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Helping you into yourdream home soonerThe journey to buying your nexthome is an exciting one. So first of all,congratulations on getting to this point,it’s a great achievement.As it may have been a while since youlast bought a property, we’ve createdthis guide to refresh you on the process,make things simpler – and ultimatelyget you in to your next home sooner.Whatever housing question you haveabout your next home, our HomeLending Specialists are here to help.We’re here to helpGot a question about moving to yournext home?131 900Access Live Chat via a branch to talk to your local HomeFinance Manager.

ContentsChapter 1: Thinking about your next move? 4How to use your current home to buy your next one? 6What is equity? 6How much equity can you use? 6How do you access usable equity? 6How to grow your equity? 8Keep, renovate or sell? 10Turning your current home into an investment 10What else you should consider with an investment property? 12Renovating your current home 12Setting your renovations up for success 14Selling your property 15Chapter 2: Selling your home 16Selling your home before buying 18What are the benefits of selling first? 19Are there benefits to buying first? 20Helpful tips for selling your home 22Chapter 3: Buying your next home 26Take your existing loan with you 28How does loan portability work? 28What are the benefits of porting your home loan? 28Bridging the gap 30What is a bridging loan? 30Types of bridging loans 31Let’s do the numbers 33Choosing a home loan 34Picking a repayment option 35Your moving day checklist 393

Chapter 1Thinking about yournext move?In this section, we’ll look at the concept ofequity and share some tips on how youcan unlock the equity you may have builtup in your current home. We’ll also explorewhether you should keep, sell or renovateyour current place and help you understandthe options you have to make your nextmove possible.4


How to use your current hometo buy your next one?As you’ve already gone throughthe process of buying a property,taking out a home loan and goingthrough settlement, you knowwhat it takes.One of the big differences this time around is thatyou may have built up a good chunk of equity inyour current home – which frees up more capitalto buy your next one.To help make your next move even easier, we’vetaken a closer look at what equity is and how youcan use it.What is equity?Equity is an important concept to understandwhen buying your next home and is the differencebetween the current market value of yourproperty and the remaining balance on yourhome loan. If you’ve had your property for alonger amount of time, the chances are you’ll havebuilt up equity.Working out your home equity is pretty simple.Once you know the current value of your home,all you need to do is take away the amount stillowing on your home loan. The figure you’re leftwith is the equity you have available.How much equity can you use?When you first buy a home, you typically have toput down a deposit and borrow the rest of theamount you need to make the purchase. Lenderstypically lend up to 80% of the property valuewithout requiring payment of Lender’s MortgageInsurance.A similar calculation applies when it comes toequity. If your property has appreciated in valuesince you bought it, you could access up to 80%of its current market value minus what you nowowe on your home loan . This is called ‘usableequity’ and you can use it in a number of ways,including: Putting it towards a deposit on your next home. Renovating your current home. Purchasing an investment property, allowingyou to build wealth through capital gains andrental income.How do you accessusable equity?If you’re in the fortunate position of having builtup some usable equity and want to access it,you first need to have your property valued byyour lender. This is called a ‘bank valuation’ andwill usually be lower than the market value a realestate agent might give your property.Once your property has been valued, your lenderwill be able to give you a clearer picture of theusable equity in your home. From there, the nextsteps are up to you.6

Here’s a visual guide to usable equityClaire’s home is valued at 800,000 and has a home loan of 440,000.Based on her financial situation, Claire’s lender will let her borrow up to80% of her current home’s value (80% x 800,000 640,000).Claire will have usable equity of 200,000 ( 640,000 – 440,000).– 80% of theproperty’s valueHome loanbalanceUsableequity 640,000 440,000 200,0007

How to grow your equity?The faster you can boost the equity in your home, the betterplaced you’ll be when it comes to buying your next property.Here are some smart ways you may be able to increase it.Use an offsetaccount.Increase yourrepayments.Boost the valueof your home.Linking an offset account toyour home loan can help reducethe total interest amount youneed to pay on your loan. Intheory, this should allow youto get ahead on your loan andbuild up equity faster.Increasing your repaymentamount can be a good way tobuild up equity quickly. Try tosettle on an increase that willmake a difference to your loanbalance, but doesn’t eat intoyour monthly budget.Renovating your home canalso be an an effective way toimprove your property’s value.Savvy renovations might involveupdating a kitchen, adding asecond bathroom or buildinga parent’s retreat.Make fortnightlyrepayments.Make one-offcontributions.By paying fortnightly, you’ll beable to squeeze out an extrahome loan repayment eachyear. Over time, this will help toreduce the amount of interestand allow you to pay off yourhome loan sooner.Making additional one-offcontributions such as annualbonuses and tax refunds couldalso be an effective way tobring down your loan balanceand build up equity.8

