So you think property investment might be beyond your financial reach? Think again.

While it may be true that your dream home might be off-limits for now, the good news is that, for buyers keen to get a foot into the property investment market, there is still a wide range of suburbs that are ripe for growth – and present positive opportunities to would-be investors looking for property investment possibilities for long-term financial growth.

If you’re prepared to look outside of your home city, Australia’s capitals and regional centres have pockets of affordability that may appeal to your goals – and your budget.

Currently, according to 2015 data from CoreLogic RP Data, some of the lowest median prices for houses can be found in Tasmania.

In fact, Tassie tops the lists of Australia’s most affordable suburbs, with three of the country’s Top 10 of affordable suburbs being found on the Apple Isle state.

On the west coast, it is Zeehan – a small mining town – that presents the best bargain. When the data was released, the median house price was just $88,379.

Melburnians might be surprised to realise that Victoria is also home to many of Australia’s most affordable suburbs – places where median house prices range between $92,560 and $106,167.

When it comes to units, half of the list’s Top 10 featured South Australian suburbs, with the remained split between New South Wales (NSW), Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria.

Feel like a property on the Murray River? Buronga – which is in NSW but just an 11-minute drive from the Victorian regional centre of Mildura – is top of the list for units. There, the median price is a friendly $95,683.

In a recent article raising the issue of affordable house prices,  Cameron Kusher – CoreLogic RP Data senior research analyst cited many contributing factors to the overall decrease in home values nationally, including a slowing down of population growth.

Kusher was quoted as saying that while the Adelaide and Hobart markets were set to experience “fairly moderate” levels of growth, other cities, such as Perth and Darwin, were expecting further drops in median values.

Most Affordable Houses in Australia (based on CoreLogic RP Data 2015)

1. Zeehan, TAS– $88,379
2. Rainbow, VIC – $92,560
3. Rosebery, TAS – $93,290
4. Jeparit, VIC – $94,272
5. Queenstown, TAS – $94,464
6. Sea Lake, VIC – $99,946
7. Kaniva, VIC – $102,474
8. Rupanyup, VIC – $102,790
9. Norseman, WA – $103,981
10. Hopetoun, VIC – $106,167

Most Affordable Units In Australia (based on CoreLogic RP Data 2015)

1. Buronga, NSW– $95,683
2. Dawesville, WA – $113,075
3. Berri, SA – $177,044
4. Barmera, SA – $118,680
5. Red Cliffs, VIC – $118,870
6. Evanston, SA – $128,934
7. Deniliquin, NSW – $131,525
8. Deagon, QLD – $133,425
9. Risdon Park, SA – $134,739
10. Port Augusta, SA – $138,011

Even in areas that are seemingly affordable, property investment is an important commitment and it’s smart to undertake your own research – as well as speak to property experts, such as property valuation experts and real estate agents and also mortgage brokers, to get facts and figures about what areas might suit you and your property investment goals.

Affordability is important but investigating the potential growth may also affect your decision about where you start your property investment journey.

If you need advice for 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.

Happy property hunting!


Wondering how to pay off your home loan sooner? We look at some things you could do.

Australian home loan interest rates remain at historic lows, and the opportunities for paying off a mortgage early are better than ever. Used in conjunction with low rates, here are some extra steps that can speed up loan repayments and reduce your loan balance.

Make higher repayments

One of the easiest ways to quickly reduce the balance of your mortgage is to make larger loan repayments. The minimum repayments required on a loan are calculated on the amount owing and the prevailing home loan interest rate. Repaying more than the minimum can cut the overall term of the loan and save you thousands of dollars in interest. A mortgage repayments calculator will quickly show what savings can be achieved.

Some lenders may charge you an early payment cost for paying your loan in advance. This is particularly the case with fixed-interest loans, so it’s always best to check up-front. These costs can be large.

