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Catherines Chat

Wholistic Financial Solutions provides a lot of essential information and updates regarding the property investment industry. Check this page for the updates.

Property Clock is Ticking

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Herron Todd White's Property clock noting Toowoomba, Canberra, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast as rising markets. good picks in my opinion too


 

 

 

It’s Time To Switch!

Monday, November 16, 2015

GUEST POST BY Tim Slarke - Mortgage Broker and Credit Licensee at Wholistic Financial Solutions

Have you taken the time to take a look at your latest mortgage statement from your bank lately? Most people just accept it as a piece of nuisance mail and may not even open the envelope. But if you take the time to have a closer look at it, and you’re with a big bank, you may be in for a surprise, and not a pleasant one.

It’s an unwritten fact that unless as a consumer you say something, or express dissatisfaction with something, nothing will happen. And the Big 4 are no different to any other major organisation in that they will not give you as a customer anything of benefit to you willingly, even if you are entitled to it.

So borrowers should take control and actively seek out the exceptional deals that are available now in the mortgage lending market. There are an enormous number of smaller lenders that are offering exceptionally low interest rates and other incentives for new clients to join them. In the past 20 years there has never been time to look beyond the obvious and really consider your borrowing options.

At WFS we have over 50 years combined of finding the best loans for our clients. Not only finding the best deal available, but also using our vast taxation experience to structure loans to maximise the tax effectiveness of our clients’ borrowings to improve their wealth and therefore their lives.

At WFS we have over 25 lenders on our panel, all looking for new clients. Combined with WFS’s experience and professionalism, the best possible result is guaranteed for the home owner and investor who is prepared to allow WFS to find the best loan for them.

Property Hotspot

Thursday, October 01, 2015
SUNSHINE COAST
South East Queensland

 

 

Highlights
• Strong population growth
• Nation’s 10th largest city
• $2 billion University Hospital
• $5.3 billion Oceanside Kawana
• $350 million expansion of
Sunshine Plaza
• $2 billion light rail
• $150 million private hospital
• Caloundra South development
• Economy based on tourism,
retail, healthcare, construction
and education 

 

The Sunshine Coast market in 2014 returned to growth for the first time in six years.

 

Having previously been hampered by a struggling tourism economy, an over-­‐supply of dwellings and poor affordability, the coast has now moved into a strong growth phase.

 

(Source: Terry Ryder - Hotspotting)

Wealth Creation Strategies for the Average True Blue Aussie

Thursday, February 05, 2015

 

Wealth creation strategies for the average true blue Aussie

When the average person thinks of wealth creation strategies they generally think of ‘financial advice’.  However, there is a fundamental flaw in the financial advice industry in that it relates very little real wealth creation strategies.  In addition, it is neither accessible nor comprehendible for the average Australian family.  So the very ones that need financial advice, the average Australian family, cannot access it or understand it.  Even those that are lucky enough to be able to afford very basic financial planning, aka wealth creation advice, find it overwhelming and not comprehendible because the very term financial planning is misleading. 

Wealth Creation Strategies Definition

So what is the definition of ‘wealth creation strategies’?  One financial dictionary defines it as Accumulation of assets (especially those that generate income) over a long period of time.

Let’s see if real wealth creation strategies actually relates to financial planning.  It is actually very had to find an agreed definition of the term ‘financial planner’.  However, a ‘financial plan’ is defined as  ‘a comprehensive evaluation of someone's current and future financial state by using currently known variables to predict future cash flows, asset values and withdrawal plans

Yet when the average Aussie thinks of financial planners they generally think the person will be a highly educated and experienced professional that can assist them across all areas of their financial life.  Someone who can help them budget and save, then invest these savings in various investments including property, and also someone who will be able to reduce all the complicated financial strategies into a simple to understand no easy to implement plan.  However, this is not what happens when they see a financial planner. 

Financial Planners

Financial planners are basically product sales people getting paid commissions based on how much they sell. Worse still, some of them, are not highly educated at all, as a financial planning diploma can be obtained via internet based training courses. Some of these courses are quick and easy to complete and are more designed to make the supplier of the course money for course fees as opposed to ensuring a high quality financial advisor.  Financial planners also do not advise on property investing which is a key investment for financial wealth building and an investment that average Aussie wants included in the 'financial plan'.

