Refinancing: what you need to know

Confused about the ins and outs of mortgage refinancing? There are two key considerations when you’re looking at taking the step – why and how. Here, we examine both. A home loan is generally a long-term proposition, but in some situations it can be suitable to refinance your mortgage. Refinancing involves taking out a new mortgage and using those funds to pay off your existing mortgage. Doing it right could deliver significant financial gains over time. The two key things you need to know and understand before you go ahead are your reasons for doing it and how to go […]

Budget breakdown: implications for property buyers and sellers

The 2017 Budget had a strong focus on housing supply and affordability. This year, housing took a back seat with no new, direct measures for first homebuyers or renters. However, some of the changes will likely have an indirect effect on both the residential and commercial sectors. Stable interest rates Homebuyers can take comfort from the fact that the Budget isn’t likely to put immediate pressure on interest rates. President of the Real Estate Institute of Australia Malcolm Gunning says: “This expected interest rate stability comes at a time when housing prices in some of our major cities are showing […]

Why good tenants are more important than you think

Given you don’t have to spend much time with your tenants, you may think it’s not important who they are. If they pay their rent on time, they’re ok – right? Not quite. Good tenants can actually mean the difference between a high and a low-performing investment. In fact, finding a great tenant may be just as important as finding the perfect location for your investment property. Here are some reasons why it’s worth trying to attract high-quality tenants. Minimise your maintenance costs Good tenants will treat your property like it’s their own, so you’re less likely to find unpleasant […]

Finding a home loan when you’re self employed?

There are many perks to working for yourself, but when it comes to applying for a home loan, it seems being your own boss sends up a red flag to banks and other lenders. Why? A salaried employee has a regular, steady income and is less likely to experience the cash flow volatility of a small business owner, contractor, entrepreneur, tradesperson or freelancer. Yet by being proactive and accessing specialist advice, self-employed applicants can also enjoy a successful and hassle-free road to securing a home loan. Try these top tips for starters. 1. Seek expert advice Trying to navigate the […]

Credit Reporting…What the new rules mean for you

July 1st 2018 will see the arrival of Comprehensive (or Positive) Credit Reporting. Not sure what this is or if it impacts you? Read on… Changes are coming to Australia’s credit reporting system that will affect your credit file. Previously, your credit file has only shown negative credit information such as payment defaults, court judgements and bankruptcies. But thanks to some changes to the Privacy Act, your credit file will now include a lot more information about your credit history. Banks and other organisations specifically permitted by law will be able to access a whole lot more information on how […]

Should you live in your house while your renovate?

It can be tempting to stay in your home when you’re renovating, rather than spending money on rent. But is it really a good idea? Consider the pros and cons before you make a decision. Advantages of staying in your home You’ll keep your creature comforts and sleep at the same address, but what are the real advantages of living in the middle of a renovation? Save money The expense of moving out of your home while you renovate can be significant. You may also need to rent another property or stay at a hotel. Living in your own house […]

How to modernise your kitchen on a budget

If you want to modernise your kitchen but you’re concerned about the cost, don’t be dismayed. There are many ways to get a new kitchen without destroying your bank balance. Downgrade to upgrade Saving money doesn’t mean you have to compromise on everything in your new kitchen. Select a few fittings or features that you want to spend a little more on, then budget in other areas. For example, if you have your heart set on a granite benchtop, perhaps you could have a tiled splashback instead of a glass one. By choosing one or two standout features, you can […]

Tips for choosing the right real estate agent to sell your home

Finding the right real estate agent to sell your property can be daunting. These helpful tips can make the experience a whole lot easier. Do some research The key to finding the right real estate agent is doing a bit of research. Start by making a short list of agents in your area. Then, investigate which ones might match what you’re looking for – for instance, do they sell more houses or apartments? Do they specialise in auctions or private sales? Are they a boutique agency or part of a national chain? There are websites such as Local Agent Finder […]

Navigating a home loan when you’re new to Australia

Mortgage brokers, loan pre-approval, fixed versus variable rate loans, stamp duty, conveyancing…..if you’re new to Australia, the language of home buying can seem mystifying. Here are some of the things you need to know to get yourself on the road to the great Australian dream. Keep in mind, however, that speaking with an expert is the best way to get the latest information. Restrictions on foreign ownership Before you get started, make sure you’re aware of the ownership restrictions for foreign buyers. If you’re not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you may need permission from the Foreign Investment Review […]