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By Dave Fleming : 19 November, 2018

mortgage brokersydney -lady with facial and head christmas attire holding a sandwich plate and a milky drink glassMost of us roll our eyes when we start seeing shopping centres spruik Christmas merchandise in November. While it’s important not to get caught up in the festivities too early, now’s actually a great time to start prepping to ensure your budget doesn’t blow out over the silly season.

The best bit? By following some of the below tips, you can turn the retailers’ early mind games against them and save money instead!

1. Buy food ahead of time

Christmas time tends to lead to a lot of socialising. Even if you aren’t the one catering, requests to bring a plate can add up over time.

Make a point of keeping an eye out for food and drinks specials ahead of time and buy items like boxes of chocolates, long life snacks and drinks when they are on special. That will make it much easier to stretch the food budget over Christmas.

2. Opt for Secret Santas

For people who have a large family or friendship circle, Christmas can lead to a long list of presents to buy. Many people prefer not to get extra clutter for their kids, so suggest a Secret Santa arrangement instead of buying for every person.

This way you can put more thought into each gift as well as not creating more stress.

3. Homemade wrapping paper

If the end of term results in your kids bringing home sheets of artwork, why not recycle these and use them for wrapping paper for the extended family?

Not only does this mean that the kids get to see their artwork being passed on to loved ones, but it also saves you money on buying wrapping paper that will be in the bin by Christmas morning.

4. Shift the focus

Rather than dwelling on social media posts of the perfect Christmas morning with matching pyjamas, shift your focus to the true meaning of Christmas: helping others who are less fortunate.

For instance, instead of getting new books for Christmas Eve story time you could choose books from the library and make a donation to charity that helps literacy in at-need communities.

5. Keep a track of your spending

With a large percentage of Australians overspending at Christmas (and feeling guilty about it), it’s important to keep a budget for Christmas and any associated events – like holidays – over that time.

By following a budget, and starting now, you can spread out your spending – $200 a week over five weeks is much better than $1000 in the week before Christmas.

6. A final few tips

– Create a list of who you need to buy for and brainstorm present ideas before you go shopping.

– Make your own gifts.

– Buy online when sales specials are on. This can help you avoid pressure from sales staff and impulse purchases.

– If hosting a Christmas day event, organise it early so attendees can help out with the food and drinks.

Want some extra help?

If you’re struggling with your budget and don’t know how you’re going to make the money stretch over Christmas, give us a call.

We’d love to help you come up with some strategies to ensure that you and your family get to make the most of the silly season ahead.

By Dave Fleming : 19 November, 2018

On the up and up. Keen to jump
into a property hotspot?

master broker sydney - looking down on a pair of feet in sand shoes parachuting down to earthWith housing values falling across half of Australia’s capital cities over the past year – and the media well and truly letting us know all about it – it can be all too easy to forget many regions are doing well. Here’s where property prices have recently experienced healthy growth.

The good news is that almost half of Australia’s 88 sub-regions have experienced growth in housing values over the past twelve months, according to CoreLogic.

These sub-regions are more formally known as SA4 sub-regions, which have populations between 100,000 and 500,000 people.

“Half of these regions have recorded a higher rate of annual capital gain relative to their five year average rate of growth, suggesting some acceleration in market conditions,” says CoreLogic’s Tim Lawless.

“In fact, 35% of the SA4 sub-regions have recorded an improvement in their rate of capital gain over the past 12 months relative to their five year average rate of growth.”

So where’s hot?

Two words: regional areas.

In fact, 57% of all regional areas recorded a rise in dwelling values over the past twelve months, while only 39% of the capital city sub-regions recorded an increase.

Here’s a list of the top 10 healthiest growth markets, all of which outperformed their five-year average.

1. Geelong, Victoria, 11.8% growth

2. Hobart, Tasmania, 10.7% growth

3. South East, Tasmania, 9.9% growth

4. Launceston and North East, Tasmania, 9.3% growth

5. Ballarat, Victoria, 7.1% growth

6. Central West, NSW, 6.1% growth

7. Sunshine Coast, Queensland, 6.0% growth

8. South Australia Outback, SA, 5.8% growth

9. Latrobe – Gippsland, Victoria, 5.3% growth

10. Northern Territory Outback, NT, 5.3% growth

Why are regional markets healthier?

The ‘healthier’ conditions across regional markets can be attributed to a range of factors, says Lawless, including:

More sustainable growth conditions: “Most regional areas have seen relatively sedate housing market conditions compared with the heroic gains across Sydney and Melbourne. The more sustainable history of price growth has kept a lid on housing affordability and made these markets attractive to migrants,” says Lawless.

The ripple effect: “A ripple of demand has been emanating from the largest capitals towards the satellite cities where housing is generally more affordable and lifestyle factors can be appealing.”

Sea change: “Many coastal and lifestyle markets have benefited from a rise in buyer demand, either from those looking for a new residence, second home or investment option.”

Bounce back: “Many of the hard hit mining regions have now levelled out and are now showing some growth.”

Capital Cities that have Experienced Growth

There are some capital cities also doing well, says Lawless.

In Brisbane, seven of the nine SA4 sub-regions have seen a rise in values over the past year.

In Adelaide, three of the four SA4 sub-regions have recorded an annual gain.

Hobart is also experiencing significant growth (10.7%), as seen by its second place spot on the list.

“While conditions are broadly slowing, especially around Sydney and Melbourne, many areas of the country are benefitting from a history of more sustainable growth rates, improving demand and reasonably strong economic conditions,” says Lawless.

Interested in Finding Out More?

If you’re a first home buyer or an investor looking to purchase property in an area that’s recently experienced growth then get in touch.

