Safety net – Only 6% of Aussies protect their most important asset

motherandchildWorking and earning an income is part of everyday life for the majority of Australians. It enables us to pay our bills, educate our children, buy groceries and put a roof over our heads.

So why do we take our ability to earn a living for granted? Peace of mind might be easier and cheaper than you thought.

Read our article called Safety Net.

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Blitzing your Backyard

garden-1There’s no end of TV shows dedicated to property renovation, but all too often they just concentrate on what’s on the inside. What about what’s outdoors?

Australians have a strong affinity with the great outdoors, so it should come as no surprise that the backyard often represents a focal point for many potential home buyers.

Whether you are fortunate enough to enjoy a modest back yard or prefer the simplicity of a smaller court yard, there are plenty of ways maximise the space available.

Inside and outside design – Choosing materials, textures and colours that complement or match your interior design is a sure fire way to connect the backyard to your home.  This does not mean you have to pull up the entire yard; rather, you need to effectively manage what you already have.  If you are new to the renovation game, sticking to natural lighting is your safest bet. Use dim colours wherever your garden is light and light colours wherever your backyard is dim.

Using the space – Add some flare to your backyard with striking features such as fountains, pebbles or landscaping stones.   A water feature will add a splash of class to any backyard, while pebbles and stone landscaping will add some extra colour and texture to your outdoor living space.  Keep in mind the layout and design of the backyard when selecting a feature item and always choose objects that make the most of the space you have.

Jazz up the garden – Spruce up the yard with some vibrant plants and bushes.  The types you select should, again, be determined by the layout and design of your backyard.  However, if you find that space is a concern, a raised garden bed will let you fit more plants into a smaller area. Potted plants require little to no space and are a worthy addition to all yards.  When choosing plants, keep in mind how much sunlight your back yard receives during the day as nothing looks worse than a neglected garden.

Outdoor living – After you’ve spent many hours improving the garden and lighting up the yard, it makes sense to create an area where you can sit back and enjoy your hard work.  Unfortunately, outdoor living areas don’t come cheap, but there are ways to avoid the financial strain.  Large umbrellas can provide shade and shelter at one quarter of the cost of a gazebo. Moreover, stylish outdoor furniture can be found at most local hardware/gardening stores so be sure to shop around and grab yourself a bargain.

If you’re looking to spruce up the backyard with some solid landscaping, keep in mind they you may be able to draw on some of the equity built up in your home to finance the improvements, rather than using cold hard cash, credit cards or personal loans. Call me on 0419 716 424 or 1300 887 748 to discuss if using equity for your property is suitable for your situation.

Making the Switch

Smiling Couple

Increased product choice and low interest rates have created the prime environment for consumers planning to renew their home loan

Competition in the mortgage market is certainly heating up.  Major lenders are slashing rates and releasing some enticing mortgage products in a bid to win over your business.

As the banks continue to battle over market share, an increasing number of borrowers are realising the potential savings on offer should they decide to make the switch to a new lender or simply change your current products.

The mortgage you have now may no longer be the most appropriate or most affordable option available.

If you are unable to remember the last time you had a lending specialist review your loans, now may be the time to do so.

Whether you are looking to drive down your mortgage balance or reduce your repayments, refinancing or changing your products may be the ideal strategy.

Refinancing refers to the process of switching from one home loan to another. Changing your loan product means you stay with your existing lender.

In both instances we need to look at your current situation to ensure you are not paying any more than you should on your mortgage and carefully consider which one would suit your circumstances.

While the federal government abolished exit fees for new loans earlier this year, there are some additional costs that you will need to consider before changing lender.

Switching loan products or changing lenders may both carry additional costs. However, it is very quick for us to establishing which change best fits your needs and the change can be quickly and relatively stress free.

It is my job to ensure the transition is as safe and hassle free as possible.

Call me on 0419 716 424 or 1300 887 748 so I can work with you on highlighting associated costs and determine the best course of action for you.