With interest rates at an all time low, and expected to potentially drop further, it’s no wonder more people are weighing up whether buying now is right for them. Getting out of the rental market and having a property to call their own is important for many but getting the finance for a home loan isn’t as easy as it seems.
Phil Mikhail from Mortgage Port believes getting a loan from a bank is now more complex than it was prior to the introduction of Responsible Lending Lending legislation. Banks are doing more in-depth due diligence on borrower’s expenses and looking for borrowers who understand where and how their money is being spent.
It is that due diligence where a lot of people are tripping up on when they apply for a loan. Whereas in years gone pasts, banks may not have been too concerned about a late payment here and there, now, they are checking whether and how regularly you use services like AfterPay, ZipPay and Uber, as well as your credit history and whether you pay your bills on time.
Lenders also want to see good savings in your bank account that proves you can live within your means. This is all on top of the minimum 10% deposit that many lenders require borrowers to have before they even think of getting a home loan.
It is only after understanding that the lending criteria for banks have now dramatically changed, that first home buyers or those buying their first investment property start to wonder whether it’s worth it, or whether they should just keep saving for a little while longer.
Getting Your Budget Right
We’ve all heard how beneficial it is to do a budget. Done well, we know where our money is going and where we can cut back when we need to. But when buying a home, first home buyers need to establish whether they can afford not only the mortgage repayments, but rates, water, insurance and maintenance on top of their everyday living costs.
Phil Mikhail suggests that “for borrowers, it is essential to have a good understanding of where you spend your money. Prior to seeing your bank or broker, put together a budget which will give you a better understanding of your household expenses”.
Expert Advice is Essential
When considering purchasing a home, it is always a great idea to gain expert advice, whether that be from your accountant or your broker, or any other professional within the field. If you are using a broker, you need to choose someone who has plenty of experience.
When asked about multiple enquiries, Phil says that “ prospective borrowers should obtain a copy of their credit file through one of the credit agencies such as Equifax. Too many credit enquiries are not a good thing to have on your credit profile. It is certainly encouraged for borrowers to be aware of what is on their credit history and what might hurt their chances at home finance.”
Why a broker over a bank? Bank home loan experts tend to advise new buyers that they need at least 10% deposit, and in this current climate, some new home buyers are needing to find up to 30% deposits. A company like MortgagePort, will help you find a home loan that suits your needs as a borrower rather than solely suiting the lender’s policy, which is what you would typically get from a major bank.
You may well find that you don’t need a 10% deposit; in some circumstances, such as buying off the plan, you can sometimes pay as little as 5% up front, and then the remainder of payment on settlement. This can work both for and against a new home buyer – the longer lead time between deposit and settlement gives you more time to build up funds (which means less borrowed from a lender). On the other hand, finances can change quite considerably in that time, and you may find that you can no longer service the loan. This is where an experienced broker can help, ensuring you can still qualify for a loan long before settlement date.
Similarly, a 10% deposit may not be necessary with a family pledge. For example, parents can help out their children by putting down family property as the deposit or equity for the loan. Again, the need for someone reputable giving sound advice is critical in understanding exactly where you sit and what you can do to purchase property.
When you’re considering purchasing your new home, make the time to speak with an experienced broker who can give you the information you need to help you get into your new home sooner. Even if you’re just starting to think about buying, the earlier you talk to a professional, the more prepared you are going to be, and this will only make you better off in the long run.
Buying a new home can bring with it a range of emotions, from excitement about the prospect of moving into a new home, to fear about how to deal with maintenance and other repair issues. With how expensive property has become, more and more people are looking into buying apartments – and why not, new apartments offer the lifestyle features of living close to the city and close to work, while being more affordable.
Recent issues both here in Australia and overseas, have exposed some of the flaws in the construction industry, bringing a sense of doubt to unit buyers. So, with these issues occurring in the construction of new buildings, how can you feel confident in buying an apartment?
We’ve put together some tips to help you feel confident to go searching to a new apartment to live or invest in.
Who is the Builder?
Finding out who the builder is or was, and their track record is really important. If you are buying off the plan or into a relatively new apartment, you should be able to track these details down really easily. Once you have the details, hop online and find out what other projects they have done. From here, you’ll be able to do a search for that building and see if any issues have been reported in the news or the like. Alternatively, you may be able to contact the builder and ask for references and reviews from their builds.
Who is the Developer?
