If you’re looking for a mortgage to suit your financial circumstances, the most important question to ask is:

 

What can I really afford to borrow?

When you’re paying rent and trying to save for a deposit at the same time, understanding the ongoing reality of servicing a mortgage and the extent of your lending limit is critical to your plans.

 

Take Control of Your Credit Rating

No matter what type of property you’re planning to buy, taking a careful look at your financial health is always recommended before you make any credit applications with any lender.

The state of your financial circumstances and credit record are the main things that determine your borrowing power so, unless your need for property is urgent, it’s smart to take the time to examine your finances thoroughly to ensure you can make the most of your mortgage opportunities.

 

Clear Your Debts

If you want to maximise your borrowing power, the first step is to minimise your debts. Paying down expensive credit cards is always a smart move to rid yourself of high interest charges. Then, consider reducing your credit limit with your credit providers.

Why? Because when you’re applying for any credit – from a car loan to a home loan – the lender looks at your credit limit, not the amount you still owe.

That $30,000 credit card limit you have might only have $2000 owing on it but to the lender, all they see is the fact that you have the power to rack it up to a $30,000 debt – and based on your earnings, that may affect what they feel comfortable lending you.

For any financial institution, it’s all about limiting their risk and exposure.

Cancelling cards you no longer use or have a need for can also help boost the amount you can borrow.

 

Your Savings History Is Important

A proven history of structured savings is seen positively by potential lenders and a good track record here can potentially smooth over the occasional debt hiccup along the way. Spend a few months paying all your bills on time – or early – to help create an improved credit history. When it comes to applying for finance, it’s important to look as responsible as possible – and, so you don’t get yourself into trouble with too much debt, it’s also very important to be honest and realistic.

 

How Do I Calculate My Lending Limit?

When you’re preparing to buy a property, doing some research is critical.

Before you invest hours of your time visiting properties to purchase – either as an investor or a first-home buyer looking for your ideal entry to the property market – it’s important you understand how much money you have access to.

It’s important to realise that, depending on your credit history and current financial circumstances, that amount may differ from lender to lender. To get a sense of what’s possible for you, search for an online mortgage calculator and use figures that are honest and as accurate as possible.

Enter your income (plus any additional income if you are buying property with another party) include all your regular expenses and the number of any dependents you have. The online calculator will assess your borrowing power based on this information.

Be aware that you will get different results from different mortgage calculators, depending on which bank or financial institution they calculator is affiliated with.

For the clearest picture, talk to an experienced mortgage broker who can punch your numbers into their preferred calculator. With many different loan products available, they can give you an overview of the lending limit available from a range of lenders. Remember that being offered more isn’t always a good thing. What’s important is that you borrow what you can afford to service – without stress.

If you need advice for a personal loanhome loan, business or commercial loan, self-managed super fund loan, or an investment home loan, speak to a broker at Lending Specialists. We have a wealth of experience under our belt and a robust network to connect you to the right industry professional for the loan you need.

 

When you’re preparing a house for sale and want the maximum sale price, you want some simple renovation and refurbishment tips that add value to your property, without breaking your budget.

1. Landscape Your Garden

First impressions do matter.

Tidying up your garden might only take a small investment of money but it can make a huge difference to the number of buyers you attract – and that means greater competition and a potentially better sale price. Landscaping doesn’t mean huge dollars and fancy plants. Even some well-considered plants from your local nursery can transform your garden wonderfully. Plant to suit the style and environment surrounding your home – whether that means some hardy natives or a splash of vibrant colour. Pebbles or mulch can fill the spaces between plants brilliantly and sweeping, raking and scrubbing dirty pathways can also make a big difference.

Tree removal can be expensive but if you have a huge tree that may drop limbs, it can turn prospective buyers away. Before you get rid of it, you will need to check with your conveyancer and local council to ensure there are no covenants that prohibit your from removing the tree. Chopping a tree down without checking first may make your property look better but could lead to a costly fine.

