Avoiding Mistakes
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When you are renovating your home, you don’t want to settle for less than the best – a makeover that lifts your home from drab all the way up to fab! After all, if you are spending the time and the effort to make your home look the best it can be – you shouldn’t settle for any less than your absolute best!

The problem is that many of us forget the exterior of our homes when we renovate and just focus on the inside – but revamping the outside of your property can instantly increase the appeal and value of your home. So here are a few tips that will help you select the right exterior colour for your home.

Architecture and Style

Make sure that you match the outside colour of your home to its architecture and style. For example, if you have a brick home, select colours that complement the brickwork, or if you don’t like the brickwork then select a colour that camouflages it well. Homes with a timber exterior can be enhanced by a neutral colour palette, accenting window trims with a colour that is two shades either lighter or darker.

If you have a home that lends itself to French provincial then select colours that will enhance that look rather than detract or confuse the eye. Traditional, older homes can be updated with a blended palette rather than bright colours that detract from the architecture.

:  Sasha deBretton, CEO of Million Dollar explains how to select the right exterior colour for your home

How many colours?

Keep in mind that simplicity is the key and select just two colours and no more than three for the exterior of your home. Select the colours two shades apart – so you can either use the darker colour to make your home’s features recede into the background or the lighter colour to highlight them.

If your home is made of brick you may only want to paint the window trims and the guttering – and leave the brick work as a feature of the home.

Don’t accent the guttering!

The gutters should be the same colour as the external trims, the brickwork or timber cladding as you don’t want to accentuate the gutters but rather blend them into the exterior of your home. You want a colour that blends in well with the brickwork or external wall colours to help hide the guttering rather than making it stand out – the guttering isn’t the best feature of your home!

Keep it simple and elegant

If you use too many colours, your home will look too busy and will not be very appealing. The idea is to keep the exterior of your house simple and elegant because that will give your home a feeling of welcome and sophistication.

Check out the neighbourhood

If you are struggling for ideas, take a walk around your neighbourhood and notice the architecture of the houses and the colour palettes that have been used. Even though you don’t want to copy other people’s house colours you can find some really clever colour combinations that can inspire your own design.

It is also a good practice to make your house blend in with or be fairly similar to the palettes used by your neighbours. The last thing you want is for your house to be an eyesore in the neighborhood – and some building regulations even require that you design your home within certain parameters to promote consistency.

Be sure to check out Sasha’s TV channel and see how she transforms Drab in Fab and instantly increases her client’s wealth!


Most home owners purchase their property as an investment. And in the real estate market it is usually the location, the size of the block and the house itself that determines its value. You can’t change the location or the size of the block but if you want to add value to your home you can make improvements to the house itself.

Renovating your home is one of the best ways to increase the value of your home and of your investment – so here are 5 ways to add value you tour home:

What are your home’s strong points?

If your home has some features that would be a strong selling point (if you wanted to sell) then improving or updating these areas can add considerable value to your home. Do you have an exceptionally large garden for your area or a spectacular view? Make sure that you accentuate these areas so that they become the potential selling points of your home.

Sasha deBretton shares 5 ways to add value to your home.

Hire an interior designer

Not everyone has an eye for design and knows how to select the best colour palette and style for their home. A professional designer will bring out the best in your home and ensure that all the spaces flow well together.

A good floor plan that flows smoothly from one space to the next can add oodles of money to your property – think of how much you would want to live in a cramp, dis-jointed house!

Window treatments

Changing your window treatments can change the whole appearance of the house, both from the inside and outside. Shutters, blinds or sheer curtains can help bring natural light flooding inside and brighten up all those dark spaces. Make sure that your window treatments suit the style of the house and the interior styling.

Revamp the entrance and gardens

The outside is as important as the inside of a home. Make your garden and entrance appealing and it will instantly attract people to enter your home. Tidy the gardens, remove dead plants and rubbish, mow the lawns and tidy up the edges. Plant some spring flowers to add colour and a sense of welcome to your home. A clean, tidy front garden makes a good impression on visitors.

