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  1. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) today announced that as of 1 January 2019 it will lift the supervisory cap it placed on interest only lending. So what does this even mean? First things first, who is APRA? APRA is one of the regulators in charge of monitoring financial institutions and basically keeping them in check. You may have noticed them in the spotlight in the Banking Royal Commission and copping a fair amount of criticism for basically coming across as being asleep at the wheel. Given the things that have come to light this is not really surprising. The general impression is they haven't been doing a very good job (i.e. a lot of wet lettuce leaf slapping - a.k.a. "enforceable undertakings"). But they have tried to put some things in place to try help. One of which was recognising we have way too much household debt (one of the highest in the world) and in particular zeroing in on the high proportion of interest only loans and associated questionable lending practices. If you're paying interest only, you're not reducing that debt, and it stays high. You might be reducing debts else where and taking advantage of tax breaks yes, but if things go south and you have to repay the debt, then you might be in a pickle. If lenders give you money you can't actually afford to repay then you might in a pickle. We want to avoid widespread financial pickles. To try reel this in, APRA announced a cap for interest only lending in March 2017 that all authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADI's) had to meet (read: people that lend us money who are regulated - full list here). The cap was 30% of all new lending, along with some extra 'don't be too risky' clauses. Did it work and what does it mean now it's being lifted? Low and behold how do you reduce the number of people applying for interest only loans/staying on them? You make it expensive. Fast forward to today, interest only rates are much higher than principal and interest rates. As result, people either haven't applied, don't meet the servicing criteria, have switched to principal and interest repayments, or have sold. For those that didn't, they've now paid ADI's a pretty penny. But this hasn't been the only thing changing in the industry - lending criteria is tighter than ever, lenders are scrambling in the wake of the Royal Commission, house prices are changing, interest rates are historically low etc. ADI's are now "... significantly below the 30 per cent threshold" so they've decided to lift this cap in the New Year and will review how things are tracking later in 2019. One may hope we would see some reprieve in the interest only rates and appetite for this type of lending to increase again, but don't hold your breath - everyone is waiting for the final release of the Royal Commission report in February. Why make changes now when you have a reason to wait? It's going to be an interesting start to the New Year.
  2. 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.
  3. Carol from Vista Financial

    RBA cash rate decision 4 December 2018

    Merry Christmas says the RBA. No changes to the cash rate. Here's some interesting bits of today's announcement, which will be the last until 2019: "The global economic expansion is continuing and unemployment rates in most advanced economies are low. There are, however, some signs of a slowdown in global trade, partly stemming from ongoing trade tensions... Financial conditions in the advanced economies remain expansionary but have tightened somewhat. Equity prices have declined and credit spreads have moved a little higher. There has also been a broad-based appreciation of the US dollar this year. In Australia, money-market interest rates have declined, after increasing earlier in the year. Standard variable mortgage rates are a little higher than a few months ago and the rates charged to new borrowers for housing are generally lower than for outstanding loans... One continuing source of uncertainty is the outlook for household consumption. Growth in household income remains low, debt levels are high and some asset prices have declined. The drought has led to difficult conditions in parts of the farm sector... Conditions in the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets have continued to ease and nationwide measures of rent inflation remain low. Credit conditions for some borrowers are tighter than they have been for some time, with some lenders having a reduced appetite to lend. The demand for credit by investors in the housing market has slowed noticeably as the dynamics of the housing market have changed. Growth in credit extended to owner-occupiers has eased to an annualised pace of 5–6 per cent. Mortgage rates remain low, with competition strongest for borrowers of high credit quality." You may read the full release here.
  4. Carol from Vista Financial

