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There is more to selling your home than putting up a ‘For Sale’ sign on your front lawn. Here are the first things you should check off your list to help you get a favourable result from your investment and to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible.

Choose a quality agent

Asking family and friends who have purchased or sold a property about their experience is a great way to ensure the agent you’ve enlisted will provide quality service, explains an MFAA accredited finance broker. “A website and promotional material will always highlight the agent in the best possible way, but word of mouth and past client reviews will show their true colours,” she says.

Make sure the agent specialises in your area and is someone you feel comfortable around as they don’t just negotiate prices on your behalf, they also act as a mediator and represent you as a vendor.

Prepare the paperwork

Getting together all the documents required is a tedious yet necessary part of the process. Before a property can be marketed for sale, your agent requires a copy of the Contract from your legal representative, explains the broker. From a disclosure document to a home loan pre-approval, ensure all the paperwork is prepared in time to ensure it all runs smoothly.

Don’t take things personally

Remember this is a business transaction; don’t feel insulted if you receive feedback on the property that doesn’t match how you feel about your home. To ensure you come out with the best deal, remove all emotion and think of your house as a commodity.

Your property won’t sell itself

Thinking that your home will sell itself can be a costly mistake. Despite how much you like the way you have it set up, furniture, flooring and painting changes can make a big difference to the property’s wider appeal, and marketing it widely can increase the competition and, therefore, the price.

“Engage in a thorough marketing campaign and invest in presenting your property in its best light,” advises the finance broker. “Trusting your agent’s strategy can help secure the best financial result.”

Speak to your broker

If you are making a decision to sell, speak to your finance broker to ensure that your plans after selling – whether they are buying a similar property, upgrading or building – are actually feasible.

“I always advise clients to speak to their broker first to make sure their plans for post-settlement are realistic,” says the finance broker. “There is nothing worse than selling your home and then not being able to achieve what you had set out to do.”

Surround yourself with a good team

When all of the people in your network, including your broker, conveyancer and agent, communicate effectively, you should be blissfully unaware of any minor issues that pop up during the course of the sale, explains the finance broker.

Glenavon Finance is here to help and will be able to refer you to a great agent and other professionals that will help make the home selling process flow with minimal stress. Contact Us Here

If you are concerned about servicing your loan, reach out to your local mortgage broker for help.

As Australians everywhere take a close look at their financial circumstances, mortgage brokers stand ready to lend a helping hand.

Whether experiencing financial hardship through job loss, a reduction in work hours, or business disruption, an increasing number of Australians may be struggling to balance their books as a result of the Coronavirus, and in many cases are wondering how they will continue to pay the bills.

Difficulty with repayments

According to research conducted by Finder in early 2020, about one in five mortgage borrowers, or about two million Australian households, were struggling to make repayments, despite record low interest rates.

And with the challenging circumstances that have emerged since, it is anticipated that these pressures will only increase forcing more people to require financial assistance.

Financial relief strategies

In this difficult time lenders have responded by announcing financial relief strategies. In an official Australian Banking Association (ABA) statement, CEO Anna Bligh said, “Banks stand ready to support customers and if anyone is in need of assistance, they shouldn’t wait but come forward as soon as possible”.

Different lenders have different assistance options. These may include, waiving fees on early term deposit withdrawals, interest rate freezes on loans, options to defer or restructure home loan repayments, and emergency credit card limit increases.

It is important to remember that mortgage brokers have the knowledge, experience and relationships necessary to assist people experiencing or expecting to have trouble paying their home loans as a result of changing circumstances.

In times like these, the importance of mortgage brokers in assisting customers with hardship and facilitating access to credit cannot be overstated. For many Australians – particularly those in rural or regional areas – brokers may represent the only source of assistance. 

Expertise of brokers is of critical support

Brokers’ expertise in helping customers navigate the complex home lending market – and their intimate understanding of their customers’ personal circumstances – means they are uniquely positioned to provide critical support for customers when discussing hardship and available options with lenders.

If you have any questions or concerns about your existing loans, need further guidance on hardship assistance, or have other questions about your loan arrangements, click here to Contact Us

So, you’re thinking about getting a deposit bond?

Whether you’re a first home buyer, seasoned property investor, downsizing or buying off the plan, chances are you have a few questions.

Don’t worry – we’ve got the answers you need.

Here are the 10 most common deposit bond questions answered:

#1. When do I pay back the deposit?

You actually never “pay back the deposit” unless there is a claim. The role of a deposit bond is to “guarantee” you for the deposit amount right up until you get the funds at settlement. In other words, a deposit bond tells the vendor that you’re good for the money.