The entrance and doorway to your home must also be welcoming enough to entice people to walk inside. Passersby will notice an elegant entrance and along with a well thought out front garden will proclaim that this home is cared for and well maintained.

Kitchens and bathrooms

Improving kitchens and bathrooms always adds value to a home – so spend well in these areas and watch your investment grow!

For a quick makeover – replace splash backs in the kitchen with coloured glass, stainless steel or mosaic tiles. There are a whole host of different ideas for splash backs that will add a WOW factor to your kitchen.

Replace the tap ware in the bathroom and kitchen for more updated models, re-grout the bathroom if needed and replace the mirrors and old vanities in the bathroom for an instant luxurious makeover!


Be sure to check out Sasha’s TV channel and see how she transforms Drab in Fab and instantly increases her client’s wealth!



If you think your house is too small for your family, no longer suits your requirements or just looks old and drab – you have two options – buy a new property  or remodel your current home. Before you decide to sell your current home be sure that this is the answer to your problem.

If you need to move because of work or to be closer to your family then renovating your current home is not an option – you need to move. However, if you are just fed up with your house – maybe a revamp will do the job?

Sometimes the best option is to just stay where you are and redesign your property to give you your luxurious, dream home. So what are the 3 best reasons for you to renovate rather than sell?

You like the location

For many of us the location of our home means that we are close to our family and friends. Maybe we live close to the children’s schools or to our work – and we don’t really want to move from the location.

You might have spent years finding this spot close to your relatives – so do you really want the expense and stress of selling and buying a different home? Think about how renovating your current home will achieve the goals you have for your family – rather than selling.

The house is too small

Is it just that your home is too small and no longer works for your family? Maybe you need more bedrooms or a teenager’s retreat? Maybe you feel that it is time to have that parent’s retreat you have been dreaming of for so long or you want a pool in the garden or the floor plan is just too cramped and doesn’t flow well.

So instead of moving – consider renovating your current home. If your land is large enough you can build an extension – an interior designer can redesign your floor plan to suit your needs and increase your living spaces even without an addition. They can even redesign your floor plan to increase the number or size of the rooms by getting rid of dead, unusable space. You can have the best location and the best home without selling!

Sasha deBretton explains why renovating can be better than selling

Increase your wealth

A good, high-quality makeover utilizing the skills and experience of an interior designer can instantly increase the value of your home! Even though the renovations will cost you money, the improvements that can be made can be astounding and can lift the value of your home to the next level.

An interior designer will help you to make the right choices for you and your family and will also prevent you from spending too much money and over-capitalising on your property. If you are short of cash for the renovation, a well thought out plan by an interior designer can encourage your financial institution to lend you the money based on the anticipated increase in the value of your home, following the renovations.


Be sure to check out Sasha’s TV channel and see how she transforms Drab in Fab and instantly increases her clients wealth!


Selling your home is an emotional process – one we want accomplished quickly and with the minimum of stress and worry. We have all heard tales of houses taking months to sell and then sold at reduced prices. So how do you ensure that your selling process runs smoothly? How do you avoid the unknown pitfalls just waiting to trip you up in the real estate jungle?

Well there are four common mistakes that people tend to make when selling a property. And by knowing and identifying these mistakes beforehand, you can help ensure that your sale goes off without a hitch!


Market conditions

The most common mistake people make when selling their home is to not make an informed decision about the market. You need to check out current market conditions in order to determine if this is even a good time to sell your home. Not doing so can be costly and it will take much longer to sell your home if you attempt to sell it at the wrong time.

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter what the state of the real estate market – you just have to sell. Under these circumstances, at least you are aware of the market cycles and can take them into account when deciding to sell and setting your price. Sasha deBretton explains how to avoid the selling pitfalls

Real Estate Agents

Many people hire a realtor because of a referral or a first good impression. And there is nothing wrong with that – most realtors are really, nice people. Realtors need to be happy and agreeable people or else nobody will ask them to sell their house! However being likeable is not the same as being qualified to do the job.

