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June Rate Cuts and Quarterly GDP Results – What it means for new home builders

By | Property News
By Nicholas O’Sullivan – General Manager

Yesterday saw Governor Lowe announce a rate cut to 1.25%, subsequently passed on in full by both the Commonwealth Bank and National Bank. The other two majors passed on a little less, with ANZ making the argument that it was starting from a point of lower rates anyway. Either way, it’s good news for those already holding a mortgage.

Today, GDP growth for the March quarter was announced as 0.4%. As a general measure of economic health, the GDP is fairly reliable (we won’t delve into a debate about declining GDP per capita here). Again, presumably, this is good news for those already holding a mortgage. Economic activity increases, and with any luck the buoyant tide lifts all boats, ensuring that those monthly payments are going towards an asset that is increasing in value.

How does the Rate Cut affect those looking to build a new home?

The rate cut will be very welcomed by those who are already in a mortgage, delivering average savings of around $700 a year for those holding a mortgage of $400,000. It’s a healthy amount of money, but it’s overshadowed by Treasure Frydenberg’s gift of $1080 apiece to around ten million taxpayers. Taken together, they are a healthy boon for those saddled with a loan.

However, for those looking at building a new home, this news is equally welcome. Reduced rates on a construction home loan and then a standard loan can only mean one thing – more flexibility in lifestyle and more choice. Whether you use the additional money to pay down the loan, push it into an offset account, or buy some new furniture for your new home, that money eases the load and gives you the freedom to act how you wish.

How do the GDP results affect those looking to build a new home?

The quarterly GDP results were slightly below many projections, but in the same ballpark. This is positive news, as we’re seeing an uptick from the previous two quarters which, annualised, point to a slight recovery in an economy that was otherwise starting to lag somewhat. Nevertheless, the outlook over the next two years is relatively flat, with no major movements in GDP figures expected.

For those people who have been steadily growing their deposit and are looking to take out a loan to build a home, a boost in GDP growth comes with benefits. On the bright side, it provides a slight boost to the housing market, meaning that they’ll be buying into an asset class that will likely see renewed interest from investors and other first-home buyers. As a further benefit, home builders won’t be competing directly with those looking to buy an established home.

Additionally, first-home builders may experience the added benefit of an increase in their own income, depending on the line of work they’re in. As economic activity increases and more money flows throughout the economy, those with elastic incomes are likely to see a rise in the money coming their way.

What’s the big picture? 

The big picture is a net positive for new home builders. If you’re in the market to build a new home, lower interest rates and cheaper loans give you a better chance of getting your foot in the door, may help increase the amount you can borrow, and ensures that you aren’t spending the first period of home ownership drowning in eye-watering repayments.

Coupled with a growing economy, the picture ahead is looking good. The RBA has hinted that based on their projections of slower than usual growth (and subsequently lower than ideal inflation), they’ll likely make the next rate move downwards, possibly before the end of the year (and possibly as soon as August).

If we see the next quarter of GDP growth beat expectations (more likely than not, in my opinion), it will be even further positive news for everyone in the new housing market – either on the buy side or sell side. However, it’s worth pulling the trigger sooner rather than later. Those low interest rates are only going to add fuel to the housing industry.

Look out for headwinds

Of course, looking at two factors in isolation rarely tells the full story. There is a lot more at play in the construction of new housing, one of Australia’s largest industries. Making your investment or home building decisions based solely on an uptick in GDP growth and a simultaneous cut to interest rates isn’t something we’d recommend. Make sure you’re comfortable in your financial situation and can afford to take such a big step.

Difficult Block Builders can solve your land-use problems

By | Architecture
Challenging sites for home building can involve any number of factors that create issues for the builder or future occupier. There are a range of issues that can present challenges for builders, usually stemming from physical constraints on the land. Some of the issues that personify difficult blocks include:

Steep slopes or undulating land raise issues with having an appropriate, level site for a straightforward build. Many slopes are relatively straightforward to deal with, but without an experienced difficult block builder you may find yourself outlaying more expense than you need to. Any ground with a gradient beyond 30 degrees is generally considered to be a steep slope. In these situations, it may be extremely cost-prohibitive to cut and fill, requiring other solutions.

