pest inspection

An Essential Guide to Pest Inspection before Buying a New Home

by Greg on October 5, 2017
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If you’re like most people, a new home is probably the largest and most important investment you’ll make in your lifetime. Even if you aren’t a first-time buyer, every real estate purchase is a huge expense, and a basic home inspection helps you ensure you’re getting your money’s worth. However, this only tells you about […]

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The Smart and Simple Guide to Pest Proofing Your Home This Winter

by Greg on May 26, 2016
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Although it may not be much in comparison to our colder cousins across the globe, the Australian winter is finally upon us. While things may slow down for some animals during winter time, this is not the case for rodents and pests. In order to keep you and your family’s home safe and pest-free this […]

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The war against termites: Detection & Control

by Greg on October 22, 2015
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One of the worst experiences you can have as a homeowner is being under attack from termites. These insects may seem innocent, but can increase the health and fire risks to your home. The repair bill for getting rid of termites or repairing the damage that they have caused can also rise into the thousands […]

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Why termite inspection is a must

by Chris Lang on July 19, 2012
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Statistically speaking, termites are the third thing people fear the most after rising damp and cracking. To understand what the fuss is all about I did some research about them and found pretty interesting things.

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Simple DIY Pest Control tips That Can Save Your Home

by Greg on January 25, 2012
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In this article I am going to explore the best, inexpensive ways to protect your house from pests. Most homeowners understand the reasons for protecting their family and their property from insect and animal infestation. Their concern for health dangers to the family and physical damage to their home is justified. Too few homeowners realize […]

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7 things you can do to help the agent sell your house, part 2

by Chris Lang on May 14, 2009
7 things you can do to help the agent sell your house, part 2

Real Estate ladySelling your house is a labor intensive process and as such needs to be shortened as much as possible. In my previous post I wrote about 3 things you can do to help your real estate agent sell your house faster and here are 4 more things that can help speed up the selling.

4. Clean spotless.

Funny as it sounds, you can have a great house, expensive furniture, a lovely garden and nobody will remember any of that – if it was messy, people will remember the mess. If your home looks tidy, cared for, loved – that picture will stick in the minds of your buyers. It needs to be shiny, sparkling, and spotless.

5. Don’t be at home when people are coming to inspection.

Think back when you were looking to buy a house and remember that inspection when you came and the vendors were home. Remember how awkward it felt to be going through someone’s house while they are there? Inspection is the only time people can get a feeling of “what it would be like to live in this house” – which is a bit hard to achieve when they are not alone. They won’t feel free to look around, to open doors and look into the rooms, they will have this one urge to get a quick look and run away – the opposite of what you want.

6. Don’t limit inspections to weekends.

If you can – and think about how you can before you say “I can’t” – offer inspections on working days, not just weekends. It will maximize your chances of finding the right buyer because a lot of investors have the freedom of inspecting during the week. Or on contrary some buyers are working weekends and can’t make it to your inspection in Saturday. Speak to your agent and let him or her know what days other than Saturday / Sunday you are available to let people come to inspection.

7. Offer your building and pest reports.

If you have a clean and recent pest inspection or building inspection report – let the agent know, so that he could offer them to prospective buyers. It will save those people over $600 and will make them more inclined to buy your place rather than another one they don’t know anything about. It will also make you look good and create a certain degree of trust between you, which can make the sale easier.

Do you have anything to add to this list? What worked for you when you sold the house? What did the tricks? Leave a comment on this post, let us all learn from your experience.

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Dealing with unwelcome guests in your house (part 2)

by Chris Lang on April 22, 2009
Dealing with unwelcome guests in your house (part 2)

Let’s get it over with – here is the rest of my spiders list with pictures, descriptions, symptoms, and treatment.

With this list you can stop living in fear, because it tells you exactly what you’re dealing with. Sorry, little spiders, you don’t have the advantage of surprise any more!

Still, some ugly pictures lay ahead so don’t say I didn’t warn you and proceed at your own risk :)

Brown house spiderBrown House Spider

Usually found in dark places: cupboards, inside or under furniture, in sheds. It has a small brown body (4 – 10mm) with tiny white spots and long legs.

Symptoms if bites

Headache, nausea, small blisters around the bite site. Not deadly.

Redback spider
Redback Spider
All the other spiders look scarier than this little creature and yet it is the one you should really watch out for. The females can easily recognized by the red “hourglass” on their rear ends, whereas males have the same shape of marking, only white. The females are twice as large as the males; their body size is 10mm vs. 4mm in males.

