Those dreams of owning a holiday home can become a reality but when you’re looking to get finance for a home that might not offer you the same financial return as a regular investment property, it’s important to be realistic about what you can afford. With tips on how to choose a holiday home you’ll love and how you can make it work for your strong financial future, you’ll be enjoying that holiday home for more reason than one.

With summer on our doorstep, many people can relate to those lazy afternoons in holiday destinations, gazing longingly at the window of the local real estate office.

Investment opportunities aside – your holiday home will mainly be exactly that. You’re buying it to enjoy a home away from home, where you can go to enjoy holidays that don’t require heaps of planning and further investment.

Another potential positive is that you could benefit from profit if you do rent it out to a tenant at times. This can work well if your property is in a desirable location that other people want to visit.

Your property also has the potential to appreciate in value over time – and this can mean a good profit. But be patient – property investment is always something that takes time.

If you have bought your holiday home as an investment, some of the ongoing costs (including interest on a mortgage and the required property maintenance) may be tax deductible – just beware of ATO restrictions and talk to your accountant first.

For long-term benefits, a smart holiday home in an area with good infrastructure could mean a fantastic transition to your primary residence for your retirement years. Be realistic about whether you could comfortably live there as an older person.

Depending on where it is located, it could also offer your children an opportunity to live in as young adults to save money for their own home.

For a reality check, check these pros and cons first.


Pros of buying a holiday home


Cons for buying a holiday home

Remember the holding costs. Be realistic. If you’re unable to find a tenant, you’re responsible for the mortgage, insurance, maintenance fees – and more. Can you really afford it?

Finding tenants can be tough. Be prepared.

Depending on the location of your holiday home, damage and maintenance issues can be unchecked and undiscovered – sometimes leading to more costly repair issues.

Going to the same spot each holiday can lead to boredom. Do you really want to be tied to the same holiday destination – every time?

Top Tips To Buy A Holiday Home

  1. Don’t buy in peak season. That beach house you love this summer – or that ski resort getaway you’ll love next winter – might seem idyllic when you’re there but buying in peak season means competition is higher from other people just like you. Wait until the off-season when interest is low so you can find a better deal.
  2. Have a buffer.  Holiday-makers can be tougher on rental properties than regular tenants. You’ll need a buffer for repairing items that break down and need repairs.
  3. Be realistic about the costs. Second homes require a second round of money to pay for that second round of costs – utilities, rates, loans, taxes, insurance, repairs and pest inspection – to name a few. Add them all up and talk to your accountant to see if it works for your budget.


Like any property investment – location is critical.

Buy in areas that are economically resilient and aren’t just relying on one main industry to support the population.

Smart property investments perform better over time. Hold it for a long time to enjoy the best possible capital gain.

If the boxes are all ticked – then you’re on the right journey towards the serenity of your new holiday destination.



If you need advice for a home 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.

If you’re buying, or selling, understanding the difference between an auction and a private sale is important. By understanding the differences and the potential benefits and pitfalls of each sale method, you’ll be able to make a clearer decision about how to approach your next house sale or purchase.


Auction vs Private Sale

Such a hotly debated topic in real estate circles – and even in your friendship group, probably.

Many argue that auctions are the only way to get the highest possible sale price for your property – the competitive spirit of buyers caught up in the emotions of the day can add thousands of dollars. But then there are others who swear by private sales.

So what’s best for you?  Check this list of pros and cons to see what makes the right sense for your individual circumstances.



Potential benefits

1. Urgency:

Auctions are great at creating a real sense of urgency with buyers.

There is a clear end date the sale must happen by and so they feel that if they don’t jump in with the best offer, they might miss out. This can lead to would-be buyers stretching themselves on the day – and going to heights they had not planned. (If you’re a buyer, be careful. By talking to an experienced mortgage broker, you’ll have a clear understanding of what finance you can access and you need to stick to your limit. There will always be another property…)


2. Increased competition

Those competitive bidding wars means that the asking price is often exceeded – not because the agent underquoted, but just because people are competitive and may be strongly connected to wanting that specific property at any cost.

This can be a benefit to the vendor.


3. Reserve pricing protection

At an auction, sellers are protected by the reserve price being set. If       you’re the vendor – this means that your property will not be sold unless the bidding reaches the pre-determined level.


