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Posts Tagged ‘New Home’

Borrowing Capacity

Posted by Tamara McDowell on May 14, 2010

Your borrowing capacity is something you need to know before you commence your property search as it tells you how much you can spend on your new home and where you can afford to live. Many borrowers go a step further and pre-approve their loan prior to commencing their property search to confirm how much they can borrow.

Your maximum borrowing capacity will vary from lender to lender because lenders use different methods of assessment and different lending criteria. Your personal circumstances and your income will also play a crucial role on the amount that you will be able to borrow.

How do lenders assess my borrowing capacity?

A lender will typically review all your income sources and expenditure, add a margin, and then calculate your uncommitted monthly income. This is the most important factor to most lenders. The greater it is, the larger your borrowing capacity will be.

Basic criteria used to determine how much you can borrow may include:

  • Loan to Value Ratio
  • Income and types of income, e.g. casual, contract, full-time
  • Other loans
  • Credit card limits
  • Loan terms
  • Number of dependents and their situation
  • Type of Loan
  • Tax rates
  • Rental income
  • General living expenses, and
  • Existing asset position, including the size of your deposit.

They may also look at any property currently or previously owned and the type of property you are looking at (eg. house, apartment).

Tips for increasing your borrowing capacity

You may be able to increase your borrowing capacity by employing one or more of the following measures:

  • Pay off outstanding term debts (eg. personal loans)
  • Pay off and close any credit card, overdraft or line of credit facilities
  • Consider reducing the limit of any facility you maintain
  • Work out and stick to a budget to improve your deposit and savings history

Summary: Your borrowing capacity is an indication of how much you can borrow to purchase property. There are a number of different factors involved in calculating your borrowing capacity

If you would like a guideline assessment of your borrowing capacity, a more detailed assessment of your situation or to find the loan that is in your best interest, you can drop me an email or give me a call on 0430 722 092….I am happy to help!


Posted in First Home Owners, Investors, Loans, Mortgage Broker Service | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Home loan demand falls for fifth month

Posted by Tamara McDowell on April 13, 2010

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will raise the cash rate one more time before giving borrowers a long reprieve, economists say, after new data showing that housing finance commitments fell for the fifth straight month in February.

Australian housing finance commitments for owner-occupied housing fell 1.8 per cent in February, seasonally adjusted, to 50,287, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.

It was below market forecast of a 1.0 per cent fall in the month and was the fifth straight month of decline.

ICAP economist Adam Carr said the lending data would concern the RBA, causing the Bank to reassess the pace of future interest rate rises.

“It’s pointing to a sharp, broad-based decline in lending activity,” Mr Carr said.

“That would suggest to me that we’re getting to the point where the pace of rate hikes will slow, markedly.

“The RBA will only hike once more and then ease off.”

The central bank has lifted the cash rate five times in the past seven months.

The current interest rate is 4.25 per cent.

Meanwhile, RBA assistant governor Guy Debelle told a Senate committee in Sydney the central bank isn’t trying to suppress demand by raising interest rates.

“We’re trying to ensure growth is at a sustainable pace,” he was reported by Bloomberg to have told the Senate Inquiry into Access of Small Business Finance.

Mr Carr said Monday’s ABS data showed activity already was being dampened.

“It’s already happening,” he said.

“So I would imagine that there’s not a lot left in the tightening cycle in the near term at least.”

He could not predict whether the bank would next raise the rate in May or June, however. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bank & Lender News, Interest Rates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

It just got a bit harder for First Home Buyers!

Posted by Tamara McDowell on April 9, 2010

Along with the interest rate rise came the news for WA first home buyers that Keystart have issued a change in policy.

Keystart is a Government owned scheme primarily aimed at assisting first home buyers at the lower income level into essential housing for owner occupancy only.

Purchase Price

The maximum purchase price below the 26th parallel was previously $412,000 – It has now been reduced to a maximum of $400,000.

Maximum LVR (Loan to Value Ratio)

 Keystart was almost the only option for some buyers with litte deposit by allowing a 96% lend. The maximum LVR on all loans is now reduced to 94% – i.e. a 6% deposit is now required, previously a 4%.

Deposit Requirements

 Of the 6% plus fees now required – The Applicant(s) must be able to evidence a minimum of 3% genuine savings. The monies must be held or accumulated in a savings account (In the applicant/s name only) for a minimum period of 3 months. “Please note any lump sum deposit in the 3 month period will not be considered genuine savings.”….previously 2%. The balance of the deposit plus fees can be from the first home owner grant, gifted funds etc.

