As Winter gives way to Spring…

We see signs of household wealth growing – especially if you own your home. Also in the news, how to pay off your home loan sooner; and a showerhead that tells you when your time is up…

When the tide goes out

In a strong and/or rising real estate market pretty much anything sells even properties that are not well located, well designed, or built to a high standard. However in a flat or declining market only quality A and B grade property is highly desirable. It’s important to keep this in mind when you’re looking to buy. My advice to my clients is that it’s always better to pay fair money to secure a well located, quality home or investment property rather than buying a property that, well...simply just isn't. Read More

Average Australian household worth $728,000

The average wealth of Australian households in 2011-12 was $728,000, according to a report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

It depends on just where you are on the scale, however. And whether you own your home...

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Own your home sooner

Are you aware that paying $100 extra per month saves $43,000 and almost four years off the life of an average $300,000 loan?

Far too many homeowners are missing out on opportunities to pay off their loans sooner, new research shows.

Which is bizarre, since the same research shows that for many of us, owning a home or paying off the mortgage are far more important than getting married or having kids ...

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Architects, show your brilliance

If you know of a brilliant budding architect, the Colorbond® Steel Student Biennale is once again calling for entries from students of architecture around the country.

Established by the Australian Institute of Architects, the prize offers students and recent graduates the opportunity to win cash and the opportunity to attend the 2014 National Architecture Conference in Perth.

Entries are judged on the resolution, exploration and communication of ideas, space, structure and materials, as well as their response to contemporary architectural issues such as the challenge of climate change.

The bi-annual competition closes 5pm AEST Friday 27 September 2013; for more details, see the Australian Institute of Architects website.

Living on the right track

Fancy spending more time at the railway station? Not in metropolitan Australia, perhaps.

It might, however, sound more attractive if the station were a quaint stop along a picturesque steam railway line in Wales.

The stationmaster’s house at Roman Bridge, one of the quietest stations in Wales, has been listed by UK agents Strutt and Parker for around AU$775K. Built in 1879, the house has three bedrooms, three reception rooms, a little-used rail track and platform, and breathtaking views across mountains and valleys.

Spring checkup for your house

Spring arrives this weekend, and it promises to be a wonderful season. But the past few months of rain, wind and freezing temperatures have meant that homeowners stayed indoors, ignoring all but the essential maintenance tasks in the garden and on the house.

Now it is time to go outside and find out how your house has fared over the season. Whether you are planning to spruce the house up for sale or just need to do a Spring clean, here is a checklist of areas that may need your attention.

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Out of the shower – now!

A hot shower is easy to disappear into, especially in the colder winter months. Amidst the water's warm embrace, it's also easy to forget how costly long showers can be, in utility bills and to the environment.

It is no surprise, then, that three students at Tufts University in Massachusetts have developed a showerhead that lets you know when it's time to get out of the shower. The Uji showerhead is fitted with LED lights that gradually fade from green to red, rather like a stoplight, encouraging users to take shorter, more energy efficient showers.

In practice it has been shown to shorten average shower time by 10 per cent, and pay for itself in energy savings within 7 months in a home setting. It apparently took just three months to pay off when tested in a university setting, where students swiftly developed shorter shower habits due to the subtle psychological hint.