There’s something thrilling about building your very own, brand spanking new home!

Perhaps it’s the knowledge that everything will be fresh and new, or the freedom that comes with being able to design the property to suit your own tastes and lifestyle needs. Always dreamed of having a lap pool? Why not! Like the idea of a home studio? Let’s make it happen!

When building your own home, there’s a new chapter to begin, new adventures to be had and new memories to make. So, whether you’re planning on doing the building yourself, or you’re purchasing off-the-plan, talk with us now about securing the right finance!

Building your own home

When you build a new home, the right loan could potentially help you save a lot of money on interest. For example, a construction loan allows you to borrow in stages, while your home is being built. Rather than providing the full loan amount at once, the lender breaks the loan down into “progress draws”, and pays these to the builder in stages throughout the construction process. This arrangement means you only have to pay interest on the loan amount you have actually used.

Your lender will usually require council-approved plans and a fixed-price building contract before they will approve a construction loan. The lender’s valuation expert will use these to help estimate the on-completion value of the property, and the lender will then assess the final loan application on whatever is less – the land price and cost of construction, or the on-completion value.

The advantages of construction loans

With construction loans, you only pay interest on what you’ve actually drawn down, not the maximum loan amount you’ve signed up for. What’s more, loan repayments are usually interest-only during construction.

As each phase of construction is completed, the lender’s valuation expert usually inspects the building progress on behalf of the lender and then authorises the next draw down on your loan to pay to the builder. Then at the end of the construction process, you can choose the type of loan you’d like to use moving forward – this could be a fixed rate loan, a variable rate loan, or another type of loan, depending on your circumstances and objectives. (So do talk to us about your options before you decide.)

Perhaps the biggest benefit of a construction loan is the way your builder is paid. Construction loans help to give you a level of protection, because cash is not paid to the builder until the work is completed and inspected at each stage. This can often help to prevent construction falling behind schedule, or potentially aid in early detection if there are any issues with the build or the quality of work.

Some lenders charge a slightly higher interest rate for construction loans, so it pays to ask us to shop around amongst lenders. Talk to us and we’ll ensure you have the right kind of construction loan for your particular needs and are fully aware of exactly how much it will cost. If necessary, we may advise you to use another loan alternative, like setting up a line of credit facility, for example.

Buying off-the-plan

Buying off-the-plan is a term used to describe buying a home from a developer before it has been built. If you’re buying property off-the-plan, you’ll only have to pay the deposit up front. However, organising your finances may not be quite as straight forward as with purchasing an established home, as there is usually a considerable period of time between paying your deposit and final loan settlement. You will also need to get advice from a solicitor regarding the details in the contract for your off-the-plan home purchase, to make sure you and the developer are on the same page regarding what the price includes before you sign the contract.

As your mortgage broker, we are here to explain the process of buying off-the-plan, help you line up your professional team, and help you find the most suitable loan for your needs and objectives. We can also help you arrange your deposit, whether it’s in the form of a bank guarantee, deposit bond or cash, and oversee the payment process for you. It’s also very important to organise conditional loan approval (finance in principle) with your chosen lender before construction of your off-the-plan property begins, so do give us a call before you sign on the dotted line.

Talk with us about finance before you get started!

There are many important things to consider when buying off-the-plan, or building your own home. For example, once the property is built, most lenders will require a valuation on the finished product before approving your final loan and proceeding to settlement. If a problem arises, such as the value of the completed home is less than you anticipated, construction is delayed, or the build costs more than you expected, having a finance professional on your team could make all the difference to the outcome.

If you’re a first-time buyer, you may also be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) when building your own home or buying off-the-plan. You may qualify for stamp duty concessions or exemptions in some circumstances, even if it’s not your first home. Speak to us and we’ll help you check what concessions you may be eligible to receive.

It pays to get professional advice about your finances when building your own home, and planning ahead is the key to success. Construction loans can be complicated and the timing can be tight with off-the-plan mortgages, which is why it’s a good idea to call us for help. We’re here to give you support throughout the process and help you secure a suitable finance solution for your needs and goals, so if you’re ready to stop dreaming and make building your own home a reality, please call us today.Building a new home? How to finance it

You know when you decide to go on holidays and you start researching all of the fun things you’re in store for?

