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Posted by on in Australian mortgages

Small business owners know all too well that the unpredictable nature of the industry can sometimes mean that quick access to cash flow is needed.

Solution #1: equipment finance

For many small businesses, especially those in the hospitality industry, income and cash flow are heavily reliant on functioning equipment. So for restaurant owners who find their delivery truck has suddenly decided to call it quits, turning to equipment finance could be the best solution.

“Supported by most major and subsidiary lenders, rates are offered competitively at around five to eight per cent. Where a chattel mortgage, a mortgage on a commercial vehicle, is elected, borrowers own the asset from day one and can claim payments upfront, which enables greater cash flow within the business as well as interest and depreciation add backs,” says the finance broker. “Ultimately, I would recommend this solution as they are safe, structured and can have tax benefits associated with ownerships.”

Solution #2: unsecured business cash loan

A fast and modern alternative to traditional banking methods, an unsecured business cash loan doesn’t require you to use a business or personal asset as security.  It also has the advantage of speed with 90 per cent of their loans being approved and funded within 24 hours.

Not suited for start-ups, this option has stricter guidelines as approval is based on how long your business has existed, how long you’ve been at your current address, and on monthly sales. So if you find that you may fall short in covering rent for your company’s premises, this could be the solution most convenient for you.

Solution #3: equity release

If you have an existing property, you can cash in on the equity of this premises to secure additional funds. With planning and an understanding of overall objectives, this can be an excellent solution as interest rates are much lower than commercial rates.

“This facility will give you certainty and reduce the overall minimum repayment. However, the risk is that your home is on the line, so there are important things that must be considered, the business plan, the equity available and an alternative plan if your business can no longer service the facility.”

Solution #4: payday loan

For any business owner, especially freelancers, who need to cover everyday costs and expenses but are still waiting for a cheque to clear, taking out a payday loan may seem the ideal solution. They are easy to establish, with approval generally settled within 24 hours, are available in small amounts, and even those with bad credit histories can apply.

However, the finance broker recommends to only consider this as an emergency or last-minute short-term solution. “These loans can ensure business maintains productivity and reduce downtime, which often overrides the additional interest costs. Payday rates are high, usually around 20 per cent of the principal loan amount, and it’s vital that a business has good cash flow projections to ensure they can meet the repayments.”

Solution #5: merchant cash advance

A fast transaction that’s designed to match your cash flow, a merchant cash advance is where a lender essentially purchases future transactions of the business and provides a lump sum payment in exchange for a percentage of future sales.

“This should only be considered as a short-term solution as they are more expensive than traditional loans,” says the finance broker. “Not suited for seasonal businesses, or those that experiences peaks and troughs, the amount advanced usually spans three months which may mean that it may not suffice.”

If you find yourself in a situation where your business would benefit from quick access to cash flow, it is always recommended you speak with a broker before selecting which option to go with. They can advise you on the best route to take to ensure your business will not experience a cash-shortage predicament again.

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Marie Owens, having purchased a 36 square metre apartment seven years ago, was recently ready to upgrade and visited her finance broker. To pay the deposit and related expenses on the new, larger property, she needed to release equity in her current apartment.

“She wanted to keep the one-bedroom unit as an investment property for tax purposes, to reduce the marginal tax she pays,” says her finance broker. “We needed to release some equity in the current unit, which will be used as a deposit to purchase her next home.”

When Marie initially bought the unit, she could borrow up to 80 per cent of the value of a 36 square metre property. But her lender changed its policy, and will now only finance up to 60 per cent of the value of any property that is under 40 square metres.

“Since the things have got a lot tighter,” explains her finance broker. After extensive research, he could find only one lender who would finance a property of that size at an 80 per cent loan to valuation ratio (LVR).

“I used an accredited mortgage finance broker group to ask my peers, and I found one lender who would work with 80 per cent LVR on the small property. I usually like to put forward three lenders and products, but there was only one this time,” says Marie’s finance broker. “The application’s been lodged and it’s all underway, so we’re going to release the equity from her unit now.”

While this equity will be used as a deposit for Marie’s next property purchase, she is not tied to her original lender to finance that purchase, so her finance broker is now taking her new mortgage to market to find her the best deal.

