Christmas is just around the corner and isn’t it a wonderful time of year? It’s a time for family and friends, a little self-indulgence, of recognising how hard you’ve worked all year and rewarding yourself for your efforts. If you’ve been contemplating a property purchase, why not make that dream a reality? We can help you secure the finance you need, so please get in touch!

Interest Rate News

Thankfully, there was no pre-Christmas surprise this month from the Reserve Bank of Australia. The board decided to leave the cash rate on hold at 1.5 per cent. The central bank’s board will next meet in February 2018.

Property Market News

On the whole, national dwelling values were largely steady in November. Again, Melbourne seems to be proving more resilient than Sydney, with dwelling values up 0.52%. In contrast, Sydney’s housing market saw prices fall -0.72% in November. Canberra’s dwelling values rose by 0.86%, while Hobart experienced 0.64% growth. Things are looking up for property owners in Perth, where values rose by 0.21% in November. The city recorded the first rolling quarterly capital gain since late 2014 (up 0.3% in the three months to November). In Brisbane and Adelaide, there was less fluctuation (0.07% and 0.01% growth respectively). Darwin, like Sydney, experienced a fall in property values – the month-on-month change was -0.42%.

In the week ending December 3, there were 3,276 auctions held across the combined capital cities. According to CoreLogic, the preliminary clearance rate was 63.5% – up from the previous week’s clearance rate of 61.6%. Auction volumes remain in line with last year’s figures, but this time last year the clearance rate was much higher, at 72.3%.

Melbourne and Sydney’s clearance rates picked up compared to previous weeks. In Victoria, there were 1,800 scheduled auctions and a clearance rate of 67%. New South Wales held 1344 scheduled actions and cleared 62% of the stock. Meanwhile, the ACT had the highest clearance rate – 76% on 105 scheduled auctions. Tasmania only held 11 auctions and cleared 67% of stock, while South Australia had 148 scheduled auctions and 65% of properties sold. In Western Australia, 61 properties went to auction and 46% went under the hammer. Queensland held 395 auctions and the Northern Territory had 17. Both had clearance rates of 36%.

As the sun sets on 2017, we’d like to take the opportunity to wish you a safe and happy festive season. Remember, now is a great time to purchase a new property for the New Year, or to re-evaluate your mortgage. If you’d like advice about finding a mortgage that suits your financial circumstances and plans, we’d love to help! We’ll do the hard yards for you, so that you can concentrate on the fun stuff this summer, like playing beach cricket and being with the family. Here’s to an exciting 2018 – hopefully one that includes an exciting new property purchase! Welcome to our December Newsletter

If you’ve been dreaming about purchasing your own place, but a niggling voice in the back of your mind has been offering up objections, we’re here to tell that voice to pump the breaks, champ! In this article, we tackle some of the common objections first-home buyers may have to buying right now, and explain why you should talk with us today.

Objection 1: “I don’t have a big enough deposit”

If you’ve been working hard to save a deposit and feel like it’s never going to be big enough, we have some exciting news for you! Size doesn’t always matter, especially not in this scenario. Being approved for a home loan is not necessarily dependant on how much of a deposit you have, but rather your capacity to repay the mortgage. There are all sorts of options available to aspiring homeowners who don’t have a 20% deposit.

Some lenders still offer home loans for up to 95% of the purchase price. The borrowing criteria can be more stringent than other types of loans, but if you have a clear credit history, stable employment, a solid income, minimal debt and are in a good asset position, you may qualify. Most home loan providers will want to see evidence you’ve saved at least 5% of the purchase price, and you may have to pay Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance with this type of loan – but you’ll have your foot on the property ladder! Speak to us to find out whether this kind of loan could work for you.

Another way to get a foot on the property ladder could be to ask your parents or a family member to be your guarantor. This is when they use the equity in their property as security for your loan. The right time to buy your first home is as soon as you can afford to do so!

Objection 2: “I think the market will downturn”

Whilst the property market does go up and down in cycles, “timing the market” is not as important as “time IN the market”. The sooner you buy a property, the sooner it will be possible for it to start to experience capital growth (which is the term we use to describe how much your property goes up in value whilst you own it).

There is always a possibility that your property will go down in value after you purchase it. However, you need to remember it has only gone down in value ‘on paper’ – you won’t actually lose any money unless you sell it. Market fluctuations are common and it is likely it will have recovered in value by the time you want to sell.

Choosing the right home in the right location can help protect against property market fluctuations and improve your chances of long-term capital growth. When you locate a property you’re interested in buying, we can help you check its capital growth potential with a free property market report – so please ask us.

