My Recent Bank Visit and Customer Service (or lack thereof)

Recently I visited a branch of a major bank to sort out some internet banking issues. As I waited to be served, I observed how the other customers of the bank were being treated, mainly for home loan enquiries. 

The words that I heard being spoken to the customers were along the lines of "You will just need to be patient, I am only 1 person"; "I am very busy today and I don't have a lot of time to spend with you on this"; "Oh, you are back, don't forget I have a lot of work to do today and we did discuss this yesterday".

I was gobsmacked, to say the least when I heard the way the customers were being spoken to. What happened to Customer Service!! 

I really wish I had my business cards handy as I would have offered one to each of the customer's being told to hurry up. 

When you make an appointment with me to discuss your home loan, I will schedule it in my diary. I will wait for you to arrive. I will have you greeted at the door with our friendly staff who will ask you to have a seat and offer you a cuppa.

I will have allowed plenty of time to listen to your home loan needs, to understand what you are trying to achieve with your home loan and to answer any questions you may have. 

Doesn't that sound like a more pleasant experience that the one I witnessed this morning??

Give me a call on 1300 650 212 if you would like to experience some good old fashioned Customer Service!

 


 

The RBA has opted to leave the official cash rate on hold at 1.5% (July 2017)

With the kick off of the new financial year, at its board meeting today the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to leave the official cash rate unchanged.

 

The RBA continued its wait and see approach taking into account the latest edition of mixed economic data - including the fact that unemployment has remained steady at 5.7%, while underemployment remains high and real wage growth is low. The decision may also be due to an expectation that future growth forecasts will remain modest, inflation is forecast at the lower end of the RBA's target range, and signs that housing markets in Sydney and Melbourne may be slowing.

Using a mortgage broker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 30 signals the end of another financial year. There’s still a little time to get this year’s finances in order or take the opportunity to make some resolutions about how you manage your money from July 1.

Here are a few top tips for a more fiscally fabulous financial year.

MANAGE YOUR MORTGAGE
It’s easy to put your home or investment loan on the mental back burner, especially with interest rates so low. But complacency could be costing you thousands over the life of your loan. It costs nothing to talk to your broker to see what other lenders are offering or if you can slice the interest rate with your current lender.

SOCK AWAY EXTRA SAVINGS
Make a point of hoarding any extra cash throughout the year. Turn tax returns, pay increases and work bonuses into savings, not spending. Inject these and other windfalls into your mortgage to reduce the cost and life of your loan. If you have a redraw facility you can always pull the cash back out if a need arises.

DOUBLE DOWN ON CLEARING DEBT
Pay down your most expensive debts first, then take care of the rest. If only making the minimum repayments on credit and store cards, you will be carrying debt for a lot longer than needed and making it harder to get ahead. Review your debts and make a point of paying off those attracting the highest interest rates first. You should also consider transferring high-interest credit card debt to a low interest option. Keep an eye out for zero-interest transfer offers and make the most of the opportunity to clear your balance sooner.

Call Ash on 1300 650 212 for more tips on your mortgage and preparing for the New Financial Year.

25 May 2017

Information supplied by Haven Winter 2017 Magazine 

 


Highlights from the Federal Budget - May 2017

Here are a few highlights on the Federal Budget from the Mortgage Smart bunker. It's great to see a break for First Home Buyers.

As I say, it's never too early to enter the property market!

Breaks For First Home Buyers

It's great to see the Government taking some action to help First Home Buyers. To make the task of saving for their first home easier, eligible buyers will be able to divert their pre-tax income towards a special savings account. This will mean that saving a deposit will become a little bit easier.

From 1 July 2017, individuals can make voluntary contributions of up to $15,000 per year and $30,000 in total, to their superannuation account to purchase a first home. These contributions, which are taxed at 15 per cent, along with deemed earnings, can be withdrawn for a deposit. Withdrawals will be taxed at marginal tax rates less a 30 per cent offset and allowed from 1 July 2018. 