Why is this such a problem? Clients want wholistic advice cross all financial fields. They want financial coaching that includes saving, budgeting, investing in shares, super, property, tax minimisation, asset protection, finance and more.  But each of these topics is dealt with by different professions.  A financial planner will sell you share or superannuation investments and convince you to take our high commission insurance policies.  But they won't help you invest in property.  An accountant may help you minimise tax, my even explain how to do this by investing in shares and property, but they can't actually advise on investing in such.  Mortgage brokers can advise on the best finance but can't advise on anything else. And the of course are the Property spruikers.  They will advise on property investing but they are generally unlicensed, uninsured and uneducated. They also get seriously high commissions on anything they sell you.  So can you trustee advice.  I think not. 

So why aren't their advisors who are licensed, insured, educated and experienced across all financial fields?  There are, but they are few and far between.  The difficulty for such advisors is the complications that the various governments have introduced via legislation that make it near impossible to give wholistic advice across all financial fields. 

Buying Property in an SMSF

Let's look at an example.  Say you want to buy property in an SMSF.  A very common and effective wealth building strategy at the moment.  Who do you turn to for advice?  If you see an Accountant they can set up an SMSF do you but they can't advise whether you should or shouldn't do so.  You can see a financial planner who needs to do a very complicated and expensive Statement of advice SOA to advise whether you should or shouldn't set up an SMSF.  The price of this Advice alone puts most clients off.  If you’re willing and able to pay for such and they do advise you to set one up, they can't actually set one up, you need to go back to the accountant for that.  Then you need to find a suitable investment property.  The financial planner and accountant can't assist you with this.  So you end up trying to hunt for one yourself and getting caught up with not so scrupulous real estate agents and property spruikers.  Once you find a property you need a loan. A mortgage broker can help you with this but the broker can't advise on whether you should do this and the banks require you to get advice so you are now back to the financial planner for another very expensive SOA to recommend you should take out a loan to buy the property.  Then you need an accountant to account for the SMSF accounting and taxation needs.

Does the process above seem overly regulated, overly complicated, overly off putting or is it just me that finds it ridiculous?  From my own experience what generally happens is that the wealthy who can afford the advice persist and get the right advice and grow wealthier.  The Average Aussie family can't afford the advice or even if they could, it just gets so overwhelming and complicated that they give up and don't get the advice they need to grow wealth.  And so, the divide between rich and not so rich continues to grow. 

So what is the secret to wealth creation?

Find a professional advisory firm that is licenced to advice across all financial fields.  A firm that can assist you create real wealth creation strategies.

The Importance of a Valuer when Purchasing an Investment Property

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

A valuer can be the linchpin to the transaction.  A valuer can make or break the transaction.

A valuer is used to assess the market value of a property.

The first thing to look for when appointing a valuer is to ensure they have the correct accreditation.  You need a valuer who can provide reliable, accredited assessments on the value of all types of real estate property.

When will you need a valuer?

If you are applying for finance your bank or lender may require a valuation of your existing assets to ensure they are able to calculate the actual equity you have within your real estate investments.

The bank providing finance will usually require the usage of their own valuers and they will generally err on the side of caution when making a valuation of your existing assets to ensure they are well-covered when offering you loaned money.

Valuers use a combination of market information, land values, development investigations and other analysis techniques to come about the valuation for the property.

Why do I say Valuers are the lynchpin?

The sale of a property is often dependent on the valuer.  Often the purchaser needs to raise finance against the property being purchased and possibly against their existing properties.  If the valuation on the properties fall short than the purchaser if often unable to raise enough finance.  Also a purchaser may decide to back out of a purchase if the valuer says that the property is worth less than the sales price.

So why aren’t valuation precise?

Valuations are an ‘INEXACT SCIENCE’.  There is no set value for a property.  The value is heavily dependent on the individual expertise and opinion of the selected valuer.

