Category Archives: House & Home

What do you need to do to maintain your swimming pool?

When the weather is hot, it’s great to be able to just jump in the pool and splash about. A swimming pool can also be an excellent place to get the exercise you need. Of course, you need to actually enjoy spending time in the pool, and this is only going to happen if you make sure that it’s a healthy and safe place to be. In order to do this you need to maintain your pool on a regular basis.

Let’s take a look at some of the actions you need to take, in order to keep your pool in good condition. If you do this, then you have a focal point of your outside space, where you can socialize and have fun.

1. Make sure you have a cover for your pool. This needs to be used when the pool is not in use for a period of time. It helps to stop debris from falling into the water.

2. Rake your pool each day. When the pool is being used regularly, and the cover is off, you should rake out any debris each day. If you do this job daily, it only takes a couple of minutes. While you are doing this, it’s a good idea to take some time to use a garden rake to rake the leaves from around your home too. Leaves help to create pools of moisture which attract pests to your property. Clearing the leaves is an effective means of pest control. So, it makes sense to do all the raking you need at once.

3. Vacuum the pool. You should use a pool vacuum on a regular basis; to make cleaning the sides and bottom of the pool easier.

4. Make sure the condition of the water is right. The pH of pool water should be between 7.2 and 7.6. If the pH is too high, or too low, you need to use a pH adjuster. You should check the water at least twice a week to make sure that there are no issues. You also need to add chlorine to the water in your pool; this helps to cleanse the water.

5. Take care of the pump and filter. The pump in your pool circulates the water so that it passes through the filtration system. You should seek expert advice about how often you should operate the pump in your pool. You need to make sure that the pump and the filter are kept clean, in order for them to work effectively. Keep an eye on the pressure gauge for the filter. If it’s reading lower than normal there may be something stopping the water from entering the filter as it should. If it’s reading higher than normal, this means that the filter is having to work extra hard. It may need cleaning.

All of this maintenance work is essential, if you want your pool to remain in good condition, and to be a safe place to spend time. Of course, you do not have to do all of the work yourself. You can get professional help; you can learn more about this. The important thing is that, whoever is doing the maintenance, does so in a timely and effective manner.

Should You Buy a Beach House?

One of my dreams is to spend more time travelling after I get out of debt. I already have a wish-list of places I want to visit and things I want to do. I’ve even dreamed about what my budget will look like once I’m debt free. (Hint: I’m not going to need nearly as much income every month as I have to earn now to cover my living expenses and debt payments.)

Even though I want to travel and I won’t have debt to worry about anymore, I still want to save money wherever I can. One of the most common travel tips to help you save money is to rent a villa, condo, or house when you go on vacation instead of staying at a hotel.

Renting one of these places usually has a cheaper price tag, more space for you and your guests, and they usually have a full-sized kitchen you can use to prepare meals so you don’t have to eat out for every meal of the day. This alone can save you tons of money on a multi-day trip.

But should you ever buy a beach or vacation house?

I’ve looked at (and dreamed about) some houses for sale in Perth via Lend Lease. Some of them are quite beautiful and appear to be affordable. They might be even cheaper to own than to rent from someone else. But buying a beach or vacation house has downsides too.

Maintenance

When you are calculating the cost of buying a beach house, don’t forget about the cost of maintenance and repairs. You have more to pay for than the monthly mortgage when you buy a house, especially one by the beach. Saltwater is known to cause more wear and tear on a property, so you need to take that into account if you buy a beach house.

How Much You’ll Use It

If you haven’t done a lot of travelling it’s safe to say that buying a beach or vacation house probably isn’t the best idea. For one you likely don’t have a place in mind that you’d want to visit multiple times throughout the year. If that’s the case, you probably shouldn’t buy property there unless you plan to rent it out to other visitors to help you make the mortgage payments and pay for the property maintenance costs.

Renting your beach house to visitors could be lucrative, but you’ll probably need to consider the additional costs too, like paying someone to manage it for you if you don’t live close by, and paying a cleaning crew to tidy the place up between renters. Also many beach communities have a busy season and a slow season. It might be difficult to rent out your beach house during the slow season, and you might find yourself reluctant to stay at the beach house yourself during the busy season when rental demand for your property is high.

These are all things that need to be considered before you decide to invest in a beach or vacation house. Buying such a property could be a good investment and a way to save money on your vacations, but it could end up being very costly to you too.

Do you plan to buy a beach or vacation house?

Paying Stamp Duty Feels Like a Punishment for Moving House

In most parts of Australia, real estate prices are through the roof. It’s one thing to pay market value for a home; having to pay even more on top of that is a whole other matter. After paying so much money to own even a very modest house, most buyers are irked by having to pay stamp duty. Indeed, the tax seems like nothing short of a punishment in most instances. That’s especially true when you consider its origins versus what it’s ostensibly used for today. Should the stamp duty on real estate purchases be eliminated? Most Australians would respond with a resounding yes.

In the earliest days, the stamp duty that was assessed on real estate transactions was used to cover the costs of filing and stamping the associated paperwork. At that point, it seemed like a perfectly reasonable thing to do, and it wasn’t all that expensive. Times have changed, though. These days, most Australian states and territories generate huge amounts of revenue by collecting the tax from home buyers, and the money is used for much more than filing and stamping paperwork. In fact, it could be argued that much of what’s collected isn’t used for real estate matters at all.

First home buyers tend to have the hardest time buying real estate in Australia. House prices are sky high, and those just starting out don’t often have a lot of money at their disposal. After scrimping and saving for years to amass a decent deposit on their first home, young people are thrown for a loop upon realizing that they’ll also need to come up with a considerable percentage of the value of their new home to cover the stamp duty. Sure, most territories and states waive huge portions of the duty for first home buyers; some offer concessions that eliminate it entirely. Still, asking those with limited means to come up with even more money in order to buy their first homes is hitting below the belt.

Will the stamp duty for real estate purchases ever go away? Considering how much state and territorial governments rely on the revenue that seems highly unlikely. Still, adjustments can and should be made. Rather than charge a percentage of the total value of a very expensive home, for instance, the duty could be a flat rate that’s a lot more reasonable. Whether any changes ever happen, however, is a whole other matter.