Blog - Cooper & Co

The Building Hope Project - A Landmark Build for Cure Kids

The Building Hope project is a very special initiative inspired by Corin’s story

Corin has a rare genetic condition – he lacks elastin in the arteries and veins, causing them to close up. Corin is one of 40 people around the world with the condition.

Tragically, Corin’s parents, Jon and Myka Copeland lost their first son, Tyler, to the same condition in 2007 – he was just 3 months old.

Corin, now 9 years, has managed to defy the odds. Life isn’t easy though.

Corin breaths through a windpipe as small as a straw. He has a stenosis of the aorta, pulmonary arteries, carotid arteries, renal arteries and his right femoral artery is completely blocked, but he has a natural bypass with his pelvic artery. Read more about Corin’s story here.

Led by Landmark Homes North Shore & Rodney

The Building Hope project is led by Landmark Homes North Shore and Rodney franchisees Debbie and Paul Brett, where Corin’s dad Jon works as the Project Manager.

Inspired by Corin and Jon’s story, Debbie and Paul wanted to do something tangible to help kids like Corin who are living with heart-breaking conditions.

They have generously undertaken the build of an incredible 272 sqm, four-bedroom home located in Hobsonville, which will be auctioned off for Cure Kids during their largest annual appeal, ‘Red Nose’ month this September.

“Since gaining an understanding of the challenges that the Copeland family face every day we have been keen to be involved with an organisation such as Cure Kids, whose vital research offers hope for families and children with chronic health conditions,” says Paul Brett.

Landmark Homes North Shore & Rodney will not make any profit from the build and the generosity of suppliers has enabled considerable cost savings along the way.

Cure Kids has been overwhelmed by the support of Landmark Homes North Shore & Rodney and its suppliers to get the house under construction, and the Cure Kids community is excited to watch the build unfold.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together and lay strong foundations for a brighter future for children who live with life-impacting and life-limiting health conditions.

“The Copeland family are loved ambassadors of our Cure Kids family and we are so grateful that  Jon passionately  took the initiative and got this project off the ground.  Together, Cure Kids and Landmark Homes North Shore and Rodney are building hope that one day, we’ll find the treatments and cures which our children need,” say Frances Benge, Cure Kid’s CEO.

The long road to the top for New Zealand's champion auctioneer

While many of us will have attended an auction at some point in our lives, the art of auctioneering remains a mystery to most.

Competing at the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) National Real Estate Auctioneering Championships, which was held in Auckland last week, is a bit like competing in the New Zealand Open or the Coast to Coast. Professional auctioneers train for this annual event with a level of commitment similar to that of an elite athlete.

“To the average person, auctioneering looks easy”, said Aaron Davis of Harcourts Blue Fern Realty in Henderson, “but that’s because a seasoned auctioneer makes it look easy.”

Davis has been calling auctions for Harcourts for 10 years and has made it to the finals of the national championships eight times. This year he took out the top spot after two gruelling days of competition against 27 of the country’s most experienced auctioneers.

A good auctioneer requires a high level of industry knowledge, excellent communication and numeracy skills, and most importantly, the ability to build rapport with people from all walks of life.

“Auction competitions are not the same as a real auction”, said Davis. “It’s all scripted, but there are always plenty of curve balls thrown in. You have to think on your feet and then there’s the pressure of being scrutinised by the judges. It just takes one small slip up; you get a number wrong or you don’t handle a question as well as you’d like. The negative self-talk in your head can quickly take you down.”

In the weeks leading up to the competition, Aaron practices for several hours a day over and above the ‘on the job training’ he gets as a full time auctioneer. “It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been calling auctions”, says Aaron, “you need to be constantly perfecting your skills to get the best result.”

Amongst the exceptionally large field of auctioneers competing at this year’s event, half were from Harcourts. “We’re a very competitive bunch”, says Aaron, “but there’s also a strong camaraderie amongst auctioneers. We get together regularly to learn from each other and to help mentor the up and comers.”

The top two spots in the senior competition were both won by Harcourts auctioneers, with Robert Tulp from Harcourts Cooper & Co in Hobsonville named the runner up to Aaron Davis’ win.

Mark Morrison from Harcourts Auckland was the winner of the ‘Rising Stars Competition’, where a 13-strong field of novice auctioneers competed. Chris Greenhill from Harcourts Marlborough was a runner up in the Rising Stars section.

“Historically Harcourts has always had a culture of excellence in auctioneering in New Zealand and internationally”, said Harcourts Managing Director, Bryan Thomson. “The quality of the auctioneering can have an enormous impact on the outcome of an auction, so it’s gratifying to see so many of our auctioneers competing and winning at this level year after year.”

And like any good sporting event, the Kiwis love to take on the Aussies. Aaron Davis and runner up, Robert Tulp, will do just that when they represent New Zealand at the Australasian Auctioneering Championships in Melbourne this October.

The REINZ Auctioneering Championship 2019

And the winner of the 2019 The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand Auctioneer championship is:

WINNER – Aaron Davis
Runner up – Robert Tulp
Finalist – Shane Cortese

Harcourts Cooper & Co are so proud to have some of New Zealand’s best auctioneers working for us and our clients!

