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Mortgage Advice Blog

Get the latest news and tips about mortgage finance and the property market. Scott Miller, mortgage broker from Advanced Mortgage Solutions comments on housing and lending.

October's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Friday, September 28, 2018 in

Get Ready for the Summer Rush!

As we welcome daylight saving and warmer days, we also begin to see an increase in the number of property listings within the Christchurch market. Vendors are wanting to move and buyers to settle in before Christmas, which results in plenty of fresh listings over the spring and summer months. If you’ve been waiting for the perfect home, chances are it’s recently been or is just about to be listed.

You can expect to be busy chatting with agents and visiting open homes shortly, and we are already receiving plenty of inquiries from both first home buyers and those looking to purchase an investment property, organising their financing. The advantage of having your finance sorted early is that the pressure is off you, and you’re ready to make that offer before someone else does! For a chat on how we can help, give us a call on 0508 466 356 today!

Is a Builder’s Report Necessary?

You’ve found your dream property; it couldn’t be more perfect! While the pressure is on to make an offer which is better than everyone else’s, in both price and conditions, there really is one thing you can’t skimp on. A builder’s report is an absolute necessity and should be listed in the conditions you make when presenting your offer.

As you will be aware, many properties were damaged during the earthquakes and their aftershocks. While major damage is easily spotted, dodgy repairs and structural issues are not so easy to see. Hiring a professional house inspector or registered builder ensures that you find out all the problems and potential problems before you sign on the dotted line. While it’s possible to purchase damaged properties, it’s better to go into the agreement with eyes wide open as to how much repairs will cost, plus identify any potential issues you may need to fix in the future.

Cashbacks – What you need to know.

In the competitive mortgage industry, banks often offer incentives to get your business. One of these incentives is a cashback. A cashback is when a lender gives you back a set amount of money upon your signing up with them. Traditionally this has been advertised as a contribution to your legal costs.

The benefits obviously include the cash you will receive upon completion of the deal. Some lenders also sweeten the deal by including additional bonuses by giving you discounts with their other products.

But don’t forget the Clawback period!!! – Most lenders have a provision that allows them to clawback the cashback given to you if you pay the loan off in full or leave the bank within a 3-year period. This is done on a pro rata basis, so the longer you are with the lender the less the clawback becomes. After 3 years there is no clawback.

If you are at all unsure about whether you should be accepting a cashback or not, give us a call! We’d be happy to help you find the right finance for your unique circumstances, whatever they may be!

Carry on moving, and you're out.

This heading appeared in a newspaper Column I read recently, the article spoke about standing still financially and how this is not usually an option when there are bills to pay.

The analogy comes from the children’s party game “Musical Statues”, in the game when the music stops everyone freezes, carry on moving and you’re out. In reality standing still doesn’t work, when the financial music stops the silence is deafening, you want move but find it difficult to do so.

So how do you stack up if for example if you had to stop work, you lose your job or a contract is not renewed?

Here are some suggestions to enable you to keep on dancing:

  • Keep the main costs the main costs .e.g. rent, food, rates, insurance are some examples.
  • Eliminate unnecessary ongoing costs .e.g. credit card repayments, hire purchase or habit cost tobacco, fast food etc
  • Have an emergency fund to cope with minor cash crunches
  • Have a safety net to spread the risk if you stop work (mortgage or income protection)

Before the music stops make sure your prepared, come and see us we loved to talk with you.

September's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Saturday, September 01, 2018 in

It’s Time to Cut Thousands Off Your Mortgage Repayments!

Spring is in the air, and there’s great news on the horizon. The Reserve Bank has recently indicated that the current Official Cash Rate of 1.75% will remain unchanged until late 2020. Having had the OCR remaining at this low level since October 2016, borrowers have been enjoying lower interest rates, and many have paid more than the minimum mortgage repayment, capitalising on the RBNZ’s decision.

Interest Rates Have Changed, But Will They Drop Anymore?

In August, the RBNZ said, “The Official Cash Rate (OCR) remains at 1.75%. We expect to keep the OCR at this level through 2019 and into 2020, longer than we projected in our May Statement. The direction of our next OCR move could be up or down.”

