The Liveability podcast: a renovation for your financial stress

April 23, 2019
by Hannah Carney

Imagine if there was a checklist you could follow that not only adds value to your home, but also makes it more affordable to run?

In a recent episode of ‘The Elephant In The Room Property Podcast’, presenters Veronica Morgan and Chris Bates interview Cecile Weldon, creator of the Liveability Real Estate Framework. She gives some real life insights into just how the 17 Things of Liveability work.

Cecile also shares some actionable tips on how property owners can use their homes differently to get some of those benefits.

In the podcast, Cecile talks about how the 17 Features of Liveability came about and the changes in how we all live. We highly recommend having a listen (or reading the transcript), because she really does share some useful insights.

One important point Cecile makes: it’s not about politics! It’s about living in a home that is affordable to run, comfortable to be in and retains its value long into the future. No matter who you are, Liveability matters. Some people associate Liveability with just sustainability – which isn’t the whole story and can alienate people from what is an incredibly practical approach to our properties.

“You can start upgrading over time.” Don’t feel overwhelmed by the 17 features of Liveability. It’s not an all or nothing situation. Make a list of what will have the most impact on how your property is lived in. Put them in place as and when you can afford or have time. For example, when you decide to plant something new in your garden, start to change over to natives that require far less water and will survive through shortages and drought conditions. Or, if you’re building, then find out more about the Basix Certificate (this covers the energy rating compliance of your home).

Liveability isn’t just about the features though. “It’s telling you stuff about how to use your house” as Cecile says. That might mean, for example, using the natural benefits of cross-ventilation to cool your house, by opening opposite doors and/or windows.

“Every property owner is an investor.” Whether you’ve bought your forever home, a place to quickly sell or rent out – there are benefits to be had from implementing and highlighting Liveability features. And if this is your home, think about it in terms of the benefits you reap whilst you’re living there – followed by the fact you’ll be rewarded when you sell because of the value you’ve added. As one of the presenters points out, you never know when you might need to sell, for any reason. Having the 17 Things mindset will ultimately help you with your sale.

For property investors who rent their properties out, Liveability is an opportunity not to be missed. Property investors need to be thinking about keeping their property tenanted. That will be difficult to achieve if tenants are leaving due to, for example, high energy bills due to either poor hot water systems, lack of insulation, energy guzzling lighting and so on. Looking at the Liveability features of your property will at the very least help to maintain (if not potentially increase) its rental value and secure longer tenancies.

If you do sell or rent out your property, make sure any Liveability features are identified and used in the marketing. It’s key in telling people that this property is geared towards energy efficiency, which in turn equals lower bills. Granite bench tops might look good, but insulation, correctly placed shade and solar panels (for example) are going to completely change how much it costs to live in that home (and save buyers from doing it themselves).

We’ve all been talking a lot recently about energy retailers reducing their costs. Cecile points out that actually “We’re trying to get energy retailers to reduce their costs when all the time we could all be empowered and doing our own stuff.” So really, Liveability is a chance for us to take control of our own energy consumption and comfort – and to decide what works for us.

Listen to the Elephant in the Room Property Podcast (or read the transcript at the bottom of their page) and get in touch afterwards to let us know what Liveability features you have and the impact they have on your home. Or, talk to us about making a start on your own Liveability list!

The Elephant in the Room Property Podcast is presented by Veronica Morgan, real estate agent, buyers’ agent and co-host of Foxtel’s Location Location Location Australia & Chris Bates, financial planner, mortgage broker and wealth coach.