Archive for News

We had a great time at the Crown

We, the S.I.N.ers, (Sunset International Neighbours) usually meet in each other’s homes for a lovely lunch every 4 weeks on a Monday.

This last Monday was different. We went to the Crown Casino on a bus.

We hopped on the Bus at 9:54 am at Warwick Grove Shopping Centre.

Arrived at Crown, got ourselves organised and paid $10 for the trip. It’s a regular service run by Crown Casino.

We received vouchers for:

Lunch at a choice of 2 restaurants or chance to upgrade to the Atrium for a further $20.

Some of us preferred the Buffet at the Carvers and others went to the Noodle Bar.

We also had a $1 for Keno and a voucher for the trip back at 3:30.

We all agreed that this outing was the most valuable, and that we would take any visitors toour shores on the same outing.

Have you ever done this?

It is worth it. Give it a go!

We played the pokey machines, and had the best of fun. None of us are really into gambling but played for fun and stopped when we decided to stop.

The visit to Crown was also very interesting. Worth it to walk around and appreciate the scenery too. We generally go there for specific shows or dinner on a special occasion, and don’t usually have the time to take it all in.

We had a great time and will definitely go back and take friends or family members to enjoy the day as much as we did.


Housing affordability has declined in all states and territories, according to a new report.

New report shows housing affordability has declined in Western AustraliaNEW
12 March 2018

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) have released the findings of its latest Housing Affordability Report, which found housing affordability declined in Western Australia in the December 2017 quarter.

The national report, which is produced in partnership with Adelaide Bank, showed housing affordability had declined across all states and territories, and rental affordability had declined in every state and territory except for Western Australia and New South Wales.

REIA President Malcolm Gunning said a coordinated and aligned approach by all three levels of Government were needed to address the housing affordability issue.

“We need to address this with some urgency and reform the planning and approval process. We need all tiers of Government involved and implementing change.

“REIA believes a first step in this is the appointment of a Minister of Property Services. This would also recognise the importance of the property sector as a driver of economic growth and employment. Property investment supported by historically low interest rates has been a significant contributor to growth in the Australian economy since 2013-14 as we transition away from a decade-long reliance on mining,” Mr Gunning said.

Housing affordability results for WA
There was a mixed bag of results across WA in the December 2017 quarter, with housing affordability worsening over the quarter but improving when compared to the December 2016 quarter.

The report found the proportion of income required to meet loan repayments increased 1.5 per cent to 23.9 per cent in the three months to December 2017 and declined by 0.3 per cent decline compared to the December 2016 quarter.

First home buyers

The number of first home buyers in WA decreased to 3,996 in the December 2017 quarter, a decrease of 9.8 per cent over the quarter but an increase of 4.9 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Of all Australian first home buyers over the quarter, 12.9 per cent were from WA, while the proportion of first home buyers in the state’s owner-occupier market was 34 per cent.

The average loan to first home buyers increased to $316,067, an increase of 4.1 per cent over the quarter but a decrease of 1.5 per cent compared to the December quarter 2016.


The total number of loans (excluding refinancing) in WA decreased to 11,744, a decrease of 4.2 per cent over the quarter and a decrease of 2.7 per cent compared to the same time last year.

The average loan size increased to $352,796, an increase of 6.8 per cent over the quarter and 0.5 per cent compared to the December quarter 2016.

Perth rental market

Rental affordability in WA remained stable during the December quarter, with the proportion of family income required to meet the median rent remaining at 16.4 per cent, the same as the previous quarter but a decrease of 1.3 percentage points compared to the year before.

For more information about the WA property market, visit the WA market page.

Emma is in Fremantle!

This Monday just gone (Labour Day), I was just about to finish my lunch when my husband cried out loud: ‘Emma is in Fremantle!’
It took a few moments to gather my thoughts before I realised the significance of what he had said.
Suddenly it hit me.
My niece Emma.
From Canada.
Is in Fremantle.
‘Emma is in Fremantle?’ I exclaimed!
‘Yes, and I’m going to see her with Nikky.’ (our daughter).
I shouted ‘I want to go too!’
My daughter had arrived home around 12:30 with her sleeping toddler, who now, after only an hour of sleep was being woken up and hustled into the car with promises of a family adventure, and snacks. He didn’t seem to mind too much. More than a little flustered, we all packed into Nikky’s car and set off on our journey to Freo. I called my son Merv on the way. He and his parter Toni were shopping, but they said they’d be there by 3pm.

