Mortgage Rate Scandal

There is no question that the high mortgage interest rates of the late 1980s limited housing affordability. Because of this, I and many others, lost our first homes and financially struggled for a long period before saving enough money to buy another one. It is what I learnt from this experience that I shall pass on to you now …

Read More

Nowadays, just about everyone who buys a house has a mortgage. When a client goes directly to a bank, the way the loan is sold to them is usually based on interest rates rather than knowing how the loan actually works. Quite often a discussion about ways in which the debt can be paid down faster has not even taken place.

Mortgage rates are frequently advertised in the media, social media and the banks themselves. In the 80’s this did not happen and people never refinanced because of interest rates. They stayed with their loan and paid it off.

There is a lot of speculation about which direction the rates will move and this obsession with interest rates has become the focal point of the financial decision-making process. Don’t be fooled! Although it’s tempting to focus on interest rates as a starting point for comparing your mortgage options, understanding your loan structure is far more important.

What the banks don’t tell us and do not want us to know, is that the interest rate itself, plays only a small part in how much interest you pay, and how fast you will pay back your loan. The real secret to paying the loan off quicker, has almost everything to do with how the loan has been set up. (Structured). Generally, traditional home loans are structured over a 30-year term. This allows the lenders (primarily banks) to maximise interest whilst making the repayments look minimal. This entices you into the loan agreement.

Have you noticed that loans are getting bigger and rates are getting cheaper? The longer the term, the lower the repayments. As house prices increase, loan terms will become longer (50 years plus) to enable affordability. There are already loans of 75 years and more in Japan and Europe. Australian bank profits have increased 4 times more today at emergency low rates of 1.5% than what they were in the 80’s at their peak when rates went as high as 20%. The average loan in the 80’s was $100k – today it’s $800k … the figures below are staggering! What will bank profits be if the loan goes to 60-70 years. Banks want this to happen so they can push out more debt and make more profit.

The key principle of mortgage reduction is that “interest is calculated on the daily balance”. So how do we beat it?

The day-to-day balance of the mortgage account has a significant impact on the interest charged to your home loan, and therefore the term of your loan. So, by utilising all of your money to your advantage we can prove that a loan with a higher interest rate but better structure, can easily outperform a loan with a lower interest rate and poor structure.

The truth is, no one has ever paid their house off any faster just because they got a cheaper rate! The only way you can pay your house off faster is to reduce time and the only way you can do that is to put more money into your mortgage.

You will get a lot of benefit out of talking to a Pivotal Financial Broker, we can help you to structure your loan properly rather than just walking into a bank.

First Meeting With A Finance Broker

If you’re looking for a home loan but are inexperienced with finance brokers, attending your first appointment with a broker can be a nervous experience. Getting a home loan, after all, can be quite complex for a first-timer. There are lots of brokers around and there is a lot to learn. But there are many steps you can take to be confident that your appointment will be a success.

Read More

What comes first? The Property or The Loan?

It’s easy to get carried away with the fun part of buying a property – looking at houses – but delaying the less compelling task of arranging finance will weaken your negotiating position on both the property and the loan.

Why your Broker asks so many questions

Ever wondered why mortgage brokers have to ask you so many questions about your financial circumstances? It’s to ensure that fraudulent applications don’t slip through the cracks and that your loan suits your needs now and your plans for the future.

How to buy a House when you have a HECS or HELP debt

Paying off your education is no reason to put off buying property.

You can remember it now: sitting in a chair at the back of the lecture theatre, chatting to your friends and ignoring the debt that each day at university was plunging you into.

But now you’re older and wiser, and reality has set in. You want to buy a property, but you’re unsure how your student HECS or HELP debt could impact your ability to take out a loan.

96% of homebuyers who used a mortgage broker would choose to use one again according to a new report from Momentum Intelligence. Download report here.

An essential report for anyone who has an interest in preserving positive outcomes for consumers in Australia’s mortgage lending market.

Throughout the recent Royal Commission into financial services we have heard much about the remuneration structures of Mortgage Brokers but there has been little asked of the Australian borrower.

Based on an in-depth study of over 5,800 Australian broker and bank customers, The Consumer Access to Mortgages Report highlights consumer sentiment around how brokers are paid for their services and what their satisfaction levels were with the distribution channel they used.

If you are interested in gaining a better understanding of the consumer sentiments on the mortgage lending market and the implications of introducing a fee-for-service model on consumer outcomes, download the report today.

null

 96% of consumers who used a mortgage broker were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied”

null
79% have no concerns with the commission structure of brokers
null
96% of broker customers would choose a broker again when securing finance
null
58% of Australian consumers are not prepared to pay a ‘fee-for-service’

"Bidding at Auction" -
Dene Tucker - Auctioneer RE/MAX Auction Services

Bidding at Auction

Purchasing a property is a big decision and can often be quite daunting. Auctions play a major role in how properties are sold in Australia so it is important to feel comfortable about bidding at auction. If you don’t feel confident in bidding, your agent or perhaps a friend or relative can convey these bids for you as long as the relevant paperwork has been completed prior to the auction starting.

Read More

Home Buyer traps to Avoid

Buying a home is one of the largest and most complex purchases you’re ever likely to make. And getting it wrong can have a significant impact on both your financial and emotional health. That’s why it’s important to take time to fully research and understand the process and the complexities that go along with home buying. Here are our home buyer traps to avoid.

Read More

Not getting pre-approved

In this highly competitive property market, getting a pre-approval for a mortgage is absolutely the first step in the home buying process. And while the amount of paperwork involved may put you off, not getting pre-approved before looking for a property will ultimately cost you.

Securing a pre-approval helps define your property search so you know what price range you can realistically afford. It also shows the seller that you’re serious about buying, and it’s an absolute must-have if you’re buying at auction.

Not saving a deposit

At the very least, you need to have saved a 10 per cent deposit of the property value. If you have less than this, you still have a few options: you could ask a family member to gift you part of the deposit, or act as a guarantor on your home loan. Either way, lenders want to see you are capable of saving a deposit.

Not doing your homework

Defining what it is you’re looking for in a home is an essential part of the home buying process. Before you attend an open house, consider what it is that’s important to you in buying a property: for example, living closer to work or schools, a family lifestyle with a large garden, access to public transport.

Research reliable property data to get a realistic idea of property prices and what you can expect to buy for your budget. Remember to factor in the costs associated with buying, like mortgage registration and transfer fees, loan application and establishment fees, and Lenders Mortgage Insurance if you’re borrowing more than 80 per cent of the property value.

Not working with a mortgage broker

Mortgage brokers have access to a far bigger pool of financial resources and can often secure finance for buyers who have been turned down in the past. In many instances, mortgage brokers are able to negotiate sharper interest rates or terms. Most importantly, they’re experienced in dealing with and understanding lending policies of different lenders, so are able to guide you through the home buying process and ensure you make the best decisions.

Get in touch with our team today if you need assistance or advice around the home buying process.

9 Way You Can Pay Off Your Mortgage, Faster, And Increase Your Net Worth

9 Ways You Can Pay Off Your Mortgage, Faster, And Increase Your Net Worth

Your home is probably your most valuable asset.

Trouble is? It’s also likely your largest debt.

In order to increase your net worth, and ensure your home is freehold before retirement, paying off your mortgage should be your top priority. With the average mortgage term being 30 years and the ABC reporting that Australians are increasing “….paying down their mortgages later in life”, reducing this timeframe can seem an insurmountable task.