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Posted by on in Australian mortgages

It’s easy to get carried away with the fun part of buying a property – looking at houses – but delaying the less compelling task of arranging finance will weaken your negotiating position on both the property and the loan.

Looking for a property to purchase is an exciting time. Choices regarding location, size, number of rooms and local amenities often see house hunters carried away in a deluge of daydreams and anticipation.

But, before you get carried away, it’s important to check off the essentials first. Although organising your finances may seem drab in comparison to perusing sales listings, gaining pre-approval with a lender will give you confidence about how much you can afford to borrow.

“First and foremost you need to determine if you’re eligible to borrow money from a lender,” says the finance broker. “Your ability to repay the loan will need to be assessed – you don’t what to find out after you’ve made an offer that your credit history or deposit is not up to scratch.”

Arranging finance before finding the perfect property will put you in a good position when it comes time to make an offer. When you do find the house you have always wanted, you can present to the seller and estate agent as a prepared applicant who is serious and reliable.

“It shows you mean business, and gives them peace of mind that your financing will not fall through. Don’t be afraid to let the selling agent know you have conditional loan approval in place,” the finance broker advises.

Sellers are most interested in completing their sale fuss-free and with steadfast funding, and showing that you are capable of both will help put you at the top of a potentially competitive list of applicants.

In the instance that you find and secure purchase of a home without having your loan pre-approved by a lender, there are a few pitfalls that you risk running into.

“If you don’t have financing to pay for your property, you run the risk of forfeiting your initial 10 per cent non-refundable deposit you need to put down to secure the property. This may differ depending on what state you live in, but the point is it always pays to be organised and have pre-approval in place,” Nolan says.

Saving home loan applications to the last minute also leaves less time to find the most suitable loan and have it approved ahead of settlement.

“Arranging financing as an afterthought also adds immense pressure to the process of shopping around for the right loan and gathering the paperwork to prove you can service the loan,” the finance broker explains. “You don’t want to rush this process.”

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There is more to selling your home than putting up a ‘For Sale’ sign on your front lawn. Here are the first things you should check off your list to help you get the largest return from your investment and to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible.

Choose a quality agent
Asking family and friends who have purchased or sold a property about their experience is a great way to ensure the agent you’ve enlisted will provide quality service, explains the accredited finance broker. “A website and promotional material will always highlight the agent in the best possible way, but word of mouth and past client reviews will show their true colours,” she says.

Make sure the agent specialises in your area and is someone you feel comfortable around as they don’t just negotiate prices on your behalf, they also act as a mediator and represent you as a vendor.

Prepare the paperwork
Getting together all the documents required is a tedious yet necessary part of the process. Before a property can be marketed for sale, your agent requires a copy of the Contract from your legal representative, explains the broker. From a disclosure document to a home loan pre-approval, ensure all the paperwork is prepared in time to ensure it all runs smoothly.

Don’t take things personally
Remember this is a business transaction; don’t feel insulted if you receive feedback on the property that doesn’t match how you feel about your home. To ensure you come out with the best deal, remove all emotion and think of your house as a commodity.

Your property won’t sell itself
Thinking that your home will sell itself can be a costly mistake. Despite how much you like the way you have it set up, furniture, flooring and painting changes can make a big difference to the property’s wider appeal, and marketing it widely can increase the competition and, therefore, the price.

“Engage in a thorough marketing campaign and invest in presenting your property in its best light,” advises the finance broker. “Trusting your agent’s strategy can help secure the best financial result.”

Speak to your broker
If you are making a decision to sell, speak to your finance broker to ensure that your plans after selling – whether they are buying a similar property, upgrading or building – are actually feasible.

“I always advise clients to speak to their broker first to make sure their plans for post-settlement are realistic,” says the finance broker. “There is nothing worse than selling your home and then not being able to achieve what you had set out to do.”

Surround yourself with a good team
When all of the people in your network, including your broker, conveyancer and agent, communicate effectively, you should be blissfully unaware of any minor issues that pop up during the course of the sale, explains the finance broker.

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Posted by on in Australian mortgages

Knowing what a property is worth is central to avoiding paying too much for it.

