If you’re looking to buy your next home, downsizing might be the way to go. After all, sometimes less is more and it could work wonders for your finances!

In this article, we explore some of the benefits of downsizing – from cutting back on maintenance and energy costs, to having more money in your pocket to invest. And remember, when you are ready to purchase your next home, we’d love to help you find a loan that meets your financial needs and future aspirations. Here are some of the key reasons to consider downsizing.

More funds to invest

Downsizing allows you to unlock the equity in your current home to use for investment purposes. If you are lucky, you may be at a point where you’ll be able to pay off your new home with cash, then use any leftover funds to expand your property portfolio and start generating income from an investment property. You could also use the money on a new car or other lifestyle pursuits. If you’re interested in investing in property, just give us a call, we can help you in many different ways.

Fewer expenses

Downsizing can drastically reduce your expenses, from cutting your mortgage repayments, to slashing your living costs. Energy is one area you are likely to notice real savings when you move to a smaller property. What’s more, downsizing may encourage you to stop blowing money on furniture, appliances, electronics and “stuff” you don’t actually need. It will also encourage you to get rid of unnecessary clutter – there’s only so much you can squeeze into a smaller home, after all.

Lifestyle benefits

Looking for a sea change or a tree change? Downsizing could provide a great opportunity for you to live in a more desirable location, in housing that is more suitable for your needs. There are many great locations to consider – from the coast to the hills, you can find great value properties in communities where you can indulge your personal interests. Sailing, hiking, exciting adventures in your caravan – you name it! If you’re ready to retire, an empty-nester, or are recently single, downsizing could be the fantastic new chapter you’ve been looking for!

Let’s face it – bigger properties can be hard work. Not everyone wants to spend their life maintaining a larger property or garden. Just think of what you could do with the time it takes to clean and maintain that great big house. Golf-course here you come!

New tax breaks

In the 2017-18 Federal Budget, the Government announced plans to encourage older property owners to downsize. This is intended to help free up larger homes for younger, growing families. From July 2018, retirees may be able to inject up to $300,000 into superannuation if they sell their home after they reach the age of 65. The existing voluntary contribution rules for people aged 65 and older (work test for 65-74 year olds, no contributions for those aged 75 and over) and restrictions on non-concessional contributions for people with balances above $1.6 million do not apply to contributions made under the new downsizing cap.

To qualify, you must have owned your property for 10 years. What’s great about this new initiative is that both members of a couple can take advantage of the measure for the same home – that means as much as $600,000 per couple can be put into super! However, keep in mind that the proceeds contributed to superannuation will be included in the assets test for the age pension. For more details ask your tax accountant – if you don’t have one, ask us for a referral, we’ll be happy to help.

While it’s tempting to hold onto the family home because of the sentimental value, the reality is that it may be holding you back from a better lifestyle and a more comfortable financial situation. Downsizing could allow you to find a home that’s more appropriate to your lifestyle, while also freeing up time and money to use elsewhere. If you’re looking to purchase your next home and would like to explore your home loan options, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! We would love to find you a competitive home loan that works to your advantage.4 benefits of downsizing

With a home loan it’s easy to just ‘set and forget’. But it’s sensible to review your home loan every three years or so.

We’re living in a world of rapid change, where interest rates go up and down fast, new lenders emerge and more competitive lending products become available on a regular basis. Under these circumstances, keeping the same home loan for 30 years could cost you more money than you need to spend!

In this article, we provide a step-by-step guide to refinancing your home, breaking it down into simple layman’s terms. But before we get into that, let us clear up a few common questions about refinancing.

WHY should you consider refinancing?

Generally speaking, there are four main reasons to consider refinancing.

  1. Your loan may be outdated and you could potentially get a lower interest rate.
  2. Different home loan features could work better for you.
  3. Your financial situation may have changed.
  4. You want to access some of the equity you’ve built up in your home.

WHEN should you consider refinancing?

There’s no time like the present! We’re currently experiencing a low interest rate period, so there are many competitive home loan products available. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to review your home loan every two to four years.

WHO should you use to refinance?

