Category Archives: Real Estate

ALERT: Destructive ‘super-termites’ discovered in La Mesa


Homeowners in La Mesa are being warned their houses could be at risk of a destructive pest: Formosan subterranean termites.

San Diego-based company Thrasher Termite & Pest Control made the unfortunate discovery this month in a La Mesa home.

“Unlike native subterranean termites, the termites we observed were extremely active, didn’t flee when disturbed, and the soldiers went into attack mode. They had hollowed out large areas of structural wood, always staying just beneath the exterior paint and unnoticed by the homeowner,” said Garrett Thrasher.

They’re deemed “super-termites” due to enormous colonies up to two million strong. The pests can cause significant structural damage within six months unlike traditional dry-wood termites, which take 10-15 years to do similar damage.

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The biggest mistake buyers make when purchasing a home

Your home is probably the most expensive thing you’ll ever purchase, but what if you made a mistake about what sort of property would make you happy?

Professor Michael Norton from Harvard Business School, co-author of Happy Money: The New Science of Smarter Spending, says when choosing a home, many of us unwisely prioritize physical aspects.

“It can be wiser to spend time and money finding a community rather than a third bathroom,” he says.

Research from Harvard University shows that when college students were randomly assigned to dorm rooms, most believed they would be happier in a bigger, more beautiful house.

However, the degree of social connection in the accommodation they landed had the biggest impact on their happiness, not its physical qualities.

According to Sam Robinson, who runs the annual Neighbour Day campaign, the importance of community cannot be overstated.

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7 area where you shouldn’t waste your money before selling your home

We all want to maximize the selling price of our home – it’s usually our biggest asset. But when you’re devising a pre-sale makeover list, there are some updates that aren’t worth the time or money.

1. Designer fixtures and fittings

There aren’t too many buyers who will be able to tell the difference between Carrara marble and an engineered stone look-alike, a Moooi chandelier versus a clever replica. And most buyers won’t consider upping the offer on your property just because you have installed a high-end bath and loo.

“A new kitchen and bathroom can definitely add value, but there is always the possibility for over-capitalization,” says Tim Bodman, director of CSA Valuers in Brisbane. “Sometimes a $10,000 Ikea kitchen might do the job.”

BresicWhitney Hunters Hill agent Nicholas McEvoy says he advises vendors not to indulge their designer wish-lists just before listing.

“When you’re selling it’s not the time to go and buy luxury fittings. It’s unlikely you’ll get your money back.”

2. A high-maintenance garden or pool

If there’s one key message that has remained consistent on TV lifestyle shows, it’s that while Aussies love the great outdoors, they don’t want to spend their weekends working hard to maintain their green spaces. Borders of manicured hedges, rose gardens, lilies and even citrus require above-average attention to thrive.

“Aim to keep the landscaping simple,” says Mae Chan of Di Jones North Shore. “Most people don’t want the hassle of too much gardening.”

Licensed builder and founder of James Mason says the same goes for the backyard swimming pool.

“Not everyone wants a pool and sometimes it’s more maintenance and more work than it’s worth,” he says. “Put a pool in for your family’s lifestyle, but not for sale.”

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