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Latest Mortgage, Finance & Property News

A Guide to Home Loan Paperwork

Putting together the paperwork needed for home loan approval is a task many prospective home buyers dread.

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How to Benefit from Reduced Rates

With official cash rates at rock bottom, now is the time to get ahead with your home loan.

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Moving House

Australians rank moving house second only to divorce and bereavement on the scale of life crises.

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The future of Interest only loans

It’s not as easy as it once was to apply for an interest-only loan. Over the last couple of months lending for this type of investment loan has been tightened in an effort to slow the pace of record growth in investment home loans.

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Small Business Spending

If you’re running a small business, now is the time to think big.

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Brokers more Popular than Ever

Mortgage brokers are now responsible for writing over half of Australia’s home loans and are valued for their choice, expertise and convenience, according to a new survey commissioned by the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA).

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Housekeeping now will pay off later

Good housekeeping is the key to meeting financial goals.

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Got it covered?

There are many ways to build wealth, but what about protecting it?

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Sharing Property Ownership

Cut the cost of property ownership in half by buying with a family member or friend. Save only half a deposit, pay only half the mortgage and cover only half of the bills. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it?

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What is a comparison rate?

When an interest rate is advertised on a home loan, have you noticed there is a comparison rate beside it?

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4 Tips to Success in 2015

What better time than the start of a new year to review your finances and look at ways to do things better in 2015. Here are our top tips for success.

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Estate Planning

Most of us expect to live to a ripe old age, but what if the unexpected happens and we don't? No one can ever predict what's around the corner, which is why it's important to have a Will and mortgage protection insurance in place to protect those we leave behind.

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Plan for a Successful Renovation

This article covers how to achieve successful renovation by planning ahead.

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Open House Inspections

The adage 'never judge a book by its cover' applies well to an open house inspection because the closer you look at a property the more you might discover.

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Record rate stability

It has been over a year since the Reserve Bank raised the cash rate, and economists predict it will remain at the historic low of 2.5 per cent until 2015.

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Money Management for Kids

An OECD study of 15-year-olds across 18 countries found that Aussie teenagers rank among the highest for financial skills and knowledge.

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Construction Boom Continues

Signing a contract of sale for a property gets you near the finish line but there's still a few more hurdles to jump. Congratulate yourself that you have made it through the most gruelling part of acquiring a new property, but don't crack open the bubbly until you have the keys in your hand.

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How to Profit from Renovation

When it comes to making money from renovation, any old house won't do.

The key to a successful renovation is to choose the right suburb, the right street and then the right property. It can be difficult to make a decent profit if the property is located in an area that doesn't attract significantly higher prices for renovated homes or if the property ends up costing you more than the likely sale price.

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Renter-Investor

The first property you buy doesn't have to be the one you live in. Starting out with an investment property is one way to get a foothold in the property market, and would especially suit the following scenarios.

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Is your Password Secure?

If you use a family name, a pet’s name, a birthdate or numbers between 1 and 6 as your online password, you are an easy target for a hacker.

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Getting the Most from Home Insurance

Taking out home insurance is a requirement of most lenders, but it pays to become familiar with the fine print before you choose a policy.

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How to Buy a Second Property

You already own one property and now you want to purchase a second. How do you get started?

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Thumbs up for Investment

Investment loans dominate the market and the majority of investors use a mortgage broker, according to new research.

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Seeking Super

There is over $18 billion of lost superannuation in Australia sitting in unused accounts; could some of it be yours?

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Online Property Tools

Web sites and apps give us a great shortcut to buying, selling and investing in property. Check out some of these online ideas; combine them with advice from your mortgage broker and you’ll save yourself time and money.

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Squeaky Clean Credit

Paying your loans and bills on time has taken on a new level of importance thanks to reforms to Australia’s credit reporting system.

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Use Depreciation to Slash Your Tax Bill

Did you know that you can claim tax deductions for the wear and tear to the fixtures, fittings and appliances in your rental property?