  • Set a benchmark

Comparing nearby properties that have sold recently is the best way to assess an acceptable price for the property you are looking at and provides a valuable bargaining tool when you are negotiating with a seller or agent. Make sure the properties are comparable, with a similar land size and number of bedrooms, for example, so you aren’t measuring apples against oranges.

“Your mortgage broker can give you a list of sales in the area and then you can drive around and look online to do a quick comparison. If you can find one or two similar properties then you can be sure of what the property is worth,” advises the finance broker.

  • Keep in mind current market conditions

The property market is always changing, so doing this research once and sitting on it for a few months will offer little help. Going to open homes and auctions regularly will give you an insight into the current state of the market and how much certain properties are going for.

  • Expand your search

“My number one tip is to look at properties in the suburb next to the one that you want,” says the finance broker. “We find that first-home buyers in particular usually end up buying in the more affordable suburb next door to the one that they first wanted to buy in.”

  • Don’t exceed your financial capacity

Even if a lender approves you for a particular loan amount, it doesn’t mean you have to accept it – a higher loan amount means higher interest charges over the life of the loan, increasing the total cost of the property purchase, so only ever commit to a loan that you can afford alongside your current income and real expenditure. When calculating figures for the price of a home, ensure you also budget for maintenance and repair costs, as well as any other expertise you may require in the purchasing process.

  • Bring in the experts

“I would strongly recommend using a buyer’s agent as buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions of your life and most people go in blind,” says the finance broker. “If cost is a concern, then I would suggest maybe using them only for part of the process that you need help with, such as the negotiation or bidding at an auction.”

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Diana and Paul put everything they had on the line to start a family, including their credit and home loan. With the expert advice of a finance broker they were able to start fresh for their baby girl.

Diana and Paul had professional careers and a new home, but needed help from a fertility clinic to make their family complete. The expensive treatments delivered a beautiful baby to the couple, but their credit was suffering as a result.

They were living off credit cards, nearly $70,000 in debt and spiralling as they took out new cards to bring others into the black. Paul had been to nearly all the local banks and none were able to offer a viable solution.

It was then Paul met with their expert Finance Broker, who rolled up his sleeves to see what he could do.

“We worked out that Diana and Paul were paying above and beyond what was necessary on their home loan, and so we decided to switch the repayments to interest-only while they focused on getting their credit card debt in line,” the finance broker explains.

With three months of clear credit card history, Diana and Paul were then able to refinance the loan, and the finance broker checked in with the family every month to make sure their finances were on track.

“We worked on a budget that was reviewed every month to ensure it was realistic and working for their family,” he says.

It took four to five months, but the family was able to put credit card debt in order and have the refinanced loan settled, granting a new beginning on a fresh financial slate.

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There are many paths to successfully financing a property purchase. Recently, an expert finance broker helped a young couple, who had nearly given up hope, realize their dream.

If at first you don’t succeed, ask more questions. That’s the motto of finance broker, who doesn’t let a history of refusals stand in the way of securing the right loan.

Recently, Jim and Jenny Stewart, who were keen to buy their first home but had had their loan application rejected twice already, were referred to him.

“They didn’t think they had a chance of getting the amount they wanted, and I wasn’t sure I could get them approval either, but I started asking questions,” says the finance broker.

“It’s not enough to gather only the information required to submit an application; it’s important finance brokers know what borrowers’ plans for the future are, whether they plan to renovate or rebuild, for example, and what their background is.”

He discovered, through his thorough work, that Jenny’s parents were open to the idea of a helping their daughter and her partner by acting as guarantor, using the equity in their own home.

“This started a whole new way of helping Jim and Jenny get the loan they required,” the finance broker says. “And there was another benefit that came out of this: it showed the parents that their own mortgage was not structured ideally for their financial situation.”

After discussions with both parties, he was able to organise a situation in which both the Stewart and Jenny’s parents got the results they wanted.

He recommends that any potential borrowers considering this kind of arrangement speak to an expert. With his knowledge of the industry and a wide range of lenders and products, Jim and Jenny’s property dreams were realized, and Jenny’s parents were able to restructure their own mortgage.

Just as importantly, both parties went into the arrangement with a thorough understanding of the conditions and exit strategies, so there are no surprises in store.