Existing structures may also create roadblocks for construction. These structures can be built structures that may need to be demolished and removed. In some rare cases, these structures may have legislative protections and will need to be maintained, requiring some imaginative work to build around them. Natural structures can also present challenges, particularly if there is no simple or cost-effective way of removing them, requiring other workarounds to make the block work.

Sometimes, environmental concerns need to be accounted for when building a new home. The risk of flooding or low-lying water must be considered, particularly in flood-prone areas. Stormwater runoff too is something that needs to be assessed and addressed if need be. Contouring and drainage works may be required to adequately direct stormwater runoff away from your home. Working with the right builder can greatly reduce the costs involved in managing water runoff.

In some situations, bushfire risk must also be assessed, and fire breaks or removal of trees and scrub will be required beyond the area in which construction will occur.

Soil conditions can place some restrictions on design and construction. Some soil types, such as clay, are very challenging to build on. Other soil conditions, such as exceedingly rocky ground, can make it difficult to carry out any earthworks prior to the build.

The region in which a home is built may necessitate taking different steps to ensure a structure’s stability and longevity. Coastal areas may be more exposed to wind and storms. Flatter, more open regions may also be more susceptible to large, fast wind gusts and thus the design and robustness of the home will need to account for this. Other considerations can include increased exposure snow or hail, tropical storms, ambient temperature and a range of other factors. Working with an experienced difficult block builder gives you the benefit of exposure to years of knowledge and experience building homes in a range of different conditions and environments.

A reasonably common challenge is space and how that is distributed throughout the block. Narrow blocks, triangular blocks or other oddly-shaped blocks require some imagination when it comes to siting a home. Added to these difficulties are legislative constraints, such as the requirement of a setback from the boundary and other factors that may influence walls and the placement of related structures such as sheds and external garages.

How to build on a difficult block

The first step is perhaps the most obvious. Engage a difficult block builder, who specialises in working with unfavourable landscapes and has the experience and skilled team required to help make your block work for you. Generally, difficult block builders will follow a similar formula when assessing how to go about building on your land.

A good builder will leverage the block into an advantage. Slopes can be used to create space under a home, or to expose the home to more air, light or great views. Further, you can take advantage of the topology of the land to design a home that really stands out, with different levels, balconies, split levels and more.

Contact us for a consultation

It doesn’t hurt to gather a few opinions. We’ve built on hundreds of difficult blocks over the years and have developed a powerful arsenal of tools to help manage with any challenge that your land can present us.

Give us a call and we’ll chat about your options. Regardless of your future plans, we’re always happy to help new home owners get the best possible outcome.

Call us on (07) 3358 9704 or click here to email us.

Spotlight on pendant lighting

By | Interior Design
Some great examples of how pendant lighting can be used as a design feature to enhance any space.
Provincial display home Rochedale
Lighting: Marcel pendant – Beacon lighting 
Aquaris display home Helensvale
Lighting: Peal oval chandelier – Brave Agencies
Carrington Display Home Helensvale
Lighting: Dr spinner – Dowel Jones  

Riviera display home Newport
Sculpt pendant – Lucci Decor

Client home
Lighting: selected by client
Aquaris display home Helensvale
Lighting: Bright beads Aztek pendant – Marz
Mango Hill display home (closed)
Lighting: Lab 1 pendant, beaker shade – Beacon Lighting
Affinity display home Newport
Lighting: Husk pendant in matt black/ash – Lucci Decor
Carrington display home Helensvale
Lighting: Zupello light strawberry cream – Didier
Hope Island display home (closed)
Cayman wreath pendant – Beacon Lighting
Carrington display home Helensvale
Explosion chandelier brass – Pottery Barn
Aquaris display home Helensvale
Bamboo cloche pendant – Koskella
Riviera display home Newport
Kooper pendant in copper – Lucci Decor
Affinity display home Newport
Reuben cage pendant in ash/black – Lucci Decor

How Damian and Alison created their dream home with McCarthy Homes

By | Uncategorized
Combining Manhattan warehouse vibes with an eclectic design style, discover how Damian and Alison created their dream home on Queensland’s beautiful Hope Island.

