Barrett Lending Solutions
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What features do you look for when buying a new property? How about a sunny aspect, modern kitchen, good neighbours and a supermarket on the street corner? A recent survey of real estate agents posed the question - 'what do buyers want?' - uncovering some surprising results.

Over the page we focus on successful strategies for refinancing - 'Refinancing Mistakes to Avoid' - as well as how to finance your dreams of property investment --- 'Affordable Property Investment'.

Also featured in this issue; some handy tips for overcoming networking nerves, including preparing ice-breaker questions and conversation openers ('Network Success' - article 4.)

Enjoy this newsletter and feel free to pass it on to family and friends.

Glen, Rose & Sean

Glen, Rose & Sean

Barrett Lending Solutions
23 Caravel Ct
Cleveland QLD 4163

Tel: 1800 253 486
Mob: 0400 737 767
Fax: 07 3319 0931

Buyers Wish List
Refinancing Mistakes to Avoid
Affordable Property Investment
Book Review
Network Success

Buyers Wish List

Multiple bathrooms are rated as number one on a wish list of features that buyers look for in a new home. 

The results of a national pool of 114 real estate agents have uncovered some surprising research about what buyers want. The survey, commissioned by Turf Australia, found that 42 per cent seek more than one bathroom and 41 per cent desire a quiet street. A decent sized backyard was the next most sought out by 34% of buyers, followed by being close to a bus route or shops (20%) and off-street parking (13%).

It seems that it is not any old backyard that buyers want, but one with grass - the survey found that nationally a lawn could add 18 per cent, or just over $75,000 in value on the average $420,000 home. Three quarters of real estate agents said buyers want a safe playing area for their kids while a third believe a lawn adds to the look and feel of a home.
A lawn was shown to add the most value in Victoria (19%), followed by NSW (16%), Queensland and South Australia (12%) and WA (9%).

As a seller, the key message is that it pays to put some time into making sure your backyard - particularly the lawn - is in tip top condition!

Refinancing Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid these common mistakes and refinancing your home loan should be a simple, trouble-free experience. Successfully navigating the refinancing process can enable you to take advantage of better rates and features, as well as provide finance for a renovation, construction or property purchase.

Mistake # 1: A history of arrears
Lenders want to avoid taking on risk, which is why they ask for at least six months of loan statements in order to check your conduct. They won't be impressed with missed/late repayments or going over the limit on any lines of credit, so wait until you have six months of clean history before making an application.

Mistake # 2: Too many credit enquiries
Every time you submit an application to a lender, it is recorded on your credit report. When the lender sees a number of applications they wonder why your application hasn't yet been approved by another lender - this may be all the reason they need to decline the application. It's our business as your mortgage broker to know how the criteria varies among different lenders and which lender you will have most success applying to.

Mistake # 3: Not thinking ahead
When shopping for a new loan, you're probably looking for one that will suit your needs now, but what about a few years down the track? If you move house or take a career break to raise a family, the loan you choose needs to accommodate these life changes.

Mistake # 4: Failure to lock it in
If you fail to lock-in the new favourable rate of interest on your new loan, it may increase by the time your loan gets processed. If you wish to lock-in a rate we can offer that facility.

Mistake # 5: Not taking costs into account
Sometimes the savings you could make by switching loans are outweighed by the expense involved. Make sure you know what up-front fees you will be charged and conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis before you go ahead. Let us know if you need us to do this for you.

Mistake # 6: Poor paperwork
Not supplying all the supporting documents when putting in your application can send it back down the bottom of the pile and the waiting game will start over again. It's equally important when your loan is approved to review the documents properly before signing for a clear idea of the terms and conditions. As your mortgage broker we are experts at guiding borrowers through the paper chase and explaining what's in the fine print. Give us a call anytime about helping you successfully navigate the refinancing process.

Affordable Property Investment

A large bank balance is not a prerequisite for affording an investment property.
There are many options available to help you get a foot in the door including using home equity, tax incentives and tailored investment loans.

If you already own a property, you can use its equity ('unrealised value') to fund your next property purchase. Equity is the difference between your home's market value and the balance of your mortgage, so when your property increases in value, the amount of equity also increases. Refinancing your mortgage allows you to access this increased equity to use as a deposit on another property purchase. 

The property you live in is not the only source of equity - you can use the equity in your business, parents' home or an investment property. Contact us for help in working out how much equity you may have available and how it can be used as a source of funding.

