Archive for News – Page 2

A good handyman is hard to get. I got a good one

Gino is a retired builder who is passing his time fixing things for other people.

He is great!

Clean

Professional

Reliable

And reasonable!

Need one?

Contact me and ask for Gino

Another Birthday? NO! YUK!

  • Buy lots of gold to celebrate or commemorate! He!He!He!
  • My birthday is really on August 14th but because my documentation says January 14th I am getting all these lovely birthday wishes but I have to save them for another 6 months. I was born in a reeeeeeeeeally small town in Minas Gerais. A place called Pedra Corrida, which may not even be on a map these days. This town had no registry office. After my father died my mother remembered I hadn’t been registered so the next time someone made a trip to town she asked them to register my birth.
This wasn’t as simple as hopping in a car and driving for an hour. Back then it was still mostly horses and carriages, and occasionally people travelled by train. They remembered the date, but not the month and put down August, making me a whole 6 months younger, yippee! The registry office at the time said it was good enough, and that’s why I feel I have two birthdays with all of these well wishes coming in.
I haven’t decided which country I will be spending my birthday this year yet. Hopefully somewhere new and exciting! I’m planning on going to Brazil for an extended stay with family in May and will come back in August – the plan is to stop somewhere exotic for my birthday on the way home.
Family and friends wish me happy birthday and make a fuss, spend their money on presents which is great and sweet, but then I really “know” I had “another” birthday, which at my age I’d actually like to forget.
Places I have spent my birthdays:
Brazil
Canada
Australia
Thailand
Hong Kong
Dubai
Italy
Iran
Kenya
and others that I cannot remember (and that is probably the age factor lol).
Any suggestions for where to celebrate (commiserate?) next?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Well, somehow it’s that time of year again. I can tell by the amount of egg nog that’s in my fridge. It’s an annual tradition! With or without the Baileys. Delicious!
This year I was lucky enough to host my SINers (Sunset International Neighbours) Christmas lunch. I have written before about the monthly lunches with my ladies (we’re going on 28 years of monthly gatherings!), but until now another SINer, my good friend and walking buddy Jean, had hosted our Christmas do. This year she passed the torch to me and I set about decorating the house in preparation.
I prepared TWO whole turkeys, because I was expecting up to 40 people! Served complete with gravy and cranberry sauce, of course. I had four tables prepared, (five if you count the coffee table). We had people seated in the alfresco, at the kitchen table, in the rear courtyard, and in the the formal dining and lounge. It’s not often that all of those spaces get a workout in my house. Normally it’s just me and my husband rattling around. Unless our children have moved back in with us. Again. I often think about installing a revolving door for them. My house is always open, for family and friends. This luncheon was no exception!
And what a selection of dishes everyone supplied! Alongside my turkey, we had risotto, salads, quiche, beans, soups, and the many desserts were to die for! My daughter had planned to arrive early to set up, but her Christmas fruit tree took a little too long to put together. She stayed to help tidy afterwards though. A few of the ladies pitched in to help before leaving too.
We usually get everyone to bring a gift to exchange in Secret Santa style, but I also like to collect knick knacks myself, to use in a game of While Elephant. You each get a number and have an opportunity to either open a gift, or steal an already opened one from someone else. It can be great fun! Top gifts this year were the Trump toilet paper, a small set of screwdrivers, and some cheese knives. You don’t know if your present is safe until the last gift has been opened! This is a tradition I first experienced with my husband’s family in Canada. I recall many Christmas gatherings where we gleefully pinched presents off one another. Once year we were all too terrified of taking a plush bathrobe from my husband’s mother, she loved it so!
Whatever your Christmas traditions or holiday plans may be, I wish you all a good time.
Funny thing: I bought 40 Xmas crackers and forgot to give them away. Well, next year, right?
Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
Alycee.