For most people, the First Home Super Saver Scheme could boost the savings they can put towards a deposit by at least 30 per cent compared with saving through a standard deposit account. This is due to the concessional tax treatment and the higher rate of earnings often realised within superannuation. 

Negative Gearing 

Negative gearing remains, however some rules have been tightened around what can be claimed, specifically travel expenses and depreciation deductions.

Under new rules coming into effect from 1 July 2017, depreciation deductions for plant and equipment items such as washing machines and ceiling fans will only be allowed if the investor actually bought them. The changes will apply to any items purchased after budget night, but existing investments will be grandfathered. 

Meanwhile, investors will no longer be able to claim tax deductions for travel expenses "related to inspecting, maintaining or collecting rent for a residential rental property" from 1 July 2017. 

Ghost house tax will be imposed on foreign investors who leave properties vacant. To discourage foreign investors from buying residential properties and leaving these vacant, the Government will now charge foreign owners of residential properties an annual charge if the property is not occupied or available to rent for at least six months in each year. 

Record Levels of Spending on Infrastructure 

The budget also included details on the funding ($5.3 billion) of the second Sydney airport. This will create 20,000 jobs over the 8 year construction period. In the past we have seen that when money is spent on Infrastructure, this means more jobs, which means increased spending and construction. 

Retirees 

Retirees will be encouraged to downsize, increasing the available supply of housing via preferred treatment under superannuation limits. From 1 July 2018, people aged 65 and older will be able to make a non-concessional contributions of up to $300,000 to their superannuation after selling their home. This will be in addition to any other contributions they are eligible to make. 

Incentives For The Building and Development of Social Housing 

The Government is taking action to encourage investment in new and existing affordable rental housing by increasing the Capital Gains Tax discount from 50 per cent to 60 per cent for qualifying affordable housing. To qualify for the higher discount, housing must be provided to tenants on low to moderate incomes, with rent charged at a discount below the private rental market rate. The affordable housing must be managed through a registered community housing provider and the investment held for a minimum period of three years. 

Impact for Interest Rates, Exchange Rates and Growth

•             The government forecasts suggest that the economy will expand by around 3% in the year to June 2018

•             On the back of the infrastructure spending boom, unemployment to remain below 6%

•             Inflation will progressively increase to 2.25% in 2018

•             Wages growth will progressively increase

•             The government expects commodity prices to remain at around current levels

•             The Australian dollar could be expected to drift slightly lower. 

Please note the above information is our interpretation of the new proposals as part of the Federal Budget and these proposals are subject to the passing of legislation. We acknowledge that some of the information provided was from other banking sources and media outlets (such as ING and Australian Broker Magazine.) We take no responsibility for the accuracy of the information.

 


It's Friday!
 
What a week it's been in the home loan market, with the RBA keeping the cash rate at 1.5%.
 
There are plenty of competitive offers on the market from Home Loan Lenders, give me a call if you want to discuss on 1300 650 212.
 
Here's a little interesting fact that I read in this morning's local magazine:
 
In Scotland, home owners pain their front door Red when they pay off their mortgage! What an achievement worth celebrating!
 

Global Money Week
 
Helping children and teenagers start the journey to a better chance at financial security.
 
Wow, what an exciting week it has been teaching the younger generation about money and how to save for their future! In keeping with this theme, I have found a great Robert Kiyosaki quote:
 
"Give your children power, before you give them money"
 
Robert Kiyosaki, 10 Motivational Quotes
 
 

Annual money awareness celebration
Global Money Week
 
Every year, entire communities take action to create awareness, challenge out of date financial policies and give young people the tools and inspiration they need to shape their own future. GMW takes place annually, during the last week of March. The events are organized by schools, universities, government ministries, financial institutions, members of the civil society and youth worldwide. GMW is initiated and coordinated by Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI).
 
The Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) launched ‘Global Money Week’ in Australia in 2016. This is an annual international money awareness celebration which took place from the 14-20 March 2016 with the theme of ‘Take Part, Save Smart’. This initiative will commence in 2017 from 27 March to 2 April with the theme of “Learn, Save, Earn.”
 
