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Archive for category: ONYX Finance

Understand the Rules on Depreciation
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Understand the Rules on Depreciation

It’s not too late to claim depreciation

With the 2016-2017 financial year now over, property investors may assume they have missed their opportunity to organise a tax depreciation schedule and make a depreciation claim.

Research suggests around 80 per cent of property investors simply don’t claim because they are unaware of depreciation, they don’t know the rules or they don’t realise they’re eligible.

Legislation enforced by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) allows investors to claim depreciation deductions on any income producing property for the wear and tear that occurs over time to the building’s structure (capital works deductions) and the plant and equipment assets contained.

Both new and older properties attract depreciation. Although the ATO restricts owners of older residential properties on claiming capital works for buildings in which construction commenced prior to the 15th of September 1987, depreciation of plant and equipment can be claimed for most buildings*. Property owners could also be entitled to claim deductions for any recent renovations or updates made.

A specialist Quantity Surveyor can prepare a tax depreciation schedule at any time of year. This schedule will begin from the property’s settlement date and outline depreciation deductions over the entire depreciable life of that property (forty years).

If an investor has not previously claimed or maximised the depreciation deductions available from their investment property they can go back and amend two previous tax returns.

*Under proposed changes outlined in draft legislation (section 2 of Treasury Laws Amendment Bill 2017), investors who exchange contracts on a second hand residential property after 7:30pm on 9th May 2017 will no longer be able to claim depreciation on plant and equipment assets. Investors who purchased prior to this date and those who purchase a brand new property will still be able to claim depreciation as they were previously. Investors should note that these changes are not yet law, as the legislation still needs to be passed through the senate for confirmation. BMT Tax Depreciation remain in discussion with government around the new changes and will keep our clients informed on the outcome. To learn more visit www.bmtqs.com.au/budget-2017.

Investors who would like more information can contact one of the expert staff at BMT Tax Depreciation on 1300 728 726.

[SOURCE: BMT Tax Depreciation] 
Bradley Beer (B. Con. Mgt, AAIQS, MRICS, AVAA) is the Chief Executive Officer of BMT Tax Depreciation.
Please contact 1300 728 726 or visit www.bmtqs.com.au for an Australia wide service.

Take Action – Time for a Finance Health Check
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Take Action – Time for a Finance Health Check

In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Action expresses priorities”.

Now is the time to take action on having a Finance Health Check while you still have some say in the outcome.  Make it a priority!

Mainstream lenders continue to tighten policy with the latest change being the revision of Loan to Income ratios.

In recent times, we have seen other tightening of lending policy with the following changes being implemented.

  1. Cost of living allowances closely analysed and tightened.
  2. Interest only borrowers paying a premium on rate for the privilege.
  3. Investors paying a higher rate than owner-occupiers.
  4. Loan to Value ratios reduced in some cases.
  5. Serviceability calculators tightened.

What does all this mean to you?

Well if you haven’t checked your own loans recently you could be paying too much.

Lenders offer discounts to new clients while leaving their current clients out in the cold.

I know we are all busy but my advice to you, is to put some time aside for yourself and work with us on a Finance Health Check.  Before it becomes out of your control.

With APRA continuing to insist that lenders put the handbrake on policy, borrowing will become tougher in the foreseeable future, meaning you could be stuck in an interest rate that is higher than you deserve to be paying.

APRA is also now regulating non-bank lenders so their lending criteria will start to tighten also.

Do yourself a huge favour and take action today! Spend time on your own affairs.

The process may only be an hour or two of your time.  Please call me today for a chat and we’ll get the process underway.

Warm Regards

Greg

 

Tax Depreciation – Missed Deductions Add Up
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Tax Depreciation – Missed Deductions Add Up

Our system to maximise your claim!

Closed circuit television systems, garden watering systems, intercom systems and solar powered generating system assets are all assets which are often missed by property investors when claiming depreciation.

These and other missed assets such as door closers, freestanding bathroom accessories, garbage bins, shower curtains and smoke alarms are part of a list we have compiled to help investors avoid missed depreciation deductions.

Although many of these items have a low depreciable value, as shown in the following table, the depreciation deductions which can be claimed for these items can add up to thousands of dollars for an investor.