Income Reduction

 Maximum income for single applicants has been reduced to $70,000 per house hold . The maximum income for couples has been reduced to $90,000 per house hold – a couple can be defined as two applicants in a married or defacto relationship. Please note this income does not include Family Tax A & B.

Establishment Fee

 Effective immediately Keystart’s Establishment Fee will increase from $500 to $600.

“Keystart is still committed to helping West Australians into home ownership in its capacity as the lending arm of the State Government. We are confident these policy changes will ensure our longevity in the WA home loan market.”

One of the great benefits of using Keystart is that they do not charge Lenders Mortgage Insurance  and I am relieved that this still stands.

Although a large portion of first time buyers-to-be are prepared for interest rate rises and appear to be quite knowledgeable about the market, it is difficult to enter home ownership with low deposits.

Posted in Bank & Lender News, First Home Owners | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Buyers opt for higher priced properties as confidence returns

Posted by Tamara McDowell on March 29, 2010

A growing number of property buyers are snapping up more expensive properties in capital cities amid predictions that value will double over the next 10 years.

The latest data from Loan Market showed mortgage demand from borrowers buying top end properties jumped by 30% over the past 12 months. The report also found a dramatic increase in borrowers seeking loans in excess of $800,000 and those who are borrowing more than $3 million.

“There is strong evidence that the prestige property market is on the move and people are on the hunt for homes worth more than $1 million,” said Dean Rushton, Loan Market chief operating officer. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in House Prices, Investors, Real Estate News | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Property Investment…New or Old?

Posted by Tamara McDowell on March 27, 2010


Property investment is not just about whether you decide to buy a unit or a house, you also have the option of new or old.

There are advantages for both styles of properties, and it really comes down to your short and long term objectives. Where you intend to purchase the property will also influence what type of properties are available in a particular geographic location.

Purchasing a property off-the-plan – which allows you to lock in today’s prices for a property that may be finished in a year or two in the future – can be an effective investment strategy as you will not have to make any mortgage repayments until the property is ready for habitation. The only cost will be the deposit.

The key potential pitfall with an off-the-plan purchase is that there is no guarantee that the property you buy today will have grown or even maintained its value. The downside of this is that your lender may not be willing to fund the entire purchase price, which will leave you with a shortfall.

There are also pros and cons associated with the purchase of an existing property. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Investors | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Home sweet Home

Posted by Tamara McDowell on March 25, 2010


The Great Australian dream – to buy and own your own home – has always been the ambition of the majority of Australians.  Buying a house remains the biggest single purchase made by most Australians. Given the high rate of home ownership in Australia, our residential mortgage market is one of the most innovative, varied and competitive in the world.

 “Peace and rest at length have come, All the day’s long toil is past; And each heart is whispering “Home, Home at last!”

– Thomas Hood

Posted in First Home Owners, Investors | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Basic Buying Process

Posted by Tamara McDowell on February 27, 2010

Make an offer

If you are buying at an auction, you are required to pay a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) immediately.

If you are buying privately, you are usually required to pay a holding deposit (can be anywhere between $1,000, $2,000 and 10% of the purchase price).

Contract of sale/Offer and Acceptance

The Contract of Sale/Offer & Acceptance, prepared by the agent or by the vendor’s (the current owner of the property) solicitor, outlines your offer, the date of settlement and any conditions that must be met before the sale goes ahead. Discuss the Contract of Sale with your solicitor before you sign it. There are two kinds of offers – unconditional and conditional.

Unconditional offers

This is an outright offer to buy the property. You should be 100% sure that this is the property you want and that you have access to the money to buy the property. Once the vendor has accepted your offer, you are legally obliged to go through with the sale.

Conditional offers

A conditional offer is also a binding contract, provided that all your conditions are satisfied. You can only back out now if one or more of your conditions are not met. Conditions may include:

  • subject to valuation – the sale will only go ahead if the valuation is acceptable to both you and your bank.
  • subject to finance – the sale will only go ahead if your bank approves your finance.
  • subject to acceptable title search – the sale will only go ahead if there are no ownership, access or other claims recorded on the property title. Your solicitor/settlement agent will do this for you.
  • subject to an acceptable builder’s or engineer’s report – the sale will only go ahead if you are satisfied that the house, or land it is on, is sound.

You may wish to set other conditions eg subject to certain repairs being carried out, white ant inspection etc. Talk to your solicitor/settlement agent or real estate agent about anything you are unhappy or unsure about. Don’t sign your Contract of Sale/Offer & Acceptance until you are happy with the conditions.

