn’t like anything to be too perfect. When she started making ceramics, she created a couple of pieces where she pulled too much or pushed too hard — “technically mistakes,” she says. So she “just squished them” then glazed and fired them anyway. Now she displays these favorite...</p> Wed, 01 May 2019 10:00:00 -0700 Martha McCully &quot;A good coffee cup has to be thick enough to not burn your hands when you hold it,&quot; says Susie Crippen. Here she cradles a ceramic mug by Michaela Hayes, for sale at Cattywampus Crafts in Ojai ($38). Martha McCully 2019-05-01 10:00 -07:00 2019-05-02 05:00 +12:00 Do I really have to make an offer in excess of? What estate agent terms mean Often it's not enough just to have a simple asking price, other terms include phrases such as 'offers in excess of', 'guide price' and 'price on application'. But what do these actually mean? Wed, 01 May 2019 09:13:44 Z Gill Allen/REX/Shutterstock 2019-05-01 09:13 +00:00 2019-05-01 21:13 +12:00 House prices Housing market Property Nationwide UK news Money Business First-time buyers benefit from weak house price growth <p>UK prices grew by less than 1% for fifth month in a row in April, says Nationwide.</p><p>The housing market tipped further in favour of <a href="">first-time buyers</a> as prices grew by less than 1% for the fifth month in a row in April, according to the UK’s largest building society, Nationwide.</p><p>The overall housing market across Britain remains subdued, according to Nationwide’s monthly house price index, with consumer confidence having weakened since the start of the year and the number of new buyer inquiries still relatively low.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="">UK house price growth picks up but market still subdued - business live</a> </p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Wed, 01 May 2019 08:11:06 Z Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Rob Davies 2019-05-01T08:11:06Z 2019-05-01 08:11 +00:00 2019-05-01 20:11 +12:00 Home Improvement DIY outdoor spaces DIY Backyard Fire Pit: Build It in Just 7 Easy Steps The perfect backdrop for outdoor fun is closer than you think, thanks to our step-by-step instructions. Mon, 29 Apr 2019 13:55:19 Z Jamie Birdwell-Branson <p>Turn your backyard into a cozy camp spot by making your own fire pit. This DIY project is easy to complete, and you'll be making s'mores around the fire in no time.</p> <p><iframe style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" src=";show_text=0&amp;width=600" width="600" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"><span data-mce-type="bookmark" style="display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;" class="mce_SELRES_start"></span><span data-mce-type="bookmark" style="display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;" class="mce_SELRES_start"></span><span data-mce-type="bookmark" style="display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;" class="mce_SELRES_start"></span><span data-mce-type="bookmark" style="display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;" class="mce_SELRES_start"></span></iframe></p> <h2>Get ready</h2> <p>Before you begin building, consult your local fire code to see if fire pits are allowed in your city and, if so, how far away the fire pit has to be from a structure.</p> <p>Then, gather your supplies:</p> <ul> <li>Bricks for the fire pit wall</li> <li>Gravel</li> <li>Twine or string</li> <li>Tape measure</li> <li>Stake</li> <li>Large shovel</li> <li>Trowel</li> <li>Tamp</li> <li>Level</li> </ul> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-219154 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="516" /></p> <p>When purchasing bricks for the fire pit wall, go for something sturdy like retaining wall bricks or concrete pavers. Some home improvement stores even carry bricks specifically designed for fire pits. Use a layer of firebricks, which have a higher heat resistance, on the inner layer of the fire pit as an extra safety measure.</p> <p>Now that you have all your supplies and you&#8217;ve checked your local fire code, you&#8217;re ready to build!</p> <h2>1. Create a circle</h2> <p>Pick a spot for your fire pit (ensuring that it is located a safe distance from any structures, bushes or trees) and insert a stake in the ground where the center of the pit will be.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-219155" src="" alt="" width="800" height="800" /></p> <p>Tie one end of the string or twine to the stake and measure how wide you want your circle to be.</p> <p>Typically, a fire pit has a diameter of about 4-5 feet. Cut the string and tie the other end to the handle of a trowel. With the string or twine taut, drag the sharp end of the trowel around in a circle, creating a line in the grass.</p> <h2>2. Shovel out the grass</h2> <p>Using a large shovel, dig out the grass inside the circle.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-219161" src="" alt="" width="800" height="800" /></p> <p>For safety purposes, the hole for a fire pit should be about 6-12 inches deep. Be sure to call 811 before you start digging to ensure there are no utility lines buried under the spot you&#8217;ve chosen.</p> <h2>3. Tamp down the dirt</h2> <p>If you don't have a tamp, you can just use the bottom of your shovel.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-219165" src="" alt="" width="800" height="800" /></p> <h2>4. Make sure the circle is level</h2> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-219167" src="" alt="" width="800" height="800" /></p> <p>Get down on the ground with your level to ensure that the surface is ready for the bricks. Keep making small adjustments until it's completely level.</p> <h2>5. Add gravel</h2> <p>Put a pretty thick layer of gravel in the fire pit (at least a couple of inches). Spread the gravel around evenly.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-219169" src="" alt="" width="800" height="800" /></p> <h2>6. Arrange the bricks</h2> <p>After you've spread the gravel around, arrange your bricks in a circle and stack them in layers until the fire pit wall is at least 12 inches tall.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-219171" src="" alt="" width="800" height="800" /></p> <p>For extra safety, you have the option to put an inner layer of firebricks. Though you don't need to use mortar if the bricks are heavy enough to make a sturdy stack, you can use an outdoor fire-resistant mortar between the bricks for extra stability.</p> <h2>7. Relax and enjoy!</h2> <p>Gather a couple of Adirondack chairs, some firewood, a few friends and campfire treats to get full use out of your new fire pit.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-219173" src="" alt="" width="800" height="800" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Related</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">9 Tips for Preparing a Fabulous Flower Bed</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">5 Tips for Spring Lawn Prep</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">With This DIY Sporting Goods Catch-All, Game Day Is No Sweat</a></li> </ul> <p>Originally published July 19, 2017.</p> 31 2019-04-29 13:55 +00:00 2019-04-30 01:55 +12:00 Renting property Capital gains tax Buying to let Mortgages Property Money UK news Tax I'm confused about renting and changes to capital gains tax <p>I’m not sure whether now would be a good time to sell the house I’ve been renting out</p><p><strong>Q</strong> I’m confused about the proposed changes in the capital gains tax system for people selling their home when it has been rented out. I’m unsure if it would be wise for me to sell my house now as my fixed-rate mortgage expires in July 2019. My initial plan was to go with a new fixed-rate mortgage for two years (starting July 2019) whilst I retrain in a new career and keep the property let out for the duration. However, I have recently read about the changes to the capital gains tax system which may mean that I could end up paying a large sum of tax when I come to sell my house. So I’m wondering if I should sell my house now to avoid this. I am not attracted to the idea of purchasing property in the area where I’ll be retraining and so if I were to sell I would not be looking to buy another property for at least two years.</p><p>I bought my current house in December 2009 for £215,000. I lived in it until April 2016 when I moved out and it has been let since. Around this time the house next door sold for £296,000. I have had a rough valuation by an estate agent who said that my property should fetch around £330,000 in the current market. Two houses very similar to mine have been sold within a week of going on the market so hopefully I should be able to sell quite quickly if I do decide to sell. My outstanding mortgage is around £87,000 and I receive £1,200 a month rent (before tax).<br><strong>LM</strong></p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Mon, 29 Apr 2019 06:00:44 Z Photograph: Alamy Photograph: Alamy Virginia Wallis 2019-04-29T06:00:44Z 2019-04-29 06:00 +00:00 2019-04-29 18:00 +12:00 JACK HOBBS / NZ GARDENER Save these natives - plant them in your garden More than 80 per cent of our natives occur nowhere else in the world. If we lose them, so does the planet. Mon, 29 Apr 2019 02:17:38 Z 2019-04-29 02:17 +00:00 2019-04-29 14:17 +12:00 JACK HOBBS / NZ GARDENER Fabulous ferns worth growing About 40 per cent of these grow nowhere else in the world. Sun, 28 Apr 2019 21:46:57 Z 2019-04-28 21:46 +00:00 2019-04-29 09:46 +12:00 Grand Designs Isle of Wight modern house has price cut by £1M Owners Bram and Lisa Vis took the drastic step after the Isle of Wight property failed to sell, reducing the price from £3.95million to £2.99million in the last six months. Sun, 28 Apr 2019 16:51:21 Z None 2019-04-28 16:51 +00:00 2019-04-29 04:51 +12:00 I didn’t want to marry him. Or did I? <p>My grandmother gave me a box that she told me not to open until my wedding day. She died the following year, and I came home from college for her funeral. I had been taking a women’s history class at the time and learned that marriage was rooted in a custom in which a man transfers ownership of...</p> Sat, 27 Apr 2019 06:30:00 -0700 Dufflyn Lammers I began to wonder what it would feel like to open the box. Casey Crisenbery / For The Times 2019-04-27 06:30 -07:00 2019-04-28 01:30 +12:00 Camplify lets you rent caravans and motorhomes and owners profit Britons enjoy 10m caravan holidays a year and life on the road has been given a trendy makeover by the Van Life movement. Now Camplify is tapping into that by letting people rent or hire out campers. Sat, 27 Apr 2019 12:17:09 Z None 2019-04-27 12:17 +00:00 2019-04-28 00:17 +12:00 COMMENT: Why Takapuna is worth a look <p>It&rsquo;s no surprise that new REINZ data shows Takapuna&rsquo;s median house price has climbed 30% over the past year, writes Takapuna Beach Association chief executive Terence Harpur.</p> Sat, 27 Apr 2019 11:49:00 +1200 2019-04-27 11:49 +12:00 2019-04-27 11:49 +12:00 Property Homes Money Life and style Let’s move to Ripon, North Yorkshire: where all seems right in the world <p>There’s a flawless cityscape, damn fine tearooms and even an ancient hornblower</p><p><strong>What’s going for it?</strong> One can snigger at local customs – you know, the Ye Olde Knee-Painting Ceremony of Nuneaton, that kind of thing. But I think there’s something just fabulous about <a href="" title="">Ripon’s ancient hornblower</a>, who blows his horn (stop sniggering at the back) at the four corners of the obelisk in the Market Square, every night at 9pm. First of all, someone still bothers to blow a horn four times <em>every night</em>, even when it’s throwing it down, even when there’s something good on the telly. Second, I do love a custom that takes us back to a distant past, when much of the country was ruled by Vikings and Danes. Alfred the Great is said to have given the horn to the people of Ripon to be blown for reassurance that no pesky Vikings were lurking, poised to pillage. These days the horn has <a href="" title="">its own website</a>, YouTube videos and everything. It says much about this handsome, independent city of ancient history, modern twists, a flawless cityscape and damn fine tearooms. All seems right in the world here under the bunting on Kirkgate, which, considering all is very much not right in the world, is quite an achievement. One thing’s for sure: when the hornblower stops blowing, the end is nigh.</p><p><strong>The case against</strong> Some might find it a bit dull. There’s local culture aplenty, but not enough to keep the cool cats among you satisfied. Where do you think this is, Halifax?</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Fri, 26 Apr 2019 15:30:24 Z Photograph: Richard Peel/Alamy Stock Photo/Alamy Stock Photo Photograph: Richard Peel/Alamy Stock Photo/Alamy Stock Photo Tom Dyckhoff 2019-04-26T15:30:24Z 2019-04-26 15:30 +00:00 2019-04-27 03:30 +12:00 Are prefabs the homes of the future? Although modular homes need the same groundwork to connect to gas, electricity and water as traditional homes, they can be put together in a week, saving a third of the build time overall. Fri, 26 Apr 2019 12:17:34 Z None 2019-04-26 12:17 +00:00 2019-04-27 00:17 +12:00 Property Money Mortgages Blooming wonders: five of the best wisteria-clad homes <p>From a Grade II-listed house in Shropshire to a hunting lodge in London, here are some floral picks</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Fri, 26 Apr 2019 06:00:20 Z Photograph: Winkworth Photograph: Winkworth Jill Papworth 2019-04-26T06:00:20Z 2019-04-26 06:00 +00:00 2019-04-26 18:00 +12:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b627dc96d2a73e7fbb4e733 How does asbestos affect the environment? The negative impact of airborne asbestos contamination on human health is well-documented - what isn’t is the fibres’ other effects on the external environment. Fri, 26 Apr 2019 02:00:17 Z Emily Fly <p class=""><strong>&nbsp;</strong>The negative impact of airborne asbestos contamination on human health is now well-documented - but it hasn’t always been. For decades it was a go-to building material in New Zealand’s construction industry, with the fibrous panels useful for their fire-resistance and durability. These positives features meant asbestos was used frequently; as part of walls, ceilings, and internal and external gutters. As such, the material can still be found in commercial, industrial and residential buildings nationwide despite asbestos’ ban as a construction material nationwide over 30 years ago.</p><p class="">With asbestos so widely used in construction for so long, there is a chance your home or business may be at risk. This risk goes beyond just compromising indoor air quality - asbestos affects the environment around us in a number of ways. Here’s a breakdown of how <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>asbestos contamination</strong></a> can impact the external environment.</p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true" class=""></p><h2><strong>Compromising soil quality </strong></h2><p class="">Asbestos can be found naturally as a silicate substance in rocks and soil worldwide. Because of this, asbestos doesn’t generally contribute to soil degradation, and has shown to have no obvious effect on plant or animal life underground. Indeed, the fibres can be safely contained underground to reduce the risk to humans. However, if excess <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>asbestos dust</strong></a> builds up in one place due to construction activity or illegal dumping, it can mean that the soil, once disturbed, will throw up dangerous clouds into the air.</p><p class="">Because asbestos fibres are so small and light, dust often settles as a layer on top of the ground. If there is significant construction or renovation activity in the surrounding area, this is even more likely. These dust particles can then be carried by the wind further and further away from the original site, increasing overall environmental impact and putting the respiratory health of humans at unnecessary risk. Asbestos buildup in soil around a property can be safely managed by ensuring any asbestos material removed is properly disposed of, and safety gear - such as overalls and respirators - are used at all times.&nbsp;</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="600x693" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="soil-testing.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5cc245fefa0d60104e005629" data-type="image" src="" /> &nbsp; <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="600x693" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="water-quality.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5cc25540eef1a11a2be515ac" data-type="image" src="" /> <h2><strong>Deteriorating water quality </strong></h2><p class="">Asbestos wasn’t just used as a material for constructing properties nationwide - it was also used to reinforce cement pipes and drainage systems, both inside and outside of buildings. While asbestos proved useful for increasing the durability of concrete, its use also exposed water quality to risk of contamination. Fibre deterioration over time can be hastened by fast-flowing water, meaning asbestos dust can leech into the water supply of your building and be ingested during bathing, cleaning, or drinking.&nbsp;</p><p class="">A further issue with asbestos contaminating water quality is its low biodegrading rate. Because these fibres don’t break down quickly, they can stay in your system for a long time once consumed. It also means fibre particles can spread over vast distances and contaminate lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water, which can eventually contribute to asbestos-fibre buildup in soil.</p><h2>&nbsp;<strong>Impact on pet and wildlife health</strong></h2><p class="">Generally, there is very little research on the long-term impact of asbestos contamination to environmental wildlife. However, airborne fibres are proven to contribute toward respiratory problems, so it’s reasonable to assume it will have a similar effect on animals around us.</p><p class="">Indoors, asbestos deterioration could undoubtedly affect your pet’s health. Experts claim it can take up to 50 years after asbestos exposure for mesothelioma and lung cancer to develop in humans, while the eight-year mark is more common in household pets. Symptoms of potential asbestos contamination include abnormal breathlessness, weight loss, and vomiting. If these problems persist, take your pet to a vet for a check-up. Also, try identifying the source of any asbestos-fibre inhalation, especially in your own home, to reduce your own risk of repository problems.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="729x800" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="asbestos-nature.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5cc2599f24a694882d73154a" data-type="image" src="" /> <p class="">Asbestos can also harm native birds and other surrounding wildlife, especially if the material is illegally dumped. The risk of animals interacting with asbestos and breaking it down further is likely, so any material removed from your property needs to be treated and removed by professionals to reduce potential deterioration.<br>&nbsp;</p><h2><strong>Need expert asbestos detection help?</strong></h2><p class="">With this potential impact in mind, it’s important that everyone bands together to help identify, assess, and manage the environmental damage asbestos can do. Keeping New Zealand clean and safe is everyone’s job - so if you suspect your property may have asbestos deteriorating into the environment, or you identify fibrous material that hasn’t been properly disposed of, reach out to experts in <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>asbestos treatment</strong></a> and removal.&nbsp;</p><p class="">The Chemcare team is focussed on transparency and delivering the safest outcomes for all parties. This is partly thanks to our years of experience and partly because we’re good, everyday Kiwis like you, committed to keeping Aotearoa’s environment clean and safe. To help protect our environment from asbestos contamination, contact Chemcare today.</p> How does asbestos affect the environment? 2019-04-26 02:00 +00:00 2019-04-26 14:00 +12:00 Liverpool and Glasgow see biggest house price increases, reveals Zoopla Liverpool saw the average price of a home rise 5.7%, followed by Leicester at 5.3% and Manchester at 5.1%, according to latest Zoopla data. Thu, 25 Apr 2019 12:20:19 Z None 2019-04-25 12:20 +00:00 2019-04-26 00:20 +12:00 The price of classic English country homes revealed Manor houses top the list of most expensive country and village homes at an average price of £1,431,944, while the cheapest way into quintessential country life is cottage at £606,886. Thu, 25 Apr 2019 08:24:43 Z None 2019-04-25 08:24 +00:00 2019-04-25 20:24 +12:00 Would you move house to support your children’s career? This Olympic ski racer did. Four-time Olympic ski racer Emma Carrick-Anderson and her husband former English ski champion Phil Smith supported their children's careers by moving house. Tue, 23 Apr 2019 09:44:47 Z None 2019-04-23 09:44 +00:00 2019-04-23 21:44 +12:00 Isas Property Money Savings If I inherit my mum's house will I be able to use my lifetime Isa? <p>I could end up losing 25% of it or having to leave my savings there until after I retire</p><p><strong>Q</strong> I’m single, earn around £20,000 a year at age 34 I have a pension pot which is currently worth £15,000. I want to save for my retirement and eventually buy a house. </p><p>I recently opened a lifetime Isa, as I know they can help me to buy a house although so far I’ve only put in £100.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Mon, 22 Apr 2019 06:00:16 Z Photograph: Alamy Photograph: Alamy Virginia Wallis 2019-04-22T06:00:16Z 2019-04-22 06:00 +00:00 2019-04-22 18:00 +12:00 Property Money Land rights Environment Aristocracy Society Housing market Real estate Housing Communities Broken land ownership system fuels inequality | Letters The unequal distribution of land has created serious problems in housing provision and wider society, say readers<p>The revelation that half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population (<a href="" title="">Report</a>, 18 April) is a stark example of how broken our archaic system of land ownership is. This inequality is a sign of the wider inequalities in British society, but also has a more immediate impact: seriously exacerbating the housing crisis. The high cost of land for new homes, and lack of transparency around ownership, are some of the key causes of this national emergency. An acre of land becomes up to 275 times more expensive when it is granted planning permission for new houses. This means developers are incentivised to build high-cost luxury housing to recoup their costs and often try to minimise their affordable housing contributions.</p><p>The government should change the law to rectify this, allowing land to be sold more quickly and for what it is actually worth, rather than the vastly inflated sums it can command. This would allow public bodies and not-for-profit housing associations, which build the majority of affordable housing in the UK, to afford land to build genuinely affordable homes. If we want to solve the housing crisis, we must take aim at our broken land market.<br><strong>James Prestwich</strong><br><em>Head of policy, National Housing Federation</em></p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Sun, 21 Apr 2019 16:45:06 Z Photograph: Alamy Photograph: Alamy Letters 2019-04-21T16:45:06Z 2019-04-21 16:45 +00:00 2019-04-22 04:45 +12:00 Could living on a canal boat help you get onto property ladder? A second-hand 40ft narrowboat might cost about £25,000 – almost a tenth of the price of an average £240,000 bricks-and-mortar home. Toby (pictured) bought a 49-foot barge. Sun, 21 Apr 2019 10:06:54 Z Ben Lack Photography Ltd 2019-04-21 10:06 +00:00 2019-04-21 22:06 +12:00 Number of homes 'earning' more than owners falls, says Halifax    Homeowners in many parts of the country have previously seen the value of their property increase by more than the amount they can earn by going to work. But this is no longer the case in many places. Sat, 20 Apr 2019 11:43:06 Z Shutterstock / Gordon Bell 2019-04-20 11:43 +00:00 2019-04-20 23:43 +12:00 Property Homes Money Life and style Let’s move to Ely, Cambridgeshire: still haunted by its past <p>‘I can imagine a rather fabulous Nordic-noir inspired TV detective series being set there’</p><p><strong>What’s going for it?</strong> It’s an odd place, Ely. For a start they have an annual eel-throwing competition on <a href="" title="">Eel Day</a>. (That’s toy eels, animal lovers.) But that makes it all the weirder. I can imagine a rather fabulous Nordic-noir-inspired TV detective series being set there, under the flat, relentless Fen skies – possibly set in the 15th-century (Ely’s heyday); possibly starring Paddy Considine as a monk detective, with issues of course. (You can have that idea for free, scriptwriters.) It’s the city’s uncanny combination of isolation and exposure, brought on by its geography and history: all by itself high up on an island of clay, surrounded by marshes and miasmas. What an astonishing spot it must have been in medieval times, with its fantastic cathedral newly completed, the Ship of the Fens, and hooded clergy dominating this isolated, lonely place of gothic arches and misericords, eel traders and clay potters. Executive estates may now cling to the island, tour buses come to gawp at the cathedral, and Cambridge is only 15 minutes away on the train, but its intense past seems seeped into the stones, haunting the place centuries on.</p><p><strong>The case against</strong> Its unique sense of place won’t be for everyone. It remains, despite good train links, decent local culture and community, relatively alone, quiet and small.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Fri, 19 Apr 2019 15:30:11 Z Photograph: Rod Edwards/Alamy Stock Photo/Alamy Stock Photo Photograph: Rod Edwards/Alamy Stock Photo/Alamy Stock Photo Tom Dyckhoff 2019-04-19T15:30:11Z 2019-04-19 15:30 +00:00 2019-04-20 03:30 +12:00 Housing Communities Society Housing market Real estate Business Renting property Property Money Section 21 and why landlords will still hold all the keys in housing | Letters <strong>SP Chakravarty </strong>says the market is inherently rigged against renters, <strong>David Griffiths </strong>wants court procedures reformed and <strong>Rev Paul Nicolson </strong>says fighting evictions will be a challenge<p>You are too kind in your view of the consultation paper (<a href="" title="">Editorial: Better protections for ‘generation rent’ are welcome – but only a start</a>, 17 April). It is not a start. It is worse. It is an obfuscation of the source of the problem: the tax-benefit system is not neutral between home ownership and rental. Renters are abandoned in a rigged market at the mercy of unscrupulous landlords willing to take advantage of a severe shortage of accommodation. The rewards from rule-breaking are higher for landlords, as you point out, than any penalty that might be incurred through bad behaviour.</p><p>The underlying problem is housing finance. The paper is silent on that. Interest rates and lending rules, as a matter of policy, reward leveraged purchases by those lucky enough to be able to borrow. This is especially so because the government does not challenge inflationary expectations in housing investment. This would require articulating a credible programme for increasing supply, including social housing. That would then remove any financial incentive for landlords to evict tenants at whim.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Thu, 18 Apr 2019 16:51:17 Z Photograph: Brian Jackson/Alamy Stock Photo/Alamy Stock Photo Photograph: Brian Jackson/Alamy Stock Photo/Alamy Stock Photo Letters 2019-04-18T16:51:17Z 2019-04-18 16:51 +00:00 2019-04-19 04:51 +12:00 Little Pipe Cay: Most expensive overseas property for sale on Rightmove You'll need £65million if you fancy buying this private island in the Bahamas, which is the most expensive property for sale on the property website Rightmove. Thu, 18 Apr 2019 08:49:55 Z None 2019-04-18 08:49 +00:00 2019-04-18 20:49 +12:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b6b7fec70a6ad2bbcd6dac2 What first home buyers need to know about asbestos Buying your first home can be stressful even without asbestos concerns. To help make it easier we’ve run through everything you need to know about asbestos. Wed, 17 Apr 2019 22:49:06 Z Emily Fly <p>Asbestos is hiding in thousands of New Zealand properties. It can be incredibly difficult to spot and even your building inspector may miss its presence behind walls, below the floor or inside the ceiling. Unfortunately, this means you could purchase a home containing asbestos without even realising it.</p><p>First-home buyers have 101 things to worry about, so details often get missed. Below, we’ve run through everything you need to know about asbestos to ensure you don’t run into any surprises after you’ve signed your sale and purchase.</p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><h2><strong>Why should I worry about asbestos when buying?</strong></h2><p>The term asbestos describes a group of naturally occuring minerals made up of long, thin fibres. When combined with other materials, asbestos is durable, fireproof, insulative and extremely cost effective, making it perfect for building and insulation. It was widely used in home construction from the early 1940s to the late ‘80s and only recently banned entirely.</p><p>If you’re buying a property built within that period, asbestos should be of concern. When the material is disturbed, it releases tiny fibres into the air which can lodge deep in your lungs and cause life threatening illnesses, such as: asbestosis, <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>mesothelioma</strong></a> and lung cancer.</p><p>It’s been dubbed <strong>the silent killer</strong>, and is the leading cause of workplace deaths in New Zealand, mainly amongst tradespeople who accidentally disturb the fibre in homes and commercial buildings.</p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="400x600" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="Assessment.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5cb556adeef1a12f7ced6b70" data-type="image" src="" /> <h2><strong>What if I end up with a home containing asbestos?</strong></h2><p>If a property contains asbestos it’s usually best avoided. Apart from the obvious health risks, these are the reasons why you should steer clear:</p><ul data-rte-list="default"><li><p><strong>Can hurt a home’s resale value: </strong>A property containing asbestos may be more difficult to sell and you may have to reduce the price.</p></li><li><p><strong>Can make renovating difficult: </strong>If you purchase a home then find it contains asbestos, renovating may be difficult. Before you do so, you may have to conduct a survey on your property and the asbestos removed or encapsulated by a licensed professional.</p></li><li><p><strong>Removing asbestos yourself is risky: </strong>Most problems can be solved with a DIY attitude and a little know-how. Managing asbestos is a little more complicated. You’re legally allowed to remove under 10 sqm of asbestos without a license provided it’s in good condition, however, due to the risk the material can pose it’s always best to call in the professionals.</p></li></ul><p>Asbestos can almost always be managed and removed - it just takes money and time. If, like most first-home buyers, you’re short on both, it’s always best to conduct <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>asbestos testing</strong></a> as part of your due diligence.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="1200x142" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="DANGER-TAPE.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5cb582b9eef1a12f7cee7af1" data-type="image" src="" /> <h2><strong>How can I check if a property contains asbestos?</strong></h2><p>It may be difficult to spot asbestos yourself, but a qualified professional will have no trouble finding the fibre - by surveying the property then taking samples and having them analysed by a lab certified in asbestos testing.</p><p>After testing has been done, you’ll receive a report detailing the location and condition of all asbestos in the home, as well as a plan to manage or remove it.</p><ul data-rte-list="default"><li><p><strong>Best case scenario:</strong> you find there is no asbestos in the home and can continue with your purchase with peace of mind.</p></li><li><p><strong>Worst case scenario:</strong> the report discovers asbestos throughout the home and you either dodge an expensive bullet or factor the <a href=""><strong>cost of removing as</strong></a><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>besto</strong></a><a href=""><strong>s</strong></a> into your purchase.</p></li></ul><p>You may even be able to use the presence of asbestos to your advantage and negotiate a lower purchase price.</p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true"></p><h2><strong>Solving the problem with asbestos testing and removal</strong></h2><p>Asbestos won’t be a huge problem when buying your first home as long as you’re fully aware of the extent and condition of the fibre. With that knowledge you can easily discover how much it’ll cost to remove or manage, and either build the expense into your budget or avoid the property entirely.&nbsp;</p><p>If you’re house hunting right now don’t risk buying an asbestos-riddled money hole. <a href=""><strong>Get in touch</strong></a> with the expert team here at Chemcare Auckland for help and advice on all things asbestos, before during and after your purchase.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="727x600" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="happy-homeowners.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5cb555fffa0d60119509df5f" data-type="image" src="" /> &nbsp; What first home buyers need to know about asbestos 2019-04-17 22:49 +00:00 2019-04-18 10:49 +12:00 Housing market House prices Property London Business Inflation Money Economics Brexit UK news Real estate House prices rise at slowest rate in six years as Brexit hits growth <p>London experiences biggest slump in a decade but Midlands and north-west race ahead</p><p>House prices across Britain have increased at their slowest rate for more than six years, with London experiencing its biggest slump in a decade as Brexit concerns drag on growth.</p><p>The <a href="">Office for National Statistics</a> said average house prices in the UK rose by 0.6% in the year to February, the lowest rate of growth since September 2012, and down from 1.7% in January.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="">UK property market ‘in line for summer Brexit relief rally’</a> </p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Wed, 17 Apr 2019 16:29:57 Z Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Richard Partington 2019-04-17T16:29:57Z 2019-04-17 16:29 +00:00 2019-04-18 04:29 +12:00 Unique Homes unique homes This Tiny Home Is Ready for Outer Space The shape is inspired by a spacecraft, making this home truly out of this world. Wed, 17 Apr 2019 13:29:37 Z Lindsay Cohen <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ground control to Major Tom: Here's a home unlike any other we've seen.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A lifelong architect went intergalactic to find inspiration for one of his latest designs: a tiny home shaped like </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">a lunar lander</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-226288" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nestled on the banks of the Columbia River in central Washington, the roughly 250-square-foot home is hexagon-shaped, perched nearly 9 feet above the ground on three massive steel beams.</span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-226287" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Inside, earthlings are greeted by an open floor plan. A breakfast nook has a porthole-shaped window overlooking the river and the hillside; a kitchen with stainless steel appliances provides space to cook up </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">a feast for an astronaut</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-226277" src="" alt="" width="800" height="450" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A large geodesic dome skylight showers the room with sunlight.</span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-226278" src="" alt="" width="800" height="450" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Just off the bathroom, a deep-blue sink and cerulean-colored mirror have a Mid-Century Modern feel (appropriate, considering </span><a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer"><span style="font-weight: 400;">humans first walked on the moon in 1969</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">).</span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-226279" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The bedroom sits below a small ladder and can comfortably sleep two people. </span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-226280" src="" alt="" width="800" height="450" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Upstairs, there's enough room for a small outdoor deck where you can gaze at area wildlife, including eagles and lynxes.</span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-226276" src="" alt="" width="800" height="450" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If the space reminds you of the tiny well-intentioned living quarters of a boat, it's no coincidence. The lunar lander's owner and designer, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer">Kurt Hughes</a>, is a boat designer by trade.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He translated his three decades of boat building to home building - i</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">n fact, the wooden table in the dining nook is recycled from the Hughes' first sailboat.</span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-226283" src="" alt="" width="800" height="800" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Beam us up, Scotty.</span></p> <p><em>Photos by Zillow&#8217;s Marcus Ricci.</em></p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Hibernate Luxuriously in This 5,572-Square-Foot Cave Mansion</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">This Remarkable Home Is Anything but Square</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Sleep Under the Stars in This Tiny Cabin Near a National Park</a></li> </ul> <h6><em>Originally published May 2018.</em></h6> 163 2019-04-17 13:29 +00:00 2019-04-18 01:29 +12:00 Housing Communities Social housing Mental health Homelessness Society Renting property Housing market Twitter Sky News TV news Media Why I went viral on Twitter after talking about being evicted on Sky News | Kirsty Archer <p>The patronising interviewer, who is a landlord, demonstrated the contempt with which many landlords view renters</p><p>On Monday I had the weird experience of going viral on <a href="" title="">Twitter</a> after an <a href="" title="">altercation with a Sky News journalist</a>. Following the government’s announced plans to <a href="" title="">scrap </a><a href="" title="">section 21 eviction notices</a>, I was invited on to Sky News to talk about the time I was served such a notice in February. I made a complaint about the serious disrepair in the flat I have been renting with a friend since August. We now have to get out by the end of the this month.</p><p>As it stands, section 21 gives landlords huge power over our lives and discourages renters from making complaints or requesting repairs, for fear of section 21 revenge evictions. Since 2015, <a href="" title="">around 140,000 other tenants </a><a href="" title="">have been victims of </a><a href="" title="">revenge evictions</a> making section 21 the leading cause of homelessness in England, displacing huge numbers of working people and migrants from their communities each year.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="">Short-notice evictions face axe in tenant rights victory</a> </p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="">‘No-fault’ eviction of tenants must end. But beware unintended consequences | Simon Jenkins</a> </p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Tue, 16 Apr 2019 17:57:55 Z Photograph: Sky News Photograph: Sky News Kirsty Archer 2019-04-16T17:57:55Z 2019-04-16 17:57 +00:00 2019-04-17 05:57 +12:00 Housing Communities Society Housing market Real estate Business Renting property Property The Guardian view on rights for renters: only the start | Editorial A consultation on scrapping no-fault evictions and introducing new safeguards for tenants is welcome – but not enough<p>Home is not an address. It is a feeling. Millions of people have the keys to a property, yet enjoy none of the security we associate with the word “home” because their housing is not decent, safe and affordable, or because they have no idea how long they may remain there. Private renters are particularly vulnerable.</p><p>The proportion of private tenants in England doubled in the first decade or so of this century, to around a fifth of the population. The proportion of their incomes consumed by rent also increased sharply. So did the amount that <a href="" title="">taxpayers</a> hand over to landlords.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Tue, 16 Apr 2019 17:40:39 Z Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Editorial 2019-04-16T17:40:39Z 2019-04-16 17:40 +00:00 2019-04-17 05:40 +12:00 Unique Homes Sanctuary Sanctuary: An Astronomer's Home Observatory For hobbyist Jonathan Fay, a trip to the stars awaits any time he wants to go. Tue, 16 Apr 2019 17:18:14 Z Cat Overman <p>Jonathan Fay lives a double life. By day, he works in software engineering, but once the sun goes down, he opens a window to the heavens - right in his own backyard.</p> <p>The amateur astronomer designed and built an observatory behind his Woodinville, Washington, home to house his 12-inch telescope. There, he gazes at planetary nebula and photographs galaxies. For Fay, having his own sanctuary is out of this world.</p> <p><strong>How would you describe your sanctuary?<br /> </strong>My observatory is a place of peace where I can collect my gear and spend time with the universe. The nature of astronomy in the Pacific Northwest is challenging, but I&#8217;m able to open the dome and start observing without having to set up ahead of time and rush to cover things up when it rains.</p> <p><strong>What do you like best about the physical space?<br /> </strong>It&#8217;s separate from the activity of my home, and it&#8217;s quiet. I don't disturb anyone else, and they don't disturb me.</p> <p><strong>What's your home like? Is your sanctuary an extension or departure from your home?<br /> </strong>Our home is a two-story wood and brick home. The observatory blends nicely with the house and barn in style, but the dome clearly sets it apart.</p> <p><strong>Did you have your sanctuary in mind when you chose your home?<br /> </strong>No. A few years after I moved in, I realized I needed a more permanent place than a second-floor porch off the bedroom to set up my new telescope.</p> <div class="video-container"><iframe width="500" height="281" src=";enablejsapi=1&#038;modestbranding=1&#038;rel=0&#038;showinfo=0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <p><strong>What was the tipping point that made you decide to create a sanctuary?<br /> </strong>When I would do astrophotography imaging runs on the second-floor porch, people would turn on lights or walk around, and the light and vibration would ruin the image. My wife didn&#8217;t like having to shut down her life for my hobby.</p> <p><strong>How did you build your sanctuary?<br /> </strong>I designed and built the observatory. I had some occasional help from friends when I needed lifting or a second pair of hands. I also had help from my kids handing me screws and nails while I worked.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-202163" src="" alt="Sanctuary_Fay_exterior_05" width="800" height="533" /></p> <p><strong>What was the biggest challenge in creating your sanctuary?<br /> </strong>Round stuff is hard. Especially when it has to rotate and be level. The dome was a hemisphere, so it was round in more than two dimensions. Woodworking tools are not optimized for round things.</p> <p><strong>Has your sanctuary always looked the same, or has it changed over time?<br /> </strong>We recently added wood floors from carpet. And we put on a new roof when we re-roofed the rest of the buildings on the property.</p> <p><strong>How much time do you typically spend in your sanctuary?<br /> </strong>Sometimes many hours for several days in a row. Sometimes I go weeks without going inside. It depends on the ebb and flow of life - and how bad I need it.</p> <p><strong>How did you get into astronomy in the first place?<br /> </strong>My aunt gave me a telescope when I was about 12. Since then I have loved space and astronomy, but when I could put a computer-controlled camera on a telescope, that made me want my own Hubble in my backyard.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-202164" src="" alt="Sanctuary_Fay_interior_01" width="800" height="533" /></p> <p><strong>Does your hobby influence what you do professionally or vice versa?<br /> </strong>Building my observatory, writing all the software for it, and doing astronomical imaging helped me create the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer">WorldWide Telescope</a> project with two of my co-workers. Now millions of people can visit space on their computer or planetarium because of it.</p> <p><strong>Do you share your sanctuary with anyone? What about your home?<br /> </strong>I will share the observatory with just about anyone who asks, and sometimes I invite people to join me. I share my home with my wife and five active kids. So sometimes a getaway is in order!</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-202162" src="" alt="Sanctuary_Fay_portrait_08" width="800" height="533" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>If you had a do-over, would you change anything about your sanctuary?<br /> </strong>While I love the look of the dome, I would make the shutters open wider to accommodate a bigger telescope.</p> <p><strong>Do you wish you had found your sanctuary sooner?<br /> </strong>It came at the right time for me, and I returned to update it when that time was right.</p> <p><strong>What advice would you share with those who dream of having a sanctuary someday?<br /> </strong>You&#8217;re not getting any younger. Just go for it, even if you don't use it as much as you think you need to to justify the cost. It will always be a great story to share.</p> <p><strong>Related</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">This Tiny Home Is Ready for Outer Space</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">From Scraps to Sanctuary: A $700 A-Frame Cabin</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">This Remarkable Home Is Anything but Square</a></li> </ul> <h6><em>Originally published July 2016.</em></h6> 15 2019-04-16 17:18 +00:00 2019-04-17 05:18 +12:00 Switching to record low home-loan deals could bring savings, analysts Canstar say Kiwi home owners could save a healthy wad of cash by breaking their home loan deals and refixing on currently record low interest rates.It comes as ANZ triggered a mortgage war last November by becoming the first major bank since... Tue, 16 Apr 2019 13:10:51 +1200 2019-04-16 13:10 +12:00 2019-04-16 13:10 +12:00 'Staring down a barrel': Kiwis lugging mortgages set for tough retirement The growing number of New Zealanders who do not own their homes are in for a tough retirement.This according to a study out of the University of Otago that argues for a revamp of NZ Super to better protect Kiwis who are still tied... Tue, 16 Apr 2019 11:49:39 +1200 2019-04-16 11:49 +12:00 2019-04-16 11:49 +12:00 Real estate Housing market Business Housing Communities Property UK news Money Society No rogue landlords issued with banning orders in 12 months <p>Just four entries have been recorded on database in the year since its launch, FOI finds</p><p>Not a single rogue landlord has been issued with one of the government’s new banning orders, a year after the key new power in the battle to root out the country’s worst rental property owners was launched.</p><p>New laws which took effect in April 2018 mean that slum landlords handed one of the new bans by the courts are prevented from letting out housing across England. Their details must also be entered on to central government’s new rogue landlord database for local authorities to share.