This offers borrowers the stability in knowing that in the short term, interest rates are most probably not going to rise in the short-term, but that a future rise is not off the cards.

We’re suggesting to many of our clients that they consider taking advantage of the low one and two year fixed rates. Not only does this give them the stability of a set repayment, but also can let them slightly increase their payment above the minimum repayment amount. Doing so can save you thousands of dollars of interest payments and take years off of your mortgage.

Deciding if you should fix or float, or how long you should fix for, will depend on your personal circumstances. Having a chat with us about your borrowing needs is free. We’re more than happy to help you decide if now is a  good time to break and refix your mortgage, restructure it or simply pick the best-fixed interest period for you.

We can also offer advice on rapid mortgage reduction, helping you save thousands over the period of your loan. Give us a call on 0508 466 356 now or send a message through our website today.

What about Air BNB?

Opening up your home to Airbnb guests can be an amazing experience. But it will only be that way if you:

    • keep good accounting records
    • provide accurate information to the IRD
    • ensure you have sufficient funds on hand to pay your outgoings such as GST, rates, insurance and interest repayments on time.

Lending: Lenders treat the provision of visitor accommodation differently to a long term rental

Rates/Consents: Local councils may impose additional requirements for visitor accommodation for which you may need to register

Insurance: Standard house and/or contents insurance does not cover Airbnb-type rental. Talk with your insurer so you have appropriate and sufficient insurance

The following headline in the NZ Herald on the 27th August highlights an experience you don’t wont:

“ Airbnb Auckland Home Trashed by Aussies on Bledisloe game night”

Even though homes that are dedicated to short term leasing are capable of being insured under Personal Insurance home policy, the potential issues for owners are:

    • Methamphetamine Contamination (the benefit only applies to tenanted homes, or Owner occupied homes where owner is away)
    • Loss of Rent, Malicious Damage or Theft, or Landlord’s Furnishings (the Optional Additional benefit - Landlord’s Extension is only effective for tenanted homes)
    • Fire or explosion following malicious or deliberate acts (standard exclusion is waived only where the person renting, living, staying at the home is a tenant)

EQC may view the occupancy of the home as commercial use and potentially decline a natural disaster loss, meaning the owner will miss out on

Statutory Liability (protection from fines or penalties for unintentional breaches of most laws in New Zealand, there is no cover provided for this under our Home policies).

Talk to us today if we can assist you.

August's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 in

We’re Welcoming August with a New Vehicle Finance Product

August is a great month to be purchasing your first home, moving your loan to a new lender and buying a new vehicle!

Introducing Our New Vehicle Finance Product

Winter is not the time you want to have car troubles! Dark, cold and wet, there’s nothing worse than having an unreliable vehicle. We understand that not everyone has the ready cash to purchase a new or used vehicle, which is why we’re adding a vehicle finance product to our services range.

We can assist you with obtaining the required finance to replace your existing vehicle or purchase an additional one. For an expanding business, an expanding family or the expanding number of drivers within your family as they reach 16 years old, let us help you get the vehicle you need.

With competitive pricing for the financing of both new and used vehicles, contact us first!

HomeStart Grant News

The HomeStart grant offers KiwiSaver members who have been contributing for three years a cash grant when purchasing their first home. Administered by Housing New Zealand, to be eligible, you need to:

  • have made the minimum contributions for three years
  • be building or purchasing your first home
  • have a single income of less than $85,000 or double income of $130,000 per household
  • have at least a 10% deposit
  • be planning to live in the house for at least six months after buying it

The HomeStart grant is per dwelling, up to a maximum of $10,000 for the purchase of an existing property, or up to $20,000 for the purchase of a home which is less than six months old, or the land to build one on.

To learn more about how we can help you buy your first home, contact us for a copy of our free 1st Home Buyers Guide today!

Sick of Your Existing Lender?

Are things just not working out with your existing lender? Don’t put up with getting the run-around, poor communication or just plain bad service. We’ll give you some options around the refinancing of your current borrowing with a new lender – one who’ll appreciate you as a customer and an individual! Contact us today for a chat, and we’ll put together a plan to help you move forward.

