Q: Can we split our home loan into 2 accounts... one as principal and interest and the other interest only. Can the interest rate be the same for both as the advice we have received is a little confusing... some say we can and other say the rates will be different?
A: Hi Stuart,
There are some lenders that will allow you to split your home loan into 2 different products associated with different repayment types (i.e. interest only / principal and interest). If you were comparing like for like products (i.e. both variable rates) the rate for the interest only portion would be higher than that available on a principal and interest repayment.
I trusts this assists and please don't hesitate to get in touch if I can be of further assistance.
Q: I am working in a tax free country as an Aussie Expat.
Buying a house back in Perth seems to still be in the too hard basket.
What is the best method to get into the market from outside the country as a non-tax paying Australian citizen?
A: Hi WB
There was an article on this very topic in one of the mortgage industry publications today that you may find interesting:
Your situation is certainly more difficult given the regulatory changes over the past couple of years, however, as Nicole states there are still a few lenders who will consider lending to those with overseas income.
Q: I am 45, self employed and my partner is 50 and in full time employment. We have no debt and own our own home. We have $30,000 a year that we want to save. We have been advised to salary sacrifice it all into our Supers. Is this the best advice? We are moderate risk takers.
A: Hi Dawn
There are so many options available when it comes to investments. I suggest you speak to a Financial Planner who would be best placed to advise suitable options based on your risk preferences and long term financial goals. They would also be able to provide advice about income protection insurance.
All the best.
Q: I work as an Engineer in the IT industry. I'm required to drive my car to work everyday so that I can drive to client sites in the event of emergencies that can't be resolved remotely.
Just want to stipulate my car being available is a work requirement.
Am I able to claim the parking expenses for when my car is parked outside of my work?
A: Hi Stephen
Best to speak to your accountant/tax advisor about this one. I would also suggest that you approach your employer (if you haven't already done so) to see if they will contribute to/reimburse some of this expense given they require you to have your vehicle available.
Q: How do I find a buyer's agent for investment property?
A: Hi Frank
I would recommend a good place to start is the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (http://www.pipa.asn.au). They have QPIA buyer's agents who have completed further education and must do a certain amount of professional development to maintain this accreditation. There would be many buyer's agents out there who are not part of this body however I would think anyone who has invested in their own professional development and being part of this body would be of a high calibre.
All the best. Amy.
Q: I have purchased an investment property and am renting it to my son and his family however I would eventually like to sell the property to him and his wife but as he is self employed and has four young children he would find it difficult to obtain finance. I am thinking of taking money out of my superannuation giving it to him to assist with a substantial deposit to assist in gaining finance. Do you think this would be worth considering?
A: Hi Archie,
As Damian and Colin have stated there are options plenty of options for self employed and I agree that accessing your own super to help your son should not be taken lightly. It all comes down to how much your property would cost for them to buy and how much of their household income remains to service a loan after expenses.
An alternative way you may consider helping them is by providing a family guarantee to help them avoid Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) if they would be borrowing at a loan to value (LVR) ratio over 80%. This means that some of your equity (in your own home or term deposit) would be held as security for the 20% differential, however your son would still be responsible for all the repayments.
Feel free to get in touch if I can be of further assistance.
Q: Hi im a first home renter and have just moved into a 1 bedroom apartment, i know it depends on personal use but i was just wondering for 2 people how much electricity, water + gas would be. I was hoping around putting away $500 a month for bills? I have no idea! Thanks.
A: Hi Kayla
Firstly, congratulations on moving into your own place. I would think $300 per month would be a very conservative amount to put away to cover your utility bills. To break this down further I have assumed $50 per month water use, $100 per month gas (assuming gas cooking and hot water) and $100 per month for electricity plus a $50 buffer. Electricity can vary quite a bit seasonally depending on how much you use high consumption devices like split system air-conditioning hence why I have suggested to include a buffer. You will be able to have a more precise budget once you have lived in the property for a few months and have received a couple of bills.
All the best
Q: I’m interested to get some advice on the questions I should be asking real estate agents before making a decision on who to choose to help sell our home?
A: Hi David
You could always ask them to provide contact details for a couple of their recent clients. If they are reluctant to provide you with these references then that would be a red flag in my view. It's always useful to speak to someone else who has used them before as they will be able to tell you what they liked about the agent (and anything they didn't).
Q: How do I best buy property in my SMSF?
A: Hi Tony
Probably best to speak to your accountant (and financial planner if you have one) in the first instance regarding the best options for your situation. As Damian said, the banks have extra requirements when lending for a SMSF purchase and the cost of borrowing (interest rate, fees and charges) is higher than for individual customers.
Please don't hesitate to reach out if I can assist you further.
Q: Is there any benefit from buying a brand new car rather than a 2 or 3 year old besides a new car smell?
A: Hi Patrick
In my opinion one of the main considerations is the low running costs of a new vehicle. This is due to the fact any major issues should be covered by warranty and you may also get capped price servicing for the first couple of years. Obviously you have to weigh this up against the additional cost of buying new vs second hand.
All the best.