The Location

Gold Coast, Queensland

We had a pretty good idea of what we wanted and like to think we have a knack for design. We couldn’t afford a waterfront block so we purchased an vacant block 90 metres from the canal where we later purchased a pontoon and have our little boat stationed there. We really enjoy the privacy of a dry block and have used bamboo to enhance this privacy.”

The Build

Narrow lot build

“Considering we only had a 12-metre wide block we used 3 and 4-metre ceiling heights with soaring voids to create the feeling of light and space. We used polished concrete as we just love it and went for a slightly smokey wall paint colour because a stark white may have seemed a bit cold in such a voluminous area. We both really like mood lighting and used hand-picked feature wall lighting and pendants throughout to achieve this.”

“We went with an open plan living concept as we don’t feel that a theatre room would have been used, so we bought a big TV that you can watch from kitchen whilst cooking, dining and just relaxing on the couch. The design is perfect for our lifestyle – there are basically six zones in one space! It’s just so relaxing!”

Design

“We had a pretty loose direction with interior design. We purchased a lot of old chairs and furniture on Gumtree and restored them by sanding and liming them. We just kept collecting over a three-year period, selecting items that we both liked and thought would look good in our new home one day. We picked all of the plants and pots too. Alison’s favourite thing is the veggie/herb garden she has made on the northern boundary and we use this daily as we both love cooking. Our kitchen was carefully designed and the walk-in pantry is fully stocked with spices and herbs as we love spicy food.

We did everything design and decorating wise by ourselves and we are really proud of what we have achieved.

Damian and Alison enjoyed the building process with McCarthy Homes so much that they now work for us as sales consultants in our Helensvale display!

Ready to discuss building your dream home? Get in touch with us today.

Hear from Damian and Alison about their journey with McCarthy Homes.

Brand New Display Home Awaits Its New Owner

Brand New Display Home Awaits Its New Owner

By | Uncategorized
Brand New Display Home Awaits Its New Owner
Officially opened just last month, one of the latest display homes to be built by McCarthy Homes is now available to purchase. Boasting a deluxe master suite, three indoor living spaces, a teppenyaki bar, four secondary bedrooms, and a stylish under stair wine storage area; it’s no wonder the Carrington is such a popular display home.

We spoke with David Farrer, Director of McCarthy Homes, about what the new owners can expect.

Who do you feel this home would be suited to?
It’s a real family home! It’s especially suited to families with children who are looking to have their own private spaces away from Mum and Dad. The bedrooms are generous and include walk-in robes and built in desks, which you won’t often find in secondary bedrooms. Parents are also treated to a luxury master suite with a deluxe walk-in robe and double vanity ensuite.

What design considerations were made when designing this home?
When this home design was being crafted by our Head Designer, he really considered how much space the modern family needs in between bedrooms, and the ideal number of separate living spaces throughout the home. When you walk through the home, you’ll see this come into play.

What will the new owner’s think of the fittings and finishes in this home?
Once you walk into this home, you don’t only see the quality, you feel it. We’ve worked with a team of perfectionist tradesmen and sourced fixtures and fittings from only the best suppliers. It’s the same standard you’ll find in any of our builds, paired with a few extra options to really boost the wow factor for its new owners.

What has the feedback been from people who explore the Carrington?
We’ve had exceptional feedback – people love the under stair wine storage area. It’s both aesthetically pleasing and great for those who love to entertain. We’re hearing a lot of people say how much they love the open plan design and clever separation of living spaces, and how the home feels significantly bigger than it is. The Carrington is now one of our top sellers.

Which is your favourite room in the Carrington and why?
The kitchen and dining area is definitely a favourite. There’s so much storage space in the kitchen, with the added bonus of the butler’s pantry, plus the 900mm appliances – it’s a budding chef’s dream!

When can the new owner’s move in, and why is it a great idea to buy a display home?
There’s quite a few perks that come with purchasing a display home. Firstly, we lease the home back to its owner until they can move in, in approximately two years. We clean the property weekly to ensure it stays in immaculate condition, our maintenance team looks after it inside and out, and lastly – you know exactly what you’re getting in your new home!

