Sunday, June 27, 2010

HRV - installed, home value increased?

My house is old. 1960 old, well, er, *cough* thats not that old really. erhm. Anyway.
This winter the condensation has been particularly bad and the amount of mildew and mold growing in the place has just been a nightmare. Washing the windows and net curtains is like an exercise in level 1 decontamination.


So I went hunting for a dehumidifier, they were expensive and power hungry. Just like me! I can barely afford me let alone a dehumidifier as well, so resigned to weeks of saving I went home to dream about my fantastical dehumidifier.

That night we received a mysterious phone call around dinner time, the universe had heard my call for a drier home and had sent the HRV telemarketer! We agreed to let them look at the house and two weeks later we have a ventilation system. Top number is roof temp, lower number is house temp, bottom number is kept high to make sure any available heat is pumped into the house. Of course when its cold in the roof it just switches to ventilation mode so we don't freeze our nubins off.
 It cost a packet, but they have a payment plan. First item we've bought on credit since ...since.... our car the one we had before this one? Anyway. Here we are indentured to the man. But our home is dry and awesome. As a nice bonus everytime the roof temp gets above the house temp it pumps all the warm air down. It was a balmy 18 degrees in our house today!  Breakout the short short and TANK TOPS!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Anyone Can Buy Shares! Its Not Expensive or Elitist.

The other day at work I mentioned that I got a voucher in the mail for some free KFC, it had been years since I've tasted and I was moaning that the Potato and gravy wasn't as good as I remembered. Someone asked where the voucher came from and I mentioned that I was a shareholder and it came included in the annual report.
So one of my co-workers scoffed, "How can someone who claims to be poor own shares?"
While I do find our finances tight due to large mortgage repayments and child support this is no barrier to owning shares, its a lot cheaper than you think.

My Restaurant Brands shares were purchased for $304 dollars. (They are now worth $468 due to KFCs increased profitability woot!) You don't have to buy thousands of dollars worth however you can't buy just one share either. In New Zealand we have minimum buy numbers which mean depending on the value of the share you have to buy a certain amount.

Number of Units Price (both figures inclusive)
2,000 Where the price does not exceed 25 cents
1,000 Where the price exceeds 25 cents but does not exceed 50 cents
500 Where the price exceeds 50 cents but does not exceed $1.00
200 Where the price exceeds $1.00 but does not exceed $2.00
100 Where the price exceeds $2.00 but does not exceed $5.00
50 Where the price exceeds $5.00 but does not exceed $10.00
25 Where the price exceeds $10.00

The only problem with buy small amounts of shares is the brokerage fee. Minimum brokerage is around $30. If you only buy $200 worth of shares the brokerage is quite a high proportion of the investment. It takes a while for return on the investment to cover the cost of buying the shares. Some companies have a dividend reinvestment program, you dividends are automatically used to buy more shares at no cost to you. Currently my Auckland airport shares have this feature. Its the only good thing about them, under-performing bastards.
ASB and National Bank have very easy to use online share trading accounts. There is a very short learning curve and you can be buying shares online before you know it.