The excitement begins to consume you. You may find yourself sneakily looking up extreme adventure activities when you’re meant to be working, Googling accommodation options on your commute home or browsing Instagram travel photos at midnight. Well, buying property requires that same level of enthusiasm and commitment towards research – after all, it is an adventure you’ll never forget. And guess what – the eventual purchase will feel even better than the holiday. In this article, we’ve put together your essential property research checklist so you have the perfect home adventure!

Research your borrowing power

For this first point, you don’t actually have to do too much. All that’s required of you is to pick up the phone and chat with us! As your mortgage broker, we’ll determine your borrowing power and give you a clear understanding of how much you can realistically afford to spend. We’ll ask you about your income, expenses and get to know you financially, so we can give you an accurate indication of your borrowing power and ensure you’re looking in the right price range from the very start.

Research the suburb

Now that you’ve got an idea of how much you can borrow, it’s time to start researching where to buy. Whether you’re a homebuyer or an investor, the aim is to purchase in a suburb with solid capital growth potential, and to buy at the early stages of an upturn, not at the peak of a growth cycle.

There are plenty of great online resources to access market reports on specific areas. These contain details about everything from median prices and growth rates to rental yields and demographic trends. RP Data CoreLogic, realestate.com.au, Residex and domain.com.au are just a few examples, and you can also ask us for a property report.

It’s a good idea to consider the average rental yield of the area and of a particular property. The rental yield is the rental income expressed as a percentage of the property’s value. If there is strong demand in an area, the rental yields may be higher, but if there is a high vacancy rate, the rental yields may stagnate or decline.

Research the property

During inspections, you should go through the property with a fine-toothed comb. Inside the property, check the ceilings for water stains and the cornices for waviness, which may indicate water leaks in the roof. If the property is carpeted and you want to pull it up, find out whether there’s cement or floorboards underneath. As you stroll through the property, be mindful about the evenness of the floor. Before you buy, it’s always a good idea to get building and pest inspections. The peace of mind of knowing your property won’t collapse or be eaten up by termites is worth the fees.

Outside, look at the condition of the gutters, check for cracks in the brickwork and for mildew in the eaves, which may indicate issues with run-off. Keep an eye out for cracks in the driveway, which may mean there’s a lot of ground movement on the property.

Research the price

The best way to research the price you may end up paying is to compare other recent sales prices for similar properties in the same location. You can find recent sales via websites like realestate.com.au. Make sure the land size is similar and the condition of the property is comparable. Regularly attending inspections will also help you to formulate a clearer picture of the going rate for similar properties. Lastly, it’s important to research additional ongoing costs such as the council rates, strata fees, and water costs. Most of these outgoings should be included in the contract of sale.

Research the professionals you’ll need

During the buying process, you’ll need professional support you can depend on, including us as your mortgage broker, a solicitor, and building and pest inspectors. When researching who to use, it’s a good idea to ask friends and family for recommendations. Also, check each service provider’s online reviews. And if you do need a referral to a professional we can vouch for, please don’t hesitate to ask!

We can’t stress enough the importance of doing plenty of research before buying property, but we guarantee the effort will be well worth it in the long-run. You may even find it becomes as addictive as planning a holiday! And remember, we are here to help you with everything from calculating your borrowing capacity, to organising pre-approval and finding you a home loan that works. Please get in touch.Property Research Checklist

What a whirlwind month it’s been in the property world! The Federal Budget provided some exciting new opportunities for first-home buyers and downsizers.

Housing market conditions cooled slightly last month, while auction activity remained strong in Melbourne and Sydney, but quieter elsewhere. The good news is that there may be some fantastic bargains around the corner for buyers if dwelling values continue to drop!

Interest Rate News

This month, the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to keep the official cash rate on hold at 1.5 per cent. Interest rates have been edging higher in recent months, particularly for investors, but there are still some very competitive deals available! The introduction of the new bank levy from July 1 could cause interest rates to rise further, so speak to us and we’ll explain your interest rate options and whether it might be a good idea to lock in a fixed rate.

