1st street Blog

RBA LEAVES CASH RATE AT 1.50% - 07/11/2017

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent.

For full article please visit www.rba.gov.au.

Sydney walks we bet you don’t know about - 06/11/2017

Sydney’s eastern coastal walks are some of the city’s best kept secrets and are the perfect weekend activity to enjoy over the upcoming warmer months. These are some of our favourite picks:

Hermitage Foreshore Track

This 2.2km walk starts at Bayview Hill Road in Rose Bay and winds its way around the harbour to Neilson Park, Vaucluse. The trail weaves through beautiful bush land, secluded beaches and highlights the city from a new perspective. The walk is best enjoyed in the late afternoon when you can watch the sun gently setting over the glistening harbour.

South Head Heritage Trail

Starting and ending at Camp Cove Beach, this 1.7km circuit shows off the magnificent harbour from the heights of South Head. With a footpath leading the way to the distinct Hornby Lighthouse, you can enjoy panoramic views of both the Pacific Ocean and iconic Sydney Harbour. This Sydney walk is magnificent at all times of day however sunrise and sunset add a little extra sparkle to the experience.

Federation Cliff Walk

This 4km coastal walk starts at Raleigh reserve in Dover Heights and ends at Christison Park Vaucluse. The walk leads along a concrete path, natural grasslands and extensive timber boardwalks and highlights the rugged eastern cliffs and vast Pacific Ocean magnificently. Best enjoyed at sunrise, this walk will have you truly appreciating the unforgettable eastern coastline.

Watsons Bay to Christison Park (Coastal Cliff Walk)

A short 1.5km pathway, this walk highlights Sydney’s most famous ocean cliff lookout (The Gap) with breathtaking ocean views. Running from the start of Gap Road, Watsons Bay to wide open Christison Park Vaucluse, this strip is an easy and quick walk best enjoyed as close to sunrise as possible.

Bronte to Coogee (via Gordon’s Bay)

Starting at Bronte Beach and ending at notorious Coogee Beach, this 4km coastal walk features the continuation of iconic sandstone cliffs and rugged coastline. Passing along the historic Waverley Cemetery and uncovering the tranquil Gordon’s Bay, this walk offers an abundance of beautiful scenery, best enjoyed whilst the sun peeks over the horizon at sunrise.

Parsley Bay Suspension Bridge

The short walking track (less than 1km) begins at the western side of Parsley Bay beach by the seawall and finishes on the eastern side of the bay at the wharf.  The trail features the iconic century old cable suspension footbridge, breathtaking harbour and bushland views, weathered sandstone caves and overhanging seawall rocks. Enjoyed at any time of the day, this hidden harbour side paradise walk is a must to include on your to-do list.

Why is life insurance so important for mortgage holders? - 06/11/2017

The figures are in, and only 11% of mortgage holders aged 20-49 have any form of loan protection should their income suddenly cease due to illness, injury or death. This raises the question: is a lack of information or fear of affordability contributing to a low level of life insurance around Australia?

So what is life insurance and what are the benefits?

• Life insurance provides the security of covering your home loan and other ongoing costs if the unfortunate were to happen. It ensures your family and loved ones aren’t left with the burden of having to repay your mortgage in the event of death and provides peace of mind and protection of your financial obligations.
• Life insurance can be held personally or within superannuation funds. The benefit inside super is it assists with managing cash flow and your super fund can pay the premiums.
• Policies are more cost effective than most people think and can be structured in different ways depending on your situation.
• Once a policy is accepted you can be covered until age 99 as long as you pay the premiums and there is no need to report future medical events to the insurer.
• Cover can be automatically increased each year to keep up with inflation and also at key events such as birth of a child, new mortgage, etc…

What about cost?
Perhaps the greatest concern for individuals when contemplating life insurance is knowing how much it will cost. The price you pay for a life insurance policy depends on a number of factors including:

• The level of cover (Should be at least the total of your mortgage).
• Your age, health and lifestyle status.
• Generally, the younger you are, the cheaper your policy premiums are likely to be and often you’ll be able to find a policy that offers very good value for your needs.