    RBA cash rate decision 6 November 2018

    On hold again, as most predicted. "Growth in China has slowed a little, with the authorities easing policy while continuing to pay close attention to the risks in the financial sector. Globally, inflation remains low, although it has increased due to both higher oil prices and some lift in wages growth. A further pick-up in inflation is expected given the tight labour markets and, in the United States, the sizeable fiscal stimulus. One ongoing uncertainty regarding the global outlook stems from the direction of international trade policy in the United States. ...In Australia, money-market interest rates have declined recently, after increasing earlier in the year. Standard variable mortgage rates are a little higher than a few months ago and the rates charged to new borrowers for housing are generally lower than for outstanding loans. ...Conditions in the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets have continued to ease and nationwide measures of rent inflation remain low. Growth in credit extended to owner-occupiers has eased but remains robust, while demand by investors has slowed noticeably as the dynamics of the housing market have changed." Read the full release here.
  5. Carol from Vista Financial

    Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI)

    What is it? Lenders Mortgage Insurance or LMI is an insurance policy that protects the bank from financial loss if you can’t pay your loan back. LMI cover protects the lender, and you pay the premium. That’s right, you are paying to protect the bank from yourself! When/why is LMI applicable? Normally LMI is required if you request to borrow more than 80% of the property value, as this is deemed riskier to the lender. Why? You’ve put less money in, your repayments will be higher, and they have more to lose. So, they hedge their bets by insuring themselves. If you default on the loan (i.e. don’t/can’t pay), they will chase you for the funds. If that doesn’t work and as a last resort, they will re-possess and sell the house to pay the debt. If the sale of the property isn’t enough to pay the outstanding debt, the lender makes a claim with the insurer to recover the difference. (Important to note – even if the lender gets all the money back from the sale or insurer, this is doesn’t absolve you from your debt – there is sadly no get-out-of-jail-free card.) How much is it? LMI can be very expensive. The cost is determined by a number of factors including the loan to value ratio (i.e. how much you are borrowing compared to the purchase price), the size of the loan you want (costs increase exponentially), if you are a first home buyer or not, and the insurer. The two main insurers in Australia are QBE and Genworth, but some lenders also self-insure. You can get a rough idea on the cost of LMI here, but take it with a grain of salt as it does vary between lenders. How do you pay for it? You can pay it upfront or most lenders will allow you to add this to the home loan amount (i.e. capitalise it). Most people opt to add it to the loan. Why on Earth would you choose to pay LMI? Saving a 20% deposit is very hard, and can be almost impossible for some. LMI enables you to purchase without having to have 20% deposit, so is actually quite a popular option. How to avoid LMI? Save like crazy to have a 20% deposit. If not, there may be other options, including gifted funds from the Bank of Mum and Dad or using a guarantor. For a lucky few LMI waivers sometimes exist with some lenders – normally restricted to those in the medical profession or specific white-collar professions. Normally strict criteria apply. Important fact to remember LMI protects the lender, it does not protect you! As a borrower, this type of insurance does not offer you any protection whatsoever. LMI is often confused with mortgage protection insurance - a type of insurance that protects you if you lose your job/fall ill and can’t meet a repayment. This is a completely different insurance, so note the difference. If you still have any questions regarding LMI, get in touch so I can help.
  6. Carol from Vista Financial

