Cleaning Your Slate Roof

So you have a mortgage your your dream home and it has a stunning slate roof. We all know when it comes to slate everything is expensive so here we are going to take some stress of your budget and give you some slate roof cleaning tips.

1) Always Stay On The Ladder!

You never want to get onto the roof because the slates are going to break down on you. This is a mistake owners make as they assume it is similar to cleaning shingles. You are going to do a lot of damage by getting on the slates.

Instead, you should be thinking of getting a long ladder and placing it alongside the house. This should offer you enough value to still aim the hose and get the water to where it has to go. Stay patient as you do this and the results will come immediately!

Make sure the ladder is secure as soon as you get up there.

2) Avoid Pressure Washers

Pressure washers are a major negative when it comes to your slate roof and are not a good idea at all. They are going to do more damage than good. You want to stick to a regular hose and aim the water away from the slates so the water gently rolls onto them.

3) Be Methodical

The most important thing to remember is the value of detailed cleaning. Slate roofs are not like other roofs because they’re fragile against pressure. You will need to stay methodical when it comes to aiming the hose and getting the water to slide down the slates. Don’t aim straight at the slates because it is going to do damage to their top surface. This is why you never want to use a pressure washer. Always pay attention to the details so you are as safe as you need to be.

Property owners will know the value of a good DIY cleaning but it has to be done the right way. You cannot assume the slate roof will clean itself and it is going to take a bit of homework on your part. Be smart and continue to take a look at the roof throughout the year. If you feel it needs a good cleaning then take out the ladder and be as precise as you can be. This is how you are going to have a good roof on your hands that lasts a long time.

If you would prefer a professional job the guys at Slate Roofing Sydney are the leaders in the field.

Tips on keeping your home cool

keep your home coolWe all not what it is like to not be able to sleep on those stinking hot summer nights. We all also know the pain of getting those outrages power bills that just never seem to get lower. This post is for you the new home owner that wants to reduce their mortgage quicker by doing some simply things like lowering your energy expenses. Here is a simple common-sense guide to help you cool and save you some money at the same time.

Curtains or blinds

Make sure that you have nice thick curtains and/or blinds. This can actually be one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce the heat in your home.

Keep lighting to a minimum

Believe it or not depending on the types of lights that you have they can actually produce a lot of heat. Keep as many lights as you can turned off to reduce the amount of heat produced.


Getting your home insulated will pay for itself over a long enough time period. There is a wide range of building insulation methods available and many professional companies that handle the installation.

Roof painting

There are also some great options when it comes to solar reflective roof paints. Again there a wide range of professional companies that provide this service and can give you an idea of cost and effectiveness with your property.

Air conditioning

We all love a good air conditioned environment, if its going to the mall to keep cool or in your own home. It is important to keep you air conditioning unit clean and serviced so that you get the best and most cost-effective performance from your unit.

Investing in a swimming pool fence

pool fenceYou have worked hard and now you own your dream home with picture perfect pool but you need to meet your legal requirements and have a pool fence that meets your areas pool safety laws. It would be a real shame to let down your properties appearance with a shabby fence. Luckily for you there are some amazing options out there that are both sophisticated and safe.


This is a very specialised type of fence but it looks amazing. It will need to be over a certain height to meet regulations and may not be installed in some bush prone areas. This is definitely not a great one for the DIY types as it can be very difficult to work with.


This is one of the most stylish pool fences on the market. You can get a wide range of finishes and you also have the option of frameless or framed glass. These fences not only look great they are super strong, they do not rust and they allow you a perfect view of your pool and anyone swimming in it.


This is an affordable and durable option that is very easy to work with. This is probably the most practical option for the DIY fan and comes pre painted in a wide range of colours.


This again is an incredibly affordable and easy option for the DIY types. You can paint it any colour to match your property.