Then, at settlement, you pay the full purchase price plus the deposit and any additional costs, like stamp duty. The only money that is exchanging hands is the deposit bond fee, which you pay to the provider up-front.

#2. How much does a deposit bond cost?

It depends on the deposit bond amount and the required length of time. Talk to our team for a quote.

#3. Do I pay interest?

No – you only pay the one-off fee just before your deposit bond is released. That’s the brilliant thing about a deposit bond.  To get a quote for your deposit bond please contact us.

#4. I am buying off the plan – how long does the deposit bond need to be made out for?

In most cases, buying off the plan means the deposit bond needs to be issued up to the “sunset clause” date. The sunset clause date is a provision in off-the-plan contracts that allows either the vendor or the purchaser to rescind the contract if the title to the property has not been created by a specific date.

Find the sunset clause date in your contract of sale or ask our team to help. While you’re there, look out for a separate clause in your contract relating to deposit bonds – some vendors may request to add additional time on a deposit bond.

If you can prove that settlement occurred earlier than 6 months from the expiry date of the deposit bond, a pro rata refund can be obtained. The maximum refund applicable is 18 months. Terms and Conditions do apply – refer to your deposit bond application or bond provider’s website, or ask our team for help.

#5. Do I need to seek approval from the vendor to use a deposit bond to secure my purchase?

Definitely. Always check with the real estate agent or directly with the vendor to make sure they will accept a deposit bond instead of a cash deposit.

#6. What are the differences between a deposit bond and a bank guarantee?

The idea is basically the same: a bank guarantee is a guarantee from a lending institution ensuring the liabilities of a debtor will be met. So, if the debtor fails to settle a debt, the bank covers it.

But there are some important differences that might impact which you choose for your situation:

  • Bank guarantees are secured – they require real estate or cash security to release.
  • Deposit bonds are unsecured – the eligibility assessment is just to ensure you have the financial capacity to settle on your purchase, and the Underwriter provides the security and assurance that the deposit will be honoured in the event of a claim.
  • Bank guarantees usually have higher set-up and ongoing costs compared to the one-off deposit bond fee.
  • Bank guarantees require more paperwork for set-up compared to the deposit bond application.
  • Deposit bonds are usually faster to obtain than a bank guarantee.

#7. How quickly can a deposit bond be issued?

Much faster than you think. Within 15 minutes, we can help you get preapproval. Within one business hour, we can have your application form ready for e-signing. And, once you return your signed application with the bond fee payment, your deposit bond can be ready in less than one business hour!

#8. Am I eligible for a deposit bond?

Each scenario is different, but you are typically eligible if:

  • You hold formal finance approval, OR
  • You have at least got conditional finance approval that is subject to valuation only, OR
  • You are selling a property and funds from the sale are enough to purchase your new property outright.

If none of these apply, or when a property settles over six months, your deposit bond provider will need to conduct an asset, income and liability assessment. To be eligible, you or your guarantor will need to own a property with some equity. 

The best way to check if you are eligible is to talk to our team.

#9. I am a first home buyer; can I get a deposit bond?

If you already have formal approval for your finance through a family guarantor loan, and your property settles within six months, you can typically obtain a deposit bond. The good news is there’s no need for your guarantor to also sign your deposit bond.

If settlement is more than six months or you don’t have finance approval, your guarantor will need to apply with you for your deposit bond. Your or your guarantor will need to have a property with the equity to release a deposit bond. This is to ensure the guarantor can pay back the deposit bond amount in the unlikely event of a claim on your bond.

#10. How do I obtain a deposit bond?

Obtaining a deposit bond is easy. Simply talk to our team. We will work with the deposit bond provider on your behalf, so you don’t need to add another thing to your list.

The supporting documents you need will depend on your application type, so we’ll tell you exactly what you need to provide. Then, when the application is ready, we’ll send it to you for electronic signing. It’s as easy as that!

Have you got some questions we haven’t answered here? Talk to our team.

With official interest rates trending downward, shrewd mortgage holders may take the opportunity to call their lender to ask for a better deal.

But when even a small interest rate reduction means potential savings of thousands of dollars, is a simple phone call really enough to get you there?

In 2019, ‘your interest rate should have a three in front of it’, is common advice for home owners considering the competitiveness of their loan settings.

But while a number of lenders offer lower rates to new customers, it’s not always so simple for existing customers to secure the same outcome.