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="">Banned but still in business: law fails to stop rogue landlords</a> </p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Mon, 15 Apr 2019 13:46:37 Z Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Simon Goodley 2019-04-15T13:46:37Z 2019-04-15 13:46 +00:00 2019-04-16 01:46 +12:00 The 'finishing touches' you need to transform every room in your home on a budget Director of Australian company Vault Interiors Justine Wilson shared how using the right accessories in a home can elevate the freshness and elegance of a living room, bathroom or bedroom. Mon, 15 Apr 2019 10:25:01 Z None 2019-04-15 10:25 +00:00 2019-04-15 22:25 +12:00 Tax Mortgages Stamp duty Property Money UK news I'm buying a house with my boyfriend – is 10% a fair share of the equity? <p>I’m making a cash contribution to the purchase and paying half the mortgage</p><p><strong>Q</strong> My boyfriend is buying a house and I plan to make a cash contribution towards its purchase. The mortgage will be solely in his name as I already own another property (which I plan to keep and rent). The value of the property is £487,000 so I plan to contribute £48,700 plus £1,435 stamp duty in order to own a 10% share of the property. I will then be paying half of the mortgage with my partner every month. I queried whether this was fair as if we were to split I would only walk away with 10%. He will contributing £50,000, plus the remainder of the stamp duty and fees. He has two children and has been through a divorce and so is trying to protect himself as he has mentioned that I already own a home. It bothers me that this arrangement isn’t the fairest way to work this out. Any advice would be much appreciated.<br><strong>CL</strong></p><p><strong>A</strong> I’m with you on the arrangement not being the fairest, because it isn’t. Paying 10% towards the purchase price and then paying half the mortgage each month should make you entitled to share of more than 10% (because part of the monthly mortgage repayment goes towards paying off the loan, therefore increasing your equity). However, I can also appreciate that going through divorce proceedings may have made your boyfriend a bit once-bitten-twice-shy about jointly-owned property, but if that is the case, perhaps he should avoid joint ownership altogether. And perhaps you should too if you doubt the fairness of it all – not least because such a lack of trust can’t be great for your relationship. This might also make sense from a financial point of view. Because you already own a property which you will not be selling, the stamp duty land tax (SDLT) due on the whole purchase price of the new property would be at the higher rate (ie standard rate plus 3%) so your 10% share of the total SDLT bill would be £2,896 rather than £1,435. The higher rate of SDLT will also apply if your boyfriend’s erstwhile family home has not been sold and he still has an interest in it. However, if any agreement about the family home with his ex-spouse has been recorded in a consent order approved by the court, he will be exempt from paying the higher rate of SDLT.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Mon, 15 Apr 2019 06:00:14 Z Photograph: Cate Gillon/Getty Images Photograph: Cate Gillon/Getty Images Virginia Wallis 2019-04-15T06:00:14Z 2019-04-15 06:00 +00:00 2019-04-15 18:00 +12:00 Housing market Property Business Rightmove House prices Money Real estate UK news Brexit UK property market ‘in line for summer Brexit relief rally’ <p>Signs of bounceback in prices over past month, says property website Rightmove</p><p>The property market is likely to stage a Brexit “relief rally” over the summer, according to Britain’s biggest property website, as it revealed signs of bounceback in prices over the past month.</p><p>Rightmove said asking prices on its website jumped by an average of 1.1% – an increase of £3,447 – in the month to April 6 but remain 0.1% below the level of a year ago.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="">UK house prices likely to keep falling for another six months</a> </p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Sun, 14 Apr 2019 23:01:07 Z Photograph: Robert Harding/REX Shutterstock Photograph: Robert Harding/REX Shutterstock Patrick Collinson 2019-04-14T23:01:07Z 2019-04-14 23:01 +00:00 2019-04-15 11:01 +12:00 Unique Homes unique homes Sleep Under the Stars in a Bubble Home It's the closest you'll ever get to living in nature without actually setting foot outside. Sun, 14 Apr 2019 19:58:44 Z Lindsay Cohen <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why live on the bubble when you can experience life inside it?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It's an appropriate question to ponder while gazing at the forest from inside this </span><a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer"><span style="font-weight: 400;">unusual dome home</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in upstate New York. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Made to maximize views while maintaining partial privacy, this geodesic bubble tent is equal parts </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">glamping</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> destination and fishbowl. It's the perfect place to observe nature without fully immersing yourself in it.</span></p> <figure id="attachment_226160" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-226160" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-226160 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /><figcaption id="caption-attachment-226160" class="wp-caption-text">Copyright 2018 <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer">Leon Cato Photography</a>.</figcaption></figure> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tucked away on a farm in Woodridge, New York, the dome is surrounded by a thicket of trees and sits just feet away from a greenhouse, a vegetable garden and a pond. </span></p> <figure id="attachment_226159" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-226159" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-226159 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /><figcaption id="caption-attachment-226159" class="wp-caption-text">Copyright 2018 <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer">Leon Cato Photography</a>.</figcaption></figure> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ample windows offer views of the natural environment, and screened-in panels allow airflow but deter mosquitoes in the summertime.</span></p> <figure id="attachment_226181" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-226181" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-226181 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /><figcaption id="caption-attachment-226181" class="wp-caption-text">Copyright 2018 <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer">Leon Cato Photography</a>.</figcaption></figure> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Still looking to bask in nature? Two outdoor showers and a clawfoot tub allow you to scrub and soak near the sugar maples.</span></p> <figure id="attachment_226158" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-226158" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-226158 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /><figcaption id="caption-attachment-226158" class="wp-caption-text">Copyright 2018 <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer">Leon Cato Photography</a>.</figcaption></figure> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">An open-air kitchen and grill offer up the chance to dine alfresco. </span></p> <figure id="attachment_226164" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-226164" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-226164 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /><figcaption id="caption-attachment-226164" class="wp-caption-text">Copyright 2018 <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer">Leon Cato Photography</a>.</figcaption></figure> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The home is currently available as a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer">short-term rental</a> in the Catskill Mountains, roughly 95 miles from the heart of Manhattan.</span></p> <figure id="attachment_226162" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-226162" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-226162 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="538" /><figcaption id="caption-attachment-226162" class="wp-caption-text">Copyright 2018 <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer">Leon Cato Photography</a>.</figcaption></figure> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bonus: Guests can interact with animals on the property (hello, goats!) and enjoy a recording studio, hiking trails or a weekly yoga class.</span></p> <figure id="attachment_226163" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-226163" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-226163 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /><figcaption id="caption-attachment-226163" class="wp-caption-text">Copyright 2018 <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer">Leon Cato Photography</a>.</figcaption></figure> <p><em>Top featured image by George Apostolidis (<a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer">portfolio</a>, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer">Instagram</a>). </em></p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">This Tiny Home Is Ready for Outer Space</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Explore a Tiny, Tropical Treehouse in Hawaii</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Sanctuary: An Astronomer&#8217;s Home Observatory</a></li> </ul> <h6><em>Originally published May 2018.</em></h6> 40 2019-04-14 19:58 +00:00 2019-04-15 07:58 +12:00 A new generation rent: High-end villages are attracting retirees happy to be tenants A recent study from Retirement Villages, which has 16 villages all offering apartments to let, revealed that 55 per cent of over-55s said they would consider renting a home. Fri, 12 Apr 2019 10:44:47 Z None 2019-04-12 10:44 +00:00 2019-04-12 22:44 +12:00 House sales plummet 12.9 per cent: Capital gain tax talk, banks, Government blamed Banks, the Government and the prospect of a capital gains tax are responsible for causing "uncertainty" in the housing market due to law changes and tighter lending, as sales volumes drop 12.9 per cent in the last month.Real Estate... Fri, 12 Apr 2019 09:05:00 +1200 2019-04-12 09:05 +12:00 2019-04-12 09:05 +12:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b6b80a9aa4a9920ab77313a What is involved in an asbestos clearance report? Once you’ve identified asbestos on your property and had it removed, there is still one more step - getting a comprehensive asbestos clearance report. Thu, 11 Apr 2019 01:36:16 Z CC Group <p>If you own a building built between 1950 and 1980, chances are, if you haven’t already had an asbestos survey done, you could be unaware of the material presence on your property. Home and business owners in New Zealand are by now well aware of the respiratory health issues caused by airborne asbestos fibres.</p><p>The material has been illegal to use in construction and building insulation for nearly 30 years, and a generation of Kiwis has grown up with information on the dangers of asbestos made freely available. This has made identifying and treating asbestos materials in homes and businesses a much easier task.</p><p>Despite the public knowledge on the fibrous material, many people may not know that once you’ve identified and removed asbestos from your property, there is still one further step to ensure total safety: <strong>a comprehensive asbestos clearance report.</strong></p><p>In this article, we’ll guide you through the asbestos treatment process, and the steps you need to take immediately afterwards to prove that your property has been assessed and treated adequately by asbestos professionals.</p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><h2><strong>Getting in asbestos professionals for treatment</strong></h2><p>If you think your property may contain asbestos, you’re better off checking to be certain. Asbestos professionals can help guide you through the first phases, taking the material sample needed to perform adequate <a href=""><strong>asbestos testing</strong></a>. From there, they can recommend a suitable method for addressing the asbestos contamination. If the material is in good condition, it may be more practical to seal it with an encapsulation treatment. Otherwise, total asbestos removal ensures your health won’t be on the line long-term.&nbsp;</p><p>It’s important to get the help of accredited asbestos experts during this process. Unless you’re a licensed asbestos removal specialist or assessor such as the Chemcare team, any treatment or removal work may not be <strong>compliant with New Zealand Health &amp; Safety at Work Regulations</strong>. Any action taken without the proper license can cost significantly, which makes securing an asbestos clearance report vital.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><strong>What is an asbestos clearance report?</strong></h2><p>An asbestos clearance report is carried out by licensed experts to ensure that any treatment or removal work is done to New Zealand safety compliance standards, and to check there is no further safety risk. The report covers where the asbestos was removed, the transit area, and where the asbestos was ultimately disposed of.</p><p>WorkSafe New Zealand determines that this clearance inspection can be completed by a licensed asbestos assessor or another independent, competent person. It’s key to note here that the company performing the initial asbestos treatment cannot also issue the clearance report. Think of it as getting a set of impartial eyes on the project to ensure your home or business is safe to occupy again after the <a href=""><strong>asbestos removal</strong></a> is complete.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="600x800" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="interior-inspection.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5cadcad7fa0d605da9dc2219" data-type="image" src="" /> <h2>&nbsp;<strong>How does the asbestos clearance inspection work?</strong></h2><p>The asbestos clearance report follows an on-site, four-part inspection. This consists of:</p><ol data-rte-list="default"><li><p>Preliminary check of site condition and job completeness. This involves looking over the site to ensure there is no obvious material remaining from where the asbestos was first identified and no debris from removal or treatment work.</p></li><li><p>Thorough visual inspection inside the enclosure/work area. This involves another look over the entire asbestos removal/treatment site. The assessor may ask to see some of the tools used during the project, or may request information on how any asbestos materials removed have been disposed of.</p></li><li><p>Air monitoring. The assessor will use expert testing tools to see if there are any asbestos fibres in the air. This stage is vital, as the material fibres are too small for the naked eye to see, and a high reading may mean it’s unsafe to return to the property immediately despite the asbestos being removed.</p></li><li><p>Final assessment and post-enclosure/work area dismantling. This is a final quality check. Afterwards, the licensed assessor should provide you with an asbestos clearance report and make recommendations about how to pack down the site and when people can return.</p></li></ol><p>The individual who first commissioned the licensed asbestos removal work is charged with ensuring the independent asbestos clearance assessor carries out the inspection and provides the right certification after the process is complete.</p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true"></p><h2>&nbsp;<strong>Why do we need asbestos clearance reports? </strong></h2><p>Whether you’ve asked asbestos professionals to assist you with identifying minor contaminants, or they’ve provided a full asbestos removal service, getting clearance certification is vital. Firstly, you need this to comply with New Zealand asbestos legislation. The respiratory health of Kiwis is a very serious concern, so any asbestos treatment projects done without the proper authority can land homeowners or businesses in a lot of trouble.</p><p>Secondly, asbestos clearance reports offer the peace of mind that all work carried out by <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos professionals</a> has been performed to a high standard. This not only guarantees the health of your family or others using your property, it also ensures you’re getting value for money from your asbestos treatment services.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="850x620" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="Report-Details.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5cadd34ae4966bac09bc1d15" data-type="image" src="" /> <p>At Chemcare, we take the health of our clients, and all Kiwis, very seriously. Our experienced and professional team can perform a range of asbestos treatment and removal services, and can also offer assistance with clearance inspections.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>For more information about how we can help, <a href=""><strong>contact the Chemcare team today</strong></a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> What is involved in an asbestos clearance report? 2019-04-11 01:36 +00:00 2019-04-11 13:36 +12:00 OECD Class issues Global economy Economics Business World news Housing market House prices Pay Family finances Millennials being squeezed out of middle class, says OECD <p>Thinktank says middle-income group has shrunk across 40 developed countries </p><p>Millennials in advanced economies around the world are being squeezed out of the ranks of the middle class, including in Britain, as pay growth stalls and house prices skyrocket, according to the OECD.</p><p>The <a href="">Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development</a> (OECD) said that for every generation since the baby boom of the 1940s, across 40 major countries, the middle-income group had shrunk and its economic influence weakened.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Wed, 10 Apr 2019 18:56:48 Z Photograph: Caiaimage/Agnieszka Olek/Getty Images/Caiaimage Photograph: Caiaimage/Agnieszka Olek/Getty Images/Caiaimage Richard Partington Economics correspondent 2019-04-10T18:56:48Z 2019-04-10 18:56 +00:00 2019-04-11 06:56 +12:00 Home Improvement gardening 9 Tips for Preparing a Fabulous Flower Bed Dust off your vases, pitchers and mugs - your home will be overflowing with fresh-cut blooms in no time. Wed, 10 Apr 2019 13:40:57 Z Steve Asbell <p>Have you ever ended up with a bed of dead flowers, mountains of mulch and a whopping garden center receipt? Let's do something about that, shall we?</p> <p>Get your gardening groove back with these nine tips.</p> <h2>1. Start with a clean slate</h2> <p>There are two kinds of flower beds: those that have been well-prepared and those that are covered in weeds.</p> <p>Give your unplanted bed the once-over. Does it get enough sunlight? Does water tend to collect there? Have you removed all weeds, roots and rocks so your plants will thrive? It's a lot easier to fix these problems now than it is once you&#8217;ve planted the flowers and laid the mulch.</p> <h2>2. Start seeds</h2> <p>Start a flower bed from seed to save money, raise unusual varieties and enjoy the satisfaction of having grown a whole garden from a handful of tiny seeds.</p> <p>Since some seeds transplant poorly, check the packet and make sure you don't have to sow directly in the ground. Start seeds in trays, pots or coir pots, using a seedling mixture, place them in a sunny spot, and transplant as soon as they have developed sturdy stems.</p> <h2>3. Prepare nursery plants</h2> <p>Nursery-grown bedding plants give you instant gratification, but the short time between purchase and planting is crucial to their survival.</p> <p>Pack them closely in your car to avoid damage, and take them home immediately so that they don't fry in your car during other errands.</p> <p>Water nursery plants as soon as you get home, as often as necessary after that, and a few hours before planting to help their fragile roots survive the trauma of transplanting.</p> <h2>4. Get the winning edge</h2> <p>Even the most carefully planned border can look sloppy without a clearly defined edge. Avoid those inexpensive and quickly deteriorating edges made of plastic, and choose a more natural and long-lasting alternative.</p> <p>The cheapest solution is to make a shallow trench around the bed with your spade and maintain it throughout the season. For something more refined and permanent, set an edge of brick, concrete or stone in leveling sand. The initial cost may be higher, but they will save you a lot of work and make mowing easier.</p> <h2>5. Plan for the seasons</h2> <p>Choose annuals if you plan on replacing them in a season or two, and plant perennials if you'd like them to last longer. Plant evergreen shrubs or ornamental grasses to provide structure and year-round interest.</p> <p>Also consider the plant's eventual height. Plant low-growing flowers (usually annuals) at the front of the bed where you can easily view them and replace them at the end of their season.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-196923" src="" alt="shutterstock_395790778" width="800" height="416" /></p> <h2>6. Give them space</h2> <p>Follow the guidelines on the seed packet or plant tag as closely as possible. An often overlooked factor is the amount of space to leave around each plant so they have room to grow. To cover a lot of ground quickly, choose spreading varieties like Superbells and climbing nasturtiums.</p> <h2>7. Dig the perfect hole</h2> <p>Dig each plant's hole to be twice as wide as the original pot so the roots will have plenty of room to grow. To give them an even better head start, make a little trench around the inside of the hole so the roots will spread down and out.</p> <p>This step isn't necessary for annuals, since they won't be around long enough to enjoy their strong root systems, but it is helpful if you have clay soil.</p> <h2>8. Plant it right</h2> <p>When planting transplants and nursery plants, always place them so that their crowns (where the plant meets the soil) are level with the soil in the bed. If the crown is above the soil level, the plant may dry out when soil washes away from the roots. If planted too low, soil will settle around the crown and rot the plant.</p> <p>Push the soil around the transplant and firmly tamp it in place with a trowel so no gaps are left between the roots.</p> <h2>9. Mulch mindfully</h2> <p>Mulch is essential for conserving moisture and preventing weeds, but one inch is all you need. Established garden beds don't even need mulch because the plants themselves are capable of protecting the soil.</p> <p>Avoid landscaping fabric, since it actually keeps moisture from percolating into the soil. Instead, lay down sheets of newspaper before mulching.</p> <p>Mulches vary by region, but whichever kind you use, follow this one rule: Don't ever pile it up against the plants. They'll rot in no time, and you'll soon have nothing more than an ugly bed of mulch in their place.</p> <p><strong>Related</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">How to Grow a Spectacular Container Garden</a></li> <li><a href="">8 Curb Appeal Boosters You Can Do in a Weekend</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">5 Tips for Spring Lawn Prep</a></li> </ul> <h6><em>Originally published April 2016.</em></h6> 1 2019-04-10 13:40 +00:00 2019-04-11 01:40 +12:00 Home Improvement DIY Fixtures Summer Good Clean Fun: How to Build an Outdoor Shower Expand your shower options to the great outdoors - it's easier to do than you might think! Wed, 10 Apr 2019 13:15:46 Z See Jane Drill <p>Outdoor showers may seem like a luxury - something that only those with beach houses would need or be lucky enough to have. But an avid gardener, runner or someone that enjoys the freedom of bathing in nature, you may consider an outdoor shower for your own home.</p> <p>Lucky for you, outdoor showers are an accessible feature for just about anyone. It all depends on how simple or complex you want your shower to be. A simple outdoor shower with cold water costs approximately $1,000 or less. An outdoor shower with an enclosure and hot and cold water will run about $4,000-$8,000.</p> <p>Here are four things to consider before taking the plunge on your own little piece of outdoor bathing heaven.</p> <h2>Location</h2> <p>This is one of the most important considerations. It&#8217;s best to choose a spot that you use often. In most cases, anywhere near the back entrance to your home is a good choice - maybe adjacent to the back door or on the back <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">deck</a>. If you have a pool, situate the shower nearby for easy rinses before and after swimming.</p> <p>Another major consideration is plumbing access. Unless you&#8217;re installing the type of shower that attaches to a garden hose, you&#8217;ll need to install it close to existing plumbing.</p> <p>Last but not least, go for a sunny spot. This will help keep mold and mildew at bay and provide natural warmth while you rinse.</p> <h2>Privacy</h2> <p>Privacy is a fairly important consideration, unless you think only swimsuit-clad people will use the outdoor shower. You want the shower to feel private and far from prying eyes, but you also want to keep the natural feeling.</p> <figure id="attachment_217901" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-217901" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img class="wp-image-217901" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-217901" class="wp-caption-text">Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Zillow listing</a>.</figcaption></figure> <p>An easy and adjustable choice is a freestanding folding screen. These screens work particularly well on decks and patios, where it might be impractical to build any type of wall.</p> <p>Another option is building corrugated metal wing walls to create a shower &#8220;corner&#8221; of sorts, where swimmers can rinse off after a dip. You can make this more private by adding a third wall to the design. Of course, there&#8217;s always the more elaborate option, which would be to surround the shower with wooden walls.</p> <h2>Plumbing</h2> <p>The simplest and most inexpensive plumbing option, and one that many people choose, is a shower connected to a garden hose, which is then hooked up to an outside faucet. This cold-water fixture is perfect for an outdoor shower that&#8217;s used only in the heat of summer and mostly for cleaning off dirt and sand.</p> <p>Next up is the hot-and-cold hose option. First, you&#8217;ll need a plumber to install an outdoor hot-water faucet next to the cold one. From there, it basically works in a similar fashion to the cold-water hose shower.</p> <p>The most elaborate - and most expensive - is the plumbed-in outdoor shower. This is worth investing in if you anticipate consistent outdoor showers and not just cleaning up after a hot day in the sun. The only downside to this option: If you live in an area with freezing winters, you have to make sure you can fully drain and insulate the plumbing so it doesn't burst.</p> <h2>Drainage</h2> <p>The simplest and most common drainage system is letting the used water drain into your yard. If you don't have very porous ground in your yard, or if the outdoor shower is close to your home, consider attaching the plumbing to your home&#8217;s drainage pipes or installing a French drain (essentially a gravel-lined channel connected to a pipe that directs water to a drainage area).</p> <p>The easiest thing to do, of course, is to go with the first option and recycle the water into your garden.</p> <h2>Accessories</h2> <p>Incorporate affordable accessories that add to the fun and pleasure of showering outdoors. A large rainfall showerhead enhances that outdoor feeling, and <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">plants or flowers</a> in the shower area or peeping through the enclosure add a whimsical touch.</p> <p>Add some soft solar-powered lights for showering at dusk, install hooks for hanging towels and wet bathing suits, and maybe even add a chair to sit in. Most importantly, design your shower to take advantage of nature&#8217;s views, whether that&#8217;s the sky overhead or the splendor of your backyard garden.</p> <figure id="attachment_217847" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-217847" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img class="wp-image-217847" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-217847" class="wp-caption-text">Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Zillow listing</a>.</figcaption></figure> <p>With just a little planning and effort, you can install your own outdoor shower and stay cool during the sunnier months.</p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">10 Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">DIY Backyard Fire Pit: Build It in Just 7 Easy Steps</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">8 DIY Ways to Redo Your Bathroom (Without Remodeling)</a></li> </ul> <p><em>Originally published June 26, 2017.</em></p> 16 2019-04-10 13:15 +00:00 2019-04-11 01:15 +12:00 Housing market Housing Bank of England John Healey Labour Real estate UK news Business Labour considers house price inflation target for Bank of England <p>Housing spokesman looks at giving Bank power to curtail availability of mortgages </p><p>The Bank of England could be set a target for house price inflation under plans being explored by the Labour party, with tougher powers to restrict mortgage lending to close the gap between property prices and average incomes.</p><p>The shadow housing secretary, <a href="">John Healey</a>, is considering whether, under a Labour government, the Bank should be set an explicit target following a decade of runaway growth in the property market, with the aim of tackling the housing crisis.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Wed, 10 Apr 2019 05:00:39 Z Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Richard Partington Economics correspondent 2019-04-10T05:00:39Z 2019-04-10 05:00 +00:00 2019-04-10 17:00 +12:00 Five common mistakes house buyers and sellers make We make plenty of mistakes when buying and selling homes according to industry experts. But there are things we can do to prevent them Tue, 09 Apr 2019 15:24:27 Z None 2019-04-09 15:24 +00:00 2019-04-10 03:24 +12:00 Unique Homes Bathrooms 9 Homes With Dreamy Spots for April Showers Who needs the spa when your bathroom looks like this? Mon, 08 Apr 2019 22:10:15 Z Jamie Birdwell-Branson <p>A good spring shower leaves the earth feeling refreshed and renewed - which is not unlike a good shower in your own home. A well-designed and polished bathroom can invigorate you in the morning or relax you before bed.</p> <p>These 10 bathrooms in for-sale homes across the country give us that feeling of rejuvenation - and make us just the tiniest bit envious.</p> <h2>Spa-like in the city</h2> <p>For sale: $1.3 million</p> <p>This Tudor revival in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Washington, D.C.,</a> is equal parts modern and traditional - and its sleek yet comfortable bathroom is exactly what you&#8217;d need after a long day in this busy political city. This bathroom has all the spa features of your dreams, including a soaking tub with ample space for bath supplies, a double vanity with tons of storage underneath and a neutral, calming color palette.</p> <figure id="attachment_230335" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-230335" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img class="wp-image-230335 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="600" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-230335" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Zillow listing.</a></em></figcaption></figure> <p>See more homes in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Washington, D.C.</a></p> <h2>A stylish soak</h2> <p>For sale: $1.5 million</p> <p>This stunning home in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">De Soto, Wisconsin, </a>is an award-winning architectural structure, but the bathroom is by far the dreamiest of all its spaces. The light hardwoods and paneling contrast beautifully with the slate-gray tub and vanity countertop, and the lighting gives just enough ambience without being too overpowering - perfect for taking a midafternoon soak in the tub on a Saturday.</p> <figure id="attachment_230332" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-230332" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img class="wp-image-230332 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="600" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-230332" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Zillow listing.</a></em></figcaption></figure> <p>See more homes in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">De Soto.</a></p> <h2>Tan-quility in Texas</h2> <p>For sale: $1.4 million</p> <p>This bathroom in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Austin, Texas,</a> blends neutral tones and contemporary glass to instantly relax you - and add a huge dash of style. A deep soaking tub connects seamlessly to the oversized glass-encased shower, which has a large bench and built-in shelf for bath products.</p> <figure id="attachment_230327" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-230327" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img class="wp-image-230327 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-230327" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Zillow listing.</a></em></figcaption></figure> <p>See more homes for sale in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Austin</a>.</p> <h2>Polished and pretty in porcelain</h2> <p>For sale: $595,000</p> <p>It&#8217;s not hard to imagine yourself spending quality time in this light-filled <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Tulsa, Oklahoma,</a> bathroom. A free-standing curved bathtub sits beautifully right by a picture window, highlighted by a modern light fixture. And right next to it is a glass-encased shower for early mornings when you don&#8217;t have time to leisurely take a dip.</p> <figure id="attachment_230334" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-230334" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img class="wp-image-230334 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="600" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-230334" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Zillow listing</a>.</em></figcaption></figure> <p>See more homes for sale in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Tulsa</a>.</p> <h2>A bathing beauty with a view</h2> <p>For sale: $26.5 million</p> <p>It&#8217;s hard to find a favorite thing about this luxury bathroom in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Carpinteria, California</a>. Is it the floor-to-ceiling marbled tile or the mountain views as you shower? Whether you love the ceiling-mounted showerhead or the giant tub with cozy built-ins for all your products, this bathroom is an inspiration.</p> <figure id="attachment_230330" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-230330" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img class="wp-image-230330 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="600" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-230330" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Zillow listing.</a></em></figcaption></figure> <p>See more homes in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Carpinteria</a>.</p> <h2>A grown-up shower to shout about</h2> <p>For sale: $2.9 million</p> <p>Let us count the ways we love this bathroom in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Bellevue, Washington</a>. For one, we can&#8217;t get enough of the contrast between the black hexagon tile on the floor and the large white subway tile in the shower. We also love the vessel sink that sits atop an oversize purple-gray vanity, which adds an unexpected pop of color.</p> <figure id="attachment_230328" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-230328" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img class="wp-image-230328 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="600" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-230328" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Photo from<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> Zillow listing.</a></em></figcaption></figure> <p>See more homes in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Bellevue</a>.</p> <h2>A bubble-filled bathroom</h2> <p>For sale: $1.9 million</p> <p>The light fixtures in this <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">East Hampton, New York,</a> bathroom are reminiscent of bubbles - appropriate for a room with a free-standing soaking tub. Another set of bubble lights sits above the wall-mounted modern sink with plenty of storage underneath.</p> <figure id="attachment_230333" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-230333" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img class="wp-image-230333 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-230333" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Zillow listing</a>.</em></figcaption></figure> <p>See more homes for sale in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">East Hampton</a>.</p> <h2>Large and luxurious in Dallas</h2> <p>For sale: $2.8 million</p> <p>Everything is bigger in Texas, and this <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Dallas, Texas,</a> bathroom is no exception. A picture-perfect free-standing tub is framed by two playful light fixtures, as well as an oversized window that lets in a lot of light but still manages to give you privacy, thanks to the trees right outside.</p> <figure id="attachment_230331" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-230331" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img class="wp-image-230331 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="600" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-230331" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Zillow listing.</a></em></figcaption></figure> <p>See more homes for sale in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Dallas</a>.</p> <h2>Simple yet stately</h2> <p>For sale: $1.9 million</p> <p>Large marbled tile and a crystal-clear glass shower door make for a beautiful bathroom in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Boston, Massachusetts</a>. It&#8217;s not especially hard to imagine taking a nice, relaxing shower with that ceiling-mounted showerhead.</p> <figure id="attachment_230329" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-230329" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img class="wp-image-230329 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-230329" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Photo from<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> Zillow listing</a>.</em></figcaption></figure> <p>See more homes for sale in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Boston</a>.</p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">10 Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">What NOT to Do When Remodeling Bathrooms</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">5 Common Bathroom Problems and How to Fix Them</a></li> </ul> 30 2019-04-08 22:10 +00:00 2019-04-09 10:10 +12:00 Property Money UK news Can my brother force me to sell our late father's cottage? <p>I want to buy my sibling out, but we can’t agree on a price and now he wants to go to court</p><p><strong>Q</strong> My brother and I inherited a cottage from my father. The cottage is of great sentimental value to me and I would like to keep it as a holiday home. My brother just wants as much money as possible from his inheritance. I’d like to buy his share, but we are unable to agree on a price. I obtained a surveyor’s valuation on the cottage, which valued the property at £120,000. My brother claims that the cottage is worth £250,000 which is supposedly based on an estate agent’s estimate. The property needs about £45,000 of structural repairs and another £40,000 spending on modernisation.</p><p>My brother has refused to negotiate with me and now wants to take me to the county court to force a sale of the house and its contents on the open market. Will the property be auctioned or put through a normal estate agent if he is successful? Will I be able to bid for the property? Can I stop him artificially inflating the price with bogus bids via his friends and family?<br><strong>PN</strong></p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Mon, 08 Apr 2019 06:00:44 Z Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian Virginia Wallis 2019-04-08T06:00:44Z 2019-04-08 06:00 +00:00 2019-04-08 18:00 +12:00 Persimmon Business Construction industry Real estate UK news Property Housing Housing market Persimmon launches review in drive to rebuild its image <p>Most profitable housebuilder in UK has been beset by a pay scandal and quality complaints </p><p>The UK’s most profitable housebuilder, Persimmon, is launching an independent review of its customer care, culture and the quality of its work as it attempts to move on from an executive pay scandal and complaints over its new-build homes.</p><p>The review, to be led by an independent chair, Stephanie Barwise QC of Atkin Chambers, will look into Persimmon’s customer care approach, systems and culture, quality assurance processes, and the speed and consistency of its response to issues. It said the findings would be published by the last quarter of 2019.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="">Persimmon homebuyers can withhold money until faults fixed</a> </p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="">Outrage as help-to-buy boosts Persimmon profits to £1bn</a> </p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Sat, 06 Apr 2019 12:31:47 Z Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters Mattha Busby 2019-04-06T12:31:47Z 2019-04-06 12:31 +00:00 2019-04-07 01:31 +13:00 Housing market House prices Property Real estate UK news Money Business House prices hold up better than forecast amid Brexit doubts <p>Drop in March from February but Halifax says UK prices up year on year in first quarter</p><p>UK house prices held up better than expected in March as supply constraints outweighed uncertainty over the Brexit process, according to figures from Halifax.</p><p>The high street lender said house prices rose by 2.6% in the three months to March compared with the same period last year. The increase was above the 2.3% annual rise predicted in a Reuters poll of economists.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Fri, 05 Apr 2019 09:09:50 Z Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo Jasper Jolly 2019-04-05T09:09:50Z 2019-04-05 09:09 +00:00 2019-04-05 22:09 +13:00 Home Improvement Home Organization kitchens Maximizing Space in a Small Kitchen Small kitchens can be a challenge. Use these tips to set up a kitchen that lets your inner chef shine. Thu, 04 Apr 2019 21:12:06 Z Natalie Wise <p>Many homes come with kitchens that are less than ideal. The lighting can be terrible, the appliances old, the floors grimy … and counter space? Well, that&#8217;s a nice idea.</p> <p>Get the most out of the kitchen space you <em>do</em> have with these tips.</p> <h2>Make room</h2> <p>You can create extra space, even when it seems impossible. Over-the-sink covers, cutting boards and colanders help increase your workspace.</p> <p>Burner covers for your stove and a large cutting board or tray can create extra counter space when you&#8217;re entertaining and want to set out snacks (provided you don&#8217;t need to use your stove).</p> <p>Fold-up tables (attached to the wall or stand-alone) offer extra space when needed. If there's room, a butcher block or island instantly create food prep or storage space.</p> <p>Another simple way to create space? Pare down your belongings - especially on the counters - and only keep the necessities.</p> <h2>Go vertical</h2> <p>A wall above the stove may be perfectly suited for a pegboard where you can hang pots, pans and utensils. Magnetic knife and spice racks can fit into small wall spaces under cabinets or above sinks.</p> <p>Refrigerators can serve as storage space for magnetic spice racks, towels, pot holders, or dry-erase boards or chalkboards, which are both useful and decorative. And over-the-cabinet hooks and towel racks add extra storage quickly and easily.</p> <h2>Use bookcases</h2> <p>Small bookcases are a kitchen's best friend. They are perfectly narrow, they come in many heights and they offer tons of storage options.</p> <p>In addition to keeping cookbooks tidy, they can also hold pots, pans, dishes, food items, storage containers and baskets.</p> <p>Add hooks to the side of your bookshelf to store aprons or other lightweight tools.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-230346" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <h2>Add art and color</h2> <p>Art and color are fast ways to personalize a small kitchen. Color-coordinated kitchen accessories become art in and of themselves, and a simple color palette lets the eye rest in a small space.</p> <p>When using every inch of space, don't forget to leave room for a few decorative elements. Hang attractive tea towels with pushpins for a practical splash of color. And fresh flowers on a shelf or table instantly brighten the space and add life.</p> <p>If you have a windowsill, an herb garden is the perfect way to use the space and bring vibrancy. You might even consider installing a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">vertical garden</a>.</p> <h2>Cover eyesores</h2> <p>Every older kitchen has at least one eyesore: an ancient microwave, a scratched-up refrigerator or a hideous vinyl floor. If you&#8217;re not ready to put down the cash for a remodel, cover these as best you can.</p> <p>Cover exposed sink pipes with curtains attached to the bottom of the sink (bonus: extra storage space). Store your old microwave or replace it with a newer, more attractive version.</p> <p>As for scratched or just plain ugly refrigerators and appliances, adhesive vinyl can create a like-new look in a matter of minutes.</p> <p>Cover unsightly floors with kitchen-friendly mats that also make standing at the counter easier on your feet, and refresh old cupboards and drawers with plain or patterned drawer liners.</p> <h2>Upgrade lighting</h2> <p>Lighting in any kitchen is hard to get right. Many fixtures make the space feel dated, and upgrading bulbs and cleaning light covers will make a difference right away. Consider installing adhesive under-cabinet lighting to better illuminate your workspace.</p> <p>If you can direct your lighting, such as track lighting, make sure it points to the kitchen triangle - that well-worn path from the stove to the sink to the refrigerator.</p> <p>If overhead lighting is scarce, consider using table lamps and even floor lamps. A floor lamp in a kitchen might seem odd at first, but put it at the end of a counter or tucked behind a table, and you'll be grateful for the extra light.</p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Kitchen Countertop Buying Guide: Meet the Main Players &amp; Find Your Best Match</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">7 Perfect Kitchen Upgrades for a New Look Without Remodeling</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">&#8216;You&#8217;re Throwing Money Away&#8217; and Other Myths About Renting</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Originally published June 6, 2016. </em></p> 28 2019-04-04 21:12 +00:00 2019-04-05 10:12 +13:00 Home Improvement Home Organization Renting Roommates Roommate Relations: Making Smart Use of Shared Spaces Keeping the peace with your roomies can be as easy as setting expectations and giving everyone their own space. Thu, 04 Apr 2019 15:00:00 Z Sarah Pike <p>Renting a home with other people can be stressful. But with careful planning and clear communication, living with others doesn't have to lead to passive-aggressive notes and arguments.</p> <p>Whether you live with your sibling, your bestie or your significant other, try these tips for making smart use of those shared spaces.</p> <h2>Closets</h2> <p>What matters most when sharing <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">closet space</a> is equality. No, you don't need to make a line with tape on your closet floor (please don't). But you should stick to your designated areas.</p> <p>Hang vertical cloth shelves in the middle to store your shared towels and extra sheets, while also creating a closet divider. And when you toss your shoes in the closet, make sure they're on your side.</p> <h2>Cabinets</h2> <p>Maximize the cabinet space you're given by adding stackable wire shelving racks. In the kitchen, they&#8217;re great for storing plates on top and bowls below. And under your sink, you can put extra sponges, cleaning rags and garbage bags below with your cleaning spray bottles up top.</p> <p>Storage bins and plastic stackable boxes can also save the day - especially when it comes to bathroom storage. Put your skincare items in one and your dental products in another.</p> <p>These stackable boxes come in all sizes - the ones with more depth can fit your bulkier products, and the shorter boxes are better for smaller items, like your travel-size products.</p> <h2>Pantry</h2> <p>Once you place those stackable wire shelves in your kitchen pantry, you'll soon learn that labels and plastic bins rule.