About the author  ⁄ Rodger Schmeltzer

Living right by the Dandenong Ranges, the picturesque low hill area near Melbourne, is a dream come true for many. Luckily for Melbournites, there are plenty of desirable suburbs in the area to buy and invest in property. Here are the best neighbourhoods for families and singles wanting to move to the ranges suburbs:


This small village surrounded by hills is one of the best known suburbs in the Dandenong ranges area. It’s got the best of both worlds. The suburb is located at the heart of the ranges, but it’s not too far from the Melbourne Central Business District region. You can commute to and from the city on a daily basis in relative comfort. Houses in this neighbourhood are rather affordable as well, especially for singles or new couples wanting to settle down with kids.

The suburb is best known for the historic Puffing Billy Railway that snakes through the ranges. This former logging town has properties of all kinds to invest in, including affordable weatherboard houses as well as renovated contemporary two-storey homes. The scenery is definitely amazing. There are also excellent facilities in town, including shops, cafes, and a cinema.


Unlike Belgrave, Tecoma is the type of small down that defines this hilly and forested region. This small suburb is quiet and peaceful. It has a train station and a primary school. Shopping is not as vast as in larger suburbs, but there are several fast food joints. The best part about the suburb is that it adjoins the Sherbrooke Forest.

This suburb is rich in history and biodiversity. The small township only has a few homes available throughout the year, but the demand is high because of the quaint atmosphere. If you want to invest in property in a region like Tecoma, it’s highly recommended to consult with agents like First National Real Estate Ranges who specialise in the area.


It hardly gets more Australian than Cockatoo. This pristine suburb is located in the heart of the Dandenong Ranges. This charming neighbourhood is surrounded by gorgeous scenery so much so it feels more like an eco-retreat than a suburb. Cockatoo is a great place to raise a family thanks to a number of excellent local schools.

Despite being in the middle of the ranges, this suburb is well developed. It has multiple supermarkets, schools, and the town offers many entertainment options. The suburb also connects easily to other suburbs in the area like Belgrave and Emerald.


Emerald is popular among home buyers and renters thanks to the suburb’s close proximity to Melbourne CBD. The township has many schools but it also provides easy access to the top-ranking schools located in the city. The suburb provides access to public transport including a train line.

It’s the ideal suburb to live in to enjoy both the amenities of city life and the beauty of the ranges area. The suburb is surrounded by forest and there are plenty of nature trails to escape to on the weekends. Emerald is also considered a top neighbourhood for real estate investment because the city limits are expanding close to the suburb.

If you are hoping to invest in a starter home or to buy a second or third rental home in the ranges, you can choose any of the suburbs listed above.

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Are you thinking about building your own home? The project is sure to be one that is exciting and challenging at the same time. You need to be very wise when you make the decisions in every aspect of building your home and you definitely will need to have a lot of discussion in order to make sure that you are making the right choices as well. If you are unable to make the right choices when it comes to building your home from the start you will have to face a lot of issues later especially when it comes to structural integrity. Here are some of the most common mistakes that people tend to make when they are building a home so that you can avoid them when building yours.

Trying To Go DIY

Always remember that there are projects which can be done on a DIY basis and projects that will be done without the need to do everything by yourself. Building a sturdy home is one of those projects where you need to be intelligent. Yes it will be expensive to hire others to do the building but unless you have all the right skills, expertise, knowledge and tools to build it yourself you should not try to attempt anything of the sort. If you try to do so you will end up with wasting a lot of time and money and not really even having a house that is suitable for occupancy.

Not Buying Quality Materials

The materials that you use for the construction of your home are really important and also are the main contributors to deciding how strong your home will really be. If you do not buy materials of high quality you will have a house that is weak and not resilient at all. From granite, sand and cement to steel mesh sheets, wood and everything else, make sure that you buy only high-quality raw materials. With a little bit of research, you should actually be able to make sure that you are getting all of these at a reasonable price as well and there is no real reason why you should be compromising on quality just so you could save a few bucks now and lose a lot more somewhere down the line.

