3 Questions to consider before refinancing

Who would have ever thought we would see one of the big 4 banks offering an interest rate of 3.59%.  Without a doubt their are opportunities for you to save significant money on your home loan.

Now is the time to refinance…..  Or is it….

Watch on as I discuss 3 questions you should ask yourself before refinancing your home loan.

If you would prefer to read instead of watching the video, scroll down to see a transcript.

Whenever you are ready, there are 4 ways in which I can help you right now

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Work with Me Face to face:
Do you want me in your corner helping you navigate the banks home loan processes? I work with you to take the stress out of the home loan process, whether it is purchasing a new home or refinancing an existing loan. If this is you then….  Click Here to Book a 10min free and no-obligation phone call.

Transcript

Hello, Brendan from Buyers Choice, your home financing specialist.

This week, I want to have a chat about refinancing.

Given the current climate we’re in, the number of offers out there from various lenders, a common discussion I have with various people is, is now a good time to refinance?

If you’re thinking about refinancing, I think there’s three questions that you should ask yourself before committing to refinancing your home loan.

Question 1

The first one is, has your finances changed? Have you received a pay increase? Have your expenses gone up? Your child’s moved from primary school to high school, or they’ve decided to start eating twice as much food. Have you had a new baby come into your life?

There’s various things which could have happened which changes your financial situation. As a result, it may mean it is a good time, or it could mean that it’s a poor time to refinance your home.

Question 2

The second question you should be asking yourself, will refinancing save you money?

Now, I have previously done a video on the costs which you incur when you refinance your home. It isn’t a zero-sum gain. There’s also, and I’ve mentioned this previously, the fact that if you’re over an 80% loan-to-value ratio, LMI will be involved, so Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

So between that and the cost of refinancing, it could cost you from $1000 to a couple of thousand dollars to $10,000, depending on the size of your loan and your circumstances, to refinance.

Now, if you’re, found a great new rate, and you’re saving $50 a month by refinancing your home loan, but it’s gonna cost you $1000 to refinance, is it worth it? Is it worth your time and effort, getting all the information together, putting it all together, submitting the application, going through all that, for something which is gonna take you 20 months to pay off?

No, you’re better off staying where you are. So it’s a consideration that you gotta put into mind.

Question 3

The third question you should ask yourself is, are you planning on selling your home in the near future?

And again, it’s around, if your plan is to sell, move on, upgrade, do whatever, now may not be the best time to refinance. There’s a lot of effort, you’ve gotta get all the paperwork together, you’ve gotta put the application in, you’ve gotta go through the process.

If you’re going to a new lender, you’ve gotta set up all your accounts and everything else. So as a result, if you’re considering selling your home in the near future, or your loan’s starting to get small, there’s only a small amount still to be repaid, it may not be worthwhile refinancing.

We look around and we see these great rates. Save an extra 0.25% here, fix it for three years at this new, never-before-seen and never-be-seen-again interest rate.

But unless there is a benefit to us, it’s not worth doing.

So next time when you’re thinking about refinancing, think about these three questions again.

Has your financial situation changed?

Are you going to save money by refinancing?

And are you looking at selling your place in the near future?

And if those answers don’t add up to you, just put it on hold until the next time you review your home loan.

Anyway, Brendan from Buyers Choice, great talking to you again today.

Please hit like to this video, and if you’ve got any questions, feedback, please leave a comment below.

Look forward to talking to you next time. Have a wonderful day.

Goals and achieving your resolutions

 To start the year off on a positive note first up I look at turning those New Years Resolutions into achievable Goals.  It doesn’t matter what you would like to achieve, paying off the home loan quicker, saving for a holiday or loosing a kilo or two.

Watch on as I discuss setting achievable goals.

If you would prefer to read instead of watching the video, scroll down to see a transcript.

Whenever you are ready, there are 4 ways in which I can help you right now

Win Your $10,000 Ultimate Holiday
I would like to give you, your friends and your family the chance to win your ultimate holiday up to the value of $10,000.  Just click on this link to enter (as often as you would like)

Follow my Facebook Page:
Keep up to date with latest finance tips and tricks, my regular videos, the odd delicious recipe and great holiday ideas. Click LIKE on my Facebook page

Looking to buy your first home:
Looking to purchase your first home?  Don’t know where to start? Get a copy of our first home buyers guide.  Download the Home Buyers Guide

Work with Me Face to face:
Do you want me in your corner helping you navigate the banks home loan processes? I work with you to take the stress out of the home loan process, whether it is purchasing a new home or refinancing an existing loan. If this is you then….  Click Here to Book a 10min free and no-obligation phone call.