4. Clear terms

Auctions provide vendors with the opportunity to enjoy an unconditional sale – and settlement terms can be implemented to suit the vendor.


Potential limitations

1. Costs

As a vendor, selling at auction can attract additional costs to cover specialist auctioneers. Make sure you discuss this with your agent so you understand all the fees.


2. Evidence of sales

If you’re selling an apartment in a larger complex of almost identical apartments, auction may not be the best way, as, with sales prices of other units easily available, the competition on the auction day may not be as fierce. In this case, private sale may actually help you score a better result.


3. Special sales conditions

Auctions are not the best place for buyers who need to purchase property subject to finance as bids are typically unconditional. If you’re a buyer, make sure you talk to an experienced mortgage broker to have your finance arrangements in place so you do have confidence to bid and secure the property you want.


Successful auction tips

1. Choose a great auctioneer

This person plays a key role in successful auction sales – especially if you end up with low attendance and only a small number of bidders battling it out. Interview a few to ensure you are choosing the one who can do the best for your property, based on their proven experience.


2. Set your reserve

In the days leading up to your auction, it’s important to set a reserve price you are happy with. Do not negotiate this on the day – when emotions are running high and the pressure is on. Know your reserve and stick to it. It’s information you should keep strictly between you and your agent – not something to share on social media!


3. Official contracts in place

Your contract and vendor statement should be available long before your auction date. You’ll be prepared and this will minimise the stress that can lead to poor decision-making.


4. Understanding market value

You should be prepared to accept market value on the day of your auction – hopefully after there has been some competitive bidding between multiple bidders.

Your auction may achieve less than you had hoped for as a vendor – another reason you need to be clear about your reserve price.


Private Sale / Treaty


1. Less intimidating to potential buyers

Auctions can seem intimidating to many potential buyers. With private sales, people feel less pressured and more comfortable.


2. Urgency to sell

Private sales are best suited to sellers who don’t feel an urgency to sell.

If you’re a vendor who is open to the possibility of an extended settlement period, or a sale that is subject to finance, or even one that is subject to the successful sale of the potential buyer’s home, this can be a good option.


3. Costs

Selling privately usually costs less than selling at auction – mainly because there is no auctioneer, and also because marketing campaigns are less intense too. Talk to your agent to make sure you understand all the associated fees and charges.


4. Privacy

Private sales happen through private negotiation processes; – a format that means you can be more discreet about the specific details of your sale.


Potential limitations

1. Cooling off period

Private sales do have a cooling off period and this can prove stressful for vendors. The duration of the period varies from state to state but it means buyers can change their minds and back out – even after a contract has been signed.


2. Time-frames

Private sales don’t usually happen as quickly as auction – and can linger for a while. But…sometimes potential buyers can jump in quickly too. It’s important for vendors to realise the different scenarios. If you’re in a hurry to sell – this might not be best method for you


3. Boosting the sales price

One important limitation about private sales is that prices are usually negotiated down – whereas in auctions, the price is usually pushed up above the reserve. Be prepared that your private sale might mean you don’t make your original asking expectation.


Whether you are selling via auction or private sale, choosing an agent who does the best for your property is critical – it’s all about creating interest in your property. And if you’re buying? Be aware of the strategies agents and vendors utilise to push buyers like you beyond your limits and have your finance all organised. Good luck!

For more information on Auction vs Private Sale or any financial questions (for eg. personal home loans or business loans) you have, please contact Lending Specialists on (03) 8805-1800 or email

Purchasing a property is a significant investment and whether you’re a home-owner or landlord, learning how to take care of some home handyman basics can save you money. Of course, lots of jobs should only be tackled by professionals – but when it comes to the little odd jobs that can stop your house from being its best, a few basic skills can help you keep things looking great.

Some basic DIY tips and tricks can help you get through some minor repairs and remind you that you don’t have all the skills to take on the really big jobs!


Holes In The Wall

Renovations and repairs can mean cutting holes in your plasterboard to make way for wiring or other works.

If it’s happened at your place, try these tips to install a new piece of plasterboard for a new-look wall:

Use a piece of wax paper to tape over the hole – then, with permanent marker, trace around the edges. Cutting out the exact shape will be easy and you can use that as a cutting guide to hold up against the new plasterboard.


