Get the low down on services, property tips and great offers with Energise Home Loans Summer newsletter!

Summer is here at last!

Summer is here, the cicadas are chirping, and Christmas carols are merrily playing in the stores, along with glimpses of the big guy in the red suit. What a wonderful time of the year!

We are excited to have helped so many customers in 2016, and the year is not over yet! In fact, we have several customers eagerly on the property hunt as we speak, hoping to exchange contracts before Christmas. And one or two even hoping to buy a new car in the end of year sales too - we love our jobs!

In this edition, see our six smart tips to attract quality tenants, and make  the most of the long Summer days with a great recipe for entertaining. Also, we often get asked questions on whether to choose a fixed or a variable interest rate. Check out our tips below. 

We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for your support of Energise Home Loans this year, and to wish you a wonderful Christmas, and a prosperous 2017. 

Warm regards,

Brian and Rebecca Rusten
Image result for investment property
6 Smart Ways to Attract Quality Tenants     

image courtesy of

When your investment property lies vacant for even a short time, your earnings can take a big hit. So how do you get the best out of your property in a competitive market?

Here are some tips to make your property stand out from the pack.

What tenants want

Property managers and agents know that many tenants judge properties based on the property size, the state of the kitchen, air conditioning, and storage options.

It’s possible to add or fix some of these things by renovating, but beware of overcapitalising. Don’t spend more on improvements than you can realistically recoup by asking a higher rental price.

Maximise your floor plan

Obviously the number of bedrooms in a rental property is important. If your property has the potential, consider minor renovations to convert a large existing room into an additional bedroom – not only will you open up your property to a bigger market, you can expect a higher rental rate too.

Even in small apartments, a second bathroom (or half-bathroom) is becoming an expected feature. But remember to do the maths on expected returns, as this can be an expensive renovation.

If you have outdoor space, make it as functional as possible. Simple improvements like adding paving or a covered area can conjure up an additional outdoor living space.

Add-ons to add value

If you can’t add rooms, there are other ways to boost your market appeal. Tenants always value storage space – if you can install built-in wardrobes, that’s an easy tick.

Another wishlist item is undercover parking, especially in parking-poor inner-city areas. If you have a driveway, you can easily create a budget-friendly shelter with a shade sail.

Energy-efficient dishwashers, air conditioners and heaters all tick tenant boxes. And if you can stretch to quality fittings and fixtures, you’ll broaden your appeal to a desirable, higher-income market.

A lick of paint works wonders

A paint job is magic for reviving and brightening tired interiors. Go with satin or semi-gloss to make scuffs and marks easier to deal with, and make sure you keep your colour scheme neutral – you want to appeal to the masses. You might think lime-green walls are the business, but a large percentage of the rental market won’t share your enthusiasm.

Sweat the little things

Work on ‘kerb appeal’ – the first impression potential tenants will get when they arrive for inspection. Clean the front entrance, mow the lawn, weed the garden and take out the rubbish. If there are broken windows, door handles or light fittings, fix or replace them.

And clean, clean, clean! It’s a real-estate truism that kitchens and bathrooms sell properties, so make sure yours are impeccable – scrub all surfaces and appliances, and don’t forget fans and light fittings.

Get your team in place

To ensure you’ll get your property in front of the greatest number of renters, find a good property manager. Don’t skimp on professional photography – all your competitors will have it and their poky little places will look like enormous palaces. Whatever the reality is, you want everyone in the market to inspect your property, to maximise your chances of attracting the best tenant.

Once you’ve got a good tenant, the best thing you can do to ensure steady returns on your investment is to keep them happy! Make sure your property manager knows your goal is to keep your best tenants for the long term.

Summer Pork Salad 
Summer pork salad
  • 750g pork shoulder, rind scored, tied
  •  1 teaspoon rice bran oil
  •  2 teaspoons sea salt
  •  150g mixed salad leaves
  •  2 peaches, cut into wedges (see note)
  •  1 large celery stalk, thinly sliced diagonally
  •  100g fresh raspberries
  •  2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
  •  1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  •  1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  •  Crusty bread, to serve

Step 1
Preheat oven to 250°C/230°C fan-forced. Place a small wire rack in a medium roasting pan. Place pork on rack. Pat dry with paper towel. Brush rice bran oil over rind. Rub with sea salt, pushing into cuts in rind. Roast for 20 minutes or until skin begins to colour and blister. Reduce oven to 190°C/170°C fan-forced. Roast pork for a further 30 minutes or until pork is just cooked through. Set aside to cool.