    QBE Australian Housing Outlook 2018-2021

    This report into housing has been released recently, produced by BIS Oxford Economics for QBE Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance. You may read the report on their website or download the full interactive PDF report here. Short on time? Watch their short video instead. If you want to read more download the PDF and click on the titles on the contents page to navigate to the parts you care about. Where did this report come from? QBE is one of the two main lenders mortgage insurance providers in Australia - the other being Genworth. BIS Oxford Economics is a large macroeconomics and industry forecast provider. The two companies have partnered for the last 17 years to generate these reports. What is LMI? Lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) is an insurance you pay if you have less than 20% deposit (i.e. you borrow more than 80%) for a property purchase. LMI protects the lender, it does not protect you. If you put in less cash, it is a riskier transaction for the lender. Hence they hedge their bets. If you can't pay, they will chase you for the funds, and they submit a claim through the LMI provider to try recoup their losses. That's right, you pay for the lender's insurance premium so they are protected from you! Normally the LMI premium can be added on top of the the base loan amount (capitalised). Or you can save like crazy to have a 20% deposit, or use a guarantor. Are their predictions for the future accurate? Who knows, I don't have a crystal ball either. This is an outlook report - an insight into the property market in Australia. A predication is still essentially an educated guess, but an interesting read nonetheless. I am providing it here as one source of information. Make of it what you may.
  7. 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. The never ending chain of teetering disappointment is very rare here. Property is bought and sold within weeks. 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 is 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. Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR)- Australia is catching up If you are coming from the UK you probably already know all about credit scoring and the importance of having a clean bill of financial health. Australia has technically had CCR in place since 2014, but the uptake has been sluggish. This is about to change and may be a rude awakening for a lot of Aussies. From 1 July 2019 all major banks are required to share 100% of their data with credit reporting bodies, so this will become more and more relevant here, as it is in the UK, in the coming years. As of right now, lenders are slowing sharing their data and eventually will use this as a tool in their lending decision making. So whilst I wouldn't run to get an Aussie credit card, it is not a bad idea to think about ways to start developing your credit rating here, because it will be a brand new file. Setting up with an Australian phone plan is a good start, and if you are renting first even paying your utilities bills on time can help build up your score. Keep in mind that yes, a good credit score can help, but some banks value it more than others and it is not the be all and end all at the moment. What is more important is knowing which bank to go with and what is best for your particular circumstance. Hope this helps, any questions feel free to ask!
  8. Carol from Vista Financial

    RBA cash rate decision 2 October 2018

    Hi all Bit behind the 8 ball and catching up on some posts after a few busy weeks. A lot happening in the mortgage market with rate moves, refinance offers, lending policy changes, the Banking Royal Commission interim report released and more! First things first - the RBA. Last week to no ones surprise the RBA left rates on hold again: "In Australia, money-market interest rates are higher than they were at the start of the year, although they have declined since the end of June. In response, some lenders have increased their standard variable mortgage rates by small amounts, while at the same time reducing mortgage rates for some new loans. ...Conditions in the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets have continued to ease and nationwide measures of rent inflation remain low. Growth in credit extended to owner-occupiers remains robust, but demand by investors has slowed noticeably as the dynamics of the housing market have changed. Credit conditions are tighter than they have been for some time, although mortgage rates remain low and there is strong competition for borrowers of high credit quality." Full release can be read here More on the rest soon, watch this space!
  9. So late yesterday (after I finished my other post, naturally) Westpac announced it will be increasing rates by 0.14% p.a. quoting increased wholesale funding: In particular the bank bill swap rate, which is a key wholesale funding rate for mortgages, increased by about 25 basis points between February and March this year and has remained elevated. “We initially hoped that this increase would be temporary, and therefore we have incurred these costs over the last six months. The rate changes announced today will not recover these costs..." - Official Westpac Media Release, 29 August 2018 I.e we didn't increase them then, but we are now, and not by the full amount needed cover costs. Interpret that as you may. So the big question is when/if this will cause a domino effect with the other big banks? There have been rises in smaller banks but none of the big four, perhaps due to the target already firmly on their backs as a result of the Royal Commission. Will they follow suit hoping that Westpac will take the first wave of anger and disapproval? Or will they stand fast in an effort to claw back a little customer sentiment? (Along with some nicely crafted marketing giving themselves a cheeky gold star of course). No doubt we will find out shortly. Bottom line, the only real way to guarantee your rate and repayment is to be on a fixed rate, but they come with restrictions - so do you homework first to see if it is right for you. As I have already mentioned elsewhere rates are so low at the moment that when they eventually go up again it will be a shock to the system for many that have only ever known low rate environments. So prepare yourselves. Those of the era of double-digit interest rates know what I mean. The RBA knows it too and have flagged rising rates as something to prepare for. Some economists now argue this recent move by Westpac (and potentially by others) may now delay any increase decisions by the RBA. Time will tell.
  10. Carol from Vista Financial