Read More

2019

It's time to put YOU first!

Despite over two years of a stagnant cash rate, some borrowers have seen their mortgage interest rate rise whilst lenders have adopted stricter policies and criteria creating one of the most complex lending environments in recent memory.

Read More

This tightened lending environment, means a larger number of Australians are experiencing difficulty securing a home loan due to new, stricter assessment criteria in which their savings and living expenses are being forensically examined.

That being said, those who present less risk are able to negotiate a more competitive home loan deal with lenders, who are competing vigorously for financially fit borrowers.

Looking ahead, it is important if you are looking to secure a home loan in 2019 to get your finances in order and seek expert advice from a qualified mortgage professional, who can guide you through the process and offer a choice of lenders.

Why the RBA decided to hold the cash rate again

Firstly, the latest National Australia Bank Business Survey revealed that business conditions remained well above average in October.

Further, the Westpac Melbourne Institute of Consumer Sentiment revealed that consumer confidence had undergone a clear improvement over 2018. Respondents were much more positive about their own finances, due in part to a sustained period of low interest rates.

The most recent Hedonic Home Value Index from CoreLogic revealed that national dwelling values fell by 0.7% over November, and were down 4.2% since peaking in October last year. This follows several years of strong growth in dwelling values and can be attributed to measures implemented by Australia’s financial regulators in recent years. The decline in dwelling values, particularly in the nation’s capitals could open the door to those looking to get their foot in the property market.

Encouragingly, the most recent Labour Force survey from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed an unemployment rate of 5.0% in October and the nation’s participation rate is close to record highs, which could be a positive indicator for wage growth coming into the New Year.

The RBA board does not meet to make a cash rate decision in January however lenders’ interest rates could move in the interim

Coming into the New Year, if you are looking to buy your first home or investment property to take stock of your financial situation and set clear, strategic goals. Falling property prices and attractive interest rates on new loans present a good opportunity for those looking to buy their first home.

First time buyers should make an appointment to speak to their local mortgage broker to find out if they’re in a good financial position to secure a home loan. An experienced broker will review a prospective borrower’s financial position and help coach them through the steps to get home buying ready.

If you are already in a home loan, the end of the year is a good time to take stock and ensure their existing home loan is still suited to their needs. Borrowers should get a home loan health check to determine whether they could secure a more competitive interest rate or access flexible loan features.

At Pivotal Financial, our brokers know what lenders are looking for when they assess your home loan application. They also know which lenders are suited to your individual needs and financial goals and can help you get a competitive home loan deal.

Get in touch with your local broker today.

Why You Need To Do A Financial Detox

There are all sorts of detoxes out there, ranging from the commonly found health detox (which has actually been debunked as a myth), to digital detox, home detox, and relationships detox. Apart from removing all the toxins from your body, the term ‘detox’ is also used as a catchall phrase for removing something harmful from your life nowadays. But for all the fuss over detoxes, there’s one sort of detox that hasn’t been talked about enough – the financial detox.

Brokers to further “champion” the best interest of borrowers.

A backdrop of out-of-cycle interest rate rises presents brokers with a unique opportunity to highlight their value to clients and generate new business, according to industry stakeholders.

Read More

Industry leaders have highlighted opportunities for brokers to further “champion” the best interest of borrowers in the current interest rate environment, with the Bank of Queensland (BOQ) the latest lender to adjust its pricing out-of-cycle – increasing home loan rates by up to 18 basis points.

Throughout 2018, several lenders, including three of the big four banks, increased their home loan rates in response to rising wholesale funding costs, despite cash rate inertia from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

Such developments “further highlight the great need for the mortgage broker industry in the financial landscape”.

Brokers are champions for customers.

The rate hikes have happened at a time when people could be distracted with holidays and the end of the festive season.

This is why mortgage brokers are such a valuable service. Without brokers, customers would have very little ability to recognise these changes and then act on them.

This is what the broker market is designed to do – to support customers through changes like this.

Brokers with recent rate changes are providing clients with credit alternatives from lenders with more suitable pricing arrangements.

If banks are moving out of the rate cycle turning customer loans uncompetitive, then it is the job of the broker to find what else is out there for their customers and put them with a bank who may not be experiencing the same funding issues.

Considering lenders’ consistent out-of-cycle rate increases of last year, borrowers should expect more of the same in 2019.

Looking after the client’s best interest is what brokers do. The start of the year is a perfect time for brokers to touch base with their clients.

Therefore, we would encourage brokers whose customers may have been affected by recent rate hikes to have conversations with their clients and assess whether they are still in a suitable product for their needs.

The Adviser has been informed that brokers have observed a rise in refinancing volumes off the back of rate hikes in 2018, which were also driven by “numerous ad-hoc policy changes.

The landscape has become increasingly more complex, and I think that more and more borrowers need help from brokers who can keep on top of rate and policy movements.

Brokers keep abreast of interest rate and credit policy changes, in what is described as a “fluid” mortgage landscape.

Financial stress affecting 2 in 5 employees

Approximately 40 per cent of Australian employees are experiencing financial stress, costing businesses an estimated $31.1 billion, according to new research from AMP.

AMP’s Financial Wellness report has revealed that two in five Australians are experiencing financial stress during their careers, with nearly half feeling financially stressed for an average of six and a half years or more.

Read More

According to the report, there are currently 2.44 million Australians suffering from financial stress, costing Australian businesses an estimated $31.1 billion per year in lost revenue, with employees troubled by their financial circumstances taking an extra 2.4 sick days per year and spending almost an hour per week dealing with money problems at work.

When assessing which segments of the labour market are most affected by financial stress, the AMP research found:

  • Women are more affected than men, with 24 per cent of women found to be in financial stress compared with 14 per cent of men.
  • Brisbane and Adelaide are the two cities worst impacted, with 25 and 22 per cent of workers, respectively, reporting financial stress.
  • Those who earn between $50,000 to $74,999 are the most likely to feel financially stressed.

AMP’s director of workplace super, Ilaine Anderson, also observed that employees are most affected by financial stress in the months of January and February.

“As the holiday season comes to an end, and credit card bills start to roll in, many Australians will be starting the new year under significant financial pressure,” she said.

“While many people think money worries are a personal issue, our research shows being financially stressed spills into your working life, increasing absenteeism and impacting productivity.”

Ms Anderson noted the importance of goal-setting in easing the burden of financial stress.

“The research shows if people have well-defined goals and a plan in place to achieve them, they have greater peace of mind. Goals help lift people above the day-to-day expense cycle, allowing a more ‘in-control’, longer-term view,” she continued.

“People don’t wake up and think ‘I’m going to get a home loan’ – it starts with the desire, or a goal, to buy a house. Connecting finances with goals helps us engage with our finances, and then having a plan to achieve these goals can significantly ease stress.”

The AMP director added that employers can play an important role in promoting financial wellness in the workplace.

“The research found flexible working hours and the ability to work from home improved employee performance, engagement and financial wellness. Reducing the stigma around financial stress is also important, as many of those surveyed cited embarrassment and guilt as a major reason for not tackling their financial woes,” Ms Anderson said.

“We need to make sure talking money isn’t seen as taboo and implement financial literacy campaigns within our businesses to help employees achieve their financial goals.”

2018

What is co-housing and could it work for you?

