First Home Buyer Tips!

If you’re young and dumb and always wanted to run to the streets ’cause you though that was where it was at OR are a Gen Y’er, living in Sydney, and trying to buy your first home, then we’re in the same rowboat (paddling and getting nowhere). The Mrs and I have been pretty caught up in the buzz and excitement of property this last quarter of 2013. Wow oh wow has it been a rollercoaster. I just wanted to give a few tips to any other potential first home buyers out there so that they can avoid some of the traps and pitfalls we’ve experienced:

  • Don’t be fooled by the FHOG. Sure, $15,000 is quite a bit of money BUT when you’re buying brand new (say ~$550k) keep in mind that this “grant” makes up 2% of the value of your house.
  • Don’t skim on Building and Pest Inspection Reports. These might cost you a few hundred dollars but could save you thousands of dollars, migraines, heartache, stress, health problems, diabetes etc etc.
  • Save, Save, Save. The biggest hurdle for any first purchaser is the initial deposit. You’ll most likely be paying LMI (lenders mortgage insurance) if you don’t have at least a 20% deposit (typically over $100k). I know that some people in our generation have the opportunity to save this much before they turn 25 but for the majority of us, this just isn’t possible.
  • If you’re young and not looking to buy for a few years, open a First Home Savers Account. BUT don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Put in at least $6,000 a year to reap the benefits of a $1,000 gov’t contribution and save the rest in your everyday savings account. This way you can use the liquid cash if you need and get the maximum return from the government. At the end of your account period (4 years) you would’ve received a free $4,000 from your friends in ACT.
  • The LMI you pay grows exponentially from borrowing 80% going up to 100%. So don’t borrow more than you can chew. Do your best to borrow less than 90% because anything higher is going to cost you some serious money.
  • If you’ve found a place you like, talk to your potential neighbors. Don’t be anti. Seriously. You may find out insightful information like who the previous owners were, whether the house is haunted etc.
  • Don’t feel pressured to buy just because interest rates are at an all time low. It’s a sellers market right now and yes our generation is being priced out BUT just keep saving.

If I think of anything else I’ll add a new post. Good luck to anyone and everyone in the same boat. Let’s paddle together.

Disclaimer: I’m not a financial expert, mortgage broker, money guru etc. I’m just your friendly, neighborhood spiderma…. IT guy πŸ™‚

Force all VPN traffic out the remote gateway

Have you ever needed to connect to a remote site and tried a whatsmyip, and realised that “Hey my IP is still the same. All the internetz sites will know where I’m browsing from”. A bit of an extreme scenario but by default Windows VPN does not force ALL your VPN traffic out the remote gateway. Instead it will pass traffic not required in the remote network through your own gateway, for example, web traffic. So how do you force all VPN traffic out the remote gateway? Here’s how you can do it on a Windows 7/8 machine (very similar to XP so don’t stress)

  1. Open up Network and Sharing Center.
  2. Click on Change adapter settings.
  3. Locate the VPN adapter that you’ve configured previously. Right click and select Properties.
  4. Here comes the good stuff… When the properties Window appears, go to the “Networking” tab.
    VPN_Networking
  5. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties
  6. Click on the Advanced button
    VPN_Advanced
  7. In the IP Settings Tab, select the check box next toΒ Use default gateway on remote network.
    VPN_Gateway
  8. If you are using an IPv6 IP scheme then make sure you make the changes for the IPv6 protocol from Step 5.
  9. Click OK, OK and OK!
  10. Try a whatsmyip again and voila your IP will now be that of the remote network. Note: you may need to disconnect the VPN and reconnect for the changes to take effect

Great work πŸ™‚

CA ARCserve 2012 R2 Support

So Citrix XenApp 6.5 is now EOS and we’re forced to go to XenDesktop going forward? What’s the big deal right? Well I guess that means that Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2 will not be supported to deliver XenApp and future customers may need to pay for a full fledged VDI/Session Based remote solution (even if they don’t require it) and of course pay the premium price. So what may be an alternative? Well with Server 2012’s improved RDP sessions (PDF scrolling, internet browsing etc), this may be a viable option for smaller businesses that do not require a full VDI environment.

But questions you always need to ask when moving to a new OS, what other applications will you need to run on this OS and will they be supported. Third party AV, monitoring tools, firewalls, backup, line of business applications …. and the list goes on! Which leads me to the above title (since we conveniently stumbled upon this today).

Here’s a quick run down:

  • CA ARCserve Backup r16.5 WITH update 3 now supports Server 2012 R2 as well as Windows 8.1
  • D2D is currently not supported (as per ARCserve’s compatibility matrix)

For the friendly IT guys out there who haven’t had the chance to test whether D2D works on 2012 R2, I have already done this for you. Here are my findings:

  • D2D installation completes without errors or issues
  • Full D2D backups work without errors or issues
  • Incremental D2D backups work without errors or issues
  • Granular file restore work without errors or issues
  • Bare metal restores work without errors or issues

So I guess in a nutshell, it works! Woohoo! Keep in mind though that this is still not “officially” supported.