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Equity is an untouched asset many home owners do not fully utilise.

In simple terms, equity is the difference between what your home is worth, and how much you owe on it. For example, if your home is worth $400,000 and you still owe $250,000, your equity is $150,000.

Within five to ten years of owning a home, you will have built a sizable amount of equity. If you are looking at purchasing another property, banks will generally lend you up to 80% of a home’s value without having to use Lenders Mortgage Insurance, and you may be able to access a portion of your equity to use for the remaining deposit.

For a closer look at using equity, check out RateCity’s guide to using home equity to buy an investment property.

 

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House and land packages are a great way to reinvest your equity and make a return by using it as a rental property.

Packages offer convenience and the homes are specifically matched to suit the land. Building a house and land package will also result in paying less stamp duty. This is because you only have to pay stamp duty on the value of the land as the home hasn’t been built yet.

Potential investors should also consider the benefits of higher quality materials and construction techniques that new homes offer, resulting in little to no maintenance costs, energy efficient technologies and warranties on the home, its fittings and appliances.

Check out all the latest house and land packages by Hotondo Homes here.

When looking to use your equity, the bank will take into account your age, income, family, cost of living and any additional debt you may have incurred. It is also wise not to use every last cent of your equity so you can give yourself a safety buffer in case of emergencies. Before you start building your property portfolio, it is best you speak to your banker or broker.

*Hotondo Homes is not an authorised financial adviser so please seek professional advice for your banking enquiries.

An offset account linked to your mortgage can be a great way to reduce the amount of time and interest you pay on your home loan.

An offset account works in the same manner as your everyday banking account with one crucial difference – the balance is offset daily against money you owe on your loan, which reduces the amount of interest you pay.

A reduction in interest means you can pay off your loan quicker. For example, if you have $10,000 in an offset account and you have a $300,000 home loan, you will only pay interest on $290,000. Using this calculator you can see if the interest rate is at 5%, you could save $18,357.69 in interest and cut 1 year and 8 months off the length of a 30 year loan.

Because the money in your account is offset daily against your loan balance, the longer you have money in your account, the more you will save on interest.

There are a few questions that are often asked in relation to offset accounts.

Why not save the money in a high interest account instead?

In almost every case, you will never earn more interest in a savings account than what you are paying in interest on your home loan. Interest earned in a savings account also needs to be declared to the tax office, and tax must be paid on it. Your money will be working much harder for you in an offset account.

Why not put the money straight on the mortgage?

There are benefits to keeping money in your offset account rather than putting it straight on the mortgage. Funds in an offset account can be used like your everyday account. If you have an emergency, or you may be saving for a holiday, it is easy to withdraw funds as necessary. If you put it all on the mortgage, then find you need the money down the track, you may be hit with redraw fees or minimum redraw amounts.

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Having a decent amount of savings in your offset account can cut years and thousands of dollars from your home loan. It also offers comfort in the knowledge that you can access these funds at any time, with no issue.

Always beware of extra transaction charges that may surround offset accounts though. It is best you do your research and speak directly to your bank regarding these accounts being used to pay your mortgage faster.

*Hotondo Homes are not financial experts. You should always seek independent legal advice when looking to reduce the amount of your mortgage with an offset account.

Do you want to pay off your mortgage faster?

Your home loan is most likely the biggest commitment – and largest amount of debt – you will take on in your entire life.

Paying it off as fast as possible is something many people aim for to help save thousands of dollars in interest and relieve stress associated with debt. For those who wish to tackle their debt head on, we have a few simple tips to start reducing your mortgage now! (more…)

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