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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.

September's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 in

A Big Drop, But Is There More to Come?

When the expected 25 basis point drop of the Official Cash Rate was replaced by a 50 point drop, there were plenty of surprised New Zealanders. The unexpectedly large drop was explained by the Reserve Bank as necessary to meet its inflation and employment objectives. Financial experts are predicting that there will be more drops to come in the short-term, but most likely smaller in basis points. 

The question then becomes, is now a good time to fix or float? Get in touch, and let’s chat about your specific circumstances for the right answer.

Springtime is Ideal for House Hunting

As the weather is warmer, the days are getting longer and (hopefully) there is less rain, September is a great month for house hunting. You can expect more homeowners to list their properties, knowing that they’ll look more appealing in the sunshine. Agents are able to offer better viewing hours, giving buyers more opportunity to view homes, which in turn encourages more people to start looking. 

Chances are that if you’re looking for a property, the springtime weather combined with the appearance of more homes on the market means it’s time for you to start house hunting too. But before you start, chat with us about organising mortgage pre-approval to give you an advantage over other purchasers.

Spotlight on Jo Henderson – Our Office Manager

Having joined the team at Advanced Mortgage Solutions in 2016, Jo quickly settled into her role as Office Manager. With a strong background in the banking sector, Jo will easily help guide you through the mortgage application process, while keeping you updated with its progress.

Outside of work, Jo has a passion for travel, is happily married and has been blessed with two adult sons and two adorable grandchildren. Working alongside Scott and the team, Jo is available to chat with all clients and looks forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Insurance Matters........

What is risk?

We’ve all coined the phrase “that’s a risky business” but what do we mean when we say this?

The Oxford dictionary definition of risk is that it is the exposure (someone or something valued) to danger, harm, or loss.

In our lives is there any situation where we really want to be exposed to something that could harm us?

When it comes to financial risk there are a number of differing views with not everyone having the same thinking about financial risk.

For example after arranging mortgage finance we recommend protecting this with a policy that can help cover mortgage payments from the risk of being unable to work from a disability. i.e. the risk that we do not have the funds available to meet the costs associated when an event occurs.

Sometimes I hear the following in response to this advice:

  • “We’ll be right, we’ll just lean on our parents for a while”

  • “We are both healthy we don’t need this at this stage, we’ll look at it later on”

  • “If the worst happened (meaning death) we’ll just sell the house”

At the other end of the spectrum there are a number of people wanting to protect themselves against all risks.

What is your personal risk tolerance?

High (can accept risk and self-insure for a lot of my needs)

Medium  (can take some risk but have an insurance fall back for some areas)

Low (will have cover for most of my risks, want to protect the unforeseen)

What we believe or the value system we were brought up may determine the level of importance you place on your needs or risk. For example, the provision of being able to meet financial needs throughout life and having a retirement fund may be an absolute ‘must have’ for some people, but not so much for others.

If you want to avoid “risky business” talk to us and see where you can protect what matters to you.

August's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 in

Be Prepared for an OCR Drop

Word on the street, or rather the predictions from several prominent economists, is that we are likely to see an upcoming OCR drop. The Official Cash Rate is forecasted to drop by .25% on the 7th of August. This means that another round of interest rate cuts is likely, along with the possibility of a further drop of the OCR to 1%.

The OCR drop makes it more appealing than ever to purchase or build your new home. Builds are our speciality and we’d be thrilled to help you obtain a turn-key or construction loan. With 14 years of experience and hundreds of building options, we’re Christchurch’s (and the rest of New Zealand’s) expert build financing team. Get in touch with us to learn more.

New Business on the Horizon Or Need Cash for an Existing Business?

If you’re considering starting up or purchasing a business, we can help with a business loan. While there are business grants available, the criteria are long and the competition plenty. Obtaining a business loan is often the easiest and fastest way to kickstart a new business.