Expressions of interest from purchasers are now being considered. Explore the home yourself at 26 Clover Way, The Surrounds display village, Helensvale.

Call (07) 3358 9704 or submit an enquiry via our contact us page.

How to Beautify Your New Home’s Backyard

By | Uncategorized
With a little bit of extra effort, your backyard can be an additional living space. It can be an area that you and your family use and enjoy for several activities, from playing to relaxing and of course drinking and dining. Use these tips to maximise the living space in your backyard.

 Harness the Power of Light

It’s incredible how much a bit of outdoor lighting can transform a space. Lighting allows you to direct focus to specific areas of your backyard while on the other hand, obscuring others. This is the easiest way to highlight your backyards strong points, like the pool or decking, while hiding poorer aspects, like the garden bed you can’t be bothered weeding. Filling your backyard with light also extends the time where you can use your garden. There’s no point in decorating your yard if it can’t be used after the sun goes down. Turn your backyard into a 24-hour space of usage.

Use Paths

The mistake most people make with their backyard is failing to create points of contrasts and division. Paths are the best way to do this as they perform the dual purpose of giving everyone easy-access through your backyard while allowing you to make the divisions that are so important in creating a visually exciting area. The best material to use for anyone wanting a durable and low-maintenance option is concrete, and you can make it look exactly like brick, tile or natural stone without paying for these materials.

Running Out of Space?

Homes are getting smaller, which means backyards are also getting smaller. Not many of us will have enough room to have huge garden beds, so why not use the walls of your home as spaces for vegetation. Vertical gardens and green walls are becoming a mainstay in backyards, particularly in urban areas. By incorporating this form of gardening in your yard, you will add visual interest to bare walls, while also providing better insulation to your home so you can cut energy costs.

Don’t Forget a Deck

No matter how big your backyard is, a timber deck is the best way to give you a whole new living space. A deck performs two purposes. Firstly, it gives you a space for dining, drinking and relaxing, and secondly, it gives your yard a focal point that you can design around. Decks are also a sure-fire way to add value to your property because nothing sells like a beautiful hardwood deck. This is just a sample of what you can do with your backyard. The elements you include aren’t as important as your commitment to invest in this critical part of your property. Whether it’s a long-term family home or a short-term money-spinner, you sell your property short by ignoring the backyard.

Take a read of these handy tips for packing fragile items when moving or going into storage.

How to Pack Fragile Items for Storage

By | Uncategorized
Most of our household items hold a significant monetary or sentimental value. This is especially the case with fragile items. So, when attempting to pack away these delicate possessions, preparation is key.

After 70 years in the removals and storage industry, Kent Relocation Group has developed a step-by-step system that will teach you the tips and tricks that come in handy during this kind of process. Following this guide will allow your treasures to stay safe, ensuring they return to you in the exact same state as you left them.

Step 1: Use High Quality Packing Materials
When packing fragile items, many make the mistake of skimping on the process. While it may seem like a tempting money-saving technique it can actually cause you more time and money in the long run. Invest in sturdy moving boxes and materials, avoiding the allure of re-using boxes or newspaper when packing fragile items.

Instead of old cardboard and paper scraps, utilize a superior quality, double-corrugated boxes and plenty of bubble wrap. These are far better protection options than newspaper: firstly because it is thicker, but it also won’t leave ink stains or transfer marks on precious items.

After arming yourself with all the materials you need, set yourself up on a large, clean table.

Step 2:  Line Your Boxes
Creating a sturdy base for each box is an important step in securing it. To ensure a solid foundation is created, line the bottom of the cardboard with packing paper or double wrap. This will re-enforce the box and also create a soft, cushioned base in which your valuables can rest, protecting them from any potential movement or bumps along the way.

Step 3: Wrap Your Items
When you pick out an item to pack, individually wrap it in bubble wrap. While it may be tempting to cut corners and wrap multiple items together, this can create a space where they rub together, resulting in breakages or imperfections. When maneuvering your bubble wrap, ensure that thin areas of your valuables are also protected: places such as the arms on vases or stems on a wine glass.

