Refinance Home Loan Tips - Master Mortgage Broker Sydney
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By Dave Fleming : 20 April, 2019

Mortgage Broker KellyVilleThe Easter holidays are a great time to get away with the family. Unfortunately, this means they’re also a prime time for burglars to target your unoccupied home. Here are seven simple ways to deter uninvited guests from entering your property these holidays – sorry Easter Bunny!

Get this: in 2017 there were 225,900 recorded burglaries in Australia. That’s one every three minutes.

As we all know, the holiday season is a prime time for burglars to strike as it’s much more likely that you’ll be far, far away from your property.

And let’s be honest – with the holidays only a few days away it’s probably a little too late to install a state-of-the-art home security system.

So here are seven simple last-minute strategies you can implement to deter burglars.

1. Lock up properly

Ok, we admit this one sounds awfully simple, but according to a 2015 study of people who were pinged for break and enter offences, the number one reason a house was targeted (70%) was that homeowners left windows or doors unlocked.

And it makes sense when you think about how rushed holidaymakers can get.

For example, it’s all-too-easy for one family member to lock the back door, and then another to remember at the last minute that they forgot their surfboard in the back shed, and then neglect to lock the door on their way back through.

Therefore, the very last thing you should always do before driving away on holidays is to conduct one last double check of the house to ensure every window and door is locked and, where possible, dead-bolted.

2. Install a smart security camera (or a fake one!)

The last thing a burglar wants is their crime caught on camera. Thus, installing a security camera or two around the outside of your premises can act as a strong deterrent.

You can pick up a smart camera for about $160 and view all the footage online.

If the budget is a bit tight, you can buy an imitation camera for $14. It won’t record and catch the criminal in the act, but it might deter them from taking the risk in the first place.

3. Beware of the dog

Man’s best friend is a burglar’s worst nightmare.

For about $10 you can buy a ‘beware of the dog sign‘ and scare away any burglars who fear our furry friends.

Now, obviously it won’t work with all burglars, but here’s what a four-time convicted burglarhad to say: “That ‘Beware of Dog’ sign? Not even going near it”.

Go all-in on your bluff by buying a large dog bowl for $10 and putting it under a tap near the side gate.

4. Motion sensing outdoor lights

Picture this. It’s the dead of the night and you’re a burglar edging your way around the backyard of an unknown premises when, all of a sudden, a spotlight turns on and lights up your immediate area.

What would you do?

Now, I’m definitely no mastermind cat burglar, but if I were, I’d hightail it straight out of there!

You can buy a sensor security light that operates on solar for $73, or ones that run off the grid for $27. Both take about 15 to 20 minutes to set up.

5. Know what burglars are targeting

Below is a list of the top ten items most likely to be stolen by burglars, according to insurer Budget Direct.

The good news is that most of these items are quite small so they can be locked up in a home safe, or tucked away in a nice secure hiding spot (just not under the mattress!).

1. Cash
2. Laptops
3. Jewellery
4. Cameras
5. Phones
6. Wallets, handbags, purses
7. Identification documents
8. Televisions
9. Computer and video game equipment
10. Watches

6. Ensure your home and contents insurance is up-to-date

This will take about 15 to 30 minutes but it will definitely be worth your while, should a burglar strike.

Call up your insurance provider, or check your email, to ensure your policy is still in place and that you’re adequately insured.

If you’re not happy with your current policy, spend a bit of time comparing what else is on the market.

You might even save yourself a few dollars to help pay off some of the other tips on this list!

7. Say g’day to your neighbour

Before you leave for your holiday be sure to pop around to your neighbour’s place and let them know you’ll be away for a little while.

If they’re not going away themselves, ask them to keep an eye on your place while you’re gone, and to ensure your letterbox doesn’t overflow with mail.

Have a great holiday!

Whether you’re heading to your favourite local campground, travelling interstate, jet-setting overseas, or simply unwinding around the house, we hope you’ve got a great break lined up!

If there’s anything you need from us when you get back, please get in touch, we’d love to help out!

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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By Dave Fleming : 20 April, 2019

https://www.mastermortgagebrokersydney.com.au/mortgage-broker-kellyville

The winners from the 2019 federal budget are middle-income workers, small and medium businesses, and older Australians wanting to ramp up their super contributions.

