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2015 was a fantastic year for property in Australia. Our major property markets saw some significant capital gains and many property sellers made a good profit. There were also record numbers of auctions around the country – but competition was fierce and if you were looking to buy, securing the property you wanted wasn’t always easy.

2016 promises to be another competitive year for property purchases, so if you want to get in on the action, you’ll need to be on top of your game. If your New Year resolution is to buy a property this year, here are some things you could do to help you succeed.

1. Identify a goal

It’s very easy to make a New Year resolution, but most of us do this every year and very seldom stick to it. That’s because a New Year resolution needs to be very specific if you want to achieve anything.

Having a vague resolution such as “Buy a property” isn’t going to get you over the line. You need a more specific goal like “Buy a 3 bedroom house near X before June 30” or “secure an investment apartment in X before Y”. Adding a sense of urgency to your goal will motivate you to keep on top of what you need to do to make a successful purchase. Below we talk about some of the steps you will need to undertake to reach your goal – you may find that it will help to schedule these activities in your diary so that you don’t put them off.

2. Be ready to act

Procrastination is the enemy of success. There are often thousands of properties on the market and if you don’t know where you want to buy or what type of property you’re searching for, you’ll find yourself procrastinating about which properties to view.

The answer is to sit down, make some decisions and then do your research. If you are buying a property as your own home, you can consider which suburbs will be convenient for you in terms of work, whether you need to be near public transport, whether you need an apartment or a house. If you are looking for a property investment, you’ll need to consider properties that meet your investment strategy, have good capital growth potential and are easy to tenant.

3. Set a realistic savings budget

Good money habits are very important if you’re planning to get a home loan this year. Lenders don’t just look at how much of a deposit you have, they assess your ability to save and make repayments.

Taking on a home loan is a big financial commitment and you will also have the added expense of maintaining your property, paying rates, insurance and other expenses on top of your mortgage so you will need to demonstrate that you have your budget under control and are a good saver.

To set a monthly savings target, you could start by making a list of your expenses. It’s important that you are realistic and make a comprehensive list, so that you understand where your money is going and where you can cut back if necessary when you get a home loan.

4. Get your financing in place

We suggest you talk with us about getting pre-approval on your home loan before you start looking at properties you might like to buy. Establishing a price limit for your purchase is key.

We will help you to fully understand your financial position and help you to determine how much you can borrow and as a result, what kind of property you can afford to buy. Setting a realistic savings budget first (as mentioned in point 2 above) is an important part of this process.

It’s a good idea to make talking to us a priority, as it could make all the difference to your success. If you know exactly what you can afford, you will save yourself hours of time looking at property listings and save days making inspections on homes.

5. Get a professional team on your side

Let’s face it, buying a property isn’t easy. Having a professional team on your side could make all the difference to your success. You’ve started out by getting a professional mortgage broker (well done), but you may also need help from other professionals as well (and in many cases, we can help you by providing a referral).

Buyer’s Agent: If you are short of time, you may want to consider engaging a reputable Buyer’s Agent. They can do a lot of the leg work in locating you suitable properties to view and make a big difference when it comes time to buy.

Real Estate Agents: If you don’t want to go with a Buyer’s Agent, you may like to get in touch with reputable real estate agents in the areas you want to buy.

Conveyancer: When you locate the property you want to buy, it will pay to have a Conveyancer or Property Solicitor lined up so that you can move quickly.

Inspectors: When you locate a property you want to purchase, you’ll need to get building and pest inspections done before the auction date. Line up your inspectors beforehand and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and hassle in locating them when you need them.

Remember, we’re here to help you keep your New Year resolution to buy a property in 2016! It won’t be easy, but we’re sure you’ll find it’s worth the effort. We’re ready to help you assess your financial position, and help you get pre-approval on your home loan so that you can start the process of locating an opportunity and making a purchase. Give us a call today and let us help you get started.

20 Jan 2016

Welcome to our eMag for 2016

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Happy New Year! We hope that you and your family enjoyed a very relaxing holiday break and managed to get into the great outdoors to enjoy this lovely summer weather.

