Not so happy customer

April 29, 2009

After my praise last week of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia I’m sad to say I withdraw my statement. It appears that my home loan application was rejected due to a policy change which altered the banks view on what it considers to be “genuine savings”. That is the money that you have in your savings account for the deposit on the home loan. They no longer recognise the first home owners grant as “genuine savings” and I therefore no longer qualify for the loan as the grant makes up a significant portion of my deposit.

I don’t understand the change, but that’s not what frustrates me. I don’t mind what they do; It’s the fact that my application was to my understanding lodged well before the change in policy, and even if it were right on the cut-off date I would expect them to take my attempt to negotiate a little more seriously than they did.

I think I might switch banks.

This isn’t an official guide or anything, it’s more a note taking exercise on what to expect if you haven’t bought a house before and are about to do it for the first time (because that’s what I’ve just done).

  • Deposit: this is the deposit that you offer the seller. It usually gets stated on your formal offer to the seller which your agent should be able to help you write up. It’s usually about $5,000 to $10,000 from what I am told but if you negotiate you can get it lower. This gets taken off the final purchase price of the house.
  • Building and pest inspection: You can get these two things done separately but it’s usually cheaper to get them both done at the same time. Doing them both at the same time should be around $650.
  • Settlement: Usually between $1,000 and $1,5000 but it’s based on the cost of the house you buy, I’m just guessing here that most first home buyers will buy something around the $350,000 to $400,000 mark. You should also allow for an extra $200 for fees incurred by your settlement agent when doing checks on your behalf with the water company etc.
  • 20%: Usually you should have 20% of the value of the house you want to buy as a deposit. If you have any less than this the bank will require that you pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) which insures them against you defaulting on the loan. You’re effectively paying someone elses insurance bill for them and this sux but sometimes its your only option. Banks will usually lend up to 90% to 95% of the value of the home with LMI on top.

I am waiting for finance to be approved at the moment, so if there are any more costs that I end up incurring I’ll post an update here.

A Happy Customer

April 17, 2009

It was reported today that Ralph Norris the chief executive of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) will take a pay cut of 10% as of July 1st this year. The move is a part of a program the CBA is running to cut the salaries of senior managers and directors, while at the same time giving most other employees a 1.5% pay increase. The entire article is here. I’m in the process of applying for my first home loan which is coincidentally with CBA. I’ve actually been a customer with them since I was in year 1 at school when I opened my first Dollarmite account. I’m a happy customer, and rightly so as it seems CBA management really understand what’s going on at the moment and how important it is right now to invest in people. I’m certain they’ll come out of this economic downturn stronger than they went in.


July 8, 2008

I’ve signed up for an account over at Posterous. I’m not sure yet if I’ll stick around or not, I love how easy it is to post but this is my blog. I could place the RSS feed from Posterous in my side bar, but most of the time if I bother to email a post there, then I will also make a post here so it seems a bit redundant.

Either way I’ll keep tinkering and see if I can think of a use for it, it’s definitely a cool service. I am going to the reatil expo in August over in Sydney so perhaps I can provide a live stream of posts from our booth.

I went and watched a talk last night which was given by Phillip Adams over at the University of Western Australia. I got the ticket from a collegue as he had been given a free one with his purchase. Having not heard of Phillip Adams before I was not sure what to expect.

The talk was great, even topics of discussion that might otherwise have bored me seemed interesting. I’ll be lucky to be half as intelligent as Phillip when I am his age. I will certainly be downloading his podcasts from now on.

I was reminded of another great thinker and podcaster, Cameron Reilly founder of the podcast network. I definitely think that these two together would make for a very interesting podcast.

If anyone out there has the opportunity to go and see a talk given by Phillip Adams I definitely recommend it.

I’m officially no longer a twitter user. I don’t think it was really benefiting me in any way. I was using it to network with people in Perth and the rest of Australia. I realised though, that I am can attribute all of the new contacts that I have made not to twitter, or facebook, or any other online service. I can attribute them to in person networking, through people I already know.

Quote for Today

May 1, 2008

If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.
– Epictetus