Reserve Bank interest rates are incredibly low right now. In fact, at 2.25 per cent, it’s a historic low – the official cost of borrowing remains at its lowest rate since the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) gained independence from the government in the 1990s. There are even suggestions that the interest rate may be cut again in the near future. This has some obvious impacts on home buyers, both those already in the market, and those looking to get into it.
At the most basic level, the lower interest rate means finance comes cheaper, and home buyers can purchase homes for less. It’s not an insignificant amount, either. According to Domain, if you take the average home loan of just shy of $310,000 in Victoria, for example, the typical homeowner will save around $47 per month, or $564 per year. The savings will grow the more expensive the home being financed, so NSW residents, who take an average loan of around $316,000, will save a little more. And anyone that owns a property above the average cost will, naturally, save even more.
When building a new home, it’s important to think of the extras that will save you money in the long term while improving your lifestyle in the short term. You’ll want to take into account what items are worth investing a lot of money into in order to improve your home’s resale value. There are plenty of things you can add to your new home, but the following features will give you more bang for your buck:
Fireplaces may be an expensive inclusion, but they cost even more to add later on. Not only will they add value when it comes time to sell, but in the meantime, you can cosy up in front of the fire and enjoy some time on your tablet or reading a book.
Many first home buyers in Australia are eligible for financial assistance from the government through first home owner schemes, with each state and territory having their own schemes in order to boost the construction of new homes and help first home buyers get onto the property ladder.
Certain eligibility requirements for these grants remain the same across the country, including that you must be at least 18 years of age and an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and you must be a natural person (not a company or trust). There are several other eligibility requirements which vary from state to state.
Here’s a breakdown of the first home buyers grants available by state and territory, and the eligibility criteria for each (which refers to each applicant and/or their spouse/partner).
Kit homes have come a long way. An increase in their popularity has resulted in developments on many fronts. Yet still, there seem to be many myths surrounding them. We’ve decided to separate fact from fiction by taking a look at some of the common misconceptions about kit homes.
They’re dirt cheap
While kit homes can seem to be a relatively inexpensive alternative for building a home, advancement in design and building options means that there is a spectrum of pricing like most other products on the market. From the inexpensive to the luxury end, kit homes provide the owner with significant choices and the opportunity to tailor a housing solutions that are right for them. With regard to environmental friendliness, some kit home designs are leading the way in the areas of energy efficiency, insulation, natural lighting and ventilation.
Building a home can be an overwhelming and time consuming business, especially if you’re just starting out on your first time. There are ways that you can successfully organise the construction of your own home without having professional building services on site. Whether it’s a complete home or a kit home, doing the majority of the building off site allows you to move into your new home faster, and also saves money in the process through tradesmen spending less time on site.
When it comes to constructing a home away from the building site, there a few ways this can be done. The options are: prefabricated homes, manufactured homes, and kit homes. To many people, these are all the same, but there is a world of difference between the three. Hopefully this advice will clear things up a bit.
For some people, gardening and landscaping come naturally. For others, not so much. Not everyone is born with a green thumb or the ability to easily design a perfect outdoor space. But would it make you feel better to know that even the most experienced gardeners need advice every now and then?
With a little bit of help and the right advice, anyone can nurture their landscaping and gardening skills – yes, even those who have more success with killing the garden will soon just be ‘killing it’ in the garden. For the best gardening and landscaping advice, see these top 10 blogs and find out what the professionals think.
If you have a lot of old stuff just lying around your house or that you’re thinking of throwing away, there’s nothing better than finding new ways to use them. From glass vases to ladders, you can easily turn unneeded objects into stunning décor or clever household storage solutions in no time and without spending a fortune.
Here are 25 creative ways to repurpose, reuse and upcycle old things:
1. Fill up clear glass vases with colourful scarves.
2. Make your unsightly thrift store lamps stand out by painting them.
Good landscape design is becoming an important aspect of homes, and it can increase a home’s value significantly. Landscaping also allows homeowners to personalise their outdoor space to suit their lifestyle. To offer you some inspiration, the following will look at the best landscaping trends of 2014.
Bringing the indoors outdoors
Outdoor living is an essential part of modern life. With sofas and chairs, a fireplace and a kitchen, you can party or entertain your guests outside or even just relax in the great outdoors all on your luxurious lonesome. For best results, be sure to install appropriate lighting and use furniture that is both weatherproof and durable.
The bathroom is a place to enjoy some peace and quiet as you get ready in the morning, as well as a space to retreat to when you return home for some relaxation. If you’re looking to update or completely renovate your bathroom, it’ll be one of the best investments you can make in your home.
Many designers and homeowners have come up with new and clever interior design options for the bathroom as they seek respite from their busy lives. Here are some of the hottest new bathroom trends.
Renovation TV programs have risen in popularity in the last decade, such as The Block, Grand Designs Australia and House Rules. People watch as the contestants undertake do-it-yourself home renovations in only a matter of days or weeks with little money. However, this has led to a great misunderstanding with regards to how much a renovation costs in real life, how long it takes and how it gets done.
Home renovation reality shows have given people unrealistic expectations when thinking of undertaking their own renovation project. They believe they can also get the job done with the same budget and within the same time frame. So, it’s time that people learn about the truths behind renovation TV programs and how they differ from real-life renovations.