Negotiation, acceptance and deposit

The vendor may accept your offer straight away or may negotiate on the price or other aspects of the sale. The real estate agent will act as the ‘go-between’ until you and the vendor reach a happy medium. If you cannot agree on a price, you can withdraw your offer.  Once both you and the vendor have signed the agreement, it is legally binding.

You will normally be expected to pay your deposit directly to the real estate agent on signing the agreement. It will be placed in a trust account until all conditions have been met.

Finalise loan

The Contract of Sale/Offer & Acceptance will usually state the length of time you have for finance.

It is a good idea to have already had your finance approved in principle/ pre-approved.

If you haven’t, you have two choices – You can go to the Bank/Lender directly or you can use a Mortgage Broker.

If you have obtained a pre-approval  the process should be quick and smooth and you would have already supplied the required documents.


The contract of sale/Offer & Acceptance will state the amount of time you have to settle the conditions. When all conditions are met, the offer becomes unconditional, the sale will go ahead and the property will be yours.

How the settlement process works

  • Your solicitor/conveyancer/settlement agent will prepare and arrange for you to sign a transfer of land document. You should ensure that this is done at least two weeks prior to the settlement date. This document will be handed over at settlement to the Lender/Bank. The Lender/Bank will register it at the State/Territory’s Title Office on your behalf. Upon registration, the property will be changed over to your name.
  • Your solicitor/conveyancer/settlement agent will contact the Bank/Lender, the seller’s solicitor/conveyancer/settlement agent and other interested parties to arrange the date, place and time of settlement.
  • Your solicitor/conveyancer/settlement agent should advise you, one week prior to the settlement, of the exact date and time of settlement and the amount of funds that you are required to provide prior to settlement (if applicable). This amount is usually required to be paid by bank cheque one day before settlement.
  • After settlement has taken place the seller’s solicitors/settlement agent will contact the real estate agent that sold you the property and advise them to hand over the keys to the property to you.
  • Your solicitor/settlement agent should contact you and confirm settlement has taken place. They will also send you a statement of adjustment to show you how the funds have been disbursed to the parties involved.

Congratulations!!!  ……….You will have purchased your Home!!!

Posted in First Home Owners, Loans, Mortgage Broker Service | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Pre-Approval of Finance

Posted by Tamara McDowell on February 16, 2010

Competition for property can be fierce. Get ahead of the pack with a pre-approved loan.

What is a Pre-Approval?

Sometimes referred to as an  approval in principle, pre-approval is a general indication of how much you’re able to borrow based on the information you provide to your lender.

Although subject to terms and conditions, a pre-approval basically gives you the green light on your home loan even if you’ve not yet decided on a property.

The amount of the pre-approval is usually determined by your ability to meet the loan repayments.

Most pre-approvals are valid for up to three months.

A pre-approval will place you in a stronger negotiating position with most sellers in the market. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in First Home Owners, Investors, Loans, Mortgage Broker Service | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Basic Lending Terms Explained

Posted by Tamara McDowell on February 15, 2010

The following is a list of terms and words (and their meanings) that you may come across when purchasing a home and dealing with lenders. This list is not comprehensive, therefore if you come across any other terms that you do not understand please contact your  Mortgage Consultant.

It is particularly important that before signing you fully understand the terms of any contract, whether it is a purchase contract or loan contract. Once signed and executed it becomes legally binding on you. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in First Home Owners, Investors, Loans, Mortgage Broker Service | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How Much Can I vs How Much Should I

Posted by Tamara McDowell on February 9, 2010

The choices you make when taking out a mortgage have long-lasting implications – so you need to approach borrowing with a healthy attitude.

How much you can borrow and how much you should borrow are two very different things. While your lender should not let you borrow more than you can afford, ultimately the choice is yours – so be careful not to over commit yourself.

When determining your borrowing capability, start by measuring your income against expenses, including your mortgage repayments. A good rule of thumb is that no more than 35 per cent of your gross monthly income should go towards servicing your mortgage.

Lenders use a similar method to work out how much to lend you. As a general rule, the bigger deposit you have and the higher your
income,the more they should be willing to lend.

While your lender will give you a maximum borrowing amount, it’s essential that you determine your own borrowing capacity when searching for your new home.
Ultimately the choice is yours – so be careful not to over commit yourself. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in First Home Owners, Interest Rates, Investors, Loans, Mortgage Broker Service | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

3 tips for Saving a deposit

Posted by Tamara McDowell on February 9, 2010

Saving for that all important deposit can be tough – but here’s three winning tips to set you on your way to home ownership, fast!

