Handy Hint for Being Application Ready

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Online statements are great for the trees, but not so great when it comes to proving your address while making an important application. Here’s a quick ninja tip for both saving the planet and saving yourself some stress.

 

These days it’s great to see so many companies encouraging us to use and download online statements, rather than printed copies. Some are even charging for paper statements to encourage us to do our bit for the planet.

 

However, it can be an issue if you need to prove your address at any stage.

 

Whether you’re opening a new bank account, putting something on hire purchase or buying/selling a house, they will require a utility bill or bank statement that has been sent to your home to confirm your address in the last three months.

 

So, a handy hint from the people who have helped process hundreds of mortgage applications …

 

If you have no utility bill or bank statement coming to your home address, get something (i.e. a utility bill or bank statement) sent to your home address at least once. This might mean turning paper statements on and then off after a delivery or two. Simple solution.

 

No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.

 



Brendon's Health Saga: Part Two

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Who would have thought? One week after writing about a health incident from 12 years ago, Brendon had another similar incident. The shock of it aside, it’s a great reminder of the tremendous benefits of health insurance.

 

When I left you last month, I had just been declined for insurance cover due to the fact that I had a PFO (slightly dodgy valve) in my heart. When first discovered 12 years ago, the medical advice was to leave it, however, the advice now seems to be to get it corrected, according to the medical people at the previously mentioned insurance company.

 

I had also mentioned that the reason I discovered this 12 years ago I had had some neurological issues that led to some "stroke like" symptoms.

 

Fast forward six weeks—the week after writing last month’s blog,—after 12 years of no symptoms, I suffered some further "stroke like symptoms". This was very weird that they occurred just a week after the PFO issue was brought back to my memory.

 

So, anyway, off to the GP who referred me to neurology at the hospital (who, by the way, saw me within one hour of my GP ringing them—thanks public health system) and I was diagnosed with "probable migraines—rather than a stroke". 

 

So, good news. I was then given a four month wait to see a cardiologist regarding the PFO issue (not so good work, public health system).

 

This is where my health insurance kicks in. 

 

Two days later I have an appointment with a cardiologist. And, all things considered, it seems it is worth getting my PFO “closed”. The procedure is covered by health insurance ($21k worth) and I am booked in to have it done on 26 June. The only wee snag at this stage is that I am out of the country on the 29 June, so we are now juggling dates between me, two specialists and operating facilities. 

 

The other add-on to this story is an add-on to my health insurance.  The insurer I am with has a scheme where you can get an "expert medical opinion from one of their world renowned specialists".  So, for professional interest, more than anything, I have asked for a second opinion regards to the diagnosis of the migraines and the advice to get my PFO closed. To be honest I am not expecting a change, however, it will be reassuring to get these things confirmed.

 

Stay tuned for the third exciting instalment next month ...  

 

Brendon Ojala is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.

Dust off the Fitbit: Introducing AIA’s Vitality

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Insurance rewards for exercising and looking after ourselves are coming to New Zealand. Graham explains. 

 

AIA, who now own Sovereign, are about to be all over the place with a rebrand and also an upcoming release of their Vitality programme. 

 

"AIA Vitality is a world-leading, science-backed wellness programme that encourages people to look after their health and wellbeing, while benefiting from lower premiums and other rewards." — Taken straight from AIA's website.

 

I'm excited about the concept and am participating in the Vitality programme. I don't necessarily need the motivation for exercise (I do like the rewards I get for current behaviour) but will benefit form the motivation to be more proactive and regular with the health checks that a 53-year-old male needs.

 

For all existing and new Sovereign and AIA clients we will be actively promoting the Vitality programme, as the rewards and savings are genuine and well worth it.

 

For more information, go to https://www.aia.co.nz/en/campaign/championing-a-healthier-more-protected-nz.html and watch this space for updates from us. 

 

Graham Goodisson is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.

It’s Time to Check Your KiwiSaver

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This time of year is especially important for the self-employed, but the rest of us can use the KiwiSaver “anniversary” to make sure we have it all dialled in properly. Here’s how.

 

The KiwiSaver calendar year runs 1 July to 30 June. The Member Tax Credit from the government (to a maximum of $521.43) will be paid out over the coming months, assuming you have contributed the minimum of $1,042.86.