The losers? Well, there was nada for first home buyers needing a hand with housing affordability. Meanwhile, $3.6 billion in extra revenue is expected to be gained from multinationals and high-wealth individuals due to a billion-dollar investment in the Tax Avoidance Taskforce.

Now, it’s worth reiterating that most of the budget policies announced on Tuesday night depend on the Coalition government winning re-election in May, or bipartisan support from Labor.

But here’s a quick break down of the major announcements in this year’s federal budget and what it may mean for your family.

Middle-income tax relief

Middle-income workers earning between $48,001 and $90,000 could receive immediate tax savings of up to $1080 for a single or $2160 for a dual-income family as early as July 1.

Workers who earn $90,001 to $126,000 don’t miss out on the action, either. However the more you earn over $90,000 the less you’ll receive until tax savings taper off completely at $126,001.

Tax brackets flattened

High-income earners could also benefit under the Coalition’s plan to flatten the tax brackets, albeit by 2024-25.

Essentially, all taxpayers earning between $45,000 and $200,000 would have their tax rate reduced to 30%.

This would see a couple earning $200,000 per person receiving total household tax relief of $23,280.

However, as the changes are not scheduled to come into effect until 2024-25, and Labor does not support the plan, the Coalition would need to win the next two elections to implement it.

SME business benefits

Tax rates for small and medium businesses will drop from 27.5% to 26% next year, before falling to 25% in 2021.

The government is also increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $25,000 to $30,000 per asset and will make it available to businesses with an annual turnover as high as $50 million (up from the current $10 million cut-off).

Meanwhile, apprentice incentive payments are being increased for businesses that employ carpenters, plumbers, hairdressers, bricklayers, plasterers, bakers, vehicle painters, tilers and arborists, to name a few.

Employers will have their apprentice incentive payments doubled to $8000 per placement, while apprentices will receive a $2000 incentive payment.

Superannuation changes

Australians aged 65 and 66 will be able to make voluntary superannuation contributions without having to work at least 40 hours over a 30 day period.

They’ll also be allowed to make up to three years worth of voluntary contributions ($300,000 in total) in just one year if they wish.

The government is also increasing the age limit for spouse contributions from 69 to 74 years.

Energy assistance payment

A one-off Energy Assistance Payment, worth $75 for singles and $125 for couples, will help age pensioners, people on the Disability Support Pension, veterans, carers, single parents and Newstart recipients cover the cost of rising power prices.

Want to know more?

Today we’ve covered the federal budget measures that may have a direct impact on your finances, but there were plenty more announcements that we haven’t touched upon, including infrastructure and transport projects, national security, pre-school education, healthcare, welfare, mental health initiatives, and regulator and compliance funding.

So if you have any questions about any of the potential changes arising from this year’s federal budget, please get in touch.

We’d be more than happy to have a detailed discussion about what this budget means for you and your family.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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By Dave Fleming : 20 April, 2019

mastermortgagebrokersydney.com.au/mortgage-broker-kellyvilleActors act. Cleaners clean. Taxi drivers drive taxis. Mortgage brokers? Well, we don’t just do mortgages. Here are the other aspects of your life we can help with when it comes to your financing options.

Look, we’re not saying we’re as versatile as firefighters – fetching cats from trees, appearing in calendars, or you know, fighting fires – but we’ve got quite a few strings to our own bow.

We’re not just specialists at helping you obtain a great home loan and then refinancing it when the time comes.

Here are some other aspects of your life we can help out with when it comes to obtaining finance.

Car finance

People often make the mistake of buying a car using finance through a dealership after seeing a sign that says ‘Drive away, 0% finance to pay’.

But all too often the dealerships sell these vehicles at inflated prices.

Using a car finance broker won’t cost you a penny. And we’ll negotiate on your behalf to help you obtain both the car and finance at a great rate. It’s safe to say the dealership won’t have the same motivations.

Commercial or business loans

If you’re fed up working for the man, grinding away in a 9-to-5 job, and want to start your own business, well, chances are you’re going to need some finance to get it up and running.

We can also provide financing options for more established businesses to manage their capital and assist with improving cash flow (which is the number one business killer).

Equipment finance

Trucks, buses, forklifts and cranes. Computers and office equipment. Medical and manufacturing equipment.