We can help you obtain a business loan for the initial and ongoing costs of running a business, including:

Cashflow – income is often varied for most small businesses, and cash flow can be tight some months. A business loan will give you the cash on hand to pay your suppliers immediately and maintain good working relationships with them. It can also help you with hiring extra staff during busy periods or maintaining the day-to-day costs of running a business.

Stock purchasing – when you purchase stock in bulk, you are often able to obtain a better discount. This could be passed onto your customers or added to your profits. A business loan gives you the ability to purchase materials upfront for a big project, or to take advantage of seasonal deals.

Expansion costs – as technology changes, the machinery your business relies upon becomes outdated or not as cost-effective as in the past to operate. A business loan lets you purchase new or renovate existing machinery and technology to help your business grow. It could also be used to pay for an extensive marketing campaign, useful to get a new business off the ground.

 Best of all, we can offer a 24-hour turn around on new business loans too!

Insurance Matters……….

You have to take Risks to live but also you have to minimize risks to live.

Achieving the goal of home ownership requires some effort, for most ownership starts with a mortgage.

To achieve this there are a few boxes to tick, some of these are as follows:

  • passing a credit check,
  • have ongoing income to meet affordability,
  • have enough funds on hand for a deposit (this may be made up of a home start grant coupled with a Kiwi saver contribution)
  • Find a property that comes within your loan limit

Will job loss ruin house purchase?

So you tick all the boxes and you are now unconditional on a property with a settlement date looming when your employer announces a restructure and you could be out of work.

This is a curve ball no one wants when there is the possibility of losing the home, a contract deposit or both of these. If you have nice vendors that are willing to delay settlement without charging penalty interest then you are in luck! But usually if settlement is delayed without mutual agreement, then penalty interest would be charged at the rate agreed on the contract.

If you are unable to complete the purchase entirely, then you can be sued by the vendor for specific performance or lose your deposit (not more than 10%) and can be sued by the vendor for damages claimable at common law or in equity and shall also include any loss incurred by the vendor.

Is there anything you can do to protect yourself?

Yes, Redundancy options are available via mortgage repayment policy,  Mortgage Repayment Cover pays can pay up to forty five percentage of your salary or your full mortgage payments to ensure your loan repayments are covered in the event of being made redundant.

Getting finances sorted for a property purchase isn't easy but once you achieve this it pays to protect them so talk to us to understand what is achievable for you.

 

July's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Monday, July 15, 2019 in

Low-Interest Rates & Low Deposits: What Else Could You Ask For?

The weather is getting colder, but the interest rate wars are heating up! For the first time in many years, low-interest rates are tempting borrowers with a range of fixed-term options. We’ve got access to lenders who are offering interest rates of less than 4% for their 1, 2 and 3-year fixed term loans. It just doesn’t get any better than this, and we’d love you to take advantage of these rates.

By taking advantage of these super low fixed-term rates, you could find yourself:

  • Paying less interest overall, if you make more than minimum repayments
  • Quickly increasing the equity in your property
  • Keeping your repayments low, if you make minimum repayments
  • Being able to consolidate other debt into your home loan to save on interest costs

Whether you’re looking at a new loan or refinancing an existing loan, we can help. Get in touch and let’s make a time to chat over coffee.

Buying a Rental with 20% Deposit? Yes, It Is Possible!

Only have a 20% deposit, but want to purchase a rental property? If you visit a bank, they’ll most likely turn you down. That’s because they need you to have a 30% deposit. Often, that’s just not achievable for many borrowers, due to rising house prices and tied up equity. So, what can you do?

Simple: come see us. We have access to a new funding line only available to NZFSG mortgage brokers. We have access to a range of lenders who are happy to work with you and your 20% deposit. Whether it’s your first rental or your tenth, we promise to help you obtain the right loan and at the best rate possible. Give us a call today and find out just how easy and affordable it is to purchase your rental property!

Let’s Welcome Greg Miller: Our Newest Mortgage Adviser

We’re thrilled to announce the arrival of Greg Miller to the Advanced Mortgage & Insurance Solutions! Greg is joining our busy team as a mortgage adviser and can help you with obtaining new loans or refinancing existing loans for both residential and investment properties.