 
If you’re PAYE, 18 or older, earning $35k or more, and have three per cent from your salary (and your employer matching that with three per cent) then you will have reached the threshold.


If you’re self-employed, then, as we hope you know, you’ll need to make voluntary contributions. You may have set this up with a direct debit from your account or perhaps you’re planning to make a lump sum to your KiwiSaver. If you’re the latter, pay those voluntary contributions today—you are running out of time.

 

If you need to make a voluntary contribution and think $1,042.86 is not in the budget, don’t be discouraged, you can still receive 50c on the dollar if you deposit anything up to $1,042.86. So, if you put in $500, the Government contribution will still be $250.

 

This “KiwiSaver New Year” is also a perfect opportunity to ensure that your KiwiSaver is set up right for you. That is, that you are not sitting in a default fund and that your tax rate is correct.

 

Default Funds
When it comes to the default funds it is simply the worst place for many savers to be, yet there is not an effective way by providers (or the government) to get those members to move.


The big problem with the default funds is they are largely invested in lower risk, lower return assets like cash and bonds (maximum investment in growth assets like shares is 25 per cent). The lower the return, the lower that retirement nest egg will be.


There’s more than $8b (yes, billion) invested in KiwiSaver now. The 400,000 KiwiSavers who are invested in default funds, missed out on an estimated $1 billion over the last 8 years.

 

The tax rate can be a game changer for you as well. Some Kiwi’s (around 120,000) are paying more tax than they need to. It, literally, can pay to have your tax rate (for Kiwisaver, this is your Prescribed Investor Rate or PIR) correct. If it’s wrong, changing it could make a difference of $26,000 for you in your KiwiSaver. That’s a significant chunk of a first home deposit—or your retirement income.

Google “KiwiSaver tax rate” and get yours in line.

 

Simon O’Neill is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.

Engaging a Solicitor: More Than Words

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A good solicitor can make the world of difference when it comes to saving yourself from painful property mistakes.

 

We all know the playground saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” However, injuries might be painful, but they’re also typically temporary. Conversely, words can hurt long after the fact, sometimes nagging us for years or decades. Words can have carry the pain in property.

 

The downstream effects from the words you write (or don’t write) on a Sale and Purchase Agreement could bring immense and ongoing financial pain to you, your immediate family and often your wider family.

 

The antidote to these negative side effects of our words, is today’s word of the day: solicitor.

 

Many believe that simply saying the word “solicitor” out loud can trigger fees to be automatically deducted from your savings account. But is this a good enough reason not to engage your friendly local solicitor early in the house buying process?

 

I have heard it said numerous times, “I will contact the solicitors after I get my offer accepted.” This is a crucial mistake, because solicitors are not magicians. If you have signed and agreed to something, it is pretty difficult and expensive to get out of it, and sometimes it isn’t possible to get out at all.

 

We all need solicitors to purchase property/land, and they are far more helpful to us when we use them prior to our seal being inked to paper. For a relatively small investment up front, they can prevent all sorts of painful mistakes in the future. 

 

Here are some things to consider with your solicitor prior to making an offer:

·      Do you know the detail of the contract?

·      What work has been done on the property and has it been consented?

·      What about the neighbouring properties? Do they have future work consented? And how will this affect you or the future value of your property?

·      Can you get insurance for this property? If not, then the bank will not be lending any money.

·      What are your rights regarding the builders report?

·      What should I or should I not circle, tick or cross out?

·      Can I get my KiwiSaver out in time?

There are far more questions to answer than this, and each property has its own quirks, but you get the idea of the things a solicitor can help you with. 

 

Also, if time is money, then having a solicitor read through screeds of documentation on your behalf will save you plenty. An experienced solicitor will know what to look for and will sum up the risks very quickly. Allowing you peace of mind when making your offer.

 

Lance Shearman is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.

 

 

Fixed vs Floating

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The good times keep rolling in the world of home loan rates. But Brendon reminds us that this purple patch shouldn’t just be about using reduced interest payments as an excuse for a second island getaway or new SUV on hire purchase.

 

Home loan interest rates continue to nudge down. The one-, two- and three-year rates seem pretty solidly set under four per cent for awhile. 

 

There is talk that these may drop a little further, although it would seem there isn't a lot of space for them to move too much lower.