Make more frequent repayments

Home loans are often structured so that you make monthly repayments. But making fortnightly repayments instead can reduce the term of a loan and save interest. By making fortnightly repayments, you are paying the equivalent of half of your monthly repayment every two weeks. This allows you to make the equivalent of one extra monthly repayment per year. Extra repayments will ensure the loan balance is lower at the time of the month the interest is calculated.

Use an interest offset account

Most lenders allow you to package a mortgage with an interest offset account. An offset account allows you to reduce the amount of interest paid on your loan by offsetting the amount in the (offset) account against your loan balance. Wages and other income can be deposited into your offset account. Note that you don’t earn interest on the funds in the offset account, and that offset is usually only available on variable rate loans.

Seek out lower rates

Although obvious, many borrowers take out a mortgage and then stop following the home loan market. With interest rates constantly changing, it pays to monitor the latest rates. If rates go down, contact your lender or broker and ask if they can reduce the rate on your loan.

Don’t take the rate cut

When a lender reduces the interest rate on its home loans, usually in line with a cut in official interest rates, your first thought may be to reduce your loan repayments accordingly. However, by maintaining your loan repayments, you effectively repay more than the minimum loan repayment. If it’s possible to do so, this will help you cut the term of the loan and save on interest.

 Pay both principal and interest

While you can make lower repayments by choosing an interest-only loan, doing so means the principal component of the loan will not be repaid while you are only paying interest.

Pay fees upfront

When initially taking out a mortgage, lenders will often roll the establishment costs and charges into the loan. While this may help the short-term budget, it’s worth paying these costs separately to lower the overall balance of the loan from the start.

Use your home equity

As home prices rise, you build more equity in your property. Redrawing funds from a home loan to pay for renovations and other costs can be a much cheaper source of funds than others.

Set up a split loan

A split loan, sometimes referred to as a combination loan, enables borrowers to divide their mortgage into both variable and fixed components. By doing this, you can not only make extra payments on the variable component, but also lock in a lower fixed rate. Extra payments can often be made on the fixed loan too, up to a limit specified by the lender.

Get a financial package

You can often lock in a discounted loan rate with a financial package and also find special rates on other products and services. Putting those savings into your mortgage is a great way to get the best of both worlds.

With just a few easy steps, borrowers can significantly reduce the length of their mortgage and save thousands of dollars in the process. As Mortgage Brokers we can assist you in setting everything up.

For more information on how you can pay off your home loan sooner, you can contact Lending Specialist on (03) 8805-1800 or email

Buying your first home? It’s an important financial decision that can lay the foundation for a secure financial future but it is one that takes planning and commitment.

The more money you save, the more choices you will have – from the opportunity to access a greater range of available properties and also a wider variety of available lenders willing to fund your home ownership and property investment dreams.


A High Interest Bank Account Helps You Save Money

So, you’ve worked out the budget of how much you can save – now it’s time to find the best place to watch those savings grow.

Your everyday transaction account is not the best choice.

For one thing, the temptation to use the cash is hard to resists when that ‘tap and go’ ATM card makes it too easy to withdraw on a whim.

Research bank account with low account-keeping fees and higher interest rates and if they reward deposits with no withdrawals, consider it, but be honest with yourself about how long you can afford to have your money locked away because the penalty you face for withdrawing outside of the agreed terms if a financial emergency does crop up can negate any positive savings you might have made.


Understand your loan to value ratio

Loan to value ration (LVR) is a critical factor in planning your mortgage budget.

To plan how much you can save, make sure you understand how much you need to save to get yourself that property you want.

LVR is calculated by dividing the total amount of your home loan by the appraised value of the property.

Any lender you apply to will use your personal LVR to assess how risky it might be to lend you a large amount of money for your home loan. Talking to a professional mortgage broker can help you understand this fully, as some lenders have different criteria around this LVR and where you might fit in to their expectations.

In general terms, the greater the LVR, the higher the risk you present because the lender may not be repaid if you default on your loan and they have to sell the property. Lender’s Mortgage Insurance is another fee that may need to be paid if your LVR is more than 80%. Some lenders use LVR to define the interest rate on your mortgage. So, if your LVR is higher than 80%, you may not be offered the same competitive interest rate as someone whose LVR is below 80%.

