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

Styling for a sale – Small changes can make a big difference

*This article was first published in the July 2018 Midland Express.

Every vendor wants to have their home looking in its best shape possible when selling.

So when they say that style is a matter of taste, consider that your personal style might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially when putting your house on the market.

It can often be tricky knowing how to stage your furniture, style living rooms, bedrooms and wet spaces to maximise on buyer interest and meet your sale potential. Is your personal style something that your potential buyers baulk at?

It is important to remember that styling your home for sale isn’t necessarily styling for living.

Selling your home isn’t about creating a space that’s cosy–it is about decluttering, brightening and making rooms look larger. It is about depersonalisation and letting a prospective buyer envisage themselves living and loving the space.

In urban areas, many vendors invest in professional stylists to support their sale. Vendors and agents that spend money on styling are known to get back five times the return of the styling investment in the sale price. It is 100 per cent worth doing.

Home stagers can improve the selling chances of any home – from luxury to budget. Staging is no longer reserved for the high-end market either. Any real estate agent worth their mustard should have a pro stylist details in their phone and willing to give it to you to help achieve a higher sales price.

The art of property styling lies in showing potential buyers how they can live comfortably in any particular home. The difficulty lies in whether you can detach your own views on good and bad taste and transform it into someone else’s dream.

When was the last time your property was valued?

*This article first appeared in the May 2018 Midland Express

 

Things have changed in the Kyneton real estate market. A lot, actually.

 

You may have bought your home 30 years ago or even 18 months ago, and the chances are that the valuation on your home is quite different to what you paid for it.

 

So what exactly is an valuation? A valuation is a calculated figure that includes an assessment of the land value and the improvements, taking into account the depreciation of the property since construction. It also includes sales comparison, and a breakdown of living areas, outdoor areas and car areas.

 

In short, it a valuation can also impact on important decisions such as refinancing, future borrowing and your current insurance position.

 

Let’s look at insurance for a moment. If you have a valuation of your property that is relevant to the time that you purchased the property, it is unlikely that your insurance covers that estimated actual cost to rebuild the building.

 

If you are an owner of a residential property including strata developments, or an owner or landlord, it is important that you obtain a valuation of your property to ensure at that you are covered for its actual cost to replace. Many people also forget that the cost of demolition needs to be factored into this.

 

If you are looking at re-financing your home mortgage to borrow for renovations of consolidation of other expenses or debts, it is equally as important that you get an accurate and current evaluation of your home in the current market place. If the value of your property has increased, the chances are the bank (particularly in this current climate of financial scrutiny) will finance you where you need to be.

 

If you’d like your property valued so you can ensure your insurance and borrowing capacity is relevant, head to jenniferpearce.com.au

Why buy in Kyneton?

Years ago, if you asked anyone who didn’t live on the Calder line where Kyneton was you would probably get a blank expression.

These days, Kyneton has become an emerging hotspot for creative and professional tree-changers as well as well as those seeking a quieter lifestyle.

One of the biggest draw cards is Kyneton’s proximity to the Melbourne CBD as well as the airport. With access to Melbourne and the inner north only an hour away by road and rail, savvy commuters have found it a bonus instead of spending equal time travelling from suburban areas.

The housing marketing remains steady in Kyneton, with a combination of character filled period homes as well as newer stock keeping both buyers and sellers happy. With owner occupiers as well as investors finding it increasingly difficult to enter the Melbourne market,

Real Estate Institute of Victoria data also supports homebuyers choosing places like Kyneton with median house prices increasing approxametly 39% over the last five years.

One of my tree-changing buyers recently said “It is the 5 minute lifestyle that did it for us.” And she is right! With fast trains, sophisticated hospital and healthcare facilities, progressive schools and access to childcare as well as Kyneton’s renown epicurean scene and natural attractions, I do not foresee the interest in Kyneton as home buying hotspot slowing down any time soon.

For more on why buyers can’t seem to resist Kyneton, head on over to jenniferpearce.com.au and I’ll share my insights.

Should I Spend Money on My Property Before Selling

A common question I am asked when people are considering selling their property is whether investing in additional renovations will produce a more profitable sale. In short, should I spend some money on my home now to make more money when I sell.

The first thing to keep in mind is that every property is different. Some homeowners might need to spend money on their property to make a sale, and others won’t.

And the factors at play are variable. It not only depends on the property’s current condition, but on the state of the local real estate market as well. A high supply of quality stock in your local area might mean you need to spend a little on raising the standard of your home to meet buyer expectations.

There are many different ways that can be used to smarten up a property before putting it on the market. These could range from a basic clean-up job to a full renovation.

The critical factor should be the return on your investment. You must consider whether the cost to improving the look of your home before putting it on the market will result in a sale price that is higher than your renovation investment. There is no science to this and can be somewhat tricky to measure.

A good real estate agent who knows the local market intimately will be able to help you understand the value of the different levels of renovation investment and its effectiveness at sale time. Your agent should be able to answer questions about the state of the market in general as well intimate knowledge of the local competition and what features drive up a sale price. Whether you consider engaging a professional or conducting some DIY renovations, your agent will know what will work the best for you and whether these modifications are necessary in the first place.

It is not a bad idea for you to conduct your own due diligence by visiting comparable homes in your area that are on the market. This will assist you in gauging whether that pergola you are thinking of building will drive up the sale price or whether it will leave you out of pocket.

If you are going to spend money on your home, it’s vital to ensure that this money is going to be put to good use and result in a higher profit at the point of sale.

For details on what renovations in your home could help drive up the sale price, head to my website at www.jenniferpearce.com.au