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Considering refinancing your mortgage? Here are some questions to ask

Considering refinancing your mortgage? Here are some questions to ask

Home loan not up to scratch? Looking for a better rate? Or do you want to unlock equity? Then refinancing could be for you. But there are some important questions to ask first.

If you’re considering refinancing your mortgage, you’re not alone.

With the rising cost of living and interest rates hitting the hip pockets of many Australians, it’s a popular move.

According to ABS data, November 2022 saw refinancing values reach a record high of $13.4 billion.

Refinancing may offer you opportunities to unlock equity, land a better rate and avoid what’s known as “loyalty tax”. Sticking to the same loan could see you missing out on favourable rates and features lenders like to use to woo new customers.

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Can a job switch affect your mortgage application?

Can a job switch affect your mortgage application?

Changing jobs may offer more perks – higher income, greater fulfilment, and the opportunity for growth are often things people look for in a new gig. But could it also impact your mortgage application?

January and February each year is typically prime time for people considering switching jobs – the Christmas holiday period is in the rearview mirror and a new year of possibilities lies ahead.

In fact new LinkedIn research shows 59% of workers are thinking about leaving their job in 2023, with more than half saying they’re confident of finding something better.

Coincidentally, 2023 could also be a good time to start considering your next property purchase, with house prices reaching a record decline of -8.40% in January from the May 2022 peak.

So could a job change impact your mortgage application? The short answer is it could.

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Planning a reno in 2023? Here are 4 tips for smooth sailing

Planning a reno in 2023? Here are 4 tips for smooth sailing

Having a spruced-up home feels great. And it can also boost your home’s value. But, as exciting as the prospect of rolling up your sleeves and getting on with a reno can be, there are certainly pitfalls to avoid.

New year, new you, new reno?

Renovating is exciting. Having aesthetics and function on point can make your home feel new again. And possibly add to its value should you want to sell or refinance.

But we’ve all heard reno horror stories: shonky tradies, budget blowouts and permit nightmares, not to mention the recent supply chain disruptions.

So we’ve compiled some tips to help you avoid these perils (and associated headaches!).

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Get a financial head start on the school year

Get a financial head start on the school year

Finding the time to delve into your finances can be a struggle. But the school holidays can offer the perfect time, especially for teachers. Get cracking on your financial to-do list these holidays by looking into refinancing your mortgage.

Planning on giving your finances a boost by refinancing your mortgage?

Well, you’re not alone. Following a string of rate rises last year, borrowers are refinancing in record numbers, according to PEXA research.

And ABS finance and wealth spokesperson, Katherine Keenan, says recent data shows owner-occupier refinancing with different lenders remained at record levels in 2022, above $12 billion.

For many, mortgage repayments take the biggest chunk of the household budget which has become increasingly stretched by the rising cost of living.

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What you should know about buying a tenanted investment property

What you should know about buying a tenanted investment property

Buying a rental property is a popular way to invest. But where do you stand if the property you’re eyeing off already has a tenant? We’ll fill you in on what you need to know.

So you’re primed to expand your financial horizons and want to buy an investment property?

2023 may provide promise, with double-digit percentage gains for rental returns predicted in 11 out of the 14 major Australian residential markets.

But what happens if the property you want to buy already has tenants?

Depending on your plans, this could be a major boon. With tenants in place, the rental income can roll in from day dot!

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4 New Year’s resolutions for financial fitness

4 New Year’s resolutions for financial fitness

As the sun rises on January 1, many Australians will be getting started on their new year’s pacts. The gym will be full of determined resolution keepers; the pavement pounded by brand-new sneakers. But what about shaping up your finances?

There’s no denying 2022 was a tough year for many mortgage holders – with eight rate rises since the start of May – and unfortunately 2023 is tipped to bring more rate increases.

But by kicking off the year with a few tweaks to your budget and habits you could be in a much better position to ride out future hikes.

Here are 4 simple new year’s resolutions that can help keep your finances fighting fit.

1. Time to ditch unnecessary expenses?

The 2022 rate rises had a lot of us trimming back our budgets. But expenses can creep back in. Before you know it, those “free trials” you forgot to cancel become paid monthly subscriptions.

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Seasons greetings! Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2023

Seasons greetings! Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2023

End-of-year festivities have snuck up on us! Wishing you and yours a swell Noel and a wonderful new year.

It’s time to dust off that kitsch Christmas t-shirt, deck the halls, and give Bing Crosby a spin.

We hope you have the happiest of holidays and a cracking 2023.

As we all bid adieu to 2022, it’s a great time to reflect on the year past. And to dream up plans for the year ahead.

