Mortgage Experts Blog

Green Home Loans

Marty McDonald - Monday, September 06, 2021

Green Home Loans Consider yourself a conservationist? Got solar panels on your mind? What a great way to reduce your energy bill plus help the long-term future of the environment while increasing the value of your property. Read more >

House Prices In Sydney Good News For Northern Beaches

Marty McDonald - Friday, August 27, 2021

Sydney is one step closer to being an outlier when it comes to property prices with reports showing that house values in the harbour city are expected to rise by 35 per cent over the next five years. In the last year, house prices in the Northern Beaches area grew by over 20%, and an average house is now worth around $1.5 million, making many homes on the Northern Beaches too expensive for a large portion of residents to purchase. For investors, the house price growths makes the Sydney region one of the best places to invest in property in Australia.Read more >

Thinking of buying with family?

Marty McDonald - Saturday, August 14, 2021

There are many different reasons to buy a property with a family member. And I don’t mean your husband, wife or partner. I’m talking about your mum & dad, brother or sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, the list goes on and on….. You may be thinking of buying in with your parents, maybe to help look after them in their older years not just them going guarantor for you? Maybe you and a cousin already flat together and decide it would be a good way to get your foot in the door in the property market as first home buyers? Or maybe you already have your own property and are looking to dive into investing with a sibling? Wondering where to start? Read more >

Northern Beaches Property Market - July 2021

Marty McDonald - Friday, July 30, 2021

Throughout 2021 property prices across the country have been increasing despite a worldwide pandemic and repeated lockdowns! In July, Australian dwelling prices rose by a further 1.90% with an annual rate Read more >

NDIS Special Disability Accommodation (SDA) – 10-15% pa returns with risks.

Marty McDonald - Thursday, July 08, 2021

NDIS Special Disability Accommodation (SDA) – 10-15% pa returns with risks. You may or may not have heard of the NDIS SDA program. This is a scheme whereby properties are built to a higher spec level than normal properties which allows disabled persons to live a more self-sufficient life. Wider entrances and halls, larger bedrooms, kitchens that allow wheelchair access under sinks etc. There are alsoRead more >

First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

Marty McDonald - Thursday, July 01, 2021

First Home Loan Deposit Scheme - How the government can assist you in buying your first homeRead more >

Fixed rates are heading up.......

- Thursday, June 24, 2021

Fixed rates are heading up....... Longer term fixed rates have been creeping up of late. CBA, Nab, Westpac and ING all moved their 4 year rates up in the last few weeks. While the moves themselves were not huge it signals that we may have finally hit the bottom for interest rates. We no longer have any sub 2.00% longer term fixed rates available. Read more >

Is it a good time to buy Sydney?

Marty McDonald - Thursday, November 01, 2018

For many first home buyers the answer appears to be a resounding yes. BIS Oxford Economics for the Australian Housing Outlook 2018–2021 report states that lending to FHB’s picked up by a whopping 74 per cent in the 12 months to June 2018 in Sydney and a more modest but still impressive 24% nationwide. Read the full report here. Read more >

Loan Portability/ Substitution of Security

Marty McDonald - Monday, June 04, 2018

There are occasions when those with an existing mortgage looking to buy and sell at the same time should consider a “substitution of security” (sometimes called loan portability). Rather than closing the old loan and taking out a new loan sometimes getting from property A to B is as simple as changing the security of the loan from one property to another. The loan remains open at all times.Read more >

Loan Portability

Marty McDonald - Monday, June 04, 2018

Commencing July 6th a new housing code will commence in NSW that aims to increase the amount of medium-density housing in Sydney from its current 10 percent share of new approvals. This will be alongside a new Low Rise Medium Density Design Guide, which was developed by the department of planning and environment in consultation with the NSW government architects in 2017.Read more >

Royal commission into financial services: what does it mean for borrowers?

Marty McDonald - Tuesday, April 10, 2018

If you haven’t been living under a rock, I’m sure you’re aware that there’s currently a royal commission being conducted into the Australian financial services industry. The first two weeks of sittings have mainly focussed on home loan lending, motor vehicle finance and credit cards.Read more >

Attention small business owners: Have you considered buying a commercial property via your SMSF?