2. Clean The Outside Of Your House

Sometimes, the time or budget required for a fresh exterior paint job means the project is not worth it. But washing down the exterior walls with a high-pressure hose can transform tired into sparkling. Just be sure to talk to your trusted handyman before you start. In older homes, blasting high-pressure water to rinse away those cobwebs could also cause damage to crumbling mortar – and that will lead to a costly repair job you don’t need.

3. Paint the Front Door

Finding alternatives to expensive exterior painting is always a good thing but when it comes to first impressions, a clean, inviting front door can be a powerful thing. If you’re tackling the job yourself, make sure you prepare the area properly. Think about whether a new doorknob might also make a difference – especially if that fresh coat of paint makes your old one look shabby.

4. Clean The Floors

For great looking real estate photos, clean and shiny floorboards or tiles look fantastic and, when it comes to carpets and rugs, get them steam-cleaned, with any stains treated for removal to create a fresh look for your property. New carpeting is expensive and not always needed. Consider part replacement if areas are badly worn – another good reason to keep some off-cut extras stored away when you first buy your carpet because you never know when it can come in very handy.

5. De-clutter

Those trinkets and treasures your family has loved for so many years? Potential buyers won’t share the same love. In fact, to their eyes, it will be a messy distraction that makes your home appear smaller and messier.

Invest in some short-term storage, or, better yet, do a complete cull to simplify your life. You can even make some extra money on the side by selling some bigger pieces on ebay, and consider doing your bit for your local community by donating some goods to your local charity/op-shop.

Your home will look fresh and clean and those prospective buyers will be better able to imagine their own lives between your four walls – without all your stuff blocking their vision.

For any information about how to arrange finance for your next property, or re-finance to undertake more detailed renovations on your property, talk to our Lending Specialists today for advice from an expert mortgage broker in Melbourne.

 

 

Refinancing your home? Or looking for the best possible home loan as a first-home buyer? When you’re hunting for a great mortgage deal, there are many options available.

Some people are happy to stick with the bank they know and trust, but for others, the value of being able to shop around and find a product that is tailored to suit your unique circumstances and budget offers more flexibility.

By understanding the difference between securing a mortgage with a bank, or using a mortgage broker to find your most suitable home loan, you can potentially save time, money – and stress.

 

Choice

Choice brings opportunity. When you ask your bank about a home loan, you are limited to the specific mortgage deals they have on offer, with restrictive opportunities to negotiate a competitive interest rate.

You are also less able to access flexible terms and conditions that might be able to trim years off your loan.

 

Better Interest Rates

We compare prices on everything from milk, bread, petrol and cars – so why should we take the first offer of an interest rate?

While banks may offer access to a small range of home loan products with different interest rates, asking a mortgage broker to find you a great home loan deal gives you access to a wide range of lenders – and a wide range of varying interest rates.

 

A Better Credit History

When you apply for a home loan at your bank, it may turn out that you do not meet their precise criteria for approval. And if they turn you down? It shows on your credit record that you have been declined for a home loan. Because mortgage brokers understand the finance offerings from a diverse range of lenders, they understand the different lending criteria and can assess where you are best likely to fit for approval. Rather than apply for a loan you may not get at a bank and diminish your chances of subsequent successful loan applications, trusting a mortgage broker to shop around for you means you can focus on applying to the lender you are more likely to be approved by – something that can protect your credit history for future finance applications.

 

Experience

That home loan ‘specialist’ at your local bank? Often bank staff may not have comprehensive training and experience in one specific area, whereas mortgage brokers, who often own their own businesses, bring years of experience to their profession. A great mortgage specialist at a bank? They do exist but banks are big companies who often reward hard-working staff with promotions that move them into other areas – away from their customers.

 

Long-term Loyalty

When it comes to your other trusted financial advisors, such as your accountant, financial planner or bookkeeper, most people understand the value of building trust in long-term relationship. So why treat the most important purchase of your life – your investment property portfolio or first home – any differently?

