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Q&A Video: 10 Things to do Before Auction Day

What are 10 things you can do to ensure you give yourself the best chance of buying a house at auction?   Watch our short video to find out.     … [Read more...]

Ethical lenders

What is an 'ethical lender'? An ethical lender - also known as a social or sustainable lender - is a lender concerned with the social and environmental impacts of its investments and loans. It’s generally accepted in Australia that an ethical lender is one that doesn't invest in fossil fuels (specifically coal and gas), but there are other ways a lender can be considered to be ethical or sustainable. These may include but are not limited to: Striving for (or attaining) carbon … [Read more...]

5 Tips to Prepare for a Property Valuation

Whether you're exploring refinance options or want to release equity to purchase an investment property, a property valuation is a vital part of the finance application process. And just sometimes, the result of this property valuation can stop the process from progressing altogether. Here we look at the different types of valuations a lender may request and suggest a few ways you can prepare for one.   Why does the lender need to do a valuation on my house? A lender is taking … [Read more...]

Do you consider yourself to be a ‘spender’ or a ‘saver’?

Are you paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly? New findings from Xero indicates that how often you’re paid may influence whether you’re a saver or a spender. Xero has gathered data to explore payday behaviours across the country, and revealed that rushes of 'payphoria' appear to sweep the nation each time we're paid.   Spending big & the payday pinch Xero's findings revealed that one in three Australians spend more on payday than usual, because they believe they work hard and … [Read more...]

Q&A Video: 5 ways to Take Advantage of Low Interest Rates

What are 5 ways you can take advantage of low interest rates?   Watch our short video to find out.       … [Read more...]

First Home Loan Deposit Scheme: it’s all in the details

The dream of buying your first home with only 5% deposit without having to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) may be getting closer, with the Government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme due to commence 1 January 2020. Many first home buyers have the ability to make repayments on a mortgage, the problem lies in how long it takes to save a 20 percent deposit. In fact, the Reserve Bank of Australia says that a household saving 15 percent of their income (based on the before-tax median), will … [Read more...]

How have the lenders responded to the RBA October 19 cash rate cut?

Following the RBA's cash rate cut for October, here's a summary of the lending cuts announced as at 5:30pm AEST 3 October, 2019.   CBA rate changes (effective 22 October) : - Rates on Owner Occupier variable loans (both Principal and Interest and IO repayments) will drop by 0.13. - Rates on Investment variable loans (Principal and Interest repayments) will drop by 0.13. - Rates on Investment variable loans with IO repayments will drop by 0.25. BankWest rate changes … [Read more...]

RBA Cash Rate – October 2019

At its meeting today, the RBA Board decided to reduce the cash rate by 25 basis points to 0.75 per cent. Here are some of Philip Lowe's commentary surrounding the decision: The Australian economy expanded by 1.4 per cent over the year to the June quarter, which was a weaker-than-expected outcome. A gentle turning point, however, appears to have been reached with economic growth a little higher over the first half of this year than over the second half of 2018. The low level of interest rates, … [Read more...]

Australian housing market: Sept19

The CoreLogic August home value index results showed that national dwelling prices increased by 0.8% over the month. This is the first monthly increase in values since October 2017. Housing values across capital cities rose by 1%, with Sydney (1.6%), Melbourne (1.4%) and Canberra (0.8%) leading the way. While the lift in housing values is substantial, the recent growth is a continuation of the trend seen throughout the year whereby value falls were consistently losing momentum, and have … [Read more...]

Buying Canberra Property at Auction

You've found a property you like and it's being sold at auction. You're super excited because you've been looking at houses for ages and finally(!) something ticks all the boxes. The problem is, you're a little nervous because your previous experience with auctions consists entirely of ebay purchases.... But you really  like the house, so it's time to get up to speed with property auctions. We've compiled a list of things to do before (and on) the day of Auction to help ease your stress … [Read more...]

RBA Interest Rate Decision – 3 September 2019

  At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.00 per cent.   After consecutive rate cuts earlier this year, the RBA Board's decision to leave the cash rate unchanged today was not unexpected.   Here are some of Philip Lowe's commentary surrounding the decision: The outlook for the global economy remains reasonable, although the risks are tilted to the downside. The trade and technology disputes are affecting international trade flows … [Read more...]