</p> <p>If you decide to share spices and other items like flour, vegetable oil and cooking spray, try arranging them in bins with labels that say "Shared." Use more labels to mark shelves and bins with each roommate&#8217;s name, if you think you'll all need the reminder.</p> <h2>Countertops</h2> <p>Decide with your roommates if it&#8217;s OK to keep items on the kitchen and bathroom counters. It may seem silly to discuss countertop space, but you'll be glad you did.</p> <p>Decide how many and which items you agree to allow on the counters. Does the toaster that you never use drive your roomie crazy? Are you okay with your BFF's curling iron always being on the bathroom counter?</p> <p>Air out your countertop pet peeves - you can always find ways to avoid potential disagreements.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-230354" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <h2>The shower</h2> <p>Avoid any possible product mix-ups with a couple of shower caddies. Hang one over the shower head, and put another one (or two) with suction cups on the shower wall. Plus, storing your bath products in hanging caddies leaves the corners of your tub easy to clean.</p> <h2>Storage</h2> <p>If your place comes with its own storage space, try using a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">tall shelving unit</a> and dividing the shelves equally among you.</p> <p>If someone ends up slowly taking over the unit, try putting your belongings in labeled plastic bins. If things really get out of hand, see if your storage buddy may be willing to pay a bit more in rent or utilities.</p> <h2>Parking</h2> <p>Your apartment comes with a covered parking spot? Sweet! Oh, it only comes with one parking space? Not so sweet.</p> <p>Try rotating its use every week or month. Or make an arrangement saying that whoever uses the parking spot can pay more in rent each month. Another idea: The roommate with the covered parking spot could do more chores than the other roommates.</p> <p>The key is deciding as a team in advance what's fair - and sticking to it.</p> <h2>Pets</h2> <p>If one of you has a pet, how do you decide where the crate, toy basket, and food and water bowls go? It may make sense to put pet items in common areas, but the pet owner shouldn't assume all roommates are cool with squeaky toys all over the living room floor - no matter how cute that pup is.</p> <p>Just like you'd pick up your things from the living room, you'll want to pick up Fido's stuff too.</p> <h2>Wall space</h2> <p>Don't hang your art in common areas without getting your roommates' opinions first. Turn decorating your walls into a roommate activity. Gather all the art and decorative wall items you want to hang, and have everyone choose their favorites.</p> <p>You can even turn it into a chance to get to know your roommates better. Have a cool story about where you got that tapestry? Got your favorite mural while studying abroad? Tell your roomies all about it - and listen to their stories too. They may be cool with your wall decor once they know the meaning it holds.</p> <p>If all else fails, stick with similar color palettes, and decorate based on shared color groupings. Remember that what doesn't go up in the living room can go up in your room.</p> <h2>Space-saving lifesavers</h2> <p>You can use all the fancy <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">organization</a> materials you want, but sometimes the basics are best.</p> <ul> <li>Adhesive hooks are great for hanging towels when you need extra bathroom space - or for hanging keys in the entryway.</li> <li>Use shoeboxes to store smaller items like scarves, winter gloves and cosmetics. Label them to make everything easy to find, and you can even decorate them with wrapping paper to pretty them up.</li> <li>Toilet paper rolls are an organizational lifesaver when you have too many cords. Designate each type of cord within one roll, and label them so you never mix up your roommates' cords with yours again.</li> <li>Over-the-door hangers are essential for items like purses and coats. Or try an over-the-door shoe hanger on one side of the door, with your things hung on the other side for double the saved space.</li> <li>Under-the-bed storage containers are key for off-season clothing items or bulky boots that don't seem to fit anywhere else. Your roommate will thank you for the extra closet space.</li> <li>Fabric panels are an inexpensive way to divide a room for added privacy.</li> </ul> <p>Even if the people you live with are not quite as organized as you, rest assured that at least your belongings are contained on their shelves and in their assigned containers. Having smart shared spaces allows you to enjoy your time with your roommates without stressing over whose stuff is whose.</p> <p><em>Looking for more information about renting? Check out our <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Renters Guide</a>. </em></p> <p><strong>Related</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">10 Tips for Renting with a Roommate</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">&#8216;Where Should I Keep My&#8230;?&#8217;: Solving the Ultimate Small Space Dilemmas</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">10 Ways to Conquer Clutter and Simplify Your Life</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Originally published September 9, 2016.</em></p> 3 2019-04-04 15:00 +00:00 2019-04-05 04:00 +13:00 Global economy Housing market International Monetary Fund (IMF) US news China Economics Real estate World news House prices Business Rising risk of US and China housing slump causing recession – IMF <p>Concern that overvaluation, low interest rates and loose lending will affect stability</p><p>A growing number of homes in the US and China are teetering on the brink of a price slump that would drag their economies into a recession, the International Monetary Fund has warned.</p><p>Using the latest evidence from global housing markets, the Washington-based organisation said there was a clear increase in the risk of a housing price collapse in both countries after years of ultra-low interest rates and <a href="">loose lending by financial institutions</a>.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="">A burst of good news can’t hide the economic hazards ahead in 2019</a> </p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="">Raft of woeful forecasts spells an end to Trump’s economic bragging rights</a> </p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Thu, 04 Apr 2019 13:00:12 Z Photograph: Tracey Whitefoot / Alamy/Alamy Photograph: Tracey Whitefoot / Alamy/Alamy Phillip Inman 2019-04-04T13:00:12Z 2019-04-04 13:00 +00:00 2019-04-05 02:00 +13:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b627d62352f53e99febc414 7 important facts you should know about asbestos Asbestos testing in Auckland is popular amongst homeowners. Here are the facts you need to know about asbestos in the home, from the asbestos experts at Chemcare. Thu, 04 Apr 2019 00:56:59 Z Emily Fly <p>Finding the facts about asbestos can be harder than you think. While there’s plenty of information online - and almost everyone in New Zealand is aware of the <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>health risks asbestos</strong></a> can pose - uncovering asbestos facts isn’t easy.</p><p>At Chemcare, our team has years of experience working with asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) and helping everyday Kiwi homeowners and businesses either encapsulate asbestos in their home or remove it entirely.</p><p>To help you discover the reality behind asbestos, we’d like to share some interesting facts about the common mineral. Read on to find out more.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><strong>There are several types of asbestos minerals</strong></h3><p>Undoubtedly, you already know that asbestos can be dangerous. But what exactly is it, and how many different types of the mineral exist today?</p><p>Asbestos can refer to <strong>six individual mineral types</strong>, from the incredibly common to some you may never come in contact with.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><strong>The most common kind of asbestos: Chrysotile or white asbestos</strong></h3><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Most commonly used type of asbestos in Kiwi homes.</p><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Will often be found in roofs, asbestos ceilings, walls and floors.</p><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Has been utilised in car brake linings, plumbing insulation, and boilers.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><strong>The second-most common: Amosite or brown asbestos</strong></h3><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Often found in pipe insulation and cement sheets.</p><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Was regularly used when making ceiling tiles, boards for insulation, and in thermal insulation materials.</p><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Has needle-like fibres with a similar appearance to a bundle of matchsticks.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><strong>Crocidolite or blue asbestos</strong></h3><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The least heat-resistant of all asbestos types.</p><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Uncommon in New Zealand but mined in Australia, South Africa, and Bolivia</p><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Most often used for insulating steam engines, in some spray-on coatings, as well as pipe insulation and cement products.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>While these are the three main types of asbestos, more variations can be found - as a contaminant - in the most common types above.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><strong>Actinolite</strong></h3><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Not very flexible, and therefore used sparingly in the past.</p><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Little use commercially but still found as a contaminant in some asbestos materials.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><strong>Tremolite</strong></h3><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Quite rare as this type of asbestos is not used commercially.</p><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Often found as a contaminant in chrysotile asbestos (the most common type of asbestos), and in some talcum powders.</p><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Appearance can vary from white, grey, green or even see-through.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><strong>Anthophyllite</strong></h3><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Not used commercially.</p><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Most common as a contaminant in composite flooring.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Now that we’ve covered the different kinds of asbestos you may encounter, let’s look at some sobering facts about asbestos in the home and the potential dangers it can cause.</p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true"></p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="257x257" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="Lung damage.png" data-load="false" data-image-id="5ca5425feef1a1d02051d00a" data-type="image" src="" /> <h3><strong>1) Breathing asbestos fibres can cause them to lodge in your lungs</strong></h3><p>When asbestos fibres enter the air of a building or home, it becomes breathable. If anyone inhales these asbestos fibers, they can become lodged deep within the lungs indefinitely. This can quickly cause inflammation and scarring, which in turn will affect breathing and gradually lead to serious illness such as lung cancer.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="257x257" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="No safe exposure.png" data-load="false" data-image-id="5ca5427a9140b71f08300924" data-type="image" src="" /> <h3><strong>2) There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos</strong></h3><p>Individuals are more likely to experience illness or develop health issues when they are regularly exposed to high concentrations of asbestos. However, many government agencies say there is no safe level of asbestos exposure - health problems can develop many years after any amount of time breathing in asbestos.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="257x257" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="medical condition.png" data-load="false" data-image-id="5ca542aa104c7bf6ee03111f" data-type="image" src="" /> <h3>&nbsp;<strong>3) Asbestos-related illness doesn’t start with mesothelioma</strong></h3><p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Mesothelioma</strong></a> is the most widely known affliction caused by asbestos exposure. However, before this appears, pleural effusion - fluid around the lungs - can occur. This causes the lining of the lung to thicken, resulting in plaque and calcification. This is known to be an early symptom of more worrying illnesses.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="257x257" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="Smoking risk.png" data-load="false" data-image-id="5ca542df7817f78c18dd86b5" data-type="image" src="" /> <h3><strong>4) Smoke can exacerbate the risks </strong></h3><p>We’re all aware of how smoking can harm the body. It may sound obvious, but combining smoking with asbestos exposure increases the likelihood of lung cancer developing.&nbsp;</p><p>This is quite common with U.S Navy veterans, generally heavy smokers who worked in or around factories that created ACMs, and construction workers, who perhaps smoked on the job while installing ACMs in home insulation.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="257x257" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="Asbestos mining.png" data-load="false" data-image-id="5ca542fa4e17b66f486266a9" data-type="image" src="" /> <h3>&nbsp;<strong>5) Asbestos is still mined across the world to date</strong></h3><p>Despite the many dangers known about asbestos - not to mention its total ban from use as a building material here in New Zealand - you may be surprised to know asbestos is still mined around the world. You’ll find asbestos mining in Russia, China, Brazil, and Kazakhstan. Even Canada was mining the naturally occuring mineral until 2011.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="257x257" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="Ancient pottery.png" data-load="false" data-image-id="5ca5431615fcc0468d2ba23f" data-type="image" src="" /> <h3><strong>6) How long has asbestos been used for? Centuries!</strong></h3><p>As early 2,500 B.C, asbestos fibres were used to strengthen ceramics. The material was mixed with clay to much success, and was later seen as a ‘magic’ material by the Greeks and Romans due to its fire-resistant properties.</p><p>It wasn’t until the mid-1800s, however, that the asbestos industry found large-scale production, when the Johns Company in New York opened mining operations to acquire asbestos for insulation purposes.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="257x257" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="asbestos toothpaste.png" data-load="false" data-image-id="5ca543311905f4ed5cd45e75" data-type="image" src="" /> <h3><strong>7) Asbestos toothpaste?</strong></h3><p>In the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s, asbestos was used to make a fake snow product that would become a popular christmas decoration. It was famously used in <em>The Wizard of Oz</em>, and was also a common addition to cigarettes filters. Due to its abrasive, fibrous quality, you’ll be most surprised of all to hear that asbestos used to be an ingredient in household toothpaste!</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><strong>Managing the dangers of asbestos are easy with expert help</strong></h3><p>Now that you know the facts behind asbestos, and the dangerous it can present, you might be wondering about how you can ensure your own home is safe. If you’re concerned about the presence of asbestos in your property, taking an asbestos material sample from your roof or wall insulation can clear up your concerns.</p><p>Once your sample has been analysed by a lab specialist, you can then decide on next steps. If your home is found to contain asbestos, there are a number of options available - depending on the integrity of the sample materials themselves. Encapsulation is one reliable option, which prevents any asbestos fibres from entering the breathable air of your home or business. Otherwise, you can opt for full asbestos removal - while a lengthier and more intrusive process, you’ll know your building is safe well into the distant future.</p><p>If you have any concerns about asbestos in your home, or want to speak to the expert team at Chemcare about how to take an <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>asbestos sample</strong></a>, contact our specialists today.</p> 7 important facts you should know about asbestos 2019-04-04 00:56 +00:00 2019-04-04 13:56 +13:00 COMMENT: Tax deductibility of rental property upgrades <p>Rental property upgrades required by the Healthy Homes minimum standards will make the area of tax deductibility even more thorny, writes Auckland Property Investors Association vice president Peter Lewis&hellip;</p> Thu, 04 Apr 2019 08:04:00 +1200 2019-04-04 08:04 +12:00 2019-04-04 09:04 +13:00 Home Improvement gardening landscaping Spring 5 Tips for Spring Lawn Prep The lush lawn of your spring-loving dreams is just a few steps away. Wed, 03 Apr 2019 13:00:52 Z Steve Asbell <p>Even if your lawn is made up of weeds more than actual grass, you can turn it around with some basic spring maintenance. Try these five tips to get your lawn ready before the weather warms up and the grass (and weeds) leave you in the dust.</p> <h2>Prevent weeds</h2> <p>Proper mowing, irrigation and feeding practices are the best possible <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">weed prevention</a>, but established weed populations require drastic measures.</p> <p>Use a preemergent herbicide to stop warm-season weeds before they sprout. And even a weed-free lawn can easily be undone by nearby weeds and their traveling seeds, so remove any weeds in the garden now so they don't find their way into your lawn.</p> <p>If your lawn has bare spots, fill them in now with sod or seed so weeds don't sprout and get a foothold.</p> <h2>Start your engines</h2> <p>Much like cars, lawnmowers will stop working without routine maintenance. If you haven't already done so in the fall, replace the mower's oil and gas with the types recommended in your mower's instruction manual.</p> <p>This would also be a good time to replace that corroded spark plug and dirty air filter. Add a fuel stabilizer to keep the gas from going stale and harming the mower's engine.</p> <p>A dull mower blade makes your grass more susceptible to disease with each ragged cut it makes, so sharpen the blade with a metal file when it starts to get dull. Clean your mower often to improve performance and prevent corrosion. If you own a riding mower, air up the tires for an even cut and comfortable ride.</p> <h2>Clear out thatch</h2> <p>You know that spongy layer of dead grass that builds up in your lawn? That's thatch. A thin layer of thatch is normal and even healthy, because it protects the soil, roots and beneficial organisms. But when that thatch gets about an inch tall, drought, weeds and other problems develop.</p> <p>Thatch is most likely to build up in lawns that have acidic or compacted soil - or lawns that have been excessively treated with herbicides and pesticides. If thatch is common on your block, prevent it with core aeration. This allows air to reach the soil, promoting organisms that naturally break down thatch. Use a vertical mower or power rake if the thatch is an inch thick or more.</p> <h2>Reseed and resod</h2> <p>None of these tips will do much good without a proper lawn. If your lawn feels beyond hope, consider starting from scratch.</p> <p>If your existing lawn is an annual one, remove it with a sod cutter. Perennial grasses, like Bermuda or St. Augustine grass, are much tougher to remove, so you'll likely have to either solarize with clear plastic sheets for several weeks or resort to an herbicide.</p> <p>Once you&#8217;ve dug up the grass or otherwise eradicated it, replace it with soil and a grass variety appropriate to your region. Plan on setting aside a day or two for installation.</p> <p>Amend the bare soil with topsoil or composted manure, and lay down the sod or planting seeds by following the label instructions. After planting, water it often until the new grass becomes established.</p> <h2>Start good habits</h2> <p>If you're not already following a fertilizing schedule, start one now by following the directions on your product of choice. You will likely forget this schedule after the first feeding, so pencil in the dates on your calendar so you don't get off track.</p> <p>Start the season off right by mowing more often, on a higher setting and in alternating directions. Inspect your sprinklers and pipes for possible breakage - a patch of damp soil or an excessive water bill would be your first clue. If your lawn seems to let into the surrounding landscaping, start edging now to define your boundaries.</p> <p>A string trimmer is fine for maintenance, but cutting through the dirt with it could get messy. Either rent an edger or purchase a handheld half-moon tool to make deep, clean cuts that persist through the year for easier mowing and trimming.</p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Your Guide to Buying Lawn Care Equipment</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">8 Curb Appeal Boosters You Can Do in a Weekend</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">13 Simple Steps to Prep Your Home for the Best Summer Ever</a></li> </ul> <h6><em>Originally published April 2017.</em></h6> 1 2019-04-03 13:00 +00:00 2019-04-04 02:00 +13:00 Tips & Advice home buying Home selling real estate agents How to Break Up With Your Real Estate Agent Is it OK to break up with your real estate agent? And if so, how can you gracefully end it? Mon, 01 Apr 2019 13:00:36 Z Brendon DeSimone <p>Buying or selling a home rarely happens overnight, and it's not uncommon for buyers or sellers to interface or even work with multiple agents. Best-case scenario, the right agent shows their face early, and the relationship (and transaction) is a huge success.</p> <p>But somewhere along the way, you may find that your relationship with your real estate agent just isn't working anymore. Maybe the agent is moving faster than you'd like. Or they're not as available as you need them to be. Maybe they just don't get you.</p> <p>So what do you do? Is it OK to break up with your real estate agent? And if so, how do you gracefully end it?</p> <p>The answer depends on whether you're working with an agent as a buyer or a seller.</p> <h2>Advice for buyers</h2> <p>Real estate agents earn their commissions from sellers, and the money is split between the sellers&#8217; and buyers&#8217; agents. As a general rule, buyers won't be asked to enter into a contractual or financial agreement with a real estate agent.</p> <p>Instead, a buyer makes a (sometimes nonverbal) handshake agreement with the real estate agent. You're basically agreeing to exclusively rely upon that agent. And that's fair.</p> <p>Agents often work hard and spend a lot of time engaging with buyers, watching the market, writing contracts, showing properties, reviewing disclosures and so on. Imagine how they'd feel after spending months working with a client only to be informed that another agent found them the home they want?</p> <p>Before you shake hands, do your homework. Ask friends for references, and check out <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">online agent reviews</a>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Going to open houses</a> is a good way to meet and interview agents who work where you want to buy. Don&#8217;t jump in with the first agent you meet. Like any relationship, start slow and feel it out. It&#8217;s harder to break up with your agent if you&#8217;re deeply engaged.</p> <p>If you're not quite ready to be tied down, it's better not to engage an agent until you <em>are</em> ready. Early on, a good real estate agent should read your situation well and provide the appropriate amount of attention as needed. They'll act as a resource and be available when you need them. Once the search kicks into high gear, agents and buyers will spend lots of time together and communicate 24/7.</p> <p>If you do find that a relationship isn&#8217;t working, be honest and upfront before more time passes. Offer the agent constructive feedback about why it's not working for you.</p> <h2>Advice for sellers</h2> <p>Since the seller pays the real estate agent's commission, the brokerage requires the seller to sign a listing agreement upfront.  During the listing period, you're contractually obligated to work exclusively with the agent and brokerage firm, specifically on the sale of your home.</p> <p>In fact, even if you find a buyer on your own (such as a friend), the listing agent or brokerage firm is still due their commission.</p> <p>Just as a buyer must do their homework, it's even more important for a seller to do their research, given the commitment. Most listing agreements state that if the listing agent brings an offer at the listing price and the seller doesn't accept it, the agent is still due a commission. This scenario happens sometimes when the listing agent and seller aren't getting along.</p> <p>In most situations, if the listing agent isn't doing a good job but there's still time left on the agreement, you should simply tell them it's not working out. A good, fair and honest agent will apologize for not meeting your expectations and will agree to release you from the agreement ahead of schedule. But that's not always the case, and sellers typically respond by no longer agreeing to open houses or considering offers from the agent.</p> <p>Sometimes an agent wants to break up with the seller. Maybe the seller insists on keeping the price of the home too high or isn't cooperating to accommodate showings. The agent simply feels they can't be successful with the seller, no matter how much time they put into the job.</p> <p>If you're a seller whose agent wants out of the agreement because you aren't taking the necessary steps to sell your home, it's best to let them go - and decide if you're <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">really ready to sell or not</a>.</p> <p><strong>Related</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">5 Myths (and 5 Truths) About Selling Your Home</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">What Makes a Good Real Estate Agent for Home Sellers</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Seller Advice: Changing Real Estate Agents</a></li> </ul> <p><em>Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.</em></p> <p><em>Originally published September 2016.</em></p> 7 2019-04-01 13:00 +00:00 2019-04-02 02:00 +13:00 House prices Property Housing market Money Real estate Nationwide Business UK news London Brexit House prices in England fall for first time since 2012 <p>Slide driven by London and south-east slowdown as Brexit chaos seems to put off buyers</p><p>House prices fell in England for the first time in seven years in the first three months of 2019, dragged lower by the traditional property hotspots of London and the south-east in a sign that Brexit turmoil is putting off buyers.</p><p>Prices fell 0.7% in the first quarter, compared with the same period in 2018, taking the average price of a home in England down to £255,683, according to the mortgage lender Nationwide.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="">Housebuilding in England flat – despite Theresa May's 'mission'</a> </p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Fri, 29 Mar 2019 08:48:17 Z Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA Angela Monaghan 2019-03-29T08:48:17Z 2019-03-29 08:48 +00:00 2019-03-29 21:48 +13:00 Eight questions every first-time buyer must ask when buying a flat    There are some key aspects of buying a flat that need to be addressed if you're going to avoid some of the common pitfalls of moving into your first home. Thu, 28 Mar 2019 18:37:34 Z None 2019-03-28 18:37 +00:00 2019-03-29 07:37 +13:00 How to buy and sell a property within a fortnight Even once you have your offer accepted on a property, or have accepted one on yours, there is plenty that can go wrong, but follow these simple steps to make it as smooth as possible. Thu, 28 Mar 2019 17:37:07 Z Zoopla 2019-03-28 17:37 +00:00 2019-03-29 06:37 +13:00 My ground rent and service charge has tripled within three years Home owners can see the charges they pay to live in leasehold properties surge in the years after snapping up their home, as they are at the mercy of the owner of the land. Thu, 28 Mar 2019 10:32:07 Z Monkey Business/REX/Shutterstock 2019-03-28 10:32 +00:00 2019-03-28 23:32 +13:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b627d970e2e72eaf599bae0 A renter's guide to asbestos When you suspect asbestos is present in your owner-occupied home, all you need to do is call the team at Chemcare to manage it. But what can you do if you're renting? Thu, 28 Mar 2019 00:01:59 Z Emily Fly <p>Despite being phased out of use as a building material, it’s still fairly common to find asbestos in New Zealand homes. As it’s now understood to be carcinogenic in its airborne forms, asbestos is certainly something you’ll want to have either managed, or removed from your home.</p><p>This can be easy enough to do when it’s your own home - call up the team at Chemcare and we can put together a plan for how to deal with the issue. But what, on the other hand, should you do when you’re living in a rental property? What are your responsibilities, and what are your landlord’s? Here’s what you need to know.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="586x650" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="renters.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5c9b051c71c10b7f4b4607c4" data-type="image" src="" /> <h2><strong>What are my responsibilities living with asbestos?</strong></h2><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong>As the tenant of a property, the legal responsibilities for doing something about suspected asbestos do not lie with you - they are the <strong>duty of the landlord.</strong></p><p>That said, if you suspect there might be some asbestos-containing materials in the property, it’s always a good idea to contact your landlord and have them check. You have a responsibility to your own and any co-tenants’ health to flag anything you think may have been missed when the landlord was checking the property’s safety.</p><h2><strong>&nbsp;What are my landlord’s responsibilities around asbestos?</strong></h2><p><strong>New regulations about asbestos</strong> management in the workplace were introduced in 2016. The Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 outline the responsibilities a person in charge of a business or undertaking (PCBU) has with regard to asbestos when construction or renovations are being done in a place of work.</p><p>It might appear on first glance that this has no bearing on a residential property. However, the legislation applies because residential rentals are considered part of business activities. When a tradesperson comes to the site to perform repairs or maintenance, the property becomes a place of work in the eyes of the law. The landlord is therefore considered a PCBU, and is required to comply with the relevant laws.</p><p>This involves the landlord having an <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>asbestos management plan</strong></a> in place if they know, or ought reasonably to know - if the house was built between 1940 and 2000, for example - that asbestos might be a risk for workers in the house, as well as the tenants themselves. For example, if a plumber was hired to change some piping layout in an house built during the 1960s and this required drilling holes through walls, the landlord should have an asbestos management plan in place, because the chances of asbestos contamination occurring are reasonably high.</p><p>Crucially, your landlord can’t just leave it to the property manager (if there is one) to be aware of these potential risks. They need to be proactive in order to stay on the right side of the law and ensure their property is safe to be worked on.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><strong>Does my landlord have to remove asbestos even if they’re not undertaking renovations?</strong></h2><p>Most of the time, a rental isn’t considered a place of work - it’s a home, and as such doesn’t come under the purview of health and safety at work regulations.</p><p>That said, landlords are still required to have taken ‘reasonable care’ to ensure there are no asbestos-containing materials that pose a health risk on the property. If you think you have discovered some asbestos in your rental home, you should always approach your landlord to see if they’re aware of it.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><strong>How should I approach my landlord about suspected asbestos?</strong></h2><p>There is no set way you have to inform your landlord about suspected asbestos on your property. If you have a property manager, let them as soon as possible or simply contact your landlord directly.&nbsp;</p><p>Generally speaking, asbestos-containing materials that are in good condition don’t pose a risk to human health. The danger comes when the <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>asbestos fibres</strong></a> come loose, and are able to spread into the air. It’s quite possible there may be asbestos-looking material in your rental home, but your landlord has fulfilled their duty of care, and already tested the suspected material. If this is the case, contacting them and asking for more information is still good for your own peace of mind, as they can let you know that it’s not asbestos or, if it is, what steps they’ve taken to ensure your safety in its presence.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="476x650" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="call-the-landlord.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5c9b05559b747a26eaafdbd4" data-type="image" src="" /> <p>If you’d like further advice on what might or might not be asbestos, <a href=""><strong>get in contact</strong></a> with the expert team at Chemcare today.</p> A renter's guide to asbestos 2019-03-28 00:01 +00:00 2019-03-28 13:01 +13:00 Where have property prices risen most since Brexit vote? The list is dominated by the North of England, with Leicester and Manchester seeing house price growth of 17.2% and 16.6% since the Brexit vote in June 2016. Wed, 27 Mar 2019 11:43:38 Z Shutterstock / evenfh 2019-03-27 11:43 +00:00 2019-03-28 00:43 +13:00 Help for mortgage prisoners may finally be on the way, says FCA Almost 150,000 mortgage prisoners unable to switch from costly deals may soon be offered a lifeline by the FCA, making it easier to switch to a cheaper loan. Tue, 26 Mar 2019 10:44:06 Z Shutterstock / mubus7 2019-03-26 10:44 +00:00 2019-03-26 23:44 +13:00 Sandra Bullock lists three-acre oceanfront estate in Georgia with pool and guest house for $6.5M The estate has a total of seven bedrooms and five and a half baths and comes fully furnished. Mon, 25 Mar 2019 23:46:19 Z None 2019-03-25 23:46 +00:00 2019-03-26 12:46 +13:00 Mortgages Money Property Borrowing & debt Banks and building societies Mortgage rates Housing market Business UK news Real estate Retirement interest-only mortgages offer lifeline to older borrowers <p>Demand is growing for a new type of home loan that helps the over-55s facing a shortfall at the end of their existing term<br></p><p>A new breed of interest-only mortgage for older people is starting to take off. These deals could throw a lifeline to thousands of people who have an interest-only home loan that’s <a href="" title="">coming to an end</a>, but don’t know how they are going to pay back what they owe.</p><p>Interest-only mortgages became virtually extinct following the credit crunch and were once branded a ticking timebomb. During the past few years some older homeowners with these mortgages have found themselves staring down the barrel of a big shortfall and <a href="" title="">worried they could lose their homes</a>.</p><p>RIO mortgages are effectively standard home loans with one key difference: the mortgage does not have a set end date</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Sat, 23 Mar 2019 07:30:06 Z Photograph: Alamy Photograph: Alamy Rupert Jones 2019-03-23T07:30:06Z 2019-03-23 07:30 +00:00 2019-03-23 20:30 +13:00 How to read a floorplan to work out if a property for sale is too expensive A floor plan can be used to help buyers get closer to the true market value of a property and decide how much they should offer. Fri, 22 Mar 2019 12:13:52 Z None 2019-03-22 12:13 +00:00 2019-03-23 01:13 +13:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b72399088251bc6c91b2651 How to deal with asbestos on a budget Concerned about Asbestos, but can’t afford to deal with it right now? We have some advice to help. Thu, 21 Mar 2019 23:24:04 Z Emily Fly <p>It’s likely that many New Zealanders have asbestos in their homes and don’t even know it. The material was used in residential construction between the 1950s and 1980s, and there are still many houses from that time being lived in today.</p><p>Because it’s often discovered by chance, the <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos removal price</a> can be an unexpected cost that many people can’t afford immediately. In these situations, they may need to find a workaround themselves.</p><p>How can you manage asbestos in your home if you don’t have the budget for a professional solution? It starts with understanding exactly what asbestos is and what makes it dangerous.</p><p><br></p><h2><strong>What is asbestos?</strong></h2> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="800x531" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="what-is-asbestos.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5c9306a571c10b23b90e3684" data-type="image" src="" /> <p>Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used in construction for a good portion of the mid-twentieth century.&nbsp;</p><p>However, it’s rare for asbestos to be found in residential homes in its pure form. Most commonly, the mineral was used as a substrate in building materials like roofing tiles or textured ceiling paint to make them more fireproof and insulated.</p><p>These kinds of products are collectively known as asbestos containing materials (ACMs).</p><p>Asbestos containing materials like roofing tiles are where the mineral is most commonly found in NZ homes.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><strong>What makes asbestos dangerous?</strong></h2><p>The harm from asbestos comes from the tiny fibres being inhaled into the lungs when the material sheds or breaks. Often the result is cancer, with little to no opportunity for recovery—once the fibres make their way inside your body, they’re more or less impossible to remove.</p><p>That’s why removing or treating ACMs that are at risk of shedding fibres is so important. But not all asbestos is the same, or at least.</p><p><strong>There are two kinds:</strong></p><ol data-rte-list="default"><li><p>Friable asbestos is any ACM that can be reduced to powder or will crumble with the strength of an ordinary human hand.<br></p></li><li><p>Non-friable asbestos, on the other hand, are materials where the asbestos is more baked in and is ‘trapped’ to a certain extent within the material. So long as the ACM is in good condition, non-friable asbestos can be relatively safe, as the fibres are unable to easily make their way into the breathable air.</p></li></ol> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="800x600" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="Asbetos-poor-condition.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5c930c8c9140b74fef12a74f" data-type="image" src="" /> <h2><strong>What can I do to manage asbestos on a budget?</strong></h2><p>If you discover a suspected ACM on your property, the first step is to get it tested. Even if you don’t have the budget to have asbestos removed professionally, it’s a good idea to at least make sure you know if you’re dealing with it—and what kind.</p><p>Contacting experts like the team at Chemcare to have the material tested isn’t prohibitively expensive and is a vital first step in the management process.</p><p>If the test comes back positive but you can’t yet afford the <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos removal</a>, you have several courses of action.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. If it’s non-friable and small, remove it yourself</strong></p><p>Workplace health and safety law requires that a licensed professional remove any friable asbestos from a site, or any non-friable asbestos that’s larger than 10 metres square. This legislation, however, does not apply to your home if you do the removal yourself.</p><p>Even though it’s not required by law, for your safety it’s recommended that you only tackle asbestos removal when it’s both non-friable and less than 10 metres squared in size. Doing so will minimise the risks to your health as well as the chances of accidentally spreading contaminating fibres.</p><p>If you do remove any ACMs on your own, be sure to wear a respirator as well as gloves, protective glasses and disposable overalls. Line the area with plastic sheeting and stick it down securely with tape. Make sure everyone who isn’t helping with the job is away from the area and minimise airflow by closing all doors or windows and sealing them with tape.</p><p>If you’re removing things like asbestos sheets, wet them first to minimise the release of dust when they move. They should always be removed intact where possible, to minimise the chances of fibres escaping.</p><p>Another common ACM you might remove is a “popcorn” or textured ceiling. As this involves scraping the material off, it’s very important in this instance for the surface to be wet to minimise the amount of dust that may get into the air. Scrape the material off and bag it up as you go.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="2095x2219" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="Click to enlarge" data-load="false" data-image-id="5c931a78a4222fffd3e82d0e" data-type="image" src="" /> <p>Click to enlarge</p> <p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Encapsulate the material</strong></p><p>Many instances of non-friable asbestos like popcorn ceilings can be encapsulated instead of removed. This is the process of adding another layer of material on top like paint or sealant to better trap the asbestos within.</p><p>Start by preparing the area and yourself in the same way as described above. Clean the surface you’re sealing with a vacuum cleaner before sealing. The Ministry of Health recommends water-based PVA paints as the best coatings for asbestos-cement surfaces.</p><p>If you’re dealing with an <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos ceiling</a>, you can encapsulate it after you’ve scraped off the textured part.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3. Keep a record of the material and its condition</strong></p><p>If you’re not confident in removing or encapsulating the material yourself and are planning to save for its professional removal, it’s important to be aware of the condition its in. ACMs really only become hazardous when they’re in bad condition and fibres have the chance to escape.</p><p>Taking photos periodically can be an effective way to see if deterioration is taking place that otherwise might be hard to notice. You can then decide when the timing is right from both a financial and hazard perspective.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>4. Make sure everyone is aware of the risks</strong></p><p>You also need to ensure that everyone who will be around the ACM is both aware of what it is and what they need to watch for. All should be on the lookout for signs of deterioration and take extra caution not to bump or disturb it if it's in an area where it can potentially take unnecessary damage.</p><p>If you have children, it can also be a good idea to tell them not to play with anything that falls off a roof with asbestos tiles and to talk to an adult straight away.</p><p>Deteriorating ACMs pose the most risk - keep a track of the condition they’re in with photos</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><strong>What are the professional asbestos solutions?</strong></h2><p>For peace of mind, seek a professional solution to asbestos management.</p><p>Even if you can’t afford for removal or encapsulation to be done right away, at the very least you need to get any suspected asbestos materials tested. That way you can be sure they’re really what you think they are, and you can get some professional advice at the same time.&nbsp;</p><p>Ideally, if you can’t afford to have the asbestos dealt with professionally immediately, a short-term management solution should be adopted while you save to have the material dealt with properly.</p><p>Chemcare are experts in both <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos testing</a> and management. We’re licensed to remove and encapsulate all forms of asbestos. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help manage the asbestos in your home.</p> How to deal with asbestos on a budget 2019-03-21 23:24 +00:00 2019-03-22 12:24 +13:00 Top 10 places for buy-to-let with Rochdale number one, reveals Zoopla Zoopla research looked at the average rental yields of two-bedroom properties in towns with a minimum of 50,000 households, and Rochdale topped the list. Thu, 21 Mar 2019 14:45:26 Z None 2019-03-21 14:45 +00:00 2019-03-22 03:45 +13:00 Persimmon Construction industry Property Real estate Housing market Mortgages Consumer affairs Business Money UK news Persimmon homebuyers can withhold money until faults fixed <p>Contracts will state that 1.5% of property value can be held back until problems resolved</p><p>One of Britain’s biggest housebuilders has responded to criticism about the quality of its homes by allowing homebuyers to withhold an average of £3,600 per home until all faults are fixed.</p><p>Persimmon has come under fire for paying out <a href="">£500m in bonuses to 150 executives</a> and making an <a href="">annual profit of £1.1bn on the back of the government’s help</a><a href=""> to</a><a href=""> buy scheme</a>, while doing little to improve customer care and the quality of its new-build homes.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Thu, 21 Mar 2019 09:26:27 Z Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters Julia Kollewe 2019-03-21T09:26:27Z 2019-03-21 09:26 +00:00 2019-03-21 22:26 +13:00 Housing market House prices Property Inflation Business Money Office for National Statistics UK news Economics Real estate John McDonnell Office for Budget Responsibility Brexit House price growth at six-year low and inflation rises to 1.9% <p>UK is predicted to suffer first fall in prices since 2011 towards the end of this year</p><p>House prices grew at the slowest rate since 2013 in January, according to official figures that signalled the UK was heading later this year for the first fall in property values since the financial crash.</p><p>Average house prices in the UK increased by 1.7% in the year to January 2019, down <a href="">from 2.2% in December 2018</a> and 5.1% in October 2017, the Office for National Statistics said.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="">Manufacturers 'in despair' over Brexit; UK inflation rises - business live</a> </p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Wed, 20 Mar 2019 12:48:15 Z Photograph: Alicia Canter/The Guardian Photograph: Alicia Canter/The Guardian Phillip Inman 2019-03-20T12:48:15Z 2019-03-20 12:48 +00:00 2019-03-21 01:48 +13:00 Victory for 100,000 who were trapped in unsellable homes by toxic leasehold deals Joanne Darbyshire, above, and her husband Mark bought their £400,000 house leasehold in 2010. Government figures suggest there are 4.2 million leasehold properties in England. Tue, 19 Mar 2019 01:34:18 Z None 2019-03-19 01:34 +00:00 2019-03-19 14:34 +13:00 Housing market House prices Rightmove UK news London Brexit Business European Union Europe Foreign policy Politics World news Real estate Brexit fears dampen spring property revival as asking prices fall <p>UK’s average asking price 0.8% lower than a year ago, says Rightmove</p><p>Brexit anxiety has all but killed the traditional spring property revival, pushing down asking prices across the UK by 0.8% in the year to March, according to property website Rightmove.</p><p>Inner London saw the sharpest falls, followed by boroughs across the rest of the capital and surrounding counties, as separate reports showed that Brexit uncertainty was also damaging UK exports and the broader economy.