So find out whether the realtor has a proven track record of closing a deal and how long are the houses on the market before they sell? And how many years of experience does the realtor have? The answers to these questions are just as important as a good personality.

Selling Price

Pricing your property too high based on its perceived value or your emotional attachment is just plain wrong. Your house will sell for the prevailing market value – despite the value you attach to it.

If you price your home too high, it is doubtful that you will receive any offers at all. So investigate the prices of similar properties in your area – those that have sold recently and make a decision based on market value and demand not on emotion.

If demand is high for properties similar to yours then you can initially ask a higher price and see how that is accepted. Likewise, if demand for properties like yours is low – then you may have to lower your asking price if you really want a sale.

Ready to sell?

The final mistake people make when selling their home is to place their home on the market before it is ready. Remember that retail is detail. You need to make sure your home is presented well in order to achieve the best price.

Try hiring an interior designer to revamp your home before selling. A cosmetic makeover by someone who has their finger on the design pulse will increase your property’s value and make it more sellable. By both restyling and bringing your home up to date a buyer will see more value in your home – because they will see a property that is clean, tidy, well maintained and desirable.


Be sure to check out Sasha’s TV channel and see how she transforms Drab in Fab!


To create your dream renovation team you need access to the best professional help you can find. So far we have looked at real estate agents, mortgage brokers, land surveyors, house inspectors and lawyers. To round your dream team out you need trades people!

Finding good, reliable trades people is a must for your business and can be one of the main challenges that you will face. Some trades people don’t answer your calls, some don’t bother to turn up, some charge the earth for poor quality work – you don’t want all your profits to be eaten up by unreliable and poor-quality trades people.

You need a special type of trades person who will turn up on time, work well with other tradies in small spaces, deliver superior workmanship on a tight dead line – and be someone you can trust.

Ask your friends, family and colleagues for recommendations. Check with your insurer as they have a database of trades people and ask at your DIY stores for reliable tradies in the area.

When recruiting to your dream team – ask the following questions:

  • Are they licensed and insured? Ask to see a certificate of currency for public liability insurance. If they are not insured they can sue you for injuries sustained whilst on your property. Also ask for their license number as you are liable for their work for six years – even when the house is sold.
  • Ask to see a portfolio of their work and at least three references.
  • Ask for an honest and fair rate and a detailed quote that covers all costs. The lowest bid may not necessarily provide the best workmanship.
  • Can they inspect the property at a time that you nominate? Being told they will be there in the next few days to inspect the property for a quote ties up your time.
  • Are they available between your start and completion date? If they can’t fit in with your schedule then find another tradie.
  • Can Sasha deBretton explains how to find the right trades people for your dream team.they be on site at a time you state – every day? Turning up whenever it suits them, means they are either unreliable or doing work for someone else. You do not need unreliable workers or those with other work commitments. You have a completion date and need workers to turn up on time. Can they work to a deadline with other workers? It is important that they can work alongside other tradies.
  • Are they flexible if the schedule changes? You may need to move the completion date forward – are they happy to pull out all stops to help?

Make sure that itemised quotes are given to you fast – within 48 hours and compare costs and services between companies. Also educate yourself on the building regulations in your area.

Lastly, pay your trades people on time. If you do this, they are far more likely to remain happy and on your dream team!

Be sure to check out Sasha’s TV channel and see how she transforms Drab in Fab!


So far we have looked at real estate agents and mortgage brokers. Today we are going to look at selecting the right lawyer, land surveyor and house inspector for your dream renovation team.


Buying and selling property is a complicated business and trying to do it all yourself, in particular dealing with the legal aspects involved – is a big job! There are mortgage taxes as well as building codes and regulations – so you need someone who understands all these different requirements and who can assist you through the process.