Transcript

Hello, it’s Brendan from Buyer’s Choice, your home financing specialist, and today I wanna have a quick chat about setting goals.

New year, 2018’s here, and we’ve all probably made some resolutions on what we want to achieve throughout this year. It could be paying off the home loan quicker, saving a deposit for an overseas holiday. In my case, losing a kilo or two.

We’ve all done it over the years, we’ve all made resolutions, we’ve said, on the 31st of December, next year I’m going to, fill in the blank. And that’s probably appropriate for most of us. It is fill in the blank.

We have all these good intentions, but that’s all they are, good intentions. How do we take what are good intentions, and what we’re planning on doing for the best of reasons, and make them happen?

In my case, 2018 is gonna be the year I get my weight under control. I want to focus on my health, I want to improve things.

For me, it’s a major goal, of a fitness level where I can enjoy spending time with my son for the next couple of decades? He’s four, there’s a lot of time that we can enjoy, playing together, but we can’t do that if I’m not fit and healthy.

How are we gonna do this?

Quite often we set ourselves a goal. We’ll use me as an example, I’m gonna lose 20 kilos. Great, but that’s where it ends.

We’ve set ourselves a goal. We might go as far as saying, I’m gonna exercise a couple of times a week, but we don’t make it something which is achievable.

We don’t make it something which we can measure.

We don’t put a deadline on it, something which is timely.

This year I’m gonna approach things differently, and if you’ve got goals, resolutions that you want to achieve, I recommend you follow a similar process.

The first thing, we have our overarching theme, our focus, what we want to focus on. In my case, it’s my health. 2018, a major focus for me will be my health, and in a large extent, losing weight.

We step down to the next level, and our major goal itself under there. For this, we wanna make that goal something which we’re gonna achieve in the next 90 days. While I’ve got the bigger picture of my health, and where I wanna end up being, we want something which is achievable in the short term.

My 90 day goal is to lose 10 kilos. It’s about half a kilo, three quarters a kilo a week, which is achievable. I’ve got my 90 day goal, but even then, how am I gonna achieve it? What are the steps I’m gonna take?

This is the key to the process that I use with goal setting, which takes it from that high in the sky, I’m gonna do this, to the tire hitting the pavement, really getting action on what you wanna do. Under that 90 day goal, losing 10 kilos in the next 90 days, I’ve then put together three process goals.

Three goals which I’m gonna do on a week in, week out basis. These aren’t looking at long term results or all the rest. It is three things that I’m gonna do which are gonna get me to that higher level, 90 day goal.

In my case, again, one’s gonna be going to the gym at least four times a week. Combination of cardio work, weight work. I’ve got a plan, I’ve got a program I’m gonna follow. My goal is to be at the gym four days a week.

The second goal I’m gonna have is sticking to my diet. I’ve worked with a dietician, she’s given me a diet that I’ve gotta follow. Goal number two that I’m gonna do week in, week out, is follow that diet that she’s given me.

Goal number three, I’ve been reading a few things about health and what’s good for you, and they say drinking water, particularly in place of drinking soft drinks, alcohol, and a lot of other things, is extremely good for you, so, as a result, my third goal is gonna be drink at least three liters of water per day.

There I’ve got three actionable goals that I can follow each week. Simple things to follow. Have I gone to the gym four days and done my program? Yes, no?

If it’s no, I can look back at the end of the week and say, righty-o, why didn’t I? What’s gotta change? What do I need to do to achieve my goal?

In summary, I’ll just go over them again.

We’ve got our major area of focus, what we wanna achieve over the course of the year. It could be something multi-year, doesn’t matter.

Underneath that, we break it into a 90 day goal. What do we want to achieve in the next 90 days? Something which we can achieve, it’s got to be obtainable in the next 90 days.

Finally, underneath that, three process goals, goals where we take action, where we make things occur.

If we break up our goals that way, turn our new year resolutions into 90 day goals, and put some process things, steps that we’re gonna do week in, week out underneath it, you’ll be surprised how quickly your goal is achieved.

I’m looking forward to seeing how I perform on my goals, and if you continue to watch my videos on a regular basis, you’ll know how I’m going on achieving my goals, because the proof will be in what you see. If I can do what I’m say I’m going to do, I’ll see that improvement week in, week out.