This is where engaging an informed and highly experienced mortgage broker to initiate and manage your home loan holds the most value. Good mortgage brokers should highlight your risks when applying for a mortgage and inform you of your coverage options to protect you and your family if the unthinkable happens. Although they will not provide specific advice a good broker should be able to refer you to an experienced financial planner who can assist with putting everything in place.

There are many things an average household can live without, but for those who have a mortgage or those considering purchasing their first property, life insurance is certainly not one of them. Insurance is not normally important to people until something unexpected occurs and no one knows when that will be!

1st Street Supports NBCF - 01/11/2017

1st Street’s Charity of the Month for November is the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) is 100% community funded and the only national body that funds life-changing breast cancer research with money raised entirely by the Australian public. Breast cancer is the most common cancer facing Australian women, with eight women dying from the disease each day — mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and friends.

Research is the only way to prevent deaths, and improve how breast cancer is diagnosed, managed and treated. By funding only world-class research, NBCF is working towards a goal of zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030. With 48 Australians diagnosed each day and eight dying from the disease, there is still much to do.

At 1st Street we believe this is a cause worth supporting and will donate a portion of our income earned for all loans settled in the month of November.

For more information on NBCF or to make a donation, please visit their website: http://nbcf.org.au/

RBA LEAVES CASH RATE AT 1.50% - 03/10/2017

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent.

For full article please visit www.rba.gov.au.

1st Street Supports Dreams2live4 - 01/10/2017

1st Street’s Charity of the Month for October is ‘Dreams2live4’.

Dreams2live4 makes dreams come true for patients who are living with Metastatic cancer meaning any cancer that has spread.

“My life was overwhelmed with illness… Now I am filled with dreams and plans.”

Metastatic cancer drains families of joy, hope and finances. It can be a long and grueling battle for patients. Often they and their partners cannot work and they can no longer do many things that other families take for granted. By offering patients a chance to dream, Dreams2live4 reignite a sense of control and optimism in their lives. Conversations change and so does the outlook of patients and their families.

At 1st Street we believe this is a cause worth supporting and will donate a portion of our income earned for all loans settled in the month of October.

For more information on Dream2live4 or to make a donation, please visit their website: http://www.dreams2live4.com.au/

Timing the Market, Or Time in the Market? - 27/09/2017

Property investment is still at a high point in Australia right now, and more and more people from all walks of life are striving to commit to an investment strategy to generate future wealth. However, with house prices having skyrocketed in the last 5 years, a major point of confusion amongst investors is whether timing the market or time in the market is more important to increase wealth generation.

Despite a whopping growth in property value in the last few years, with Sydney in particular experiencing up to 50% growth since 2013, investors rest assured that you haven’t necessarily “missed the boat.” The key when investing in property is to look at the bigger picture – and the bigger picture involves a much longer investment cycle than a few years in a booming market.

Timing the Market

Fluctuations in property values occur in cycles and there’s no denying that when you get the timing right, you can fast-track your profits. Alternatively, if you get the timing wrong, your financial return can be heavily delayed.

Timing the market effectively can mean that you benefit from two growth cycles rather than just one, creating a completely different outcome as the years go by. However, the timing is never going to be perfect so waiting for that ‘perfect timing’ can simply mean wasted opportunities. It is true that those investing in property now will have to wait far longer for their property to experience oversized growth than buyers a few years ago, however this should not deter wannabe investors.

Time in the Market

It’s true that time in the market is the most crucial factor when considering purchasing investment property. Long-term plans must be front of mind when investing and if this is the case, the performance of your property over the first few years should be irrelevant in comparison to the eventual financial gains you will make.

So what is considered a “long term” investment? A minimum of 10 years is generally a good rule of thumb, with the hope that you would experience two significant growth periods during that time.

The key take home message is that for those serious about building a profitable property portfolio, focus on your end goal and remove any fixations on perfectly timing the market. Acknowledge where you are now and where you want to be in the future. Utilise your knowledge and assets wisely to get there, whether on your own or with the help of a mortgage broker. That is ultimately the difference between genuine and lasting investment wealth, and those hoping to earn a quick buck through property.