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="">More than £100bn of UK property is secretly owned</a> </p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Mon, 18 Mar 2019 00:01:22 Z Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Miles Brignall 2019-03-18T00:01:22Z 2019-03-18 00:01 +00:00 2019-03-18 13:01 +13:00 London Organised crime Housing market UK news More than £100bn of UK property is secretly owned Analysis by Global Witness shows 87,000 properties – 40% of them in London – are anonymously owned by firms registered in tax havens<p>More than £100bn of property in England and Wales is secretly owned, new analysis suggests. More than 87,000 properties are owned by anonymous companies registered in tax havens, research by the transparency group <a href="" title="">Global Witness reveals.</a></p><p>The analysis reveals that 40% of the properties are in London. Cadogan Square in Knightsbridge, where the average property costs £3m, hosts at least 134 secretly owned properties. Buckingham Palace Road is also home to a large number, with a combined estimated value of £350m.</p> <a href="">Continue reading...</a> Sun, 17 Mar 2019 05:59:01 Z Photograph: Teri Pengilley Photograph: Teri Pengilley Jamie Doward 2019-03-17T05:59:01Z 2019-03-17 05:59 +00:00 2019-03-17 18:59 +13:00 Can you guess the price of these seven-bedroom homes? We’ve found 10 properties, each with seven bedrooms, that range in value from a relatively small budget of just £100,000 to an eye-watering £30million. Sat, 16 Mar 2019 10:17:02 Z None 2019-03-16 10:17 +00:00 2019-03-16 23:17 +13:00 Interactive graph reveals a third of millennials may never own a home Generation Y, those aged between 23 and 38, have to save for an average of eight years and four months to afford the average mortgage deposit of £42,836, according to loan broker ABC Finance. Fri, 15 Mar 2019 12:29:36 Z None 2019-03-15 12:29 +00:00 2019-03-16 01:29 +13:00 The new live/work homes with fashionable furniture alternatives Working from home is a reality for many and a dream for others. The downside is that it’s meant sacrificing a room and packing it with ugly but functional office furniture — until now. Fri, 15 Mar 2019 12:09:12 Z None 2019-03-15 12:09 +00:00 2019-03-16 01:09 +13:00 Georgian townhouse named London's ‘sexiest’ boutique hotel for sale for £2m The Georgian townhouse in East London, where the '40 Winks' boutique hotel is based, is on the market for £2million and thought to be one of the capital's oldest surviving terraced properties Thu, 14 Mar 2019 11:50:20 Z None 2019-03-14 11:50 +00:00 2019-03-15 00:50 +13:00 Fossil-fuel heating systems will be BANNED in all new-build houses In the Spring Statement the Chancellor announced new standards 'mandating the end of fossil fuel heating systems in new homes from 2025 delivering lower carbon, and lower fuel bills too'. Wed, 13 Mar 2019 22:03:57 Z Getty Images 2019-03-13 22:03 +00:00 2019-03-14 11:03 +13:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b7239c2032be49d46c80aaf The prevalence of asbestos around the world <p>Despite its use as a building material for over half a century, asbestos is now banned in New Zealand. The health complications and illnesses caused by asbestos fibre inhalation are well documented, and many New Zealanders have already taken steps to ensure their peace of mind.</p><p>This could be through <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos testing</a> and sampling—to determine the presence of the mineral in building materials—or a complete <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos survey</a>. For home or business owners who have discovered asbestos on their property, encapsulation or full asbestos removal will likely have been performed to limit any risk—and should be if it hasn’t already.</p><p>Elsewhere in the world, however, the asbestos market is still strong. Which countries are continuing to mine and manufacture the mineral, and for what purpose? Below, we’ll look at asbestos in other countries, and why it still has valuable properties—when not placing humans at risk of illness or death.</p><h2><strong>How much asbestos did we use in the past?</strong></h2><p>More than 100 years after the discovery of major asbestos deposits in Canada, the mineral entered the mainstream marketplace.</p><p>At first, asbestos was used as an insulating material—its fire-retardant properties made it a popular choice for lining the outside of furnaces. The success of this initial application opened the world up to the idea of more asbestos-containing materials, and soon thousands of products were being made with the mineral.</p><p>By the 1920s and ‘30s, asbestos became increasingly commonplace. It was used in everything from brakes, to textiles, and insulating materials and, by the 1940s, became a major product in the construction industry.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="800x400" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="asbestos-usage-us.png" data-load="false" data-image-id="5c882f8ceb393178db705a8f" data-type="image" src="" /> &nbsp;<p>By the early 1970s, the United States recorded using nearly 800,000 tonnes each year, with asbestos present in many ships and homes constructed during that period.</p><p>During this period—the 1930s to the ‘70s in particular—asbestos was used around the world to a staggering degree. After all, its harmful properties hadn’t been discovered as of yet, and the many benefits of the mineral—flexible, cheap to manufacture, fire-resistant to name a few—were lauded by tradesmen.</p><p>Had the negative health effects of <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos exposure</a> not existed, there’s no doubt it would have remained the ideal choice for insulation in nearly every application.</p><p>However, the results of asbestos exposure were soon discovered, and countries rapidly assessed the potential damage to their population and called for the material to be banned outright.</p><h2><strong>Which countries have banned asbestos?</strong></h2><p>Almost 30 years ago, many countries looked to ban asbestos in all its forms. Once the health risks of asbestos exposure became more well-known, and governments recognised the potential harm caused to the population, its use in construction declined.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="600x300" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="asbestos-banned.png" data-load="false" data-image-id="5c882fa51905f46dd5e8d358" data-type="image" src="" /> <p>The negative health effects caused by asbestos take considerable time to develop. It can take years or even decades for some symptoms to appear, which makes the total banning of asbestos in those early days a significant point of difference for health improvement. One of the first countries to ban asbestos was Sweden, where cases of mesothelioma have reduced noticeably in the past few decades.</p><p>Now, 55 countries have committed to banning asbestos completely. Notable inclusions are Australia, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.</p><p>The United States, however, is not on the list, and a number of countries are still major producers and exporters of the material on a global scale.</p><h2><strong>Where is asbestos still used around the world? </strong></h2> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="800x450" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="Asbestos-exporters.png" data-load="false" data-image-id="5c8837f1971a180eb7418f3b" data-type="image" src="" /> <p>As many countries began reducing and eventually banning asbestos-containing materials, other parts of the world were only increasing their use of the deadly fibre. Notable producers and exporters of asbestos include Brazil, China, and Russia, which benefit from exporting the fibre to countries with little-to-no environmental or occupational regulations.</p><p>Interestingly, many of the major exporters of asbestos use barely any of the material on their home soil—with the except of China, one of the major consumers. Despite this, there is still considerable knowledge of and discussion about the use of asbestos in these countries.</p><p>In China, the government was openly vocal about venues and buildings constructed for the 2008 Olympic Games not containing asbestos cement. This was most likely done to address the health concerns of visiting sportspeople, who would possibly refuse to enter the grounds were there any risk of exposure.</p><p>This acknowledgement of public opinion around asbestos-containing products is further illustrated by China’s exporting of car parts. Having previously supplied many countries with asbestos-containing brakes, all automotive parts and accessories now made in China are shown to have no asbestos present in any of the components. This indicates that legislation will be the driving force behind asbestos safety in the future—by reducing the chances of asbestos-containing materials being present in construction, major suppliers will have to think of other uses where human contact will be minimal.</p><p>One such example of this is India, a country producing only a fraction of asbestos each year compared to other exporters, but a major importer due to the use of asbestos in cementing and pipe insulation. It’s clear asbestos still has many useful properties, if kept in good condition and used in a responsible manner.</p><h2><strong>Why is asbestos still being used in some countries? </strong></h2><p>In general, prolific use of asbestos is often a case of government regulations—either a lack of regulations on safe asbestos use or by imposing taxes and tariffs on cheaper and safer artificial materials.</p><p>This serves to encourage the notion that asbestos is incredibly cheap to make, where the cost difference between similar, man-made products is—in reality—marginal. Often, the government taxes placed on these substitutes will strengthen the case for asbestos use and, as the effects of asbestos on the citizens of developing countries won’t likely be seen for a further decade or two, there’s little argument against it for now.</p><p>As many of the countries importing asbestos are in lower-economic standing to the exporter countries, asbestos-containing materials are unfortunately more of a necessity than a choice. Hopefully, as further awareness about the fibrous material is shown by the public, and a greater number of countries advise on strict regulation, the use of safer substitutes will rise.</p><h2><strong>Is there still asbestos in New Zealand? </strong></h2><p>Thanks to the early construction and environmental regulations on asbestos developed in&nbsp; Europe by Iceland and Sweden, many countries that still use even a small amount of asbestos have strict controls in place.</p><p>In New Zealand, there’s a high chance that many buildings yet to be inspected and surveyed for asbestos will contain the fibre in some form. Thankfully, if the asbestos is still in optimal condition and not yet friable, there are methods available to reinforce the surroundings of the material and prevent the release of any asbestos fibres.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="550x400" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="NZ-ASBESTOS.png" data-load="false" data-image-id="5c883c36e2c483506eb34d05" data-type="image" src="" /> <p>Importantly, our country has increased its awareness of asbestos as a whole. We now have established methods for detecting and managing asbestos in buildings which, if we follow the same success as Sweden, will mean the cases of asbestos-related illness is bound to decrease in the decades to come.</p><p>As experts on asbestos testing, sampling, and full <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos removal</a> or encapsulation, the team at Chemcare do their best to keep fellow Kiwis informed. If you believe there may be asbestos present in your home or workplace, call one of our asbestos testing and removal specialists today.</p> Wed, 13 Mar 2019 19:15:52 Z Emily Fly The prevalence of asbestos around the world 2019-03-13 19:15 +00:00 2019-03-14 08:15 +13:00 COMMENT: Capital gain vs cash flow <p>There are two very different types of property investors and the introduction of a capital gains tax would affect one far more than the other, explains veteran property investor Graeme Fowler.</p> Tue, 12 Mar 2019 09:21:00 +1200 2019-03-12 09:21 +12:00 2019-03-12 10:21 +13:00 Timewarp Edinburgh bungalow for sale with valuable 60s furniture Take a step over the threshold of this Edinburgh property for sale and there is a treasure trove of interior design delights on display, including some potentially valuable vintage furniture. Sat, 09 Mar 2019 14:52:40 Z None 2019-03-09 14:52 +00:00 2019-03-10 03:52 +13:00 Looking to build an extension to your home? Orangeries are the new alternative to conservatories The stagnant housing market has been bad news for many but, for firms selling orangeries, it’s happy days, days Fred Redwood. Fri, 08 Mar 2019 16:08:18 Z None 2019-03-08 16:08 +00:00 2019-03-09 05:08 +13:00 Homewards app could help you save for a house deposit quicker with pooled cashback A new app,, is launching later this year which will allow you to earn cashback from your shopping and will allow your partner and family to contribute as well Fri, 08 Mar 2019 09:10:13 Z None 2019-03-08 09:10 +00:00 2019-03-08 22:10 +13:00 House prices grow by highest on record in February after fall in January House prices rose annually, monthly and quarterly last month for the first time since last October, reversing a nearly 3 per cent fall in January. Thu, 07 Mar 2019 10:39:37 Z None 2019-03-07 10:39 +00:00 2019-03-07 23:39 +13:00 Family hit 'breaking point' over 700 FAULTS in new £280,000 house Nicola Bentley, 46, and husband Phil, 48, claim that despite complaining about the faults ten months ago, only 10 per cent of them have been fixed at the home in Kippax, West Yorkshire. Thu, 07 Mar 2019 06:53:16 Z SWNS 2019-03-07 06:53 +00:00 2019-03-07 19:53 +13:00 Is this 95% interest-only mortgage a sign that easy lending will return? Small deposit mortgages are painted as a villain of the 2000s boom, but it was interest-only mortgages dished out with no repayment plans that really drove prices up. Will they return? Thu, 07 Mar 2019 06:00:46 Z Shutterstock / Fabio Balbi 2019-03-07 06:00 +00:00 2019-03-07 19:00 +13:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b8f1d63352f53909ed054d5 Why asbestos encapsulation isn't always your best option Asbestos encapsulation is popular amongst homeowners as an alternative to removal. Here are the facts you need to know, from the asbestos experts at Chemcare. Wed, 06 Mar 2019 19:46:29 Z Emily Fly <p>Asbestos in New Zealand buildings has been common for around 70 years. While we’ve covered at length the factors behind this surge in asbestos-containing materials in construction, how can asbestos be best managed in a property?</p><p>Despite its hazardous nature, asbestos had many unique properties for building materials, but it can break down over time. Asbestos roofs, for instance, tend to deteriorate on the outside, mostly due to harsh UV rays, pollution, or a lack of upkeep - moss and other growth can break down the protective roofing cover around <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos-containing materials</a>.</p><p>Often, if your asbestos roof can be salvaged, you might consider encapsulation. There are benefits to encapsulating asbestos on your property, though it’s not a one-time fix like some people might think. Whether you’re in a home or office, you’ll need to maintain regular monitoring of the area, and encapsulate it using a waterproof, durable material. If you’re encapsulating asbestos in a roof, you’ll require excellent UV tolerance as well.</p><h2><strong>Why choose encapsulation?</strong></h2><p>It doesn’t matter if you’ve just bought a house, or moved into a new office after years of running a successful business; the cost of renovating and the disturbance to your life is never an option you consider lightly. While cost and business downtime are arguments against renovation and removal of asbestos, it’s also not always necessary. You’ll need to consider the health of the asbestos present, where it is in your building, and the quality of the surrounding materials.</p><p>Unfortunately, the answer you want isn’t often the one you’ll receive, so before spending a lot of money on any decision, speak to an asbestos specialist and get a qualified, professional opinion.</p><p>The benefits of asbestos encapsulation, if it is a viable option, are considerable. You won’t have to remove large sections of your building, you’ll experience minimal downtime around the property, and it will be far cheaper than total reconstruction. However, any encapsulation must be performed by a professional, and only using high-quality materials suitable for the target area. As mentioned above, exposed areas such as roofs are at risk of decay if not regularly cleaned and properly maintained.</p><h2><strong>What asbestos encapsulation covers</strong></h2><p>Asbestos encapsulation is designed to protect the asbestos from external damage, so if it’s not reasonably practicable to <a href="" target="_blank">remove asbestos</a> or the asbestos is in good condition, the preferred method of dealing with it is often encapsulation or enclosure.</p><p>When you decide against removal, asbestos is usually encapsulated in a robust, resistant material such as reinforced plastics, resins, plasters and cements. If the asbestos is surrounded by material where there is little chance of corrosion over time, and an equally low chance of asbestos fibres becoming airborne.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="600x576" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="Lady-inspects-fireplace.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5c7f5393f4e1fcc96b85bfcf" data-type="image" src="" /> <p>If you’re at home, you’ll want to immediately call in the professionals to recommend the next course of action. If you’re running a business it’s your responsibility to enclose non-friable asbestos if you’re not reasonably able to remove it, and only if any asbestos present in the building will avoid being damaged by employees or work activity.</p><p>Enclosing any asbestos on your property is done through creating a physical barrier between the asbestos-containing material and any access points. Although this option helps to minimise the potential for airborne fibres, any enclosure must also allow for the asbestos to be regularly inspected as part of any ongoing asbestos management plan.</p><h2><strong>Maintaining the asbestos encapsulation</strong></h2><p>Due to the need for ongoing monitoring, it’s realistic that enclosure or encapsulation should be an interim measure for any long-term asbestos management in a building. You’ll need to regularly inspect any affected areas---assuming you are trained in doing so. Otherwise, you’ll require the assessment of a competent person to decide whether asbestos needs to be removed due to any incurred damage or exacerbated deterioration.</p><p>Asbestos does not corrode due to salt-water exposure, does not create condensation, nor catch on fire. Its durability is, in part, due to thermal expansion, so applying a coating that is too rigid could cause the area to crack under heat. Likewise, it’s important the encapsulated area is checked every six months, and re-encapsulated every two years. This is a reasonable timeframe to monitor and record any environmental wear-and-tear.</p><p>Part of your ongoing monitoring will require air sampling. Quite self-explanatory, you’ll need an asbestos professional to take a sample of the air in either your home or workplace and test it for asbestos fibres. Air sampling is important, as it must be conducted before any removal work as a measure of the present conditions, and afterward to ensure no asbestos is present.</p><p>It’s recommended that when approaching any asbestos management or removal project, you consider speaking to your asbestos specialist about the following:&nbsp;</p><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Background sampling of the property.</p><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Ongoing testing following encapsulation to identify leaks.</p><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Post-removal <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos sampling</a> after it has been removed.</p><p>This is done for a few reasons, with the most obvious being to test for any asbestos present. However, taking air samples before and after work is done identifies any areas that may have been missed, while sampling as part of a maintenance plan can help spot any leaks in the enclosure that could be a hazard to your health or those around you.&nbsp;</p><h2><strong>Sampling and monitoring your asbestos removal</strong></h2><p>When it comes time for full asbestos removal, you’ll want to take just as much care as you did during the encapsulation process. Although you’ll be preparing for a reasonable amount of renovation, you’ll gain increased peace of mind, and will no longer have to worry about maintenance checks of such regularity.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="760x600" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="Air-monitoring.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5c7f53f0a4222f6d992523bd" data-type="image" src="" /> <p>Ideally, air sampling should start before the removal process begins, with background monitoring to establish existing asbestos fibres in the air. Once all asbestos removal work has been completed, your asbestos specialists will clean the area and take another reading to ensure the air is healthy and breathable.</p><p>Any dust present in the removal area must be treated as if it contains asbestos, and if you notice any dust still present following a procedure, contact your asbestos removal team as soon as possible. In the event that any asbestos cannot be removed from an area due to lack of access, you will need to speak with your consultant about options for ongoing encapsulation.</p><h2><strong>Long-term planning</strong></h2><p>If you’ve discovered asbestos in your home or business, you’ll want to know about its presence and ensure it’s taken care of. While encapsulation is one reliable option to prevent any asbestos fibres from entering the breathable air, there are certain conditions required to make it worthwhile in the long-term. Alternatively, you can opt for full <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>asbestos removal</strong></a>, which, while a lengthier and more intrusive process, will ensure your building is asbestos-free for the future.</p><p>If you have any concerns about asbestos in your home or business, have already encapsulated asbestos in your home and are concerned about the quality of the job, or just need to speak to the expert team at Chemcare about <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>how to take an asbestos sample</strong></a>, contact one of our asbestos specialists today.</p> Why asbestos encapsulation isn't always your best option 2019-03-06 19:46 +00:00 2019-03-07 08:46 +13:00 Flood capitals of Britain revealed: Hull takes top spot An average of 7.5% of properties in Britain's flood capital, the East Yorkshire city of Hull have flooded previously, according to analysis of 1.25m home insurance quotes from 2018. Tue, 05 Mar 2019 22:08:58 Z None 2019-03-05 22:08 +00:00 2019-03-06 11:08 +13:00 Ilfracombe four-bedroom house on sale for just £45,000 because it is two feet deep in pigeon poo A terraced house overlooking the Bristol Channel in Ilfracombe is on sale for just £45,000 because it is covered in pigeon poo. The house was lived in until the end of last year. Mon, 04 Mar 2019 21:02:57 Z Webbers / SWNS 2019-03-04 21:02 +00:00 2019-03-05 10:02 +13:00 COMMENT: Property reno - where are the tradies? <p>What seemed like a straight-forward renovation job on a rental property left Auckland Property Investors Association vice president Peter Lewis wondering where all the tradies have gone when we need them so much&hellip;</p> Tue, 05 Mar 2019 08:02:00 +1200 2019-03-05 08:02 +12:00 2019-03-05 09:02 +13:00 Home Improvement home maintenance remodeling Are You Overimproving for Your Neighborhood? Home improvements always pay off come selling time, right? Turns out it's all relative. Mon, 04 Mar 2019 13:59:37 Z Erica Sooter <p>We all love a house-flipping reality show - we shout our opinions and weep when we see the final reveal. It&#8217;s an innate human instinct to want to make things better. And when it comes to selling your own home, it&#8217;s often a good instinct to follow.</p> <p>But while it may be OK to max out the budget on a reality TV show, pulling out all the stops in your own home renovation might not be the best choice. Depending on the real estate market, your neighborhood and what buyers are looking for, you may need to do less - or more - than you think.</p> <p>Before you demolish all the walls, take these four considerations into account.</p> <h2>Sellers market vs. buyers market</h2> <p>Does your local market favor buyers or sellers? You can tell the difference by looking at <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">trends on Zillow</a>, talking to a real estate agent or checking out nearby neighborhoods.</p> <p>If a lot of nice for-sale homes in your area haven&#8217;t sold, it&#8217;s likely a buyers market. This means that shoppers have many homes to choose from, so the ones with the nicest updates, lowest prices and better neighborhoods will go first, leaving a lot of homes sitting idle on the market.</p> <p>If homes are selling right and left, then it&#8217;s a sellers market. In this case, there aren&#8217;t as many homes for buyers to choose from, so sellers can often get above asking price as a result of bidding wars.</p> <p>If you&#8217;re thinking about selling your home, understanding what the market is doing will help you determine how much you need to upgrade your home.</p> <h2>Improving in different markets</h2> <p>If it&#8217;s a buyers market, you&#8217;ll likely need to do more to your home to stand out. The average garage door replacement costs around $1,600, but if it makes your home stand out and sell faster, it may be a good move.</p> <p>If it&#8217;s a sellers market, you can get away with upgrading less, since homeowners will be competing for your home regardless of how tricked out it is. Spend your money wisely<strong> </strong>on things like new counters or fixtures, and spruce up the rest with a fresh coat of paint and some elbow grease.</p> <h2>Consider your neighborhood</h2> <p>The next important factor is your neighborhood, because you don&#8217;t want to price yourself out of it. Do you live in a new development? Or an older one where the homes are 40, 50 or 60 years old? Do you have a homeowners association that will limit what you can do? Or can you renovate at will?</p> <p>In older neighborhoods, you don&#8217;t want to renovate your house so much that it looks out of place or becomes a target for theft. You want to find a nice balance.</p> <p>If most homes in your area have dated finishes, focus on a few crucial updates that&#8217;ll help your house stand out <em>and</em> stay within your neighborhood&#8217;s average pricing. People are less willing to buy a $475,000 house in a neighborhood where homes don&#8217;t usually sell for more than $300,000.</p> <p>A good rule of thumb: Don&#8217;t raise your home&#8217;s value any higher than 10 percent of the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">average cost of homes</a> in your neighborhood.</p> <p>However, if you live in a nicer area and your house is the shabbiest on the block, you&#8217;ll want to spend a little more to keep up. Take a look at homes in your neighborhood that have sold in the last 90 days (you can find this right <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here </a>on Zillow). Emulate the finishes those homes have while remaining within your budget.</p> <h2>Where to invest your money</h2> <p>Give your home the features buyers look for most. Many homeowners look for updated kitchens, master bedrooms and bathrooms. These three spaces alone can sell your home, so consider investing extra money in these areas.</p> <p>If you have additional funds, consider replacing flooring or upgrading small things like lighting, fixtures and doorknobs.</p> <p>Use your budget wisely, and consider going the DIY route - some projects can <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">recoup a large part of your investment</a>! If brand-new kitchen cabinets are out of your budget - or if they&#8217;d price you out of your current neighborhood - consider painting your current ones.</p> <p>Of course, watch for sales or deals on things you can use in your renovations. Regardless of how old or new your neighborhood is, choose timeless styles and colors that will appeal to a wide range of home buyers.</p> <p>If you do your market research and follow the trends, you&#8217;ll end up with a beautifully renovated home that will appeal to a large range of buyers.</p> <p><strong>Related</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">8 Curb Appeal Boosters You Can Do in a Weekend</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Quiz: Should You Renovate Your Home or Sell?</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">3 Must-Do&#8217;s Before Listing Your House for Sale</a></li> </ul> <p><em>Originally published April 25, 2016.</em></p> 5 2019-03-04 13:59 +00:00 2019-03-05 02:59 +13:00 Inside the super-luxury New York high rise where a rental will set you back $59,000-a-MONTH The developers building the tower on New York's Central Park South have been extremely secret and no listings were made public as even as the wealthiest of residents purchased the apartments. Mon, 04 Mar 2019 13:59:25 Z None 2019-03-04 13:59 +00:00 2019-03-05 02:59 +13:00 We look at the dos and don'ts of putting your home under the hammer   A Post Office Money study recently showed that 44 per cent of conventional sales — called ‘private treaty’ deals — collapse within four weeks of a seller receiving an acceptable offer. Mon, 04 Mar 2019 08:52:03 Z None 2019-03-04 08:52 +00:00 2019-03-04 21:52 +13:00 Avoriaz's modern ski architecture has a VIP SKI chalet to match Inside this new chalet in Avoriaz, there are lots of oranges, with a grey, modern background. Sat, 02 Mar 2019 09:59:36 Z None 2019-03-02 09:59 +00:00 2019-03-02 22:59 +13:00 What is build-to-rent? We look at the new development in Wembley Park The new purpose-built rental properties in London's Wembley Park offer tenants a host of benefits, including being able to bring their pets along to live with them. Fri, 01 Mar 2019 17:15:45 Z None 2019-03-01 17:15 +00:00 2019-03-02 06:15 +13:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b6b80f370a6ad2bbcd6e7a9 The future of asbestos in New Zealand Asbestos is still found in many New Zealand homes, despite being banned. What does the future look like for the material and the health effects it causes? Thu, 28 Feb 2019 01:52:15 Z Zach White <p>Asbestos was used as a building material in New Zealand for many years before it was acknowledged to cause many health complications. Yet, despite its rare use in recent times and a complete ban on import and exportation of the mineral in 2016, you can still find asbestos in New Zealand homes. Here we examine what the future of asbestos looks like in this country. To do that, we must first ask: <strong>“How much asbestos is there?”&nbsp;</strong></p><h2><strong>How much asbestos is present in New Zealand?</strong></h2><p>A hard and fast figure for how much asbestos is still present in buildings around the country is impossible to find, simply because its use was never accurately or directly recorded.</p><p>However, a report released in 2015 on behalf of the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor detailed some of the numbers relating to asbestos’ use in New Zealand. For one, the peak year for the material’s import was 1974, <strong>when over 12,000 tonnes</strong> entered the country. Imports declined since that peak, the historical total amount of asbestos imported into New Zealand <strong>exceeds 200,000 tonnes</strong>. Much of this can still be found today in our buildings and machinery insulation.</p><p>In comparison to other countries, New Zealand fell somewhere in the middle with respect to how much asbestos was used. Until the 1970s and ‘80s, New Zealand was behind other developed countries in use of the material. During that period, asbestos in New Zealand saw a surge in use that put our country above the United States and the United Kingdom in terms of per capita use. Our Australian neighbours, however, along with Canada, Denmark and Germany were still using far more.</p><h2><strong>Is asbestos banned in New Zealand?</strong></h2><p>You might have expected that as soon as the negative health effects asbestos caused were discovered, the material would be banned to limit its further use - this didn’t become the case <strong>until 2016</strong>. Before then, regulations were in place to make it difficult to bring all types of asbestos into the country and the aforementioned report from the Royal Society of New Zealand explains that a survey of building industry groups and other relevant parties found that asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are not used often in modern construction - substitute materials have long been adopted.</p><p>Despite the minuscule amount of asbestos being used, the material came into the public consciousness in a big way, according to researchers William Ivan Glass, Rob Armstrong, and Grace Chen, thanks to the Pike River mine explosion in 2010 and the Christchurch earthquakes in 2011.</p><p>Buildings collapsing in the Christchurch earthquakes made the risk of airborne asbestos all the more apparent.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="500x375" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="Image by Flickr user shelby-dog under CC BY-SA 2.0" data-load="false" data-image-id="5c7350dca4222fd11262f84c" data-type="image" src="" /> <p>Image by Flickr user shelby-dog under CC BY-SA 2.0</p> <p>As they explain in their paper, <em>Banning Asbestos in New Zealand</em>, the “urgent and widespread removal of demolished and damaged buildings, initially with little concern as to the nature of the demolition products whether concrete, brick, plaster, <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos insulation</a> or asbestos cement products, soon raised concerns among the public as convoys of trucks trundled past houses on their way to tip sites”.</p><p>This fear of asbestos contamination inspired the Government to begin development of what would become the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016, which banned the importation and exportation of all forms of asbestos and ACMs entirely.</p><h2><strong>What is the health toll from asbestos in New Zealand?</strong></h2><p>The reason asbestos and its presence is a problem is due to the health problems it causes. A detailed report from The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) covers the effects: for every one case of mesothelioma (a rare cancer of the lung caused by asbestos) there are between one and two cases of asbestosis and other lung cancers. In the years up to 2010, there were around <strong>90 to 100 cases of mesothelioma every year.</strong> This is part, according to the report, of a ‘second epidemic’ of health problems occurring from initial exposure to the material during its heavy-use phase between the ‘50s and ‘70s.</p><p>Despite the progress made with the full ban of asbestos-containing products in 2016, ACMs were installed in buildings all around the country for decades and decades. In practical terms, this means that - unfortunately - the risk from asbestos on Kiwi’s health isn’t just going to disappear. In fact, it will take time for the already present reserves of asbestos-containing materials to be either removed or encapsulated to a point where they’re no longer dangerous.</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="494x600" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="lungs-xray.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5c75f4a2e79c708641fc32d9" data-type="image" src="" /> <p>The MBIE report says, however, that we can expect these negative effects to diminish gradually over time, as the complications from asbestos take long to develop; more recent regulations around the material mean fewer people today are exposed to it than ever before.&nbsp;</p><p>With proper <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos management</a>, the risks of the material can be minimised as best as possible moving into the future. To learn more about having suspected asbestos in your home or place of business tested, <a href="">get in contact</a> with the expert team at Chemcare today.</p> The future of asbestos in New Zealand 2019-02-28 01:52 +00:00 2019-02-28 14:52 +13:00 Home Improvement decorating Home offices Home Organization Creating a Home(work) Station That Gets Top Marks Good study habits are easier to build when you have a dedicated and attractive spot to hit the books. Tue, 26 Feb 2019 13:00:21 Z Kerrie Kelly <p>When was the last time your home workspace or study station inspired you? For most people, the answer is, "Not recently."</p> <p>Whether you&#8217;re prepping an area for your work-from-home days or setting up a spot for young scholars to study , you can kick inspiration into high gear with home office solutions that will get your creative juices flowing again.</p> <h2>Window wonder</h2> <p>It's no secret that sunshine does the body good. Fix up a space near the window so you can soak up plenty of vitamin D while pumping out price lists or writing that term paper.</p> <p>Greenery looks great near a bright area, so a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">potted plant</a> or two might help naturally bring your space to life.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-229284" src="" alt="" width="800" height="531" /></p> <h2>Arts and crafts</h2> <p>The age of DIY is upon us. Embrace the casual-cool vibes and create your very own home desk area.</p> <p>Need a semipermanent to-do list? Try using chalkboard paint to make yourself a giant notepad on a nearby cabinet or a framed chalkboard. Tired of the overdone corkboard for your sticky notes? Framed chicken wire with clothespins makes a more shabby-chic memo board.</p> <p>The possibilities really are endless for this type of style. Just don't let your <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">DIYing</a> get in the way of the tasks you originally sat down to do!</p> <figure id="attachment_181204" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-181204" style="width: 500px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img class="wp-image-181204 size-full" src="" alt="arts" width="500" height="750" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-181204" class="wp-caption-text">Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Zillow listing</a>.</figcaption></figure> <h2>Collaboration is key</h2> <p>For those less focus-intensive projects, investigate a collaborative workstation with several small spaces or a giant community table. This type of work environment has been popular among small companies and creative agencies for the purpose of bouncing around ideas.</p> <p>If you still want your own personal space, put a divider between you and the other desks for some extra privacy, and take it down when it's time to meet and discuss. You know what they say: Teamwork makes the dream work.</p> <figure id="attachment_181205" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-181205" style="width: 550px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img class="wp-image-181205 size-full" src="" alt="collab sm" width="550" height="645" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-181205" class="wp-caption-text">Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Zillow listing</a>.</figcaption></figure> <h2>A clear mind</h2> <p>While many of us would like to think we have complete control of our habit of logging onto Facebook or checking what else our calendar has in store for us, most of us really don't. And the greatest enabler of this sidetracked behavior is a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">cluttered workspace</a>.</p> <p>Set the stage for a clean slate with a bright white desk and matching chair, a simple light fixture and an inspiring element. Keeping your workstation simple and clutter-free ensures you have a productive day - even if your homework is less than exhilarating.</p> <p>Whether you're up all night cramming for exams or prepping for a work presentation due first thing in the morning, you'll feel more focused and productive by incorporating any of these tips into your workstation.</p> <p><strong>Related</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">10 Ways to Conquer Clutter and Simplify Your Life</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">3 Steps to Creating an Organized Entryway (Even If You Don&#8217;t Have the Space)</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">7 Ways to Self-Sabotage Your Organizing Efforts</a></li> </ul> <p><em>Originally published September 7, 2016.</em></p> 15 2019-02-26 13:00 +00:00 2019-02-27 02:00 +13:00 Should you buy a French chateau? Dick and Angel star in new DIY show Dick Strawbridge and his wife Angel swapped their two-bed flat in Essex for a French chateau - and now their helping others to do the same in Channel 4's Escape to the Chateau DIY. Sat, 23 Feb 2019 11:16:13 Z None 2019-02-23 11:16 +00:00 2019-02-24 00:16 +13:00 Think houseboats are scruffy and cold? Floating homes can have lavish interiors and high price tags Long gone are the days when a houseboat was a scruffy, lop-sided craft tethered to a post on the sodden canal bank. Sat, 23 Feb 2019 11:00:45 Z None 2019-02-23 11:00 +00:00 2019-02-24 00:00 +13:00 The areas of Britain with the most £1m-plus homes revealed Some 44 per cent of homes in the desirable Surrey village of Cobham are valued at £1million-plus, according to Zoopla, as it revealed where the most million-pound homes are. Fri, 22 Feb 2019 10:02:55 Z None 2019-02-22 10:02 +00:00 2019-02-22 23:02 +13:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b4e9127352f53acb94a1ebf How to safely collect an asbestos sample If you have discovered asbestos in your property, you should know what you’re dealing with by collecting a sample for testing - here’s how to do it safely. Thu, 21 Feb 2019 04:32:44 Z Emily Fly <p>Despite the well-known risks of asbestos, the material is commonly found in properties nationwide. Asbestos was frequently used in construction across New Zealand between the 1940s and the late 1980s due to its durability, and has only been banned as a building material since 1987. This means a large number of structures nationwide are likely to contain asbestos fibres.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Fortunately, there’s no need to panic, as the material isn’t necessarily dangerous. If your structure is in good condition, it’s likely there has been minimal asbestos deterioration, which means your breathing environment won’t be compromised.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>However, if you know there is asbestos present in your home, it pays to be cautious; take an asbestos sample from your home or business and have it sent for expert testing with industry professionals such as Chemcare. To ensure everyone is following the right steps to safe asbestos sampling, we’ve created a quick guide below.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><strong>What should I do if I suspect there is asbestos on my property?</strong></h2><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><p>If you’re uncertain about whether or not there may be asbestos on your property, the first step is a visual check. You may not know <a href="" target="_blank">what asbestos looks like</a> though this doesn’t necessarily require you to perform a thorough once-over of your building - instead, simply look through any architectural plans, as these should have notes on the building materials used during the initial construction. Other documents that may assist are compliance certificates for renovation or past asbestos testing reports.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>By New Zealand law, only certified professionals can conduct asbestos treatment or removal projects, meaning there will be recorded documentation of this work taking place.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>If you’ve identified that asbestos building materials were used in the construction of your property, you should take extra care in collecting a safe sample to send for expert <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos testing</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="1152x768" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="Image credit: Flickr - Asbestos Sampling by NAVFAC" data-load="false" data-image-id="5c6a0e0eeef1a1de5b11295c" data-type="image" src="" /> <p>Image credit: Flickr - Asbestos Sampling by NAVFAC</p> <h2><strong>How do I safely collect an asbestos sample?</strong></h2><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Collecting your asbestos sample needs to be done safely, to ensure you don’t inhale any potentially dangerous dust or debris. Auckland Regional Public Health Service offers a dedicated guide to assist you, step by step, in collecting the asbestos sample you need to send for testing at an accredited lab.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>1)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Identify an area of your building that you think may contain asbestos - this is where you’ll perform your safe asbestos sampling.</p><p>2)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Use a sharp tool, such as a knife, to gently dig at the material you suspect has asbestos in it. The size of the sample you take will depend on where you get it from.</p><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; For ceiling cladding, it’s recommended to take a heaped teaspoon of debris from two different areas - making up a total sample size of one tablespoon.</p><p>●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; When testing floor coverings, a 25mm full-thickness square piece of material - including the adhesive layer - is ideal for accurate asbestos testing.</p><p>3)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Gather this debris into a plastic bag - ensure there is no hole in it and that no dust can escape from any perforations. Seal the plastic bag thoroughly with tape. Alternatively, use a ziplock bag and seal it with tape as well, to be certain no dust is released.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><strong>What safety precautions should I take?</strong></h2><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><p>You’re now one step closer to ensuring your property is safe. When taking your asbestos sample, however, it’s important to follow a few safety precautions yourself. This will help minimise the amount of dust released and protect yourself and others from inhalation. Follow these basic tips for safer asbestos testing:</p><p>1)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Cover your mouth and nose with a dust mask from a hardware retailer. Alternatively, if you can, use certified respirator equipment to be completely safe. You should also use overalls and gloves to cover your bare skin and clothes.&nbsp;</p><p>2)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Before taking your asbestos sample, gently mist water over the material. This will dampen it and reduce the likelihood of dust rising during collection.</p><p>3)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Ensure any heating, cooling or air-ventilation systems are switched off while you’re taking your sample. This further minimises the chance of <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos dust</a> circulating in the air, which can be a danger to both yourself and those around you.</p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true"></p><p>You should also check on safe ways of disposing asbestos dust-laced clothing prior to performing your sampling - experts in asbestos removal and treatment can help with this process.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><strong>What are the next steps?</strong></h2><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Once you have collected your asbestos sample for testing, arrange for the material to be sent to an accredited lab by contacting the Chemcare team. Our experts can determine approximate rates of deterioration and the risk it poses to your indoor air quality and safety. From there, we can work with you to decide on the next steps, whether it’s recommending asbestos encapsulation, a removal project, or providing tips on how you can reduce the risk of asbestos material becoming dangerous in the future.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Reach out to the Chemcare team today if you’re concerned about your property, and ensure your safety and peace of mind.</p> How to safely collect an asbestos sample 2019-02-21 04:32 +00:00 2019-02-21 17:32 +13:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b7f655f6d2a73185b3a5c99 Assessing asbestos needs a proper assessor The Ministry of Health regulations to manage asbestos materials in New Zealand require each removal job checked by an independent asbestos assessor to deal with asbestos safely. Thu, 21 Feb 2019 04:19:06 Z Emily Fly <p>When the Ministry of Health developed new regulations to manage the millions of tonnes of <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos materials</a> in New Zealand, it needed to ensure checks and balances would always be &nbsp;in place, such is the level of danger within all asbestos material.