Brendan from Buyer’s Choice. If you like the video, please hit the like button down below.

Got any comments, any requests for future videos? Please, leave a comment below, and I’ll get to it in the future.

Thanks a lot, have a wonderful day.

How to pay off your Home Loan quicker

How to pay off your Home Loan quicker

The Joys of Home Ownership and How to Pay Off Your Home Loan

I still remember the feeling when I bought my first home, an apartment in Townsville, the excitement and exhilaration of becoming a home owner combined with the dread over how much money I now owed the bank. For most of us this will be the most expensive purchase of our lives, and we cannot do it without getting help. Typically this help comes in the form of a 30 year home loan from our friendly bank.  What we don’t get is instructions on how to pay off your home loan quicker…..

Brendan Barker - Home Financing Specialist - Home Loans - Car Loans - Personal Loans

Townsville apartment – my first property purchase

This help from our friendly bank comes at a cost, interest on the loan (plus any number of fee’s if they can get away with it). That feeling of frustration when we look at how much we have paid, and how little the home loan balance has decreased. At times it feels like we will never get ahead.

Just another 24 years and I will……..

It doesn’t need to be this way, all it takes is a little time, home loan know-how and the commitment to managing your finances.  To put you on the right track to pay off your home loan.

Competition

5 Steps to Pay Off Your Home Loan

How can we start cutting years off the term of your loan and pay off your home loan?

  1. Align the repayments with your income – If you get paid fortnightly, make your mortgage repayments fortnightly. It will make manging your finances easier and over the life of the loan will cut down on the interest payable, saving you money.
  2. Paying a little extra – Just paying an exrta $10 or $20 per week can have a significant impact over the life of your home loan. For example if you pay an extra $10 each week on a $350,000 home loan, you could save $15,900 in interest costs and cut one year and five months off your loan term based on an interest rate of 4.45% and loan term of 30 years.
  3. Park any lump sums in your home loan – Put the $1,500 tax refund, the end of year work bonus or the inheritance from Great Uncle Charlie onto your home loan. Lump sum payments can easily cut years off the home loan.
  4. Don’t lower your repayments – If interest rates fall, don’t reduce your payments to the minimum repayment required by the bank. As you are already paying this amount you won’t even notice, but your home loan will as you are effective paying a little extra each payment and potentially cutting months or years off the home loan.
  5. Perform Regular Reviews – Give your home loan a health check, preferably every year but at least every two years. You may find that your current loan no longer meets your needs, interest rates may have changed, the loan product may have been superseded with a better option, it may have features you no longer need or you could find that there are features that you now would like.

We all dream of owning our own home out right one day, with a massive mortgage to repay it can feel like that day will never come, however if you just implement one of the steps above you will be on the right path.

It will not happen overnight, but if you commit to managing your finances you will pay off your home loan.

Are you interested in seeing if you could be saving money and on you way to owning your home sooner?  Give me a call today on 07 3911 1190 or fill in the enquiry form here, to schedule your free and no-obligation “10-min” chat to discus how to pay off your home loan.

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Why you should have a budget!

Why you should have a budget!

Without a budget your future financial security could get lost.

Brendan Barker - Home Financing Specialist - Home Loans - Car Loans - Personal Loans

I still remember the joys of my first job.  It was the mid 90’s and I had just started as a graduate mining engineer in Broken Hill.

I had spent the previous 6 years at university between undergraduate and post graduate studies.  Having a regular income, of was that wonderful.

I could afford to enjoy life.  Enjoy it I did, while I was never a party animal, I enjoyed going out with the mates each weekend.

Bought myself a new car, a red Ford Futura.  Plus, one or two new gadgets, TV, computer etc.

Throw in a holiday or two. Not having to worry about money because I was earning a good income.

Life was good.

Or so I thought.

It was a Christmas a couple of years after I started my working career.  I was in Melbourne having a holiday.  Trying to work out how I had ended up in financial difficulty.

I wasn’t helping things with the holiday itself going on to the credit card.

I had a car loan I was paying off.

A credit card with a steadily growing balance.

A debt with the ATO, my employer had taken out the wrong amount of tax.  Not that it was their problem.

Here I was earning great money (for someone who was only starting their career) and I had nothing to show for it.  I was living pay cheque to pay cheque.

Something had to change.  But first I had to admit to myself what I was doing wrong.

I didn’t have a budget.  I had no plan for my future.  I was earning money and spending money and hoping that everything would be wonderful at the end of the day.

