Whether you are buying a home, renovating a home or building a home you have come to the right place. Home Loan approval Perth is your guide to finance and housing and we are located in Perth. With plenty of helpful articles and tips, we hope to provide you with the information you need to make your next big housing decision.

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Buying a Home? Inspect the Plumbing First

If you are in the market for a new home, it is wise to have the entire structure inspected, including the plumbing, before you close the deal. You can also inspect the plumbing system yourself if you know what to look for. Never take everything at face value, especially when it comes to a major purchase like a home – doing so can make you end up spending a ton of cash later on down the road when you discover problems within the plumbing system. Most sellers are motivated to get rid of their real estate right now, which makes pointing out any big problems that you find all the more important.

Doing Your Own Plumbing Inspection
Make an appointment with the owner or the real estate agent that is showing the home, and come prepared. Be sure to wear clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty (or wet) and bring a good flashlight with you. Don’t feel pressured not to fully inspect the home – many potential buyers are hesitant to “ruffle any feathers”, especially if they have fallen in love with the property. A reputable seller or agent will not mind you poking your nose around (unless they have something to hide) and would naturally want to disclose the accuracy of the home’s state of repair or disrepair. Simple requests for repair are generally not “deal breakers” as most folks are more than happy to concede to your requests. Let’s look at how you can inspect the home you are interested in:

Plumbing Home Inspection

Locate the water meter and make a determination if the shut off valve to the home’s water supply is in working order. If the home is equipped with well water, the shut off valve will be located inside the home, usually under the kitchen sink but is often found elsewhere. When you shut the water off using the shut off valve, there should be no water coming out when you turn the taps on in the kitchen, bathrooms, or other areas.
Find out if there are any lead pipes in the home. Homes that were built prior to 1986 often have lead or galvanized plumbing. Lead, as you know, no matter how useful, is an environmental toxin (note the need for unleaded gasoline and paint in homes that is not lead based). If you have children, you may not want to live in a home that has lead pipes.
Determine the size of the water pipes in the home and around the home – they will help to determine the water pressure that you’ll have. For water pressure to be adequate, the lines should be ¾” to one inch directly from the main water source for the home. The pipes themselves should be at least a ½” in diameter to provide adequate flow.
Inspect the home’s hot water heater. You will be looking to see if it is big enough to accommodate your needs (a family of four should have at least a 40 gallon tank), where it is located, and the water heater’s age. Check to see if there is a buildup of mineral deposits in the tank, if possible. Mineral deposits can settle on the tank’s bottom, leaving less room for water – which will mean that less water will be heated and available for use. Also, corrosion of the tank’s elements can cause the tank to have a short life. If the water heater is old or you see obvious signs of corrosion, request that a new one be installed.
Make sure that the plumbing throughout the home is prepared for freezing weather by having pipes wrapped. The vents throughout the home should be the type that can be closed off in the winter time during periods of intense cold. For homes with wells, the well should be protected in some fashion from bitter cold as well.
Determine the type of sewage system the home has, whether waste goes to a municipal sewer system, or if there is a septic tank installed. If the home has a septic tank, find out where it is installed on the property, how much the tank holds, and where the lines to the septic tank are located. Ideally, you want a map with the paperwork that comes with your home that shows where the tank and all lines to the tank are located. Also, ask the owner or seller when the tank was last emptied or serviced. Look for signs of seepage around the area where the tank is located, or for standing water or noticeable odors – all of which are signs of a problem with the septic. Septic tanks can be very expensive (thousands of dollars) to replace or repair – so if there is a problem, demand that it is fixed prior to closing the deal.
Inside the home, check the kitchen faucets and bathroom faucets for leaks or drips. Check underneath sinks to check for leaking pipes.
Flush the toilet in each bathroom. They should empty and then refill correctly.
Turn on the shower in the room farthest from the home’s water source. Check the temperature of the water and the water pressure.
Addressing Problems before the Sale
It is important that you address any and all problems that you find in the home’s plumbing system (or elsewhere in the home, for that matter) with the seller or realtor prior to making an offer or closing the sale. While many homes come with a home warranty that will cover the various systems within the home for a specific period of time, you can still be out of pocket if the plumbing system is in disrepair and your home becomes damaged as a result. In most instances, you will find that repairs that need to be made will be made in order to get the home off the market. If you are a bit handy and have the time to do repair work yourself, you can also use the results from your home plumbing inspection to negotiate a lower price on the home to accommodate for the supplies and labor involved in correcting any problem points.