Top tip:Remember to stay focused.Think of your equity as adeposit for your next homeor savings, not somethingto spend on holidaysor entertainment.9

Keep, renovate or sell?Knowing whether to keep,renovate or sell your home isalways a tough decision.Here we’ll explore some of themain reasons for staying in yourcurrent home, upgrading it, orputting it on the market.Turning your current home intoan investment.If you have equity in your property and don’t wantto sell, you could use it to buy your next homewhile keeping it as an investment.There are a few reasons why you may wantto consider turning your current home into aninvestment property.Rental returns.An investment property offers a great way togenerate monthly rental income. If the rentalincome is more than you have to pay to maintainthe property, it means you’re positively gearedand could profit from the rent you receive.Capital gains over time.Turning your current property from your homeinto an investment means you could continue tosee it appreciate. This will allow you to realise anycapital gains if the property market improves inthe mid to long-term – something you can’t enjoyif you plan on selling your current home to buyyour next one.Tax deductions.Keeping an investment property gives you theopportunity to claim tax deductions on yourinvestment. For example, you may be eligibleto claim any interest you pay on your loan as atax deduction, as well as costs associated withmaintaining the property.10

Things to remember Capital growth is never guaranteed. Overtime, markets and property can go up ordown in value. Demand can also rise andfall. Remember that, regardless of theproperty’s current market value, you’ll stillneed to be able to cover the costs of yourhome loan. The taxation position described on theprevious page is a general statement andshould only be used as a guide. It doesn’tconstitute tax advice and is based oncurrent tax laws and their interpretation. Every individual’s financial situationis different. To help you understandyour options, you can speak to one ofour home lending specialists today on131 900. If you’d like advice tailored toyour situation, we recommend you talkto a professional.11

What else should you considerwith an investment property?There are a few costs that come with owningan investment property. Here are just some youshould be aware of:Ongoing costs.As the owner of the property, you’ll still beresponsible for paying certain bills, includingutilities such as water, as well as council fees.Landlord insurance.You may need to pay landlord insurance, whichcan include building, contents and propertyowners’ insurance.Strata fees.If you own an apartment, townhouse or villa,you’ll be responsible for paying strata fees that gotowards building and common area maintenance.Real estate fees.You may need to pay property management feesif you use a real estate agent to manage yourproperty on your behalf.Maintenance and renovation costs.Most investment properties will require ongoingmaintenance. And if your place is a little older,more extensive renovations may be required.Rent shortfall.If your home loan repayments and ongoingproperty costs are greater than the rental incomeyou’re generating, then you’ll need to coverthe shortfall.12Renovating your current home.There can be some real advantages to carryingout renovations on your existing home.Renovating may allow you to:Increase the value.When done right, renovations are often a goodway to increase the value of your home and sellit for a larger profit down the track. Some of thesmartest renovations include a new kitchen, asecond bathroom or adding another floor.Boost rental income.If you’re looking to rent out your home, thensmaller renovations can be a good way toincrease rental income. You may want to talk toa local real estate agent to get their view on howyour property could be improved and how youcan give it greater rental appeal.Fetch a higher sale price.Thoughtful renovations can often get you abetter sale price when you want to sell yourproperty in the future. Think about what potentialbuyers might look for, such as an extra bedroomor bathroom, an entertaining space or even ateenager’s retreat.Be happy where you are.Of course, if you plan on staying put, thenupdating your current home can be a great wayto breathe new life into it and will give you a fewextra years enjoying your time living there.