Trauma Cover Part 2

To recap from last month article lets ask a couple of questions:

What is Trauma Cover?

Trauma Cover is designed to help alleviate the financial impact of a serious health condition, originally conceived by Dr Marius Barnard, the surgeon who performed the first human heart transplant. Barnard argued that, “as a medical doctor, he can repair a man physically, but only insurers can repair a patient’s finances.”

(Trauma cover is basically a dread disease cover, it is not a disability cover it pays out on the diagnosis of a covered condition not the prognosis).

What is its Purpose?

As stated by Dr Barnard “Trauma cover exists to repair a patients finances.”

Trauma Cover Types

  • Essential – fewer conditions with limited definitions covered
  • Comprehensive – more conditions with higher definitions, multiple claims benefit
  • Severity based – pays out when a condition reaches a level of severity
  • Major Trauma – offers a level of cover for more severe conditions

How much cover do you need?

The worst case financial scenario is the true need,  a realistic measure might be as much as you can afford.

You can balance this cover with Income or Mortgage repayment cover and insure the percentage of income not covered by these policies, times this by the years need to age 65.

This may sound like a lot but depending on your circumstances you may need a lot, consider the following:

  • How long will I potentially need cover?
  • What financial protection is realistic for me?
  • What financial reserves do I have at hand at short notice?
  • What other cover do I have?
  • What other commitments (family or business) do I have?

To find out what cover is best for you contact me on 03 662 9058.

 

Kind regards

Scott, Shane and Jo

Advanced Mortgage and Insurance Solutions

July's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 in

Brighter Days Forecast for Home Buyers


It’s official; the shortest day has passed us by and the days are getting brighter. This is also the case for the property market, with a positive future on the horizon for home buyers. With interest rates remaining low and house prices stabilising, now is the perfect time to purchase your first home or an investment property.

Understanding Reverse Mortgages

It’s natural that as we age, we want to relax and spend time doing things which make us happy. With plenty of capital gain in our properties, one way to access this extra money is through a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage can provide you with the cash you need to take that overseas holiday, help your children purchase their first home, private surgery to avoid the public waiting lists or make the necessary renovations to your home so you can remain living in it.

Also known as a home equity release loan, a reverse mortgage gives you the cash when you need with, without the worry of a regular repayment schedule. Instead, the loan is fully repaid, including interest, when you die or sell your home.

Like any mortgage, there are pros and cons to be considered. We’re happy to chat with you and should you decide to release some of your home’s equity to enjoy your retirement a little more, we can help you find the best product to meet your needs.

Who invented Trauma Insurance?

Trauma Insurance or critical illness insurance was conceived by Dr Marius Barnard, the surgeon who performed the first human heart transplant.

Dr Barnard writes that he was motivated by the financial hardship many of his critically ill patients suffered.

He started talking to South African insurance companies and convinced them to introduce a new type of insurance to cover critical illnesses.

Barnard argued that, as a medical doctor, he can repair a man physically, but only insurers can repair a patient’s finances.

Since 1983, Trauma Insurance cover has become a highly sought after insurance policy for New Zealanders of all ages.

The Risk:

You suffer a major illness, such as cancer, heart disease or a stroke, can be sudden (and traumatic) and will definitely have a huge impact on the way you live.

You will require time off work, you may need special equipment and expensive readjustment costs.

Critical questions:

If you suffered a trauma condition how would you and your family cope with the financial impact?

If you were to suffer a major health condition how would this affect your ability to work and to afford a living for your family.

How would an illness affect your ability to meet your mortgage, bills, and other fixed commitments?

Peace of mind:

Trauma Cover pays a lump sum if you suffer a condition covered by the policy.

A good trauma policy will cover over 50 major health conditions, with most claims coming from “the big three” (cancer, heart disease & stroke).

This lump sum payment will help you survive financially while you take the time you need to recover. You can choose to use the money for example to pay off your mortgage, make alterations to your house to improve access and mobility or explore alternative treatment options and expensive treatments not funded by Pharmac.

Contact the team here at Advanced Mortgage and Insurance Solutions today. We’re here to help and there’s no cost to use our services!

