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Next to your wedding day perhaps, settlement day on your first home is likely to be the most exciting and stressful day of your life.

It not only brings an end to the hard work and perseverance it takes to save your deposit and find the home of your dreams, it marks the beginning of your new life and your very own happily ever after. But how can you stop yourself from biting your nails to the quick on the day the vendor hands over the keys? Here are 5 tips to make your settlement day go smoothly.

Tip #1. Get a good conveyancing solicitor.

Property settlement is the legal process of transferring ownership of a property. In order to make it go as sweetly as possible, you should engage the services of a reputable conveyancing solicitor well ahead of time and ask them to explain the regulations and procedures required by the government in your state.

During the settlement process, your conveyancing solicitor will complete the following tasks:

  • Inspect the sales contract and ensure enough time has been allowed between the finance approval date and settlement date to complete the paperwork.
  • Prepare the documentation you need to sign – transfer of ownership, transfer of land, stamp duty application, authority to proceed, etc.
  • Ensure that all the paperwork is correctly completed, verified and filed by both parties.
  • Check that any existing debts or mortgages against the property are paid off.
  • Perform a title search and check everything is correct with the certificate of title for the property.
  • Register the transaction with all of the appropriate authorities.
  • Help us to co-ordinate the necessary lender property valuation required before we can get your final finance approval.
  • Work with us to ensure the cheques are ready on the day and the lender and other interested parties are present at the exchange.

Tip #2. Check the details in your sales contract carefully.

The sales contract you sign when you agree to purchase the property is a wealth of information and very important to settlement day. It’s a good idea to get your conveyancing solicitor to check it before you sign or put down your deposit so that you are sure it provides all of the required information.

Your sales contract should outline all of the conditions of the sale, what is included in the sale, what actions are required to complete the sale, the schedule for completing these actions and who is responsible for completing them. If you show your sales contract to your conveyancing solicitor before you sign it, you can ask questions about anything you don’t understand.

Tip #3. Get your finance in place before you sign the sales contract.

Settlement day is the big day when your mortgage comes into effect and your chosen lender pays the money to the vendor. To ensure your settlement day goes according to plan, it’s vitally important to get the timing right on this transfer of funds.

During busy periods, it can take several weeks for a home loan to be approved by some lenders. If you don’t want to limit your choices to the few lenders who are able get your loan through according to the timing on your sales contract, then it’s a good idea to talk with us and check the turn-around time a lender will need to process your loan before you sign the sales contract, so you can make sure it allows enough time.

You should also bear in mind that any other government fees, charges and duties must also be paid on settlement day. Just ask us and we’ll help you calculate these costs.

Tip #4. Get insurance and do a property inspection.

A lot can happen to a property in the time between signing the sales contract and collecting the keys. It is likely the property will be vacant during this time and to ensure there are no break-ins, thefts, storm damage or worse, you should include a clause in the sales contract allowing you to inspect the property just prior to settlement day to see for yourself that everything is still in good order.

To make sure you’re fully covered for any insurable event, it is also a good idea to take out insurance on the property when you sign the sales contract. It is not a good idea to trust the vendor to keep the property fully insured until settlement day. Insuring it yourself could save you money and trouble if something should go wrong, so don’t forget to ask us if you need help organising some cover.

Tip #5. Set your moving in date a few days after settlement day.

Delays can happen on settlement day, no matter how carefully you plan. People can miss meetings or take the day off sick, cheques can be held up, even the weather has been known to throw up unexpected obstacles to make completion impossible on the set date.

We recommend that on settlement day, you find a relaxing place to wait for the news that settlement has been successfully completed and to receive the keys. If you plan to move into your dream home a day or two later, you’ll have the time to sit back and enjoy the experience of becoming a new home owner before you need to do the heavy lifting required to actually get your stuff in there and start living happily ever after.

As your mortgage and finance broker, we’re here to help you make sure that you can complete the purchase of your new home with as little hassle and stress as possible. Ask us to help you get pre-approval on your home loan, and if you need a referral to a good conveyancer, we’ll be happy to help with that too.

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Success in the property investment game relies on your ability to locate and purchase exactly the right property for your budget and buying strategy.

If you live and work in one of Australia’s major capital cities, you are probably finding this task increasingly difficult in your local market as both prices and competition continue to increase.