Co-housing is a way of living that offers many benefits, especially for seniors. If the concept is unfamiliar, you may be conjuring up images of a 1970s hippy commune, but rest assured you won’t have to wear tie dye t-shirts or become a vegan to be accepted!

Read More

Which option is right for you - to rent or buy?

To rent or buy? For some, renting makes good financial sense. For others, it’s just money down the drain. For you it may be a question of short-term convenience versus long-term financial growth, which can make it a difficult decision to make.

When is the right time to refinance an investment property?

Loan refinancing is a strategy used by property investors to access funds – usually to grow or improve the value of their property portfolio. The right time to do it largely depends on your strategy, plans and equity.

Why Choose A Mortgage Broker

Ultimately, a broker will always act in the best interests of their client.

Read More

8 questions to ask your Mortgage Broker

Using a good mortgage broker can be an effective way to quickly compare multiple home loans and get the deal that’s right for you. But how do you tell whether your mortgage broker is a good one?

After Pay, lay By Apps and your Home Loan

Afterpay it. Buy now, Pay later. Shop Now, Pay Later. Interest Free.

We’re seeing more and more of them come into the market and they allow you to buy now,

Welcome to our July Newsletter

Last month, we continued to see considerable property market activity, despite the arrival of the cold weather.

Auction clearance rates continue to fall, indicating that conditions are currently favouring buyers.

Help for the Home Buyer

Buying a home is probably the biggest and most exciting financial decision you’ll ever make, especially if it’s your first.

Read More

When it comes to the traditional lenders, getting an approval for a loan can mean having to tick a lot of boxes and fitting into a long list of fixed and pre-programmed criteria. At Pivotal Financial we have a much more personal approach, it’s all about helping to find a solution that suits your individual needs.

In fact, 54% of Aussies turned down for a loan didn’t know there was an alternative.

There is – and it’s us.

Thinking outside the tick box

thinking outside the boxWe understand that in real life everyone’s situation is different. That’s why we look at a wide range of things when we assess any application for a loan. Instead of simply ticking boxes we like to get a good detailed understanding of your situation before we start making decisions. Because we understand the need to move quickly, once we’ve got all your documentation, provided it checks out, we can give you a conditional approval quickly.

It’s all about being flexible

We’re not about how you can fit into a traditional box, we’re about doing our best to provide home loan products that have a little more flexibility.

Buying a home involves a lot of thinking and planning, which, can be a little bit overwhelming. That’s why we’ve made sure the process here is as simple and streamlined as possible. To make it easy for you.

Your situation might not be typical but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be able to get a home loan.

By being flexible, we’ve been able to help thousands of people in Australia to own their own home.

Give us a call today and let’s see how we can help you, make your next move your best move.

Get ready for Summer in Winter and SAVE

Pivotal Financial can help you get ready for Summer!

Read More

It’s difficult to imagine winter being the ideal time for anything, apart from naps, roaring fireplaces and mugs of hot tea. However, for those of us who can resist the urge to hibernate the cold away, the chilly months may actually be the best time of year for home renovations.

If you are thinking about renovations below are some points as to why it could be a good idea to accomplish these renovations in winter months……

  • Builders are more available

Summer weather, particularly in high-rainfall areas can cause delays in large building projects which require a lot of external and structural work.

Because of this, a lot of developers and architects prefer to break ground on new and large constructions during months with more predictable conditions. That means a lot of contractors who are booked up during the summer months become available for smaller projects when the cold weather sets in.

  • It’s Cheaper

With the decrease in available work and increase in builder availability during winter, this puts pressure on builders to stay busy, which makes it easier to convince them to reduce their profit margins in order to win your contract.

  • Better quality workmanship

Another benefit of renovating during the off-season is that you don’t have to settle for a builder. In peak seasons, most well-established, top-quality builders won’t accept a small domestic project – at least not at a price point your average homeowner is willing to pay. In winter, however, the larger builders often have spare capacity to accept small jobs at more reasonable rates, which gives homeowners the option of using a professional team that holds a QBCC License.

  • Outdoor areas are not in use

Winter is the ideal time for refurbishing swimming pools, patios and other outdoor entertainment areas since they’ll largely be unused during the cold weather, and you wont have to sacrifice their enjoyment while you build.

Pivotal Financial help our customers access competitive loan rates for their mortgage, commercial premises, business or assets.

We’ll research competitive rates, home loan products and deals across more than 30 lenders, and then give you recommendations based on your needs.

Some New Financial Year Resolutions you can keep

The new financial year is here, and now’s a good time to check up on your loan and see how you’re tracking.

Read More

Here are some great tips to ensure you handle your home loan/s as well as you can.

1. Budget

Make sure your home loan is factored in as part of a well-thought out budget. Your loan repayments should be the first thing you set aside when you’re planning ahead, such as saving for a holiday or looking to reduce unnecessary spending. 

2. Payment Frequency

You can choose whether you want to make repayments weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Opting to pay weekly or fortnightly can help you get ahead on your loan, as this will equate to more repayments within the same year. There are 26 fortnights in a year but only 12 months in a year.

3. Round Up

If your repayment amount is an uneven number (e.g. $1,473 per month), if possible, round it up (e.g. $1,500) so that you are paying a little bit extra, each month. 

4. Make the most of low rates

With interest rates continuing to remain low, now is a good time to get ahead of your loan term. Keep your repayment amounts the same as when interest rates were higher, and your loan term will reduce while you build equity in your home, sooner.

5. Voluntary lump payments

A voluntary repayment is when you choose to make a repayment that exceeds your minimum required repayment amount. It’s a great way to reduce your loan balance and the interest charges you pay over the life of your home loan. 

6. Home Equity Loans

If you’re tracking well with your loan, you may want to think about using some of the equity in your home loan for home renovations, which could add more value to your home.

7. Stay in touch

It’s important to review your loan, particularly if your circumstances change. Stay in touch with your lender or let Pivotal Financial do all the work and review for you. 

Did you know that we can help with all of your finance needs and not just a home or property investment loan. Ask us about personal loans, super-competitive car loans, or finance options for other lifestyle purchases.

To find out more about your finance options, just call us today.

Brand or no Brand?

Nobody likes to pay extra for a brand name – especially when it comes to a home loan product where you can’t see the label. But that’s not the only reason more people are choosing home-brand loan products. They also give you:

5 reasons to chat to a mortgage broker about a new car

Buying a new car should be a fun experience, and that’s exactly what a Pivotal mortgage specialist can bring to the process – as we take the stress, hassle and time out of sorting out a car loan.

When should you refinance your home loan?

Refinancing a home loan – or moving your mortgage to a new provider – can sometimes save you real money. But you should always look beyond the headline interest rate to work out the real cost of switching.

Do I need to tweak my insurance policy in winter?

For most parts of Australia, winter isn’t coming…it’s well and truly arrived.

And with the onset of bitterly cold days comes a call from the insurance industry for householders to check they have enough insurance cover – and ensure they’re not putting themselves at fire and flood risk.

Does your Home Loan start with a 4 or a 5?

Should you be looking at maybe refinancing, whilst rates remain at a record low?

The potential benefits of refinancing are:

  • You will save money as you pay less interest over the life of the loan, which means…

!!!!COMPETITION TIME!!!!

AN EXPERIENCE TO REMEMBER!!!

Pivotal Financial is giving 1 lucky winner the chance to win a $200 Red Balloon Gift Voucher, to go on an EXPERIENCE of your choice you’ll remember.