June's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 in

Looking to buy a house? Now’s good!



Climbing a steep mountain is like paying a high interest rate. The costs are higher, it’s harder work and it leaves you wishing you never started. Why would you even want to consider it at all?

Thankfully you don’t have to, as it’s never been a better time to buy. With the current flat property market here in Christchurch, combined with super low interest rates, owning your own home is a walk in the park nowadays. Home buyers are finding it easier to have their offers accepted by vendors due to fewer purchasers being around. With less competition, purchasers are also able to choose their dream property, rather than settling for second or third best.

We’re also hearing that buyers who have their finance pre-approved are continuing to find their offers much more appealing than those from buyers who require approval as a condition of their purchase. Having your mortgage sorted prior to making an offer is also something we can help you with.

A Home Loan Should Never Be Set and Forgotten

Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what’s going to happen and how you will be affected. It’s the same with your home loan. Interest rates fluctuate, your repayments can alter, and your balance should be decreasing rather than staying static.

Your mortgage requires regular reviewing to ensure that you are paying the smallest amount of interest while building equity in your property. After all, why pay more (or climb a higher mountain) than you have to? Get in touch and let’s book a time to review your loan.

Debt Consolidation – It’s Well Worth Your Attention

Do you have the time (or inclination) to manage multiple loans? Remembering to pay them on the due date and checking you are on the best interest rates are just two of the regular jobs you’ll need to manage. Wouldn’t things be easier if you only had one loan?

Debt consolidation helps you:

Save on fees and charges
Secure a competitive home loan
Reduce your monthly repayments
Control your finances and pay off your loans sooner
We have several ways where we can help you consolidate your debt. Contact us today and let us help make managing your finances easier.

Dying is expensive.

Death, according to Wikipedia, “refers to the permanent termination of life-sustaining processes in an organism”  for us all this is a soul searching stuff.

For families this can also be a financially searching time e.g. if you have a mortgage your death could throw your family into financial turmoil as well as leaving them to fork out to fund your funeral. And let’s not forget your death means your future earning ability has been totally removed as you leave your family without an income (if you’re the main breadwinner in the house).

Life insurance is a way to ensure your family has a lump sum to pay any debts and provide some financial cushioning in your absence.

Consider The Future

If you start a life policy when you are young you may benefit from setting you cover for the entire period of an average mortgage (30 yrs.) this is called a “level premium”, some insurers provide this option which means paying a higher premium when you’re younger, to avoid premium hikes when you’re older (some insurers limit the length of time over which this level premium can be paid like this).

Additional Benefits


Most Life companies offer funeral and financial planning benefits, with the funeral benefit being paid in most cases before the full policy is paid to meet the immediate need these vary from no payment up to $25k. The financial planning benefit can assist at a time when it may be difficult to have clear thinking after a loss of a loved one and the prospect of then dealing with funds from a life policy.

Life Cover Options

The most common type of life insurance is ‘Term Life’ and continues for as long as you want it to, cover can be level, or linked to the Consumer Price Index. Also, premiums can increase each year (Annually Renewable) or can be fixed for a term, e.g. 5 or 10 years, or Level to age 65 or 80.

Many life insurance policies will pay out the entire sum insured, or a portion, on the diagnosis of a terminal illness. This gives you money to live on, or pay for care if you are incapacitated and can’t work.

Plan Ahead


No matter what you do for a job, or where you are in life, there’s always a requirement to protect yourself and your loved ones. Life can change so unexpectedly – you have no idea when you’ll “need” insurance. That’s why it’s important to plan in advance.

Here at Advanced we can assist you with a plan and would welcome your call.

Kind regards from the team.

Scott, Shane and Jo

Advanced Mortgage and Insurance Solutions

0508 466 356

May's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Tuesday, May 01, 2018 in

We’re Predicting Housing Market Stability!

There’s no need to man the lifeboats and start paddling away from your dream of home ownership just yet. Nor do you need to be concerned with rising interest rates. In this month’s newsletter we discuss our Official Cash Rate predictions, the benefits of a well-structured home loan and using line of credit facilities.