Greg spent 10 years living in the UK, he enjoyed the hustle and bustle of Europe and travel abroad however, it was the open uncrowded spaces of NZ that he missed and returned home and started a Family.

Having owned many businesses over the last 25 years, including in Property Management and Maintenance, where client satisfaction in paramount, Greg brings a wealth of experience which puts him well placed to move seamlessly into the Mortgage Advising role.

In 2016 Greg completed his New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services, achieved accreditation with all the major Banks and became a Registered Financial Adviser.

Helping people realise their goals and knowing you have made a difference is what Greg loves about becoming a Mortgage Adviser.

Greg has recently joined Advanced Mortgage Solutions as the second Mortgage Adviser alongside Scott, he finds it as a great opportunity to join a fantastic experienced team which just loves to help people who are seeking advice on Mortgages and Insurance.

Interests include, cycling, running, motorsport and spending time with family and friends.

Insurance Matters……..

Thrill seekers carry own risk

A high percentage of Kiwi’s are thrill seekers, we’ll give most things a go and not take into account the risk if it all goes wrong.

With my insurance hat on I like to quote Tim Grafton from the NZ insurance Council with some thoughtful insights on insurance.

"The challenge we face with insurance is that it is unique among consumer products. It's something you pay for but hope never to have to use, unlike a car or an internet connection. It works because the majority of people pay for the misfortunes of the few, and each of those misfortunes comes with highly personalised circumstances. That's the conundrum insurers face: most people seldom claim."

There has been a number of articles in the media this month on insurance, these have raised a number of points, here are some of the headlines:

“Is it worth it? Travel insurance claim ends in $33 payout”

Here the value of insurance is questioned when the benefit paid seems insignificant .i.e. is the cost of insurance worth what I get out?

“Insurers: Consumer NZ should give us a fair go”

Here NZ insurers pushed back at recent Consumer NZ report claiming 13 percent had confidence in the industry and only 8 per cent offered fair terms.

In response to the Consumer report Tim Grafton focused on the positive outcomes of claims stating “that more than 90 per cent of claims were paid and most that were not were withdrawn because they were for less than the policy excess or outside the scope of the policy, or because people did not want to lose a no-claims bonus.”

An Element of Risk

There is a risk in living and this usually has a financial impact if your ability to earn is affected. 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. Did you realise this?

The ability to earn a living is far and away your largest asset to maintain your present lifestyle.  Life can change so unexpectedly – you have no idea when you’ll “need” insurance.

That’s why it’s important to plan in advance.

To find out more call us today on 03 6629058.

June's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 in

OCR Drop Results in Lower Rates

We are happy that we called the Official Cash Rate reduction correctly: the OCR has lowered again from 1.75 to 1.5%, which is a record low for New Zealand. This drop led to many lenders reducing their interest rates, which is a win for borrowers. With interest rates likely to remain low until late next year it could be a good time to increase your loan’s minimum repayments. We’re more than happy to discuss this and other options with you, so give us a call.

Less Than 20% Deposit? No Worries

Good news: if you have less than a 20% deposit, you can still own a home. There are currently plenty of low equity loan options available from the lenders we work with. This is great news for first home buyers who are seeking a foothold into the market. We can also help you navigate the process of using your KiwiSaver balance as all or a part of your deposit too. We’ve put together a handy guide which explains this, plus the HomeStart Grant and Welcome Home Loan. You can also book a time to come and see us for a chat, where we can discuss the best option for you and your family.

Planning on Building? Get Started on the Right Foot

The way lenders approach the building process has changed and the days of on-site progress inspections have long gone. Nowadays, there are two main options: construction loans and land and build packages (also known as turn-key builds).

Construction loans are the more traditional of the two but has a more complex application process. The information required by the lender considerably greater, such as a fixed price contract, council approval and consent, a registered valuation and your builder proving they have Builder’s Risk Insurance in place. 