A good lawyer will protect your business, ensuring that you are not being taken advantage of and that the buying and selling process goes smoothly. They will be up-to-date on laws regarding property sales and acquisitions – but they are not cheap.

So make sure that you compare services and prices between different lawyers and also make sure that they specialise in property. Selecting the right lawyer for your business is important, so ask for recommendations from friends or colleges – but also make sure that you feel comfortable with them and that you feel confident with their abilities.

Land Surveyors

Subdividing a property is the ultimate find for a renovator! A land surveyor can help you gain Council approval – and increase the value of your property in an instant!

A good land surveyor can sort out any small problems raised by council – there is always a workable solution! So ask the following questions when you are looking for a good land surveyor:

  • Are they a registered land surveyor? Each State or Territory has their own registration board, so a surveyor must be registered in the State or Territory in which they are working.
  • Are they a member of any professional organisations? For example, the Institute of Surveyors in Victoria or the International Federation of Surveyors. Being a member of a professional organisation indicates that they keep themselves up-to-date with their profession and take an interest in the wider surveying community. All good indicators of a reliable land surveyor.
  • Ask them what surveys they have conducted in the area and for what purpose. This indicates how busy they are and also whether their skills are in line with your needs.

Sasha deBretton explains how to select House Inspectors and Land Surveyors for your dream team.

Make sure you compare prices between surveyors but also make sure you feel comfortable with their experience and track record in your area.

House Inspectors

A good house inspector is invaluable to your business. The last thing you need is to buy a property that has so much wrong with it that it will not turn a profit or won’t sell. A good house inspector will make sure that there are no nasty surprises – and you can make an informed decision on whether you want to buy the property or not.

To select the best house inspector for your business, ask the following questions:

  • Do they give a written guarantee of their work? No guarantee means no confidence!
  • Are their inspections insured? Does their insurance cover any defects they miss?
  • How much experience do they have? Whilst length of experience does not always indicate quality service – it is a good indicator. If they are new to the work, ask them about their training.
  • How do they remain up-to-date? It is good if they are committed to updating their knowledge and continuing their education.
  • Do they have references they can give you? Testimonials and references are always good to check – you want to feel confident in their professional ability.
  • Do they recommend remedies as well as identify faults? Having a background in construction is a huge bonus as they can suggest repairs that may be needed.

Next week we will look at how to find the right trades people for your dream renovation team.

Be sure to check out Sasha’s TV channel and see how she transforms Drab in Fab!


At the moment we are looking at how you can put together your property dream team to help you renovate your way to wealth!

Last week we looked at real estate agents – why you need one and what qualities you should look for in an agent. This week we are looking at the second person you need on your dream team – a mortgage broker. Just how do you select the right mortgage broker for your dream team?

Mortgage Brokers

Most of us don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars just waiting around to be invested in property – so we need a loan. This is where a mortgage broker comes in – they greatly increase your chances of obtaining the right mortgage for you – if they are good at their job.

A good mortgage broker is well-connected and has access to hundreds of lenders and loan packages. They will negotiate on your behalf, saving you the trouble of researching all the loan products yourself. The right mortgage broker is a must for any serious renovator!

A mortgage broker will be paid by the loan institution that finances your loan – you do not pay the broker any money yourself. When you are ready to select a mortgage broker, keep in mind the following questions:

  • Are they a member of the Mortgage Industry Association of Australia? This holds them accountable and provides a formal process for resolution to you.
  • Ask for references. If they were recommended by a friend it is still a good idea to ask for customer testimonials as well as references from real estate agents they have worked with previously.
  • Do they charge a fee to you for their services? If they do – find another broker because their fee should be paid by the loan institution and not by you.
  • How many lenders do they have a relationship with? The more loan institutions they can contact for you – the better.
  • Do they have a relationship with your preferred lender (if you have one!). If you have already applied for a bank loan and had it rejected – sometimes a mortgage broker can push it over the line for you and the bank approves the loan!
  • How much commission does the broker receive from different loan institutions? If they receive more from certain banks – they may be more inclined to approach those institutions Sasha deBretton explains how to find the right mortgage broker for you dream teamrather than others.
  • What process do they use to find the right loan for you? A good broker will have a system in place.
  • Is there a fee for settling the loan early? This is important because as a renovator you want to sell quickly, take your profit and move onto the next property.

