Finance advice
Philippe Brach

Big 4 bank or boutique lender?

By Philippe Brach

When you are in the market for a mortgage, choosing between a big four bank and a smaller lender is a big decision.

Blogger: Philippe Brach, CEO, Multifocus Properties and Finance

Approaching one of the big four banks is many people’s first choice.

It’s completely understandable why people turn to the most well-known banks when getting a loan. When you do all of your banking with one financial institution, you unconsciously build a relationship with that brand, so you naturally lean towards your own bank first when you’re in need of finance.

Many people also think that if they have a long history of banking with one institution, it may work in their favour when they apply for a mortgage.

The reality of the situation, however, is that the days of building a relationship with your local branch manager and getting better service or discounts in return for your years of loyalty – well, they are long gone. These days, it’s all about the numbers.

Banks and lenders rely on sophisticated software programs to help them assess the ‘risk’ of lending you money. They decide whether you’re a ‘good’, ‘bad’ or ‘average’ credit risk and if you don’t pass their criteria, you don’t get the loan.

But here’s the crucial difference: every lending institution uses different criteria. That’s why it’s so important to do your research when applying for a loan, because while you might sail through the application process with Lender A, you could find the door closing in your face with Lender B.

How can a smaller lender benefit you?

If you’re in the market to buy a home or investment property, or to refinance your existing loans, the best way to find a loan that suits your specific situation is to use a trusted mortgage broker.

Brokers work with different lending institutions day in, day out and know the different ‘quirks’ that can help or hinder your loan application experience.

For example, one of the big four banks currently has a policy in place that means any loan application they receive is assessed as if the applicant wants a 25-year loan. As you can imagine, the loan repayments on a $500,000 mortgage are substantially higher when spread over 25 years than they are when spread over 30 years.

This bank has recently enforced this policy as a form of risk mitigation. There has been a lot of chatter in the media recently about banks and potentially irresponsible lending practices and some financial institutions are going out of their way to ensure their customers can repay their loans.

Now, if you’re applying for a home loan and you have plenty of serviceability – which means you have a strong income position to support your mortgage repayments – then this policy won’t be a problem for you. However, if you have reached a point where your serviceability is tight, which can happen quite easily for investors who own multiple properties, then this particular lender is probably not the right fit for you.

Instead, a niche or boutique lender that has a more relaxed serviceability criteria would be a better fit. A good broker will be able to direct you towards the most suitable lender.

So while some people will always defer to the big four banks because they’re the most well-known, it often pays to work with a smaller niche lender who better suits your personal situation. This is why it’s so important to work with a mortgage broker to get the right loan from the outset. 

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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.

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podcast

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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.

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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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  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.

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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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