 

Given this, I understand the logic of fixing a large part of your home loan at three years. However, I always recommend in such cases to keep the payments the same (either paying extra in to a fixed loan or using some type of floating loan) as this can take years off your home loan. 

 

Don't forget, when rates dropped to six per cent we thought they were awesome rates. A $350k home loan costs $74 less a week than back in the days of six per cent rates. Surely, if one can't make some headway on today’s sub-four per cent loans, we’d be in trouble if (or when?) they start rising.

 

I personally like the flexibility of having access to the extra payments I can make in order to keep chipping away at it. But I realise this doesn't suit everyone. Some will be far too tempted to spend this. 

 

We are all different in what is an "optimal home loan structure" and it is important your structure works for you. Do feel free to get in contact with the team at Velocity and we can work through the best option for your situation.

 

Brendon Ojala is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.

 

Thinking of Building? Read Kylie’s Story First

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Kylie and her family of five went through the options of buying and renovating and finally decided to build. But how would they service two mortgages? Kylie shares her insights.

 

We’ve had pre-approval to purchase an existing home for a few years now and haven’t had much luck finding anything.

 

The market is very competitive and, because we had an existing property to sell first, any offers we made had to be conditional on selling that property. With cash offers being put up in competition to us, we felt we didn’t stand a chance.

 

We considered selling our property first. However, with a lack of rentals available in Wellington we were concerned that we would end up homeless. Plus, the animals would make that hunt for a temporary rental even more difficult.

 

We also looked at renovating. However, with estimates at over $80-$100k we finally came to the decision that we might as well build.

 

This led to the inevitable question: How could we afford to pay two mortgages?

 

That’s where Brendon, my trusty Velocity mortgage broker (who also happens to be my boss) stepped in.

 

We’ve recently secured a “turnkey” build in Kelson with a small five per cent deposit from the equity available in our existing property.

 

A turnkey is where you place a small deposit down, and only pay the remainder once the property is complete, hence the name “turnkey”. This can be a slightly more expensive way of building, however, there are no additional costs involved, and no overheads to worry about. Our contract even includes the letterbox and planting, and the only things excluded are the curtains.

 

The downside is that the plans have already been signed off with the council, so we have no control over the layout of our new home. However, we can choose the colours, kitchen, carpet and so on. We had a number of plans to choose from, so we picked one that suited our needs.

 

Still, there have been some risks involved.

 

We haven’t sold our existing home. So if the market crashes when it comes time to selling, we’d be in trouble. Worst case, we’d lose our deposit or have to go to court (unlikely, however, let’s not rule it out!).

 

This risk was clearly laid out to us (thanks boss!), however, even if we sell our house for $100k less than the current value, we would still be able to complete the transaction. So we have decided to proceed, knowing that in a slow market, or even if a market correction occurred, we should still be in a position to sell and move on.

 

Another issue is timing the completion of the build with the sale of our existing property.

 

We’re working closely with the agent involved with the new build, and he’s suggested that we put the house on the market once the windows are installed in our new build. We don’t want to have to move twice, however, we realise we may be homeless for a short period of time. Hey, Mum and Dad! Need some borders?!

 

Regardless, we are going to try to line up all the moving parts as best we can.

 

We’re looking forward to our double-glazing and toasty warm home, as well as having an extra toilet to share between all five of us!

 

No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.

 

ANZ Wants to Warm Your Home … Interest Free

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Many Kiwis live in homes that are simply too cold, damp and breezy. ANZ have heard our cries and are offering homeowners a sweet little deal to warm your wallet as well as your castle.  

 

In recent years, we’ve all cottoned on to the fact that damp, draughty homes are not acceptable. This has seen much discussion in the media around rentals and the need for landlords to stump up and properly insulate their tenants’ homes.

 

However, the question of house quality spans beyond rentals to owner-occupies as well. In 2018, ANZ pledged $100 million worth of $5000 interest-free loans for ANZ customers to insulate their homes. The great news in 2019 is that ANZ’s Healthy Home Loan scheme to improve the health of New Zealand homes continues.

 

Whether you have a reasonably new home, are renovating your existing home or building a new home, ANZ's aim, it seems, is to encourage you to have a healthier home. And, of course, it’s also an enticing carrot to get you to switch allegiances with your banking provider.

