With so much media about how the Australian dream of property ownership seems increasingly out of reach for many young Australians, understanding how you can help your children buy their first property is a positive, proactive step many established home-owners can take to help the next generation.

It’s not all doom and gloom, luckily. In fact, by looking at different types of mortgages that allow you to leverage from your own home to help your children, you can support your family – without risking your own property.

The thing most first-home buyers need help with is a deposit. And in today’s high-priced property market, with deposits becoming out of reach for many, parents can take a positive step to help.

To help your children save for their first home deposit, consider these ideas:

  1. Offering a cash gift or loan
  2. Save for them from early childhood
  3. Act as their guarantor
  4. Explore the idea of a joint venture
  5. Shop around for innovative mortgage products that might suit your situation

 

Cash gifts:

If you have available funds you can afford to share, consider a cash gift.  Think about whether you need to get this back and if you need it for something of your own within a set time-frame. If the money matters to you, this may not be a great option but if you believe your children will repay this when they say they will, or if you have the flexibility to extend a repayment period from them to you, this can be worthwhile – and very helpful. Be aware that even your large and generous cash gift may not be enough to help them across the line with a mortgage.  If they need to show genuine savings records, even a lump sum from another person will not help.

If your children are very young, open up a term deposit and commit to regular deposits.

When they are old enough to understand, encourage them to add to the account with pocket money, birthday money, or any income from part-time work.

Creating positive savings habits will help them save for the amount they need but it will also teach them great budgeting skills to ensure their approach to repaying their debt is taken seriously.

 

Go Guarantor

Going as a guarantor means that your home has a mortgage taken out on it by the financial lender to your child. Your role as guarantor is to act as security for the loan.

For this to work, you need to have available equity in your property but, if it does work, your child is able to purchase without a cash deposit and, potentially, they can access a larger amount to borrow.

For first-home buyers, LMI can also, potentially, be reduced – something that can save thousands of dollars. You can elect to be guarantor for a certain amount of the loan only. Be sure to seek professional legal advice and talk to your accountant and mortgage broker to see what’s right for you.

Be aware that, if your child defaults on repayments, your property can be at risk. Think carefully before agreeing.

 

Joint venture

Another way for parents and their children to work together is to go into a joint purchase.

On their own, your child might not be able to afford the property but with you as a partner in the deal, you can both own a stake in the home – and take a share of the financial responsibility to repay the debt. When the time is right, you can then give them the opportunity to buy you out of the deal, or you could agree to put the property on the market and use any profits to let them buy elsewhere solely in their own name.

 

New mortgage products

There are many products available that might suit your unique situation so talk to your mortgage broker to help you understand all the options available that can allow you to give your children the financial help you believe they need to get their foot in the property door.

 

Binding Financial Agreements

Just as many married couples or those in a de facto relationship take out binding financial agreements to protect each other financially it is recommended that any decision to financially assist your child or children into the property market is done with the help of quality legal advice. 

Parents can agree to officially loan children defined amounts of money and draft a legal contract that outlines their preferred method of repayment – including a deadline.

 

Home Sweet Home

And for those parents who might not have the financial means to help their children access a deposit for a property purchase, there are still positive things you can do to assist.

If you have the space (and the nerve) letting them live with you as adults may be a great financial service – enabling them to save money they would otherwise be spending on rent and utilities. Just talk to them about how they can make the arrangement work best for everyone – giving you some money to cover the extra expenses of putting a roof over their head and ensuring the savings they are making are being actively managed for the highest possible investment benefits that will help them speed their way to their very own property.

Remember – for accurate advice about what your adult child needs as a minimum deposit to get their foot into the property market, talk to an experienced mortgage broker to understand the world of home loans and the part you can play in their home-ownership goals.

 

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 barry@lendingspecialists.com.au

 

 

 

Separating from your husband or partner is an emotional time and the division of property assets can add to the stress.

This insight into the basics of family law and how asset splits are typically determined can help reduce some of that stress by helping you set realistic expectations – and understanding your options. By following some basic tips, you can understand how to refinance to hold on to your property – and when it’s best to let go and start again.

