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First Home Owner Grant

To keep the crowd happy, and to stave off low spending levels after introducing the GST, the bigwigs in Canberra decided to give first-home buyers a break - a $7000 grant to be exact and an extra $7000 for newly built homes. So far, more than 235,000 first-home buyers have benefitted. You'd better get in quick because while the $7000 grant for all first homes remains, the extra funding for new homes has already dropped to $3000 and will no longer be gven on contracts signed after June 30.

Home Price Guide

Whether you're planning on setting up home in Beverly Hills or Bellevue Hill, the Home Price Guide gives an indication of how much you're likely to pay or profit for property in the area. Subscribing gives you more in-depth and up-to-date pricing and sales news for suburbs of your choice over a period of time. However, the Postcode Prices Snapshot service is free and gives you handy information on median and average house and unit prices and percentage changes, as well as current auction results and a demographic profile of the area.

Building Bookshop

Australia's Largest Architecture & Building Specialist Bookshop- 525 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010, Australia. PH 02 8303 0550, 1800 22 66 57 Fax 02 8303 0551

Good Residential Design Guide

A joint initiative of the Commonwealth government and the design and construction industries. Your Home is a suite of consumer and technical guide materials and tools developed to encourage the design, construction or renovation of homes to be comfortable, healthy and more environmentally sustainable.

Home Ideas Centre

Llarge network of building and home improvement exhibitions


Legalmart® - a world first in providing legal services over the Internet. The Legalmart web site offers a legal marketplace for people and businesses in Australia who want to understand the law and use it to assist them with their personal and business affairs.

Your Mortgage

With home interest rates at their lowest for decades, buyers are spoilt for choice. But with so many banks and institutions keen to lock you in for the next 10 to 30 years with bells and whistles home-loan packages, it can still seem like a jungle out there in the mortgage market. This free resource keeps you informed of how rates are moving, who's offering what, and how to save money and pay off your loan sooner. The Mortgage Essentials section is a must for babes in the woods and savvy homeowners alike.

Hire a Hubby

OK, so the days of women needing a man to change the light bulb are over, but it'll be a few years yet before I'll dive hands-first into the toilet cistern to investigate why the loo isn't flushing properly, and many years more before I attempt taking apart the kitchen sink in search of an answer to that drainage problem. Can-do attitude and know-it-all partner aside, services such as Hire A Hubby are so clever and convenient that becoming Tammy the Tool Girl has lost its shine. These wonderful men in um, pink shirts will drain your guttering, fix the fencing, plaster walls, put up shelving, mow the lawn, fix smoke detectors and even build Fido a doggy house.


If you're after ideas on how to furnish your home but don't have time to visit furniture showrooms for ideas, browse through Freedom's condensed online catalogue. Its collection of pieces should suit a wide range of tastes and if you're willing to part with $110, one of its decorator consultants will drop in to advise on decor solutions.

Home Beautiful

Want your home looking gorgeous for potential buyers or keen to give your just-purchased property a new look? Home Beautiful has great ideas for just about every aspect of the home, inside and out. Go to the Renovate and Decorate tab for tips and hints on sprucing up your abode, and click through to the Renovator's Cost Guide so you can budget for the home improvements.

Small Blue Printer

Small Blue Printer has less to do with printers than it does with providing a clever interactive program that allows you to design your own house plan, which you can then walk through and print. Click on the wall, door or window icon and once the it appears on the grid, drag and drop it. Use the Transform buttons to resize and rotate. - Painting

They say a fresh coat of paint can add thousands of dollars to the value of your property. Here you'll find easy-to-follow instructions on priming and painting exterior and interior surfaces, as well as tips on painting techniques, colour selection and how to peel and clean paint. If you've got a fast connection, check out the animated tutorial and visit the homepage for other DIY ideas.


There may be a lot of sweat and tears involved, but the DIY option can save you the kind of sweat and tears that often accompany receiving an inflated bill for repairs around the home. If you're planning on going DIY, you'll need to invest in some essential tools of the trade. Hardwareshop has a wide range and it delivers across Australia. Just remember the family, and consider getting everyone some earmuffs!