Are you ready for another fantastic year in our property markets? 2015 was a fast and furious year that favoured property owners and sellers in almost every capital city. However, many analysts are predicting that our property markets will improve for buyers this year, with conditions starting to look much more favourable for first home buyers and owner occupiers.

This is largely due to a reduction in property investment activity in response to the tightening of controls on investment lending by the Australian Prudential and Regulatory Authority (APRA) in June last year. Activity from foreign property investors also slowed in the last quarter of 2015.

Both of these factors have contributed to reduced competition for properties. This has caused a slow-down in rapid rises in home values around the country, but particularly in Melbourne and Sydney where markets were running hot all year.

Sydney home values increased by 11.47% during 2015, but they were down by 2.37% for the final quarter. Melbourne values were up by almost 11% for the year, but fell by 1.70% for the final quarter.

Other capital cities saw more modest movements in home values for the year. Brisbane/Gold Coast saw a 4.57% rise in home values and Canberra saw home values increase by 4.09% for the year. In Perth, home values decreased in 2015 by 3.73% and Darwin also saw home values fall by 3.63%. Hobart also showed a marginal decrease in home values for the year of 0.72% and Adelaide showed an overall decrease of 0.13%.

During December, there was still a great deal of activity going on in most states. Auction numbers were surprisingly high for that time of year, however clearance rates were much lower and many more properties sold prior to auction than was usual for the year.

With many people only just returning from holidays, we can expect property market activity to be continue to be quiet for the remainder of January. However, with interest rates remaining at historical lows, and further rate cuts looking likely in 2016, we can expect general property market activity to be busy again this year, with large auction numbers already on the horizon for February and March.

Whether you’re a first home buyer, looking to refinance or are planning to invest in property this year, we’re here to help you formulate your plans and access the right financing for your needs. We look forward to assisting you to achieve your goals in 2016, so please don’t hesitate to give us a call to get started today.

We recommend that you seek independent financial and taxation advice before acting on any information in this newsletter. It contains general information only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. We recommend that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Your full financial situation will need to be reviewed prior to acceptance of any offer or product. Interest rates are subject to change without notice. Lenders terms, conditions, fees & charges apply.

Sincerely , Element Finance

Happy New Year! We hope that you and your family enjoyed a very relaxing holiday break and managed to get into the great outdoors to enjoy this lovely summer weather.

Are you ready for another fantastic year in our property markets? 2015 was a fast and furious year that favoured property owners and sellers in almost every capital city. However, many analysts are predicting that our property markets will improve for buyers this year, with conditions starting to look much more favourable for first home buyers and owner occupiers.

This is largely due to a reduction in property investment activity in response to the tightening of controls on investment lending by the Australian Prudential and Regulatory Authority (APRA) in June last year. Activity from foreign property investors also slowed in the last quarter of 2015.

Both of these factors have contributed to reduced competition for properties. This has caused a slow-down in rapid rises in home values around the country, but particularly in Melbourne and Sydney where markets were running hot all year.

Sydney home values increased by 11.47% during 2015, but they were down by 2.37% for the final quarter. Melbourne values were up by almost 11% for the year, but fell by 1.70% for the final quarter.

Other capital cities saw more modest movements in home values for the year. Brisbane/Gold Coast saw a 4.57% rise in home values and Canberra saw home values increase by 4.09% for the year. In Perth, home values decreased in 2015 by 3.73% and Darwin also saw home values fall by 3.63%. Hobart also showed a marginal decrease in home values for the year of 0.72% and Adelaide showed an overall decrease of 0.13%.

During December, there was still a great deal of activity going on in most states. Auction numbers were surprisingly high for that time of year, however clearance rates were much lower and many more properties sold prior to auction than was usual for the year.

With many people only just returning from holidays, we can expect property market activity to be continue to be quiet for the remainder of January. However, with interest rates remaining at historical lows, and further rate cuts looking likely in 2016, we can expect general property market activity to be busy again this year, with large auction numbers already on the horizon for February and March.