 

 

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There are many paths to successfully financing a property purchase. Recently, an expert finance broker helped a young couple, who had nearly given up hope, realize their dream.

 

If at first you don’t succeed, ask more questions. That’s the motto of finance broker, who doesn’t let a history of refusals stand in the way of securing the right loan.

 

Recently, Jim and Jenny Stewart, who were keen to buy their first home but had had their loan application rejected twice already, were referred to him.

 

“They didn’t think they had a chance of getting the amount they wanted, and I wasn’t sure I could get them approval either, but I started asking questions,” says the finance broker.

 

“It’s not enough to gather only the information required to submit an application; it’s important finance brokers know what borrowers’ plans for the future are, whether they plan to renovate or rebuild, for example, and what their background is.”

 

He discovered, through his thorough work, that Jenny’s parents were open to the idea of a helping their daughter and her partner by acting as guarantor, using the equity in their own home.

 

“This started a whole new way of helping Jim and Jenny get the loan they required,” the finance broker says. “And there was another benefit that came out of this: it showed the parents that their own mortgage was not structured ideally for their financial situation.”

 

After discussions with both parties, he was able to organise a situation in which both the Stewart and Jenny’s parents got the results they wanted.

 

He recommends that any potential borrowers considering this kind of arrangement speak to an expert. With his knowledge of the industry and a wide range of lenders and products, Jim and Jenny’s property dreams were realized, and Jenny’s parents were able to restructure their own mortgage.

 

Just as importantly, both parties went into the arrangement with a thorough understanding of the conditions and exit strategies, so there are no surprises in store.

 

Contact us now!

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Posted by on in Australian mortgages

Step 1: Speak to an expert Finance Broker

When considering an investment property, your first port of call should be your finance broker.  An expert finance broker can help you achieve your investment property goals.  They will review your assets and liabilities to determine how much you can borrow, which will, in turn, give you a general idea of your target price range, so you can narrow your property search within your purchase budget.

Step 2: Budgeting

Just like buying your first home, when purchasing an investment property, it’s essential to budget.  If you’re unsure of the best way to budget for an investment property, speak with your mortgage finance broker, they can help you to get on the right path.

Step 3: Important conversations

Your mortgage finance broker will discuss your plans and your circumstances with you to determine what you can afford.  Your broker will also provide statutory documentation to initiate the lending process and work out for you what loan products will be appropriate in your circumstances.

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Before you apply for a home loan with your partner, there are a few discussions that you need to have that go a little beyond what you may know already.

You’ve found someone you want to spend your life with (or a significant chunk of it, at least) – the hard part is over, right? Wrong. You know each other well enough to know whether or not you each blow the budget every month, but you probably don’t know each other’s complete credit history. So, before you buy a property together, there are plenty of discussions you need to have. Here are three of them.

Have they defaulted on any payments?

He or she might be relatively debt free now, but has this always been the case? One bad mark on a credit file, such as a late car payment or a default on a credit card, will change the approach you need to take when applying for finance.

It doesn’t mean you can’t secure finance, but it may mean you need to apply to a specialist lender for an alt-doc loan. Your finance broker can help you find the right lender and craft an application to avoid the heartbreak of continual rejection.

That savings balance, where has it come from?

If your partner has savings towards a deposit, that’s fantastic. But the balance is only one part of the equation that lenders consider.

If he or she has managed to build up those savings over a good period of time, making regular contributions and managing their savings well, lenders will consider this a positive indication of an ability to make repayments regularly.

If, however, the savings are the result of a redundancy payout, a gift from family or backing a good horse, they are still helpful as a deposit, but don’t indicate that ability to make repayments.

Again, this is not the end of the world. You’ll be in a better position than you would without that balance, but may need expert help to put your application in the best light.

If we did get into trouble, how would you want to handle it?

You must plan for every eventuality, even one you think is not likely. Having said that, this discussion isn’t so much about having a solid plan in place for the worst, as seeing how your partner would deal with difficulty.

If one of you lost your job, or you had unexpected bills that seemed overwhelming, would they try to struggle through, not wanting to talk about it with you or with your finance broker, and potentially default on the loan? Or would they tackle it head on by visiting your finance broker or lender with you to make a plan to get through it without defaulting?