Emma took on a 6 month contract working on the Celebrity Solstice, a huge cruise liner, travelling around Australia, New Zealand and other amazing places. She’s 23, working the gift shop and travelling the world (but seeing nothing, as my husband jokes, having heard about life working on liners). Luckily, she was allowed on shore for a two hour window, and we were all – surprisingly – available to leap into action and see her! My husband had been tracking the Celebrity Solstice for weeks, but stopped 8 days ago while it was moored near New Zealand. And none of Emma’s had emails made it through due to variable internet connections. My husband checked his email at 1:30, expecting it to be a mid night message from his brother Ian in Canada, but lo and behold cousin emma was HERE! I think we beat some kind of record for getting our things together and getting out of the house!

We picked her up at Victoria Quay, and took her for a short drive to the E-shed markets for coffee, nibbles, and stories of her travels. Quite a whirlwind visit, but worth it. She was happy to see us, we think, familiar faces halfway around the globe. And we always love having visitors. We figure we’re the most isolated of the lot, so we like to make an effort when someone makes aaaaaall the way to Perth to see us. I wonder who will be next!

There are 2 men in my roof!

Late one night we noticed some dripping so dutifully moved the furniture, laid down a tarpaulin and buckets, and hoped for the best!

My insurance company sent an assessor and I was advised to do some roof maintenance.

I was lucky enough to get Paul Morris who originally installed the roof when the house was built in 1996.

How lucky am I?

Paul Morris dangerously climbed up to the roof with buckets, tools and roof sheeting.

I only took a picture but cannot watch their feat. Gives me butterflies in my stomach!

Paul Morris is an expert on roof tiling, plumbing and maintenance issues.

Here are his details in case you need help:

Mobile: 0419 906 473


Reliable, professional and clean.




Regional WA outperforms Perth for price growth in latest quarter

Regional WA’s overall median house price increased 2.9 per cent during the December 2017 quarter, outperforming the Perth Metro region.

REIWA President Hayden Groves said eight regional centres experienced positive median house price growth, with Karratha the top performer with a 13.5 per cent improvement.

“Busselton, Albany and Esperance also recorded strong price growth, lifting 9.8 per cent, 7.2 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively.

“Pleasingly, house prices improved across the board, with centres both north and south of Perth showing positive growth. Consumer sentiment in WA improved considerably in the December quarter, up 13.5 per cent which has had a positive flow on effect to the property market. West Australians are feeling more optimistic and buyer enthusiasm is returning,” Mr Groves said.

Kalgoorlie/Boulder, Northam and Port Hedland were the only regions to record declines.

“After recording a significant 19.5 per cent increase in median house price in the September quarter, Port Hedland’s median house price had a minor adjustment in the December quarter,” Mr Groves said.

View the REIWA Regional WA Outperforms Perth for Price Growth

Perth property market begins its recovery in December quarter

Perth property market begins its recovery in December quarterNEW
06 February 2018

The Perth property market ended 2017 on a positive note, with December quarter data showing improvements in median prices, sales activity, listing levels and average selling days.

REIWA President Hayden Groves said it boded well for Perth that all key indicators had improved over the quarter.

“The Perth market found its floor and stabilised in the back half of 2017. We now appear to be entering a recovery phase, though REIWA remains cautious about expectations of rapid growth in the next 12 months,” Mr Groves said.

Median house and unit price
Perth’s preliminary median house price increased 1.2 per cent to $516,000 in the December quarter 2017.

“Once all sales have settled, we expect the final December quarter median to lift to $520,000, which is a notable improvement on the September quarter median of $510,000.

“On an annual basis, the Perth market is very stable. We’ve observed consistent price levels between the December 2016 and 2017 quarters which is a strong signifier the market has turned a corner,” Mr Groves said.

Perth’s median unit price is $405,000 for the December 2017 quarter which is a 1.3 per cent increase on the September quarter.

“It’s encouraging to see Perth’s house and unit medians increase over the quarter because it suggests one sector hasn’t recovered at the expense of the other,” Mr Groves said.

Sales activity
There were 4,946 dwelling sales in Perth in the December quarter.

Mr Groves said this figure was expected to lift to 6,700 once all sales had settled, putting it significantly above the September quarter sales figure.

“Traditionally, the September quarter outperforms the December quarter, but that wasn’t the case in 2017. The December quarter is on track to record 14 per cent more sales than the September quarter,” Mr Groves said.

REIWA analysis shows the composition of sales shifted in the December quarter in Perth, with more transactions occurring above $700,000.