Stability in Official Cash Rate Likely till November 2019

The Official Cash Rate set by the Reserve Bank has been at 1.75% since November 2016 and looks set to stay there until at least November 2019. The RBNZ governor signalled that while GDP was weaker than expected in the fourth quarter, industry growth was expected to continue to strengthen. They see the CPI inflation to rise upwards, with long-term expectations sitting around 2%.

Therefore, if you have a floating interest rate, there’s no immediate need to fix your mortgage. However, if you prefer certainty, chat with us about finding you a great low fixed interest rate for your loan.

Why a Good Loan Structure Wins Every Time

The way your home loan is structured can either save or cost you thousands. Fixed, partially fixed, floating or revolving, there are plenty of ways to structure your home loan. While it’s believed that a low interest rate is what’s important, we don’t believe it’s the most important consideration. After all, borrowers cannot control the interest rates and are subject to whatever the lenders offer us.

However, what you can control is the structure of your home loan. For instance, channelling your savings and income into your mortgage can save you a heap on interest. If you owe $450,000 in your mortgage account, but have your income (say $2500) paid directly into it, then you are paying interest only on the $447,500. You can also shrink your interest repayments by even slightly paying more than the minimum repayment amount each fortnight too.

Give us a call and let us so our magic with your home loan structure to save you some money!

Should You Use Line of Credit Facilities?

A line of credit home loan, also called a revolving credit mortgage, is an approved credit limit which has been set in advance. It uses a floating interest rate and the aim is for you to decrease the amount of interest you pay by having all your savings and income directly paid into that account. You can draw from that account though and that is where it can become a problem.

Line of credit facilities are great if you are disciplined and deliberately continue to lower the debt balance each month in your account. In this way you will continue to lower your interest payments, saving you money. However, what many borrowers do is see it as a bank account from which they can withdraw money up to their credit limit each time. They still end up paying interest but fail to reduce the principal and grow their property equity.

If you are unsure if a line of credit will work for you, have a chat with us. We can talk through the pros and cons in detail with you. Book a time with us now and we’ll even see if we can get a discounted rate for you too!

HAVE YOU CONSIDERED TRAUMA COVER?

Becoming temporarily disabled has the highest percentage for keeping people out of work than and other event 27%, the following is some interesting research that has been done on Trauma Cover. The research covered information in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore & Australia

Here are some interesting facts and figures:

  • The first Trauma policy was sold in South Africa in October 1983 by Crusader Life and only covered heart attack, cancer, stroke and coronary artery by-pass surgery (now up to 50 events)

  • Females purchased more Trauma policies than males, with the exception of Australia

  • Female Trauma Claims – Cancer makes up more than 80% of claims in every market, with Breast Cancer the most common type, 32% of cancers in China & 61% in Australia

  • Stroke was the second most common reason for a Trauma Claim, with China having a higher claim rate than the other areas.

  • For males, Cancer was leading cause of claim, with Prostate Cancer accounting for 37% of all cancer claims, followed by claims for a Heart Attack

 

Here are the facts about Trauma Cover:

  • Trauma Protection pays a lump sum cash payment that you choose how to use. With Trauma cover in place you won’t need to rely on government health and compensation schemes alone.

  • You can use your payment for anything you choose, such as covering costs of extra medical treatment, home help, or mortgage repayments.

  • Pays out the full Trauma Cover if the insured person requires life-support treatment for three or more days OR requires intensive care treatment for five or more days regardless of whether or not the trauma they suffer is a covered condition

  • Children get up to $50k of free trauma cover. They can also get additional paid for cover from 3 months to a max of $200k with the only exclusion being congenital defects

April's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Monday, April 02, 2018 in

 First Home Buyers Seminar

Help Has Arrived!

