If you’ve been thinking about investing in property for the first time, try these tips and hints to help you do it wisely.


How much can you borrow?

This one piece of information is the critical foundation for all your investment property goals. Be realistic and talk to your accountant and a licensed mortgage broker to work out your borrowing power. Although many websites have calculators that offer a rough estimate of how much you can borrow, being specific about your own circumstances is always best.

Be sure to be accurate about your income and all your outgoing fixed expenses – everything from car and home maintenance costs to rent/mortgage, school fees, utility bills and health care and food. Remember to include all loan or credit card repayments too.

If you run your own business or have other investments, factor in all potential tax bills, as well.


Cost of Your Loan

Buying a property incurs costs outside of the actual purchase price.

Conveyancing and legal fees, loan establishment fees and mortgage insurance – which is payable if you borrow more than 80% of the purchase price – can all add up.

Plus stamp duty.


Reduce your debt

Reducing debt before you even apply for your loan is smart financial advice – and makes great sense.

If the debt is not producing any income for you (think personal loans or an existing home loan), it is especially important.

Obviously, the less debt, the better – and the more you can borrow enables you to access a better quality property with more potential for great long-term return.


Loan pre-approval

Being pre-approved for your loan before you start browsing gives you peace of mind to look at properties that are within your price range. This can save a lot of time – and help you avoid disappointment.

Remember – when you talk with your mortgage broker about your borrowing capacity, make sure they explain all the loan’s features and benefits, and include all the associated costs.


Negative gearing/Positive gearing

As a property investor, you can be negatively geared, positively geared or even neutrally geared. Make sure you understand the difference by talking to your accountant or trusted financial planner.


Find your ideal property

Establish a relationship with a trusted real estate agent or property advocate and do your research. Reading the real estate section each week is a great start to keep up-to-date with growth suburbs and suburbs to watch.

Buying any investment property is a special event and one that can help set you up for a secure financial future. Do it with confidence, by arming yourself with the best possible advice – happy property hunting!

If you need advice for a home loanbusiness or commercial loanself-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.


The number of people using mortgage brokers for their home loans is on the rise – but many people still don’t understand exactly what a mortgage broker does and how they can help you.

To help you understand how a mortgage broker can help you, check out these insights to help you make the most of this special connection:


Meeting Your Mortgage Broker

Connecting with a mortgage broker is a helpful step towards achieving your property investment or home ownership goals – but what should you expect from the meeting?

The bonus of working with a mortgage broker is flexibility – although many do have offices to offer you a convenient place to meet, others are very flexible in being able to connect with you in your own home or workplace. It’s up to you and your mortgage broker to arrange the meeting time and place to suit your schedule.


Identification For Your Home Loan

Presenting with 100 points of identification is standard – this could include your passport, Medicare card, drivers’ license or a state/territory proof of age. Additional info may include your last two payslips, last group certificate, your last two years of tax returns, and your bank account and credit card statements.

Talk to your mortgage broker about the specific identification they need you to bring – whether you are working as an employee, or run your own business will have an impact on the information you need to supply.


Calculating Your Borrowing Capacity

Working out what you can afford to borrow is a critical part of your loan application. All your financial and bank statements will be an important part of calculating this figure to ensure you apply for the finance that suits your circumstances. Also, by using your base wage (rather than including irregular commissions or bonuses in calculations), should ensure you can afford your commitments year round.


Choosing the lender

A large part of what a mortgage broker does for you is to help you identify the many options available to suit your circumstances. Depending in the industry you work within and your credit history, you may be ideal for specific lenders and may benefit from a better interest rate offer. By being honest and open with your broker from the first meeting, you will help streamline the process of finding the best possible lender for you.


What Does A Mortgage Broker Do?

A finance broker negotiates with financial institutions and lenders on your behalf – to help you access the finance that suits your needs and capabilities.

They help you choose the most appropriate loan and can help you manage it – right through to settlement.


Things To Check With Your Mortgage Broker

Always check that your broker is licensed.

Searching ASIC Connect’s Professional Registers can show you if they are currently licensed. You can also phone the ASIC Infoline on 1300 300 630.

Remember – A professional mortgage broker should save you time and money, but it’s important to do your own research to ensure they are the right fit for you.

If you need advice for a home loanbusiness or commercial loanself-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.



To some extent, gardening does seem trend-proof.

That seedling that you lovingly water and tend to now does not deliver immediate gardening gratification, after all. And when the new season’s colour trends are announced, you can’t suddenly tear up your flower beds in favour of a different shade.