Negative gearing
Negative gearing lets you invest in an asset of greater value than you could afford using your own money. It occurs when you borrow to invest in an income-producing property, which costs more to own and maintain than the rental income you receive from it. This 'loss' can be claimed as a tax deduction, reducing the tax you are required to pay on income earned elsewhere, such as from a salary. 

Contact us to find out more about negative gearing and what precautions you should have in place to ensure this investment strategy works for you.

Loan choice
Choose your loan carefully because the way you fund your investment property will impact on the returns you receive. Investment loans differ in their structure and flexibility - while one might be designed to help you reduce your debt more rapidly, another might be designed to help you purchase more investment properties in the future.

There are a range of loan features especially useful for investors such as interest only, interest in advance, mortgage offset, split loan and line of credit.
We can work with you to match your investment goals to the right type of loan from our large panel of lenders.

Book Review


By Jonah Lehrer

Did you know that the most creative companies have centralized bathrooms? That brainstorming meetings are a terrible idea? That the color blue can help you double your creative output?

From the New York Times best-selling author of How We Decide comes a sparkling and revelatory look at the new science of creativity. Shattering the myth of muses, higher powers, even creative "types," Jonah Lehrer demonstrates that creativity is not a single gift possessed by the lucky few. It's a variety of distinct thought processes that we can all learn to use more effectively.

Network Success

Networking is a great way to make contacts and establish relationships, but not everyone is good at small talk. Luckily there are tried and tested tactics for breaking the ice and getting a conversation going. 

1. Be prepared
Think through in advance some topics you can talk about. You don't need to have a shared interest to connect with others, you just have to share your interests - talking about something that you're passionate about will automatically engage those around you.
You can also prepare some ice breaker questions in advance. Choose questions that are open-ended so the listener can't just answer with a yes or no.

2. Make the first move
Finding someone to talk to in a room of strangers can be daunting but remind yourself it is preferable to standing by yourself. A good tactic for breaking into conversations is to make eye contact with someone, smile at them and ask: 'do you mind if I join you?'
Another tactic is to ask someone else to break in and introduce you. If you have just arrived at an event and don't know anyone there, ask the organiser to introduce you. Once you have made your first contact, you can then ask them to introduce you to their contacts.

3. Listen
People enjoy being listened to, so you don't need to always do the talking to engage with others. If you can get someone to speak about their experience and opinions - while you listen with interest - you have a firm foundation on which to build a relationship.

4. Help others
Networking is a two-way street so you have to be prepared to give as much as you take. It's not all about what you can achieve, but also about what you can do to help others.

5. Follow up
Don't let all your efforts in making contacts go to waste; always exchange business cards/contact details and follow up after the event. Jot down some details about the person obtained from your first meeting and you can use this as a conversation starter next time you make contact.

Did you know?

Buying off the plan and co-ownership may be worth considering if you are looking for an affordable way to enter the property market. Purchasing a property prior to construction (buying off the plan) can bring with it tax savings and capital gains, but it is not without its risks. Do your research, get third party advice and triple check the fine print to ensure you steer clear of unscrupulous developers and end up with an investment property that delivers good returns.

Teaming up with a family member or friend (co-ownership) can help you raise a deposit and meet your investment goals sooner. It's essential that you treat the arrangement as a business deal and obtain legal advice to draft a co-ownership agreement setting out the rights and obligations of each person with a share in the property.

About Us

Barrett Lending Solutions is a boutique mortgage broking business, specialising in finding solutions to assist client's needs in relation to their lending requirements. We provide assistance in setting up strategies, borrowing structures, and finding loan options - be it for residential, investment or commercial lending needs.Why not let us do it for you?

Our points of difference:

  • Accredited with over 50 lenders.
  • Our service is totally FREE. We are remunerated by the chosen lender, whoever that ends up being.
  • Over 5 years industry experience
  • Individual attention to each loan scenario
  • After loan settlement-ongoing care and support.

Barrett Lending Solutions Core Values: 

  • Integrity
  • Transparency
  • Accountability

Need an accountant?

Gregory Thomas Accountants offer:

  • Income tax returns
  • Financial reporting
  • Business setup
  • Small business advisory & support services
  • Cash flow statements & management accounting

Contact Gregory Thomas Accountants by calling 07 3821 5929.