Fixed Rate home loans – Aug 2019

With some attractive fixed rates available at the moment, it's likely you've thought about fixing in some (or all) of your existing variable rate loan. Which then raises questions like, "But what are variable rates likely to do over the short-medium term?" Let's take a look at that a little closer. Please note analysis and commentary on interest rates provided here is based on data available as at 29 August 2019.   Cash Rate Futures Yield Curve The Cash Rate Futures Yield Curve … [Read more...]

Changes to Lending Assessment Rates and How it Affects You

You may think it's pretty easy to work out what you can afford to borrow. After all, there seem to be plenty of online calculators available where you plug in your details and voila, out spits a figure that a faceless lender will theoretically lend you. We're here to tell you there's a little more to it than than. Sure you may have worked out what repayments you're up for, and decided it's within the budget, but in terms of officially qualifying for a loan with a specific lender, a bit more … [Read more...]

Buy your first home: get started here

As a first home buyer, there is a lot of information for you to digest. You’re trying to work out whether your deposit is large enough to buy the house you want. You’re not sure which loan is going to be the right one for you. And you’re trying to get a sense of how auctions work, so when the time comes you can walk away with the winning bid.   To help make things a little easier for you, below you'll find the questions that many first home buyers come to us with. Just … [Read more...]

RBA Interest Rate Decision – 6 August 2019

  At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.00 per cent.   After two months of consecutive rate cuts, the RBA Board has left the cash rate unchanged, as it waits to see the economic impact of previous rate cuts. Here are some of Philip Lowe's commentary surrounding the decision: Economic growth in Australia over the first half of this year has been lower than earlier expected, with household consumption weighed down by a protracted period of … [Read more...]

The Downside to Interest Rate Cuts. Have you fallen for this trap too?

Falling interest rates mean it's likely you're now paying less interest and your monthly home loan repayments have dropped. This is good news for home buyers and home owners, right? Absolutely!   So how can there be a downside to lower rates if it means you're saving money? We're not going to talk about the long term economic effects of low interest rates - perhaps that's a discussion for another day. But what we want to talk about is a sense of complacency we see in … [Read more...]

July 2019: Housing Affordability at an all time high

What is 'Housing Affordability'? Housing affordability refers to the relationship between expenditure on housing and household income. And according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA) Affordability Index, right now housing affordability is the best it’s been in 20 years. The HIA Affordability Index takes into account the latest dwelling prices, mortgage interest rates and wage developments. Which means that despite the fact that house prices have risen significantly faster than … [Read more...]

How have the lenders responded to the RBA July 19 cash rate cut?

Just when you thought you knew what interest rate you were paying on your loan, the goal posts have moved again! It’s good news though, with another round of rate cuts announced by the lenders. This is what we know so far… CBA rate changes (effective 16 July): - Rates on variable loans (OO and Investment) with P&I repayments will drop by 0.19. - Rates on variable loans (OO and Investment) with IO repayments will drop by 0.20 NAB rate changes (effective 12 July for existing … [Read more...]

RBA Interest Rate Decision – July 2019

    The RBA has cut the official cash rate by 25 basis points to a new record low of 1%.  So, why has the RBA cut the cash rate again, after cutting the cash rate to the previously historic low of 1.25% on June 4?    RBA Governer Phillip Lowe says this second rate cut was made to support employment growth and provide greater confidence that inflation will be consistent with the medium-term target. Lowe's additional comments below re-iterate those made by the RBA post the … [Read more...]

What is a ‘Family Guarantee Loan’ or ‘Limited Security Guarantee’ loan?

What is a Family Guarantee or Limited Security Guarantee Loan? A Family Guarantee Loan is where a family member - usually your parent(s) - use equity in their property to help you purchase your new home. A Family Guarantee Loan allows you to buy property - without needing a large cash deposit saved. In some cases, you don’t really need much in savings at all. A Family Guarantee Loan also allows you to avoid paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance,  because your total borrowings are less than … [Read more...]

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