Marty McDonald - Monday, March 12, 2018

Currently we have a lender offering rates from 5.80% P&I over 20 years for commercial properties bought through your Self-managed super fund, usually commercial property loans for SMSF are more likely to be around 8% pa. Read more >

Pay your mortgage off faster

Marty McDonald - Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Wouldn’t it be nice to not have a home loan! Read on for Marty’s tips on how to get your mortgage repaid faster.Read more >

Are Your credit card bill’s getting out of control?

Marty McDonald - Thursday, January 18, 2018

Debt consolidation is the act of bringing many debts together into one new debt. This can be beneficial for helping you manage your repayments and have a clearer picture moving forward. If you have equity in your home this can be done by refinancing your mortgage to pay off current debts, shifting the debt into your home loan which usually has a much lower interest rate than unsecured loans and credit cards.Read more >

What’s happening to house prices in Sydney?

Marty McDonald - Thursday, November 23, 2017

I estimate house prices in the $1-$2 million range have fallen from their peak (which was around June 2017) by an estimated 7%. This won’t show in the official figures for so time if at all as the premium end of the market seems to be very strong still. Read more >

Construction loans for major renovations

Marty McDonald - Wednesday, October 18, 2017

There’s a growing sector of home owners buying cheaper undesirable properties in ideal areas and doing major renovations to create their dream home. They may also do knock down rebuilds that require full construction of a new property. Their many ways you can go about funding these endeavors with equity loans and construction loans both fixed and unfixed being the main avenues of finance.Read more >

Are we finally seeing the effects of APRA’s changes?

Marty McDonald - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Since 2014 APRA has been progressively tightening the screws on mortgage lending to try and de-risk the banks. I think we are beginning to see the cumulative effects of these changes on the property market. By way of summary there have been three distinct moves by APRA.Read more >

Air BnB be and increased rental yeild

Marty McDonald - Thursday, August 24, 2017

In recent years, there has been a rise in property owners giving up traditional tenants in favour of using short term and holiday rental services such as Air BnB and Stayz. If the location is right short-term rentals can provide a significantly higher overall rental yield than traditional long term 6 or 12 months rentals. news.com reports that a three-bedroom house in Sydney could be paid off in just under 7 years using short term rentals as compared to more than 26 years with a traditional tenancy. Read more >

Buy first, then sell? OR sell first, then buy?

Marty McDonald - Thursday, June 22, 2017

Buy first, then sell? OR sell first, then buy?...... How to plan a move from your existing home to a new home. There are quite a few ways to skin a cat as they say. The below assumes you don’t want to hold the existing property long term.Read more >

Case Study: Is co-ownership the solution to cracking the market?

Marty McDonald - Thursday, May 25, 2017

Property co-ownership with parents putting up the bulk of the deposit and the children providing the bulk of the loan servicing can be an innovative and beneficial way for parents to help their children get into the property market without some of the usual pitfalls.Read more >

Case Study: Alternative income verification for Self-employed

Marty McDonald - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

If you’re self-employed, you’ll know banks can make it difficult to borrow money. Depending on the lender and situation, they can ask for multiple years’ tax returns, P&L and balance sheets, depreciation reports, tax assessment notices, ATO portal printouts, BAS statements and often letters from your accountant or other third parties to confirm this and that. All in all it can make applying for a loan difficult. There are also significant variations in how income is assessed from lender to lender, which can have a huge bearing on your borrowing potential. Read more >

Bubble, bubble boil and trouble?

Marty McDonald - Monday, April 24, 2017

So is Sydney and Melbourne really in a bubble? Like most pundits, I believe the rate of increase in Sydney and Melbourne house prices is unlikely to last. However, I really do feel that the talk about bubbles and imminent bursting’s is overstating it.Read more >

Mortgage Experts has partnered with stratton to offer Car finance

Marty McDonald - Thursday, April 06, 2017

Mortgage Experts have partnered with stratton to offer you smarter vehicle finance. We are pleased to announce our recent partnership with stratton. Part of the Carsales network, stratton provide finance for cars, commercial vehicles, boats, business equipment and more to over ten thousand clients each year. Mortgage Experts clients can access the special benefits of: Read more >

Case Study – Knock down rebuild

Marty McDonald - Monday, March 27, 2017

Have you ever wondered about how people borrow to fund a major renovation or even a complete knock down and rebuild? We recently had some new clients come to us looking to knock down their current property and build their dream home. We decided to do this in a 2-stage process. First, we refinanced their current mortgage. Taking it from $290k to $370k.Read more >

Will the changes put forward by the Victorian government impact house affordability? And will other states in particular NSW follow suit?