To avoid these additional fees and higher interest rates, it is important to understand the amount you really need to save – in order to cover all the associated costs of a home loan.


Top Tips To Save For Your Home Loan

1. Save 10% of your income

It works if you stick with it. Create a separate bank account with a higher interest rate and arrange for money to automatically transferred each week or month when your income hits your bank account. Small steps are a great way to start any journey.

2. Sell things online

Got too much stuff you no longer need or want? Even well cared-for clothing, books and toys your children no longer want can fetch some good prices if you take a bit of time to show them off well on popular online market places like gumtree or eBay.

3. Get rid of debt

Not strictly a savings tip but by reducing your debt, you are saying goodbye to interest charges and other fees. Before you commit to a huge home loan, it makes sense to prove you can stick to a budget and service your smaller debts on time.

4. Live more simply

Sure that cable TV subscription might be entertaining but it could be adding hundreds to your annual bills. And do you really need that top-shelf toilet paper when no-name brand will do the job just as well? There are many ways to trim your spending without impacting on your lifestyle enjoyment. Even cutting down from two take-away lattes to one per day can save you hundreds of dollars in the course of a year.

For more tips on how to save for your home loan, talk to us at Lending Specialists, the home loan experts, to find out the details of projected monthly repayments and other ways you can reduce the costs of your next property purchase to help make your savings goal achievable.





Looking at re-financing your mortgage after splitting with your partner?
Don’t worry. You’re not alone – and with the right advice from an experienced mortgage broker, you can maintain your property ownership dreams, even when you are on your own.


What Does Divorce and Separation Mean For My Mortgage?

Each year in Australia, more than 118,000 couples are married. Sadly, one in three of those marriages will eventually end in divorce. The statistics don’t reflect the missing percentage of long-term unmarried couples whose relationship ends with a separation.

And for many of those couples who decide to move on? Property ownership is an important issue.

The legal division of assets that happen when romantic partnerships end mean that, for many people, their home ownership dreams are interrupted and often put on hold.

But the good news is that there is life after divorce and separation and entering the mortgage market is not impossible, with the right planning and advice.


Starting Again – Dividing The Family Home

Selling a family home for a divorce settlement is always stressful and emotions run high, which can lead to anger and frustration.

If you’re feeling like that, make sure you talk to a trusted and empathetic friend or family member – or seek professional counselling to help you through the hardest times.

If you do have money to lay the foundations to start again, it’s important to invest in property wisely and be patient for long-term wealth creation. It might be that you cannot afford the home you need to live in right now but you don’t need to give up on being a property owner. Shifting your sights to think as a property investor can be a positive pathway for you to return to life as a property owner and with some careful research and smart buying, you can secure an investment property that will create a solid rental return, plus the future benefit of capital growth you can leverage from in the future.


Buying out your partner  – Re-Financing After Divorce

Alternatively, it might make better sense for one party to buy out the other in an existing property – meaning you may be able to keep your home.

But be sure to get professional legal advice – and that the settlement you come to is fair for both parties.

Australia laws state that, if both names are on the original mortgage agreement, then one person cannot simply take over the mortgage solo. But by speaking to a trusted, professional mortgage broker, and a lawyer, you can arrange to re-finance the property, pay your ex-partner the agreed share, and then take on a new mortgage in your name only.

Talking to your accountant, or a financial planner or financial counsellor can be an important step – just to ensure that your budget can sustain mortgage repayments comfortably and for the duration of your loan term.


Applying For a New Home Loan

With so many lenders in the mix, life after divorce or separation does not mean financial ruin.

Rather than just rely on the whims of one bank to decide the fate or your home loan application, enlist an experienced mortgage broker to take you through all the options. With many lenders having unique products that are tailored to suit very individual needs and circumstances, you will have more chance of finding one that suits your needs.

