Frequently Asked Questions

Giving you the answers you need

Get the answers you need to our home loan FAQs

We are ALWAYS in the other end of the phone or email to give you the answers you need to make the right decisions for you and your family.

You may find some of these click on any question of interest.

What are mortgage brokers?

Mortgages are long, serious financial relationships so it is crucial you make an educated choice, and that is where Mortgage Brokers help. Mortgage brokers are reliable agents who shop on a home buyers behalf for a competitive rate and home loan. Their only job is to make sure you get the right offer for your home loan.

At Alchemy Lifestyle Group, our mortgage brokers work with our clients through the entire process, helping navigate through the hundreds of offers to find the right solution for you and your family. It is their expertise and commitment to their clients that is the stark difference from engaging with a big bank.

Why use a broker?

When you’re buying a house, it all comes down to choice. Your realtor didn’t show you one house and say “this is all we have” so why pick a mortgage that way? Mortgage brokers offer a large range of choices.
When you go into a bank, most institutions only have two or three home loan packages. The rates aren’t personalized to your financial situation and most of the time, the terms aren’t well explained. Even the best bank employee can’t give you more choices than their company offers, but mortgage brokers can.
Since they aren’t employed by a specific institution, they aren’t going to push a home loan on you that doesn’t fit. Instead of the two or three choices your bank can offer, a broker will go over 20-30 options with you. They’ve studied all the home loan programs in the area and have the inside scoop on each bank.
The amount of information home loan applications take is crazy. Lenders need to know every last financial detail before they’ll even consider opening their safe. Unfortunately, most average consumers miss something or have red flags in their applications. Without a broker to catch these mistakes, banks would simply throw these applications out (or raise the rate).
A broker, on the other hand, has the expertise to find any glaring or dream-ending mistakes in your application. If there are issues with your history, they can help find the right home loan to work around it.
If the bank has any questions about the application, they’ll get answered faster going through the mortgage broker. Without one, the original mortgage seller would have to call you in, sit you down and go over the discrepancies/questions. A mortgage broker can answer a phone call and get your application back in the running before you could even drive to the bank.
We’ve all spent hours pouring over computer screens and googling average APRs. Working with a broker saves you time. Instead of you having to stay bent over your screen, a broker shows you suitable, personalized options. Once you’ve decided on a program, they handle the paperwork along the way.
There’s no need for you to get all dressed up for interactions and meetings with lenders, your broker can do that. They already have relationships with banks and work on your behalf. With a broker your home loan will get approved faster and save you time.
Return on Investment
Some people are under the impression that working with mortgage brokers is more expensive than taking out a bank loan. They are mistaken. The amount of choices brokers can offer will more than pay for their services down the road.
Say you bought a house and used your local bank’s one-size-fits-all rate. Your rate is *8.9 APR. You don’t pay the bank employee commission at first, but if the rate a broker might have offered you was *6.9. Over a thirty-year mortgage term, that extra APR percentage will have cost you more than hiring a mortgage broker.
*These are examples. Rates depend on listing price and credit eligibility.
Closing the Deal
Even with the option of mortgage brokers, some homeowners still choose to blindly go through their bank. It seems easier at the time, but the convenience will cost them hard earned money down the road. When you’re financing your dream house, do something good for your future self and let a broker find the right home loan for you.

How much can i borrow?

The total amount you can borrow depends on two things:
What you are buying and how much money you have left after accounting for all fixed commitments from your net income.

Your borrowing capacity will be determined by combining your income and outgoings to be sure you can comfortably handle your home loan repayments. As a general rule, mortgage repayments should total less than one third of your income.
Use our Borrowing Power Calculator to estimate how much you can borrow or talk to us soon..

What deposit will i need?

The size of your purchase deposit is very important for several reasons. The more you put as a deposit, the less you will have to borrow, the lower your repayments, and the less you will have to pay over the lifespan of your loan.

Most lenders require a 10% deposit, as well as a history of savings, however if you are borrowing more than 80% of the purchase price a mortgage insurance payment will most likely be necessary.

Contact an Alchemy Finance broker, and together, we will look at your personal circumstances and work to determine your deposit requirements.

