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Put the party pies on ice and postpone those rate-cut celebrations for a while yet. The much-touted rate cuts we’ve been waiting for may not arrive until 2025. Here’s why rates could be staying higher for longer, and how to take action yourself.

June saw the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) keep the cash rate on ice – yet again.

Rates haven’t budged since November last year, and with the RBA not due to make another rate call until August, interest rates will remain in a holding pattern for at least two more months.

For home owners struggling to manage their home loan at current interest rates, it begs the question: ‘what happened to all the talk about rate cuts in 2024?’

Here’s what’s happening.

One reason why rates aren’t moving

Just a few months ago, some of our biggest banks were predicting interest rates would start to slide sooner rather than later.

The Commonwealth Bank and Westpac, for instance, expected rate cuts as early as September.

That’s now looking increasingly unlikely.

The reason lies with inflation.

The RBA is intent on getting inflation down to 2-3%.

Unfortunately, inflation is not playing along.

It’s currently sitting at 3.6%. So close, but not quite there.

When are rates likely to fall?

The RBA expects it could be “some time yet” before inflation is happily nestled in that 2-3% range – the point at which long-awaited rate cuts may start to kick in.

It’s not much of a date for home owners to work towards, though the big banks have a few time frames of their own.

Westpac and NAB now both see rates heading south from December. And while CommBank recently stated it expected rates to fall in November, there are signs it’s losing hope for a 2024 rate cut.

“Given the challenging underlying inflation backdrop, as well as a labour market that is loosening more gradually than expected, the runway is shortening between now and November,” CBA’s head of Australian economics, Gareth Aird, said.

“The risk to our call is increasingly moving towards a later day for an easing cycle.”

Meanwhile, ANZ doesn’t expect a rate cut before 2025. Ditto Citi economists and a growing number of other experts.

Long story short, even if we do get a December 2024 RBA rate cut, it’s probably fair to say we won’t see those cuts flow through to home loans until early next year.

And a note of caution: the RBA mentioned in its June statement that it is “not ruling anything in or out”.

It’s a grim reminder that a rate cut is not guaranteed before another rate hike.

This is why it’s so important to take action of your own.

How to manage higher rates

Revisiting your household budget, identifying areas where you can cut back, and tucking spare cash into an offset account to save on loan interest are all steps worth considering.

And don’t forget, tax cuts for 13.6 million Australians kick in from 1 July.

That could provide extra cash each pay day to help pay off your home loan.

It’s also a good idea to speak to us for a home loan review.

We can let you know if you still have the loan that’s right for your needs, or if you could save by switching – without having to wait for RBA rate cuts.

Better still, rising national property values may mean you could be in a great position to refinance.

Talk to us today for more tips on managing your home loan repayments and possibly trimming your loan rate. It may mean the party pies can come out sooner!

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

Fresh air, no bumper-to-bumper traffic and more affordable home prices. There’s plenty of appeal in regional living, including a chance to potentially reduce your home loan.

The classic tune ‘Home among the gum trees’ is fast becoming a lifestyle anthem for a growing number of Aussies.

A surging number of city-slickers are heading to the bush or bay, new Commonwealth Bank research shows.

In fact, metro to regional relocations are now 20% higher than pre-Covid.

It goes to show that regional towns and cities have a lot going for them.

So what’s the appeal?

Along with a laidback lifestyle and the chance to see Skippy on your way to work, rather than countless sets of traffic lights, a key drawcard of regional living is more affordable housing.

Where are people moving?

The Sunshine Coast in South East Queensland is currently the nation’s most popular destination for Australian movers, securing a 16% share of net internal migration over the past 12 months.

Other popular areas outside our nation’s capital cities include the Gold Coast, Wollongong, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Moorabool, Geelong, the Alexandrina region, the Fraser Coast and Launceston.

Western Australia is also becoming an increasingly attractive destination with Busselton, Capel, Greater Geraldton, Northam and Albany all making their way onto various hotspot lists this quarter.

Regional home values vs city prices

Across Australia’s capital cities, the median home value is about $864,780, according to CoreLogic.

By comparison, the median value across regional markets is $626,888.

That’s a whopping $237,892 difference.

The price gap can be far bigger depending on where you’re moving from and moving to.

In Sydney, for instance, the median house value is $1,441,957. Head to regional NSW, and you could pay closer to $760,000 for a house – a saving of around $680,000!

