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Basic vs Packaged. Fixed vs Variable. What loan should you get?

You're getting ready to lodge an application and looking into the different types of options available. But you're starting to feel a little overwhelmed. Basic vs package, variable rate vs fixed rate... what should you choose? What’s going to fit best with the way you like to manage your money? To assist with your research, here we outline the pros and cons of different loan types available. Basic Variable Rate Loan With a basic variable rate loan, you get simply that – a simple loan (with … [Read more...]

Lenders tighten lending ratios

Some of Australia’s biggest banks have tightened their lending ratios recently, by reducing the maximum amount they’ll lend to homeowners. But before you start worrying you'll never be able to buy a home, let's take a closer look to see whether this will actually impact you and your next purchase... You may have seen in the news over the last month that lenders have lowered the maximum debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. This ratio is a measure of how much debt a household is taking on, as a … [Read more...]

Increasing Interest Rates: What can you do about it?

After so much talk for so long, it's finally happened. Variable interest rates have increased. And not just once, but twice over the last few months. Now that we've started to see increasing interest rates, let's take a look at how this will impact you. And also, what you can do about it.   First things, first. Let’s work out the impact of increasing interest rates If you have an existing variable rate home loan, the rate hike is going to increase your monthly repayments. Whilst … [Read more...]

Variable or Fixed? Maybe there’s a third option… (and it’s not what you think)

With constant media chatter about interest rates rising, we’re having lots of discussions with clients about the decision to fix all (or part) of their borrowings. And just like with any other aspect of your mortgage, what's best for you is going to depend entirely on your personal circumstances. Below we outline a few things you may not have considered when weighing up the fixed vs variable decision. We also outline a strategy you may not have considered - the “quasi-fix.”   So, … [Read more...]

Why does it cost so much (and take so long) to build right now?

If you’ve been house hunting for a while (and keep missing out on auctions), you may have thought about changing strategies and renovating and/or building a new home instead. And you’re not the only one! But perhaps after initial enquiries, it’s going to be more expensive than you first thought?! Or maybe you're well down the track of building, but things aren't quite happening as quickly as you want. Here we take a closer look at the increasing costs of building and why things are … [Read more...]

Pre-Exchange and Pre-Settlement Inspections

You've attended more than your fair share of weekend inspections whilst house hunting. But now that you've had an offer on a property accepted, you're all done with inspections - right?! Nearly, but not quite! Here we discuss pre-exchange and pre-settlement inspections and what you should look out for at each.   What is a pre-exchange inspection? So, your offer has been accepted on a property you like – and the lender has just issued Formal Approval for your finance. … [Read more...]

Upgrading your home: Sell before you buy? Buy before you sell?

So you’re looking to upgrade your home, but not sure how it’s all supposed to work. Can you buy a new place before you sell your current home? Do you need to sell your house first before you can buy another? But doesn’t that mean you’ll have nowhere to live in the meantime? Whilst the answers to these questions will entirely depend on your personal financial situation, here’s a few things you may want to consider.   Buy before you sell This can be a good option if your … [Read more...]

Canberra Property Prices: How did your suburb perform in 2021?

If you didn’t have a conversation last year that went something along the lines of, ‘Did you see how much that house sold for on the weekend?” or “Did you hear about that record price in ‘insert-just-about-any-suburb?” we're not sure we can be friends. Just kidding, of course. With reports indicating national housing values increased in 2021 by just over 22%, let’s delve a bit deeper into the figures to find out the how estimated property values changed in *your* suburb. Realestate.com.au … [Read more...]

Rising Interest Rates – should you be worried?

  In recent weeks/ months, talk of an interest rate hike has been at an all-time high, which isn’t particularly surprising given signs the economy is strengthening. Whilst homeowners have enjoyed record low interest rates for quite some time now, as the saying going, ‘What goes up, must come down, and then back up again.’ Have we reached that point yet? Whilst there seems to be no shortage of economists and commentators wanting to discuss the likelihood (and timing) of an interest … [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...]