Statistics from the Australian Bureau of statistics, reveal that around 50,000 divorces occur in Australia each year.

For many of those numbers, the unfortunate reality is that financial complications follow, with issues around property settlements and division of assets being an important detail to finalise.

If it happens to you, it’s good to know there are a number of options available:

Legal advice is always recommended but if you need to access finances, talking to a trusted mortgage broker is also an important step to understand what your best move might be.

 

Buying Out Your Ex

Separating or divorcing? Here are some facts about your mortgage.

Around half of all marriages in Australia ending in divorce (and many more de facto relationships) end after a property had been jointly bought.

So what happens to your property assets, post-breakup?

Removing your ex-partner

Yes – your ex-partner can be removed from your home loan.

But…this can only work if you have the financial stability to qualify for a loan on your own. If this is you, you may be able to:

You will need:

 

Potential pitfalls:

Dividing financial assets can cause massive stress, which leads to bitter fighting and legal drama. Be prepared and make sure you have the emotional support you need.

Troubles can occur if:

 

Stamp Duty

In many cases, you will not have to pay stamp duty to pay out your ex’s share of the property. This applies to the family home but also for investment properties that you may want to buy out within the settlement.

It’s important to realise that you may still be liable for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the ownership transfer for any investment properties you owned together.

Because this area of the law is highly complex, be sure to seek professional advice from a lawyer or conveyancer to understand your position.

 

Using a Mortgage to Pay Out your Ex

Getting a loan to pay out your post-separation settlement is assessed by the financial institution as both a refinance and a mortgage.

Because of that, the lenders assess your loan application differently and apply different lending criteria.

Experienced mortgage brokers have access to a variety of lenders – including some who are happy to approve clients with less positive credit histories. Having a consultation with a trusted finance broker is a positive step to understanding your options.

Seek legal advice

Getting binding financial agreements related to property settlement and division of other assets is very important in any separation or divorce, so it is imperative that you talk to a family lawyer or family mediation specialist to help you negotiate.

When it comes to your finances, the specifics of what can be achieved depend on your individual circumstances, financial resources and assets. By talking to experts in the field, you’ll have the peace of mind you need to help you agree on a fair division – and the best way to manage it.

Remember – if you need emotional support, find an experienced counsellor to help you cope during this stressful time.

Tips on relationship separation

A good resource is at your fingertips via The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) MoneySmart website – including checklist on what you need to know about separation.

The tips include:

 

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 barry@lendingspecialists.com.au

 

 

Whether you are a landlord with investment properties or living in your own family home, choosing the right security barriers help protect your valuable asset – and everything inside it too. To help prepare your home for summer holidays and those times when you might be away from it for extended periods, taking a close look at your security – everything from security grilles and window locks, to high-tech security systems – is a smart way to keep intruders out and you and your possessions safe.

 

How To Protect Your Home

Fancy a bit of make believe? Pretend to be a burglar and look at your home through fresh eyes. As you walk towards your front door, look for anything that might help you achieve your goal.

Tools left laying around can be the perfect assistance to burglars by giving them something to use to pry open a door or window, or even break glass.

Hammers, drills, shovels and similar are always best locked in a garage or garden shed – far from the reach of an unwanted someone who could use them as a break-in tool, or even a weapon.

Is there a window left open or a door left unlocked? Sometimes, in our rush to get to that important meeting or school drop-off, we race out the door without ensuring even the most basic home security. Make it a habit to lock your doors and windows when you are out – and when you are asleep at night. If you’ve got children, or elderly relatives, talk to them about doing the same. Protecting yourself doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Sometimes, just some basic common sense can make a huge difference to your safety – and the protection of your valuables.

 

Effective Alarm Systems 

Investing in an alarm system isn’t within everyone’s means but if it’s important enough to you, one stress-free way to fund it might just be through your mortgage. Refinancing to renovate or repair your home is possible with the right amount of equity – something a trusted mortgage broker can help you with.

