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All the latest news and information from Beechwood.

Lonely Planet1 put it best when it said the NSW South Coast is, “paradise without pretension”. Up and down the South Coast of NSW are pristine enclaves offering a refreshing change of pace and adventure. While recent bushfires impacted the region, don’t let that once in a generation event deter you from all that South Coast living offers. Rebuilding is happening across the region and the South Coast remains the perfect setting for life in the slow lane.

Whether you’re dreaming of a sea change, a tree change, or just a way to detach from the hustle and bustle and slow things down to a more favourable pace, you’re bound to find it somewhere on the NSW South Coast.

A snapshot of the NSW South Coast

The NSW South Coast comprises four geographic regions:

  • the Illawarra Coast (Wollongong, Dapto, Calderwood, Shellharbour and Kiama);
  • the Shoalhaven Coast (Berry, Nowra, Jervis Bay and Ulladulla);
  • the Eurobodalla Coast (Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma); and
  • the Sapphire Coast (Bega, Merimbula and Eden).

Up and down the NSW South Coast awaits a refreshing way of living, where the soothing scent of nature seeps in through your kitchen window, the air is lush, and the pace is chill. From coastal communities to inland towns set back into the rolling countryside, a different pace of life awaits.

There’s plenty of reasons to visit the South Coast of NSW, but there’s even more reasons to build your new home on the South Coast. Here’s a quick look at the main areas and townships of the NSW South Coast to consider making your sea change or tree change move to.

Wollongong

Wollongong

Sydneysiders are flocking to Wollongong to enjoy a sea change that offers the best of both worlds. Only 80km south of Sydney, Wollongong offers a quaint beach town feel for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle while remaining within reach of the big smoke.

Dapto and Calderwood

Nestled between the western shore of Lake Illawarra and the foot of the Illawarra escarpment, Dapto is lush with natural beauty and in the 1800s had a thriving dairy industry. A short drive southwest of Dapto in the Macquarie Valley lies Calderwood, where natural beauty meets convenient modern living. Calderwood is set to become one of the largest master-planned communities in the Illawarra region.

Shellharbour

A vibrant regional centre sitting pretty between the Tasman Sea and rolling lush pastures, Shellharbour boasts some of the best beaches on the NSW South Coast and fantastic fishing and snorkeling spots. Both a cultural and retail centre, Shellharbour features a collection of boutique retailers and a major shopping centre, along with aviation and rail museums.

Kiama

Kiama

South of Wollongong, Kiama is a seaside town with beautiful beaches and coastal walking tracks set atop fortress-like cliffs. Fishing, surfing, and kayaking are key past times that this gorgeous town that dates back to the 1880s offers.

Berry

Blessed with heritage buildings and award-winning restaurants, Berry offers charm in spades and is a favourite for those seeking an elegant country setting. Berry’s choice local food and wine can be found at local regular produce markets.

Nowra

Sitting on the banks of the gorgeous Shoalhaven River and surrounded by rich farmland and vineyards, this town of 37,000 on Australia’s Oyster Coast is the commercial centre of the Shoalhaven region and boasts museums, galleries, and a train line.

Ulladulla

An important fishing port since 1859, Ulladulla is a vibrant town built around a picturesque harbour and close to sparkling lakes, pristine national parks and secluded beaches.

Batemans Bay

Batemans Bay

A quick two-hour drive from the essential services of Canberra, Batemans Bay offers a laid-back vibe with stunning beaches, incredible seafood and a whole range of outdoor activities.

In support of South Coast living

The Beechwood Homes story dates back nearly 40 years, and for much of that time we have been building homes for local residents and families up and down the NSW South Coast.

Through our display home centres in Calderwood Valley, Shell Cove and South Nowra, we have met and developed relationships with many families looking for builders on the South Coast. Many have gone on to build homes with Beechwood Homes. Some have been born and bred South Coast locals building their very first home. Some have been former Sydneysiders opting for a sea change – or a tree change – and for the good life that the NSW South Coast offers in spades.

Considering a move to the NSW South Coast?