Where are the Buyers?

If you’re selling in Sydney and Melbourne today, odds are you’ve noticed fewer people turning up at opens and few bidders competing at auction. There’s a few reasons why buyer numbers are down, so here’s what’s happening and what you can do about it.

Read More

1.     Investors have lost interest

After five years of exceptional price growth, rental yields in Sydney and Melbourne are pretty low (3.2% and 3% respectively) in comparison to other capital cities (4.4% in Brisbane, 4.6% in Canberra) and the prospects for further capital growth in the short to medium term have diminished.

At this point in the cycle, investors leave to pursue other markets, which is something we are seeing in Brisbane now as more southern city investors look north for opportunity. First home buyers are somewhat filling the void left by investors but only in the lower price brackets.

If your property offers particularly strong investment credentials, such as separate accommodation that improves the overall yield; or a large land size with potential for re-development or sub-division, include these specifics in your marketing to capture investors’ attention.

2.     Owner occupiers have made other choices

There comes a point during booms when a sizeable proportion of owner-occupiers give up and depart the market. They decide prices are just too high, it’s simply too hard to compete and they’re better off staying put and renovating or doing a seachange out of the city altogether.

Having said that, there are still plenty of buyers out there today – your agent just has to work harder to find them and negotiate with them.

In this market climate, owner-occupiers are not willing to buy anything just to get into the market anymore, which means the better quality properties are attracting the greatest attention.

You and your agent need to do all you can to help buyers fall in love with your home. You can’t change the location but you can change the presentation of your property. You can also reach more buyers with a comprehensive marketing campaign.

3.     The credit crunch

Buyers’ borrowing capacity has changed and it’s taking longer to get approval following further credit tightening this year. This is a big issue in the market today. We’re hearing many stories of buyers pulling out the night before auction because their loan hasn’t come through in time.

Agents need to educate their buyers and ensure their pre-approvals are recent. If not, it’s wise to suggest they double check with their bank. The rules are changing day by day as each individual lender determines their new assessment criteria.

Agents should proactively refer buyers to high quality mortgage brokers that they personally know and trust. It’s part of an agent’s role right now to ensure every buyer interested in your home has their finance. With few buyers around, you don’t want to lose further competition because one or two of your best prospects have loan troubles.

If you’re selling via auction, you can always postpone if one or more of your serious buyers aren’t ready due to financing delays. This is a strategic decision though – talk to your agent.

4.     Fewer foreign buyers in our market

Australian property is less appealing to foreign buyers following the introduction of arbitrary application fees in 2015 and rising stamp duty surcharges and other taxes in several states.

The latest annual report from the Foreign Investment Review Board show approvals for residential property were down from 40,149 in FY2016 to 13,198 in FY2017. This is partly explained by the effect of the application fees, with investors now only applying when a purchase is highly likely.

Other factors include China limiting capital outflows and Chinese investors looking to cheaper and closer South East Asian markets like Thailand and Vietnam, which are also associated with the Belt and Road policy that aims to link China more directly with Eurasia via massive new infrastructure.

A drop in overseas investment, particularly from China, is being felt mainly by developers and investors selling newly-built homes, as non-resident foreigners can typically only buy new.

In conclusion…

It is normal for homes to take longer to sell in a post-boom market. The most important things you can do to ensure as many buyers as possible engage with your home is choose a good agent, price your home correctly and invest wisely in its presentation and a comprehensive marketing program.

How should I use my Equity?

How should I use my Equity?

With Australian property prices on the up, up and up, homeowners have likely earned equity on their existing mortgages since purchasing. In short, equity = assets – liability. If your house is worth $500k, and you have $200k remaining on your home loan, you have $300k worth of equity. Money in the bank, as they say!

Have no time?

Don’t have time to run around all the financial institutions to locate the best deal for you…..

Establishing Your Independence after separating from a partner?

Take the first step towards financial independence by learning how to manage your money.

Taking control of your finances after a divorce or separation is an empowering moment, and a big step toward independence.

There's no one size fits all approach to selling a home

“Should I sell my property to my current tenants? They have taken great care of the property and treasure it”.

Though this may seem the rational thing to do, but will the tenants pay a premium price for your property?

Some pros, cons and the potential costs involved in this process.WILL TENANTS PAY THE HIGHEST PRICE FOR YOUR PROPERTY?

Being a landlord myself I would like to think so.

As a real estate agent we often see home buyers get emotional when buying property.

It could be that your tenant may genuinely be emotionally attached to the house and may be willing to pay a good price for your property.

However from working within our property management department we find that most tenants don’t think of your property the way you do.

For example some tenants can feel a sense of ownership or entitlement and take on fixing/improving things themselves sometimes with or without your permission or knowledge.

If they have lived in the property the many years and made personal changes they start to think that you should reduce your price for what they have done to the property.

Some of these “improvements” may have actually devalued your property but they will still expect a discount.Big Painting Job !

You will also need to think about the wear and tear on the property when selling.

When the tenant moves they may need to restore the property back to the condition that it was in when they originally signed lease.

The property may be due for new carpeting or a fresh coat of paint.

This may help you get more for the property than if you sold it to the tenant in its current condition.

On the other hand, because your tenants have lived in the property and know it well, they may see past the imperfections of wear and tear that have occurred over the years and accept it in its current state.

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR PROPERTY MANAGER

If the tenants are currently in a lease, it may be a good idea to get your property manager to approach them, but keep in mind you are not obligated to sell with your current property manager.If you have a relationship with the tenants it may be a good option to approach them directly, but make sure you are a smart negotiator and don’t agree to below market price.

Ordinarily, managing agent agreements don’t have fees and charges if you decide to sell with a different real estate agent.

Tip: keep in mind there could be a lease break fee that you may have to pay to the agents and the tenants so double check your agreement. A good idea is to wait until the lease is up so you can keep your options open.

Another thing to keep in mind when selling is that legally, the ‘contract of sale’ should mention whether the property is tenanted or vacant.

SELLING TO TENANTS PROS AND CONS TABLE

Here is a table that can assist your decision process, but bear in mind if you do decide to sell directly to tenants, you can miss out on the highest possible price for your property.

Sell directly to tenants Sell the market and tenants
It can be acquired process with no signboard out the front of your property A large signboard in front of your property
Tenants could feel a sense of entitlement of the work they have done and ask for a lower price Tenant will be competing with all the buyers in the market and this may push the tenant to pay a higher price than what they expected
No pressure on the tenants to buy Tenants will have a sense of urgency to buy- they may stick to their legal limit of two inspections per week of buyers coming through
Save on agent fees You may have to pay for an agent to get the marketing right
The process can be very transparent if you have a good relationship with the tenants The tenants will have to contact the selling agent for information
Process may be fast Listing your property for auction will involve four weeks auction campaign
Dealing with the property manager may be difficult The selling real estate agent will deal with the property manager on any issues that arise and for tenant communication

 

Brokers still winning trust

Borrowers’ confidence in brokers seems undiminished by scrutiny.

PIVOTAL FINANCIAL ARE TURNING HEADS!

PIVOTAL FINANCIAL RE BRAND TURNS HEADS

Pivotal Financial, the RE/MAX Australia-owned finance group, has had a monumental first year, highlighted this month by multiple wins in the 2018 Connective Excellence Awards.

