Top 5 Tips for Selling Your Property Faster

Sold
Maximise your prospects of selling fast, at the best possible price, with these Top 5 Tips.

Selling your home is not like selling anything else you own. Suddenly, your private domain will be open to public scrutiny. Strangers will be tramping through your home, evaluating your decor and assessing your housekeeping skills.

The faster you can get your home sold, the quicker this unpleasant process will be over with.

Quick fixes before selling always pay off. Mammoth makeovers, not so much; you won’t get your money back.

Before putting your property up for sale, it’s important to be objective and see your property through a potential buyer’s eyes.

In a declining real estate market where supply outstrips demand, sellers need to get some basics right, the first time around — or prepare for a long and frustrating time on the market.

Here are 5 things you can do maximise your prospects of selling fast, at the best possible price:
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Mandela: 15 Pearls of Wisdom

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela — Photo: Carlo Allegri/Staff/Getty Images

Mr. Mandela is one of the most politically gifted individuals of all time and one of the most admired men in history.

Together with other brave South Africans, he helped engineer the first peaceful, non-violent revolution in the history of the world.

In Africa there is a concept known as ubuntu – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievements of others.
-— Nelson Mandela, 2008

As an anti-apartheid activist, he was tried for treason and imprisoned for 27 years. Mr. Mandela was the first South African President to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. He served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

The great man’s leadership style is embodied in a stunning new book by Time editor Richard Stengel: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love and Courage (Crown). Here are Madiba’s 15 life lessons, from the book:
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Local South African Artist Hannetjie de Clercq

#1 untitled - Tempera on canvas 305x230mm
#1 untitled – Tempera on canvas 305x230mm — click any image to enlarge

Recently I came across fabulous local South African artist Hannetjie De Clercq. She lives and works in the quiet and peace of Riebeek-Kasteel, a rural town in the Western Cape of South Africa just 85 kilometres (53 miles) north-east of Cape Town. Take the N7 highway to get there.

“She feels that an over explanation of her work would render it impotent and therefore does not title her work. For her, the beauty of art is in the interaction of the viewers with their subjective personal view with a specific painting, to find meaning in the imagery.”
Hannetjie de Clercq website

The artist has a unique style, strongly sensual and inspired by middle-age frescoes and icons. The preferred medium is mainly tempera and also oils and watercolours on canvas and board. As you can see from the excerpt above, all her work is untitled (see 13 images or click here for Flickr slideshow).
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Sunset On The Bot River Estuary

Sunset on the Bot River Estuary
Sunset on the Bot River Estuary — click to enlarge

Just minutes after sunset and two hours after high tide, the skiff in the middle distance lies in shallow water about 50 meters (165 feet) off the shore line.

The estuary mouth is on the horizon to the left. Another beautiful sunset in paradise!

The Bot River Estuary lies on the southern coast of South Africa, in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, 160 kilometers (100 miles) north-east of Cape Town.

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Top 7 Tips For First Time Home Buyers

Top 7 Tips for Buying Your First Home
With the right preparation, your first home buying experience can be both pleasant and rewarding.

Is ‘now’ the right time for you to take the plunge and purchase your first home?

The process can be intimidating, particularly if you’re not prepared. With some basic groundwork you can improve the odds that your first purchase will be a pleasant and rewarding experience.

Here are some important issues to consider before jumping in.

7. Have a budget and know how to use it
New buyers often underestimate the hidden costs involved with owning a home. Home ownership comes with a number of new expenses, so good money-management skills are an essential must-have.
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Neil Armstrong Standing On The Moon

Neil Armstrong standing on the surface of the moon
Astronaut Neil Armstrong standing on the surface of the moon — Credit: NASA/AFP/Getty Images (click to enlarge)

Astronaut Neil Armstrong (1930 — 2012) died on Saturday at the age of 82.

He will be remembered as the first human to set foot on the moon, landing on July 20 1969.

“I believe every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine.”
— Neil Armstrong

The Apollo 11 mission came at the height of America’s Cold War with the Soviet Union.

While the bloody Vietnam war was in full swing the moonwalk lifted Americans with a sense of euphoric achievement and a surge of patriotism.
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Local Artist Joshua Miles Creates With Reflected Light

caledon-bull
Caledon Bull — Artist: Joshua Miles (click to enlarge)

Local artist Joshua Miles was born and raised in the Western Cape where he attended the renowned Michaelis Art School of the University of Cape Town.

He met his Scottish wife in Hermanus, and after living in Scotland and London for several years, returned to South Africa. He now lives and works in Baarskeerdersbos near Hermanus.

Joshua drew early inspiration from art historian and artist Elsa Miles. As a child he watched her producing woodcuts and was taught the technical aspects of the medium by Cecil Skotnes at Michaelis Art School.

Joshua’s skillful interpretation of shadow and the effect of light on water is featured in many of his oil paintings and reduction woodcuts. He finds his inspiration in the beautiful landscapes of the Overberg and Little Karoo (See 16 Images, or click here for Flickr slideshow).
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Your Home Insurance Policy: What You Need to Know

House on fire
What would happen if your home burned to the ground tomorrow? — Image: Todd Klassy on Flickr

What would happen if your home burned to the ground tomorrow?

If you have the right homeowners insurance policy, your insurance company would pay for your costs of living for at least one year while your home was rebuilt from scratch, all for just the cost of your deductible.

But if you don’t have the right kind of policy, you may not be covered for the total cost of replacing your home.
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Actors And Celebrities Who Were Once Famous Flatmates

Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore
Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore were roommates in college — Image: Anthony G. Moore / Photorazzi — click to enlarge

Let’s face it, we’ve all lived with some peculiar people in our lives, especially during our younger years. Did you ever wonder: what if that guy who sang in the shower, or always ate your leftover pizza without permission, became rich and famous? What if you both did?

Reality shows have endlessly forced “odd couple” type pairings or entire groups of random celebrities. But for the purposes of this article, I’m concentrating on people who became famous in different, often wildly divergent fields (since it’s not all that uncommon for, say, actors or musicians to come up together in the same “scene”).

Here are some of the strangest bedfellows to go on to future glory:
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Architects Design Transparent House in Tokyo – Could You Live In This?

This revolutionary design was commissioned by a Tokyo couple and was conceived by Japanese architects Sou Fujimoto

The footprint is just 914 sq ft (85 sq meters). The architects have managed to elegantly combine 21 floor plates positioned at various levels and connected by a system of stairs and ladders that create an easily accessible, light-filled space.

The house is surrounded by homes of a more conventional design in a quiet neighborhood of Tokyo. At night curtains provide some privacy as you’ll see in the short (3:27) video above (5 photographs).
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And the Long, Short 'n Tall of it