Ensure that you compare the costs of each loan prior to signing. If you are not comfortable with a loan selected by your broker, ask them to find you one with better conditions that suit your needs.

Ensure that you compare the costs of each loan prior to signing. If you are not comfortable with a loan selected by your broker, ask them to find you one with better conditions that suit your needs.

You can find listings of mortgage brokers at the Mortgage Industry Association, on real estate websites or simply Google them in your local area.

Next week we will look at Lawyers, Land Surveyors and House Inspectors.

Be sure to check out Sasha’s TV channel and see how she transforms Drab in Fab!


This week we are going to take a look at one of the most, if not the most important aspect of renovating – finding the right people to help you. In other words – finding your dream team.

Too many people try and do everything themselves and come unstuck in one way or another pretty quickly. The reason they fail is because no single person can wear so many hats – none of us can do everything and do it well. Sometimes, we just have to bite the bullet and ask for help.

So who do you need on your dream team?

Real Estate Agent

The two main functions of your real estate agent is to help you buy a property at below market cost and then sell it for a profit, after your renovation. Local real estate agents have a wealth of information about the properties on their lists and the values in their areas. You can even use a buyer’s agent who can source the right property for you.

You want an experienced real estate agent who has the following qualities:

  • Personal experience with renovating properties – If they have renovated a property themselves or have previously sold properties for renovators, then they know what you have to do to make a profit with a property.
  • Specialist knowledge – They must be up-to-date with current market values and have an exhaustive knowledge of the local area. Being aware of properties that have not yet listed can be a huge bonus for you.
  • Available at all times – Obviously this is within reasonable hours, but there is nothing worse than trying to contact your agent during normal working hours and they are unavailable and even worse – do not return your call. Make sure that the agent you select provides their office and mobile numbers as well as their email. And make sure they respond to your calls promptly.
  • Proactive – If properties become available that match your criteria your agent should be calling you – not waiting for you to call them!
  • Advertises online – Many real estate agents do not update their websites regularly. I am sure that you have asked about a property advertised online just to be told it has sold, or is under contract. Even worse is when new listings are not advertised online in a timely fashion. Quite often the properties they have available are quite different to those on their website. Make sure your agent’s website is kept up-to-date.
  • Confidence – Your agent must be bold enough to make low offers for you. Many agents will not put in low offers to their own or other agent’s clients. Make sure that ySasha deBretton explains how to select your dream teamour agent is on your side and works for you!

Once you have selected the right real estate agent for your business offer them the incentive of future listings with them – only if they put their best foot forward helping you buy and sell this property.

Next week we will look at how to find the right mortgage broker for your dream team!


Be sure to check out Sasha’s TV channel and see how she transforms Drab in Fab!


This is the final blog in the series on how to think like wealthy and successful people – in other words, how to have a money mindset. Successful people, who are financially independent actually think differently, they believe in themselves and if they have any self-doubts they quickly get over them and move forward.

They do not let obstacles, mistakes and losses weigh them down, instead they rise to the challenge, learn from their failures and do it right the next time! They are driven to make money and to succeed. So if you want to live the champagne lifestyle and be financially free then you need the right frame of mind – the money mindset.

Here are the final two ways that successful people think differently:

They don’t worry about the market

The property market has cycles, it goes up over a number of years, reaches a peak and then goes down over a number of years – an up and down cycle that you don’t need to worry about!

If you are in the property market and want to make money renovating, you don’t need to worry about whether the market is good or bad. Why? Because you will be buying and selling in the same market! Unless you buy and renovate and then hold the property for a few years –then you are basing your gains on capital growth –and that’s another way of making money.

