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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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Is now a good time to buy?

Is now a good time to buy?

Recent back-to-back interest rate hikes have led to a cooling of the property market, and with more rate rises predicted, you may feel like pumping the brakes on purchasing. But could the current climate offer opportunities?

With the predictions of coming rate rises and falling house prices, it’s not surprising many potential buyers are holding off.

But if you’re ready to buy, now could be an ideal time to strike – with other buyers holding back you could have more homes to choose from, less competition and more bargaining power against the vendor.

It’s a sentiment that’s starting to show in polling, with the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment lifting by 3.9% between August and September – the first increase in the index since November last year.

Similarly, CommBank’s Household Spending Intentions index showed a 10% increase in home buying intentions this past month.

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RBA hikes the cash rate for fifth straight month to 2.35%

RBA hikes the cash rate for fifth straight month to 2.35%

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has hiked the official cash rate by another 50 basis points to 2.35%. Here’s how much you can expect to pay on your mortgage going forward and how we could give you a helping hand.

This is the fifth month in a row the RBA has increased the cash rate, and the fourth straight double rate increase of 50 basis points.

It’s also a seven-year high for the RBA cash rate.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe said in a statement that today’s increase in interest rates will help bring inflation back to target and create a more sustainable balance of demand and supply in the Australian economy.

“The (RBA) board expects to increase interest rates further over the months ahead, but it is not on a pre-set path,” said Governor Lowe.

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What happens when you roll off your fixed-rate mortgage?

What happens when you roll off your fixed-rate mortgage?

They say all good things come to an end, and that includes your ultra-low fixed-rate home loan period. So what can you do to ensure a smooth transition?

With the past couple of years offering historically low interest rates, many Australians have been able to lock in an ultra-low fixed-rate home loan.

In fact, in July 2021, a whopping 46% of home loans taken out that month were fixed, which the ABS says was the peak period for fixing.

That means the peak time for borrowers rolling off their fixed-rate period will be between July and December 2023, according to RBA research.

And that time is fast approaching.

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Property prices are predicted to dip: 5 ways you can prepare to buy

Property prices are predicted to dip: 5 ways you can prepare to buy

Property prices are predicted to fall over the coming year, but it’s always hard to know exactly when they’re going to start trending back up again. So if you’re interested in taking advantage of the dip, it could pay to start preparing now.

Earlier this year, Domain’s June 2022 Quarterly House Price report showed national property prices were starting to slightly dip.

And ANZ economists are predicting a 15-20% drop by the end of next year, before starting to recover in 2024 (prices never seem to dip for too long!).

So how can you prepare to take advantage of lower prices if you’re in the market to buy?

Here are our top five tips to help you get ahead of the curve.

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Could an eco reno boost your property’s value?

Could an eco reno boost your property’s value?

You’ve probably heard that interest rates are on the rise and national property prices are on the way back down. Here’s how you can kill two birds with one stone: by refinancing to unlock equity and giving your home an energy-efficient makeover at the same time.

Did you know that energy-efficient homes generally attract premium prices and sell faster than non-eco listings?

That’s according to the 2022 Domain Sustainability in Property Report, which found an energy-efficient house in the median range sells for $125,000 more (+17.1%) on average than a non-sustainable house.

The results are quite good for apartment owners too, with energy-efficient units selling for $72,750 more (+12.7%) than non-energy-efficient apartments.

Dr Nicola Powell, Domain’s chief of research and economics, says more and more sellers are addressing the demand for eco-friendly homes, as online listings with popular eco features attract 8.7% more views on average.

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Why you might want to refinance sooner rather than later

Why you might want to refinance sooner rather than later

Thinking about refinancing? As interest rates rise, so do the hurdles you need to clear. Here’s why you might want to look at refinancing soon to avoid potentially missing out.

When was the last time you refinanced?

If the answer is “never”, or you can’t actually remember, there’s a good chance you’re paying a higher interest rate than you could be due to the “loyalty tax”.

You see, the banks don’t think you’re paying attention, and as such, they only offer their lowest rates to new customers in a bid to win them over – as proven by the RBA.

In fact, a recent RateCity analysis found that customers who stay loyal to their bank could be hit with an extra $5,101 in interest over the next three years alone (based on a $500,000 loan taken out with CBA in 2019).

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Interest rates to keep climbing as RBA hikes cash rate to 1.85%

Interest rates to keep climbing as RBA hikes cash rate to 1.85%

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has increased the official cash rate by another 50 basis points to 1.85%. Here’s how to hang in there and keep up with all these monthly cash rate hikes.

Another month, another RBA cash rate hike – that’s four months in a row now!

It’s hard to believe that at the beginning of May the cash rate was just 0.10%. Today, it was increased to 1.85%.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe said in a statement that today’s increase was a further step in the normalisation of monetary conditions in Australia.

“The increase in interest rates over recent months has been required to bring inflation back to target and to create a more sustainable balance of demand and supply in the Australian economy,” said Governor Lowe.

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Keep calm and carry on: 5 ways you can absorb interest rate rises

Keep calm and carry on: 5 ways you can absorb interest rate rises

We’ve seen interest rates bounce back up over the past three months, and most economists are predicting more increases to come. If you’re starting to worry about your finances, rest assured there are several steps you can take now to get on the front foot.

The days of ultra-low interest rates are officially over (it was nice while it lasted!).

And while all the talk of doom and gloom you see in the media about rapidly rising interest rates can be a bit spooky, now’s not the time to panic.

Check out this Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) graph here, for example. It shows interest rates are currently lower (as of July 2022) than they ever were prior to May 2019.

So the current cash rate is nothing extraordinary – although it might come as a shock to newer borrowers, as we previously hadn’t had a cash rate hike since November 2010.

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Renovate or invest? How 7-in-10 Aussies are using their equity

Renovate or invest? How 7-in-10 Aussies are using their equity

Seven in 10 homeowners have recently used the equity in their home to renovate, invest in property or shares, or boost their superannuation. Have you thought about how you could take advantage of last year’s property price spike?

You might have heard that property prices spiked 23.7% in 2021, yeah?

That’s quite the growth spurt!

So how do you take advantage of that growth without (or before) selling your home?

Well, one way to do so is to cash out equity while property prices are high (which we’ll explain in a little more detail below).

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