Jaggad HQ interior designer’s property journey

Romy Dankner is an interior designer. Her business is Homeroom Studio.

Where do you live?

In Caulfield South, with my husband, Roy, daughter Maya, sons Nadav and Asher, and our little fur baby, Luna.

What do you love most about your home?

The kitchen and family room. We love to cook and entertain, and we all gravitate around the large island counter or sink into our sofa for nights around the log fireplace. It’s a space where we create so many memories.

Have you changed anything?

We extended the property by adding a main bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite. We also added a home office and the kitchen and family room. Our family was growing, so the extra spaces were needed.

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Most memorable home you’ve lived in?

Our little apartment in Tel Aviv, Israel. It was a special time in our lives when we lived amid the hustle and bustle of the city and were within walking distance of the beach, shops and cafes. It was very small but had charm.

First foot on the property ladder?

After returning to Melbourne 17 years ago, I was determined to build for the first time. I wasn’t a designer then, but I have always been creative and in awe of the building process. We bought a block of land in Caulfield South, subdivided it and built our first townhouse.

Are you a keen or reluctant property buyer?

I always find purchasing property an emotional rollercoaster of patience, excitement, research (and many tears). But I love buying property and developing it. Watching these creations come to life is magic.

How many homes have you ever bought?

Five homes, which we have developed before moving on to our next adventure.

Highlights of your property journey?

The incredible amount of information I have learnt over the years. We have always built to sell, which has helped me understand what most people prefer, the areas to focus on and how to build on a budget.

The lowlights?

One of the builders went bankrupt during one of our builds. It was a tense time when trades stopped coming to work. Navigating this process was very stressful.

Tips for homebuyers?

Buy something you can add value to. Perhaps renovate a bathroom, change the layout to

create open spaces or add bedrooms. Not only will you inject your own creativity, if you

choose to sell, you are already one step in front.

Future property plans?

We have bought land and are building our “forever” home. Our kids are entering their teens

now, so our needs and wants have shifted. I have been loving the process using my creativity

to create something unique and beautiful. You can follow the build on Instagram, via #ivoryhousecaulfield

MORE: Mildura named among Australia’s hottest housing markets, alongside Bendigo

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UK property prices rise at fast rate in 4 years in September

Estate agents property for sale boards on display outside a residential property in north London. Photo: Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images/Sipa USA
Estate agents property for sale boards on display outside a residential property in north London. Photo: Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images/Sipa USA

UK house prices are surging at their fastest rate in four years, as pent up demand post-lockdown and a temporary Stamp Duty cut fuel a buying boom.

Nationwide’s closely-watched House Price Index found prices jumped by 5% on an annual basis in September, the biggest increase since September 2016.

Prices grew by 0.9% between August and September. Both the annual growth figure and the month-on-month growth were ahead of City forecasts.

The average UK house price now stands at £226,129 ($288,167), Nationwide said.

Watch: Why house prices are rising despite COVID-19 and a recession in the UK

“The rebound reflects a number of factors,” said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist.

“Pent-up demand is coming through, with decisions taken to move before lockdown now progressing. The stamp duty holiday is adding to momentum by bringing purchases forward. Behavioural shifts may also be boosting activity as people reassess their housing needs and preferences as a result of life in lockdown.”

Gardner said the pandemic was encouraging people to move. Lockdowns and working from home have spurred many people to look for new properties with more space and a garden, with less concern about commuting distance.

READ MORE: UK mortgage approvals hit highest level since 2007

25% of people surveyed by Nationwide in London said they were moving as a result of the lockdown, while another 15% of residents in the capital were thinking about moving.

All regions of the UK saw house prices grow between July and September. The highest growth was in the South West of England, where annual price growth was 5.5%.

Nationwide’s price data comes a day after the Bank of England said mortgage approvals hit a 13-year high in August, underlining the strength of the property boom.

Experts believe the property market could loose steam in the coming months as the government’s economic support measures unwind.