Not Hiring the Right Builders

The next mistake that many people tend to do is choosing the wrong builders for the job. They should be reliable to start with and you should be able to communicate with them with ease. They should be reachable always and you should not have any clashes when it comes to telling them that you want things built in a certain way. Of course this is your house but if they also tell you that a certain design will not be very strong for the house, you should consider their advice as well because they are specialized at what they do. Try to get recommendations when you choose builders so that you know you are getting the help of somebody that is credible.

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There are a lot of things money can buy. If you are living a luxurious life and you have all the money to burn, most probably, you are enjoying everything that money can buy. You might also consider buying a real estate property, but you don’t know which among them you will buy with the lot of choices that you can choose from.

You might already be thinking about your future and you consider real estate as a good investment or you want to invest your hard earned money into an income producing property. We have narrowed down the list of real estate properties that you can choose from in order to make the decision part easier for you.

1.    Properties in Good Shape

More people find buying a new house expensive so they resort to second-hand homes. What they do not realize is that they might be shedding larger sum of money with this because there are a lot of things to fix and renovation is a must too. It will also consume a lot of time before you can finally use it or make it income generating. It is better that you buy properties that are new or that is in an almost new state to lessen other expenses that might come along the way.

2.    Properties in a Good Location

The location of a real estate property is a big deal. More people find it better if it is located in a strategic area – somewhere near establishments. This will also increase your revenue if you plan on leasing your property. Nobody would choose to live in a far-flung place not unless you want to live away from civilization. You should always consider the location of the property before buying it.

3.    Properties with Low Vacancy

If you are planning to buy a property which can generate you income, of course, look for an area with low vacancy rate. This property might be located near establishments or near schools where people need a place to stay while they are away from home. Properties that are vacant have a high tendency that robbery will take place and there is a security threat which makes it not an ideal place to stay. There are people who can help you manage your properties like Perth property management which can assist you in everything as long as it concerns your property.

4.    Properties You Will Own a Lifetime

This is probably your main reason why you want to buy a real estate property. You want to own something that you can call your own as long as you are living. You want a property that you can even give to your children which makes it very important that you buy a property that you really like. Do not settle for something good when you can have the best.

Buying a real estate property isn’t as easy as eating a piece of cake, it may not even be your cup of tea. What is important is that you invest your money in things that you really want and on things that really matter to you. It is also in utmost importance that you invest into something that you can run to in times of trouble.

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Have you ever thought about including something that would be unique and interesting to your home? It does not have to only be furniture or architecture it could also be technology. Having a home that is just like the one you always dreamed of having is something that is really fulfilling to a lot of people and it is also something that many would work really hard to achieve. When you finally get this home, if you can make improvements to it and make sure that it is really something you and your loved ones would always enjoy. Here are some interesting features that can really add to the beauty of your home and also increase the level of comfort in it.

Green Electricity

One of the main things that you can and should really consider having is green electricity. You could contact one of the many   commercial solar  power suppliers in your area and get their help to install this feature in your home. Not only will it provide you with the opportunity to be environmentally friendly but it will also let you enjoy really low utility bills and help you live life more comfortably knowing that you can use your appliances without fear that you would have to pay something massive at the end of each month. It is also something that will help increase the value of your home.

Open Area Inside The House

Open areas have long been a part of houses but even then not all homeowners think about having it included in their home. However while it can be a little bit of work to maintain it and the likes, if you have the opportunity to actually include an open area in your home, it will be something that will not just add beauty and unique character into the house, but it will also act as a huge stress buster and an area that will always serve to cool off the rest of the house. Make sure that you only use plants that can easily be maintained and grown and that you keep this area clean always so that you can enjoy it in the best way possible.

Water Features

Another really interesting thing to include in your home would be water features. You need not have something massive and really expensive, a really small yet beautiful DIY fish pond would still do the job. The fact that there is a water feature in your home, especially something like a fish pond will give you the chance to relax and take a break even in the middle of a very busy day in your home. It will help cool off the house if it is inside and if it is in your garden, it will add more aesthetic appeal to it. Depending upon your budget you can definitely play around with the complexity of the water feature and see how big you want it to be and if there are any additional features like a waterfall or statues and the likes included in it.

