The humble suburban shop was once the destination for early morning milk runs, newspaper pick-ups and ice creams after school. But with the rise of large shopping centres boasting huge supermarkets and retailers, the little corner store seemed certain to disappear.

Headlines welcomed the ‘death of Canberra’s suburbs’ and speedy growth in housing around the inner north and south painted a foregone conclusion, but Canberra isn’t ready to let go of their local suburban shops just yet.

Revitalisation efforts, which typically see small businesses move into government-owned shops, has taken on many shapes in Canberra. Cafes and small restaurants remain a favourite, but community spaces and galleries are also on the rise across the city.

The ACT Government appears to understand the importance of revitalising our suburban shops, working to upgrade 20 of the 66 shops across the city in the last decade, according to government data provided to the Canberra Times.

According to Mark Larmer of Independent Property Group, growth and renewal of a suburb has plenty of benefits for buyers and homeowners.

“For many buyers, lifestyle is just as important as the property itself. People want the benefit of living in an established suburb – the large backyard, access to public transport, good schools. But they also want the convenience of being close to cafes and shops.

The more a suburb has to offer the more attractive it is to buyers. Properties become more valuable and homeowners benefit from an increase in demand. All residents get to enjoy the perks of revitalisation, it’s a win for everyone”.

Having limited ourselves to sipping long blacks on Lonsdale Street for too long, we set out to venture across Canberra and discover more about the suburbs leading the way in revitalisation. Continue reading


Energy saving tips from our favourite TV shows

The media has been full of speculation lately about the future of the energy market in Australia. Gas and electricity prices are soaring, while usage continues to grow. ‘Clean’ coal, solar, wind, natural gas, and now a re-vamped Snowy Mountains hydro-electric scheme have all been touted as potential solutions to the growing energy needs of our population.

All of this makes the Perspective team want to hide under the doona and watch Netflix. This is a perfectly normal response to stress, in our opinion, but maybe we could learn something from our favourite TV shows.

This week we raise the question: how would characters from our favourite TV shows save energy? And what everyday energy-saving tips can we learn from them?

Continue reading


Property tips to help with your New Year’s resolutions

A big welcome to 2017 from everyone here at Perspective!

Like many of you, we have a whole suite of resolutions planned for this year. In fact, some of us may have gone overboard. Unfortunately the statistics don’t look good. Online research from Statistics Brain says only 9.2% of respondents kept their 2016 New Year’s resolutions.

But we won’t let that dissuade us, because apparently 2017 is a ‘one’ year, according to people with more experience in numerology than us. It’s a year of rebirth and positivity.

So on that note, and because we’re your biggest fans, we’ve giving you some help in achieving some of what Time Magazine says are the Top 10 Most Commonly Broken New Year’s Resolutions. And when we say some, we mean eight because hey, we’re property professionals, not life coaches. Continue reading


Shophouse living—the good, the bad and the highly convenient.

As broke uni students there was only one way we could afford to live in Brisbane’s West End—in a one bedroom flat above the one of the many Asian restaurants that lined the narrow, bustling streets. It was magic. We lived off cold takeaway, except for pay day when we’d duck across the road to the local farmer’s grocery store and then cook a ratatouille on the small stove in our kitchenette. With no air conditioning, in the summer we’d open the windows and lay in bed with the tumultuous sounds of city living travelling in on the humid Queensland breeze. The early shift at work meant rolling out of bed, dragging on jeans and a white shirt and heading to the cafe next door, maybe five, ten steps away. Afterward we’d jump on our bikes—because who needs a car when you live in the heart of the city—and get to uni just in time to make our 10am 20th Century Literature class.

Despite the cheap rent and the exceptional convenience, there were times living above a shop was like a splinter you need to dig at with needle. When the smell of cooking prawn crackers after a big night out made us want to reach for a bucket, or when the night before a big exam we were kept awake by party of drunken bridesmaids. Or when the only space for a friend to crash in was a blow up bed that took over the entire living room. And thank God we rode bikes because parking was a nightmare. Continue reading


Downsizing: Why, how and where to do it.

Here’s a true story—30 years ago we at Perspective knew a couple who exchanged their 2 storey, 5 bedroom home with its grand piano on an Adelaide lake for a tiny caravan. Not because of their desire to travel Australia (although they did plenty of that); not because of any intrinsic need to live a simpler, less materialistic lifestyle; not because of money reasons; but because they wanted to get their adult son to move out of their house. Seriously.

Signs it’s time to downsize.

There are a lot of reasons why people choose to downsize, and not are all that drastic. For some it’s a lifestyle choice—upkeep on a 4 bedroom house in the suburbs, with its trees that need pruning, leaf-filled rain gutters, and multiple bathrooms to clean, can be enough to spur someone into more compact, convenient living.

For others it’s the health factor. Stairs are getting hard to manage; working in the flower beds has become difficult and the idea of living in closer contact with others has its appeal. Many empty nesters downsize because they simply don’t need all those extra rooms.

But by far the biggest motivation to downsize is retirement, and the change in financial circumstances that go with it. Many seniors choose to downsize to unlock the equity in their home, using the funds to complement their superannuation and age pension.

Government support to downsize. Continue reading