3 Top Tips for Buying Your First Home

3-top-tips-for-buying-your-first-home

You’ve budgeted hard, given up loads of smashed avocado brekkies, saved your deposit and are ready to buy your first home. High five!

There’s nothing quite like finally getting a foothold on the property ladder and moving into your very own pad, but it does require planning and research. With our help, you’ll soon be doing a victory dance and posting that exciting Facebook post of you in front of a shiny ‘SOLD’ sign. Here are our quick tips for buying your first home.

1) Talk to us about how much you can borrow

Your home ownership journey begins with a chat with your mortgage broker! There’s no point wasting your life inspecting properties that are outside your price range. We’ll help you determine your borrowing capacity, set your buying budget and explain about applying for the First Home Owner Grant and making the most of any other exemptions and savings you may be able to obtain to help you get started.

The amount you can borrow will depend on the size of your deposit, your savings history, income, expenses and credit history. It’s great if you can save 20 per cent of the purchase price, plus the other costs associated with buying property like stamp duty, legal fees and building and pest inspections. If you can’t save a full 20% deposit, never fear we can work with you to come up with a plan to get you in the market as soon as possible, sometimes we can do so with as little as a 5% deposit.

You may still be able to buy now even if you don’t have a 20% deposit, so talk to us about your plans. If you don’t have a 20% deposit, you may still be able to get a home loan, but you will have to pay Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI) which protects the lender against any shortfall if you default on your loan and it has to be sold to repay your debt. Sometimes it’s worth paying LMI if it means you can get on the property ladder sooner, so talk to us and we’ll help you decide if its best to buy now or wait until you’ve saved more.

2) Get on the property ladder sooner rather than later

In most cases, it’s a good thing to jump aboard the real estate train pronto! The sooner you stop wasting money on rent and start making capital gains on your property, the better. But getting into the market sooner rather than later might mean compromising. You might not be able to afford your dream home immediately, but the property you buy may be a stepping stone to greater things. If your desired location is too costly, you may have to consider buying in another suburb, purchasing an apartment or a more modest home, or finding a “renovator’s dream”. Remember, from little things big things grow and you can always trade up in future.

3) Learn how to research the right property to buy

Once you know your price range, you can use it to find prospective properties to inspect and identify areas that you can afford. Location is key, but you also have to factor in affordability. Research the areas and properties you are interested in very thoroughly. Consider the capital growth potential, rental yields and proximity to schools, transport and other amenities – this can be confusing, so if you need help just ask us.

When you find a home you like, research it by arranging building and pest inspections to ensure the property is structurally sound and free of unwanted guests. If the property is going to auction, you will need to do this beforehand.

Buying your first home is exciting, but it’s important to seek professional advice. As your mortgage and finance specialist, our services are free and we’re happy to help you in any way we can, even if you’re not quite ready to buy right now. We’ll help you with your budget and deposit saving plan, guide you through the buying process, ensure your financial goals are taken into consideration, and provide ongoing support in the future. Save yourself time, money and stress by getting in touch with us today!

How to get a bargain when buying a new car

new-car-bargain

Have you been driving the same old bomb for donkey’s years? Then perhaps it’s time to improve your image with a new set of wheels!

If you’re worried about the cost of a new car, fear not! With the right kind of finance through mortgage brokers like us, and the right kind of knowledge about how to negotiate a great deal at the end of financial year car sales, you’ll be cruising in style in no time! Here are our 6 steps and tips for making the most of the End of Financial Year (EOFY) car sales.

6 Steps to buying a new car

Pre-arrange your finance

Before you begin shopping for a new car, it’s a good idea to talk to us about how you’ll pay for it. We can provide plenty of finance options besides standard car loans that could help you save money on interest and make your car more affordable. These may include a lease, a personal loan, or accessing the equity in your home. If you’re self-employed, we may be able to work with you and your accountant to find a way to save at tax time on your car purchase. And if the car is for commercial purposes, you may be able to claim a deduction up to the full price of the vehicle (up to $20,000, including GST) before June 30. So please talk to us about your options!

