Home of the week: Renovated family home in Narrabundah

This tastefully renovated family home perfectly balances form with function. Inside, the living areas set in a spacious open-plan design.
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Timber floorboards and pale colours enhance the crisp modern lines of the interior, while sun streams in through the large windows, thanks to the careful orientation of the design.

The modern kitchen will take your breath away. Alongside acres of bench space, the facility boasts modern appliances, stone benchtops and a servery window.

An azure pool and deck space make the home a perfect place for summer family living. Set in a spacious backyard living area, the space is perfect to relax on a long lazy evening.

Fully renovated, the home is laid out across a single level. An additional living space offers flexibility, with the capacity to be adapted as an additional bedroom.

The segregated master suite offers privacy, while all bedrooms offer built-in robes. Bathrooms are luxurious, with slick modern fittings.

The home boasts reverse-cycle airconditioning with additional gas heating.

The perfect family home, 1 Bayley Street sits nestled in the tree-lined streets of Narrabundah close to shops and schools.

1 BAYLEY STREET, NARRABUNDAH

Price guide: $1.3 million

EER: 2.5

Agent: Richard Davies, Belle Property Kingston, 0414 517 658

Inspect: December 2, 1pm-1.30pm

Auction: December 9, 4.30pm

3 bed, 2 bath, 3 car

Highest recorded sale in Narrabundah during the past 12 months: $1,720,000, 68 Finniss Crescent, February 16, 2017

Recent sales:

$1.1 million, 12 McKinlay St, April 10, 2017

$1,075,000, 8/25 Jerrabomberra Avenue, March 17, 2017

$1,030,000, 35 McKinlay St, April 19, 2017

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Selling your home in the summer Canberra market

Summer and Christmas collide at a time of year when home buyers are frantic to settle their biggest piece of festive season shopping.
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Justine Burke of Luton Properties Weston Creek & Molonglo Valley says the end-of-year deadline ups the pressure on buyers to secure a property.

“Most of them want to buy a home, get the contract settled and to move in before Christmas,” she says.

“They certainly want to ensure that school enrolments are also in place so they can relax into the new home for a few weeks.”

Burke says the pressure to secure a home in the lead-up to Christmas also affects prices.

“While buyers are super keen, a lot of owners decide to hold off putting their homes on the market,” Burke says.

“As supply tightens, we often receive really strong pre-auction offers as buyers try to outwit their competition.” Related articles: How to keep your indoor plants vibrant in Canberra’s climate

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Stephen Bunday of LJ Hooker Dickson says buoyant summer sales are a highlight of the Canberra property calendar.

“We are usually really busy in the first quarter of the year when Canberra experiences a boost in new arrivals,” he says.

“But supply can also be very tight and listings are often down.

“I remember one year when I had 60 groups waiting to inspect a very humble home in the Belconnen area,” Bunday says.

The LJ Hooker principal says that despite the supply levels, buyers are still looking for residences that push all the right buttons: price, kerb appeal, plenty of space for the family – and pools are enjoying a new level of popularity.

TIPS FOR BUYING & SELLING IN SUMMER

Timing. Spring is the best time to begin looking if you want to be in a home by Christmas. The new year also heralds the arrival of new entrants to the housing market.

Be prepared. A tightening of supply into the early part of the new year may mean being willing to make a strong pre-auction offer if you want to secure your dream home.

It’s in the detail. Sellers should present their properties in the best possible light. If you put off a spring clean in September, now’s the time – before the sign goes up.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Did this beachside suburb inspire Big Little Lies?

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 30: View of Avalon Beach, on January 30, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Anna Kucera/Fairfax Media)It’s known for its fabulously bronzed surfer mums, stunning coastline, oceanfront real estate and tight-knit community feel.
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But did the suburb of Avalon Beach on Sydney’s far Northern Beaches really inspire Liane Moriarty’s gossip-fuelled book – and the subsequent Emmy-winning TV series – Big Little Lies?