Before you start looking for a home to share with the love of your life, an appointment with your mortgage finance broker can help you iron out the details and secure the finance that suits both of you.

Contact us now! 

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Posted by on in Australian mortgages

While you may not need a six-figure salary to invest in property, those who earn a relatively low income will require a little more creative thinking to start a portfolio. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Find an investor-friendly loan

The challenge for low-income earners, explains the finance broker, is the time taken to save for a sufficient deposit. Some lenders require a higher deposit for an investor than is required for an owner-occupier, so seek out a lender and loan that is investor friendly, or consider living in the property for a period after the purchase before converting it into an investment property as your portfolio grows.

In any case, having at least 10 per cent of the property’s purchase price as a deposit will not only increase the likelihood of loan approval, it will also increase your borrowing capacity and lower the risk that you will have to pay lenders’ mortgage insurance (LMI).

Prove your financial discipline

Your lower income on an application can be offset by proving yourself a low risk borrower. Having genuine savings will not only highlight to lenders your ability to consistently meet financial payments and live within your means, it is also an opportunity to increase your borrowing power. The same can be said for lowering any existing debts.

“Keep credit card limits as low as possible as lenders always calculate servicing based on the limit, not the balance,” advises the broker. “Also, try to pay off any personal or car loans before applying for an investment loan. Because of the short-term nature of these commitments, repayments can have a significant impact on an applicant’s borrowing power and should be paid out where possible.”

Choose the right property

When it comes to choosing the property, low-income earners will generally do well to steer clear of anything that’s negatively geared, as you are not trying to offset your high income with losses, and remember the importance of profit over property.

Seek out different strategies

For those who don’t have other non-deductible debt they want to pay down first, adopting a principle and interest payment is the obvious choice, advises the finance broker. Interest-only loans are only suitable in specific circumstances when strong exit plans are in place, while principle and interest payments reduce debt, freeing up borrowing capacity and allowing the borrower to leverage equity. Investing with a close friend or relative is another way to enter the market for those who earn a low income. As long as agreements are in place, including who is responsible for the mortgage and what happens if one owner defaults, how the property will be used, in what circumstances it may be sold, and how maintenance will be paid for, co-ownership is preferable not owning a property at all.

Find the right loan

Recent research suggests that as many as 60 per cent of applicants who are rejected by the major banks would be eligible for a loan through a specialist lender. Specialist or non-conforming loans do carry higher interest as a rule, to account for the higher perceived risk the lender is taking, but a good finance broker will see this type of loan as a stepping-stone to a prime loan, and help their client prove themselves so that they can switch to a prime loan after a year or so.

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A home is the biggest purchase most people will make, so it’s never simple. Throw in renovations and investment properties, and you’re certainly in need of expert advice.

If you have a really great credit adviser, he or she will be prepared to work with you over the long term to find the right property and lock in finance for the purchase.

Justin Myers, recalls working with one client over three years, from obtaining initial pre-approval for a loan and helping the client successfully bid on a property, to arranging a construction loan for renovations and then helping unlock equity for property investment.

In cases such as these, a bank branch’s loan officer just might not cut it.

“When the client contacted me, he was dissatisfied with the experience he had had dealing directly with banks, who were focused on selling him a loan at the lowest rate, rather than setting up a loan that really met his needs,” says Justin.

“Our role was really to educate the client about the best way to approach financing of the property. We attended auctions with the client to give him confidence, really acting more like a private banker,” Justin explains.

“Then once the client had bought the right property, we were subsequently able to arrange a construction loan. When building was complete we had the property re-valued and the client was able to use the equity to make an additional investment,” he says.

The result was an exceptionally happy client, who has made a number of other investments, all with Justin’s assistance, and sent many of his friends and colleagues Justin’s way when they were looking to buy property.

“Our experience with this client really shows the value of receiving advice from a qualified credit adviser,” Justin says.

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How do you match a loan and lender to your needs? Rather than running around finding out the details of each and every lender and loan, draw on the expertise of a Finance Broker.

One of the benefits of working with a finance broker is the extensive menu of loan options they have at their fingertips. But given such a wide choice, how does your adviser narrow down the options to find the right loan for you?

