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Musings of a Mortgage Broker

By |February 3rd, 2019|Categories: General|

No-one want’s to be rejected with the words “It’s not you, it’s me”, however that might be preferable to hearing “it’s just you”.

Yet that’s exactly what some banks have recently been saying, when in fact it’s probably been them.

Your loan will always be part of a bigger portfolio of loans. That means the bank is always assessing a risk bigger than just you. The more they lent in the good times, the greater their overall risk will be in the not so good times.

Recently there has been increased lending scrutiny of a type usually only seen in times when banks are concerned about a decline in the economy.

This is when their problem becomes your problem. How this shows up is that the discretionary component of the loan application plays a bigger part, even if you tick all the boxes on paper.

In other words, even if the loan application looks good, the lender might simply prefer to hang out for stronger loan applications.

Also concerned about lending risks are APRA and ASIC, the collective watchdogs of banks and credit licensees. And while they are the enforcers of responsible lending, they’re also the go-to excuse for when a lender doesn’t have room for any more risk – and wants to cherry pick only the strongest loan applicants.

As brokers, the best we can do is find lenders that actually want your debt; present the strongest possible case; and be guided by our experience of which lenders will follow their own lending criteria.

The guidelines that most banks are following at the moment is that when they work out your affordability for a 30 year loan, you need the ability to pay it off in about 17 years if interest rates stay where they are.

We’ve also found that older borrowers (even those with a realistic exit strategy) need a loan term that ensures the loan is paid off by the time the oldest borrower is 75 – even if they plan to sell the property well before that.

That means if you can get a loan at 55 it will need to be a 20 year loan, and as a buffer you will need the capacity to pay it off in about 14 years. And even with that affordability, some lenders still might ask for more.

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House Plumbing Inspection

By |January 24th, 2019|Categories: General|

When scheduling a home inspection, you must make sure that every little detail in the construction of your home gets inspected, from the attached garage to the roof of the building. It can save you a lot of money in the long run by drawing attention on any potential issues that may in time turn into costly repairs.

Every part of the property should be checked, but it is of particular importance to get a home plumbing pipeline inspection to check the water supply system, the fuel storage and distribution systems, the water heating system, drainage systems, septic systems and any plumbing fixtures in order to ensure everything is working properly.

Home inspection companies will also have a plumbing inspection units, with plumbing specialists that can provide important safety tips and ensure your home is up to regional plumbing standards.

Plumbing Inspection Requirements

First of all, rough plumbing must be tested by filling the entire drainage system with water to the middle of trip waste overflow of every tub installed on the top floor, in order to verify that the system is watertight. Also, all water piping must be pressure tested to at least normal working pressure, either by turning on the building water service/well pump or by air testing from 75 psi to 100 psi.

If necessary, radon vent piping must be installed with rough plumbing and must be identified in open areas. All gas piping must be pressure tested with compressed air and a test gauge able to be reasonably read. Time of test and amount of pressure must be posted near gauge so the plumbing inspector can confirm that the system is air tight, and gas piping must be identified.

All sewer lines and water service lines from the house to the curb connection/septic tank must be left uncovered for inspection, and buildings must be left open for final plumbing inspection.

All plumbing fixtures must be installed and fully operational, hot water must be available to all fixtures that require hot water, and all showers and bath/shower combinations should be adjusted to provide not more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit outlet water temperature.

Inspection Of Residential Plumbing, Water Supply And Septic Tanks

Inspecting the residential plumbing, water supply, septic tanks and drainage systems is critical to learn about their condition, especially their structural soundness and safety. Moreover, the inspection of water supply and drainage system of a house is mandatory before closing a purchase.

Routine Plumbing Inspection

A routine inspection of the household plumbing, water supply an septic tanks and water heating systems will help you detect potential problems early on and avoid emergencies. For a plumbing inspection fee, a plumbing specialist will be able to detect whether leakage of water from a questionable source contaminates safe water, when the septic tanks of your house need to be emptied, when flaws occur and so on.