    RBA cash rate decision 4 September 2018

    No change again, rate remains on hold: "Conditions in the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets have continued to ease and nationwide measures of rent inflation remain low. Housing credit growth has declined to an annual rate of 5½ per cent. This is largely due to reduced demand by investors as the dynamics of the housing market have changed. Lending standards are also tighter than they were a few years ago, partly reflecting APRA's earlier supervisory measures to help contain the build-up of risk in household balance sheets. There is competition for borrowers of high credit quality." - Statement by Philip Lowe, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision, 4th September 2018 But as we can see from this past week, this is only one factor used by lenders in determining whether or not to move on rates. Is it to cover cost of wholesale funding or to recoup upcoming fees for civil penalties? Watch this space. Full release by RBA available here.
  11. Carol from Vista Financial

    Updates from ASIC - Responsible Lending

    Westpac admits to breaching responsible lending obligations and now up for a $35 million civil penalty: "If approved by the Federal Court, this will represent the largest civil penalty awarded under the National Credit Act." - recent ASIC media release today 4th September 2018 Read the full ASIC media release here.
  12. Hi All, I've been reading posts for many months now where people have struggled with the restrictions around providing UK buy-to-let mortgages to UK expats in Australia. Largely the difficulties arise because the mortgage provider is required to be regulated both in the UK and Australia, meaning they need a presence in both countries. This significantly limits the size of the market. Prices for these products quoted to me by brokers have been much higher than equivalent products provided to UK residents. Further the broker fees have been in the thousands, not hundreds. This might be a familiar story for some of you, or at least it will become thus in the not too distant future. The good news is that I've just had a really positive experience on this front. After speaking to many brokers and being provided with higher level interest rates and exorbitant broker fees, i was able to find a solution that was equivalent to what i would pay and receive in UK. I've just completed on the mortgage. The answer was that I engaged directly with HSBC UK. The only difficulty was the fact that I had to do it all myself without a broker. On the flip side it gave me access to exactly the same products UK residents receive. In doing so i'm saving a lot of money and have been able to secure a long term fixed rate mortgage so I can carry on out here in Australia and not have to deal with this headache again for quite some time. To the details. HSBC offer 2 avenues for mortgages to Ex pats in Australia: The first route is via an Ex Pat mortgage through HSBC Expat. This one was prohibitive for us as it requires a certain amount of capital (i believe it was £60k+, maybe more) to set up an HSBC offshore expat account. This might be appropriate for someone with money sat around. The second route is via a regular buy-to-let mortgage route. The website link is here: https://www.hsbc.co.uk/1/2/mortgages/buy-to-let-mortgages Please note the eligibility criteria. Critically you need to have lived in the house at some point since you bought it for at least 6 months - so this mortgage doesn't suit you if you are an overseas landlord looking to buy an investment buy-to-let. Also when we applied as an overseas landlord the minimum annual salary requirement (single or joint, depending on the application), was £75k - although i cannot find the requirement on their website anymore so perhaps things have changed since we started the process in January. They also say that the rent must be 145% of the mortgage repayments. I'm not sure whether this has changed since we started our application but they were only looking for 145% of the interest portion of our capital repayment mortgage when we applied. The whole process took about 8 weeks from start to finish and it was painful because of the speed of mail and general lack of competence of some of HSBC staff. Note that we had to get some documents notarised here in Australia which cost about $150. The only document that we actually had to send by post was the signed mortgage deed. Everything else we were able to scan and send. We had our managing agent for the UK property issue the current tenancy agreement directly to the conveyancing company which was acceptable. This was a welcome relief to us, we are able to save at least £200 a month on what the brokers were quoting with this HSBC product, which over the long term is a really meaningful saving. I'd be more than happy to answer any questions or provide additional feedback on the process if anyone's interested. Cheers, The Ozzie Pom This post has been promoted to an article
  13. Carol from Vista Financial