Small Homes Offer Same Quality Of Life As Big Homes - 27/09/2017

With house prices in Australia remaining at an all time high, families are being forced to scale back their property dreams for more realistic (ie. smaller) purchases.

However, bigger certainly doesn’t always mean better in the case of real estate, with smaller properties offering some definite perks to their oversized counterparts.

  • Saves you money

Whilst property prices for smaller homes are significantly cheaper, it’s not just the lower mortgage payments that will save you money. Think about the cost of running your home – electricity, gas, water etc. Smaller homes free up some extra money and reduce the heavy burden of financial stress.

  • Easier to clean

Smaller homes reduce the amount of housework and cleaning required. And when you’re cleaning the house every week, that’s a pretty significant time saving.

  • Build stronger relationships

When you live in a small place together, you learn to work around one another and defuse problems before they happen. By living in close proximity, you have no choice but to spend time together, allowing you to build stronger family ties.

  • Live more simply

The phrase “less is more” is truly the case in this instance. Smaller homes mean there’s less space to accumulate “stuff” (ie. junk), making you carefully consider objects which are truly necessary within the home and allowing you to enjoy a clutter free space.

  • Easier to customise

With much less square footage, it’s a much more straight-forward task to add personal touches to your home. Jobs like painting, decorating and furnishing a smaller homes becomes a cheaper, easier, quicker and more enjoyable process.

Top 5 tips for optimising a small property:

  • Limit the colour palette of the finishes. By using the same colour paint throughout the house and coordinating all the other surface materials (carpet, bathroom tiles, wardrobes etc.), it will allow the space to feel bigger.
  • Use finishes to the full height of the room (eg. tiles in bathroom, bedroom wardrobes, kitchen cupboards).
  • Find two ways to use one space and make everything multi-functional – eg. an ottoman that can be used as a storage box and/or coffee table.
  • Never waste space above or before furniture – eg. storage crates are great to store under beds and cane baskets can sit on top of bookshelves.
  • Select high quality furniture and decor as the space is concentrated, meaning each piece will get used more than in a larger house

Managing your money when you move in together - 18/09/2017

Living together is a big step. You may be merging your lives more closely, but should you merge your finances?

So you’ve taken the leap and decided to move in together.

It’s an exciting time which can take your relationship to a new level, but it can also add new pressures as you address practical matters such as how you divide the chores and the costs.

Set your new home up for success by discussing joint finances upfront and early on.

How serious are you?

Consider how long you’ve been together and how serious the relationship is before deciding to merge your money.

Moving in together can make or break a relationship so it might be a good idea to give your new living arrangement a few months to settle before addressing the question of joint finances.

Talk about values and past experiences

Both how you were raised and your past experiences can have a big influence on your financial outlook.

It’s worth discussing your attitudes to money including:

  • who managed the finances in your family
  • how family financial decisions were made
  • experiences you may have from managing money in past relationships and
  • whether you’re a financial conservative or risk taker.

Consider your future goals

A conversation about your goals, both personally and as a couple, can help ensure you’re on the same path. You might uncover joint goals to begin saving for things such as:

  • travelling and working overseas
  • saving for a house
  • saving for a wedding or
  • saving to start a family.

All or nothing?

Merging money doesn’t have to be a case of all or nothing.

Perhaps you could open a joint account for shared expenses and bills while maintaining separate accounts for personal spending?

A joint savings account that you can both contribute to in order to save for your goals could also be useful.

What else to consider

Once you’ve been living together for two years you’re legally considered to be defactos.This means that if your relationship ends, the division of any assets or debts could be decided by the courts, just as for married couples. So while it’s not pleasant to think about, it’s important to consider whether you’d like to be protected and how easily your money could be separated, if need be.

It’s also important to ensure you’re getting the most from your money – whether it’s managed together or separately, it’s a good idea to have a budget. And finally, let us know if we can assist you in any aspect of setting up your financial lives together.

http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/family-law-matters/separation-and-divorce/defacto-relationships/

 

RBA LEAVES CASH RATE AT 1.50% - 05/09/2017

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent.

For full article please visit www.rba.gov.au.

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