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A home of one’s own

A home of one’s own

Are you flying solo and starting to think that buying a property will never be possible? There’s really no need to wait for a knight, or lady, in shining armour to come along, as securing finance on a single income does happen.

Of course, just as if you were a couple, your borrowing capacity will depend on your income and commitments. But there are some differences. A single will probably have different requirements of a property than a couple would. So consider: are you looking for a residential or investment property? What kind of deposit are you considering? Do you have dependents or children?

You may also need to take extra precautions without a second income to fall back on. A mortage adviser recently helped a single first-home buyer who wanted to live in the eastern suburbs in Sydney. She decided to downsize from her large rental and buy an affordable studio in which to live.

 “We looked at how much she’s paying in rent and what she’s currently saving. Then we looked at what was a good, comfortable spend for her and worked backwards from that,” the credit adviser explained. 

 “It wasn’t as if she had to sacrifice everything, she just went smaller. As a single person, she decided she’d be happy in a studio, as opposed to a bigger apartment in a location she wasn’t as happy with.”

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Refinancing a business

Refinancing a business

Does your business need refinancing or restructuring? As this tale of a business with urgent liquidity problems shows, having a credit adviser managing the project can be the key to success.

When a cotton grower in central Australia lost his financier during a period of aggressive expansion, he was facing a liquidity crisis and approached a mortgage broker who approved equipment and commercial credit to help restructuring the business and securing a new backer.

“His current financier was shutting down its operations across the state. Not only had he lost his account manager, he’d also lost his whole direct line of resources to his business, right at a critical time,” explains the finance adviser.

“It was quite a complex business. It had multiple entities with multiple assets and private investors, and had a lot of moving parts in addition to the expansion plans. So there was a lot of due diligence and lot of work in terms of understanding the client’s current business structure and requirements, and creating the structure that would be required going forward to satisfy all parties, including new banks.”

Before putting the business out to tender, the credit adviser and his client worked on creating cost efficiencies and were able to turn a critical situation into a foundation for growth.

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Buying a property with friends

Buying a property with friends

There are many considerations when buying property jointly, so speak to an expert early to make sure you’re doing it the right way.

If you’re looking for a creative way to overcome being locked out of the property market by rising prices, buying a house with a group of friends may be a solution. It can also be a minefield though, so here’s how to avoid a blast.While the excitement of banding together in such a life-changing moment can put everyone on a bit of a high, you need to plan for situations in which things might go wrong.

It’s essential you have all been completely upfront from the start about what you want to achieve by purchasing property together, as well as your personal expectations about timelines for purchasing the property, paying it off and selling it. And all of this must be documented in a co-ownership agreement.

Your mortgage finance broker can refer you to a solicitor of conveyancer with experience in working on co-ownership agreements, who can advise and create yours and make sure it is suitable, providing the necessary legal protection for everyone involved.The big question will be what structure your ownership takes. There are two options: joint tenants and tenants in common. Joint tenancy is the most common ownership structure in Australia, as it is how most family homes would be owned. However, because friends are less likely to share assets and long-term debts than a couple, and less likely to will their assets to each other, the ‘tenants in common’ model would usually be more suitable for this situation.

Under this model, each person owns a specified share of the property’s value. These shares may be equal, but need not be. So, if you are willing to contribute $500,000 to the price of a property, but your two friends are not quite at that stage and only comfortable contributing $250,000 each, you could own a 50% stake while they each own a 25% stake. Keep in mind, each stake is in the property’s value, not control of the property. Legally, under this model, each owner has the right to full access to the entire property.The co-ownership agreement created in collaboration with your conveyancer should set out how the costs of maintenance and insurances are divided, as well as how sale proceeds will be divided.

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Six ways to fund a renovation

Six ways to fund a renovation

Any renovation project, large or small, can be all-consuming in terms of your energy, time and money. Here are six loan types that can help you.

Considering transforming your home but lack the funds to support your major makeover? Never fear, we’ve rounded up a few different home renovation loans to help you turn your dream into a reality. Whether you want to make a few finishing touches to your home with the help of a paint job or completely turn your home into something magical, there’s an option to suit your needs.

1. Home equity loanThis is probably the most common way people borrow money when they want to renovate. It involves borrowing against the current value of your home, before any value-adding renovations. You won’t be able to borrow the full value of your home but, without mortgage insurance, you can usually borrow up to 80 per cent of its value if you own it outright. One potential problem is that the cost of your renovations may actually be higher than the equity you have available.

2. Construction loanThis is similar to a home equity loan, except the lender will take into account the final value of your home after the renovation. You won’t be given the full loan amount upfront, but in staggered amounts over a period of time.

3. Line of creditThis may be ideal for ongoing or long-term renovations. When you apply, you can establish a revolving credit line that you can access whenever you want up to your approved limit. You only pay interest on the funds you use and, as you pay off your balance, you can re-borrow the unused funds without reapplying. However, care must be taken not to get in over your head in terms of serviceability – make sure you can make repayments on the line of credit that will reduce the principle.

