Politics aside, Alan Jones has some pretty deep soul searching to do. Regardless of your political beliefs, moral code or relaxed attitude to life, Alan Jones is a great example of how people in power should be shut down immediately after saying stupid and vile things.
And how much has politics donkey punched our brains in the wrong direction? Take a young couple (mid 30’s is young yeah?) sitting behind me in a cafe, whilst the news story came on Weekend Sunrise. It was the first time they had seen or heard about the story and their reaction would have been one of disgust right? Yes disgust. Only against Julia! “Get over it woman, he’s just saying it how it is…”
I scooped my 5 year old and 22 month old up (interrupting their double shot lattes) in case the weird virus hovering around us accidentally infected them.
And then it dawned on me. Not everyone sees the world through the same glasses. We have our own ideas on right and wrong based on our own little patch of dirt. And can this be changed? Should this be changed? And if so, how can we change it?
Take the tale about a sandwich maker at a local food court recently. The story was told by one of the guys on my facebook friend list and boy did he get some comments in response, about who was in the right and who was in the wrong. The story goes that a lady waiting in queue asked the sandwich maker to remove her gloves and replace them with new ones, before preparing her sandwich.
“Why? They are only new” the worker responded.
“I don’t want you making my sandwich with contaminated gloves”, the lady said.
“Whatever…I have only made one other sandwich with these gloves”.
“Yes and they are contaminated…” the customer replied.
Simple little conversation that ended up continuing on as a heated debate, and with the comments posted on facebook after it was quoted, it was hard to draw a line in the sand about who was in the right and who was wrong. Was it a needlessly pushy customer who wants to feel important at the sandwich counter? Or the rude worker who has never heard the expression “the customer is always right”? And is the customer always right?
I break it down into the same category as the Alan Jones comment. We shape our opinions on right and wrong by our own experiences, beliefs and self-interests. The strange thing is, whilst the majority of people in Australia would be appalled that someone like Alan Jones could even think something as heinous as that, there are those out and about who AGREE with him! How can you agree with a comment about a man who passed away due to shame, regardless of who his daughter is? Simply put, Alan Jones has lost his marbles, and he should be put out of action so he cannot influence any other “contaminated” human beings.
We seriously need to look at ourselves in the mirror if a comment like that can be deemed appropriate or not by our political stance. Politics is not sport. You cannot afford to back any side in politics based on your “team”. The lead up to the election should not be in the same vein as the grand final between the Swans and the Hawkes or the Bulldogs and The Storm. They are teams vying for a position as Premiers, with supporters who quite often have their team colours in their blood, passed on from generation to generation.
Politics is often the same. Once we take a side we don’t like to swing! The stats prove that. Safe seats are safe because of the batting average of a particular side. Swingers are influenced as a minority, like the son who for some reason dons a Hawke Guernsey whilst his disappointed father backs the Pies.
So what does all this mean?
It means we have to use our brains to comprehend the difference between right and wrong and not our backyard belief system. You may be a staunch National or Liberal voter, but it doesn’t mean Alan Jones makes sense when he says these things.
You may be a Hawke supporter, but it doesn’t mean you can’t admit the Swannies played well.
It’s time we didn’t try to keep up with The Jones’s. It’s time we kept up with common sense and our own better judgement.
Aren’t humans strange creatures?
We all want our homes to sell quickly because the alternative is a long, painfully drawn out process that wears us down. Plus, we already know that the longer a property is on the market, the harder it is to sell, at least for a premium price. Yet, along comes Mr or Mrs Buyer with an offer early in the marketing process and what do we say?
“Wow! If a buyer is already offering me so much for my property this early on in the campaign, I believe I’ll turn it down because logic says that surely there’s a better offer just around the corner!
Logic? I don’t think so. Experience from selling many Wagga Wagga properties, tells me that this thinking is not only common, but those who fall for it stand to lose thousands of dollars. You see, the ‘value perception’ of your property doesn’t magically increase during the lifetime of a marketing campaign. It almost never pans out that way. Indeed, the opposite happens.
It is imperative that you understand that real estate attracts the greatest attention, and has the highest ‘value perception’ within the first few weeks of the marketing process. So when you receive a strong offer early on, you really should carefully consider taking it, or else run the risk of kissing thousands of dollars “goodbye”.