Put your goals in writing:

Setting a financial goal will make it much easier to plan and successfully save. Make a conscious effort to track your expenses so you can see where your money’s going and cut back where you can. Small sacrifices such as taking the bus instead of a taxi or bringing your lunch to work can also go a long way towards helping you save.

Beat the Credit Monster:

Credit card debt, unpaid bills and personal loan repayments can be major setbacks to your saving efforts. As part of your saving strategy get these debts paid off. Start by paying off your debts that have the highest interest rate – typically your credit card. If you can’t pay it off in one lump sum, ensure that you pay more than the minimum monthly repayment. You’ll not only slash your debt, you’ll also have extra funds to channel into other debt commitments or even deposit savings.

Make your savings work for you:

Making cutbacks on your lifestyle is one thing, but putting that money to use is another. Remove the temptation to spend your savings by arranging a set amount to be taken out of your pay each month and put directly into a savings account. Shop around, and seek a high interest rate savings account to get the best returns – many banks now offer an online high interest account.

Posted in First Home Owners, Loans, Mortgage Broker Service | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

3 more reasons to use a Mortgage Broker…

Posted by Tamara McDowell on February 9, 2010


•SAVE TIME – your broker can do the groundwork for you, making it easier to find a loan suited to your needs. Moreover, they’ll manage the application and approval process.

•EXPERT ADVICE – your mortgage broker knows what loans are out there, so you can expect to receive professional advice on the most suitable loan options.

•REDUCE STRESS – your broker can reduce stress by helping you source the most appropriate mortgage as well as keeping you updated along the whole mortgage process.


Posted in First Home Owners, Investors, Loans, Mortgage Broker Service | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Basic Explanation of Interest

Posted by Tamara McDowell on February 7, 2010

The rate of interest you’ll pay on your mortgage depends on a combination of factors. This can include the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) cash rate, your lender and the type of loan you have.

Interest rates are normally expressed as a percentage rate over the period of one year.

 An interest rate is the price a borrower pays for the use of money they borrow from a lender.

Basic explanation of Interest.

Interest is a fee paid on borrowed assets. It is the price paid for the use of borrowed money, or, money earned by deposited funds. Assets that are sometimes lent with interest include money, shares, consumer goods through hire purchase, major assets such as aircraft, and even entire factories in finance lease arrangements. The interest is calculated upon the value of the assets in the same manner as upon money.

Interest can be thought of as “rent of money”. When money is deposited in a bank, interest is typically paid to the depositor as a percentage of the amount deposited.

When money is borrowed, interest is typically paid to the lender as a percentage of the amount owed. The percentage of the principal that is paid as a fee over a certain period of time (typically one month or year), is called the interest rate.

Interest is compensation to the lender, and for forgoing other useful investments that could have been made with the loaned asset. These forgone investments are known as the opportunity cost.

Instead of the lender using the assets directly, they are advanced to the borrower. The borrower then enjoys the benefit of using the assets ahead of the effort required to obtain them, while the lender enjoys the benefit of the fee paid by the borrower for the privilege.

The amount lent, or the value of the assets lent, is called the principal. This principal value is held by the borrower on credit.

Interest is therefore the price of credit, not the price of money as it is commonly believed to be.

Posted in First Home Owners, Interest Rates, Investors, Loans, Mortgage Broker Service | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What is LMI – Lenders Mortgage Insurance

Posted by Tamara McDowell on February 6, 2010

Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) is a premium paid by you to insure your Lender against loss.

Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) helps Australian homeowners enter the market earlier through allowing you to borrow a higher percentage of a property’s value.

For first home buyers, particularly those struggling to save a deposit but more than comfortable to meet their
mortgage repayments, it can be a key tool to break free of the rental trap.

Through financing a higher proportion of a property’s purchase price, lenders take on a higher level of risk should you fail to meet mortgage repayment, and the property needs to be repossessed and resold.

LMI is therefore payed by you to insure your lender against loss should this happen. It is important to be aware that
LMI only covers the lender if you default, not you.

The bigger the percentage of the property’s purchase price you have to borrow the greater the amount you’re likely to pay on insurance. So if your deposit is less than 20 per cent, and especially if you have no deposit at all, you will need to factor LMI into your home loan.