Perth median house price increases for second month in a row

Perth’s median house price increased 1.6 per cent to $518,000 during November, according to reiwa.com data.
REIWA President Damian Collins said this was the second month in a row Perth’s median house price had shown improvement.

“Perth’s median house price has been fairly flat throughout 2018, so it’s pleasing to see two consecutive months of median price growth as we head into the New Year.

“reiwa.com analysis shows there was a shift in the composition of sales in November, with a greater proportion of transactions occurring above $1 million than there were in October. This has contributed to the increase we’ve seen in Perth’s median house price this month,” Mr Collins said.

The top selling suburbs in November were Willetton, Baldivis, Canning Vale, Duncraig and Ellenbrook, while reiwa.com data shows Quinns Rock, Willetton, Doubleview, Leeming and Wellard had the biggest improvement in sales volumes (percentage wise).

“While overall sales activity in the Perth Metro region remains subdued, numerous suburbs bucked this trend during November to record notable improvements in sales,” Mr.

Listings for sale were five per cent higher at the end of November than they were at the end of October.

“It’s not unusual to observe increases in listing stock at this time of year. Sellers are returning to the market following the lull of the winter period and wanting to get in quick before the holiday season ramps up. With listing stock rising, buyers have a good supply of choice available to them, making it a very good time to buy,” Mr Collins said.

Perth rental market

Perth’s overall median rent price continues to hold at $350 per week, however reiwa.com data shows there was a small $5 increase to the median unit rent price in November.

“While the overall median and median house rent ($360 per week) were stable, pleasingly the median unit rent did increase to $330 per week during November. Additionally, when we compare the November 2018 median unit rent to three months ago (August 2018), reiwa.com data shows the unit rent has increased by $10 per week,” Mr Collins said.

The five suburbs which experienced the biggest increase in leasing activity (percentage wise) during November were Kardinya, Coolbellup, Bedford, Kelmscott and Harrisdale, while Perth, East Perth, Scarborough, South Perth and Baldivis had the most number of leased properties.

Listings for rent were stable in November, remaining below 7,000 – a significant 25 per cent decline compared to the same time last year.

“The rapid decline in listings we’ve observed this year is a key driver behind the rental market’s recovery. It has also had a significant impact on the vacancy rate, which continues to decline and now sits at 3.3 per cent,” Mr Collins said.

My first Christmas Party this year starting with the Craft Group

 

I’ve written before about the community craft group I attend every week. What a fantastic day we had on November 22nd for our Christmas party!
Sandra Whyte organizes the outing and all the venues. We met at the Craft group in Emerald Terrace, Edgewater as usual, and a bus came to collect us at 9:30.
Our first stop was at the Chocolate Factory for morning tea, then at 11:15 we proceeded to Mandoon Restaurant where we were able to order some wine. The restaurant was very elegantly elegant set up and we enjoyed a fantastic meal.
At 2:30 we hopped on the bus and back to the Community centre.
47 of us went on the outing and we all had an absolute ball!
We are having a Christmas break from crafting on December 13th and will meet again from January 17th.

 

 

I had an eventful weekend, though not quite the kind I wished for!

