Home Loans

BORROWING

Plan ahead when buying first home

Mark Bouris When interest rates are low, house prices usually rise and first-home buyers can feel shut out of the market. But all is not lost when sticking to a few simple tips: 

One in five new borrowers fix home loans

First home buyers are locking in more fixed rate home loans than they were four years ago as arrears rates continue to improve.

Banks' could pull back on home loans

Gareth Hutchens Banks could pull back from lending to new home owners after making losses on mortgages.

OFF THE PLAN

Developments for the early bird

Couple reviewing blueprints property

Emily Chantiri Early investment in a new property development can be a wise financial move.

ASK NOEL

Once bitten, should I shy away from buying?

Which way now?: Investors with a bit of cash to spend are best served by doing some thorough research on the areas where they are looking at property.

Noel Whittaker I am in no rush to buy back in, however feel that the longer I wait, the further the market is getting away from me.

THE THIRD WAY

Bold approach solves the rent or buy conundrum

Living the dream: For many of us, owning our home is a decision we make as much with our head as with our heart.

Melissa Browne There is also a third option which involves renting where you live and buying property as an investment only.

FIRST HOMES

Loan the best way to lend offspring a hand

Toy keys key plastic generic toys.
Picture  by ISTOCK

Max Newnham Buying a first home is difficult for many young people. There are a number of ways parents can help.

BORROWING

Special rates aim to lure you in

Know the difference: It's important to know  the true, long-term costs of a loan before committing to it.

Mark Bouris There’s something of a home loan ‘'rate war'’ going on at the moment, which can be great for borrowers. But it also creates pitfalls for the unwary.

GETTING STARTED

Cheaper to rent than buy? The debate continues

Property costs: the costs of owning a house are estimated to be higher than those of renting.

David Potts A recent paper suggested renting a home is now cheaper than buying. But it's not that straightforward.

BORROWING

Lenders' mortgage fees rise

BALANCING ACT: Borrowers should do a review every so often to make sure their mortgage is still competitive with other lenders.

John Collett Home buyers are urged to shop around to ensure they're getting the best possible deal.

Fixed mortgage rates tumble but watch for fees

Fixed mortgage rates.

John Collett CBA, NAB and Westpac cut interest rates on some of their fixed-rate home loans this week, including slashing their five-year fixed rates to 4.99 per cent.

BORROWING

Offset accounts can save you thousands

Mark Bouris dinkus.

Mark Bouris When they're used properly they can accelerate the paying-down of the mortgage.

John Collett

On a fair dinkum comparison, these rates are low

John Collett dinkus

John Collett The Commonwealth Bank’s 5-year fixed home loan interest rate of 4.99 certainly hit the headlines when it was announced on Wednesday.

LOW RATES

Mix of fixed and variable rates the wisest course

David Potts dinkus.

David Potts If you're paying more than 5 per cent, whether fixed or variable, at a bank then you're being ripped off.

INSIGHT

How long will this cheap money last?

Caption

Clancy Yeates It would be extremely unusual for rates to remain at these levels for five years.

GETTING STARTED

We've one export the world really wants

Crunch: Inflation of 3 per cent is starting to show its effects.

David Potts Did you know Canberra is running a nice little line in flogging government bonds, apparently to other central banks?

Borrowing

Is now the time to invest in property?

Mark Bouris dinkus.

Mark Bouris Low interest rates have people considering their investment options.

GETTING STARTED

No need to be negative - it's high time to fix

David Potts Economists have changed their tune about interest rates and you may not want to hear it if you're trying to save.

GETTING STARTED

Why we all need to give a damn about the less well off

MONEY 040219 AFR PICTURE BY Gabriele Charotte / afrphotos.com   GENERIC money, purse, savings, bank, atm, economy, interest rates, home loan, wages, salary, superannuation, bills, notes, pay, coins  AFR FIRST USE ONLY afrphotos.com SPECIALX 23452

Penny Pryor Helping break the poverty trap for people with small interest-free loans, will benefit the whole country in the long run.

BORROWING

How to cut your mortgage in eight steps

Mark Bouris dinkus.

Mark Bouris Could you save money on your mortgage? Ask yourself some simple questions to find out.