1. Find a stud

Why spend money on an expensive stud finder when you can find it yourself?

But what is a stud? They are the vertical beams that support walls – and they provide a solid support to anchor heavy furniture or artwork.

You should find a stud on either side of the window – they are also next to electrical boxes for switches and outlets. Studs tend to be set at regular spaces around the room – once you’ve found one, you should be able to measure the rest. Another stud finding tip? Tap the wall. It should have a hollow sound. Where the studs are, the wall will sound more dense.


2. Fix a loose tile

Loose or wobbly tiles are the start of broken tiles, so this is a great example of a minor repair job preventing more costly replacements.

Start by running a pre-heated iron over any loose tiles and surrounding area to help loosen the adhesive. Prise the tile out gently.

Make sure the area underneath is clean by wiping it with an alcohol-based cleaning fluid, then use a putty knife to gently scrape any leftover putty.

Apply a fresh coat of tile adhesive to the gap and the back of the tile before replacing the tile carefully. A rolling pin is a great tool to help press the tile back into place, being sure to remove any air bubbles.

Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away any excess adhesive.

For floor tiles, place a heavy object, such as a stack of books, to weigh down the tile.


3. Re-caulk your shower, sink or bathtub

Is your sink, shower or bathtub bothered by leakage?

Caulking is simply a line of putty or gel placed where the basin meets the wall or floor. Caulking loses its effectiveness over with wear and tear so aim to re-seal once a year.

Start with a plastic putty knife to remove old caulking, Clean the surface with rubbing alcohol, then place masking tape above and below where you apply the caulk for a clean, even-looking line. With many caulking choices available, choose one with silicone to help prevent mildew.

Load into the caulking gun and simply follow the directions on the packet, making sure to depress the trigger of the caulking gun steadily and evenly.

Use your finger to flatten the line, remove excess caulk, then peel off masking tape. For effective results, let the caulk dry for a couple of days before exposing it to water and moisture.


4. Fix a leaky tap

The details may vary from model to model, depending on your tap but the basics are the same.

Number one? Turn the water off. Turning off the tap is one thing but turning off the water at the main source (usually a small valve on the pipes under your sink) is also required.

A flat-head screwdriver will help you remove the tap handle. Then use a wrench to loosen the packing nut. Remove the stem, then check for any damage. Do the same to the O-ring and the washer.

Replace any damaged parts (make sure you buy the same size replacements) and reassemble it in the reverse order of how you took it apart.

Turn the water back on, then test it. If it’s still leaky and you’ve checked your handy work, the problem might run deeper and you’ll need to speak to a trusted plumber.


5. Un-block a drain

This can be caused by a number of problems. Try vinegar, hot water and baking soda to start with  — soft blockages, such as grease, should be washed away.

Next step? A plunger.

Half-fill the sink with fresh water. Then plunge the sink, with the rubber cup over the plughole to create a vacuum.

If it’s still clogged, the next thing to check is the trap. Place a or large saucepan under your pipes and unscrew the trap – that curved piece of pipe that connects your sink to the vertical pipe. If it’s too tight to do by hand, use a wrench.

Clear anything clogging the pipe and reconnect the pipes before turning the water back on.

If all that fails, it’s time to dial that plumber!


6. Painting Made Easy

Whether you’re touching up a few spots of revamping the entire house, making painting easier can save you lots of money.

  1. Start with a damp sponge to clean dust, dirt and grease. A little sugar soap in the water helps clean easily.
  2. Use masking tape to protect the trims from any messy brushwork.
  3. Prime first. It’s more work – yes. But applying a coat of primer helps your final paint application go further – and look better.
  4. Use a smaller paintbrush to paint near the masked off areas around doors and windows and skirting boards. Once all that’s done, filling in the main walls with a roller is easy and fast. Be patient and give yourself time to allow for paint to dry fully before adding a second coat.
  5. Always wash your brushes and equipment as soon as possible after finishing. The longer you wait, the harder it will be.



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.

