Moving to Canberra from Tasmania, it took some time for Jasmine and Alex to find their place in our planned city. Our well laid out streets, suburban landscape and young aesthetic can feel soulless and disconnected if you don’t know where to look.

Unsurprisingly, it is in Hackett they found their joyful place and their newfound love of Canberra is infectious and heartfelt. Now selling their mid-century home and returning to family in Tasmania, I asked Jasmine to share her experience of how Canberra became ‘their place’.

Like many families, we landed in Canberra, quite suddenly, for a job – typical examples of the steady population growth enjoyed by the territory for more than a hundred years.

It was 2008 and the ‘millennium drought’ was in full swing. I remember washing our car with a little bucket, on a prickly patch of yellow that I refused to call grass, feeling that I could never truly make the city home.

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McReynolds testimonial

The shoe is on the other foot! I am a real estate agent trying to buy my first home.

I can now fully appreciate how stressful it can be to buy a property. There are so many hoops to jump through just to get finance, it’s overwhelming trying to decide if “this is the one” during a 30-minute inspection with 30 other bodies crowded inside, and it can be emotionally draining!

I am currently pursuing my dream home, which will be sold at auction. Eek! I decided to write some of my top tips that I’ve learnt along the way which might help you through your journey.

Keep your bank account clean

If you’re thinking of buying a property in the near future start making changes to your lifestyle now.  Trust me! This will help you when the time comes to apply for a home loan.

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Have you been looking for a rental property over the summer months in Canberra? While Canberra cools down after a record-breaking heat in the past weeks, Canberra’s real estate is still scorching -particularly for rental properties. If you’ve gone property hunting this summer, you’re probably used to seeing over 30 people showing the same level of interest in the rental you’ve had your heart set on.

A shortage of rental properties and vacancy rate under 1 per cent means the demand versus supply is at an all-time high. Locals are also competing with an influx of people moving to Canberra for employment opportunities.

With this in mind, here are my hot summer tips to survive the rental heatwave!

It is recommended that if you see a listing that suits your needs online, you need to make the advertised showing time. It’s likely that the first showing is the last.

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If you’ve ever walked or driven by a lush green garden sitting in the middle of a neighbourhood or park and looked in awe at the flowering zucchini plants and well-tended tomato vines, there’s a good chance it’s one of twelve community gardens nestled in amongst our bush capital.

The Gardens operate under the Canberra Organic Growers Society (COGS), a not-for-profit organisation run by a voluntary committee and are currently located at Charnwood, Crace, Cook, Cotter, Dickson, Erindale, Holder, Kaleen, Kambah, Mitchell, Oaks Estate and O’Connor.

Since its establishment in 2001, people have gathered at the Cook Community Gardens to not only cultivate and grow their own produce but to learn and connect with others in their neighbourhood.

Garden convener and member Peter Weddell said with around 50 plots at the garden, it is a “wonderful way to bring people together”.

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While supporting local isn’t exactly a new trend, it is one that is definitely gaining momentum in Canberra.

Working in real estate, it’s something I notice daily, chatting with residents about what they love about living where they do. The answer is so often about community and lifestyle, not the home itself.

With technology removing the human element from so many transactions, it seems to have increased the value of personal, bespoke service when we do receive it. It’s an interesting cultural shift in a relatively short time, the appreciation of big business to small; local shops, farmers markets, locally-made craft beer, handmade jewellery, the list goes on.

The evidence lies in the massive success in the rejuvenation of local shopping centres out in our suburbs. Where 10 years ago many of these centres were deserted, now new businesses are thriving with originality and innovation.

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A recent survey by indicates investors take less than two weeks to research a property manager. Investors entrust one of their biggest financial investments to a stranger. It’s recommended you invest some time retaining a property manager to ensure you are in a happy business relationship and things don’t take a turn once the honeymoon period fades.

As a landlord, you need to connect with as many property managers as possible. Consider visiting some rental open homes of the managers you have researched.

Role play being a tenant and ask the property manager some questions to gauge how they interact with the other side of the relationship – for example.

  1. What is the Owner like?
  2. How well does the Owner act on reported maintenance and improvements?
  3. What exactly am I responsible for as a tenant, bar the rent?
  4. Is the price negotiable?
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Ainslie is well known for many things: its thriving local shopping centre with Edgar’s pub, busy restaurants, and a family-owned supermarket. Community ties are strong with two primary schools and a local football club. The environment is influenced by the ‘garden city movement’ with parks and gardens integrated into the suburb’s plan.

One of the most unique features of Ainslie is its position between the city and the bush. Understandably, many people know it as a coveted place to live. Not only does it have large established suburban blocks, tree-lined streets and garden city ideals, it is also positioned – actually, nestled – at the base of Mt Ainslie with reserve and bush as its backdrop.

Ainslie’s enviable position offers an active and varied lifestyle thanks to its connectedness to nature and its closeness to Canberra’s vibrant, cosmopolitan attractions.

Duffy Street backs onto Mt Ainslie Nature Reserve and is the suburb’s most privileged position.

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