This year had a few challenges for us all (hello rate rises). So we hope you get to enjoy some well-earned rest, and all the merriment the season has to offer.

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First home buyer numbers have halved: is it time to swoop in?

First home buyer numbers have halved: is it time to swoop in?

Repeated cash rate hikes have put many first home buyer plans on hold. So could you swoop in and reap the benefits with less competition in the market?

In case you missed it, from May to December the RBA lifted the cash rate from 0.10% to 3.10%.

This has no doubt hit many mortgage holders hard, but it’s also pumped the brakes on the number of first home buyers looking to enter the property market.

In fact, current Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that the number of first-home buyers fell 3.2% to 8,576 in October alone.

That’s almost half the 16,187 first home buyers who entered the market during the January 2021 peak.

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Are we there yet? RBA hikes cash rate for eighth straight month to 3.10%

Are we there yet? RBA hikes cash rate for eighth straight month to 3.10%

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has driven the cash rate up by another 25 basis points to 3.10%. Find out how much this final cash rate hike of the year has increased your mortgage repayments in 2022, and what you can expect in 2023.

The good news? This is it. You can head into the summer holidays knowing this is the last rate rise until at least February when the RBA board will meet again (thankfully they take January off!).

The cash rate now sits at 3.10% following eight months of consecutive rate hikes.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe said in a statement the RBA board expects to increase interest rates further over the period ahead, but it is not on a pre-set course.

“Inflation in Australia is too high, at 6.9% over the year to October,” said Governor Lowe.

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Where there’s a will (and genuine savings), there’s a way

Where there’s a will (and genuine savings), there’s a way

Inheritances can be a bittersweet part of life. But an inheritance alone won’t always cut it when applying for a home loan. Having genuine savings can help show lenders you’ve got what it takes to meet mortgage repayments.

With many older Australians having accumulated a decent amount of wealth throughout their years, it’s not uncommon for some of their younger family members to receive a leg-up into the property market when they pass away.

But an inheritance alone won’t always cut it to land a home loan.

In addition, you may be expected to show proof of genuine savings. This says “hey, I can put money aside to meet repayments” – which is music to a lender’s ears.

So today we’ll break down what may or may not be considered genuine savings, and how you could use your inheritance towards a home loan.

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Your new phone or your home loan? What would you research more?

Your new phone or your home loan? What would you research more?

What’s more important: your new phone or your next home loan? Well, we were stunned to see a recent survey that showed Australians put more effort into researching phone plans than they did their home loan. Here’s how we can help you get the balance right.

More than 70% of Australians say they’re more likely to spend time looking at options for phone and internet plans, car insurance and even electronics purchases, than researching a home loan – according to a recent Pepper Money survey.

And look, we get it.

Selfies, Netflix, Uber Eats, Instagram, Tinder … phones are pretty damn nifty.

Home loans? Admittedly, not so much.

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5 surprising reasons for home loan heartbreak

5 surprising reasons for home loan heartbreak

Whether it’s your love life or your home loan application, no one likes getting rejected. There are many reasons why it could happen, and some can come as a big shock. So today we’ve outlined five surprising reasons to help you avoid home loan heartbreak.

There are few words would-be home buyers dread more than: “your home loan application has been rejected”.

It can feel like a real kick in the guts. And some of the reasons can be surprising.

A rejected loan application can hold up your home-buying plans and could have a negative effect on your credit score. So it can be important to avoid this scenario.

Below we’ve outlined five reasons your next application could be rejected – so you can start heading them off now.

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Buying could be cheaper than renting for a third of properties

Buying could be cheaper than renting for a third of properties

For many Australians, rate hikes and inflation have made the dream of property ownership feel ever more distant. But a recent analysis shows that meeting mortgage repayments could actually be cheaper than renting for more than a third of Australian properties.

Look, we get it. Often the biggest obstacle in the way of home ownership is saving up for a deposit.

But once you’ve got that sorted – which we’ll help you tackle below – a recent CoreLogic analysis found servicing a mortgage was more affordable than average rent prices in 518 Australian suburbs. In fact, in some areas there were savings of over $900 a month.

Not to mention that with rental prices surging by about 10% across Australia over the past year and vacancy rates at a record low 1.1%, home ownership has possibly never looked more appealing!

So we’ve got some tips to help you switch from renter to homeowner in a timely (and confident) way.

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Hold your horses: RBA hikes cash rate again to 2.85%

Hold your horses: RBA hikes cash rate again to 2.85%

Whoa, Nelly! The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has lifted the official cash rate again, this time by another 25 basis points to 2.85%. How much will this rate rise increase your monthly mortgage repayments, and when are the hikes expected to stop?

