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First meeting with a broker

First meeting with a broker

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 so it pays off to be prepared.

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.

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What's the best time of year to buy a house?

What's the best time of year to buy a house?

While spring is renowned as the time that sellers dust off their properties and place them on the market, this doesn’t mean it is necessarily the best time for buyers to go shopping.

One of the biggest issues with househunting in spring is the flood of other buyers looking to snag their dream homes, which increases competition and housing prices.

“There is typically a seasonal uplift in buyer numbers over the last quarter of the year, which means the benefits of a higher number of options to choose from are offset by a higher number of prospective buyers,” explains CoreLogic RP Data’s John Wright. 

“Buyers may be better off when there are fewer buyers around in the winter months, at least from the perspective of being able to negotiate hard on price.”

Although there is a lot more to look at during spring, there isn’t necessarily more to choose from, depending on your individual circumstances and finances.

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Stamp Duty explained

Stamp Duty explained

Stamp duty is a charge which is applied by state governments in Australia  on transactions relating to the transfer of land or property. It is paid upfront and needs to be budgeted for in addition to your loan deposit.

The amount of stamp duty you are required to pay differs in each state, however there are three factors, along with the value of the property, that determine how much stamp duty you will pay. Contributing factors include:

whether or not the property is a primary residence or investment property;whether or not you are a first home buyer; andif you are purchasing an established home, a new home or vacant land.

There are a number of stamp duty calculators available online (including one here on cbmmortgages.com) that take the guesswork out of budgeting for a property. Factoring in this additional cost cannot be overlooked when you are considering your capacity to repay a loan.

However, in a bid by state governments to stimulate home ownership and growth, there are a range of tax concessions available to reduce stamp duty.

Again exact amounts differ across each state, but those who benefit the most are first home buyers and those opting to buy a new home.

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