Whether you’re finally saying goodbye to adult children, licking your wounds after a divorce, or simply tightening your budget and freeing up some cash flow for a happy retirement – down-sizing your home can be an emotional time. But there are ways to make it work for you – and tips to make your next property buy feel like home, without the clutter.


1. Make a List – What You Love vs What You Don’t

There are things you can’t live without and things that you really need to jettison. The challenge of downsizing is to get your emotions in check to help you tell the difference.

No matter how unsentimental you are, there will always be some things that you can’t part with – precious photo albums, historic medals, plus all those important papers, such as birth certificates and financial records. But do you really need those certificates for achievement that date back to your primary school years now that you’re closer to retirement? For some people, the answer is a firm ‘yes’ – childhood memories form an important legacy for family heritage.

But for others, many things that have been stacked and stored for years have been packed away out of laziness and overwhelm.

Making a list is a great start – and might help you realise that those old magazines you’ve been saving since 1993 don’t need to be kept another day.


2. Start Slowly – And Ease Into It

Planning makes a big difference.

Rather than feel overwhelmed by the idea of downsizing, start sorting through your possession bit by bit about 3 months before your big move to help you declutter, without the stress.

Even 2-3 hours a week one morning or evening can help you achieve amazing results. Decluttering experts cite paper as the big killer for clutter. Tackle it one box at a time and focus on photos too – putting those precious memories in albums, and making digital back-ups if you can, so all your photos are easy to access and secure.


3. Unsentimental Rooms First

Some rooms have more sentimental weight than others. It’s smart to start with the rooms with the least emotion attached to get you off to a positive, pro-active start. Rooms like the laundry, bathroom and kitchen typically house items that you aren’t so connected to – something that makes it easier to clean and tidy. Do you really need 10 mixing bowls and 4 spatulas? It’s time to let go…

The garden shed is another great place to work on. If you’re moving to a place with a smaller courtyard garden or communal garden, it’s a perfect time to get rid of your bigger garden equipment, such as ladders, lawn mowers, saws and shovels.


4. Recycle & Re-home

Sell, donate, recycle. You’ll feel better about saying goodbye to your things if you know they are going to a good cause/new home.

By being environmentally responsible and thinking about how to find your belongings a new home, you’ll be downsizing considerately and feeling good.

Even those half-used bottles of cleaning fluid, or motor oil from your garage could be appreciated by a neighbour or friend.


5. Sort It Out

 Keep. Donate. Sell.

Unless things are broken beyond repair, most things you no longer want can be given away or sold for a nice little cash bonus.

Sites like Gumtree make it easy to list items for sale. If you’re not sure how to manage it, ask someone in your family or friendship circle to help you and offer them a percentage of anything that gets sold as payment for helping you list the items.

If selling seems too stressful for you, loading up the car and donating to the nearest charity is easy to do.

To help the process run smoothly and efficiently, create three piles – clearly labelled ‘keep’, ‘sell’ and ‘donate’.

If things really aren’t good enough for any of those categories, pop it straight in your wheelie bin or hired rubbish skip without a second look. If it’s not good enough for someone else, you shouldn’t hold on to it either!


6. Get a second opinion.

If waving goodbye to that dusty sewing machine you haven’t used since 1981 is too hard, it might be time for a second opinion.

A trusted friend or family member is a good place to start but if you are prepared to make an investment, there are also professional organisers for hire. They specialise in helping people just like you find stress-free ways to de-clutter and downsize.

A simple Google search should uncover plenty of options in your local area.


7. Plan for Smart Furniture Placement furniture before the move.

Got a floorplan for your new place? Perfect. If not, you can try sketching it out, so don’t worry.

Now sketch in your favourite furniture items so you can see how they will fit the new rooms.

If you end up with a picture of side tables, dressers, arm chairs and coffee tables crammed in to every available space, it’s a clear sign to get rid of some unnecessary items so you can enjoy your new home – and have room to move.


8. Colour-code or Number to Organise

Grab some sturdy cardboard boxes and create a colour or number for each room of your new house.

Now go through the contents of your existing rooms and add items to the boxes in the right order.

It’s a simple way to pack that makes unpacking at the other end so much easier. If you end up with a huge amount of boxes marked for one specific room, it’s a good prompt to take another look at the contents of the boxes and try to reduce them.

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.