Whether you’re a first home buyer, looking to refinance or are planning to invest in property this year, we’re here to help you formulate your plans and access the right financing for your needs. We look forward to assisting you to achieve your goals in 2016, so please don’t hesitate to give us a call to get started today.

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It’s  that time of year when we spend up big – buying presents for our family and friends, eating out, decking the halls with Christmas decorations and even going away on holidays. This can be a very stressful time for those of us on a tight budget. And it can be particularly stressful if you already have debts that you’re struggling to pay down.

If you’ve been worrying about how you’ll manage your debt repayments next year, then help is at hand. Debt consolidation is one of the services we offer and we can look at ways to help you to re-arrange your finances to make things more manageable and eliminate the stress.

Are you stuck in a credit card trap?
Few of us on a responsible budget waste money on unnecessary spending, but credit balances have a horrible way of building up over time. The higher your balance, of course, the more interest you have to pay and that’s where things can start to get stressful.

It’s not difficult to get to a point where reasonable repayments are suddenly just enough to make the interest repayments and do nothing to pay down the balance. Credit card interest can be as high as 20% per annum or even more in some cases, and meeting these interest obligations can cut deeply into your monthly income – which in turn causes you to use your credit cards and run up more debt.

If you have personal loans, car loans or have used store credit as well as your credit cards, then things can really start to become difficult. We call this kind of debt ‘bad’ because it is expensive and does nothing to help you build wealth for your future – as opposed to a home loan which is a ‘good’ form of debt because it helps you build wealth and equity over time.

What can be done to break the vicious cycle?
Once you get into a situation where a large proportion of your income is going on paying your credit card interest, it can be difficult to break the cycle. The answer is to consolidate or collect all your debts into one, giving you a single repayment that carries a much lower interest rate than your existing credit cards and other forms of ‘bad’ debt.

By consolidating your debt and organising a new way to finance it, you can also spread out your repayments over time and that also helps to reduce the amount of money that goes out from your monthly pay packet. This will mean that you can use your income to pay off your debt and support your lifestyle instead of spending it on huge interest repayments. You may even find yourself in a position to save some money!

Two ways we can help you consolidate your debt
The idea of debt consolidation is to take out a new, low-interest loan and use it to pay off all of your old high interest debts – like credit cards, store credit and expensive car loans. There are basically two options for this kind of debt consolidation:

  1. Refinance your home loan and use some of the equity to pay off your debts.
  2. Take out a personal loan with a lower interest rate to pay off your debts.

Home loan interest rates are currently the lowest interest rates available in Australia. Refinancing your home loan to consolidate your debts means taking out some of your equity and this will increase your home loan repayments. But as they will be spread out over a long period of time, and home loan interest rates are much lower than credit card interest rates, this should work to lower your overall monthly repayments considerably and help you to get ahead.

The other alternative is to take out a personal loan to consolidate your debts. Personal loan interest rates are several percentage points higher than the average home loan, but they are generally less than what most of us are paying on our credit cards.

In addition to lowering the amount of interest you have to pay, a personal loan will allow you to choose your loan term to spread your repayments out and make them more manageable. This kind of debt consolidation gives you the added advantage of seeing your actual debt being eliminated – at the end of the loan term your debt will be completely paid off and you’ll be debt free!

Give us a call – we’ll be glad to help!
If you’d like to talk to us about consolidating your debts, please don’t hesitate to give us a call now. Our aim is to help you to find a way to make your monthly repayments more reasonable and free up more of your income so you can live comfortably and worry-free.

The temperature is UP here in Fremantle and Perth so its time to hit the water – in style! This month,Element Finance are giving you AND a friend the chance to get into the Indian Ocean in the most unique way we can find – on a Jet X-treme jet board! For your chance to dive like a dolphin into the deep blue, enter our competition with these 2 easy steps:

1. LIKE the Element Finance Facebook page
2. Visit the Element Finance page and comment on this image with the name of the person you want to fly across the water with.
But hurry, competition closes on 18 January. Winner announced 19 January. For full T&Cs, please email mike@elementfinance.com.au

More Jet X-treme action on youTube: https://youtu.be/sizsqhHLk68


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