Investment structures

Most taxpayers will purchase their properties in their personal names without any thought of the implications. This is generally done to make use of the negative gearing opportunity. However there are many more issues which need to be considered, including asset protection, family relations, and long term tax planning. In any event a little tax planning at the outset may easily achieve your goal of immediate tax relief through negative gearing as well as the long term goal of asset protection and tax structuring. You should be asking your advisor about this at the very beginning of your investment journey.

When buying an investment property there are certain issues one needs to consider in the decision making process. We have provided the 10 fundamentals that are widely held to be vitally important:

1. Structure your investment to protect your asset;
2. Know the activity you are getting involved in;
3. Consider your partners carefully;
4. Consider how much money is involved and the risk;
5. Examine your financial projections carefully, use "what if" scenarios to project different outcomes;
6. Consider your financing and future capital needs;
7. Know your neighbours;
8. Determine in advance your distribution plan, if applicable;
9. Determine what each partner wants out of the investment;
10. Determine the duration of the investment and structure the investment accordingly.

If you would like more information on structuring your investment, please do not hesitate to contact Jewell Moore Chartered Accountants. 


Information from Sovereign Capital Management's Individually Managed Account

As of this writing, global markets are again in turmoil and for many investors this will be a cause of concern.

Are you:

  • Concerned about the volatility and uncertainty of the share market?
  • Concerned about rising interest rates and the economy?
  • Interested in enhancing your Self-Managed Super Fund?
  • Interested in paying off your loan/s sooner?
  • Interested in generating cash flow to purchase additional investment properties?
  • Interested in wealth creation strategies not dependent on rising stock and property prices?
  • Interested in reducing your risk AND increasing your return?

Sovereign Capital Management Pty Ltd (SCM) is an investment management firm that can help you with this and more. Our investment strategy has been thoroughly tested over 6 ½ years and produces stable, consistent returns of up to 27% per annum with high liquidity and very low volatility, with the safety of knowing your cash and assets remain in your own account at a major Australian bank.

SCM's market neutral strategy removes market risk, so we are 'not investing in the share market'. Instead, we make profits through intelligent stock selection due to our most preferred shares outperforming our least preferred shares and we profit from both rising and falling prices, achieving good returns without experiencing the roller-coaster performance that is often associated with investments 'in the share market'. Some of the many benefits of our Individually Managed Account (IMA) service are:

1. Higher Returns - consistent and stable returns (after fees and transaction costs) of up to 27% per annum, dependent on the leveraging option chosen by the investor.

2. Lower Risk - our strategy is capable of generating a higher long-term return than the share market with less than a third of the risk.

3. Proven Strategy - our quantitative equity market neutral investment strategy has been thoroughly tested over 6 ½ years, covering up, down and sideways market conditions.

4. Liquidity - no lock-up period and high liquidity, as we only invest in the top 200 shares in Australia - and investor funds are available at short notice.

5. Higher Risk- Adjusted Returns - higher returns with lower risk than can be achieved by investing in real estate or the share market.

6. Portfolio Enhancement - adding a SCM IMA to a portfolio of other assets such as real estate, shares and/or bonds will provide a substantial diversification benefit, in many cases increasing portfolio return and reducing portfolio risk, at the same time.

7. Control & Transparency - having an IMA means all cash and assets remain in the name of the investor and do not get pooled. We also provide you with details of every transaction.

8. Safety - investment funds remain in the investor's name at a major Australian bank where they are also guaranteed by the Australian government.

9. Cash Flow - the nature of our strategy makes it ideal for providing an income for retirement purposes, additional investment income, accelerated loan repayment or reducing the overall cash flow burden of an otherwise negatively geared portfolio.

10. No interest rate stress - the expected return of our strategy rises in line with interest rates.

As we only deal with wholesale clients, the minimum investment is $500,000 - but this can come from one or more sources, such as: the equity in your real estate, cash, managed funds, or shares.

Lastly, our strategy is allowable for Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF) and complies with SMSF rules.

For a no-obligation copy of our detailed Investor Summary, or to arrange a free consultation, please contact our Business Development Manager, Mr Glenn Rushton at: or phone (07) 3272 6000, or 0413 948 888.

AFSL 341926
ABN 46 116 555 732

Disclaimer: This newsletter is intended to provide general news and information only. Readers should rely on their own enquiries before making any decisions regarding their own interests. Please do not rely on any part of this newsletter as a substitute for specific legal or financial advice. All material is copyright 2012. You can unsubscribe by clicking the "Unsubscribe" link at the top of this newsletter.