16 Oct 2019
Spring is generally the busiest time of year in the Australian property market, and this season could be a ripper. In recent months, we’ve seen ongoing signs of improving market conditions, driven by a Coalition federal election win, interest rate cuts and a softening of lending restrictions.
And it’s clear that buyers are returning to the market. In August, capital city auction markets recorded the highest preliminary clearance rate in over two years.
That said, listings remain low compared to previous years, which means that as a buyer, there may be more competition for properties this spring. Here are some pointers to negotiate a good deal this season.
Tip #1: Do your research
Knowledge is power, and when it comes to negotiating, you’ll want to arm yourself with as much information as possible. Understanding the local property market will help you identify a good deal when you come across one, and how much competition you’re up against.
When you find a property you like, be sure to check out the sale prices of similar properties in recent months. Find out how long properties are staying on the market for, and the auction clearance rates in the area. If conditions are favouring buyers, it may leave you more room to negotiate on price.
We offer free suburb and property reports that contain a wealth of property market information, so please get in touch!
Note: If you’re looking for a property on the lower end of the price range, CoreLogic’s Top Affordable Suburbs Report is another handy resource. It identifies the top 100 suburbs across Australia where the median value is under $500,000.
Tip #2: Make sure your finance is in order
If you do find a bargain, you’ll want to be in a position to jump on the deal. Speak to us about organising pre-approval on your finance, so that you’re ready to go.
Pre-approval means a bank has agreed, in principle, to lend you a certain amount of money. Having pre-approval gives you confidence to bid at auction or play hardball during private negotiations with vendors. It may also give you an edge over other buyers without pre-approved finance.
Tip #3: Find out why a vendor is selling
In order to negotiate a great deal, it’s important to understand the vendor’s motivation to sell. What type of settlement terms and deposit will be most attractive to them?
For example, they may be moving interstate, or need access to money fast, in which case they may drop their price for a shorter settlement. Maybe they need an extra-long settlement while they find somewhere else to live? Or perhaps a larger deposit would make you more favourable compared to other buyers?
Ask the real estate agent why the vendor is selling and use the information as a negotiation tool.
Tip #4: Get building and pest inspections done
These reports can be pricey, and if you fork out for them then don’t end up buying a property, you may be tempted not to bother next time around. Beware!
Building and pest inspections not only alert you to issues with the property, they can also be used as ammo during price negotiations. Say there’s an issue but it’s not a deal-breaker, you may be able to use the information to negotiate a lower sale price.
With a bit of luck, the recent improvements in the property market will boost vendor confidence and we’ll see a gangbuster season of hot new spring listings. If you’re in the market for a spring property purchase, speak to us and we’ll line you up with the right finance for your needs.
02 Oct 2019
Australians love investing in property, and it’s no wonder why. The property market offers a myriad of opportunities to potentially grow wealth, irrespective of one’s professional background or skillset.
However, there are certain habits that successful property investors often have in common. Let’s take a look.
They are proactive about self-education
In order to stay ahead of the game, seasoned property investors are proactive about self-education. They understand that the property market is ever-changing, and that one must keep up to speed with developments in order to succeed.
As a result, successful investors understand the economic factors that drive markets and the way market cycles work. They can recognise when the market is shifting and act early. And they can seize opportunities where possible.
If you want to be a successful investor, you need to become an avid learner. Here are some ideas:
- Listen to podcasts
- Devour books, investment magazines, and blogs on the topic
- Do property investment courses online or through a local learning institution.
They make the most of professional help available to them
Smart property investors understand that while it’s important to nurture their own knowledge, they can’t know everything. Everyone has limits.
The key to success is to leverage the abilities of exerts in their field. Mortgage brokers, real estate agents, financial planners, accountants, conveyancers, buyers’ agents, property managers – all of these professionals are resources to be drawn on in order to make smart property investment decisions.
They review their investment loans regularly
The right investment loan for you today may no longer suit your needs in a year’s time. Successful property investors continually review their loans to make sure they still measure up.
In this way, clever investors can identify new opportunities along the way. For example, they may refinance their loans to include offset accounts and redraw facilities to save interest, or they may set up lines of credit to renovate their investments.