Valuers are poorly paid and need to do many valuations.  Pumping them out quick is the only goal.  They don’t take the time to examine all of the specific aspects of a property that add value. To make matters worse, the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) has caused lenders concern and lenders are specifically instructing valuers to value properties at FIRE SALE value as this reduces the lenders exposure to loss. Fire sale value is what the properyy would sell for in a quick, urgent sale and this is often far less than the achievable sale price in a normal market.

Valuers are also protecting themselves from personal litigation by adopting a conservative. 

How to possibly avoid a bad valuation on a property you are selling:

  • Try to develop a personal relationship with a valuer in the area
  • Sometimes it is possible to request the bank to use your chosen valuer
  • In any event, prepare a report for the valuer that contains
    • The house plans
    • Photos of all the special features of the house
    • A list of all the special features of the house that add value
    • Most importantly – a summary of comparable sales in the area that support the estimate of value that you are aiming to achieve

Is a Real Estate Agent your Friend or Foe when Purchasing Property?

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Most of you will have heard horror stories about real estate agents, their dirty tricks and the ways in which they attempt to trick buyers on a daily basis.

Real Estate Agents have often being likened to Sharks and Shonks and regarded as more honest than only car dealers. 

But there are also some very trustworthy agents in the market also and there are a few tips and tricks to help you find them.

The first trick is to deal only with the most experienced agent in from reputable firm. If possible, deal with the senior principal.

This agent knows their business inside out and has a wealth of experience that you can utilise. Real estate agents are a necessary evil in your real estate dream team so make sure you find one you can trust.

Agents are after the best commission they can gather on a sale so they work to maximise the price for the seller.  This is great if you are a seller but not so great if you are a buyer.  On the other hand real estate agents know that a ‘sale in the hand’ is better than a sale in the bush. So utilise this to your advantage if you are a buyer and make it clear to the agent that if they don’t get you a good price you will not buy.

Also, there are no agents who charge a fixed commission regardless of the sale price.  These types of agents are fast becoming the favourites of the selling public who like to know their costs upfront and same too for the buying public who enjoy the fact that the agent is looking for turning over as many sales as possible in the shortest amount of time, and therefore won’t be wasting time chasing the highest sales price.

What to look for in an agent?

  • Ensure they are fully licensed
  • Check out their experience
  • Find out the details of their commission
  • Monitor their negotiation skills
  • Determine if can trust them
  • Determine whether you like the way in which they operate

When dealing with an agent.

  • Be friendly
  • But never reveal the amount you can afford to spend
  • Remain confidential on the dollars until you make your offer
  • Sick to your ceiling price and do not budge from it
  • Never let an agent know that you are overly keen on the purchase
  • Remember, real estate agents are trained in advanced persuasion techniques - keep your wits about you at all times.

Things you should consider using when Purchasing Investment Properties

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The sale of a property within Australia will be conditional upon the execution of a building and pest report.

Not only does this protect the investor by making sure the property is structurally sound, but it also protects the lending institution, ensuring they do not loan money on a home that is possibly in structurally defected.

Even new properties can have serious building and pest issues, especially if the materials used were inappropriate for the construction, but used as a cost cutting mechanism by a shady developer.

Older properties inevitably have several possible problems that the buyer should be aware of from the outset.

Before you make an offer on a property, you need to have appointed a trusted and qualified building and pest inspector.

Why?

Because once you sign a contract on a home you usually only have 14 days before you are expected to go unconditional with the sale.

The building and pest inspector will report on the quality and condition of the property in question if the property is found to be extremely poor quality or perhaps has an invasion of white ants you will be glad, as a buyer, that your purchase was conditional upon a satisfying report from your building inspection.

A poor report can basically get you out of a sale that would be a poor investment decision within your portfolio.

Insurance will be one of your best pieces of ammunition in managing risk and protecting your assets.
An insurance broker will assist real estate investors to find the best-suited insurance product to cover them for liability.

There are literally hundreds of different insurance packages out there, and finding the right one at the right price to suit your requirements takes more effort than its worth.

If you let an insurance broker do the ground work for you, not only will they have a better understanding of your insurance needs and the players within the industry that can provide them, they will also save you time and will not cost you a cent.

The commission fees charged by insurance brokers come from the insurance underwriters, not the insurance customers this is very good news!