Marty McDonald - Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Housing affordability has been a contentious issue for both federal and state governments in the last two years. The public has put major pressure on government to find a solution for inflated house prices in Sydney and Melbourne which has caused a major decrease in first home ownership. According to the Australian bureau of statistics the number of first home buyers has plummeted in recent years from as high as 39% in 2009 to a lowly 13% in 2016. Note there is some serious contention around the official figures but that is another story and regardless clearly the numbers of first time buyers is down significantly. Read more >

Case Study: Common Debts with Family Members

Marty McDonald - Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The problem: Recently we had a client Sarah come to us looking to buy her own home. She already owned an investment property 50/50 with her brother James. Sarah did not qualify for a new loan with her current lender because that lenders policy is to take 100% of her joint loan commitment into account while only allowing 50% of the rental income received on that property to be included in their assessment. This was even after proving to the lender that her brother paid 50% of the loan repayments and other costs. Read more >

What's the future for home loan rates in 2017?

Marty McDonald - Thursday, February 09, 2017

Inflation rates have remained stubbornly low, implying the RBA may cut rates further this year. In the past, the official cash rate (OCR) and mortgage rates have risen and fallen in parallel but if there are further OCR cuts will this be passed on to customers by the banks?Read more >

The benefits of Depreciation

Marty McDonald - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Depreciation is essentially a tax deduction available to all property investors. A property investor is able to claim depreciation on both residential and commercial property, so it does not matter what type of property buyer you are, you are still entitled to claim your share of depreciation!Read more >

Make 2017 your year to follow investment dream

Marty McDonald - Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Many people wait for the ‘perfect’ time in their personal life and the economic environment to invest. This can see them waiting too long meaning they’ll miss their opportunity or when they do invest, it’s too late to have a successful strategy.Read more >

Case Study: How to secure and owner occupied rate for an Investment property?

Marty McDonald - Tuesday, December 20, 2016

It’s expected that Investment rates will rise over the next 12 months. For this reason, there’s no better time to consider different options that allow you to secure a much lower rate.Read more >

The 2016 Wrap up: Can it keep going?

Marty McDonald - Thursday, December 15, 2016

While there was a slight decline in prices at the beginning of the year, the Sydney property market will end up with double digit growth again this year. This rise has been attributed to a strong economy, large population growth of around 1,100 new arrivals a week, increased demand from family’s looking to upgrade and the demand from investors chasing capital growth. Read more >

Case Study: How different banks assess unusual income

Marty McDonald - Tuesday, November 22, 2016

We recently had a client come to us who was seeking a home loan with the scenario that a good degree of his income was from annual bonuses. While a few lenders will not accept bonus income at all the most common policy is lenders require a two-year history at a minimum and then take 80% of the lower year’s figure. This is a prudent approach but in this case it was problematic as this client had only been with his current employer for a little over one year. He had been in the same industry for 20 years and he had always received bonuses like this in the past. Read more >

3 ways parents can assist their kids into the property market. Gift, loan and guarantee

Marty McDonald - Thursday, November 17, 2016

With escalating property values in our capital cities especially here in Sydney we are seeing parents helping their children in far greater numbers than ever before. So how are parents helping their kids?Read more >

Whats needed to get started?

Marty McDonald - Wednesday, November 09, 2016

If you are ready to take action, you will need to compile this list of essential documents for review: If you receive PAYG income the last 2 pay slips, PAYG payment summary Read more >

Case Study: Family trust with company trustee at normal home loan rates with offset.

Marty McDonald - Thursday, October 20, 2016

A trust is an arrangement which allows a person to own assets on behalf of another person, family or group of people. Many mortgage brokers, bank employees / lending managers and bank staff in general struggle with these loans, especially if there is corporate trustee involved which there normally is.Read more >

Case study: Can I get a home loan while on maternity leave?

Marty McDonald - Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Trying to get a home loan and being on maternity often creates an unexpected barrier at just the time families are looking to upgrade to a bigger home. Some lenders are stuck in the dark ages when it comes to maternity leave and income assessment. Many will flat out refuse to include a new mums paid maternity income and will not consider her return to work income even though the date of return may be documented by her employer. Their logic is how do we know that the mother will return to work? Credit policy clearly written by a middle aged man more than 20 years ago!Read more >

Loans for over 55's: how does my age affect the terms of my loan?