Can I buy with someone else?

A tenants-in-common arrangement is the most common way to buy a property between two or more people who aren’t married, or in a de-facto relationship. This method allows the property ownership to be split in any way. It can be divided equally, or in other proportions.
This also means your share of the property can be left to a person of choice when you die, as opposed to the interest passing automatically to the other owner under a joint tenant agreement.

This shared property ownership only works under strict rules, and with a tight contract in place. All aspects of the agreement must be in writing, and a legal representative should be consulted. It is of utmost importance that the following two points are covered: what happens if one owner wants to sell their share, and what happens if an owner cannot meet the repayments.

How much stamp duty will I pay?

Payable stamp duty varies from state to state.
This amount will be advised to you by your conveyancer/legal representative, or you can follow the links below to find out for your state. 









Insurances for my home?

Mortgage Protection and Lender’s Mortgage Insurance
Both Mortgage Protection and Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI) are for two different situations.
The former, mortgage protection, is insurance paid to support you in case you become involuntarily unemployed, or are unable to work due to illness of disability. As your mortgage is likely to be the biggest financial decision made in your life, it makes sense to ensure that even through unforeseen circumstances, you can continue to meet your financial commitments.
Lender’s mortgage insurance protects the lender in the event that you default on your repayments. It is usually required when your deposit is below 20% of the purchase price of the property.
Home and Content Insurance
Home and Content Insurance covers both partial and total loss of your home, as well as any damage or loss incurred from adverse events, such as fire, water damage, etc. Without, you may be left to foot the bill for necessary, and often expensive repairs to your home, or when replacing valuables. While Home and Content policies can be purchased separately, it is often simpler and more cost-effective to combine them under one package.
Income Protection
In the event of sickness, or injury, Income Protection is designed to reimburse you a predetermined percentage of your monthly income (typically 75%) should you becoming unable to work. This insurance will ensure you can manage your financial obligations, maintain your lifestyle, and protect your family and home while you’re unable to work.
Life Insurance
A lump sum payment provided to your beneficiaries in the event of your death, life insurance will help your family manage their future without your ongoing earning capacity. With various levels of cover, life insurance can be tailored to fit your priorities.
Total and Permanent Disability (TPD)
Provided you can no longer work, or in the event that you die due to illness or accident, you can opt to cover yourself for total and permanent disability, or death options. When combined with life insurance, security can be provided for you and your family for the rest of your life.

What types of loan can i consider?

There are various types of home loans on the market, all offering differing rates and features. It is important to understand the benefits of each in order to make an educated decision on which path to take. Our Alchemy Finance brokers will guide you through your options to find the solution that suits your needs.
Below are a few of the different types of loans on offer to help get you started:

Honeymoon Loans
With lower repayments for the first six to twelve months, a honeymoon loan’s payments increase to a standard variable loan after this period. It is important to ensure the increased payments can be met following the initial period. You could also be faced with a fee following the end of the honeymoon period to switch to another loan type, or a rate that is not as competitive as other in the market.
Basic or “No Frills” Loans
A variable loan rate with a relatively low interest rate. Repayments will rise and fall with fluctuations in interest rates. With no extra options available, the low rates for these loans couldn’t mean that you can repay the loan faster. Keep in mind to check the loan conditions – particularly your ability to make additional repayments, and pay-out without a penalty, to ensure they suit your circumstances.
Standard Variable Rate Loans
The most common type of loan available, repayments with a standard variable loan with fluctuate with interest rates. This loan offers more flexibility than the basic or “no frills” loan, such as a redraw facility, the option to split between fixed and variable, extra repayments and portability. These extra options should be taken into consideration when choose your type of variable loan.
Fixed Rate Loans
These loans have a set fixed interest rate for the specified period – usually one to five years. With advantages such as allowing you to organise finances and repayments without the risk of rising interest rates, this is offset by not benefitting from a drop in rates. Following the end of the term, all fixed loans automatically revert to the applicable variable rate. At this stage, you have the option to lock into another fixed rate for a new term, switch to variable, or go for a loan wherein you split with a percentage fixed and the remainder variable. These loans may have limited features, as well as lack the flexibility of 100% variable loans. There may also be early exit fees and limited ability to make extra payments.
Equity Line of Credit Loans
Using the equity in your home for things such as home renovations, investments or other personal purchases, repayments for this type of loan are determined by the interest rate applicable at the time. If you have sufficient equity, you will need to make a separate application for a line of credit loan. An added advantage of this loan is the ability to make unlimited repayments as these are not set. It is important to check the conditions of these loans as they are sometimes more expensive than standard products.
Professional Home Loan Packages
These loans are offered to provide an all-in-one package. It offers interest rate and fee savings on your home loan, credit card and transaction accounts and some lenders will waive annual fees. Annual fees ranging from $120 to $395 is usually application on these loans.
Some professional packages also offer increased flexibility, with some banks willing to waive product switching fees when changing from a variable to a fixed rate, or converting a principal and interest type loan, to an interest only loan.
Bridging Loans
This loan may be necessary when buying one property before the existing one is sold. A bridging loan covers a financial gap, and is generally secured against your property as you are utilising equity in your existing property. These loans are usually short term and more expensive than other types of loans.

