Buyer beware: It’s better to inspect than to be sorry

*this article was previously published in the November Midland Express

Buying a home or investment property is likely to be one of the biggest investments most of us will ever make.

We all want to know as much as we can about the condition of the property before we buy, right? We want to avoid problems and extra costs down the track, ensuring that the home or investment is fit for purpose and of sound value.

So why is it that many people agree to purchase without getting a pre-purchase property inspection report?

Building and pest inspections can help safeguard property buyers against investing in fault-ridden properties, as the reports reveal any hidden problems a property may have.

A pre-purchase property inspection building report is a written account of the condition of a property. It will tell you about any significant building defects or problems such as rising damp, movement in the walls (cracking), safety hazards or a faulty roof to name a few. It is usually carried out before you exchange sale contracts so you can identify any problems.

While a building inspection report should identify any visual damage that may have been caused by termites, it usually won’t include the existence of termites or other timber destroying pests. It is advisable to get a separate pest inspection report to ensure you are not buying something riddled with pests.

Here are a two key reasons to get a Build and Pest report before you buy:

  1. so you will know in advance what the problems are
  2. so you can get specialist advice about any major problems and how they will affect the property over time.

Of course, the building inspection report will be one of many things you will need to consider before buying a property. It is a small cost for a lot of peace of mind.

 

 

 

Want to reduce your mortgage quicker? It might not be as hard as it seems

*this article first appeared in the October 2018 Midland Express

 

The uncertainty of interest rates, as well as job instability, means that many people are wondering if they can shrink their mortgage quicker and buy themselves some financial freedom.

 

There are some really simple ways to quickly cut down on how much you owe on your mortgage beyond just making extra repayments. Many home loans already have features that can assist you but if they don’t, refinancing might be something to consider if drilling down on the debt is a goal.

 

A common approach to speeding up the decrease of a home loan is to increase payment frequency. A fortnightly or ‘bi-monthly’ payment can save tens of thousands of dollars in interest charges and reduce your loan term. The standard monthly repayments not only assist in the reduction of interest charges but the fortnightly payments mean you are making 26 fortnightly payments as opposed to 12 monthly payments, meaning you are sneaking in a few payments per annum. Smart!

 

Also understanding how interest works is another benefit when reducing your mortgage quicker. The interest on your mortgage is calculated on the outstanding balance every day. This means you can reduce the amount of interest you pay overall by increasing how often you make a payment on your mortgage.

 

It is important to understand the features of your mortgage as well. An offset account is an incredible way to not only save some cash for home expenses or holidays, but that savings will also be working for you. For every dollar you leave in your offset account, it actively reduces the amount of interest you pay on your mortgage. For example, if your mortgage is $300,000 and you have $10,000 in your offset account you’ll only pay interest on $290,000.

 

The best way to do all of this is some simple number crunching and to understand what a few extra payments can do to give you the freedom you desire.

 

For more real estate insights, head to jenniferpearce.com.au