So here’s our system to help investors ensure no item is missed and to maximise their depreciation deductions:

  1. Take note of the assets included in the above table
  2. If you have a depreciation schedule and you own any of these assets, confirm with your Accountant that they are included in your schedule and your depreciation claim. If items have been missed, the Australian Taxation Office will allow you to go back and amend the previous two years of missed deductions
  3. If you don’t have a depreciation schedule you should talk to a specialist Quantity Surveyor as soon as possible
  4. Ensure your specialist Quantity Surveyor can outline the deductions available for assets which are eligible* to be written off immediately or added to the low-value pool

*Under proposed changes outlined in draft legislation (section 2 of Treasury Laws Amendment Bill 2017), investors who exchange contracts on a second hand residential property after 7:30pm on 9th May 2017 will no longer be able to claim depreciation on plant and equipment assets. Investors who purchased prior to this date and those who purchase a brand new property will still be able to claim depreciation as they were previously. BMT Tax Depreciation will be making an official submission outlining our concerns along with suggestions of alternative methods to better resolve the Government’s integrity issue. To learn more visit www.bmtqs.com.au/budget-2017.

A specialist Quantity Surveyor will use their expert knowledge of tax legislation to ensure the maximum deductions are claimed for each individual asset.

[SOURCE: BMT Tax Depreciation] 
Bradley Beer (B. Con. Mgt, AAIQS, MRICS, AVAA) is the Chief Executive Officer of BMT Tax Depreciation.
Please contact 1300 728 726 or visit www.bmtqs.com.au for an Australia wide service.

Draft Legislation: Understanding the Proposed Changes
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Draft Legislation: Understanding the Proposed Changes

This month, the government released draft legislation regarding the proposed changes to plant and equipment depreciation as announced in the May federal budget.

The draft outlined further details around a property investor’s eligibility to claim depreciation and provided a range of scenarios to be aware of should this legislation pass.

In a positive move, the government has provided the public with an opportunity to have their say on the new measures, with public consultation open until the 10th of August 2017.

While these measures are yet to be legislated, we have taken a proactive approach in reviewing how these intended changes could impact investors. Following is an in-depth look at the possible outcomes.

Limiting depreciation on second-hand assets

Section two of Treasury Laws Amendment (Housing Tax Integrity) Bill 2017 advises that the Bill intends to amend the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) to limit deductions for plant and equipment in residential premises.

In essence, the proposed new law reduces the amount an investor can deduct for a previously used depreciating asset for the purpose of gaining or producing assessable income.

Should the proposed legislation be passed, this means that residential property investors won’t be able to claim depreciation for plant and equipment assets found in second-hand properties in which contracts exchanged after 7:30pm on the 9th of May 2017.

Investors can learn more about the proposed changes, who is affected and what they mean by visiting our blog post, ‘What do the proposed changes to depreciation mean for you?’

Capital gains tax changes and implications

The draft legislation outlines some detail around a reduced Capital Gains Tax (CGT) liability for property investors.

Any property investor who is unable to claim depreciation on previously used plant and equipment due to these amendments will be able to claim a capital loss for the decline in value of the plant and equipment assets. This capital loss will only be able to offset a capital gain and if needed can be carried forward to offset future capital gains.

A value that relates to the previously used depreciation assets will need to be established at the time of purchase. A decline in value will then need to be calculated for the assets so that a termination value can be determined at the time the property is sold. The difference between the value at the time of purchase and the termination value will be the capital loss which will reduce the owner’s CGT liability.

How will the changes affect an investor’s cash return?

The following scenario compares the cash return an investor will receive for a three year old house purchased for $600,000 both before and after the proposed new measures.

In the example, the owner receives a rental income of $560 per week or a total income of $29,120. Expenses for the property, such as interest, council rates, property management fees, insurance and repairs and maintenance total $41,028.

In scenario one, the owner is able to claim a total depreciation claim of $12,397 for both capital works deductions and plant and equipment depreciation.

Using depreciation, this investor will experience a weekly cost of $56 per week to hold the property.

In the second scenario, as the owner exchanged contracts on the property after 7:30pm on the 9th of May 2017, they are only able to claim $6,126 in capital works deductions and will be unable to claim $6,271 in plant and equipment deductions.