Mortgage finance broker sometimes have access to more than 30 different lenders. These include the big four banks, which offer loan options for people who may not meet the lending criteria of the top banks.

When it comes to making loan recommendations, a credit adviser looks at a number of different factors.

First they’ll talk to the client about their goals. This might be to pay off the loan as quickly as possible, or to find a loan with the lowest interest rate possible. They may want a loan with a fixed term, or they may want a facility with a low fee structure. Each client is different.

Many finance broker give each client three loan options and makes sure the options meet their requirements across a range of criteria.
If the borrower has no specific requirements, finance brokers will most often take into account interest rates, how fees impact the life of the loan and how portable the loan is.

While interest rates are the most critical factor, it’s not the only factor. As well as the loan’s fees and interest rates, the lender must also match the client.

Find out how a Finance Broker can help here.Contact us now!

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Before you apply for a home loan with your partner, there are a few discussions that you need to have that go a little beyond what you may know already.

You’ve found someone you want to spend your life with (or a significant chunk of it, at least) – the hard part is over, right? Wrong. You know each other well enough to know whether or not you each blow the budget every month, but you probably don’t know each other’s complete credit history. So, before you buy a property together, there are plenty of discussions you need to have. Here are three of them.

Have they defaulted on any payments?

He or she might be relatively debt free now, but has this always been the case? One bad mark on a credit file, such as a late car payment or a default on a credit card, will change the approach you need to take when applying for finance.
It doesn’t mean you can’t secure finance, but it may mean you need to apply to a specialist lender for an alt-doc loan. Your Mortgage Finance Broker can help you find the right lender and craft an application to avoid the heartbreak of continual rejection.

That savings balance, where has it come from?

If your partner has savings towards a deposit, that’s fantastic. But the balance is only one part of the equation that lenders consider.

If he or she has managed to build up those savings over a good period of time, making regular contributions and managing their savings well, lenders will consider this a positive indication of an ability to make repayments regularly.

If, however, the savings are the result of a redundancy payout, a gift from family or backing a good horse, they are still helpful as a deposit, but don’t indicate that ability to make repayments.

Again, this is not the end of the world. You’ll be in a better position than you would without that balance, but may need expert help to put your application in the best light.

If we did get into trouble, how would you want to handle it?

You must plan for every eventuality, even one you think is not likely. Having said that, this discussion isn’t so much about having a solid plan in place for the worst, as seeing how your partner would deal with difficulty.

If one of you lost your job, or you had unexpected bills that seemed overwhelming, would they try to struggle through, not wanting to talk about it with you or with your finance broker, and potentially default on the loan? Or would they tackle it head on by visiting your finance broker or lender with you to make a plan to get through it without defaulting?

Contact us!

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It’s easy to understand why we look for the largest, most prestigious properties we can afford – we are constantly urged to define our success by our possessions: bigger, better, newer, faster, shinier. A relatively recent counter-movement, however, urges lower impact, fewer goods and less consumption, and at its core nestles the tiny house.

With the price of property ownership creeping skyward across most parts of Australia and leaping into the stratosphere in others, a big home isn’t always affordable to buy. Add the cost of energy and living, and big isn’t always affordable to maintain, either.

With the boom of environmentally friendly housing and a return-to-basics design mentality, a trend for micro housing has cropped up, producing some positively diminutive living arrangements.

Whether it’s a one-room cabin with a loft for a bed space, a tree house or a converted shipping container, the trend in minimalist shelter has well and truly skyrocketed.

Despite how innovative those ideas are, there is no denying that they aren’t suited to everyone. What could apply broadly, however, are their lessons in downsizing. Not only can people save money, but they can save time and energy, too. It’s a good idea to consider the following benefits of smaller housing before buying the biggest home you can afford.