The answer may be to look further afield. Australia is made up of many different property markets which work together to provide property investors with a full range of investment choices. And diversifying your assets across interstate markets could help you to minimise your risks and maximise your capital gain and income potential. Here are eight tips for making successful interstate property investments to help you build wealth for your future.

1. Do your research.

Whether you’re investing interstate or locally, thorough research is vitally important. You need to become fully familiar with the market you buy into to be confident about your purchasing decisions and avoid expensive mistakes. Your research should cover four basic steps:

Step 1: If you are considering investing interstate, start by researching all the markets across Australia to find which of them provide areas with properties that generally meet your budget and buying strategy, then compare these with each other until you have just a few that you find attractive.

Step 2: Once you have located an interstate market that may be suitable for your investment, research it carefully to identify a general location within that market that meets both your affordability level, rental yield and capital growth objectives.

Step 3: Research the streets and properties within the area you have identified to pinpoint an opportunity to make your property purchase. If you need help formulating a buying strategy, call us for a chat.

Step 4: Research the individual property you select very carefully before you put down a deposit or go to auction. Get building and pest inspection reports together with a comprehensive condition report so you can make an accurate projection of your costs of ownership, including maintenance planning and potential depreciation tax deductions.

2. Buy with your head and not your heart.

Don’t dismiss an interstate location simply because you wouldn’t want to live there yourself. Some investors also make the mistake of choosing a property investment location because it is their favourite holiday destination or somewhere they’d potentially like to retire one day. Always remember that choosing an investment property is a business decision and you should base your decision on potential investment returns, not on personal preferences. To choose a profitable location for your property investment, always focus on the numbers and research data.

3. Visit the location.

Travelling interstate to view investment opportunities may be inconvenient, but no matter what you may hear from other investors, buying a property sight unseen could be risky. Take the time and effort to at least visit the location. You may be able to claim the travel costs as a tax deduction (but talk to your accountant first). If you can’t stay there long enough to locate, inspect and buy a property yourself, then consider interviewing a local buyer’s agent while you are on your initial visit. This will allow you to quickly engage a trustworthy representative to help you in case you can’t get back there yourself when you find the right opportunity.

4. Partner with a good property manager.

Whilst you are visiting the interstate location, it is also a good idea to identify a good property manager in the area and engage their services as well. Managing a property from interstate is not easy and may cost more than you anticipate in travel and expenses. Property management costs are usually tax deductible for most property investors, so ask your accountant if the numbers stack up to allow for a property management company to be included in your budget for the interstate property you are interested in purchasing.

5. Line up a local conveyancer.

Whilst it is possible to use your regular conveyancer or solicitor to help you purchase a property interstate, the costs may be higher than using a conveyancer that is located near to the interstate property you wish to purchase as their expenses to complete the process may be greater. Conveyancing rules, regulations and practices also differ from state to state and your usual conveyancer may be unfamiliar with these differences. Ask us if you need assistance locating an interstate conveyancer.

6. Note the different legal requirements.

Each state has different legal requirements for the purchase and transfer of properties. If you are buying interstate you should talk with a qualified conveyancer or solicitor to make yourself aware of differences in:

  • Property titles and transfer requirements.
  • Local and national planning controls.
  • Rules regarding the purchase of property for foreign investors (if you are from overseas and not a permanent resident).
  • Terms and conditions required for sales contracts.
  • Terms and conditions imposed on auctions.
  • Cooling off periods.
  • Permitted uses, zoning certificates and heritage overlays.
  • Body corporate rules and constraints.
  • Rental and tenancy rules and agreements.
  • Rules and regulations when buying off the plan.

7. Research the costs.

Stamp duties, land taxes and other government costs like transfer fees vary from state to state. Council rates can also be widely different from one location to another and you may be surprised by how much. When purchasing interstate, it pays to research these costs well ahead of time so that you can factor them into your budget and avoid funding or cash flow difficulties.

8. Talk with your mortgage broker early.

Good credit advice when investing in property is critical to your success as an investor. Getting pre-approval on a loan for a purchase in a specific location is not only a good idea for budgeting purposes, it will make you aware of any postcode or location restrictions imposed by the lender on the area you are considering. Some lenders impose these restrictions on hundreds of locations around the country to minimise their risk of loss. Where you buy can have a significant effect on how much money a lender is prepared to let you borrow, so it pays to talk to us early about your purchasing plans.