Better Homes and Gardens

It's a great place to relax and unwind, but your garden is also another important selling point for buyers. Spruce it up with some of these DIY gardening projects - such as adding a water feature, pond or paving, or creating lattice screens, a kid-safe backyard or a wildlife-friendly garden. The site also features a section on how to identify and control pests and diseases and an A-Z listing of plants and advice on how and where to grow them. Is your home a TV location? If you're planning a renovation, the Better Homes and Gardens TV show would like to know.

Dig This

The folks at Dig This say they stock more than 10,000 gardening products. Choose from an array of trees, plants and shrubs, garden art and garden care products, as well as tools, pots and containers, gifts and garden furniture. The magazine homepage has tips on how to create gardens in small spaces, notes on how to go about designing, as well as a Just for Kids section.

Backyard Blitz

TV shows such as Backyard Blitz, Changing Rooms and Ground Force are taking the term "watching paint dry" to new literal, albeit less punishing levels (especially when you've got former Manpower babe Jamie Durie digging up your roots). Anyway, the point is, if you like what you see on Backyard Blitz you'll find fact sheets on how to replicate the results. But be warned, such hard yakka isn't always as sexy and fun as it looks on TV.

Blue Haven Pools and Spas

Every time I think of pools, I think of that awful Blue Haven ad with Peter Sterling in a Hawaiian shirt standing next to an elephant while trying to flog a pool. The connection between an ex-league player and a huge wrinkly mammal escapes me. Nonetheless, Blue Haven claims to be one of Australia's largest pool suppliers with a long history in the business, so let's not hold the company's advertising against it. Choose from concrete, above ground or semi in-ground swimming pools, or splash out and get the spa instead.

Department of Fair Trading

If you're building a home or renovating, make sure you're clear on what your rights are when dealing with tradespeople and builders. It's important that you sign a written contract before any work is carried out, and that it is done by someone who is licensed and insured. Likewise, get savvy on your rights as a homebuyer, seller, landlord or tenant through the Department of Fair Trading's Web site. Go to the Building and Renovating a Home, and the Owning and Renting a Home links - they spell out all you need to know about transactions involving your or someone else's property.


Homesharing is a simple idea. A householder offers accommodation to a homesharer in exchange for an agreed level of support. The support needed may be help with the household tasks, or it may be financial support, or a combination of both. Homeshare is essentially an exchange that recognises that two people have needs and something to offer. is Australia's leading electronic directory of architectural, interior design, building and construction products and services. Developed in partnership with the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, is a joint venture between The Home Ideas Centre Pty Ltd. and Architecture Media Pty Ltd. The Home Ideas Centres Pty Ltd operate permanent building product display centres in many large Australian cities. Architecture Media Pty Ltd is 50% owned by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects and publishes leading architectural magazines Archtitecture Australia, HOUSES, Architectural Product News and Artichoke.

Housing Industry Association

HIA's Technical Services provides members with accurate and helpful technical advice across all areas of residential construction. Information on non-residential building work is also available to HIA members

Alternative Technology Association

Alternative Technology Association (ATA) is a non-profit community group that aims to use and promote environmentally friendly technology. We are interested in renewable energy sources such as the sun, wind and water; building with natural materials and conserving energy

Australian Window Association

The Association originated in New South Wales in November 1991 as the Residential Window Manufacturers Association. The RWA expanded into a national organisation and was incorporated on 9th January 1992 , becoming a registerable Australian body with the Australian Securities Commission. The AWA was founded by window manufacturers and has always been run by window manufacturers.

Australian Building Energy Council

ABEC’s charter is to shape a National System of Best Practice which will ultimately lead to better environmental building performance and underpin changes in overall building practice. Energy efficient and environmentally designed buildings:

• Improve the productivity, health and comfort of their occupants

• Provide substantial operating cost savings over the life of the building

• Are more resource efficient, minimise impact on the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions







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