Beechwood Homes builds across most regions of the NSW South Coast. Visit one of our display home centres in the area to find out how we can help you make the South Coast lifestyle change you’ve always dreamed of making.

[1] https://www.lonelyplanet.com/australia/new-south-wales/south-coast

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B2ap3 Thumbnail 10things

Like so many people around Australia, at Beechwood Homes many of our office-based staff have shifted to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what we’ve learnt from our own team and from our customers about working from home.

1. Set up a separate area

Our number one tip for working from home is to set up a separate work area if you’re able to. Ideally, this would be a separate room in your home with a door so you can shut out the noise of your household but setting up a study nook could work equally well.

For those starting a home business or shifting permanently to working from home, you might consider building a workspace away from the main house. A Granny Flat could be a fantastic way to create that separate space, while also being multi-purpose in the long run, with the opportunity to rent the space out or house relatives down the track.

2. Establish a routine and stick with it

One of the greatest, and yet also one of the trickiest, parts about working from home is the potential for flexibility. If, for example, you find yourself having to supervise your children’s home schooling, you might segment your day to fit in with those commitments and work in time blocks rather than a typical 9am to 5pm work day. However, if you don’t establish a routine and stick with it, that flexibility could quickly turn into chaos.

Make sure to create a schedule that works for your household and make your colleagues and family aware of it. If you’re lucky enough to have a separate workspace either within the house or in a granny flat, you could even have a sign on the door to indicate whether your office is ‘open’ or ‘closed’.

3. Get organised

Staying organised is one of the most difficult aspects of working from home, because the structure, storage and systems of a typical workplace are usually missing.

To stay on-track with your work without getting overwhelmed, organisation will be key. Get organised by creating specific filing systems, schedules, and task lists that help you feel in control. Depending on your occupation, you may also want to create a specific storage area for your work, especially paperwork that can easily get lost among household correspondence.

4. Dress the part

Although working from home allows you to dress in more comfortable clothing than you may in an office, you may want to create a pseudo uniform or put limits on what you can wear during your work hours.

Sitting around in your pyjamas all day might make you more comfortable, but you probably won’t feel like a professional worker and could make it harder for you to switch off from work at the end of the day. You’ll also look pretty silly when you participate in video calls.

5. Switch off at the end of the working day

Maintaining that work-life balance can be hard when your work is always right there staring you in the face. It’s important, however, not to get into the habit of working all day and night and having no leisure time. Train yourself to switch off your computer and other devices when you finish your day and don’t constantly check emails or other messages.

This is easier to do if you have a separate work area. The act of physically leaving a work-specific room or area and shutting the door behind you can help you mentally break away from the daily grind as well.

6. Take regular breaks

When making your schedule consider working in smaller spurts and allowing yourself time to get up from the computer to stretch. Without co-workers around, you may forget to take time away from your desk but doing so will help you to re-set both physically and mentally, improving your efficiency.

7. Exercise and stretch

When you do take breaks make sure you stretch and exercise, even if it’s just walking around your house, or visiting the kitchen. If you live in a double-storey house, make use of your stairs to do an impromptu workout.

Exercise stimulates your body and brain and will make you more alert and energised, which means you’ll be ready to dive back into work after your break.

8. Use technology

Since the majority of your work will likely be done on your computer, you will need to be computer savvy. Ensure that you have remote access to your company server and logins for programs you routinely use. Your employer may be able to loan you some equipment to use at home and provide assistance in setting it up.

9. Stay connected

Make sure that you’re readily available via email, phone, text, instant message, or conference call. When in doubt, over-communicate until told otherwise. Be vocal about your activities and achievements while away from the office.

10. Learn how to deal with distractions

Pets, TV, and family members are just a few distractions you’ll encounter when working at home. Having a separate office space can help minimise distractions, but ultimately it is up to you to stay focused.

Want to know more about Beechwood Homes?

With many years’ experience in building homes in NSW, Beechwood can work with you to design your new home around how you want to use it, including home office space, or even a granny flat for a permanent home office. Contact us today to start your Beechwood Homes journey.