Step 2
Preheat grill on high. Using a small sharp knife, remove crackling from pork. Place crackling on a baking tray lined with foil. Grill, 12cm away from heat, for 5 minutes or until crackling is golden, crisp and bubbled. Allow to cool. Using scissors, cut into strips.

Step 3
Meanwhile, discard fat from pork. Slice. Arrange pork, mixed leaves, peaches, celery and raspberries on a large platter. Combine glaze and olive oil in a small bowl. Season. Drizzle over salad. Sprinkle with almonds. Serve with crackling and crusty bread.

Image and recipe courtesy of

Image result for fixed or variable rates

Fixed, Variable or Split - Find the right fit for you  
In Australia, there are a number of ways to structure your home loan repayments. Finding the best option may save you time and money on your mortgage. Here is some information to help you choose the repayment structure that works best for you.

Variable rate loans

Variable interest rate loans are all about flexibility. Essentially, with a variable rate loan, the interest rate moves up or down as the market moves. This means your loan repayments may also change month-to-month.

If the interest rate drops, then your repayments may drop as well. However, in the event of an interest rate rise, your repayments could also increase.

Many variable rate loans come with additional features, which can reduce the amount of interest paid over the life of the loan. For example, a variable rate loan with a 100% offset arrangement links your loan account to your savings account. Any funds held in your savings account are offset against the borrowed amount, reducing the interest you have to pay.

Many variable rate loans offer flexibility in terms of increased payments, allowing you to pay off your loan faster if you have additional funds available.

Fixed rate loans

A fixed rate loan is one where the interest rate is fixed for a limited period, and immune from any movements in the market. The most popular choices are three and five-year fixed interest loans, although options ranging from one to ten years are available.

Fixed rate loans allow you to make steady, regular repayments. They’re great for borrowers on strict budgets, or if you’re entering into a mortgage at a time when interest rates are likely to rise.

In the event of a drop in interest rates, being locked into a fixed rate may mean your repayments are higher than they otherwise would be. It’s also worth noting that breaking a fixed rate loan can potentially cost thousands of dollars in fees. 

Additionally, many banks will charge you a fee for making extra payments towards the loan during the period it has been fixed.

Split rate loans - a foot in each camp

A split rate loan is when you break your mortgage into two loans – one with a fixed rate and one with a variable rate.

It’s something of an ‘each-way bet’. A split loan offers borrowers protection from rate rises (with the fixed portion of the loan) alongside the advantage of rate drops (with the variable portion of the loan).

Most banks will allow you to split your loans from the outset, without having to pay for two separate loan applications.

Choosing the right kind of loan depends on your personal situation, earning capacity and long-term goals for your property. Speaking with a mortgage broker can help you to figure out the best way forward, and could help you save money along the way.


Words of Wisdom  

Have you ever noticed that anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone driving faster than you is a maniac? 
George Carlin 

Brian Rusten
Mobile Finance Consultant
M: 0411 066 616

Rebecca Rusten
Business Development Manager
M: 0411 066 670

Welcome to Energise Home Loans. Our aim is simple - to provide everyone we touch with a stress free, fun filled property lending experience.

Our Services
Buying Your First Home
Buying Your Next Home
Refinancing / Debt Consolidation
Buying an Investment Property
Superannuation Fund Loans
Trust Loans
Business Finance
Personal and Car Loans
Referral Services

MFAA Approved Broker

Brian Rusten is a fully accredited member with the industry association, the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA), the peak body for the Australian mortgage industry.
All MFAA members belong to an independent dispute resolution scheme such as the Credit Ombudsman Service Limited.
Loan writing members are also required to become Accredited Mortgage Consultants (AMC). An AMC is covered by professional indemnity insurance, has passed probity checks, and has met education and experience requirements set out by the MFAA.
* Brian Rusten (Credit Representative No.
 M0019638, ABN 72132125636) is a representative of Mortgage Line Australia Pty Ltd (ACN 107284677 ("MLA"), Australian Credit Licence Number 386276).
Copyright © 2016 Energise Home Loans, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 140, Belrose NSW 2085