Written by Peter Laurent an experienced plumber with over 25 years experience. If you need a plumber in Canberra please check out his website at www.evereadyplumbing.com.au

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5 Tips for a Self-Build

Building your own home can create a more valuable and energy efficient house and is often cheaper than buying a residential property.
Yet, while self-build is glamourised in many property programmes and articles, the process of financing a project can be rigorous.
Unless you have a load of spare money lying around, you will need a mortgage to fund your self-build. Specialist Buildstore has provided some top tips on how to get a self-build mortgage below.

Find an expert

Self-build is a niche market for lenders and many have exited in recent years citing a lack of demand. This is an area where it is definitely worth talking to your local building society.
Deals are available from lenders such as Norwich & Peterborough, Saffron Building Society, BM Solutions, Leeds Building Society, or specialist Buildstore.
Deposits, rates and terms vary depending on planning permissions and the stage of the building.

There are additional items you will need such as your planning permission and plans of the house so the lender can do an end value.
When applying for a self-build mortgage, your current mortgage or rent commitments will be taken into account by a lender when deciding how much you can borrow for your project. The way affordability is assessed depends on the lender.

Make a budget

Rachel Pyne, head of Buildstore’s financial services division, says: ‘Getting a standard mortgage is complex enough.
‘When you add self-build to the mix you are not just matching the mortgage to your financial position but to your whole project.
‘It is important to do your research and consult specialist.’
The bank will want to know how much you estimate the project will cost. You will also need to be able to ensure you can afford somewhere to live in the meantime.
According to Buildstore, the amount you can borrow to purchase the land will be 75 per cent of its current value, and for the build costs, again you can borrow around 75 per cent of the end value.
If you already own the land or the property, you can borrow against the value of this, meaning you can borrow more of the build costs.
You may need to access savings to fund the build so you should make sure they are not locked up. Also, if you area selling your house you will have to check your mortgage is free of early repayment charges.

Make a detailed plan

A lender will want to see detailed plans for the property, a projection of costs and planning permission details.
The whole application process can take five months on average.
You will have to be clear on everything including the people and materials being used. Factors such as build type, construction method, materials, location, and schedule of costs will all impact which lenders will lend and how much.

Consider how you will receive payments

Lenders typically release the money for a self-build in five to seven stages, taking a project from foundations to the finished property. They may want to inspect each stage before signing off on the next slice of money.
This protects a lender from throwing good money after bad if a project goes wrong. The inspections and extra administration make self-build loans more expensive than a conventional mortgage.
Funds are released in stages during the works on an arrears basis. A traditional self-build mortgage pays the fund for each build stage at the end of that stage, once competed. This is not ideal if you don’t have cash to fund you through each stage.
Alternatively, with an advance mortgage you get the money before each stage and once each is complete and signed off by a valuer, that triggers the release of funds for the next stage.
Some banks don’t lend until the property is watertight, while others may be happy just want to see the foundations built.
There may also be terms about doing all the work yourself or using a contractor.
People are more commonly aware of using bricks and blocks or timber frames to build but there are other forms such as structurally insulated panel. Lenders may only provide money against using certain materials.
The lender will do a valuation at the beginning of the process to give the estimated end value, and will do a valuation at various stages.
Some lenders will give money on an interest only basis, this will help you budget for costs better.
The average application time is five months.

Change your rate once the project is complete

The initial mortgage rate during the build is often high, between 5 and 6 per cent, but you may be able to switch to a lower rate once the property is built and the lender has done a valuation. You may also be flipped onto a repayment mortgage as well.
According to Buildstore, the average end loan-to-value on self builds is 58 per cent. The average cost-to-value is 72 per cent.

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