If your business needs equipment, and doesn’t have the cash to pay for it upfront, then we can help line you up with appropriate financing options.

ATO tax debt

No one enjoys the ATO impatiently hovering over their shoulder waiting for them to pay off a large tax debt. But as cash flow is the number one business killer in Australia, paying it all off in one lump sum isn’t any more appealing.

While it is possible to enter into tax payment plans with the ATO, they’re not always the most ideal option and it’s definitely worth exploring other avenues with business loan lenders.

Credit card

If you’ve racked up a big debt on a credit card and are paying an interest rate of 15-20%, there’s no point just putting up with it. We can help you find a personal or debt consolidation loan solution that has a much lower interest rate than your credit card.

Debt consolidation

Having trouble juggling a number of debts? We can help you consolidate them into one tidy loan that’s simple to keep track of. Debts that can be consolidated include personal loans, car loans, small debts, credit cards or store cards.

SMSF finance

Did you know it may be possible for your SMSF to borrow to invest in real estate?

Purchasing a property via a SMSF is slightly different to purchasing a property directly, but we can help with the process as well as help you obtain appropriate finance.

Reverse mortgage

A reverse mortgage allows you to borrow cash against the value of your home. It’s an option that’s often taken up by people aged 60-years or older to unlock the wealth in their homes after retirement.

It can be a tricky area to navigate, as interest rates and ongoing fees can be higher than the average home loan, and the interest compounds too – so it’s worth having someone by your side who has been through it before.

Final word

Basically it boils down to this: if you have an existing or prospective debt that you’re not happy with and think there’s room for improvement, then get in touch.

We’ll take the stress and worry off your shoulders and help line you up with a great finance solution.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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By Dave Fleming : 20 April, 2019

https://www.mastermortgagebrokersydney.com.au/mortgage-broker-kellyvilleWhen it comes to footy, Australians love a punt – of both the kicking and betting varieties. The thing is though, one is great fun, the other can cost you thousands of dollars a year. 

With the AFL and NRL footy seasons kicking off in March, we thought now was a great time to address that little problem that can creep up on us this time each year: gambling.

Did you know the average Australian loses $990 each year – no other country in the world gambles away more money per capita – and 75% of Australian adults gamble each year.

That’s a decent lump of money that could go towards a mortgage repayment, overseas flights, or paying off a credit card bill.

So rather than hand over your hard earned cash to sports betting companies on a weekly basis, here are three ways you can still enjoy each match without gambling on the result, first try scorer, whether it’ll rain, etc, etc, etc…

The 100 Day Challenge

Up for a camping trip to explore the great outdoors? Time for a clothing cull? Is the car overdue for a service?

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation recently launched the 100 Day Challenge, which is a list of 100 different yet very manageable activities designed to help you reclaim your life and resist the urge to gamble on footy.

The activities have been categorised into six groups, including: wellness, solitary, practical, physical, creative and social, and are available in web and app based formats.

Since its launch last year, more than 4000 people have signed up for the challenge, many of whom support each other through a strong online community.

Fantasy Footy

Fantasy Football is huge in the US. And in recent years it’s been gaining popularity here in Australia, too.

The general gist of it is that you act as a coach and select players who you think will perform best each week. Each round you can trade a number of players in and out.

The beauty of Fantasy Footy is that usually you will have at least one player from your selected side playing in each match, so there’s always a vested interest.

You can also set up your own comp to battle against your family, friends and colleagues at any of the below sites, which also offer prizes.

AFL: AFL Fantasy (official AFL site), SuperCoach (NewsCorp).

NRL: NRL Fantasy (official NRL site), SuperCoach (NewsCorp).

Tipping comp

Those who are more interested in team performances, rather than individual performances, may be better suited to a tipping comp.

Tipping comps are also more inclusive for groups with more casual fans (diehard fans tend to dominate the Fantasy comps), because if in doubt you can always default to backing the higher team on the ladder!

If you want to set up a comp for your work, keep an eye out in newspapers in the coming weeks for a big foldout tipping table – it’s always great to have an actual leaderboard on hand to point to when bragging.

Otherwise there are the online options below, which also offer prizes.

AFL: AFL Tipping (official AFL site).

NRL: NRL Tipping (official NRL site).

Final word

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the weekend footy without having to stake a chunk of money on it.

