Australians are a nation of investors. Over 60% of us hold additional investments outside of compulsory superannuation and increasingly, property is one of our most popular investment choices. But why? And is it the right form of investment for you?

If you’re not sure, the sooner you talk to a qualified Financial Planner the better! And if you don’t have one, ask us for a referral to a reliable professional who can help you come up with an investment plan that’s right for your personal circumstances and goals. To get you started, here are six reasons why an ever increasing number of Australians are considering a property investment.

1. Supply & demand.

The value of any given commodity is subject to the law of supply and demand. When demand is greater than supply, the value goes up. Therefore, investing in something people need or really want is generally considered a good idea. Everyone needs somewhere to live, and most of us want to own our own home, which is why many Australians consider property to be a good investment type.

It may seem a bit over-simplistic, but the statistics tend to support this popular opinion. For example, 2016 figures from the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning estimated that Melbourne’s population will double by 2031 and hit 10 million people by 2050.

2. You have greater control over managing your investment.

When you invest in a property, you are in charge of that asset. You can do things to affect the property’s ongoing capital growth potential, like keeping it in good repair and up to date, and you can choose the right tenants to maximise your rental income. You may also have some potential to affect the end value of the asset – by getting it rezoned for development purposes, or performing extensions or renovations, for example. You can also take out insurance on the asset, which can help to insulate you against some of the financial risks of property ownership.

By comparison, with stocks and shares, value growth is subject to the success of the company and a variety of other external factors which are usually beyond your control. These uncertainties may influence some people to prefer a ‘solid’ asset like bricks and mortar.

3. You can easily assess capital growth potential and invest accordingly.

When investing in property, careful research will help you to choose a suburb or area that has capital growth and rental income potential. This information is relatively easy for the average person to acquire. (For example, we can provide you with a variety of reliable reports, as will most banks, and there is a variety of other property data suppliers online.) By contrast, assessing the capital growth potential of other kinds of assets is much more complex and often requires expert analysis, or access to information that isn’t as easy to obtain.

With property, some areas have more potential than others, so smart investors spend time locating and investigating opportunities that could align with their investment strategy. For example, you can research future population and employment growth in an area, transportation links and future infrastructure development, lifestyle amenities, schools and other factors that are likely to make the area popular with buyers and tenants down the track.

4. You can access the equity to continue growing your wealth.

Property investment can be like an “investment money tree” because it is possible to access the equity (or capital gains) as you go along by refinancing, without being liable to pay tax until you actually sell the property. With an investment property, equity is created as soon as it increases in value or your tenants pay down your mortgage somewhat, so you can often plan to access your equity (subject to refinance approval from a lender) for your next investment. You could use that money to buy any kind of investment, not just property, which is why property is often considered a good way to start an investment portfolio. If you’re interested in refinancing a property to access your equity, just give us a call.

5. The opportunity to diversify your portfolio.

When investing, a good Financial Planner will probably tell you that it pays not to keep all of your eggs in one basket. Including property in your investment portfolio could potentially provide an opportunity to spread your risk. And in itself, property investment provides opportunities to diversify your investments. For example, you could invest in a variety of locations and in different types of properties – vacant land, apartments, units, houses, rural or perhaps commercial properties. Talk to your Financial Planner for suggestions on how to create a diversified investment portfolio that takes your personal appetite for risk into consideration.

6. You can take advantage of tax breaks and super.

Another advantage of property investment is that it is supported by a variety of tax breaks and government incentives to help people grow wealth. There are many different ways you could potentially benefit, depending on your personal situation, tax obligations and other financial circumstances. Talking to your Mortgage Broker and Tax Accountant to find out more is a great idea, because the benefits are different for everyone and no-one wants to give their money to the tax man when they could be using it to fund a better retirement.

What to invest in is an age-old debate and property investment may not be the right choice for everyone. But if you’re keen to join around 1.7 million Australians who choose to invest in property, we’re here to help! We’re happy to work with you, your Financial Planner and your Accountant, and then arrange the appropriate financing to meet your financial circumstances, needs and investment goals. Please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

This article provides 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 and your full financial situation will need to be reviewed prior to acceptance of any offer or product. It does not constitute legal, tax or financial advice and you should always seek professional advice in relation to your individual circumstances. All loans are subject to lenders terms and conditions – fees, charges and eligibility criteria apply.6 Reasons why property investment is more popular than ever

Making a fresh start in a new family home is an exhilarating experience. Maybe you’ve just welcomed a new addition to the family (congratulations!)? Perhaps your kids have moved out, so it’s time to downsize?