It’s very early on that competition to buy your property is at its peak and when anyone who has “fallen” for your home will make a move quickly by submitting offers. You’ll almost always receive the highest offer in the early stages because it’s then that buyers are fearful of missing out on it. So, whatever you do, don’t fall for what I call ‘Early Offer Paralysis’.
Instead, make a considered judgement, taking into account the advice from your well-chosen agent on whether or not an early offer should be accepted (refer also to the original CMA given to you at the time of signing the agency agreement). That way you’ll know that you’ve sold at the optimum time to achieve the maximum price.
The Key: In many, many instances the best offer is made very early on in the piece. You only get one chance to take that offer up – then it’s gone, forever. Dismissing this advice can cost you thousands.
I’ve decided to start a series of blogs that will appear every now and then, entitled…”There Aren’t Enough Human Beings in the World Like…” followed by someone’s name who I truly admire for whatever reason. I’ve been sparked into this because after a great weekend with a wonderful chap from Sydney, I realised we just don’t say it enough. Quite often we are exactly the opposite! We talk about what went wrong at the restaurant…about how rude and obnoxious some kids down the street were…basically we whinge a lot! So why not spend a couple more seconds focusing on the positive moments in life, inspirations brought on by positive connections with other human beings…and share them? It probably doesn’t sell as many magazines or newspapers…but it would be nice!
So, “There aren’t Enough Human Beings in the World Like Tim Ross.”
Between 1998 and 2002, I was out of University and living in Sydney as a “struggling actor”. There were but three professional inspirations I remember clearly at the time:
1. Russell Crowe – for making it big in Hollywood but keeping himself rather grounded
2. Mel Gibson – childhood idol
3. Merrick and Rosso – couple of blokes carving it up on radio and just starting to venture into TV
The last pair I could really relate to. In fact my mate Sully and I thought we could be the next Merrick and Rosso…we just didn’t know how to get into radio.
So it was with some trepidation that in June 2012, I approached Tim “Rosso” Ross at a conference in Sydney he was speaking at. If you have read Rosso’s book “Mum had a Kingswood”, you will of course know that he has been in this same situation – meeting celebrities and being slightly concerned he would sound like a wanker.
I had the opportunity to grab him for just a few minutes, but little did I know the impact this short conversation would have on the lives of so many others. What started as a compliment about how much I loved his speech, turned into an invitation to come to Wagga Wagga – the reason? To be our first celebrity Ambassador for a Youth Mentoring Recruitment initiative I’m involved in called “Ignite”.
Tim wasn’t just interested in the concept of members of the community being paired with young people who required some form of positive role models in their lives – he also accepted the invitation. It was done on a handshake and the exchange of twitter handles.
Within 48 hours Tim Ross had sent a direct message tweet to me saying let’s work out dates! I was chuffed. Could this actually all work and come together?
Over the following months I liaised with Tim, his management team and Ignite to secure a date and work out schedules. It was all going to happen on the 22nd September 2012.
Fast-forward to the date of the event, and Tim Ross is sitting in my car as we travel into Wagga Wagga. The last thing I wanted, was for him to feel like he was about to experience a scene from “Welcome to Woop Woop”. In actual fact I needn’t have worried because nothing could concern Rosso – he is so laid back and relaxed, it wouldn’t have mattered if I accidentally vomited on his shoes – he’d just say, “It’s cool mate, let’s go buy a new pair…it’s fine”.
So, why exactly is Tim the first person I wanted to write about as being a fine human being and just all round good bloke?
For starters, the way he spoke to a bunch of kids at The Juvenile Justice Centre. Home to some young kids who have done the wrong thing and ended up in gaol for those under 18, some as young as 10.
It would have been pretty daunting. Walking into a massive auditorium with about thirty brooding young blokes looking back at you, and then being told on the spot that you have to do a speech to the boys. Most people probably would have crapped in their tracky dacks, but not Rosso. He just started his talk with a moment from his youth that he thought the boys could relate to, and then preceded to make one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard.
Things that were mentioned were:
“You kids are all good kids, and people love you. What you have to do, is let them love you, let them care for you so that you can believe in yourself too. Because we live in a pretty bloody good country, and I reckon you can do anything you want in this country – you just have to believe in yourself.”
