Finance advice

Act early to stop debt spiral, says broker

By Staff Reporter

As investors review their financial fitness for the New Year, one mortgage broker has some top tips on what to do if the worst happens.

Smartline executive director Joe Sirianni said too often investors and home owners who fall on hard times fail to take appropriate action, or hold onto their assets for too long.

“Eventually their debt repayments put them in a position where they get very close to bankruptcy and, in hindsight, they wish they’d sold their home sooner in order to get rid of their debt earlier and give themselves time to get back on track,” he said.

Mr Sirianni said investors who anticipate financial difficulties arising from redundancy, illness or injury had much to gain from acting early to avoid serious financial stress.

“It’s always best to be upfront with your lending institution to let them know about your situation – particularly if you predict that you’ll experience financial difficulties in the near future if you don’t secure another income,” he said.

“Not surprisingly, it’s in lenders’ best interests to work with borrowers to manage mortgage repayments during tough financial times.”

Mr Sirianni said if you’re in a precarious position and struggling with debt, you should contact your lender or mortgage adviser to look into switching to interest-only repayments or taking “a repayment holiday”. This will help you gain a realistic understanding of your predicament and potential outcomes.

“Not only are many people surprised by how readily lenders will work with them, they find that any misconceptions around how they might manage their debt on their own are incorrect," he said. “For example, many people mistakenly think that because they have equity in their home they can just borrow more money to help them manage their finances during difficult times, but if you don’t have an income, lenders will not – cannot – approve any new lending.”

In addition to the impacts of being unable to work as a result of poor health or injury, Mr Sirianni said it was credit card and personal loan debt that caused the most significant stress and change in financial circumstances.

“Out-of-control credit card and personal loan debt is a heavy drain on your finances, and the best way to deal with it is to put yourself on a repayment plan and talk with the lender,” he said. “Cut up the card, put yourself on a weekly or monthly repayment plan and make the commitment to pay off the debt.

“If you find yourself in a distressing financial position as a result of an unforeseeable event that, in turn, sees you falling behind on your mortgage repayments and incurring significant credit card debt as a result, there are options available – highlighting the need to get on top of out-of-control debt from the very beginning.”

Mr Sirianni advised investors to look closely at their insurance options and speak with their mortgage adviser regarding their personal situation.

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Will Magee has had ambitions to enter into the Australian property market for quite some time, but it has been more than just finances holding him back.  Having been granted permanent residency just two weeks ago, Will is wasting no time and is now in the process of signing papers and finding his first investment property.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(2483) "

In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Will joins host Phil Tarrant to share why he is purchasing his first property in partnership with his brother, discuss the complications that can arise from such a strategy, and unpack the ongoing plan for building a joint property portfolio with his brother.

Will will also share how they approached saving for their first property, why he is taking out the mortgage in his name exclusively, and share their savings plan for the year ahead.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

From property in Australia to a ski lodge in Japan
Mortgage Trusts, an alternative first step for property investors
Should a real estate title be in one person’s name only?

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A property investment plan years in the making
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Median house prices in regional Victoria outperformed that of Melbourne in the June quarter, the latest REIV figures reveal. 

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Median house prices in the regions rose 4.0 per cent to $419,500 but in Melbourne they dipped by 0.6 of a percentage point to $840,000.

The result in Melbourne was due to a 0.8 of a percentage point fall in prices achieved at auction; this was despite a lift of 2.3 per cent in private sales.

Inner Melbourne suffered due to auction prices, where median prices fell by 4.9 per cent to $1,459,000 but it was middle Melbourne that was hardest hit, with a 5.4 per cent drop to $974,500.

Outer Melbourne had a good quarter with the median rising by 0.5 of a percentage point to $681,000.

Apartment prices in regional Victoria grew by 3.7 per cent to $304,500 while the metro media was up by 0.5 of a percentage point to $604,000.

REIV President Richard Simpson said that despite fewer sales, many sectors of the market were performing well.

“2017 was a bumper year and while the trendline has flattened, despite the fall in median house prices in the June quarter, median prices are still up this calendar year for both houses and units, in Melbourne and in the regions,” Mr Simpson said. 

In particular there was been strong growth in regional centres which is probably due to the first-home buyers’ concessions said Mr Simpsons.

“The first-home buyers’ concession has been a boon for regional areas. A new entrant to the property market buying a house at the regional median will pay no stamp duty, while a first home buyer of an apartment in Melbourne at the median price would pay stamp duty of nearly $25,000,” he said.

Mr Simpson said that more prospective buyers are looking towards regional Victoria which is also having an effect in Melbourne.

“Melbourne’s outer perimeter continues to grow. Small increases in the June quarter mean that the median prices for both houses and units have risen over 10.5 per cent from a year ago.

Mr Simpson said moving forward that vendors need more realistic expectations as the highs of 2017 are now over.

“Negative chatter about the future of the sector coupled with stronger lending controls by financial institutions has created some uncertainty and vendors need to be realistic with their price expectations,” Mr Simpson said.

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Regional Victoria showing up Melbourne in price performance, new data finds
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  ["title"]=>
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  ["introtext"]=>
  string(381) "

If Mark Hodge’s face looks familiar to you it could be because of his time working as a professional entertainer which saw him working with the Australian ballet, appearing on multiple seasons of Dancing with the Stars and touring in musical theatre for 17 years. What you may not know is that Mark is also heavily involved in the short-term property rental marketspace.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(2718) "

Mark joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss his transition from entertainer to investor, a journey pushed forward by dance related injuries and even a hit and run which saw him needing to find alternate methods to bring in an income. Mark shares how bad long-term tenants and a gang member guided him to the short-term rental market, and how this pushed him into helping others to realise the same benefits.

Mark will also address the common concerns, discuss what his company Maisonnets specialise in and unpack how they are making the process of filling short term rentals easier for investors.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

The hard-to-swallow truth: The prickly points of the Airbnb reforms
Airbnb reforms unpacked for property investors
Airbnb leasing: What are a landlord’s rights and responsibilities? 


AREAS MENTIONED:

Melbourne
Sydney
Rushcutters Bay
Maroubra
Potts Point

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From pirouettes to property investment

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