Monthly Archives: March 2009

The Sneaky Hidden Costs When Buying a House

Buying a home is one of the most exciting adventures in life. It’s also one of the most expensive investments you’ll ever make.

There are far more costs to new home ownership than you know about going into it and that’s why you should have a savings account. You’ll find additional expenses right from the beginning, costs you weren’t told about that are routinely assessed to all home buyers and costs that no one, least of all you, expected.

Here are a few of the reasons you should keep on saving before you buy:

Hidden Repairs
Repairs on plumbing, the roof, a furnace, or even the electrical wiring can all come as a surprise. You expected that these features of your new home would be intact and in working order but that doesn’t guarantee they will be. It can cost a considerable amount of money to fix things that on the surface looked good, but underneath were in disrepair.

Pests
Many times a pest inspection is required prior to a conveyance. Termites, ants, roaches and other unwanted guests can create unexpected expenses in both structural repairs and pest removal. An exterminator can be an unexpected expense and be a continuing one if the pests are persistent. However, its so much better to fork out for an exterminator to give the green light on a property than end up buying a crumbling house.

Building Inspections
A licensed building inspection isn’t cheap. If this burden falls on you without your having prepared for it the costs can be staggering. Having a home professionally inspected before you pay for it is wise, of course, since many of the hidden repairs that need to be made will come to light and can be dealt with in the conveyancing. A licensed inspector will probably save you money in the long run but it will nonetheless be expensive.

Conveyancing
Transferring ownership on a home is a legal obligation and it can be a major cost factor. You’ll be wise to look around for the best deal. Conveyancers work on a sliding scale according to your home’s value or on a flat rate basis. Shop around for the most inexpensive conveyancer and use the money you save for other expenses.

Taking Ownership
Moving into a home sounds exciting but it costs plenty in gasoline, truck rental, fast food meals and other incidental expenses. It’s a truism that moving always costs more than you planned on.

The bottom line is this: keep saving, stash a sizeable amount of your money into a high interest savings account until you’re ready to make the step into home ownership. There’s sneaky, hidden costs when buying a house and you can be ready for them. Be careful not to just jump head first into buying a house…even if there is an enticing first time home buyers incentive.

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Do you use a Credit card or Debit card?

For some people, credit cards can present a serious problem when it comes to spending control. Students and young people are especially susceptible to this, as they can often have poor spending habits when they first head off to uni and gain a measure of freedom. In order to help people control their bad spending habits, banks are offering debit cards so that people can access their money using a card using Visa instead of the Eftpos.

The best thing about this a debit card is that you can set your spending limits. Customers are only able to spend as much money as they have in their bank account, so this can really help to suppress frivolous spending a great deal. Really this is a pre-credit approach to spending where the consumer only spends what they have instead of the “buy now and forever be in debt” model that so many of us now operate under.

Many banks offer Visa debit cards to their customers, including ANZ, BankWest, St. George and smaller regional building societies such as Newcastle Permanent.

Take for example the St. George Visa Debit Card, its accepted almost everywhere because Visa. It gives you the ability to make purchases everywhere that Visa is accepted, and this includes making internet purchases. Along those same lines, the card has special protections to make internet purchasing a little bit safer than it might have otherwise been.

One of the excellent aspects of this card is that it will take cash out of the equation for travelers. If you are going on a trip, you don’t want to be carrying lots of cash on your person. This can be dangerous and it is really unnecessary, given the fact that there are acceptable options at your disposal.

Lots of these debit cards have popped up recently, but that doesn’t mean that they are all the same. The St. George Visa Debit Card stands out from the crowd because of its wide spread access across the world. When you are working with the power of Visa, you can be reasonably sure that you are going to be able to get money out of an ATM or make an important purchase no matter where you find yourself. In addition, you will get 10 free email or text message alerts to keep you up to date on the important details that matter to your account.

What do you have in your pocket? Credit or Debit?

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Woolworths Still Offering $50 Shopping Card

The Woolworths Everyday Money credit card is like a lot of rewards credit cards in a number of ways.

The rewards credit cards seek to help out their customers by rewarding them for their spending. The cards are differentiated by what types of rewards are offered and by how much it will cost for these rewards to kick in. Typically, rewards credit cards are a nice way to offset the costs of doing business in today’s corporate world.

