Tuesday, 28 October 2008

[Progress.140]Too much rain water for the tank?

We have a quite heavy shower the other day and I was surprised to see lots of water running down the paved area next to the garage. I then noticed the water actually came from the water tank. And as shown below there's so much water that it over flows from the opening on the top!

I was actually not very convinced that this is what supposed to happen. As shown in photo below, the pipe marked with red arrows are supposed to be handling the overflowing water! Does this mean it's blocked, or the volume of incoming water is a lot more than the volume it can handle?

If you look this photo which shows the water coming from the gutter/down pipes above, I am not an expert, but this doesn't look like a lot of water to me.

Any way, I captured a short video as below, hopefully makes the whole thing more clearer to understand for everyone.

Any experts on this, any one? Do you think the pipe was blocked, or not designed/installed properly? Any other suggestions or opinions also welcomed!!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

[Others.027] A bloody expensive change!

We bought 3 JetStar tickets for early November back in August. Thinking of having a short holiday before Christmas. But then found in September that the returning date crashed with a training course I suppose to go, so in a hurry I moved the returning date 1 day ahead just for myself, while wife and kid will still return the next day in original flight. As shown below, there was a $30 charge (ex GST $27, inc GST $30) for "change fee", plus the fair difference, total of $70. Ouch, that's a bit expensive, but still acceptable, although not very happy.

Thing gets worse now, as approaching end of October, we found that wife can't go due to work commitment. Alright, let's check again to see how much it would cost to move to early next year. And I almost fell off my chair. What? Extra $60 change fee (ex GST $54, inc GST $60) on top of the fee differences and previous $30 change fee? This is ridiculous! If it goes like this, does it means I have to pay $90 change fee on my third change? Oh, give me a break!

Ok, I calmed down a bit, checked their web site and according to this page, the charge is $30 per person per flight. So I guess during my first change, I only changed my return flight, that's why only $30 change fee. As I am trying to change both flight now, that would be $60, ouch!

Hang on, I have to calculate my wife & kid's ticket as well. So this change will cost extra $60 x 3 = $180 just for the "change fee", then any fair differences as well...

Wow, I think we really need to do some careful calculation first. Worst case scenario, we might cancel the whole thing.... Damn, never know it would be that bloody expensive for a date change for budget air lines tickets!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

[Others.026] Is Homeone.com.au site down?

I was answering some questions around 11:12 pm and suddenly get this error, is Homeone.com.au site down?

I hope it's not been hacked!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

[Others.025] Good Luck Everyone!

It's a bit unusual for a quiet October
My wife had a quick chat with the joinery Jack who did our laundry and bedroom cabinets last week at school. Jack was always very busy every day, he leaves home before the kids wakes up and rarely gets back home before 9 pm, a very hard working guy. Surprisingly, he turned up at the school that day to drop the kids.

According to Jack, in the past few years, it was always extremely busy during October/November as lots of construction/renovation work all tried to get things done before Christmas. But it has been very quiet for everyone recently and he was really worry.

House price to drop further?
I also just finished watching 60 Minutes from Channel 9. They talked about 1 in 6 house owners with mortgage in US are now owing the bank more money then their house actually worth. They also showed some middle class people who used to own properties are now living in their cars as the banks took their houses.

There's also a economist in the show who predicts the property price in Australia could drop another further 40%, a high 10-15% unemployment rate and it could take more than 10 years for the economy to recover...

Man, if we were all so unlucky (or lucky?) to get this once-in-every century recession, may be we should be more "constructive", turn around and try something else with the luck. There's a $20 million Lotto on 1st November, if you can get it, you won't have to worry about all these recession craps any more!

[PropertyInfo.032] Is first homebuyer grant rise really going to help?

Auction Result
There was this house at 55 Dunlop Street, Epping going for Auction last Saturday (11th October) with an indicative price of "over $1.4 million". It was a nice Binet Home house just built in 2002, pretty close to where we are, and therefore we have been paying close attention to it. You would have to be extremely fussy like us, to pick up a few things: only 2.4M height ceiling, no living areas upstairs, and ground floor not leveled - with two 3 steps stairs within the house to enter kitchen and other areas at the back of the house. Other than these, it's a very nice house.

We thought the auction was at 2:30pm, and as we have visited the open house a few times, we got there that day around 2:20pm just to see how it goes. Unfortunately, I made a mistake, the auction was actually scheduled for 2:15pm. Surprisingly when we arrived there, it already finished! We ask a few people how it went and was told, it started at $1.4M, no one bids and it ended straight away. What a shocking result!

As shown below, it's now listed for sale at $1.485 Million. Well, good luck!

Don't be too greedy!
I then saw this news from news.com.au with the title of "House prices up as greedy cash in on first homebuyer grant rise".

The article talks about:
"GREEDY home sellers are taking properties off the market and re-listing them at higher prices in an attempt to cash-in off first home buyers."

"Vendors are already asking to re-list their property and if we tell them it's not an achievable amount, they take their business to a different real estate agent with promises of greatly inflated prices," a real estate agent, who did not want to be named, said.

Well, again, good luck! How can you blame the greedy traders in Wall Street if you are also doing something similar? I guess we are just ordinary people, who doesn't want a few extra ten/twenty thousand dollars for nothing?