The novel is set in a “fictional” Northern Beaches community but in the past year Australian media outlets have hinted that the made-up suburb’s resemblance to Avalon Beach – known colloquially as Avalon – may be more than a coincidence.

And with Moriarty confirming that she has been workshopping ideas for a Big Little Lies sequel, interest in the true setting of the original book seems unlikely to subside.

The novel depicts a loosely affiliated group of affluent mothers who juggle careers, their children’s demanding school environment, relationships with their spouses and – in one case – domestic violence.

Big Little Lies is full of inter-family drama, seaside yoga sessions and real estate with panoramic ocean views. In the end, the women band together to protect one of their own.

According to Stephanie Hammond, principal of Shores Real Estate in Avalon Beach, speculation about Moriarty’s inspiration has increased in the past year.

“One of the girls who works at my office read the book on a holiday in Bali about six months ago,” she says. Related: Z-shaped Avalon Beach house a marvel Related: Family suburb offers a sea changeRelated: Watch Avalon Now Season 2

“When she came back to work she told me how good the book was, and how she really recognised Avalon in it. She’s a mum with kids at the local school and told me she could have been a character straight out of the book.”

The novel pokes fun at the local primary school, suggesting that the children’s birthday parties and school fundraising events are really competitions between the parents. And it suggests that there is considerable pressure in the suburb to appear radiantly healthy.

Hammond says Avalon can feel that way, too. “People here are really aware of their health and fitness, so they look really good,” she says. “Sometimes that can be a bit intimidating.”

Avalon Beach is dominated by successful professionals with young families, as well as worldly retirees, which creates a competitive feel, even in the eyes of visitors.

But Hammond says the suburb is fundamentally a warm and welcoming place. “It’s a gentle and forgiving community. When times are tough, people really come together.”

She adds: “There’s an easiness about Avalon, an old-fashioned vibe that’s very appealing. In a world that feels quite threatening, especially to parents of young children, it feels sunny and safe.”

Its location north of the “Bilgola Bends” – a windy stretch on the Northern Beaches’ main road – gives it a tucked-away feel. And the commute to the CBD, which takes an hour even in good traffic, encourages many people to work from home and stay close to the suburb.

“Security’s not really a concern up here,” says Hammond. “No one locks their houses.

“Everyone knows the local GP, the local chemist, the local lawyers.”

Lucy Creegan, a full-time mother, moved from Britain to Avalon Beach with her husband, an infrastructure consultant, and their four young children nine years ago.

“We heard about Avalon through a friend and we just knew that, even though it would be a horrible bus commute into the city for my husband, we had found paradise,” she says.

Creegan says the Avalon community welcomed her family whole-heartedly. “By the end of the first week I was with new friends down at the RSL, our kids playing in the playground.”

Creegan has also heard rumours about Big Little Lies being based on Avalon, but takes issue with the book’s darker content, particularly the feuds between the women.

“The book is certainly not my perception of where I live,” she says. “Avalon’s a friendly place. In my nine years here, I can only think of one example of nasty gossip on Facebook.”

Jan Roberts, a retired historian and author who has written two books about Avalon Beach, says the suburb attracts residents for the long term. (Her children and grandchildren are locals, too.) But she fears a crowded future.

“The trouble is, Avalon is getting far too much publicity. We’ve got one of the largest primary schools in the state. It’s bulging at the seams,” she says.

“The movement in and out of our precious suburb is becoming very compromised by traffic, poor transport and too many people.

“We are absolutely mushrooming – like most of Sydney.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Changing of the guard: police chief moves on

LAST DAY: Superintendent John Gralton at Waratah police station on Thursday. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers WHEN Superintendent John Gralton took the reins of Newcastle police six years ago, the hangover of alcohol-fuelled violence on city streets was still throbbing.
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Officers had just come through years of going to “brawl to brawl to brawl”, before controversial lockout laws were introduced in 2008, but the reality was that five Newcastle venues were still on the state’s most violent list.