“Most forecasters expect labour market conditions to weaken significantly in the quarters ahead as tighter restrictions dampen economic activity and the furlough scheme winds down,” said Gardener.

“While the recently announced jobs support scheme will provide some assistance, it is not as comprehensive as the furlough scheme it replaces.”

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: “We continue to expect the official measure of prices to peak in October, and then to reverse all of its gains since March over the following 12 months.”

Estate agents Hamptons expects house prices to fall across much of the UK next year.

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The Property Brothers Show Off Their Grandest Kitchen Upgrades

“Property Brothers” stars Drew and Jonathan Scott are at it again! On this season of “Brother vs. Brother,” they’re competing to see who can renovate the better home in Los Angeles. And in the latest episode, they’re facing off over (arguably) the most important part of the house: the kitchen.

In the episode “A Tale of Two Kitchens,” a lot is on the line. Drew hasn’t won a single kitchen challenge in all six seasons of “Brother vs. Brother,” so he’s determined to get lucky with No. 7.

However, his plans may be dashed since Jonathan has plans for some show-stopping features, including a custom barrel ceiling and double kitchen islands.

It’s up to judges Maureen McCormick and Dan Vickery from the HGTV show “Frozen in Time” to decide which brother’s kitchen and dining space is better—and they have a tough decision to make.

Read on to find out how Drew preserves the history of his home, and how Jonathan creates character in his. Who knows, you might see some design ideas you’ll be inspired to try in your own home.

Bring attention to your ceiling

This barrel ceiling is cleverly crafted with false brick panels.


Jonathan’s kitchen and dining area starts out looking pretty bare-bones, so the pressure is on to add style and character. Of course, he comes through, starting with a stunning new ceiling.

Jonathan knows Drew has a barrel ceiling in his house, so he decides to one-up him with a barrel ceiling (with four barrels) that’s decorated with brick veneer panels.

While Jonathan first tries to get the brick look with a printed wallpaper, he realizes he’ll need to step it up to beat Drew. So he gets the panels custom-made from a shop that specializes in making pieces for Hollywood movie sets. Apparently, if this brick is good enough for Hollywood, it’s good enough for this Hollywood home.

Jonathan Scott did a great job—this looks like real brick!


The result is a gorgeous ceiling with timeless charm.

When the renovation is finished, McCormick loves the feature.

“Oh my gosh, what a work of art,” she says. “You know, I feel almost like I’m in Europe. So beautiful.”

Why stop at one kitchen island when you can have two?

These double islands make this kitchen look massive.


Jonathan decides to go big with this project, building an addition so that he can add extra space to his stunning kitchen and dining area. And with all that space, Jonathan decides to give the kitchen not just one beautiful island, but two!

These islands make for plenty of dining space for the future homeowners, and they look beautifully unique.

The hottest new home feature: A see-through fireplace

Jonathan’s fireplace is uniquely see-through.


A beautiful home needs a beautiful fireplace—and Jonathan delivers.

By shifting the fireplace header up, he’s able to add a tall, modern fireplace to the sitting area off the kitchen. The fireplace

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LIXIL announces winners for Asia Pacific Property Awards 2020-21

LIXIL continues to empower the real estate sector as a headline sponsor for the Asia Pacific Property Awards

TOKYO, Sept. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — LIXIL, maker of pioneering water and housing products, in partnership with the Asia Pacific Property Awards, today announced the winners for this year’s edition.

Asia Pacific Property Awards 2020-2021

This year there are 628 winners from across Asia Pacific in the Architecture, Development, Interior Design and Real Estate categories. Mainland China swept the maximum awards (146 awards) followed by Thailand (69 awards). This was closely chased by Singapore (58 awards) and Hong Kong (54 awards). Other important markets including Vietnam (44 awards), India (26 awards), Philippines (26 awards) and Indonesia (27 awards) also made a mark at this year’s edition.