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5 things first-home buyers need to know

5 things first-home buyers need to know

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.

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How to buy a home when you’re self-employed

How to buy a home when you’re self-employed

Many lenders offer loans for self-employed borrowers who can’t hand over payslips and employment records. This means that, rather than the usual documentation, you prove your ability to service a loan using bank statements, declarations from your accountant and financial records.

Self-employed borrowers come up against the challenge of not being able to simply present payslips and tax returns to back up their loan applications. But this need not stop you buying your dream home.

Of course, as with any mortgage application, you must still prove that your income outstrips your spending and you can service the loan. Getting this right is more than presenting a lender with a few quick sums on the back of a napkin; it can take a solid six to 12 months of preparation.

Here are some quick tips:

reduce debt: pay down credit cards and personal loans, and be sure to lower the credit limits as they are paid down, as lenders assess the total credit available to you as a potential debt level, not just the amount you owe;cancel credit cards that you don’t need (this will affect credit scoring);speak to a credit adviser about how the structure of your business and your taxable income will impact your ability to borrow;do your taxes when you should, and always pay your tax assessments on time;save: saving a deposit is obviously important, and showing your ability to live within your means while saving is too. This is key to serviceability – you want to show at least a six-month history of high income and low expenses; andask your Mortgage Approved Credit Adviser, rather than a bank. Credit advisers have access to specialist lenders that assess applications on a case-by-case basis and tailor their products to self-employed borrowers and contractors, while bank lenders do not.

Loans to the self-employed do differ from standard loans in a few ways, apart from the application process. Lenders offset the extra risk they are taking when lending to a self-employed borrower or contractor by charging slightly higher interest rates and placing some extra rules on loan-to-value ratios (LVR) and insurance requirements.

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When time is of the essence, call an expert

When time is of the essence, call an expert

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

Late last year, Adam Smith 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 Louie.

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, Adam contacted his mortgage broker looking for help, hoping to find a solution by the time settlement came around on 10 November.

He needed a fast solution.

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How many types of home loans are there?

How many types of home loans are there?

Hundreds. The key is finding the one that is the right one for you. If you don’t know a lot about the mortgage market you might decide to go with a basic home loan but the loan type and the rate will vary depending on the loan amount and contribution and this is why it's best to speak to a qualified mortgage broker. Here we look at just some of the more common home loan & mortgage options on offer today:

• Basic home loan• Honeymoon loan• Standard variable rate loan• Redraw facility• 100% loan Basic home loan

A basic home loan offers a low but variable interest rate and few or no regular fees. However, there is also limited flexibility. e.g. you may not be able to pay off extra if you get a windfall, or vary your repayments. These loans are normally taken for loans lower than $250,000

A honeymoon rate offers a very low interest rate for an introductory period – generally 12 months. Once the “honeymoon” is over, the interest rate reverts to the higher variable rate . You need to consider the cost of the loan over more than just the honeymoon period, and if any fees are incurred if you refinance after the honeymoon period.You really need to know the revert options on this type of loan.

A standard variable rate loan is a loan product that generally allows you to choose many “bells and whistles”. e.g. a redraw facility, an all-in-one account facility, linked accounts and credit cards etc. Consider the features you need carefully with your Mortgage Broker. These loans under the banks package are probably the most common type of offering as the banks try to win all of your business from credit cards to insurances.

A redraw facility lets you pay off more of your home loan but still allows access to those extra funds if you need to. There wcould well be aminimumredraw amount, it is important to know the amount if keeping all surplus cash in your loan is important to you. There will also typically be a fee for every time you redraw.

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How Parents can help you buy your first home?

How Parents can help you buy your first home?

 

Be nice to your parents.

If you can't save a deposit to get a mortgage or home loan by yourself, maybe your parents, a relative or friend can help with a gift, loan, or home loan guarantee. This could also save you money in lenders mortgage insurance premiums.

Financial help with home loans – parental gifts

Obviously, the best kind of loan is one you don't have to pay back. If someone is willing to give you money to help you buy a home – and doesn't expect it to be repaid – you're very fortunate. But make sure you get it documented. Otherwise your lender will consider it a loan that has to be repaid and therefore you will have a liability to repay that loan back as well and this will impact on your borrowing capacity.

Financial help with home loans – parental loans

Your parents might be able to help you with a deposit for a home loan – but they probably want it repaid. Bad luck. Still, this could be a big help, particularly if they are offering the money at a favourable interest rate. Again, you should have the parental loan documented because your lender will want to know the details in order to calaculate your borrowing capacity.

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When should I contact a mortgage broker?

When should I contact a mortgage broker?

 

 

Are you saving for a home? If you haven’t met with an accredited mortgage broker yet, it may cost you. Here’s why.

 

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