This reduced claim would result in the investors weekly cost of holding the investment property increasing from $56 to $101, a difference of $45 per week or $2,340 in the first full financial year.

As you can see, the proposed changes will limit the depreciation deductions available to property investors, which will lead to a cash flow reduction each year.

While we believe that generally the integrity measure has merit, the proposed changes go much further than what is necessary to deliver on the Government’s intention of stopping subsequent owners from claiming deductions in excess of an assets value. The approach proposed in the draft legislation treats residential property investors differently by extinguishing a property investor’s ability to claim a deductions based upon a transaction.

We believe this is caused by gaps in current legislation around establishing a depreciable value for second-hand plant and equipment.

BMT Tax Depreciation will be making a submission detailing this concern along with suggestions of alternative methods which will better resolve this integrity issue.

To view the draft legislation and make a submission click here.

[SOURCE: BMT Tax Depreciation]

Bradley Beer (B. Con. Mgt, AAIQS, MRICS, AVAA) is the Chief Executive Officer of BMT Tax Depreciation.
Please contact 1300 728 726 or visit www.bmtqs.com.au for an Australia-wide service.

Time to Beat Banks at Their Own Game!
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Time to Beat Banks at Their Own Game!

For several months now I have been telling anyone prepared to listen how usury the banks behaviour has been in recent times using APRA as an excuse to gouge customers. The following commentary from industry luminary Steve Weston who is highly regarded in all sections of the industry sums the situation up perfectly…

A former major bank executive says lifting rates for existing interest-only borrowers has little to do with the regulatory pressures the banks claim they are under.

Following a hefty round of rate hikes for interest-only borrowers last month, former Barclays CEO of mortgages Steve Weston says it was surprising to see the banks’ tactics.

“On the one hand, they talk about wanting to rebuild trust with consumers and do all the right things and they’ve got the ABA engaged with a number of well-intended initiatives to ‘make banking better’,” Mr Weston said, responding to a question at the Vow Financial commercial conference in Hobart on Friday. “But then they do things that appear anything but customer-friendly.

“During June, the four major banks announced reductions in their principle and interest owner-occupier rates of between 0.03 per cent and 0.09 per cent, along with increases in their interest-only rates of between 0.30 per cent and 0.35 per cent.”

Mr Weston explained that the media statements from the banks all claimed they had to reprice their interest-only mortgages to meet APRA’s requirement to limit the flow of new interest-only lending to 30 per cent of new residential mortgage lending.

“The key word there is ‘new’. The equation to measure that 30 per cent is all the loans that settle that month – no more than 30 per cent can be IO. The back book doesn’t come into the measure at all,” he said.

“And I wonder how much consideration was given to the impact the rate changes will have on customers. Encouraging existing borrowers to make principle repayments is broadly sensible, although for some, like investment loan borrowers who also have an owner-occupier loan, this may prove sub-optimal from a tax planning perspective.”

Weston further commented that each of the media releases also stated that the rate changes were not related to the bank levy.

“Typically when you see out-of-cycle rate increases, they are justified by an increase in funding costs or the need to hold more capital. But not this time. This time the banks have been clever in using an APRA cap on new lending and using it to justify increasing rates for existing customers. What has been really surprising is the lack of mainstream media commentary about the rate increases.

“Making the changes even more surprising was that in the May Budget, the Treasurer instructed the ACCC to monitor changes in mortgage pricing by those banks impacted by the bank levy. The Treasurer even asked the ACCC chairman to let him know if he finds any evidence of the bank levy being passed on in higher mortgage rates. Whether it was co-incidental or not, the additional income that will be generated by these rate changes all but equates to the bank levy. So it will be interesting to watch how this plays out.”

According to Mr Weston, who was general manager of broker platforms at NAB before joining Barclays in 2012, the Australian banks could have achieved the 30 per cent limit by tightening their credit policies and increasing rates on new loans.

“The back book didn’t need to be touched,” he said.

“At the very least, the banks could have waited until the interest-only loan period expired before increasing rates. They could have written to customers and advised them about the benefits of commencing principle repayments and letting them know that their interest rate would increase at the end of their interest-only term if they didn’t commence making principle repayments at that time.