Objection 3: “I can’t afford a home where I would want to live”

Most people don’t get to buy their dream home the first time around – it’s a goal you can work towards once you get on the property ladder. If you can’t afford to buy your dream home in your preferred location, you could look for something in another location, consider a smaller property that’s more affordable, or opt for a fixer-upper that has potential but just needs a little love. Another option that’s becoming increasingly popular is to rent-vest – rent where you want to live and buy an investment property somewhere else. That way, you can grow your nest egg to enable you to eventually buy the home you want.

There’s no time like the present to chat with us about your plans and finance options. Please get in touch and we’ll explain your borrowing capacity, home loan options and help you get pre-approval on your loan so you can start looking for a property to buy sooner. Is now the right time to buy your first home?

Buying your first investment property is exciting, but it also comes with new responsibilities. When you’re on your L-plates as a new landlord, it’s important to be aware of your rights and obligations and those of your tenants. Here are some of the essential things that you should know.

1) Go it alone, or use a property manager?

When you’re a new landlord, managing your own property could have a steep learning curve. Working with a good property manager will not only teach you the ropes, but they’ll do all the hard work for you – like finding tenants, lodging bond forms, collecting rent, doing inspections and making sure things run smoothly. If there are any issues, the tenant will contact them directly, which could save you a lot of hassle. They’ll also keep you informed of your rights and responsibilities, giving you peace of mind that you’re doing things right.

Before choosing a property manager, be sure to check their online reviews or ask them if you can reference check their other clients. Otherwise, ask us! We are well connected and are more than happy to provide a referral to any reputable local suppliers that we may know. Property management costs are usually tax deductible for property investors, so also check it out with your accountant.

2) Familiarise yourself with the legislation

As a new landlord, it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities and adhere to the relevant legislation in your state or territory, even if you use a property manager. For example, in some states, you must provide tenants with a new tenant checklist before they sign the tenancy agreement, and you can be fined for not complying. You can find helpful information about each state and territory’s specific requirements on the TenancyCheck.com.au website, available here. Be sure to also check with your state or territory’s relevant government department.

If you have a Property Manager, it’s their job to help you understand the legalities, so if you’re not sure, ask them to fill you in!

3) Understand the importance of the bond

The bond is a security deposit that protects you if the tenant damages the property, leaves it unclean, or fails to pay rent or bills that fall under their obligation. In these instances, you or your agent may be able to claim the bond money to cover your expenses at the end of their tenancy. The bond is usually about four weeks’ rent, but in some instances, it may be more.

Once the bond is collected, you must provide the tenant with a receipt and lodge the money with your state or territory’s residential tenancies authority (known by different names in each state/ territory). Be sure to check with your local authority about how soon the money must be lodged. This authority will hold on to the bond until the tenancy is up and pay it back to the tenant when the property is vacated, provided there’s no money owing for damages, unpaid rent or other costs. If there is a dispute about the bond or you want to claim compensation for damage that exceeds the bond, you can apply to the relevant tribunal within your state or territory.

Buying an investment property is exciting and rewarding. If you’re not confident about going it alone, you can rest assured that there are professionals out there to help make sure things run smoothly. In terms of finance, we’re here to help you find a loan that meets your current financial needs and ties in with your future investment goals. We’ll compare the market and set you up with a loan that ticks all of your boxes, so please get in touch today! 3 things every new landlord needs to know

Christmas is just over the horizon and decorations are already starting to appear at the local shops. It’s a time of year where it’s almost common practice to splurge! Marketers are all working hard to encourage you to buy, buy, buy and you may have already picked up a few things for yourself and to put under the tree for family and friends.

It’s easy to resort to “retail therapy” when you need a bit of a pick-me-up, and it’s also easy to overspend on gifts amidst all the excitement of Christmas. But what will really give you a thrill and a sense of satisfaction is reaching your savings goals and using the money to buy an asset that will help you grow your nest egg even further (like a house). Here are our tips for beating the urge to splurge this Christmas.

Establish a budget

The most valuable thing you can do for your bank balance this silly season is to create a budget and stick to it. This is especially important if you are buying Christmas gifts.

Write down all of your income and expenses and set an amount for regular savings. Once you have a budget in place, you’ll know your spending limits, and how much you can afford to spend on things like Christmas presents or summer holidays. You’ll also be able to establish good savings habits – something that’s vitally important when the time comes to apply for a home loan. When creating your budget, set yourself short-term savings goals to stay motivated, plus long-term goals to set your sights on where you want to be financially.