The boys’ eyes had stopped darting around the room and they started to focus just on Tim.
To say the speech was inspirational, touching and relevant would be a massive understatement. These kids were listening.
Tim then broke away from us during the afternoon tea, and just went up to some of the guys to get to know them bit better. Find out where they are from, how old they were, what they could do for kicks whilst inside.
Tim said to me later it was an emotional thing to experience because these are just “kids in tracksuit pants, locked up each night who probably cry about everything in their life at night, trying to get to sleep.”
That night we again found ourselves listening to Rosso. There would have been 120 or so people who had come along to celebrate everything that had been achieved by Ignite. Nearly 200 members of the community had been involved in training to become mentors for young people and our night was to be a true celebration of not only the efforts of the mentors, but also the stories of achievement from a young person’s perspective involved in the programs.
After a few remarkable speeches from some of the people involved directly in the Ignite framework, it was time for Rosso again. He had basically observed all night, listened to different people’s experiences and got to know some people one on one in conversations around the room. He loves to approach people and find out more about them and what’s important in life. So from a few dot points scribed on some scrap paper found on an isolated desk, Tim delivered the next best speech I’ve ever heard!
For starters he had everyone in stitches with anecdotes from his past and the trappings of being a “celebrity” – from neighbouring Delta Goodrem and Cate Blanchette and not being photographed enough in his own street by the “paps” to helping a young kid out years ago who was on struggle street by giving him some work experience that later lead to a successful career in producing on Australian television. Tim “Rosso” Ross did not let us down!
He had some people in tears when describing his experience inside the Juvenile Justice Centre that afternoon and had others thinking about how and why they should get involved in our mentoring initiative.
I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to chaperone one of my true idols around town and was blessed to see him in action with everyone he met. He touched so many lives and made so many people happy.
For those of you who already follow Tim in his blog or through his regular chats on TV and radio, you may surprised by the softer side of a bloke who observes human behaviour and tantalises with deep Aussie wit.
He is a husband, father, friend to many, entertainer, professional and just an all round good bloke.
Thanks Tim for your visit to Wagga Wagga. You’ve changed some lives and created hope for some young people who didn’t think anyone cared.
First Home Owner Grant – Altered arrangements
Date of commencement: 1 October 2012
From 1 October 2012, the First Home Owner Grant will only be payable on the following eligible transactions:
- a contract made on or after 1 October 2012 for the purchase of a new home in New South Wales, or
- a comprehensive home building contract made on or after 1 October 2012 by the owner of land in New south Wales, or by a person who will on completion of the contract be the owner of land in New South Wales to have a new home built on the land; or
- the building of a new home in New south Wales by an owner builder if the building work commences on or after 1 October, 2012.
A new home is a home that has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence and includes a substantially renovated home (further defined in the Act) and a home built to replace demolished premises (also further defined in the Act).
A contract made on or after 1 October, 2012 is not an eligible transaction if it replaces a contract made before 1 October 2012 and the replaced contract was for the purchase of the same home or was a comprehensive building contract to build the same or a substantially similar home. The contract would be taken to have commenced at the commencement date of the replaced contract.
First Home Owner grant cap
From 1 October 2012 the amount of the first home owner grant cap is $650 000, unless another amount is prescribed by the regulations.
Amount of Grant
The amount of the first home owner grant is:
- in the case of an eligible transaction with a commencement date on or after 1 October 2012 but before 1 January 2014 – $15 000 or
- in the case of an eligible transaction with a commencement date on or after 1 January 2014 - $10 000
Eligible transactions entered into prior to 1 October 2012 will be subject to the requirements of the Act as in force immediately before its amendment.
Up until 30 September 2012 a First Home Owner Grant of $7000.00 will continue to be payable on existing homes, new homes and building contracts. From 1 October 2012 onwards no First Home Owner grant will be payable in relation to existing homes that are not new homes.