 Land and build packages are less complicated as the builder organises most of the building process. Applying for a loan is simpler, and a registered valuation is still required. Check out our handy guide Loans for Turnkey Homes or Construction Loans – Which is Best? For further information, and then book a time to come and see us.

Insurance in New Zealand is changing

This headline appeared in the local paper last month, the focus was on the rapid change in the way home insurance is being offered. Highlighted was the pricing model for house insurance called “risk-based pricing” which has seen premiums on house insurance increase in some suburbs by four hundred percent.

"Risk-based pricing means if you buy a home that is considered a risk (usually by its region and then suburb) there is no longer a rite of passage to get insurance cover for the property. And if you do get cover you may be paying a substantial percentage higher than for a similar property across the other side of town.

We do the Homework for You

When you arrange a mortgage through us, we can assist you with what to look out for when you are considering a property, e.g. knowing what the technical categories mean, lining up the paper work from earthquake claims (and confirming repair work is complete) and if local flood zones will affect the property.

But there is more than just the property insurance that you need to consider when getting a mortgage.

Your Greatest Asset A Low Priority

This heading may seem like an oxymoron i.e. something is great but at the same time is a low priority, here we are referring to the greatest risk which is you and your ability to meet all your financial commitments. When you consider the value of your life and the ability to pay your way compared to the value of property would you be prepared to take the risk and not protect it?

Unlike property insurance where claims events have heavily affected the current market, cover for life, income and mortgage are still a rite of passage.

If we can assist you in this important area please let us know.

May's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 in

Will May Bring Us Any OCR Movement?

In March, Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr implied that any future movement in the OCR is likely to be downwards. With domestic growth slowing and a weaker global economic outlook, economists are therefore predicting:

  • There is a 50/50 chance of the OCR dropping .25% on May 8th 2019
  • A further drop to 1.25% is possible in August or November

Economists noted that the RNBZ Governor did not refer to his past statements of keeping the OCR stable until the end of the year and into 2020.

While in the past, many drops in the OCR have led to a reduction of interest rates; this may not be the case this time. The capital requirements held by the lenders are rising, making it highly unlikely that full savings will be passed onto mortgage holders.

It’s not all bad news though. Interest rates are still at record lows, and we can help you access them. Get in touch with our team today and let’s work together to get you the best rates.

Tips on Buying a Home During the Colder Months

Should you be looking for a home during Autumn or Winter? We say yes! While the warmer months have the advantage of longer days and balmy weather, now is an ideal time for house hunting.

Traditionally there are fewer homes on the market during the cooler months. On the plus side, there are usually fewer people searching for homes, which means less competition. Eager sellers are ready to sell now, and this puts you in a great place to negotiate the price.

There are some challenges though, and these are often weather-related. You may be reluctant to view the exterior of a home in poor weather. Crawling in the ceiling space or under the floor won’t be high on your priority list. You may also be unable to view a property during daylight hours, seeing it only after dusk. These challenges have the potential to cause trouble down the road for you if you purchase a home without seeing fully what you’re buying. As well as making time to visit the property during the day, we also recommend you contact a property inspection professional who can perform the necessary inspections on your behalf.

 For personal advice and support when purchasing a property, you can rely on us. Give us a call today.

MEET THE THREE TYPES OF INSURANCE BUYERS

In our digital world, people are increasingly comfortable purchasing almost everything online. However, before you press ‘buy’ on a complex product such as life insurance, we recommend you get advice from a registered financial advisor like us 😊. When it comes to how people approach buying life insurance, research conducted by Australian Securities and Investment Commission identified three types of insurance buyers:

Methodical Buyers

Methodical buyers research insurance on the internet to learn about different policy types and brands. They use comparison sites and sometimes insurance providers’ sites, make one or two phone calls to providers, focus on one brand and think about their needs before buying. They like being able to ask specific questions and appreciate a call back — but don’t like repeated calls,  they’re also conscious of the fact that policies are different, and they fear that there is going to be some little trap that they miss.