    EOFY and interest only mortgages

    Here are a few points I wanted to make today in the mortgage space. EOFY End of financial year is the busiest and most stressful time in the financial world so if you have purchased property and waiting to settle make sure you have discussed adequate time frames with your lender/broker/conveyancer as things may be slower than usual. If you planned to settle before 1 July and have settlement is not already booked in it is unlikely to happen - so check! If you hope to settle just after EOFY, keep in mind any credit assessors will have a backlog of files to look at that they have pushed back so again, check to see you have been given realistic time frames. Interest only periods This topic is relevant at any time of the year. Many people will be shortly coming up to the end of their approved interest only periods, particularly on investment loans (if you have interest only on owner occupied, that is very rare these days!). It will be harder to extend or be granted new interest only periods than when you first applied, so be prepared and don't leave it until the last minute! Once upon a time you could have asked for up to 15 years interest only on investment properties... Had 10 and finishing? Well, back in the day it would be a quick call to the bank and here you go, here's another 5 years to keep you going. Sign on the dotted line, done. Gone are those days. If you have an interest only period then you need to be able to demonstrate you can repay the full debt, principal and interest, in the remaining term after your proposed interest only period expires (e.g. if you have 5 years interest only, can you repay the higher minimum payments required to pay the debt back to the bank over the 25 years left?). The funny thing, is that this requirement is just plain responsible lending, so is actually nothing new to the industry! A prudent lender/broker/banker should always ensure you are able to pay your debts without financial difficulty, now or in the future. Lenders are being more thorough in actually verifying this information now (that should always have been doing) since financial services regulator APRA (the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) started putting their foot down by tightening requirements to evidence serviceability and by setting a speed limit on investor lending growth in 2014. This was in light of high levels of household debt, low interest rates and concerns over an overheating property market, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne. Banks steadily increased their rates on interest only as an incentive for people to switch to principal and interest (amongst other things some may say), the Banking Royal Commission brought further concerns out into the open, and here we are today. (There is a lot more to this story, but I that is for another post!) APRA has recently dialed back on its investor cap policy but overall the responsibility of lenders, brokers and bankers alike remains now highlighted- make sure people can afford what they are doing. It does not matter what role you are in or who you work for, it comes down to the integrity of the individual to be a responsible lender and to do the right thing. If you want to understand more about the interest only story, RBA's Assistant Governor (Financial Markets) Christopher Kent spoke to the Housing Industry Association in April this year, and his speech covers off a lot of aspects nicely. What you need to do No matter what rules are in place, what checks are made or what you are told you can afford on paper, you need to be sure you can afford to repay your debt and you are comfortable with how much your repayments are. Check your options with your lender well before the end of your interest only period as the conversion to paying principal and interest can be a rude awakening! If you can't afford them, options include requesting a lower interest rate to reduce overall repayments, or refinancing or requesting a loan term extension so you have more time to repay at lower repayments per month. Reach out and ask for help to navigate your options. It is tax time, and we all know sometimes this is the only time we speak to an accountant! So when you meet with them for your tax return, also ask them if having interest only on investment property loans is still a suitable strategy for you. Interest rates are a lot higher and things in your personal circumstance may be a lot different to when you first set up your loan(s) so make sure the structures in place are still relevant to you now.
  14. Aussiepom

    UK Buy to Let Mortgage Solution

    Hi All, I've been reading posts for many months now where people have struggled with the restrictions around providing UK buy-to-let mortgages to UK expats in Australia. Largely the difficulties arise because the mortgage provider is required to be regulated both in the UK and Australia, meaning they need a presence in both countries. This significantly limits the size of the market. Prices for these products quoted to me by brokers have been much higher than equivalent products provided to UK residents. Further the broker fees have been in the thousands, not hundreds. This might be a familiar story for some of you, or at least it will become thus in the not too distant future. The good news is that I've just had a really positive experience on this front. After speaking to many brokers and being provided with higher level interest rates and exorbitant broker fees, i was able to find a solution that was equivalent to what i would pay and receive in UK. I've just completed on the mortgage. The answer was that I engaged directly with HSBC UK. The only difficulty was the fact that I had to do it all myself without a broker. On the flip side it gave me access to exactly the same products UK residents receive. In doing so i'm saving a lot of money and have been able to secure a long term fixed rate mortgage so I can carry on out here in Australia and not have to deal with this headache again for quite some time. To the details. HSBC offer 2 avenues for mortgages to Ex pats in Australia: The first route is via an Ex Pat mortgage through HSBC Expat. This one was prohibitive for us as it requires a certain amount of capital (i believe it was £60k+, maybe more) to set up an HSBC offshore expat account. This might be appropriate for someone with money sat around. The second route is via a regular buy-to-let mortgage route. The website link is here: https://www.hsbc.co.uk/1/2/mortgages/buy-to-let-mortgages Please note the eligibility criteria. Critically you need to have lived in the house at some point since you bought it for at least 6 months - so this mortgage doesn't suit you if you are an overseas landlord looking to buy an investment buy-to-let. Also when we applied as an overseas landlord the minimum annual salary requirement (single or joint, depending on the application), was £75k - although i cannot find the requirement on their website anymore so perhaps things have changed since we started the process in January. They also say that the rent must be 145% of the mortgage repayments. I'm not sure whether this has changed since we started our application but they were only looking for 145% of the interest portion of our capital repayment mortgage when we applied. The whole process took about 8 weeks from start to finish and it was painful because of the speed of mail and general lack of competence of some of HSBC staff. Note that we had to get some documents notarised here in Australia which cost about $150. The only document that we actually had to send by post was the signed mortgage deed. Everything else we were able to scan and send. We had our managing agent for the UK property issue the current tenancy agreement directly to the conveyancing company which was acceptable. This was a welcome relief to us, we are able to save at least £200 a month on what the brokers were quoting with this HSBC product, which over the long term is a really meaningful saving. I'd be more than happy to answer any questions or provide additional feedback on the process if anyone's interested. Cheers, The Ozzie Pom
  15. Hi folks, So my partner and I are going to be applying for our partner visa within the next few months, and I'm just wanting to get ahead of the curve as much as possible with building up relevant evidence. One slight concern I have is that we're living together in the house which my partner bought with his ex 4 years ago. He doesn't have enough income on his own to transfer the mortgage into his name, and my understanding is that the bank basically won't consider my income until if/when I'm granted the 820 at least. The mortgage is still in the name of my partner and his ex so I can't really use mortgage statements or anything like that in evidence. We've already set up a direct debit for the weekly payment of the mortgage from our joint account into which both our income is paid. Do you think that will be enough to satisfy on that front? Thanks
  16. Looking for some non-judgemental advice from you clever folks... Myself and my wife bought a flat in London in November 2007 on virtually a 100% mortgage (I know, I know.. insane, but back then everyone was at it, and it took us two years alone to save enough for the stamp duty and fees!). After the market went pop, within 6 months, it was worth about 60K GPB less than we paid for it. Coupled with being unlucky (or stupid) enough to buy at the peak, we bought terribly, an old flat in a questionable area that needed a lot more work than we could have imagined. We have tried to sell twice, and not one offer, even below asking price. Since departing the UK, we are renting the property out behind the back of the mortgage company as they refused our request to let it out when my industry all but disappeared (construction) I had no choice but to up sticks and move abroad chasing work. We're making a fair go of it living here and getting to love the place and being back working in a busy industry, and have three kids now. The constant sending of cash we cannot afford back to subsidise repairs and mortgage payments is becoming a pressing issue to say the least - probably about 8 grand GBP this year alone... We are only paying interest on the repayments