Real estate business Harcourts Twiss-Keir has long been a well-known and respected business in Shirley, and for almost 20 years the company serviced the local area from its premises in Marshland Road.
Unfortunately, damage from the 2011 earthquakes and the subsequent economic downturn meant the office had to close, franchise holder James Twiss says.
“Despite being closed, we have never forgotten the strong roots we had in the area, and although we have wanted to come back, the limited amount of commercial space in the area for a property business prevented it,” James says.
“However, we have always kept an eye out for something suitable, and about two and a half years ago the opportunity arose to purchase a site at 39 Marshland Road.”
Following the lengthy rezoning and consent process, the property, an art deco style residence built in the late 1930s, has been completely renovated throughout, transforming it from a residential home to a real estate office.
“It’s quite a unique building in the way it was constructed and we wanted to keep the original layout,” says James. “It was quite difficult to work with so it was an interesting process and we are thrilled with the results. We are now based back in Shirley where we had always intended to return, and we are looking forward to helping the local community with their real estate and property management requirements again.”
A full service real estate office, Harcourts Twiss-Keir provides sales and listings for all residential and lifestyle properties, and will have up to 10 salespeople in the office, together with administration staff and property management specialists.
Arguably the most recognisable real estate brand in Christchurch, Harcourts was voted the most trusted real estate brand in a Readers’ Digest survey for four years running.
“As the largest real estate business in Christchurch, for Harcourts the well-established residential area of Shirley is an obvious place to be, and we are excited to be back,” says James.
Traditionally this time of year is busy, but media reports have been telling us the market was quietening. This may be true for the larger markets such as Auckland and Christchurch but for us this is not exactly the case.
We are now seeing a number of comments in the media that the regions are now seeing price increases due to demand not seen for a couple of years. We can see this in our figures, prices are rising and activity is strong and we believe this is twofold, one because of the value for money offered in our region, within a short commute to Christchurch (and possibly prices in the city having reached a ceiling for the medium term) and two because of positive net migration. Why? Because people coming to NZ can see the regions as being true New Zealand and one of the reasons they left their homelands was to get away from the large cities, the hustle and bustle and experience living in tight knit communities such as ours.
If you are thinking of selling be confident that the market is strong in North Canterbury especially in our award winning offices!
Ask any new homeowner to describe what convinced them that this house was the one, and you'll hear one word come up over and over again: "love."
Buying a home, after all, is a highly emotional event, so when the right place comes along, would-be buyers get giddier than a teenage girl heading to the school ball.
A recent study by economic think-tank Kiplinger surveyed thousands of recent homebuyers to determine the most crucial elements in making them "fall in love" with a house. And we've added a few tips to help would-be sellers create that emotional magic with their own homes.
A KNOCKOUT FRONT DOOR
Love at first sight must happen with homes, too, because this was number one on the Kiplinger list. We all know that first impressions count, and the front door is a key part of making one. It should stand out from the crowd, and give the potential buyer a sense of what they'll find on the other side.
The easiest fix is to paint the door a bright but complementary colour, or stain a wood door to match the porch railing or hardwood floors just inside. Potted plants will add a punch of colour — and go for fewer, larger pots for the most visual impact.
You also might want to consider a door style out of the ordinary. Perhaps a Dutch door, double doors with transom windows, or an antique door. Any style can offer an opportunity for you to try a paint colour that brings a smile to your face as you enter.
Once inside the home, high ceilings are high on the list of wow-inducing features.
How can you capture the magic if you haven't got them? The big fix, of course, would be a remodel — by vaulting the ceiling or knocking down a wall. But if that's out of the question, paint your entry white, ceiling and all.
Another tip is to position art slightly lower to give the illusion of high ceilings and a sense of spaciousness. Or, using the same concept, try hanging a mirror so that a window can be reflected in it.
Some decorators suggest hanging curtains as close to the ceiling as possible, and letting the fabric hang down to the floor. The strong vertical line will visually expand the height of the room.
STANDING OUT IN A SEA OF SAMENESS
Drive through the outskirts of Auckland and other metro centres, and you'll notice residential developments are expanding at an ever-increasing pace. Turn into the streets of those new neighbourhoods, and it's soon apparent that all the houses look (more or less) the same.
And that's to be expected. But once you move in, or if you're thinking about selling, you'll probably want your house to stand out from the crowd.
If you find yourself living in a home that looks like every third house on the street, the first plan of action should be to paint the house, the trim, and the front door with three complementary colours. Head to the paint section of any home improvement store, and you'll find a raft of brochures with colour schemes. Then add features like flower boxes, new light fixtures, and updated house numbers.
GOOD BONES — AND MAJOR POTENTIAL
In today's economic climate, few buyers can afford to purchase a house that is exactly the way they want it. Fixer-uppers are the norm, and in many cases the opportunity to take on a project is part of the excitement of buying a home.
According to the Kiplinger study, the majority of homebuyers wanted a home that was done enough to live in, but with plenty of opportunity to make improvements and make it their own.
"Good bones" is a phrase we often hear ascribed to an older home, but what does that mean?
Simply put, "good bones" means that with some TLC and cosmetic changes, the house will have the charm and character you want because it has started with all the foundational elements you need. While old homes tend to naturally have this character, newer homes can have it, too — so if you're on the hunt for your next home, keep your eyes peeled wherever you go.
Licensed Business Owner of Harcourts Twiss-Keir Realty
Licensed Business Owner of Harcourts Twiss-Keir Realty