At Mortgage Smart, we are pleased to be participating in the Annual Money Week presentations. Contact us on 1300 650 212 if you would like us to come and present at your school.
 

 


 

Ashley Churchill, Mortgage Broker / Home Loan Specialist in Gerringong, covering the areas of Gerringong, Gerroa, Berry, Kiama, Shellharbour, Wollongong, Thirroul, Bowral and the Southern Highlands. 

Who's Getting Help from the "Bank of Mum and Dad"??


Many first home buyers are finding it even more difficult to step into the property market. Applications by single first home buyers is becoming almost non-existant and couples are also struggling with saving a deposit, especially if they are renting a property whilst trying to save.

Some statistics have come to light on the percentage of first home buyers getting help from mum and dad on a state by state basis.

NSW is at the bottom of the board, with 1.7% of first homebuyers being given a helping hand.
WA is next on the list with 12.0%. The list goes on, but the most staggering number is QLD with 30.7% of first home buyers asking mum and dad for help. 

Considering property prices are significantly lower in QLD, I think NSW first home buyers are fairing pretty well.

Statistics supplied by MoneyQuest - February 2017

 

 


 

Ashley Churchill, Mortgage Broker / Home Loan Specialist in Gerringong, covering the areas of Gerringong, Gerroa, Berry, Kiama, Shellharbour, Wollongong, Thirroul, Bowral and the Southern Highlands.

 

 

The RBA has opted to leave the official cash rate on hold at 1.5%.

 

The Reserve Bank of Australia has today announced the outcome of its board meeting and it has decided to leave the official cash rate unchanged.

As widely predicted the RBA has kept rates on hold as it balances a swag of recent positive economic news around growth in the economy, unemployment, house values and building approvals against a continued lack of wages growth and business investment.

7 March 2017

 


 

 

School’s Out!

Some of us are excited by now as the weather is turning it on for us and we have just had a wonderful summer vacation with family and friends. For others it can be an emotional time as our children have left school and have just commenced university or their first job.

After years of personal and financial support of your children, it’s now a great time to refocus on your own personal and financial goals, plus help your children set their own financial goals.

A great place to start is with a budget. If you find you have a surplus in your expenses due to not having to fund school fees, text books, uniforms and tutoring, the next question is what to do with the excess funds?? I’d love to say pay the whole surplus off your mortgage, but instead of committing the whole amount to your mortgage; why not split the surplus into a few areas. Pay a set amount off your mortgage each week, fortnight or month (depending on your repayment structure); pay a set amount off your credit cards or any other liabilities that you may have or take advantage of superannuation thresholds (which may allow you to make additional contributions).

You may also find that the reduced expenses have improved your loan serviceability which may allow you to consider purchasing an investment property. There’s plenty to think about when the kids leave school and spread their wings!

Give me a call if you would like to discuss your home loan options.


Source: Finance Matters Summer Issue 2016

27/2/2017

 


 

Helping Stars to Shine

I just read a very interesting article in the Janary 2017 AustralianBroker magazine, one I felt worth sharing given we would have many talented students in the area, preparing to take on their University studies for the first year.

The article reads as follows:

Imagine being a 17 year old in regional Australia. You've topped your classes in high school and gained a place at a university in the big smoke, but there's just one thing holding you back, money.

This is where Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's Scholarship Program gives financially disadvantaged yet academically oustanding students the opportunity to access tertiary eduction, with many applicants making the transition from country towns to the city. 

Since its beginning, when it supported 1 student, the program has grown exponentially. As it enters its 10th year, it now supports 468 students and is worth more than $5.4milliion.

The bank's scholarship award value is $5000 for the student's first year of study but may be renewed for a second year, subject to their academic performance. 

There are also a lot of community banks involved in this program, so their offering to support kids from their areas. 

For more information on the program, head to the Bendigo Bank website and search for Scholarship Program.