They have vision
Experienced property investors look past the current market movements to see the big picture. They understand the nature of property cycles. Sometimes it pays to buy and hold property; other times it’s best to flip. Having vision is what sets the successful investor apart from the mediocre one.
They also plan for contingencies. Buying an investment property comes with financial benefits, but there is risk involved. For example, what happens if the tenant falls behind in rent or something major needs to be repaired? What if the property’s value falls? Smart investors plan ahead and have strategies in place for these kinds of challenges.
Like to know more?
Whether you’re a seasoned property investor with a multi-property portfolio or a rookie investor, we can help you achieve your financial goals. We’ll line you up with the right finance for your specific needs and future aspirations. Please get in touch.
04 Sep 2019
Do you know what happened after the Reserve Bank cut the cash rate in June? Tens of thousands of Aussies took the Treasurer’s advice to “shop around and get the best possible deal”. Mortgage brokers around the country have recorded spikes in their home loan, investment loan and refinance borrower enquiries following the announcement.
The moral of the story? Now is the time to review your home loan. Here are four signs you may be overdue for a check-up.
You’ve been with the same lender forever
Interest rates are at historic lows and competition between lenders is high. That means there are plenty of red-hot deals out there, particularly given the recent cash rate cuts.
If you’ve been with the same lender for years, chances are you’re probably missing out on a better deal elsewhere.
You have no idea what a redraw facility or offset account is
Most home loans nowadays come with money-saving features like offset accounts and redraw facilities. These tools allow you to save in interest and potentially pay off your loan sooner.
How they work
With this set up, a transaction account is linked to your mortgage. Any money deposited is offset against your loan balance, reducing your interest payable. Example: you owe the bank $400,000 and you have $50,000 in the offset account. Interest will only be calculated on $350,000.
With this loan feature, you can make extra repayments on your mortgage and save on interest. Best of all, you can still access the funds in future should you need them.
Your personal circumstances have changed
What’s changed since you took out your mortgage? Are you earning more money? Have your living expenses changed? Do you have different financial goals?
All of these elements need to be taken into consideration when choosing the right home loan for your needs.
You’re drowning in debt payments
If you’re struggling to cover multiple debt repayments, debt consolidation could be the answer. This strategy involves refinancing your mortgage and using some of your equity to pay off the other debt.
The benefits are:
- Home loan interest rates are lower than other types of credit
- You’ll only have one repayment to meet
- You can spread the repayments out, so that they’re more affordable
- You may be able to make additional repayments and knock off your debt sooner.
While debt consolidation is not right for everyone (in some instances, you may end up paying more in interest over the course of the loan), it’s at least worth investigating.
Like to know more?
If the alarm bells are ringing, we can review your home loan and outline whether it’s still right for you. You may be better off with another loan that ties in with your current financial situation and goals. Please reach out – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
The busy Spring property season is just around the corner and you know what that means? Whether you’re planning to buy or sell, NOW is the time to start getting organised. Here’s how.
Tips if you’re planning to BUY this Spring:
Get your finance sorted pronto
There’s no point starting the property hunt until you know how much you can borrow. Talk to us and we’ll explain your borrowing power.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s also a good idea to get pre-approved for finance now, so that you don’t miss out on your dream home once you find it. For most lenders, pre-approvals last 3-6 months.
Do your research
Whether you’re a first home buyer or you’ve been around the block, it’s important to do your homework.
- Narrow down the suburbs you’re interested in and research the market value of your desired property type
- Check government websites for projects that may influence the capital growth potential
- Consider the zoning and whether upcoming developments could affect supply and demand
- Check out recent comparable sales on websites like realestate.com.au
- Get to know local real estate agents now, so that they keep you in the loop about new listings during Spring
- Ask us for a free suburb report with all the key info you’ll need.
Attend several auctions before you actually bid
Bidding at auction can be extremely daunting, particularly with the knowledge that there’s no cooling off period. You’ll want to feel confident about the process before going in guns blazing.
