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Renovation and financing – do they always go hand in hand? by Haitham Rifai

You’ve decided that it’s time to update your kitchen, or add another room to the house instead of moving.  Refinancing to renovate a property is a significant decision and one that will hopefully improve your standard of living or add substantial value to your property (see my earlier blog on over capitalising).

Refinancing isn’t as straightforward as you might expect. The type of renovation proposed goes a long way to informing you of the right loan. If you get the wrong type of loan, you could be left with a pile of unexpected debt.

Getting started on your first home purchase doesn’t have to be so lonely! by Malcolm Day

Getting a kick start from, or giving a kick start to your family is not that onerous! From the outside, real estate entry can look tough for young adults, but help could be in the next room of your family home.



For those who know me, know that I am passionate about home improvement. Being so passionate, I find that I have to rein in my enthusiasm for the perfect finish and make sure that the costs don’t outweigh the impact of what I am trying to create and run the risk of overcapitalising.  

Ever considered AN OFFSET LOAN as part of your wealth creation strategy? by Robert Younan

If you are looking for ways to pay off your mortgage in record time, an offset loan can help you reduce interest payments, save on tax and pay your mortgage off years ahead of schedule.

Why everyone needs a mortgage broker in their lives! by Malcolm Day

Did you know that more than 50% of all mortgages in Australia each year are instigated through a mortgage broker? In fact, of people surveyed earlier this year, only 27% said that they would not consider going through a mortgage broker and prefer to stay with their lender. In today’s market, a broker can actually get you a better rate than you can from your own bank! All you have to do is talk to them!

Like we need more reasons to go to a mortgage broker!

Malcolm Day

We have heard about APRA forcing lenders to review their lending practices and to bolster their levels of cash. We have also heard that the size of mortgages have reduced by the most since 2000, according to a report by, due to a slowdown in the property market – even though properties in some areas are still exceeding reserve expectations.

Things are not as dire as they may seem – depending on how you look at it

Cost-neutral employee benefit enhancements

Coming from a management role in a national, medium sized company, there was always a nagging concern that our employee benefits were meagre and uninteresting.

We had mandatory superannuation, average salaries and above average bonuses and commissions, but nothing else apart from tools of trade – like mobiles, laptops and parking for sales. We looked at what our employees would potentially value and appreciate from us to increase their engagement. Random afternoon coffee breaks and trivia afternoons didn’t seem to cut it. We looked deeper.

What we found was that people actually wanted access to information about their benefits, or how to manage aspects their lives. So we ran sessions on superannuation, sessions on personal life insurance. We got attendance at sessions. It worked. Employees were more engaged and appreciated the effort we put into sourcing information for them

Employers need to think creatively about what is beneficial (hence benefits) and what they can offer their employees by inviting third party specialists into the workspace to offer their services.

Here are some ideas:

  • Superannuation information sessions – what are options? SMSF?
  • Financial Planning and Insurance sessions (#)
    • Do your employees have enough insurance?
    • Do they know what they have and what it means?
  • Mortgage broking sessions (*) – 50% of loans in Australia go through brokers.
    • Get independent advice at no charge or obligation. In groups and one on one.
    • Arrange sessions in addition to any banking sessions or financial planning.
  • Local banking sessions – get discounts on accounts and credit cards.
  • Local businesses – support your local community, clothing, health foods, cafes
  • Local fitness and healthcare centres – negotiate corporate discounts.

Have an expo of benefit providers in your break out area. Support local businesses.


(*) HM Finance are experienced in providing advice to groups and individuals in the Sydney region. We have 40 years’ combined experience in home loans and mortgages. For an obligation free conversation, call us on 0404 099 674 or visit us on

(#) Monarch Advisory Group are specialists in personal insurance and are available to present to a group or individual employees about their insurance needs. For an obligation free conversation, call us on 0499 777 174 or visit us on

Why Mortgage Brokers Are Here to Stay

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View Tradebusters article on Haitham from HM Finance

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