Applying for a loan?

When approaching a lender for the first time, identification will be the first priority. When applying for a home loan, you’ll need identification up to the value of 100 points. A driver’s license is worth 40 points, a credit card can earn 25 points, and a birth certificate up to 70 points. Of these, only original documents qualify.
Through the application process, your lender will want to ascertain your:

  • Capacity to repay,
  • Financial risk,
  • Collateral, and
    Existing assets.

You will also be asked:

  • If you have dependent children,
  • How long you have lived at your current address,
  • What you owe and own,
  • Your personal insurances, and
  • Your credit card details.

It is advisable you have:

  • Your two most recent payslips,
  • Group certificates from the past two years, and
  • Documentation from your employer detailing income and length of employment.
  • If self-employed, applications should provide the past two years of tax returns, or financial statements and accountants’ details. Some institutions may even request for a profit and loss statement certified by a registered accountant.


Also needed are:

  • Savings details,\
  • Bank statements including transaction, savings or passbook accounts
  • Investment papers including managed funds or term deposits,
  • What you owe and own, details of personal loans, credit cards or charge cards,
  • Tax liability if self-employed
    Approximate value of assets such as furniture and jewellery, as well as life insurance policies and superannuation should also be included.

Loan Approval
Before you make any offers, it is best to have your loan pre-approved. This will allow you to focus more on a price-range and give your full attention to the purchase. Remember that a vendor may also accept a lower than advertised price knowing that your finance is organised. They may want a quick and hassle free sale.

Once formally approved, we arrange mortgage documents for you to sign. We will also go through the contract to ensure you understand its contents.

How can I pay my mortgage off sooner?

Make Extra Repayments
For home buyers, the most common mortgage requires both principal and interest payments. On a typical 25-year mortgage, the first five to eight years are when you’re primarily paying off interest, so anything extra paid will help shorten the lifespan of your loan and cut your interest bill. Make extra payments as early as possible as these loans are interest-heavy upfront, so the faster you repay the better.
Consider the frequency with which you make repayments to reduce interest, such as weekly or fortnightly.

Mortgage Offset Account
A mortgage offset account can save interest on your loan. Your mortgage is linked to a savings account into which your salary and other cash can be deposited and from which you withdraw to pay bills, credit cards, etc. For the period of time money sits in this account, it is ‘offset’ against your loan and so reduces your interest bill.\.

Make an Annual Lump Sum Payment
Utilise a windfall, such as an inheritance or work bonus, as well as tax refunds, and apply it directly to your principal. Check your mortgage document to find out how often you can repay and in what amount.
Prepay a little every month
Get a copy of your loan amortisation schedule which will show the breakdown of interest and principal. If you’re making a payment for November, for example, look at the next line down on the principal reduction line and you will see that the principal reduction for the next month, December, is say $24. Making that $24 payment early, means that your “true” mortgage balance is one payment less after the principal is prepaid. So in essence, you’d be making an extra payment each year.

Have more questions?…Give us a call for more answers