Smart renovationsare a great wayto add value toyour home13

Setting your renovationsup for successRenovating can be a great way to add value to your home.But getting it right takes a little forward thinking. Here’s just afew things you can do to help ensure everything goes to plan.135Set a budget.Do it yourself (DIY).Get council approval.As part of your planning stage,it’s important to set a budgetfor your renovations. It’s hardto estimate an exact cost, buthaving a ball-park estimate willhelp you stay on track. If youthink you need additional funds,your lender can explore youroptions. You may be able to useyour existing equity to coverthe cost of your renovations.For minor renovations suchas a paint job, you could easilydo it on your own. DIY is agood way to save money andget creative, but make sureyou research the work involvedto understand whether it’ssomething you can take on.Remember, no one likes havingunfinished work displayedaround the home.Depending on your propertytype and the renovations youare planning; you may needcouncil approval. The earlieryou talk to your council thebetter, as some approvals cantake a lot longer to be given thego-ahead.24Avoidovercapitalising.Plan and design.Ensure you talk to your localreal estate agents and valuersto understand the currentvalue of your property and thelikely value the renovation willadd. If you spend more on therenovation than the extra valueyou’ll add to the property, itmay not be worthwhile.14Talk to tradespeople, such asan electrician or plumber,to understand the feasibilityof your idea. Get quotes,as well as delivery timelines,and allow for some margin costin case the work takes longerthan anticipated.

Selling your propertySelling your current home could be an ideal way tofree up funds to purchase your next one and couldbe a smart option for the following reasons.Managing one propertyis easier.Understanding yourborrowing power.With just one property to manage you’llhave peace of mind knowing you don’t haveto deal with the stress of a second home,including ongoing maintenance costs andrental shortfalls.Not having multiple properties means greaterclarity over the actual amount of money youhave available to purchase your next home.Finally, before you decide whether to sell yourproperty, it’s worth calculating what it could sellfor. Then work out other associated costs, suchas marketing expenses and real estate agentcommission.It’s important to make sure that the costsassociated with your property sale don’toutweigh the equity you have in your home. Ifthere’s a risk of that, you may want to considerstaying where you are.15

Chapter 2Selling your homeOnce you’ve made the decision tosell your home, there are a few thingsyou can do to make the process asseamless as possible.In this section we guide you throughthe steps you need to consider whenselling your home – and the things youcan do to make it a success.16


Selling your homebefore buyingSo, you’ve made the call to putyour property on the market? It’san exciting time, but there are afew boxes that need to be ticked toensure the journey is a smooth one.Before you do anything, it’s important to beclear on your selling strategy upfront. To helpyou decide on an approach, here we look at thereasons for selling your current home beforebuying your next one, or whether you should do itthe other way around.What are the benefits ofselling first?Depending on your financial circumstances andthe urgency of your next property purchase,there are a number of reasons it may makesense to sell your current home first.Know how much money you have availablefor your next purchase.Once you’ve sold your home, you’ll knowexactly how much you have to play with tobuy your next one, plus you should have thesefunds ready to go once you’ve made an offer.Try before you buy.Just because you sell your home first doesn’tmean you have to buy your next one straightaway. To see if you like a particular suburb, youcould always consider renting for a while in thatarea and get a feel for the location.Enjoy a simpler selling process.If the housing market is ‘soft’ it often makessense to sell your property first as it could takelonger for a buyer to come along. While thewait to sell can be frustrating, it does mean youavoid the stressful situation of managing twohome loans at the same time.18

Things to rememberAlthough there are many benefits toselling your home first, there are a coupleof potential downsides that you shouldknow about.Rising property prices.If you do sell your current home beforebuying your next, there’s always a chancethat property prices will go up, between thetime you sell and buy. This could mean thatyou end up spending more on buying yournew home than you anticipated.Potential rental costs.If you don’t manage to find and buy a newhome by your settlement date, you’ll needto rent a place over the short term. Not onlycan this be expensive – and eat into yourproperty sale profit – but it can be stressfultoo as you’ll be moving your family andpossessions twice within a relatively shortperiod of time.19

Are there benefitsto buying first?Buying your next home beforeyou sell your current one is oftenseen as a riskier strategy. However,in certain circumstances, it couldbe a smart decision and thereare benefits.If market conditionsare favourable.When the property market is buoyant, it maybe okay to buy first, as you may be able to sellyour current property quickly. You could evenplan to line up the settlement dates for the saleof your current home with the purchase of yournext property.When you’re in a strongfinancial position.If you have access to a large sum of money, havetime on your side, and are okay with managingtwo home loans at the same time, then buyingyour next home first is an option.You have built up equity.If you have built up enough equity in your currenthome, you could use this equity to count towardsthe deposit for your next home. This means thatyou could potentially keep both properties.20

