Monday, January 19

Purchasing A Home

Purchasing A Home or Buying a house is normally the largest and longest-term debt that the average Australian will incur in their lifetime. This alone can make buying a home a daunting undertaking, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer. It is very important that you understand some of the basics involved in taking out your first mortgage.

The term "mortgage" refers to the lien that is placed by the lender upon the house and property on which it sits. This lien gives the lender the right to seize the home away from you if you default on the payments. The lien is usually cancelled upon satisfactory payment of the loan. (Note: The word "mortgage" literally means "death pledge" from the original Latin. Obviously, taking out a mortgage is serious business!)

The need for home mortgages is readily apparent, as average house values have climbed to more than $500,000 in some Australian cities. Most of us do not have near that much cash on hand, and so we gladly place ourselves in debt for two to three decades in our quest to become property owners. This places a large part of the population deeply in debt, but it is considered a wise move for most people. Even though housing prices rise and fall in cycles, they have generally risen over time and this means that homeowners generate wealth as their property value increases.

Banks are the largest lenders of home mortgages, and they want to ensure that these large loans are successfully repaid. As the recent subprime mortgage situation has shown, banks get in trouble when large numbers of their mortgages end up in default. One way that banks protect themselves from losing money when someone defaults is by requiring the homebuyer to place a sizable down payment, such as 10% to 20% of the home value. This reduces the overall amount of risk the bank is taking on the loan. In addition, the homebuyer will be less likely to walk away from the mortgage if he or she has a sizable down payment invested in the property.

One important factor in a mortgage is the term of the loan. Since loans can last from 15 to 30 years, the bank has an opportunity to collect enormous amounts of interest from the homebuyer over that time. It pays therefore to shop around earnestly for the lowest interest rate possible, as even a small difference in interest rates can make a big difference in the total amount you pay over the term of the mortgage. Remember that interest rates are negotiable, especially if you get two or more banks competing to obtain your mortgage.

It also pays to have kept your credit record as clean as possible before you apply for a mortgage, and late payments on your bills and loans can place black marks on your credit report. Avoid ever paying a bill late again by using short term loan services such as an online payday loan company when you are short of cash to pay bills just before payday. Just head online to find a suitable provider and apply for a small, hassle-free easy loan so you have a cash loan to get you through whenever you may need it.
Author: Greer Lean
About the Author:
After helping Australians out with payday cash advances for over two years, Payday Online know what matters. We welcome everyday Australians to use our service at their convenience, for a quick, safe and hassle free cash injection in less than an hour. Check us out today at

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Here are 10 ways you can be greener every day.

Some of the following information has been adapted from reputable sources, including Environment Canada

1. Avoid idling vehicles for more than one minute.
Instead of letting your car idle, turn off the ignition. It uses less gas and emits less CO2 to stop and restart your car than to let it run. In fact, idling uses wice as much gas as driving!

2. Walk, bike, or take the bus.
Bike racks are also available on buses. More people taking the bus means less cars on the road, and that’s good for everyone.

3. Maintain your vehicle
Keeping your vehicle in top shape will save fuel and help the environment. Keep tires inflated: Just one tire under inflated by six psi can increase fuel consumption by three per cent and wear up to 40 percent faster.

Replace the plastic cap on the tire’s air valve with a steel cap, which seals much better than the standard issue cap. This is the best tool to keep your tires inflated and generally costs less than one dollar.

Align tires: A misaligned tire will use around two percent more fuel and cause remature tire wear. Use appropriate fuel: Read your owner’s manual before heading to the pumps and use the recommended type of fuel. Using supreme or premium fuels in cars designed forregular fuel is paying a premium price for something that will not work as well. It is a waste of money and fuel, could hurt the engine, and will harm the environment.

Keep tank full in winter: Keeping your gas tank full can end up saving you big. When the gas tank isn’t full, the moist air in the gas tank condenses against the inside wall of the tank. This water affects the quality of the fuel, causing starting problems, fuel not being burned efficiently, engine misfiring, and adding strain to the engine.

