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The Mercury Real Estate Guide : April 3rd 2009
68—MERCURY Friday, April 3, 2009 FINANCE AND CONVEYANCING Ideal time to take plunge If you are one of the many prospective buyers who are looking to buy their first home, our property professor Peter Koulizos has some handy tips. THERE are currently many first-home buyers in the market, spurred on by low interest rates and the Federal Govern- ment’s First Home Own- ers Boost. There is a complex array of issues that need to be consid- ered before you buy your first home. Some of the more im- portant issues include lo- cation, price, amenities, changing needs, reading the market, interest rates, and whether you should buy new, reno- vated or unrenovated. Location The most important thing to consider as far as location is concerned is proximity to employ- ment. Many first-home buyers have limited fi- nances because they are in the early stages of a career, or they may be trying to buy a property on a single income. You need to consider transportation costs as well as mortgage repay- ments whenbudgeting to buy a home. For exam- ple, will living a long way from your job mean that you have to buy a second car? You need to consider the financial implications of this on your household budget. Price The basic premise is to buy the best house you can afford. If you can afford it today, it will be even easier in the future as your income in- creases. This assumes that interest rates re- main fairly stable (read the interest section to gain an insight into how you can take advantage of low interest rates). The best way to calcu- late what you can afford is to approach your bank and find out what it can do for you. Also, get a second opinion by ask- ing a mortgage broker to find you a good deal. Amenities The most important amenities for a first- home buyer, in order of importance, are schools, transport and shops. Schools: If you already have children or are Conveyancing Solutions For experienced, friendly and professional service, and for your peace of mind contact: Alex Saunders Conveyancing Paralegal 6223 8899 firstname.lastname@example.org FEELING RIGHT AT HOME: It is a great time to be a first-home buyer, says property expert Peter Koulizos. planning to have a fam- ily, proximity to schools is very important be- cause this is a trip you will have to make more than 1000 times. Ideally, you would like to be within walking distance of the children’s school. If you have teenage children, living in the zone of a highly sought- after school is vital. Peo- ple pay apremiumto live in an area that allows their children to go to a school with a good repu- tation. If you are not planning on having chil- dren, consider proximity to transport. Transport: As you will be going to work every day, proximity to trans- port is important. To be only a short walk from the bus, tram, ferry or train station is not only convenient, but a great selling point to highlight if you live in one of the 133 Macquarie St Hobart www.pwl.com.au WE SPEAK BANK . Institution AMP ANZ Aussie B&E Ltd Citibank Commonwealth Bank CUA HomeSide Lending ING DIRECT mecu Financial advice, financial solutions. Phone 6230 6333 www.homeloanshop.com.au Members Equity Bank MyLoan MyWay MyRate NAB Nationwide Mortgage one direct QuickDirect RESI Mortgage Corporation St. George Bank Suncorp Phone 1300 306 716 133 535 132 221 133 282 132464 13 30 30 13 13 14 131 333 Intro rate 4.99f Westpac Banking Corporation Source: www.infochoice.com.au c = capped (02) 9265 1700 1800 289 691 1300 79 69 80 136 126 13 33 30 13 11 55 132 032 1300 721 240 1300 663 558 13 13 12 1800 133 464 132 888 13 15 63 4.71v 5.14v 4.79f - - - - - 4.65v 4.57v - - 5.27f - - - major capital cities. If you are intending to drive to work every day, proximity to transport may not be as important as living close to shops. Shops: When I talk about living close to shops, I don’t just mean living the near the butch- er or supermarket. Cafes and restaurants play a larger role in our lives today than they did 20 years ago. Being able to walk to these places is a big drawcard. Changing needs If you have found the perfect location and don’t intend to shift for a long time, consider whether you can accom- modate the changes in life. Is there room to extend, put in another bedroom, living area, bathroom? Is there car parking for more than one car? Is the yard large enough for your needs now and into the future? Is a unit sufficient, or do you need to buy a house with some land? Read the market An easy way to tell if it is a good time to buy is when it is a bad time sell. Last year was not a good time to sell, and this year won’t be much better. Falling prices and a lack of confidence mean it is a great time to bag a bar- gain and take that first step on the housing lad- der. If you are currently looking for your first home, congratulations, you are making one of the best moves you will ever make in your life. If you are not looking for your first home but are thinking about it, stop thinking and start look- ing! There has never been a better time to buy your first home. Cash grants may always be there, but once-in-a- lifetime low interest rates won’t. Interest rates Interest rates are at historical lows, but they won’t always be this low. If you are a risk-averse person and want to be assured of your future mortgage repayments, you might want to con- sider fixing your loan for five, 10 or even 15 years. I am! The five-year rates are about 6.0 per cent, 10-year rates at well under 7.0 per cent. Remember, it was less than 12 months ago that the average variable in- terest rate was well over 9.0 per cent. New or old There is no right or wrong answer. If you are looking to buy a new home, this generally means you will be buying a new house on the outskirts of the metropolitan area, or a small apartment near the city. The positive aspect to buying a reno- vated home is it has all been done for you. The downside is that you will generally pay a premium for somebody else’s han- diwork. An unrenovated prop- erty provides you with a great opportunity to add value in the short term, but seriously consider how good your renova- tion skills are. Many a relationship has been strained by renovations that go over-budget and, more commonly, over- time. Peter Koulizos is a uni- versity lecturer and au- thor of The Property Pro- fessor’s Top Australian Suburbs. MERCURY MORTGAGE WATCH Standard Intro Term 12 12 12 12 - - - - - 4.57v 4.76v 5.79f - 12 12 - - 12 - - - Variable Rate 5.99 5.91 5.65 5.77 5.99 5.74 5.62 5.57 5.19 5.65 5.49 5.06 - Equity rate - 6.06 - - 6.36 5.79 5.87 6.05 5.79 5.75 - 12 12 12 - The introductory rate reverts to the standard variable rate after the initail term f = fixed 5.74 5.50 5.14 5.10 5.62 5.89 5.90 5.91 5.60 5.50 5.22 5.60 5.33 - Home 5.59 5.99 5.90 6.06 5.99 5.59 6.09 5.79 5.39 4.50 5.09 5.69 5.99 5.85 5.15 5.03 5.09 5.84 5.15 5.05 5.95 5.44 5.79 5.19 Fixed Rates 1 Yr Term 6.49 3 Yr Term 6.49 6.19 5.99 6.39 6.39 5.75 6.39 5.19 5.69 5.99 6.15 6.15 6.03 5.29 6.56 6.09 6.05 6.67 5.34 6.39 5.39 5 Yr Term 6.99 6.84 6.49 7.04 6.89 6.39 6.99 6.29 6.49 - Application Fee $545-895 $250-649 $450-600 $795 6.75 7.15 6.68 6.29 6.91 6.79 6.70 7.02 5.94 6.99 6.29 $300-600 $220-719 $595 - $0-395 - $100-800 $600 $600 $0-633 $600 $710 $60 - $0-650 $600 $675
March 27th 2009
April 24th 2009