A big welcome to 2019 from the team at Independent Property Group.

Like many of you, we had 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. Research from Strava, the athletes’ social networking tool, pinpoints the fateful day we all lose it – 12 January.

But we won’t let that dissuade us because we are now into February and feeling that all hope is lost. According to people with more experience in numerology than us, 2019 is a year of creativity, optimism, and inspiration.

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 seven because hey, we’re property professionals, not life coaches.

#1. Lose Weight and Get Fit

Last year, we at Independent got on the yoga bandwagon. It was a work initiative—they subsidised yoga classes wagering that a fit and de-stressed workforce would be more productive and take fewer sick days. Some of us, after the initial few weeks of moans and groans, got hooked, and one has taken it to a new level of commitment, with plans underway to designate a room in her new house to create her own ‘space.’

The Journey Junkie has a fantastic article on how to create a home yoga space.

Our best tips:

  • Keep it light and uncluttered so you feel good when you walk in
  • Keep it set up so there’s less to do to start your session, so fewer roadblocks to stop you
  • Put something motivational on the wall to focus on when it gets hard

For those after a more traditional gym, this Art of Manliness how-to article goes into great depth on converting your garage.

But seriously, setting up your home environment to support your goals is a major step towards achieving them.

#2. Learn Something New

Want to learn what it actually takes to get into the market? Or how you can invest with no out-of-pocket expense? Or have you been wondering what goes into selling a house that’s been the scene of a crime… From design tips to financial advice, the team at Independent Property Group is an absolute fountain of new and interesting information. Dive deeper into our Perspective blog to find out more.


#3 Get Out of Debt and Save Money

Mark Edlund, Managing Director of Clarity Financial Group, drops in every now and then to dispense some sage words of wisdom. The best pieces of advice we can give for managing your money are three-fold:

  1. Start tracking every cent. Seriously, keep your receipts or go through your bank statement and work out where your money goes. You’d be horrified to realise just how much you spend on magazines…(no, no personal experience there at all).
  2. Have a goal. Maybe it’s to get out of debt (Mark also chats about how financially you may be better off maintaining your debt and getting together a deposit) or maybe it’s to save for a home. People will tell you to make small, manageable goals that you are more likely to achieve. You’d be surprised at just how little you need to get in to the market, far less than recent news articles say.
  3. Those that own their own home should probably look into property investment. The excellent thing is, depending on your circumstances, you may be able to get into the investment market with no out-of-pocket expense.

#4 Travel to New Places

Depending on where you want to go, the biggest cost of a holiday is not the flights, which if you are diligent in sale shopping you can get a great deal, but the accommodation. This is why AirBnB has had such a huge impact on the way we travel. But there’s another option that’s even cheaper—house swapping. Now we can’t guarantee that you’re going to swap into a Beverly Hills mansion, or that Jude Law is going to end up crashing on your sofa (and if you don’t get that reference, you really must watch this movie), but there are plenty of people who’ve experienced success swapping their houses for another in a different part of the world. You sometimes get use of the family car and you get to live like a local for no accommodation fee at all. Be warned though, whenever you are engaging in short term leases, there are things to consider. Our Perspective Magazine spoke about the dangers of AirBnB on their blog a while ago. The upside to house swapping is that the other party is also making themselves vulnerable and trusting, unlike AirBnB guests that don’t face the same risk. Also, the vast majority of house swappers are homeowners, making them somewhat older and a little less likely to throw raving parties. Share Travellers has some great tips on choosing a house swap website.

#5. Be Less Stressed
We’re going to approach this goal from a design point-of-view. Mainly because The Jungalow recently popped up on our Instagram feed and we’re far too impatient to wait until our next interior design post to show off their awesomeness.

Serious, scientific studies have proved that indoor plants reduce stress and anxiety. If that’s not reason enough to invest in this particular line of decoration, I don’t know what is. Keeping them alive can be a struggle for some of us though, so here is our handy how-to guide.

Starting with the ‘duh’ statement. Plants need light. Put them near a window, ideally a northing-facing one so they get the maximum amount of sun at its maximum intensity. The tag on the plant when you buy it will give you more of an idea. Beware though, if you move a struggling plant from a dark spot to a very light one, the few leaves that have managed to develop may burn at first.

Not so much of a ‘duh’ statement – plants also need dark. It’s during the blackness that photosynthesis stops and respiration occurs.

Water. How much does is actually need? All plants are different and more than one of us has offed a cactus through too much TLC. A good rule of thumb if you don’t know the name of your plant is to stick your finger in the first 2-3 centimetres of soil. If it’s completely dry, it’s time to water.  If your finger gets some moisture on it, you’re good for a couple of days. When you do water, make sure the soil is fully saturated. It’s best to Google the plant species for more details.

Drainage. This is where most of us office plant lovers go wrong. Repeatedly. The drainage holes at the bottom of the pot are not enough. You need to add rocks or other drainage material at the bottom of the pot so it’s not soaking in water. Alternatively, 30 minutes after watering your plant tip any water in saucer into the sink. Roots will rot if they’re constantly wet (kind of the same way stems in flower vase will disintegrate if left in water). That genius move of keeping the saucer full of water so you don’t have to remember to water as often? Not so genius.

#6 Volunteer/Give to Charity

A while ago we ran a story on Lee Leary, who recently purchased his first home through Project Independence, a not-for-profit organisation that helps the mentally disabled purchase their own home in the Project Independence development. You can support them by visiting their website.

#7 Drink Less

This piece of resolution-saving advice is tenuously linked, we admit… Drink less by upping the quality of what you do drink. Bear with us for a second.

Studies show that Australians, Americans and the French are all spending more on alcohol than before, but are actually consuming less. This trend is led by the explosion in craft beer, but is also expressed in the increased sales of premium wines.

How does this relate to property?

If you’re opting for quality, you want that to be reflected in the entire experience, not just the drink itself. That’s why bars invest fortunes in interior design. Here at Independent Property Group, we believe strongly in beautiful, functional homes—and a good DIY project.

So, after thoroughly justifying our choice to help you drink less by building your own stylish drinks cart, here is our favourite project turning cheap IKEA shelving into something that will have you lounging back, sipping slowly, and admiring the finer things in life.

Style Me Pretty: Modern bar cart with backing art



Until next time, good luck!



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