“We’ve observed a surge of activity in Perth’s aspirational suburbs, with buyers recognising there is good opportunity to secure a home in these areas which might have previously been considered unattainable by many,” Mr Groves said.

“This spike in sales above $700,000 has also contributed to Perth’s median house price increasing over the quarter.”

Listings for sale
There were 13,088 properties for sale in Perth at the end of the December quarter.

Mr Groves said this was on par with the September quarter figure and six per cent less than the December 2016 quarter figure.

“There were 800 fewer listings in Perth at the end of 2017 than there was in 2016 and some 1,300 less than there were at the same time 2015. We have consistently seen stock levels decline over the last two years as the market trends towards parity,” Mr Groves said.

“Declining listing levels combined with notable improvements in sales activity has helped restore net-demand. With buyer activity increasing, stock levels are being absorbed faster,” Mr Groves said.

Average selling days
It was 10 days faster to sell in the December quarter than it was in the September quarter, with it taking on average 60 days to secure a sale.

It’s been two years since it was this quick to sell in Perth. The combination of sellers’ preparedness to meet the market and buyer appetite for well-priced property has significantly shortened days-on-market,” Mr Groves said.

View more WA market information

New listing hitting the market in Sorrento.

2 Hermite Rise, Sorrento

Located on a large 801sqm lot is this large two storey family home in the perfect location.

This quality Federation built, double brick and tile home comprises of 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms plus a study.

The main living includes open concept meals and family room with garage entry and a functional kitchen with granite bench tops and a scullery window. The adjoining games room opens to the outdoor entertaining area with decking and a pitched pergola. There is a grassed area perfect for a trampoline or family dog.

The home features separates zones, the ground floor compiles of the master bedroom and ensuite, the guest bedroom and study. All children/minor bedrooms are on the second level. Windows on the upper level all have beautiful views of the Sorrento skyline.

Entertain your family and guests in the beautiful underground, crystal-clear pool that’s just screaming to be enjoyed this summer.

Located just minutes from Hillarys Boat Harbor and a short stroll to Perth’s best coastal café strip. Seacrest Park Community Sporting Facility is just down the road and the popular and highly-sought after Sacred Heart College only a 10 minute walk away. This location offers proximity to beautiful beaches with public transport conveniently located at your doorstep.

sacred Heart College is just the other side of the park

There is everything to offer for a family looking to reside with lifestyle…

More features include:
* 5 bedrooms plus study
* 3 bathrooms
* Open plan indoor and outdoor entertaining
* Reverse cycle air conditioning
* Solar panels
* Master suite with ensuite
* Double lock up garage with extra parking for boat or trailer
* Workshop

For more information, please contact Alycee on 0416 188 752.

Read More→

My Community helps others in need.

Over the last year, I have become involved with a local community group, and now attend weekly gatherings and contribute in various ways.

We meet at the Emerald Terrace Community Centre in Edgewater to do craft, chat, and do good works too.

We have a table of stuff brought in by various members that we put up for raffle. (Last week my daughter gave me some toys my grandson had grown out of to pass on to other people). During the morning, people wander around and but raffle tickets for the items that interest them. The winner will take one item. A table with more expensive items is for gold coin donations only.

We also have a table of items for free, anyone can help themselves to those.

Another table has the beautiful bread I collect every week from the very generous Dejaxo bakery in Carine Glades. Everyone helps themselves to those too. The leftover bread (and there is always a lot left over!) goes to a Retirement Village.

There is also a table full of home-made jams made from strawberries, plums, grapes, marmalade, and other seasonal fruits, which you can purchase for $2 a jar.

All of the money raised throughout the year is donated to different charities and institutions, helping various groups as much as we can.

It feels good to be a part of a community group like this. Not only for the social aspect but because I am fortunate enough to be in a position to help, and all it takes is a little bit of my time. Which groups or communities are you a part of? Do you find you get a lot out of it?




BMW $1200 1st Anniversary Voucher

I received a voucher of $1200 from BMW as a Christmas gift. A lovely present to be used at Verve Portraits.

Unfortunately I won’t use the voucher. My daughter is a professional photographer doing this type of business and has just done a portrait of her brother.

I didn’t want it to go to waste so I decided to offer it as a gift to my clients.

Thanks to Deb Diamantis at BMW Wangara who provided me with excellent service and made it possible to transfer the gift to whoever I want to.

I sent 375 emails/texts and said that the first one to call would receive the gift.