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Statistics Snapshot

Here’s a round-up of interesting statistics you might want to know about:

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Getting Ready to Retire

Some of us dream of an early retirement, while others are keen to keep going as long as possible.

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Save on Property Price

A few thousand knocked off the purchase price of a property could save you thousands in interest repayments. We did some research to find out the top five strategies that buyer’s agents use to negotiate a good deal with vendors.

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Life insurance: stepped or level?

When taking out life insurance you may be asked to choose between stepped and level premiums. As there are significant differences between the two, it pays to consider both your current and future financial needs before making a decision.

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Shrinking Blocks

Australian house block areas are shrinking to a quarter of the size they were in the 1950s. From an average of 810-910 square metres sixty years ago, they were down to 200-350 square metres in 2012.

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Financial resolutions that last

Losing weight, quitting smoking, saving money and getting out of debt are among the most popular New Year’s resolutions.

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20 Questions to Ask

What better time than the start of a new year to evaluate your life, think about all that is behind you and all that lies ahead. Are you happy with what you have achieved so far? Have you plans for the future?

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Super life insurance

Is it better to have life insurance included in your superannuation or as a stand-alone policy (outside your superannuation)? Many of us opt for super-life insurance because the premiums are cheaper, without fully realising that the level of cover is significantly less than that of a stand-alone policy.

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The Power of Offset

An offset account can provide huge savings over the life of a home loan so be sure yours is set up to get the best bang from your buck.

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Economy solid in 2014

There’s plenty of data to back up the rumour that Australia will be a star performer among the global economies of 2014.

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How to avoid a credit card hangover

Between all the Christmas parties, gift buying and holiday activities, it’s all too easy to wake up in January with a credit card hangover. Start thinking now about ways to practice safe Christmas spending and you may well avoid the New Year pain.

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6 Financial Mistakes to Avoid

We lock up our homes to avoid being burgled, yet there are many other ways people are being robbed of their money. Keep your finances safe by avoiding these common traps.

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Property Developer Dilemmas

Most property developers would say risk is an unavoidable part of their trade and being prepared for what lies ahead can mean the difference between success and failure.

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Property Hotspotting

Hotspotting has been credited with providing property investors with the inside edge on where to buy. Here we look at what it means and whether it can work for you.

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Does a swimming pool increase a property's value?

‘Pool’ is the number one most searched for feature by browsers of Australian property website realestate.com.au. It also appears twice in the top ten (‘pool’, ‘swimming pool’) along with ‘waterfront’, ‘living + areas’, ‘granny flat’, ‘bedrooms’, ‘views’, ‘investment’, ‘duplex’ and ‘shed’.

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Mapping your Goals

We all set goals, either consciously or unconsciously, but most of us are content with vague targets that are just as easily forgotten the next day.

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The Power of Deposit Bonds

A Deposit Bond offers a quick and convenient way to offer a deposit for the purchase of a property if you don’t have the cash on hand.

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Going Green

Save money on your energy bills and add value to your property by going green. Improvements that reduce your home’s energy and water use will significantly increase its resale value.

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Sell Early for Best Results

Should you accept an early offer on your home or hold out for a better price?

According to a recent study by RP Data, the longer you wait, the less you may get. It seems a quick sale is a good sale, with quick sales experiencing low levels of discounting while properties that sit on the market for longer typically see excessive levels of discount.

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Think like the Rich

Wouldn't it be great to know you can trust your mortgage adviser to give you the best advice and steer you down the right path? Well you can! Here's why...

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6 Investment Mistakes to Avoid

Wouldn't it be great to know you can trust your mortgage adviser to give you the best advice and steer you down the right path? Well you can! Here's why...

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Rent or buy - which is better?

Wouldn't it be great to know you can trust your mortgage adviser to give you the best advice and steer you down the right path? Well you can! Here's why...