Regional living can help cut loan repayments

Buying a more affordable home can have other flow-on benefits, such as a lower stamp duty bill.

It can also have a huge impact on home loan repayments.

For example, let’s use the above figures and pretend you’re deciding between purchasing an $864,780 capital city home and a $626,888 regional area home.

To keep things simple, let’s say you’ve saved up $173,000 for a 20% deposit on the $864,780 home – and you’ve also got extra money set aside to cover any stamp duty expenses or other fees (the exact amount would vary state to state).

Let’s also assume a home loan rate of 6.4%, which the Reserve Bank of Australia says is about the current average principal and interest variable rate, and a 30-year loan term.

On this basis, the initial mortgage for the city home would be about $692,000 and the monthly mortgage repayments on the city home would come to around $4,329 each each month.

For the regional property, your initial mortgage would be about $454,000 (assuming you put the full $173,000 towards the deposit) with monthly repayments in the order of $2,840.

That’s a monthly saving of $1,489 by moving to a regional area – extra money to spend on your home, yourself or your lifestyle.

What about capital growth?

No one can say with certainty how property values will perform in the future.

What we can do however is look at how house prices have performed across regional areas in recent years.

CoreLogic says values in regional areas have jumped 51.1% ($212,000) nationally since March 2020, compared to an average of 31.5% ($207,000) across our state capitals.

So in terms of dollar values, the capital gains across both markets have been fairly similar in recent years.

Ready for your home among the gum trees?

Okay, regional living isn’t for everyone.

Even for committed fans, moving from a capital city to a regional area calls for careful planning and research.

But if you’re hankering for a home with a more manageable mortgage, give us a call today to discuss loan options that could help you get that tree or sea change happening sooner.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

You might have seen a headline or two about a particular big bank being at war with brokers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our mission is – and always will be – putting you first. That’s why three in every four borrowers now come to us for help.

Borrowers are more spoilt for choice than ever before when it comes to home loans.

But who has time to sort through over 100 lenders in the market to pick out a loan that’s suited to your needs?

Your mortgage broker does.

But for the big end of town, increased competition can mean lower profit margins (and unhappy shareholders!).

That doesn’t mean brokers are at war with any particular bank though, as a few articles stated in the Australian Financial Review over recent weeks (here’s a great non-paywalled response).

As Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) CEO Anja Pannek succinctly put it: “Positioning banks as competing with brokers is like saying Hilton hotels is competing with travel agents, instead of Hyatt and Sofitel. It completely misrepresents how the mortgage broking industry works”.

What brokers do is streamline the home loan process. It’s just one of the reasons why mortgage brokers are the go-to choice for 74.1% of home buyers (and that figure has been steadily increasing!).

But our role isn’t just about helping you find a competitively-priced home loan with the features you may need.

We go much further.

Here are three other ways you can benefit from the support of a mortgage broker.

We work in your best interest

Behind the friendly face of your mortgage broker is a serious legal obligation.

We are bound by a Best Interests Duty.

It means we are required by law to always put your best interests first, providing home loan options that are based on your unique needs.

That matters because if a loan isn’t the right choice for you, it may not save you money in the long run, no matter how low the rate is.

Banks are not bound by the best interests duty.

Brokers can help guide the way

Buying a home is possibly the biggest purchase you’ll ever make.

It’s also something you’ll probably only do a handful of times over your life. But this is something we help people through every day.

We can act as a trusted guide to help you navigate the complex process of buying a home with confidence.

We can also help you assess your borrowing capacity, so you can buy with confidence, and we can explain where you can consider making shifts in your budget to become home loan-ready sooner.

And because we’re focused on making things more straightforward for you, we take the jargon out of home buying – we can help you get your head around complex issues like lenders’ mortgage insurance, or how to prepare if you’re buying at auction.

It’s all about mentoring our customers at every stage of their property journey.

We’re here for the long term

You and your home loan are likely to be together for a while. And we’ll be right there with you.

Our regular home loan reviews provide reassurance that your loan continues to be the right option for you, even as your life changes and evolves.

And when you’re ready to kick new goals – from renovating, to buying your next home, investing in a rental property, or simply refinancing – we’ll be ready to help guide you through the process.

