Everything old is new again …

In property news this week, Aussie students win global award with a retrofitted fibro cottage; and Danish architects build a house with seaweed, just like in the olden days but better….

Q. I have saved up a 20% deposit as you recommend and want to know whether I should buy a home or an investment property?

Here’s a question I was recently asked that I thought was a good topic to share with my blog readers.

When deciding between buying an investment property or a home you really need to look at your short, medium and long term goals. From a financial, wealth accumulation perspective, in 99% of cases you are going to be better off buying an investment property. Read More. 

More committed to housing in June

Home lending lifted again in June, continuing an upward trend that has been steady since the beginning of the year, according to data released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

First home buyers and owner-occupiers led the charge, while investors were less keen than in previous months…

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Retrofitted fibro cottage wins Solar Decathlon

In May we reported that a team of students from Wollongong University was heading to China with a prototype zero-emissions solar house they had built for the Solar Decathlon.

This week the team’s renovated fibro cottage was announced the winning entry...

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Strong growth in house prices

House prices continue to improve, according to new figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Preliminary estimates show the price index for established houses in the eight capital cities rose 2.4 per cent in the June quarter 2013 and 5.1 per cent over the year...

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The modern seaweed house

In times past, we built our homes using materials that were ready to hand, such as timber, slate, sandstone, wattle and daub. Or seaweed, if we lived on an island off the coast of Denmark.

For centuries trees were scarce on the island of Læsø, but seaweed has always been abundant on the beaches. Few of the original seaweed houses remain, so in an attempt to preserve and celebrate the old methods, the Modern Seaweed House has been built combining traditional materials with modern methods.

The seaweed for the new house was stuffed into netted bags and attached externally over timber frames, as well as being enclosed in wooden cases as insulation within the walls and floors.

To fix or not to fix?

Interest rates have just dropped to the lowest they have been in decades, and there is talk they may yet go lower. So it is seriously tempting to take advantage of the situation and lock in a new low rate for your home loan. But is that the right thing for you to be doing, right now?

Before you make up your mind, take a look at ASIC’s MoneySmart website, which offers an unbiased look at things to consider, such as advantages and disadvantages, some hidden traps and a few alternatives.

Build it, they will come

We love reading about different homes people build around the world, and this week we found an unusual house in Oklahoma, which made its owners $50,000 while it was being built.

During construction the owner-builders grew tired of gaping sightseers, so they decided to open their home each weekend, charging visitors $1 admission as a deterrent!

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