Maybe you’re craving a change of scenery, or you’ve scored a fantastic new job and now’s the time to upgrade your home too. Whatever the reasoning, buying your next family home is an adventure, and we’re here to help make the journey as smooth as possible. Here’s a quick rundown on common mistakes to avoid when buying your next family home.

Mistake # 1: Going it alone

When you decide to buy a new family home, one of the biggest decisions you’ll face is what to do with your old home. Do you sell the property and put the money towards your new digs, or do you turn it into an investment and rent it out? Do you get two mortgages, or refinance your current mortgage to buy the second property? What can you afford and what is best for your future? The questions can seem endless, but don’t worry, you don’t have to solve them all alone – we’re here to help!

Having a professional mortgage broker on your team will make the decision making process much easier. Remember, we have years of experience and access to hundreds of different loan products from Australia’s leading lenders. We can help you assess your financial situation and borrowing capacity to inform your decisions, and then find you a loan that’s exactly the right fit for your current personal financial circumstances and future goals

Mistake #2: Being short-sighted about the future

When the time comes to buy a new family home, it’s important to plan for your family’s future and to think about the kind of living arrangements you may require in the long-run. Often people try to fulfil their current needs, without giving too much thought to where they’ll be down the track. So, for example, if you plan to have three kids in six years, there’s little point buying a new home with just one extra room, as you’re likely to need four! Perhaps you’re a few years off retirement and won’t be needing a huge family home that requires a lot of effort to maintain? Whatever stage you’re at in life, it’s important to plan for what’s on the horizon and to make sure your new home marries with your actual needs.

Mistake # 3: Buying without doing your research first

You’ve bought before, so it’s easy to believe that you have a handle on the property market and don’t need to do any extensive research. But things change rapidly in the real estate world and it always pays to do some thorough research about where and what to buy next.

The goal is to buy a home that will appreciate in value over time and potentially be attractive to tenants if you ever decide to rent it out. You also have to make sure the property and neighbourhood meet your family’s needs, whether that be good schools for the kids, dog-friendly parks for young Fido, great access to public transport for your partner’s work commute, or catering for your needs in retirement. Before buying, make sure you get to know the neighbourhood intimately – research the crime levels, the quality of nearby schools, the transport options and proposed nearby developments, or other facilities you may need like hospitals or treatment centres. Ask us for a property report to help you get started.

Don’t forget to meticulously inspect the property, and to get building and pest inspections done before you put in an offer or bid at auction. We can often help you with referrals to reliable professionals, so please ask us.

Mistake # 4: Letting emotion cloud your judgement

It’s hard not to let your feelings overtake your better judgement when you do find a home that ticks all your boxes, but it’s important not to pay more than the property is actually worth. Compare recent sale prices of similar properties in the area to determine the correct price, and don’t be fooled for a second by clever home staging tactics designed to make you fall in love with the property and sign the contract on the spot!

Lastly, try not to be too sentimental about buying where you currently live. Another neighbourhood could provide you with a property with greater capital growth potential, or more home for your budget to better meet your future requirements and lifestyle.

Remember, we’re here to help!

If you’re ready to buy your next home, please get in touch. We’ll find you a personalised home loan solution, tailored to meet your particular financial circumstances and goals. As your mortgage broker, we can provide advice about everything from maximising your credit facilities to potentially keeping your current home as an investment property. Here’s to new beginnings! We’ll look forward to hearing from you soon. 

The comments in the news are enough to make you think saving a deposit for your first home is mission impossible. Not true!

So, rather than just encouraging you to stop buying #SmashedAvo breakfasts to save your deposit, we’ve put together some practical tips to get your savings account over the finish line. We may even be able to tell you about some recent changes to the first home owner grant and stamp duty that could help, depending on where you are looking to buy. With a solid budget, a few lifestyle tweaks and some help from us to determine how much of a deposit you’ll actually need, you could soon be attending open home inspections looking for a fantastic new pad!