This April, if you’re a first home buyer, luck is in your favour! On Wednesday 4th April 2018, we’re holding a first home buyers seminar in conjunction with several other leading players in the industry. In our 75-minute presentation, you will learn about the:

o             Legal matters of buying a home

o             Sale and purchase agreements

o             Ownership structures

o             Relationship Property agreements

o             KiwiSaver and Homestart applications

o             The Kannangara Thomson point of difference

o             Lending matters of buying a home

o             Welcome Home Loan

o             Deposits options

o             New build deposit information

o             Why use a mortgage broker - what banks look for in an application

o             Buying matters

o             Making a offer

o             Type of sale

o             Vendors perspective

o             Agents jargon

o             Building matters

o             Building process

o             Choosing the right team for your build project

At our April first home buyers seminar, you will hear from these industry experts:

o             Brent Selwyn from Kannangara Thomson – Legal matters

o             Emma van der Kley from Kannangara Thomson – Legal matters

o             Wathsala Ponnamperuma from Kannangara Thomson – Legal matters

o             Scott Miller of Advantage Mortgage Solutions – Lending matters

o             Matt Ingold – Real Estate

o             Nic Davis – Real Estate

o             Miranda Knapton of Blue Summit Construction – Building matters

To secure your spot, please book at the Eventbrite website. If you have any questions, please email Scott at scott@amsnz.co.nz today. Be quick – only 50 spots are available. We are meeting at Hilton’s Winery – 750A Wairakei Road, Christchurch from 6pm-7:30pm.

Now More Than Ever You Need a Mortgage Broker! 

It’s now more important than ever to use a mortgage broker to help you secure your dream property. In our busy lives, time is a commodity most of us could do with more of! Your mortgage broker will do the hard work for you, contacting lenders on your behalf to obtain the best loan for you. Knowing this means you can concentrate on finding your dream home, not the mortgage for it.

A mortgage broker also can help you with obtaining pre-approved finance. In today’s property market, homes are selling quickly, and you need to act fast. Knowing how much you can borrow lets you make an offer with confidence to a seller, showing you are serious and increasing the likelihood of your offer being accepted.

6 Reasons to Review Your Insurance

1. Your Income Changed

Whether you got a new job or you lost one, it’s a perfect opportunity to do a review of your life insurance.

You may be missing out on substantial benefits so review your cover when your income changes.

2. Your Health Changed

This is an important one! Let’s say you’ve been working out and eating healthy and as a result your blood pressure went down – congratulations, this may also affect your life insurance rates!

Companies generally will reward you if you are in great health by offering you discounted premiums. You may want to call your insurance company and ask what kind of rates you’d get for a preferred health discount.

The discounts in many cases can be very substantial!

So, review your life insurance when your health changes – it’s a good idea!

3. You Lost Weight

This is related to health, but different enough to make a distinction. Let’s say you’ve been playin’ Wii Fit for the last five months and you joined the Biggest Loser fan club – as a result you’ve lost some weight!

Guess what, you may now qualify for preferred discounts!

You should get a new life insurance quote or give your company or a call to find out what kind of discounts are offered for their preferred rates.

4. Your Family Status Changed

If you are expecting a child, you will soon begin to feel enormous pressure to provide for your little tyke. If you already have kids you know what I’m talking about.

It’s extremely important to sit down and ask tough questions like, “What happens if I die and my wife is left with the kids?” You may also ask, “Who will provide for my kids if I pass away?”

5. Your Housing Status Changed

Maybe you just paid off your mortgage and you don’t feel like you need that much life insurance anymore.

Or, perhaps you just bought your first home and now you gave a liability that would need to be paid upon your passing.

Review your life insurance when your housing status changes – you may need more or less life insurance, but at the very least ask good questions about your needs.

6. Your Marital Status Changed

Congratulations! You just got married – now review your life insurance! You now have a spouse, someone who may be dependent on you – it’s important to review how much life insurance you need.

On the flip side, unfortunately people get divorced very often these days and so your life insurance needs may change as a result also. Maybe you don’t need that much coverage anymore.

Contact us today for a chat about how we can help you secure the property of your dreams – and remember to book your spot at our April first home buyers seminar too!

March's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Thursday, March 01, 2018 in

Things are looking up for Christchurch real estate buyers

As we welcome the change in season this March, Christchurch home buyers have a lot to look forward to. Not only do we have plenty of stock available to pick from, but interest rates are stable too. These two factors make today a great time to buy a new home.

