Finance advice

5 tips for owners to save on home loans

By Reporter
Saving

With the new financial year approaching soon, it’s important that owners pay off home loans sooner rather than later. MoneyQuest, a national mortgage broking franchise, gives five tips on how owners can pay off home loans and save some money as well.

1. Combine pay day and repayments

According to MoneyQuest, the average home loan repayment is paid monthly, while the average owner is paid fortnightly. For those that have fortnightly repayments, more would be paid over the course of a year, but this means the loan would be paid faster.

“By halving monthly loan repayments and making fortnightly repayments, home buyers make the equivalent of 13 monthly repayments each year, not 12,” said Michael Russell, managing director of MoneyQuest.

“The extra month’s instalment makes all the difference helping to pay off the loan sooner and save on interest. Homeowners who are paid weekly can enjoy the same benefits by dividing monthly repayments into four weekly payments.”

To explain Mr Russell’s tip, MoneyQuest provided an example of a home loan of $400,000 with a 25-year term, an interest rate of 5 per cent, monthly repayments would equal to $2,338, or $28,056 over a year. Splitting the monthly repayment in half for fortnightly repayments totals to $11,69, which means an owner will pay $30,394 over a year, which would cut three-and-a-half years off the loan term and will save $48,616 in interest charges.

2. Use tax refunds towards home loans

With the previous example, an owner depositing a $1,000 tax refund into their home loan can save a further $2,920 in interest.

“Make it an annual habit to become mortgage-free even sooner,” said Mr Russell.

3. Start budgeting

Owners who set and stick to a weekly budget can identify spare cash more easily than those who do not according to MoneyQuest. This spare cash can then be deposited into a home loan account.

“While it’s always a good idea to maintain emergency savings equivalent to three months of living expenses, almost all variable rate home loans permit additional repayments to be withdrawn via fee-free redraw, so any surplus cash is not locked away if unexpected bills arise,” Mr Russell explained.

4. Research

“Interest rates are at record lows and the mortgage market is extremely competitive, however homeowners shouldn’t just assume they are getting a good deal,” said Mr Russell.

“Homeowners have the potential to get ahead financially by speaking with a mortgage broker to check if they are paying more than necessary on their home loan. It can be worth renegotiating with a current lender or perhaps switching to a new loan to secure a lower rate.”

Using the previous example, MoneyQuest suggested cutting just 0.25 per cent from a loan rate can save up to $73,118 in interest costs and take off four years from a mortgage.

5. Avoid personal loans and credit cards

“The term ‘mortgage stress’ is often misused and misunderstood. In almost all cases, mortgage stress is the result of homeowners taking on too much high interest debt such as credit cards, store cards and personal loans,” Mr Russell explained.

“Home loan debt is rarely the problem.

“It is important for homeowners to be cautious about taking on too much high-interest debt.”

Mr Russell added a home loan can actually be a useful tool for debt consolidation, which can allow a borrower to reduce the overall interest rate and monthly repayments. In order to find out how much can be saved by consolidating debt, Mr Russell recommends asking a mortgage broker.

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  string(51) "Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding"
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  string(55) "boost-for-investors-as-new-app-sets-up-off-site-bidding"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(144) "

Property investors are now able to identify and bid on auctions remotely using a new live-streaming functionality launched by Gavl.

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Called “Request an Auction”, the new functionality enables users to watch and bid on any Sydney or Melbourne auction remotely.

Through Gavl, prospective buyers are now able to register to bid on their preferred auction. The platform will obtain permission from the listing agent and confirm within 48 hours.

Vendors can also request to have their auctions broadcast to a larger buyer audience.

Co-founder Joel Smith said that auctions streamed on Gavl attract 47 per cent more viewers than traditional ones.

He said that Request an Auction will be valuable for remote buyers.

“Buyers are able to have Gavl attend any auction they nominate, so they will never have to miss out on an opportunity due to logistical complications in physically attending the auction.

“Vendors, too, have the opportunity to directly book an auction with us, so they can open up their event to buyers all around the world. With more potential buyers, they’re giving their property the chance to receive more bids and maximise their sales result.”

Mr Smith said that prior to the Request an Auction app, buyers were limited to what they could achieve through the Gavl technology.

Gavl is a live-streaming and bidding platform for real estate auctions.

Mr Smith said that it has streamed more than 6,000 auctions, which have achieved 3.5 million views from 50 countries.

Gavl’s Request an Auction function is currently being offered in Melbourne and Sydney only.

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Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding
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Having to split her time between Hong Kong and her original base of Sydney has not slowed Julia Tita’s goal of building a high-performance Australian property portfolio. Instead the resulting alterations to her strategy have positively impacted her investing success.

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Having recently purchased her 6th property, Julia joins host Tim Neary to discuss her journey, share her ups and downs over the years, and reveal her thoughts on why some properties are better than others.

Julia also explains why she no longer makes a move without the help of a buyer’s agent, why working with a strong team of specialists is extremely important and discloses her long-term property ambitions.

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:

Eagleby
Charters Towers
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Sydney
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Bondi

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How a move to Hong Kong impacted Julia’s Australian property goals
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  ["title"]=>
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The practice of property investment firms sharing undisclosed kickbacks among the supply chain involved in development sales will be outlawed in NSW on 1 July this year under the Real Estate Reform being handed down by regulators in NSW.

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Property commentator and valuer, Suburbanite’s Anna Porter, said the reform will address conflicts of interest.

She said they arise when a mortgage broker, accountant or financial planner receives part of the commission from the property firm, who receive their fees from the developer or seller.

“This puts the broker into a position by which they are being paid on both sides of the fence,” she said.

“Until now this has been a grey area and there was nothing stopping this practice.” 

Ms Porter said this has been a common practice in the industry.

"Some well-known mortgage broking firms openly admit to receiving $5,000–$10,000 per referral in their pocket.”

She also said this process has been going on for decades.

"Property investment firms commonly pass some of their commission on to the mortgage broker, accountant or financial planner as a reward to them for passing on the referral. This means that many brokers or financial service providers are making significant amounts of money just to refer on to a property firm, often totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars a year," Anna Porter said.

Ms Porter said the Property, Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Property Industry Reform) Bill 2017 will be in force from July this year, and will prohibit this practice unless the broker or referring partner also holds a real estate industry license.

"Under the new laws, if the broker takes a referral fee from the property firm, they will have to be a licensed real estate agent and also hold a corporation’s license,” she said. 

“Subsequently, every transaction that they receive a referral fee from, they will be putting their license up against the transaction and taking full liability for the conduct, practices and outcome of that transaction, even if they have little to do with the transaction; they are a party to it financially and therefore take as much risk as everyone else in the transaction.”

Mr Porter said where a referrer holds a real estate license, and receives a part of the sale commission, they may find themselves in breach of the ethical requirements under the act.

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‘Common’ referrer practice of being paid on both sides of the fence coming to an end

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