Dubbed the “rate that stops the nation”, today’s Melbourne Cup RBA board meeting did not see board members rein in the rate rises.

Back in May the official cash rate was just 0.10%. Today it was increased for the seventh straight month to 2.85%.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe said in a statement that the RBA board expected to increase interest rates further over the period ahead.

“The size and timing of future interest rate increases will continue to be determined by the incoming data and the Board’s assessment of the outlook for inflation and the labour market,” said Governor Lowe.

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With property prices dropping, is now the time to refinance?

With property prices dropping, is now the time to refinance?

You may have heard that property values are on the decline. But what does this mean if you’re planning to refinance? We’ll discuss how falling housing prices may affect your refinancing application and what you can do about it.

With the rising cost of living and climbing interest rates, you may be looking to refinance your mortgage.

Depending on your circumstances, it can be a great way to get a better interest rate on your loan.

Not to mention that if you need access to funds for an investment property or renovation, refinancing can allow you to cash out equity in your home to use for other purposes.

But, according to CoreLogic, 79.5% of house and unit market values are on the decline across Australia. And this can affect refinancing outcomes.

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Is now a good time to buy an investment property?

Is now a good time to buy an investment property?

You’ve bought a home. And now you might be considering adding an investment property to your portfolio. But have recent interest rate hikes cooled your heels? We’ve outlined reasons why now may still be a good time to buy.

To buy or not to buy, that is the question.

There’s no denying that rolling rate rises might have some sections of the media spouting doom and gloom.

After all, national property prices have dipped and higher interest rates can lower your borrowing power.

However, if you’re in a position to buy now, the current climate can provide less competition and more power to negotiate a good price.

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Nurses and midwives now eligible for LMI waiver

Nurses and midwives now eligible for LMI waiver

Nurses, midwives and other important healthcare professionals can now qualify for a lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) waiver policy. Here’s how it could save them thousands and fast-track their journey into home ownership.

Are you a nurse or a midwife? Or do you know someone who is?

There was a pretty big announcement recently that allows eligible nurses and midwives (who earn over $90,000 per annum) to buy a home with just a 10% deposit and avoid paying LMI with a Westpac home loan.

It’s an extension of the bank’s existing low deposit, no LMI home loan policy that’s also available to the following allied health professionals who meet the minimum income threshold:

– dentists– general practitioners– hospital-employed doctors– optometrists– pharmacists– veterinary practitioners– medical specialists– audiologist– chiropractors– occupational therapists– osteopaths– physiotherapists– podiatrists– psychologists– radiographers– sonographers, and– speech pathologists.

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RBA lifts cash rate for the sixth month in a row to 2.60%

RBA lifts cash rate for the sixth month in a row to 2.60%

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has hiked the official cash rate by another 25 basis points to 2.60%. How much will this rate hike increase your monthly mortgage repayments, and when will it kick in?

It’s hard to believe that at the beginning of May the cash rate was just 0.10%. Today it was increased for the sixth straight month to 2.60%.

The 25 basis point increase surprised many economists who were predicting a fifth straight 50 basis point rise.

However, it’s worth noting the cash rate hasn’t been this high since July 2013; almost ten years ago.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe said in a statement further increases were likely to be required over the period ahead.

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How to escape renting and get into the property market

How to escape renting and get into the property market

The recent decline in rental properties has caused many to feel uncertain about their housing situation. Here’s how you can leave renting in the dust and make homeownership a reality.

Dwindling rental supplies in many parts of the country and soaring rental prices have many tenants looking for an escape.

Terms like “housing crisis” are being bandied about, and in many ways, homeownership has never looked more enticing.

The government has brought forward the regional first home buyer guarantee by three months to October 1, meaning regional Australians will soon have additional assistance to buy their first home.

But that doesn’t mean city slickers can’t get in on the action, too.

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How long does it take for an interest rate rise to kick in?

How long does it take for an interest rate rise to kick in?

Household budgets around the country are feeling the brunt of five back-to-back rate hikes. And we’ve been warned more are on the way. But just how long does it take for each rate rise to impact your monthly mortgage repayments?

As you’re probably aware, in early September the RBA raised the cash rate to 2.35%.

It was the fifth cash rate hike in a row and the fourth straight double rate increase of 50 basis points.

In response, many lenders have increased their variable interest rates.

But thankfully, lenders don’t slug you with a mortgage repayment hike straight away – there’s always a little bit of lag time to help you prepare.

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