Sunday, March 30, 2014

Careful with 0% Interest Loan

When someone (it could be bank) offers you 0% interest loan, think twice!  In Chinese (Cantonese), we like to say "where could there be frog jumping around the street?" It basically means "how could that possibly true?".

I just want to share with this very good post from @knowthymoney, check it out here. In this specific example, the interest (not really interest, that's why the bank says is 0% interest) is at least 7.5% (assuming you take RM 200, not less than that) and if you are late for the payment, it can go up to 12%. So be careful, it is not really "FREE"! :) Not frog simply jumps around. lol

This is a very common trick used by bank. They sometimes call this "Cash on Call", "Petty Cash" or whatever. It basically, means you can just pick up a phone and call them, they will give you this petty cash. They sometimes proactively call you too to offer you this service. The loan amount is usually small so you can keep using it when you need it until you don't realize how much you have used already.

By the way don't worry, although banks create this trick, they also create a solution for you. This solution is called "AKPK" - you can read up my previous post here to know more about it. I also discuss the detailed AKPK walkthrough application here in case you are interested.

Well, what else do you still need since the complete solution is out there? :) So, don't worry, be happy!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Travel and Stay Cheap with AirBnB

Have you heard for AirBnB? I just came to know about this last year and have used it 3 times. This is how I can settle down here in Australia with not so expensive accommodation. It is something that you can consider if you want to stay at a cheaper place than hotel for your next travel trip.

AirBnB is something similar to "Couch Surfing" if you have heard of it before. The only difference is AirBnB is not "FREE" but Couch Surfing is. It is basically a system that allows to earn extra income from your unused space. You become a host and rent it out your place.  On the other hand, you can also be a customer to stay in the hosted place.

Since "Couch Surfing"  is free, it is lacking of security and guarantee as compared to AirBnB in my opinion. However, it doesn't mean AirBnB has no risk at all or completely safe. It is just relatively safer in that sense. If you can take high risk, go for Couch Surfing. If you prefer lower risk (like I do), go for AirBnB. If you really can't take risk at all, go for hotel. The world is very fair, the risk gets lower if you pay more. I"m medium risk of person, so I love AirBnB!!! :)

Besides getting cheaper accommodation, you can also get to know more people especially the locals, the one who hosts you. All hosts I have met are very friendly and they brief me on what I can do or eat around that area.  You won't able to have this kind of local experience if you stay in hotel.

The payment system is also very user friendly and all can be done online. The only tip that I want to share with you is "don't book or make the reservation immediately" although you see the dates are available. Try to always contact the host first (there is a contact button), wait until you get their approval, then only proceed to reservation. Reason is once you make the reservation, you need to make payment but if it is not approved later on, your payment will be refunded by AirBnB. I just find this troublesome personally. So, I think is better just to contact the host directly and you can also see how fast the host respond to you which tells you how serious they are. You can also contact more than one host to increase your chance. During this process, you need to provide justification or purpose of your travel to allow the host to approve or reject you.

After you check out or leave the place, the review system kicks in. This is how most hosts build up their profile there by having a good ratings and reviews. They can write review to comment about you and you can also do the same about them. You can also choose to be anonymous which means the host won't know the review or ratting is from you. In that case, you can safely give a bad review especially you do not want the host to know. :)

For my next travel trip, AirBnB will be my first priority for accommodation. It is worldwide in case you don't know that. If you're interested, you can check it out their website here.

I also maybe will consider to host with AirBnB one day to earn some extra income and know more people. :) Thanks to AirBnB!

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Steps to Rent a Property In Australia

Here are the general steps to rent a property in Australia that I learned lately. I think it should be more or less the same within Australia.

(1) Property Searching

The most popular one is "". I got mine here. You can also try "" but I think it is mostly unofficial - means somebody rents a property from the owner, and then he/she rents out a room to you for example. It is usually cheaper.

Note: A lot of applications (e.g. medicare, car license and etc.) require a proven residential address with your name. Especially if you're the first migrant here, my suggestion is better to go through the official channel, so you have the proof to show that you stay there.

(2) Inspection Appointment

If you are interested in a property, you contact the property agent to make an appointment for inspection. It is a requirement you must inspect the house by yourself.

I tried to negotiate with the agent before I came to Australia whether I can just rent the property by paying my deposit up front. The answer I got is "NO" and this is a policy that everyone must follow. :) So, you must physically present to inspect the property.

(3) Tenancy Application

If you have decided that you want to rent the property, you need to fill up an application form. This application form basically is sent to the property's owner for approval. This means the owner can choose his/her tenant and can reject or approve your application. This also means that you can apply more than one application. You can pull out anytime as long as you haven't signed the lease agreement yet although your tenancy application is approved.

One key thing here is "100 Point Identify Check" requirement. You need to have at least 100 points to prove your identify in this application. Here are the example (depends on the agency):

  • Driver's License (40 points)
  • Passport and Visa (40 points)
  • Birth Certificate (30 points)
  • Other Photo ID (30 points)
  • Student Card (30 points)
  • Medicare Card (20 points)
  • Proof of Income (20 points) - Must
  • Previous 2 Rental Receipts (20 points)
  • Previous Tenancy Reference (20 points)
  • Credit Card (10 points)
  • Telephone Account (10 points)
  • Gas/Electricity Account (10 points)
  • Motor Vehicle Registration (10 points)
  • Bank Statement (10 points)
If you don't have enough 100 points, the application will not be accepted. All documentations need to be in "English". For example if your driver's license is not in English, you need translation copy of it. 

Proof of income is a must. For my case I just show them my job offer letter. If you don't have income yet, I guess as long as you can show them your bank statement with enough cash, they will buy that (I think). 

You also need reference in your application, try to find someone who stays there to be your reference. If you really don't have (better to have one), I think it is okay too. It is up to the property's owner actually.

(4) Lease Agreement

Once your tenancy application is approved, the next step is proceed to signing lease agreement. It has all the details including landlord/tenants information, leasing term (e.g. 1 year), rental price and payment method. 

You're required to pay for rental bond as well (usually is 2 weeks). If your electricity & gas & water, and other stuff are included in the rent, it must be stated clearly there as well in the agreement.

A conditional report relating to the condition of your property must be done too before signing this agreement. Somehow my agent only did this after only I signed the agreement. That is not the right procedure but I just closed one eye.

(5) Collect Keys

Once you have signed the agreement and pay for the rental (including the bond), you can collect keys and start to move in.

Didn't find what you want? Use Google Search Engine below: