House & Home

House & Home - Intech Credit Union

For most of us, buying a home is one of the biggest investments we will make in life. We make sure the whole process is transparent and hassle-free.

What products and services for home buyers?

Do I rent or buy?
Owning your own home is the great Australian dream, but it may not always be in your best interest. Renting may be your best option if:

  • the property or area you are looking at is too expensive for your current finances
  • the time you are looking to buy is at the peak of the market
  • you are still trying to build your home loan deposit

Which Home Loan is right for me?
With so many home loans to choose from finding the right one can be a challenge. Our team of Home Loan specialists are trained to tailor loans to your specific needs. Below is a simple checklist to get you on your way:

  • Is your deposit sufficient to get the mortgage you want?
  • Do you want to make additional repayments without penalty?
  • Does the certainty of fixed loan repayments suit you better?
  • Would you like your mortgage to have a redraw facility and credit card?
  • Do you want to make repayments weekly,fortnightly or monthly?
  • Do you need mortgage or income protection insurance?
  • Do you have enough equity in an existing property to secure an investment loan?

Click here for more information on our Home Loans.

How much do I need?
In working out how much you can afford to pay you need to include the cost of the purchase. On top of your deposit, you will need an additional five or six per cent of the purchase price of the home to cover purchase costs such as:

Legal Expenses
  • Solicitor's and/or conveyancing fees
  • Inquiries or disbursements such as title searches
Pre-purchase Inspections
  • Building, property and pest inspection
  • Identification survey
  • Strata records inspection (if applicable)
Government Charges
  • Stamp duty on title transfer
  • Stamp duty on mortgage (typically calculated as a percentage of the purchase price)
Financial Expenses
  • Lender's application or establishment fee
  • Valuation fee
  • Mortgage insurance, if applicable (usually if you are borrowing more than 80% of the purchase price)
Miscellaneous Charges
  • Council and Water Rates (adjusted and payable after settlement for the ensuing period)
  • Insurance - fire and perils, contents
Taking Possession
  • Removalists
  • Connection fees for services
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Changing locks
  • Urgent repairs

What is Mortgage Insurance?

There is a common misconception that Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) is all about protecting the borrower.* LMI in fact protects the lender against losses incurred if the borrower defaults on their loan. When a borrower misses a number of mortgage repayments the lender will recover those losses via a claim from the mortgage insurer, which would then attempt to recover the funds from the borrower. LMI is usually payable when the borrower's loan-to-value ratio (LVR) exceeds 80 per cent. (* Prudent borrowers protect themselves against default through income protection insurance.)

Tips on What, When & Where

Looking at where you want to live depends your lifestyle, budget and personal factors. Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Does the area and community suit your lifestyle and stage of life?
  • Are prices rising or falling in the area?
  • Does the property have good access to services and facilities such as schools, hospitals, transport, workplaces, shops, parks and recreational facilities?
  • Are there negative factors such as jails, factories, sewerage works, proposed major construction, or new road developments?
  • How close are essential services such as ambulance, police or fire stations?
  • What government and local council projects and plans impact the area and its property market? Look for both positive and negative impacts.
  • Are you aware of flight paths, railways and intersections in the area?
  • Is noise or crime a problem in the area?

What about inspections?

Prospective home buyers should always have the property in question fully inspected before proceeding with purchase. Before signing any contract, you should seek out independent, specialist advice from a solictor or conveyancing service, or a building consultant. Professional and trade organisations for builders and architects in your state can usually recommend service providers.

What to inspect

Property inspections should assess all accessible parts of the property, reporting on problems in the following areas:
  • hazards (e.g. loose handrails)
  • dampness (e.g. leaking roof)
  • movement (e.g. cracks in walls)
  • pests (e.g. timber pests)
  • finishes (e.g. deteriorating paint)
  • services (e.g. old water pipes)
  • compliance (e.g. unapproved building work)
  • amenity (e.g. steep driveway)

Choosing a builder
Consult the Fair Trading office in your state to find checklists and help on finding a licensed builder and/or tradesperson. When you engage a builder always ensure they have:
  • a current licence
  • insurance
  • defects liability period
  • details of any warranties and guarantees for equipment and materials used in the home, including appliances.

Special advice for Unit Buyers
  • Check body corporate records, including the history of maintenance and provision for future expenditure.
  • Compare this information with the actual property inspection report for an accurate indication of expenses
  • Check fire-rating, particularly in older apartments as it may be inadequate and is expensive to fix
  • Check that noise minimisation between properties is adequate
  • Check building conditions against council requirements if it is an older property that is being converted to strata title
  • Check the surveyor's reports if unsure about the ownership of a unit, garage, car space or store room.

For more information or to talk with one of our Home Lending Officers please contact us.