If you have any questions or would like to comment in relation to the above matters, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Ph: (02) 6933 6936
1800 643 779
Ph: (02) 6924 1611
Ph: (02) 6933 6943
Final Year Law Clerk
Ph: (02) 6933 6958
Ph: (02) 6933 6988
Ph: (02) 6929 3010
Ph: (02) 6947 1966
Ignite Mentor is a community based recruitment group, looking for suitable mentors to become positive role models in the lives of young people in Wagga Wagga. The programs have been around for some time, both in the Education system and the Community based systems, however increasing the number of mentors required has always been a challenge. Ignite compliments those already involved in the existing programs by providing the publicity, media attention and connections required to bring new mentors into the lives of young people.
From the very start we have aimed to keep our Mentoring initiative clean and simple. Our five step process to becoming a mentor allows for an easy transition for those wanting to start their volunteer work and we have always wanted to keep our fund raising to just two events a year. Those two events are; “Ignite the Night” and “Ignite Movie Night”.
“Ignite the Night” will be kicking off on 22nd September 2012 with the Inaugral event proving to be a must on the social calendar. It is a celebration recognising everything mentors and young people have been through over the last 12 months and to celebrate the fact that Ignite has now reached a milestone of over 100 mentors in the programs. Such a feat could not have been possible without the assistance of so many others, including our wonderful supporters, partners and sponsors of Ignite.
Our first ever celebrity Ambassador will be none other than Tim “Rosso” Ross of Merrick and Rosso fame. After a chance encounter with one of Ignite’s co-founders, Adam Drummond, Rosso said with a firm handshake that he would make the trip to Wagga Wagga to celebrate the launch of Ignite Mentor. He also waived any appearance fee for the event illustrating what a top bloke he really is. Tim is not just one of Australia’s top comedians, radio and TV personalities, he also an accomplished author (his book based on his life “Mum Had A Kingswood” will be signed and auctioned on the night), as well as an expert on retro Australian architecture – yes, you heard right!
The founders of Ignite Mentor are Melissa “Mary” O’Neill from Anglicare Riverina and who acts as the co-ordinator of the community based programs, Laurinda Motion from Department of Education and Communities and who acts as the co-ordinator of the education based programs, Jeremy Hutchings from Action Coach Wagga and Adam Drummond from Fitzpatricks Real Estate. Jeremy and Adam provide the many connections required to bring on fresh mentors to the programs.
So if you are looking for a top night out and would love to meet Rosso, the founders of Ignite and find out what all the hype is about, pop along to the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery (Partners of the event) at 5pm to 7.30pm Saturday 22nd September. Tickets are just $30 each and are available from Anglicare Riverina 1 Church Street Wagga Wagga (cash only accepted). Ticket covers entry to the event, entertainment provided by Rob “Mossy” Moss, alcohol, soft drinks, and canapés (supplied by the very generous Storehouse Deli in Baylis Street).
We are also receiving a helping hand from local celebrity Katrina “From the Block” Chambers who has written up a blog on her site and who will also be coming along on the night. Katrina has recently been named Australia’s Top Blogger too, so her words have a widespread impact!
Hope to see you on the night, tell some friends and as usual if you have any questions you can contact me via:
mobile 0413 571 974
Some people know my story about the night I met Russell Crowe…and yes, this is a name drop story. But it was a night he taught me something I’ll never forget.
It was 1997 and whilst Russell Crowe had just wrapped shooting LA Confidential, I was a struggling Acting Student at Charles Sturt University having just finished my first stage performance. One morning whilst reading the paper, I noticed that Rusty himself was going to be in town – playing in his band “30 Odd Foot of Grunt” at The Broadway (now The Capital). I had to be there. I HAD to meet him!
My girlfriend (now wife) turned up early to meet R.C. and believe it or not within minutes of having our first drink, he was introduced to us through a friend who had already stalked him out. “Adam’s an actor” the friend exclaimed to him. “Fair dinkum, mate?” I nodded – speechless. “Why don’t you come back stage after we’ve played and we’ll grab a beer together?” I nodded – speechless.
Rusty eventually got up and played. He finished. I waited. Then went over to the curtain that blocked the public from going back stage. I was met at eye level by the chest of Russell’s security guard. “Piss off mate” he said. “I was asked to come back here by Russell” I said without breaking a beat. He just looked at me (and gave me a vegemite sandwich – kidding).
Russell just happened to be leaning into an upturned fridge filled with ice and Melbourne Bitter. “Nah, mate. He’s right, I asked him back here.” I couldn’t believe it. I was about to have a beer with Russell Crowe!!!