 

So, what are the three aspects of your home that are considered under this loan scheme?

  1. Dryness (ventilation, dampness)

  2. Warmth (heating, insulation)

  3. Safe & Efficient (smoke alarms, water, energy-efficiency)

 

What are the benefits of a Healthy Home Loan with ANZ?

  • Interest rate discounts (off standard rates)

    • Fixed rate discount of 0.70% p.a.

    • Floating rate discount of 1.00% p.a.

    • Flexi rate discount of 1.00% p.a.

  • They'll waive the account fees on your Flexi Home Loan, Freedom (everyday) Account & Personal Credit Card

 

To get a Healthy Home Loan with ANZ, the first step is to get your Homestar Rating of 6 or higher. There are two steps to this:

  1. Complete a HomeFit online check (www.homefit.org.nz)

  2. A HomeFit assessor will visit your property and, if it's up to scratch, will provide you with a HomeFit Certification. The assessors visit will cost approximately $300.

 

If you're unsure if this package, or ANZ full stop, is the right move for you, give us a call and we can help you understand the details and size it up to make sure it will fit your needs.

 

No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.

 


Oops! I Bought an Uninsurable House!

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Wellington leads New Zealand in coffee, craft beer, gin, bucket fountains … and the very best fault line! We win at everything. And now also add high insurance premiums to that list. Yay!

 

Historically, our insurance premiums have not reflected the fact we’re living on such a lustrous fault line—but they are starting to. Insurance companies are very nervous about what an earthquake in Wellington would cost them and have started to prepare for a shaky day ahead.

 

Of course, they prepare for that day by putting premiums up and by making sure they have a comfortable level of exposure in Wellington i.e. each company will only take a certain number of commercial buildings and/or houses.

 

What this means for me as a homeowner/buyer/seller is that I need to give more thought to my house insurance. Premium increases are a given, but the good news is that home insurance is still available.

 

When buying we obviously just need to plan ahead of time by arranging cover for the new house.  

 

Marie from Thorners says it best: “Don’t expect to ring an insurer and get cover sorted the day you take possession of your new home!” 

 

We encourage people to make sure they can obtain insurance cover before they enter into an agreement to buy a property. This includes undertaking your due diligence when buying any house to understand its full history, particularly if the property has previously suffered form earthquake damage. Irrespective of whether you think it might only be cosmetic, before your cover is confirmed, insurers will ask for a lot of information like claim reports, scope of repairs, evidence the repairs have been completed and so on. All of this takes time, so don’t leave it to the last minute.

 

Velocity has a range of companies we have relationships with to help with house insurance, so please ring if you are running into difficulty or need a second opinion. 

 

Graham Goodisson is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.

 


When the Insurance Company Says NO!

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What’s this? Even Brendon got turned down by an insurance company?! Here’s how it happened and some takeaways for us all.

 

My insurance company just said “no” to me. I am not happy. I am a current client of theirs and I sell their products to my clients.

 

I have personal insurances in place, but, in my annual insurance review, my circumstances had changed enough that I needed a bit or a re-org. I have existing cover (by this I mean life, income protection, trauma and health covers) at a number of providers and I was going to consolidate these and save a little money.

 

But when I applied I was declined. 

 

The reason for this was to do with my medical risk. 12 years ago I had a "neurological event" that looked a bit like a stroke. After investigating, they found that one of my heart valves "leaked" a bit (in the trade, it’s known as a PFO) I have had it all my life and, at the time, the best medical advice was to let it be. It wasn't a major issue—apart from the fact it could let an occasional blood clot through and in to my brain!?! Time has moved on and it seems that the medical advice may be changing. So, due to this uncertainty, my insurance company doesn't want to take the risk.

 

My immediate response was anger. 

 

How dare they? Don't they know who I am!? As well as the fact that I run ultra-marathons and so am pretty fit and healthy! I thought I was a pretty good risk. However, I do understand their rationale and I am now looking in to my medical options.

 

As well as working with my GP and a referral to a cardiologist, I may well use an expert’s (best doctors in the world) second opinion service known as "Best Doctors" that comes with my insurance. My health insurance may get a work out in the months to come. 

 

Watch this space.

