Facebook initiative paves the way for free property valuations

Facebook initiative paves the way for free property valuations

June 21, 2011

Finding out what a property is worth is now as easy as updating your status. For the next six months, RP Data – Australia’s largest provider of property data and analytics to banks, government and real estate professionals – are offering up to three free property valuations per person. And it all happens via the company’s Facebook page.

According to RP Data’s chief executive Graham Mirabito, the initiative was prompted by a lack of transparency in the currently confused housing market. Mirabito said the company felt there was a need to help Australians make better informed decisions about their property purchases and mortgage services.

The Australian property market is valued at over $3 trillion – three times more than the stock market – and Mirabito says the free valuations will help vendors make sure they are not undervaluing their property during the current downturn. Consumers will then be able to see for themselves a realistic portrait of current property values.

RP Data’s Facebook app will connect uses to a database of industry professionals who can provide advice for free and teach people how to properly research the market.

To receive your free valuation click here.

Once you have registered, results are updated monthly. Alternatively, you can click through to RP Data’s website and download free statistics on every suburb in Australia.

 

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An estimation of a property’s value before beginning the mortgage approval process. An appraiser (or valuer) is an expert who estimates the value of a property. The lender generally selects the appraiser or valuer before sanctioning the loan.

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The increase or decrease in the value of a property due to factors including inflation, demand and political stability.

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Not everyone can be a guarantor. Lenders will generally only allow immediate family members to act as a guarantor but this can sometimes be stretched to include extended family depending on the circumstances.

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There is no hard and fast answer to what will happen to your mortgage when you die as it is largely dependent on what you have set out in your mortgage agreement, your will (if you have one), other assets you may have and if you have insurance. If you have co-signed the mortgage with another person that person will become responsible for the remaining debt when you die.

If the mortgage is in your name only the house will be sold by the bank to cover the remaining debt and your nominated air will receive the remaining sum if there is a difference. If there is a turn in the market and the sale of your house won’t cover the remaining debt the case may go to court and the difference may have to be covered by the sale of other assets.  

If you have a life insurance policy your family may be able to use some of the lump sum payment from this to pay down the remaining mortgage debt. Alternatively, your lender may provide some form of mortgage protection that could assist your family in making repayments following your passing.

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Generally, lenders look favourably on applicants who save up a 20 per cent deposit for their property This also means applicants do not have to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI). However, you may still be able to obtain a mortgage with a 10 - 15 per cent deposit.  

Keep in mind that NAB is one of the participating lenders for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, which allows eligible borrowers to buy a property with as low as a 5 per cent deposit without paying the LMI. The Federal Government guarantees up to 15 per cent of the deposit to help first-timers to become homeowners.

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