Tuesday 20 December 2016

‘Tis the season to be jolly

Whether celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, the holidays or long summer days, it is a great time to give your home a touch (or a truckload) of festive season accessorising. 

Christmas decorations come in all incarnations, from the ridiculous to the sublime, so with some spare change or a full wallet, you can dress up your home in style. There is nothing like the pine smell of a real Christmas tree. If you have an outdoor area, it’s a great idea to buy a potted pine that you can keep in the garden and bring out for Christmas annually. The tree doesn’t have to be Times Square size, it can even be a miniature pine and you will still get the beautiful smell and feel of Christmas. Fake trees come in many shapes and sizes, some are incredibly realistic, but always keep in mind you that need to store them during the non-Christmas months.

Good, old-fashioned crepe paper makes great decorations on the cheap, and a little water-colour on some card can turn into a gorgeous string of cut-out angels. A great tradition to start is buying one or two new ornaments every year. It becomes a fun tradition, doesn’t cost the earth, they accumulate fast and if you have kids, they will look forward to this and appreciate them much more than if you buy a whole house-full at once. 

Wreaths can be home made and are easier than you’d think. Since we have a hot Christmas, collect bits of driftwood, shells and leaves and glue them onto a hallow round circle of wood or wire (Bunnings will have something.)

For Hanukkah, blue, silver and gold are the colours to go with and candles for the menorah can go either in the family heirloom candelabra or lines up in individual holders. You can create your own stencils to create star of David or Hamsa shapes onto the surface of your choice. Go to a craft shop and buy a flat ended stencil brush, cutting mat, scalpel or craft knife and stencil paper, then get creative. Get your gelt in the form of chocolate coins, Australian coins or if you are as rich as Rockefeller, the real thing.  

And if you just want to celebrate summer, bring shells, flowers galore (so many in season and not expensive at the moment- even the Queen of all flowers, the Peony, is cheap now), bits of driftwood, gorgeously scented candles and colour into your home. Now sit back, crack open a decent bottle of wine and enjoy!

From The Team at Cramer we wish you a wonderful holiday season!
See you all in 2017!

Monday 31 October 2016

Taking the edge off homelessness

Darlinghurst is full of fantastic caf├ęs, restaurants and bars, beautiful terraces and boutique shops. But if you are interested in seeing another side and getting away from the hip and the glam, you need go no further than Rough Edges, a lounge room for street people that offers a place to be safe, to be secure, to meet with friends - to watch TV, read the paper, drink coffee or play chess. 

Next time you are walking past pop in and share lives for a bit. We have had many an enlightening, enriching and enjoyable conversation with the Rough Edge-ees. These people are doing it so tough and experiencing hardships that few of us thankfully ever have or will experience and their stories are fascinating, raw, sometimes tragic, sometimes funny but always memorable. Be part of the change towards a better society where inclusiveness and involvement are fostered. And if you have the time and want to be rewarded in a deeply satisfying way, volunteer. Rough Edges can only operate through the involvement of volunteers. There are opportunities to work during the day, at night and in the garden at the weekend.

Rough Edges is run by St Johns Anglican Church and is nestled between the church driveway and The Victoria Room on Victoria Street. For more information or to volunteer please visit http://roughedges.org/

We love supporting locals.

Thursday 6 October 2016

Annandale…. where history lives on

Architecturally, Annandale is an incredibly interesting suburb from an historical perspective. It is home to some of the first houses in Sydney and is a canvas for the unexpected. Nestled quite startlingly amid some of Sydney’s earliest architectural history lies the Ann & Dale, a striking example of the quintessential linear, large-windowed retro 70s building.

Original sandstone facade
The Ann & Dale Apartments

The suburb of Annandale itself has one of the longest histories of any Sydney suburb. When Major George Johnston (1764–1823) arrived on the First Fleet ship Lady Penrhyn, he was granted 100 acres of land that he named Annandale after his birthplace Annan in Scotland. His name is remembered in Johnston Street itself. He sold his property in 1877 to John Young, who was a businessman, architect and mayor. Young began to turn the Johnston estate into an attractive suburb by building a number of picturesque houses. One of those houses was Kenilworth, with its "witch's cap" style of roof common to that period of architecture. Other houses in the group were the striking ‘Abbey’, ‘Oybin’, ‘Greba’, ‘Hockingdon’, ‘Highroyd and ‘Rozelle’ which was demolished and is in fact the site of The Ann and Dale. Some of these houses are still popularly known as "witches houses" because their towers. Of the various houses in this group, The Ann & Dale’s closest neighbour, The Abbey, has been described as a stone Gothic Revival mansion, modelled on Scottish manors.
Johnston Street, Annandale, circa 1880s showing The Abbey

The Witches Hat Home today
The Witches Hat Home circa 1880

Annandale has many more heritage listed buildings but the Witches Houses are the most famous. Come and see them for yourself from The Ann & Dale Real Thing Apartments... 