Pragmatic Buyers

Pragmatic buyers want to ‘get it over with’. They take a brief ‘look and see’, sometimes using the internet, decide how much they can afford to spend and then approach a provider. They are more likely to change their mind about their policy choice during the sale process. 

A typical comment came from a buyer who chose the cheapest policy: ‘It’s better than nothing. It will be enough.’ 

Emotional Buyers

Emotional buyers are often influenced by emotional appeals during the sales process. They are often anxious that they are not doing enough for their family. They want to ‘leave something for the kids’, enjoy interacting with a salesperson and feel an obligation to them — they ‘can’t say no’. They often spend a long time in the sales call and buy in a single call. 

What Type Of Buyer Are You?

Whether your are methodical, pragmatic or emotional it doesn’t really matter as long as you’ve taken steps to protect your financial future.

Talk to us today we’d value giving you face to face advice.

April's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Monday, April 01, 2019 in

Bank Wars, Slow Lending Assessments & Looming Rental Shortages

There’s a bank war heating up, and it’s looking good for home buyers! The major banks have one by one been dropping their fixed one and two-year rates to a record low of 3.99%.

If you haven’t yet taken advantage of these extremely low rates, call us now. We can make obtaining the home of your dreams easy by talking with the banks on your behalf and get you the best deal possible.

These rates are also available for those looking to re-fix their existing loans that are about to rollover.

Slow Lending Assessments Stall Home Buyers

Due to the high levels of applications the lenders are receiving the banks turn-around times are a little stretched at the moment. This means it is taking 4-5 days to have our applications accessed.

Having a preapproval completed before purchasing can simplify the process and reduce waiting times due to having an approval in the system. There is no need to wait for the full assessment process, and you are likely to hear back quickly on the outcome of finding a property.

If you don’t have mortgage pre-approval, acting quickly to secure a loan when you’ve had an offer accepted is critical. We can help with this: book a time to meet up now.

Looming Rental Shortages in Christchurch

If low interest rates haven’t tempted you to purchase your first home, perhaps higher rents will. As residential rental property shortages appear, Christchurch tenants will see rents beginning to rise. Why pay more rent to your landlord when you could be using it to pay off your home loan instead?

If you are looking at purchasing an investment property, now is the right time for you too. Low interest rates coupled with rising rents are a landlord’s dream. We can help you gain a foothold into the rental market to allow you to reap the rewards of becoming a property investor.

It Really Pays To Count The Cost.

Committing to a mortgage is for most the biggest financial commit that is made during a life time, so it really does pay to count the cost so you can reduce the risk of financial hardship.

What should I count?

Suggest you start with the basics the day to day cost of living, if your under financial stress when life does go out of shape if you can pay the bills that’s a help.

Ask the following:

  • What is the risk I would be insuring against? This could be death, a fire at home, or the car getting stolen. Or getting sick and not being able to work.
  • What are the chances of it occurring? There’s probably a small risk of a fire in your home, but it will cost a lot if it happens. The chance of your car being damaged or stolen is much higher, but the costs probably won’t be as high as losing your home.
  • What would happen? Would your family be able to pay for funeral and legal expenses in the event of your death, and how would they manage without your income? If there was a fire in your home, would you be able to replace the house (if you own it, that is) and all your possessions, or would you lose them completely?
  • How much would it cost? Would you have enough money saved to cover the cost and would you want to use your savings for this? (Would you be forced to dip into your retirement savings?)

If you can’t afford for something to happen, you should seriously consider taking out insurance.

Statistics:

Income/Mortgage Cover

-      The average household expenditure is around $1,300 per week

-      In 2018, the Jobseeker Support Benefit was $215 per week for a single person aged 25 + or $358 for a couple

-      24% of the general population in NZ have a disability

-      In 2017 the average weekly household mortgage repayment expenditure is $436 per week

Disability Cover

-      During the June 2018 quarter, there were 92,642 people aged between 18-64 in receipt of Support Living Payment.