Tips to buy property in a hot market

If you’re trying to buy a house right now, we know it’s tough. We know it’s disheartening when you turn up to an open home with 100 other couples. Or when you turn up to an auction thinking you have a chance, only to see the property snapped up for $80,000 more than the price guide. Given the current state of the property market, should you just give up on finding your home altogether? We don’t think so. However, there are a few things we think you can do, to give yourself the best chance … [Read more...]

3 quick and easy finance resolutions

Whenever we think of New Year’s resolutions, the first thing that comes to mind is a health kick. (Or is that just us?!) Here are three (easy) New Year’s resolutions that’ll help improve your financial wellbeing in 2022.   1. Book in for a home loan review Quick question (no judgement): do you know the interest rate on your home loan? Don’t stress if you don’t, studies show that about half of homeowners don't actually know the interest they're paying on their home loan. But … [Read more...]

Fixed Rates – October 2021

Given the recent talk about interest rates (and a round of fixed rate increases in October), we thought it was time to share an updated post on rates.  Please note analysis and commentary on interest rates provided here is based on data available as at 28 October 2021.   Cash Rate Futures Yield Curve The Cash Rate Futures Yield Curve is a tool we use to provide insight into how the market expects interest rates to behave. More specifically, it reveals market expectations of RBA Cash … [Read more...]

Homeowners are still refinancing in record numbers: are you one of them?

With interest rates still at record low levels, it's not surprising we're assisting record numbers of clients with their refinances. (It might also have something to do with the fact that you've all been at home for a few months and had some time to slowly work through those 'jobs' we tend to put off doing!)  Data released by the ABS last month confirms that we're not just imagining things. Refinanced home loans reached an all-time high of $17.2 billion in July, reflecting a 6% increase on … [Read more...]

Oct21: APRA’s Change to the Interest Buffer Rate

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 how much you can afford to pay in repayments each month, and decided it's well within the budget. But in terms of officially qualifying for a loan with … [Read more...]

Questions you have as a first time buyer, given the current climate

It’s an unusual time for you as a first home buyer. Not only are you trying to work out how to actually buy a property, but you're doing it in an uncertain time when the playing field has changed. However, with all the recent conversations we've been having with first home buyers, we've been reminded of something. When it comes to purchasing your own home (something you've dreamed about and worked hard for a long period of time), there is little chance that *anything* will stand in your … [Read more...]

The Downside to Low Interest Rates…. Have you fallen for this trap too?

Low interest rates mean it's likely you're now paying less interets on your home loan than ever before. And this is good news for you as a home owner, right? Absolutely!   So how can there be a downside to low 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 borrowers, especially in a … [Read more...]

Review your existing loans: How would you spend the money?

We've all played that game where you work out how you'd spend the money if you won lotto. A holiday perhaps (although maybe not right now)? A cleaner to make your life easier? Maybe you'd purchase a new car?! It's a fun game to play, but generally ends in disappointment when your numbers don't come up. Whilst it's not as exciting as the anticipation of a lotto win, there's something else you can do to increase the amount of your bank balance. Plus, if you say yes, you've got a much … [Read more...]

What’s the Latest on Housing Prices? Do you know what your home is worth?

Whilst we haven't seen house prices grow this fast in the last 17 years, the latest data from CoreLogic suggests the growth cycle may be tampering.  It’s no secret that house prices have reached record-breaking highs this past year. We've seen it every day when yet another home sells for higher than auction reserve, and a client comes back to us wanting to increase their pre-approval limit. CoreLogic’s latest Hedonic Home Value Index reveals that home values grew by 16.1% over the past 12 … [Read more...]

COVID hardship arrangements that may help

As the effects of COVID and rolling lockdowns are felt across the country (this time with no JobKeeper), here we look at the grants, schemes and hardship arrangements available to small businesses and individuals, should you need some support. Home loans and business loans If you're a small businesses impacted by COVID with a good conduct on your business loans, you may be eligible for a repayment deferrals of up to three months. For individual borrowers, lenders are providing a range of … [Read more...]

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