Content by Pool Fencing Sydney

Electrician Geelong on Smoke Detectors


Electrician Geelong - Smoke Detector

We invited our friends from Electrician Geelong to provide us with some information regarding smoke detectors because these little devices save lives and when you’re out looking for a home, you should look for the presence of smoke detectors. Electrician Geelong are one of the best electrical companies in Geelong and we welcome their write up smoke detectors below.

The presence of a smoke detector in your home is paramount to your safety and the safety of your family. The early detection of smoke in the house has saved thousands and thousands of lives over the years and it’s no wonder that it’s law to have a smoke alarm fitted to new houses in Australia.

According to one source on the internet, having a smoke detector installed in a home reduces injury or death by fire by fifty percent. That’s amazing and for the minimal cost of them, you’d be mad not to have them installed.

The first versions of smoke detectors/alarms began appearing around the 1890s (source Wikipedia, and various versions of them were designed over the years, including different ways they work and different applications for them.

There are two main methods of how smoke detectors work known as Ionization and Photoelectric.

Very simply, the Ionization type of smoke detector operates by ionizing the air, and detects and difference in the air due to smoke and generates an alarm. These types of smoke alarms are more sensitive to the flaming stage of a fire as opposed to the earlier smouldering stage of a fire.

A photoelectric (also known as an optical smoke detector) uses a source of infrared or ultraviolet light and a photoelectric receiver which measures the light intensity that changes with the presence of smoke. An alarm will sound if the intensity of lights changes above a certain threshold.

Smoke alarms need to be fitted according to certain specifications which justifies the use of a certified electrician to install your smoke alarm (and if you’re in the Geelong area, look up Electrician Geelong). The positioning, number, and type of smoke alarm for your home are all important factors in ensuring you and your family’s safety.

You’ll no doubt be aware of how a smoke alarm sounds if you’ve ever burnt your cooking. Some smoke detectors can be very sensitive and sound their alarm at the slightest hint of smoke. I have even heard of smoke alarms going off from boiling water. The fact is though wouldn’t you prefer your alarm to be more sensitive – in the case of an actual fire, this could be the difference between life and death with the extra warning time you would have.

Smoke detectors can be purchased from your local hardware store for DIY installation or can be supplied and installed by your local electrician. Typically a smoke detector installed by an electrician will be wired into your household’s electrical mains thereby providing continual power to the unit. The DIY versions typically rely solely on battery power.

You should check your smoke detector regularly. For example, once a week would be recommended.

What Should You Look for In The Roof When You’re Buying a Home?

Roof Restoration

Buying a home is a very serious business and a lot can go wrong. According to the guys from Roof Restoration Penrith, when things when buying a home it can become very expensive and it can cause a lot of stress to you and your family. To avoid all the problems that can happen when buying a home you really have to have done your due diligence. One part particular area where people make the biggest mistake in buying a home is not paying attention to the roof. If you have ever had to replace a roof or have had serious repairs carried out then you would be aware of how expensive and costly this can be.

One of the things a prospective homeowner should do is have the roof inspected. You should have the entire home inspected but don’t neglect having the roof inspected. Some building inspectors will inspect the roof as part of their overall building inspection.

However, for the most thorough inspection and report you can’t go past having the inspection done by a reputable roofing company.

There are many different things that can go wrong with the roof and a lot of these things you cannot tell by just looking at it. Some people rely on the eyeball test but because they are not professionals they truly do not know what they are looking at. Certain forms of damage are not apparent to a layperson but to a professional they can easily spot where problems might be.

More important than simply looking at the roof, it is also important to actually go into the ceiling to inspect the area underneath the roof. This is because a lot of damage that a roof may have might only be visible from underneath the roof surface. This is why a roofing company maybe of great value to you. The more that you can learn about home, the more informed you would be, the better your decision-making will be because you will have enough data to make a quality decision.

