When you consider that a small unit in Sydney could set you back half a million dollars, saving a 20% deposit to buy that unit – $100,000 – can seem an insurmountable task. However, not all is lost and there is an insurance that can help you buy your dream home if you have not saved a 20% deposit.
Lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) may be an added expense, but it offers buyers the opportunity to dive into the property market earlier, without saving up an entire 20 per cent of the property’s purchase price as a deposit.
What is it?
LMI protects the bank or lender, should a home loan go into default, guaranteeing that the lender will get its money back if the property needs to be sold and there is a shortfall in repaying the loan.
While a 20% deposit generally provides a good buffer against any drops in property value over the life of a loan, LMI can also provide the same protection, meaning borrowers can purchase property with a smaller deposit.
What’s in it for you?
For the borrower, it may seem LMI is just another expense to cover. But insurance can mean that some buyers will be able to enter the property market with, for example, only a five per cent deposit saved. In the example above, a $500,000 property, this brings the deposit down from $100,000 to just $25,000.
And, if the market is hot and prices are rising rapidly, paying LMI so that you can buy now could be cheaper than taking the time to save a bigger deposit. In the time it takes to save a higher deposit amount, property prices may well have surged by more than cost of the insurance so, for some properties and purchasers, it can make good financial sense to purchase earlier even with the added cost of LMI, especially when you consider the rent that you would pay while you’re saving.
What you need to know
The insurance premium is generally a one-off payment, but you may be able to roll it into the loan amount so that you are paying for it month-by-month along with your mortgage.
There can be a big difference between premiums paid if you have, for example, a 10 per cent deposit saved compared with a five per cent deposit, so it may well be worth trying to gather together some extra funds, even if you can’t reach the full 20 per cent.
Our mortgage and finance brokers are experts on the credit market. Investigating your options and working out whether to buy now or save more of a deposit is a decision that our finances broker can help you with.
If you need help with organising a loan or would like know exactly how much you can borrow from a bank or lender call and have a chat with us on 1300 888 299 or send us and email.
General Advice Warning: This blog is not designed to replace professional advice. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice, in light of your own objectives, financial situation or needs before making any decision as to what is appropriate for you.