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There’s no doubt about it – buying your first home is one of the most rewarding experiences of your life! However, it is an emotional journey. Here are 6 feelings you may experience as part of the purchasing roller coaster (buckle your seatbelts – it’s quite a ride!).

1) Excitement at the prospect of buying

You’ve been working hard to save a deposit and it’s finally time to purchase. When that time comes, it’s like someone has opened the door to a whole new world. And it’s an exciting place indeed! At this point, the anticipation is killing you.

2) Confusion about what exactly is involved

You’re a rookie, so of course the purchasing process can seem overwhelming and daunting. Where does one start? What kind of research is required? What type of loan is right for your needs?

Here’s a quick rundown of the steps involved:

1. Apply for pre-approval

2. Do your research and find the right home

3. Have your conveyancer check the contract of sale

4. Organise building and pest inspections

5. Put in an offer or go to auction

6. Finalise your home loan

7. Do a final inspection on the property

8. Settlement

9. Move in!

3) Relief when you discover how we can help

Ahhh, you’re not in this alone. That’s right – we can walk you through the buying process, starting with the research component. Our free suburb and property reports offer a wealth of information, from details about capital growth and median values, to recent sales data.

Next, we’ll take care of your finance for you. We can:

  • Explain your borrowing capacity (how much a bank will lend you)
  • Arrange pre-approval on your finance (so that you’re ready to make offers or bid at auction)
  • Explain loan features that may save you money in interest (for example offset accounts and redraw facilities)
  • Line you up with the right home loan for your specific needs
  • Take care of the paperwork for you.

4) Exasperation as you look for the right property

If you’re one of the lucky ones who finds the right property early, you may escape the exasperation stage altogether. However, if you find your weekends being consumed by inspection after inspection to no avail, it can leave you feeling exhausted and discouraged.

Don’t despair – your dream home is out there. Just remember, with every inspection you’re one step closer to the thrill of finding your very own pad!

5) Nervy during negotiations

You know when you’re at the top of the roller coaster incline and it’s about to drop? Waiting for a vendor to accept your offer or fronting up at an auction can feel a bit like that. There are bound to be butterflies in your stomach – just hold on tight and remember the best is yet to come.

6) Elation when the paperwork is signed and it’s yours!

There’s nothing as rewarding as receiving a shiny new set of keys and walking through the front door into your own slice of real estate. You’ve survived the journey and probably even enjoyed it! It’s at this point you’ll feel pure, unadulterated joy.

Buying your first home is an experience you’ll never forget. The thrill. The adrenalin. And the rush of emotions when it’s finally yours are hard to beat. If you’re ready to purchase your first home, please get in touch. Let us be your conductor; you just enjoy the ride.

Spring has arrived and we are supercharged for a bumper season in the property world. Dwelling values have been creeping up in many markets and auction clearance rates have been higher recently too. Interest rate reductions and changed lending rules have fuelled increased buyer activity, though stock volumes remain low. Overall, the housing recovery looks set to continue.

Interest rate news

At its September meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) decided to leave the official cash rate on hold at 1% pa. The move follows rate cuts in June and July.

While this month’s decision was widely anticipated, economists say there could be more cuts by the end of the year, potentially starting in October. Recently we’ve seen some lenders slash fixed interest rates on both owner-occupier and investor loans.

Given rates are on the move, now is the time to review your finance. It may even be worth considering fixing your home loan – speak to us about your options!

Home value movements

Property prices are continuing to rise, up 1.03% across the combined 5 capital cities in August. Prices in Sydney and Melbourne continue to trend higher. Sydney recorded a month-on-month change of 1.57%, while Melbourne’s property values grew by 1.40%. In Canberra, prices increased by 0.79%, while in Hobart they rose by 0.51%. Brisbane saw modest growth (0.2%), while Perth and Adelaide experienced falls of 0.51% and 0.24% respectively.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen auction clearance rates soar in many markets. In fact, auctions across Australia’s capital cities reached a two-year high in August.

Property market activity

Ready for a spring property purchase?

If you’re considering buying this spring, speak to us about organising your finance. Given that stock volumes are low, there’s bound to be strong competition amongst buyers, but having pre-approval in place may give you a competitive edge. Get in touch today so we can get it sorted!

How are your New Year Resolutions coming along? If you’re serious about achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself, creating a plan is the way to go. Of course, making a plan is easy when you’re talking about losing weight or exercising more (the world’s most popular choices for NY Resolutions every year), but achieving your property goals may take some professional support from your mortgage broker. Here’s how we can help.

NY Resolution #1: “I’m going to buy my first home in 2019!”

Buying your first home is exciting and 2019 could be the year to do it. Home values have ceased their rapid rise for the time being and home loan interest rates are still low.