When looking for a reputable roofing company, check out the services they provide because depending on the state of the roof, you may need a roof restoration or a roof replacement. If either of these jobs are required, you should obtain a quote and use this as a bargaining point for the purchase of the home. Or you could walk away from the purchase if the damage is too severe.

Simple tell-tale signs that you should have the roof thoroughly inspected include;

  • Cracked, damaged or dislodged tiles
  • Bits of mortar breaking away
  • A poor looking roof could also indicate issues.

When looking at a home that you are considering purchasing, know that it needs to be inspected very thoroughly. Know that the roof needs to be inspected very well because if it is not, problems can happen down the road that can cost you a ton of money. You can avoid that early on by having a proper inspection of the roof done by a true professional. Just this little piece of due diligence can save you a lot of money.

As you can see, if you are interested in buying a home don’t fall in love with a shell of a pretty home. Know that issues can exist within the building, often in spots that you cannot easily see.

(Thanks to the guys at Roof Restoration Penrith for their contribution to this article).

Property Investment – Avoiding Mistakes

Property Investment

There are lots of common mistakes that men and women make with property investment and the interesting thing regarding it all is the fact that you can easily avoid these problems. Avoiding these problems is all about doing your research thoroughly and not just blindly investing into something you feel emotional about. Also you can enlist the services of experienced professionals such as the guys at Property Investment Newcastle.

If anything, being a future successful property investor, you will need to become very skeptical about every property that you locate. You must ask exactly what is wrong with this potential property and disregard everything you love. This attitude alone will save you a ton of money and prevent you from having a lot of financial heart ache.

A lot of property investors fail to do a proper property inspection, relying on their own perceived expertise. They might have a basic inspection done and that’s it. It’s a great idea to form a solid relationship with a company you can rely to carry out thorough house & property inspections for you. This is especially handy overtime when your portfolio is increasing and you need someone you can trust.

Another mistake that property investors make is not understanding the true value property. They don’t observe the trends in this neighbourhood, they don’t know the neighbourhood in any way, they don’t understand how much homes have sold for and so they don’t comprehend the true price of the house. The more homework that you simply do being a property investor the better off you may be. The name from the game would be to research everything that one could and also to ask all of the big questions that has to be asked.

Another issue that people make with property investment is opting to move too quickly. They go into crazy mode and the dream of having an investment property to the stage that they don’t do their homework. When you rush into decisions about investing property, often mistakes can be made. Take your time, do your homework, study the suburb and recent sales and make educated decisions.

As you have seen, there are numerous common mistakes to avoid with property investment. In the previous paragraphs we have discussed the main ones that folks typically make. Just changing these few things when it comes to property investment is going to be greatly beneficial to you. If you are new to investing, or are nervous about your own abilities, don’t forget to enlist the help of experts which are capable of guiding you in the correct directions. Property Investment Newcastle are such a team that can help you achieve your investment strategy goals.

What would happen to my mortgage if I lost my job

What Could Happen To My Mortgage If I Lose My Job?

What would happen to my mortgage if I lost my job

If you have a mortgage and have recently lost your job, you may be worried about what is going to happen next. It is important that you know what will happen to your mortgage after you lose your job and what steps you can take to make this better. There are a number of steps that you can take against everything that happens to your mortgage.

Look At Your Insurance

It is important that you take a look at your insurance policies when considering what will happen to your mortgage. If you have planned ahead, you might have taken out mortgage protection insurance. If you have taken out this insurance, the policy will cover the mortgage payments, home-insurance payments and the taxes. Of course, there are a few terms and conditions that you need to know about.

Mortgage protection insurance will generally cover the 2 years after you have bought the house. The cover will also only be applicable if the mortgage costs are within a specified limit. The protection offered by the policy is also not unlimited and will generally last for 6 months. Mortgage protection insurance is something that you should look into, but it is a short-term solution.

Contact Your Mortgage Lender!

