Welcome Home - September Edition #2

Posted on September 2, 2014

What happens next? Preparing for PreStart

PreStart has got to be the best stage of the entire building process; this is the time when you get to add your personal touches to your new home.

Our dedicated team of Contract Administrators have a wealth of experience in colour and product selections. They will work with you to ensure your new home not only looks great but also remains affordable and functional.

Your PreStart meeting will be held in our office in East Perth and we recommend allowing one to two hours to complete all items.

You will be required to bring;

  • Your new Home file- This is issued to you by your Housing Consultant once you have signed up.
  • Tile selection- This is completed in assistance with our nominated tile suppliers or you can select from our professionally designed mood boards.

At your prestart appointment you will cover the following;

  • Check the location and addition of all electrical points
  • Reverse the swing of doors
  • Upgrade hardware
  • Confirm all colour schemes for the internal and external finishes of your home
  • Minor plan changes (no structural changes are permitted at this time- your Contract administrator will advise you on what is considered a structural change)

Once you have completed your PreStart, your final plans will be amended to reflect all changes made and then posted out to you for final sign off.

Tips for Decorating on a Budget, Part 2: Accessories

1. Register for flash-sale sites: Time to put your tech savvy to good use and investigate the range of sites that give members access to great discounts on furniture, décor and accessories. With new sales popping up every day, lasting for a limited time, if you see something you need, act fast!

2. Be first in line for sales: With more and more companies, you can register online to be first in the know about sales, offers, and coupons – sometimes you’ll get a discount just for signing up! Check out your favourite furniture and homewares stores online and register to receive their updates, and you never know what special offers will come your way.

3. Shop the small businesses: You don’t always need to buy at the trendy chain stores to get your décor and furniture: part of what you’re paying for is a brand time. Try out small, local stores for just as many quality options without the big-brand pricing.

4. Re-Think Second-Hand: Second hand doesn’t necessarily mean second best! Check out your local op shops – as with your furniture, all it takes is some creative thinking and a lick of paint to turn otherwise ordinary objects into quirky accessories for your new home.

Important Things People Forget About During a Move

Your new home is finally done, you’ve taken off a few days from work to devote time to the move, and you feel like you’re finally ready for your new home. It may seem like you have everything under control, but there are always a few things people forget to do during a move. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving to Goose Greek, SC, Charleston, or somewhere else completely different. Moves can be stressful, and when you’re spending time coordinating everything it can be easy to forget things. If your moving day is on the horizon, make sure that you don’t forget to do these crucial tasks.

Find your “hidden” items

You may think you have everything packed, but you may have forgotten some items in out of the way places. If you have crawl spaces, a garage or a shed, make sure that you do a final sweep of these areas. Don’t forget about your attic and some of your shelves. People may also forget to pack the valuables they’ve purposely hidden away to keep safe from thieves. Make sure that you check any of your hidden safes, and boxes with money and jewellery.

Retrieve your loaned items

Who hasn’t lent a few items to their neighbours and friends? A power drill, ladder, or appliance you aren’t really using could help your neighbours a lot more than they help you. If you aren’t careful, however, you could end up accidently making some loaned items into gifts. Make a list of things you’ve loaned to friends and neighbours over the years, and make sure that you collect everything before you move. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you’ll have time to get items later – get them while it’s on your mind and you’re in moving mode.

Gather your records

Do your kids need to switch schools because of your move? Do you have to switch doctors because you won’t be as close to your current one? Make sure to let the right people know that you’re moving so that they can transfer any important documents or information before the move. Make sure that you do it now, and don’t wait until you’re in a bind.

Do a final clean up

Remember that hole in the wall you made when you’re first moved in? Do you still see a blotch of spilled paint on the floor from that project a few years ago? Before you set your sights on a new home, clean any messes you made in the old one. It’s a common courtesy to make sure that your old house is clean before you move, but you should go the extra mile and repair any damage you have made.

Recipe of the Month: 15-minute Chickpea Minestrone

Quick, healthy, easy and budget-friendly – what more could you want in a recipe? Perfect for a simple meal for the busy family, this surprisingly hearty minestrone as an absolute crowd-pleaser!

By using readily-available ingredients and keeping things simple, this is the sort of recipe that becomes a weeknight staple. Throw in some leftover meat or vegetables to stretch it even further or enjoy as-is for an Italian treat.

3 cups tomato pasta sauce
3 cups chicken stock
300g can chickpeas, drained
100g sausage or salami, diced
2 zucchini, diced
1 cup dried pasta shapes
Pinch chilli flakes
Salt & grinds pepper


4 tbsp pesto
1/4 cup grated parmesan


1. In a large saucepan, gently heat all ingredients except garnishes. Simmer until pasta is tender, which will be about 15 minutes.

2. Check seasonings and adjust to your liking.

3. Just before serving, mix in the pesto and grated parmesan. Serve with fresh bread or lightly grilled rolls.

Interest rate update

Homebuyers look set to keep enjoying record-low interest rates as in August the Reserve Bank of Australia confirmed there is no interest rate rise on the cards.

The cash rate has been at 2.5 percent for 12 months and is expected to stay there until, at least, early next year. Inflation is expected to remain consistent at 2 to 3 percent with consumer spending set to increase in line with incomes, if not slightly faster.

“The removal of the price on carbon will lower inflation temporarily over the coming year,” RBA Governor Glenn Stevens stated. Mr Stevens also said that given the present conditions, the board saw some value in maintaining a “sense of steadiness and stability.”

He said at some point business would need to respond to trends indicating sustainable increases in demand, which would mean their current estimations could be considered conservative.

“The frustrating thing is that no one can say when that will happen, or just what might be the proximate trigger,” Mr Stevens said.

Until then, the forecast remains positive for borrowers enjoying the benefit of low interest rates!

Kids DIY: Painted Terracotta Pots

It’s not always easy to find an activity with something for everyone, from children to adults. Here’s an easy DIY for everyone to enjoy, from mum and dad to the HomeStart kids Alice and Charlie – painting terracotta pots.

Whether it’s just for fun, or to make a personal touch for the new house, painting a terracotta pot is both inexpensive and a great family activity. Let the kids go wild with a set of paints, or use some home design inspiration to create a sleek look with paint – turning the basic terracotta pot into a colourful accent for your home or yard.

Here’s what you’ll need: a terracotta pot and saucer, an artist’s paint brush, all-surface primer, acrylic craft paint, acrylic sealer. All of these supplies will be available at your local hardware store, and most of them can be reused in other activities.

Here’s how it’s done: Paint the pot and saucer with primer – this step is even easier if you have spray primer. Allow both of them to dry completely. Next, let out your creative side and paint the pot with acrylic craft paint. You may need 2 or 3 coats of paint to get a bright saturated colour. Kids can paint the pots however they like, try giving them just a few colours if you want to stick to a theme. Otherwise, pick your own design and really personalise it! Do the same with the saucer, allowing them to dry completely between coats of paint. Once your design is finished, apply 2-3 coats of acrylic sealer. Once your sealer is dry, your pot is ready to use!

For an extra touch, use a fine-tipped permanent market to add the year and your children’s name before you seal it, turning each pot into a special keepsake!

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