 

Finally, some take homes from my experience:

 

There are two times when an insurance company might say “no”. One is when it comes to getting the cover in place. The second is at claim time. Trust me, it is far better to get a “no” at application time than at claim time.

 

At the risk of turning my little personal anecdote in to a sales opportunity …  our job at Velocity is to get the best cover, at the best price, and to ask all the questions at the start to ensure that, at claim time, the money arrives when you need it most.

 

Brendon Ojala is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.

 

 


Fixed vs Floating

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Now is a great time to be refixing a home loan. As long as you have sufficient equity in your property it is very likely you will be fixing a home loan for a rate under four per cent.

The official cash rate has just reduced to an all-time low of 1.5%. This will mean some downward pressure on rates. However, it is likely the markets have priced some of this in already. At the time of writing, there has been no movement in terms of home loan rates, however, we wait with some anticipation.

 

The only upward pressure on rates seems to be the Reserve Bank consultation to increase the capital that banks are required to hold. If/when this gets agreed to, it will affect the profitability of banks and, therefore, is likely to see some upward pressure on rates. However, this seems like the only force capable of driving rates north right now.

 

On a related note, when an adviser from Velocity sits down and reviews a client’s home loan structure, it is very rare that there isn't some 'tweak' we can make to improve that client’s situation. Sometimes a major overhaul is required and, with interest rates this low, overhauls are common.

 

I hope that before your fixed rate rolls off, we will be in contact. However, our system isn't (quite) foolproof, so if we do miss you, please don't hesitate to make contact and we will chat through options over the phone or arrange a quick review meeting.

 

Brendon Ojala is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.

 

 


Broke or Broken: Must We Choose?

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What’s more important, saving your pennies or fixing your dodgy knees? What about that lower back that complains every time you tie your laces? Lance discusses that painful tension between financial and physical fitness.

I recently received a link from a chiropractor entitled, “Is your debt making you sick?” My initial thought was, “Hey, chiropractor! Stay in your lane and leave the finance talk to the people in finance!”

 

My second thought was, “Lance you are a guy in finance offering thoughts to people about wellness.” Point taken … and ignored (I do have a Diploma in Exercise Science … just saying … now focus!).

 

In New Zealand, we play sports, and our national sport involves people running as fast as they can as often as they can straight in to other people running as fast they can … for 80 minutes! We also have an absolute love for the outdoors, which is fantastic, but can physically take its toll. Now, the long-term effect on our bodies from such activities can be tremendous, and often these continue to plague us long after we’ve hung up our [insert apparatus here].

 

I recall playing rugby and seeing the older spectators hobble along the side-lines and saying to myself, “They should have stopped playing much earlier than they did.” Yet there I was in my late 30s doing just the same thing and not learning the same lesson.

 

How many times in a day from the time when we first get out of bed or we get up slowly from a meeting or we go to pick up our kids and stop short because our back is sore or neck is out or… so on? Do we feel the on-going effects from prior activities?

 

I know that a lot of us simply put up with this, as we don’t want to pay the price to remedy these physical ailments. When did we decide that our physical wellbeing was not a financial priority? And what is the true cost of doing nothing about it?

 

I would suggest that as soon as it interferes with your day-to-day or prevents you from doing simple or much loved activities—such as having fun with your children, grand kids or walking your dog—then it’s time to calibrate that Kiwi “she’ll be right” mantra. Spend the money for goodness sake! Your body is a temple. Unfortunately some of us treat it like it’s the temple of doom!

 

In exercise science it is about peak performance in sport. Should we not have the same deliberate approach to our day-to-day wellbeing? Why do we settle for less of our body if it gets in the way of doing the things we value most?

 

I can in no way tell you what to spend your money on, and, as a husband with two kids, I understand the need to prioritise finances. My thought today, however, is for you to at least investigate if there is any way of easing the pain.

 

What is the cost of doing something versus the very real cost of doing nothing at all?

 

As for me, I cannot help myself but play sport, run, whatever. I have changed from the high impact sports of my younger years to activities that are “easier” on the body. This has dramatically improved my day-to-day work and family life, while still satiating my thirst for competition and exercise.

 

I recommend having this conversation with an expert, as the remedy may be simpler and less costly than you think.

 

Lance Shearman is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.

