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Carol from Vista Financial

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  1. Carol from Vista Financial

    Current mortgage rates and special offers

    Happy Hump day! To celebrate the occasion of the upcoming end of the work week I would like to share some great mortgage rates and special offers from the various lenders we deal with. I will try keep you updated when things change, so check back to the end of the last post for the most up to date offers. Here are the current standout offers from our panel of lenders: First home buyers special 3.79% 3 year fixed principal and interest (owner occupied) Investment property 3.99% 2 year fixed principal and interest $2,000 refinance cash back offer Important: these are separate offers not in conjunction with each other and are subject to meeting lender terms and conditions. If you have any questions just ask.
  2. Carol from Vista Financial

    Moving To Darwin

    Hi @Dreamer 11 Commenting just from a personal perspective here as I grew up in Darwin and have family there still. First things first, Darwin has a very casual laid back attitude and has two temperatures - (1) hot and (2) hot and humid, so be prepared! It is very multicultural and everyone lives in singlets and shorts. Basically you have Darwin CBD which is probably the sleepiest CBD in Australia, Casuarina which has the 'big shops' https://www.casuarinasquare.com.au/home, and Palmerston which is about 25 mins from Casuarina which as mentioned above also has another shopping centre. Palmerston has grown in recent years and not as remote as it used to be. I moved years ago to Adelaide and things change every time I go back, I swear Palmerston has a new suburb every time I go there! I have 3 sisters up there plus their families and my folks, all spread across Leanyer, Durack and Girraween. Public transport is pretty poor so keep that in mind for school runs etc. Pretty much everywhere can be rough in places but not too bad in others so maybe take a short term rental and see what you think. Drivebys at night to gauge the area are a must. Living expenses are pretty high and June/July is tourist season so expect rental prices (and flights!) to be higher if you come over around then. The NT government has a huge push to get more people to go to live in the NT so am sure they will be more than welcoming! Good luck! Cheers Carol
  3. Carol from Vista Financial

    RBA leaves cash rate on hold... again

    Just in case you missed it, on Tuesday 5th June 2018 the RBA met as per usual and left the cash rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent. This means a record of 22 months with no change! Here is a snippet of what they had to say: "The Australian dollar remains within the range that it has been in over the past two years. An appreciating exchange rate would be expected to result in a slower pick-up in economic activity and inflation than currently forecast. The housing markets in Sydney and Melbourne have slowed. Nationwide measures of housing prices are little changed over the past six months, with prices having recorded falls in some areas. Housing credit growth has slowed over the past year, especially to investors. APRA's supervisory measures and tighter credit standards have been helpful in containing the build-up of risk in household balance sheets, although the level of household debt remains high. While there may be some further tightening of lending standards, the average mortgage interest rate on outstanding loans is continuing to decline." Read the full media release here: http://www.rba.gov.au/media-releases/2018/mr-18-14.html
  4. Carol from Vista Financial

    What could we afford?

    @Dorsetbrit Not stupid to be thinking about it at all, good to be prepared as much as you can. Just keep in mind that the mortgage industry is under the spotlight at the moment due to the banking royal commission and things that may have been possible under bank criteria even a few months ago may be harder or not possible in the future. Things are changing that rapidly. You may well find the criteria may be more stringent by the time you are ready to buy. Long story short, wait until you know the details of your job/circumstance then seek a fully assessed pre-approval from a lender. I would suggest doing this before getting too caught up in the research to avoid disappointment if you get your heart set on an area you can't afford. Important to note that unless you have an official fully assessed pre-approval letter from a bank, the amount you can borrow is still just an educated guess. I stress the words "fully assessed" here. There are some banks that offer pre-approvals that are not fully assessed which means yes we are happy to lend to you subject to your income, valuation, full analysis of your application etc. etc. (i.e. we haven't actually assessed it, but come back to us later and we will do it properly!) These types of 'pre-approvals' are not worth the paper they are written on, can give a false sense of security, and keep you open to more risk so just be aware. As @Ferrets mentioned, every bank does have its own 'stress testing' built into their application process. In terms of rate they assess your ability to repay on 2.5% above the current rate (so 7.25% for most). Some even assess at 8%, depends on the lender. This is just one example but is designed to ensure you can repay even if rates go up as obviously it is in the banks interest that you pay them back! That being said keep in mind that whilst it may be ok on paper, you also need to be comfortable with repayments assuming worst case scenario. Seeing the money actually go out of your bank account is very different to being told the calculations say you can afford it. @s713 is right, rates are lower than they have been in over decades, but what goes down must come up. But as to when, that is a crystal ball question. Alot of economists would be out of job if there was an easy answer. If this is something that concerns you, or you would prefer the certainty of knowing your repayment then a prudent lender should discuss fixed rate options with you - both pro's and con's. All the best with the research! Keep us posted Warm regards Carol
  5. Carol from Vista Financial

    What could we afford?