If it looks like you will not be able to pay your mortgage, you need to contact your lender. It is important that you do this as soon as possible and not wait until your mortgage is delinquent. When you contact the lender, you may be able to set up a payment plan which helps you avoid foreclosure. Once you have spoken to the lender, you will need to send them a written hardship letter which describes your situation. In the letter, you can explain your job loss and offer a timeline for how and when you will be able to make full payments again.

Once the lender has looked at the hardship letter, they could offer you a forbearance program. This program could suspend your mortgage payments or lower them for a set period of time. It is important to note that not all people will qualify for these programs and if you do not, you should ask your lender about any other options.

Turn To The FHA Or Other Government Agencies

If you have a mortgage that is guaranteed or insured by a government agency, you could qualify for mortgage assistance. These agencies will generally offer a number of different programs that can help unemployed homeowners with their mortgage payments. One of these programs offers an interest-free loan from the government that you will not have to repay until you have either sold your home or repaid your mortgage.

If you lose your job, you will worry about what this means for your mortgage repayments. If you have insurance and are within the timeframe for the policy, you can claim this for around 6 months. However, it is recommended that you contact your mortgage lender and provide a written letter of hardship and they will offer programs that could help.

Thank you Mortgage Brokers Northern Beaches for your guidance in this.

How A Mortgage Broker Can Potentially Help You Even If A Bank Can’t

If you are in Coffs Harbour you’re seriously considering buying a home, one of the first things that you really need to do is get yourself pre-approved for a loan. The best reason why, is that when you go looking at homes, you’re going to find the perfect home at an incredible price, but by the time you get your loan, the home will already be sold. In addition to that, most real estate sales people won’t even want to waste their time with you if you aren’t ready to buy, you’re called a tire kicker. Showing an agent that you have your loan pre-approved says you’re serious, and ready.

You Have Two Choices In Getting Pre-Approved

For the most part, there are two choices that prospective homebuyers have in getting themselves preapproved and ready to buy a home. They can visit a local bank and talk to a loan officer there, or they can visit a mortgage broker and see what they have to offer.

The major difference between a bank and a mortgage broker is that a bank loan officer will only be able to offer loans through their employer and they are usually quite restrictive with their qualifications. On the other hand, a mortgage broker will be able to offer mortgages from a wide variety of sources that are able to fit nearly any kind of income or home that you’d like to purchase.

The loan officers at the bank get paid a salary to do their job and help people get loans from their employer. On the other hand, a mortgage broker gets paid a commission and has an incentive to get you a loan  from any number of sources that he has.

The biggest advantage that a mortgage broker in Coffs Harbour has over the local bank is if your credit is complicated in any way, or the property isn’t exactly what the banks expect, he’ll still be able to get you approved.

In The New Economy, Many People Have Varied Income Sources

In the last decade or so, many people have become independent contractors, work at home consultants and have excellent incomes that come from a variety of different sources. While these people are usually well-paid and excellent prospects for a mortgage, a bank or credit union may have a hard time giving them a loan.

Mortgage brokers in Coffs Harbour will have several outlets for people in exactly this type of situation, in fact, there are mortgage companies that specialize in making loans to clients in nearly all walks of life. And since your mortgage broker in Coffs Harbour  works on commission, he will definitely take the time to find you the best loan available on the market.

In addition to that, if the real estate that you are trying to buy doesn’t exactly fit the regular three bedrooms, two baths, double car garage, scenario a mortgage broker is most likely your only option.

As you can see, there is quite a bit of difference in getting a mortgage from a bank or getting one from a qualified mortgage broker. Contact Mortgage Broker Coffs Harbour for more information.


Top Mortgage Comparison Tips

Mortgage comparison

Buying a home is a huge investment. Finding the right mortgage for your home is confusing and very frustrating. However, through mortgage comparison, you can get the best deal. During this time, you are supposed to speak to different mortgage lenders to assess each possible option. Here are is a checklist to help you with mortgage comparison.

What’s Better Adjustable Or Fixed Rate?