Unfortunately these spiders like living close to us, humans, which is why we should be very careful when moving rubbish bins or old containers, sitting on the steps of our verandas or using outdoor toilets – always look under the seat. Personally, I always wear gloves for gardening or if I have to touch anything that’s been sitting outside for a while.

Symptoms if bites

Bad news – this spider is deadly. Good news – there is antivenene in every hospital, you just need to get there quickly. The symptoms are sharp pain, sweating, loss of coordination, vomiting. The bite site becomes red and swollen and in five minutes the pain increases significantly and spreads all over, the person gets very thirsty.

Treatment

Get to the closest hospital as soon as possible or call an ambulance.

Daddy Long Leg
Daddy Long Legs Spider
This is the most common spider and I have 5 of them living in my house at this very moment. I don’t do anything about those little guys for one reason – they kill and eat Redbacks! Which is why I think of them as guardians rather than intruders. On contrary to what many people will tell you, they are not venomous and present no danger to humans.

Daddy Long Leg are harmless, live in dark corners of a house, under the ceiling, behind doors or in cupboards. They have extremely long slender legs and smallish body and don’t look scary at all. If I could pick a “favorite” spider, it’d be Daddy Long Leg :)

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Dealing with unwelcome guests in your house (part 1)

by Chris Lang on April 17, 2009
Dealing with unwelcome guests in your house (part 1)

Arachnophobia - a man with a spider on his shoulderWhat you’re about to read is not another article about Aussie real estate or the first home buyers – it is about spiders. You may rightfully ask “what spiders have to do with a real estate blog” and my answer is “they live in your piece of real estate and you need to learn to co-exist”.

I am afraid of spiders. Correction: I am not afraid, I am terrified of spiders. This was my only issue with this beautiful country ever since I arrived – the amount of spiders that a person keeps discovering in their house – supposedly the safest place on Earth.

To keep this phobia under control I follow the old saying: “Know your enemy”. For me this is the only way to stop freaking out every time such unwelcome guest crawls out of some dark corner.

I have compiled a list of the venomous and not so venomous spiders that you can find in Victoria, with pictures, symptoms if they bite and suggested treatment. It should help you to identify the spider (and then spray it), and if it bites anyone you care about, to know how to deal with the wound before you rush to the hospital.

And now the “getting to know your enemy” part – prepare for some scary pictures. People with heart diseases, pregnant women and children, kindly leave the computer screen or proceed at your own risk :)

Huntsmen spiderHuntsmen Spider

This is a large spider, with body length of 16-20mm (plus legs), it is famous for hiding in the cars (whenever you forget to close the window) and then unexpectedly jumping on your dashboard. How cute. It occasionally comes into houses, leaving it’s normal hiding place – foliage and trunks of trees.

Symptoms if bites

Local severe pain and swelling, sweating, nausea and vomiting. Not deadly.

Treatment

Firmly apply a compression bandage first around the bite site and then around the whole limb. Immobilize the limb with a splint to delay venom absorption. If you don’t have enough material to cover the whole limb, apply a broad tourniquet to the limb, it is better than nothing—and keep the person from moving.

Black house spiderBlack House Spider

Mostly found in the corners of windows and door frames. Their web has a form of a funnel but they are not the famous Funnel Web Spider, people call them the Window spiders. As the name suggest, they are black, big, with body length 10-20mm and hairy legs.

Symptoms if bites

Nausea, sweating, localized pain and swelling. Not Deadly.

Treatment

Same as for Huntsmen.

To be continued, I know you can’t wait :)

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How to buy a house – Part 5

by Chris Lang on October 11, 2008
How to buy a house - Part 5

Once you’ve made your offer, it will be either accepted or rejected and it usually takes a couple of days to get the answer. If the offer is rejected you can try and submit a better offer on that house and see what happens. If the offer is accepted – congratulations, you’ve made some serious progress.

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Pre-purchase inspection: things that go wrong and how to get it right

by Chris Lang on July 10, 2008
Pre-purchase inspection: things that go wrong and how to get it right

I recently had two building and pest inspections done by two different companies. The price was almost the same – but the difference in quality of service was amazing.

The first company responded to my booking promptly and arranged for the inspection to be carried out on the next day. I was promised that in case they find termites I will get a call immediately. Of course I was hoping that they wouldn’t because I really had my heart set on that property, but guess what – they did. Their inspector called me and let me know that there were signed of infestation and that the report will have the details.

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Home owner’s expenses

by Chris Lang on December 19, 2007
Home owner's expenses

Many of us don’t know, forget or do not think about the expenses that come with owning a house, yet they can add up. I decided to list most of them (everything I could think of) as a reminder of what’s involved in owning a house.

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