-      There are an estimated 60,000 stroke survivors in NZ; many are disabled and in need of significant daily support.

We have seen the benefit for Advanced customers who have the above policies and have needed to claim.

The financial options it gives them during a time that is difficult is a positive helping with recovery and protecting the home and loan.

Give us a call on 0508 466 356 and let’s meet up for coffee to discuss buying your dream home.

March's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 in

And the winner is……….

Were Celebrating Our Latest Award!

We are thrilled to announce that at the New Zealand Financial Services Awards, we picked up 3rd place in the Overall Business of the Year Award for the Southern Region. Its wonderful to receive external recognition of the talented team we have. A huge thank you is also needed for all the support we have received, which has made it possible for us to receive such a high accolade from the New Zealand Financial Services Group.

To work with our award winning team, give us a call on 0505 466 356 or send us a message via our contact page.

The Royal Commission

With the recent Hayne Royal Commission report on Australias banking sector calling for an overhaul, its likely well see changes occurring rapidly at our neighbours over the ditch. However, business remains as usual here in New Zealand. As for whether changes will occur locally, time will tell, but should there be any, you can be assured we will fully support them.

One of the recommendations calls for changes to the commissions received for insurance products, including declarations. Our company has always declared the income we receive from commissions, even though we are not required to by law. We will continue to provide full disclosure in regards of what we do and receive. If youd like to learn more, get in touch with us to arrange a time for a chat over a cuppa.

Understanding Industry Jargon When Buying a Home

When you begin looking for your first home, you are thrown into a world with a completely new vocabulary. Youll hear agents talk about exclusive authority, lawyers discussing caveats, and financial providers discussing market value. We pride ourselves on ensuring our customers understand exactly what we say but know that others may not. So, weve created a great list of industry related jargon which explains the most common terms you will come across when purchasing your home. Check out our Jargon Buster on our website today.

Advice or No Advice (Is this the question?)

Recently the government made a surprise announcement from the release of a report from the Financial Market Authority and Reserve Bank that they would be further regulating the industry. This could have the flow on effect that reduces the quality of advisers in the industry.

The noise lasted for approx. 3 days before the dust settled from the actual and implied criticism.

The life insurance sales process is complex, and the New Zealand market has its own, unique idiosyncrasies such as ACC and other government entitlements. Adding to this New Zealand has a significant problem with under insurance which, coupled with relatively low financial literacy, makes it all the more important that sound advice is given when taking up a mortgage.

We are encouraged that our regulators have expressed a desire not to worsen the under insurance gap which exists in New Zealand, something that we certainly agree with.

We are committed to being part of a robust advice industry which is independent of any one product provider and can therefore offer consumers not only individualised personal advice, but also product choice.

If you havent talked to us already feel free to give us a call today.

February's Property Gazette

Published by Scott Miller on Monday, January 28, 2019 in

How Are You Placed for 2019?

How are you placed for 2019? Is this the year you will purchase your first home? Or will you use your home’s equity to enter the rental property market? Or will this be the year you can refinance your mortgage to achieve a lower interest rate?

2019 by all accounts is looking positive for first home buyers thanks to the easing of the loan to value ratios by the Reserve Bank in January. Lenders are now able to have up to 20% of all new mortgage loans to owner-occupiers with deposits of less than 20%, up from 15%. Lenders can also give up to 5% of new mortgage loans to a property investor who has less than a 30% deposit too.

If there are any signs of the RBNZ easing further, you can be sure we’ll let you know as soon as possible, so make certain you check our blog for the latest information.

What’s Going to Happen with Interest Rates This Year?

Both new borrowers and those looking to refinance their mortgage are in luck, with interest rates set to remain at record low levels until the beginning of 2021. Some lenders are predicting that the OCR will drop further to one per cent, with others saying it will remain at 1.75% until 2021.