4. Conserve Energy
Use fluorescent bulbs: Changing just one traditional incandescent light bulb to a compact fluorescent bulb results in savings of over $45 during its lifetime. Each bulb uses one fourth of the energy of an incandescent bulb, lasts up to 10 times longer and the energy saved keeps CO2 out of the atmosphere.

Lights out: It’s obvious, but turning off lights at night can save you, and the environment, big. A computer left on to run 24 hours a day can increase the electricity bill by $75 to $120 yearly. By putting the computer into standby mode, this amount is reduced to only $15 per year.

Wash clothes in cold water: Over 90 per cent of energy used by a washing machine comes from water heating. Save on your bill by washing clothes in cold water, with special cold-water detergent.

Lower the thermostats: Lower the thermostat by three degrees in winter and you can save up to 10 per cent on your heating bill. Wearing that sweater never felt so smart! Choose energy efficient appliances. Dishwashers today are nearly 95 percent moreenergy-efficient than those bought in 1972.

Have an energy audit done on your home and retrofit your home to make it energy efficient.

5. Conserve Water
Most common water wasting culprits: Leaking toilets are the most common cause of a high water bill. View our tips on preventing a leaky toilet. server water

Toilet flushing is the largest single use of water in a home, followed by showering and bathing. New low-flush toilets use six litres per flush compared to 22 litres with older toilets, lowering your water bill by approximately $65 a year. Low-flow showerheads save eight litres of water each minute.

Do not leave water hoses running unnecessarily.

Never leave the tap running when washing vegetables or dishes, shaving, or brushing your teeth.

Repair leaks immediately, as a small drip quickly amounts to litres of water wasted. Water meters can help detect a leak.

Use water-efficient fixtures in the home, as showers/baths account for about 30 per cent of indoor water use and toilets account for about 35 percent. Run the dishwasher and clothes washing machine only with full loads.

Shorter length showers help conserve water, and filling the bath only half full saves 80 litres or more per bath. You could save hundreds of dollars each year! Keep water in the fridge instead of running tap water and waiting for it to get cold enough to drink. Dispose of kitchen and dry waste in the garbage instead of flushing down the garbage disposal. Use a bucket and sponge for washing the car instead of running water.

Use a barrel to collect rainwater from your downspouts. Collected rainwater can be used for garden and lawn watering.

Lawn watering tips:
Deep, infrequent watering promotes deep, strong roots and will make your lawn healthier. Watering too often may cause disease by starving the soil of oxygen. Apply 2.5 cm (one inch) of water once a week, only if watering is needed. Water early in the morning or late in the evening. Some experts say lawns don’t need watering at all, since grass will go “dormant” during extended periods of dry weather, and will return to normal once dry weather stops.

6. Recycle, Reuse, and Reduce

BYOB ( Bring your own bag!): Re-usable grocery bags greatly reduce the amount of plastic bags going into landfills, and are easily available in most stores. Use them for all your shopping needs!

Enviro-friendly take-out: Bring your own reusable containers when ordering take-out. This saves tons of styrofoam, plastic wrap, aluminum foil and cardboard from ending up in landfills. Just let the restaurant know you'll be bringing in your own dishes, and make sure to have enough dishes!

Rinse recyclables: Though some of the materials recycled in our wet waste are used for compost, help maximize the amount of material recycled. Rinse out cans, bottles, and other recyclable materials and place them Recycle bin.

7. Compost at home
You can further reduce materials going into landfills by composting at home. For more information on backyard composting, visit the Composting Council of Canada’s website .

8. Plant a tree
Plant a tree. Having trees on your property also provides shade and shelter for birds and small animals, keeping our ecosystem healthy and diverse.

9. Buy locally
Support the local economy and enjoy fresh local food when possible. Visit the 100-Mile Diet website for more information on how eating locally helps the environment, the economy.

10. Use pesticides less often.

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