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Beechwood Homes has opened five new display homes at the new HomeWorld at Marsden Park and while there’s plenty of houses still under construction within the display village, Beechwood’s doors are open ready for viewing.

At Beechwood we know how important it is for our customers to view display homes and see the quality of our builds and the different options available, which is why we have homes in four Sydney display villages, two on the north coast, and three to the south of Sydney.

There are five homes on display at Marsden Park including: 

Brunello Four 28Brunello 4 28 Web

A four-bedroom, two-bathroom, single-storey spacious family home with 258m2 of indoor, outdoor and garage area featuring a spacious master bedroom with ensuite bathroom and walk-in wardrobe, three additional bedrooms adjacent to a large bathroom.

In the living zone, the Brunello includes open plan living and dining alongside the kitchen, plus a home theatre room. The modern kitchen includes a large walk-in pantry and is located near the roomy outdoor patio. The Brunello Four 28 has many options to personalise the design to suit your family’s requirements and look.

VIEW THE IMAGE GALLERY 

TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR         

 

Bayswater Five Guest 37BWH HM Bayswater Five Guest 37 WEB

A generous four-bedroom, three-bathroom, double-storey family home with 342 total square metres of indoor, outdoor and garage area. Upstairs includes a large light-filled master bedroom with ensuite and walk-in wardrobe, as well as three additional bedrooms with built-in robes, large family bathroom, and a media room.

The highlight of the downstairs area is the spacious living space with large kitchen, family room as well as generous living and dining space. There’s also a guest room with ensuite bathroom, home theatre room, laundry, additional toilet, and outdoor eating area.

Like all Beechwood Homes, the Bayswater Five Guest 37 is available with different options and looks, including the Hampton facade on display at Marsden Park.

VIEW THE IMAGE GALLERY

TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR

 

 

Edgecliff Four 29BWH HM Edgecliffe 4 web

A four-bedroom, two-bathroom, double-storey compact family home with 272 m2 of indoor, outdoor and garage area. The Edgecliff Four 29 is great for narrow blocks and only requires 10 metres of frontage where a zero lot. The Beechwood designers have made this narrower design work with four bedrooms upstairs, along with ensuite bathroom and walk-in wardrobe for the master bedroom, and even a media room.

The lower floor includes living, dining and open plan kitchen, which opens out to the outdoor eating area. There’s even a home theatre room, separate laundry, and an additional powder room. 

VIEW THE IMAGE GALLERY

TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR

Barossa Four Guest Loft 30Barossa Four Guest Loft 30 WEB

A four-bedroom, three-bathroom cleverly designed home with 282 m2 of indoor, outdoor and garage area. The designers at Beechwood Homes have re-jigged the layout to use the underutilised roof space so the homeowner gets the same amount of rooms and space but can fit it on a smaller piece of land.

The upper storey, which is called a ‘Loft area’, still has a standard ceiling height of 2.4 metres. The home design has 50 m2 of upper-level space to accommodate two bedrooms, a study and a large bathroom complete with a bath. Downstairs the master bedroom with ensuite and walk-in wardrobe is complemented by an additional bedroom and a spacious living zone and separate home theatre room.

VIEW THE IMAGE GALLERY

TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR

WATCH THE VIDEO

Marlborough Four Guest 36BWH HM Marlborough 4 Guest WEB

A four-bedroom, two-bathroom, double-storey spacious family home with 344 m2 of indoor, outdoor and garage area. An ideal home for a family who likes to live and dine outside with a generous outdoor terrazza of 33m2. Also on the lower level is a large living area with dining and spacious kitchen, as well as an additional powder room and home theatre room.

Upstairs is the large master bedroom with ensuite bathroom and extra-large walk-in robe. There are also three additional bedrooms, a spacious bathroom, and media room to complete the space.

VIEW THE IMAGE GALLERY

TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR

Drop in for a visit to HomeWorld Marsden Park, Allott Street, Marsden Park

(02) 9765 0282 Open 7 Days 10am - 5pm

 

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We have been listening to customers and have created a system that will ensure you are kept up-to-date on every stage of your build. We call it...