While we don’t have a crystal ball, the confirmation from the RBNZ governor that they expect to keep the OCR at this level into 2020 as a sign of low-interest rates remaining.

Do You Have Mortgage Protection or Income Protection Insurance?

Having a mortgage requires you to make regular repayments to remain in ownership of your property. Failure to do so can result in a mortgagee sale and affect your ability to borrow in the future.

If you were unable to make mortgage payments due to illness, disability, redundancy or any other change of circumstances, what would you do?

Having mortgage protection insurance covers your repayments if you are unable to meet them. Each month an agreed lump sum will be paid to you, allowing you the opportunity to remain in your home.

Income protection insurance also pays you an agreed monthly lump sum, from which you can pay your mortgage and other associated living costs.

We recommend talking with our insurance advisor Shane Blummont about your specific circumstances, and he’ll be happy to give you a no-obligation free quote for the most suitable insurance product for you.

As always, our team is here to help. Please contact us directly for advice on both mortgage and insurance products today.

December's Property Gazette

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

We’re Wrapping Up 2018 – Almost!


It’s that time of the year again! The team at Advanced Mortgage & Insurance Solutions would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a fruitful 2019! We’re thrilled we were able to make obtaining or re-fixing loans for our clients a breeze during the year. Instead of taking our word for it, check out the fabulous feedback we’ve received!

With life in general becoming busier, it’s great to take time to spend and relax with friends and family over the holiday period. We hope that you too will be able to take a break and recover for what is looking like a fabulous year to come in 2019!

Our office will be closed from end of business on the 21st December, and will reopen on the 21st January. We will have a skeleton staff available throughout that time if required though. You can still get in touch with us during the holidays through our website, or call us on 0508 466 356.

Record Low Interest Rates Make a Great Gift!


Our office is humming, and we expect it to remain so right up until the 21st December! Record low interest rates have certainly encouraged both first home buyers and investors to take a more active approach in the market. Many existing home owners are also taking the opportunity to increase their mortgage to complete well overdue renovations, or to even upgrade to a larger property due to a growing family.

With plenty of great cashbacks being offered by lenders, plus the low fixed rates on offer, now is the perfect time to come and see us! We’ll do the legwork to find you the perfect loan which suits your needs. It’s even possible for us to apply for discounted interest rates on your existing loan too, so don’t fret if you’re locked into a fixed term at the moment.

 

Insurance advice for the festive season


12 Tips for Staying Safe Leading Up To Christmas


12 Cooking

Keep an eye on what you fry – a pan of oil, even on the BBQ, can ignite in under a minute. Also remember to keep your bbq away from the house, hedges or anything flammable - it would pay to keep a fire extinguisher handy (especially for me!).

11 Presents

Gifts under the tree are tempting for thieves so make sure they, and other valuables, can’t be seen from the outside your home.

10 Cash

Keep your wits about you when taking cash out of an ATM, it’s best to keep all valuables, including cash, out of sight.

9 Parking the Car

In the “silly season” people can be silly and it can take multipal trips to the mail to get all your Christmas gifts, so take care when driving/parking – be courteous, patient and if you ding someone else’s parked car, do the right thing and leave a note with your details.

8 Lock it or lose it

Don’t leave your belongings unattended, even if it’s just for a matter of seconds while you get cutlery at a café or a can of beans at the supermarket. Thieves are often opportunistic and may take advantage of your inattention.

7 Shopping bags (not plastic)

If you need to leave items in your car then keep your shopping in the boot where it can’t be seen.

6 Security options

Secure your property, especially if you are away on holiday, if you have security lights make sure they are working, deadlocks on doors and windows will deter thief’s. Are there items that could help burglars get into your home like wheelie bins and ladders and avoid posting your location on social media.

5 Smoke alarms

The Fire Service recommends long-life photoelectric type smoke alarms and at a minimum of five and remember to test them regularly to ensure they operate effectively.

4 Days at the beach

It’s best not taking valuables with you or leaving them unattended while at the beach, enough said.