Pre-arranging finance will also help protect you from the hard-sell of dealership salespeople and to give you more negotiating power. Be wary of 0% finance deals, as the repayment terms are often too short for people to afford, and you may end up being shuffled into alternative finance with higher interest rates. Don’t be taken for a ride!

Do your research

Knowing the recommended retail price before you enter the car yard puts you in a better position to negotiate. Price the car online and be sure to approach at least three different dealerships to get a quote. It may work to your advantage to use the best quote to see if you can negotiate a better price from the next dealer you speak with. Researching the car you’re buying thoroughly will also allow you to negotiate with knowledge of the product and perhaps get some additional extras.

Test-drive prospective new cars

Now comes the fun part – test driving your potential new baby. Like speed-dating, you only have a limited amount of time to get to know one another, so make it count. Take the cars out for a spin in a variety of different traffic conditions, and preferably on different terrains.

Consider trading-in your old car

If you don’t need to keep your old car, you may be able to get a further discount by trading it in for the new one. Often however, you can get a better price for your old car if you sell it privately, so go online to do some research about what its worth before you decide to accept an offer from a dealership.

It’s ok to haggle

Car dealers expect people to drive a hard bargain, so don’t be embarrassed about a bit of negotiating. If you’re buying during the EOFY car sales, dealers often discount aggressively to clear stock and the increased competition to secure your business means you’re more likely to walk away with a better bargain if you haggle. Buying at the end of the day may also work in your favour, as dealers may be eager to lock in a final sale before home time.

Hit the road, Jack!

Once you’ve signed all the paperwork, don’t forget to make sure your insurance is in place before you drive out of the dealership. We can help with this too. We hope these tips come in handy when buying your new car. Remember, we can find you car finance with terms that suit your needs and budget. We’ll organise pre-approval, giving you leverage during the negotiation process, and explain your options. Happy car hunting!

Why it pays to refinance an unhealthy home loan

Today’s mortgage market is extremely competitive. With so many new deals and loan features constantly becoming available, it makes sense financially to regularly give your home loan a health check. That way, you’ll be confident your mortgage is satisfying your needs and living up to expectations.

If you do suspect your home loan is in bad shape, don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’ll perform a home loan check-up for you and find you a healthy alternative if necessary. Here’s why refinancing every 2 to 4 years may be just what the doctor ordered.

Circumstances change

Over time, your financial situation may change and a mortgage that was a healthy choice several years ago, may be ailing today. It might lack the features and flexibility you need, or you may be paying for features you’re not using. Perhaps you’d like to access the equity in your property to renovate or invest, or could benefit from refinancing to consolidate multiple debts into your home loan to save on interest. You may have changed jobs and have more or less disposable income. Refinancing at least every 2 to 4 years gives you the peace of mind of knowing your finances are on track and your home loan marries with your current financial circumstances and goals. Allow us to remedy this situation by prescribing a tailored home loan that works for you in the long-run!

New opportunities

The finance and mortgage industry is constantly evolving, with new deals, packages and home loan features continually becoming available. By shopping around every 2 to 4 years, you may find a more competitive interest rate that cuts your repayments and potentially saves you thousands – money that would otherwise have been lost in an inefficient loan. As your mortgage and finance broker, we’ll take a holistic approach to your home loan needs, and advise you about features such as offset accounts or redraw facilities that could help keep your finances in tip-top shape.

To grow your wealth

It pays to keep a healthy attitude toward your finances. Reviewing your mortgage regularly keeps you focused about where you’re at financially and where you’d like to be. It may open your eyes to new strategies to proactively build your wealth and expand your investment portfolio. Refinancing can also allow you to access the equity in your home to invest, renovate, go on holiday or use as you see fit.

If you suspect it might be time for your current home loan to meet its maker, please get in touch! We’ll give your home loan a thorough check-up – minus the stethoscope – and find you a healthier alternative if necessary. While we are specialists at what we do, there are no hefty consultation fees involved – your home loan health check is a free service. Call us, your helpful “mortgage medics”!