Marty McDonald - Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Can home loan borrowers over 55 years of age qualify for a standard home loan with standard length repayment terms of 25 or 30 years? Yes, and No, read on for more.Read more >

Case study: Small scale development finance (5 or less dwellings)

Marty McDonald - Tuesday, July 12, 2016

When it comes to finance for small scale development or unit blocks on one title most lenders will deem it a commercial transaction if there are more than 2 or 3 dwellings involved. This is regardless of whether the property will be subdivided, strata titled or whether they will remain on the same title.Read more >

Labor | negative gearing | CGT

Marty McDonald - Friday, July 08, 2016

The breakdown: Labor’s Property Policy. Housing policy is certainly a contentious issue amongst Australians. With the 2016 election result still unknown (at time of writing) but with the likelihood of Labor eventually getting in to power in the next few years (this is how it usually works right!) I thought it would be useful to properly explore their policies to understand how they may affect you as an investor or a prospective investor.Read more >

Case Study: Multiple investment loans refinanced to save $10,000 pa

Marty McDonald - Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Multiple investment loans refinanced to significantly more competitive rates. Saved over $10,000 pa. Recently you may have heard about the crackdown by the banking regulator APRA on the banks’ lending guidelines and in particular their lending to investors. What has transpired is generally tougher qualifying criteria (all borrowers) and higher interest rates for investment loans.Read more >

Strategies for Managing a Temporary Reduced Income

Marty McDonald - Friday, May 06, 2016

Many families will experience a period of reduced income. This is for reasons such as maternity leave, long service leave and extended holidays. A savvy home owner plans ahead to ensure they can continue to make mortgage repayments without a cash flow crisis! Being informed about your options rather then just winging it is the answer. In my latest blog I discuss practical ways to get through these times.Read more >

How to choose an Investment Property without getting burnt

Marty McDonald - Tuesday, April 05, 2016

How to maximise your chances of choosing a good investment property (and minimise the chances of being burnt). Check out my guide below. Read more >

What do I do if my income is outside base or usual income?

Marty McDonald - Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Following the latest APRA requirements, many banks have introduced policy changes to their net surplus calculators. These changes see a tightening on what types of income is accepted when applying for a loan. With certain banks, different incomes such as commission, overtime, shift penalties and bonuses are only accepted 50% as a common practice or not at all. However particular lenders still accept up to 100% of this unusual income. Policies can be quite strict but working with an expert that knows them inside out can insure that you get the best set-up for your specific situation and income type. Read more >

How using a broker can add value for doctors and other specialist professionals

Marty McDonald - Monday, January 18, 2016

For medical practitioners and some other professionals as noted below a few lenders are offering Lenders Mortgage Insurance waivers (L.M.I. for short) when borrowing up to 90% of the property value. This can save tens of thousands of dollars! The other plus is the ability to access 90% LVR's for investment loans which some lenders restrict to 80% currently. Usual policy dictates that when a borrower takes out a loan with a Loan to property value ratio above 80% there is an added cost of LMI to protect the lender as the loan is perceived as high risk (check out the LMI page for more). Read more >

Home Loans on Maternity Leave

Marty McDonald - Thursday, December 17, 2015

It is common for new mums to take a period of time off to care for their newborn. At this time couples are also considering their future and often want to upsize into a home more suitable for a family. Read more >

Top 5 things to avoid when choosing an investment property

Marty McDonald - Thursday, December 03, 2015

Buying off the plan is a high risk investment. When agreeing to a buy now, pay later contract the inherent risk is that you won’t get what you paid for. Developers will use incentives like free holidays or even free cars to try and sell the plan; however this is usually absorbed into the purchase price. New properties don’t seem to achieve the same capital growth as older established dwellings with proven track records. This is partly due to the flooded supply of new apartments increasing every year. Around 25,000 new apartments will be hitting the market within the next 12 months that will be in direct competition to your new apartment.Read more >

Not all streets are created equal - finding the sweet spot for capital growth

Marty McDonald - Thursday, November 19, 2015

As investors we are generally very focused on the growth prospects of a city, region and the individual suburbs that are in prime position to increase in value. We might think that once we have settled on a few target suburbs with great growth prospects, that our hard work is done. All that is left is to start working through the properties that are on the market and find something that suits your requirements - then negotiate a good price.Read more >