We went out back to The Saloon Bar and shot some pool, talked about acting and…stuff. At one point I said to him, “I just finished my first play…as the lead and I stunk”. “How do you know?” he asked genuinely concerned. “Because the reviews in the paper said I was crap.”
Rusty put both hands on my shoulders and said, “Mate, you never, ever get waylaid by the fish’n’chip paper!” They are words that have helped me through a lot. Critics are a part of life. It’s how you respond that makes the difference. And that leads me in a round about way to my latest video. I secretly love acting even though I haven’t done it for over ten years (and I’m not terribly good at it either) – but I like it. So I combined the two things I love – acting and property to help shine some light on my friends’ property I’m selling in Estella. Now, I know not everyone will love this…there are always critics, but I thought I’d share it anyway because there’s no point getting waylaid by the fish’n’chip paper!
WHAT’S ‘BEAUTIFUL’ WORTH? Guest Blog
By Marilyn Lewis
In real-estate listings, what’s the difference between describing your home as “beautiful” versus “move-in condition”? About $12,500 on a $250,000 home.
Professor Paul Anglin, a real-estate economist in Guelph, Ontario, says that homes described as “beautiful” in real-estate listings sell for 5% more while “move-in condition” has no effect on sale price.
Anglin and his colleagues from the University of Windsor and researchers from Canada Mortgage and Housing examined about 20,000 real-estate listings and sales data in Windsor and Essex counties, Ontario, from between 1997 and early 2000. Among other things, they studied how listings’ phrasing affected sale prices and the length of time it took for the listings to close.
When speed is of the essence
Listings with the words “beautiful” or “gorgeous” sold 15% faster. “Landscaping” in a listing hastened a sale by 20%. Describing a property as in “move-in condition” quickened the sale by 12%. Calling a home a “handyman special” cut sale time by half (researchers excluded listings that used the term to describe a workshop or hobby area).
Other familiar jargon, such as “must see” or “vacant,” or including the information that a seller was moving, had virtually no effect on the time before a sale.
The kiss of death appears to be language that reeks of desperation — words such as “motivated” and “must sell.” These slowed sales by 30%. The term “ranch” house slowed sales by 10%. Properties described as rentals (income-producing) took 60% longer to sell.
Though Anglin assumes the basic effects he identified are universal, the size of their impact will vary by locale, he says.
Do you believe in magic words?
Is there magic in these words? Does the concrete, visual nature of “landscaping,” for example, fire a buyer’s imagination?
Stella Frize, a real-estate agent in Cerritos, Calif., believes so. But for her, the magic word is “turnkey.”
“Any time I see the word ‘turnkey,’ I expect that house is in immaculate condition,” she says.
Frize’s business partner has his own favorite turn of phrase: “He always writes, ‘This could be the best buy in town.’ He believes in this wholeheartedly. We put it on every listing. It’s like good karma for us. We have sold 100% of our listings.”
What surprises Anglin is that some hot words not only speed a sale but also seem to raise the closing price. “If a house is described as ‘beautiful,’ everybody expects it to sell for a higher price,” he says. “The thing that surprised me is that it sells for a higher price — and faster. … I don’t have a good explanation for it.”
Maybe, he says, buyers’ idea of beauty includes features such as structural integrity, a good neighborhood and excellent upkeep, qualities agents call “curb appeal,” which allay the fears buyers usually bring to big transactions.
The right words pay off in speed and money*
|Term||Effect on time until sale||Effect on list price||Effect on selling price|
|Source: “House Prices and Time-till-sale in Windsor,” Professor Paul Anglin, University of Guelph, Ontario
*The study examined roughly 20,000 listings in Windsor and Essex counties, Ontario, from between 1997 and early 2000. The effects shown are averages; wide variations appeared within categories.
Language + price = sale
None of this is to suggest that opting for “must see” over “must sell” is all it takes to sell your house quickly and garner a higher list price. The hot words have to be used accurately, and they must be combined with the right price.
“The single most important message that a seller can send to a buyer is their choice of list price,” Anglin’s study says.
Thus, the study does not illustrate a triumph of style over substance, Anglin says, but how certain words, used accurately, can boost a listing’s power. Although “beautiful” seems to make a house sell faster, using the term dishonestly can offend buyers and create distrust that will backfire on a seller.