Like to know more about how we can help? Call us today and discover why three out of every four Australian families come to a broker first.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

Nan and Pop have always been good for birthday money, but one-in-10 grandparents are taking their generosity to the next level: helping their grandkids buy a first home.

Most of us have special memories of pocketing a few treats from Granny and Gramps.

But it turns out those small gestures of affection we knew as kids are morphing into something far more valuable than a few sneaky lollies before dinner or a surprise Lego set.

Research by Compare the Market shows almost three-quarters of Aussie grandparents are giving their families a financial helping hand.

Around 13% are lending money, 9% are chipping in with household bills, and one-in-10 are helping their grandkids buy a first home.

It goes to show that we’re never too old for grandparents’ treats.

But if your Gramps and Granny are keen to help you get started in the property market, it’s important to have some open conversations first.

How grandparents can help

It’s not unusual for first home buyers to need support from family – especially in this day and age – and it can come in a variety of ways.

One option is for a close relative to act as a guarantor for a first home buyer’s loan.

It’s a big ask for grandparents though.

If the borrower can’t keep up the loan repayments, a lender can ask the guarantor to pay off the debt – something that could leave Nan and Pop financially skewered.

If they can afford it, another way for grandparents to help their grandkids buy a home is by gifting money.

What to be aware of

A cash gift doesn’t have to be huge to make a difference.

It can help grow a deposit or go towards upfront buying costs such as lenders’ mortgage insurance.

However, there are traps to be aware of.

You could get a ‘please explain’ from a lender when they see a lump sum of cash land in your bank account.

The bank may want to be sure it’s not a loan that grandma and grandpa expect to be repaid.

So, it can be a good idea for grandparents to write a letter spelling out that they are gifting the money unconditionally with no strings attached.

And while this should go without saying, it would be negligent of us not to stress the importance of nan and/or pop being completely sound of mind when gifting any money.

The last thing you’d want to do is leave them short in funding their retirement, or start a rift (or legal battle) with other family members who love and care for them as much as you.

Talk to us to find out how family can help

Buying a first home is a special milestone, and it’s extra special when family members rally around to lend a hand.

But as we’ve outlined today, it’s not without its potential pitfalls.

So call us today to find out the different ways your family might be able to help you buy a place of your own.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

Not sure if you’ll get the thumbs up for a home loan? But you really, really like that house that just popped up? Making an offer ‘subject to finance’ could be the right move. Here’s how it works.

Picture this. You’ve seen a home you’re crazy about, and you don’t want to miss out to another buyer. So, you sign on the dotted line and hand over your deposit.

Things are getting real now. But what if they’re not? What if you struggle to land a home loan?

It’s a scenario every home buyer dreads.

If you have to back out of the contract because you can’t get loan approval, you could lose your deposit.

One possible solution, however, is to make your offer ‘subject to finance’.

Why make an offer subject to finance?

In practical terms, making an offer subject to finance means an extra clause is added to the sale contract.

Essentially, it can allow the buyer to walk away from a sale with their deposit intact if mortgage finance can’t be arranged within a set timeframe.

Understandably, the seller won’t wait around forever. So, the time allowed to secure loan approval can be tight, often a matter of days.

However, a subject to finance clause could help you avoid a last minute race for finance – a pressure-cooker situation that could see you accept a loan or lender that’s not right for your needs.

The downside of buying subject to finance

There is a catch to making an offer subject to finance: the seller doesn’t have to agree to it.

In today’s property market, homes are selling fast – in as little as 10 days in some neighbourhoods.

With that sort of buyer demand, there may not be much incentive for a seller to agree to an offer that’s subject to finance.

Or, if you’re buying at auction, the sale is usually unconditional. Chances are you won’t have an opportunity to alter the sale contract.

These drawbacks highlight the value of speaking to us before you go home hunting.

Having your loan pre-approved, for example, can take away a lot of the uncertainty around securing finance.

Can I buy before I sell?

When you’re ready to climb the property ladder, another key question is often whether it’s better to sell first and buy later.

With money in the bag from the sale of your old home, you may be less concerned about making an offer subject to finance.

That said, if you see a place you want to buy before your home sells, a bridging loan could cover the funding gap.

The beauty of a bridging loan is that this type of finance usually requires interest-only payments, not principal and interest payments.

The downside is that the interest rate tends to be higher than for a traditional home loan.