and barely afford this, thus haven't paid a penny off the mortgage yet, five years on... I have a small credit card debt in the UK, about 3K, from paying for a new boiler last month, but nothing else debt wise - just this bloody mortgage. We've just been told the entire property needs new windows and a new kitchen (!!), so another 20K debt is flashing before my eyes... SO - I have been looking at bankruptcy. I don't have residency yet here in Oz but will start process next Feb when I have been here two years and it should be quite straight forward as I have a good secure job earning a good wage. I don't foresee going back to London as it's such a mess there and things going well here, so looking long term to citizenship for myself and my happy brood. I'd love to hand back the keys and have spoken to a few insolvency agents who seem a bit too enthusiastic, and make it all sound too easy - if you l know what I mean! used car salesman springs to mind... I understand you need to pay a few grand to get the process managed for you but my main worry is being left with a 60-70K debt I have to pay off from the flats negative equity, which would pretty much ruin us financially for ever. Anyone been in the same situation and can offer advice, I'd be very grateful. Anything will help, we're getting a bit low here worrying about this. Thanks guys!
  17. Having just received confirmation that my PR has arrived, I now want to remortgage my property in the UK. There are no financial issues (thankfully) which should cause issues, but I'm struggling to find a lender with decent rates who doesn't require me to leave Australia when the new mortgage application is submitted. This seems entirely bizarre to me: needing to go abroad (from Australia) in order to apply for a remortgage in the UK. Has anyone else experienced this, and/or could anyone please suggest a good company to use? Many thanks
  18. Hi, we are having a hard time finding a UK mortgage lender that will give us an expat mortgage so that we can buy a house before we return to the UK. We have a 33% deposit, income to service the loan and no debts. Has anyone done this? I would love to hear any tips or advice. The main problems seems to be that we live in Australia. Thanks in advance.
  19. We are thinking about buying a plot of land and then finding a builder to build a house. Anyone know of any good financial/mortgage advisor on the Gold Coast. Any tips on buying land and finding a builder would be greatly appreciated. :err:
  20. Hi guys In short it will take me until about about age 239 to save enough for a house in Perth, so I'm looking to buy in the UK as an investment for now. Trying to get a mortgage is proving an absolute nightmare, just because there seem to be no products at all available. Can anyone recommend any building society or bank who do a mortgage for UK properties on a buy to let basis for people living in Australia (in particular if you've done it yourself)? Cheers Rich
  21. Has anyone else heard this - as a friend of mine has an ENS 856 visa and went for a mortgage. She applied for 95 percent and got pre-approval but when it came down to it the insurance indemnity company (who are required if you dont have a 10 percent mortgage) refuses to acknowledge the status of the perm ens 856. They cannot provide the insurance - for permenant residency obtained on these visas - due to them being linked to the temp 457 visa - even though the government acknowledge they are permenant visas. Bottom line is on an ENS 856 visa - you will not get a mortgage unless you have 10 percent deposit (its out of the banks control). Can anyone substantiate this? My friend (who is a hairdresser - and speaks to many english expats) advises that she has heard the same problem reported by loads of people. Interesting/Worrying !!
  22. Hi everyone, My wife and I are thinking of the possibility of buying a place in Adelaide prior to our arrival. We intend to travel in her native Spain for anywhere up to a year before arrival; we would like to buy now and rent the property until we are ready to move in. Anyone know of a good broker able to arrange mortgages in Australia for UK residents abroad? Cheers, Tyson
  23. Morning All Just a quick question... Is it harder to find rented accomodation that accepts dogs? (i was told Australians LOVE dogs and preffered pet of them all) Iv been advised to go through private letting rather than a company letting, there round about the same price, but most private lets are furnished? We have no children! Just looking for a 2 bedroom... Eventually we are looking to buy, but im aware we cannot do this straight away.. Any idea's??
  24. Hi Folks Sorry, another question! I have been working from an assumption that the upper limit for a salary multiple on mortgage lending would be around 4X salary. That is what it is here in UK, can someone confirm for me if that is the case? I found a post from 2008 on this, but cant find any recent updates and the websites are classically unclear! Cheers, Andrew
  25. Hi, I am wondering how soon (time frame and conditions) i can get a mortgage and what that entails i.e. building relationship with bank, employment contract, visa conditions, if any?? ets., etc., I am leaving Ireland this Xmas, have employment arranged as a nurse with 4 year 457 business class visa, my partner who is a carpenter of 19 years and our daughter are travelling under this visa. I have enough to put a depoist on a house. We bought and sold a house here in Ireland. Hopefully with the two of us working in the near future we can get a mortgage. Would be truly greatful of any advise!! Much appreicated
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