Tuesday, February 20, 2018

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A more relaxed lifestyle, better weather, a return to family, or a change of job - whatever your reason for starting over in a new town or city, the stresses of relocation remain the same. But there are some sure-fire hacks for helping smooth the transition, making the move an exciting adventure, rather than a frightening leap into the unknown. 

Take time to find the right area
Unless you have an in-depth knowledge of the place that you are moving to, or have to move to a specific suburb due to work or family constraints, don't rush in and buy a house before you move. In fact, don't take on a long-term lease either. Treat the first couple of months of your transition as an extended vacation. Thanks to services such as Airbnb, short-term accommodation is cheap and readily available, only a few taps of a finger away. Give yourself time to get a feel of your new city or town - explore it and experience what different suburbs have to offer first-hand, before you commit yourself to putting down roots. 

Pay for a professional move
Until you have decided on a new home, you do not want to be burdened with furniture, so travel light. Pack your bags as if you are going on an extended family trip and trust your move to professional home removers (not two men with plumbers' cracks and a dodgy old van) and pay the extra to have the contents of your old home professionally packed. If you have never used a professional packing service before, you do not know what you have missed out on! You leave your house for a few hours, and when you come back everything is packed, labelled and bubble wrapped. It's easy, not too expensive and takes all the stress out of moving. Then organise for a removal company to have your goods put into storage at the other end. Once you have decided on your long-term home, they can come and unpack everything, stress-free. 

Research house prices
This is a fact: outsiders moving into an area pay more for homes than people moving within the same area. Locals know the ins and outs of an area that can affect prices on certain streets (think traffic, plane noise, crime, flooding danger) and keep an interested eye on the prices their neighbours' homes sell for. Once you have an idea of where you want to live, do proper research into the property prices in the area. Talk to real estate agents, talk to a local mortgage broker and tap them for advice on the average property prices in the streets that interest you. Don't let your enthusiasm for an area cloud your judgement on auction day. It could end up costing you dearly. 

Get to know the neighbourhood
Every area has its own community websites, so get Googling. Local sites are a great place to start when looking for the lowdown on schools, parks and services in the areas that you are interested in. Making contact with other like-minded people in a neighbourhood is the quickest way of finding out whether the location suits you, your family and your lifestyle. You will probably make a few new friends too. 

Become part of your community

Once you have relocated, become part of your local community. Join your school's fundraising committee or help out with out-of-hours groups and clubs and get to know your neighbours. It is all too easy to shut your front door and retreat inside your home, but if you don't help work for your community, it is never going to work for you.


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We speak to potential investors on a daily basis, who are keen to build their personal wealth by investing in property. They tend to fall into 2 categories.

1. Currently renting and can not afford to buy where they live.
Those currently renting typically are looking to become rentvestors. Rentvesting is a fairly new term coined to describe those investors who continue to rent the home they live in and purchase a property to invest elsewhere. This particular strategy is very popular for those living in expensive areas such as Sydney's Northern Beaches, North Shore and Inner West, who want to get onto the property ladder but simply can not afford the price of property in that area. 

2. Home owners with equirty in their owner occupied property.
Many home owners believe that because they already have what potentially could be a very large mortgage, that they can not afford to purchase an investment property. This may indeed be true, but for those with substantial equity in their home, they may still be able to use that equity to fund the purchase of an investment. 

Let's explore some of the ways these 2 groups of potential investors CAN grow their wealth by investing in property. But first, let's look at a couple of key terms in finance which you will need to understand... 

Lender's Mortgage Insurance (LMI)
LMI is payable when borrowing more than 80% of a property's value. It is designed to provide lenders with an extra level of protection in case the borrower defaults on their loan. While expensive, it has allowed many to purchase a home even with a very small deposit. 

LMI can be very expensive, but you should weigh this up against the potential gains from the particular property you are seeking to purchase. The potential long term capital gain may well out weigh the costs of the LMI. 

Loan To Value Ratio (LVR)
The LVR is the amount you are borrowing, represented as a percentage of the value of the property being used as security for the loan. Lenders place a large emphasis on this when they are assessing your loan application and the lower the LVR, the lower the risk is to the bank. 

Investment Loan Deposit
So exactly how much of a deposit DO you need? The answer is simple... the same as you would need for a home loan deposit with a maximum loan to value ratio of 95%. 

While having saved for a deposit is the ideal situation, borrowers don't actually need to have the deposit sitting readily available as cash savings. You can withdraw the deposit from your equity on your owner-occupied property or you can even be gifted the amount due. It is however important to bear in mind that the amount of deposit you have will affect the interest rate you are offered. 

Lenders have tightened up on borrowers for investment purposes but there are still many options and it is important to understand the different options available.

Variable Rate: with a variable interest rate, your rate will move up and down in line with mortgage interest rates. Your monthly repayments can vary widely during the term of your loan and it is important to always allow for future rate rises, especially in the current climate where rates have already begun to rise. 