A leading mortgage and finance broker says that if people want a better deal on their mortgage, there are basically two options:

  1. Call your bank and ask them to match the new rate, or
  2. Contact your broker and vote with your feet.

And although the first option is commonly recommended, lenders aren’t always so obliging when it comes to rate-matching to get you a more affordable mortgage.

“As an existing client, it can be disheartening to see your bank offer new customers a lower rate to the one you currently have.

“Lenders regularly try to ‘win’ new customers by offering low rates. It is a great acquisition strategy.

“But if they refuse to match your current rate to this new offer, you can always contact a broker and refinance with a lender who is hungry to win your business.”

Mortgage brokers, on average, have access to a panel of 34 lenders and this creates competition amongst lenders. Mortgage brokers are also in a position to offer you a more in-depth and customised level of service. This can allow them to find their customers a mortgage product that may suit their current needs, wants and circumstances.

Contact Us here to find a broker that can help.

Before you decide to purchase your first property there are a number of things to consider, including your current personal circumstances and financial status.

1. Think about why you want to buy a home

Do you want to live in it or will it be an investment property? This can help determine the kind of loan you apply for and home you buy, depending on your short and long-term plans.

2. Research potential properties and loans

Knowing the market is crucial, so do some research on the areas you are targeting, check out auction clearance rates and recent sales, as well as price trends in the area. Once you are aware of what you are looking for and the approximate price, the next step is saving a deposit.

While some lenders will offer loans if you have saved less than the usual 20 per cent deposit, being able to show a record of good saving habits will aid in getting your loan approved.

Then, when you talk to your local Licensed & MFAA Approved Finance Broker about applying for pre-approval on the right type of loan, ask for their help to work out what you can afford in terms of repayments.

 3. Factor in other costs involved

Depending on the property, there can be a number of additional costs, so ask your finance broker what other payments you will face. This can include, but isn’t limited to, stamp duty, loan establishment fees, legal and conveyance services, utilities, property insurance, maintenance and lenders mortgage insurance .

 4. Think about your future

Just because your current situation allows you to get a home loan, that doesn’t automatically guarantee that you will still be able to service it in five years’ time. Is there a possibility your role at work will change? Are you considering going back to study and reducing your working hours?

 5. Get professional help

With so many things to consider, getting professional help is highly recommended. There are many experts in the industry and it is in your interest to use them for tasks such as property checks, pest checks and any other legal queries. Going it alone can prove costly. Avoid nasty surprises down the track by getting the right people to do the appropriate checks for you from the beginning.

02 May 2018

Q&A: pest inspections

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Pest inspections are an essential part of the home-buying process. Mortgage and Finance Help spoke to Justin Hammerschmidt, an Inspector at Sydney PrePurchase, about what pest inspectors are looking for and how to interpret their reports.

Q What pest inspections need to be carried out prior to purchase?

A pest inspection, officially known as a ‘Timber Pest Inspection’ should be carried out prior to purchase. It will detail any timber pest activity such as termites, timber borers and wood decay.

These pests can cause significant structural damage to the timber elements in buildings such as wall, floor and roof framing. They can also cause serious safety hazards such as collapsing balconies and unsafe decks.

This type of damage is often difficult to locate, requiring the skill of a trained timber pest inspector. It is important to understand that other pests such as cockroaches, rodents and spiders are not covered by this inspection, as they are not capable of causing structural damage to buildings.

Q When should pest inspections be done?

A pre-purchase inspection should be carried out as soon as possible in the buying process. This will give the buyer time to consider the findings of the report and make a decision about whether to proceed with buying the property, renegotiate or adjust an offer based on the findings, or walk away from the sale.

Due to the competitive nature of the property market, a common practice is to exchange contracts and have the inspection carried out during the cooling-off period. The problem with this practice is that the buyer has no leverage to renegotiate if something significant is found during the inspection and, if they pull out of the sale, could forfeit their deposit.

Q What should consumers be looking for when they choose a pest inspector?

Pest inspectors should be licensed pest controllers and/or building consultants with the appropriate industry training and accreditation.

The inspector should also be covered by professional indemnity insurance to cover the consumer against professional negligence, and public liability insurance in case of damage or injury.

It is important to understand that the inspector’s insurance is not a ‘blanket cover’ for the house, so separate building and contents insurance is essential.

Q When the reports come back, what should prospective purchasers consider?

The report should have a summary section at the front, which will itemise any potential problems. This should be read in conjunction with a building report for the property. To save time and money, a combined building and pest inspection is strongly recommended.

