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The Mercury Real Estate Guide : April 3rd 2009
MERCURY Friday, April 3, 2009—69 FINANCE AND CONVEYANCING Pay right price for a partner Canyou affordahusband? According toanewbook by author Justine Davies, having thesamefinancial goals can makeor breakarelationship. THERE are books that teach women how to catch a hus- band, how to keep a husband, or what to do if he’s just not that into you. The real issue is not catch- ing or keeping a husband, but whether or not you can afford him in the first place. ‘‘I’m not talking about win- dow shopping for a partner with the right price tag,’’ says Justine Davies, author of How to Afford a Husband. ‘‘I know the whole issue of affordability probably sounds a bit cynical, but I’m actually a traditionalist at heart—I like the idea of ‘happily ever after’. ‘‘An important part of last- ing happiness, though, is try- ing to reduce the amount of conflict that you have in a relationship, and in this day and age financial stress is a huge source of conflict. ‘‘Hence the question — can you afford your partner?’’ Despite some relief for mort- gage holders from lower inter- est rates, the ongoing turmoil in the financial markets and rising unemployment mean financial stress is very much alive and well. A Relationships Indicators Survey, released in November by Relationships Australia, found financial difficulties or insecurities were nominated as a cause of relationship problems by 40 per cent of people — more than double that of two years ago. ‘‘The interesting finding about financial stress is that it crosses all income levels,’’ says Adina Pizzato, Relationships Australia’s director of market- ing and development. ‘‘Survey respondents were divided into three income groups: below $60,000, between $60,000 and $80,000, and over $80,000. While a larger propor- tion of the lower income group had experienced financial in- security or difficulties, over a third of the higher income segment also reported finan- cial stress.’’ Why is it that we often seem to argue about money, no matter how much we earn? Well, like many parts of our lives, opposites attract. ‘‘Basically, financial stress often comes down to the fact that you and your partner might have quite different atti- tudes towards and values about money,’’ Davies says. ‘‘And while variety of opi- nion is the spice of life, too much difference in terms of spending and saving priorities can give you financial indiges- tion.’’ Many of our underlying be- liefs and attitudes to money stem from our upbringing. ‘‘If you came from a family who indulged you, you may grow up expecting the instant gratification that easy credit brings,’’ Ms Pizzato says. ‘‘But if the experience was one of anticipation through waiting because your family always used cash to buy things, you may grow up with a stronger savings ethos. ‘‘These are two common examples, but there are count- less ways that our upbringing affects us—and your partner Real estate plays one-string tune Theproperty industry is lobbying for the the boosted first-home- owner’s grant to beextended, says property writer Michael McNamara FEDERAL Housing Min- ister figures show there were 121 recipients of the first-home-owner’s grant in October last year. No, I have not left out a digit: there were only 121. By January, the figure had swelled to 12,853. Understandably, the real estate industry is lobbying to stop mid-year expiry of the first-home- buyer grant extension. The industry could be pushing on an open door here. I have said before I would be shocked if the grant was not extended. For an idea of how important first-home buyers are, ANZ econo- mists estimate that nearly 40 per cent of all resi- dences are selling to first- home buyers. too. The banks are flat out processing Lenders are smiling loan- applications and turn- around times are grow- ing. The banks are even tightening up their criter- ia because they are so inundated with first- homeapplicants that they can afford to be picky. at home finance Fresh Housing Loans is a fresh approach to financing your new residence or even refi nancing your existing home. Owner-occupier home loans Investment property loans Refi nancing/debt consolidation Self-employed applicants Credit-impaired applicants For professional service and quick approvals call Cameron Dick today! Mobile 0417 369 915 Phone 6213 3318 Fax 6234 5171 Email email@example.com 15 Warwick Street Hobart www.fresh-finance.com.au When I bought my first property, the bank man- ager gave me a thorough grilling over my savings history, and I had to prove my deposit was my own money and not a gift or inheritance. And certainly there were no 100 per cent loans. Some banks still allow first-home buyers to use grantmoneyas the depos- it without showing any savings history. Not for much longer, I suspect. The Commonwealth Bank, for example, has gone back to requiring proof of a genuine savings history; and the Austral- ian Financial Review says others are requiring big- ger deposits. ANZ, NAB and Westpac have pegged back their maximum loan-to-valuation ratios to 90, 95 and 97 per cent respectively. First-home-buyer de- mand is bound to settle down eventually because it is not as if there is an endless supply of them. The market can only rely on the one segment for so long. It is to be hoped another runner is ready to step upwhenit is time to hand over the baton. CONVEYANCING‘it’s all we do’ • Fixed Price Conveyancing • Personalised Service • Enquiries Welcome Phone 6223 3888 100A Collins Street LOOKING FOR PROPERTY? Feel like property hunting is all too hard? Not sure about price? Dread negotiating? Don’t have time to research and inspect? Want to save MONEY? Then you need the services of My Property Hunter. We work exclusively for the buyer to save you time, MONEY and stress. CALL NOW OR VISIT US ONLINE! 1642360 The name you’d recommend in Conveyancing 168 Collins Street Hobart 7000 Facsimile: 6224 4166 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.simwolf.com.au 6224 4133 6224 4133 Call Chris Perriman and his experienced team, Sarah Carless and Angela Harriss for all your conveyancing needs We’ll fi nd the right home loan for you! We’ll answer all your questions We’ll come to you at a time to suit you At Pure Financial Solutions, we can provide you with information about and access to a range of home loan products including; • • Re-financing • Investment property loans • Construction loans Debt consolidation • Lo doc loans We provide pure financial solutions Call Michael Sherman on 6228 0206 or 0409 091 344 Suite 1, 83 Main Road, Moonah, Tas, 7009 10286113 0400 201 556 may have had quite a different upbringing to you.’’ Davies says that, even with similar upbringings, men and women are different, and de- ciding what to spend your joint money on can be tricky. ‘‘Particularly if she’s not into PlayStation and he’s not into shoes,’’ she says. ‘‘If we don’t talk about our spending priorities, we can end up bickering about who bought what and resenting the money that gets spent.’’ The Government’s Austral- ians Understanding Money re- port, released last year, showed some quite distinct differences between men and women on the subject of in- vestments. Men were far more likely to believe in theirownabilities to invest money and in their ability to understand financial language, whereas women were far more likely to find dealing with money stressful and overwhelming. ‘‘Many couples simply ha- ven’t taken the time to sort out their finances,’’ Ms Pizzato says. ‘‘Sometimes it’s as simple as having a written budget and sticking to it. And perhaps taking five or 10 minutes a week to talk together about whether your finances are on track can make a world of difference. ‘‘We are all busy, though, and life is hectic—many of us just don’t set aside that small amount of time.’’ In a recent survey by Rela- tionships Australia, people were asked to nominate what, if anything, was the one thing that would increase their hap- piness or wellbeing. And the main factor was more money or better finances. However, Davies disputes the findings. ‘‘A phrase that some men may be familiar with, ‘it’s not the size that matters, it’s what you do with it that counts’, and I’m talking about your bank balance,’’ she says. ‘‘I think a lot of people genuinely believe that every- thing would be OK if they just had a bit more money. ‘‘Actually, though, the vast majority of people don’t need more money, they just need to learn how to manage their money better. And when you have a partner you need to tackle the issue together.’’ take a fresh look 1106a Lifestyle 2057724-LS
March 27th 2009
April 24th 2009