Mortgage Brokers’ Advantage Over Banks

A recent survey showed that one out of five Australians have no clear idea what a mortgage broker essentially does. A lot of them understood mortgage brokers to be more like stockbrokers or independent lenders who are not necessarily connected to any banks.


The Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) together with Bankwest carried out a study where the respondents coming from all over the country were asked a few questions related to mortgage brokers and what services are they offering.


The result of the study revealed that many Australians do not know that mortgage brokers function as a mediator between the lender and the borrower.


· They are responsible for all the research and paperwork for the available products in the market.

· They will assist the borrowers during the loan application and settlement process.


Mortgage brokers are compensated by the lenders, so generally these people are free of charge – this is also one thing that most people don’t know.


Many Australians have asked the help of mortgage brokers and they are happy with the offered services and results, and pledged that they’d hire a broker again, whether it would be getting a home loan, refinancing a loan, or in buying a property investment. The results of the survey showed that brokers have gained more client satisfaction compared to banks.


Here is a brief summary of what most respondents say about mortgage brokers and what are the services offered:


· Mortgage brokers are the best source of information when it comes to home loans and property deals.

· They are very helpful throughout the buying and settlement process.

· They can provide a good selection of products coming from different loan providers.

· They can be trusted when it comes to fixing a loan, refinancing, and even for property investment purchases.


MFAA Chief  Executive Officer  Phil Naylor,  pointed out that the results of the survey goes to show that mortgage brokers are already making a name among themselves along with their services which is totally different from banks and other lending institutions. Although most home buyers still prefer to ask the assistance of banks when it comes to loan products and other loan related services, with the positive results from the survey among mortgage brokers we can already tell that the brokerage industry is fast improving. The main thing that mortgage brokers need to do is to deliver their products with expertise and professional approach.

Securing Your House While On Vacation

Do you have any plans of going out of town in the coming summer? If so, there is one important thing that you need to consider. According to many insurance statistics, every minute of the day one house is burglarised. Therefore, it is very important to protect your house as much as possible. Here are some of the best fail-proof methods that can help you secure your house while you are away and enjoying your vacation.


Home Lighting


Make sure that you set up sufficient lighting at home. Put some lights on your front lawn and backyards, including the garage.  Nowadays, there is a lot of high-tech lighting fixtures that can be useful at home. You can install a sensor light in your house that can detect any moving object or maybe a timer light which can light automatically at the specific time that you set. This will look like there is someone staying in your home. You might see these things as simple, but this can actually make a difference and can help in securing your homes.


Home Insurance


It is always best to be prepared than be regretful in the end. Get a home insurance and make sure that it is up to date. You can opt to secure some of your valuable things and have a copy of your item’s serial numbers and model. In addition to that, you can also take some photos of your very expensive stuff such as jewelleries.


Locks and Alarms

Setting up an alarm system is a very excellent idea. This is one of the most effective ways to prevent burglars. Just make sure that the alarm system is installed properly and leave it on whenever you are away.


Here are some pointers from NRMA Insurance when selecting and putting up alarm systems:


· The intruder detector device must be placed on the main entrance areas.

· The alarm must include an external and internal siren.

· The alarm must also have a strobe light.

· You can have at a minimum of three burglar detector devices and have at least two motion sensors/ detectors.


Keep the burglars out by putting locks on every door, windows, and gates of the house.


Make Sure Everything is Locked Up


Don’t forget to lock all entry points at home such as windows, doors, and gates before leaving the house. According to NRMA statistics, approximately 30% of home owners forget to lock their doors and windows while away. So bear this in mind, check out every possible entry into your house before heading out. It is also essential to lock away your valuable equipments that can be stolen from the garden or garage.


Some Additional Tips


· If you want to feel at peace while being away, ask somebody to look after it, perhaps a close family relative or neighbour. If this could not be possible, try your best to make your house look like lived-in.

· Ask the paperboy to stop delivering newspapers when you are away.

· If you are a new settler in the place, the best option is to install new locks on doors and windows.

· Do not leave the spare keys outside the house or somewhere outside.

· Cut down bushes or trees that can provide some cover for burglars.

· Do not leave empty boxes outside your house like TV or computer boxes.

Attracting Property Buyers – The Easy Way

If you are planning to put your current home into sale, better check this out. There are a lot of things that you need to learn first before setting up the price. You need to consider some important things before opening your door to potential buyers. Always remember that the first impression on your home will either make or break its selling price.


