How to pay your mortgage off sooner 

How to pay your mortgage off sooner 

Paying off a mortgage as quickly as possible reaps many benefits. By leveraging some simple savings strategies you can reduce the term of the loan and the interest you’ll pay. Reduce overspending We all do it. Unplanned purchases and impulse buying can seriously affect your financial health. Just by simply preparing a budget shows how much can be saved with a little planning. Pay lump sums off your mortgage Instead of pocketing your tax return or work bonus, consider putting it directly against your mortgage. Every dollar over the repayment amount bites into your principal, which reduces the interest payable. Don’t be complacent about direct debits and insurances Every year, do a health check of your insurances, including car, home and health, and promptly cancel subscriptions, like a long forgotten gym membership. Don’t forget to check your current loan/mortgage rate. Banks are very competitive these days. Sell it rather than dump it With online selling now the norm, there’s no excuse for throwing out an old couch or TV. Take some photos, put it up for sale on online garage sale sites like Gumtree or eBay, and make a little bit of extra cash to throw onto your loan. Stamp out your debt Debt kills your financial momentum. While you may be paying 5 per cent interest on your home loan, you could be forking out up to 20 per cent on your credit card or car loan. Forget extra repayments on your low-interest mortgage until you’ve stamped out your high-interest...
Are high-end properties the key to real estate wealth? 

Are high-end properties the key to real estate wealth? 

It may surprise many first time investors that purchasing well-located lower-priced properties can deliver higher rates of capital growth than properties located in much more expensive suburbs.  In areas such as Perth and Brisbane, for example, you can still purchase well located properties in suburbs with a median house price of less than $500,000 that can achieve greater annual capital growth rates than properties in suburbs with a median house price of above $1 million.  First time investors should take the lead from the large number of people whose wealth has been based on buying affordable properties in well located areas.  There are literally thousands of wealthy people throughout Australia who at one stage in life bought a very affordable home as their first home and then used this as a stepping stone to create personal wealth over the long term. So how do you buy an affordable property?  Check if there are any upgrades in your affordable areas to local infrastructure such as new schools, shopping centres or transport. New infrastructure can increase the value of properties by making homes in these areas more appealing to buyers. The best areas to buy affordable properties are locations with high population growth rates. You should target affordable properties in these locations with as much land content as possible. Make contact with a number of agents to check what type of properties are most in demand in the local area. This will give you an indication of what type of property will appeal to future buyers if you decide to sell. Check with the local council to find out which suburbs have any...
How to find the best tenants

How to find the best tenants

Tenants are an important part of your investment property succeeding, so here are some tips on getting the best tenants and minimising tenant turnover. Find the right property manager Finding the right team to manage your property is critical. Too many people do property management because they think they should rather than they want to do it. They must: • Have a dedicated property management division. • Have experience and have had previous success with problematic tenants. • Have an agency principal involved in the function of the property management division. • Have a manager that does/oversees inspections. • Has good programs and processes for vetting applications and monitoring rental arrears. Update your property By keeping your property in top condition, you’ll attract tenants who take care of their belongings and property, and it will also keep you ahead of the competition. Ensure property updates suit your target demographic. Set the right price Keep your rental price in line with similar properties in the area or other landlords will gain a competitive edge in the search for good tenants. Your real estate agent should advise you about the current market and how much similar properties in the area are being rented out for before deciding on a realistic price. Always run a credit check It’s a good idea to include a credit check in the screening process as it is usually safer to choose a tenant who has good established credit. Ensure reference checks are being performed Ensure your property manager makes reference checks with the applicant’s previous landlords, who can clarify whether the tenant paid their rent on...
Why are property sales volumes declining?

Why are property sales volumes declining?

Property transaction volumes are reportedly declining in Sydney, and nationally. There are about 9.75 million residential dwellings in Australia, but despite a record construction boom stock turnover has fallen to well below 3 per cent, and way below the historical averages. Auction results are telling us this. There could be any number of reasons for this… Staying put! We know that the ridiculous cost of stamp duty (and selling fees) is a discouraging factor for people wanting to move house in Sydney. Stamp duty receipts in New South Wales have more than doubled since June 2013 to $8.63 billion. In June 2013 the buyer of a median priced house in Sydney paid about $27,000 in stamp duty, mortgage fees, and transfer duties. Today, they’ll pay nearly $45,000. That’s a lot of capital growth required to justify the costs of moving house, so we’ll arguably see a shift towards renovating and staying put (or buying cheap and renovating) just as we did at Sydney’s previous cyclical peak in early 2004. A buy & hold strategy A structural change over the medium term has been the “asset lock in” associated with property investors, with the prevailing tax legislation more or less compelling investors to use interest only loans and play a longer term capital growth strategy.  Since the latest round of monetary easing from 2012 investors have become a more substantial force in the larger capitals. There has been a 300 per cent increase in outstanding investor credit since 2003. Buy, hold, and compound the capital gains. Offshore investors In Australia non-residents are generally restricted to the purchase of new dwellings, thereby encouraging new construction,...
The majority of Aussies are still upbeat about house prices

The majority of Aussies are still upbeat about house prices

Record high house prices in Australia doesn’t seem to deter buyer sentiment, while sellers think 2017 is a good time to sell, says a new survey. Two in three (62 percent) Aussie home owners believe this year is a good time to buy, while a further 73 percent believe it is a good time to sell, according to the findings of the survey commissioned by free real estate agent search service, Local Agent Finder. The survey was conducted from a nationally representative, independent panel of 1001 Australian adults. How do we know? Local Agent Finder allows vendors to compare property sales agents in their local area, in conjunction with Pureprofile, a data and insights company. Local Agent Finder CEO Matt McCann said it was interesting to see two-thirds of Australians believe property is a good buy this year, given the double-digit percentage increases, talk of interest rates rises, and possible changes to property investment legislation. “Many of us are talking about Sydney and Melbourne’s strong property market, but that is not really being seen outside of the Eastern Seaboard. In fact, the value of property in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart were lower in 2016 than they were eight years ago,” he said. The Figures Sydney and Melbourne recorded the highest dwelling value increases from 2015 to 2016, at 15.5 percent and 13.7 percent respectively. Other cities had lower increases, with Canberra dwellings increasing by 9.3 percent, Brisbane by 3.6 percent and Adelaide by 4.2 percent, while Perth decreased by -4.3 percent. A majority of home owners surveyed in New South Wales, 81 percent, believe it is a good...
How to spot the next up and comer SUBURBS

How to spot the next up and comer SUBURBS

What does everybody want? To buy in the suburbs before they explodes into popularity and you make a killing setting you on the road to financial freedom. It’s not that easy. As the demand for property continues to grow around the country, middle and outer suburbs that were once unfavourable are now highly desirable places for families. Sometimes you can spot the next suburb to boom by the quality of the cafes and restaurants in the neighbourhood. Another sign is the amount of homes you see being renovated. The greater the number of renovations the greater the strength. People are getting priced out of a lot of inner-city suburbs and are forced to look further afield where property is more affordable. However if an area has all the right fundamentals in place and is next to an area that has already proved to be popular then it will likely catch up. A few ways to find the right suburbs:   The suburb borders suburbs with a much higher price tag. The suburb is close to main hubs, has access to good public transport (preferably trains) and other amenities. New developments or infrastructure upgrades are set for the area.   There is a shortage of properties on the market. Properties don’t last on the market long and open homes are extremely busy.   Chat to local real estate agents who are normally first to notice when a suburb starts to heat up. They will notice the increase in property queries and the busy open homes very quickly. But make sure you’re quick to find the next hotspot, because once people...