</p><p>The independent asbestos assessor plays an important role in these checks and balances.</p><p>Not only do detailed training courses prepare people to deal with asbestos safely, the regulations require that each removal job is also checked by an independent <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos assessor</a>.</p><p>For anybody ordering and paying for the removal of asbestos materials, this final independent check is an additional cost, but it can verify that the area is permanently safe from any potential asbestos fibres reaching human life.</p><p>David Serville, managing director of Chemcare, said his company’s employees welcome this final sign-off approach to the work of asbestos removal.</p><p>“There is some criticism that the regulations are pedantic, but the we are dealing with a product that continues to take about 170 New Zealand lives a year,”: said David.</p><p>“It is easy to become casual about asbestos, especially when you don’t even notice if you’re inhaling it and when the actual fatal symptoms don’t show themselves for many years.</p><p>An independent assessor helps our company to keep our own people safe and is a continuous check that we have done our work correctly.</p><p>I also support the concept of an asbestos assessor being completely independent of our removal service. Like a teacher marking our work. An asbestos assessor keeps us sharp.”</p><p>All of the training courses have been developed and refined to ensure people involved in the effort to remove asbestos, keep themselves safe, as well as others</p>&nbsp; <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="500x718" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="asbestos-assessment.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5c6e25eaeb39315d8de1331a" data-type="image" src="" /> <h2><strong>Licensed asbestos assessors do the following tasks:</strong></h2><ul data-rte-list="default"><li><p>Air monitoring during asbestos removal work, using sensitive equipment which detects asbestos fibres in the atmosphere.</p></li><li><p>Clearance inspections – checking that plastic sheeting has been correctly removed, vacuuming completed</p></li><li><p>Issuing of final &nbsp;clearance certificates for removal sites</p></li></ul><p>Asbestos assessors can also carry out other tasks, including identifying asbestos and carrying out a risk assessment.</p><p>Asbestos assessor licences are granted to individual people.</p><p>From 4 April 2018, only licensed assessors are permitted to carry out final checks.</p>&nbsp;<h2><strong>An asbestos assessor is not required for every removal project.</strong></h2><p>The need for more qualified assessors seems likely, according Chemcare management, a company which invests in improving its own processes beyond the requirements of the regulations.</p><p>“Our staff report that they are learning through new experiences every day,” said David Serville.</p><p>“So we need to capture those lessons and get better at what we do.</p><p>“Asbestos assessors can also use this new field experience to improve their own asbestos testing and asbestos clearance procedures.”</p><p>In the meantime, for those considering a career as asbestos assessors, here is a list of skills sets that the training provides.:</p><p>&nbsp;</p><ul data-rte-list="default"><li><p>Plan for assessment process of <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos removal</a></p></li><li><p>Prepare to collect site measurements and other data</p></li><li><p>Use measuring devices to collect site information and data</p></li><li><p>Evaluate and document results of the monitoring process according to accredited laboratory requirements</p></li><li><p>Be able to understand the scope of asbestos assessment work by undertaking a thorough review of the removal methodology.</p></li><li><p>Be able to confirm by means of on-site asbestos inspections that removal has been undertaken in line with the methodology.</p></li><li><p>Understand the risks/hazards associated with asbestos removal work, and to ensure that appropriate safety measures are in place – specifically in regard to cleanliness and decontamination.</p></li><li><p>Be able to verify that work has been completed by means of thorough visual inspections and air testing within work areas.</p></li><li><p>Understand the importance of communicating any findings of asbestos and observations, and how to document these appropriately.</p></li><li><p>Have an understanding of the limitations of the method, common issues that can arise and potential conflicts of interest, so that&nbsp; an assessor remains independent in all times.</p></li></ul> Assessing asbestos needs a proper assessor 2019-02-21 04:19 +00:00 2019-02-21 17:19 +13:00 Home Improvement DIY Home Organization With This DIY Sporting Goods Catch-All, Game Day Is No Sweat If you build it, the sporting goods will come (and stay organized too!) Tue, 19 Feb 2019 13:30:18 Z Jamie Birdwell-Branson <p>This project will help you organize your garage and become the MVP of <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">DIY projects</a>. With all your sporting gear in the same place, you&#8217;ll always be prepared when someone yells, "Where&#8217;s my basketball?&#8221; (Or volleyball, hockey stick, tennis racket, etc.)</p> <p>See how it&#8217;s done, then follow the step-by-step instructions to build one of your own.</p> <div class="video-container"><iframe width="500" height="375" src=";enablejsapi=1&#038;modestbranding=1&#038;rel=0&#038;showinfo=0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <h2>1. Find a bookcase</h2> <p>Choose a bookcase with at least three wide shelves so you can store gear in a variety of sizes.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-220814" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></p> <h2>2. Add locking wheels</h2> <p>Attach locking wheels to the bottom of the bookcase so you can easily move it around the mudroom or the garage.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-220815" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></p> <h2>3. Drill holes</h2> <p>Drill evenly spaced holes (about four or five, depending on the width of the bookcase) along the top surface of one of the shelves. Keep the holes fairly close to the edge - about one-half inch away or less.</p> <p>On the underside of the shelf below, drill holes to match up exactly with the holes on the shelf above.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-220816" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></p> <h2>4. Attach bungee cords</h2> <p>Place the bungee cord hooks in the drilled holes, and arrange the cords vertically so they create a net. You want the cords to be pretty taut, so get the right size for your bookcase.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-220817" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></p> <h2>5. Mount peg boards</h2> <p>Frame the sides of your bookcase with 1-by-2-inch boards to support peg boards that have been cut to size. Secure the peg boards with a few nails on the top and bottom.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-220819" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></p> <h2>6. Customize with hooks and holders</h2> <p>Place hooks and holders on the peg board so you can hang your tennis rackets, baseball gloves, jerseys, helmets and more.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-220820" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></p> <h2>7. Load up your catch-all, MVP!</h2> <p>Grab your gear and organize the bins however you see fit. Now all you have to worry about is scoring the winning goal.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-220821" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A DIY for the Books: How to Get Custom Built-In Shelves on a Budget</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A Quick DIY for Space-Saving Kids&#8217; Room Storage</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">DIY Backyard Fire Pit: Build It in Just 7 Easy Steps</a></li> </ul> <h6><em>Originally published September 2017.</em></h6> 9 2019-02-19 13:30 +00:00 2019-02-20 02:30 +13:00 Home Improvement Home Organization Meet the Clutter Scale: One Pro's Secret to a More Intentional Home On a scale of 1 to 5, how much do you need to declutter? Dorothy Breininger shares a favorite tip for cleaning up. Mon, 18 Feb 2019 19:54:19 Z DorothyTheOrganizer <p>Although I have always been organized, there were two significant moments in my life that taught me how to manage clutter.</p> <p>The first was when I returned from a backpacking trip around the world. Having visited homes in many developing nations, I no longer wanted to have such excess in my own home. My possessions were organized, but I had too many of them for my taste.</p> <p>After I unpacked from my journey, I began a thorough review of my stuff. I started upstairs, removing unnecessary items floor by floor. By the time I reached the basement, I had enough stuff to set up a second apartment.</p> <p>My second decluttering lesson was right after my divorce. Just months after the split, I was facing bankruptcy. I began my climb out of sudden and severe financial debt while simultaneously making a name for myself in the organizing industry. I hired a top-tier PR agent, but I knew I had to come up with some big bucks to cover his fee and all the expenses that go along with creating a brand. I decided to <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">sell my home</a> and everything I owned to make it happen.</p> <p>As I sorted my belongings for a second time, I created the ranking system below to help me decide what to keep and what to toss. It worked beautifully for me, and I think it can work for you too.</p> <h2>The clutter scale</h2> <p><strong>5</strong> - Important items whose place in your home is non-negotiable. For me, this included my green-stained Depression glass, photos, business files, office equipment and car.</p> <p><strong>4</strong> - Items that are difficult to replace and items you use every day. This pile included most of my clothes, some furniture, a favorite sheet set, towels and jewelry.</p> <p><strong>3</strong> - Items you use occasionally but haven&#8217;t used within the last six months.</p> <p><strong>2</strong> - Items you rarely use but feel hesitant to toss.</p> <p><strong>1</strong> - Items you never use, like seasonal items, specialized tools or kitchen gadgets. I got rid of stationery, extra wrapping paper, old boxes and my printer.</p> <p>You know what I found as I used the clutter scale? There were rarely items that rated a 2 or 3. And once I established some criteria, I sorted and purged the 2s and 3s like never before. As you sort your less important items, ask yourself the following questions:</p> <ul> <li>Do I love it?</li> <li>What's the special story behind it?</li> <li>Do I have the space for it?</li> <li>Can I replace it?</li> <li>Can I easily borrow it or rent it if I need it again?</li> <li>Does it support my goals and values?</li> <li>Does it compare to the items I ranked as a 5?</li> </ul> <p>The clutter scale is a great way to get back in touch with your priorities. My priority at the time was starting my business, so I kept the bigger goal in sight and let go of anything that didn&#8217;t support it.</p> <p>What I didn't know then was that I was already practicing what I was going to preach in my business. I learned to organize my life and stuff based on my values. I chose to collect experiences - not things.</p> <p>As you declutter and rank your possessions, don&#8217;t forget to take a few minutes to think about your goals and values. You&#8217;ll find your home to be much more intentional and peaceful if you do!</p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">5 Organizing Secrets Only the Pros Know</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">3 Steps to Creating an Organized Entryway (Even If You Don&#8217;t Have the Space)</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">10 Home Organization Woes (and How to Fix Them)</a></li> </ul> <h6><em>Originally published January 2017.</em></h6> 10 2019-02-18 19:54 +00:00 2019-02-19 08:54 +13:00 Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer reveal swimming pool in a bungalow living room The house and its colourful swimming pool featured in C4 television show 'Love It or List It', with Phil Spencer describing it as being ' like Hugh Hefner's Surrey retreat'. Mon, 18 Feb 2019 11:29:26 Z None 2019-02-18 11:29 +00:00 2019-02-19 00:29 +13:00 From music festivals to restaurants, retirement villages are buzzing Retirement villages are shifting their focus from building homes to creating lifestyles which extend way beyond bricks and mortar. Sat, 16 Feb 2019 09:49:40 Z None 2019-02-16 09:49 +00:00 2019-02-16 22:49 +13:00 Climate-proof your home so you're ready for Britain's wild weather  Talking about the weather may be a long-standing British tradition, but designing our homes to suit the climate has only recently become commonplace. Sat, 16 Feb 2019 09:48:21 Z DAILY MAIL 2019-02-16 09:48 +00:00 2019-02-16 22:48 +13:00 Home Improvement Tips & Advice Home selling homeownership remodeling Quiz: Should You Renovate Your Home or Sell? Fix it up or give it up? See where you really stand with this quiz. Fri, 15 Feb 2019 13:00:39 Z Cat Overman <p>Most homeowners have that one thing about their home that they wish were different.</p> <p>For some, the home&#8217;s fatal flaw exists outside the four walls. Maybe the house backs up to a creek that floods whenever it rains, resulting in a squishy backyard and mosquitoes. Or perhaps the home is located on a busy street that generates too much traffic noise. It could just be that the house is too far from the homeowner&#8217;s job, and the long commute has gotten old.</p> <p>If you&#8217;re feeling discontent with your home, you may be thinking about renovating &#8230; or getting out entirely. But before you knock down walls or put your home on the market, check out our quiz - it could help you think differently about your situation.</p> <div class="riddle_target" style="margin: 0 auto; max-width: 100%; width: 640px;" data-rid-id="142840" data-fg="#0074E4" data-bg="#FFFFFF" data-auto-scroll="true"><script src=""></script><br /> <iframe style="width: 100%; height: 300px; border: 1px solid #cfcfcf;" title="Personality Test - Should You Renovate or Sell?" src="" width="300" height="150"></p> <section> <h2>Should You Renovate or Sell?</h2> <p class="ql-align-center"><em>Note: This quiz is for </em><strong><em>entertainment purposes only</em></strong><em>. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.</em></p> </section> <section> <h2>Consider renovating.</h2> <p><span style="color: #000000;">If you love your home&#8217;s location-specific qualities (like </span><a href="" target="_blank" style="color: #000000;">great local schools</a><span style="color: #000000;"> or access to amenities), you could have a tough time replicating those elsewhere. </span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">And if renovating could make your home livable for more than seven years or so, and if you can handle the mess and inconvenience of a big remodeling project, you&#8217;re probably better off staying put and investing in updates that will make the home work for you. </span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Before you begin, be sure to:</span></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" style="color: #000000;">Create a renovation budget</a><span style="color: #000000;"> and determine </span><a href="" target="_blank" style="color: #000000;">how you&#8217;ll finance the project</a></li> <li><span style="color: #000000;">Ensure you aren&#8217;t </span><a href="" target="_blank" style="color: #000000;">overimproving your home for the neighborhood</a><span style="color: #000000;"> (which could make it hard to sell later)</span></li> <li><span style="color: #000000;">Investigate and obtain any necessary permits</span></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" style="color: #000000;">Assemble your renovation team</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em style="color: #000000;">Get more </em><a href="" target="_blank" style="color: #000000;"><em>home improvement inspiration</em></a><em style="color: #000000;">.</em></p> </section> <section> <h3>Think about selling.</h3> <p>If it would take a massive renovation to transform your home into a place you can love, or if the location just isn&#8217;t what you want, you might be better off selling and moving to a more suitable dwelling - provided you plan to stay for a while, which will make the expense and hassle of buying a new home worth the effort.</p> <p>Think selling might be your best option? Be sure to:</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Research your local market</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Connect with a good local agent</a></li> <li>Plan any <a href="" target="_blank">updates or repairs</a> buyers will expect</li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Schedule a pre-inspection</a></li> <li>Make a plan for <a href="" target="_blank">staging your home</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><em>Get more </em><a href="" target="_blank"><em>tips and advice about selling</em></a><em>.</em></p> </section> <section> <h2>What&#8217;s the real estate market like in your area?</h2> </section> <section> <h3>Which is a bigger issue in your home?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>How does your home compare to your neighbors&#8217; houses?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>If you renovated your home, how much longer could you live there?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>If you moved to a new home, how likely are you to stay there for seven years or longer?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>Do you think your household will grow?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>How do you feel about your current neighbors?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>Do you have an attic, basement or other raw space that could be finished?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>What&#8217;s the first thing you&#8217;d do if you decided to remodel?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>How do you deal with waiting in a long line that&#8217;s moving slowly?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>What would be the main goal of your renovation?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>Which room(s) would you renovate?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>Do you know what a HELOC is?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>Which would you most like your home to have?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>How are the schools in your home&#8217;s district?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>How do you feel when you think about your home?</h3> </section> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p></iframe></div> <p><strong>Related</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">How Do I Sell My House: Getting Started</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Should You Remodel or Move?</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">8 Curb Appeal Boosters You Can Do in a Weekend</a></li> </ul> <h6><em>Originally published March 2018.</em></h6> 51 2019-02-15 13:00 +00:00 2019-02-16 02:00 +13:00 Home Improvement curb appeal Home selling homeownership 8 Curb Appeal Boosters You Can Do in a Weekend Win home shoppers over before they even think about stepping foot inside. Thu, 14 Feb 2019 13:26:20 Z Sarah Pike <p>A polished home exterior creates an inviting experience for visitors or passersby, which is especially important if <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">your home is on the market</a>.</p> <p>Check out our tips to get the most curb appeal for the lowest cost - while turning your neighbors' heads and getting prospective buyers to your door.</p> <h2>Clean up</h2> <p>The easiest way to enhance curb appeal is dedicating a weekend to deep cleaning your home&#8217;s exterior.</p> <p>Sure, you'll want to trim bushes, sweep and mow your lawn, but there's more to curb appeal than keeping a tidy front yard. Turn the nozzle on your garden hose to the strongest setting and clean off your driveway, sidewalk, windows and fence.</p> <p>If dirt and grime are caked on your home's exterior, you can rent a powerwasher for around $50 to $75 a day. Just avoid areas with caulking, like windows and doors, because you can strip some of the sealing. And as tempting as it may be to powerwash your roof, don&#8217;t do it -  you may damage the shingles&#8217; coating.</p> <p>When it comes to your windows, spraying them with a garden hose isn't enough. For maximum sparkle, clean your windows outside and inside. Instead of relying on a glass cleaner, try a mix of detergent diluted in warm water.</p> <h2>Add shutters</h2> <p>Shutters are an easy way to accentuate the size of your windows. They make your windows look larger and add visual interest by disrupting a bland exterior wall. For maximum curb appeal, choose a shutter color that contrasts with your home&#8217;s color to make it pop.</p> <h2>Paint accent areas</h2> <p>Paint is a quick and easy curb appeal booster. Instead of painting the entire exterior of your home, focus on the trim, door and shutters.</p> <p>You can typically find a gallon of exterior paint for $20 to $30. But before you decide on a color, consider home exterior color trends, along with your home's natural style.</p> <h2>Give your door a face lift</h2> <p>If you don&#8217;t love your front door, you don't need to dish out loads of money to replace it. Think beyond paint - consider adding molding, which offers a decorative frame for your door that welcomes visitors.</p> <p>You can also add metal house numbers, which you can find for as low as $5 a number. And if seasonally appropriate, consider adding a wreath to your door as a bonus.</p> <h2>Replace your house numbers</h2> <p>If you'd rather not add house numbers to your freshly painted door, here are some alternative DIY ideas:</p> <ul> <li>Paint a terra-cotta planter with your house number and place it by your doorstep.</li> <li>Add house numbers to a post planter near your front porch.</li> <li>Use your front porch stair riser&#8217;s real estate by hanging or painting numbers there.</li> </ul> <h2>Update your light fixtures</h2> <p>Replacing your exterior light fixtures is another curb appeal must. You can usually find outdoor sconces for around $20 at home centers. Just make sure your new light fixtures have the same mounting system. And if you want to save on lighting, a fresh finish can do wonders. Try spray-painting them - a can of spray paint costs around $10.</p> <h2>Keep porch furniture neutral</h2> <p>Just as you would aim to simplify the interior of your home so shoppers can envision themselves living there, the exterior of your home should be neutral and welcoming too.</p> <p>Put your pink flamingo and wind chime collection into storage, and focus on porch decor that offers pops of color and character. You can find brightly colored outdoor chairs or throw pillows for $20 to $30 each.</p> <h2>Don&#8217;t forget the small things</h2> <p>These low-budget fixes make a big impact, so don&#8217;t forget the little details!</p> <ul> <li><strong>Upgrade your mailbox:</strong> Install a new mailbox for under $100, or spray paint your existing mailbox.</li> <li><strong>Plant a tree:</strong> A charming tree can up your curb appeal for as low as $20.</li> <li><strong>Build a tree bench: </strong>If you already have a tree you love, build a bench around it! Great for napping, picnicking or just hiding exposed roots, a wraparound tree bench costs only what you spend on boards and screws.</li> <li><strong>Install flower boxes:</strong> For around $20 each, flower boxes are a quick way to add some life and color to your windows. If flower boxes sound like too much work, try a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">container garden</a> in pots by your front porch.</li> <li><strong>Hide eyesores:</strong> Place a small lattice fence or a side of paneling around your air conditioner, and hide your trash bins behind a small fence. You can also hide your hose in a pot or storage bench.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Related</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">5 Myths (and 5 Truths) About Selling Your Home</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Property Descriptions 101: How to Write Listing Descriptions That Sell</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">3 Must-Do&#8217;s Before Listing Your House for Sale</a></li> </ul> <h6><em>Originally published March 2018.</em></h6> 30 2019-02-14 13:26 +00:00 2019-02-15 02:26 +13:00 House featured in Keeping Up Appearances for sale on Zoopla The popular 1990s sitcom Keeping Up Appearances featured this Coventry property, which is on the market for £495k. Thu, 14 Feb 2019 09:20:53 Z None 2019-02-14 09:20 +00:00 2019-02-14 22:20 +13:00 COMMENT: Ring-fencing rules could mean 116,000 less rentals <p>Ring-fencing of rental losses on rental properties could end up resulting in 116,000 fewer rentals, Stop the War on Tenancies spokesman Mike Butler cautions.</p> Tue, 12 Feb 2019 09:29:00 +1200 2019-02-12 09:29 +12:00 2019-02-12 10:29 +13:00 Buy into the stately home experience in a small way: Historic gatehouses cost less aristocratic sums Gatehouses can make good investments. ‘People love their sense of history and heritage — and they sell well,’ says Ed Church of Strutt & Parker estate agents. Fri, 08 Feb 2019 12:25:05 Z None 2019-02-08 12:25 +00:00 2019-02-09 01:25 +13:00 Top interior design tips for a modern kitchen makeover We take a look at how to makeover your a kitchen, with some top interior designer tips. They include two-tone kitchen units, open shelving and robust rugs Fri, 08 Feb 2019 12:23:45 Z None 2019-02-08 12:23 +00:00 2019-02-09 01:23 +13:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b7358a303ce641a8299e655 What can be done after exposure to asbestos? The New Zealand annual fatality rate from asbestos-related illness, is about 170 people a year. New regulations are dedicated to reducing this and if possible, down to zero fatalities. Thu, 07 Feb 2019 03:01:58 Z Zach White <p><strong>The best advice to anybody who finds he or she has been exposed to asbestos is first, to remain calm. </strong></p><p>The next step is to &nbsp;investigate and decide on a plan of action. The points here will help people who find themselves in this situation.</p><p>There are steps that can be taken to mitigate the effects of any level of exposure to asbestos.</p><p>The &nbsp;chance of any New Zealander becoming exposed to asbestos will remain for the next century or more because of the volume of asbestos materials which exist in the country’s buildings and civil construction networks.</p><p>Much of this asbestos is safely contained within solid building materials and only becomes dangerous to human or animal health when it is disturbed in some way, and microscopic asbestos fibres are released into the atmosphere. At that point, the fibres can be inhaled and the result can be declining health and death many years after that moment of inhalation.</p><p>The New Zealand Ministry of Health has introduced another stage of regulations to keep people as safe as possible; from April 2018, all non residential building owners must have a long term “<a href="" target="_blank">asbestos management plan</a>.” This is a national effort to give people in any place, protection from asbestos inhalation.</p><p>But what are the chances that some people will still become exposed? Right now, the New Zealand annual fatality rate from asbestos-related illness, is about 170 people a year. New regulations are dedicated to reducing this and if possible, down to zero fatalities.</p><p>So what are the chances of inhaling asbestos fibres in any location?</p><p>Because asbestos fibres are very light and because of their shape they can float in the air for long periods of time. It can take between 48 and 72 hours (2-3 full days),<strong> </strong>&nbsp;for asbestos fibres to fall in a still room. In a room with air currents, these fibres may stay in the air much longer.</p><p>There is no "safe" level of asbestos exposure.</p><p>So any exposure situation, no matter how short or fleeting, is worth full attention to ensure there has been no intake of fibres into the body.</p><p>Asbestos is so microscopic that there is no indication that it is in the air or when it enters the lungs. It is too small to see, feel or taste. </p><p>There is evidence from around the world which suggests that illness eventuates more from longer term exposure and not so much from small one-off events. But natural self preservation instincts encourage most people to get themselves checked out even in very short incidents of exposure.</p><p>Illnesses related to asbestos exposure can take a long time to develop. The time between first exposure to asbestos and diagnosis of “mesothelioma” is usually between 20 and 50 years.</p><p>Unfortunately, the risk of mesothelioma does not go down over time after the exposure to asbestos stops. The risk appears to be lifelong.</p><p>The chest x-ray is currently the most common tool used to detect asbestos-related diseases.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Although chest x-rays cannot detect asbestos fibres in the lungs, they can help identify any early signs of lung disease resulting from asbestos exposure.&nbsp;</p><p>A lung biopsy, which detects <a href=";version=Patient&amp;language=English">microscopic</a>&nbsp;asbestos fibres in pieces of lung tissue removed by <a href=";version=Patient&amp;language=English">surgery</a>, is the most reliable test to confirm exposure to asbestos</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>A bronchoscopy is a less invasive test than a biopsy and detects asbestos fibres in material that is rinsed out of the lungs . It is important to note that these procedures cannot determine how much asbestos an individual may have been exposed to or whether disease will develop.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Asbestos fibres can also be detected in urine, mucus, and faeces, but these tests are not reliable for determining how much asbestos may be in an individual’s lungs.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>There is no surgery that can eliminate mesothelioma risk after asbestos exposure. But that’s not to say that several proactive steps cannot be taken to protect future health.</p><p>Internationally, awareness of asbestos, research into prevention of diseases caused by asbestos fibre and treatment of those diseases, continues in many countries.</p><p>For people who find that they have been exposed to asbestos, the extent and seriousness of resulting&nbsp; illness will depend on many factors such as the person’s own natural immune system, how early medical attention has been sought and the progress of medical science over future years, to&nbsp; combat asbestos-induced illnesses.</p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true"></p><p>To avoid exposure in the first place, it’s important to get an <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos survey</a> in an area you might run the risk of disturbing asbestos fibres. Chemcare can help you through this process. Get in contact today.</p> What can be done after exposure to asbestos? 2019-02-07 03:01 +00:00 2019-02-07 16:01 +13:00 Home Improvement Cleaning curb appeal home maintenance Home selling 3 Must-Do's Before Listing Your House for Sale When it comes to first impressions, the little things make all the difference. Mon, 04 Feb 2019 13:24:40 Z See Jane Drill <p>Planning to sell your house this year? Now&#8217;s the perfect time to prep it for listing!</p> <p>Set aside a couple of weekends to do the work, and follow these three steps. Then, get ready to make a great impression on potential buyers and cinch the deal.</p> <h2>Step 1: Clean and declutter</h2> <p>It may sound obvious, but the importance of cleaning and decluttering cannot be overstated. Here are some ideas to make this process nearly painless.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Eliminate clutter before cleaning:</strong> This is the time to purge your house of unwanted and unnecessary items. In addition to donating items to charity, consider giving them away through Craigslist or neighborhood sharing groups. Recyclers are often willing to pick up and haul away large metal items for free.</li> <li><strong>Deep clean your house:</strong> This step will probably involve the biggest time investment. Get the whole family involved if you can! Think of this as a pumped-up spring cleaning. Pay special attention to kitchens and bathrooms, and clean the inside and outside of your windows - this makes a striking improvement in the overall appearance of your house.</li> <li><strong>Organize closets, cabinets and drawers:</strong> In this case, out of sight is <em>not</em> out of mind. Many potential buyers will open cabinets and closets, because they are thinking about storage space. Clean and organized storage areas signal to buyers that you take care of the house.</li> </ul> <h2>Step 2: Make small repairs</h2> <p>Take care of these problems before you show the house for the first time. These are all fixes that you can do yourself.</p> <ul> <li>Fix any leaking faucets and running toilets.</li> <li>Replace caulking around tubs, showers and sinks.</li> <li>Freshen up or repair grout as needed.</li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Repair walls</a> and repaint them in a neutral, generally pleasing color that complements your home.</li> <li>Fix cracked or broken windows.</li> <li>Replace or repair damaged window screens.</li> <li>Replace burned-out lightbulbs.</li> </ul> <h2>Step 3: Go for curb appeal</h2> <p>You want potential buyers to be charmed by the outside of your house so they look forward to coming inside. Extend your pumped-up spring cleaning to the outside of your house too.</p> <ul> <li>Trim bushes, shrubs and trees. Make sure vegetation isn&#8217;t touching your roof or siding.</li> <li>Repair broken downspouts and gutters.</li> <li>If it's appropriate for your yard, apply new mulch, river rock and/or pea gravel. This can do wonders for your landscaping and provide immediate <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">curb appeal</a>.</li> <li>Clean and repair concrete areas, such as driveways and walkways. Eliminate any oil or grease stains, and clean out any weeds coming up through the cracks.</li> <li>If it's seasonally appropriate, put out some pots of annuals, which will maintain their color for the season. Freshen up your doorstep with a new welcome mat and make sure the house numbers are easy to see.</li> </ul> <p>With just a moderate amount of effort, you can make your house beautiful and welcoming, both inside and out.</p> <p><em>Ready to put your home on the market? Check out our <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Home Sellers Guide</a> for more tips and resources.</em></p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Don&#8217;t Believe These 5 Myths About Real Estate Agents</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">5 Myths (and 5 Truths) About Selling Your Home</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">When Selling a Home, the Neighbors Matter</a></li> </ul> <h6><em>Originally published March 2017.</em></h6> 22 2019-02-04 13:24 +00:00 2019-02-05 02:24 +13:00 Most and least affordable cities to buy a home in Britain revealed While there are some cities in the UK where a home will cost more than 12 times the average salary in the location, in others it would only cost just under 4.5 times wages there. Sat, 02 Feb 2019 15:00:31 Z None 2019-02-02 15:00 +00:00 2019-02-03 04:00 +13:00 Inside the £1m Norwich penthouse bought by Pixiwoo's Sam Chapman She's made a fortune from make-up tutorials on You Tube, and now one half of Pixiwoo - Sam Chapman - has bought a £1m penthouse in Norwich. Fri, 01 Feb 2019 11:51:37 Z None 2019-02-01 11:51 +00:00 2019-02-02 00:51 +13:00 Unique Homes historic homes unique homes From Haylofts to Hardwoods: How One Family Salvaged a Historic Barn Great-grandparents milked cows here. A father and daughter both played in the hayloft as kids. Now a new generation runs barefoot on its wood. Thu, 31 Jan 2019 16:46:02 Z Lindsay Cohen <p>There's a century of history woven into the floors of a contemporary home east of Seattle: golden planks, shiny blondes and the occasional knotted gray.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It's just how Amanda Gatlin wanted it</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> - even if she didn&#8217;t expect it would involve recycling an entire Mississippi barn, with pieces dating back to when Woodrow Wilson was president.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It was my great-grandfather and grandfather and a bunch of people in the community who helped build it," said Gatlin, referring to the barn 2,300 miles away. "Some of the pieces of wood are 100-plus years old."</span></p> <p><img class="wp-image-218246 size-full aligncenter" src="" alt="" width="800" height="525" /></p> <p>What started out as a small undertaking - Gatlin and her husband, Jeff Layton, peeling away a couple wood slabs for a picture frame or accent wall in their Northwest new construction - quickly grew into something more.</p> <p>"I don't know how it transitioned from taking a few pieces to taking down the whole barn," said Jeff. "Amanda's dad talked to the landowner, and they said, 'You can come and take the whole thing.' That evolved into, &#8216;Gosh, let's <em>salvage</em> this thing.&#8217;"</p> <p><img class="wp-image-218222 size-full aligncenter" src="" alt="" width="800" height="531" /></p> <h2>&#8216;I called it my clubhouse&#8217;</h2> <p>In 1912, Amanda&#8217;s great-grandparents started a farm in rural Choctaw County, Mississippi, about two hours south of Memphis. They ran a small dairy operation while growing corn and cotton. In 1949, the family built a large wooden barn on the same piece of land.</p> <p>"The lumber was primarily white oak," said Boyd Gatlin, Amanda's father. "I think we kept three jersey cows and a bull. We would hand-milk in the morning, and then we sold it."</p> <p>"I grew up drinking raw milk. That's why I have such a great immune system," he joked.</p> <p><img class="wp-image-218223 size-full aligncenter" src="" alt="" width="800" height="600" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Boyd played in the barn as a child, jumping out of the hayloft or getting stung by wasps in the summer. His family eventually moved away, but they later learned the new owner added to the barn using wood from Boyd's grandparents' home nearby.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"So there are some unusual materials," Boyd said, "some of which had square nails, indicating they were more than 100 years old."</span></p> <p><img class="wp-image-218224 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="607" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Gatlins repurchased the land when Amanda was 7, using it as a country home to spend weekends or vacations. The sale allowed her to play in the same barn her father played in as a kid.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I remember sitting up in that loft. I called it my clubhouse," she recalled. "You could dangle your legs over the side and look out onto the other house on the property - into the tall grass."</span></p> <h2>&#8216;We were swinging sledgehammers&#8217;</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When Amanda and Jeff set out to salvage the barn in 2016, it no longer belonged to her family, but they struck an agreement with the landowner to take it apart. They booked a flight from Seattle to Mississippi for September, hoping Mother Nature would give them a break from the unrelenting summers of the South. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As with many aspects of the project, it was a lot more complicated than one might expect.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It was 95 degrees, super high humidity - it was just scorching hot," Jeff recalled. "We were swinging sledgehammers, and it was by hand. Everything was by hand."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The couple had done their research. A lot of people, it turns out, take apart barns for a living.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"[Other people are] using cherry pickers and forklifts. We didn't have access to that," Jeff said. "But as it turns out, it all came apart pretty easily. No electricity. It was all done by hand."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The duo used sledgehammers to take the barn down, piece by piece. Relatives and neighbors joined in for days at a time. A tornado that hit the area a few years back had loosened up some of the planks, making it a little easier.</span></p> <div class="video-container"><iframe width="500" height="281" src=";enablejsapi=1&#038;modestbranding=1&#038;rel=0&#038;showinfo=0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They got lucky, they say, that there were no menacing bugs or wasps. They found some ants - and the occasional relic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Sometimes we found bullets inside [the wood]," Jeff recalled. "Apparently it's really common in the South to go shooting at old barns."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It took the pair a full two weeks to take the building apart and remove the nails by hand. In the process, they discovered the barn was more than 90 percent hardwoods, forming a solid base for their Seattle home&#8217;s new floors.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They also discovered something else: the importance of family.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"One huge benefit of doing all this labor is that we've bonded with family," Amanda recalled. "You sweat together, you have lunch together. It's an amazing bonding experience."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Long hours toiling in the hot Mississippi sun sparked great stories of the family's deep roots. Amanda's father shared tales of living on the farm as a child. A cousin talked about flying helicopters in the Vietnam War. Another cousin drove up from Florida and helped for three days, along with her husband.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It created opportunities that we would not have had otherwise," Jeff added.</span></p> <div class="owl-carousel"><img width="800" height="531" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="800" height="600" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="800" height="531" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="800" height="530" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="800" height="531" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="800" height="531" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="800" height="459" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="800" height="531" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="800" height="531" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="800" height="535" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="800" height="531" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /></div> <h2>&#8216;He was telling me stories from the Navy&#8217;</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once the wood was taken apart, it had to be milled and transported across the country. A local Mississippi mill, dating back to 1875, sanded down the boards and created tongue-and-groove joints, costing the family about $6,000.</span></p> <p>"A lot of the pieces we were pulling down had that gray patina on it. The mill guys said that 20 years ago you couldn't give it away," Jeff said. "But now it has that aged look people are really looking for."</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jeff planned to drive the wood across the country. His father, who also lives near Seattle, was planning to meet him in Arkansas.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It was quite an adventure. The day I left Mississippi, there were all these tornado warnings. There were tornadoes touching down around me, and it was really dark," he recalls. "I was thinking, 'What am I doing? What have I done?'"</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jeff and his father drove through the South to escape the cold winter weather. The duo ended up having their own family experience getting the hardwoods back to the West Coast.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"He was telling me stories from the Navy. We talked politics and religion," Jeff added. "I got to spend all this great time with my dad."</span></p> <figure id="attachment_216715" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-216715" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-216715 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="531" /><figcaption id="caption-attachment-216715" class="wp-caption-text">Amanda working on the hardwoods in her new home in Plain, Washington.</figcaption></figure> <h2>&#8216;Putting a puzzle together&#8217;</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the wood safely back in Washington, the couple stored it for the winter, enduring subzero temperatures. They placed it in the garage of their rental home, covering the pieces with plastic and putting a heater in the room to keep the moisture down.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before installing the wood, they sprayed it with an insecticide. The duo worked 12-hour days, laying out the floors in the main rooms, along the stairs and in a couple of small loft spaces.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They were working with five different board widths, along with different wood species. The couple loved the look - even at the risk of having the boards expand and contract at different rates.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"You basically start putting a puzzle together," Jeff says. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">That patchwork meant hiding some Easter eggs throughout the house - the couple found a smiley face in one plank of wood, placing it outside their son's room.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"We would find different knots that look like things, [such as] an Eiffel Tower. We have a room that has two bears in it. We have one that looks like a wine spill," Jeff says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The installation, from bare floor to stained, finished wood, took the family about 2 1/2 weeks.</span></p> <div class="owl-carousel"><img width="800" height="531" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="800" height="600" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="800" height="531" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="800" height="531" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="800" height="531" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="800" height="531" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="800" height="600" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="800" height="600" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /></div> <h2>&#8216;A good substitute&#8217;</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The couple is now fully moved into their 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom home and ready to welcome guests over the summer, when sunshine brings warm weather and ideal conditions for hiking, rafting and barbecues.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It wasn't the least expensive way to put floors down, added Boyd Gatlin, Amanda's father, but it is certainly special.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"In a nutshell, their flooring was quite expensive, but it is like no other in that it carries family memories," he said. "We had a house fire in 1960 that destroyed all family heirlooms, so Amanda and her cousin both felt the barn wood would be a good substitute."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Not all the wood was solid enough for the floors. Some of it became the lining of the master bath; the couple is also talking about doing some accent walls in wood.</span></p> <figure id="attachment_218257" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-218257" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-218257 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="531" /><figcaption id="caption-attachment-218257" class="wp-caption-text">The family&#8217;s nearly complete home, about two hours east of Seattle.</figcaption></figure> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Boyd commissioned two paintings of the barn from a relative. The family plans to build a picture frame out of the leftover wood and some of the square nails. Even the rusty old barn roof will be put to good use as siding on Jeff and Amanda's home.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Most importantly, the family loves to share stories about how their hardwood floors were more than 100 years in the making.