Clean the House Thoroughly


When you are selling your home, the first thing to do is to make sure that you clean the entire house. You need to get rid of all the stuff that potential buyers will not necessarily need, make sure that you also take away all the cluttered things so the house will have a good impression. It is also ideal to take out your personal things so buyers will have a chance to imagine how their own stuff would look inside your house.  Here are some other important things that you might need to do:


  • Take away your family photos.
  • Avoid putting too much ornaments inside the house, if possible, don’t put any.
  • Take out large furniture like tables, desks, huge cabinets, and others. This will give your house a bigger living area which most potential buyers would want to.
  • Make the bedrooms look attractive and comfortable. Take away any stuff under the bed.
  • Put new and light coloured towels inside the bathroom.
  • If you have kids, temporarily pack their toys inside boxes and keep them in the garage.
  • Clean your kitchen and clear out other items like coffee maker, blender, and etcetera to give the kitchen some more space.
  • Buy new light fittings, curtains, blinds, or carpets to make the house look fresh and homely.
  • Clean the kitchen surfaces and bathrooms. The carpet must be also clean. Get rid of dusts and hard to reach cobwebs. Get rid of cluttered things under the tables.
  • Make sure that your cupboards are tidy, neat, and well organised.


Clean Outdoor Areas


If your home has an appealing outdoor garden or patio, the house will have a big chance to potential buyers. Hence, it is very important that you also clean your front and backyard. Fix gates and fences, if possible repaint them. Clean the gutters with clogged trash or dried leaves. Put up some additional lighting. Bear in mind that the overall impression of your house will help increase the price of the property.


Fix Noticeable Damages


Doing some repairs in any visible damage in the property is essential. Repair cracked walls, windows, or door jambs.  Fix leaking faucets, broken blinds, squeaky floorboards and doors, change broken doorknobs and any other damages. It is also a good idea repaint the house to make the property look elegant and fresh.


Make Renovations


Before opening your house for sale, consider making some renovations on specific areas of your house like bedrooms, bathrooms, or kitchen. But before doing that, you need to make some important research. It is a good idea to check other properties for sale across the neighbourhood and find out their value. You can ask the assistance of a mortgage broker or a real estate agent to help you calculate all the costs and establish a reasonable selling price. Doing a renovation is not likely necessary, but if you feel that it is needed then do so. Just be sure that all things are professionally done to attract home buyers.


During the Open House


During the open house, make sure that the house looks appealing from the inside out. You can ask the assistance of a cleaner or a gardener to make the cleaning job easy for you.


· Be sure that house has proper lighting a dark home can create a negative impression to buyers.

· Mow your lawn and trim the hedges and clear out any garbage.

· If you have pets, try to ask a close neighbour to look after them while buyers are checking the house.

· Clear out all the garbage such as newspaper piles, magazines, empty bottles, and plastics.

Choosing Your Ideal Mortgage Broker

Trusted loan companies and honest customer assistance is one important thing that lenders and loan service providers, including mortgage brokers must actively practice. Because of ASIC or the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, this objective has been made possible by using the latest standard consumer credit laws and guidelines.


An on-going survey found out that 41% of new property holders pointed out that their own mortgage brokers are the most helpful source of information when it comes to mortgage advices. And about 40% of new home loans around Australia are actually obtained through the assistance of mortgage brokers.


Nowadays, there are several mortgage brokers to choose from. However the trouble is how to find the best and trusted mortgage broker who will be able to cater your needs and requirements? Doing a research is essential so you’ll fully understand and learn what a particular mortgage broker is capable of.


Making a checklist is ideal while you are seeking a mortgage broker. This list will help you determine what assistance and services are they able to provide.


An ideal mortgage broker will be able to accommodate all your preferences and needs, all for your benefit, so better check the following:


· What is their rate of commission? Are they able to get the same amount of commission whatever is the product or lender is chosen?

· Are they able to offer you a selection of home loan products? If so, ask them how each product can be helpful or perhaps why is it the right one for you? Ask them how each home loan product is different from the other.

· What are their payment options? Is it through referral fees for client introduction payments or otherwise?

· Are they looking into your capability of repaying the home loan cost?