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Buying a home is not as easy as it seems. At times, everything that you need to know will not be given to you not unless you ask for it. It is very important then to ask as many questions as you can before finally buying because you fell in love at the place the first time you saw it. Being able to ask the right questions will help you decide whether the house is the one you are looking for or not.

1. What Is The Offering Price?

Usually, you compare the price from homes nearby which are a good thing rather than comparing the price of other homes you have visited. The agent should be able to provide you with details regarding this matter and in as much as he should be able to tell you how long has the house been in the market to give you an idea on how far can you negotiate. Furthermore, the condition and location of the house also have a bearing on what the price will be. Usually, houses located near establishments costs higher while houses that are somewhat far from the city cost less.

2. What Is The Condition Of The House?

It is important to ask what the condition of the house is so that you will have an idea on how much money will you shed out once you buy the house and decided to give it a new look. It is through this that you will also know if the price is fixed because there are already deductions into the price to cover up that matter or the price is still negotiable. In addition, it is also important to ask the condition of the house for you to figure out if your budget will be enough to cover the things that needs fixing in the house after finally purchasing it.

3. Is It Strategically Located?

Mostly, you can observe if the house is located in a strategic place or not, but there is nothing wrong if you ask about it. Most property such as real estate Manningham is located in places that are close to busy areas. Houses in desirable locations have higher prices compared to houses of not so desirable location. Of course, you wouldn’t like to live in a place wherein you have to travel for hours before you can finally reach the grocery store or live in a place where the neighbourhood is noisy, right? Thus, it is very important to ask about the location of the house.

4. Is There Anything That Is Not Included In The Sales?

You might have visited the house with complete amenities, furniture and all, but the recent owner intends to move everything out once the property is sold. You need to ask such thing in order for you to know what is included and what is not included. Asking such question will enable you to know what you are really paying for and be sure to include everything you paid for in the contract to avoid misunderstanding when the time comes.

5. Has Anything Unusual Happened In The House?

This information will not be given to you, not unless you ask the owner or the agent. It is even better if you directly as the owner as they can give you exactly what you need to know because they have tried living in the house. They know the feeling of living in there. At times, your agent will discourage you to ask such question, but you should be very particular with this before deciding to buy it or not.

In buying a house, it is ultimately your decision whether you are going to buy it or not. You should be responsible enough to know everything before finally jumping out of joy because you have your own house after years of hard work. You should ask a lot of questions so that your efforts and hard work will not be in vain for buying a house that you never dreamed off.

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A domestic house would generally be framed with lumber but imagine a world where steel would be used in the framework of our houses. Builders all around the world are starting to make use of this raw material as an integral part of the construction. Steel has a vast advantage over lumber in terms of its weight and serves as a very good substitute as a lightweight sturdy material sufficient to support the structure of a home. Steel has also proven how durable it can be, does not warp with age like wood does and is non-combustible.

Provides Good Structural Strength

Steel has been scientifically proven to be the strongest in terms of weight ratio for any type of construction building material. It looks solid, feels solid and instills confidence in both builders and homeowners alike. While wood may not give your house a perfect symmetry, steel would ensure that your walls and alignment is perfect as steel is never inconsistent in its structure and would give a very neat finish to your house.

Greater Safety From Fire Hazards

Steel is non-combustible does nothing to spread or entice a fire. It also reduces the risk of a fire spreading and can minimize the damage caused by the unfortunate event of a fire. Wood in comparison serves as a fuel for the fire and may lead a moderate flame in becoming an uncontrollable one with extensive damage to your property.

Resistance Against Mold

Mold is a common problem in wood, as wood provides an almost perfect organic source for a mold build-up. Mold can lead to an unhealthy environment and may cause breathing ailments in the long especially if you have kids in the house.

Resistance To Termites

Termites are amongst the most troublesome and annoying pests that can infest your home. These little insects can cost you millions if you aren’t careful. They eat wood to sustain themselves and can lead to the timber in your house getting degraded over time. Steel is, of course, resistant to termites and would not suffer any weaknesses in structural integrity due to any kind of wood-eating pests even wood-ants for example. Builders like JG king homes understand the threat of termites to households and place a lot of emphasis on the application of steel for construction as a result.