If you do install an alarm system, make sure you invest the extra to ensure that all wiring related to the alarm system is concealed. A professional burglar always looks for places to disconnect security systems and if you don’t give them that opportunity easily, they are more likely to move on to another property and leave yours protected.

 

Is Anyone Home?

If a burglar thinks you aren’t home, they are more likely to attempt a break in. Yes, those stories about home invasions are real – and they are frightening – but it’s important to note that they still are in the minority.

Even if you are away, making sure your home has the appearance of being lived in can be the difference your property needs to stay safe. Getting to know your neighbours is a positive for lots of reasons – and when you go away, it really proves its worth.

A good neighbour can be relied on to empty your letterbox, tidy your garden, move your car in and out, perhaps, and even enter your property once a day to close and open blinds and turn lights on and off.

Don’t keep spare keys in obvious spots, like the letterbox, under the pot plant nearest the front door, or under the door mat.

If you must leave a key out for a tradesperson or neighbour, find an unusual hiding spot – and don’t broadcast it.

Choosing A Security System That’s Right For You

Professional security systems can be expensive, depending on how detailed you want it to be. Sensor lights are a good start, then the budget varies, based on whether you want an alarm system that simply sounds a siren, or one that is professionally monitored 24 hours a day.

Security intercom systems can add another level of security by helping you screen visitors before they enter your property’s boundaries.

To choose a system that’s right for you, talk to a security professional about what your needs and concerns are.

To ensure you are choosing an ethical, experienced company who won’t try to up-sell you on costly equipment you may not really need, ask your neighbours, friend and family for personal recommendations before making the financial investment.

Speaking to your trusted insurance specialist about the minimum expectation of your home security for any theft claims to be honoured by your insurer is also a smart way to approach the issue, as it helps you understand what you must have versus what you might like to have – something that could save you both dollars, and the loss of the things that matter most to you.

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.

 

 

 

Top interior design trends to look out for in 2017?

Whether you’re selling and want to help your home look its best, or if you’re about to buy and planning those special interior design touches that will turn your house into a real home, keeping up-to-date with what’s hot can help you achieve a stunning look you’ll love.

Expert Interior Design Tips For 2017

According to interior designer Jen Waite, from White Fox Styling, terracotta will be big in 2017 – both as a colour for splashes of interest in everything from cushions to rugs, and as a material for a general desert-feel aesthetic.

It’s all about warm, earthy tones and texture so anything that ticks those boxes will give your property an eye-catching ‘now’ look that is friendly and fun.

Adairs’ recent Moroccan collection reflects this style trend and it’s a good place to start to add fresh style to your home without tackling major refurbishment costs, such as painting walls or changing tile work.

 

Cool Summer Style

It’s a perfect feel for a long, hot summer and Jen says that other trends to watch include anything natural and unfussy.

Think the comeback of cork – “it’s expected to be big”, Jen says – and look for matte brass colours to replace rose gold and copper.

“Greens will also be big – and jewel colours, as well,” says Jen.

One of the other trends to look out for is dark timbers taking over from the blonde timbers that have been so popular in recent renovations and new property development.

It’s all about rich, deep warmth for an accent with a difference.

Other interior trending tips to keep an eye on include:

A move away from Carrara marble as the desire for all things dark takes over. Warmer tones in marble will be more popular and other materials, including onyx and silver travertine will be sought after for benchtops.

 

Extraordinary Interior Design

Everyday ordinary materials will enjoy some celebration – expect to see plywood and even chipboard on proud display.

Once smooth patterns will turn towards more texture, with less structured looks adding a more organic feel to interior finishes.

A need to achieve some digital detox is set to see a resurgence in craft trends as interior style pieces, with a nod towards slow and low technology as a deliberate step away from our fast-paced lifestyles.

 

Explore Fresh Style That Makes You Feel Good

True interior design style is always about taking risks and experimenting with new looks. Creating a home that is comfortable and makes you feel happy should always been your prime motivation.

 

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.