How to save thousands and stop the banks getting the upper hand!

As a landlord and property investor there seems to be so many things that are out of your control.  Floods, storms, bad tenants, market booms, market busts and interest rates.

Many investors look at their property portfolio as a retirement plan that they “hope” will eventuate into a pot of gold by the time they want to retire.  Unfortunately, this is rarely the case and many investors “retirement” portfolios end up costing them more in the long run.

Insurance that doesn’t quite cover the roof damage, not putting the rent up because you don’t want to upset the tenant, not having a depreciation schedule, buying in the same suburb you live and staying with the same bank too long are all ways that your golden nest egg turns into a money pit.

But here is the KEY  –  Change the way you think about your investment properties.

You are not just a property investor you are actually a business owner. The Tax office allows you to make deductions as if you are running a business, so you need to have that mind set.

As a business owner, you must ensure your business is running at its optimal capacity. That means pulling certain levers to maximise your profits. Depreciation schedules, finding a great property manager, ensuring your insurances are in place and increasing rents with the market are all ways you can fine tune your business efficiency.  And the number one lever you can pull to maximise your profits is ensuring your home loan is market competitive.  This lever alone will save you thousands a year and take years off your loan.

Banks are fully aware that people get complacent. They know that after you set your home loan up and if the service is ok you will forget about your home loan and maybe occasionally glance at your interest rate.

This complacency will KILL your property/business profits and turn a cash flow positive property or portfolio into a negatively geared one.

I see this every day, so don’t let yourself fall into the same trap. After two years banks will NOT give you the lowest interest rates that they give “New Lending” (New Customers).

As they say you need to “vote with your feet”. Take your business elsewhere and SAVE.  I regularly see savings of $2,000 a year just by switching to a new lender with a better interest rate. If you carry out an optimisation check every 12-24 months on your home loan you can
potentially save $60,000 over the life of your loan and pay out your loan 4-5 years early.

So, now is the time to look at your portfolio in a different way. Pull the biggest lever you have at your disposal to supercharge your profits. Optimise your business so it is performing at maximum capacity to give yourself every chance to enjoy that golden nest egg.

 

Written by:
Jason Hare
Mortgage Broker & Finance Consultant
Co-Founder and Lending Specialist
CEO | Lending Specialist
0400 805 206
jason@opfinance.com.au

Tips for Picking a Splashback for a Dark Charcoal Kitchen

                   

Aside from being elegant, dark charcoal or grey kitchen cabinets are also versatile, as this classic tone will look beautiful with several splashback options. Here are some schemes to help you determine which finishes and materials could match your deep-toned units.

Marble splashback

A marble splashback, or an engineered-stone look-like, is a good choice if you want a more luxurious vibe. The smooth, pale surfaces on the walls and benchtops bring a fascinating contrast to the charcoal units.

What makes a marble design stand out is its veining. It helps combine dark and light surfaces to bring a pleasant balance to the total vibe.

Textured wall of painted bricks

This is an ideal pairing.  Imaging your dark charcoal cabinets contrasted by a bright white benchtop with the added warmth of a textured brick splashback.

Textured finishes used in other areas like a dining room or open plan living area will also work well.  Try mixing it up a little.

Groove paneling

Fully take on the deep colours of your dark charcoal cabinets by putting the shade right on your wall. Use tongue-and-groove paneling and apply the same colour for the splashback and the cabinets.

The deep-charcoal surfaces in the space could be offset by the earthier shade of the copper sink and brass fittings, and separated by the purely white benchtop.

Subway tiles

Choose something low-key on the walls, if you’d like to simply underline the beautiful deep tones of your dark charcoal cabinetry. For example, you can create an elegant space by painting the walls white and subtly punctuate it with a splashback made of white subway tiles. The simple backdrop will emphasise the beautiful rich colour in the base units.

Put a twist on subway tiles

One solution to giving a twist to subway tiles is to lay them in a herringbone design. This particular pattern looks great when merged with the modern materials and lines in a kitchen, as it brings character and texture.

The fascinating thing about this layout is that the tiles becomes the standout element and the dark charcoal units create a frame around them.

Have fun with pattern

Dark charcoal may be a daring tone, but it is also stylishly down-to-earth – ideal for displaying a wall of patterned tiles.

Take a breather and reflect

If you are worried that dark cabinets might create a cramped and dreary feeling in your space, here is what you can do: install a mirrored splashback to reflect the light and add a spacious vibe.

For example, a tinted glass can be a good option by fitting a thin LED light along the bottom of the wall-mounted cabinets to brighten the room. An ambient glow is created with the light bouncing against the mirrored surface.