I had to change.

By the end of the Christmas holiday I had a plan in place.  A budget which would allow me to have some financial security.

Competition

4 steps to create your budget

  1. Work out what I was earning – easy I just looked at my last payslip. It was consistent pay to pay.
  2. Work out my living expenses – no this wasn’t what I was spending each week, but what I had to spend each week. Fuel for the car, electricity, phone, food, rent, insurances etc.  All the stuff that must be paid for each week.
  3. What did I owe – what where the debts owing, car loan, credit card and ATO and what the repayments for each were.
  4. Put the plan together – this was the fun bit
Putting the plan together

First step was to take my monthly income and subtract my living expenses and my debt repayments.

What was left was the money I had available to create the future I wanted.

The second step was to allocate this money to work for me.  I allocated some to reducing my debt, some to saving for the future and what was left I could spend as I pleased.

I can’t remember what the actual numbers, but for illustrative purposes let say I was earning $4,000 per month.  My monthly living expenses were $2,000 and I had $750 per month in repayments on my debts.

That meant I had $1,250 I could allocate at step 2.  I may have put $500 a month into savings, paid an additional $250 a month off my debts and that would have left me with $500 to do with as I pleased each month.

No guilt or restrictions on what I spent that money on.  If I didn’t spend it, I either added it to my savings or spent it the next month.

I just had a simple plan I followed each month.  When I got paid, I would put my money for living expenses aside in one account, my savings into another and pay off some debts.  I knew how much and where it was going.  The rest I got to spend.

It was simple and straight forward.

A budget doesn’t have to be complex and it does not have to be a rigid document which doesn’t allow you to enjoy life.  It must be a plan which will allow you to get ahead in life.

Uncertain whether you should have a budget?  Don’t know where to start?  Click here to get your free budget planner to help you get under way.

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Why would you use a financial planner?

Why would you use a financial planner?

We have all seen the headlines about financial planner’s, they just seem to keep coming year after year….

  • Fee for no service the latest scandal for banks behaving badly

  • ASIC charges former Commonwealth Bank financial planner with forgery

  • Financial advice scandal: Banks face $178m compo bill

  • CBA, NAB, Macquarie, ANZ front Senate over financial planning scandals

Brendan Barker - Home Financing Specialist - Home Loans - Car Loans - Personal Loans

With a new skeleton being found in the closet of the financial planning industry on a regular basis, it is hard to know where to turn for trusted advice.

Many people choose to manage their investments on their own.

But for some that’s not an option, whether you are having trouble planning for your retirement, or you have an estate you want to leave to your heirs, here’s a look at five reasons for getting the help of a financial planner.

  • You Don’t Know How To Save For Retirement

Retirement planning is more than your employer paying they superannuation guarantee contribution into your nominated fund.

A financial planner will go over your current financial situation, they will help you figure out how much you realistically need in retirement and structure a plan that meets your goals and needs.

  • A Marriage Or A Divorce Is In The Cards

One of the main reasons for divorce is financial woes… Marriage means the mingling of income, assets, and debts and a financial planner can help both husband and wife budget their money, save for common goals and make the right investment choices.

The same can be said for a divorce.  A financial planner can help you untangle your finances, you may have been left with a windfall or a large debt to service.  They can help you put a plan in place to achieve your goals.

  • You’re Caring For An Aging Or Sick Parent

Nobody wants to see their mom or dad become ill as they age, but unfortunately, that is a reality for many people.  It is not only about caring for their health, but also assisting them with managing their finances.

This is where a financial planner can help, to ensure they are getting access to all the government benefits they are entitled to and ensure their super/pension is set up correctly.

  • You Receive a Sudden Windfall

Whether your windfall is from an inheritance, winning the lottery or landing a lucrative job, managing large amounts of money can be complicated.  A few bad mistakes and in a blink of an eye it’s all gone.

A financial planner will give you sound advice and help you put in place a plan to grow your windfall so that it meets your long-term goals.

  • You have or going to have a large Mortgage

Buying a home is the largest purchase most of us will ever make, and for most of us it comes with the biggest debt we will ever have.  While we never plan to get sick, lose our jobs, or pass away, these are naturally the sorts of things that can take a toll on your family and on the mortgage repayments.

A financial planner can assist in putting in place various insurance policies which will ensure that the mortgage and your loved ones are looked after if something unforeseen happens.