While banking staff may come and go and may not even be on-hand to deal with issues by the time of your property settlement date, a mortgage broker can be there for years and years of your investment journey and will have an in-depth knowledge of your financial goals and circumstances.

 

Specialised Knowledge

As your home finance journey continues, you may want to find a mortgage broker who specialises in property investment, or purchasing property within SMSFs. By choosing a specialist, reliable mortgage broker with years of proven experience and a brilliant customer service track record, you can benefit from knowledge that can help you turn your financial dreams into a tangible reality.

 

Customer Service Follow-up

Personalised service from people who really know you and your individual circumstances can be the difference that saves you money, time and worry. Choosing the right mortgage broker can help you have the peace of mind from knowing that potential issues can be dealt with quickly and efficiently by someone who knows you are more than just a number.

A great mortgage broker will follow-up with your finance transaction at every step of the way to make sure that every aspect of your finance application is being dealt with efficiently and effectively. Friendly, personalised customer service is something that can turn a potentially stressful time into a smooth, happy home-buying experience. It’s possible to find at a bank too but with so many other variables that may mean the lender you originally dealt with is no longer in the same position, the risk of missing out on truly personalised service is much higher.

 

The best tip of all? No matter who you choose for your next finance application, ask the right questions to ensure you enjoy a mortgage product that suits your needs – and your budget.

 

To find out how refinancing your mortgage could help you access equity for home renovations to your existing property, talk to Lending Specialists, the expert mortgage broker in Melbourne today.

 

If you’re planning to sell your property to buy a new one, or simply want to add to the enjoyment of the way you live in your current home, there are smart ways to make home improvements without breaking your budget.

Here are 5 clever ways to make budget-friendly improvements to your property:

1. Create a clever kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of any home. For potential home-buyers, it’s the room that many make a beeline to, so making sure your kitchen is clean comfortable and uncluttered, is critical for a happy home.

Replacing the tapware can be one easy way to spruce up the look, without spending a fortune. Finding new cupboard door handles that match your sleek new taps add another dimension, while changing the light fixtures to ones that are brighter, and more energy-efficient, provides an easy improvement.

If your budget is a bit bigger, replacing cupboard doors and drawers can be a more affordable way to renovate a kitchen – without dismantling the entire room.

2. Give your appliances a facelift

If your appliances don’t match, one way to make your kitchen seem bigger, cleaner and more modern, is to ensure the appliances have a similar look. So, if that stainless steel dishwasher is making your tired old white fridge look old-fashioned, shop around for a new fridge. Sometimes, new appliances can add a fresh new look to the entire room.

3. Buff your bath

In addition to the kitchen, bathrooms attract intense scrutiny from prospective buyers. The good news is that they can be improved without costing a fortune.

A new toilet seat, or replacing a chipped and worn vanity unit can be affordable ways to revamp your bathroom space in style and they can be tackled by DIYers.

If the bathtub and shower cubicle look dingy, think about re-grouting, and replacing any broken tiles with new ones. Rather than replace an entire bath, some companies do offer a service to resurface old bathtubs and this can add years to the life of your bath and give the appearance of a brand new bathroom.

4. Clean those carpets

When was the last time your carpets and rugs were professionally cleaned? It’s relatively inexpensive and can add a fresh new look (and smell) to your home. If the carpet is worn, consider covering it with strategically-placed rugs. If you’re selling, talk to your real estate agent before deciding to invest in expensive new carpet. Many home owners may want to decide on this touch for themselves – or they may prefer floorboards or some other covering.

5. First impressions count

If your main entry door has a flimsy little door-knob, consider investing in a more substantial handle. A solid bit of hardware here can give the impression of a solid home and to take it one step further, a brand new front door – or a fresh coat of paint or stain on your existing one – can give your home a brand new look. Investing some time or money into maintaining your front garden can also make a big difference – and so can swapping that wonky old letterbox for a nice, secure new one.

To find out how refinancing your mortgage could help you access equity for home renovations to your existing property, talk to Lending Specialists, the expert mortgage broker in Melbourne today.