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How to be a great house guest

By Ben Faulks

Your best friend has just made the dream a reality, invested in Belconnen real estate and is now firmly on the property ladder. By doing so, they've joined the club of home owners, which the Parliament of Australia states makes up around 70 per cent of the population.

Naturally, once they've settled in, they said you should come by and stay with them for a bit. While it may be tempting to think you're all sorted, it never hurts to refresh the memory just what you need to consider before staying with someone in their new (or already well-loved) home. Here are some some things to look out for: 

The no-no's of being a guest

1. Shoes or no shoes

You might do it unwittingly, but failing to acknowledge the house rules regarding shoes can cause some major issues with your host. It might be completely normal for you to keep your shoes on at your place, but if there's a shoe rack or basket by the entry, don't just ignore it: take off your shoes. 

2. Don't just show up

Never – we repeat – never show up unannounced with a pet, partner or child in tow. Yes, we know they're lovely and well-behaved, but your host might not be comfortable with the spontaneity. Save yourself the awkwardness and either clarify that it's fine for you to bring someone else along well in advance, or simply come alone. 

3. Don't complain

No-one particularly enjoys being criticised about their cooking or home, so avoid complaining about your host's efforts to make your stay a good one. 

Things to do

1. Clean up after yourself

It's as easy as making your bed every morning and keeping the bathroom neat, but it makes all the difference to your host if they don't feel like they're entering a bomb site upon your departure. 

2. Have some form of plan

Don't expect your host to entertain you every single minute of the your stay. Come prepared with at least some plan as to what you'll be doing and try organise transportation as well, so that your host doesn't need to play chauffeur. 

3. Say thank you

One of the best ways to say 'Thank you' for your host's hospitality it to not only tell them just that when you leave, but also send them a card when you get home. 

Keep these tips in mind before your next stay at a friends and you're guaranteed to have a fabulous time!

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