“The basic idea is that you are trying to find the one buyer who is going to buy the house. As a seller, you hope they’ll pay a high price and quickly find your house. But usually it does not work that way,” Anglin says. “It takes some time to find a buyer, and usually the buyer does not want to pay a high price. The purpose of the listing information is to attract not just any buyer but the buyers who would like the house that you are trying to sell.”
That’s why, although “handyman special” may sound negative — “most people do not want to go anywhere near that place,” Anglin notes — it’s an efficient, positively framed means of isolating such properties for the specific buyers interested in tackling fixer-uppers.
Home size, too, is another important factor. The smaller the property, the quicker the sale. One-bathroom homes sold 13% faster. Homes with three bathrooms took 50% longer to sell. Homes with two stories or more took more than 20% longer.
The size-speed relationship makes sense to real-estate agent Joe Dobson of Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Smaller homes usually cost less, and there’s more competition in lower price ranges, he says.
For the most part, Dobson says, his experience bears out Anglin’s research, with a couple exceptions. “‘Motivated,’ that’s been beat to death. In a slowing market, every seller is ‘motivated,’” Dobson says.
But sometimes, he says, desperate language can work when accompanied by an emotion-laden explanation such as “must sell due to health reasons” or — a phrase Dobson likes but has found occasion to use only three times in his 36-year career — “divorce dictates dumping.”
Inspired by the original Tudor Style, this home will hold a special place in the most romantic of hearts.
Call me to arrange your inspection of this Tolland Heights gem. 0413 571 974.
Adam Drummond speaks with WIN TV reporter Sarah Burnell about Wagga Wagga having some suburbs where properties are cheaper to buy rather than rent.
Report supplied by RP Data, footage courtesy of WIN TV Riverina.
There’s no doubt about it – my old footy mates are going to have plenty to say about this article. At the end of the day, they should just be quiet and hand it to their wives to read!
Planning to Redecorate? Make a Mood Board for Inspiration and Fun
A mood board is one of the best bits about interior design.
So what exactly is a mood board?
Essentially, a mood board is a way of harnessing and visually illustrating inspiration and ideas. Typically, interior designers will use pictures from magazines, wallpaper samples, pieces of ribbon, fabric swatches, dried flowers, paint charts, photographs, buttons, shells… anything and everything that captures the ‘flavour’ of the room they’re gathering ideas for.
Why bother with one?
There’s nothing more disheartening than realising all the textures, colours and patterns in your newly decorated room don’t actually work together. The beauty of the mood board is that it keeps you focused on what you do and don’t need.
What raw materials do I need?
A whiteboard or a big piece of card (ideally A1 size), a pair of scissors and a fresh pack of Blu Tac or thumb pins.
How do I get started?
It often helps if you have a single item to build your mood board around – be it a favourite chair, rug, wallpaper design, cushion or anything with colours or textures that you love. Take a photo of it and stick it in the middle of your board where it will act as the anchor focus for the scheme.
Where do I find the bits and pieces to make up my mood board?
A good starting point is interior design magazines and interiors features from the weekend papers. It’s also worth spending half an hour online calling in catalogues from your favourite stores. Rip out any images that catch your eye and stick them on haphazardly – you can finesse it later!
Paint charts from your local DIY centre are great for colour inspiration and remember, don’t just restrict yourself to imagery, add anything and everything that evokes mood or texture. It could be dried flowers, buttons, shells, ribbons, fabric swatches, leaves… The only rule with a mood board is there are no rules, so give your creativity free rein!
Why not try doing a mood board on Pinterest? Here is an example from Nicole McCarroll our Marketing Co-Ordinator at Fitzpatricks Real Estate.
Once you’ve assembled all your items, take a step back and simply observe. Discard anything that jars or doesn’t flow. Now begin to move things around, playing with contrasts and different textures. Try sticking a piece of charcoal velvet next to a lime green ribbon – happy accidents happen when you go with the flow. Some designers find it helps to put images of floor coverings near the bottom of the board and overhead lights near the top to create a semblance of how the room will come together. Try it – it may work for you.
Take a photograph of your mood board and when you hit the shops to turn your vision into reality, you can be sure you’re on the right track.