Tuesday 27 September 2016

ACME – Funky, fresh and fabulous

If you love to eat on the wild side of cuisine and sample culinary combinations never tasted before, then ACME is the restaurant for you. On walking in you are greeted by the destressed meets high design interior and happy, unpretentious staff. The menu sounds surreal and it is almost impossible to choose from such a tempting selection. But then your waiter appears, all casual and cool, and explains the menu in intricate detail so choice is possible. Don’t think you’ll get away with just a couple of plates though… be prepared to be decadent. Standouts for me were the burrata with citrus and curry leaf, baby calamari with lime and five spice, carpaccio puttanesca, black garlic and burnt chilli linguine, fusilli with pippies and corn, and all three sublime desserts. Trust me, you’ll be back. And yes, I did eat all of this and more at one sitting with just one other person. 

A very happy customer xo

Thursday 15 September 2016

Swing your way to a calm mind

With life becoming busier and more and more stressful, we all need to find ways to unwind. And as our home should be our refuge from the crazy world outside, we need to think of ways to create a tranquil and serenely calming indoor environment. Plants are immediately soothing to the busy mind and provide welcome oxygen into our personal space. But imagine something that has the same healing effect as meditation on your brain waves. If you have the space, a hammock or swinging chair will be the best purchase you make in a long while. Read in it, dream in it, zone out in it… you can even meditate in it and double the positive effect. And if you are feeling particularly adventurous, you could even suspend a swing in your living room or bedroom. So swing away your cares and woes with a new and enveloping piece of furniture.

Here are some of the most amazing real life inspirations for adding swing-time fun to any home or living space;

Living room swing with purpose in the room
Family room swing acting as an occasional chair
Bedroom swing - use your own imagination!

And best of all a rope swing with playground in the kids room!

Balcony or veranda swing

So why not swing your way to happiness in your home!

Please note: If you are renting your property you must apply to your landlord for approval to drill any holes or suspend any hanging furniture from the ceiling.

Thursday 25 August 2016

Interview with Jessica Iliffe, Stylist, Interior Designer, Architect

Interiors by Jessica Iliffe

What was your style brief for The Ann & Dale – Real Thing Apartments?

I have worked for my client Ramsay Property in the past. Their general style and brief is a cross between a Retro and a Mid-Century look. Keeping that in mind, when I selected the furniture and soft furnishings I wanted to add current on-trend items amongst classics as well as unique retro pieces. This way I was able to incorporate the feel of the 1970s and make it relevant in a 21st century context.

Mid Century (50s/60s) style

70s Mood Board

Styling in progress
What inspiration or mood boards did you draw from?

Working with Cramer’s brief for the Ann & Dale retro story and using the colour palette from the building exterior, I wanted the apartments to feel bright and happy without being too literal in the shade of colours used. It had to feel welcoming and entice prospective buyers to relate to the space and be able to envisage it as their own home.

Who is your designer of the moment?

I bought a lot of pieces from in-the-moment interior designer Greg Natale. I used Greg Natale cushions in the living and bedrooms using colours of the season mustards, terracotta, red, and blush to create vibrancy, black to create drama, as well as whites to offset the moodiness of the colour. Soft greys, aquas and navy softened the rooms. I also dropped in hints of brushed metal from a variety of stores to add a bit of depth into the whole story.

Do you believe in Feng Shui? 
Feng Shui believer

Yes, absolutely. I tend to use some Feng Shui elements when I style, adding the wood elements in the materials, fire in the colours, earth in all the green plants and water in all the grey and blue hues. It gave the whole space a nice homely energy as you walk through.

Which brands did you use and from which stores did you buy the key items?

Greg Natale cushions for One Duck Two
Greg Natale cushions $110 from One Duck Two
French Linen from Adairs
West Elm Martini side tables (navy with brush gold top) are a great buy $159
West Elm cushions $129
Freedom Rugs were great purchases to give the rooms a lift
Matt Blatt Walnut TV cabinets were very sturdy and really anchored the rooms as they created a solid piece.
Kmart for all the accessories – I chose budget items that worked with the premium ones.

What is your advice to anyone styling their new home?

I find the key to styling any home affordably is to just have a few high end pieces and the rest of the accessorising can be done inexpensively. Don’t be afraid to shop at Kmart or Target. They have some gorgeous items that look expensive even when they are not. You don’t have to pay a fortune for everything to achieve an amazing result.

The Apartments:

Jessica x

Why not see Jessica's styling for yourself, visit www.therealthingapartments.com.au  to book an appointment to see the Ann & Dale Apartments reveal!

Thursday 28 July 2016

Property Investor Newsflash! Don’t miss out on the benefits of depreciation!