How to best access your equity & the Investing in the post APRA environment

Marty McDonald - Thursday, November 05, 2015

From a lending point of view there are really only two things property investors need to keep investing successfully. Equity to leverage off and the capacity to prove serviceability to lenders so you can keep using their money to invest. Read more >

Everything you need to know about Bridging Loans

Marty McDonald - Monday, November 02, 2015

Many home buyers encounter an unpleasant scenario where their dream home is found but their current property has not been put on the market yet. Or it is on the market but buying now would mean they have to accept a low price for their current home so that they can marry up the two settlement dates not to mention it puts them in a stressful position. While many may see limited options in this situation, utilising a bringing loan can allow the home buyer to act quickly and confidently, purchasing their perfect house before the current one is sold and in most cases capitalising on the situation. A bridging loan allows home buyers to upgrade properties in a seamless manner. You won’t need to co-ordinate settlement dates or find temporary housing and will be ready to buy from the moment you enter the highly competitive housing market.Read more >

New Mortgage Insurer sees Cheaper LMI Premiums

Marty McDonald - Thursday, October 22, 2015

Earlier this year one of Australia’s big 4 banks ended their long-term mortgage insurance partnerships with both the major LMI providers (Genworth Financial and QBE) and struck a deal with a new overseas based player. This is relevant because it is bringing some long needed competition back to the LMI market. Finally.Read more >

Top 5 most common investment loan mistakes

Marty McDonald - Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Top 5 most common investment loan mistakes or problems that individuals face. Investment properties are a learning process filled with hiccups that help us make better decisions in the future. At least if you follow our advice regarding these 5 mistakes, you'll be able to get it right the first time. Read more >

Investment loan rate changes APRA

Marty McDonald - Wednesday, October 07, 2015

As of December 2014, to curb investor borrowing the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) encouraged the major banks and other deposit taking institutions to de-risk their lending books by making changes to lending standards mainly around investment loans. At that time APRA recommended banks restrict property investment loan growth to 10% or less in a year. However the response from the banks was initially largely ineffective. That said it was against the back drop of a very heated Sydney and Melbourne property market. Read more >

Self Managed Super Fund Loan Structure (SMSF Loan structure)

Marty McDonald - Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Most people have heard of self managed super funds (SMSF’s) and many people are aware that SMSF’s can borrow money to purchase property. There is still considerable confusion around how this works and if indeed it’s worth the complexity. In this blog post I will outline the basics of SMSF lending, the mechanics of how these borrowing arrangements are set up as well as some of the pros and cons with this investment strategy.Read more >

Exit fees are officially banned

Marty McDonald - Friday, June 24, 2011

The proposed legislation to ban home loan exit fees was officially passed by the senate yesterday Read more >

Negative gearing, positive gearing and neutral gearing

Marty McDonald - Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Negative gearing, positive gearing and neutral gearing; you hear these phrases often but I think many people don’t really understand what the terms actually mean. I will outline what exactly what those terms mean as well as briefly explaining why some investors choose to buy negatively geared properties.Read more >

Lending competition returning

Marty McDonald - Thursday, September 09, 2010

Today I am writing about some significant changes to lenders polices (It seems lenders are back and wanting business). Competition is finally returning to the lending market!Read more >

Borrowing with a trust

Marty McDonald - Friday, August 06, 2010

Borrowing involving a trust. If you ever considered owning real estate through a trust (including through your Self Managed Super Fund) then this may be of interest to you. Off course seek your own advice and don’t rely on this information solely. Trusts are predominately used for asset protection, tax minimisation and succession planning. The main types of trusts used when borrowing are discretionary trusts (family trusts), unit trusts, self managed super fund trusts and to a lesser degree hybrid / property investor trusts.Read more >

House prices

Marty McDonald - Wednesday, June 09, 2010

My latest thoughts on house prices below prompted by this article in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday by journalist David Potts. Read more >

85 percent loans with no lenders mortgage insurance (LMI)

Marty McDonald - Monday, January 01, 0001

I have had a lot of enquiries about which lenders are offering 85% with no mortgage insurance? So I thought I would write about who’s offering this, what the benefits and pitfalls are and what the general lending guidelines are.Read more >