Tip #1: Create a budget

Our first tip is to have a savings plan and stick to it. Create a budget, separating your ‘needs’ from your ‘wants’, and work out how much you can put aside every week to reach your goal. Remember, lenders will want to see a solid savings history, and depending on the type of property you intend to buy, this could be just as important as the size of your deposit.

It’s important to include ‘fun’ money in your budget, but if you’re serious about saving up a deposit you may have to consider cutting back on extras. There are plenty of great tools to help you get started, such as the TrackMySPEND app, whereby you can nominate a spending limit and track your progress, or the Pocketbook app, which connects to your bank and automatically tracks your income and expenses. Once you get going, you’ll find it very satisfying to watch your nest-egg grow. Chat to us and we’ll help you set up an effective budget.

Tip #2: Change your spending habits

Try to be proactive about saving. For example, take lunch to work rather than eating out, or challenge yourself to stay fit by running or exercising at home rather than spending money on a gym membership. Need entertainment? Borrow books or DVDs from your local library or have friends over for a pot luck dinner. Need clothes? Organise a clothes swap party or find a bargain at the nearest op shop. Need tools? Ask your parents if you can borrow theirs. Shopping around can also help you save, so whether you’re buying groceries or electricity, compare prices and make a point of finding the cheapest option – it can be fun!

Tip #3: Become a “super” saver

As of July 1, aspiring first-home buyers will be able to make up to $15,000 of voluntary contributions into super each year, or $30,000 in total, to put towards a deposit and benefit from the tax breaks. Talk to us and we’ll explain the changes.

If this is not the option for you, there are other ways to maximise your savings. You could open a term deposit or a high-interest savings account that rewards you for depositing money and not taking it out. You may even consider investing in shares to grow your savings. It’s a good idea to talk to a financial planner about how you can make your money work harder for you. Chat to us and we can refer you to a reliable professional.

Tip #4: Speak to us now, even if you don’t think you’re ready to buy

We can help you to create a budget and explain any financial assistance that’s available. Recently, there have been changes to stamp duty concessions and exemptions for first-home owners in some states, as well as to the First Home Owner Grant, so check in with us to see what you’re entitled to. Maybe you won’t need the 20% deposit – ask us about other options like paying Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance to secure a home loan with a smaller deposit, or asking a family member to use their equity as security for your loan and go guarantor. We can also explain how to check and tidy up your credit report, which lenders will want to see when assessing your home loan application.

Tip #5: Consider property options that may require a smaller deposit

Your first home may not necessarily be like your mum and dad’s place – most people have to start small and work their way up the property ladder and that’s OK. To break into the market, you may have to consider less expensive properties such as apartments or renovators’ dreams. How much deposit you’ll need will depend on what you want to buy and your financial circumstances, so talk to us and we’ll help you review all of your options.

As your mortgage broker, we can help you with everything from saving the deposit, to finding a suitable loan, given your personal financial circumstances and goals. We may even be able to help you find the right area and property. Please give us a call today – we’d love to hear from you. And if you do find yourself feeling disheartened, remember the words of the great Nelson Mandela, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”5 Tips for saving a deposit for your first home

As the new financial year kicks off, it’s a great time to start afresh. That could mean buying your first home, investing in property, or even refinancing your loan to a more suitable option. With the cash rate on hold and interest rates remaining low, now could be a good time to consider purchasing property.

Interest Rate News

This month, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) decided to keep the official cash rate on hold at 1.5 per cent, where it has been since August 2016. However, there has been plenty of movement on interest rates of late from the lenders. Last month, the big four banks announced increases in rates on interest-only loans, in response to the Australian Prudential Regulator Authority’s crackdown on interest-only borrowing earlier this year. At the same time, the big four banks announced cuts to interest rates for owner-occupiers on principal and interest loans. With so many changes happening, it’s a good idea to get in touch to review your mortgage and future plans. We’ll compare the market and make sure your loan meets your financial needs and goals.