“These don’t feel like the actions of banks who want to build trust with customers. To me it feels more like taking an opportunity to increase profits. Actually, it feels very un-Australian,” Mr Weston said.

So what can you do about it? Well more than any time in the last couple of decades it is imperative that you take an interest in your own financial affairs. There is a fair chance that you are paying too much interest however we can help you rectify this with just an hour or two of your time.

We are here to help in any way we can and remember our advice is without cost or obligation to you. Start saving today, feel free to call me on 0409 02 99 22 or email greg.clough@onyx.net.au.

Clarity on Second Hand Property Deductions
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Clarity on Second Hand Property Deductions

Finally, Some Clarity

The property market has finally received some clarity in relation to the Government’s plan to reduce depreciation deductions for residential properties. It’s good news too, if you ask me.

On Friday 14th July, the Treasury Office released a draft bill regarding how depreciation deductions on second-hand property can be claimed moving forward. They also invited interested parties to make submissions.

It’s complicated to say the least, so I’ve tried to simplify this Bill and the key points. Here are my 9 Key Takeaways from the draftLegislation;

  • If you acquire a second-hand residential property after May 10, 2017, which contains “previously used” depreciating assets, you will no longer be able to claim depreciation on those assets.
  • Acquirers of brand new property will carry on claiming depreciation exactly the way they have done so to date. This is great news for the property industry and the way it should be.

We suspected this would be the case and I believe the property industry can collectively breathe a sigh of relief.

  • The proposed changes only relate to residential property. Commercial, industrial, retail and other non-residential properties are not affected in the slightest.
  • The building allowance or claims on the structure of the building has not changed at all. You will still need a Depreciation Schedule to calculate these deductions. This component typically represents approximately between 80 to 85 percent of the construction cost of a property.
  • The proposed changes do not apply if you buy the property in a corporate tax entity, super fund (note Self-Managed Super Funds do not apply here) or a large unit trust.

This is interesting and I suspect a lot more people will start buying properties in company tax structures.

  • If you engage a builder to build a house and it remains an investment property, you will still be able to claim depreciation on both the structure and the Plant and Equipment items.
  • If you renovate a property that is being used as an investment, you will still be able to claim depreciation on it when you have finished the renovations.
  • If you renovate a house, whilst living it in, then sell the property to an investor, the asset will be deemed to have been previously used and the new owner cannot claim depreciation.
  • Perhaps the most interesting point: Whilst investors purchasing second-hand property can now no longer claim depreciation on the existing plant and equipment, they will have the benefit of paying less capital gains tax when they sell the property.

How? Well, in summary, what you would’ve been able to claim in depreciation under the previous legislation, now simply gets taken off the sale price in the event you sell the property in the future.

Here is an example of how this will work:

Peter buys a property in September 2017 for $600k, included within the property was $25k worth of previously used depreciating assets.

As they were previously used, Peter can’t claim depreciation on those items.

Peter sells the property in 2022 for $800k, which included $15k worth of those depreciation assets.

Peter can now claim a capital loss of $10k ($25k-$15k) for the portion that Peter has not claimed in depreciation.

SUMMARY OF THE PROPOSED CHANGES

In my view the Draft Bill could’ve been a lot worse for both the property industry and the Quantity Surveying professions.

It will certainly address the integrity measure concern of stopping “refreshed” valuations of plant and equipment by property investors.

It may, however, create a two-tier property market in relation to New and Second hand property.

You can see the ads now “Buy Brand New – We’ve Got The Depreciation Allowances”.

It will still be just as critical for all property investors to get a breakdown of the building allowance & plant and equipment values so you can:

  • Claim the building allowance (where applicable) and
  • Reduce the CGT payable when selling the property by deducting the unclaimed Plant and Equipment allowances.

The Quantity Surveying industry, just like the property development industry just breathed a huge sigh of relief.

I believe this integrity measure could’ve been better addressed and will be making a submission accordingly.

But it wasn’t a bad ‘first run’ by the Government!