Fixed Rate: a fixed rate loan locks you in to a particular interest rate for a specific period so your repayment will remain the same. Fixed rate loans are popular for borrowers who need to know in advance what their payments will be for a specific period of time. There are typically additional upfront fees called "rate lock" fees with a fixed rate home loan and they do not all come with an offset facility. 

Split Loans: these divide your loan into fixed and variable rate portions. 

Line of Credit: this combines your home loan with an everyday transaction account from which the borrowers can draw cash up to a pre-approved limit. 

Low Do Loans: these are useful for borrowers who are unable to provide conventional income documentation or for people with complex structures. 

When buying a property, there are several upfront costs. Some of which you will expect but especially for first time buyers, there are some costs you might not be aware of. So what exactly are the costs of purchasing a home... 

  • Deposit for property (minimum is 5%)
  • Pre-purchase inspections eg. pest and building inspections, strata search
  • Borrowing costs eg. loan application fee, valuations, LMI
  • Government charges eg. stamp duty etc
  • Conveyancer fees
  • Home and contents insurance
  • Additional life insurance, income protection fees and moving in costs
Equity is the difference between the market value of your property and the amount you still owe against it. For example, if your home is valued at $500,000 and you currently owe $300,000 on your home loan, your equity in that property would be $200,000. If you then access $100,000 of that equity you will increase your borrowings against that property to $400,000. Being only 80% of the total value of the property, you will not have to pay LMI. 
You could indeed borrow an additional $50,000 to take your borrowings to $450,000 but please bear in mind this will increase your borrowing on the property to 90% of the total value so you will have to pay LMI. 
Cross Collateralisation: when more than one property is used to secure a loan or multiple loans. For example, a person owns property A and want to purchase property B without using any of their own funds. In this instance, the lender can use both properties as collateral for the new loan. 

Risks of cross collateralizing:

  • You may limit additional borrowing as your equity is reduced. 
  • Both properties are at risk of being sold by the lender if you default on your loan. 
  • You are tired to a single lender. 
  • Potentially higher fees. 

Avoiding Cross Collateralisation:
By NOT cross collateralising you are protecting your home against any potential problems with the investment property. So let's look at how this would typically be structured... 

EXAMPLE: Borrower owns property A valued at $500,000 with an existing home loan of $300,000 and $200,000 equity. There is a wish to purchase an investment property valued at $400,000. To avoid cross collateralising, they could use their equity and set up a draw down facility for $100,000 with their existing lender and use $95,000 to cover the 20% deposit plus costs for the investment. Then, they would set up a new loan with a NEW lender for the remaining 80%. 

Self Managed Super Funds: or SMFs, can be used to purchase an investment asset where the investor has insufficient financial resources to purchase a desired investment asset without borrowings. This is a viable but highly complex option and must be discussed with your Accountant or Financial Planner. It is worth noting that the minumum amount required to open an SMSF is $200,000 and the maximum LVR allowable for residential borrowing is 70-80% and is much lower for commercial or rural properties. There are many fees included in borrowing through SMSF also. 

EXAMPLE: Jodie has $250,00 in her SMSF. She wants her SMSF to purchase an investment property valued at $500,000. The SMSF will need to borrow $350,000 to purchase the investment property and still leave some cash in her fund. 

Parental Guarantor
Even with no deposit and no SMSF, there ARE ways to get into the property market NOW... if you don't have a deposit and your parents own a property you can consider a parental guarantor structure. This means your family member using their own home equity to provide additional security for a portion of YOUR loan amount. This also reduces your LVR so you can save your money.

It also allows for 105% of the purchase price to be borrowed (including stamp duty and fees) and means you don't have to pay LMI and better yet, you don't need a deposit. In order to faciliate this, some lenders will accept a 2nd loan on your parents' home with sufficient equity while other lenders will require that your parents are working. Alternatively, a lender might use your parents' investment property if they have one. If you go down this route, always aim to remove the guarantee as soon as you owe less than 80% of the property value. 

Do I earn enough to invest in property?
This is a question we hear often, and the answer differs with each scenario. So let's look at a couple of real life examples of everyday investors... 







Why should you use a mortgage broker?
A great mortgage broker will not only be skilled in finance but they will have access to many lenders and will understand their lending policies. They may also have access to rates that you would not have access to. A great broker will save you many hours, reduce your stress and ensure that your finance is structured correctly. 

How do you find a reliable mortgage broker?

  • Referrals - ask family, friends and colleagues
  • Testimonials - check websites and social media for reviews
  • Experience - check experience on Linkedin
  • Qualifications - check they have a diploma in Finance
  • Call - pick up the phone... do you feel comfortable?


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Contact Details

Zippy Finance 

PO Box 3078
North Turramurra
NSW 2074

T 1300 855 022 

Louisa Sanghera is a credit representative (437236) of BLSSA Pty Ltd ACN 117 651 760.  Australian Credit Licence 391237. ABN 85 168 278 975.

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