Finding out who the developer is an important factor as well. The developer will be the one who initially developed the land, laid down the essential services like sewer, water and electrics. Again, if it is a relatively new build or an off the plan, it should be easy enough to find details on other buildings they have worked on and if there have been previous or current issues.
For both the builder and developer, you may find that the sales agent has worked with these businesses before and will be able to provide some information on their previous work.
Get Your Strata Reports
Whatever state you’re in and however old the apartment that you are buying, it is essential to get the strata disclosure statement as part of your contract. This disclosure statement should list any defects or major repairs that have happened. All strata buildings should have a budget set out for proposed future works, and the sinking fund should be relatively high. If you find the sinking fund is low, make sure you ask why.
Get a Building Report Done
Many unit buyers tend to skip out on a building and pest report thinking that the strata or insurance will cover any works that need to be done. This isn’t always the case and having a building report done will give you some reassurance on what is happening inside the apartment you are looking to purchase. While a building report won’t cover the common areas, it will cover the internal and accessible external of the apartment. When combined with the disclosure statement from strata, you will be able to decide whether to go ahead with the purchase.
Doing some research into apartments before you buy is essential; you don’t want to be left with repairs that insurance won’t cover, and you certainly don’t want to be left without a home. Spend the time before you spend your money to be more confident in what you are purchasing.
Within two years since being founded, Laurus Projects are already developing three projects including The Balmain Leagues Club, Grandfield apartments Kellyville and Seascape Senior Retirement Living.
Laurus delivers an end-to-end service, covering all aspects of the project from concept development to completion, including identifying opportunities, planning, arranging funding partners, design, in-house sales and marketing, and project management and construction delivery.
The people behind the brand are the driving force behind Laurus. They're an established team of industry professionals who pride themselves on their highly focused development and project management skills.
Meet the people behind the Laurus brand, the driving force behind its progress.
Brian then moved on to Lendlease and later Hutchinson, where he established their Sydney presence, and grew it from nothing to a $400M turnover business.
Brian has been involved in the delivery of over $4 billion worth of work, including many award-winning projects, such as the Sydney Olympic Stadium, Bennelong Point, The Residences Hyde Park and Bondi Pacific. Over the years, Brian has established strong working relationships with designers and building partners and has a deep understanding of the political climate surrounding the construction and development industry, which those who partner with Laurus get the security of.
Laurus’ unwavering reputation for consistently delivering on their commitments has set them apart. With Brian being across all aspects of the project, the team’s expertise, in-house resources and ongoing commitment to the long-term operation, result in every project handled by Laurus being treated with the same level of professionalism and attention to detail.
Nathaniel Murray - Front End Design & Planning Outcomes
Nathaniel comes to the Laurus Team with a wealth of knowledge and credentials, winning the prestigious Planning Institute of Australia (PIA - NSW Division) Prize for Excellence in Integrated Planning - 2006. The PIA Prize for Integrated Planning is awarded to the student who has performed best in years 2, 3 and 4 of the Bachelor of Town Planning program.
Nathaniel has worked on some of Australia’s most significant projects, most notably the Building Education Revolution (BER) where he had a senior planning management role. Nathaniel’s role involves guiding the development team, through the complex legislative and political systems influencing the stakeholders projects, whilst also managing specialist sub consultant team members, report composition, stakeholder liaison and timeframe management. Nathaniel’s role is the delivery of projects and liaison with authorities and stakeholders.
Mark Boutros - Project Manager
Mark's experience includes the project management of concept schemes assists the development managers in planning proposals; preparation of statements of environmental effects, development applications, liaising with local councils, planning panels and other government authorities; and analysis of the planning feasibility of potential development sites.
Marks key function is the overseeing of the construction contractors monitoring project feasibilities, budgets, program timelines progress flow charts, and Quantity Surveyor reports.
Mark strives to ensure each project he is involved in meets its objectives on time while maintaining high quality standards. Mark holds a Bachelor of Planning from Macquarie University.
Stephen Ivanusa - Sales and Marketing
Stephen leads Laurus’ Sales and Marketing team. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his 15 years in the Real Estate industry.
Stephen has delivered numerous successful Project Sales & Marketing campaigns for some of Sydney’s most prestigious developments. His many years with Belle Property and more recently Belle Property International Sydney allow the combination of the boutique exclusive experience that Belle Property is renowned for with a complete suite of services that caters to international investor’s, buyers and developer’s needs.