Are you unaware of the benefits of depreciation on your investment property? Don’t despair. You are not alone and it is never too late to reap in on these benefits. Claiming depreciation is one of the most important steps in an investor’s journey. You can even claim retrospectively, with your investment’s depreciation able to be backdated two years. Your first port of call should be an experienced quantity surveyor. Shop around by all means, but industry leader, Washington Brown stands by its expertise by offering a great incentive to engage their company. If you do not save twice the fee of their engagement, the cost of the report will be fully refunded. And on top of this, investors who engage Cramer Property as their Property Manager will receive a discounted report fee.

It is estimated that millions of dollars will be missed over the coming years in tax depreciation claims due to changes in what can be defined as plant and equipment. Laws change frequently so it is essential that you have a report prepared by an expert in the field. If you are renovating a kitchen or bathroom in a property built after 1985 – get a quantity surveyor in before you demolish so they can assess what the residual value of the existing items are. This residual value can be claimed as an outright deduction and can generate huge savings in the first year. For instance, a rental property with a 20 year-old kitchen could possibly attract an immediate deduction of around $5,000 if removed. The added bonus is that you get to claim depreciation on the new work once it is complete too!

A dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow so deduct items as quickly as possible. Individual items under $300 can be written off immediately. An important thing to remember here is that provided your portion is under $300, you can still write it off. For instance, say an electric motor to the garage door cost an apartment block $2,000. If there are 50 units in the block, your portion is $40. You can claim that $40 outright – as your portion is under $300. You can also try to buy items that depreciate faster such as purchasing a microwave that costs $295 as opposed to one that costs $320. Items between $300 and $1000 fall into the Low Pool Category and attract a higher depreciation rate. So for instance, a $1200 television attracts a 20% deduction whilst a $950 television deducts at 37.5% per annum.
Even properties built before 1985 (when the building allowance kicked in) are worth depreciating. The purchase price of your property includes the Land, Building and the Plant and Equipment. A highly qualified quantity surveyor can help you apportion or break down the purchase price into those categories. As an investor, you can go on the Washington Brown website, free of charge, to get an instant estimate of the likely tax depreciation deductions on a property before they buy it. This calculator uses real life data collated from every inspection we do on behalf of our clients. So the data gets more accurate with time.

Please note: Cramer Property do not have a commission or referral fee arrangement with this company. We just believe in passing on valuable information and adding to our service by pointing out savings to our clients where we can.

Monday 11 July 2016

Are you an Ace Ventura?

If you are a pet lover you may be interested to know where you and your pet stand in your strata scheme...

It appears that more than two-thirds of Australian households include pets and Australia has the highest incidence of pet ownership per household of any country in the world. It is also estimated that one in five people in New South Wales live in a strata scheme. Therefore it goes without saying that the pet policy issue is going to come up. 

Every strata scheme is different and therefore you must understand the rules surrounding pets prior to purchasing or renting in the building. However generally the key issues related to keeping animals in residential areas, particularly in a strata scheme, are related to cleanliness, noise, and unsociable behaviour. 

That said you do not require Owners Corporation consent to keep a guide dog or hearing dog in a strata scheme however whether you can keep your pet in the strata scheme depends on the terms of the By-laws which apply to the scheme. If the tenant/owner has told the Owners Corporation everything they need to know, and there should be no possible objection to your keeping a pet, then generally the By-Laws of a strata scheme will have the effect that the Owners Corporation must not unreasonably withhold its consent. Consent can be withheld by the Owners Corporation if you asked to keep a large dog or several animals in a small apartment. If the tenant/owner believes consent has been withheld unfairly they can take the following action; Mediation OR Adjudication OR Appeal to Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal.

If the Owners Corporation grants you permission to keep a pet you must ensure that the presence of your pet does not become a nuisance for other residents in the strata scheme. Even though you may have the consent of the landlord and the Owners Corporation, any owner or occupier within the scheme can apply for an order to remove a pet on the grounds that it is causing a nuisance. To minimise the chances of this occurring, you should ensure your pet is house trained, that a dog is kept on a leash when necessary and that all animals are taught appropriate behaviour. If your pet is a dog, excessive barking is an issue that must be addressed. If regularly walking or behavioural training of your dog does not remedy this situation, you may need to reconsider the suitability of living in a strata scheme altogether.

Please note: this information is intended as a guide and should not replace legal advice, below is a list of resources for tenants to seek further information;

● Application forms to resolve disputes and publications containing information may be obtained from the NSW Office of Fair Trading; website www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or the Renting and Strata Services Branch of the NSW Office of Fair Trading on 9338 7900 or 1800 451 431 (outside Sydney). ● Community Justice Centres can assist parties in reaching an agreement to resolve a dispute. The NSW Government section of the telephone book contains details of these centres. ● The NSW Department of Housing Home Purchase Advisory Service provides information on buying a strata unit – telephone 1800 806 653. ● The Tenants Union of NSW is a specialist Community Legal Centre that aims to represent the interests of all tenants in NSW. Its website is located at http://www.tenants.org.au/ – telephone (02) 9251 6590 ● The Community Relations Commission For a multicultural NSW, provides translation and interpreting services – telephone 1300 651 500.