Read More

Finance specialist, Danielle Wilson, was awarded Best Newcomer, which was open to brokers with under two years’ experience.

Miss Wilson said she had established very clear goals on what she wanted to achieve long before she changed her career path and entered the mortgage broking industry.

“I knew the client types that I wanted to help, the caliber of colleagues I wanted around me and the referral partners I wanted to align with.

“Partnering up with the right brokering group meant that I was confident in the support I would be getting to equip me with the tools and skills to achieve the goals I’d set.”

In June 2017, Matthew Andrews was tasked with restructuring the mortgage broking business for RE/MAX Australia.

He saw an opportunity to create a fresh, appealing brand that was relevant, engaging and modern for the target audiences – the RE/MAX network, mortgage broker partners and customers – and a brand that reflected the core values of the company:  Integrity, Competency, Accessibility and Amiability.

“We rebranded and re launched the new business, Pivotal Financial in August 2017, and launched a new marketing program that has helped establish our brand, attract new customers and increase market share in a competitive environment”

“The result of higher engagement with our broker group, RE/MAX network and customers has resulted in greater productivity.”

Pivotal Financial took out the Best Marketing category.

Pivotal Financial was represented in five categories in total, with finance specialist Victoria Senethep featuring as finalist for Mercury Hero, Compliance Hero and Best Newcomer.

“We are thrilled with these wins, and recognition as finalists, in the face of some very tough competition,” said General Manager Mr Andrews.

“Connective Excellence Awards winners are chosen for their expertise, integrity and outstanding customer service standards. We are very proud to accept this awards and be recognized amongst the best of the best in Australia’s mortgage and finance broking industry.”

Mr Andrews said Pivotal Financial has enjoyed building a strong relationship with Connective as its aggregator since last year.

“Connective is a dynamic and progressive thinking aggregator that leads industry competitors in innovation, technology and diversification, and a valuable strategic for Pivotal Financial, who are embracing technology to drive growth and performance,” he said.

For more information about Pivotal Financial, visit pivotalfin.com.au and contact Matthew Andrews on mobile 0411 439 611

Should you fix and if so for how long?

The thing about interest rates is that there is no right or wrong answer. What we know is that interest rates have remained historically low for some considerable time, often against prediction.

What we don’t know is how long that might continue.

4 Tips to avoid overspending this Christmas

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australians splurged a whopping $47.5 billion during last year’s Christmas shopping period. That probably made for a lot of blistered credit cards and debt hangovers come February!

Read More

As your credit advisor, I’d like to recommend a more sensible approach to spending this silly season. Here’s a few tips to help you keep things under control. Remember, Santa should be the only one heading south this Christmas, not your finances!

#1 Set a Christmas budget

It’s easy for things to get out of hand when you don’t have a budget. Before you hit the shopping plaza or blaze through the online shopping sites, put together a Christmas budget. Be sure to include the costs of meals, entertainment, gifts and festive wear for your Christmas party circuit. ASIC’s MoneySmart TrackMySPEND app allows you to set spending limits for different categories of Christmas expenses and track your spending as you go.

If you’re planning to travel or book holiday accommodation, you’ll need to factor those costs into your budget too. If you’re planning a big trip with air fares, consider seeing me about a personal loan rather than plonking it on your credit card. It could make it easier to pay off and potentially save you some money on interest.

#2 Know your triggers

To cut back on needless spending, understand the triggers that lead to impulse buying. Maybe you like to do a little late-night online shopping? If so, turn your phone off at dinnertime and leave it in a drawer until morning (don’t forget the alarm though!)

Perhaps you tend to get embroiled in the Christmas shopping frenzy as the big day approaches? Solution: do your shopping early and avoid the last-minute spending rush.

Another tip is to take cash with you to the shops and to leave your credit card at home. That way you won’t be tempted to tap-and-go willy-nilly and get a nasty shock later.

#3 Embrace sentimental gift-giving

A great way to avoid overspending this Christmas is to opt for sentimental gifts rather than extravagant presents that cost the earth. Need inspiration? You could:

  • Have a family photo taken and give everyone a copy as a gift
  • Get crafty with handmade gifts, cards and wrapping paper
  • Bake yummy treats like gingerbread men or mince pies
  • Shop at markets, op shops and charity sites
  • Re-gift things to a better home if you have something you don’t need
  • Make your own redeemable vouchers for tasks like babysitting and massages.

There are heaps of other things you could do to save, so put your thinking cap on and get creative! For any gifts you need to buy, save where you can by purchasing items on sale and by shopping around for the best price.

#4 Suggest a Secret Santa exchange

When you have a big family, gift-giving costs can really add up. Why not suggest a Secret Santa exchange instead? Here’s how it works.

Each family member draws a name out of a hat and buys a gift for that person anonymously. The benefit is you can set a spending limit and everyone receives a gift. You won’t have to fork out hundreds of dollars on presents for multiple people, nor will you have the stress of finding the right gift for difficult aunt Muriel (unless of course you’re unlucky enough to draw her name in the Secret Santa draw).

We hope you have a wonderful festive season and enjoy some quality time with family and friends. After all, that’s what Christmas is really about – not how much you spend.

Remember, I’m here if you need help with a home loan during the holidays, or a personal loan if you want a better way to finance your spending than a credit card. I can also assist with finance for big-ticket items like a new car, family boat, or an overseas trip for example – and help you get it organised quickly. Merry Christmas!

How old is too old to get a Mortgage?

Technically, there is no answer to this question: depending on your situation, you may be able apply for a home loan whether you’re 18 or 78.

Read More

With current discrimination laws, lenders cannot discriminate on a borrower’s upper age.
Normal conditions apply with regard to repayment capacity and equity, however, so if a lender was aware that a borrower was unable to understand responsibilities under the loan contract, they may not approve a loan.

In practice, too, lenders have to be sure that you can reasonably repay the loan. If you’re 45-50years of age or over and you can’t demonstrate how you will be able to repay a 30-year loan, there is a good chance your application will be knocked back.

After all, your bank wants to know that you can repay the loan in full ­– and while a 45-year-old full-time employee constitutes a good risk, a 75-year-old is a different kettle of fish.

The GFC has changed the playing field. Thanks to 100% and 105% loans, once freely available and now banished into nonexistence, there are thousands of property owners throughout Australia who have homes that are worth less than what they borrowed.

In the past, the fact that you were buying a property was enough assurance for the bank. If the worst-case scenario was to arise and you could no longer repay your loan, the lender could always sell your property to recoup their losses.

These days, however, banks are no longer willing to rely on the fact that you can sell your property to repay your debt.

And the National Consumer Credit Protection Act, which came into effect in 2010, complicated matters even further.

The Act was created in an effort to make lenders responsible for verifying the customer’s financial situation, particularly their capacity to pay without “substantial hardship”.

Essentially, banks were being held more accountable for their lending practices, but it did come with a price to consumers. Those most at risk of being declined for a mortgage are:

Older borrowers (aged 45-50 and over)
Self-employed
Pregnant women
Applicants with high levels of personal debt
If you fall into any of the above categories, it would pay to ensure you home loan application is in tip-top shape before submitting it to a lender – or you risk receiving a big fat “no” on your credit application, and on your credit file.

Contact us here at Pivotal Financial so we make your next move your best move!

Have you stress tested your Mortgage?