During his tenure in real estate, Stephen’s goal has always remained the same – to change the way we think about real estate. To provide a concierge service that looks at protecting and safe guarding your property transaction, helping investors, big or small, and contribute to the flavour of a development that owners will enjoy for the life of their investment.
A big step forward in the development process of the Balmain Leagues Club has occurred. On Tuesday 25 June, the Inner West Council voted to adopt the new Development Control Plan for the Balmain Leagues Club site. This frees up the Development Application approval process for development to finally go ahead.
The development will include a residential, retail, commercial and club facility. The development located in Rozelle will include 173 apartments, a food and beverage retail precinct, commercial office space as well as being the home of the new Leagues Club.
The proposed development is located 15 minutes from Sydney CBD on Victoria Road, Rozelle. Within close proximity to the site are:
Grandfield Apartments in Kellyville is continuing to progress nicely with settlements likely in September / October. See press release below from Belle Property International.
Things have been humming along for Laurus in May.
The display unit at Grandfield Apartments Kellyville has been open and having visitors through. See the photos below. Also, follow this link to get a virtual tour of the apartment via a panorama put together by Diakrit, https://cdn.diakrit.com/product/panorama/8433583/61451/167600.
Laurus is dotting I’s and crossing T’s on some exciting new projects, which we can hopefully unveil next month. Stay tuned.
An action filled April has yielded more positive results for Laurus Projects.
The Grandfield Apartments project in Kellyville is progressing nicely. Scaffolding has started to be removed from the development, which gives the first hint of the final product to purchasers and the community.
In addition to this, the finished product is now on display on site - a completed apartment in the development. Purchasers are being invited to inspect the display unit to see what they’ve bought for the first time.
Managing Director Brian Hood is very confident to display and confirm the quality of the product.
“We’re happy to be able to show purchasers what they’ve bought. It’s a stand out product for the Kellyville area.”
The project is on track for a completion in the third quarter of this year.
Last year, Scott Carver designed the Laurus Projects office space. The space was designed to promote natural light and colours. The space houses a private office, boardroom, private call room, kitchen and plenty of desk space where Laurus Projects, Belle Property International and Diakrit work alongside each other in a vibrant environment. See the first public reveal of the office design below.
Stepping into the new Laurus offices is an inviting experience as you leave the hustle and bustle of Pitt Street in Sydney’s CBD. The space has been deliberately designed as an urban office oasis, home to the Laurus team for over 12 months. Some of the space is also being leased to teams from Belle Property International and Diakrit, which has created buzz and energy around the office as the team’s work on their own exciting projects.
The last 12 months has seen the Laurus team busy delivering existing projects throughout Sydney and working on proposals for more potential jobs. Managing Director, Brian Hood says, “It’s been a particularly exciting few months for Laurus with a number of new jobs on the horizon.”
A residential project, Grandfield Apartments, in the heart of Kellyville has been an ongoing success for Laurus as the 92 apartment block with 2 level car park for 115 vehicles will be finishing ahead of time in August this year.
The New South Wales government nominated Kellyville as a priority growth area, which Laurus’ Grandfield Apartments are a part of. The project coincides with the opening of a new rail line and precinct only 10 minutes away from the development. It’s also conveniently down the road from the local public school and 6 minutes to the Rouse Hill Town Centre shopping mall.
The 92 block of apartments, majority of which have been pre sold, have been smartly designed by renowned architects and design teams to create an amazing environment for the residents that will be a key part of the Kellyville’s growing future. Brian is confident in the project's product offering:
"It’s filling a gap in a nominated growth area where you can purchase a quality product in a developing area. It’s cost effective, but done really well."
See more photos of the project here.
Laurus has also been working through the development plan for an aged care centre in Port Macquarie in a joint venture with the Moran Group.
The proposed development will be a luxury oceanfront senior living facility located on the highest point of Port Macquarie. With uninterrupted views over the Pacific Ocean, it will be a truly unique offering to seniors living.
It is situated 3.2km from Port Macquarie Town Centre, 7km from Port Macquarie Domestic Airport and 1.2km from Port Macquarie Hospital.
Laurus’ professionalism and expertise in combination with the Moran Group will undoubtedly see the development be a quality product, filling a demand for aged living on the NSW central coast.
For more information about Laurus’ current projects and project experience, please follow the links on our website.