An insurance broker will be an incredibly useful member of your real estate expert team.

The Importance of a Property Coach in Property Investing

Friday, August 22, 2014

property coach


Investment Property Coach


“Discover why most property investors fail – and what to do about it”


Why Do I need an Investment Property Coach?


This is very simple.


Most ‘wanna-be’ property investors fail because they fail to ‘act’. They really, really want to do something but they just don’t know where to begin. They start researching and get even more overwhelmed – there is so much out there! Many people then suffer from ‘paralysis of analyses’.

They get so caught up trying to pin-point the best time to buy, the best location to buy in, and the best type of property to buy. In the end they simply DON’T buy.


investment propety coach


Many people want to research and research until they are absolutely, 100%, without-any-doubt sure that they are entirely correct and certain of their decision. If they wait till then they will simply never buy. As an experienced property investor I know you can never be 100% sure you have got it right. Even the most experienced investors get the 'D-Day’ (exchange and settlement day) jitters. It is human nature to have fear and doubts.

Other people want to do it but just can’t work out how to put aside that extra $2 a day. And I am serious, that’s all it costs at the moment to buy a property (depending on your tax bracket and the type of property you buy).

Others are just not sure whether they should invest first or buy their ‘white picket-fenced’ house for the Golden Retriever and the kids and invest later. Others simply think, “I can’t do it. It would be too hard for me.”


So what’s the answer?


Get a coach!

“What?” you say, “What’s therapy have to do with investing?” Well, a lot actually.


What is a property coach?


An investment property coach can help you determine things like:


What is your definition of success?

1.           Are you there yet?

2.            What do you really want to achieve in life?


A coach can give you the support and encouragement you need to achieve your goals. They are someone who is on your side, objective and ready to assist with any blocks or challenges you may face along the way. A coach will provide guidance and help inspire you to design your financial and life journey. They will celebrate the good times with you and provide encouragement during the challenges. They can teach you to how to examine your financial beliefs and values, trust your instincts and build your excitement to be the best that you know you can be.


A coach will help you:

•       find out where you are at right now

•       look at alternative options should anything not be working for you

•       put into place the new actions to help you reach your desired destination


RIGHT INFORMATION + RIGHT MOTIVATION = all you need for SUCCESS.


Subscribe to investment property coach Catherine Smith:



For More Investment Propety Advice check out the video below


Why Property Managers are Worth Using when Purchasing Property

Friday, August 08, 2014

 

Why Property Managers are Worth Using when Purchasing Property

“It’s crucial that your investment property is well-managed and that you choose a good property manager. Effective property management is the key to protecting your asset. Remember, it’s not just a property, it’s a significant investment and you want it well looked after. You want its value to remain high and you want the best rental return on your investment.”

 Some landlords try to manage their investment property themselves. Sometimes this works OK. However, there can be many pitfalls. We have found from our experience that a good property manager is worth their weight in gold in looking after our investment and saving us hassle.

A good property manager will excel in the following:

Marketing

– Marketing your investment properly to get the maximum exposure to the right kinds of tenants. Effective marketing is a key factor in ensuring your property is not left vacant.

Legal requirements

– Being fully aware of all legal requirements and ensuring that all requirements of government legislation relevant to your investment property are complied with – advising you on your rights and obligations.

Your rent

– Consistently monitoring market trends for rental returns and ensuring your investment is getting the highest possible rental return – regular rental reviews – ensuring tenants pay the rent on time.

Tenant selection

– Ensuring the best quality tenant for your investment property – following strict and professional guidelines in tenant selection, including checking references, employment stability and proof that the tenant is capable of paying the rent and a proven quality in their previous rental history.

Agreement preparation

– Arranging the preparation and signing of the residential tenancy agreement and lodging the rental bond.

Tenant management

– Ensuring the tenant is well educated in the terms of the residential tenancy agreement and that the terms of the tenancy agreement are complied with

– Building a good relationship with the tenant – a happy tenant is a tenant who stays and who will contact their property manager immediately with any issues.

– Acting as a negotiator in any disputes between tenant and landlord. A good property manager can ensure that most disputes between landlords and tenants are solved before they escalate.