Here’s how your broker can help you get on the property ladder for the first time:

Creating a budget for your purchase and a savings plan for your deposit.

Exploring alternative ideas for a deposit (like a guarantor’s home loan, for example).

Providing advice about clearing debt and/ or improving your credit report to make you a more attractive prospect for lenders.

Explaining your borrowing capacity (how much you can afford to repay and how much a lender will lend you based on your income and expenses).

Going through any grants, concessions or other initiatives like the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme to get you into your own home sooner.

Explaining the different types of home loans and how you can use them to save money.

Comparing the market to help you find the most suitable home loan for your needs.

Referring you to reputable professionals such as valuators, conveyancers and solicitors, accountants etc.

Organising pre-approval on your home loan so you know how much you can spend and save time on your property search.

Overseeing all the loan application paperwork.

Offering support throughout your entire home ownership journey and beyond. We can answer your questions at any time to ensure your home loan remains competitive.

NY Resolution #2: “I’m going to move into my next home in 2019!”

Upsizing, downsizing, sea-change, tree-change – whatever your motivation for moving into your next home in 2019, just ask us to help you make it happen! Even if you already know the drill for purchasing a home, it’s worth having a professional on your team when buying your next place. There’s a lot more to consider. Ask us about:

Using the equity in your current home as a deposit for your next home.

The costs involved.

Bridging finance.

Property and suburb reports to help guide your purchasing decision.

NY Resolution #3: “I’m going to invest in property in 2019!”

A goodie for 2019! We can help with:

Working with your accountant and/or financial planner on your investment strategy.

Structuring your loan correctly to maximise the tax effectiveness of your investment.

Comparing the loan market to find the right loan products to meet your investment strategy.

Getting loan pre-approval and ensuring your loan application goes smoothly.

Crunching the numbers (for things like your anticipated rental yield or out-of-pocket costs).

Comprehensive suburb and property reports to help you choose the right property.

Accessing equity in your home or from another investment property to use as a deposit.

Offering referrals to reputable property managers and other professionals.

If you have a 2019 property goal, give me a call!

A goal without a plan is just a wish, so let’s start planning and make your goals a reality this year. Please get in touch with us at Element Finance today!

According to a recent news report, more than 900,000 interest only (IO) home loans will come up for refinance during the first quarter of 2019. This kind of loan is very popular with property investors, however, the recent tightening of lending conditions in this area of the market may make it difficult for some people to refinance to another interest only period on their loan.

So, what are IO home loans, what are they used for and how can your broker help you if the IO period on your home loan is about to come to an end?

What is an IO home loan?

An IO mortgage is where your repayments only cover the interest on the amount you have borrowed during the interest only period. That means the principal (the amount you have borrowed) does not reduce. This IO period can be from 1 – 10 years and after it has ended, the loan reverts to a principal and interest loan unless you refinance it.

What are IO home loans used for?

IO home loans are not recommended if you plan to live in the home you purchase, as they only provide short-term benefits and could cost you more in interest over the long run. This kind of home loan offers benefits for property investors because the interest is usually tax deductible. (Always consult an accountant to be sure this applies to you.) It also helps to lower the amount of the repayments in the short-term, which may help property investors to maximise the income from the property.

It should be noted that the principal (amount borrowed) will need to be repaid at some point. There is a risk that the property’s value could fall during the IO period, which could potentially cause a you to make a loss if you were to sell it. It could also make it difficult to refinance the loan at the end of the IO period without topping up the equity in the loan.

Why could it be difficult to refinance for some?

In 2016, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) – which is the regulator for the home loan industry – imposed a cap restricting IO home loans to 30 per cent of bank’s new mortgages and at the same time, imposed a 10 per cent annual growth cap on lending to property investors. These restrictions mostly applied to the big banks, as APRA felt they were over-exposed to risk if the property market should suffer a down-turn. This has caused a general tightening of lending criteria for property investors across the board.

In December last year, APRA lifted their restrictions. However, the tighter lending criteria for property investors and IO loans are still in place with the big banks, which could make it difficult for some to refinance or extend their IO period on their loan.

What if your IO period is about to end?

As your mortgage broker, I can help you access a wider variety of lenders, which could give you more options if you are looking to refinance your IO loan this year. We have access to Australia’s leading lenders, including the usual big banks and credit unions, as well as smaller, private lenders you can only access through a broker. Not all mortgage brokers can offer you such a comprehensive variety of loan options, so you can be sure that we will be able to access loan products that suit your needs and give you value for money.

Refinancing could potentially be of benefit to you in a variety of different ways in your personal situation, so please talk with us about your needs and goals. Your consultation is complimentary, so please just give us a call at Element Finance if you’d like to talk about your options.

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


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