Federal Budget News

Last month’s Federal Budget introduced new measures to make it easier for first-home buyers to save a deposit, by allowing them to salary-sacrifice up to $30,000 into super and benefit from a reduced tax rate of 15 per cent. If you are a first-home buyer, talk to us about other changes that could affect you, such as NSW’s recent changes to stamp duty.

The government is tightening some of the rules relating to negative gearing claims. From July 1, all travel deductions to inspect, maintain or collect rent for an investment property will be disallowed. Plant and equipment depreciation deductions will be limited to outlays actually incurred by investors. The government introduced measures to increase housing supply, such as releasing Commonwealth land for housing development. New financial incentives were also announced to encourage over 65s to downsize, with the government making it easier for them to contribute up to $300,000 from the sale of their family home into super. If you’d like to know more about property-related announcements in the Federal Budget, please give us a call!

Property Market News

Dwelling values fell by -1.1% across the combined capital cities in May. The biggest drops were in Hobart (-4.8%) and Darwin (-3.5%), while Melbourne and Sydney also saw prices fall by -1.7% and -1.3% respectively. Perth’s housing values fell by -0.4% and Canberra’s dropped -0.1%. In contrast, Brisbane’s prices increased by 0.3%, while Adelaide’s rose by 0.8%. While there has been speculation we could be starting to see a property market correction, it’s important to note that May is seasonally weaker than other months – values have fallen during May in four of the past five years.

Auction activity remains strong in Sydney and Melbourne, but softer elsewhere. For the week ending June 4, there were 1145 scheduled auctions in New South Wales (76% clearance rate), while Victoria cleared 75% of the stock at the 1269 auctions. The ACT had 78 scheduled auctions and cleared 72% of the stock, while in South Australia there were 114 scheduled auctions (61% clearance rate). Things were quieter in Western Australia (34 scheduled auctions with a clearance rate of 47%), Queensland (43% clearance rate on 306 scheduled auctions) and the Northern Territory (33% clearance rate on 8 auctions). In Tassie, none of the 4 scheduled auctions resulted in a sale.

With so many changes happening in the property market, it’s important to seek expert advice about your home loan. We are on top of all the latest developments and can find the right home loan to suit your current and future financial needs. Please call us today!Welcome to our June Newsletter

You’ve budgeted hard, given up loads of smashed avocado brekkies, saved your deposit and are ready to buy your first home. High five!

There’s nothing quite like finally getting a foothold on the property ladder and moving into your very own pad, but it does require planning and research. With our help, you’ll soon be doing a victory dance and posting that exciting Facebook post of you in front of a shiny ‘SOLD’ sign. Here are our quick tips for buying your first home.

1) Talk to us about how much you can borrow

Your home ownership journey begins with a chat with your mortgage broker! There’s no point wasting your life inspecting properties that are outside your price range. We’ll help you determine your borrowing capacity, set your buying budget and explain about applying for the First Home Owner Grant and making the most of any other exemptions and savings you may be able to obtain to help you get started.

The amount you can borrow will depend on the size of your deposit, your savings history, income, expenses and credit history. It’s a good idea to save 20 per cent of the purchase price, plus the other costs associated with buying property like stamp duty, legal fees and building and pest inspections.

You may still be able to buy now even if you don’t have a 20% deposit, so talk to us about your plans. If you don’t have a 20% deposit, you may still be able to get a home loan, but you will have to pay Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI) which protects the lender against any shortfall if you default on your loan and it has to be sold to repay your debt. Sometimes it’s worth paying LMI if it means you can get on the property ladder sooner, so talk to us and we’ll help you decide if its best to buy now or wait until you’ve saved more.