On Friday November 16th I had a collision on my bike with a teenager going to school on his bike. I saw him zooming towards me and I tried tok get as far left as possible, nearly on the grass and practically stopped, but he just kept coming and – bang! I crashed down hitting the pavement with my left shoulder – the one that already has bursitis. Ouch!
I had to be helped up by this young man and a couple of his friends and he apologised, and admitted he hadn’t been paying attention. A gentleman called James, who had been walking at the park, offered me – and my poor bike – a lift home in his car. I accepted, still feeling very shaky. I went to the doctor who prescribed lots of pills and also X-rays, 10 images of various angles. There was an awkward moment when the young male technician realised I would need help getting into the robe – he went bright red –  but his female colleague heard me say I didn’t care – I have a grown son, and medical care is medical care, and she came to his rescue. A funny moment in amongst the discomfort.
On Saturday morning I took all the 4 pills prescribed after my breakfast than everything went upside down –
I was ill all day long. I’ve never been good with medicines so my stomach definitely didn’t take to those pills well.
Kyro, my favourite pharmacist came to my rescue prescribing something to ease my stomach pain. My grandson was visiting for the day while his mum was busy too, but my husband, “poppy” had to match the energy of almost a four year old while I recuperated.
I woke up on Sunday feeling practically good as gold, although I still have some stiffness in my arm. It will have to be the stationary bike until I’m at full strength again. We debated taking my bike in for repairs, but it’s looking worse for wear and might need to be replaced instead. There are wonky pedals, bent cogs and the frame isn’t really aligned anymore.
No more bike, boo hoo!
I’ll have to get another one, and I don’t think I can wait until Christmas! I have been cycling for a month and don’t want to stop. I feel like I had just found my stride, and now I’ll have to start all over again. But I’m determined!
You bet, every time I see a bike coming I will veer away from it and stop, and I might start riding AFTER all of the kids are at school.
Stay safe, and keep your eyes open!

What economists predict for Australian house prices in 2019

In the middle of last year, several top economists were predicting house prices to in fact increase in 2018 – one forecasting as much as nine per cent, but since then house prices have experienced their largest and longest peak to trough decline in recent history spurred on by increased housing affordability constraints, a banking royal commission with a microscope on lending standards, and APRA’s restrictions on new investor loans.

Now that the price falls are well and truly in motion, all five economists recently surveyed by The Australian Financial Review forecast national house values would continue to drop in 2019, with Sydney, the epicentre of the downturn, dragging down the national average.

Stephen Koukoulas, of Market Economics, was most downbeat about the state of the property market, with expectations prices would fall in Sydney between 7.5 per cent and 10 per cent in 2019 after a drop of 7.5 per cent in 2018.

Nationally, he predicted house prices would fall by between five per cent and 7.5 per cent.

“From the 3rd quarter in 2019, I am forecasting some stability in prices as supply and demand forces underpin new activity,” Mr Koukoulas said.

By then he expected cashed-up first-home buyers would be lining up to take advantage of increased levels of affordability.

A key consideration for Geordan Murray, HIA acting principal economist, is that while population growth is slowing, it remains strong and will ensure ongoing demand for housing throughout the cycle.

“The labour market has been improving and is projected to continue to do so. This should contribute to further modest improvements in wage growth,” Mr Murray said.

“There are risks around borrowing costs.”

A key issue mentioned by the economists was that at some point in 2019 is whether the RBA may be forced to consider another interest rate cut if the slump in home prices starts to impact consumer spending and the outlook for inflation.

While each economist offered a variation on how much prices would fall in 2019, each attributed the tightening of credit, rising mortgage rates, and a surge in new supply to the further softening of the market.

To see each economist’s predictions, read the full article on the Australian Financial Review. Please note you will need to be an AFR subscriber to read the full article.

Herewith an Invitation to our Art Sale Exhibition

We would love 💖 you to come and a glass of wine and some nibbles at the opening night!!
See you there?
Please let me know and I will look out for you.
See you there

I am getting back on the bike and it’s not just a metaphor

Not this bike in the feature.
A normal one? Hehehe!
My son and his long-time girlfriend Toni are currently travelling though the US, and some of their things are downstairs – including their shiny new bicycles. My husband bought some sneakers recently and took my son’s bike out, so I decided to take the other one. It’s been a while. I remember cycling alongside my kids when they were off to school at a young age, or weekend trips to Rottnest Island to seek out Qokkas. My grandson loves his pedal bike too, so it’s become a family affair!
It’s so important to keep active at this age, whether it’s daily walks with friends in the morning, or just a 40 minute bike ride around your neighbourhood. I’ve battled bursitis and on and off heel pain, but I feel like i’m in a good place now, and every bike ride is doing me more good.
How do you keep active these days?

