Finance advice
Philippe Brach

Is it time to fix your loan?

By Philippe Brach

With rates at record lows, many investors are weighing up how they can get the best deal from the banks. 

Blogger: Philippe Brach, CEO, Multifocus Properties & Finance 

With interest rates at 30-year lows, many property investors and home buyers are enjoying lower interest repayments on their loans and are tempted to lock in to a fixed mortgage rate. Looking at one of the popular mortgage comparison websites, there are three-year fixed rate loans advertised at 3.99 per cent. That’s 0.35 per cent lower than the (still very low) best variable rate loan featured at 4.39 per cent.

Is it about beating the banks?
As it involves a bit of guess work on the part of banks, they have armies of analysts and statisticians who make projections and carry out modelling to come up with the fixed rate they offer. There is a general perception that you will never get the best deal as “you cannot beat the banks”. I think the issue is more about the borrower’s choice, which may or may not be attractive based on his/her personal circumstances. For example a three-year fixed rate at 5 per cent might be attractive to someone on a budget due to maternity leave as it would give this person certainty until the maternity leave is over. A single person would not be interested in such a rate, but might be opportunistic and fix at 3.99 per cent on the basis that “it could not possibly get any lower”. So fixing could be a win-win situation: the bank makes a profit (which they make on a variable loan product anyway) and the borrower gets peace of mind.

Early repayment penalties
Countering the security of a fixed loan is the inflexibility. There are usually heavy penalties for paying out a fixed loan early, and disincentives to make extra repayments ahead of the loan. You will have made your decision knowing all of this, but what you don’t know is what life has in store for you. You just can’t expect the unexpected. Few people can look back three years and say, “Yes, my life is as predicted, three years ago – same job, same family and financial responsibilities”. If you are one of the few confident of how your situation will be three years down the track, then perhaps a fixed rate loan is for you.

It’s not all or nothing
Of course, you don’t have to fix the total amount of your loan, or fix all the loans in your portfolio. You can fix a percentage of your loan and keep the balance at a variable rate. A good mortgage broker can help with the various permutations and show you results of differing scenarios. As with any element of property investing, if in doubt seek professional help. 

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About the Blogger

Philippe Brach

Philippe Brach

Multifocus Properties & Finance was established in 2005 with the aim of mentoring investors to create wealth and invest in their future by building an investment property portfolio.

The company is led by Philippe Brach who has over 25 years experience in the international corporate world specializing in finance, accounting and investment. He is a fully qualified and extremely experienced real estate agent, concentrating his attention solely on investment opportunities around Australia. In addition he is a highly regarded mortgage broker, being accredited with around 35 different lenders.

FROM THE WEB

podcast

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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Wood, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

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!

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AREAS MENTIONED: 

Sydney
Brisbane
Adelaide

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A softening market can be a difficult time for a property investor with finance approval tightening and property capital growth slowing, and while many real estate agents are also feeling the squeeze McGrath Brighton Le Sands' Bill Tsounias claims it is simply the market returning to normal.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Bill joins host Phil Tarrant to share his thoughts on the current Sydney property market, and to share the shifts that he has seen in house and unit sale prices following their worst quarter in the past decade.

Bill will unpack why properties are spending longer on market, share what he believes property investors are doing wrong when trying to sell their properties and share the secrets to getting the best out of a real estate agent and an auction in the current softening market.

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:

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AREAS MENTIONED:

Revesby
South Hurstville
Sans Souci
Strathfield

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Gavin Kemp and his now-fiancé bought their first property together after only six months of dating. They weren’t even living together at the time. Now, two years on, the pair have bought five properties, sold two and have a solid plan in place for their ongoing property journey. 

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Gavin joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss how he chose the locations where he decided to invest and how, due to the initial lack of education (something that he now values highly), he lost money on his first two investments.

Gavin will share his thoughts on the current property market, reveal the people who he has leaned on throughout his property journey and discuss why his strategy employs a zero procrastination rule.

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!

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AREAS MENTIONED:

Redcliffe
Port Macquarie
Loganlea
Launceston
Raceview

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A joint property portfolio before they were even living together

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