Remember that should you have the required 20 per cent deposit for a mortgage you will not need to pay LMI.
LMI is usually paid as a one-off lump sum at the time of settlement but it many cases it can also be added into the loan amount and paid off over the life of the loan – a term known as capitalising the LMI.

Speak with your broker to assess whether this option is right for you.

Posted in (LMI) Lenders Mortgage Insurance, First Home Owners, Investors, Loans | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Up to $2,000 towards your fees!

Posted by Tamara McDowell on February 6, 2010

Home Buyers Assistance Account

The Home Buyers Assistance Account is established under the Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1978 to provide first home buyers with financial support.

 The scheme provides a grant of up to $2,000 for the incidental expenses of first home buyers when they purchase an established or partially built home through a licensed real estate agent for a purchase price of $400,000 or less.   
The scheme is funded from interest paid on real estate agents’ trust accounts. The grant can be used for — mortgage registration fees, solicitor and/or settlement agent fees, valuation fees, inspection fees, loan establishment fees, mortgage insurance premiums and lending institution fees associated with lodging the application.

Application criteria:

  • applicants must be buying their first home, which is established or partially built (not vacant land, a plan or a ‘house and land’ package);
  • the applicant, spouse or partner of the applicant must not own or have owned any property in the State of Western Australia before (if one of the people the applicant is buying a home with, owns or has owned a home in Western Australia before, then the applicant can apply for a partial grant based on the percentage of their ownership of the home);
  • the applicant must live in the home for at least the first 12 months;
  • the applicant must purchase the home through a licensed real estate agent;
  • the application must be lodged with the Registrar of the Real Estate and Business Agents Supervisory Board no more than 90 days after the date that the offer and acceptance contract to buy the home is accepted (in exceptional circumstances, a short extension of time for lodgement may be granted by the Registrar if reasonable grounds exist);
  • the home loan must be financed through an authorised lending institution (such as a bank, building society or credit union); and
  • the purchase price of the home is $400,000 or less. 

Your mortgage broker can supply the application form…this application cannot be processed until settlement and will need to be applied for by you. Complete form 1 and forward to your Lender along with

  • a complete copy of the signed contract to buy the property (Offer & Acceptance) 
  • a copy of the final settlement statement prepared/provided by your settlement agent. 

Posted in First Home Owners, Mortgage Broker Service | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Key Reasons To Review Your Mortgage

Posted by Tamara McDowell on February 6, 2010


If you’re striving to be mortgage free, faster, there’s a good chance there may be a more appropriate product to meet your needs.
Some mortgage products are designed to motivate borrowers to repay their mortgages quickly, so now is the perfect time to talk to
your mortgage broker and consider whether a new loan will see you on the road to financial freedom – fast!


Rates and mortgage deals are constantly on the move. To make the most of a competitive mortgage market, you might
want to evaluate the loan product you currently have. For example, you may want to go for a lower variable-rate, or lock into a fixed-rate. Break costs can be expensive though, so you’ll need to check that you’ll come out ahead when all costs are considered.


Consolidating your debts, such as credit cards or personal loans, into your home loan can save you thousands of dollars in
interest charges. Rolling your debts into one monthly or fortnightly repayment can also help make juggling your finances a little
easier, while improving your cash flow to boot.


Some lenders charge a monthly service fee – further adding to your debt. Competition between lenders has increased and a number now waive administration fees, so refinancing your home loan with another provider can be a smart move to help cut your mortgage costs.


As you pay off your mortgage you’ll accumulate equity in your home. As long as you are capable of meeting your loan
repayments, refinancing your mortgage can help you tap into the value that you’ve built up, using it for other purposes such as
purchasing an investment property.

Your life never stands still; and neither should your
mortgage. If change is afoot, it might be time to
search for a more suitable product

Posted in Interest Rates, Investors, Loans, Mortgage Broker Service | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Arranging your Finance

Posted by Tamara McDowell on February 6, 2010

Contact your mortgage broker and arrange an appointment 
Organise supporting documents (i.e. pay slips, group certificate, credit card & other relevant documents)
Assess lending capabilities and the options you want with your loan (redraw,extra repayments etc) with your broker, shortlist loan options and determine most appropriate loan from the shortlist. 
Complete loan application with all supporting documents. Your mortgage broker can guide you through this process and submit your application.

Obtain pre-approval

NOTE: Finance can be secured before or after you find a property; however borrowers should consider pre-approval so that
they have a true measure of their borrowing capacity before they commit to a purchase. Pre-approved finance is a great bargaining tool when making an offer!