Household Plumbing System Inspection Involves:

  • the water service entry (the water meter) and the water supply piping
  • the drain, waste and vent (DWV) system
  • the water heating system
  • septic tanks

Fuel Storage and Distribution Systems

The Water Supply System of a house includes the water-well, water-pump, water-meter, the water-distribution piping and even fixtures and faucets. Using specialized equipment, the plumbing specialist will check the water level in the water-well, check the water-pump and water-meter for their efficiencies, verify pipe sizes, check the pipelines, fixtures and faucets for signs of leakage and rusting or for faulty connections, check the piping material through standard lab tests, identify the location of the main water shut-off valve  in the plumbing map of the house and ensure the valve is operable.

The DWV System – drain, waste and vent systems – are inspected for proper functionality, the wastewater piping and all fixtures are checked for leakages and rusting, and the plumbing inspector will also ensure that the vent pipe sizes and materials match the required standard and can balance the water-pressure in the plumbing system. Drains, sewer systems and wastewater must be checked for proper inclination, otherwise the downward flow of wastewater is hampered.

Sump pumps must be assessed for their efficiency, depending on the drainage requirements of a particular household. When it comes to the heating system, inspection includes testing the water heating equipment and its power source for its storage capacity and performance. Following an inspection, a plumbing specialist may recommend the replacement of an old heating system with a more efficient new appliance, which has adequate controls and reduces power consumption. The inspector will also pay close attention to the chimneys and the piping system.

The inspection of septic tanks involves multiple tasks and tests, but assessment of the tanks for determining their capacity and condition is fundamental. The septic tanks are tested for racks, holes and other structural defects. Also, the size of the drain field must be assessed and the inlet/outlet sanitary details of the septic tanks must be examined for possible blockages. Though most septic tanks need to be pumped every three to five years, plumbing inspectors typically recommend pumping and emptying the septic tanks after inspection, depending on the tank size and the amount and type of solids entering the tank.

In addition, household plumbing also includes fuel distribution piping, so plumbing specialists undertake inspection of the fuel supply system from the entry point into the house to the point where it is used. Along with the rest of the plumbing work, the automatic emergency fuel shut-off valve needs to be mapped as well. There’s more to a household plumbing network than just water supply, septic tanks and sewer system, and only a plumbing specialist will be able to handle all the intricacies of the plumbing network to ensure everything is working as intended.

A Final Plumbing Inspection Includes:

Any work that needs o be done following a plumbing inspection will often be costly, but the speculation can be cut down if you know what the inspector is looking for on his final plumbing inspection.

  • permits and end result – generally, the first thing an inspector checks for is a permit for any construction or work, if any, that must be done. First of all, all fixtures must be installed, every room with plumbing must be functional and have all the required fixtures, all the caulking must be done beforehand, and if something is missing, the water to that location must be turned off completely before the inspector gets there. Also, the plumbing inspector will be testing the full spectrum of temperatures, so make sure that any fixtures that need hot water have hot water. Things like sinks and showers will need to have both hot and cold water. During a plumbing inspection, the inspector will also run the water in all rooms to check for leaks.
  • water heatersfuel systemsseptic tanks – these are the main three items plumbing inspectors are concerned with. The point of an inspection is mainly to make sure everything is in working order and in good condition, so the inspector will look to make sure whether the water heater is sealed tight, has the proper drainage and is elevated off the ground. If you have a septic tank, a plumbing inspector will pay special attention to it and will evaluate its condition and capacity.
  • pressure testingpipe insulationplumbing fixtures – have the pipes pressure tested before the inspector comes, and leave the results near the test area because that’s what the inspector will look at. One of the most difficult parts of preparing for a plumbing inspection is uncovering all of the main lines, and if you have a septic tank it needs to be uncovered as well. Pipe entry into the house and all pipes in bathrooms and kitchens must be visible somehow. Leave all insulation on the pipes, as it is an important step of the inspection. Also, any outdoor or indoor pipes that do not have access to heating units must be insulated to prevent freezing.

A plumbing pipeline inspection is very important to ensure the health and safety of your family, so when choosing a plumbing inspection unit within a home inspection company, make sure to hire a reputable plumbing specialist to handle the work.

The plumbing inspection fee will vary according to the company, but keep in mind that it is a good investment to avoid potential costly repairs in the future.

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Top 5 Hackers from Around the World

By |August 22nd, 2018|Categories: Hackers|

Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon is one of the most famous hackers around the world and was known by his internet handle called ‘Solo’. Under this name, he had put together one of the most extensive military computer hacks of all time. Out of curiosity, he had hacked around 97 US military and Nasa computers by installing a virus in it and deleting a few files. He had claimed to say that he was only searching for information on the UFO activity cover-ups and the free energy suppression.