Saves Money On Utility Bills

Steel does not respond to variations in temperature and humidity and would mean it would be less costly for you to keep your house warm and cool depending on the climate due to a lower consumption of electricity. Lower consumption of electricity means a lower electricity bill. This would not only reduce your monthly expenses but also help you do your part for the environment by saving up on scarce resources.

Saves Time In The Construction Process

When builders use steel for construction it usually takes less time as there is very little material and time wasted as each piece of steel is usually cut and perfectly measured to streamline the process. Steel is perfect in structure, making it a considerably easier building material to work for builders.

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Offices use up a lot of electricity and the bills usually go up to thousands of dollars. This means that the amount of electricity being used is almost through the roof, what with all the devices that have been plugged in, the lights, air conditioning and the like. If a small company would use so much electricity just imagine the kind of electricity that is being used by a multi-storied high rise? As a business owner no matter how big or small your business is, you would definitely want to cut down on all the big payments that you make on a monthly basis for all your utilities. Here are some ways in which you can make that happen.

Switch to Something More Economic

One of the best ways in which you can make sure that your utilities are not sky high each month is by switching to an option that is more economical and budget friendly. A commercial solar system, for example, will really go a long way in maintaining low utility costs. And you will be able to enjoy all the electrical facilities in your building without having to pay such large sums of money for it. This way you know that no matter what the consumption is you will not have to bleed cash out each month on the bills. You will be able to use that money in some other area of business that needs development.

Educate Your Employees

Responsible usage of electricity is something that everyone should actively play a role in and that includes your employees too. Often they are of the mindset that this is their office and not their home and therefore it really does not matter whether they remember to unplug things and turn off the lights and the likes. However, as responsible adults they do have a big part to play in making sure that the amount of electricity used is something that is not wasteful. The amount of fossil fuel depletion and the pollution that it also causes should be enough warning to any sensible adult as to why they should be a bit more careful when using electricity.

Use Electricity Sensibly

Sometimes in offices, we can see that electricity is being used in really unproductive ways that will not really serve any purpose. For example, by leaving a fan on in one area it will not cool off the rest of the space as well and will only be effective in the area that it has been fixed. The same goes for air conditioning too. One more way of how electricity is used wrongly is that there are many lights fixed all over in the hopes that the office will be brighter, whereas what should ideally happen is that the lights should only be directly focused on the areas that are being used only. By doing this you will be using fewer lights than you are at the moment and they will not be lit up for no purpose as well.


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When you have a house of your own, you need to be responsible regarding it. There are various matters that you will need to handle when you are taking care of your house. It would do well for you to understand that each and every step that you take towards making your house better, will lead up to your own satisfaction. Out of the various aspects of the house that you need to take into consideration, the looks of it would take a significant place.

A good-looking house would be able to make your time there much more pleasant. No one wants to come to a house that looks bad after a long day of work. The attractive nature of the house will contribute towards giving you much relaxation, and it is possible for one to create positive impressions on the house through visitors if the house looks good.

There is actually so much that can be done by you to ensure that your house looks great. It is up to you to decide the most effective steps that can be followed regarding the matter. Given below are 3 effective steps that work on any house in giving it the ideal look it deserves to have!

Clean the house up

Firstly, you need to dedicate yourself towards cleaning the house in a proper manner. There are various matters that will need to be taken into account in such a cleaning. You need to keep in mind that merely sweeping and vacuuming the house will not do the trick. The cleaning process has to be thorough, and it will be necessary for you to get rid of the unwanted items in the house through the cleaning. Once that is done, your house would look quite fresh.

Paint the house again

After giving your house a fresh look after cleaning, you can take it a step further by painting the house again. This will surely make your house look as good as new! You simply have to pick a colour scheme and choose a good painter to attend to the requirements. Individuals are often surprised as to how well a good paint job can make a house look better. If you take the right steps, you are in for a pleasant surprise as well!

Here, it will be ideal if you could choose the most reputed painters in your locale. That would ensure that the paint-job will be done to perfection. As an example, if you happen to live in Adelaide, doing a bit of a search and finding the best residential painters Adelaide will prove to be one of the most effective steps that you can take.