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Tips for Buying at Auction

Wouldn't it be great to know you can trust your mortgage adviser to give you the best advice and steer you down the right path? Well you can! Here's why...

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How walkable is your suburb?

Wouldn't it be great to know you can trust your mortgage adviser to give you the best advice and steer you down the right path? Well you can! Here's why...

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Your Trusted Adviser

Wouldn't it be great to know you can trust your mortgage adviser to give you the best advice and steer you down the right path? Well you can! Here's why...

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Self Managed Super: a growing trend

Lenders continue to launch new loan products to cater for the soaring popularity of self-managed super funds (SMSFs).

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The right time

Predicting the perfect time to buy is difficult, even for the experts, yet many investors get caught in the fear of buying at the 'wrong time'.

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Buyers Make a Comeback

While many buyers kept out of the property market in 2012, there are signs of a comeback.

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The Credit Trap

Shopping with a credit card is quick, easy and painless - at least until your next payment becomes due.

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Consolidating your Debt

You've overspent at Christmas and now you realise your bank balance won't cover your credit card debt. Before you plunge further into debt, it's a good idea to act quickly and consolidate your debts into a relatively low-interest product such as your home loan.

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Investing in an Apartment: What to Look for

What features make a great apartment that renters will love and will make you money when you sell?

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Choosing the right investment loan

When structuring a home loan, investors have different needs to consider than owner occupiers.

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Mortgage Traps to Avoid

Start off the New Year on the right foot by making sure you choose the right mortgage that suits your needs. Here are 6 mortgage traps to avoid.

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Gold for Property

If medals were handed out for making money, gold would go to property investment according to this year's BRW Rich 200 List.

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Serious about Super

When was the last time you checked to see how your superannuation was performing? Many of us give very little thought to our super until we need it and by then it's often too late.

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Unleash your Equity to Expand your Portfolio

Owning a property provides a hidden source of wealth that can be used to build an investment portfolio.

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Be Your Own Olympian

Ask any Olympic athlete what got them to London and they will invariably mention the words 'motivation', 'dedication', 'perseverance' and 'goal setting'.

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Increase your Income

If there is one thing that most of us want more of it's money. Enterprising Londoners found ways to earn extra cash during the Olympics by renting out their homes and carports, selling memorabilia on eBay and hosting Olympic themed events. One London taxi driver even rented out his cab at night as a single-person hotel room.

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Affordable Property Investment

A large bank balance is not a prerequisite for affording an investment property. There are many options available to help you get a foot in the door including using home equity, tax incentives and tailored investment loans.

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Refinancing Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid these common mistakes and refinancing your home loan should be a simple, trouble-free experience. Successfully navigating the refinancing process can enable you to take advantage of better rates and features, as well as provide finance for a renovation, construction or property purchase.

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Buyers Wish List

Multiple bathrooms are rated as number one on a wish list of features that buyers look for in a new home.

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Price Bubble Debunked

Despite talk of a housing price bubble, ANZ research shows there is little chance of a housing market crash this year. The bank forecasts prices to remain on hold or fall slightly, but not crash.

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Myths of Insurance

We rarely think twice about insuring our car, our house and even our possessions, yet we often overlook protecting our most important asset - our income.

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What if ...

Considering investing in property, but worried about all the things that might go wrong? Here we look at how to deal with a number of common 'what if' scenarios.

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Fix or not?

A drop in fixed rates by a number of banks and lenders has increased the number of borrowers who are fixing their home loans.

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Technology Trends 2012

Just as the fax machine has been relegated to dinosaur status, so too will email be considered old hat. Analysts predict that 2012 will see technologies become more social, more connected and increasingly voice controlled.

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Private Sale or Auction?

Selling your home via auction or private treaty is never an easy decision to make.

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Renovate to Sell

Renovation is one of the ways you can differentiate your home to attract buyers in a slow market, but you need to do your homework to ensure that renovating before you sell is worth the time, effort and money.