● Less expensive. Small homes tend to have smaller price tags. This can be the difference between living comfortably while saving for your future or an investment property, or worrying about what will happen if the market turns. Less debt also, generally, equals lower risk.
● Energy efficient. Having fewer rooms to heat and cool saves on energy costs and lowers your ecological footprint, too.
● Less maintenance. Big houses generally mean more maintenance. This applies to the week-to-week cleaning as well as the big responsibilities, such as clearing gutters, mending fences or painting walls, which can’t be shirked if you intend to protect your investment.
● More time. All of the above leads to time saved for everything else. The more money and maintenance required for the upkeep of a home, the less time you have. For many, this is a lifestyle choice, but an important one nonetheless.
● Easier to sell. Smaller, more affordable homes are less likely to end up stranded in the property market. The more people who can afford to buy your home, the easier it will be to sell in future.

While some lenders will only finance properties over a minimum square footage, a mortgage finance broker has access to a broad range of lenders and loan products to make sure they can find the perfect one for a tiny home.

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When a busy doctor who had worked with banks to set up finance for her investment properties visited a mortgage finance adviser, she walked away with three more properties and a newly simplified finance structure that saved her money.

Lisa Collins*, a doctor who had purchased six investment properties while working with bank loan officers, called on a mortgage credit adviser to help her streamline the loans attached to the assets.

“As I started working more closely with her, I discovered there was a complex web of loans attached to the portfolio,” says the credit adviser. “So it made sense to try to rationalize and simplify the loan structures. At the time, she had loans with three different banks and didn’t know which properties were used to secure individual loans.”

Each time Collins bought a new property, she took out a new loan. As a result, there were multiple loans attached to each property, as she had accessed the equity in the existing properties to purchase additional properties. As well, many of the properties in the portfolio were cross-secured, creating a very complex arrangement.

“The problem we faced was that any refinancing would almost certainly have involved a massive exposure to lenders’ mortgage insurance,” says the credit adviser. “But she had a huge plus in her favour: as a doctor, she was able to take advantage of a benefit some lenders give doctors so they don’t have to pay mortgage insurance.”

Knowing this, and knowing which lenders offered this bonus, meant the by credit adviser was able to restructure the loans attached to Collin’s property portfolio so that there was only one loan associated with every property, rather than two or three.

“We made sure none of the properties were cross-secured, making a very complex structure much more simple. It’s also certainly helped her accountant at tax time,” the credit adviser says.

With the credit adviser’s help, Lisa purchased a further three investment properties, and now owns nine in various locations, worth approximately $4 million dollars.

*Client’s name has been changed.

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There’s an old saying that you should never judge a book by its cover, and this is true for houses – after all, who would buy one having never seen more than the front door? Open inspections are opportunities to really flick through the pages, and here’s how to take full advantage.

Use your senses
Sniff, peer, listen and feel as much as you can. Your nose might pick up a mouldy or musty smell that may mean damp. You might spy small or hidden cracks that could mean structural issues. That clattering sound when water is running? That can be a sign of serious plumbing problems.

Don’t be distracted by the beautiful bling
Anyone can invest money in pretty cushions and lamps to set off the house. Or bake some cookies just as the open inspection starts so the house smells cosy and homey. But when buying property, you’re buying the sausage not the sizzle, so look past the perfectly presented and lit lounge room to the size, shape and placement in the floorplan of the actual room, and imagine how you will use it.

Look up
That means checking the roof on the way in and looking at the ceilings in the rooms. Damp and leakage issues are costly and notoriously hard to fix. And once the rot sets in, it’s there to stay.

That kitchen and bathroom advice
It’s true what they say. If these two rooms aren’t how you would like them to be, are you prepared to live with it or spend the money required to transform them? Bathroom renovations will be upwards of $10,000, and probably a lot more.

Look at your surroundings
Who and what are your neighbors? Check out the location at different times of the week and day. It may sound excessive, but maybe the house is under a window-rattlingly low flight path only when the weather is bad, there’s a bar across the road that blasts out loud music in the early hours but is closed during the day when inspections are on, or there’s a factory down the road that when the wind blows a certain way sends nasty smells wafting. If you have kids, what are the local school like? What is the local crime rate?

Ask lots of questions
What are the utilities like gas, electricity and water costing the current residents? A home with large windows seems bright and sunny, but it can also make for more drafts in winter and warmer rooms in the summer – both problems that make for higher utility costs. It’s also important to ask about previous repairs and renovations; if something goes wrong down the track it can be good to have a history.