So, you have decided that you need to talk with a financial planner. Your best chance of getting good advice is to ask them the following 5 questions.  They won’t guarantee a planner you can trust or of their competence, but it will increase the odds of you getting reasonable advice.

Competition

5 Questions to Ask a Financial Planner!

  • What company owns their advice licence?

You want to find out if they or their employer receives any benefits for recommending their products.  For example, a planner working for one of our major banks which is incentivised to recommend the products of their wealth arm.

If they do…. Walk out…. Quickly

  • Have they ever recommended a managed agricultural scheme?

You know the schemes, get the big tax deduction upfront and make a huge profit in 10 years time (or not seeing most of them went bust during the GFC).  These schemes paid advisers huge fees of 10 per cent or more. If they succumbed to this temptation in the past, no matter how reformed they claim to be, don’t just walk away.  RUN.

  • Will my money be put into your firm’s funds and products?

If they answer YES, find out what steps they take to source other alternative products and to manage any conflicts of interest.

  • How do you get paid?

Is it a flat fee, commission on sales or a percentage of an asset based fee.  However they are getting paid, you have to be comfortable that there is no conflict of interest and you are getting quality advice.

  • Ask to see a sample statement of advice?

A statement of advice should cover the following major points budgeting, cash flow projections, a comparison of multiple strategies and a discussion about what you can realistically except in retirement. If the document is difficult to understand or is unnecessarily long, the adviser has missed the point and it’s time to leave.

Going it alone may seem like the cheapest way to manage your money and investments, but it can end up costing you a lot in the long-run. The help of a knowledgeable and reputable financial planner can go a long way in making sure you stay on course to meet your unique financial needs and goals.

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How $5 can change your life!

How $5 can change your life!

Can you afford to save $5 a day?

Brendan Barker - Home Financing Specialist - Home Loans - Car Loans - Personal Loans

How much do you spend on a daily basis? The morning coffee, a sandwich at lunch time, a coke mid-afternoon or a snack while doing the shopping, all these little things add up very quickly.

What if you decided not to purchase one of those indulgences and instead saved $5 each day.  Instead of picking up a coffee from the local café, make one a home before leave the house.

Instead of buying a sandwich at lunch, make a little bit more for dinner each night and bring leftovers for lunch.  Drink water instead of getting that coke, which is a much healthier option anyway.

There is so many little things we can do which would save us $5 just on the little luxuries.

What I hear you say, $5, that’s not going to change my life.

Read on and see how the simple $5 note is going to make the world of difference.

What if you saved $5 a day for a month?

You would have saved $150.  While it is a great achievement (whether you saved $10 or $1,000 it is a great result), is having $150 going to change your life?

Well if you bought a new bike and started riding it everywhere, it could have a significant difference on your health and your life.  If you went and bought a new outfit, while enjoyable not so much a difference on your life.

You could have a romantic dinner with your partner or you could spend it on the children.  While saving could make a change in your life, it most likely won’t be significant.

What if you kept on saving, say for 3 or 6 months?

Competition

What if you saved $5 a day for 6 months?

You would have saved $900.  Congratulations this is starting to look like some serious savings, but will $900 change your life?

That would be a great weekend getaway for the away for the family. That start of an emergency fund so you don’t have to reach for a credit card each time something from left field crops up.

For only the cost of a cup a coffee a day, this is starting to look like it could change your life…

What if you kept saving for a year?

What if you saved $5 a day for a year?

You would have saved $1,800.  Now if your partner had joined in on the challenge, so you both were saving $5 a day, $10 in total.  Yep, $3,600.

Now we are starting to talk about some serious money.  If you had $3,600 saved come the end of the year, what could you do?

Take the family on an overseas holiday? How about a cruise? Pay off the credit card once and for all (wouldn’t that be a great feeling).

What if $3,600 is not enough for you to reach your dream?  Nothing stopping you from continuing to save.  5 years and you would have $18,000, yep more than enough for a deposit on a new home or to buy a second car outright.

What if you don’t want to spend 5 years to get to $18,000 in savings.  There is nothing stopping you from saving a little more each day.  Instead of $5 a day or $35 a week, you could aim to save $50 per week each or you might go for $10 per day.

All it takes is looking at the little luxuries we enjoy each day and cutting one or two out.  You don’t have to cut them all out, just enough so that you can save for the future.

Uncertain how $5 a day can change your life?  Don’t know where to start?  Click here to get your free budget planner here to help you get under way.

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