Borrowers not ‘stress testing’ their mortgage

Almost 70 per cent of mortgage holders have not stress tested their home loan in preparation for an interest rate hike, new research has revealed.

For the love of Coffee

It seems Gen Y’s whimsical love of smashed avocado on toast at the local coffee hub is having more of an impact on the real estate market than anyone expected.

Read More
A recent article published in Your Investment Property magazine looked at the growing trend of what property buyers are looking for when preparing to enter the market – and surprisingly having quality coffee close by rates amongst the top desires of property owners.No longer are proximity to schools, the CBD and transport determining factors when looking at property, but rather, ensuring a good quality brunch is close by is essential.It’s not surprising when you come to think about it. Really, who wants to travel far to get that sweet caffeine hit when you need it most? And for time poor young professionals entering the property market for the first time, it seems living in close proximity to this ‘café culture’ plays an important part in making their first move into property.This seemingly sudden move to want to live next door to the café strip is not new, by any means. Major cities like Melbourne and Auckland have been seeing an increase in its popularity for years. Growing cities and new developments have adopted this trend and both the real estate and hospitality industries are seeing the benefits.In Brisbane, RE/MAX Riverside Principal Martin Hood says that home owners are now looking for not just a home, but a lifestyle to buy into.In the 25 years he has been selling property, Mr Hood says there has been a big shift into this café culture, which he says has taken over from the influence of the pub culture.“Buyers are interested in the area they’re buying into,” says Mr Hood. “We’re seeing more and more cafes throughout the suburbs, which helps to develop a sense of community and certain lifestyle that buyers’ are really looking for”.It is not just young first time buyers who are considering buying into this lifestyle. Seasoned property investors are well versed in seeing the benefits of investing in suburbs which promote this certain convenience.“Cafés are no longer simply a place that sells coffee anymore, they bring people together,” says Mr Hood. “It’s a lifestyle that is not reserved for younger buyers either. Mature buyers, too, want to have a place to meet and enjoy the conveniences close to their homes and this is a big part of what attracts them to certain suburbs”.These days, trendy café precincts are popping up everywhere. What was once reserved for CBD living and coastal esplanades only, these ‘hubs’ are moving further into the outskirts of cities and indeed much further from major city centres. And the effect it is having on not only the demand for property, but the value in surrounding areas, is proof of our love of coffee.Whether it’s a big chain coffee store or hole-in-the-wall stop, when there’s good coffee around it’s hard to keep people away; and this is a promising predicament for property owners and investors.Whether you’re looking to invest your dollars in real estate for yourself, or as part of your property portfolio, taking note of where the closest café is could be the best move you’ll make.

Pivotal Financial – Making Your Next Move Your Best Move.

Pre Approval - Don't wait until it's too late.

Don’t wait until it’s too late

You don’t need to find your new home before you can apply for a loan. In fact, there are good reasons to speak with a Pivotal Financial Specialist to get your loan sorted beforehand.

Benefits of having a Pivotal Financial Specialist organise a pre-approval:

Read More
  • We’ll do the leg work for you and seek out lenders that provide a loan pre-approval, and get this approved for you (this is where your loan limit is approved for a certain time (usually around six months)
  • Providing your circumstances have not changed you’ll know exactly how much you can afford to pay for a property
  • You’ll have the freedom to make an offer on a property knowing that your finance is already organised.
  • You’ll have a better idea of what properties to look for, because you won’t waste time looking for something outside your price range, and once you find the right property, you’ll be able to focus on the purchase rather than having to sort out the finance at the same time.
  • With a pre-approved loan, there are fewer chances of hiccups with the sale process, and in some cases, vendors (sellers) will accept an offer below list price and take the property off the market with confidence knowing the buyer is serious.
  • If you decide to make an offer you’ll be in a position to move quickly if your finance is sorted – this will help you avoid being gazumped, and you can bid with certainty at auction.
  • If there are delays with Lenders, having a preapproval means you won’t miss your contract settlement date.
  • Sellers may prioritise you – if you have formal pre approval, you have already started the process towards getting a home loan. You will be in a good position to snap up a bargain quickly, proceed to full approval for you loan and exchange contracts before others in the market are able to. Real Estate agents may also ask for a copy of your formal pre approval prior to accepting you offer, to ensure that you are a serious contender.
  • Real Estate Agents will know you are serious.

 

There are hundreds of different loans out there in the mortgage marketplace, so let a Pivotal Financial Specialist do all the work for you to ensure you have not just a Pre-Approval but the right loan, right rate and peace of mind knowing your next move is your best move.

12 Money tips for Christmas

If the festive season usually leaves you out of pocket and feeling like you spent more time and money battling the crowds than relaxing with friends and loved ones, why not simplify things this year?

Here are some quick and easy tips to help you enjoy the holiday season without breaking the bank.

Read More

#1 Have a pre-Christmas clean up

There’s still time to bag some extra cash to boost your festive finances. Spend a few hours clearing out anything you no longer need around the house, like clothes, books, jewellery, furniture, music, or sporting equipment. You could sell these items online, hold a garage sale, or find a local buy-swap-sell.

They say that one person’s trash is another’s treasure so, as well as pocketing a few extra dollars, you might just end up making someone else’s Christmas extra special.

 

#2 Make a list and check it twice

Make lists of the things you need to buy and the food you need to prepare for the festive season. Having lists will help you plan your spending and keep you on track.

Presents – Make a list of who you’re buying for, what you want to get them, and how much money you’re prepared to spend on each person.
Entertainment supplies – List the food and drinks you’ll need, and how much you can spend. Buy in advance where possible to take advantage of specials, especially if items can be frozen or have a long shelf life.
Travel plans – Whether you’re flying or driving, there are ways to save on holiday travel costs. List all your costs like flights, accommodation, travel insurance, airport transfers and petrol. Shop around for deals as early as you can, to avoid paying a premium for last-minute bookings or peak season increases. If you’re going on a driving holiday, work out which day is cheapest to fill up on petrol, and do it the week before Christmas.

#3 Track your spending

Keeping track of your festive spending is the best way to avoid going over your budget this Christmas.

#4 Be cluey about Christmas credit

If you don’t have the cash to pay for your Christmas goodies up-front, you might be tempted to use your credit card, or use a buy now pay later service. Although these are convenient ways to get the things you need now, that convenience can cost you dearly if you find yourself still saddled with Christmas debt well into 2019.

Before you sign up to a buy now pay later service, make sure you understand what the terms and conditions are, how much your repayments will be, and when they are due.

#5 Personalise your cards and wrapping

Most people throw away their Christmas cards once the festivities are over, which is just like throwing money in the bin.

This year, instead of spending your hard-earned cash on shop-bought cards that will only end up in the recycling bin, why not send your family and friends Christmas greetings they will want to keep? You could:

use a favourite photo to create a personalised photo card

if you have kids, give them some paper and get them to draw or paint pictures that you can use to create special cards

record a video message on your smartphone or iPad and email it to your family and friends
write a letter to your loved ones instead of sending a card. This is a great way to tell them how much they mean to you, or thank them for something special they might have done for you this year.

Rethink your wrapping by buying brown paper and string, or just use plain coloured paper to wrap your presents. Then you’ll avoid pricey Christmas wrapping and can use the excess during the year to wrap other gifts.

#6 Be a scrooge online

If you’re Christmas shopping online, look for ways to save every cent you can. Before you start, do a web search for discount or coupon codes that you can use at the checkout. Look in the sales sections of retailers’ websites to see what’s on offer.