Over the coming weeks, make time to attend several auctions to get a feel for how they unfold. Even if you’ve bought at auction before, it’s a good idea to suss out the market in advance.
Tips if you’re planning to SELL this Spring:
That’s right, it’s time to channel your inner Marie Kondo (she’s a tidying expert, if you haven’t heard of her). You may be thinking, ‘it’s only August, I’ll have time for that later,’ but it’s important not to underestimate how long the decluttering process can take!
Decluttering can make a world of difference to prospective buyers. It allows them to see the space more clearly and imagine themselves living in your home. In simple terms, space sells.
With that in mind, ditch what you don’t need and consider putting the majority of your belongings into storage.
Time to give your home a thorough clean. You’ll want your property looking its absolute best for when the inspections begin.
If there are any repairs or maintenance jobs you’ve been putting off over the Winter, now is the time to address them.
Want to drive up the sales price? Why not renovate this month and add value to your property?
Most experts recommend the top priorities when renovating for profit should be the kitchen and bathroom(s). If you need finance for these kinds of big-ticket renovations, we can help.
However, even making small cosmetic enhancements, like applying a fresh coat of paint or putting up new blinds, could result in a heftier price tag.
Sort out your finance for your next property purchase
Already found your next home? You may need bridging finance to tide you over until settlement is finalised on your old property.
So, what’s on your to-do list this month? Remember, whether you’re buying or selling this Spring, now is the time to start planning and preparing. Speak to us for all your finance needs today!
Rentvesting has become increasingly popular in recent times. Last year, research from the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) found that one third of first-time buyers opted to become ‘rentvestors’, rather than homeowners.
Here’s what you need to know before deciding whether rentvesting is right for you. But first, let’s look at an age-old question.
To rent or buy?
If you’re wondering whether it’s cheaper to rent or buy, the answer depends on where you buy and your individual financial situation.
Domain Group compared weekly mortgage repayments on a median sale price to median rent for both houses and units in the year to April. The research found that in many capital city suburbs, rents were higher than mortgages (find out where it’s cheaper to buy a property than rent).
But what if you didn’t have to choose between renting and buying. What if you could have the best of both worlds?
What is rentvesting
Rentvesting is where you rent where you want to live and buy where you can afford. Simple.
A leg up on the property ladder
If, like most first-time buyers, you can’t afford your dream home straight away, rentvesting gives you options. It allows you to get started in the property market with a smaller deposit and work towards buying the home you want, or to build your investment portfolio.
Want to live in a trendy neighbourhood that’s out of your price range? With rentvesting, you can. Live the lifestyle you want, and invest elsewhere.
Renting gives you increased flexibility to move around if your circumstances change.
What’s really great about owning an investment property are the tax perks. Most of the property expenses can be offset against your income.
If you decide to buy an investment property rather than a home, you won’t be entitled to the First Home Owner Grant and stamp duty exemptions or concessions. These are for first time owner-occupiers.
Being a renter and a landlord at the same time means you’ll have multiple expenses to cover. In addition to paying your rent, you’ll have costs including council rates, body corporate (if applicable), property management fees, maintenance, other running costs, and of course, your mortgage repayments. Keep in mind that if your investment is tenanted, the rental return may cover some, if not all, of these expenses.
You won’t own your home
Renting means you won’t be able to make the property your own. You also won’t have control over how long you can stay. Leases usually tend to be 6 or 12 months, so you may end up having to move regularly.
Capital Gains Tax
If your investment goes up in value, you may be subject to Capital Gains Tax when you decide to sell.
Steps for purchasing your first investment property
Step 1: Talk to us about your borrowing power and get pre-approval on your finance
Step 2: Formulate your investment strategy (it’s a good idea to talk to a financial planner or accountant)
Step 3: Create a purchasing budget, factoring in all the costs associated with owning an investment property
Step 4: Do your research (for things like capital growth potential and rental yield)
Step 5: Once you find a property, organise building and pest inspections
Step 6: Get us to finalise your investment loan.
Like to know more?
If you think rentvesting is right for you, we can help you explore your finance options. We’ll hook you up with a competitive investment loan that’s right for your needs. Please get in touch.