With a fixed mortgage rate, you are locked into a fixed interest rate which you will pay consistently until the loan is cleared. However, the taxes, insurance and other costs on your mortgage might increase or decrease accordingly. On the other hand, the adjustable rate can either go up or down until the loan is cleared. Most mortgage rates with adjustable interests usually start with a period of 10, 7 or 5 years as an introductory period.

During this period the rate is fixed but after that period, they can change depending on various factors such as the prime rate. Most people prefer adjustable rates because the introductory period offers lower interests. However, you should assess whether you are comfortable with your payments increasing in the future before choosing either of the two.

Expected Closing Costs

These are usually about 3% of the buying price of your house. They are usually paid when the purchase of your house is finalized. They include fees charged by lenders, appraisal costs, processing charges, insurance fees and much more. Once you have received an estimate on your house, list down the fees you can shop for in order to reduce your closing costs substantially.

Special Programs

Before choosing any mortgage, check out if you are eligible for any special programs that can reduce the overall cost of your house.  For instance, you or your partner served in the military, you can qualify for a veteran loan which has low or no down payment. Even better, if you fail to pay a few mortgage payments, there are protections in place with this type of loan.

In conclusion, getting a mortgage is a very important decision that has a huge impact on your financial freedom. Therefore, comparing offers from different lenders will allow you to make the best decision.

One of the best ways to compare mortgages is to use a mortgage broker. Their service is free to you and they have software that can electronically compare loans from up to 30 lenders:

Darwin NT Mortgage Comparison

What Is Mortgage Refinancing?

Mortgage refinance
Mortgage refinancing is pretty simple to explain. Basically, it’s taking out a second mortgage on your home. In some situation, refinancing can simply mean that you’re switching mortgage companies. Many go through the first example of mortgage refinancing because they wish to make a large purchase that they don’t have the money for. When people choose to switch mortgage companies, it’s usually because the other guy can offer them a lower interest rate.

The Mortgage Company You Have Now May Offer You A Lower Rate If You Refinance

As we get older, we tend to become more responsible. Established adults have steady incomes and are able to pay their bills when they’re due. This allows them to build up their credit score.

It’s possible you took out your mortgage on your home when you where pretty young. Either you didn’t have enough time to establish a decent credit score, or you where unable to establish it due to a lack of money to pay bills. This probably means you where stuck with a pretty high interest rate.

Now that you’re older and have proven yourself to be more responsible, the bank that lent you your mortgage will offer you an interest rate that’s much lower then the one you have now. This could save you hundreds, and maybe even thousands, of dollars a year.

Thinking Of Using Home Equity To Buy That Car You’ve Always Wanted?

Using home equity to take out a loan does not mean you’re going to have to pay two mortgages every month. Instead, the mortgage company will pay off the amount you have left on the original mortgage by using some of the money you’re borrowing. Since the money you’re borrowing will be partly used to do this, will actually be responsible for paying back more then the cost of your large purchase.

Something to Consider Before Refinancing

Almost every mortgage contract has a clause which states a penalty for refinancing. This penalty is often thousands of dollars. So if you’re refinancing to save yourself a few hundred dollars in interest rates every month, it may not be worth it. Be sure to take any penalty into consideration before deciding whether to do this. In some situation, the home owner is saving money despite the penalty.

It’s Always Wise To Talk With A Financial Adviser

To truly know you’re making the right decision, you should speak with your financial adviser. If you do not have one, you can easily find reviews for certified advisers on Angie’s list. The site is free to use now, so there’s no reason not to take advantage of it. Don’t let one bad review deter you. Some people are impossible to please.

Mortgage Refinancing Exists Because It Works For People

If mortgage refinancing is such a terrible option, it wouldn’t be the one taken by so many people. Do yourself a favor by seriously considering this potentially beneficial strategy. Other home owners have already done it. Is it time for you to jump on board?