The Woolworths Everyday Money Credit Card has a number of features, most of which are good when compared to other cards. The card features no annual fee for the first year, which means customers will save on somewhere close to $50 that they otherwise would have had to pay during that opening period.

The card offers what they are terming a competitive type of interest rate. This rate promise goes along with the advertised offer of no interest for the first 55 days in which you have the cards. Together, this means that the card has one of the lowest APR numbers in the entire industry.

One of the most unheralded aspects of this card is the security system that comes along with it. There is chip technology, meaning that you are safer in the unfortunate case that your card is stolen or you happen to lose it. This can set your mind at ease and it can potentially save you lots of money in case of an emergency.

The rewards are obviously the best thing about this card, and you get some right off the bat. They offer a $50 shopping card when you first get the credit card if you spend on your card before 30 April 2009. You can also earn three rewards points for every dollar that you spend, and you will be given a shopping card every four months if you use the card.

One of the ways in which the Woolworths Everyday Money card compares most favorably is with the interest rate. While many rewards cards are charging north of 20% APR on purchases, this card keeps it well below that threshold.

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New Credit Card: CitiBank and Emirates Combine Forces

Some people like general credit cards and some people prefer cards that are more specialized. For people who have to fly a lot for business or pleasure, getting a credit card that provides free airfare is something that you might want to look into. Citibank, and airline Emirates have combined forces to provide free miles for every dollar that spent when using their new rewards card. What this means is that if you do a lot of your business purchasing with one of these cards, you can pretty much fly wherever you need to go without paying a dime for tickets.

There are many things that make the Emirates Citi Platinum Card a good choice, one being that you get 1.5 skymiles for every dollar that you spend. This can really translate into a lot of free airfare depending upon what you use the credit card for.

This card will make sure that you are taken care of in other ways, too. You can take advantage of complimentary chauffeur service to and from your home to the airport, helping you save money on the parking and on transportation to your flight. More than this, this offers a really strong brand experience which flyers will find hard to dislike. I mean seriously, who doesn’t want to be picked up from their house, chauffeur driven to the airport and checked onto the flight at the first class desk?

Though the annual fee for this card might seem a little bit high at $199, it is really a nice deal when you compare it to other credit cards. This annual fee can be recouped quickly with your air rewards if you purchase enough things with your card.

In addition, the card offers a lifelong, solid offer on balance transfers. At 4.9%, you can pay off other debts and really get creative with how you spend the money. This is a very important thing that some people might not take seriously, but they certainly should.

The reason why this card is better than a lot of the other airline credit cards out there is that it combines a number of excellent services all into one bundle. It has a two month 0% interest period, which is longer than most cards offer. On top of that, the balance transfer option on this card is better than what you will see out of a lot of the competitors.

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Review of a Popular Low Rate Credit Card

Master your spending and your debt with the low rate card such as the ANZ Low Rate MasterCard. With a low rate of 11.99%, 0 percent on transfer balances, and 55 days of interest free credit on new purchases, this card is a great way to gain control over your spending as you consolidate your credit card debt.

Features of this card
The ANZ Low Rate MasterCard is the lowest interest rate ANZ credit card has to offer. At 11.99% for new purchases and 19.99% on cash advances along with a 55 day interest free credit on new purchases this card gives holders an opportunity to save interest expense compared with other credit cards. The $58 a year annual account fee is also the lowest currently charged by any ANZ credit card. The ANZ Low Rate MasterCard also offers features such as the ability to add three additional card holders to a single account at no additional charge, 24 hour, 7 day a week on-line banking, and the ability to access multiple MasterCard services for the purchase of travel and entertainment.

This card allows you to access funds around the globe, make special purchases of dinning and entertainment, and receive special travel benefit available exclusively to MasterCard card holders. There are also exclusive ANZ services such as:

Applications online for this card receive a response within 60 seconds. If successful, your card will be mailed to you within five days. You may also design your own card by uploading a image to appear on the front of the card.

At a full percent lower than other low interest credit cards, this ANZ Low Rate MasterCard offers true credit savings from a large, dependable bank with a global network to assist travelers with world wide services. Such services include air travel, car rental, hotels and dining. ANZ Low Rate MasterCard also offers a full percent point lower interest on cash advances and 55 days of interest free credit on new purchases.

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