Home Loan Mistakes to Avoid…
I was talking with a client Pam, she was telling me how when they first took out the home loan it was Interest Only for the first 5 years. It was a shock when her and her husband realised that after 5 years they still owed the bank the same amount as when they first took out their home loan. All those payments and they were no closer to owning their home outright.
Here are some of the most common home loan mistakes to avoid if you are purchasing a new home or refinancing an existing loan.
6 Common Home Loan Mistakes to Avoid
- Setting and Forgetting – You need to perform a regular review of your home loan. 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find that your current loan no longer meets your needs, interest rates may have changed, the loan product may have been superseded with a better option, it may have features you no longer need or you could find that there are features that you now would like.
- Choosing solely on interest rates – While the interest rate is the biggest factor it’s not the only one you need to consider. What are the other costs associated with the loan, application fee’s, settlement fee’s, monthly charges or annual fee’s? Is there a cost to access the redraw facility? These all need to be taken into account. One to be particularly careful about is introductory or honeymoon rates. 1, 2 or 3 years down the track and that cheap interest rate has reverted into something a lot less attractive.
- Interest Only Loans – The whole point of taking out the home loan was so that you will own your home in time. To do this you have to be paying principle and interest. While there are times when Interest Only Loans are applicable you need to be very careful, particularly if it is the home you are living in.
- Overlooking the structure – Some home loans come with all the bells and whistles, offset accounts, credit cards, line of credits and redraw facilities. Some are simple and may only have a redraw facility. It is important to ensure that the home loan product and structure fit with your needs and goals.
- Breaking a fixed rate loan – Fixed rate loans are great, they allow you to know exactly what you will pay for the term of the fixed period. Breaking a fixed rate loan can cost you thousands of dollars, so it’s important to get all the facts before you fix any loan.
- Refinancing for no reason – Often borrowers will choose to refinance their loans without considering why. Refinancing isn’t free, while you may not have to pay the costs upfront they will be added to your loan. Possible costs include application fees, valuations, lenders’ mortgage insurance, mortgage registration fees and break costs, these fee’s add up and need to be repaid.
As I have said previously for most of us our home will be the most expensive purchase of our lives, you may not have made any of the mistakes outlined above, but if you don’t regularly review our home loan over the life of the loan you could well fall into the trap of having a huge debt that is not getting you to where you want to go.
Have you made one of the home loan mistakes to avoid? Have you had a difference experience? Would you like some help to ensure that your home loan is suitable for your goals? Give me a call on 07 3423 8730 or fill in the enquiry form here to set up a free and no-obligation chat to review your home finances.