· Do they have a Customer Charter and Finance Broking Agreement which explains their SLA’s, dispute policies, and remuneration? Ask and clarify what are their conditions including their privacy policy.

· Are they able to explain the entire application and submission process thoroughly? Is the settlement process and the mortgage processing all clearly explained to you?

· Are they able to provide you with correct calculations and full disclosure of commissions?

· Are there any service charge required apart from home loan fees and charges to other product services?


An ideal mortgage broker must be an expert in the mortgage industry. You’ll know if they are qualified professionals if they:

· Complied with the National Consumer Credit Protection legislation.

· Have a complete training course in mortgage broking and is accredited for Certificate IV in Financial Services.

· Have professional security insurance.

· Are a member of the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia, and has complied the Code of Practice.


An ideal mortgage broker must be able to offer you a selection of home loan products and most importantly has contacts to numerous financial institutions including credit unions, building societies, big and small banks, and other potential loan providers.

Which One Should You Consider? A Tree Change, Acreage, Or Sea Change

Lately, many people are considering a Sea change or Tree change residence or anything which looks like a countryside-looking theme for their property. This could either be a property to retire on someday or a permanent residence.


An upswing of more job opportunities and the growing home based work choices is already making this dream house a reality. Living away from the outskirts of a busy city and into a peaceful rural area was once a dream by most home owners. But now, this desired residence has now progressively ushered me to more and more interested clients day by day. And it has turned out that as an agent, I am helping them find a way on how to invest on this dream house.


Just like any other decision making process, you need consider some factors that will lead you towards acquiring your desired property. Think how can it influence your social lifestyle, for instance, how will your children go to school? Are you willing to travel? Is the location desirable for the whole family? Will you be able to manage the entire property? And most importantly, will the financial institution provide you the money? You need to evaluate the things that might change and assess your needs in case you and your family will transfer to a countryside home.


Nobody needs a hundred or thousand acres of land, unless if a farm is what you desire and not a home. For me, if you want a farm, that is totally fine, just make sure that this is what you really want. Obtaining the appropriate funding for your property right from the start is extremely significant.


You also need to consider the real property value. If the property comes with a few hectares and has probably been producing some income from farming or grazing stocks, the property value you might spend on would be much greater. Potential loan providers and other financial institutions will normally take only the real price of the property or land and they will not consider other priced factors. They will not be able to consider your request with regards to funding your property however; you can apply for a business loan which will require you to take a more high-priced loan rather than an ordinary home loan. Things such as these are some important points to consider.


But of course, where you want to live is your personal choice and decision, mortgage brokers are only there to assist you during the loan process. Then again, I want you to understand that you need to consider many possible options for you to have an excellent and well informed decision. Investing a big amount of money in a property is absolutely fine, but you need to plan and do it right.

Home Buyers: Choosing Your Very First Home

In my kind of work, I find first time home buyers very appealing. They often ask me questions with regards to home buying and seek assistance for choosing the best home for sale. New home buyers must have a positive outlook when it comes to choosing the best option. I tell you, this outlook is a great help.


Now, what exactly are the requirements of a first home buyer to lenders? Having a saved deposit is definitely an excellent start. Lenders can give home buyers 5% to 10% discount from the purchase price. The primary key word here is save because it can give clients a variety of options. So, instead of getting just one loan, clients who are entitled to a saved deposit can provide them with a maximum of 10 options for better loan opportunities, interest rates, and other loan products.


Other important things to consider for clients are residential stability, employment stability, credit history and account conduct. In my previous blogs I have mentioned that having a well informed decision is very significant. As a broker being straightforward, trustworthy and being able to deal with the any particular area of interest immediately will make a big difference. Discovering a bad credit score of any other concerns as soon as the application is passed to the lender means we are already set on the back foot. We must decide on what is the most suitable decision from the start.


If we cannot check all the possibilities, perhaps because of a current job change, then we must make the effort to do the best we can. We can actually create a case perhaps connected to tax returns, legal contracts, employment letters, or any other additional information which can be supplied.


In the event that there no saved deposits a valuable collateral from the family is acceptable, or maybe parents stand as guarantors and can offer their very own house, for some reason it will help on the given situation. Remember that no two loan requests are identical, and then again considerations and a well informed decision is extremely important.


I do believe that the very first home is the most significant investment a person can actually come up with, so let’s get it done right for the first time.

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