Rent collection

– Providing a good range of options for tenants to pay their rent – requiring tenants to pay rent in advance – daily monitoring of incoming rentals – having zero tolerance for any rental delays.

Looking after your investment

– Knowing your property, inside out – conducting regular inspections of your property (as per the legislation) and forwarding you a written report on its condition and any maintenance that may be needed.

– Conducting regular external surveillance of the property to assess the external appearance and to ensure its being well-maintained.

– Giving you feedback to help you budget for larger items of expenditure that may be required – providing an after-hours contact for emergencies.

Communicating

– Communicating well with you on your investment.

Saving you hassle

– No need for you to interact with your tenant at all – paying bills for you – invoicing tenants for user-pays water costs – monitoring and handling any maintenance required, obtaining quotes, dealing with trades people, ensuring the job is well done – providing statements for your tax return.

And if you decide to refresh your investment portfolio

– Liaising with your tenant and your real estate agent to make the sales process easier, smoother and faster – or liaising with your mortgage broker regarding access for valuation purposes, all making things easier for you to refresh your portfolio.

The Right Management solution is one of the most important strings to your investment bow. The management of your property ensures that your investment is being looked after in all aspects. The property manager makes sure that your interests are looked after priority number one! Diligent property management will ensure that your investment property is always tenanted with only top quality tenants.

The point is that the Right Management is the tool that allows you to have a safe worry-free investment solution that is truly ‘Set and Forget’.


Check out the video below:


The Benefits of a Mortgage Broker when Purchasing Property

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Benefits of a Mortgage Broker when Purchasing Property

 

property investment advice 

 

“How to be confident that you have found the right loan and structure so that you can meet long-term financial goals and avoid serious costs – potentially saving 1000’s of dollars in long-term exit fees and interest rates”


Property Investment Advice

“Finding the right loan to meet your needs can be a very daunting task. With so many lenders to choose from and so many products within each lender, it is almost impossible for the average person or investor to sort between the products (including all the fine print). It is important that you are sure the finance you are choosing is the best one for your circumstances.’

 

Property Investment Advice | Example

 

For this bit of property investment advice we would like to use the example of buying a car.

 

If you walk into a Ford car yard and describe all of the features you want in a car and the salesperson thinks to themselves, “Gee, the latest Holden Statesmen would be the best,”– will he tell you that? No! He will convince you that the latest Ford something-or-other meets your needs. It’s the same with the banks. If you walk into a bank, any bank, you will only be sold that bank’s products.

 

We would recommend that everyone who wants to take out a mortgage should use the valuable services of a mortgage broker. Whether you are buying your first home or investment property or whether you are building a huge investment portfolio you should consult a mortgage broker. The advantages of using a broker are twofold. Firstly, it is free – the bank pays the broker the commission – and secondly, the broker is aligned to scores of banks and will find the best for you. It is in the broker’s interest to find the best product because they want your continued business.

 

Brokers have access to over 30 banks and lending institutions, including all of the majors (CBA, St George, NAB, Westpac, etc) and many popular smaller and non-bank lenders (ING, Bankwest, Rams, Suncorp, etc). Mortgage brokers will help you find your way through the complex maze of product choices and help you decide the best one for you. Everyone’s situation is different and different products suit different circumstances.

 

Mortgage brokers also assist you with all of the paperwork, submit the loan, handle all the bank’s annoying questions, co-ordinate the process with your solicitor and real estate agent and basically take all the stress and pressure from you. They’ll ‘hold your hand’ the whole way through and deal with any complications that may arise.Mortgage brokers are one of your main sources for property investment advice.

 

Pros

  • May save you time in shopping for loans.
  • May save money if fully independent.
  • Usually free.
  • Sometimes, given the broker-lender relationship, a bank will accept a loan application that they would otherwise have rejected.

Cons

  • You may pay more for your loan than necessary if the broker is not independent.
  • They may charge excessive fees or undisclosed commissions.
  • You may be persuaded to borrow more than you need, as this will boost their commission.

The cons can be easily overcome by using a broker who can correctly answer the questions above.

 

Check out the video below for more advice on investment properties

 


Discover How to Build A Property Portfolio The Right Way Right From The Start

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