The Aqua Blog — Aqua Wealth
Financial Planning, Mortgage Finance & Life Insurance. With over 100 years combined experience, we've got you covered.
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Australians love to save money on food and fashion, yet could be missing out on much larger savings by not switching home loans. The nationwide research conducted by University of Technology (UTS) and Heritage Bank, looked at why people do and don’t refinance. While it found that Australians are continually looking to make savings on the things they connect with emotionally, like clothing and travel, they focus considerably less on major life purchases such as home loan, credit cards and energy providers. Researchers found that almost a third think switching home loans is too much trouble. A further 28% said they did not switch because they perceived the cost of switching was not worth the time and effort. Contrary to this popular belief, switching home loans was found to bring significant savings. The respondents who did switch enjoyed savings of up to $3,000 per year – which is an impressive reduction over the life...

Financial resolutions are easy to make but harder to stick with. Here we’ll look at what you can do to ensure that 2017 really is the year that you make lasting improvements to your finances. Know where your money goes The starting point for saving money and paying off debt is to work out where your money is going. Use a free app like ASIC’s TrackMySpend to record your daily expenses and track spending by categories. Once done, you are now one step closer to setting up a budget. Use technology to do the work for you Thanks to technology we can say goodbye to the daunting task of setting up an excel spreadsheet DIY budget. There are now countless online-based budget planners and calculators that have done the hard work for you. Many of these tools will show visualisations of your financial data, allowing you to more easily pinpoint overspending.  Free tools include...

You’re self-employed and you need a home loan. Should you take out a low doc loan or would a traditional home loan be a better choice? The answer depends on your individual situation. Both options have pros and cons, just as every lender has different lending policies and some are more open to receiving self-employed home loan applications than others. As your mortgage broker, we know who these lenders are and what criteria and documentation you’ll need to achieve a successful application process. If you take the low doc home loan path… Know that it is unlikely you will be allowed to borrow more than 80% of the value of the property and you will probably pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) if you are borrowing over 60%. You may also be charged a slightly higher interest rate to account for the extra26 risk that some lenders associate with self-employed borrowers who are not able...

Everyone knows you need a deposit to get a home loan, but fewer people realise that the deposit must meet certain requirements. Lenders want to know how your deposit was acquired - did you save it yourself? Was it gifted to you? For lenders, this is an important indication of whether you are capable of the consistent ongoing savings required to repay a home loan. If you are borrowing more than 80% of the property value, most lenders require proof of ‘genuine savings’. In other words, you will need to show evidence that over time you have been able to save at least 5% of the value of the property (or more if you are purchasing an investment property). 1. Any money your family gives you to help with a home loan deposit must meet lender requirements Money that is gifted is usually termed as a ‘non-genuine saving’ because you have not saved it...

The question of whether home values double every 7 to 10 years is guaranteed to raise debate. While some argue that property buyers should expect a doubling of their money every 7-10 years, others believe this is simply not the case. Property analytics provider, CoreLogic RP Data recently tried to find the answer, with a study that compared home values across capital cities. It found that in the ten years to 2006, home values more than doubled across each capital city, but in the ten years to 2016, growth was half that of the previous decade. Melbourne is the only capital city housing market in which home values doubled between 2006-2016, although Sydney and Darwin each recorded an increase of more than 75%. So, what does this mean for you? As a property investor, it’s a timely reminder of how important it is to buy the right property, at the right price and...

You wouldn’t buy a car without considering features like parking sensors, cruise control and Bluetooth, just as you wouldn’t choose a home loan without taking into account its features. The trick is deciding what will add value, and what you can do without. Some features offer potential savings, while most others provide the certainty of added convenience and flexibility. As your mortgage broker, we can help explain the pros and cons of features like the following. 1. Extra repayments – at no extra charge The ability to pay extra on top of the minimum repayment could reduce your loan principal and interest, helping you pay off your home loan quicker. Be sure to check that unlimited extra repayments come at no charge –  some loans will cap the amount you can repay or will charge you a fee for paying off the loan early. 2. Redraw – two benefits in one Redraw gives you the ability...

A property that sits vacant while you look for tenants can really hurt your cash flow, but it’s a problem many landlords face. Regardless of whether you have hired a Property Manager or you are leasing the property yourself, use these strategies to improve your chances of attracting tenants. Make it convenient Make sure it’s easy for potential tenants to contact you and view your property. This means responding quickly to enquiries and creating convenient open home times. Opening your property after hours and on weekends will bring more people through the door than restricting openings to business hours. Create a good first impression Great photos that highlight your property’s features can make all the difference to whether your online listing attracts attention. Have a look at your photos from the point of view of a potential tenant and consider whether they present a good first impression – are the images well lit, do they...

Whether you dream of being a millionaire or just wish you had more money, there are actions you can take to set you on the path to wealth creation. Here are the top tips most commonly recommended by wealth creation experts. 1. Be clear about what you want Create a list of goals, things you want to have and dreams you want to realise. Use words and images to create a vision board of these aspirations and position it somewhere you will see every day. 2. Get right back up each time Setbacks happen and it may seem like you are never going to reach your goals, but it is important to keep plugging away. When things don’t go as planned, look for another way. 3. Put enjoyment first If what you are doing to make money is draining and oppressive, it might create financial wealth but it will never create true wealth. Focus on what...

When it comes to shopping for a property, home loan pre-approval can give you the winning edge. It shows real estate agents that you are serious about buying a home and it places you in a good position to move quickly and get your finances sorted ahead of other buyers. Although it is not a guarantee of how much you can borrow, a pre-approval gives an indication of what you can afford. Like any type of shopping, it helps to know in advance where you can safely buy and where you can only window shop. There is no cost involved to obtain pre-approval and as your mortgage broker we can guide you through the process, helping you to understand your borrowing capacity and the type of home loan that might suit. When to apply Apply for pre-approval once you are ready to take the next step from inspecting and researching properties. Typically, pre-approvals only...

Struggling to save enough to buy a property? You may want to ask your family if they can provide a helping hand in the form of a family guarantee loan. This is when the equity in a family member’s home is used as security on your loan. Also known as a family pledge or guarantor home loan, it is a type of mortgage that allows you to borrow more money and provide less of a deposit. Usually when a loan is more than 80% of the purchase price (80% LVR) you will have to pay lenders mortgage insurance, but a family guarantee means you won’t have this extra expense. It’s even possible to avoid paying any deposit because the equity in your family’s home can act as a deposit. This ‘guarantee’ makes it possible for you to borrow the full 100% cost of the home, plus stamp duty and legal fees. Lenders...