Things to rememberIf you do decide to buy your next homebefore selling your current one, there area few potential downsides you shouldknow about:A softening housing market. Let’s say forinstance you overestimate the value of yourcurrent home and then proceed to buy yournext home from an over‑optimistic position.The potential risk here is that the marketsoftens in between, and you end up sellingyour current home at a price significantlybelow what you anticipated.Managing two home loans. Owning twoproperties at once means that you’ll needto manage two home loans with twodifferent monthly repayments. Often, bothrepayments combined can add up to asignificant amount. Therefore, it’s importantyou do the calculations upfront to ensureyou can comfortably manage both loans.Reduced borrowing power. Your borrowingpower could be reduced if you have anexisting home loan while applying foranother one. Speak to your Home FinanceManager to understand exactly how muchyou can borrow. If you have accumulatedusable equity in your current property,you may be able to use this to purchaseyour next home.21

Helpful tips for sellingyour homeIf you’ve put your property on the market, there are afew tried and tested strategies you can use to increaseyour chances of selling and maximising your sale price.Remember that much of your home’s value comes down to how it’s perceivedby people in the market. So, if you’re looking to create a great first impressionand squeeze a little more out of prospective buyers, these tips could help.22

1Fix those small jobs.There’s nothing worse than a potential buyerlooking around your home and seeing lots offiddly jobs that haven’t been finished. In theirheads they’ll be thinking that the property hasn’tbeen looked after particularly well and thatmaintenance has been low on your priority list.So, if there are a few unfinished projects, now’syour chance to get them sorted and give buyersthe impression that your home has been wellcared for.24Clear the clutter.Make your bathroom sparkle.It’s important to create a picture in a buyer’s mindwhere they can see themselves living in yourhome. A home that’s spilling out with clutter andgeneral untidiness is not going to cut it. If you can,go through every room in the property and get ridof the stuff you don’t need and put the things youwant to keep in storage, or in the attic.Any prospective buyers may forgive anold‑fashioned bathroom, but not a dirty one.Now’s the time to put in a bit of work and getyour bathroom looking immaculate.Creating a clean, spacious home, which allows apotential buyer to picture where their favouritefurniture might go, is a great way to increase theappeal of your home and often the sale price.Focusing on the tiles around the shower and bathis a good place to start. Re‑grouting the cornersand edges is also an easy way to make grubbytiles as good as new – and can be done by justabout anyone. Finally, use bleach to clear up anymould issues. New home buyers always love apristine-looking bathroom.3Freshen up your kitchen.For most buyers the kitchen is the focal pointof the home, so it’s important you get yourslooking as good as it can be. And that doesn’tnecessarily mean a full kitchen renovation,which can cost you time and money. By doinga bit of research online you’ll find some easyand affordable ways to make your old kitchenmore appealing, whether it’s a fresh lick of paint,replacing the cupboard doors or even putting insome new flooring.23

5Add a new coat of paint.A fresh coat of paint is one of the cheapest andsimplest ways to quickly transform your homeand get it ‘buyer ready’. Start with the interiorwalls and don’t scrimp on the ceilings. They maynot seem important to you, but they will to aprospective buyer.Bright, natural paint tones are best for creating afresh, clean look and making your home feel morespacious. And don’t be afraid to do the paintingyourself. With a little patience and a steady hand,you could make the place look ten years younger– and save yourself money which can be put togood use somewhere else.24