 

[SOURCE: Tyron Hyde. Washington Brown]
How to Avoid  Decreasing the Value of Your Property
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How to Avoid Decreasing the Value of Your Property

Australians spend billions of dollars on home improvement each year, as they renovate, extend and improve their properties. It’s a popular topic among home buyers and investors alike, with many people interested to know how to add value to their home, while improving its amenity and appeal.

Equally important as adding value to a home, but perhaps less well reported, is how the changes people make to their properties have the potential to negatively impact its value.

Whether you’re a property owner, seller or potential buyer, understanding the changes that add and subtract from the value of a property can assist you to make better decisions.

According to research six of the most common ways to decrease the value of a property include:

1. Adding and removing rooms

When renovating a home, adding a room or space is often a great way to add value to a property. However, removing one room, such as a bedroom, in favour of another room, such as a dining room, in a two or three bedroom home can have the opposite effect – instead decreasing the appeal and liveability of a property for the bulk of would-be buyers.

Likewise, adding an additional bedroom without also adding an additional bathroom and break-out spaces could also miss the mark.

When renovating for profit, consider your target market. If you’re a buyer, consider the cost of a potential retrofit of a bad renovation strategy before making an offer.

2. Removing car accommodation

Parking is an important aspect of a property, particularly if located in inner-city areas where parking is scarce and subject to restrictions. Likewise, a garage is a typical feature of homes in many suburban areas. Removing parking, whether off-street or garage can have a significant impact on the value of a property amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases.

A property that can integrate car parking and other features like a home office, outdoor area or gym may benefit from increased value, assuming they don’t compromise use of the space.

3. Selecting a unique colour palette

The colour palette you select for your property can have a significant impact on its value. Bold colours, textures and surfaces can be a risky choice, minimising the appeal to future would-be buyers. Select neutral paint colours, natural tones and materials for flooring and benchtops to maximise the appeal of your property. Utilise furnishing to brighten your property, but be wary of extending this tendency to window furnishings, as curtain choice can have a big impact on some would-be buyers given the cost to replace them in many cases.

4. Outlandish features and architectural styles

When renovating a home it’s important to consider how the changes you make relate to the area in which your property resides. If it’s located in an area with historical significance, an ultra-modern style is likely to impact the street scape and continuity of design, with implications for the value of your property and your neighbours’. Similarly, an Italianate home in a modern or emerging area may appear out of place, with implications for its value.

5. Adding features without official approval

It’s not uncommon for property owners to add features to their home, such as balconies, decking, windows, pools or additional driveways, however, in most cases these additions require planning approval.

While you may go undetected when installing the features, once you sell a home you are required to provide official planning documentation to certify your property is above board. In some cases, if the addition contravenes planning guidelines, it must be removed with implications for both the value of your property and your hip pocket.

6. Poor planning and budgeting

Planning and estimating the cost of a renovation can be difficult. It’s important to budget for project blowouts, and to have a contingency if the project runs longer than expected.

When planning note that not all properties and locations demand or appreciate top-of-the-range appliances, fittings and ancillaries. The features and amenity should be matched to the market.

When undertaking a renovation project, ensure you see it through to completion. Selling a property with an incomplete renovation can have a negative impact on final sale price.

One of the most important fundamentals of renovating a property is to avoid overcapitalising, to ensure you achieve a minimum dollar-for-dollar return on your investment when it comes time to sell

If in doubt, engage a professional, such as a property valuer or property advisor, to assist with assessing the current and future value of the property before undertaking the project.

[SOURCE: WBP PROPERTY GROUP – 11 JULY 2017]
Claim property deductions this financial year
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Claim property deductions this financial year

Property depreciation deductions can make a big difference to a property owner’s cash flow.

The Australian Taxation Office allows property owners to claim depreciation, or decline in value, as a deduction. Depreciation is considered a non-cash deduction, meaning an investor doesn’t need to spend any money to be eligible to make a claim. Therefore it is not unusual for these deductions to get missed.

With tax time approaching, property owners should be sure they are claiming all the deductions to which they are entitled. Owners of income-producing properties can claim depreciation deductions related to the building’s structure as well as the plant and equipment assets* within the property.

Depreciation related to a building’s structure can be claimed as a capital works deduction. As a general rule, residential homes in which construction commenced after the 15th of September 1987 and commercial properties in which construction commenced after 20th July 1982 are eligible for the capital works deductions.