20/2/2017 

 


 

Ashley Churchill, Mortgage Broker / Home Loan Specialist in Gerringong, covering the areas of Gerringong, Gerroa, Berry, Kiama, Shellharbour, Wollongong, Thirroul, Bowral and the Southern Highlands.

 

Investment Housing Loans Continue to Surge

In a recent survey conducted by the ABS (source: AustralianBroker January 2017 issue), the total value of dwelling finance commitments as at November 2016 was $32.7billion. Of that $32.7billion, $12.9billion (or 39.5% of total) in loans were for investment purposes. $19.8billiion were for owner occupied loans.

It seems that the recent increases to investment home loan rates may have slowed investors initially, but they are coming back and still have the confidence to investment in our current housing market. 

13 February 2017

 


 

Ashley Churchill, Mortgage Broker / Home Loan Specialist in Gerringong, covering the areas of Gerringong, Gerroa, Berry, Kiama, Shellharbour, Wollongong, Thirroul, Bowral and the Southern Highlands.

85% of Australians don't know their Home Loan Rate

While most Aussies can remember their phone number (94%), their number plate (77%) and their parent’s phone number (76%), new research from UBank has revealed 85 per cent of Australians don’t know their home loan rate.

For the second year, UBank has released The UBank Know Your Numbers Index, which aims to understand how Aussies are tracking with their financial management. The 2017 report reveals a slight rise in people not knowing their exact home loan rate – up from 84 per cent in 2016.

Of those surveyed 44 per cent could only recall an approximate figure for their home loan rate while the remainder (41%) simply didn’t know their rate at all.
Lee Hatton, CEO of UBank said “actively monitoring and seeking the best rate should be a priority for home owners as there are some great benefits on offer. We are seeing some of the lowest home loan rates on record, so now is the perfect time to know your numbers, and consider refinancing.”

“Buying a home is one of the biggest investments of your life, so it’s really important that you find the right loan that suits your individual needs. Simply knowing your exact home loan rate and managing it closely could save you thousands of dollars a year.”

The research, conducted amongst 1,021 Australians with a home loan, also revealed Australian's are feeling financially strained, with 54 per cent admitting that their financial situation is causing worry and stress. While a further 33 per cent of Australians constantly worry about their future.

“Unfortunately, more and more Australians are making significant sacrifices due to being financially overstretched. The better acquainted you are with your numbers, the less stress and more money you’ll have in your back pocket. It’s important Australians borrow less and live more,” Ms Hatton said.
 
The research also uncovered that over a third (35%) of Australians acknowledge they ‘have a lot of debt’, but they also admit to knowing that refinancing can help their financial situation, which Ms Hatton says is promising.

The UBank Know Your Numbers Index also discovered that nearly one in four (23%) think that refinancing a mortgage to save money is a good idea but are yet to find the right competitive rate.

“This is a step in the right direction. It’s great that some Australians can see the benefits in refinancing a mortgage. It might seem like a huge task but really, it’s a simple process that can save people thousands each year,” concluded Hatton.

Source: Australian Broker – 8 Feb 2017

 

 


 

 

NSW FOLK RUSH TO SECURE FIXED RATE HOME LOANS

Fixed rate loan popularity is on the rise, according to the January 2017 addition of Australian Broker magazine.

22.04% of all loans written in December 2016 were fixed rate home loans. This was an increase of 19.51% from November 2016.

27.34% of all fixed rate home loans wirtten in December 2016 were in NSW.

At Mortgage Smart, we've seen our customer's turn their focus to fixed rate loans over the past 3 months. Our customer's are looking for stability with their repayment amounts, along with the option to pay off a small lump sum for each year of the fixed rate period. Fixed rates for 2 or 3 years seem to be most popular with our applications at present. We have also seen many client's split their new and existing home loans, a portion fixed and a portion variable. This benefit of this option is it gives you options! So, if you choose to fix 60% of your mortgage and leave 40% variable, you know what your repayments will be on your fixed portion for the term of the fixed rate loan. On the 40% variable, your repayment amount can be set at a higher level, giving you the option to repay this portion of the loan sooner.