There are plenty of online tools to help you create a budget. You could use a simple Excel spreadsheet or a budgeting app. Wally, for example, allows you to manually log your expenses and store pictures of receipts in a virtual budget journal. The app alerts you when you hit your savings goals or when a bill is due. TrackMyGOALSallows you to set, plan, track and manage your savings goals (we’re thinking a new home could be a goodie!).

Think outside the box

If you want to avoid splurging, you need to think outside the box and make a fun game out of finding ways to save money. The key is to challenge yourself to find ways to feel good without buying stuff you don’t really need. If you’re feeling blue and needing some “retail therapy”, do some exercise instead or head to your local park. The endorphins and fresh air will do you a world of good!

When it comes to Christmas gifts, simple home-made presents can potentially save you a load of cash. Get creative! Make some yummy treats and jazz them up with some pretty wrapping. Get a professional photo done and buy some frames in bulk at wholesale prices. Don’t be shy about ‘re-gifting’ anything you don’t need, just give it to someone else who may enjoy it. The options are endless!

Avoid temptation

It’s important to know your spending triggers and to keep them in check to avoid impulse shopping. If you’re a fan of online shopping and find yourself gravitating towards those advertisements on Facebook, perhaps take a hiatus from social media during the silly season and ‘unlike’ your favourite shopping sites.

Similarly, if you find yourself being tempted to buy things for yourself when you’re out and about buying Christmas presents for your family, it’s wise to avoid shopping centres. After all, if you don’t see those killer shoes in the shop window, you won’t know what you’re missing out on. If you have to go out to buy Christmas gifts or essentials like groceries, write yourself a shopping list and take cash with you. By keeping your credit cards safe from yourself (and locked in a drawer at home), you’ll spare yourself a spending hangover.

If you’d like to explore your home loan options, we’d love to hear from you. Even if you don’t have a huge deposit saved, we may still be able to help you, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Remember, you’ll need a good savings history if you are planning to buy a property, so resist the urge to splurge this Christmas! Make some savings goals, change your spending habits and set the wheels in motion for a splurge-free future today!How to beat the urge to splurge

When it comes to smart money management, the key to success is to regularly assess your financial position – and that includes taking a good hard look at your mortgage. Here’s why refinancing every three years may help you save, and why you should check in with us today to ensure your home loan is still the right choice for you.
Refinancing every 3 years may help you to:

Secure a more competitive interest rate

Checking your home loan regularly gives you peace of mind that you’re getting the most competitive interest rate and that your financial needs are being met. With RBA rate movements, lender rate changes and new loan products coming onto the market all the time, it’s quite likely there’s a better option available if you’ve had your home loan for a while.

Access better features and save

A home loan health check is about reviewing your loan against your current financial situation and goals to ensure it still meets your needs and suits your objectives. As your circumstances change – perhaps you have a better job or have started a family since you took out your home loan – the loan features you need may change too. A different type of loan could potentially help you to save money and manage your finances better.

Access equity to build wealth

Accessing your equity could be a fantastic opportunity to build wealth for your future and refinancing to a new loan could allow you to do just that. If you’ve had your mortgage for a while, you’ve probably paid it down somewhat and your property could also have increased in value, so you may have some equity you could use to buy an investment property, or use to purchase shares or other investments.

You could also use the equity for other things you want. Perhaps you need a new car, a holiday, or would like to use the money to pay for your children’s education? Maybe you’d like to put the money towards some home renovations that could ultimately drive up the value of your property. Whatever your goals, we can explain whether refinancing and accessing your equity will help you to achieve them.

Consolidate debt

If you have several debts with high-interest credit facilities like credit cards or personal loans, you could potentially make things more manageable by refinancing and rolling your debts into your home loan. In this scenario, you’d access some of your equity and use it to pay off your other debts. The benefit is you only pay the home loan interest rate, rather than the higher credit card or personal loan rates – although your home loan repayments will likely rise somewhat, you could possibly make some savings if you make an effort to make extra repayments to pay back the amount you withdraw quickly. Talk to us and we’ll help you determine if refinancing to consolidate debt makes financial sense for you.

As your mortgage broker, we are experts at finding the right home loan to help you achieve your financial goals. We’ll check out your current home loan and if it no longer has that youthful vigor you need, see if we can find a better alternative! But first, we’ll nut out the figures and make sure refinancing is the right move forward for you financially. So if you’ve had your current home loan for three years or more, give us a call today for a home loan health check. We’d love to hear from you.How refinancing every three years could help you save


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