Debt Nation: Think Twice Before Getting That Home Loan

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In Australia, buying a home is considered the “Great Australian Dream”. After years of hard work, you have finally arrived! You have the opportunity to own a piece of land in your own country. Home ownership is a major milestone. It does not only confirm your success, but you can officially provide shelter for your own family,

However,
buying a home is going to be your largest purchase. Once you review your cash
flow, the idea of achieving the “Great Australian Dream” becomes more daunting.
It will severely impact on your earnings and potentially affect your savings.

And this is
where the banks come in with their home lending schemes. They paint a rosy
picture on why you should buy the home of your dreams right now. The banks will
make home ownership look easier than it seems.

Here are
some of the tactics and gimmicks that the bank will throw at you:

  • Interest only payment for the first 2 years of
    the loan
  • Lowest interest rates in the market – show us any
    bank that is lower and we will beat it
  • Fast approval process – get approved within 24 to
    48 hours
  • Option for fixed interest payment for the first
    year of the loan
  • Quick approval for a second mortgage if needed
    for repairs and improvements
  • Longer term payments – up to 25 years – are
    available

Pressured by
the motivation to own a home, many people succumb to these pressure tactics
from the banks.

Everything
is great until the principal payment is factored in during the second year of
the loan. Then you will start to feel the pressure on your cash flow.

A 2018 report by Digital Analytics
revealed that in Australia, up to 1 million home loans were in danger of being
in default. The risks for these home owners will increase exponentially if the
Big 4 Australian banks – ANZ, Westpac, CBA, and the NAB – decide to increase
its standard variable rates by as little as 0.15 percentage points.

Getting a
loan may seem like a quick fix solution to buying your dream home. However, if
you can’t pay your mortgage on time, your dream home can quickly become a house
of horrors.

Here are a
few of the likely consequences:

  1. You’ll Scrimp
    on Improvements

When
building or acquiring a home, the details are usually the last ones to be taken
care of. These details are the finishing touches; fixtures and improvements
that will give your home the look and feel you want. All of these will take a
back seat because you won’t have enough money to follow through with the
improvements.

  • No to Home
    Insurance

With a
constricted cash flow, you’ll have to set aside enough money to cover your
monthly needs and key expenses. Chances are, you will forego having home
insurance. This is a very risky decision because it leaves your home vulnerable
to uncertainties.

  • Maintenance
    and Repairs Will Be Delayed

That leak
which keeps you up at night? You may have to get used to it. Buying a home is
one thing. Maintaining it is another. For a home to improve its value, it must
be regularly maintained. However, if you don’t have the money to pay for its
maintenance and repairs, your home will show the effects of wear and tear.

Conclusion

If you
can’t cover the loan, you’ll be in default. The bank will only give you so much
time to settle the outstanding balance. In time, the bank will swoop in like a
vulture and foreclose your property.

Of course,
you might be given the opportunity to sell your home and use the proceeds to
cover the balance of the loan.

However, if
you didn’t do your research properly, your property may not have appreciated
enough in value. If this happens, you might have enough money to settle the
loan but not enough to buy another one.

Instead of
having your dream house, you might just end up in the poor house.

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