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"We've been blown away by the results," he said.</span></p> <p><em>Photos by Jeff Layton, Amanda Gatlin and Boyd Gatlin.</em></p> <p><em>You can follow Jeff and Amanda&#8217;s progress on their blog, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer">Married to Adventure</a>.</em></p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">This Philadelphia Farmhouse Is a Historic Stunner</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">1800s Estate Proves History Is Anything But Drab</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Living Legacy: Making a Family Home in a Historic Mansion</a></li> </ul> <h6><em>Originally published June 2017.</em></h6> 8 2019-01-31 16:46 +00:00 2019-02-01 05:46 +13:00 Tips & Advice historic homes home buying Victorian homes Is Buying a Historic Home Right for You? Hold on there, architecture aficionado! Consider these factors before making history your home. Thu, 31 Jan 2019 13:25:48 Z Brendon DeSimone <p>Some home buyers want new, modern and move-in ready. Others prefer older homes, with character and charm they can't find in new construction. If you&#8217;re interested in historic homes, take these factors into consideration as you shop.</p> <h2>Historic neighborhoods often impose restrictions</h2> <p>Many towns throughout the U.S. have zoning and planning commissions that, among other things, set out to preserve and protect historic homes and neighborhoods.</p> <p>As a result, renovating and altering a historic home - particularly the building&#8217;s facade - will require a separate layer of approval and sometimes bureaucracy. If you buy a 100-year-old home, you may not be able to renovate it the way you want, and that is a serious consideration.</p> <p>Some landmark or historic districts retain an immense amount of control. As a result, renovations and planning can take longer and cost more. If you&#8217;re purchasing a historic home with intentions to renovate, you should consult both an architect and town officials.</p> <h2>Recreating architecture from the past can be challenging - and expensive</h2> <p>Let&#8217;s consider the example of <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Victorian-era homes</a>. Contractors and home builders constructed Victorian homes through the mid to late 19th century, often with materials that are no longer in use today.</p> <p>If you buy a home in less-than-perfect condition, finding the wainscoting, picture rails, crown moldings, and richly decorative and ornate features common in Victorian architecture can be tricky. Architectural salvage companies can track down these materials, but there&#8217;s often a steep cost attached.</p> <h2>Repair and maintenance needs could be extensive</h2> <p>Most buyers want move-in ready homes because they don't have the time, money or energy to embark on a renovation project. These buyers also don't want to be burdened with systems going out or having to live with older or outdated technology. For them, it's a quality of life issue.</p> <p>If you want a historic home, you need to have a maintenance strategy in mind. Unless you plan to do major renovations or updates (subject to any landmark or historic area regulations), you have to be ready to address issues that arise. Broken systems, leaks or flaws mean time and money.</p> <p>For history buffs, no amount of time commitment or money will stand between them and a one-of-a-kind home. That person appreciates the architecture and knows that intensive maintenance is par for the course. If you don't share that appreciation, a historic home is not right for you.</p> <p><strong>Related</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">This Historic Connecticut Home Once Hosted a Dancing George Washington</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Living Legacy: Making a Family Home in a Historic Mansion</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">1800s Estate Proves History Is Anything But Drab</a></li> </ul> <p><em>Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.</em></p> <h6><em>Originally published February 2015.</em></h6> 18 2019-01-31 13:25 +00:00 2019-02-01 02:25 +13:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b42709a2b6a28b390bea369 6 common asbestos myths busted There’s a lot of dangerous misinformation concerning asbestos in New Zealand. We’ve busted 6 common asbestos myths to help clear the air. Wed, 30 Jan 2019 21:39:18 Z Zach White <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong>The International Labour Organisation estimates asbestos is the cause of over 100,000 deaths worldwide every year. In New Zealand alone it has led to more than 12,000 deaths. It’s important that New Zealanders fully understand the risks the fibre poses, so we can keep ourselves, our families, and our homes safe and sound.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>To clear the air and keep Kiwis out of harm’s way, we’ve busted 6 common asbestos myths.</p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><h3><strong>1. </strong><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Asbestos exposure is only harmful</strong></a><strong> in the long term and in large quantities</strong></h3><p><strong>Busted: </strong>The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified all forms of asbestos as carcinogenic, even in small quantities and over short periods of time. The New Zealand Health Department also has not defined any ‘safe’ lower limit, so it’s always best to assume that any exposure to airborne asbestos particles is hazardous.</p><p>While it’s true to say that there is no stated asbestos PEL (Permissible Exposure Limit), there is the air clearance sample limit of 0.01 fibres per cc, which is, in it’s way, an “acceptable” measure of asbestos contamination in the air.</p><p>The risk of developing an illness or asbestos-related symptoms increases with the length and severity of exposure, however it’s possible that even short-term contact could be harmful to your health. If you suspect there is asbestos in your home, don’t take any risks; call an asbestos testing professional right away.</p><p><em>If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, you may not be able to spot asbestos. </em></p><p><br></p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><strong>2.&nbsp;Importation and use of asbestos has been illegal in New Zealand for decades </strong></h3><p><strong>Busted: </strong>Since 1984, the importation of blue and brown asbestos in its raw state has been banned. However, until October 2016 there were no prohibitions on the importation of asbestos-containing products in New Zealand. Even today, asbestos regulations in New Zealand allow an importation permit for asbestos-containing materials, provided certain criteria are met regarding the intended use and management of the fibre.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>There are also no laws prohibiting the reuse of asbestos-containing materials in construction, so you should always be careful when purchasing a new home regardless of its age.</p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p>&nbsp; <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="1200x800" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="asbestos-roof-tile.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5c99480fc8302571adac4acb" data-type="image" src="" /> &nbsp;<p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><h3><strong>3. Asbestos is easy to spot</strong></h3><p><strong>Busted: </strong>Asbestos is one of the most useful and versatile building materials ever created - It’s lightweight, durable, cheap, and resistant to water and fire. For that reason, it was used in the construction of many New Zealand homes from the 1940s right through to the 90s, leading to the current surge in professional asbestos testing in Auckland and across the country.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Unfortunately, it was also combined with a wide range of other materials, giving it different colours, finishes, and consistencies - making it near impossible to spot unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. In many cases, <a href="" target="_blank">a qualified asbestos testing specialist</a> may be the only way to reliably detect asbestos in the home.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><strong>4. If you find asbestos in your home you should remove it right away</strong></h3><p><strong>Busted: </strong>Asbestos and asbestos-containing materials are not necessarily dangerous if they’re undisturbed and in good condition. When this is the case, asbestos removal isn’t always your only option.</p><p>Sometimes it’s more cost-effective to leave the asbestos alone entirely, or encapsulate it within other materials to prevent its fibres from releasing into the air. To find out what’s best for your home, it’s a good idea to consult with a local professional to have your home tested, and produce a comprehensive asbestos management plan.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><strong>5. You will notice the symptoms of asbestos exposure immediately</strong></h3><p><strong>Busted: </strong>Asbestos exposure is known to increase the likelihood of suffering several illnesses including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. If you are exposed, you may not show any symptoms of illness for as long as 10 or 20 years - worryingly, it’s possible to not be aware you have been exposed during that time.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Asbestos isn’t something you need to worry about regularly, however if you do suspect you’ve been exposed, it’s always best to get checked by a doctor for peace of mind.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true"></p><p><em>It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to asbestos. </em></p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><strong>6. It’s safe to perform asbestos removal on your own as long as you wear a mask</strong></h3><p><strong>Busted: </strong>If asbestos is in good condition and not cracked, dusty, or damaged (friable) you may legally remove under 10 sqm of the material yourself, provided you adhere to strict guidelines. However, if you’re not familiar with the material or lack experience handling it, you may not be able to identify whether it’s a hazard or not.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>If you don’t wear a mask purpose-built to filter asbestos fibres, or if you wear your mask incorrectly, you could also risk contaminating your home along with your own exposure. Furthermore, if you remove or dispose of the material incorrectly, you also risk increased exposure and contamination.</p><p>Disposing of asbestos waste is, in most countries, a controlled activity. Asbestos must be disposed of as per all local, national and international regulations. No matter the size of the potential job, unless you’re experienced it will always be safer to use a professional for asbestos removal. Doing so ensure you can have peace of mind that you, your family, and your home are safe.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Contact the team at Chemcare today if you need help or advice with any asbestos-related concerns. As one of Auckland’s leading asbestos testing and removal specialists, we know how to get the job done right.</p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><p>In many cases, a qualified asbestos testing specialist may be the only way to reliably detect asbestos in the home.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p> 6 common asbestos myths busted 2019-01-30 21:39 +00:00 2019-01-31 10:39 +13:00 Unique Homes house of the week This Philadelphia Farmhouse Is a Historic Stunner The renovated barn holds a second barn, so the structure looks authentic inside and out. Wed, 30 Jan 2019 13:58:57 Z Melissa Allison <p>Take a stone farmhouse from 1810, mix it with the best furnishings you can find at flea markets in Paris, and the result is this exquisitely renovated <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Colonial home</a> outside Philadelphia.</p> <p>A walk-in fireplace graces the living room, while the formal dining room boasts French doors that open onto a screened porch. For a cozier ambiance, the library of this 4-bedroom, 3,800-square-foot home features a fireplace and picture-window views.</p> <p>A beautifully upholstered floating wall was installed in one bedroom to allow a lake view while lounging in bed. A chandelier hangs above the bed, and behind it is a sitting room.</p> <div class="owl-carousel"><img width="1024" height="768" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="684" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="816" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="683" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /><img width="1024" height="671" src="" class="owl-lazy" alt="" data-src="" /></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Owners Michele and Michael Friezo also remade the nearly 8-acre grounds, adding formal and informal gardens. They planted more than 300 types of flowers in a meadow with a fire pit that overlooks a private lake.</p> <p>The pleasure of watching the sun on autumn evenings is rivaled only by watching the snow fall while sitting by a roaring fire in the barn, Michele Friezo said.</p> <p>The couple also renovated the estate&#8217;s crumbling horse barn, which is a rustic version of the main home. Concerned that adding insulation would take away the barn-like appearance of the structure&#8217;s interior, they bought a second barn and installed it inside the first one.</p> <p>The barn&#8217;s massive French windows face the meadow and the lake, offering front-row seats to the nesting of two bald eagles who live in a nearby grove of pine trees.</p> <p>The estate sold for $2.575 million with Caryn Black of <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">Kurfiss Sotheby&#8217;s International Realty</a>.</p> <p><em>Photos by<a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener"> Juan Vidal Photography</a>.</em></p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Living Legacy: Making a Family Home in a Historic Mansion</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">This Historic Connecticut Home Once Hosted a Dancing George Washington</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Childhood Dream Home Turned Dream Come True</a></li> </ul> <h6><em>Originally published December 2016.</em></h6> 18 2019-01-30 13:58 +00:00 2019-01-31 02:58 +13:00 Unique Homes historic homes Living Legacy: Making a Family Home in a Historic Mansion From 800 square feet in sprawling Manhattan to 6,000 square feet in historic Nyack. Wed, 30 Jan 2019 13:52:06 Z Katherine Martinelli <p>Noah and Dennis Brodsky didn't set out to buy a historic home.</p> <p>They were just looking for a place that could provide a bit more room for their growing family than their 800-square-foot Manhattan apartment. But as soon as they saw this Nyack, New York, home, they knew it was meant to be.</p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Gothic Revival</a> house hit all the marks they were looking for and more: It&#8217;s spacious with a gorgeous view of the Hudson River, and it&#8217;s within walking distance to town.</p> <div class="video-container"><iframe width="500" height="281" src=";enablejsapi=1&#038;modestbranding=1&#038;rel=1&#038;showinfo=0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <h2>A powerful history</h2> <p>Discovering the home's history was an added bonus.</p> <p>Built in the 1850s, the 6,000-square-foot house was once owned by Thomas Edison's lab assistant, William H. Hand. Hand and Edison worked together often in the barn, making significant technological improvements to the battery.</p> <p>The house was in excellent condition when the Brodskys made the purchase in 2014. "What we really spent time doing was making it feel like ours," explains Noah.</p> <p>They changed the colors, added their own furniture and built a nursery for their baby. As an homage to the history of the house, they replaced the standard light bulbs in the kitchen with Edison bulbs.</p> <p>"That personalization is really where we put our energy," Noah remarks.</p> <h2>Quirks and challenges</h2> <p>While the home has been modernized, many historic touches - like original handmade crown moldings and a maid's bell system that no longer works - remain.</p> <p>Noah says that they also find relics hidden around the property. For example, in the backyard, they discovered an old smokehouse and a rusted animal-pulled mower buried in the ground.</p> <p>Living in a historic home can have its <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">quirky challenges</a>. Getting Wi-Fi throughout the house is "constantly frustrating" because of all the brick. And after the couple&#8217;s first chilly winter, they added insulation in the attic to help with the heating.</p> <h2>Tips for historic home buyers</h2> <p>Dennis advises overestimating maintenance costs. If something needs to be restored or fixed in a historic home, often you can't simply call a contractor.</p> <p>Additionally, the couple didn't anticipate the impact that having a home on the National Registry of Historic Places would have on their <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">insurance costs</a>.</p> <p>"But it's a lovely house," says Noah, and the two are relishing creating new family traditions in it.</p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">This Historic Connecticut Home Once Hosted a Dancing George Washington</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">2019 Design Forecast: What&#8217;s In, What&#8217;s Out</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">This Home Looks Like a Barn (But Has Enough Room to Be a Small Castle)</a></li> </ul> <p><em>Originally published November 22, 2016. </em></p> 2019-01-30 13:52 +00:00 2019-01-31 02:52 +13:00 Unique Homes historic homes house of the week 1800s Estate Proves History Is Anything But Drab With bold colors (flamingo pink!) and whimsical wallpaper, this historic Vermont home is a fresh take on old meets new. Tue, 29 Jan 2019 13:43:17 Z Lindsay Cohen <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Steven Favreau is the type to go big - and go home.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When he set out to put down roots near his hometown of Boston, Favreau fell in love with an <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">old country estate in quaint Chelsea, Vermont</a>. It was the perfect place for this interior designer to escape from the hubbub of big city life after working with celebrity clients and more.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It was a quintessential Vermont house in a quintessential Vermont town," said Favreau, about spotting the house in 2012. "I hopped on a plane and bought it the next week."</span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-221034" src="" alt="" width="800" height="529" /></p> <p>Built in 1832, the house was once owned by a man named Aaron Davis, whose family lived in it for at least 100 years. Davis' granddaughter eventually sold the 23-acre property in the 1980s, and the new owner converted it into a bed-and-breakfast. (There's still a portrait of Davis above one of the home's five fireplaces.)</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-221052 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After Favreau purchased the 5-bed, 5-bath home, he sought to restore it to its original grandeur - at a frenetic pace. A contractor brought in a crew to rework everything from the wiring (it was a fire waiting to happen) to the wallpaper (there were eight layers throughout the house). The workers even put in a massive new beam to support the house and keep it from sinking.</span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-221044 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-221060 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Up next on the designer&#8217;s list: keeping the look, feel and integrity of the antique touches, while updating the space to accommodate today's trends. He tore out a downstairs wall to expand the kitchen to 700 square feet; the master suite got a modern bath with a soaking tub.</span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-221062 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Favreau painted walls in his signature bright colors and added bold wallpaper. He lined the master bathroom with t</span>ree-print wallpaper. The dining room got a splash of flamingo pink with a print of Victorian-looking cake plates - a nod to the era in which the house was built.</p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-221050 aligncenter" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"What I wanted to use for inspiration was the house and the period of the house, so nodding to the period and updating it with a contemporary aesthetic," Favreau said. "It says today, but it also says yesterday."</span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-221019 size-full" src="" alt="" width="533" height="800" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some things are distinctly New England. A wooden footbridge connects the main property to 22 secluded acres on the other side of the White River. On warm summer nights, Favreau&#8217;s family will pull a dining room table out onto the bridge and dine alfresco.</span></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-221029 aligncenter" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the winter, the adjacent land allows for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.</span></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-221027 aligncenter" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></p> <p>There's also an old wood barn, which Favreau envisions becoming an event space for weddings or storage. The possibilities for the next owner are limitless, he said.</p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-221069 aligncenter" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It's a big glorious house, and my family is a big glorious family. We've enjoyed it," he added. "I feel like I've loved my time being there and up in Vermont, but it's time to find the next one. Maybe an oceanside property."</span></p> <p>The home is on the market for $695,000. Zoe Hathorn Washburn of Snyder Donegan carries <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">the listing</a>.</p> <p><em>Interior photos courtesy of <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">Jim Mauchly of Mountain Graphics Photography</a>. Exterior photos courtesy of Andrew Holson with <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">Snyder Donegan Real Estate Group</a>.</em></p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Hibernate Luxuriously in This 5,572-Square-Foot Cave Mansion</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">2019 Design Forecast: What&#8217;s In, What&#8217;s Out</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">This Home Looks Like a Barn (But Has Enough Room to Be a Small Castle)</a></li> </ul> <h6><em>Originally published September 2017.</em></h6> 39 2019-01-29 13:43 +00:00 2019-01-30 02:43 +13:00 Unique Homes Colonial historic homes unique homes This Historic Connecticut Home Once Hosted a Dancing George Washington One of the oldest homes in Connecticut, this house has been a tavern, an arts guild and now a stylish family home. Mon, 28 Jan 2019 17:34:04 Z Jamie Birdwell-Branson <p>Built in 1680 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this center hall Colonial home in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Old Lyme, Connecticut</a>, is not only a living testament to early American architecture - it's also got a storied past of its own.</p> <p>The home once served as a storefront during the Revolutionary War and was largely used as the Peck Tavern throughout the second half of the 18th century and early part of the 19th century.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-228009" src="" alt="" width="800" height="524" /></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-228016" src="" alt="" width="800" height="524" /></p> <p>It's even rumored that George Washington stopped by to dance in the former ballroom, which is now used as the master bedroom.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-228018" src="" alt="" width="800" height="530" /></p> <p>The house was also once headquarters for the Old Lyme Guild, an organization started in the 1930s that exhibited and sold arts and crafts.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-228011" src="" alt="" width="800" height="512" /></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-228012" src="" alt="" width="800" height="542" /></p> <p>For a period of time, there were even shops for cabinetmakers, bookbinders, metal workers, potters and weavers out in the barn.</p> <p>"Can you imagine the conversations that have happened in this house? That's something I like to think about," says the homeowner.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-228020" src="" alt="" width="800" height="529" /></p> <p>In addition to its spectacular history, the home is also architecturally significant. Hand-hewn beamed ceilings and corner posts, original wide-board floors, and rare double-arched paneling that was specific to the Connecticut River Valley in the 18<span style="font-size: 13.3333px;">th</span> century are just a few of the unique features in the home.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-228010" src="" alt="" width="800" height="516" /></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-228019" src="" alt="" width="800" height="530" /></p> <p>Updated for modern living (yet still keeping the historical integrity), the home now has geothermal heating and cooling, a modern kitchen and updated bathrooms, and plenty of space for entertaining.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-228013" src="" alt="" width="800" height="515" /></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-228015" src="" alt="" width="800" height="518" /></p> <p>"It's been a wonderful house to share with friends and family," says the homeowner.</p> <p>The home is <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">listed for $1.075 million</a> by William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty.</p> <p><em>Photos courtesy of Peter Harron.</em></p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">1800s Estate Proves History Is Anything But Drab</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Small-Town Charm: 8 Homes for Sale in Less Populated Areas</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A Park Slope Townhome That Went From &#8216;Mess&#8217; to Masterpiece</a></li> </ul> <p><em>Originally published July 2018.</em></p> 27 2019-01-28 17:34 +00:00 2019-01-29 06:34 +13:00 Matching toys to decor is so grown-up! How plastic is being replaced by wood, cotton and cashmere Remember playing shop with the contents of your mother's make-up bag, or hiding in a cave built from chairs and bedsheets? Things have moved on since then Mon, 28 Jan 2019 16:01:21 Z None 2019-01-28 16:01 +00:00 2019-01-29 05:01 +13:00 Drapes in the doldrums? No! This winter curtains are set to be bigger and bolder than ever  Curtains are back in fashion - and not just the neutral linen sort, but big, boldly printed beauties. Go to town this winter and give your windows a makeover. Mon, 28 Jan 2019 12:19:29 Z None 2019-01-28 12:19 +00:00 2019-01-29 01:19 +13:00 Do you live in one of the 50 best places in Britain, asks Halifax The Orkney Islands were named the best place after scoring well on several factors, including high employment levels, a low crime rate, strong exam results, and good levels of health and happiness. Sat, 26 Jan 2019 15:41:45 Z None 2019-01-26 15:41 +00:00 2019-01-27 04:41 +13:00 Would you trust an architect who never visits your home? Online architects undercut their competitors by using information that is available about any house in the country on the internet, making a site visit a waste of time and money. Sat, 26 Jan 2019 14:02:45 Z None 2019-01-26 14:02 +00:00 2019-01-27 03:02 +13:00 Top tips to help sell your property from NAEA Propertymark  Estate agents have revealed their top tips to help you get your property sold, including removing net curtains and fixing any cracks in the walls. Fri, 25 Jan 2019 11:39:45 Z None 2019-01-25 11:39 +00:00 2019-01-26 00:39 +13:00 Is Samoëns the rising star of the French Alps with these luxury MGM homes for sale? Luxury apartments in the ski resort of Samoëns are available from £215k, significantly less than similar developments in celebrated locations such as Val-d'Isère. Fri, 25 Jan 2019 10:37:14 Z None 2019-01-25 10:37 +00:00 2019-01-25 23:37 +13:00 Cheapest properties for sale that could cost only £15 a month The three cheapest of the 20 lowest priced properties were all in the same area of Scotland's Port Glasgow in Inverclyde, according to property website HouseSimple, who did their research on Zoopla. Thu, 24 Jan 2019 21:26:07 Z None 2019-01-24 21:26 +00:00 2019-01-25 10:26 +13:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b7f651c0ebbe8d5b49b0011 ASBESTOS The fire might be out, but asbestos may still linger. Asbestos when exposed to fire can become brittle and breakable and more likely to allow fibres into the air. For this reason, fire is considered an asbestos damaging catalyst. Wed, 23 Jan 2019 20:22:17 Z CC Group <p><strong>Flames licking at materials which contain asbestos, can release plenty of </strong><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>asbestos fibres</strong></a><strong> into the atmosphere.</strong></p><p>While asbestos materials might be stable and solid in day to day calmness, a fire can be like a tornado or any other natural force that breaks and snaps at the materials, sending fibres into the air. This creates dangers for fire fighters and anybody else for many days after the fire might have been extinguished.</p><p>In a normal still room, asbestos fibres are so light that they can take up to three days before they fall to ground. Asbestos fibres are so microscopic that any living species can breathe them into their lungs without sensing any reaction. Once lodged in lung tissue, the carcinogenic effects can take years to evolve. But incurable illnesses such as mesothelioma or asbestosis usually result.</p><p>During a fire, building materials that contain asbestos will typically crack or ”spall.” Spalling occurs when flakes of the material pop off due to the build up of pressure inside the material. Monitoring of air during and after fires has indicated that asbestos fibre concentrations typically are very low. This is likely to be due to the low numbers of fibres actually being released, and the large volumes of air circulated by fires, sweeping the fibres further away from the building. This means the internal environment could be potentially less hazardous compared to the outer area of the property.</p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true"></p><p>On a safer note, asbestos fibres can also become “denatured” when exposed to high temperatures for a sufficient period of time. The recognised melting point for asbestos fibres, is 1500 degrees C. This is a little higher than the recognised melting point for steel. Fires in buildings&nbsp;can reach these temperatures. Steel beams, unless insulated – often with asbestos sheeting, have been known to weaken and collapse because of a fire’s temperature. The Twin Towers collapse in the USA is believed by some, to have been caused by aluminium framing being weakened by heat. Aluminium melts at only 630 degrees C.</p><p>Heat up to its melting point, changes the chemical structure of asbestos. Asbestos, despite its unusual, fibrous character, is actually a naturally occurring rock. Heat can return it to magma. This means the asbestos fibres lose their asbestos qualities and no longer pose the same level of health risk.</p><p>But fires have also been known to release large amounts of asbestos dust in a <a href="" target="_blank">damaged building</a>. Water from fire fighting appliances can help to prevent asbestos dust from accumulating in the atmosphere, but only for the duration of the hoses in actions and while the surfaces of the burning structure remain wet. There is little evidence of how much or how long, watering reduces the danger of asbestos dust.</p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true"></p><p>Asbestos when exposed to fire can become brittle and breakable and more likely to allow fibres into the air. For this reason, fire is sometimes considered more dangerous as an asbestos damaging catalyst compared to building weathering. <strong>So while </strong>asbestos is one of the most heat-resistant substances known to man and was put to good use for fire protection, the same material can be highly toxic when it is confronted by fire.</p><p>Professional fire fighters are well trained in how to avoid the dangers of asbestos released during fires. It is no coincidence that <a href="" target="_blank">trained asbestos removal</a> staff are fully protected in a similar way to fire fighters. Removing burnt asbestos materials is not a task recommended for the untrained property owner.</p><p>Licensed companies such as Chemcare, with qualified Class A removal experts can undertake the work safely and always under the further safety check an independent assessor.</p><hr /><h2><strong>Related Articles</strong></h2> The fire might be out, but asbestos may still linger. 2019-01-23 20:22 +00:00 2019-01-24 09:22 +13:00 Cuddle up to a robot! It's time to invite some hi-tech gadgets into your bedroom More and more of us struggle to get a good nights' sleep. Almost a third of us, according to The Sleep Council, are not feeling well rested. However, help is here from hi-tech bedroom gadgets. Wed, 23 Jan 2019 09:51:28 Z None 2019-01-23 09:51 +00:00 2019-01-23 22:51 +13:00 Grab a shed load of fun: Never mind a garden office, how about a cinema, library and gym? The garden shed is no longer a space for storing old gardening tools. Rodrigo Moreno Masey and Sheena Murphy takes us through their tips for updating yours into a mulfi-functional space. Tue, 22 Jan 2019 16:34:20 Z None 2019-01-22 16:34 +00:00 2019-01-23 05:34 +13:00 Thanks to technological advances, glass buildings are breaking new ground Glass has long been a fashionable choice among home improvers, housebuilders and architects. And now, thanks to technological advances, it's breaking new ground. Sat, 19 Jan 2019 10:29:48 Z None 2019-01-19 10:29 +00:00 2019-01-19 23:29 +13:00 Home Improvement homeownership Renting Quiz: How Much Do You Love Your Home? We're gathered here today to find out ... when it comes to your home, is love enough? Fri, 18 Jan 2019 13:00:47 Z Jill Regal <p>Your life changes over time: new relationships, new jobs, new hobbies. Sometimes, you can make changes to your home to adapt to your lifestyle - but sometimes you can't. And the hardest part? Knowing when to let go.</p> <p>Take our quiz to find out your relationship status - with your living space.</p> <div class="riddle_target" style="margin: 0 auto; max-width: 100%; width: 640px;" data-rid-id="138463" data-fg="#0074E4" data-bg="#FFFFFF" data-auto-scroll="true"><script src=""></script><br /> <iframe style="width: 100%; height: 300px; border: 1px solid #cfcfcf;" src="" width="300" height="150"></p> <section> <h2>How Much Do You Love Your Home?</h2> </section> <section> <h2>You&#8217;re in the honeymoon phase.</h2> <p>Your weekends consist of trips to the hardware store, DIY projects and shopping for deck furniture online. Sure, it takes a couple of days to text your friends back - and you have half the money you used to - but you don't sweat it. Right now, you only have eyes for one thing: your new home.</p> </section> <section> <h3>You&#8217;re in the sweatpants phase.</h3> <p>Your thermostat runs on a program, and every knickknack has a place. You've made peace with the orange paint in the downstairs bathroom, and your ideal activity is putting on (mostly) clean sweatpants to chill on the couch. Things aren't as exciting as they used to be - but why mess with a good thing?</p> </section> <section> <h3>You&#8217;re in the seven-year-itch phase.</h3> <p>You're starting to notice the cracks in the ceiling, and you wonder if you're ever going to finish the basement. These days, your home stresses you out more than anything. You're at a fork in the road: You can either commit to your home for the long haul - or <a href="" target="_blank" style="color: #1155cc;">move on</a>.</p> </section> <section> <h3>You&#8217;re ready to move on.</h3> <p><span style="background-color: transparent;">You look at other homes every spare moment, and you've started sending them to your spouse, your friends and even your boss. Whether or not you've admitted it to yourself, you're ready to </span><a href="" target="_blank" style="color: #1155cc;">move on</a><span style="background-color: transparent;"> and find your dream home.</span></p> </section> <section> <h2>You're going to paint your living room. Which color do you choose?</h2> </section> <section> <h3>How do you set up your dining room for dinner parties?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>Be honest: What does your guest room look like right now?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>What's your next home project?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>What are you saving for?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>How do you spend your weekends?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>How would you describe your neighbors?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>What kinds of pictures are on your Pinterest board?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>And speaking of social media … what was the last Facebook ad you clicked on?</h3> </section> <section> <h3>Which quote do you identify with the most?</h3> </section> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p></iframe></div> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">2019 Design Forecast: What&#8217;s In, What&#8217;s Out</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">This Home Looks Like a Barn (But Has Enough Room to Be a Small Castle)</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Quiz: What Type of Bar Should You Build in Your Home?</a></li> </ul> 83 2019-01-18 13:00 +00:00 2019-01-19 02:00 +13:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5bad5474104c7b3a5747c847 ASBESTOS The risk of natural disasters in homes containing asbestos Natural disasters can cause asbestos to become friable and hazardous. We have a look at the risks and discuss why it’s always best to remove asbestos before the unexpected happens. Thu, 17 Jan 2019 01:45:39 Z Zach White <p>When an extreme weather event or natural disaster happens, the last thing you’ll be thinking about is what’s behind your walls or underneath the tiles in your kitchen. </p><p>Unfortunately, countless New Zealand homes have asbestos hiding in plain sight and during a disaster it can become dangerous or even deadly. Storms, floods, fires, earthquakes and even heavy rain can damage the material, causing it to release<a href="" target="_blank"> hazardous fibres</a>. </p><p>To keep you safe in the aftermath of extreme weather or natural disaster, we’ve had a look at the risk that asbestos poses during and after the event, and why it’s always best to perform asbestos removal before the unexpected happens. </p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><h3><strong>The risk of asbestos after natural disasters</strong></h3><p>When asbestos is non-friable (not crumbling or releasing dust) and in good condition, it generally poses no health risk. Provided you’re not renovating or disturbing your home’s structure, there’s no reason to panic right away if you discover your property contains non-friable asbestos. If the asbestos is encapsulated behind specialist material or gib, it’s even safer and less likely to release fibres into the air. However, during a natural disaster that can all change.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Fire </strong>can damage asbestos even if it’s encapsulated and in good condition. Fibres may be released rapidly as the material is dried and broken. These microscopic fibres may be inhaled with smoke, causing additional danger to inhabitants. After the fire, asbestos containing materials (ACMs) throughout the house that have been damaged may continue releasing fibres until they’re removed. </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Earthquakes </strong>can also damage asbestos---even if it’s encapsulated. If your home is destroyed completely, the site may be contaminated by rubble containing asbestos until the material is removed by professionals. Your home may also be damaged in ways that you can’t see, whether it’s cracks in the walls and ceiling or shifting foundations. This can damage the ACM, causing it to become friable and dangerous. </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Floods </strong>may cause moisture to soak into your walls and floors. Over time this can cause ACMs to swell and become damaged, contaminating your home. You may not be able to see the damaged asbestos either, making it even more dangerous. </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Storms and heavy rain </strong>are likely to damage and degrade the ACMs on the outside of your property, such as concrete tiles, wall cladding and spouting. This can happen in a single heavy storm, or gradually over time. For that reason if your home has asbestos on its exterior, it’s almost always best to remove it now, rather than risk doing so in future when it’s damaged. </p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true"></p><p>Asbestos is durable and resistant to heat, moisture and chemical degradation, but as tough as it is, it rarely remains intact during natural disasters. It also tends to degrade and become dangerous over time, meaning in most cases it will have to be removed or encapsulated eventually. Regardless, if it’s in your home and disaster strikes, it may make your problems even worse. </p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><strong>Why asbestos removal is always the best idea</strong></h3><p>It may be <strong>cheaper </strong>to remove asbestos before a disaster or weather event---while it’s still in good condition. That’s because removing non-friable asbestos that’s in good shape is far simpler than removing asbestos that is damaged and friable (as it would be after a disaster). To remove friable asbestos, a specialist enclosure must be erected, extensive safety regulations must be followed and extreme care must be taken to avoid re-contaminating the property. Costs can accumulate quickly.<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true"></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Removing asbestos</a> before a disaster is also likely to be far <strong>easier and faster</strong>. That’s because the asbestos is less dangerous and volatile, making it easier to remove.</p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true"></p><p>Most importantly, removing asbestos before a natural disaster or weather event damages it is usually far <strong>safer</strong>. There’s obviously no risk of asbestos fibres affecting your health after a disaster if they’ve already been removed. What’s more, when the material is contained, it’s far easier to fully remove and ensure that your property is completely asbestos free. </p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><strong>Historic disasters and asbestos</strong></h3><p>Looking at past events gives us an idea of the nuisance and cost of dealing with asbestos after a natural disaster. </p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true"></p><p>The Christchurch earthquakes in 2011 are one such event. After the tragedy occured there were a massive 4.25 million tonnes of rubble to be removed and disposed of. Unfortunately, a large proportion of it contained asbestos, making the clean up considerably more expensive, time consuming and dangerous. What’s more, countless homes throughout the region were damaged, which may have affected asbestos and caused it to release dangerous fibres into the air. </p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true"></p><p>Every damaged home that was suspected to contain asbestos had to be sampled and tested, and <a href="" target="_blank">management plans</a> had to be prepared, including asbestos removal were it deemed necessary. This came at great cost to property owners, insurance companies and businesses, and in some cases may have delayed people’s return to their homes indefinitely. </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>There are also examples of disasters releasing dangerous asbestos fibres into the air overseas, most notably the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York. When the planes hit, a massive cloud of smoke, dust and debris dispersed across the area. Asbestos fireproofing material from 20 storeys of the tower spread over neighbouring streets, homes and buildings. </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>It’s estimated that 410,000 people we exposed to dangerous toxins, including asbestos. For months after the attacks, cleanup workers were exposed to potentially hazardous levels of asbestos at ground zero and in surrounding areas. </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>As a result, nearly 70 per cent of recovery workers have suffered lung problems, as well as several people who were nearby at the time. Tens of thousands of people reported respiratory illness, with total settlements for asbestos-related health problems exceeding $800 million. This was all despite the multi-million dollar asbestos cleanup operation that occured after the attacks. </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Preparing for the unexpected</strong></p><p>With any luck your property won’t be affected by a natural disaster and doesn’t contain any asbestos whatsoever. However, it’s always best to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. If you know or suspect that there’s asbestos in your home, get in touch with the team at Chemcare to find out for sure. </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>We’ll survey your property according to strict regulations then test the samples using an accredited laboratory so that you can be certain of the extent, location and condition of all asbestos in your property. From there, we’ll prepare a comprehensive report including expert advice on whether asbestos removal is the right option for you. We’re licensed class-A removalists, so if it comes to it we can complete the entire process from testing to removal.</p> The risk of natural disasters in homes containing asbestos 2019-01-17 01:45 +00:00 2019-01-17 14:45 +13:00 Unique Homes unique homes Dreaming of Warmer Weather? These 7 Sunny Homes Are Under $300K When your arms are sore from shoveling show, it's only natural to fantasize about migrating south for the winter. Tue, 15 Jan 2019 20:29:05 Z Jamie Birdwell-Branson <p>Whether you&#8217;re thinking about a permanent move for milder weather or going the seasonal snowbird route, here are eight affordable homes in the warmest cities in the country, all to inspire your search for warmth.</p> <h2>A bright bungalow in Florida</h2> <p>For sale: $299,900</p> <p>This Spanish bungalow in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">West Palm Beach, Florida,</a> has everything you need to escape the cold weather: a vibrant green yard, a brightly colored exterior and a back patio perfect for sipping on a beachy cocktail.</p> <p>If you ever happen to make it inside, you&#8217;ll find hardwood floors throughout, an abundance of natural light from the Florida sunshine and unique details, such as arched windows and a clawfoot tub for soaking.</p> <figure id="attachment_230069" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-230069" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img class="wp-image-230069 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-230069" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Zillow listing.</a></em></figcaption></figure> <p>See more <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">West Palm Beach</a> homes for sale.</p> <h2>Picturesque in the low country</h2> <p>For sale: $284,900</p> <p>If you&#8217;re looking for the definition of a picture-perfect cottage, you might just find a picture of this home in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Beaufort, South Carolina.</a></p> <p>Besides all the hallmarks of a Southern home - a white picket fence, plantation shutters and brick steps up to the front porch - this home also features an oversized screened-in back porch, ideal for enjoying those low country breezes. When you&#8217;re not spending time outside, you can enjoy custom cabinetry and cozy built-in shelves for reading books on a lazy summer day (even in the middle of January).</p> <figure id="attachment_230077" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-230077" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img class="wp-image-230077 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-230077" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Zillow listing.</a></em></figcaption></figure> <p>See more <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Beaufort</a> homes for sale.