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The Blog

Jul 18, 2024

Buying Property: 5 Top Tips!

Buying a property is a significant milestone that requires careful consideration and planning. Whether you're a first-time buyer or an experienced investor, these five tips will help guide you through the process and ensure a successful purchase. 1. Define Your Budget Before you start looking at properties, it's crucial to establish a clear budget. Consider your savings, income, and any financial commitments you may have. It's wise to get pre-approved for a mortgage to understand how much you can borrow. This will give you a realistic view of your price range and prevent you from falling in love with a property that's out of reach. 2. Research the Market Understanding the property market in your desired area is key. Look at recent sales, current listings, and future developments that may affect property values. Pay attention to factors such as the quality of local schools, crime rates, and proximity to amenities like shops and public transport. This research will help you make an informed decision and identify the best locations for your investment. 3. Inspect Thoroughly Never judge a property solely by its online listing. Schedule inspections to assess the condition of the property in person. Look for any signs of damage or necessary repairs, such as water stains, cracks, or faulty wiring. It's also beneficial to hire a professional building inspector to provide a detailed report on the property's structural integrity and potential issues. 4. Consider Future Needs Think about your long-term plans and how they might impact your property choice. Are you planning to start a family, or do you anticipate needing more space in the future? Consider the property's potential for renovations or extensions. Additionally, think about the resale value and how easy it might be to sell the property if your circumstances change. 5. Seek Professional Advice Engaging with professionals can save you time, money, and stress. A real estate agent can provide valuable insights and help you find properties that meet your criteria. A solicitor or conveyancer can guide you through the legal aspects, ensuring all documentation is in order. Additionally, financial advisors can assist in securing the best mortgage rates and terms. By following these tips, you'll be better equipped to navigate the property market and make a purchase that suits your needs and financial situation. Happy house hunting!

Jul 11, 2024

First Home Buyers: How You Can Get There Sooner

**PLEASE NOTE THIS INFORMATION IS CORRECT AS AT JULY 2024** For first home buyers in South Australia, there are currently a range of bonuses and incentives aimed at making the dream of owning a home more achievable. Here are the key benefits available: First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) The First Home Owners Grant offers a one-off payment of up to $15,000 for eligible first-time buyers who purchase or build a new residential property valued up to $650,000. This grant can significantly reduce the initial financial burden, making it easier to enter the property market. HomeStart Finance HomeStart offers various loan options tailored for first home buyers. Their Graduate Loan, for example, allows recent graduates to borrow up to 98% of the property value. Additionally, their Starter Loan provides a top-up of up to $10,000 to assist with upfront costs. HomeStart's innovative solutions are designed to lower the barriers to homeownership. Stamp Duty Exemptions and Concessions Stamp duty can be a substantial expense, but first home buyers in South Australia may benefit from exemptions and concessions. Buyers can now receive a full stamp duty exemption, potentially saving thousands of dollars. This exemption applies to properties valued up to $750,000 and is a considerable incentive. Affordable Homes Program The Affordable Homes Program offers properties at discounted prices to eligible buyers. This initiative aims to provide more accessible housing options, ensuring that even those with moderate incomes can find a suitable home. The program regularly updates its list of available properties, making it easier for first home buyers to find an affordable option that meets their needs. Home Guarantee Scheme (previously called the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS)) The Home Guarantee Scheme allows first-time buyers to purchase a home with a deposit as low as 5%, without the need for lenders mortgage insurance. This scheme is only available with a small handful of lenders and there are limited places, but it's designed to reduce the financial barrier of saving for a large deposit, making it easier for first home buyers to enter the market sooner. Our team is ready to assist you in navigating these opportunities and finding the perfect home. Reach out to us today to learn more about how you can take advantage of these first home buyer benefits.

Jun 27, 2024

Finance Pre-Approval - What You Need To Know

Securing a mortgage pre-approval is a crucial step in the home-buying process. It not only gives you a clear understanding of your budget but also strengthens your position as a serious buyer. Here’s why getting pre-approved is essential and what you need to know. Why Get Pre-Approved? Clarity on Budget: Pre-approval provides a realistic view of how much you can afford, preventing disappointment from falling in love with a home outside your budget. Credibility with Sellers: Sellers are more likely to consider offers from pre-approved buyers, knowing that financing is less likely to fall through. Faster Formal Approval: With pre-approval, the mortgage process is expedited, making the overall transaction smoother and quicker. What Information is Required? To get pre-approved, you’ll need to provide your lender with several key pieces of information: Income Verification: Pay slips, tax returns, and employment history help lenders assess your ability to repay the loan. Assets and Liabilities: Information on your savings, investments, and existing debts helps lenders understand your financial stability. Living Expenses: your average expenditure on groceries, utilites, recreation, transport etc. Identification: A government-issued ID such as passport, drivers licence or birth certificate Keep Pre-Approval Updated It’s important to note that mortgage rates can change, impacting your pre-approval. Ensure you refresh your pre-approval status whenever there is a significant rate change. This not only keeps your budget accurate but also demonstrates to sellers and agents that you are up-to-date with your financing capabilities. By securing a mortgage pre-approval, you pave the way for a more efficient and successful home-buying experience. Always stay informed and proactive about your financial standing to make the best decisions on your journey to homeownership. Contact SP Financial Solutions if you would like any further information.

Jun 20, 2024

SA Rental Reforms July 2024

South Australian tenants are better protected. Significant changes to rental laws as of 1 July 2024. What’s Changed? The 1 July 2024 changes include: requiring a prescribed ground for landlords to terminate or not renew a tenancy extending the notice period for landlords not renewing a fixed tenancy from 28 days to 60 days allowing tenants to have pets in rental homes, subject to approval and reasonable conditions requiring compliance with minimum housing standards new options supporting tenants experiencing domestic abuse new requirements around drug contamination and drug related conduct routine inspections capped to 4 per year allowing minor alterations or safety modifications to premises (to be removed at end of tenancy) ensuring energy and water efficiency standards apply to replacement or installed fixtures, fittings and appliances tenants can directly lodge bonds online introducing a new registration scheme fordesignated rooming house proprietors providing more protections for rooming house residents clarity that residential tenancy agreementsmay apply to granny flats new protections for water and electricity billing Earlier changes include: more affordable rentalbonds, with the bondthreshold raised to $800 soliciting of rent biddingbanned landlords prohibitedfrom requesting certaininformation fromprospective tenants protections relating tothe storage of tenantinformation the frequency of rentincreases limited to once ina 12 month period no unreasonable refusal ofsub-letting and at no extracost to a tenant new and tougher penaltiesunder the ResidentialTenancies Act 1995 and theResidential Parks Act 2007 Note: some items may not apply to those who live in strata titles, community housing, residential parks and SA Housing Authority homes Further information More details on these initiatives can be read on the Consumer and Business Services website. Note: some items may not apply to those who live in strata titles, community housing, residential parks and SA Housing Authority homes www.cbs.sa.gov.au/rentalreforms