I had a few calls but the first one was Kyro Saweres, pictured with me.

Thank you all and sorry I could not please everyone.

Wait for my second Anniversary until BMW sends me another gift….maybe.

And you also could consider going to BMW Wangara to purchase a car for yourself.

They offer excellent service and it comes with tea, coffee and lots of smiles. Worth the experience!… Plus the gift which is a bonus, right?








Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

To all of my newsletter readers:

Enjoy your Christmas, family, friends and working mates.

Make a resolution for 2018. And stick to it!

Make a plan for the future.

Make an achievable goal!

Make it happen whatever you wished for!

Make Love not war!

Have a great Christmas!

Alycee Barrett

Read More→

My Client and family on a great adventure: Munda biddi story

On Friday 20th October we hit the trails in an attempt to reach Albany from Perth along the Munda Biddi track. A bit over 1000km in total. Both kids are riding their own bikes with no luggage, just their camelback with water and a muesli bar. We have done lots of long distance bike trips with the kids but what’s different this time is that we don’t have the ability to carry the kids or their bikes, they have to ride all the way!

We made it to Jarrahdale after four epic days of riding. The first two days were the hardest, 18km and 25.75km of steep hills and loose gravel. After plenty of walking up hills and helping the kids stay on their bikes we made it to the Carinyah hut. Nice to have a roof during the storm. Day three gave us a break on unseal roads with track closures due to control burning. A long 30.6km to the Wungong hut. The going was long but easier so there was plenty of singing and relaxing breaks. Riding past the fires was something unexpected. This area is great, we rode along the beautiful forests, with amazing flowers and an undulating narrow path, an easy 28km ride finished by 1.30pm. A well deserved lunch at the cafe and a comfy bed are in order. The kids have done a lot better than expected so maybe some ice cream too! We know we have hard days ahead but the attitude of the kids so far give us confidence to think we can make it to Albany.

After 13 days on the Munda Biddi trail. We feel like we have experienced all terrains and weather. The section after Jarrahdale was the hardest with some steep hills on rocky slippery decentes and hills that felt like they were going for ever. The kids did an amazing job riding more than 30km that day. It showed us what we are up for! Since then they have attempted to ride over dirt, mud, sand, rocks big and small, pea gravel (a famous feature of the Munda Biddi), water (not always successful at keeping our shoes dry), fallen trees, you name it! The kids are getting better everyday and we see their skills improving specially the scary downhills when we think are they going to make it down in one piece? Some hills remain a challenge so we walk up, had plenty of cases where it took the two of us to push the bikes and trailers up the hills specially on steep single track. It is exhausting for us as often we ride our bikes up and then walk back down to help the kids. We had a few days of rain, one in particular was so heavy we had to find shelter and set up camp after only 7kms but we managed to stay dry and warm. We had some long days after that, 35km+, and have decided we rather ride less and get to camp earlier so we can relax, do school work or play cards before dinner. The forest and wildflowers around us are amazing. All in all the kids are loving the experience and so are we!

We have made it to Pemberton after getting drenched last night in a storm with hail and thunder. It took us by surprise and we were soaked within seconds so we laughed and kept riding, good character building for the kids. We had done about 650kms till then. We did a detour to visit Gnomesville and had lunch at a nearby winery. We enjoyed warm hospitality from David near Donnybrook and Claire who offered to host us. It was so good to have comfy beds and two great evenings with wonderful company. We met friends Peter and Emily again and the kids had a great time playing with Oscar at the giant playground in Donnybrook. That night we camped by a lake with turquoise water and the kids had a nude mud fight and made sculptures out of the clay from the ground. A couple of days later we made it to Nannup after the longest day yet (52kms) due to a control burn diversion. The kids did a great job and we were all rewarded by a great dinner and room at the pub. Next day we camped at Willow springs which was nice but the bugs drove us mad. From there a hard uphill single track with lots of trees down made our arrival at Donnelly River much later than planned. We enjoyed the village with a feeling of going back in time and the welcoming friendly emus. We had a swim and lunch by the dam and a few treats at the cafe. The ride out of Donnelly River was hard single track and half way thought to the next hut it started raining, it was getting dark and we still had 4kms up a steep hill to go so we didn’t make it to the hut that night. Likely the kids were in good spirits and kept riding in the rain until we found a flat spot to camp. The next day we tackled the switchbacks up to the hut and made it to Manjimup by early afternoon. We slept at the Motor Inn and had Indian for dinner, the playground the next morning topped up a great experience in this town! Quinninup was another great surprise, we met some locals who invited us for coffee and the kids spent a couple of hours reading in the library. That night our friends Tara and John joined us and experienced a night on the trail with us. The weather has been hot and humid and the storms provided some relief from the heat. The kids have been riding well and we all continue to love the trail.

