Are our houses too big?

Ed is 15 years old. He is the 3rd of 5 children and still shares a room with his younger brother and sister. Living in a 3 bedroom ex-govvie with 1 bathroom is a bit of a squeeze, he admits, but his parents, Rob and Lydia, have worked extremely hard to get where they are, and he knows it. “We just make it work,” says Rob with a laugh. “The kids all growing so it’s a bit like the house is getting smaller, but at least they’ve still got the backyard to play footy in.”

Domain.com recently published an article We don’t need so much space that we found quite pertinent to Ed’s situation. We delved deeper in an attempt to find an answer to one of the big questions in Australia at the moment: do we need this much room to live? Continue reading

Smooth Tenancies – Do they exist and how to achieve them?

There are three things that are certain in life in our western society: death, taxes, and rental horror stories. We’ve all heard the nightmarish accounts of what happened to friends of friends, and, if we’re unfortunate enough, we may just have a horror story all of our own.

Jessica has her own torrid tale, and agreed to share it with us in the hope that it might prevent even just one tenant from making the same mistakes she did.

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When siblings unite! How two sisters stepped together into the market.

We’re serious romantics here at Perspective. Nothing gives us goosebumps as much as good ol’ Boy meets House. Or Girl meets House. In fact, anytime someone wants to tell us the story of their first home purchase, we cancel all meetings and settle ourselves in with popcorn (although the powers that be have not yet approved the much-asked-for popcorn machine).

This week we caught up with first home buyer, Gabby, who’s story came with its own little twist, and we felt we had to share it. This time, Sister and Sister meet house. Yep, while some people can’t wait for a little space from their siblings, these two have committed to the foreseeable future of clothes swapping, shared meal times and a shared mortgage.

Today they shared how they did it.

We received a hot tip that you and your sister are very young first-home buyers. Is that true?

Yes, I guess so. I’m 23 and my sister, Maddy is 21. We just bought a new townhouse together, off-the-plan. Continue reading

Loan Wars – A New Hope

“Seriously hard, looking for a loan is.” Such was the advice our miniature green friend, Master Yoda, gave a young Luke Skywalker, who was trawling through a myriad of Tatooine investment property options. For Skywalker, a freelance Jedi apprentice, a regular fortnightly pay day is in a proverbial galaxy, far, far away, and it turns out that many banks just won’t give him a look in as far as a home loan application goes.

Getting a loan is harder, still, when, like Skywalker, your income is neither steady nor regular, as is the experience of many sole traders. Feeling the pinch are freelancers, artists, self-starting entrepreneurs and anyone game enough to go out on their own and who hasn’t had the terrible misfortune of inheriting a squillion from dear old Great-Aunty Doris.

That’s not to say it’s impossible, but it means jumping through a lot more hoops than your everyday wage slave to persuade a lender to come to the party.

Banks, too, face many hurdles they have to clear to satisfy financial regulators like the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA). To avoid a repeat of the US sub-prime mortgage market debacle which ultimately led to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, where hundreds of thousands of people defaulted on loans they couldn’t afford from banks who doled out loans hand over fist, Australia adopted a strict regulatory environment that has made banks highly wary of who they’ll fund.

The regime puts the onus on banks and other lending institutions to ensure that a borrower is able to service a loan – or face the lawmakers’ wrath.

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Energy saving tips from our favourite TV shows

The media has been full of speculation lately about the future of the energy market in Australia. Gas and electricity prices are soaring, while usage continues to grow. ‘Clean’ coal, solar, wind, natural gas, and now a re-vamped Snowy Mountains hydro-electric scheme have all been touted as potential solutions to the growing energy needs of our population.

All of this makes the Perspective team want to hide under the doona and watch Netflix. This is a perfectly normal response to stress, in our opinion, but maybe we could learn something from our favourite TV shows.

This week we raise the question: how would characters from our favourite TV shows save energy? And what everyday energy-saving tips can we learn from them?

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