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Lower Risk with Due Diligence

Due diligence is an important part of any major transaction and acquiring a commercial property is no exception.

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Put a Price on Your Home

How do you go about finding out the true value of your home? You might not want to go to the expense of hiring a qualified property valuer, but you are worried about the accuracy of relying on market appraisals from real estate agents or online property price reports.

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The Year Ahead

With so many mixed messages going around about the state of the economy, we thought it was time to look at what the statistics tell us.

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Insure against Risk

Risk is a necessary part of life, whether it's as simple as trying a new breakfast cereal or as complex as investing in property. It's how we manage these risks that can determine our future - wealth, happiness and lifestyle.

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Banish Work Blues

We all have periods when we feel less than enthusiastic about being at work. When this happens, consider the following tips for achieving greater job satisfaction...

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House versus Apartment

Does a house make a better investment than an apartment? It's a common question but like the 'old versus new' debate, the answer depends on who you speak to!

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Old versus New Property

If there's one topic property investors rarely agree on, it's what makes a better investment: old or new?

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Rate Rollercoaster

We've spent the year expecting interest rates to go up, now there's hope they may be coming down. It's an unusual reversal of fortune and one that took many economists by surprise when just a few months ago the Reserve Bank was widely tipped to lift rates at least twice before Christmas.

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Bank or Broker?

Clients sometimes ask us why they shouldn't just go direct to a bank. Our answer is that mortgage brokers can do a lot more than process a transaction - we provide advice, financial guidance and valuable assistance with negotiating your way through the mortgage process. We also take the time to listen to your needs and understand your future financial goals.

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Network Success

Networking is a great way to make contacts and establish relationships, but not everyone is good at small talk. Luckily there are tried and tested tactics for breaking the ice and getting a conversation going.

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Did you know? Here are some First Home Buyer stats

Some interesting First Home Buyer Stats.

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Anyone looking to buy their first property?

First home buyers are putting aside their nerves and making a comeback to the property market. After lying low for 12 months, the number of new home loan commitments by first home buyers is on the rise, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

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Building Wealth for Retirement

Investing in property can help build wealth for retirement in a way that superannuation, savings or the stock market cannot.

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Young Australians want their own home

The dream of home ownership is alive and well, according to a new report that reveals Generation Y are willing to give up luxuries to own their first home.

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Living Green

Lower your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint by making some green improvements around your home.

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Beat the Cost of Living

How to cope with the rising cost of electricity, fuel and groceries? If asking for a pay rise is out of the question, let's look at what else you can do to survive the escalating cost of living.

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7 Ways to Pay down your Home Loan Sooner

You don't need to win the lottery to pay off your home loan. There are a number of great strategies for reducing your loan balance and saving thousands in interest repayments. It's never too late to begin, so pick and choose which of the following work for you.

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Flat Market Favours Buyers

You've probably heard the reports about the Australian property market being 'flat'. What does it mean to have a flat market and what are the implications for you as a buyer or seller?

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Exit Fees Out or Not?

The proposed ban on mortgage exit fees by the federal government has been put on hold following its rejection by a Senate committee.
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Work Life Balance

Juggling commitments to work and family often seems to require the perception of a psychic, the balance of a tightrope walker and the stamina of an Olympic athlete. Striking the right balance has never been easy, but it will definitely become easier if you make the most of your time by becoming organised.
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Secrets Every Home Buyer Should Know

In the market for a new home? Let's take a look at some industry secrets that will make it easier for you to choose a property that's right for you and your bottom line.
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Tax Tips

It's nearing the end of the financial year, which means it's time to tackle your tax return. Here are a few tax tips from the experts that might help you lower your tax bill.
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Exit Fees Out

Switching home loans has become one step easier with the removal of mortgage exit fees.
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2011: A Positive Market Outlook

2011 is shaping up as a positive year for the property market...

