Australian Franchise News – 04-09-12
With the Australian economy holding up relatively well in the face of global economic weakness and the continuing problems in the Eurozone, this month’s decision by the Reserve Bank of Australian to hold the cash rate steady at 3.5% comes as no surprise, says Australia’s largest independently-operated mortgage broker, Mortgage Choice.
Buyers shouldn’t let the cash rate decision dampen their spirits as there are plenty of positives in the property and home loan markets right now, suggests Belinda Williamson, Mortgage Choice spokesperson.
“With spring here, and the weather well and truly warming up, it is likely that the property market will start to heat up, too. In general, we find that good weather helps drive positive property market sentiment, and we are certainly seeing signs of this already,” said Ms Williamson.
“For those selling, positive sentiment translates to positive sales. And for those buying, they won’t miss out, with even more properties to choose from.”
“Buyers and borrowers alike will also benefit from knowing lenders’ interest rates remain at historically low levels, and some have recently been adjusting their interest rates in favour of borrowers. It would appear the home loan market is shaping up for Spring the way borrowers would like it to.”
Ms Williamson went on to explore some of the many ways borrowers can make savings to help repay their home loan sooner.
“There are a number of ways to make savings that don’t rely on an interest rate cut but can be just as effective if the dollars are put towards your home loan repayments. You can get as creative as you like in the name of making a saving!” Ms Williamson said.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your spending in check and to grow your savings is by setting a budget. Once you know where your money is going, it is easier to make decisions about what you can cut back on. Any savings that you make can then be used to make additional repayments on your home loan. Other savvy savings ideas include:
- Make the most of the warmer weather: Now that the weather is heating up, you may want to consider swapping gym classes for outdoor exercise sessions. You can save on the monthly gym membership while enjoying the fresh air! If your home and work are relatively close, you may also consider leaving the car at home, skipping the bus, and riding your bicycle to work.
- Spring clean, with a difference: If your wardrobe needs a makeover, get creative and avoid hitting the shops. Have a clothes swap with your friends – one person’s trash is another’s treasure. If you just can’t give up shopping altogether, why not try scouring the sales rack first.
- Dining in can be more fun: Dinner parties are not only fun, they can also save you a lot of money. Get a group of friend’s together and cook up your favourite dishes at a fraction of the price of a night out at a restaurant. If friends live close by, try a roving dinner party where each house puts on one course each, splitting the cost and time of preparing a meal.
Ms Williamson concluded by saying that people with a home loan should also look at their current deal to see if there are any ways they can make savings.
“September is also the perfect time to look at ‘spring cleaning’ your home loan. Taking the time to compare your loan’s interest rate, fees, and features to others in the market will help to confirm that you’re still happy with the deal you’re getting,” said Ms Williamson.
“You should also consider your lenders’ customer service performance and accessibility – saving you time and hassle by knowing you will get quick responses and access to banking facilities at a time and place that suits you is sometimes just as important as low rates and fees.”
“If you don’t feel confident that you know what you’re looking for when comparing loans or if you are not comfortable negotiating your way to a better deal, then get the help of a professional mortgage broker. Generally at no cost to you, a broker will thoroughly compare your loan options from a range of providers and help you renegotiate a better deal with your current lender or weigh up the costs versus the benefits of switching to a new lender and loan.”
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