Finance advice

Free yourself from expensive debt through consolidation

By Reporter

Mounting debt is a pressure that sadly a growing number of Australians are all too familiar with, but the good news is that with some careful restructuring your financial strain can be lifted.

 

Juggling debts accrued with credit cards, personal loans and store cards can be a challenge. Not only do you have to remember when all your payments are due, the chances are you’re also getting slugged with the higher rates of interest associated with unsecured debt.

Some debts such as credit cards carry hefty interest rates – sometimes as high as 20 per cent or more. When debts start to spiral, you may find that every dollar you repay is swallowed by interest charges, leaving little or nothing to reduce the principal debt.

But by consolidating your debts into one manageable pool you’ll find it easier to get back on top of your commitments and start reducing the overall outstanding balance; it is also considerably easier to keep track of your repayment commitments.

Debt consolidation works by allowing you to roll all of your accumulated debts into one loan. For homeowners with equity in their homes it may be possible to roll high-interest debt into a comparatively low interest mortgage.

If you’ve already repaid some of your home loan, for example, or if your property has gone up in value over the years, you may be able to borrow against this equity to level your outstanding debts. Through doing this you may also reduce your monthly outgoings and improve your household cash flow.

For debt consolidation to be truly successful you need to be smart about it. Bear in mind that by adding thousands of dollars of short-term debt to your home loan it will inevitably take you longer to repay the total amount, and it could end up costing you more in the long run.

For example, you need to consider any fees associated with refinancing your mortgage or other debt – such as exit fees and related charges – and costs to take out a new mortgage, like application fees. Once these are all factored in, you need to ensure you’re in an overall better financial position; if you are not aware of the fees or conditions on your current mortgage, or need clarification, speak with your broker.

Just remember, if you do consolidate your debts make every effort possible to avoid falling into the same situation in a few months time – so reduce your credit card limit and stick to just one card. It’s also worth setting a budget to make sure that you don’t overspend.

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  ["title"]=>
  string(51) "Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding"
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  ["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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Glen Iris
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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