So if you are hoping to buy, renovate and sell then the property market, whether up or down is not a problem – it is all relative. The basic principles of making money in the property market are to buy at the right price, buy an old, drab house in a good location, renovation with gusto, add the ‘WOW’ factor and sell.

If you wait for the perfect time to buy property, the perfect market, then you will never take action. So if you have been thinking of investing in property, make a plan, do your homework and take action! Speed is the key! Make it happen!

Set goals

what do you want to achieve? How much money do you want to make from property renovations? What is your direction and how will you get there? Remember Alice in Wonderland – she didn’t have a destination so going in any direction was as good as any other!

You need to set achievable, measurable goals to accomplish your dreams of making money in the property market. If you have a tendency to just drift aimlessly through life, then you either need to get over it, start taking stock of where you are and where you want to be and make some realistic, achievable goals – or forget about being financially free and successful.

A drifter mentality is not a money mindset, never has been and never will be! So don’t procrastinate any longer, make your plans and act on them – take action now! Speed is of the essence because the longer you mull it over, the less inclined you will be to act.

A part of goal setting can be finding a mentor, someone who has already achieved what you want to achieve and taking the opportunity to learn from them. Reinventing the wheel is never easy and is not needed. There are people out there who can help and advise you – you just have to look for them.

So now we see that the money mindset involves:

  • Thinking like an investor,
  • Thinking of obstacles as challenges and not stumbling blocks,
  • Believing in yourself and taking calculated risks
  • Believing that you can make money,
  • Not being afraid of making mistakes,
  • Don’t worry about the market,
  • Setting measurable, achievable goals.

Next week we will continue the journey to Making a Mint in a Meltdown!

The Million Dollar Makeover team has won many awards for their high-end transformations and if you want to learn more, visit their website at http://milliondollarmakeovers.com.au/


If you have been following these blogs you will know that we have been talking about how to Make a Mint in a Meltdown.

The purpose of this series of blogs is to help you understand the way that wealthy and successful people think. They have a money mindset and if you know how they think, and begin to think like them, you also can also enjoy the champagne lifestyle and freedom that being financially independent will bring to you and your family.

So today we are continuing on with the eight ways that wealthy and successful people think. We have already looked at the first four: thinking like an investor, thinking of obstacles as challenges and not stumbling blocks, believing in yourself and taking calculated risks. Let’s take a look at the next two:

Believe that you can make money

If you don’t believe you can make money then that is what will happen. Wealthy and successful people do not doubt that they can make money. So you must believe that it is possible, and once you believe this you can then move forward and leverage your efforts in that direction.

Some people do not value money – they are even afraid of it! So you need to value the freedom and happiness that money can give you, learn to manage money and make it work for you.

Most of all you must not give up. You will not make oodles of money on every venture. You may make some money and lose some – it is unlikely that every venture you touch will turn to gold. When you believe that you can make money, you do not give up. You are resilient, you learn from your mistakes and you move forward to the next venture. Do not let losses limit you and become an obstacle – losses are a challenge to learn and to do better next time!

The important lesson is to keep moving forward!

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes

Many people lack confidence in their abilities. They makes plans, think about them and talk about them – but they don’t take action. They are afraid of making mistakes and of failing.

Making mistakes is a way to learn and grow. No-one goes through life without making some mistakes. The difference is that wealthy and successful people welcome mistakes! They don’t plan on failing but if they do fail they learn from their mistakes and make sure it doesn’t happen next time.

Most entrepreneurs make mistakes along the way, expect these mistakes and keep looking forward!

So the money mindset involves:

  • Thinking like an investor,
  • Thinking of obstacles as challenges and not stumbling blocks,
  • Believing in yourself and taking calculated risks
  • Believing that you can make money,
  • Not being afraid of making mistakes.

Next week we will look at the final two behaviours that you will need to achieve a money mindset!

The Million Dollar Makeover team has won many awards for their high-end transformations and if you want to learn more, visit their website at http://milliondollarmakeovers.com.au/