Source: Mortgage Choice study.

 


 

 


 

If buying or selling for the first time, you might be bamboozled by all the real estate jargon bandied about. Here is our A-Z guide to what it all means.

 

ACCRUED DEPRECIATION
The total depreciation of a property over a period of time. Usually the difference between the replacement value at purchase and its present appraised value.

APPRECIATION
An increase in a property's value over time. Property can appreciate in value due to increased demand, inflation and/or interest rate changes.

AUTHORITY TO SELL
The official contract a vendor signs to give an agent permission to sell a property on their behalf. The contract also usually details the agent's fees and any advertising costs.

BREACH OF CONTRACT
When a seller or buyer dishonours one of more of the conditions in the sale contract, such as a vendor failing to make agreed repairs or a buyer changing their mind after the cooling-off period.

BRIDGING FINANCE
A short-term loan to help cover costs between selling one property and buying another.

BUYER'S ADVOCATE
Also known as a buyer's agent, this is a licensed professional who negotiates the sale on a buyer's behalf. Think of it as the opposite of a regular real estate agent, who works on behalf of the seller. A buyer's advocate can also help source property for you.

CAVEAT
A legal notice that someone (the caveator) has claimed a particular unregistered interest in a property.

CERTIFICATE OF TITLE
The legal document certifying property ownership. If you have a mortgage, your lender will hold the certificate until your loan is repaid.

CONVEYANCING
The area of law that deals with the transfer of property from one party to another. Your conveyancer represents your interests as a buyer or seller. They will prepare the contract of sale, research the property and its certificate of title, calculate any owed rates and manage settlement with the lender.

COOLING-OFF PERIOD
A period in which a buyer can legally withdraw from a property sale. Different states and territories have different cooling off periods and a termination penalty may still apply if you withdraw. There is usually no cooling-off period when you buy at auction.

COVENANT
A condition placed on the use of a property, such as a height restriction or a stipulation about building materials.

DEPRECIATION
The wear and tear on a building or fixtures, which you can claim on your income tax if your property is for investment and built after July 1985. You will need a quantity surveyor to prepare a schedule of depreciation on your property to calculate how much you can claim.

EASEMENT
A section of land registered on a property title that someone is entitled to use even though they are not the owner, e.g. a shared driveway.

ENCROACHMENT
When a neighbour violates the rights of an adjoining property owner by building something on their land.

ENCUMBRANCE
A restriction or notice placed on land, which is usually listed on the certificate of title. A covenant is an example of an encumbrance, as is an easement (see above). Governments can also register an encumbrance on a property to let buyers know of a prior land use.

EQUITY
The value built up in a property minus any money owed.

LENDERS' MORTGAGE INSURANCE (LMI)
The cost of securing a loan when you need to borrow more than 80 per cent of a property's value. LMI covers the lender's risk should the property value fall, even though the insurance is paid by the borrower.

NEGATIVE GEARING
Borrowing money to buy an investment property and the cost of owning that property (interest repayments, rates, repairs etc.) is more than the income received from rent. In other words, you make a loss, which can be claimed against your income tax.

OFF THE PLAN
Buying a dwelling, usually an apartment, before it is built.

STRATA TITLE
Ownership of an individual unit in an apartment or townhouse complex, which also has shared areas, such as a driveway, garden or swimming pool. These shared areas are owned and maintained collectively with the other unit owners.

TENANTS IN COMMON
When two or more people own a property and each person's ownership interest is specified as a certain percentage.

TITLE SEARCH
A title search researches the historical and current ownership and usage of a property.

TORRENS TITLE
When a purchaser owns both the house and the land on which it is built. This is the most traditional form of home ownership in Australia.

ZONING
The usage category applied to a parcel of land by a local council or other government authority. Zoning will determine, for example, if you can build units or operate a business on a property.

 

 


 

 

With interest rates at an historical low, now could be the time to make the most of your disposable income and pay off your mortgage sooner with an offset savings account.


