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. 

1.50% offinvestment interest ratesThere are around 21,000 new businesses founded each year in Australia. And with a little over 2 million actively trading businesses country-wide in June 2014, there are plenty of good reasons to run your own small business.

We often get approached by self-employed clients and prospects enquiring about their home loan opportunities. And whilst many banks have tightened their credit policies when it comes to the self-employed, with the right help, there are still plenty of options available.

What are some things you need to consider as a self-employed borrower?

Know your numbers
Your self-employed status does not have to impact negatively on your borrowing potential, although the amount of information you can supply will ultimately decide which products are available to you.

Lenders calculate how much they are willing to lend using a combination of your credit score, salary (income) records, and their affordability calculations. If you are self-employed, your overall income and financial situation may be more complicated, so it is important to establish a solid track record of low expenses and high income.

Build a good record
Requirements vary depending on the lender but, generally, self-employed borrowers will need both to have been in business and to have held an ABN for at least two years.

On top of the usual loan application documentation, lenders may also require you to produce BAS statements, tax returns, bank accounts and perhaps a declaration from your accountant. Being concise and providing correct and accurate information to the lender will increase your chances of a positive outcome.

Do your taxes and reduce debt
Keep your taxes up to date so you can always show your most recent income history. And make sure the tax assessments are paid. Self-employed applicants are more likely to have their tax portals checked for anything outstanding.

It’s also a good idea to eliminate or reduce your other (personal) debt. Lenders don’t just look at the balance, even if its zero – they count the limits on your credit cards and assess them as risk or funds you owe!

Understand your options
The good news is that lenders do have loans for self-employed people, contractors and business owners. In theory, self-employed borrowers have access to exactly the same range of mortgage products as everyone else, so long as you are able to put down the necessary deposit and substantiate your income you have a good chance of getting an advantageous rate.

One option to consider is a Low Documentation (Low Doc) Home Loan. These are designed for self-employed customers and small business owners who may not have access to the financial statements and tax returns usually required when applying for a home loan.

‘’Low doc’’ simply means alternative forms of income confirmation (bank statements, financial statements etc) as opposed to PAYG slips and tax returns. With tax returns, we can also help you pursue a full documentation loan at standard rates.

Have a strategy
We recommend you consult with us, your mortgage broker, to formulate a plan for securing your loan well before buying your property. This allows you to build your serviceability based on expert advice and years of experience.

If you are self-employed, or know someone who is, and would like to learn more about your options, please get in touch with us on the details below.


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