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Success as a Landlord

Earn money while someone pays off your mortgage - that's the life of a landlord! Owning a rental property can be a 'dream come true' if you follow these tips for successfully managing your investment.

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Are you Insured?

This year's string of floods, cyclone and bushfires has pushed the topic of insurance well into the spotlight. Thousands of home owners, landlords and business owners have lost valuable assets and without insurance cover are struggling to make ends meet.

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Jobs of the future

Strong job growth is one of the signs that the economy is doing well and the climate is right for property investment.

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Selling at Auction: simple strategies to improve your chances of a sale

With auction clearance rates disappointingly low, sellers have to work hard to achieve a good price at auction. Follow these simple strategies to improve your chances of a sale.

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Tips for selling your home

Your home is going on the market and you want to ensure it sells for the best possible price. How do you go about it?

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How much Deposit do I need?

It's possible to buy a home with very little deposit, but there are a number of reasons why it makes sense to save a decent deposit before you apply for a loan.

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Buying a second property...

History rarely repeats itself and this is certainly true of buying a home second time around. As an established - or next time buyer - you have experience on your side but there are many new challenges to encounter that you may not have dealt with as a first home buyer.

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Next-time buyers

Thinking about upgrading or buying your second home? If so, you're not alone, with recent data showing it's the established - or next time - buyers who are currently fuelling interest in the property market.

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Buying an Investment Property

Let your head not your heart have the deciding say when buying an investment property. It's tempting to allow your emotions to get the upper hand if you are purchasing your own home, but if you don't intend to live in the property, look at it with 'investment eyes' only.

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Many Happy Tax Returns

Australia has some of the most complex tax laws in the world, which means it's important to review your tax strategy each year to keep up with the latest changes. Here are some facts and tips to help you lodge your 2009-10 tax return.

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Retirement Nest Egg

Working out the best way to build your nest egg for retirement is never easy, but many agree that relying on superannuation alone is not enough.

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Super-sized Homes

It seems big is better when it comes to the Australian home, which now super-sizes all other countries in the world. Averaging 215 square metres, the Australian home is now 7 per cent bigger than homes in the US, double the size of those in Europe and triple the size of those in the UK.

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Insuring your Mortgage

With interest rates predicted to rise again this year, you may want to consider taking out mortgage insurance for protection against financial difficulty.

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Cheaper to buy or rent?

Buying property is becoming cheaper than renting in many suburbs across Australia, according to research by property pricing specialist RP Data.

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Seize the Day

You have been thinking about buying a property for some time, but you cannot bring yourself to take the first step. Although you know the benefits it will bring, you keep putting your decision off because you are afraid of the risks involved.

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Rainy Day Savings

Under your bed, in a bank account or on your home loan, it's always handy to have a stash of cash for that rainy day.

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Redraw and Offset: A Step Ahead

While interest rates remain low, it pays to stay ahead of your minimum monthly repayments by using a redraw facility or offset account.

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Refinance: You Could Save Thousands

A while ago we published an article on whether to refinance in the wake of rising interest rates. Today we re-visit this topic from the opposite side of the coin - whether to refinance in the wake of interest rates that are going down, rather than up!

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Price Tags Count, Postcodes Don't

An exclusive postcode is no longer such an asset as property prices continue to drop at the top end of the market.

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Broker Benefits

Good advice is critical when selecting a home loan, according to a recent survey of Australian home-owners.

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Paying Interest Only

You may have heard of an interest-only loan and wondered if it is as good as it sounds.

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Managing Your Money

It's often said the secret of managing money is to live as economically the day after payday as you did the day before.

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Line of Credit Home Loan

Looking for a way to pay off high interest debts, fund your home improvements or make a major purchase?

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Borrow Through Super

Investing your superannuation in direct property could now be an option in your retirement strategy, thanks to recent changes to the laws governing self-managed superannuation funds.

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Fixed vs. Variable Home Loans

To fix or not to fix? It's a question that has become increasingly common in the wake of rising interest rates.

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