Talk to us today

There’s a lot to plan for when you’re buying your next home.

Call us to streamline your purchase. From subject to finance offers to bridging loans, upgrading can be a lot less stressful when you know the options.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

If the latest federal government budget is leaving you hungry for perks and savings, you’re not alone. We’ve had a brainstorm and here are four ways you could start working towards your property goals now.

The 2024 federal budget is out, and you might be wondering what’s in it for you.

Sure, an energy rebate of $300 annually can help take the sting out of electricity bills, though at $75 per quarterly bill, it’s not a huge saving.

But you don’t need to rely on the federal budget.

Here are four strategies that could get your wealth growing.

1. Helping hands for first home buyers? There’s plenty available

Disappointed that the federal budget didn’t offer more support for first home buyers?

There is still a wide choice of home buying assistance schemes to pick from.

Take a look at:

– The Home Guarantee Scheme that lets eligible first home buyers, regional Australians, and single parents buy a place of their own with a low deposit (between 5% and 2%) and zero lenders mortgage insurance.

– The First Home Owner Grant, which is usually worth $10,000 but can be up to $30,000 (depending on your state) when you buy or build a new home.

Don’t forget stamp duty concessions (in most states) and the First Home Super Saver Scheme that can let first home buyers use their super to grow a deposit.

Not sure what you’re eligible for?

Talk to us to find out which first home buyer schemes you can tap into.

2. Rate relief for home owners? Make it happen sooner

Why wait for the Reserve Bank of Australia to cut rates?

You may be able to pocket rate savings of your own.

Lots of savvy home owners are jumping ship, with around $16.02 billion worth of home loans refinanced in March 2024.

It goes to show that savings can still be up for grabs for borrowers who switch to a lower rate home loan.

Call us today to find out how your loan shapes up, and discover how much you could save by switching.

3. Property investors: harness your property’s equity

Lending to property investors has jumped 31% in the past year.

It’s being driven by an 11% rise in property values since January 2023 – a jump that’s seen home owners notch up thousands of extra dollars in home equity.

The good news is that this home equity could potentially be used in place of a cash deposit to invest in an investment property.

Talk to us today about unlocking your home equity and becoming a property investor.

4. Tax relief: Stage 3 tax cuts are on the way

The federal budget has confirmed that 13.6 million Australians will pocket tax savings from 1 July.

And there’s a good chance you’re among them.

The Stage 3 tax cuts are expected to deliver an average tax saving of $1,888 a year, or about $36 weekly.

On the face of it, that’s not a game changer when it comes to your weekly budget, but it can help you in more ways than one.

That’s because it can also boost your borrowing power if you’re buying a first home, upgrading to your next home, or planning to invest.

RateCity has crunched the numbers, finding that for a single person on an income of $100,000, the Stage 3 tax cuts could add an extra $21,000 to their borrowing power.

A couple with a combined annual income of $150,000 could see their borrowing capacity jump by almost $30,000.

Call us to know more

If the federal budget has left you hankering for more, it’s time to take matters into your own hands.

Whether you’re a first home buyer, home owner looking to save on your home loan, or property investor looking to grow your wealth, call us today for insights into how you can take the next step in your property journey.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

Whether you’re rat running your local streets, or have a knack for always picking the fast-moving supermarket queue – everyone loves a good time-saving hack. Well, today we’ll let you in on a scheme that could get you into your first home years – yep years – sooner!

When you’re saving for a first home, growing a 20% deposit can be a tough challenge.

It’s certainly not made any easier by national property values soaring higher each month and cost of living challenges.

But there is one potential solution that has seen 156,000 first home buyers, single parents and regional Australians buy or build a home of their own over the past four years – it’s the federal government’s Home Guarantee Scheme (HGS).

How to buy with just a 5% deposit

The HGS helps eligible first home buyers and single parents buy a home sooner by requiring only a small deposit.

The scheme has three different parts.

First home buyers can take advantage of the First Home Guarantee, or the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee if they live outside a major city, while the Family Home Guarantee is pitched at single parents buying a home.

The common thread is that the scheme lets eligible buyers get started on the property ladder with a smaller deposit – and no need to pay lenders mortgage insurance (LMI).

First home buyers may need as little as a 5% deposit, while solo parents can buy with just a 2% deposit.

The HGS doesn’t provide a cash payment or a deposit for a home loan.

