How would your personality come through in your home?

Buying a home to make it your own


If you buy a house or apartment to live in, there’s always a desire to wash away the old tenants’ touches and really create a space that you can truly call your own.

One solution to this is buying a block of land and building brand new – which only comes recommended if you manage to find and buy a patch of real estate for an affordable price. Land itself can be extremely costly, especially if it’s overlooking the gorgeous Sydney Harbour or the Yarra River.

When you look at the median dwelling values in Sydney and Melbourne particularly, you’ll get a good picture of how much you should be paying for a piece of land. CoreLogic RP Data’s monthly indices show the figure for Sydney is $955,290, while the Melbourne equivalent is $784,400. Keeping in mind that’s the value of land with a property already on it, you should be able to take a big chunk off of that.

Need some help knowing exactly where to buy?

According to Just Landed Australia, the price of land alone can be anywhere between $250,000 and $500,000 for a fairly average piece of property. Moving closer to Sydney’s CBD and that will only climb towards the $1 million mark. Want sea views? That’ll probably cost you as well. According to Domain Group, the median price of land in the outer-Sydney suburb of Kellyville is $750,000, which is still only a median, meaning half of the land in this region will be above that.

So, buying land and building from scratch will be expensive. It’ll certainly allow you to design from scratch and make your own mark on the property before you even move in, but it does take time, and it could be far more cost-effective to buy an existing home. Need some help knowing exactly where to buy? A Cohen Handler buyer’s agent is the answer.

What regions are ripe for buying?

For the easiest place to start the property-buying journey, narrowing down exactly where to purchase is the best step.

You might be looking in Melbourne, and suburbs such as Yarra and St Kilda East are some of the most attractive for the lifestyles on offer. The CoreLogic RP Data Pain and Gain Report from December 2015 shows that 92 per cent of homes sold in Yarra made median capital gains of $370,000. Buying around this suburb will be a solid start on making a great return on your investment later down the track.

Port Phillip, the local council that St Kilda East is a part of, also showed impressive capital gains, with the median figure coming in at $252,750.

On the other hand, Sydney suburbs are also showing great results for investors and owner-occupiers in the capital gains department. For the suburb of Bankstown, 96.7 per cent of homes sold last year made $327,000 worth of capital returns, while Hunters Hill showed, incredibly, $607,500.

These figures should be enough to encourage anyone to buy their own property in these cities, and there are similar results all over the wider regions. You just have to know where to look.

Making the space work for you

Once you’ve asked a buyer’s agent to “buy my house” and the process is completed, it’s time to start looking at how you can make the space reflect your personal style and identity.

There are so many options and new ideas and trends out there, so below is a compilation of a few that might be perfect for you – or at least give you some inspiration to form your own perfect palace!

1) Black-framed windows

In the right rooms and modern, industrial setting, a black-framed window is a striking feature that can transform the feel of a glass-heavy area.

Black metal frames will bring an air of moody freshness to your room.

Houzz suggests this is a brilliant and unique idea for the brave designers among us, and that’s going to mean it won’t be for everyone. However, you might have moved into a home that has dilapidated window frames and your first task is to rejuvenate them. Painting them black, or replacing them with black metal frames, will bring an air of moody freshness to your room.

This sort of design tip is perfectly placed in a reading room, study or open guest space that overlooks bushy gardens or beautiful, natural views.

2) Redefining the stairwell

In multi-storey homes, stairs are an integral part of getting around. You might have an elevator in the house as well, which is a very useful way to move, but stairwells offer an opportunity for customisation that a lift just doesn’t.

Stairs can be endlessly altered to be different. The material used in construction is typically wood, but you might opt for a carpet covering, a block paint colour or even shaping them uniquely.

They can also be made out of various types of metal. Brushed aluminium is a fabulous feature in any room, but having it able to be used and stepped on will create a different atmosphere altogether. The ways they can be presented might be varied, but there are some installation tips and tricks as well.

Stairs can be hung from the ceiling without ever touching the ground. This might sound terrifying, but having it installed by a registered and skilled builder will ensure it’s safe. You could even create a storage area, or display zone for artwork, under the stairs, and the small opening will allow for a cosy showing.

Two further ways to make your stairwell stand out include lighting and hand rails.

Lighting can come from under the stairs themselves, be embedded into the walls and shine down onto every second or third step or even hang from the roof as a feature pendant. There are so many options for making your stairwell different to all the rest, so go wild!

3) Outdoor paving – take a relaxing stroll down the garden path

When choosing the right house, you’ll be looking inside predominantly, but also outside. The exterior appearance and feel of a home is just as important to consider as the interior, because it’s what you see every time you pull into the driveway, what your friends see when they walk up to the front door and what the neighbours take note of when they stroll past every morning.

For your own enjoyment, and also as an easy way to add an interesting feature to a garden space, choosing a versatile and interesting paver, as well as a pattern for laying them out, will make your landscape look far more modern.

A photo posted by homify (@homify) on

Houzz suggests a travertine tile or basalt as having great aesthetic qualities. Both work really well placed among deep green grasses and dark garden beds, while also being hardy and easy to lay into the right shapes.

Purely by using tiles, you can transform an empty part of the garden into a feature surrounded by brilliant plants or a water feature. Choose both to make it a real destination on your property.

It’s all up to you

No matter what sort of house your buyer’s agent suggests you get into, or what property type you choose, the way you customise, design and decorate the interior and exterior spaces is entirely your choice. It’s your own personality you’re trying to reflect, after all!

Get in touch with Cohen Handler to start your property-buying journey in the best possible way.

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