How to safeguard your rental bond

As the end of your tenancy agreement approaches, it can be a very tedious process dealing with your bond refund.

Ideally, most tenants will receive their bond money back at the end of the tenancy, once the real estate agent inspects the property against the Property Condition Report (PCR), essentially ensuring the premises is in the same condition as it was at the commencement of the lease, taking into account fair wear and tear.

However, if the state of the property does not comply with the PCR report, then the property manager or landlord has the right to claim money from the bond to cover these expenses, which could be anything from broken door handles to garden maintenance.

What you need to know about your rental bond money.

We want all tenants to be confident when it comes to getting their bond back, so to take the guesswork out of your end of lease inspection, here is some advice when it comes to getting your full bond back.

Fill out the initial condition report

Taking the time to fill out the initial PCR when first moving in can save you a lot of money and hassle when it comes to your last inspection. When moving into a new place, the last thing many tenants want to do is diligently inspect every nook and cranny of the house, but it’s these minor issues that become the very cause of disagreements between the agent and the tenant during the final inspection.

Use the initial PCR as a reference, so you and the managing agent have something to compare when it comes to the final inspection. It can be useful to take photos and be as specific as possible.

Form a good relationship with your property manager/landlord

Communication is key to being a good tenant. If there is something on the property that needs attention, make sure to tell the agent sooner rather than later. Building a good relationship with the property manager or landlord and having open honest communication will ease pressure on both parties when it comes to you vacating the property.

Know your obligations as a tenant

Stay educated with the law surrounding your tenancy. This will lower your chances of being short-sighted with any unexpected issues down the track.

You can visit The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website for more information on the laws affecting tenants.

Clean as you go

It might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at what the result of leaving the drain untouched or not vacuuming under the couch during the length of your tenancy could be. By regularly cleaning your house, you lower the risks of growing mould, stains or lingering smells. If you have carpets, maintaining them is also important as replacing carpet can cost a fortune if stained or damaged.

Understand the bond refund process

Again, knowing what to expect will save you from any unwanted surprises when it comes to getting your bond back. Understanding the process will make things easier for both you, the real estate agent and the landlord.

In the event of an unresolved dispute, the courts will ultimately decide the allocation of bond monies.

If you make every effort to return the property to the owner in the best possible manner at the end of the tenancy, you are in a good position to have your bond refunded in full.

If you have a query about your rental bond or tenancy agreement, speak with your REIWA property manager or call the REIWA Information Service on 9380 8200.

Cooking, Crafting, and Camaraderie.

We had a great lunch with our hostess Maria Antonia cooking a mean Bobo de Camarão an authentic Brazilian dish. A creamy prawn dish. You can check out a recipe here.

Her care and presentation on table setting was very elegant.

It’s great to see what other people do so when my time comes for Christmas entertaining my SIN.ers friends I have plenty of inspiration.

Every time we have lunch at my friends houses I am impressed with the effort they make in being the best hosts. It can be a big job, hosting 15+ people in your home!

All  of the SIN.ers are great cooks except me who rarely cooks anything. Thankfully my husband picks up the slack!

I only have 2 dishes that I call myself an expert on:

Roast Turkey (Canadian style) and Brazilian pudding (flan). That is all! I might not cook these too often, but I do cook them well!

But I think all the members of SINers are great cooks, whether they specialise in savoury dishes or dessert. We have had some absolutely incredible dishes on occasion!

Not only are they crafty in the kitchen -but they’re just plain crafty. They do all kinds of things,  Dress making, creating various knick knacks, patch works, knitting and crochet, jewellery, brides bouquets, a whole range of novelties.
I’m happy to say that I am also one of the crafty bunch, with my crochet bags. Almost every month there is a new item someone has completed. So talented!
Marion Boughton is the expert in these crafts and she showers all of us with all her creations. She is do special and we all love her!