 

Insuring Your Wellington Property

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We’ve been talking about “the big one” hitting Wellington for decades and it seems the insurance companies are more worried about it than most. Stevie explores what this worry means for insuring your home in the capital.

 You may have heard last week’s announcement from IAG (and its associated brands) that they are further limiting their new cover in the Wellington area. If you’ve lived in the Wellington region for a few years, you will know that this isn’t particularly a new announcement. Since the Kaikoura earthquake, IAG undertook a conservative (a.k.a. risk averse) approach to Wellington homes.

 

It is, however, a good time to discuss what this means for you as a Wellington homeowner.

 

Firstly, we’ve spoken to our Fire & General Insurance Brokers and it is business as usual. There are still companies that happily insure Wellington homes.

 

Secondly, we’ll be keeping our finger on the pulse for any changes with other insurance companies and keep our clients informed as always.

 

Finally, if you are concerned about the insurability of your home or rental properties, give us a call and we’ll talk it through with you.

 

A Quick Guide to Personal Insurance

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Insurance can get confusing. Huge policy documents, insider lingo, fine print everywhere. It’s supposed to provide peace of mind, but can instead just play havoc with even the sharpest samples of grey matter.

So, here’s a 101 guide to understanding your personal insurance.

 

In New Zealand, there are four things a person can insure themselves for:

 

1. Life

 

Why? To repay debts, cover funeral costs and give your loved ones the financial freedom to properly grieve.

 

Who? This pays a lump sum to your estate or the person of your choosing.

 

2. Trauma

 

Why? Give yourself space to recover, whether or not you’re off work for a prolonged period of time.

 

Who? This pays a lump sum to you if you are diagnosed with a specific illness.

 

3. Income Protection

 

Why? Unfortunately the bills still come in if you’re unable to work due to injury or illness. This will pay a percentage of your income (or mortgage repayments) until you’re able to return to work.

 

Who? This pays you a monthly sum.

 

4. Health

 

Why? If you need non-acute surgery, you can skip the public queue and go straight to a private hospital.

 

Who? This pays the medical professionals that are looking after you.

 

Finally, it’s important to ensure that your cover is relevant to your life. Here are a few examples of life events that may impact the relevance of your cover. If any of these apply to you, give us a call!

•          You have new additions to your family

•          Your kids leave home

•          You get married and/or divorced

•          Your job changes

•          Your salary changes

•          You have had any health issues (more than just a GP visit)

•          You have set up a new company or trust

•          You have bought or sold a property

No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone

Is a Prefab Home Your Ticket onto the Property Ladder?

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Prefab houses are cheaper, quicker to build and have fewer budget blowouts, but banks haven’t given them much love … until now. Kylie explains…

Imagine owning a patch of land and one day a truck backs up, plonks down your new home and, voila, you’re a homeowner. Although a prefab home can seem like a friendly and easy entry into the property market, your bank most likely has had a different opinion … up until now. 

 

Prefab houses have been notoriously difficult to fund because there has been no security for the bank to lend against in the beginning. You’ve been required to pay for the dwelling before it was delivered to the site. Historically, this meant that it was out of reach for most first-home buyers—unless parents had enough equity to pay for the dwelling up front against their property.

 

But there’s a glimpse of sunshine peaking out from behind the dark cloud hanging over the prefab home dream. Westpac have recently completed a successful nine-month pilot in both Albany and Invercargill on a new build product called Prebuilt—a dedicated mortgage product aimed at helping Kiwi’s get into prefabricated homes. They’ve just announced this product and are beginning the process of rolling it out to all of New Zealand.

 

So, watch this space.

 

The prefab home market is expected to grow over 200 per cent in the next year. So, with Westpac’s new product on offer, the prefab homes should be a hit with both buyers and builders.

 

But what exactly is a prefab home?

 

Prefab homes (prefabricated homes) are built under controlled conditions, usually in a factory, and are transported to their final location by truck.

 

This method of building provides several benefits above traditional building methods:

·      They can be cheaper and their costs are tightly controlled (so no project blowouts!).

·      The build time is also much quicker than your standard build, with some prefab homes taking just 18 weeks.

·      The overall cost is around 15 per cent less than a standard build.

 

The prefab home designs have also come a long way in the last few years, with trendy and modern options on offer.

 

So dream on … and chat to us about the options!