Also, it’s never fun to brag about how much money you won (or most likely lost) betting on a match. Beating your friends and family in a tipping comp though? You’ll have fun milking that for the entire off-season!

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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By Dave Fleming : 20 April, 2019

Mortgage Broker KellyvilleThe short term rental market is booming. Each year, tens of thousands of Australians list their properties on Airbnb to make a tidy buck on the side. Here are our top five tips on how to stand head and shoulders above your competition.

Most people who own an investment property prefer to rent it out long term. It’s more of a set and forget approach, if you like.

But for some, such as those who own one home and/or those who travel for long periods, renting out their property on platforms such as Airbnb and Stayz is becoming an increasingly appealing option.

In fact, in 2017 more than 30,000 people listed their homes on Airbnb across Sydney and Melbourne alone.

These numbers have made the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) sit up and take notice. So much so that the ATO recently declared they’ll be ramping up their enforcement activities and will undertake 4,500 audits of taxpayers they suspect may not be declaring Airbnb income.

Suffice to say, when the ATO starts paying attention to a marketplace, you know money is being made.

Here are our top 5 tips on how to make more money than the next person.

1. Professional photos

First impressions last, and these days the first impression is the webpage impression on your Airbnb listing.

You don’t see real estate agents walking around with outdated camera phones taking dank snaps of the living room. And neither should you!

A good photographer has the skills and equipment to highlight the beautiful little details that makes your property sing, and crop out the less than desirable qualities that may turn a potential guest away.

Obtaining high quality images from a professional real estate photographer costs between $150-$300 via websites such as Snappr or Airtasker.

If they get you just one extra two to three night booking they’ll have already paid themselves off.

2. The devil is in the details

There’s no point in having a photographer take wonderful photos of your property only for the guest to show up and feel like they’ve been conned by the old bait and switch!

You need to put in that extra bit of effort to make their stay memorable. After all, they’ve chosen your place ahead of a hotel, not to mention all the other Airbnb competition out there.

There’s a good chance your guest is visiting your local area to check it out. So try and include as much (classy) local artwork, local guidebooks, decorations and information as possible.

The bathroom should also always be spotless, make sure good quality tea and coffee is available for free, and ensure all the basic kitchenware is easy to find.

Other tips include providing menus for local takeaway, tips for local sightseeing, entertainment such as books and boardgames, all necessary electrical appliances such an iron and hairdryer, and some basic cleaning equipment and products in case something gets spilled.

3. Play host, but don’t smother your guest

It’s important that you’re available to your guest should they need to check anything.

That might range from “where is the frying pan?” all the way to “where’s the local hospital?”.

It’s critical that you never show irritation, no matter how trivial or inconsiderate a guest’s inquiry might appear.

That’s because one scathing review can undo a lot of the money, time and effort you’ve invested.

It’s equally important to give your guest the privacy they require. Be on hand to offer any simple tips or suggestions, but don’t pin them down for hours on end chatting to them about your own travels.

This is their holiday after all!

4. Consider using a property management service

If you’re going to be away from your property for a while it’s worth considering taking the hassle and stress out of trying to manage your property from afar by outsourcing to a professional service.

There are plenty of options out there to choose from, including (but not limited to) Hey TomHometimeHomeHost and Airsorted.

Expect to pay about a 15% to 20% (+ GST) commission to them, however most boast that they can help increase your Airbnb income.

5. Thank guests for their reviews

Taking the time out to thank every single guest for their review shows you’re a super attentive host who’s always aiming to please.

The best thing is it also gives you the opportunity to further highlight the positive aspects of your property.

For example, if a guest writes in their review that they had great ocean reviews, reply: “Thanks for the review Craig! Stoked that you enjoyed the ocean views from your bedroom!”

The best thing about this trick is that it even works for negative reviews.

That’s because most negative reviews will also mention something positive about the property. So make sure you thank them for that, acknowledge their complaint and thank them for bringing it to your attention, and advise that you’ve taken steps to rectify the issue for future guests (and actually do so!).

This shows other guests that you’re a very reasonable person who takes all concerns seriously – and will be approachable if they need you during their stay.

Guess who else is approachable?

We are!

If you have any queries or questions about your property and think we might be able to help out, don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’d love to help out.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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