3 Road trips

If you’re on the road over the over the holiday period some simple preparation while help you get there safely:

Be rested Checked your vehicle over Avoid distractions – (your phone is on hands-free) Pack some activities to keep the kids occupied

2 Visits to rellies

Before you set pop out to see the rallies as part of the road trip, remove all the things you don’t need to leave in the car while you’re parked outside. If you don’t want to take it with you then leave it in the boot and out of view.

1 Update your insurance! 

At Christmas you may have added new items to your house, holiday home, or caravan, it only takes a few minutes, to check you have enough insurance cover for your home and contents.

 

As always, we’re here to help! Pop in to our Christchurch office or drop us a line to arrange a time which best suits you.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Scott, Shane and Jo

November's Property Gazette

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

Explaining the Responsible Lending Code & How it Affects You

Have you noticed that many borrowers have recently begun finding it harder to obtain finance? The Responsible Lending Code has been designed to ensure lenders follow set guidelines when approving finance for lenders. This includes providing the following disclosures:

  • Let borrowers know the T&C’s plus costs of borrowing on their website or in their place of business
  • Give you all the important information you need in writing
  • Provide you with information in writing upon request, including the T&C’s, costs and contract terms

All disclosures must be made before any loan is started. The lender also needs to check your financial position thoroughly before agreeing to the loan. They must satisfy that they believe you can meet the repayments and they are in line with your income and other expenses.

We can help you navigate the maze which the Responsible Lending Code has resulted in. Give us a call today for assistance with obtaining your home loan.

Why A Good Loan Structure is Important

Having the best possible loan structure for your mortgage is essential to keep your costs down. It can include having one or a combination of floating or fixed rates, short-term fixed rates a principal and interest loan, or simply an interest-only loan. The best structure for you will be one which suits your goals, achieves you the lowest costs for your situation.

With over 14 years in the home loan industry, Scott can tailor make a mortgage structure which suits your needs perfectly. Get in touch with Scott for a chat about your requirements today.

Regulation within the mortgage lending industry is predicted to continue to rise. You can relax in knowing that we will continue to offer the highest service available to our clients. We would love to welcome you to our client base and make obtaining a mortgage as stress-free as possible for you. Get in touch with our team to learn more about how we help you.

Wondering About Giving Up on Your Insurance?

Ever start to wonder whether if you would be better off to save money instead of paying insurance premiums year after year (commonly called “self-insure”).

Insurance premiums rise each year, driving many people to give up on insurance, sometimes the idea of saving premiums rather than giving them to a company seems good idea, right?

Before you set up that account here a few points to consider.

Understand the Risks you're taking

In a nutshell consider what you pay in premiums versus the likelihood of a claim.

Health Insurance

If you’re under 40 female, non-smoker, you’ll pay up to $30 dollars a fortnight for good basic cover.

Average cost of breast cancer treatment is $28,074 (Ministry of Health figures of average cost) It would take approx. 35 years to save that at $30 fortnight.

Do you need it?

For those uncalculatable odds of having a difficult illness and having to pay for non-Pharmac funded drugs the answer is yes.

Income protection

Based again on 40-year-old, non-smoking female, premiums could be up to $6o a fortnight for $4700 a month benefit (paying up age 65).

Without a personal insurer the challenge here is to have the ability to have enough reserves to be self-supporting. Very quickly it is easy to calculate there is a challenge to save anything like the above benefit to support yourself through to age 65.

Do you need it?

Consider the following:

If you have a partner who works, can they assist if you go down to one wage?

You're unlikely to get any government assistance if you're sick and can't work and if you are eligible for a sickness benefit this is a lot less than the average income.

How does your employer handle sick leave? i.e. if it accumulates this is handy if you have built up a healthy balance and could assist if you had an extended period of illness.

If your not covered for a period of time off due to illness the yes you need some protection.

For information on the above or any of the other insurance we offer feel free to give us a call.


Contact us to get free personal mortgage and home loan advice








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