Property Market News

Home values were back on the rise in Melbourne and Sydney last month, after the seasonally weaker month of May. In Sydney, home values increased by 2.21%, while Melbourne saw increases of 2.71%. Home values also increased in Perth (1.38%), Canberra (2.58%) and Hobart (2.77%). Darwin saw the biggest drop in home values, at -2.18%, while in Adelaide they fell -1.72%. Brisbane also saw a decrease of -0.46%.

The pace of home value growth eased over the second quarter of 2017. The quarterly data shows softer conditions in Sydney, with values gaining 0.8%, compared to 5% in the three months prior to March. Melbourne’s home values increased by 1.5% in the June quarter, slower than the 4.2% gain in the March quarter. Darwin (-5.2%), Hobart (-1.3%) Canberra (-0.4%) and Adelaide (-0.2%) saw values fall during the June quarter. In Brisbane, growth was modest at 0.5%, while Perth was up 0.1%.

Auction clearance rates remain relatively strong in the ACT, Sydney and Melbourne. For the week ending July 2, the ACT had a clearance rate of 76% for 36 scheduled auctions, while Victoria had a 72% clearance rate for 930 scheduled auctions. New South Wales saw a slowdown of auction clearance rates in June, but things appeared to be picking up last week. Of the 961 properties that went to auction in New South Wales, 71% were sold in the week ending July 2. In the Northern Territory, there was a 60% clearance rate for 13 scheduled auctions, while Tasmania only had 9 auctions and achieved a 60% clearance rate. South Australia held 89 auctions with a clearance rate of 59%. Western Australia had a 46% clearance rate on 47 scheduled auctions, while Queensland experienced a 45% clearance rate on 298 scheduled auctions.

The new financial year is providing an optimistic outlook, with interest rates likely to remain low for some time. It’s a fabulous time to talk to us about buying your dream home or an investment property. We would love to help you find a competitive home loan that meets your needs and goals, so please get in touch today!Welcome to our July Newsletter

If you’re struggling to manage your debts, or just want to save money on interest on your debts, we can help!

There are a range of solutions available to you that are worth exploring. In this article, we explain why consolidating your debts by refinancing your home may or may not be a good option for you financially, and explain what else you could do to manage your debts. Whatever you decide is best for your financial future, remember we are here to help!

What is debt consolidation?

Debt consolidation involves combining all of your existing debts into one. Usually you take this measure to reduce interest, or simply make your debts easier to manage by spreading your repayments out over a longer period of time.

You may consolidate by taking out a new personal loan to repay your debts, or by refinancing your home loan. This is where you essentially refinance your mortgage so you can get some cash to pay-out your debts. As your mortgage broker, we can access both home and personal loans with competitive rates, so we can help you with either of these options.

How debt consolidation could help you

The key benefit of debt consolidation is that it may help to reduce the amount of interest you pay. The benefit of refinancing your home loan to consolidate debt is that home loan interest rates are generally lower than the interest on other forms of credit, especially unsecured credit like credit cards and personal loans.

Refinancing your home loan means all your debt repayments will be covered by the one mortgage repayment. If you pay extra on your new, refinanced home loan after consolidating your debts, you’ll pay off your debts sooner and save money on interest compared to the interest you might have paid – say on a credit card.

Plus, if you have multiple types of debt with different interest rates and repayment deadlines, trying to manage your cash flow can be as much fun as pulling your own teeth! But consolidating your debt means you’ll only have to remember to make one repayment.

When debt consolidation may not be right for you

For some people, consolidating is a great idea, as it can potentially reduce the fees and interest you pay, but for others, it may not be the right step forward. If your financial circumstances have generally changed for the worse, you may find it difficult to get approval to refinance your home loan from a lender, or get a personal loan at a good rate.

Depending how long it takes to pay off your debt, you could also end up paying more in interest and fees in the long-run compared to if you had just paid it off quicker at the higher rate. Talk to us and we’ll help you crunch the numbers and decide if consolidating your debts is right for you.

Call us now!

Before you decide to consolidate your debt, it’s extremely important to seek advice from professional mortgage brokers like us. We’ll crunch the numbers and let you know if consolidation makes financial sense for you. You can rest assured we’ll be completely transparent about the interest rates, fees and charges you may be up for if you do refinance your home loan, or get a personal loan to consolidate your debt.Should You Consolidate Your Debts By Refinancing Your Home?


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