Depreciation on each plant and equipment item, or the easily removable fixtures and fittings within a building, can also be claimed for most properties*. Plant and equipment assets include items such as hot water systems, carpets and blinds.

*Under proposed changes to legislation, investors who exchange contracts on a second hand residential property after 7:30pm on 9th May 2017 will no longer be able to claim depreciation on plant and equipment assets. Investors who purchase a new property will be able to continue to claim these items as they were previously. We are currently speaking with government to further understand the intricacies relating to the proposed changes.

Investors should engage a specialist Quantity Surveyor to discuss the depreciation potential of any investment property they own or are planning to purchase. They can provide a free estimate of the first year deductions available based on the scenario of the individual investor and can provide a comprehensive depreciation schedule outlining the deductions they are eligible to claim when the visit their Accountant to perform their annual income tax return.

A depreciation schedule has a one-off cost which lasts the life of the property (forty years) and will ensure the owner claims their depreciation entitlements correctly. A depreciation schedule is 100 per cent tax deductible. By ordering the schedule prior to the 30th of June 2017, an investor will be able to claim the fee straight back in that financial year.

Regardless of when a residential property is purchased there are likely to be substantial deductions available. It is still worth discussing every property scenario with BMT.

For more information, speak with one of the expert team at BMT Tax Depreciation on
1300 728 726 or enquire online today.
Article provided by BMT Tax Depreciation.

Have you heard of Shop Hold? They are our Client of the Month.
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Have you heard of Shop Hold? They are our Client of the Month.

Another fantastic small business that we would like to celebrate is Shop HOLD, which creates beautifully hand made bags and baskets. HOLD is the love child of two sisters, Theresa and Bree, who I first met 8 years ago. Since then we have been lucky enough to help them purchase their first homes, renovation projects and achieve their financial goal of buying an investment property.

HOLD was founded on the idea to create scrumptious pieces that were both sustainable and simple, less truly is more. HOLD strives to have a minimal carbon footprint and limits the use of commonly thrown out waste (plastic, receipts, paper) in packaging. All items are wrapped in vintage fabric and any paper used is strictly recycled.

Their ethos is that you can have both style and function without compromising on our responsibility to the earth and the people lives that create your wares.

Here are three reasons why we love HOLD:

  • All their bags are named after influential and powerful women from yesterday and today. It is a simple nod to the women that have changed history forever by being being brave, strong and the early adapters of the woman to woman movement. “These woman have fought for what they believe in regardless of society’s expectations. And we thank them for that” says Theresa.
  • They are huge supporters of the slow fashion movement.
  • Their bags and baskets are made by two families in the stunning island of Bali, Indonesia. The HOLD team have a strong relationship with the families involved in making their beautiful wares that predates HOLD.

You can support HOLD by following them on Instagram or check out there beautifully made bags and baskets here.

If you would like to be featured in our ‘Client of the Month’ please email us.

Commercial loans: Every thing you need to know about them
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Commercial loans: Every thing you need to know about them

Every commercial business has different needs required to achieve their investment goals. No two businesses are the same and every loan application requires a specific finance strategy, this will simplify the process and fast track the approval time.

The secret to a successful commercial loan application is for you to understand the application process and together we can identify any potential hurdles. In turn we can be proactive and apply an innovative finance solutions to achieve your business goals.

ONYX Finance specialises in providing finance for commercial property to investors and owner-occupiers for:
• Property purchases
• Refinancing of an existing loan
• Equity release for property improvement, investment, working capital and business expansion

Finance is available for individuals, both private and public companies, trusts and partnerships.

Some benefits of ONYX Finance loans are:
• No ongoing fees
• No annual reviews
• No regular property revaluations
• No cross-selling or cross-collateralisation of securities
• Long or short loan terms and interest only periods
• Quick decisions and fast turnaround times
• Access to the people who make the decisions
• A lower total cost of borrowing than the major banks

Our simple step-by-step process has been specifically developed to provide our clients with the confidence to understand the lending process along with technical information that is not always explained upfront by other lenders.

So call or email me now, for an obligation-free chat, a simple call that could save you thousands of dollars.

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