If you know what items you are looking for, search for them online instead of just going to one retailer’s website. You might find it much cheaper somewhere else.

Search online auction websites where you can ‘bid’ for items, including supplies you need for Christmas Day. Make sure you include any shipping costs when you are comparing prices. The cost of some items can blow out once you add shipping, meaning it might be better to simply go to a store to get the item. Or look for items or shopping days that have free shipping.

Things are often much cheaper online than in a store, but you do need to take extra precautions when shopping online.

#7 Get social with Christmas shopping

If you follow your favourite brands and retailers on social media, you may be able to get exclusive discounts through these social channels. Their newsletters may also alert you to sales and deals.

There are also discount or deal apps that you can use to find bargains that you can use as Christmas gifts.

Before you buy any deal or discount, always check the terms and conditions to make sure you know what you are getting and make sure the website is legitimate. See the ACCC’s SCAMwatch website for tips on how to pick an online shopping scam.

#8 Master the art of Christmas gift hacking

There’s a lot of pressure to spend up big on gifts at this time of year, but pricey presents aren’t necessarily the way to go. Here are some ways you can show you care, while keeping a lid on your spending:

Agree on a spending limit – Suggest to your loved ones that you set a limit on how much you will spend on gifts for each other to keep your budgets under control

Kids only – Talk to the other adults in your extended family about only buying presents for the kids this year, rather than for the adults
DIY vouchers – We often remember the things people do for us rather than the presents they give us. Consider giving redeemable vouchers for tasks like babysitting, massages, picnics, homemade dinners or even housework.
Savvy sales – Take advantage of sales throughout the year to nab some bargains and store them away for Christmas. But, even in December there are bargains to be had. You can also check out any clearance outlets near you, or sign up to their newsletters so that you’ll be in the know when they have a sale.
Compare offers – Some stores match or beat competitors’ deals, so compare their offers and take all the details with you when you go into the store. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount – you might just get a Christmas miracle!
Second-hand bargains – Op shops, antique stores and second-hand bookshops can be a treasure trove for the thrifty Christmas shopper. If you’re prepared to spend the time looking through their stock, you can often find good quality items at a fraction of the price you’d pay at big name stores.

#9 Shop like you’re Santa

Santa is always well-prepared and does his shopping on time, so why don’t you? If you are going to shop in-store, consider these rules-of-thumb to reduce Christmas shopping stress and limit the temptation to over spend:

Set a time limit on your shopping – Get in, get it done and get out so you aren’t tempted to spend more than you want to.

Shop at odd hours – Take advantage of extended trading hours and go when it’s less crowded so you can choose carefully without having to jostle for space.
Buy less expensive stuff first – If you buy larger and more costly items first you can lose perspective on what is a good price, so set your budget, buy small first, and then tackle the big stuff so you stick to your gift budget.
Pre-pay – If you buy online, check if there’s an option to pick up in-store. You’ll save on freight, skip any lines, and there will be less temptation to buy more.
Limit your shopping locations – Only go to shops that you need to visit so you don’t get distracted and impulse buy.

#10 Give to those less fortunate

Spread the Christmas cheer by giving to those who are doing it tough. Consider donating to a charity on someone else’s behalf and give this to them as a gift. As well as money, many charities also accept household items, clothes and groceries at Christmas, or you could volunteer your time to help them out.

#11 Lighten your load on Christmas Day

The costs of entertaining can skyrocket at this time of year. But, with some simple planning, both you and your wallet can enjoy the fruits of your labour. Here are some ways to lighten the Christmas load:

Share the catering – Even if you’re hosting Christmas Day lunch or dinner, there’s no need to shoulder all the work yourself. Ask others to bring nibblies, drinks, salads or desserts.
Buy only what you need – It can be easy to overestimate how much food you’ll need at Christmas, only to end up throwing some away or eating leftovers for days.
Switch supermarkets – Make a list of the groceries you need for Christmas, then take advantage of the competition between supermarkets by checking out the advertised specials and stocking up. Don’t buy everything at the same shop if you can get it cheaper elsewhere. You might even get better deals at your local butcher or fruit shop.
Use loyalty credits – If you belong to a supermarket loyalty scheme that builds up credit after you’ve spent a certain amount, check if you can use the credit to get a discount on your Christmas grocery shop.

#12 Plan for next Christmas

Once this Christmas is done and dusted, start planning ahead for next year! Here are some ideas to make sure you are set up for next Christmas:

Start saving now – Open a high interest savings account in January and contribute a small amount to it every payday. Saving $20 per week will add up to over $1,000 in a year’s time. Use ASIC’s MoneySmart’s savings goals calculator to see how much you’ll need to save each pay to reach your Christmas savings goal.
Shop the sales – Shop for presents throughout the year, especially during sales. This will spread your costs and make them more manageable.
Layby – Pre-plan larger gifts and layby them a few months ahead so you can pay them off over time.

 

We hope you have a wonderful festive season and enjoy some quality time with family and friends. After all, that’s what Christmas is really about – not how much you spend.

Remember, we are here if you need help with a home loan during the holidays, or a personal loan if you want a better way to finance your spending than a credit card. We can also assist with finance for big-ticket items like a new car, family boat, or an overseas trip for example – and help you get it organised quickly. Merry Christmas from Pivotal Financial!

5 Reasons to buy a home during the holiday season

Everyone looks forward to Christmas and the summer holiday season. After all, ‘tis the season to be jolly. To indulge in festive fare. To get out in the great outdoors and enjoy quality time with family and friends. But this year, it could also be the right time to buy a home. Here are 6 reasons why clever property buyers are considering making a purchase this holiday season.

Read More

Motivated sellers

Spring is one of the busiest times of year in Australia’s property markets. That’s when all the buyers are out in force and vendors have the best chance of getting their price. If a vendor is still trying to sell come summer, they’re often highly motivated – or even desperate – to get a sold sticker on that notice board.

This year, spring auction clearance rates were lower than they’ve been for a while. Now summer has arrived, there are many more properties on the market than usual. Motivated sellers are good news for you – they may be more willing to negotiate.

Less competition

Looking for a property during spring can be a nightmare. Open home inspections are packed and by the time you decide you might be interested in a property, there’s usually several offers already on the table. This can be frustrating and detrimental to your capacity to negotiate.

If you start your property hunt when others are away on holidays, you can avoid all the hassle and drama. Again, fewer buyers means vendors may be more willing to negotiate.

Lower prices

Traditionally, property prices fall in December. Last year, the average national home price fell by 0.3%. This year, we can expect this drop to be larger than usual – particularly as there was still a lot of properties left on the market at the end of spring. Prices are already starting to drop in our bigger property markets like Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

The moral of the story? Summer could be the time to buy property – it’s a buyer’s market right now and it probably won’t last for long. CoreLogic are predicting home values are likely to move back into growth territory in most markets by June 2019.

More time

There’s no getting around it. Buying a property takes time and energy. It takes considerable research and a lot of time travelling around to open home inspections.

If you’re working full-time, it can be hard to make time to do it right. You’ll likely be devoting weekends and evenings to your property hunt. The solution? Do your research and inspections while you’re off work and on holidays. That way you’ll get it done faster.

