Tapware Fit for a DIY King and Queen…

Whilst the waiting game for settlement is still being played, now is the time for us to turn our painting tape designs on the floor in to a reality. The boy took the draftsman to the house to measure the bathroom, laundry and sleep out spaces accurately to have our winning design from two posts ago turned in to something legible to a tradesperson.

In the meantime, we have been on the hunt to find the perfect tapware. There is a lesson to be learnt in this blog post which as a rookie, was bound to happen. As you know, we’ve been flicking through a ridiculous number of home and bathroom magazines, creating mood boards and piecing together our ideas. In the search for ideas I noted that all of the tapware I was cutting out and pinning to my mood board was from the same company. So with this in mind I set out to find local stockists of said tapware here in Perth.

Unfortunately, we aren’t as spoilt for choice here in WA as they are in some of the eastern states when it comes to shopping around for this sort of thing! However, there are two local stockists for this particular brand (or so the website says!).

So, off we set one Saturday out to Midland to find the perfect tapware, Given that we have a character home, we are on the hunt for chrome Federation or Victorian styled pieces. We had decided that we preferred lever tap handles and that the shower set needed to have a hand-held shower as well as a drop down given there’s theres no room for a bath in the tiny space and our future may or may not include little humans. I was filled with anticipation, particularly because apart from thinking about it, this was the first actual purchasing we were going to be doing! We drive the 40 minutes out there, chatting with excitement, product codes and product pictures in hand to realise… the stockist had closed twelve months ago.

Never mind! Remember that there is two stockists in Perth, perhaps we’ll have more luck with the second store. On his lunch break I send the boy to the store in the hunt for this tapware specifically. He walks in the front door that afternoon and hands me a product brochure with handwritten dollar amounts besides the products we had marked. Put simply, I had sent the boy in a store not knowing that the prices of the tapware I had been lusting over for weeks would cost almost the same price as my car! I asked him ‘how did you respond!?’ and his response was this:

I had to pretend like I was fine with it but I literally had to try not to sweat bullets when reading what the guy was writing down. I kept thinking to myself, I wonder if he’s going to charge me just for asking!’

They had quoted us almost $3,000 for the toilet, $2,835 for the shower set and over $1,000 for the basin tap set with additional charges for the handles that we preferred. Like any woman, I know that style (and good style at that!) is worth its price tag. However, this just simply isn’t in our budget. The lesson learnt is, they don’t quote the prices in magazines for a reason! They want to suck you in, make you fall in love and make an emotional purchase that your heart loves and your wallet does not! The save in grace in this situation was that the laziness of the shop assistant meant that there was no followup the next day as promised and the boy never had to provide an explanation (perhaps his acting wasn’t as good as he thought!).

In compromise, we have hunted around and found a company which creates similarly themed products without the hefty price tag. Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t being cheap with out tapware at all but the Bastow range which can be purchased at Reece Plumbing, and in part at Bunnings, ticks the boxes for us. It is beautiful, elegant and suits our theme perfectly. It also comes with a 7 year warranty which says it all really.

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Bastow-Georgian-Large-Sink-mixer-2259965-hero-1

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Tapware from the Bastow range thanks to Reece Plumbing

So, its done! For about $2,800 we’ve purchased the shower set, basin set, the basin its self and the laundry mixer tap. The next steps are to send the dimensions of these products off to the draftsman for him to pencil in to our plans, choose a toilet and meet with the cabinetmaker to have him draw up our vanity, matching shaving cabinet and laundry cupboards. Slowly, the dreams are coming to life!

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Real Estate Agents – The good, the bad and the quirky.

I have found myself throughout the house hunting adventure discussing the realty profession at length with friends and family. As someone who counsels the general public on their life decisions around career paths and projections, I find the real estate profession interesting. I mean, what sort of person gets in to the real estate game? What sort of things do they value? Are they really just in it to ‘make a quick buck’?

At times it certainly has felt this way.

For many long and tedious months, we wandered through strangers homes critiquing their design choices, renovations and lifestyles to ultimately decide whether or not we would hand over hundreds of thousands of dollars to begin our own lives there. All the while, someone is there, subtly peering over our shoulder watching our every step and listening out to every comment to see if we are indeed their next pay cheque. More often than not, we were greeted by a pushy and somewhat arrogant agent in an ill-fitting suit, trying to guess how much money we had to blow. Well versed in the art of coaxing every last detail out of you and giving you no information in return, I found myself pushing the boy through the front door to initiate the awkward small-talk with the agent at every home open attended for the 5-6 month period that we house hunted in fear that I might give away too much.

But as with all experiences (and professions) it certainly wasn’t all bad. In fact, part of the experience was even better than we could have imagined.

Meeting one stand out Real Estate Agent has certainly saved this profession in my eyes. In the process of buying a house, the boy sold an inner-city apartment. In his usual thorough manner, three quotes were sourced from three local agents all of differing character and demographic. The first was a local smaller agency, the second a big agency with a big investor base and the last, a young independent agent running a small self-managed business.

From the get-go, the young and vibrant Scott was the definition of stand-out. On first enquiry, what can only be described as a ‘care-package’ was mailed with hand-written recommendations and thank you notes from previous clients. The package came with the following list of promises (taken straight from his website – see the details below for a link):

  • Complete and utter honesty: You may or may not like what I have to say, I’m still going to say it. I will always give you my honest opinion.
  • Complete dedication: Less properties means more time for you and your property to be enthusiastically marketed.
  • Just real estate: Real estate is my only business 24 hours, 7 days a week.
  • Working together to get great results: You will be kept in the loop the whole time.
  • The most advanced and up to date marketing techniques: The market has changed and so has the way people shop for properties. Yours needs to stand out from the crowd
  • Effective negotiating techniques: Not just bringing you the buyer’s offer but negotiating the best price possible.

If this isn’t enough to make him a stand-out to you, then meeting him in person will ensure that he leaves an impression. Up rocks this red-headed man, on his scooter with home open signs slung over each shoulder ready to give you a the friendliest (but no-bullshit) service you could expect. The man gives basil seeds with his business cards for gods-sake! You are certainly not going to forget him in a hurry.

As someone selling a property for the first time, Scott answered the bazillion small question with not a hint of discern or sarcasm (even answering questions about the purchase of the new property out of the kindness of his heart!). Most importantly he kept his promises. Not only would we use him again in heartbeat and recommend him to our friends and family but we’d like to have him over dinner and keep him as a friend. I think this says something about him in itself.

The apartment was sold in four weeks… with all of its furniture included… for a price which was higher than we anticipated… to an international buyer who paid in cash! Seriously, could it be any smoother than that!?

One happy little chappy!

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Moral of the story: In every profession there are the good, the bad and the quirky. Don’t let your experience with a few bad agents dishearten you or affect your experience in buying the house of your dreams.

And with most things in life, if you’ve found a good one – don’t let them get away!

Want to get in touch with Scott or find out more about him?

Scott BJ Properties

Website: www.scottbj.com.au

Phone: 0438 933 634

Email: scott@scottbj.com.au