Instead, the Federal Government guarantees the loan, which is the key to buying with a small deposit while avoiding LMI.

A head start on the property ladder

The big plus of the HGS is that it gives buyers a head start in the property market.

According to Domain’s latest First Home Buyer Report, it can take over six years to save a 20% deposit on an entry level home, depending on where you buy.

The catch is that by the time you’ve saved that sort of deposit, home prices may have soared higher, pushing the goal posts further out of reach.

However, the beauty of the HGS is that it lets first home buyers jump into the property market about four years earlier (on average) than they normally would.

Not all lenders are part of the HGS

The HGS does have eligibility requirements, including income thresholds and property price caps that differ by state.

Give us a call, and we can explain whether or not you’re eligible.

The other thing to be aware of is that not all banks have signed up to the HGS.

That’s why it’s so important to speak to us at an early stage.

We can save you plenty of time, by explaining which lenders offer low deposit/no LMI home loans under the HGS, and put forward to you loans and lenders that suit your needs.

Don’t delay, places are limited

The HGS is only available to a limited number of home buyers each financial year.

And not surprisingly, places tend to fill fast.

So if you’d like to find out more about using the scheme in the rapidly approaching new financial year – and whether you might be eligible to buy with just a 5% deposit and zero LMI – get in touch today.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

Who doesn’t love a tax cut? Most of us are now only weeks away from saving on our tax bills, with Stage 3 tax cuts to kick in from 1 July. But another key advantage is that the tax cuts could give your borrowing power a nice boost.

The upcoming Stage 3 tax cuts have received plenty of attention – some good, some bad – so we won’t focus on the politics of it today.But they are still expected to benefit about 13.6 million Australians, and how much tax you might save depends on your income.A person on the national average wage of around $73,000 will pocket a yearly tax saving of $1,504, says the federal government.If your income is, say, $100,000, you could expect to save $2,179 in tax each year.For households juggling a cost-of-living crunch, the tax cuts can’t come soon enough.But if you’re in the market for a new home, the tax cuts may offer an unexpected sweetener: a handy boost to your borrowing power.What is ‘borrowing power’?Your borrowing power, or borrowing capacity, refers to the amount a lender is willing to lend to you.It’s based on several factors including the size of your deposit, your household expenses, and your after-tax income (or take-home pay).The higher your after-tax income, the more you may be able to borrow.That could mean being able to buy a home sooner, or buying a more expensive property.How the tax cuts might affect your borrowing powerRateCity has crunched the numbers, finding that for a single person on an income of $100,000, the Stage 3 tax cuts could add an extra $21,000 to their borrowing power.A couple with a combined annual income of $150,000 could see their borrowing capacity jump by almost $30,000.It makes the upcoming tax cuts great news if you’re in the market for a first home, or if you’re upgrading to your next place.Even if you don’t plan to borrow more, the increase to your take-home pay may make your current home loan repayments more manageable.Other ways to boost your borrowing powerYou may not need to wait for the Stage 3 tax cuts.It is possible to increase your borrowing capacity in other ways, including:1. Trim spendingCutting back on non-essential expenses could free up extra cash to grow your deposit.As household expenses are a factor many lenders look at when determining loan eligibility, trimming back regular costs could add to your borrowing power.2. Cut back your credit card limitWhen you apply for a home loan, lenders will look at the maximum limit on your credit card – not the outstanding balance.That’s because you could max out the card just after buying a home, leaving less cash to manage mortgage repayments.Contacting your card issuer to request a lower credit limit – or cancelling it altogether once paid off – could raise your borrowing power.3. Increase incomeSure, it’s easier said than done.But if you can take on extra shifts for a few months, convince the boss you deserve a pay rise, or start a side hustle, your bank balance – and borrowing power – could both benefit.Find out how much you could borrowYes, there are online calculators that roughly estimate your borrowing power.The catch is that these don’t take into account the different criteria applied by each lender. And they don’t know you, your expenses and your goals.That’s why it’s important to talk to us to get a more accurate picture of your borrowing power.We can get to know you, your expenses, and the kind of property you have your eyes set on, and then help you come up with a plan to try and make it happen.Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

We all love the idea of nabbing a bargain property, but for most home buyers the real issue is whether they’re overvaluing a place – and paying too much in the process.