Superintendent Gralton decided that Newcastle needed a culture change, and it’s why he doesn’t hold back in fighting attempts to relax lockout laws.

“I say caution, caution, caution,” he said. “The city has changed, the culture has changed, and that’s because we’ve done that work. We implemented those restrictions.”

Speaking on his last day as Newcastle police chief, Superintendent Gralton lists building on the lockout laws asone of his proudest achievements in leading thecity’s “exceptional” officers since 2011.

He admitted it was with an “element of sadness” that he left the coveted post, but also great pleasure as he looked back.

Superintendent Gralton also recalled a press conference where he vowed to “leave no stone unturned” after two elderly residents were murdered in the SummitCare nursing home in Wallsend in 2013.

Superindendent John Gralton will make the move to Tuggerah Lakes. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

He said police got their guilty verdict through “thousands of hours” of investigation.

“Our detectives didn’t let us down,” he said.

“They worked methodically. Things like pouring over, frame by frame by frame, of CCTV to eliminate suspects. Unbelievable. You can only imagine how tedious it was,but how committed they were.”

Then there was the time police came under intense scrutiny as the Special Commission of Inquiry probed alleged cover-ups of child sexual abuse in the Hunter.

“We were absolutely vindicated in that Commission of Inquiry,” Superintendent Gralton said, highlighting the fact Newcastle police had charged a number of people from inside and outside the church with child sexual offences.

Despite those challenges, Superintendent Gralton said his toughest daycame when Senior Constable Tony Tamplin –one of the Hunter’s most loved officers –died after suffering a heart attack.

“The day Tony died –it took a piece of the city’s heart,” he said.

Throughout all the ups and downs, he said Newcastle police remained a “tight” unit.

“I’m very proud of that,” he said. “The men and women, the backup administration support, the volunteers. They are the ones who make a difference on the street.”

Superintendent Gralton will continue fighting crime as Tuggerah Lakes police chief. Superintendent Brett Greentree will take over as Newcastle’s top cop next week.

Government in name only as PM surrenders on the politics

There have been plenty of bizarre “firsts” this year, like finding out the deputy prime minister was not a member of Parliament.
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Or watching a Prime Minister slam dual citizenship allegations as a disgraceful witch-hunt, right up until he introduced a Parliament-wide citizenship register.

But the spectacle of a government being dragged kicking and screaming to conduct a royal commission it had utterly, repeatedly, indignantly opposed, until two days ago, was almost too much to take in.

Driven by the prospect of a humiliating loss on the floor of the Parliament, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison did not mask their contempt in policy terms for a “regrettable” inquiry process to which they had just allocated $75 million and a heap of government attention and resources.

They could not reassure taxpayers that the inquiry would be money well-spent, nor even that it would meet its unrealistically tight 14-month deadline, with Turnbull conceding the normal course for royal commissions is to drag on interminably, often expanding in scope along the way.

In lock-step, right down to their ties, the two men rationalised an excruciating about-face on the spurious grounds that resisting a banking royal commission was becoming more dangerous to fragile confidence in the financial system than holding the damn thing. This, despite the fact that they had always said an inquiry would increase the risks for that same system.

In his pre-capitulation phase (i.e. 24 hours ago), Turnbull would have welcomed John Howard saying he would be “staggered” if a royal commission into the banks was ever called by a Coalition government.

Now, however, what Howard regarded as unthinkable and had dubbed “rank socialism” is government policy – an emergency intervention to protect the financial system.

No one’s buying it.

Yes, there was a rapidly worsening risk equation here but it wasn’t declining confidence in the banks the PM was worried about, so much as collapsing confidence in the government itself.

In the end, Turnbull realised the mortal threat from a party room in open revolt.

What followed was utter capitulation, powerlessness personified, marked by a theatrically exaggerated attack on the opposition for backing the royal commission when plainly it was Turnbull’s own troops who had forced his hand.

As for the banks, who we’re told asked for the inquiry, it seems their “political” antennae were more attuned to the forces threatening to swamp the government than the government itself.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.