Posted in First Home Owners, Loans, Mortgage Broker Service | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Home Ownership

Posted by Tamara McDowell on February 6, 2010

From the moment you turn the key in the lock and take those first few steps through your new front door, the security of owning your own home is second to none.

But the path to home ownership can be stressful and if not fully prepared it can prove to be time of great confusion, indecision and hard work – especially when it comes to finance. 

I wish you every success in your hunt for the perfect property.

Save time, stress and shoe leather!

Take the leg work out of financing your property through engaging a mortgage broker…………

If you’re buying your first home or investment property – or looking to move to a bigger and better one – speaking to a mortgage broker is a good first step.

A broker will sit down with you, usually in your own home or another location easy for you, and show you the range of loans
available from different lenders. They will then help you narrow them down to a loan that best suits your needs.

A mortgage broker will take the time to understand your needs, discuss your financial circumstances, and identify your loan requirements.

As a first step, they’ll discuss your property goals, factoring in your loan requirements in light of your lifestyle, job, family and
other aspects. They’ll also discuss the type of documents needed to assist you to make a loan application – such as pay slips, tax
returns, and personal bank statements.

Once they have a clear understanding of your financial situation and goals, your broker will be able to advise you on your
home loan options.

Tamara McDowell ~ Mobile Mortgage Broker ~ Licensed Finance Broker #5277

Posted in First Home Owners, Loans, Mortgage Broker Service, New Home Tips | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »


Posted by Tamara McDowell on February 5, 2010

When you buy a property you are agreeing to purchase it in the condition you find it at the time of your offer.  Unless it is brand new, then it is likely to have some wear and tear.  As a buyer, you must be aware of any faults at the start of this process because they are your responsibility after the purchase.

 However, if you require certain things to be mended by the owner before settlement, this can be written into the contract when your offer is made.  It is important therefore that homebuyers do a thorough check of the property before putting down an offer.

 The REIWA Offer and Acceptance Form  has a section for buyers to write in any special conditions to ensure the best outcome for them.  This might include things such as all the plumbing and wiring being in safe working order.  If a door, shower screen or window is broken, these are also things you can insist be fixed by the owner before you settle.

 Here are some of the more common things to inspect:

  • Learn how the hot water system works and whether it may need repair.  If it is a solar system ask about the booster switch and where it is located.
  • Check that the reticulation system operates, how it works and ask to see where the valves are located.
  • If there is air conditioning, check that it works properly and that its service record is up to date, where that might be required.
  • If there is a pool, check for any damage and become familiar with the pool cleaning equipment and filter.  Ensure that the property has the required legal pool fencing, given that the rules have changed for this recently.
  • Check that the plumbing and light switches work by operating all the taps and switches.
  • With power points, take a small desk lamp or hair dryer with you from room to room to ensure all the plugs are working.
  • Inspect all the water drainage outlets coming from the roof, ensure the guttering is sound and find out where the soak wells are located.
  • If the property is still on septic tanks and sewerage, check to location of the tanks.
  • Ask about the location of the sewerage outlet pipes and where the main connection is located.

 You can require that the owner fixes any faults prior to settlement as a condition of your offer.  If any items are not working or fixed at settlement and the owner had agreed to this in writing to this, then money can be allocated from the seller’s settlement proceeds to you for any necessary repairs.

Posted in First Home Owners, Investors, New Home Tips | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

First Home Owners Grant (FHOG)

Posted by Tamara McDowell on February 5, 2010

The First Home Owner Grant or FHOG is a one-off grant payable to all first home owners that meet the eligibility criteria (see below). 

For eligible first home buyers the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) provides $7,000 towards the purchase of an established or new  home.

To be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant WA you must be an eligible person (eg. not a company) and have entered into an eligible transaction.

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age
  • At least one of the applicants must  be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Applicants must not have previously received the First Home Owner Grant or have a spouse (or defacto) who has previously received the First Home Owner Grant
  • Applicants and/or their spouse (or defacto)  must not have previously owned residential property anywhere in Australia prior to July 1st 2000.
  • Applicants and/or their spouse (or defacto)  must not have previously purchased and occupied residential property anywhere in Australia as a place of residence on or after July 1st 2000.
  • Applicants and/or their spouse (or defacto) must live in the home for a continuous period of at least 6 months, commencing within 12 months after completion or settlement.
  • The Purchase price of the property must not be greater than $750,000 (south of the 26th parallel) and $1,000,000 (north of the 26th parallel)


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