You should always talk to a mortgage broker because our opinion is not biased towards any particular lender or product. And we won’t suggest that you refinance if it isn’t the right move for you.

HOW do you refinance?

We’ve explained the when, who and what of refinancing, but what’s the actual process involved? Here’s a simple step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Speak to us

Before we begin exploring your loan options, it’s important for us to have a sound understanding of where you’re at financially and what you’d like to achieve. Whatever your goals, we’re here to assist!

Step 2: Choose your mortgage and apply

We’ll help you find the right mortgage to fit your personal financial circumstances and goals. Then we’ll help you submit your application.

Step 3: Your new lender will perform a valuation

Your new home loan provider will require a valuation on your property as part of the application process. Keep in mind that their valuation might be more conservative than the market value you estimate.

Step 4: Get approved

Within a few days of submitting your application, it’s likely our inbox will light up with that delightful email confirming you’ve been approved for your new home loan. Yay!

Step 5: Your old mortgage will be closed

Your new lender will contact your previous provider to co-ordinate your refinancing arrangement. The lender will submit a ‘discharge of mortgage’ form to the Land Titles Office in your state or territory to close your old mortgage account. Upon settlement, your new lender will pay out your existing lender with funds from your new home loan and take ownership of your property title. If you’re refinancing to consolidate other debts, they will be closed too.

Step 6: You start afresh!

Once you have your new home loan in place, you can begin making repayments, satisfied that you have the most suitable mortgage for your needs. If you need any help managing your new home loan, we are always here to lend a hand.

We hope you’ll find this guide to refinancing handy, and we would love to help you decide whether refinancing is the right step for you financially. Whether you are looking to refinance for a better interest rate, to access equity, consolidate debt or for a property investment to build wealth for your future, we can help you to achieve your goals. Please get in touch today!A step-by-step guide to refinancing your 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

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

It’s been an interesting month for the housing market, with most capital cities experiencing softer growth in April than in the first three months of 2017.

Hobart is leading the way as the strongest housing market, with home values increasing 5.1% over the past three months. In Melbourne and Sydney home value growth slowed in April, but the upside is that this may bring some relief on the horizon for first home buyers!

The Federal Budget was released on Tuesday this week, introducing changes which may affect property prices and buying conditions. Of late, the news has also been dominated by discussions that may impact property buyers and owners – such as the housing affordability debate, negative gearing, capital gains tax discounts, interest-only lending, borrowing through Self-Managed Super Funds and proposed changes to first-home-buyer grants and stamp duty. Please call us if you have any concerns or questions about how any of these points they may affect you, we’re here to help!

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. Meanwhile, some lenders have raised their interest rates marginally on both owner-occupier and investment loans outside of RBA movements in recent months.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has introduced new caps on lending for interest-only home loans, which may make them more difficult to obtain for some property investors. But there are still plenty of lenders prepared to give interest-only loans to solid borrowers.

Property Market News

Auction activity has picked up, following the Easter lull. The last week of April saw high clearance rates of 79% in Victoria, with 1335 scheduled auctions, and 75% in New South Wales from 1007 scheduled auctions. The Northern Territory had a 100% clearance rate, but there were only four scheduled auctions. The ACT had a clearance rate of 68% for 62 scheduled auctions, while Tasmania’s clearance rate was 67% for 10 scheduled auctions. The clearance rates were lower for South Australia (65%), Western Australia (50%) and Queensland (45%).

Home values only increased by 0.1% across the combined capital cities in April – the lowest month-on-month rise since December, 2015. Home value growth cooled in both Sydney (0% growth in home values for the month) and Melbourne (0.5% growth over the month). In contrast, Hobart’s home values grew 1%, while Adelaide’s increased 0.8% and Brisbane’s rose by 0.6%. Darwin’s property values rose by 0.5% in April, while Perth’s and Canberra’s fell 1% and 2.8% respectively.

If you’re considering refinancing, purchasing your first home, your next home, an investment property, commercial property, or even a car at the end-of-financial-year sales, we can organise the right finance for your individual needs and financial goals. Set yourself up for a bright financial future by speaking to us about your options today!

Welcome to our May Newsletter


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