Mortgage Refinancing

Refinancing your mortgage effectively replaces your current home loan that you have now with a new one. Usually, people refinance to lower the interest rate, tap into the equity of their home, or cut back monthly costs by consolidating several loans into one. While some use a mortgage refinance to repay the loan faster, changing products or shifting from a loan that’s variable-rate to a fixed-rate loan. Before refinancing, check out the important steps and then assess the procedure and whether it works for you:

Why refinance your home loan?

Before starting, think about why you would like to refinance your home loan and what you are trying to achieve. Here are some of the benefits of refinancing your mortgage home loan:

Minimize the monthly payment

You could refinance into a loan with a lower interest rate if your aim to pay less each month. Also, you can opt to extend the loan term since it is one of the ways you can minimize the monthly payment. However, extending the term means that you will be paying more interest for a longer time.

Tap into equity

The lender can provide you with “cash-out” if you plan to refinance to borrow greater than you currently owe on your existing loan. This is known as a cash-out refinance. Most people usually receive a lower interest rate and a cash-out refinance simultaneously.

Buy an Investment Property

You can use the equity in your current home as a “deposit” to purchase an Investment Property.   You refinance your existing mortgage and do a “cash-out” by increasing the mortgage limit up by the required deposit.  As will you be increasing your total loan limits, be sure to ask the bank or adviser about interest discounts for high borrowing levels.

You can also simply use the existing property as collateral (using equity) to purchase the Investment Property.  There are pros and cons for this method and it best to discuss this with your Mortgage professional.

Pay off the loan faster

Once you refinance from a mortgage for 30 years into a 15-year loan, you will repay the loan in half the time. Consequently, you will pay reduced interest over your loan’s existence. There are advantages and disadvantages when it comes to a 15-year loan. One of the disadvantages of this loan is that monthly payments increase.

Remove Mortgage Insurance

Conventional home loans or private mortgage insurance could be waived, however, in most cases, it is not possible. The only way to remove the insurance premium would be to refinance the loan or sell the home as soon as you have gathered sufficient equity.

Change from a variable-rate to a fixed-rate loan

Variable-rate mortgage interest rates can increase or lower from time after time. Meanwhile, fixed-rate loans remain the same. To get financial stability, to refinance from a variable (SVR) to a fixed-rate loan would be beneficial, especially if you want to have steady payments.

Are you planning to purchase a home or investment property? Joondalup Home Loans would love to assist you with that. Joondalup Home Loans is 100% Australian-owned that offers competitive rates, advanced finance solutions, superior services, and fast response time. We also offer a comparison of investment or home loan costs and interest rates all over various lenders to help you have a greater deal. 
Get a better mortgage deal and rest assured that our staff is accommodating, friendly, and would love to assist you. Visit our website now to learn more or you can contact us directly.  You can begin saving now and it has never been a better time to change your home loan into something better.

Different Types of Homes You Can Build

Building your own house is a major decision. There are so many things to think about, such as where you will build it, the materials you will use, the size, architectural style, etc. One of the things to also consider is what kind of home you want to build. Houses are usually categorized with different parameters such as size, architectural style, materials, etc. Here, we highlight the types of homes by construction, and their advantages as well as disadvantages.

There are three types of homes you can build.

Tract or Production Home

This is a home built by a general contractor with specific features, floorplan, designs, etc. for you to pick from.  It is a model home of sorts.


  • This home is usually cheaper to build since the general contractors are generally building many houses similar to that simultaneously.
  • You can move into this type of house within a few months since the builders are building to order and have more resources available at their disposal.
  • You are usually shown a model home, so you have a concrete idea of how your house will look.
  • The builders are usually professionals with decades in the business, so you can count on their support and certainty of fulfilling their promises. 


  • Your home surrounding is likely to be small because production builders don’t usually build on large lots.
  • You can’t build the home to your very own tastes as the options for customization are limited.
  • Most times, production builders save money on quality as well. So, you might be getting a cheaper and substandard house.
  • If you are taking a mortgage to build the house, your lender’s options might be limited to the builder’s in-house lender.

Spec Homes

Speculative homes are semi-custom homes where the builder starts with building and leaves room for some changes. Therefore, you have more options to customize the house but still not enough to reflect all your tastes.