</p> <h2>A Spanish revival in the Southwest</h2> <p>For sale: $299,900</p> <p>This Spanish revival home in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Phoenix, Arizona,</a> is likely to make you forget that winter ever existed in the first place. Built in 1925 and considered a contributing historic property, this home has all of the Southwest charm you could ask for: colorful stucco on the exterior, a Spanish tile roof and a vibrant interior.</p> <figure id="attachment_230071" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-230071" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img class="wp-image-230071 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-230071" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Zillow listing.</a></em></figcaption></figure> <p>See more <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Phoenix</a> homes for sale.</p> <h2>A historic hideaway on the Texas coast</h2> <p>For sale: $289,900</p> <p>Built in 1886 in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Galveston, Texas,</a> this home gives you a sense of history and plenty of character - all within a few blocks of the beach. The home greets you with a double stained-glass door entrance and continues to enchant inside with a grand staircase, wide-plank wood floors and trace ceilings. Other details like a spacious galley kitchen and a master bedroom with a fireplace create a pretty spectacular Gulf Coast getaway.</p> <figure id="attachment_230074" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-230074" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img class="wp-image-230074 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-230074" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Zillow listing.</a></em></figcaption></figure> <p>See more <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Galveston</a> homes for sale.</p> <h2>A rare Queen Anne in Alabama</h2> <p>For sale: $280,000</p> <p>This sunny early-20th-century Queen Anne in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Mobile, Alabama,</a> is a rare architectural find for the city, and this one has been painstakingly remodeled for life in the 21st.</p> <p>In addition to a major kitchen renovation - featuring quartz countertops and open shelving - new pine flooring coats the whole house, and all the walls have locally sourced tongue-and-groove paneling that brightens the space. This home also has plenty of spots to curl up and enjoy the Alabama warmth that permeates throughout the winter, including a charming front porch and a bay window that lets in plenty of sunshine.</p> <figure id="attachment_230072" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-230072" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img class="wp-image-230072 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="532" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-230072" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Zillow listing.</a></em></figcaption></figure> <p>See more <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Mobile</a> homes for sale.</p> <h2>A spectacular stucco home in Arizona</h2> <p>For sale: $280,000</p> <p>This charismatic pueblo-like home in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tucson, Arizona,</a> is optimal for living like it&#8217;s summer year-round. A Southwest color scheme greets you in the front of the house, with orange steps, a teal barrier wall and creamy stucco on the home&#8217;s exterior. The backyard, however, is really primed for all-year outdoor living with a built-in barbecue and in-ground pool - perfect for those scorching summer days ahead.</p> <figure id="attachment_230070" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-230070" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img class="wp-image-230070 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="533" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-230070" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Zillow listing.</a></em></figcaption></figure> <p>See more <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tucson</a> homes for sale.</p> <h2>A beachy bungalow</h2> <p>For sale: $279,000</p> <p>We&#8217;d kiss our snow shovel goodbye in a heartbeat for this dreamy beach bungalow in <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Delray Beach, Florida</a>.</p> <p>The front walkway and garden - complete with palm trees - is a great place to park your Adirondack chairs for a morning coffee or an evening mai tai. If you ever need to escape the Florida humidity, the home also boasts a custom-built theater system, and it&#8217;s just a few minutes away from the nearest beach.</p> <figure id="attachment_230075" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-230075" style="width: 800px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img class="wp-image-230075 size-full" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-230075" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Zillow listing.</a></em></figcaption></figure> <p>See more <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Delray Beach</a> homes for sale.</p> <h6><em>Top photo from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Zillow listing.</a></em></h6> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Small-Town Charm: 8 Homes for Sale in Less Populated Areas</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">2019 Design Forecast: What&#8217;s In, What&#8217;s Out</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">This Home Looks Like a Barn (But Has Enough Room to Be a Small Castle)</a></li> </ul> 21 2019-01-15 20:29 +00:00 2019-01-16 09:29 +13:00 Home Improvement Appliances winter Furnace, Boiler or Heat Pump? Time for Heating Systems 101 If your current heating system yields cold hands and frozen toes - it might be time to upgrade. Tue, 15 Jan 2019 18:03:09 Z Steve Asbell <p>Heating your home accounts for an inordinate portion of your utility bill, so it pays to choose the most efficient heating system possible. This doesn't necessarily mean you should upgrade to a different type of system, however.</p> <p>Generally speaking, it's a bad idea to convert from forced air to central heating, or vice versa, since the benefits rarely justify the cost. Instead, upgrade to a more efficient version of your existing furnace or boiler when it's too expensive to repair - but weigh your options carefully.</p> <p>Here's a rundown of the most commonly used heating systems, along with their advantages and disadvantages, to help you make the most appropriate choice for your home, climate and wallet.</p> <h2>Furnaces</h2> <p>Also known as forced air, furnaces are the most commonly used heating systems in the U.S. because they're reliable and relatively inexpensive. Gas furnaces are rated for efficiency by their annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. This shows how much energy is successfully converted to usable heat.</p> <p>If your furnace needs to be replaced, the silver lining is that modern furnaces are more efficient than ever, and some premium models even reach an AFUE rating of 97 percent. When purchasing a furnace, choose one that's appropriately sized for your home so that it doesn't put undue wear and tear on your system or waste energy.</p> <table class="table"> <tbody> <tr> <th style="text-align: center;">Pros</th> <th style="text-align: center;">Cons</th> </tr> <tr> <td> <ul> <li>Inexpensive to install</li> <li>Reliable and low-maintenance</li> <li>Have a long life span, especially electric models</li> <li>Can be retrofitted to filter and clean your home's air</li> <li>Already installed in most homes, thus easier to replace</li> </ul> </td> <td> <ul> <li>Can produce and kick up more allergens</li> <li>Warm air is easily lost through ducts and within the house</li> <li>Gas furnaces can be dangerous, creating a risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning</li> <li>Furnaces powered by electricity are safer, but cost more to run</li> </ul> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <h2>Boilers</h2> <p>Boilers use water to generate and distribute heat through pipes and radiators, heating the air, floors, wall and baseboards as it travels in a loop. They can be powered via natural gas, electricity or propane, and they use the following systems to distribute heat:</p> <ul> <li>Steam radiators are the old-fashioned metal things you've seen along the walls in older buildings.</li> <li>Hot water radiators are the newer reincarnation and allow more control and versatility.</li> <li>Hydronic radiant floor heating treats the entire floor of a room like a giant radiator, using tubing under the flooring to distribute heat to toasty toes. While efficient, hydronic radiant floor heating is expensive to install and replace.</li> </ul> <p>Like furnaces, boilers are rated by AFUE score.</p> <table class="table"> <tbody> <tr> <th style="text-align: center;">Pros</th> <th style="text-align: center;">Cons</th> </tr> <tr> <td> <ul> <li>Usually runs more quietly than forced air systems</li> <li>Doesn't kick up dust, which makes for much better air quality</li> <li>Can be retrofitted to heat water</li> <li>Can be more efficient than forced air systems</li> </ul> </td> <td> <ul> <li>Boilers are often more expensive to purchase and install than forced air systems</li> <li>Water can leak when the system is damaged or nears the end of its life</li> <li>Most boilers are powered by natural gas, which isn't available in all areas</li> <li>Aren't necessary in areas with mild winters</li> </ul> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <h2>Heat pumps</h2> <p>These extremely efficient systems take advantage of existing temperatures (either outdoors, underwater or underground) to heat, cool and humidify your home.</p> <p>There are three types of heat pumps:</p> <ul> <li>Air-source heat pumps are the most common and circulate refrigerant between the outdoor heat pump and indoor air handler.</li> <li>Split ductless systems use one to four indoor air handlers, which are mounted high up on walls and controlled by a remote.</li> <li>Geothermal systems are incredibly efficient because they take advantage of temperatures in the ground, pond or a well, but they aren't practical or affordable for most homeowners.</li> </ul> <p>When selecting a heat pump system, consider the size, noise output and efficiency rating. The heating efficiency is measured by heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF), and the cooling efficiency is measured by seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER).</p> <table class="table"> <tbody> <tr> <th style="text-align: center;">Pros</th> <th style="text-align: center;">Cons</th> </tr> <tr> <td> <ul> <li>Very efficient, saving lots of money in the long run</li> <li>Can be used all year for both heating and cooling</li> <li>Can be modified with a desuperheater, which assists in heating your water</li> <li>Newer models are appropriate for colder climates</li> <li>Naturally dehumidifies the home in summer, making it ideal for the Southeast</li> </ul> </td> <td> <ul> <li>More expensive than forced air or central heating</li> <li>Inappropriate for small lots</li> <li>Fans can be noisy</li> <li>Requires more maintenance than other systems</li> <li>In cold climates, you may require an auxiliary heating system that kicks in when temperatures become too low</li> </ul> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Your Top 5 Fireplace Questions, Answered</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">9 Tips for Achieving Maximum Coziness</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Quiz: What Does Your Dream Cabin Look Like?</a></li> </ul> 13 2019-01-15 18:03 +00:00 2019-01-16 07:03 +13:00 Home complete with air-conditioned helicopter hangar on sale for £4.5m This five-bedroom detached house in Billingshurst, West Sussex, boasts it own air-conditioned helicopter hangar - a new benchmark in property status symbols. Mon, 14 Jan 2019 10:41:26 Z None 2019-01-14 10:41 +00:00 2019-01-14 23:41 +13:00 With £850k budget would you rather buy six-bed Wiltshire castle or two-bed flat in West London?  The properties have the same asking price, but would you prefer to buy a castle in the Wiltshire village of West Ashton or a modern two-bed flat in the West London borough of Hounslow? Sun, 13 Jan 2019 01:28:10 Z None 2019-01-13 01:28 +00:00 2019-01-13 14:28 +13:00 How to sell your home in a tough market Even Mary Berry’s magic touch is not enough to clinch a property sale, it seems. The Grade II-listed house — the Berry home for 29 years — has now been on the market for well over a year. Sat, 12 Jan 2019 09:26:23 Z ESTATE AGENTS 2019-01-12 09:26 +00:00 2019-01-12 22:26 +13:00 The January property sale quiz highlighting homes for sale on Zoopla Featured properties include a seven-bed house in Wiltshire and a two-bed-flat in Cumbria, with values cut by 50 per cent - which translates to millions of pounds on some of the homes. Thu, 10 Jan 2019 09:18:33 Z None 2019-01-10 09:18 +00:00 2019-01-10 22:18 +13:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b47bcb2758d464630249d62 Can asbestos stick to your clothes? Can you get rid of it? Asbestos fibres can easily become lodged in clothing. once trapped, the risk is high that these fibres will become airborne and ingested into the body of the wearer or nearby people. Thu, 10 Jan 2019 02:52:13 Z Zach White <p><a href="" target="_blank">Asbestos</a> is essentially a form of natural rock.</p><p>The difference is that this rock can become “friable,” (crumble into almost microscopic fibres) that are so light they can float in air and be breathed into lungs without any hint of an objecting cough.</p><p>There, the fibres sit for many years and eventually cause serious illness and in many cases, death.</p><p>The fibres can easily become lodged in clothing depending on the type of clothing. Woollen garments will obviously hold microscopic <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos fibres</a> much more efficiently than smooth rubber or plastic clothing. Even human skin with fine hairs can trap the asbestos fibres.</p><p>Once trapped in clothing, any opportunity for the asbestos fibres to become airborne and ingested into the body of the wearer of the clothing or nearby people, becomes a permanent risk.</p><p>The safest remedy is to carefully de-clothe and dispose of the clothing altogether. This eliminates the risk of ingesting the fibres.</p><p>Any attempt to remove asbestos off clothing&nbsp; should avoid trying to “dust”&nbsp;it off. This is about as safe as dusting the fibres into the air to make them easier to breathe in and start the long process of serious illness.</p><p>Shaking the clothes is an equally bad choice with potentially fatal results.</p><p><br>If the clothing is valued, the best way is to hand the material over to an expert removal service.</p><p>There are many licensed <a href="" target="_blank">asbestos sampling</a> and removal companies in New Zealand.</p><p>Avoid a standard dry cleaning process unless the service can produce the appropriate asbestos sampling and removal licences. Without this expertise, the fibres may potentially endanger more people via the dry cleaning premises.</p><p>If clothes are washed through the home washing machine, there is no guarantee that all of the asbestos fibres will drain into the waste water. The durability of the fibres and their resilience for survival may also see them arrive through the waste water system to endanger lives in some other place.</p><p>A washing machine cycle may also simply transfer the fibres to other clothing in the cycle.</p><p>To conduct the cleaning process, it is important to inform the person in charge about the contamination. The area must be secured and it must be seen to it that there is a control in the release of the fibres.</p><p>The safest option for&nbsp;asbestos-contaminated clothes is disposal by a&nbsp;licensed service.&nbsp;If the value of the clothing becomes a factor, this needs to be assessed against the risk to human life, especially the life of the owner of the clothing.</p><p>If it becomes a personal responsibility to dispose of asbestos contaminated clothing, thoroughly wet it and place in impermeable containers. The clothing should not be allowed to dry until it is taken to any&nbsp;laundering facility. The container should be labelled to indicate the presence of asbestos. Once in the laundry facility, observe the measures stated earlier to secure the area from contamination as well. The person handling the laundry should also wear proper clothing.</p><p>Once the entire process is done, the now-empty container bags used in storing the asbestos-contaminated clothing should be disposed of properly.</p><p>The water used to remove asbestos from the clothing should also pass through filtration process to screen out the asbestos and prevent it from contaminating bodies of water and its surroundings</p> Can asbestos stick to your clothes? Can you get rid of it? 2019-01-10 02:52 +00:00 2019-01-10 15:52 +13:00 COMMENT: How to fix the housing crisis <p>Dealing with the housing &ldquo;crisis&rdquo; doesn&rsquo;t need rocket science, just a clearly articulated set of steps and fast action, argues property commentator Ashley Church.</p> Thu, 10 Jan 2019 08:00:00 +1200 2019-01-10 08:00 +12:00 2019-01-10 09:00 +13:00 Home Improvement gardening What Your Houseplants Need to Make It Through Winter Winter doldrums, be gone! With just a little love and care, your plants can thrive despite the chill. Mon, 07 Jan 2019 13:31:50 Z Steve Asbell <p>It isn't just you - your houseplants really do look worse in winter. Blame it on dry air, shorter days, changing light patterns, cold drafts - and the fact that some plants go nearly dormant in winter anyway, even in their own habitat.</p> <p>These obstacles make houseplants more vulnerable to problems like overwatering, poor drainage and pests than ever before, but don't let it bring you down. Instead of counting down the days until spring comes - or your plant dies on its own - follow these guidelines to keep your plants healthy all season long.</p> <h2>Identify your plant's unique needs</h2> <p>Start by treating each plant as an individual. This is especially important in winter. Some plants go dormant and need drier soil, low light and cooler air, while others still want moist soil, bright light and warm, humid air.</p> <p>So, do a little research. Perform a quick search on your phone or visit the bookstore or library to identify your plants and determine their needs.</p> <p>If you're still unsure of their identities, follow the general guidelines below and assume they need lightly moist soil, good drainage, ventilation, humidity and a little more attention to keep them pest- and disease-free.</p> <h2>Water the right way</h2> <p>Before you water, make sure your pot has a drainage hole to prevent rot and a saucer to catch excess moisture.</p> <p>When the top half-inch of soil is dry, water thoroughly with a watering can that has a narrow spout, which keeps you from splashing the leaves and inadvertently spreading soilborne diseases.</p> <p>Watering deeply promotes healthier root growth and flushes out any excess salts from your tap water that may have accumulated over time.</p> <h2>Provide humidity for jungle plants</h2> <p>Winter&#8217;s dry air is uncomfortable for us, but it's even more uncomfortable for houseplants. After all, most common indoor plants come from steamy tropical forests, so they have a hard enough time adapting to household habitats. Worse yet, dry air also leads to pest infestations, like spider mites and mealybugs.</p> <p>To prevent dry leaves and create a humid microclimate for your <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">jungle-dwelling houseplants</a>, place them on a tray of pebbles and fill the tray halfway with water, which will slowly evaporate and give the immediate area a humidity boost. Otherwise, mist the leaves twice a day or refer to the tip below.</p> <h2>Group plants together by needs</h2> <p>Since houseplants seem to struggle more in winter, group them together by needs to simplify your life and prolong theirs.</p> <p>For plants that are actively growing (most common houseplants fit this description), choose a well-lit bathroom or kitchen so they can benefit from the extra humidity created by running water.</p> <p>Place desert plants like cacti and <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">succulents</a> in a south-facing window so they can receive the maximum amount of direct sunlight.</p> <p>If you have subtropical bulbs or flowering plants that require a rest in winter, place them in a cool area with indirect light and only water them when the potting mix is dry.</p> <h2>Inspect whenever you water</h2> <p>Having a green thumb has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with being observant. Every time you water your houseplants, look closely at the leaves, stems and potting mix. You have nothing else to do while standing there with your watering can, so take the time to appreciate your plant's uniquely patterned leaves and - wait, was that a bug?</p> <p>Even if you couldn't identify a mealybug if your life depended on it, you'll discover (and remove) all sorts of things if you wipe the leaves occasionally with a damp rag and cotton swab.</p> <h2>Prevent the spread of pests and diseases</h2> <p>Houseplants are especially prone to bacterial diseases this time of year, so pay close attention to them.</p> <p>Remove and discard any dead leaves that appear or fall in the potting mix - they make ideal hiding places and breeding grounds for <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">pests</a> and diseases. To prevent stagnant air around your plants, increase ventilation with a small fan.</p> <p>Wash your hands and tools before and after handling them, and immediately separate or discard any diseased or infested plants so they can recover without infecting the others. If the leaves are stunted, mottled and twisted, the plant likely has a virus and should be discarded immediately.</p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Repotting Plants: Give Them a New Home Sweet Home</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">3 Design Tricks That Will Make Your Small Space Feel Big</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">How to Build Your Own Vertical Garden With Shipping Pallets</a></li> </ul> <p><em>Originally published February 2017.</em></p> 1 2019-01-07 13:31 +00:00 2019-01-08 02:31 +13:00 Unique Homes treehouses unique homes Explore a Tiny Tropical Treehouse in Hawaii What's better than a tiny home? One that's 15 feet up in the air and built for less than it costs to buy a new car. Mon, 07 Jan 2019 13:03:17 Z Lindsay Cohen <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">No one ever complains about Hawaii.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">That's one reason why Kristie Wolfe bought a piece of land there sight unseen. She went from spotting the overgrown, verdant lot on Craigslist to chatting with the owner to buying a plane ticket to clear the underbrush for building - all in the span of just two days.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It could've gone a lot of awful ways, but I didn't see it until I had flown here to start building," Wolfe said. "I had never been to Hawaii, and I knew I wanted to build a treehouse, so I was thinking tropical."</span></p> <p><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The vision for the 230-square-foot getaway came from sketches Wolfe drew on restaurant napkins. The Idaho native envisioned a lush, lofted escape with a 4-foot wraparound lanai for endless tropical sunsets and rainforest views.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Making that happen, however, required a lot of hard work - and a chain saw.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"When we arrived, the first step was actually just finding the land. My road was so overgrown that we actually thought the end of the road was down the block," Wolfe chuckled. "After we actually established where it was, the next step was clearing a path so we could come through."</span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-225476" src="" alt="" width="800" height="1199" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wolfe had good company for the build: She brought her mom along for the adventure. The two had worked hand in hand since Wolfe was a child and her mother flipped houses around town, "before flipping was a thing," Wolfe joked. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For this undertaking, they wanted to maximize every dime, so they used all their precious luggage space for tools. That forced the duo to wear every article of clothing they brought with them on the plane.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They landed on the Big Island in a sweat.</span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-225467" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The budget, on the other hand, was something they could chill out about: $11,000 - cheaper than the price of a new car. With the half-acre lot cleared, Wolfe and her mother got to work, building the main living space 15 feet high up on stilts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The duo recycled and upcycled everything they purchased. The 1970s vintage fern wallpaper came from Etsy, while the bed was cobbled together from scrap materials. </span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-225469" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wolfe crafted the headboard out of a long shipping tube that originally held the home's window parts; she then covered it with a grass mat.</span></p> <p>The duo built an indoor-outdoor shower with tiles made out of cork. They added air plants for a true tropical vibe.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-225538" src="" alt="" width="800" height="1199" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With sun plentiful in the tropical climate, Wolfe installed solar panels to provide electricity to the home and a rainwater catchment for the toilet and the shower. There&#8217;s a copper-colored sink below latticed porthole windows that look out onto the forest.</span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-225541" src="" alt="" width="800" height="1199" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On the main entry level, she built a hanging bed.</span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-225464" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At the last minute, Wolfe also built a pulley so guests have an easy way to hoist their luggage to the main area. (She jokes that the device should have been the first thing she installed, since it would have made construction much easier.)</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The entire home took 2 1/2 months to finish.</span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-225466" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There's snorkeling and hiking nearby. The home is also near Hilo and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where Wolfe often travels to watch lava flow into the ocean.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"[The lava] looks like the end of the world," she said. "You can walk within feet of it, and it's absolutely hypnotizing. It&#8217;s kind of like a lava lamp - it looks like that, dropping off the cliff into the ocean, splashing and causing all this steam. It's one of the coolest things I've ever seen."</span></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-225477" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wolfe just bought the lot next door and plans, eventually, to put something there.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I had built a tiny house, and I wanted to do something different, and a treehouse seemed like a fun, totally unique place," Wolfe said. "I think everybody has wanted to stay in a treehouse. It just seems to fit a jungle."</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">This home is currently available as a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">short-term rental</a>.</span></em></p> <p><em>Photos by <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">Erik Hecht</a>.</em></p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Hibernate Luxuriously in This 5,572-Square-Foot Cave Mansion</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sleep Under the Stars in This Tiny Cabin Near a National Park</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Whale Watch From Any of This Home&#8217;s 3 Rooftop Decks</a></li> </ul> <p><em>Originally published April 2018.</em></p> 18 2019-01-07 13:03 +00:00 2019-01-08 02:03 +13:00 Is Luton really set to take off? The commuter hotspot where house prices are half than in London Estate agency Jackson-Stops have named Luton as London’s top commuter hotspot for 2019 for the second year running. Mon, 07 Jan 2019 10:13:40 Z None 2019-01-07 10:13 +00:00 2019-01-07 23:13 +13:00 Home Improvement decorating winter Get the Look: 3 Ideas for Turning Your Home Into a Winter Haven Snowed in? Put that cabin fever to good use and try one of these iconic winter-proof looks. Sun, 06 Jan 2019 13:29:26 Z Chris Stout-Hazard <p>What better time to turn your home into a warm and welcoming den than during the chilly winter months? With just a little investment and some ingenuity, you can bring a distinctive winter-friendly look into your home.</p> <p>Here are three concepts to inspire you - and some tips to get you started.</p> <h2>Look 1: The British study</h2> <h3>The vibe</h3> <p>This look is a perfect fit for a snowy winter day. Filled with shelves of leather-bound tomes, tufted chesterfield sofas and focused lighting from brass sconces, the study is the perfect spot to curl up with a favorite novel, enjoy a cup of tea or nap away the afternoon.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-230055" src="" alt="" width="800" height="731" /></p> <h3>Get the look</h3> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Built-in bookcases</a> may run up a tab, but two or three flat-pack units arranged tightly in a row can nearly fill a wall without breaking the budget.</p> <p>Pack them with as many books you can find - the fuller the better. Check out garage sales, thrift shops and library clearance sales for additional hardback books if you're short.</p> <p>Sure, you may not have a tufted leather sofa on hand, but any love seat positioned in front of the bookcases will look dramatic. Instead of square throw pillows, try round bolsters in the corners for a more formal style.</p> <p>A vintage rug is ideal underneath, but convincing reproductions can be found online for a fraction of the price.</p> <p>For the coziest of lighting in the evenings, add sconces to your bookcases. Inexpensive clip-on downlights work perfectly in a pinch. If possible, flank the love seat with a pair of floor reading lamps, swiveled low over the arms of the sofa.</p> <h2>Look 2: The Scandinavian chalet</h2> <h3>The vibe</h3> <p>Crisp white paint, whitewashed wood and neutral furnishings make even the gloomiest of days <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">feel bright</a>.</p> <p>This aesthetic is definitely modern, yet it&#8217;s touched with woodsy rusticity and directly connected to nature. Winter-friendly accessories bring in a bit more comfort and prevent the space from feeling cold.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-230056" src="" alt="" width="800" height="600" /></p> <h3>Get the look</h3> <p>Compatible with the popular all-white color scheme, the Scandinavian chalet look can be achieved with a few tweaks - some more involved than others.</p> <p>For an amazing yet affordable chalet transformation, consider covering one wall (ideally around a fireplace) in inexpensive pine boards. You can run them horizontally or vertically, and you may choose to either paint them to match your other walls or seal them with a whitewash or light gray stain.</p> <p>Embrace irregularities and small gaps between the boards - they&#8217;ll give you the modern, woodsy touch that makes these spaces memorable.</p> <p>Define a seating area using a generously scaled jute rug. Build on this surface's natural color and texture with pieces of upholstery. If your furniture isn't neutral, try slipcovering it or even tossing a large canvas dropcloth over it.</p> <p>A stack of substantial floor pillows encourages a more relaxed gathering beside the fire or around a board game. And a faux sheepskin throw or two will further warm the space.</p> <p>For accessories, try hanging a white papier-mache deer mount over your hearth and stacking paper birch logs beside the fireplace.</p> <p>For lighting, overscale paper lanterns affixed to a simple plug-in pendant light make a big 1970s Scandinavian statement at minimal cost.</p> <h2>Look 3: The boho nest</h2> <h3>The vibe</h3> <p>Longing for the warm colors of summer? This look brings them indoors using tapestries, artwork and an abundance of <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">houseplants</a>.</p> <p>Layering is the name of the game, with floors covered by an arrangement of inexpensive flat-weave rugs, upholstery draped in throws and embroidered pillows, and groupings of mixed-media art on the walls.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-230057" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <h3>Get the look</h3> <p>While many seeking the boho style focus on white walls as a backdrop, you can create a warmer space with a bold color or dark earth tone. Paint one or more of your living room walls to invite contrast.</p> <p>Start building your nest from the floor up. Instead of purchasing one large expensive rug, try layering a mixture of smaller and more affordable rugs of varying styles and colors for an eclectic and relaxed feel.</p> <p>If you have walls that feel a little barren, consider draping them with floor-to-ceiling curtains. This will envelop and soften the edges of the room.</p> <p>If premade ones aren&#8217;t in the budget, you can easily make your own perfectly fitted drapes with fabric. Create a simple hem around the edges with a quick pass through the sewing machine or a little bit of ironing with hem tape. Use ring clips to attach the fabric panels to curtain rods.</p> <p>A <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">gallery wall</a> can also give your living room a warmer feel. While typical galleries consisting solely of framed art tend to be the decorating norm, you can keep the look fresh and more bohemian by integrating a broader spectrum of art types.</p> <p>Hang clay or wood pieces, textile art, paper sculptures and even wall-clinging plants - like staghorn ferns - to give your gallery wall life and personality.</p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">2019 Design Forecast: What&#8217;s In, What&#8217;s Out</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">3 Design Tricks That Will Make Your Small Space Feel Big</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">8 Ways to Incorporate Your Passions Into Your Home Decor</a></li> </ul> <p><em>Originally published January 2018.</em></p> 5 2019-01-06 13:29 +00:00 2019-01-07 02:29 +13:00 Tips & Advice Moving Renting 5 Things to Look for in a Rental Listing Lackluster listings abound - learn to cut through the clutter and spot the keepers. Fri, 04 Jan 2019 13:58:57 Z Jennifer Lyons <p>Whether you're <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">looking for an apartment</a>, single-family house or townhome - and whether you're in a city, the suburbs or a small town - be prepared to spend a lot of time online and even more time driving around to tour the most promising places in person.</p> <p>If you want to save time and avoid headaches, make sure that every rental listing you consider has all the information you need. High-quality listings help you weed out the places that don't fit your criteria (wait, Fido's not welcome?), but they also indicate an organized, communicative and professional landlord - something every renter wants.</p> <p>As you begin your search, consider these five important things every good rental listing should contain:</p> <h2>1. Detailed details</h2> <p>Front and center should be the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, storage space and a floor plan to help you visualize the layout.</p> <p>Avoid listings with vague terms like "junior one bedroom" or "open one bedroom." According to Zillow research, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">65 percent</a> of renters require their preferred number of bedrooms. Landlords know this, so they get creative with descriptions to attract more tenants.</p> <p>Another need-to-know detail is how safe the property is. Zillow research reports that <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">75 percent</a> of renters said that a safe neighborhood is a must-have. Most landlords will say that the neighborhood is safe, so do your own research, especially if you're new to the area.</p> <p>Speaking of being new - if you're moving to a new part of town or an entirely new city, look for listings with important facts about the neighborhood, including proximity to transit or major freeways, convenient shopping centers, and nearby recreation and entertainment options.</p> <h2>2. Amenities - all of them</h2> <p>Beyond basics like heating and kitchen appliances, every renter has different amenities that they consider must-haves.</p> <p>The most popular amenities renters look for include air conditioning, in-unit laundry, ample storage and private outdoor space. Watch for other nice-to-have in-unit amenities, like recent renovations, hardwood floors, plenty of windows and upgraded kitchens.</p> <p>Shared amenities should be included in the listing too - things like parking, rooftop decks, fitness areas, outdoor space, swimming pools and bike storage.</p> <h2>3. Major (and potentially problematic) policies</h2> <p>The listing should disclose any policies that could be a deal breaker for you. Examples include <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">rules around pets</a> (including specific breeds), the maximum number of people who can live in the unit, smoking, parking, noise and - most importantly - lease terms and length.</p> <p>Additionally, see if you can tell if the landlord lives on-site or if a local property management company manages things. If the landlord is nearby, they'll likely handle repair requests quickly, along with general building upkeep and maintenance.</p> <h2>4. Clearly described costs</h2> <p>Make sure the landlord is exceptionally clear about the dollars and cents:</p> <ul> <li>What is the monthly rent?</li> <li>How much of a deposit is required, and is any of it refundable?</li> <li>Are there any one-time fees?</li> <li>Is there a pet fee or monthly charge?</li> <li>Does parking cost extra?</li> <li>Who pays for utilities?</li> </ul> <p>These <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">additional charges</a> can quickly move a listing from feasible to fruitless, so make sure you have all the info you need to do the math ahead of time.</p> <h2>5. High-quality photos</h2> <p>Focus on listings that have not only good photos but also recent photos - and lots of them.</p> <p>Look for listings that include both interior and exterior shots, plus photos of all shared amenities. But renter beware: If the landlord says the photos are of a similar unit - not the one that's actually for rent - you may find yourself in a bait-and-switch situation.</p> <p>Once you find a few listings that include these details, you're off to a great start. You can more easily compare properties side by side, identify deal breakers and find areas where a landlord might be open to compromising.</p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">&#8216;You&#8217;re Throwing Money Away&#8217; and Other Myths About Renting</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">10 Ways to Make Sure You Get Your Security Deposit Back</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Top 5 Renting Nightmares and How to Face Them</a></li> </ul> <p><em>Originally published June 2018. Statistics updated January 2019.</em></p> 7 2019-01-04 13:58 +00:00 2019-01-05 02:58 +13:00 Colchester is the cheapest place to own a home for commuters, reveals Zoopla Colchester in Essex is the top commuter hotspot, according to property website Zoopla, as it has the cheapest combined annual mortgage and season ticket costs of £13,288. Fri, 04 Jan 2019 09:13:39 Z None 2019-01-04 09:13 +00:00 2019-01-04 22:13 +13:00 The outlook for 2019 <p>2019 is set to be a year of massive change as the Government&rsquo;s suite of housing and tax policies start to bed in. Here&rsquo;s what property market commentators have to say on the coming year&hellip;</p> Thu, 03 Jan 2019 12:18:00 +1200 2019-01-03 12:18 +12:00 2019-01-03 13:18 +13:00 Grand Designs couple put renovated 'mini-castle' up for sale for £850k The owners behind the renovation of Dinton Folly have put the house on the market just nine months after moving in after having their second child. Wed, 02 Jan 2019 15:32:07 Z None 2019-01-02 15:32 +00:00 2019-01-03 04:32 +13:00 What will happen to house prices in 2019? The average price of a property increased by £2,860 in 2018, which is the equivalent of £8 a day, according to property website Zoopla. Will there be a repeat in 2019? Mon, 31 Dec 2018 09:02:19 Z None 2018-12-31 09:02 +00:00 2018-12-31 22:02 +13:00 Hello glampers! Opening your own posh campsite is one way to fund country living, says Fred Rewood Glamping is helping a growing number of families realise the dream of a country life. That’s because running a site offering the luxury version of camping can be a savvy way to turn a profit. Sat, 29 Dec 2018 08:34:43 Z Shutterstock / Bulltus_casso 2018-12-29 08:34 +00:00 2018-12-29 21:34 +13:00 The top tweaks from those in the know that will perk up your home for 2019 We won't all be overhauling our homes in 2019, but we might be making a few tweaks. Small changes can make a big difference, from swapping lamp shades to updating cabling. Fri, 28 Dec 2018 18:33:29 Z None 2018-12-28 18:33 +00:00 2018-12-29 07:33 +13:00 New-build leasehold scam still goes on - despite Government promise to ban arrangement last year   Thousands of new-build houses are still being sold with leaseholds, despite a Government pledge to ban the arrangement a year ago – many of them under the Government’s own Help to Buy scheme. Mon, 24 Dec 2018 12:29:57 Z None 2018-12-24 12:29 +00:00 2018-12-25 01:29 +13:00 Christmas episode of Escape to the Chateau on Channel 4 sees Dick and Angel celebrate This Sunday's episode of Escape to the Chateau sees Dick and Angel host a Christmas party for their team, who have helped them on their magical journey. Sat, 22 Dec 2018 09:48:31 Z None 2018-12-22 09:48 +00:00 2018-12-22 22:48 +13:00 Stunning converted Yorkshire church for sale has a price tag of £950k The four-bedroom property near Leeds is called All Saints House and was converted in 2004. It includes stained glass windows, vaulted ceilings and a working clock tower. Thu, 20 Dec 2018 09:10:51 Z None 2018-12-20 09:10 +00:00 2018-12-20 22:10 +13:00 Home Improvement decorating 2019 Design Forecast: What's In, What's Out Is it time to say goodbye to shiplap and millennial pink? This design expert weighs in. Tue, 18 Dec 2018 18:13:36 Z Kerrie Kelly <p>As we flip to the last pages of our 2018 calendar, it&#8217;s time to look at interior design trends on the rise - and say goodbye to those on their way out in 2019.</p> <p>Here are our predictions about what&#8217;s in and what&#8217;s out in the year to come.</p> <h2>What&#8217;s in</h2> <h3>Warm modernism</h3> <p>It&#8217;s official - many regions throughout the U.S. are choosing a modern aesthetic over a rustic style.</p> <p>While black-and-white contrast and raw materials like steel and wood will continue to be popular, they&#8217;ll be softened by color and asymmetry. These modern elements will have a fresh approachability when surrounded by sun-soaked fabrics and natural wallcoverings.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-229999" src="" alt="" width="801" height="534" /></p> <h3 id="1">Effortless technology and transformations</h3> <p>Talk-to-me tech products help you get things done with your voice, and homeowners are using them to modernize their daily routine.</p> <p>In 2019 you&#8217;ll see smart faucets, fans, window coverings and appliances paired with popular platforms - Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomePod - for a convenient, connected home.</p> <p>Additionally, products that offer easy installation and seamless integration into existing layouts make projects remodel-friendly. Innovative sinks, faucets, medicine cabinets, appliances and lighting provide a quick transformation to refresh the style and functionality of your space.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-230003" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <h3>Om sweet home</h3> <p>Though talk-to-me tech is trending, some will be looking for ways to escape the chatter.</p> <p>Meditative and sound-barrier features will appear in more homes this year - think transformative experiences using acoustic panels, colored lights and aura effects. Ethereal, sheer and translucent fabrics will support the aesthetic, pairing an organic feel with the benefits and convenience of select technology.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-230004" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <h3>Industrial style</h3> <p>Concrete, quartz and metal lovers, rejoice! Industrial styles are predicted to rise in popularity in 2019.</p> <p>Matte black and bronze continue to dominate and complement a more industrial vibe. But when selecting wall colors, appliances, faucet finishes and fabrics, consider the possibilities of moody blues and the gray color spectrum. From warm light grays to the coolness of matte black, these tones add a subtle layer of intrigue and distinction.</p> <p>Plus, black and charcoal gray front doors could earn up to <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">$6,271 more</a> when selling your home!</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-230005" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <h3>Organic maker accents</h3> <p>Handmade details can immediately soften an interior. This year you&#8217;ll see rhythmic patterns and imperfect lines incorporated through hand-painting, stitching and detailing, expanding the possibilities for endless mixing and matching in the home. Additionally, fabrics and accents with strands of crystal, wooden and pearlescent beads present a sophisticated flair for artful detail.</p> <p>Home decor favorites will still include earthy elements and nubby textures. Think neutral naturals by simply adding a wooden side table and sculpture, live and fake plants for color, and natural fibers through rugs and fabrics.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-230001" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <h2>What&#8217;s out</h2> <h3>Rustic</h3> <p>Is America finally over the &#8220;Fixer Upper&#8221; movement? Not quite, but the rustic, farmhouse-chic elements are getting refined.</p> <p>The shiplap-crazy trend seems to be leaning toward a modern twist, simplifying layers of the look. Cutesy barn doors will take a backseat to more modern versions featuring glass and metal instead of reclaimed barn wood.</p> <p>The signature statement range hood covered in rustic materials will swing to simplified finishes, like brushed brass, stainless and matte black. Lastly, the harsh light of the Edison bulb will move to a more complementary glow, reflecting concealed bulbs versus exposed ones.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-229987" src="" alt="" width="801" height="624" /></p> <h3>Millennial pink</h3> <p>Bold, trendy color schemes are likely on the way out, with more subtle earth tones and cool, classic palettes on the rise.</p> <p>Blues and neutrals continue to top <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Zillow trend reports</a>, adding higher dollar values related to home sales when used in kitchen and bathroom areas. While millennial pink may have been all the rage on designer Instagram feeds, people don&#8217;t actually want to live with it throughout their homes.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-229985" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <p>Whether trends inspire you or not, it&#8217;s important to be aware of them, because they help shape our own personal interior style. If you love purple gingham in your dining room, go for it. If an all-white interior speaks to you, celebrate it.</p> <p>Our homes are where we express ourselves and tell our unique style story, so I encourage you to do just that in the new year.</p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">3 Design Tricks That Will Make Your Small Space Feel Big</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Quiz: What Type of Bar Should You Build in Your Home?