2) Get on the property ladder sooner rather than later

In most cases, it’s a good thing is to jump aboard the real estate train pronto! The sooner you stop wasting money on rent and start making capital gains on your property, the better. But getting into the market sooner rather than later might mean compromising. You might not be able to afford your dream home immediately, but the property you buy may be a stepping stone to greater things. If your desired location is too costly, you may have to consider buying in another suburb, purchasing an apartment or a more modest home, or finding a “renovator’s dream”. Remember, from little things big things grow and you can always trade up in future.

3) Learn how to research the right property to buy

Once you know your price range, you can use it to find prospective properties to inspect and identify areas that you can afford. Location is key, but you also have to factor in affordability. Research the areas and properties you are interested in very thoroughly. Consider the capital growth potential, rental yields and proximity to schools, transport and other amenities – this can be confusing, so if you need help just ask us.

When you find a home you like, research it by arranging building and pest inspections to ensure the property is structurally sound and free of unwanted guests. If the property is going to auction, you will need to do this beforehand.

Buying your first home is exciting, but it’s important to seek professional advice. As your mortgage and finance specialist, our services are free and we’re happy to help you in any way we can, even if you’re not quite ready to buy right now. We’ll help you with your budget and deposit saving plan, guide you through the buying process, ensure your financial goals are taken into consideration, and provide ongoing support in the future. Save yourself time, money and stress by getting in touch with us today!3 Top Tips for Buying Your First Home

Have you been driving the same old bomb for donkey’s years? Then perhaps it’s time to improve your image with a new set of wheels!

If you’re worried about the cost of a new car, fear not! With the right kind of finance through mortgage brokers like us, and the right kind of knowledge about how to negotiate a great deal at the end of financial year car sales, you’ll be cruising in style in no time! Here are our 6 steps and tips for making the most of the End of Financial Year (EOFY) car sales.

6 Steps to buying a new car

Pre-arrange your finance

Before you begin shopping for a new car, it’s a good idea to talk to us about how you’ll pay for it. We can provide plenty of finance options besides standard car loans that could help you save money on interest and make your car more affordable. These may include a lease, a personal loan, or accessing the equity in your home. If you’re self-employed, we may be able to work with you and your accountant to find a way to save at tax time on your car purchase. And if the car is for commercial purposes, you may be able to claim a deduction up to the full price of the vehicle (up to $20,000, including GST) before June 30. So please talk to us about your options!

Pre-arranging finance will also help protect you from the hard-sell of dealership salespeople and to give you more negotiating power. Be wary of 0% finance deals, as the repayment terms are often too short for people to afford, and you may end up being shuffled into alternative finance with higher interest rates. Don’t be taken for a ride!

Do your research

Knowing the recommended retail price before you enter the car yard puts you in a better position to negotiate. Price the car online and be sure to approach at least three different dealerships to get a quote. It may work to your advantage to use the best quote to see if you can negotiate a better price from the next dealer you speak with. Researching the car you’re buying thoroughly will also allow you to negotiate with knowledge of the product and perhaps get some additional extras.

Test-drive prospective new cars

Now comes the fun part – test driving your potential new baby. Like speed-dating, you only have a limited amount of time to get to know one another, so make it count. Take the cars out for a spin in a variety of different traffic conditions, and preferably on different terrains.

Consider trading-in your old car

If you don’t need to keep your old car, you may be able to get a further discount by trading it in on the new one. But sometimes you can get a better price for your old car if you sell it privately, so go online to do some research about what its worth before you decide to accept an offer from a dealership.

It’s ok to haggle

Car dealers expect people to drive a hard bargain, so don’t be embarrassed about a bit of negotiating. If you’re buying during the EOFY car sales, dealers often discount aggressively to clear stock and the increased competition to secure your business means you’re more likely to walk away with a better bargain if you haggle. Buying at the end of the day may also work in your favour, as dealers may be eager to lock in a final sale before home time.

Hit the road, Jack!

Once you’ve signed all the paperwork, don’t forget to make sure your insurance is in place before you drive out of the dealership. We can help with this too. We hope these tips come in handy when buying your new car. Remember, we can find you car finance with terms that suit your needs and budget. We’ll organise pre-approval, giving you leverage during the negotiation process, and explain your options. Happy car hunting!How to get a bargain when buying a new car


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