The most important considerations are structural termite damage and safety hazards. Does the report refer to termite activity in the grounds only or does it refer to structural damage in the building? If the damage is in the building, where is it and what is the extent of the damage? Is the damage only on the floor frames, which can be easily repaired? Or is it likely that the damage continues up into the walls and into the roof?

It is important to understand that termite damage is often concealed inside walls or where access is not possible. The inspector should be able to articulate to the buyer the extent of possible damage without overly exaggerating the risk or being deliberately vague.

The biggest red flag for a property buyer is the likelihood of extensive concealed structural termite damage. This damage is impossible to quantify without dismantling the building.

Q Can termite activity be remedied down the track fairly simply, or are properties with pest problems best avoided?

The mention of termite activity in a pest report is not necessarily a reason to panic and pull out of the sale. Termites can be treated. If a property has a history of termite activity, a treatment may already be in place. The report will detail past treatments and make recommendations for the future.

If damage is located in the building it is often localised activity that has not caused significant structural damage. Even where structural damage exists, repairs can be carried out. Typical structural repairs for moderate damage may only cost $5000 to $10,000. This is less than the cost of re-furbishing a leaking bathroom, a problem that is far more common in old and new properties alike.

If in doubt, a short telephone conversation with the inspector can help to explain the situation and put things into context.

A property is likely to be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, so it’s important to get the best advice on every aspect of it. MFAA Approved Finance Brokers are industry experts who can help you get the best value over the life of your home loan. Contact Us here for more information.

01 May 2018

First meeting with a broker

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If you’re looking for a home loan but are inexperienced with finance brokers, attending your first appointment with a broker can be a nervous experience. Getting a home loan, after all, can be quite complex for a first-timer. There are lots of brokers around and there is a lot to learn. But there are many steps you can take to be confident that your appointment will be a success.

A good starting point is to familiarise yourself with the expectations of the first appointment between brokers and yourself. Your broker is very likely to ask you about your medium and long-term financial goals, the amount you want to borrow, comparisons of your home loan options and your understanding of the fees, costs and conditions attached to home loans. Knowing the direction the appointment will likely take lets you participate more actively in the conversation. This means you can better articulate your needs to your broker.

It’s also recommended that you give some consideration before the meeting to the types of questions you wish to ask your broker. Questions that can be of use include such things as loan types (such as term, repayment options and interest rate types), the types of ongoing fees attached to various loans (such as early exit, late payment, break and redraw fees) and the typical timeframe for a loan settlement.

These questions might pop into your head spontaneously during the meeting but preparing them in advance is a good way to refine them. By doing so, you are in a position to get more specific information from your broker.

It is common practice, too, for your broker to conduct a needs assessment prior to your face-to-face appointment – so you may be asked some pre-appointment questions.  To assist in answering these, you’ll need to supply information about your employment history, assets and expenses.

At the appointment it will save you time and effort to prepare and then bring the required documentation with you. This can include ID, transaction histories, tax returns, rental income statements and borrowing documents such as “contract of sale” and proof that you have the deposit for a property. It’s mandatory for brokers to maintain the confidentiality of information that you provide to them and only pass on information necessary to enable them to lodge your loan application or where required by law.

The other preparation you can make to maximise the success of your appointment is to research your broker. Many brokers provide content on their web pages and social media. This can give you a good indication of their knowledge and expertise and highlight topics to discuss with them. You can also determine if they specialise in any types of loans that match your needs, where they are located and their panel of lenders. Finally, you should investigate their qualifications. Although brokers are only required to obtain Certificate 4 qualifications, it could be argued that the better brokers hold Diploma qualifications. Finding a diploma-qualified broker will help ensure you receive the best credit advice.

Brokers can also be accredited, with accredited brokers held to higher standards. By verifying they are accredited with the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) you can approach the meeting knowing your broker is appropriately educated, adheres to a strict and professional code of practice and is authorised to access a large range of products offered by a variety of lenders.