  • Houses are available in varieties from small to large. Prices also vary, so you have more alternative options.
  • Your house is most likely a unique one because spec builders rarely build two similar houses.


  • You can’t fully customize the house the way you want, but you have more options than a production home
  • Spec builders are usually small to medium scale, and they may not be in your area for a while as they go to build another house. Any issues with your home might have to wait.

Custom Home

A home built by a general contractor or custom home builder based entirely on your plans. Most times, you have to buy the land for the home yourself. 


  • You can build any style of home you want. It is fully customizable, and all the builder does is build your dream house
  • You can build your home anywhere you wish. So, your land can be as big as you want it.


  • It is expensive to build
  • It will take a longer time for the home to be built
  • You are required to pay more upfront since the builder is at risk of developing a unique home that might be difficult to sell if you pull out.

Building a Custom Home vs. Buying Home Already Built

Owning a home is a big decision. And it is normal to be torn between building it to fit your particular tastes or buying one that’s been built. No one can decide for you, but we believe you’ll do better with more information. So we look at the advantages of both. In the end, it is your thought process that determines which one to pick.

Building Your Custom Home


Brand new: building your custom home means you get the chance to use everything in it first. For some sentimental reasons, this can be very appealing.

Designed to your taste: since it is a custom home build, your new home is constructed to your liking. The plan, architecture, style, etc. are unique and customized to fit your lifestyle. From the front door to the flooring of the bathroom, you decide everything. That gives your home a personal touch.

No significant repairs: since your custom home is newly built, you don’t have to spend extra money on repairing or remodeling the house to fit your taste.

Up to date: when you build a new home, you’re building in compliance with building codes and using new technologies. Thus, your custom home will be more energy-efficient and avoid using toxic materials such as lead paint and asbestos.


Longer time: building a custom home will take longer as the builders have to factor in all your demands. Other factors, such as weather, could also affect and slow down the building process. This means you can’t move into the house on time, even though you’re already spending substantial money on construction.

Risk: there are risks to building your custom home. Human errors from the builder, weather, substandard materials, etc. could affect the house and building process. There’s also a likelihood of cost overruns.

Location: building a house usually means moving farther away from the city center as new settlements are generally on the outskirts.

Buying a Home

Certainty: When you buy a house, you know what you’re buying. You inspect the house, and you’re aware of its defects before purchasing. So there’s no risk of the house not meeting your expectations. Most times too, when you’re buying a home, you’re buying into an established neighborhood. Thus, relocation is more comfortable.

Faster: once you have the financing, buying a home is a swift process. You can relocate on time and become a homeowner after making the major investment.

More room for negotiations: when buying a house, you can easily negotiate property price with the seller. Most of the cost for materials is fixed with building, so the room for bargaining is lower.


It may not fit your taste: the likelihood of buying a house that fits precisely into all your plans for a dream home is very low. When purchasing a home, it is usually more of settling for what you can get.

Cost of upgrades: you’re likely to spend extra money on renovating the house you bought to fit your specifications and current standards. The remodeling costs can be substantial at times.

Competition: buying a house means you’re likely competing with other buyers. This can be tricky when purchasing in a sought-after neighborhood, and you may end up paying more than the home is worth.

Different Delays That Can Come During a Custom Home Building

Homebuilding usually takes an average of six months, but for custom homes, it can take as short as nine months and as much as two years, depending on many factors, including the size of the project. However, the size is not what makes custom home construction a long term project. In fact, the major reason it takes that long is the various issues that might occur once the work starts, thereby delaying construction speed. We examine some of these issues so you can know what to avoid and how to prepare when you decide to build your custom home.

Permit Delays:

When you’re building a custom home, you will require permits for many aspects of your building in compliance with the building code. Securing these permits is usually a lengthy process with the bureaucracies involved. This will usually eat into the time you’re supposed to use for construction. But you can reduce the length by ensuring that it is your contractor that takes care of all the permits and licenses and getting a contractor that is familiar with the building codes and experienced in handling the bureaucratic processes involved. Although it is part of the builder’s job to get all the permits and licenses, it is your job to ensure the contractor has done that part of the job, don’t assume it.