Beechwood Pulse

Build your home with peace-of-mind

So, Beechwood Pulse Portal, will it make your building experience easier?

Pulse gives you an open line of communication and mounds of information, to help guide you through your build. Our Beechwood Pulse Portal aims to break down the steps of the building process while giving you peace-of-mind.

How does the Beechwood Pulse Portal work?

When you have been through our display villages and found a design and façade that suits your family’s needs, you will sit down with one of our Building & Design Consultants to iron out your requested design elements. Once you are comfortable enough for us to go ahead with creating a personalised Tender for you, you will be provided with your very own Pulse login!

What many owner builders are unaware of, even if this is not their first build, is there are over 400 steps involved in building your home. We can’t simplify the building process, but we can simplify the steps into four stages:

-         Design

-         Pre-Construction

-         Construction

-         Maintenance

Access to the Beechwood Pulse Portal will help you track various steps and stages in the building process right from the very beginning. Your dedicated consultant will help you with the process by ensuring your paperwork is up to date and all documents have been submitted correctly.

Then, once building has commenced, the Beechwood Pulse Portal will be your ultimate source for all information and updates. Your dedicated team members will update the Pulse Portal with progress reports. 

Find out more

For further details on how the Beechwood Pulse Portal can help make your next building experience better, we recommend you:

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Located in Hamlyn Terrace and bordering the well-established suburb Warnervale, Hamlyn Grove on the Central Coast gives families a great opportunity to live in a brand-new Beechwood Home close to schools, shops, beaches and sporting facilities.

While its own quiet enclave, Hamlyn Terrace is surrounded by facilities including Tuggerah Westfield and Bateau Bay, beaches at Toukley, Budgewoi and Norah Head as well as great cafes and restaurants within a 10-minute drive.

Beechwood Homes currently has a limited selection of single storey house and land packages remaining in Hamlyn Grove to suit most family needs and priced from $569,000.

Why choose life on the NSW Central Coast?

Hamlyn Grove gives you an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle while still within easy reach of Wyong's excellent schools, transport, sport facilities, hospital and shopping centre. The Central Coast is popular with young families, singles and retirees and provides the perfect place to build your new home in this growing suburb.

NSW Central Coast Home Builder

Beechwood Homes have been building in the Central Coast, Hunter and Newcastle region for more than 35 years.

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Just like trends in interior design, Australian landscaping design has changed throughout the years particularly to incorporate trends such as drought-proof planting, topiary, lighting design and vertical planting.

Good landscape design is an important aspect of street appeal and can significantly increase the overall value of your home. Landscape design can allow homeowners to stamp a personal touch and showcase individual style. 

Bringing the indoors out is a common trend in interior design as well as landscaping. So it’s no surprise that four out of the top ten landscaping design trends include extending the indoors to the outside.

Here are top ten landscaping trends for your new Beechwood Home:

  1.        Outdoor fireplaces create warm and inviting outdoor entertaining spaces
  2.        Outdoor kitchens with the basic necessities can create a perfect go-to entertaining area outdoors
  3.        Sustainable design and going green remains one of the top trends in landscaping
  4.        Outdoor feature walls and vertical gardens can complement your home’s exterior style and design
  5.        Growing home-grown organic produce remains a popular trend
  6.        Modern and informal landscape designs that integrate outdoor lighting
  7.        Water features that incorporate rainwater harvesting
  8.        Themed garden spaces can create dedicated areas without having to run the same theme through the landscape design
  9.        Highly functional gardens with zoned spaces for entertaining, family and eating
  10.       Blended gardens that mix edibles and ornamentals offer bountiful vegetable and herb harvests w
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With property prices in Sydney and the rest of New South Wales falling, the banks copping it at the Royal Commission, and historically low interest rates starting to rise, lenders are putting the brakes on lending.

Lenders are concerned about incurring further reputational damage for approving loans that could quickly move into default, especially if interest rates start to rise. Lenders are also concerned that the property bubble may be starting to burst. In a rising property market, lenders can improve ‘iffy’ loans because if there is a default, the property can be sold at a profit and the bank will get its money back. But when the property market is in decline, if there is a default, the bank may not get all of its money back.