We’re here to help you get things organised if you’re planning to invest in property interstate. Just pick up the phone and give us a call to discuss your plans, we’ll be happy to help you get the ball rolling.

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Buying a property can be a very detailed and complicated process that takes a great deal of effort to complete successfully.

If you have no experience with buying a property, you may find it difficult to know if you have done everything right. The good news is there’s no need to do it on your own. With the right team of business professionals on your side you can make the whole process go a lot more quickly and smoothly, prevent expensive mistakes and maximise the full financial benefits of making your property purchase.

So what kind of professional support might you need? Here are five business professionals that can be worth their weight in gold to every property buyer, whether you’re buying your first home, your next home or a property investment.

Building & Pest Inspector

When you’ve chosen the area that’s right for your property purchase, you should take the time to find a Building & Pest Inspector who knows the area well before you even start your property selection process. When you find a property that you’re interested in buying, having your experienced Building & Pest Inspector lined up will help you to move on it quickly and with the appropriate caution.

The word ‘caution’ is an important word to use here because not every property is as good as it looks to the untrained eye. The rule of thumb when purchasing a property is always to take a good look before you leap. Many unwary home buyers have fallen in love with what they think is the perfect home, only to find out later that it has expensive maintenance issues.

Solicitor / Conveyancer

A solicitor or conveyancer is required to attend to the legal formalities and prepare all of the documents you need to transfer a property into your name and ensure your settlement day goes smoothly. Their role is to be the champion of your legal interests during the purchase process and that’s why choosing a good one is important to your success.

First of all, your solicitor will be invaluable in helping you to understand the terms, conditions and contents of any contract that you will be required to sign. If you are intending to purchase at auction, they can explain the auction rules and conditions. If you are building a new home, or if you are purchasing off the plan from a developer, an experienced solicitor will know what you need to be careful about, what to include in the contract of sale to protect your interests and help to ensure that you end up getting exactly what you are paying for.

Accountant

A good accountant can be a huge bonus when purchasing a property, particularly if you’re a property investor but also if you’re a first home buyer or an owner occupier. That’s because understanding your own financial position is the most important part of the property purchasing process. It helps you determine your buying power, identify and plan for any potential cash-flow difficulties and ensures you understand and can cover all the expenses.

A good accountant who is experienced with property purchases will help you to maximise any tax benefits you may be entitled to receive. If you are planning to invest in property, it is a good idea to consult an accountant about what the tax benefits will be in your particular case and get advice about how to maximise them before you even begin.

Real Estate Agent/s

It’s a great idea to find out who are the best real estate agents servicing your chosen property market. Even though a real estate agent’s primary purpose is to represent a seller in a property transaction, the really good ones will also be willing to lend you their expertise in locating the right property for you – even if they don’t have it on their books right now.

As a buyer, you will not pay a real estate agent for any services they provide to you, as the seller is responsible for paying their fees. However, good real estate agents will want to meet you and keep in touch with you because you may be a prospective buyer for one of their future customer’s properties. They will take the time to discover your needs and take an interest in what kind of property you are looking for, making a note of your approximate price range and when you want to buy. When an appropriate property becomes available, they will contact you to see if you are interested. This can help you stay on top of new properties coming on to the market in the areas that are of interest you.

Mortgage & Finance Broker

There are thousands of home loan products available and finding the one that is exactly the right fit for your personal financial circumstances and goals can be a confusing process. If you approach a bank directly, they will only tell you about their own products. If you go online to do your own research on all the options, you could be there for days and still be in the dark about which finance product is the best one for you.

Some people just pick the loan with the lowest interest rate they can see and never even find out if a different type of loan product could have saved them more money in other ways.

A professional mortgage and finance broker is here to help you sort through all of these aspects of choosing a loan. Our job is to find a loan that is exactly the right fit considering your short and long-term goals, how much you can actually afford to borrow and what you need to get out of your loan in terms of features and benefits.

Consulting a mortgage and finance broker is usually free of charge. We’re even happy to have an informal chat with you if you just want to test the waters about getting a loan. Expert credit advice could make a big difference to your financial well-being both now and in the future – it’s not only about your finance needs right now.

If you need help meeting the right professionals for your property purchasing team, we’ll be happy to provide you with some referrals. As mentioned, we’re also happy to give you whatever information you may need about loan products and their uses. So please feel free to call and chat with us today.


Copyright 2016