Smoother settlements

Nothing motivates people to wrap up a deal quickly like the idea of taking a break. That goes for real estate agents, lenders, vendors and buyers! Things tend to go much more smoothly when demand is less, so you’re more likely to see a hassle-free settlement during summer than a busier time of year. There are also more special home loan offers available during the off-season, so talk to us to find out more.

So, why not put beach life on hold for a while, and spend the holiday season looking for a bargain on a fantastic new home? If you’re in the market to buy, talk to Pivotal Financial about getting pre-approval on your home loan now. It could be a great way to start the new year off with a bang!

Introducing Pivotal Financial Specialist - Justus Ansell

Justus Ansell is a finance specialist who just loves the property market. What better person could you have on your side when it comes to buying property! As a keen property investor, Justus is in sync with the experiences of his clients.

Read More

His role as a finance broker fulfils his desire to navigate people into better financial positions, while overall doing what he enjoys, which is helping people achieve their dreams.

A strong sales background has honed his excellent communication and problem-solving skills.

He is very strong on customer service so likes to make sure that his clients are happy with the help they have received.

Justus is no pushover though. He does not give up easily. He will fight through difficult scenarios to find solutions, is super tenacious when it comes to securing the deal, and will fight tooth and nail with banks and valuers to get the desired result.

While Sunshine Coast-based, Justus Ansell’s clients spread from Gold Coast to Hervey Bay.

Clients who stay with him through their financial future, and constantly refer their friends and family to him, are his clear measurement of professional success.

5 Common mistakes of first home buyers

Getting ready to buy your first home? As your mortgage broker, we’re here to help you every step of the way. It’s an exciting time and it’s easy to make mistakes.

Here are 5 common mistakes that you should try to avoid!

Read More

1. Relying on advice from family and friends

Family and friends are people you can trust, so it’s understandable that you listen to their advice. However, while they may have the best of intentions, it’s always best to seek independent professional advice when buying a property. Things may have changed a lot since your mum and dad purchased their first home, and your circumstances are likely to be different. They may also have made mistakes without even realising it.

As a first-time buyer, you’ll want a team of experienced professionals in your corner. That means a reputable mortgage broker (like a Pivotal Financial Specialist), a solicitor or conveyancer, plus a building and pest inspector. A good accountant can also be invaluable, particularly if you are self-employed. If you need recommendations, please let us know and we’ll give you a referral.

2. Blowing the budget

The last thing you want is home loan repayments you can’t really afford – you might end up eating baked beans for years to come! That’s why it’s so important to have a solid grasp of your financial situation and budget.

A Pivotal Financial Specialist, can help you understand your borrowing power and create a home-buying budget. That will help save time when you start looking for your dream home. We can also organise pre-approval on your home loan, so that your finance is ready to go.

3. Underestimating the costs involved

Many first home buyers don’t understand the full costs involved in buying a property. There’s a lot to consider – your deposit, stamp duty, lender fees and charges, solicitors fees, and so on.

Then there are the ongoing costs associated with home ownership. These may include rates, insurance, body corporate fees, maintenance and repairs. Remember, if you need help crunching the numbers, we can assist. We’ll also let you know about any grants or concessions you may be entitled to (like the First Home Owner Grant), which could help get you into your own home sooner.

4. Getting the wrong mortgage

As a first-time buyer, getting your head around all the different home loan products out there can be overwhelming. Offset accounts and redraw facilities. Fixed versus variable rates. Split home loans and lines of credit. It’s enough to give you a head spin! It’s important to choose the mortgage that is most suitable for your needs and saves you as much money as possible.

Pivotal Financial Specialists role is to: 1) understand where you’re at financially and where you want to be; 2) compare the home loan market; 3) find you the right home loan, based on your specific financial circumstances; and 4) walk you through the home loan application process.

5. Being blindsided by emotion

When you’re new to the property hunt, it can be easy to let emotions cloud your judgement. However, try not to let your daydreams get in the way of the facts. Do your research to ensure you’re buying the right property for the right price. If you need help, we can give you some guidance about how to research a property properly to make an informed decision.

With careful planning and support, buying your first home will be a positive experience. Pivotal Financial Specialists, will help you every step of the way and can refer you to other professionals whom you can rely on. Please call us – let’s make your home ownership dream a reality, and make your next move, your best move!

Uber Eats, Afterpay and Netflix accounts could hurt your home loan application

When first-home buyer Georgina Emanuel applied for a loan this year her mortgage broker had bad news for her. Even though she had a 30 per cent deposit, she was spending too much on Uber Eats and Uber Ride and that could sway banks’ decision to lend.

Benefits of Using a Mortgage Broker - Don't leave it to chance

Why should I use a Pivotal mortgage broker rather than going directly to my bank?

With so many different loan options available today, our quality mortgage brokers can take the stress out of finding the right home loan options for your needs.

Read below to see some of the benefits of using a Pivotal mortgage broker rather than your bank.

Read More

We can find you the right loan for your circumstances

With a variety of non-industry experts offering their opinion and so many lenders to choose from, how do you choose the right loan?

Look for the loan with a low overall cost.

Looking for the lowest interest rate doesn’t always guarantee you are getting the best deal. Unfortunately, this is only a fraction of what to consider when choosing the best loan for your circumstances.

Ultimately, you need to be searching for a loan with a low cost over the life of the loan.

For example, a loan that offers fortnightly repayments can reduce your loan faster than paying monthly. Also, an offset facility is a good option for home buyers that utilise this feature correctly.

Home loans can come with a variety of different features, and you often pay for them whether you use them or not! That’s why it’s so important to know which features you will genuinely use and suit your financial lifestyle.

At Pivotal Financial, we can research which loan offers the best deal, explain how the loan features work, and more importantly, how they can be useful to you!

 

We know what the lenders are looking for

Each lender has their own way of assessing your financial circumstances. You can’t be expected to know which lenders will look favourably on your circumstances.

Lending Specialists work closely with many lenders and have an in-depth understanding of what they look for when assessing your loan application. They also know what factors could lead to your loan application being rejected. This is an integral part of Mortgage Broking and this expertise is incomparable.

Knowing these factors assists Pivotal Mortgage Brokers in selecting a lender that will look favourably on your circumstances and work best for you in the long run.

Faster turn around times

Some lenders can approve a loan within hours, and others can stretch as far as 15 business days!

So, if you need loan approval in a hurry, choosing the right provider can make a tremendous difference. Quite often, our clients require their loan to be approved quickly, if this also applies to you, don’t rely on a lender to act quickly with your loan application.

 

Lenders policies and restrictions can affect your loan

These policies and restrictions need to be satisfied before your loan is deemed suitable for the lender to proceed.

For example, some banks won’t lend against homes located in certain postcodes, others, have strict rules regarding small apartments or acreage properties.

Pivotal Mortgage Brokers know which properties or postcodes won’t be accepted as security by various lenders.  This can save you a lot of time and money when searching for your new loan.

 

Practice caution when submitting multiple loan applications

Each time you apply for a loan (and in some cases online enquiries), it will appear on your credit report. When lenders encounter multiple applications it can raise questions, often making it more difficult to have your loan approved.

A better approach is to work closely with one of our Mortgage Brokers to find the loan and lender that is right for your circumstances.

 

Remember; no question is a silly question!

It is important when entering into a finance contract that you understand what you are signing up for.

Working closely with one of our Brokers can arm you with knowledge and understanding of the lending process. From then on it can boost your confidence, making your future purchases/lending requirements less overwhelming.

Open modal
Call Us