Step 4: Pack Strategically
Packing a moving box is like a hard game of Tetris. And packing delicate items is an even harder game of Tetris. Simply throwing together bits and pieces and hoping for the best, is not packing. Placing items purposefully is packing. Ensure you are placing the heaviest items in the bottom, using sections of cardboard to provide extra protection, and to divide your box into sections. For empty space within the box, fill it with paper or excess bubble wrap, allowing you to avoid excess movement.

Step 5: Label, Label, Label
When you have completed the packing process, label every box carefully to indicate exactly what it contains. If you have sought the help of a removals company to move and pack your fragile items, ensure they are aware of which boxes need to be handled with extra care. This can be done by giving your removalists a quick briefing when they arrive, and by marking specific boxes as ‘Fragile’, also drawing an arrow to show which way up the box needs to be handled.

There you have it – whether you’re storing your household items long-term, or just for a couple of weeks, if you follow these tips, even your most fragile belongings will remain safe and sound.

 Consider Kent Relocation Group for removals, storage and relocation in Brisbane – visit http://www.kentrelocationgroup.com

affinity display hia
affinity display hia

McCarthy Homes’ sophisticated Affinity Display Home Receives Coveted HIA Award

By | Display Homes
Queensland home builder McCarthy Homes, received a prestigious award for their stunning Affinity display home, at the Housing Industry Association’s Brisbane Housing Awards, held on 3rd of November.

Winning the ‘Brisbane Display Home $300,001 – $500,000’ category for their Newport based display home, the team were humbled to receive the highly coveted award.

“Our hard-working team and suppliers work so hard to create beautiful, unique homes our clients will love living in, so it’s great to receive acknowledgement from the HIA for a display home that truly showcases our superior quality builds,” said David Farrer, Director of McCarthy Homes.

The four bedroom home is bright and airy thanks to the array of skylights throughout both the upper and lower floor, while the large open plan living area further invites the outdoors in with a poolside outdoor kitchen and day bed nook.

Other notable features include the built-in wine cellar, luxury open ensuite in the master bedroom, decorative laser cut screens, a conveniently positioned study nook, and a floor plan designed for the modern family.

“This design is really the epitome of modern Australian elegance, and it comes with a lot of wow factor, but it’s also been designed for ease of living. Each and every feature has been positioned to create a comfortable living environment for the whole family to enjoy,” said Mr Farrer.

The Affinity design is on display at 58 Spinnaker Boulevard, Newport, and is open Saturday to Wednesday, 10am – 5pm.

affinity display hia
narrow block metropolitan

Live large on a narrow block with the Metropolitan design

By | Display Homes
The stunning four bedroom Metropolitan home design has been meticulously crafted to maximise internal space on narrow 10m wide lots, without compromising on lifestyle.  With a range of attractive facades to choose from, it might just be your dream home.

The lower floor boasts a sizeable modern kitchen and an open plan living area that seamlessly flows into an expansive alfresco area – the ideal place for a summer afternoon barbeque with friends or family, or an evening dinner in the cool breeze. Indoors, the home theatre is the perfect spot for getting cosy during movie marathons in the cooler weather.

Upstairs, a luxurious master suite awaits parents, and possesses a deluxe walk-in robe, shower and double vanity for convenience. Perfect for families with older children who like their own space; the three secondary bedrooms lead to a large leisure area, which can be used as you please.

McCarthy Homes Director, David Farrer, said the home continues to be popular, “Clients love this home because it feels so much bigger than your average narrow block design. And they have the option to customise it to suit their needs and their block.”

Paired with Blueprint Inclusions, the home design comes standard with ILVE cooking appliances, H2F treated pine frame, Colorbond® roof, and a wealth of other high quality inclusions.

The current Aura promotion ensures this home also comes with free ducted air-conditioning, rendered Hebel and Stoddart steel frames.

The Metropolitan D36 with Plantation Façade is currently on display at 28 Honeyeater Place, Rochedale. Open every day, 10am – 5pm.

narrow block metropolitan