But the reality is that there are garden trends that do emerge and knowing what’s hot and what’s not can be a good guide to creating a garden look that is welcoming and appealing.

With that in mind, try these top tips to help you create a new year garden you’ll be proud to call home. For anyone keen to learn how you can add enjoyment – and potential value – to your property, they will help you transform your outdoor space into a place that is beautiful and fresh.


A beautiful garden, naturally – Natural Materials 

The move away from geometric styles is here and gardens will have softer edges and a look that is more ‘real’. Think swing seats rather than flat benches – unstructured plants over sculptural growth. It’s all about organic movement – with plants that bend and flow and create a feeling of comfort. Paths will become more winding and natural materials will help achieve the look.


Edible Gardens

Gardening is going back to basics, as people realise the wonder of picking fresh fruit, herbs and veggies from their garden. Outdoor spaces need to be visually appealing but if they provide materials for eating, it’s a case of function meeting form in the shape of an edible garden that adds an environmentally aware element to your outdoor experience.



This landscaping concept is about creating gardens that complement nature – instead of competing against it.

Choosing native species that are indigenous to your localised area helps minimise the need for additional watering and pest control as plants work together to survive in a truly natural setting. You’ll still need to care for them and nurture them, of course, but choosing native plants that are designed to thrive in your climate and conditions is a great start.


Green is (Still) Great

Use of eco-friendly materials to create greener gardens is the way to go and natural materials for hardscaping (think natural stone and timber to create natural pathways) will combine with thoughtful companion planting, composting and natural pest control to build gardens that are greener than ever.


Water Conserving-Irrigation

The most basic need to save water will combine with cutting-edge technology to utilise irrigation systems for your garden that reduce water wastage and keep your plants in peak condition.

Technology used wisely is a wondrous thing and the best of 2017’s watering systems will tap into the best choices for garden care.

Gardening does take time and effort but by creating a garden that has a natural look, you minimise your need to maintain a perfectly immaculate garden – something that can save you precious time and precious financial resources you can free up to spend on other ways to improve your property.


If you need advice for a home loanbusiness or commercial loanself-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.

Living a long, healthy life offers the benefit of reaching many significant milestones and one of those, as your older years approach, is buying the home you plan to retire in.


Whether you’ve been operating your own business, or working in someone else’s, downsizing from the home of your working years to a home that you plan to live in during those times when you have more freedom to enjoy your home, without the pressure of making a living, should be a golden time in your life.

Typically, the home you want to retire to is very different from the home you’ve enjoyed up to that point – and it might mean transitioning to a new location to enjoy a tree change or sea change lifestyle away from the city. In some cases, the opposite might be true, as retirees who have spent the majority of their lives in a regional centre or outer suburb make a decision to experience life in the inner-city, where the cost of owning and operating a car can be given up in favour of a handy public transport system and the joy of exploring the sights on foot.


Downsizing Towards Retirement 

Without children to accommodate, your retirement property can be smaller and perfectly suited to your lifestyle – without worrying about the needs of too many others.

Thankfully, there are a number of options available – with something to suit different tastes and lifestyle goals.

From semi-detached units to self-contained villas and even high-rise apartments – what’s always important is safety and security. The rest of the decision-making is a personal one based on individual desires and, of course, finances.


Investment or Pleasure? – Choosing The Perfect Retirement Property

Real estate is an investment, but exactly how you need each new property purchase to perform for you depends on your need for  cash flow and your plans for long-term financial growth and wealth creation.

If you are years away from your retirement and in a position to buy an investment property now, the earlier you buy means you can enjoy the best possible chance of accessing the property at the lowest possible price. As the rise and rise of the local property market shows, buying property now, instead of waiting 5-10 years when you’re ready to retire, could mean a substantial price difference.


Is a Retirement Village Right For Me?

It’s a question worth asking yourself and one that you should also discuss with your family and trusted financial advisors.

For many people on the edge of retirement, the idea of buying into a retirement village can seem like a convenient option but it’s important to understand what that means for your investment. Those seemingly simple arrangements may seem nice at first but always do your research and talk to your accountant or financial planner to ensure that you understand potential hidden costs and can compare it to the growth potential of purchasing more traditional property.

Buying into a retirement village is a decision that can be positive for lifestyle but negative in terms of building property-related wealth. Figuring out what you need to ensure your retirement years are happy and secure is a key step before you buy.

Remember – retirement should be a time where you stress less and reap the rewards of a lifetime of hard work and planning.

Consider all your property-buying decisions carefully and assess your options thoroughly to help you make the wisest decision about your money.