Change the furniture layout

After painting the house, you can try changing the furniture layout of the house to figure out a new look for the house. This can be quite fun, and when done right, it will finalize the ideal look that you’ve been wanting for your house. You can even make new furniture additions as you see fit!

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Are you planning on buying any real estate in the near future? If so you must always be prepared to undertake a certain amount of risk with your investment. However it will be a relief to know that with every purchase there are ample ways and means to ensure that you are not making the wrong decision. Here are some of the main things that you need to think about before you purchase any real estate.

What Kind Of Real Estate Are You Looking For And Why?

One of the biggest questions that you need to ask yourself is what kind of real estate you are looking for. It could be a home, commercial space, building or an apartment. What defines the type of real estate that you are looking for also depends on its purpose. You need to decide why you are looking to purchase this. Perhaps it could be for personal use or maybe you want it as an investment. In either case, knowing what exactly you want from the beginning is the best way to invest in real estate.

Can You Do This By Yourself?

While you may have some knowledge of how you need to purchase real estate it would be safe to say that you may or may not be an expert or professional in the field. Especially if you are a first-time purchaser you will not have all the awareness to make an informed and well-calculated choice. Therefore in such situations, you could get the help of professionals like PMC Property Buyers so that you will be able to understand what needs to be done before you finalize your decision.

What Is Your Budget?

Next up, you also need to think about the budget that you have allocated for this choice. You may be unsure of the budget that you have and might be looking to get some financial aid. If so, you will need to know beforehand about the kind of documents and information needed for the process. So, when you finally decide to get the help you need, you will need not run into any hiccups that can delay the purchase and even cause you to lose the offer that was made to you.

buyers agent sydney

Did You Get An Inspection Done?

Purchasing any kind of real estate no matter how big or small, costly or cheap, without a proper inspection being done on it is a bad choice. Without an inspection, you really have no way of knowing about any potential issues with the real estate that may need your attention to be rectified. After getting the inspection done you will be in a much better and safer position to compare the kind of costs that you are incurring through the purchase to the potential ROI and decide whether this choice is the right one for you. Always try and take the time to consider all these points before you finalize on the real estate that you want to purchase.

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If you want to get a better price for the property you are selling, it is really important that you get it ready. There are so many improvements that you can make and visual modifications that need to be considered. The prospective buyer will surely take all problems into account, ranging from a broken light to a leaky faucet.

If you are organizing an open house event, be sure that you make the following repairs as they are the ones that will have the highest possible influence on the negotiation process.

Start With A Home Inspection

Before anything is done, it is a good idea to do a home inspection. The buyer will most likely want this anyway so you can present it when the buying process starts. The reason why you want the home inspection to be done is that it can highlight different serious problems the property has and you had no idea about. In some situations they need to be taken care of before any hope of getting a buyer appears, like foundation problems that can impact overall home safety.

Continue With Curb Appeal Improvements

This is the topic that is the most documented on the internet. You are going to find numerous articles about how to increase property curb appeal. The bottom line you need to remember is that it is really important that you make the home look better from the moment it is seen by the potential buyer. This includes landscaping and even painting the exterior of the house. Do be sure the exterior looks as attractive as possible if you are interested in making a sale through an open house event.

Make Sure Everything Works

It is common to just postpone some home work that would be needed because of financial constraints but before the open house event you do need to be sure everything works as it should. The two things that you have to always think about are: electrical work and plumbing systems.

Speaking about electricity, a common approach from some buyers is to just turn on everything that consumes in order to see if the system can hold. Make sure this does happens and also do buy light bulbs so whenever a light is turned on, it works.

When referring to plumbing work, if there are leaks, the best thing you can do is to contact a plumber in Melbourne or where the property is. Buyers will actually love hearing the fact that a specialist plumber took care of the system and made sure all works as it should.

Painting Rooms

This is one of the simplest things you can do in order to increase curb appeal and make the property more attractive. Try to go for colors that are neutral since you want to allow the buyer to see himself living in the home. Anything too bold, like red ceilings or black bathrooms, can reduce the number of people that would be interested, unless an interior designer did some great work.


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