In this globally challenging time, the award ceremony was held online and saw the congregation of many renowned names in the architecture and design community. All the top winners for 2020-2021 in the Asia Pacific region will be a part of the International Awards, celebrating their achievements in a virtual ceremony held on 7 September 2020. The Asia Pacific Property Awards are one of the biggest and most established awards in the industry, receiving over 900 entries each year from countries across the entire region. The awards provide recognition to the best companies operating within the architecture, interior design, real estate and property developer sectors. Sponsored by LIXIL Asia through its power brands GROHE and American Standard as part of a three-year partnership as Headline Sponsor from 2019 until 2021, the Asia Pacific Property Awards are the largest branch of the International Property Awards (IPA).

LIXIL, as a global market leader in the water technology industry, recognises the increasing concern around hygiene globally and is pre-empting consumers’ needs for touchless, IoT enabled, hygiene solutions (technologies and products). Through its portfolio of power brands, LIXIL offers pioneering technologies that promote health, hygiene, comfort and sustainability. Each of the power brands have their own star products, including American Standard HygieneClean Technology, award-winning Genie hand shower and Aqua Ceramic; GROHE SmartControl Kitchen Collection and sensor faucets; INAX 3in1Jet Bowl; as well as the SPALET range and the recently launched SATO Tap. Against the backdrop and uncertainties of an ongoing global pandemic, the awards mark a celebratory milestone for the community and for LIXIL Asia to continue providing consumer-centric products across different price points, designs and technologies.

Satoshi Konagai, CEO of LIXIL Water Technology Asia Pacific, expressed, “We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the winners and hope that this memorable moment will be a reminder that good design will shine even during tough times. At LIXIL, consumer centricity is a big part of who we are and what we do as a purpose-driven company. Our industry leading brands cater to consumers across all lifestyle needs, from affordable to luxury ranges, functional to precision technology, and classic to modern design. By awarding these professionals with this industry honour, we want to empower them to rise

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Hope for some, heartbreak for others as house prices go through the roof | Property

UK house prices have hit a record high since the lifting of lockdown, after the fastest monthly growth in property values in August since 2004, fuelled by the release of pent-up demand and the government’s stamp duty cut.

Despite Britain plunging into the deepest recession in modern history in the second quarter, estate agents report a surge in interest from those with the financial security to move, and from those whose priorities have been changed by Covid-19. There are, however, winners and losers in this rapidly moving market, as Covid-19 creates a period of boom and bust.


Young people looking in estate agent window
First-time buyers are losing out under the stamp duty holiday. Photograph: Tim Ireland/PA

First-time buyers
First-time buyers have suffered a double whammy after the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, launched a stamp duty holiday until March next year. Fuelling a boom in prices that pushes property values further out of reach for those starting out, the change has also removed an advantage first-timers held over other house hunters. Many young buyers outside London were not paying this tax to get on the property ladder, thanks to stamp duty relief for first-time buyers. Now they face tough competition from movers and second-property buyers aiming to cash in on the stamp duty holiday.

Britain’s high street banks have also stopped offering high loan-to-value mortgages in order to protect themselves against any sharp drop in house prices, and this disproportionately hits first-time buyers, who usually have smaller deposits.

But even if the Covid recession triggers a plunge in prices, there is unlikely to be a silver lining for first-time buyers, according to the Resolution Foundation thinktank.

While prices have boomed in recent months, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), the government’s economics forecaster, estimates that property values could fall by 21% by the third quarter of 2021 as the pandemic drives up unemployment and forces people to sell their homes or put off new purchases. But weak earnings growth for young adults as a result of the downturn will prevent them taking advantage of this.

An emty Thomas Cook shop in Middlesbrough
An empty shop unit in Middlesbrough: owners of commercial property are suffering. Photograph: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Commercial property
With city centres still largely empty, owners of commercial property are coming under mounting pressure. Retailers, coffee chains and restaurants are closing hundreds of outlets and cutting thousands of jobs, as high streets adapt to fewer people travelling into city centres to work.

Despite the government encouraging a wider return to offices to protect businesses dependent on city workers, footfall in central London remains more than two-thirds below usual levels as firms delay the return of staff to densely packed office districts.

