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Australian house prices are among the highest in the world. The divide between the haves and have-nots continues to widen, with home owners in Australia now eagerly awaiting yet another upswing in values. Government incentives do little more than increase the asking price by vendors wanting to sell, and first home buyers are often at a loss as to how to find an affordable dwelling, especially in the capital cities.
Tight finances determine the need for frugal budgeting for first home buyers, but there are some relatively easy ways to cut yourself a little slack, especially if you are capable of undertaking some DIY projects around the home. You can save thousands of dollars, and with every dollar counting, it could mean the difference between affordability or giving up altogether. Here are some quick fixes to get you started.
Learn a little plumbing
One time, while watching a plumber join some poly pipes underneath my home, I remarked, “wow, that looks easy enough. I should have tried to fix it myself.” The plumber swivelled around in the confined space and replied, “don’t tell anyone how easy it is or I will lose a lot of work.” I paid him the full price for a job well done on that occasion, but after handing over the $300 I decided to apply myself to learning a little more about basic plumbing for future minor issues around the home. I have since saved thousands of dollars on call-out fees alone, but still call in the experts for difficult tasks requiring a qualified trades person.
By learning a little plumbing you can perform regular checks in and around the house. The savings will add up, and you will earn bragging rights with your neighbours and friends.
Electricity is an essential power source for almost every household. It is also a very dangerous field to work in, with most jobs best left to the professionals. There are however, some easy tasks that even a novice can perform, such as changing to power saving light bulbs and making a determined effort to switch off all appliances when not in use, even if they are in idle or sleep mode. For those who are a little more adventurous it’s an easy next step to change broken electrical outlets or install ceiling fans. These few tasks alone can save hundreds of dollars per year for an average household, while adding value to your home.
Beat the technology bugs
A significant portion of a home ownership costs are dedicated to technology items. It’s surprising how many people don’t invest in protection of devices such as computers and smart-phones. The expense of repairing a faulty device is magnified many times over if the device plays an important role in your occupation or earning power.
Every computer owner should install security malware apps and keep them updated. Electronic repair is expensive, with costs varying wildly depending on the problem. Take the anxiety out of electronics by protecting them from viruses or threats of compromise. Security will not only extend the lifetime of your devices but also add up to big savings over time.
Adventurous home-owners have more resources available than ever before regarding DIY hints and tips. From painting walls, tiling floors, hanging doors and establishing gardens…the list for possible savings is endless, what to speak of increasing the resale value of your property. Potential DIY savings could be just the stimulus you need to make a confident entry into the housing market.