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A Step Ahead

New Assessment Rate: How Much More Can I Borrow?

In an open letter to the banks, APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) has proposed amending their guidelines to allow banks to determine their own assessment rate. This will substantially increase the maximum borrowing power of many home loan borrowers. What changes to mortgage lending is APRA proposing? APRA is proposing to: Remove the 7% serviceability floor rate used…
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What types of property are best for investment?

There are many things to consider when purchasing an investment property. Choosing a location, determining rent and knowing how many times you can drop “my portfolio” casually into conversation without sounding like a banker. However there are risks involved – and not every property continues to increase in value. But by making well-informed decisions about the…
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Living Expenses Calculator

Will your home loan get knocked back for one off expenses? Why do banks care about my living expenses? When banks assess your ability to borrow, one of the major factors they assess is your spending compared to income. Your living expenses are a good indication of your character as a potential borrower. Specifically, banks…
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The Home Buying Process

For most people, a house will be the most important and expensive asset they will ever own. First home buyers know this but not many understand the process of settling the home of their dreams. Our home buying process guide will take you through every step of the process, from applying for the mortgage to…
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Six winning strategies for auctions

Auctions are competitive and stressful for most bidders. Here are six smart strategies that could improve your chances of winning. 1.Don’t show your hand Revealing your maximum bid limit to the agent before the auction could encourage them to push you a little further. For example, during the auction the agent might indicate you’re close to meeting the…
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Five essential pre-auction-day tips

Five essential pre-auction-day tips   After months of househunting, you’ve found your ideal home or investment property. When auction day is approaching, it’s time to get serious about preparing to bid. Here’s a checklist of five essential things to do before putting up your hand at auction. Secure your finance If you’re serious about a…
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So the interest-only term on your mortgage is about to end? Let’s look at your options

  Are you on an interest-only loan? While it’s generally investors who are, 1 in 4 IO loans are actually taken out by owner-occupiers. With 200,000 IO loans set to expire in the next few years, these people need to consider their options. There’s been much brouhaha about people coming off interest-only loans of late. The Reserve…
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What to consider when buying a second property

Buying your own home remains the great Australian dream – and purchasing a second property may help you take your wealth further. Whether you’re building your property investment portfolio, buying a holiday house or supporting a family member, there are plenty of things to think about before you take that next step. Consider your cashflow…
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Ready to buy property off the plan? Read this first

Buying property off the plan is exciting as it means you get to own a brand-new home, but make sure you know what’s involved. Start by asking these five questions: 1. Do you know the risks? When buying an apartment, unit or house off the plan, you’re purchasing a promise. You can’t step into the…
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Refinancing could save you thousands – and give you greater flexibility

It’s often said that Australians are more likely to divorce their spouse than switch banks. But with plenty of competition in the home loan sector, refinancing can be a good move. There are a number of reasons why you might want to refinance: you can consolidate debt from high-interest credit cards into a home loan with…
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