    Hi @Dorsetbrit My notifications and I had a disagreement so I only just saw your post sorry! Lucky @Andrew from Vista Financial had no such problems Deposit wise to purchase a house having 20% of the purchase price (plus costs) means you have the most bargaining power with the banks and also means you would avoid paying lenders mortgage insurance, which is a premium payable to protect the bank if you borrow more than 80% of the property price. It can be very expensive so if you can save to avoid it that would obviously be ideal. Also good to bear in mind that if you intend to continue working self employed when you arrive that most banks will want to see 2 years financials prior to lending. There are some that may accept 1 years tax returns plus BAS but to keep all options open just keep in mind that rough time frame. If you work as an employee then it is different of course. As @Andrew from Vista Financial mentioned each lender has its own lending policy and some may be a bit more lenient if you continue to work in the same industry that you have been for the last 17 years. They all like to put their own spin on policy so best just check again once you have your employment contract. Please have a look at my post here to read more about purchasing in Oz: Definitely agree with @The Pom Queen that renting can be useful in the first instance to get a real idea of where you would like to live before committing to a mortgage. If you have any other questions don't be afraid to ask! Warm regards Carol
  6. Carol from Vista Financial

    New Mortgage Broker - Carol Yokowo

    @Samson Also important to note that temporary residents may also have to apply through the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and this can be costly ($5,500 non-refundable) http://firb.gov.au/resources/guidance/gn02/ In South Australia if you are considered a foreign purchaser as of 1 Jan 2018 there is also a 7% surcharge payable for purchase of residential land (http://www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au/taxes-and-duties/foreign-ownership-surcharge) Banks may also assess any particular nuances with 457's in the transition period on a case by case basis.
  7. Carol from Vista Financial

    New Mortgage Broker - Carol Yokowo

    Hi Samson, thanks for the question. Yes, there are, of course they just restrict how much they will lend you - up to 70% depending on the lender (in this day and age banks have tightened their policies, but can lend more depending on circumstances). Some lenders that consider temporary resident applications : CBA, Bankwest, NAB... just to name a few. There are others and all have different restrictions in their policies. For example if you are buying with a Citizen or PR some will give you access to 'normal' policies, others will restrict you on the lowest loan to value (LVR) allowable between the two of you. It depends on the lender. Hope that helps
  8. Carol from Vista Financial

    New Mortgage Broker - Carol Yokowo

    Hi TPQ thank you, good to be here I know I have joined a great team! I have just spent the whole morning trying to condense what I wanted to say on this topic so here we go. How long does it take after moving to Oz to secure a mortgage? Short answer: it depends. I can see the rolling of the eyes from here. Different banks have different criteria, you need to tick the boxes. However long that takes, that is how long you have to wait. There are no hard fast rules on how long you ‘should wait’ to buy a house but there are some important things to know. The process itself is super quick The actual purchase process here is a lot quicker than in the UK. Find out how much the banks will lend you, find a suitable house, put an offer down, exchange contracts, settle and move in. From start to finish in Australia you can be putting down an offer on a house today and potentially be moving in 6 weeks later. It can be that quick. Are you actually ready to buy? Why do you want to buy? Are you in a rush to buy? Why? Do you know the exact state and suburb you want to live in? Will the kids be accepted into the school there? Are you happy with that school? Is your commute to work a nightmare? Is it a dodgy area? If you have just arrived, renting may be a great way to get to know Australia and trial out living in different places so you know exactly where you want to buy. The last thing you want to do is buy in an area soon after arriving only to realise your dream location is on the other side of the country. Where to start Ok, let’s assume you are set on buying as soon as possible. The first step is figuring out what it will cost overall and where is the money coming from. If you have enough to cover the shortfall between what it costs and what the bank will lend, you are good to go. If you don’t, then you need a plan on how to change that. Do you need to save more? Or do you need to wait for some circumstance to change so the banks are more favourable towards you (e.g. do you need to complete probation? Does the bank require you to have worked for longer than 6 months?). If you are a PR or Australian Citizen with 20% deposit (plus costs) then happy days, the banking world welcomes you with open arms. If not, don’t give up! There are so many different banks and policies out there so you don’t know exactly until you have had a professional unequivocally tell you so AND (most importantly) what you need to do to change that. If you are a temporary resident most banks may only lend you 60 – 70% these days. BUT if you purchase with someone who is PR or a Citizen then it can be a whole different ball game. It all drills down to finding the best fit for you. One last thing. Credit history - It’s ok if you don’t have one So don’t go getting an Aussie credit card just to frantically try build up a rating. Yes, a good credit score can help, but some banks value it more than others, so that is more about knowing which one to go with, and again, what is best for your particular circumstance. I hope that answers the question. I will be writing more on this topic soon!
  9. Carol from Vista Financial

    New Mortgage Broker - Carol Yokowo

    Thanks @Andrew from Vista Financial Excited to be part of the Vista Financial Services family and ready to dive into the world of forums! If anyone has any burning questions don't hesitate to ask. I am new to forums so look forward to learning the lingo