Pemberton was beautiful, and the food experiences were up there with the best so far, we had lunch at Holy Smoke and found the best coffee shop of the ride called Paddock. Next morning we set off towards the Gloucester tree (none of us was brave enough to climb it!). The switchbacks down from there were great flowing single track so fast we had to ask the kids to slow down as we couldn’t keep up with the trailers. So much fun and such a beautiful place. The weather was not that good, but we kept riding all afternoon listening to Harry Potter audio books.
That night a Bibbulmum track hut a few hundred meters off the Munda Biddi was a great find given we were going to sleep in the forest under another storm. We had a fire instead and enjoyed the views of a very pretty dam.
The next day I was not up for a hard day in the trail and was very happy that it was an easier ride along beautiful country, forests and farms. The kids rode without complaints chatting to each other and Nick and I had a great bit of time for ourselves. We made it to Northcliffe for lunch. The town was a pearl we were not expecting to find. The place had a great vibe. A little organic coop, a cafe, a wood gallery and an art exhibition. We found a lady who adopts kangaroos with two 10month old babies being fed on her lap. The kids spent time with the tame joeys and then we all went to see the sculpture park which was another great surprise. We camped at Sid’s camp, made dahl with flat bread and had dinner by the fire. A few people gathered around, the kids played with other kids and was nice to socialise for a change.
The next morning Mimi fell of her bike meters out of the gate due to the very slippery gravel, we are off to a great start I thought. Manu wasn’t in the mood to ride and a million flies followed us everywhere so we stopped every 100m that day…. very frustrating. We ended up camping in a horrible spot on the side of the fire trail when he declared he couldn’t go any further.
The next morning we set off early as we listened to music and sang along for a while. The conversation was very animated this morning. What’s better than a birthday party? Planning for a birthday! We spent hours talking about Mimis birthday, dress up design and cake flavours.
We then met Bernie a rider on his way north. We had lunch at the next hut and after some play time we decided to move on to camp at the Fernhook hut which was 20km away. The going was not so hard but the flies and March flies were so bad they ruined the ride for me. Mimi had a stack on the gravel and managed to park her bike perfectly upside down. She didnt get hurt and popped back up from underneath with a smile on her face. The bike stayed parked upside down…. we all had a good laugh. The last 5kms were mostly downhill along nice forests and I enjoyed that besides the flies. Manu had a great day with no accidents but managed to peel off skin of his knees by falling over at the camp which is kind of ironic after he rode 40km that day with no falls. We all slept on the floor of a cute hut and just as well as there was a thunderstorm outside. After we went to bed we decided to set up the tent inside as the mozzies were vicious.
In the morning we rode off the campsite and crossed a bridge with beautiful cascades. The morning was spent riding along forest trails mostly on dirt roads with sandy patches and lots of undulations which were a bit much for Manu to ride so we walked a lot up the hills. There was a big diversion which cut 28km off our day. The diversion and the huge 40km day the day before meant we could get all the way to Walpole which was a bonus as we were so ready for a shower.
At Walpole on our 16th wedding anniversary we are having a couple of days off the bike staying at a cottage, luckily it has brooms so Harry Potter is in full swing (the huts in the Munda Biddi have brooms too so we don’t have many days without Harry Potter play!). Here we have enjoyed a very entertaining eco cruise, markets, art galleries and spent time with friends Peter, Emily and Oscar. Walpole to Albany was a great final stage. We were hosted by two different families, both treated us like life long friends. We rode along the wow track and loved Greens pool and lights beach. Denmark was also special, we had great food at Rovens and the kids loved the adventure playground. The rode to Albany was also beautiful, spending a night by the Hay river and one in Cozy corner, wonderful spot! And then we finally made it to Albany! Clocked over 1000kms during 38 days (including 3 rest days). Shortest day just over 5kms and longest 52. Had an awesome ride especially the last two stages. Loved the scenery, beaches, forests, huts, flowers, towns and the food at the odd cafe on the way… Have met a lot of great people on and off the bike, new and old friends and experienced amazing hospitality from locals. From wonderful art displays and giant trees to amazing playgrounds and wildlife this ride has been an amazing adventure.

if you do have a story to tell, send it to me and I will publish it too.