We’d love to help you source a great home loan and help make your property ownership dream become a reality.

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By Dave Fleming : 19 November, 2018

Sydney? Melbourne? Perth? Find out which of Australia’s capital cities have performed best in the property market over the past two decades.

http://mastermortgagebrokersydney.com.au - map of australia with coloured pins stuck into numerous locations on itWe all love to back a winner.

Some of us painstakingly pore over the most minute details, others tend to just go with their gut.

Either way, it never hurts to have a quick look at past performance.

With that in mind, this week we’ll take a look at the Australian capital city real estate market over the past 20 years and identify which cities were the hottest performers across each market cycle.

The data, compiled by not-for-profit association The Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA), has been broken up into four lots of five-year periods between 1998 to 2017.

And just a quick heads up: just like a footy premiership table, some years your team is hot, and every now and then it’s not.

2013 to 2017 increases

– Sydney (74.6%) and Melbourne (63.7%) led the way
– Darwin (-10.5%) property prices fell and Perth (0.6%) only experienced slight growth
– All capital cities weighted average growth: 48.4%

2008 to 2012 increases

– Darwin (36.8%) and Melbourne (18%) topped the ladder, but increases paled in significance to surrounding periods
– Hobart (1.9%) and Brisbane (3.2%) experienced the slowest growth
– All capital cities weighted average growth: 12.2%

2003 to 2007 increases

– Perth (139.8%), Hobart (126.4%) and Darwin (106%) property prices more than doubled
– Sydney (16.4%) and Melbourne (59.9%) performed worst
– All capital cities weighted average growth: 53%

1998 to 2002 increases

– Melbourne (88.2%) and Sydney (84.2%) led the way
– Darwin (5.1%) and Hobart (21.7%) experienced the most sluggish growth
– All capital cities weighted average growth: 70%

Additional observations

So hang on, where were Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra?

In most periods they sat smack-bang in the middle of the table experiencing steady growth.

PIPA chairman Peter Koulizos says the stats prove Aussie investors and homebuyers over the past two decades have made solid returns across almost every capital city – not just Sydney and Melbourne.

He adds that while long-term investors invariably come out ahead with Australian capital city real estate, the biggest gains are made by identifying markets that have bottomed and are set to improve.

“Of course, many buyers don’t have access to the information or experience needed to monitor and predict property cycles,” he says.

“Investors should seek independent qualified property investment advice to give themselves the best chance of getting the best returns on their money, as timing the property market can be just as important as time in the market.”

Final word

Navigating the property market can be tricky. And sometimes you can be so caught up in the process of trying to back a winner that you don’t have time for anything else – like trying to organise finance.

So if you’d like a hand with purchasing your dream property, give us a call (02 8861 1689), we’d love to help you 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 : 19 November, 2018

In a perfect world you select a property to buy, complete with white picket fence, and the settlement goes through on the agreed date without a hitch. But as we all know, we don’t live in a perfect world.

loan broker - hands shaking across a business deskWhen you buy or sell a property you go through a ‘settlement period’, which is the time designated for the buyer to complete payment of the contract before becoming the owner of the home.

Up until the settlement goes through the home is the property of the existing owner.

And with a large home deposit at stake, you’ll want to ensure you choose the right period length.

How much time should I give myself?

Generally, settlement periods are 30, 42, 60 or 90 days.

In NSW a 42 day settlement period is the most common, but in most other places around the country it’s 60 days.

Just because it’s common, however, doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for your situation (or the seller’s).

You see, both the buyer and the seller must agree on the settlement period.

However, you may have competing motivations, so this can be tricky.

Whatever the case, just make sure you allow yourself enough time for conveyancing, bank financing approval, organising the move, undertaking requested repairs for the buyer, and negotiating settlements for your other property interests.

Also, keep in mind that if you buy the property at an auction, there will already be a settlement date indicated in the contract.

If you can’t meet that date, chat to the selling agent before signing on the dotted line to see if another date is agreeable.

You might push for a longer settlement period if:

– If you’re the seller and you’re still looking for a property to purchase
– If you’re a buyer and you haven’t yet sold your own home
– You’re selling and the buyer has requested you repair something
– If you have an upcoming event that you want to deal with first (wedding, big overseas trip, etc)
– Someone is going guarantor on the loan or you’re purchasing through a family trust
– You’re buying off the plan, as the scheme has to be registered with the titles office
– You need to save more money as a buffer (especially if you’re upgrading or will be renovating).

You might push for a shorter settlement period when:

– You’re a seller who has already found another home
– You’re a buyer who has already sold your current home and needs to move quickly
– A holiday period or big event is coming up and you’re keen to move in beforehand
– You’d like to undertake work on the property sooner rather than later
– You need cash flow.

It’s important to get right

One-in-five property settlements in Australia are delayed by about one week so it’s important to give yourself a comfortable buffer.

While each party can request a settlement extension if a delay occurs, that doesn’t mean the other party has to agree.

This is where it gets a little tricky. Each state and territory has different laws, and every contract differs.

Queensland’s laws are probably the most stringent. For example, either the buyer or the seller can terminate the contract, sue for damages, and keep/lose their deposit if the other party is not ready to buy on time.

Other states have a little bit more leeway.

In NSW and Tasmania an extra 14 days can be given, in WA and SA buyers are given three days’ grace before penalty interest applies, and in Victoria a seller can immediately start charging a tardy buyer penalty interest.

Final word

So that’s negotiating a settlement period in a nutshell.

The best news? That’s about as much negotiating as you’ll need to do. Because when it comes to negotiating a loan with a lender, we’ve got you covered.

If you’d like to find out more about our services, get in touch, we’d love to help you 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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