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As the mortgage market in Australia turns more competitive, many first home buyers find themselves spoilt for choice when it comes to financing their home.

However, very often, home buyers are misled by low interest rates advertised by lenders and end up with home loans that lack the essential features they may require in line with their financial situation.

 

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All home loans are not created equal. And it is never a good idea to judge a book by its cover, or more specifically, a home loan by its advertised rate! 

As a home buyer, you need to scratch beneath the surface to understand the real deal to ensure that you are getting the best home loan for your situation. 
 

Here are a few tips to help you make an educated choice: 

Fixed rate or variable rate?

Amidst speculation of interest rate hikes by the Big 4 banks, many home buyers are opting for fixed rate home loans to lock in the current low rates and safeguard themselves from interest rate fluctuations for a fixed period.

On the flip side, by opting for a fixed rate, you will continue paying a higher interest rate even if the interest rates go down in the future. 

When you choose a variable rate home loan, you are likely to receive a lower rate than a fixed home loan, but without the certainty of fixed monthly repayments. 

Read more about fixed andvariable home loans here.

A good idea could be to split your home loan into fixed and variable components so that you can enjoy the certainty of fixed repayments on a part of the loan and are free to ride the mortgage market on the other.


The term of your home loan 

The term of your home loan directly affects the size of your monthly repayments and the interest you pay on your home loan. In general, the longer the term of your home loan, the lower is the monthly repayment, but the higher you pay in interest over the life of the loan. 

25 and 30-year home loans are the most common. Use this repayment calculator to compare your monthly repayments and the interest on your home loan as you vary the term of the loan. 

Tip: Even if you opt for a home loan with a longer term, you could always make additional repayments to get rid of the debt faster. Click here to know more. 

Very often, home buyers opt for a fixed rate and choose to refinance to a lower interest rate home loan if the rates go down in the future. However, by opting for a 30-year home loan without adjusting the length of their loan, they could be turning back the clock on their home loan, losing more money than saving some. You could read more about refinancing here.


Comparing interest rates 

When it comes to financing your dream home, shopping around for home loan deals could be the key to saving money. 

HashChing is an online mortgage marketplace that allows you to compare broker pre-negotiated home loan deals online, from the comfort of your favourite screen.

Alternately, you could also get in touch with a mortgage broker to get access to a broader selection of home loan products. An expert broker will help you find the right lender specialising in home loans that are fit for your situation – for example, low doc loans, bad credit loans, loans on a single income, and so on. 

Tip: When shopping for a home loan, cheapest isn’t always the best. Your home loan must be tailored to your financial goals, and it is okay to pay a little more for the extras you need. In fact, having an offset account linked to your home loan and the freedom to make additional repayments and redraws at no extra cost could potentially help you save more money than a vanilla low-interest home loan. 


Choosing the right lender

Financing your home is not just about choosing the right home loan but also choosing a mortgage lender that will give you first-class customer service in addition to a good deal. But how do you do that? 

By asking the right questions! 

The lender must explain to you the procedure for obtaining a home loan, the borrowing criteria and other associated fees and costs.

Does the lender answer all your questions patiently and return your calls? If not, think twice before signing the dotted line – if they are not listening now, they might not listen later. Additionally, read online reviews from customers to gauge the level of service offered by a bank. 

The other option is to let your mortgage broker guide you to a lender offering what you need. Browse our panel of brokers (with ratings and reviews from customers) to find one near you.


Nice to know:

  • Your credit score is one of the most important figures affecting your home loan. With a high credit score, you will find yourself in a much better position to negotiate a lower interest rate on your home loan. Thus, before you approach a lender, pull out your credit file and check it thoroughly for any incorrect listings that you must dispute immediately.
  • If you don’t mind having all your loans, investments and savings in one place, a professional package home loan might be a good choice when borrowing more than $250,000 (Read more).
  • Professionals such as doctors and lawyers can avail high LVR home loans, often at discounted rates. Get in touch with a mortgage broker to know more.

 

Once you have decided on the best home loan for your situation, it is time to get pre-approved to know exactly how much you can afford to spend on your home. While a mortgage pre-approval is not mandatory, being pre-approved helps you plan your purchase better. It also makes you a genuine buyer in the eyes of sellers. 

At HashChing, we not only offer you competitive home loan deals, but also hold your hand throughout the process of financing your house – from obtaining a pre-approval to getting the funds on the signing date. You can contact an expert by filling in the form below. 

 

By Vidhu Bajaj
HashChing Content Writer

 

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HashChing is helping Australians by providing access to the pre-negotiated home loan deals. Obligation free consultation with one of our partner brokers might save you time, hassle and money.