Unsure about whether to lock down your interest rate for a period with a fixed rate home loan, or take your chances with a variable rate home loan? 
It’s a decision everyone faces – from first-home buyers right through to investors – at various points in a loan’s life. 
The choice can cause anxiety and confusion for some people because there’s no one-size-fits-all answer as to which option is better, and it can be hard to predict interest rate movements. Whether to go fixed or variable will depend on your unique circumstances. 
That’s one of the many reasons why many buyers turn to a mortgage broker. Brokers have tried-and-true methods designed to help you understand how different loan types and interest rate changes can impact your plans and priorities.
So how would a broker help you pick between fixed or variable?
The answer to this question may depend on your requirements and objectives which you should establish up front.
“One of the first questions is, what’s more important to you: the stability of knowing your repayments are going to stay the same? Or the flexibility to make unlimited repayments with no penalty?” 
“If you want to have a loan that is fully flexible where you can make unlimited extra repayments with no penalty, a fixed rate may not be the most suitable option because you are usually limited with the extra repayments you can make.”
If extra features like redraw facilities and offset accounts are important to you, that may also weigh into your choice.
“If somebody wants an offset account, there’s just a handful of lenders that have a 100 per cent offset account linked to a fixed rate home loan. It’s about finding out what their goals are, what their needs are.”
Your decision needs to work for you
Fixed rate loans provide confidence that rate changes won’t affect you – but that works both ways. You won’t pay more if rates rise but you won’t benefit if rates drop. Certainty may be your highest priority if you have a fixed budget.
Variable rate home loans come with less certainty but generally more freedom to pay off your loan faster. Being open to the changes in interest rates often allows you to access loans with more flexible and attractive features.
Variable rate loans may make it easier if you’re thinking about selling your home soon, or want to switch loans if you find a better deal, because fixed-rate home loans often have penalty fees for those wanting to get out early.
Best of both worlds?
Splitting your home loan usually gives you some of the benefits of both a fixed and a variable loan, which may make it an attractive third option to consider. There’s usually no limit on how you split your loan, provided that the relevant lender offers this option.
“(One of) the reasons to split is to hedge your bets a bit. It gives you peace of mind that a certain portion of your loan is not going to have any variation, as well as the variable component where you can make unlimited extra repayments”.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider. It is always recommended you read any loan product’s fine-print carefully if making financial product decisions yourself, or find a reputable, accredited and trustworthy mortgage broker to help you navigate the experience.

 

 

Saving for a home? If you haven’t met with a finance broker yet, you’re doing it wrong. Here’s why.

When saving a deposit to buy a home, many people have a goal amount in mind that they need to save before they meet with a finance broker who will help them secure the finance.

If this is you, you’re doing it wrong. From day one, when you first think ‘I could maybe buy a house if I worked hard and saved a lot’, you’re ready to have a finance broker on your side.

A finance broker’s knowledge of the loan and property market will help you work out how much you will be able to borrow, which determines the size of the deposit you will need to save.

They will also be able to help you develop a realistic timeline to save your deposit and find ways to pay down debts faster and provide creative solutions that will help reach your goals sooner.

You may also be pleasantly surprised to find that you are closer to your goal than you thought. The tools in a finance broker’s belt that can help you realise your dreams more quickly and efficiently include lender’s mortgage insurance, specialist lending products, land loans and investment loans.

More importantly than just being allowed to provide these products, a licenced finance broker can help you work out whether they suit your situation and goals. For example, while buying land now to build on later lowers the cost of your initial investment and can be an opportunity to take advantage of a dip in land prices, there is no point in it if you will not be able to secure construction finance down the track.

So, speak to an expert now. Find a licenced finance broker who can help you take the first steps to owning your home.

www.glenavonfinance.com.au

 

 

Sometimes, getting a deal over the line in time requires a conversation with an industry expert.

Late last year, Martin Jones was seeking finance to purchase a share in an investment property with two other investors, and simultaneously trying to secure finance for an investment property he was purchasing on behalf of his wife Sandra.

The financial institution he was dealing with was frustrating him and jeopardising his plans; with settlement fast approaching, the valuation was taking too long to be finalised and Martin didn’t feel that he was being informed of progress.

On Christmas Eve, Martin contacted his local MFAA Approved finance broker looking for help, hoping to find a solution by the time settlement came around on 10 January.

He needed a fast solution.

In Martin and Sandra’s first meeting with their finance broker, after talking through the problems they had encountered with the bank, it came out that their owner-occupied property was unencumbered.

With that knowledge, the finance broker was able to recommend that they use a cash out loan to finance the purchase of both investment properties, which would speed up the process considerably – a very handy development so close to Christmas time.

The finance broker processed the application, and the valuation was completed on 27 December, with the loan approved and documentation sent out the next day.

Martin, on his finance broker’s advice, was able to hand deliver the signed documentation to the lenders’ solicitor, meaning that the loan was settled on time, and Martin was able to purchase both investment properties.

*Names have been changed to protect the clients’ privacy.

Contact a Licenced finance broker who has the industry knowledge to overcome your mortgage hurdles. If you don’t have your own broker contact us here.


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