Finance advice
Helen Collier-Kogtevs

7 things you didn’t know about your mortgage

By Helen Collier-Kogtevs

You may have done your due diligence before you signed on the dotted line, but there are some secrets that could have you laughing all the way to the bank.

Blogger: Helen Collier-Kogtevs, managing director, Real Wealth Australia

Mortgages are part and parcel of home ownership. These loans can stretch out for 30 years and could see you paying twice as much for your property in the end.

However, there are some little secrets that can help you beat your mortgage. Surprisingly, several of these tips come straight from your lender. So let’s shed some light on a few things you may not know about your mortgage:

1. In the beginning, you’re mostly paying the interest on your loan

Initially, if you have a principal and interest loan, the majority of your repayments are paying back the interest portion of your loan, with only a little going towards knocking down your principal. As your loan term goes on, more of your repayments go towards the principal portion.

That’s why extra repayments right from the beginning are so important: they pay down your principal earlier, which reduces the amount of interest you’ll pay overall.

Here’s an example to show you how effective these extra dollars are:

Let’s say your mortgage is $430,000 and the interest rate remains at 6 per cent over the term of the 30-year loan. By throwing an extra $50 a week at your mortgage, you would cut 5.5 years off the term and save a whopping $106,500 in interest.

2. Paying weekly instead of monthly will shorten your loan term

When you pay weekly, you’ll make more payments per year and continually reduce your principal, which equates to paying less interest over the life of your loan.

3. You can negotiate a discount

Did you know you can negotiate a better deal with your lender? Find out what other lenders are offering and don’t forget to check out credit unions and building societies too, who often throw extra features into the package.

Then it’s a matter of approaching lenders to see if there’s wiggle-room in the interest rate or payment terms. You might be surprised by your bartering power!

4. You can use bank accounts to offset your loan

An offset account is the simplest and most effective method lenders give you to pay down your mortgage faster. Your offset account acts as your regular transaction account with all your incoming and outgoing monies, but every dollar in that account acts as a ‘payment’ on your loan.

If you had a $300,000 mortgage and $50,000 in a 100 per cent offset account, interest would only be applied to $250,000 of your loan. That equates to some nifty savings, with no effort required on your part!

5. Loan packages with money-saving extras

Shop around a bit and you’ll see that some lenders package their loans with extras that you can use to your advantage. These might include fee waivers, credit cards with no annual fees, and discounts on home insurance.

If you can trust yourself with it, a credit card is a very effective tool when combined with your offset account, because you can use it to buy all your day-to-day expenses and pay it off before the end of the interest-free period each month.

That leaves the maximum amount of money in your offset account for the maximum amount of time, which lowers your principal.

See how easy it is to use what the lenders give you to your advantage? Of course, if you can’t be trusted with a credit card, then it’s best to leave it at the bank!

As I always say, if you can’t afford to pay off your credit card in full each month, then you can’t afford your credit card at all.

6. You can get a refund on your Lenders Mortgage Insurance

If you’ve had to pay LMI because your loan is more than 80 per cent of the value of the property, you can request a refund if the loan is paid out in the first two years (say, if you refinance or sell your property). The refund can be anywhere between 20 per cent and 40 per cent of the LMI amount. But you won’t get it if you don’t ask – and 99 per cent of people don’t know they can ask!

7. Lenders are counting on you to forget about your mortgage

If you pay your mortgage off the way banks want you to (monthly, minimum payments over three or so decades) you’ll likely pay double the value of your loan. Out-smart the banks by using these tips to pay down your loan smarter and faster.

Stay informed and keep an eye on your mortgage, interest rates, current marketplace trends and lender incentives. By being diligent, you can shave years – and thousands of dollars – off your loan amount.

Until next time, happy investing!

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About the Blogger

Helen Collier-Kogtevs

Helen Collier-Kogtevs

Helen Collier-Kogtevs is the founder of Real Wealth Australia. She is a self-made millionaire who built wealth with her property investment expertise. Over the years she has pioneered Property Mentoring Programs dedicated to helping ordinary Australians to create property portfolios using her disciplined, low risk and systematic approach. She has written several bestselling books, has been interviewed on TV, radio and published in the largest publications in Australia.

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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!

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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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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!

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AREAS MENTIONED:

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Maroubra
Potts Point

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From pirouettes to property investment

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