Early on in the pandemic, the chief executives of Barclays bank and advertising giant WPP predicted an end to crowded city centre offices and rush hours, and flexible working becoming the norm: “I think the notion of putting 7,000 people in a building may be a thing of the past,” Barclays’ chief executive, Jes Staley, said at the time.

The consultancy

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Selling Your House To A Property Manager – What To Consider

Selling a house is not as easy as it might seem. This is a process that can take a long period of time, especially if you have a home that is not as modern as many buyers would want it to buy. But when you choose to sell it out to a property company or manager, then the process is made less tedious for you because they buy it as it is without you having to make any additional changes to its current state. But even when choosing this seemingly easier path, there are still things that are very important for you to consider.

The options

The least you can do when selling your house is being comfortable with the path you choose to take. You have the option of selling the house on our own, using property agents or selling it fast and easy to the property managers. Weigh every option together with the pros and cons before making the final decision.

The fees

Usually property managers and buying companies do not charge you for consultation, valuation of the house or even a survey. They are more interested in closing the deal, but it is still very important that you check and confirm that you will not be charged; or at least be aware of any charges that could be applicable.

The house value

You might be in desperate need of quick money and therefore want to sell the house fast, but this should not mean getting a price that is too low for the value of the house. You should actually have your own valuation done privately so that you know how much the house is worth depending on the current market prices and the condition. When you know the value, then you can tell when you get a good deal from the manager or property company you are selling to. You should get a quick sale without getting ripped off so do your homework to get a good deal in the end.

The speed

One of the reasons why many homeowners choose to sell to property managers is because the selling process is made speedy in that it is possible to close the deal within 24 hours and have your money ready for use. The length of time the process takes however, varies from one buying company to another and it helps to know beforehand how much time you are looking at before you have your ready cash at your disposal. Your own urgency for the sale should help you choose the best property manager to sell to for convenience.

The terms

Most do not have any restrictions when it comes to the condition of the home, but you should still ensure that you know the terms of service and whether there are things that do not count in the sale. The terms you get should be favorable in the sense that you get the true value of the house, regardless of how bad its condition might …

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Want to Run a Property Background Check on a House? Here's How!

Hunting for a new house can be thrilling, yet it is also stressful now and again. If you are in the market for a new home, then naturally you understand there's a good deal to keep in mind. Sadly, it's not just as easy as picking out a home and giving over a check. One of the simplest ways to ensure you buy the house you've always wanted and get the best price is to utilize a property records check.

Determining how much to spend on a house is ordinarily the first step. You must figure out a location that you are happy to live in. Do you desire a big kitchen. The list goes on!

When you have decided on all the elements you're looking for, you can go out and start exploring! And eventually, you're going to discover a couple homes that interest you. This is when it becomes fun, however you can't just make the purchase. Here it's important that you do your investigating and look more into the place you are considering.

This is where it's important to use a property background search to get full information on the property you're looking at. Making use of this type of property check is one of the greatest ways to get find additional information on any home you're interested in.

A property records search will teach you plenty of important info including current and prior owernship info, prior sale prices, property tax information, mortgage records, house purchase and current assessment info, neighbor details – it's a long list!

If there is a lien on the house, you can have the home snatched away from you, even if you weren't aware of it when you bought it. Naturally it's the very last thing you want to have happen, and simply by using a property background check gives you the security you need to not stress over it.

The information you gain from a property records check will also give you a big edge when the final price. This alone could potentially save you thousands of dollars.

Running a property records check is a snap thanks to the internet. There are now websites that offer records searches online. When you utilize a background check website, you just punch in the home address and you are then given access to the info. The cost for using a check does not cost much – usually you can even pay a one-time fee for unlimited searches to help you if you are considering more than one place.

If you're anticipating being hunting for a house anytime soon, make sure that you take the right measures to get the best price and your dream house! A property background check will give you the piece of mind of learning all the important details about the house you decide to purchase.

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