Buying a home is an exciting prospect, but it’s perfectly natural to have a big dose of nerves given that you’re likely committing to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars (or millions!).

But with a bit of research, and some other handy tips below, you can help protect yourself when the bidding or negotiations begin.

Why it’s important to pay a fair price

Paying above the odds for a home can have serious financial impacts.

The more you pay, the more you may need to borrow to fund the purchase. That can mean paying higher loan repayments, potentially leaving your budget thinly stretched, especially if interest rates rise again.

Worst case scenario, you could get caught out by a bank valuation that comes in lower than the purchase price – leaving you facing a funding shortfall.

The question is, how do you know if the asking price for a home is in line with the market, or if it’s completely over the top?

Research helps you nail the market

One way to hone in on what a home is worth is to have a pre-purchase valuation.

This involves a professional valuer examining the property and arriving at a value based on factors such as the location and size/condition of the home.

The catch is that a valuation can cost between $200 to $600.

It also takes time to organise, and in a fast-moving market the delay could see you miss out on a property.

A cheaper option is to do plenty of your own research.

Websites like realestate.com.au or domain.com.au can show the median house and apartment values for individual suburbs.

This gives you a good starting point, though as each home is different you’ll need to drill down further.

Factors that can impact market value

Some factors can see broadly similar properties have very different market values. Things to watch for include:

– The lot size a house sits on.
– The number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
– The condition of a home.
– Availability of parking (off-street parking is a plus!)
– Orientation. North-facing homes receive more natural daylight, and so often require less artificial lighting or heating.
– Energy efficiency. PropTrack found three out of five (59%) buyers say eco-features such as solar panels are important to help save on power bills.
– The street. Be wary of streets that become a commuter parking lot on weekdays.
– Views and outlook.
– Zoning and planned developments.

Bearing all these features in mind, check out recently sold properties similar to the one you’re planning to buy.

Pay particular attention to the final sale price – not the asking price. It is the selling price that sets the market.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate

If you have done your homework, you should have a reasonable idea if the asking price of a place is close to the mark or wishful thinking.

Remember, you may also have scope to pay less by negotiating on price. Bear in mind though that the longer negotiations take, the greater the danger of someone else jumping in and snatching the property from under you.

Get in touch with us about pre-approval

Last but not least, give us a call to discuss some of the benefits of home loan pre-approval.

It can help you act quickly when you see a home you’re interested in buying, and it sets a buying limit so you can negotiate with confidence.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

Where you put your car keys, who won the footy premiership three years back, the new prime minister of New Zealand’s name – all very much socially acceptable things to forget. Your home loan rate shouldn’t be on that list.

It’s a fair bet that your home loan repayments are one of your biggest household expenses.

Yet it’s surprising how many borrowers haven’t kept up with what their home loan rate currently is.

In fact, a new report by Mozo shows that 42% of mortgage holders have no idea what interest rate they’re paying on their home loan.

And it’s an oversight that can cost home owners dearly.

How does your loan rate shape up?

It’s not just that large numbers of borrowers can’t pinpoint their loan rate.

Mozo also found one-in-five home owners have never compared rates since taking out their loan.

Your home loan may have had a competitive rate back in the day, but in a rapidly changing mortgage market, that may no longer be the case. And with the cash rate at its highest since late 2011, there’s little room for complacency.

For a quick check of how your home loan rate stacks up, head to your latest loan statement to find out what it is. It should show the rate you’re paying. Or call us, and we’ll let you know.

By way of comparison, the average home loan interest rate for owner-occupiers is currently 6.4%, and 6.3% for new home loans, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Why it pays to regularly review your home loan

Staying on top of your loan isn’t just about the rate you pay.

Your loan might have been the right choice for you a few years ago. But our lives evolve, and your mortgage may not have the features you need for your current lifestyle and budget.

That’s why it’s worth taking a close look at your loan at least annually, or whenever you experience a major life change such as starting a family.

Understanding how your loan is performing for both rate and features is easy. Speak to us about a home loan review.

As part of our review, we can let you know:

– the rate you are paying;
– if your loan offers the features you want; and
– whether you could save by refinancing.

Is refinancing right for you?

If you’ve been wondering if you could do better on your home loan, give us a call today to discuss your refinancing options.

We’ll help you work out if refinancing is the right step for you and how much you could save by switching to a new loan and/or lender.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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