Offset accounts are not new but nearly half of Australian mortgage holders are unsure what they are and could be missing out on big benefits1.


An offset account is a savings account attached to your home loan. Instead of earning interest on your savings, the amount in your offset account is deducted from the principal owing on your mortgage, which may reduce how much interest you pay.


Let's say you take out a $250,000 mortgage and sock $20,000 away in an offset savings account. The $20,000 is offset against your loan, so you only pay interest on the $230,000 difference. The more you accumulate in your offset account, the more you save on interest payments. This doesn't mean reduced repayments, but it does mean more of your repayment goes towards the principal owed, helping you pay off your mortgage faster.


Here's how the savings work, using our above scenario with an interest rate of five per cent. If you have $20,000 in your savings account at the outset and maintain that amount in your offset account over the life of a 25-year loan, you will save $21,671 and shave two years and six months off your loan.


Offset accounts should come with all the usual benefits of a savings account, such as access to online banking, EFTPOS and ATMs.

Making the most of an offset account


• Offset accounts work best for savvy savers – those who have several thousand dollars in savings to start,      consistently live within their means and can make regular deposits.

• Have your wages deposited directly into your offset account to maximise your savings potential.

• Give your offset savings a boost with any employment bonuses or tax returns.

• If you land a pay rise, try to save the extra funds each month to really get ahead.

• Make sure you take out a 100 per cent offset account, where the interest rate on your savings matches the    interest rate paid on your loan. If opting for a partial offset, do your maths to make sure it is the best financial  option – you may be better off making lump sum payments into your loan.

• Don't get complacent once your savings pile up. If tempted to stop saving or spend your nest egg, deposit  your savings stash directly into your loan and set yourself a new savings target in your offset account to  continue to reduce the life of your mortgage.

Considerations

• Some lenders do not offer offset accounts on fixed rate home loans.

• Check for any conditions, such as a minimal savings amount before the offset is triggered.

• Some offset accounts attract a higher interest rate or higher fees – do your maths to ensure you actually  save with the offset facility.

• Ask your broker to help assess if you will benefit from an offset account and to find the right facility for your  situation.

• Make sure you read all of the terms and conditions of an offset account so that you are aware of how the  facility works and all associated fees.

KEY BENEFITS

Reduce the interest calculated on your loan with every deposit into your offset account.
• The convenience of your loan and savings in one place, which can also save you bank fees.
• With no interest earnings on your savings, you can also save on tax.
• You still have access to your savings any time with your offset account.
 
 
Ref: Haven Summer Magazine 2016
 
 

 

 


 

Can you Pay a Property Deposit with no Cash Outlay?

 

The simple answer is yes, you can.

 

If your cash money is tied up elsewhere; for example, a term deposit that has not yet expired or in shares that you aren’t quite ready to sell yet, you may be able to take advantage of a Deposit Bond.

 

So what is a Deposit Bond? A Deposit Bond is a guarantee to a vendor (by an insurance company) that the vendor will receive their 10% deposit even if the purchaser defaults on the contract of sale.

 

The insurance company is guaranteeing that you Do have and Will have the 10% deposit at settlement. The Deposit Bond can be issued for all or part of the deposit, for up to 10% of the purchase price. There is a fee payable for a Deposit Bond and this fee varies depending on the deposit amount and the number of months to settlement (maximum 60-month settlement in NSW).

 

If you have used a Deposit Bond to secure the property, at the time of your property settlement, you will have to pay the full purchase price for the property as the Deposit Bond only guarantees that you will have the deposit plus the balance available at settlement.

 

Do you have some questions relating to your own mortgage? Thinking about purchasing a property but unsure where to start? Need to get your finances in order? Give me a call to discuss.

 

Aussie Property Growth in Global Top 10


Knight Frank's latest Prime Global Cities Index, which tracked house price growth in the year to June 2016, has revealed that Sydney is among the top 10 growth locations across the globe.