Kevin Mitnick

Kevin Mitnick is known as one of the world’s most dangerous hackers. He was convicted of hacking Pentagon, Nokia, and even Motorola. He is said to have stolen corporate secrets and has hacked into the US national defence warning system. He had pleaded guilty to seven reckonings of fraud; computer fraud, wire fraud, and the illegal interception of a wire communication. He was later arrested and sentenced to five years of prison out of which eight months included solitary confinement. Currently, Mitnick is out of prison and is a consultant and a public speaker and also runs a computer security company called Mitnick Security Counselling, LLC.

Hacker

Anonymous

Anonymous is a hackers’ group who calls themselves the ‘digital robin hood’. They are famous for hacking and attacking the government, religious and corporate websites. The CIA, PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, The Vatican, The FBI as well as The Israeli, Ugandan, Tunisian, and the Chinese government have all been the victims of their attacks. Many of their members have confirmed their intent which is to attack the internet control and censorship. The public wearing Guy Fawkes Masks famously identify them.

Kevin Poulsen

Famously known as ‘Dark Dante’, Poulsen became famous after he had hacked into a radio station’s phone lines and had fixed himself as the winner caller and won himself a Porsche. He had later hacked into several federal systems and stole wiretap information. He was also found guilty of seven reckonings of wire, mail and computer fraud and money laundering. He was eventually caught at a supermarket and sentenced to 51 months of prison along with a fine of $56,000.

Astra

Astra is known as a weapon in Sanskrit and was the pen name of the world-famous hacker who dealt with weapon stealing and selling. He was a 58-year-old Greek Mathematician who had hacked into the systems of France’s Dassault Group and stole their technology data on weapons. He later stole it from other countries for five years! He had sold data from almost 250 individuals from around the world, and this had cost Dassault $360 million worth of damage. No one knows the actual identity of Astra, but officials have wanted him since 2002.

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Top 5 Emerging Information Security Technologies

By |August 22nd, 2018|Categories: Security Technologies|

There is a constant battle going on between data hackers and data defenders, but the problem is that each time a hacker or malicious software is suppressed, another one pops up in the same place. This has made the data defender’s job very difficult, but to the ever-evolving technology, there is some software that will aid them. Let us look at some of the emerging information security technologies:

User-Behaviour Analytics

When a hacker compromises the credentials of a user, the next step is for the hacker to steal all the other users. The analytics section of the company called the UBA or the User Behavior Analytics. The job of UBA is to analyse each behaviour and figure out if there is any malicious behaviour.  They do this by examining the account of its past actions and seeing whether the activities are reasonable or not. UBA also compares the individuals accountable to its interaction with peers and analyses whether the behaviour is out of the ordinary or any malicious software has taken over.

Customised Approach

The businesses which provide security solutions have started a customised approach to companies. In this method they asses the value and internet footfall of the company, from the data, they receive they can provide security solutions based on that. The primary advantage of this approach is that it allows the company with solutions in areas they severely lack and makes sure that the stronger regions are dealt with accordingly. This will give businesses an opportunity to implement products that match their requiremnts, and small businesses with a main focus will be able to compete with more extensive but less flexible software providers.

Hardware Authentication

Intel popularised hardware authentication. The process of hardware authentication is to imprint a hardware feature for authentication, this type of authentication prevents data breach and theft, it provides an extra layer of security. When a user enters his security credentials, the engraved code offers the extra protection it also makes sure that the access is by clients which are verified. The perfect application for this would be on the Internet of Things or IoT where all the hardware’s are wirelessly connected through poor encryption; hardware authentication provides extra protection.

Block Chain

Blockchain for IT security enables the data to be decentralised preventing its storage in bulk. This creates a single-entry point for the hackers or any breach. The decentralised data also makes it hard to track it down or seize it. This technology is already becoming popular and is being used in banking and law companies.

Blockchain-infographic

Deep Learning

Deep Learning is a fusion of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The use of deep learning is to detect anomalies in the behaviour or deviation from standard methods. They view each department as an entity and analyses it at micro and macro levels. This provides a better understanding and reviews, which in turn can help flag malicious software quicker.

 

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