The above conditions are leading to lenders scrutinising loan applications closer than ever. Lending insiders suggest that approximately 25% of loans that were approved last year would be getting knocked back now.

With this in mind, there are a few useful tips to consider when making a loan application:

View your credit history

  1. It is very important to have a good credit history. More information is now available to potential lenders about borrowing candidates and lenders are able to obtain a better picture. If there are defaults, like the odd missed mobile phone payment, it would be a good idea to check that this has not impacted on your credit rating. You should obtain a copy of your credit history before applying for a loan. Making a loan application when there is a negative mark will likely lead to rejection and may make it harder to get a loan in the future.

Avoid job jumping

  1. Lenders want borrowers to have stable employment, because paying off a loan depends on having access to regular income. Red flags for lenders include a borrower changing jobs less than 6 months before applying for a loan or a jumpy employment history where people frequently move jobs every few years.

Avoid spontaneous spending

  1. Lenders are going through borrower’s bank statements with a fine tooth comb. They are looking closely to see where the money is going. Lenders want to see disposable income saved rather than excessive retail spending or out of budget impulse purchases. If you are looking to apply for a home loan, it would be a good idea to delay buying that pair of shoes or those golf clubs.

Avoid exaggerating on your application

  1. It is tempting to give a positive picture of our financial situation. However, the non-disclosure of liabilities or spending habits can lead to rejection if the lender finds out the position is not true. Given that lenders have access to more data than ever, there is every chance that the financier will find out if you tell the odd ‘porky’. What’s more, if the lender feels that you are not being up front with them, your application will go straight into the rejected pile no matter how good your financial position is. Once one lender rejects your application, it generally makes it harder to get approved by another lender.

Speak to a mortgage broker

Applying for a home loan is not something you do everyday. Get some help. Go and see a mortgage broker and get some advice. They tend to have a better picture of which loans will get approved by which lender. They may also be able to negotiate a better interest rate. But with any mortgage broker, make sure you ask how much you will have to pay for their service and whether they receive any commissions depending on the lender you go with.

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When starting out on a new build project, it is important to ask the right questions. But as a new-comer to the world of home building, what are the right questions?

The key components that often trip up a new build seem to be similar regardless of the owner’s individual requirements. We’ve covered a couple of these below, to help you with your project home build.

Why should I build with you?

This initial question is a very important one to ask and the answer will really depend on your personal circumstances. What is important to you when looking for a building partner? Is it price alone? Quality? Speed? Evaluating exactly what you are looking for in a home, and subsequently your project builder, is the cornerstone to facilitating a positive building experience. Beechwood Homes endeavour to meet the unique needs of all their clients.

Can you build to suit my block?

Block size, slope and location can put additional demands on building requirements. It is really important to discuss any concerns you have about your block of land with your builder to ensure you do not stumble across any unforeseen costs during the construction process.

What are the inclusions for my home design’s package?

Thoroughly understanding exactly what comes as part of your home’s building package avoids disappointment when it comes to your finished product. So many people assume that certain things will be included as a standard feature and are really upset when they check their contract too late. If you have any doubts, always clarify with your builder as to exactly what comes with your home.

What if I want to change one of your standard designs?

Although modern home designs are usually carefully considered to account for flow, function and appeal, sometimes they may just require a few little changes. Always check with your builder if alterations are allowed and at exactly which point they need to be made. Deadlines for alterations to design are usually very early in the construction process so that the builder can provide the best possible finished product.

What is expected of me during the construction process? How will I know when to do these things?

Understanding your role as the home owner in the construction process can help to ensure that it runs smoothly towards a successful outcome. It is important to always keep an open channel of communication with your project builder to avoid delays, conflicts and disappointments.

At Beechwood Homes, we understand that building a new home can be a confusing and daunting process. That’s why we are happy to advise and guide you through each stage of the construction process

Beechwood Homes are a widely-recognised home builder in multiple locations. We build traditional and affordable family homes to suit every modern lifestyle. We have built our expertise over many years of successfully providing homes for families. Call us today on 02 9616 0999 so we can help advise on any questions you may have in relation to building your new home.

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One of the most asked about topics that often comes up when starting the planning process with Beechwood Homes’ is “What is the difference between a Development Application (DA) and a Complying Development Certificate (CDC)? 


It is important to note that before any work can commence on your new home, either a DA or CDC will need to be lodged and approved by your local council or a qualified certifier to ensure you meet all regulatory compliance. 

What are DAs and CDCs? And what is the difference between them?


A Development Application (otherwise known as a DA) is the application made to your local council seeking consent to carry out a development. A Complying Development Certificate (otherwise known as a CDC) is an alternative to a DA and can be known to some as a fast track approval process when dealing with a more straight-forward development. 

The major difference between the two is that a CDC’s requirements for development approval are a more universal set of requirements and cannot be amended to suit the needs of your development. The requirements for a CDC are considered to be “black and white” and these requirements apply across the state of NSW. The requirements for a DA will vary between the local councils of NSW. Each local council have their own set of requirements specific to their regions, and whilst your local council may have similar requirements to that of a CDC, your local council are in a better position to assist you with a development approval for your project if your development needs are more complex.

How do I know which method is the most appropriate for my job?


Beechwood Homes have been building new homes, and facilitating knock-down rebuild projects for over 35 years. We have a knowledgeable team of drafts people who, when creating your initial tender, will review and assess the factors your site may contain and will recommend which method of development application is best suited for your new home.

When do I need to decide which path I will go down for my development application?


The decision for a development application will need to be finalised in the early stages of planning your development. Once you receive your plans and tender for review, the team at Beechwood Homes will then discuss with you our recommendations for your development application. Beechwood’s recommendation will be based on your job’s specific needs and requirements. 

Is there anyone who can help me with my development application?


When you have opted to build a new home or conduct a knock-down rebuild with Beechwood Homes, the good news is we will guide you through the entire building process starting from the planning stage right through to construction and even maintenance stages, as seamless as possible. Our team have experienced, dedicated members who are happy to assist you in planning, and realising your dream home. We work in conjunction with your local council and reputable certifiers to ensure we stay up to date with all guidelines outlined for both DA and CDC applications. 

If you find that you still have some questions regarding your development application, you can seek advice from your local council or an accredited certifier. The team at Beechwood Homes will be happy to go through any questions or concerns you may have and explain them further to you.

 

Related News -
1. Five great Beechwood Homes open at HomeWorld Marsden Park display village
2. Spotlight on Home & Land at Hamlyn Grove
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Bushfire is a major challenge for our communities, and hot summers coupled with strong winds are a major concern each bushfire season.

When building on bushfire prone land, there are considerations that go into the design and construction of the home.

Given that many new estates are located near or adjacent to bush land, Beechwood Homes are knowledgeable in building in bushfire prone areas and work closely with qualified consultants to ensure that additional needs are factored into design and construction.

In the aftermath of the Black Saturday Victorian bushfires in 2009, all Australian states have committed to policies to ensure Australian homes are built from materials that have the best possible chance of withstanding moderate bushfire exposure.

Further regulations as part of the Australian Standard AS 3959 have imposed specific zonings, called Bushfire Attack Levels. The Bushfire Attack Levels, or BALs, are a set of distinct material, design and construction specifications for each area in Australia according to their inherent threat of bushfire. These standards take into account the potential for ignition caused by burning embers, radiant heat or flame generated by a bushfire as well as the expected intensity of the bushfire attack on the building. Each BAL has been designed in consideration of the extreme weather and natural phenomena consistently encountered throughout Australia's variable landscape.

As a general rule, the closer your home is to bush land, the greater the chance that additional requirements will be needed. It is first necessary to determine a 'Bushfire Attack Level' for new homes near bush land.

The building requirements for house design and construction vary according to the bush fire attack level that a development falls into. The building requirements for each BAL are set out in Australian Standard: 3959 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas 2009 (AS3959).

When building your new home with Beechwood Home, we work with consultants and local authorities to ensure your new home is being built to the correct BAL standard and will pass any complying requirements.

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