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The limelight’s on Jenny! This time the Marketing Team at Homestar Finance catch up with Loan Specialist Jenny, who has been with us for more than 10 years. She reflects on her experience with Homestar Finance and discusses prospects for the home loan market in 2018.

1. What advice do you have for First Home Buyers?

The initial search for the ideal property and home loan can be time consuming and requires terminology to be learnt, processes to follow and documentation to be prepared. Here are my top tips for first home buyers:

First Home Buyers would predominantly be rate-orientated as they would not have much equity and savings. They would also likely maximise their loan amount so most buyers would situate in the higher LVR range. Therefore, they should focus on looking at reasonable interest rates within the higher LVR band.

Due to limited savings First Home Buyers should also look at flexible repayment methods so they can make additional repayments without incurring a penalty. A Visa Debit card would also be advantageous so they can access funds when making renovations or incurring unprecedented costs. Homestar Finance offers a Visa Debit card with all their Variable rate products.

When purchasing your first home, it is not just about the property price. Other costs, such as inspection, insurance, mortgage registration and stamp duty costs entail when purchasing a property. According to external research, building inspections can cost an additional $600 and mortgage registration fees in NSW alone can cost an extra $138.80. Lenders Mortgage Insurance can also apply, depending on your deposit amount. Therefore, take a conservative stance when you are calculating the total cost for a new home. To minimise the total costs carefully research on the concessions available, as they vary in each state.

I also suggest that First Home Buyers consider locking in a partly fixed and variable interest rate. This is ideal for First Home Buyers that prefer income stability as they can predict part of their repayment amounts whilst leverage on interest rate drops. They should speak to one of our Loan Specialists to find out what is best for them.

2. What are your predictions for the home loan market this year?

I believe that interest rates will remain stable this year, as the home loan market is cooling and property prices in major capital cities are falling. I believe this fall would continue throughout the year as well. It is now an optimal opportunity for people to purchase a residential property at a lower cost.

3. The home loan market is incredibly saturated and crowded. What is Homestar Finance’s great competitive advantage?

Homestar Finance has been offering one of the nation’s lowest interest rates with no ongoing and annual fees. Very few financial institutions can provide products with great value. From time to time we also run campaigns with incentives that drive a lot of traffic. We have won more than eighteen awards over the last couple of years from leading independent authorities such as Canstar and Mozo for our rates and product features. Our most popular product is our $1200 Cashback Offer.

4. What obstacles do people have with purchasing a property and how would you overcome them?
Unsurprisingly, it would be trying to locate an affordable property close to where they work, with schools nearby and with other convenient facilities. Other challenges would evidently be trying to save up for the deposit and what you would be willing to sacrifice for that. Tips on saving for a deposit would include eating at home more often, making your first house an investment property to receive tax deductions, sharing the property with a friend or family member and asking your parents to assist and act as guarantors.