The index shows that in the 12 months to June, residential real estate prices in Sydney grew by 10.2%, making it the sixth strongest market in the world over that period.

Michelle Ciesielski from Knight Frank, said the results illustrated the strength of the Australian market. "While there continues to be global uncertainty, Australia is considered highly desirable for long-term wealth preservation".

Australia is also highly ranked for lifestyle and well-placed for the education of future generations.

Ref: Market Wrap - Australian Broker Magazine September 2016 Issue 13.18.

 


 

 The RBA has opted to leave the official cash rate on hold at 1.5%.

The month of August 2016 saw a flurry of activity from banks, with differing levels of rate cuts in response to the RBA's decision to lower the official cash rate. This led to the media and consumers asking why the rate cut was not passed on in full with the response from lenders generally being that the RBA cash rate is only one of a number of components that make up their funding mix. Understanding interest rates in combination with the structure and fees of a home loan are an important part of financial literacy for those looking to own their first home, upgrade to a larger home or even downsize into a smaller investment.

When researching your home loan options, be sure to look at all aspects of a product and lender. The interest rate is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a home loan and we can help you understand the finance for your home and compare different products from different lenders.

Using a mortgage broker

 While the official cash rate remains unchanged, banks and non-bank lenders continue to move their rates out of cycle and there may be a better product for your circumstances. If you want to discuss your home loan rate, fees or structure, please feel free to get in touch today.  


 Mortgage Broker Vs Bank

 In Australia there are currently around 70 banks and over 80 building societies and credit unions plus a number of non-bank lenders.

With multiple lenders and hundreds of ever changing mortgage products available, finding the right home loan to suit your needs requires hours upon hours of shopping around.

When dealing with a bank for your home loan, you will be dealing with one lender, with a small number of products to offer you. As a Mortgage Broker, I can offer you over 300 products from over 35 lenders.  I’m not just a Mortgage Broker, I become your Mortgage Broker.

For most people a mortgage is the biggest loan they will ever undertake and it will most likely be part of their financial situation for many years. As your Mortgage Broker, we will take this journey together. Once our relationship is established, I will be the one constant throughout the life of your mortgage(s), even if you decide to change lenders along the way.  I will get to know you and your family and the ever changing events in your life that may prompt a review of your financial situation.

With so many choices to offer, why not give me a call to discuss your mortgage today.

 


 Reducing Credit Card Debt

 I know I have said it before, but credit cards can be a necessary evil. They can work tremendously if you use them as a tool and not as a means for purchases that you cannot afford. If you charge a purchase to your credit card and have the card “Swept” (the balance paid off in full) each month, then you won’t pay any interest of the purchase. This can be an effective tool for businesses, as it won’t initially take money out of your cash flow.

 Now there is the ugly side to credit cards. The side where, you can’t really afford the purchase but you can’t really walk away without the purchase. After the purchase, comes the interest charge if the card isn’t Swept and if the purchases keep accumulating, so too does the interest charges.

 This is where I can help. I have seen many client’s with large credit card balances that they are trying to pay down but just can’t get on top of the interest. One avenue that can be used is not only looking at your budget, but also looking at using the equity in your home and refinancing your loan to pay off the nasty debt. Drastic measures you may say? Yes, but the interest on your credit card is far greater than that of your home loan. This process helps remove the debt, but it needs to be handled with care. Once the credit card is paid off, the best place for the card is cut up in the bin or with your mother-in-law. I dare you to ask her for it back!

 Give me a call and we can chat about other ways to use your home loan to your advantage.

 

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Over the past few weeks we have seen an incredible amount of activity in the real estate market. Specifically with investors and first home buyers savagely fighting over the “Brand New” property market.

Why? Well as a First Home Buyer if you buy brand new in NSW, you pay no Stamp Duty on properties up to $650,000 and you also get a $15,000 government Grant towards the purchase. If you are an Investor and you buy brand new you get a $5,000 Government Grant + you get to claim a greater depreciation amount on new properties over the next 7 years, which has massive potential tax benefits!

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