6Let the light in.A dark and dimly-lit home can feel small, coldand uninviting, so where you can, try to letas much natural light in as possible. Start byopening all your curtains and blinds, wash allyour windows, cut back any plants or trees thatmight block out natural light and think aboutreplacing dark-toned curtains and blinds withbright natural colours.Your next job is to look at the colour theme ofeach room. If your furniture and furnishings aredark, think about replacing them with neutralcolours that will make your home look biggerand brighter. Mirrors are also a cost-effectiveway to make a home feel more spacious and areparticularly effective in rooms without windows.7Spruce up the outside.The front of your home is essentially your elevatorpitch and your chance to ‘greet’ buyers and enticethem to come inside.Start with a little garden maintenance, coveringeverything from mowing and raking, to sweepingand weeding. You should also clear away anygarden waste and clutter such as kids’ toys,bicycles and gardening equipment.Once you’ve sorted the garden, you can thenmove on to the façade, making sure the frontdoor and walls are clean, and the porch is swept.Finally, think about replacing the front doormat,getting rid of any cobwebs and cleaning allexterior windows.8Consider styling your home.There are a growing number of property sellerswho invest in a professional property stylist beforeputting their home on the market.A home stylist will aim to create a consistent,more neutral flow around your home, allowingpotential buyers to picture how they might puttheir own stamp on the place.Typically, they will look to clear your home of anypersonal items and clutter and suggest removingany decor that is too large or old-fashioned.They will then ‘stage’ your home with morecontemporary pieces, including new furniture,rugs, and wall art, as well as on-trend accessoriesand fresh flowers.At the end of the day, it’s the little touches thatcan make all the difference when you’re lookingto get top dollar for your home. And with abit of love, effort and small improvements likethese, you can potentially add thousands to theselling price.25

Chapter 3Buying yournext homeBuying your next home is a hugemilestone. To ensure your road topurchasing goes to plan, there area few things you need to consideralong the way.In this section we share with you the financialoptions available to you, plus all the home loanfeatures you can take advantage of when buyingyour next home.Plus, we’ve also created a handy checklist whichincludes everything you need to do beforemoving day comes.26


Take your existing loanwith youJust because you’re moving home,doesn’t mean you need to switchloans. If you’re an existing Westpaccustomer, loan portability allowsyou to transfer your current loanto your new home – avoiding thehassle of refinancing and the stressof applying for a new loan.How does loanportability work?When you port your existing loan to your nexthome, you’ll be transferring your current loanbalance and interest rate as well as any attachedfeatures, such as a linked offset account, toyour new home. However, the main difference isthat, instead of your loan being secured againstyour old home, it’ll now be secured against yournew one.28What are the benefits ofporting your home loan? The process of porting your loan is generallymuch quicker than applying for a new loan. You can avoid potential upfront costs associatedwith a new loan application. You have the choice to switch your loan fromfixed to variable (or variable to fixed) while youport your loan. You may have the option to top up your loanwith extra funds when you move your loan to anew property. You can keep the features and facilities you’vealready set up with your loan, like OnlineBanking or a linked offset account.

Just becauseyou’re movinghome, doesn’tmean you need toswitch loans29

Bridging the gapWhat is a bridging loan?If you’ve found your next home and need moretime to sell your old home, a bridging loan couldhelp you finance both properties.A bridging loan is an additional short-term loan(issued for up to 12 months) that you take out ontop of your current loan. This means during thebridging period you’ll have two loans, both ofwhich are being charged interest.When you sell your old home the bridging loanwill be repaid from the net sale proceeds. Whilebridging loans can be a great option in somecircumstances, they’re not for everyone. To helpyou decide if bridging finance is right for you,there are a few things you should bear in mind.Benefits of a bridging loan can include:Notmissing out on your dream home – A bridging loan can help when you’ve found‘the one’, but haven’t started the process ofgetting your current home ready for sale.Avoidpaying rent in the interim – It can be stressful selling your current home,particularly if you need to move into a rentalproperty, pay rent and then move your familyagain once you’ve found your new home.No repayments required during the bridgingperiod – On a bridging loan you don’t needto make any repayments during the bridgingperiod, however you have the option to do so,which will reduce the overall interest charges. elp with upfront costs – You may chooseHto add upfront costs such as stamp dutyand legal fees to your bridging loan if theproperty value and equity in your currenthome is enough.30

Potential downsides to a bridging loan:No redraw facility – If you choose to makepayments during the bridging loan term, youwon’t be able to access those funds later.Payinginterest on interest – As you don’t make any payments on the bridging loan, theinterest is added to the balance – and you’llend up paying interest on this interest. short-term solution – Bridging is a shortAterm loan, so make sure you understand theproperty market and how long your styleof property will take to sell. And remember,because you’re effectively adding interestto the loan amount, the lon

Home loan balance 440,000 Usable equity 200,000. 8 Use an offset account. Linking an offset account to your home loan can help reduce the total interest amount you need to pay on your loan. In theory, this should allow you to get ahead on your loan and build up equity faster.

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