Celebrating our ‘liveable communities’…

In the news this week, household conditions best in four years; home loans and building continue to rise; and there’s no better week to get clean and clear with the way we use water …

Get organised when preparing to enter the property market

I often see people getting out and about attending open homes and speak to many who tell me they are spending several hours each week searching on real estate websites when they haven’t done the basic preparation. If you’re one of them then here are a couple of tips to point you in the right direction:

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Home lending continues to climb

Home lending rose slightly in August, according to data released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The trend figures show that the total value of dwelling finance commitments excluding alterations and additions rose 0.5 per cent.

Investment housing commitments rose 0.8 per cent, while owner-occupier housing commitments rose 0.4 per cent.

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Sustainable water practices easy to swallow

National Water Week is celebrating its 20th birthday! From Sunday 20th to Saturday 26th October, this year's theme of "Liveable Communities" draws our attention to the many different ways we use water in daily life.

From turning off taps or installing rainwater and greywater systems in our homes, to becoming a ‘friend’ of local waterways by keeping them clean, there are plenty of ways to preserve this precious commodity...

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Building starts show healthy gains

New figures show that residential building has lifted by almost one tenth in the twelve months to June 2013, after years of decline.

Data released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the trend estimate for the total number of dwelling units commenced fell 0.2 per cent in the June 2013 quarter following a rise of 0.9 per cent in the March quarter.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the total number of dwelling units commenced was essentially unchanged, but between the June quarters 2012 and 2013 this figure has increased by 9.8 per cent.

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Pull the plug on dirty sinks

Clean water is an essential part of our lives, yet so easy to take for granted.

Our streams, wetlands, waterways, beaches and estuaries are a precious part of this country, so it is important that we do all we can to protect them from pollution and degradation.

As is often the way, the solution can start at home – specifically with what you put down the drain...

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Home owners doing very well

It could be a merry Christmas season this year for many Aussie homeowners, who are better off now than they have been for years due largely to lower interest rates, a new report suggests.

The September St.George-Melbourne Institute Household Financial Conditions Report reveals that Australian homeowners are experiencing the longest run of improvement in financial conditions since December 2009...

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Dust Theft Auto

Family members and housemates are often quite happy to bring the outdoors in with them on their shoes and feet. That happiness hasn't always translated to sweeping the floors, however, until a new Japanese invention fishtailed the task into a game.

The RC Sugoi Mop is designed for youngsters who hate chores or anyone who just prefers to do housework from the comfort of the couch. The remote control mop from Kyosho, a company that makes remote control cars, is worked using a video-game controller. Who says cleaning can't be fun?