This is one of the natural occurrences that could delay your construction and even lead to cost overruns if you’re not careful. There are different opinions on when it is best to start building your custom home, but the most important thing is, let your local weather conditions determine when you begin. Spring is usually a good time to start the construction properly because you’ll have more daylight time, and the weather is at an optimal level. However, the winter should not waste as you can use it to plan the whole building process so you can hit the ground running. The most important thing is to build in weather that is comfortable for the builders and suitable for the building materials.

Selection of Building Materials:

Getting all the materials you need for your construction, such as cabinets, tiles, countertops, sink, fixtures, flooring, hardware, appliances, etc. can slow down the construction process a long time if not handled carefully and proactively. Starting from the selection of the materials by both you and the builder, there needs to be a consensus on functionality and tastes. What takes even more time is the ordering and delivery of these materials, this may take weeks and months at times, and the builder cannot do anything without the materials. The solution is always to order ahead, way before you need them, and not so long that the fragile or perishable ones may spoil before you use them.

Design Alterations:

This is perhaps what most contractors dislike most when it comes to custom home building. Since a custom home is only on paper until the builder translates it, there are many issues and challenges that could come up during the translation. At times, you realize something is not how you thought it would be and want it changed; other times, you find a better way to shape or build something. All these mean the builder has to remain flexible and adapt designs, demolish some things, rebuild, and spend more time on construction. This will not only cause delays but increase costs, so make sure you factor it into your budget if you intend to make such alterations. And as much as possible, make sure your builder understands the house design and plan before starting so you can avoid losing essential design features in the translation.

For more tips on how the process of home building typically goes visit

How Do Different Types of Landscapes Affect Home Building

Landscapes are the physical features of a land area, its landforms like hills, mountains, water bodies (sea, ponds, rivers, and lakes). Its indigenous living elements such as vegetation, transitory elements like climate and weather, and other man-made features such as buildings, roads, etc. In this manner, a landscape is the geophysical reflection of natural and human activities on land. There are different natural landscapes in the world, with the United States of America being home to diverse landscapes in different regions. We look at some of the landscapes that can be found in the U.S. and how landscapes affect the construction process.

Landscapes Across U.S.


This is a sweeping flat landscape that is usually a lowland at the bottom of valleys or surrounded by mountains. The vegetation of the landscape is often tundra, grassland, or Savannah. The Great Plains of Kansas is an excellent example of this landscape, surrounded on the East by the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains on its West.  This landscape can be very fertile, like Kansas plains, one of the largest producers of corn, wheat, and soy worldwide.


The formation of glacier occurs when snow accumulates over centuries to the point where it exceeds its ablation. This stress of weight leads to deformation and breakage of the ice, thereby forming seracs, crevices, and other features. About ten percent of the earth’s surface is covered with glaciers. This landscape can be found in Alaska as well as in some parts of the Rocky Mountains. 


A coastal region is an area where the land and sea meets, or a land borders a lake or sea. This landscape is characterized by rugged cliffs, tides, and usually massive erosions. The Hawaiian Islands offer the best graphical illustration of this landscape in the U.S. This is typically a sought after destination for most new home builders.


The major features of this landscape are the continuous and high level of rainfall, a strong tree canopy, or in some cases, where the canopy is not enough, a jungle beneath the trees. There are several rain forests in the U.S. The Hoh rainforest, the two national rainforests in Alaska, are examples of temperate rainforests in this region. However, the El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico is a tropical rainforest.


This is another common type of landscape. It is characterized by barrenness, extreme weather, very loose sandy soil, sparse rainfall, and absence of vegetation. Deserts are usually Plains with few hills dotting the landscape. Most U.S. deserts can be found in Nevada, California, and Arizona. If you plan on building a home in the desert you’ll want to make sure that your home is prepared for sand storms.

Effects of Landscape on Home Building

Natural landscapes continue to have more significance in the whole construction process. Here are some of how natural landscapes have affected home building.

1. It has led to the use of safer, efficient, better, and more durable materials for construction. This is because most landscapes are very demanding, and a poor material will founder on them.

2. Efficiency in the use of resources and development of better home building techniques and technologies.

3. Landscape can significantly improve home value through aesthetics and ensure better living conditions, which is why many home builders construct homes in such a manner that natural landscapes are preserved or even improved upon.