Christchurch’s Housing Market & Interest Rates

A quick check online of popular property sale websites shows that at the moment there are plenty of options for home buyers and investors to choose from. While sales to investors have been decreasing, possibly due to the Loan to Value Ratio restrictions, more first home buyers are quickly snapping up properties. In terms of house prices, homes in the city did not rise as fast as in the commuter belt. This could be due to the new facilities being built out in the suburbs or the more attractive property options available there.

Interest rates have also remained steady, letting borrowers have clear certainty as to what their repayments will be. If this is important to you, come in and have a chat with us. We’ll work with you to identify the amount you can comfortably borrow and repay on your mortgage. Now is the time to take advantage of the low interest rates and secure yourself your dream property.

Why is a Pre-approval Vital for All Buyers?

A mortgage pre-approval is an offer in writing which tells you the sum the lender will let you borrow. It’s usually given on a conditional basis and helps you understand what your maximum offer for a property can be.

It’s important to have a mortgage pre-approval document because:

  • You know where you stand financially
  • You can show sellers you are serious about your offer
  • You save time by not needing to apply for a mortgage after making an offer

Even though you may have pre-approval for a mortgage, you still must ALWAYS include a finance clause into any offer you make. This is because a preapproval approves you as the applicant (up to a certain level) but at the preapproval stage does not know anything about the property you eventually have your offer accepted on. The lender will always want the opportunity to approve the property as an acceptable security.

If you’re in the market for a home loan, let’s chat. Learn more about the five ways we make it easier for you to get the best mortgage and give us a call on 0508 466 356 today.

“Isn’t it amazing how quickly things change?”

Our family grows larger over the years, and the size of our home usually changes with it. It seems we’re always renovating, moving, upsizing or downscaling to meet our needs. We buy new things, replace old with new, or sometimes add those well-deserved little luxuries along the way.

It can be easy to forget one of the most important things to consider as our lives, property and possessions continue to change.

Your insurance coverage should change and grow with you whenever these life events happen. Whether you’ve upgraded your computer, bought a new camera or changed neighbourhoods, it may be time to review current policies. If you have ever increased your borrowing or restructured your mortgage facilities then we can sit down and review your policies today.

Let us help you make those insurance decisions with a complimentary review. We will promise to make it as easy and convenient as possible. Call us today to make an appointment at It could be one of the best moves you’ll make this year!

For personalised insurance advice contact Shane Blummont on 03 662 9058 or 021 34 36 55

Kind regards from the Advanced Mortgage and Insurance Solutions team,

Scott, Shane, and Jo.

February's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Thursday, February 01, 2018 in

Getting Off on the Right Foot This February

If January has been any indication, it looks likely the February and 2018 is going to bring good news for home buyers! With residential sales in Christchurch going well and with the average house growth price the lowest in recent years, first home buyers and investors are reaping the rewards. But there is more good news on the horizon and we’ve compiled it all here for you.

2018 is Looking Good So Far

 From January 2018, loan to value ratio restrictions have been eased. This has resulted in a move upwards from 10% to 15% of a lender’s new mortgage lending can be given to owner occupiers where their LTV is more than 80%. This means you may now be able to get that home with a less than 20% deposit. Check out our guide on getting a mortgage with a low deposit for more information.

First home buyers now have more housing stock to choose from when purchasing their home. With the average house in Christchurch having risen only 1% in value over the last year, they are no longer facing the enormous burden of saving for an ever-increasing deposit while paying rent. This has also seen some property investors selling stock in some areas to purchase where there is more growth. As a result, there is significant stock on the market, meaning less competition with other purchasers to raise prices in bidding wars.

Buying a house - what insurance do I need?

Recently I picked up my daughter from a shift as a checkout chick at the supermarket (I don’t recall why I was the taxi driver!). Anyway, to my surprize she greeted me with a beaming smile and exclaimed “how wonderful it is to be back at work”.

The statement “how wonderful to be at work” grabbed my attention as I considered that’s not something you here people saying, however it is what all working people should be thinking.  Being able to work and generate income is our greatest asset, without it the ability to get by can be severely challenged. (In the previous 2 months my daughter was diagnosed with glandular fever, therefore was not able to work at all.)