</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A Park Slope Townhome That Went From &#8216;Mess&#8217; to Masterpiece</a></li> </ul> 26 2018-12-18 18:13 +00:00 2018-12-19 07:13 +13:00 Latest series of Escape to the Chateau sees Dick and Angel unveil striking copper bath In an exclusive interview with MailOnline Property, Dick - a retired lieutenant colonel - explained how he would like to live a 'zero-waste' life. Tue, 18 Dec 2018 16:27:19 Z None 2018-12-18 16:27 +00:00 2018-12-19 05:27 +13:00 How to get on the property ladder in London with a deposit of £22k A newly advertised property for sale suggests that it could be possible to buy a home in the centre of the capital - in Zone 1 - with a deposit of around £20,000. Tue, 18 Dec 2018 10:34:56 Z None 2018-12-18 10:34 +00:00 2018-12-18 23:34 +13:00 Desperately seeking answers <p>Looking for a straight answer from MBIE&rsquo;s Tenancy Compliance and Investigation Team? If you are a landlord, don&rsquo;t expect too much clarity.</p> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 08:30:00 +1200 2018-12-18 08:30 +12:00 2018-12-18 09:30 +13:00 The ultimate in luxury living at three tower blocks overseas with sky pools We have picked three examples of developments overseas with sky pools, including tower blocks in Houston in America, Dubai and in Sri Lanka. Mon, 17 Dec 2018 08:10:40 Z None 2018-12-17 08:10 +00:00 2018-12-17 21:10 +13:00 58af97f5440243fe3d552306:5906c0dfe4fcb573ba562253:5b4e906a8a922d20e45d9624 What is asbestos encapsulation? Removing asbestos contamination isn’t always a viable option. However, you should always treat it, making asbestos encapsulation a good alternative fix. Thu, 13 Dec 2018 01:14:00 Z CC Group <p>Asbestos was commonly used in construction during the second half of the 20th century due to its high tensile strength. The fibrous mineral was usually woven into other materials to reinforce the structural durability of buildings and act as a layer of insulation. Because of this, many homes and <a href="">commercial properties in New Zealand likely contain asbestos.</a></p><p>&nbsp;Unfortunately, the material is now known to cause serious respiratory difficulties in high doses or over a prolonged period of time, making fixing asbestos contaminations a priority for Kiwi businesses and homeowners.</p><p>&nbsp;When finding a contractor to treat asbestos, consider the solution isn’t always as easy as simply removing the material - this could compromise the structural integrity of your property or lead to escalating costs. Instead, asbestos encapsulation is a reliable way of helping the problem and ensuring your health isn’t compromised in the long-term.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>If you’re looking to fix an asbestos problem in your building, read on for Chemcare’s guide to asbestos encapsulation and how it works.</strong></p><p><br></p><h2><strong>What is asbestos encapsulation?</strong></h2><p>While most people think removing the material is the most obvious way to deal with the problem, asbestos encapsulation is a safe alternative. This procedure involves treating the asbestos with a sealant that forms a protective layer between the material and indoor environment. This requires only minor structural alterations, and ensures wear-and-tear won’t cause microfibres to be released into the air.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>It’s important to note that treating asbestos by applying a sealant should be done with the help of professionals - they will be able to analyse any materials present and make recommendations on the best method for fixing asbestos in your building. It’s also vital to note that you shouldn’t try to apply a sealant - such as paint - by yourself. While paint can seal asbestos fibres temporarily, flaking will ultimately increase asbestos deterioration over time.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Asbestos encapsulation requires a specialist team of experts working within New Zealand asbestos guidelines, using only approved sealants and other materials.</p><h2><strong>&nbsp;</strong></h2><h2><strong>Why choose asbestos encapsulation over removal?</strong></h2><p>Asbestos isn’t dangerous if in good condition; it’s only once the material becomes damaged and its fibres are released into the air that the risk of respiratory problems such as lung cancer and mesothelioma begin to develop. While this is good news, it’s very unlikely that an older home or commercial property won’t be damaged over time through wear-and-tear. It’s also nearly impossible to perform any renovations or construction without damaging asbestos, meaning it’s better to treat the contamination before it becomes a health risk.</p><p>Significant structural damage requires you to remove the asbestos entirely. However, if the material is in good shape, encapsulation is an easier, safer, and more cost-effective solution.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Easier </strong>- Removing asbestos entirely can be a time-consuming project which may render your house unliveable or present significant downtime for your business. A simple encapsulation treatment would have the same safety result in less time.</p><p>&nbsp;<strong>Safer </strong>- If you’re renovating and discover a significant amount of asbestos in your roof, trying to replace the entire structure could be unnecessarily risky, both to builders and the integrity of your building. Asbestos encapsulation is a safer alternative to treating the problem.<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><p><strong>Cost-effective </strong>- Complex asbestos-removal projects, especially for historical buildings, can significantly eat into your capital. Asbestos encapsulation is a far more cost-effective treatment, delivering a safer building environment without the need for expensive renovations.</p><p><strong>&nbsp;Read more → </strong><a href=""><strong>7 Questions to ask before getting an asbestos test or removal</strong></a></p><p data-rte-preserve-empty="true"></p><h2><strong>How do I identify if my building has asbestos?</strong></h2><p>It can be difficult identifying whether the material is present in your building or not, and it’s normally left to experts in treating asbestos to assess your property’s risk. Here are some tips you should follow to identify where asbestos may be an issue and how to treat it:&nbsp;</p><ul data-rte-list="default"><li><p>Consult with designers, builders, or other parties that may have been involved in construction. See if there are any architectural plans mentioning the materials used, or look for past asbestos sampling or treatment certificates from professionals.</p></li><li><p><a href="">Take a sample</a> from your building and send it for a professional check. While this may be fine in newer buildings, it’s risky in older structures as you may increase the rate of asbestos deterioration.</p></li><li><p>Seek the help of asbestos professionals to assess the state of your property. Chemcare experts have decades of experience in identifying and treating asbestos, and can recommend the right solution to ensure air quality isn’t compromised.&nbsp;</p></li></ul><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><strong>When can I get an asbestos encapsulation treatment started?&nbsp;</strong></h2><p>If you’re keen to start fixing any asbestos issues in your building, make seeing the Chemcare team your first priority. Our dedicated team will work with you to identify any problem areas and offer advice on the next steps you should take. You’re only one call away from discovering if asbestos encapsulation is right for your building, and reducing the health risks of asbestos deterioration for years to come - so pick up your phone today!&nbsp;</p>&nbsp;<h3><strong>Want more information? Download our free ebook guide with in-depth information on everything you’ll need to know. </strong></h3>&nbsp;&nbsp; <img class="thumb-image" data-image="" data-image-dimensions="466x567" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="download-ebook.jpg" data-load="false" data-image-id="5c11a629aa4a9954ccfffbe1" data-type="image" src="" /> &nbsp;<hr /><h2><strong>Related Articles</strong></h2> What is asbestos encapsulation? 2018-12-13 01:14 +00:00 2018-12-13 14:14 +13:00 What lies ahead in 2019 <p>Wondering what is in store for residential and commercial property across the spectrum in the coming year? Here&rsquo;s what Colliers International New Zealand&rsquo;s have to say in their annual predictions&hellip;</p> Wed, 12 Dec 2018 07:59:00 +1200 2018-12-12 07:59 +12:00 2018-12-12 08:59 +13:00 Is it cheaper to buy or rent a property near you? Hartlepool, in Country Durham, is the most cost effective place for buyers compared to renting, according to research by Zoopla. Tue, 11 Dec 2018 10:17:58 Z None 2018-12-11 10:17 +00:00 2018-12-11 23:17 +13:00 X Factor judge's house where One Direction performed among Rightmove's most viewed homes The most viewed properties for sale on Rightmove this year are all multi-million pound properties. Tue, 11 Dec 2018 09:08:46 Z None 2018-12-11 09:08 +00:00 2018-12-11 22:08 +13:00 These treasures from our favourite museums will thrill even the trickiest relative Museum shops are a treasure trove at Christmas with gifts for all the family. From vintage travel posters to winged bookends and crafty cushions. Mon, 10 Dec 2018 16:35:26 Z None 2018-12-10 16:35 +00:00 2018-12-11 05:35 +13:00 Put down roots: Tree-lined streets have enduring appeal and are good for the soul, too  Nothing adds more to the appeal of a house than a beautiful tree. Passers-by will stop to admire it; owners will regard it with pride and affection and, at this time of year, it will glow in the low sunlight. Sat, 08 Dec 2018 13:23:31 Z Alamy Stock Photo 2018-12-08 13:23 +00:00 2018-12-09 02:23 +13:00 Is trying to sell a home at Christmas a good idea? Christmas may not seem like the ideal time to list your property for sale, but the evidence suggests it could prove beneficial if you follow this advice from estate agents. Fri, 07 Dec 2018 11:54:14 Z None 2018-12-07 11:54 +00:00 2018-12-08 00:54 +13:00 World's most expensive ski resorts to buy property, in Savills report The celebrated resort of Val d’Isère remains the most expensive place in the Alps with an average property price of £18,400, but that is topped by Aspen, in the US, at £19,183, says Savills. Thu, 06 Dec 2018 19:40:50 Z None 2018-12-06 19:40 +00:00 2018-12-07 08:40 +13:00 COMMENT: Setting policies good practice for landlords <p>Landlords need to establish strict policies around their rental properties rather than just winging it, Auckland Property Investors Association vice president Peter Lewis believes&hellip;</p> Tue, 04 Dec 2018 11:01:00 +1200 2018-12-04 11:01 +12:00 2018-12-04 12:01 +13:00 House for sale at Lakes by Yoo where Kay Burley hid in Celebrity Hunted This private estate near the pretty town of Lechlade, in Gloucestershire, is also where several celebrities and millionaires own holiday homes. Mon, 03 Dec 2018 09:47:22 Z None 2018-12-03 09:47 +00:00 2018-12-03 22:47 +13:00 Why home buyers love award-winning high streets and Crickhowell The winners of the Great British High Street Awards have been announced - and the UK Champion is Crickhowell in Wales. Sat, 01 Dec 2018 14:20:15 Z None 2018-12-01 14:20 +00:00 2018-12-02 03:20 +13:00 Unique Homes Hibernate Luxuriously in This 5,572-Square-Foot Cave Mansion Stalactites? Check. Waterfall? Check. 4 bedrooms and an illustrious guest list? Check, check! Fri, 30 Nov 2018 19:52:52 Z Callie Little <p>When most people envision their dream home, they describe large kitchens, beautiful hardwood floors and clawfoot tubs. But not John Hay.</p> <p>In the mid-1980s, Hay - founder of the Celestial Seasonings Tea Company and great-great grandson of U.S. Secretary of State John Milton Hay - purchased the Beckham Creek Cave in Parthenon, Arkansas. He had plans to transform it into a 10,000-square-foot bomb shelter, consisting of cinder-block walls, plywood flooring, 11 coats of clear epoxy on the natural formations of the cave, and an internal freshwater spring.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>He stocked it with enough freeze-dried food to keep 50 people fed for up to two years, and he twice had his religious group sit out bomb scares in the cave. By 1987, Hay realized the end of the world wasn't coming quite so soon. Various records indicate the property was sold to a man known simply as "Mr. Richardson," who had a different dream in mind when he came into possession of the property.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-229914" src="" alt="" width="801" height="534" /></p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-229924" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <p>Soon after turning the space into a $6 million clubbing venue, Mr. Richardson held a grand unveiling that welcomed over 250 esteemed guests, including Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Ross and many other Hollywood elite.</p> <p>It's no wonder that in 1994, John Hay repurchased his now illustrious cave.</p> <p>In the decades following, several new owners have taken hold of the 257-acre property, each one undoubtedly in awe of the great room&#8217;s 40-foot rock ceilings and 2,300 square feet. Stalactites descend from overhead throughout the 5,572-square-foot home, and raw rock has been used wherever possible to maintain the unique character of the space.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-229922" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-229919" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <p>Though it's been renovated several times, the sprawling cave has kept its surprisingly cozy charm intact. Part of the reason the cave's natural features have been preserved is surely thanks to Hay, who reverently told People magazine in 1988 that the home's "original architect was God."</p> <p>The bad news - every dream home comes with its own downfalls, after all - is that a few of the stalactites drip. However, the whole property is climate-controlled thanks to geothermal units throughout.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-229916" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-229915" src="" alt="" width="801" height="534" /></p> <p>The 4-bed, 4-bath cave home will run its next owners somewhere around $2.75 million. And while it doesn't have those coveted hardwood floors or the clawfoot tub that fantasies are made of, we still consider this incredibly cool residence to be a real gem.</p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href=";" target="_blank" rel="noopener">This Home Looks Like a Barn (But Has Enough Room to Be a Small Castle)</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">This Remarkable Home Is Anything but Square</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sleep Under the Stars in This Tiny Cabin Near a National Park</a></li> </ul> 9 2018-11-30 19:52 +00:00 2018-12-01 08:52 +13:00 Do you live in one of the happiest places in Britain, asks Rightmove Leigh-on-Sea, near Southend, was named happiest place to live, while second place went to Farnham, in Surrey, followed by Monmouth, in Wales, and Christchurch, in Dorset. Fri, 30 Nov 2018 10:44:02 Z None 2018-11-30 10:44 +00:00 2018-11-30 23:44 +13:00 What can you tell about a property from its drive? Take our quiz We’ve picked eight driveways belonging to properties for sale around the country. But can you work out what type of shape they are and what type of material they are made out of? Fri, 30 Nov 2018 09:45:36 Z None 2018-11-30 09:45 +00:00 2018-11-30 22:45 +13:00 Tips & Advice Moving relocation Renting How to Move Cross-Country: See How These Renters Made It Work From NYC to PDX - these renters made the move and even found room for a pup! Thu, 29 Nov 2018 19:54:14 Z Moriah Simmons <p>When former New Yorkers Erica Warren and Cici Harrison drove across the country and settled in the Pacific Northwest, they had a list of criteria for their new rental.</p> <p>They&#8217;d need a parking space, a home office so Erica could work remotely and, of course, a yard so they could adopt a dog. And this rental couldn&#8217;t be too splashy, because a cross-country move is expensive enough.</p> <p>All of this complicated their search in Portland&#8217;s tough rental market. Luckily the couple were able to stay locally with friends until they found the right rental. And their new home ticks all the boxes - while requiring some minor compromises to make it all work.</p> <p>We chatted with Warren to hear how she and her wife navigated a cross-country move, including finding a home in a new city and making their new rental feel like home.</p> <p><strong>Where is your home, and how long have you lived there?</strong><br /> We're in the Southeast, specifically the Richmond neighborhood. We moved there in March of 2017, and we've been there a year and a half.</p> <p><strong>How did you find your rental?</strong><br /> When we got here, we were staying with Marty and Tera, our friends who live here locally. The day after we arrived, there was the biggest snowstorm Portland had ever had in 30 years. That put a damper on our apartment searching, because we couldn't drive our car or get anywhere. This place was actually the first one we saw, because it was in walking distance from Marty and Tera's house.</p> <p>We heard about it because Tera had sent an email around at her job asking if anyone had a lead on a rental. Someone else who worked with her had recently purchased a duplex and was looking for renters for the other side.</p> <p>We walked over and saw it, and it was a very nice place. But it was the first place we looked at. We had no context for if it was a good deal or not. Of course, it seemed like a good deal to us, coming from New York. I was like, "It has a washer and dryer, it has a yard - I'll pay any amount of money for that!"</p> <p>So we didn't say yes right away, and then we probably spent the next two or three weeks looking at places. We looked at about a dozen places all over the city. We saw all the different variations.</p> <p>At some point we were almost ready to sign a lease on a 1 bedroom in a new apartment complex. It was, on paper, everything we were looking for. And Cici, out of nowhere, goes, "Why didn't we want that first place that we looked at?" The one we were going to sign a lease for was 1 bedroom, and this was 2 bedrooms, and it was bigger, and the monthly rent was less. And we were like, "Oh, that was a much better place!" So we emailed the landlords to see if it was still available, and it was.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-229899" src="" alt="" width="650" height="867" /></p> <p><strong>What price range were you looking for, and what did you end up paying?<br /> </strong>We were looking in the $1,500-$1,700 per month range. This place ended up being right in the middle. It was $1,600 when we started the first year we were here, and it's now $1,685. It seems like a pretty reasonable price for the neighborhood we're in, because the rental market in Portland seems to be growing so fast.</p> <p><strong>What was the application and approval process like?<br /> </strong>It was really straightforward. Our landlords live on the other side of the duplex, and they're really nice people. I think they were looking for good neighbors as much as they were looking for good tenants. So I think that also helped with the relationship.</p> <p><strong>Were there any surprise fees?<br /> </strong>We paid first month's rent and a security deposit. The only extra fee when we moved in - we had just adopted Billie, and they had a $25 monthly dog rent. Which they told us about beforehand, because we were very particular about wanting a building that would allow us to adopt a dog. We got her a month after we moved in.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-229903" src="" alt="" width="650" height="867" /></p> <p><strong>What was your cost of moving across the country?<br /> </strong>We paid about $5,000 total for a full-service moving company, which is a lot of money. It was our biggest moving expense, but all we had to do was box up our things. They sent a whole team of people, packed our stuff into a storage cube, stored the cube for us, and then when we found a place, shipped it across the country. We didn't have to do any of the logistics, and we didn't have to do any of the carrying of things - we just had to pack a few boxes and unpack the boxes when we got here.</p> <p><strong>New York is notorious for small apartments. Is your Portland space bigger or smaller?<br /> </strong>It's slightly bigger, and I feel like it's most noticeable in the kitchen. The kitchen that we have here is two or three times bigger than what we had in New York. I didn't know how much I wanted a really nice kitchen, but now that I have one, I'm like yes, this is exactly where we needed the extra space!</p> <p>We also have outdoor space, which makes a huge difference. It's not huge - it's more like a patio than a yard. We have a little grill, and we can sit out there on a nice day. Plus, it's got a fence, so we can let our dog out.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-229900" src="" alt="" width="650" height="867" /></p> <p><strong>Did you have any challenges making the place functional?<br /> </strong>Nothing major. It was built in the &#8217;60s or &#8217;70s, but the landlords had renovated our unit before we moved in, so the kitchen, bathroom and flooring were all brand new - you know, everything works and is nicely designed, so that helped.</p> <p>I did a little bit of work in the yard, just because it was a little muddy, and it's Portland, so it's wet in the winter, and Billie likes to dig. I got some pebble stones to fill in some of the muddy areas. We got into some light container gardening, because we never had outdoor space in Brooklyn. So we have a little blueberry bush, some star jasmine and some other little things I'm trying not to kill.</p> <p><strong>What else have you done to make your rental feel like home?<br /> </strong>We painted a couple accent walls, which our landlords were totally fine with. We have this wide picture window in the living room that faces the road, but because of that you can see right into our house. So we got a custom shade that you can pull up from the bottom or pull down from the top, just so that we can have privacy but also sunlight if we want.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-229901" src="" alt="" width="800" height="600" /></p> <p><strong>How long do you think you'll stay?<br /> </strong>I don't know specifically. When we moved in, we talked about how we'd love to stay here until we're in a position to buy a house. One day I'd like to own a house - a dining room would be nice at some point in my life. But where we&#8217;re at right now, this is the right amount of space, and it&#8217;s a really great neighborhood.</p> <p><strong>What do you want from your next place, other than a dining room?<br /> </strong>A big fenced-in yard for Billie! Cici&#8217;s mom sent us an article about how the thing that's finally getting millennials to buy houses is their dogs.</p> <p>I'd also like a little bit more guest space so we could have people visit more frequently, because all of our family is on the East Coast.</p> <p>And this is 100 percent because Cici has already claimed it - whatever house we buy has to have a basement so that she can play drums there. Number one is a yard for Billie, and number two is a basement for a drum kit and band practice.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-229898" src="" alt="" width="800" height="600" /></p> <h2>Erica's tips for finding a rental in a new city</h2> <h3>1. Look around to get a sense of the market</h3> <p>Look at as many places as possible. Because even if you don't want that unit, it gives you a sense of the market. So when you do find a good deal, you know that you have a good deal.</p> <h3>2. Know where you're willing to compromise</h3> <p>If you have enough money that you don't have to make sacrifices in renting, you probably don't need to be renting. So everything&#8217;s a trade-off. There's not a perfect rental out there. So it&#8217;s like, &#8220;This place has 2 bedrooms, but it's more expensive, or this place has a bigger yard, but it's farther out.&#8221;</p> <h3>3. Get a little help from your friends</h3> <p>We were so lucky to stay with Marty and Tera in their guest room until we found our own place. And Tera emailed co-workers to see if they knew of any rentals, which is how we ended up finding this place.</p> <h3>4. Conserve your energy and hire a full-service moving and storage company (if you can)</h3> <p>There&#8217;s enough stress in moving at all, amplified by moving cross-country. We probably could have gotten a U-Haul, packed it up, driven it cross-country and put our stuff into a storage unit here. But the logistics, let alone the physical labor, were not extra pieces of stress we needed. And even though it was really expensive, it was worth every penny.</p> <h6><em>Apartment photos by Erica Warren.</em></h6> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">How to Make the Most of 500 Square Feet: See How This City Renter Did It</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">3 Design Tricks That Will Make Your Small Space Feel Big</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">How to Perform a Landlord Background Check</a></li> </ul> 14 2018-11-29 19:54 +00:00 2018-11-30 08:54 +13:00 COMMENT: Embedded networks - what to watch out for <p>Developers are increasingly seeking to maintain control of embedded networks in apartments and that means both buyers and body corporates need to know what to watch out for, Auckland District Law Society president Joanna Pidgeon explains.</p> Thu, 29 Nov 2018 08:35:00 +1200 2018-11-29 08:35 +12:00 2018-11-29 09:35 +13:00 Where to find a house to do up: Slough is top hotspot for fixer-uppers Homes to do up can be hard to come by, so new research by property website Zoopla has identified the areas where there is most likely to be a renovation project for sale. Wed, 28 Nov 2018 12:00:49 Z None 2018-11-28 12:00 +00:00 2018-11-29 01:00 +13:00 Why 4 million smart meters may have to be ripped out of homes The Government has promised to launch a new system to fix the problem but it has been repeatedly delayed. Nicola Dean from Hampshire, say her smart meter doesn't work properly in cold weather. Wed, 28 Nov 2018 10:26:53 Z Morten Watkins/Solent News & Pho 2018-11-28 10:26 +00:00 2018-11-28 23:26 +13:00 Will I get my deposit back if my housemates cause damage? I'm living in a house share, but it's proving to be a bit of a pain as the other tenants are showing no respect for the flat and I'm worried that I won't get my deposit back. Mon, 26 Nov 2018 09:04:19 Z Shutterstock / Pormezz 2018-11-26 09:04 +00:00 2018-11-26 22:04 +13:00 Take inspiration from old masters and transform your walls into pictures of elegance  The right frame can make all the difference - bringing elegance to your pictures and your walls. At the National Gallery framing is an art form and they have a dedicated studio on site. Fri, 23 Nov 2018 18:12:07 Z None 2018-11-23 18:12 +00:00 2018-11-24 07:12 +13:00 Homebuyers in London are most likely to be 'gazumped' London retains its crown as the gazumping capital with 66 per cent of home buyers having been gazumped in the last year, up from 35 per cent in 2017. Thu, 22 Nov 2018 10:29:30 Z None 2018-11-22 10:29 +00:00 2018-11-22 23:29 +13:00 How do I get my home to sell amid Brexit uncertainty? Some homes have sat on the market for weeks with few viewings amid concerns about Brexit, so should you reduce the price and stick with your existing agent, or re-launch at a lower price? Wed, 21 Nov 2018 17:48:57 Z Getty Images/Canopy 2018-11-21 17:48 +00:00 2018-11-22 06:48 +13:00 Market Trends affordability An Up-Close Look at Housing Insecurity (and How to Help!) "We have to believe that a better future is possible." Wed, 21 Nov 2018 00:18:00 Z Susan Kelleher <p>Five years ago, Timothy C. Acena was living - and sleeping - in his wheelchair behind a busy fast-food restaurant. At night, he'd park himself on a fresh piece of cardboard near the restaurant's dumpster and clip together a makeshift awning of eight umbrellas to protect him and the five backpacks full of his belongings from the elements.</p> <p>During the day, he'd sit in front of the restaurant and ask customers to buy him a meal, which they always did, he says. He used the restaurant's bathrooms and traveled for showers and laundry. All the while, he waited for an affordable apartment to open up.</p> <p>Today, Acena, 52, has his own bed and a roof over his head. The former construction worker, who lost the ability to walk when he was 40, lives in a studio apartment in West Seattle in a building that provides affordable, stable housing and mental health and addiction treatment services to him and 65 other people who had been sleeping in shelters or out in the cold.</p> <p>In the building&#8217;s lobby, letters cut from beige construction paper hang over the mail slots on the wall, spelling out the season's message: "Be thankful." Acena says he lives those words every day. He knows he would probably be dead or still homeless had other people not cared enough to build and manage a place where he could afford to live - and where he could very well spend the rest of his life.</p> <p>More than a half a million Americans were homeless in 2017, a number that increased for the first time since 2010, according to a one-night count by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Experts agree the count doesn't capture all the people sleeping outside and say the number is probably much higher. According to <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">new Zillow-sponsored research </a>on the size and root causes of homelessness, the actual number of people experiencing homelessness was likely closer to 661,000, about 20 percent higher than the HUD count.</p> <p>In some cities, homelessness has reached crisis levels as the economy continues to expand and people flock to urban areas for jobs, driving up rents that were once affordable for people earning low and middle incomes.</p> <p>Many people are one emergency away from a missed rent payment. Today, only 52 percent of renters say they would be able to cover an unexpected expense of $1,000 if they had to, according to the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018</a>. Gen X renters, who are between the ages of 39 and 53, are the most vulnerable: Only 44 percent say they could weather a $1,000 hit to their budget.</p> <p>In some cities, the share of median income spent on rent exceeds 40 percent, according to Zillow economists, whose research also ties rent increases to moves and even homelessness. In Los Angeles, for instance, a 5 percent increase in rent would add 1,993 people to the ranks of the homeless.</p> <p>Colin Maloney, project manager for Cottage Grove Commons, the Downtown Emergency Services Center building where Acena lives in West Seattle, said homelessness affects a broad swath of humanity: families, people with advanced degrees, people with mental and physical disabilities, and people with job skills no longer in demand.</p> <p>Some residents of the Grove apartments grew up in homelessness or bounced through the foster care system only to end up alone when they turned 18. Others, like Acena, have struggled with addictions or remain yoked to criminal records that keep them from jobs and homes. At times, it's hard to for them to see a path back to home, Maloney says.</p> <p>But, he adds, "We have to believe that a better future is possible."</p> <p>Acena is proof of that. Before he became homeless, he lived in a $60 a night motel room, paid for with a combination of his Social Security disability check and funds from a church youth group. When the group's subsidy stopped, Acena made a temporary home behind the restaurant rather than return to shelter living.</p> <p>Acena smiles recalling the day he moved into his current home. He could finally sleep lying down. "It was like somebody took a Tyrannosaurus rex off my shoulders,'' he says.</p> <p>His apartment costs him $215 a month, about 30 percent of his $720 monthly Social Security income. He spends his days there building plastic models, watching TV, indulging in pancakes with peanut butter and staying healthy.</p> <p>"I don't think it's unsolvable,'' he says of homelessness. "It's just difficult. Anything difficult has got to have something good in the end if you go through it."</p> <p>This holiday season, you can help these organizations that are working to bring housing security to communities across the country. Their success brings hope to all of us.</p> <table class="table" style="border: none; width: 633.49px;"> <tbody> <tr style="height: 23px;"> <td style="width: 102.386px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Alabama</a></td> <td style="width: 104.205px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Hawaii</a></td> <td style="width: 118.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Massachusetts</a></td> <td style="width: 117.841px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New Mexico</a></td> <td style="width: 158.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">South Dakota</a></td> </tr> <tr style="height: 23px;"> <td style="width: 102.386px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Alaska</a></td> <td style="width: 104.205px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Idaho</a></td> <td style="width: 118.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Michigan</a></td> <td style="width: 117.841px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New York</a></td> <td style="width: 158.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tennessee</a></td> </tr> <tr style="height: 23px;"> <td style="width: 102.386px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Arizona</a></td> <td style="width: 104.205px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Illinois</a></td> <td style="width: 118.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Minnesota</a></td> <td style="width: 117.841px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">North Carolina</a></td> <td style="width: 158.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Texas</a></td> </tr> <tr style="height: 23px;"> <td style="width: 102.386px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Arkansas</a></td> <td style="width: 104.205px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Indiana</a></td> <td style="width: 118.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Mississippi</a></td> <td style="width: 117.841px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">North Dakota</a></td> <td style="width: 158.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Utah</a></td> </tr> <tr style="height: 23px;"> <td style="width: 102.386px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">California</a></td> <td style="width: 104.205px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Iowa</a></td> <td style="width: 118.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Missouri</a></td> <td style="width: 117.841px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Ohio</a></td> <td style="width: 158.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Vermont</a></td> </tr> <tr style="height: 23px;"> <td style="width: 102.386px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Colorado</a></td> <td style="width: 104.205px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Kansas</a></td> <td style="width: 118.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Montana</a></td> <td style="width: 117.841px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Oklahoma</a></td> <td style="width: 158.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Virginia</a></td> </tr> <tr style="height: 23px;"> <td style="width: 102.386px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Connecticut</a></td> <td style="width: 104.205px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Kentucky</a></td> <td style="width: 118.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Nebraska</a></td> <td style="width: 117.841px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Oregon</a></td> <td style="width: 158.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Washington</a></td> </tr> <tr style="height: 23px;"> <td style="width: 102.386px; height: 10px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Delaware</a></td> <td style="width: 104.205px; height: 10px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Louisiana</a></td> <td style="width: 118.75px; height: 10px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Nevada</a></td> <td style="width: 117.841px; height: 10px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Pennsylvania</a></td> <td style="width: 158.75px; height: 10px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Washington, D.C.</a></td> </tr> <tr style="height: 23px;"> <td style="width: 102.386px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Florida</a></td> <td style="width: 104.205px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Maine</a></td> <td style="width: 118.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New Hampshire</a></td> <td style="width: 117.841px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Rhode Island</a></td> <td style="width: 158.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">West Virginia</a></td> </tr> <tr style="height: 23px;"> <td style="width: 102.386px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Georgia</a></td> <td style="width: 104.205px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Maryland</a></td> <td style="width: 118.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New Jersey</a></td> <td style="width: 117.841px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">South Carolina</a></td> <td style="width: 158.75px; height: 23px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Wisconsin</a></td> </tr> <tr style="height: 22px;"> <td style="vertical-align: middle; height: 22px; width: 102.386px; text-align: left;"></td> <td style="vertical-align: middle; height: 22px; width: 104.205px; text-align: left;"></td> <td style="vertical-align: middle; height: 22px; width: 118.75px; text-align: left;"></td> <td style="vertical-align: middle; height: 22px; width: 117.841px; text-align: left;"></td> <td style="width: 158.75px; height: 22px; vertical-align: middle; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Wyoming</a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Popsicle Place Program in Seattle Helps Families in Need</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Why Cities Must Become Affordable for the Middle Class</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Look Inside America&#8217;s First 3D-Printed Home</a></li> </ul> 37 2018-11-21 00:18 +00:00 2018-11-21 13:18 +13:00 COMMENT: War on tenancies should stop <p>Life for rental property owners may become tougher as Labour&rsquo;s newbie Housing Minister Phil Twyford tries to &ldquo;make life better for renters&rdquo;, Stop the War on Tenancies founder Mike Butler warns.</p> Wed, 21 Nov 2018 09:00:00 +1200 2018-11-21 09:00 +12:00 2018-11-21 10:00 +13:00 Two water towers in Essex converted into a £1.6m home for sale The five-bedroom home, in Halstead, Essex, has large Wizard of Oz and Les Miserables theatre signs in one of the main living areas which makes an ideal entertaining spot. Mon, 19 Nov 2018 10:22:46 Z None 2018-11-19 10:22 +00:00 2018-11-19 23:22 +13:00 Luxury homes for sale at Quinta do Lago resort in Portugal where Holly Willoughby hangs out. New luxury homes that overlook the trendy drinking hotspot are being sold with price tags starting at £1.75million. Mon, 19 Nov 2018 09:00:03 Z None 2018-11-19 09:00 +00:00 2018-11-19 22:00 +13:00 Doing up your home needn't be costly for you or the environment, here's our guide to the eco-options Home renovations can be wasteful but now companies and designers are coming up with a host of eco-friendly solutions. From recycling leftover paints to selling on ex-display kitchens. Fri, 16 Nov 2018 17:00:35 Z None 2018-11-16 17:00 +00:00 2018-11-17 06:00 +13:00 Why is our tiny bungalow's council tax the same as a neighbour's house? A pensioner couple challenged their £1,232 bill, but were met with a response that highlights the problems of many homeowners around the country who feel they pay too much. Fri, 16 Nov 2018 13:51:41 Z None 2018-11-16 13:51 +00:00 2018-11-17 02:51 +13:00 By 2020 you could see a car flying overhead ready to touch down outside a wow-factor home The flying car landing pad, six metres in diameter, is the stand-out feature of a £10million house being built in the village of Edwalton by property developer Guy Phoenix. Fri, 16 Nov 2018 10:55:19 Z None 2018-11-16 10:55 +00:00 2018-11-16 23:55 +13:00 High Street saviours - development near shops good for retirees One expert argues that the shopping habits of older people and their interest in eating out will shape the High Street. Sat, 10 Nov 2018 11:04:19 Z Alamy Stock Photo 2018-11-10 11:04 +00:00 2018-11-11 00:04 +13:00 Crowd pleasers: How towns with good theatres are an added attraction for homebuyers  'Having a good theatre or arts centre is the final card in the royal flush of amenities that make a town special,' says one estate agent. Sat, 10 Nov 2018 09:32:52 Z Alamy Stock Photo 2018-11-10 09:32 +00:00 2018-11-10 22:32 +13:00 Snap up a unique treasure, intriguing antique or bargain masterpiece at auctions around the country Auctions are a brilliant way of adding unique pieces to your home. Plenty are on-line, so you can pick up treasures from all over the world. Fri, 09 Nov 2018 17:30:43 Z None 2018-11-09 17:30 +00:00 2018-11-10 06:30 +13:00 New Channel 4 series of Escape to the Chateau sees Dick and Angel reveal the fruits of their labour Dick Strawbridge and his wife Angel return for a new series of Escape to the Chateau on Channel 4, when they reveal their latest business ventures at their 45-room renovation project in France. Fri, 09 Nov 2018 10:51:00 Z None 2018-11-09 10:51 +00:00 2018-11-09 23:51 +13:00 Market Trends affordability The Popsicle Place Program in Seattle Helps Families in Need When medical emergencies arise, the last thing you want to worry about is not having a home. Tue, 06 Nov 2018 22:40:05 Z Callie Little <p>It's tough to afford housing in many cities across the U.S., but in Seattle, it's a particularly <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">competitive market</a>.</p> <p>Living in an urban area with such a high cost of living can break a family when emergencies arise, but luckily for the people of Seattle, Mary's Place has been relieving housing burdens since 1999.</p> <p>Initially established as a women's day center, Mary's Place has evolved and expanded into a housing facility. It now provides a warm bed for 680 family members every night of the year.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>As <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">the shelter's website</a> states, "The Mary's Place model is simple - partner with anyone and everyone who can help to address the issue of family homelessness: congregations, individuals, cities and counties, and businesses of all sizes."</p> <p>It seems to be a phenomenally successful model - and it only continues to grow. The Popsicle Place program, formed in 2018, is a Mary's Place program focused on assisting families who are simultaneously experiencing homelessness and caring for medically complex or critically ill children.</p> <p>A devastating statistic says that <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">1 in every 285</a> children in the U.S. alone will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20, and many more will be hospitalized for serious illness and injury. Additionally, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">60 percent</a> of people with the highest rent burden can&#8217;t cover three months of expenses.</p> <p>Serious illness can put many families in financial crisis, and the stress of caring for children in need of medical intervention as well as maintaining livelihood for the whole family can be debilitating.</p> <p>But at Popsicle Place, families don't have to worry about costly emergency housing options, like motels, or choosing between having a place to live and having a healthy child. They also don't have to worry about spending the night apart, since the Popsicle Place has a medical staff and volunteers on hand so that every member of the family can rest comfortably, in private rooms, all under one roof - regardless of health status.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-229785" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <p>While a small housing operation can't alleviate every concern for families in medical and financial distress, simply having a bit of support can provide immense relief - relief that those families need to take their next step.</p> <p>"Not only do they have their own private rooms," says Marty Hartman, executive director of Mary's Place, "but they also have access to our healthcare clinic. They have a Popsicle Place lounge, where if their children aren't feeling so well or if they have immunocompromised conditions, they can go in there and relax. [We] just want to set them all up for success."</p> <p>And that they do, with excellent results.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Mary's Place blog</a> recently shared the story of a single mother of three named Nycolle. When she found black mold in her apartment, she was forced to immediately leave with her children, each of them with their own unique and demanding healthcare requirements, leaving them in need of emergency housing. That's where the Popsicle Place program came in.</p> <p>"Being at Mary's Place gave me peace of mind," says Nycolle in the article, "knowing we had electricity for Karlah's treatments and refrigeration for Krystoffer's medications. It let me focus on keeping them well!"</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-229783" src="" alt="" width="800" height="534" /></p> <p>With their basic needs managed, the family members soon found a large, affordable 3-bedroom house in Spokane and happily relocated. They now enjoy a large yard, as well as a home to call their own.</p> <p>That's exactly what the program is all about, according to Hartman. "Let's get you the housing options that you need and then move you forward."</p> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">What You Need to Know About the Fair Housing Act</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Why Cities Must Become Affordable for the Middle Class</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Look Inside America&#8217;s First 3D-Printed Home</a></li> </ul> 14 2018-11-06 22:40 +00:00 2018-11-07 11:40 +13:00 Would you buy a Spanish new build on the Costa del Sol? Spanish property prices are rising, up 5.7% per sq metre in 12 months, with Marbella being a star performer, according to data - are British buyers being lured back to the Costa del Sol? Tue, 06 Nov 2018 14:23:25 Z None 2018-11-06 14:23 +00:00 2018-11-07 03:23 +13:00 Property prices pushed down by over valuations, a lack of supply and Brexit, say estate agents From Newcastle, to Bradford and London, we tracked down estate agents in the UK's locations suffering house price cuts, to ask what's going on. Tue, 06 Nov 2018 06:58:50 Z None 2018-11-06 06:58 +00:00 2018-11-06 19:58 +13:00 COMMENT: Landlording is a business <p>Governments from both sides of the political equation have failed to recognise residential landlording as a business - but it is, argues Auckland Property Investors Association vice president Peter Lewis.</p> Tue, 06 Nov 2018 13:22:00 +1200 2018-11-06 13:22 +12:00 2018-11-06 14:22 +13:00 Savills forecasts house prices will rise 15% in five years House prices are expected to rise 14.8 per cent over the next five years, according to estate agents Savills, adding £32,000 to cost of the average home. Mon, 05 Nov 2018 10:31:55 Z None 2018-11-05 10:31 +00:00 2018-11-05 23:31 +13:00 Opulence is the order of the day so  embrace Victoriana, go for dark walls and invest in textiles A new exhibition at Tate Britain on the artist Edward Burne-Jones will inspire you to embrace rich shades, embroidered fabrics and glinting gold flourishes Fri, 02 Nov 2018 15:35:19 Z None 2018-11-02 15:35 +00:00 2018-11-03 04:35 +13:00 What to consider if you're installing a new boiler and radiators IWe are starting renovations on a 1960s property and need to install a new boiler and radiators. We've never done this before and have no idea where to start. What is your advice? Thu, 01 Nov 2018 09:20:09 Z Shutterstock / caifas 2018-11-01 09:20 +00:00 2018-11-01 22:20 +13:00 COMMENT: Reforms would increase rental shortage <p>Feelings on tenancy law reform continue to run high as MBIE considers submissions on the Government&rsquo;s proposals. Here&rsquo;s a summary of what landlord Naveen Goel had to say in his&hellip;</p> Wed, 31 Oct 2018 11:15:00 +1200 2018-10-31 11:15 +12:00 2018-10-31 12:15 +13:00 Unique Homes converted homes farmhouses unique homes This Home Looks Like a Barn (But Has Enough Room to Be a Small Castle) If you wanted to, you could drive straight through this home's living room. But it's too pretty for that … Tue, 30 Oct 2018 22:00:38 Z Melanie Moriarty <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Like many married couples, the Clarks have a lot in common: a last name, a first name (they're both Kelly) and an affinity for wide-open spaces - which inspired them to build a 10,000-square-foot barn-style home on 30 acres of land in West Monroe, Louisiana. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But let's back up. Kelly Clark (that's him) and Kelly Moore-Clark (that's her) wanted a change of scenery for their family. So when a friend put some land up for sale, they decided to make a move. </span></p> <p><span style="font-wei