Home loan & Property
Inside the world's first billion-dollar home

While visiting New York in 2005, Nita Ambani was in the spa at the Mandarin Oriental New York, overlooking Central Park. The contemporary Asian interiors struck her just so, and prompted her to inquire about the designer.

Are we headed for a property crash?

By James Thomson

Is the property glass half-full or half-empty? Opinions vary so much that SmartCompany has had to talk to a comprehensive range of experts to get some answers.

Australia's property market is balanced on a knife edge.

Some economists believe the debt-fuelled bubble is about to burst, sending house prices plunging by up to 50%. Others believe the undersupply of housing means the market will hold up well, even if Australia enters a recession.

Loan switching fees cost more than savings

Go to fullsize imageThe cost of switching between home loans is likely to outweigh the savings.

State charges alone can be double or triple the difference between the most expensive and cheapest standard variable mortgages among the big banks.

Then there are exit fees for leaving a loan within the first four years, a separate discharge fee and another charge for setting up a new account, which all add up to more than $1000.

The path to property investment success
With the right strategies, property investment will provide you with long term rewards and the freedom to focus on a job you love or raising a family, all the while knowing you are backed by a bricks-and-mortar asset that is building your wealth.
Safer in than on banks

Go to fullsize imagePORTFOLIO POINT: Investors holding bank shares should be aware their risk profile is increasing, making deposits more attractive.
Banks have been essential to Australian investment strategies for many decades. Prior to the mining boom, they dominated the Australian All Ordinaries index.
Many advisers claimed it made much more sense to invest in bank shares because they provided a much higher yield than bank deposits after taking into account franking credits. More recently, after the global financial crisis, Australian self-managed superannuation funds and private investors became more risk-averse and have turned to bank deposits where rates on offer have almost doubled in three years.

Choosing an investment property: what you need to know

When choosing an investment property it is not about finding a place that has “the vibe” for you, it is a financial decision based on a number of key criteria.

The most important thing with any investment property is ensuring that it is tenant friendly as this will help you maximise the rental return on the property. This means it needs to be close to schools, public transport and an easy distance to main areas of employment. Try to choose a property that suits the demographic of the area, so think about whether potential tenants will be students, families or single professionals.

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