Aaron and Rob will be representing New Zealand in the Australasian Auctioneering Championships to be held in Australia later this year

auction winner 2019

How to nail stylish, kid-friendly interior design room by room

Trust me when I say this: Kids. Destroy. Homes. So how do we go from the ‘double income, no kids’ sleek, curated home to a safe but stylish space catering to the messiest fingers and bucketloads of dribble we all come to ‘love’? It’s all about planning for the future and making the right choices, based on form and function. Ready? How can you make your family home stylish but comfortable, durable but not daggy!

The Kitchen

This zone is a nightmare to keep clean at the best of times. Short of hiring a full-time cleaner, there are a few steps you can take to ensure the heart of the home is beating smoothly and muck-free.

Anyone with little angels knows the chaos that is the breakfast/before school combo. It is truly a war zone. The best bet here would be a butler’s pantry, if you have the space, or a ‘butler’s cupboard’. This way, all the gear from the morning routine (toaster, bread, kettle, etc) can be easily packed away, leaving your space free of clutter.

Natural stone and marble benchtops are best left to the unencumbered homeowners (so, those without kids). They’re too easy to stain and too expensive to be forking out for the little ungratefuls. Instead, consider a composite stone such as Caesarstone, Smartstone or Essastone, as they are a mix of quartz and resin, and virtually indestructible. A new matt-finish laminate, AbsoluteMatte by Laminex, has a soft, sleek look and a fingerprintproof, scratch-resistant finish.

Grout can become a grime magnet on a tiled splashback. For an easier wipe-up, opt for a single-slab splashback in the same material as your bench or try Beaumont Tiles.

If you’re building from new, you’ll want your kitchen layout to enable the little tackers to run through, as they tend to do, without tripping you up. This is best achieved with a walk-around island bench or a double-entry galley kitchen layout. Keeping the foot traffic in your kitchen flowing is key to functionality.

Kids love a handle, and the best way to keep their grubby little paws away from your cabinetry is by installing push-to-open drawers and cupboards. At least it will take them a little longer to figure out how to get into every corner of the kitchen.

A mid-mount wall oven is the safest option when toddlers are underfoot. It will not only save your aching back, but also may save a burnt little hand or two by keeping the hot stuff out of reach.

The living area

This is where the kids’ 1.3 million toys will live – and for those of us without the bonus of a separate rumpus room, you’ll need some clever planning to keep the space looking somewhat presentable.

Furniture that serves two purposes can help keep all those toys packed away. Try an ottoman or a sofa with hidden storage inside, or even set aside a few cupboards in the entertainment unit for all things Peppa Pig and the gazillion books.

You can kiss goodbye that lovely velvet or linen lounge you had your heart set on. The cascade of vomit, avocado and smushed blueberries can destroy even the toughest of fabric couches, so leather is the way to go. Avoid the lighter leathers if you can, and make sure you clean it often and as recommended. Although leather can seem a bit cool, dress up your sofa with plush cushions and plenty of texture. If you’re buying a new lounge, pay that little bit extra for the ‘no questions asked’ warranty. You WILL use it.

Kids’ heads seem to be a magnet for sharp corners or a solid edge, so choose furniture that will ‘soften the blow’ every so often. Selecting a round coffee table, an upholstered arm on the sofa and cabinetry that extends all the way to the walls will save plenty of bumps on the heads of your little treasures.

Like the sharp edge of a table, kids are drawn to the TV that blares The Wiggles at 7.05am EVERY morning (can you feel the angst?). Mount your heavy TV on the wall and you’ll never have to worry about your kids pulling your expensive pride-and-joy down from a shelf, or hurting themselves in the process.

The bathroom

Bathroom routines are the bane of every mum’s and dad’s life. It’s either World War III as you even hint at the idea of personal hygiene, or the bathroom has been turned into the set of Waterworld, with toys strewn over the floor and litres of water lapping at your ankles. If we can’t prevent all this, at least smart design can quell the chaos.

A smart bathroom layout will be your best friend in here. A wet zone can contain all the water-based fun in one area, preventing you from getting wet feet when you brush your teeth at the end of the night. Try having the shower next to the bath and a glass wall dividing that space from the rest of the room.

Large-format tiles do away with excessive dirt-attracting grout, saving your Saturdays for fun things such as going to dance recitals and footy training instead of scrubbing the bathroom floor. YAY!

Ditch the whole shower/bath combo. Visually it’s a mess and it can be dangerous for both young kids and older folk. If you can afford the space, a separate shower and bath ticks plenty of boxes, looks so much better and caters to a busier household.

Glass doors can be a big hazard for kids with slippery hands and feet, so ditching the swinging glass door will be a godsend. Install a fixed glass panel and save on cleaning the hinged edges.

Dark grout on the floor of a tiled bathroom will hide so much more dirt and grime than a lighter grout. You could even take it a step further by committing to an epoxy grout (as opposed to the regular cement-based version). This resin-based grout is much hardier and will look better for much longer.

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