If you try and do not get approval, talk to your mortgage broker about what the weak links in your application were. Even a shaky credit rating can be repaired with time and patience. Just make sure you pay bills on time and don’t default for your best chance of having access to a wide range of lenders who will be happy to help you get back into the property ownership sector again.

Online calculators can help you figure out a realistic budget for your future mortgage payments and other lifestyle budget needs. Be honest. If it’s not right for you now, it might just mean waiting another 6-12 months to boost up your savings and clear further debt to put you in a stronger financial position.


If in doubt, talk to your financial adviser specialists.

Property ownership might be off the radar for now but, with some smart savings and a tight budget, you can be back in the market and looking forward to a brighter financial future.

If you have any questions about your finances, either personal or business, please do not hesitate to contact Lending Specialist on (03) 8805-1800 or email

Although many of us think of the property dream as involving a happy couple and a shared mortgage, the reality is that many Australians go out on their own to apply for a home loan.


The good news is that applying for a mortgage when you’re single can be done. And understanding some of the practical tips that can help you make it possible? That’s a good start…


How to Find A Lender That Suits You

Transitioning from renting a house to buying a house can be tricky – especially when your single income needs to cover your living expenses, rent, and the savings required to have the hefty deposit needed to apply for a home loan.

Buying a first home is challenging for anyone but when you are single it can be even tougher. The reality is that banks cannot legally discriminate against you based on your marital status but tighter lending standards can mean it is harder to meet the criteria with certain lenders.

Talking to a mortgage broker means that you can explore different loan products from a range of lenders. While some banks may make it hard for single applicants to meet the necessary criteria, an experienced mortgage broker will have a variety of lenders with different options available to suit different financial and lifestyle circumstances.


How To Save For Your First Home

Budgeting is always a good start. Not only does it show you where you might be able to trim some of your daily expenses (and you’ll be surprised how much those few take-away coffees each day add to your monthly bills) – it also gives you a realistic understanding of what you really can afford.

Saving to buy a home is one thing but managing to meet the ongoing monthly repayments is another, so it is important to be clear about what you can afford and what might be beyond your reach for now.

Buying your first home doesn’t have to mean over-extending to get into your dream suburb. Look at properties in suburbs that are a bit further out to find one that meets your budget. Getting a foot in the property door is a positive thing and with some careful planning, you can turn that first home purchase into the beginning of an investment property portfolio.

Reducing debt is always a positive thing so part of your savings plan should involve reducing debt with overblown interest rates as fast as you can.

Having a strategy to pay bills on time is a good way to clean up your credit rating – and that can improve your borrowing capacity.

If you are renting alone, consider a stint with a room-mate to cut your rental and household expenses by half while you save for your deposit.

Moving back into the family home of your parents can also be a good temporary move that allows you to beef up your savings and reduce unwanted debts in preparation for taking on a mortgage. It won’t suit everyone so be realistic about whether it is a good move for you.


Don’t Go House-Hunting Alone

You might be buying the property by yourself but that doesn’t mean you should go looking for the property alone. Choosing a trusted friend or family member to keep you company while you check out open inspections and attend auctions can help you stay focused and avoid the emotions that might cloud your judgement. If you have the budget, investing in the services of a professional buyer’s advocate may be a smart choice – especially if you’re time-poor and could do with some extra negotiating skills to help secure the best possible property deal.


Aim for 25 %

Although many home loan calculators will tell you that spending 30% of your take-home income on your mortgage is acceptable, you’ll have more room to breathe comfortably if you focus on 25%. Remember that owning a home attracts more expenses than renting – with rates, maintenance and insurance costs all having an impact on your finances.


Get The Right Advice

Buying a home is an important milestone and whether it’s a house for you to live in and enjoy, or an investment goal to tick off your bucket list, it’s important to buy wisely and get the right mortgage for you. Discussing your finances with professionals you trust – your accountant, a professional mortgage broker, and even a financial planner, if you have one – will help you get off to the best possible start in the property market.

If you need advice for a personal loan or a 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.