Have a pre-purchase building and pest inspection
This may seem obvious but many houses are bought and sold without one. Home inspectors are trained to find flaws in a home that your untrained eye may never see as a problem, but may cost a lot to correct down the line. If it’s your dream home, you may choose to buy it even with structural or pest problems, but you’ll no doubt be able to negotiate on price.

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If you don’t receive approval don’t give up. Speak to a professional mortgage adviser and keep your dream alive.

Connie Collins had found her dream home and made an offer, which was accepted. Now all she had to do was get her loan approved and she would be on her way to settlement.

Connie approached a lender directly to gain approval for finance. Her application took three weeks to process but, in the end, was declined. Not wanting to give up, Connie went to her local Mortgage Credit Adviser for help.

With the finance clause on the property expired, Connie was in danger of losing the property. Rather than requesting an extension for her finance, her credit adviser opted to lodge the application with a different financial institution that she was confident would approve it fairly quickly.

With a deep understanding of the financier’s polices, Connie’s credit adviser was able to present everything that was needed with the initial application to get the loan across the line. He submitted the loan application for Connie at 8.30am and, by 11am that day, the loan was approved.

She was amazed at the result. She couldn’t believe that after going directly to a lender and waiting around for a decision for three weeks, all she had to do was sign the application the night before it was lodged and she was given approval the very next day.
If it wasn’t for the credit adviser’s assistance,Connie’s dream could have come crashing down. She was naturally over the moon with the result, and settlement on her new home is now underway.

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If you have a stable income but don’t have the cash for a deposit, an expert can help find a way to turn your dreams come true!

Kelly and Natasha had a good, solid income but they didn’t have a sufficient deposit to be able to buy a property. They had been knocked back after visiting various lenders, but, when they went to see their local mortgage finance broker for help, it turned out that they just hadn’t been given the best advice.

Their finance broker suggested that they take a different approach and use family equity in place of a deposit. This meant including the value of the parent’s home in the total property valuation for the loan to bring their loan to valuation ratio (LVR) up to the required 80 per cent.

As for the parent’s concerns, the finance broker was also able to explain the implications and the flexibilities they had in terms of selling their property or downsizing. He allowed them to understand that they could still help out without carrying a large financial burden or altering any plans they had.

Kelly and Natasha’s application was approved, so they no longer had to delay and miss out on their purchase. They also avoided paying lenders’ mortgage insurance (LMI). Four years later, they have been able to refinance, eliminating the family property from their home loan arrangement and maintaining the loan on their own.
With the equity in their home, they are now working with their finance broker on a plan to purchase an investment property, which they would never have thought was possible four years ago when they had been told they couldn’t buy even one.

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When saving a deposit to buy a home, many people have a goal amount in mind that they need to save before they meet with a mortgage broker who will help them secure the finance.

If this is you, you’re doing it wrong. From day one, when you first think ‘I could maybe buy a house if I worked hard and saved a lot’, you’re ready to have a mortgage broker on your side.

A mortgage broker’s knowledge of the loan and property market will help you work out how much you will be able to borrow, which determines the size of the deposit you will need to save.

They will also be able to help you develop a realistic timeline to save your deposit and find ways to pay down debts faster, and provide creative solutions that will help reach your goals sooner.

You may also be pleasantly surprised to find that you are closer to your goal than you thought. The tools in a mortgage broker’s belt that can help you realize your dreams more quickly and efficiently include lender’s mortgage insurance, specialist lending products, land loans and, for investors predicting significant rises in property prices, interest-only loans.

More importantly than just being allowed to provide these products, a mortgage finance broker can help you work out whether they suit your situation and goals. For example, while buying land now to build on later lowers the cost of your initial investment and can be an opportunity to take advantage of a dip in land prices, there is no point in it if you will not be able to secure construction finance down the track.

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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.”

Another happy client this credit adviser recently helped was a young professional who purchased her first investment property.

“She used her 10 per cent savings on stamp duty, mortgage insurance and her initial deposit. The property is now being rented out and is a good investment with borrowed return.”

An option for singles is to consider purchasing or building outside metropolitan areas in order to lower costs. When deciding whether such a purchase would be owner-occupied or an investment, you need to weigh up relocation or commuting costs, as well as any income losses associated with moving away from a city.

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