The Centralian advocate Fri 22 Jun 2012
Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers
Nationwide News Pty. Limited
v. 65 no. 111
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Nationwide News Pty. Limited
Centralian Advocate, Friday, June 22, 2012 37 P U B : C A D V D A T E : 2 2 -J U N -2 0 1 2 P A G E : 3 7 C O L O R : C M Y K An open fire is the ultimate for warmth on a cold winters day Making your home a hotbed of appeal Andrew Winter Andrew Winter Now that your beachtowels and thongs are filed away at the back of the wardrobe and the snuggly rugs and fluffy slippers are a feature in the living room, it is time to dream of warmth. Those cooler days and even colder nights are beginning to creep in. If you are about to sell, or are selling, it is time to highlight the warm aspects of your home. If you are buying and you fall in a love with a home on a winters day, chances are you will adore it the rest of the year because there are no rose-tinted glasses in this season. Whether you are selling a house, a unit, a mansion or a studio, first impressions are still everything. The sales trick, if the weather is cold, is to ensure the home feels warm and cosy. Any inspection that starts with a positive reaction always has a better chance of ending on a happy note. Warmth comes not just from heat (I knew science in Year 9 would prepare me for adult life) but the ambience of warmth can also be created with good lighting and a few warmer tactile items, such as rugs over large tiled areas, bed throws and cushions. Even on a sunny day during winter, use lighting to create warmer areas during your open-forinspection by turning on background lighting and table and floor lamps. Fit dimmers to down lights and have them switched on to a low level. This will make darker areas of the home feel more inviting, soften hard surfaces and subtly light the spaces. Even though the door is likely to be open, you will need to ensure people feel a bit of heat when they walk inside. If you have a gas living flame fire, a wood or multi-fuel burner or the ultimate, a genuine open fire crank it up. This is real estate gold at this time of year. If you have a reverse-cycle airconditioning system, turn it to warm. Sure, you dont get the cosy fireside atmosphere, but its functional and does the job. Allow time to warm up the home fully a few hours before inspections, then turn it down. That way you should have a comfortable, even temperature lets face it, sweaty buyers are not very appealing. Now for those of you without any of the above, it is a trip to the hardware store for portable heaters. Once in the home, turn them up high please dont tell anyone but just before the inspections, reduce their numbers and turn them to low. On that note, wrap yourselves up and have a really warm winter selling season. n Andrew Winter is a real estate consumer champion and the host of Selling Houses Australia on The LifeStyle Channel. Itll save you when heats on Phil Muldoon with an airconditioner, available at AJ Services Airconditioners: it is said thatevery home should have one. Here, Phil Muldoon from AJ Services, who has almost 30 years of experience in airconditioners in Alice Springs, speaks to Corey Sinclair. How long have you lived in Alice Springs? I was born in Alice Springs but moved to Adelaide at an early age. I returned to Alice Springs in 1984 and have lived here since. What do you like about Alice Springs? Alice provides a pretty laid-back style of life. You can get anywhere in town in a short space of time and our great weather allows you to spend most of the year outdoors. What sort of value does buying a split-system airconditioner or a wood-heater add to a property? With our extreme climate conditions, airconditioning is more of a necessity than a want. More so in summer, but also for the few months during winter, so having both cooling and heating can significantly add to the value of your property. What does your job involve? I assist with all airconditioning inquiries whether it be evaporative or refrigerated airconditioning or alternate heating options like wood heating, designing the right system for each special requirement, quotations for the supply or supply and installation of these systems, back-up service for sales, spare parts sales and general airconditioning advice. What is the best style of airconditioner for our conditions? There is still a market for both evaporative and refrigerated airconditioners in Alice Springs. The trend in the past five to 10 years has swayed towards refrigerated airconditioning which provides both cooling and heating and will work efficiently in all weather conditions. Refrigerated systems also have become much more efficient to run and pricing of systems has dropped in this time. Evaporative systems are the most economical to run and are perfect for the household that enjoys constant fresh air and keeping their windows/doors open to assist with the movement of air. What is the most common mistake customers make? With airconditioning in Alice Springs and the climate we have, it is very important that customers get the best advice on which system is most suitable for their own special requirement. The customer needs to have input in this by advising their preference in airconditioning and what they expect from it. A big trap for some customers is that sometimes the lowest price is not the best option. Customers need to be confident that the system is going to do the job they expect and that the system has warranty with service agents in town that can service the systems and provide necessary parts. How long should a good home appliance last? The life span of any system largely depends on regular maintenance. As with anything, less maintenance means a shorter life span. Although maintenance is minimal for refrigerated systems they still require periodical servicing. If this is carried out your system could keep you airconditioned for up to 15 years. With evaporative airconditioning maintenance is quite critical. I would recommend annual preseason servicing and if this is carried out your system could keep you cool for up to 20 years. Taking the right approach on fix-ups saves time, makes money Anthony Keane More than half ofAustralias homeowners plan to renovate in the next four years, and doing it right doesnt have to blow the budget. A national survey by Appliances Online has found bathrooms are the prime focus of renovators. However, experts say that money may be better spent elsewhere. The survey found South Australians are the most likely of all people to renovate in the next 12 months, at 34 per cent, with 37 per cent targeting the bathroom and 28 per cent planning a kitchen upgrade. Appliances Online chief executive John Winning said if choosing between renovating a kitchen and a bathroom, go for the kitchen. He said: Clean the bathroom and renovate the kitchen. Its really obvious if you have an old kitchen. Mr Winning advises that self-closing cupboards, soft-closing drawers, classy benchtops, induction cooktops and steam ovens are among the kitchen features that impress, and many prices have recently dropped. He said: Never go cheap on the rangehood. Everyone tries to save money on it but its the most important appliance for the longevity of a kitchen. His other top tips are: n Draw up a plan before you start your project. n Put a cost on your time if taking the DIY road: 'If you complete the renovation yourself but it takes several years it might not be worth it.' n Dont move the plumbing - relocating sinks and toilets is expensive, so try to plan the renovation around them. n You get what you pay for, so use quality materials and goods that will stand up to the tests of time. You could also consider the efficiency of your lights and appliances an inefficient fridge will add to your yearly energy bill. Toop & Toop sales partner Tim Thredgold said the best budget renovation for people looking to add value to a home is a new paint job. He said: A good paintthrough will change a home, clean it, brighten it, and lighten it. Mr Thredgold said the major renovation projects with which to add value are, in order, a family room addition, outdoor living spaces, kitchen, and then the bathroom. From www.news.com.au