No matter what you do for a job, where you are in life, there’s always a requirement to protect yourself and your loved ones. Life can change so unexpectedly – you have no idea when you’ll “need” insurance. This is why it’s important to do some advanced planning.

In New Zealand we are privileged to have ACC, however it only applies to accidental injuries. ACC will cover up to 80% of your “taxable income” but ACC does not pay anything if you become ill and cannot work or die from disease. Degenerative conditions that haven’t been caused by your work are also not covered. There are other government benefits, but these are not related to what you earn, e.g. a Sickness Benefit of $229.01 per week if you are single, or $381.68 for couples; ACC and the Sickness Benefit are taxable.

When you think of the time, effort and money involved in buying a house, it makes sense to protect the source of income that will sustain it.

For most, our homes will be one of the bigger financial commitments we undertake, you need to ensure that it’s protected from the unexpected. This protection can be achieved by having suitable insurance in place that will assist and provide you with a level of comfort when the unexpected happens.

Cover your income - ensure that in the event you become disabled or sick and cannot work or earn an income for a period of time, you can continue with mortgage repayments and the associated costs of owning a house.

Protect the people who live in the house. Life insurance should allow the family unit to stay in the house if anything were to happen to you.

Insure your home and know what your policy insures you for, more importantly, what it doesn't. This insurance will allow you to repair or rebuild your home if anything happens.

Decide on the type and term of your mortgage so you can factor in the costs of insurance from the beginning.

Protecting Your Family & Assets in 2018

If the worst happens, are you prepared? Having house, contents, car and mortgage protection insurance ensures your assets can be replaced if destroyed, lost or damaged. Our team of insurance specialists are here to help, and we welcome the opportunity to check over your current insurance and advise you on how you can best protect the things you value the most.


January's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Wednesday, January 03, 2018 in

Will 2018 be a year of change?


Happy New Year! We’re looking forward to helping our clients achieve their property goals this year, including you! 2018 is set to be a year of change, with the implementation of new policies which will affect the property market.

Reserve Bank to Ease LVR Restrictions

From 1 January 2018, the Reserve Bank is easing up on the loan to value ratio restrictions. Banks will be able to lend up to 15% of new mortgage lending to owner occupiers who have less than a 20% deposit. In addition, 5% of a bank’s new mortgage lending can be to residential property investors who have a 35% or less deposit.

If you’re a first home buyer or investor who’d like to take advantage of the easing of LVR restrictions, give us a call today on 0508 466 356.

Changes to the Responsible Lending Code

Amendments to the Responsible Lending Code came into play in June 2017. Lenders are required to follow the Act and must:

  • Be satisfied the borrower can pay the loan without hardship and the loan meets their needs
  • Be accurate in their advertising and contracts to not be misleading
  • Act reasonable and ethically in all dealings
  • Not to use oppression
  • Meet all other legal obligations to their borrowers

You can find out more detail about these amendments by heading to the Ministry of Business and Innovation’s website.

Have You Made the Correct Tax Declarations?

If you are receiving income from or living overseas, it’s important you have made the correct tax declarations. You need to let the IRD know what your tax residency is because NZ residents are required to pay tax on their worldwide income. You can learn about this on the  IRD website and avoid any nasty tax surprises.

Will a Capital Gains Tax Happen?

The Labour Party campaigned on introducing a Capital Gains Tax, but have since said that no new taxes will be introduced until 2020. In the meantime, the Government has established a Working Tax Group to assess the implementation of such a tax.

This will not affect residential owner occupier properties, but rather investment property owners. According to the Labour Party website, the Working Group will “focus on measures that will address the imbalance in taxation on gains from speculation in property and income from other sources.” (Labour Party Website).

We’d be more than happy to discuss the implements such a tax may have on you. Fill in our Contact

Is Ring Fencing on the Way In?

The Labour Government has signalled an end to negative gearing of rental properties. This means investors will no longer be able to offset losses from one property onto other income. Instead investors will have to ring fence losses to individual properties, which is set to hit investors who own multiple properties the hardest. It is estimated this will lose investors around 20% of their loss tax deductibility each year.

Once again, from all of us at Advanced Mortgage Solutions, Happy New Year! We look forward to working with you throughout the year.


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