In the latest finance news: When is cheaper not necessarily better?

By Mark Harrison, Loan Market

With all the hype around record low-interest rates it’s easy to get tunnel vision and focus only on the lowest number when choosing a home loan provider, however finding the right loan is about much more than just the best rate.

When assessing possible options for home loans, borrowers frequently assume the ones with the lowest possible rates to be the best without being mindful of other considerations such as fees and charges or loan features.  A recent ASIC’s report into client experiences and expectations with mortgage brokers and getting a home loan highlighted several big misconceptions around what constitutes the “best” deal.

So, what does constitute the “best” option when your clients are looking for a loan? Is it the cheapest interest rate? $0 annual fees? Multiple loan features like an offset account or redraw facility? Or a balance of varying attributes?

The reality is, as you know in your own profession, that there is no single definition of “best” – the “best” home loan, is the one that takes into consideration your client’s individual circumstances, preferences and future goals.

This is the point at which a broker, rather than a direct lender, comes in handy as their priority is the person, not the product.

As you will know, for many of your clients and mine, the journey in search of a home loan can be complex, multifaceted and nonlinear. The purpose of going through a mortgage broker is to make sense of this process, and to eliminate the legwork required in shopping around to compare rates, products and features to ensure the borrower is getting the “best” deal on their mortgage.

Of course, a bank will also do this, but only on the loan products they offer, which are a fraction of what is available to a broker. This by its very definition means borrowers who only visit their existing bank are not getting the best deal! In fact, did you know that across the 53 lenders on our panel, there are over 25,000 individual loan products to choose from? Not all will be suitable for your client and their situation, but that’s an example of the breadth of choice brokers offer!

For the 96 per cent of borrowers that were either “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the service delivered by a broker as stated in the report, the expectation is that the broker has the knowledge, experience, qualifications and lender network to review and assess loan products against a customer’s individual circumstances, and put forward a number of options that they believe are in the best interests of the customer.

A Loan Market mortgage broker’s role is to take the time to assess and understand your client’s objectives, financial situation and needs upfront, before reviewing the vast number of products available to them from our lender panel. The outcome of which, is a number of loan options that they believe offer them the best value in the long term, presented in a way that easily allows them to meaningfully compare loan options and empowers them to make an informed decision.

That may not be the loan with the lowest rate, if that loan also includes a high annual fee and/or limited features that will cost more over the long term than the interest on the extra 0.02% they’ll pay. It may not even be one loan. Depending on circumstances, some customers may elect to split a loan, with a portion fixed, and a portion variable – if there was the possibility of interest rate rises (which might presently be a couple of years off!) and they wanted to hedge their bets, for example.

At the end of the day, a Loan Market broker works for your client to understand their situation and objectives, then we research and assess available options before clearly presenting your client with the loan products they believe best suit their circumstances, accompanied by an explanation of the options considered and reasons for their recommendation, so they can make an informed financial decision that will benefit them over the long-term.

That’s what “best” looks like to me.

Mark Harrison
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Home Styling Tips & Advice

Liz from Simple Styling Solutions Top Ten Styling Tips

Liz Ohl, Director of Simple Styling Solutions is the queen of home styling on the Tweed Coast.  Here, we have her personal top ten tips for styling your own home.


Seems obvious doesn’t it but for some reason, it is so hard to do? Well, that’s because “most” of us have lives that dictate otherwise. Whether that be because we are time poor owing to well just life, have children that just refuse to throw out the last 4 years of happy meal toys or us just hoarding keepsakes like an Imelda Marcos shoe collection. Whatever it maybe if it’s time to style to sell or stay you have obviously made the clear decision to change the way your home looks … right? So, lets bin, store or gift on some of these items that are simply stopping us showcasing the beauty of the home and what it has to offer.

Keep it clean

De-cluttering whilst good, will also highlight all those areas that have been gathering dust over the years. But, clean is so good for many reasons when styling. Here is what suggests will come of a clean space:

– You discover resources that you never knew you had – Tidying the space will tidy your mind and allow your creative juices to flow – You save time each week as you don’t have to navigate through or clean nearly as much – You become more social! And why wouldn’t you want to show off your newly styled property

A peaceful and ordered place with no clutter around, you will feel less stressed and less distracted and overall healthier.

Discover your style

Ok now the workspace is clear and clean we can start getting into the nitty-gritty. Interior styling works best when you choose a style and then stick to it throughout so the property looks more completed and a little less hodge-podge. So tell me your style…………Hamptons, Boho, Shabby chic, Luxe, Modern contemporary, mid-century, Coastal, Scandi, Urban, Industrial???? Confused yet, well you aren’t on your own. Chances are you know what you like when you see it but unless you see it those styles just mentioned sound more like a Kardashian child’s first name than anything else. has some awesome little quizzes to help your work this out – go on head on over, find a quiz and discover your style.

Get inspired

Cool, so you know your style now it’s time to get inspired. We are so lucky to be living in a day in age with technology where all our visual inspo can be contained within our mobile devices. I mean could you imagine being of our parent’s era of having to trip around to display homes in the local area or traipsing through waiting patiently in the news agency for the next edition of house and garden to be published to get the latest ideas! Here are some of my favourite places to search styles: –

Instagram through # or following interior designers – Pinterest  – Google  – Style sourcebook

Start with the art

So the big-ticket items (with the exception of the fixtures) in your home are furniture and art. Generally, unless your purchased quirky patchwork lounge or a dining table is made of beer kegs then by simply introducing artwork, soft furnishings and décor you can easily achieve your desired style. Artwork is so important in this process as it will create a focal point to your room so you need it to be interesting and unique to your style. There are so many funky places to check out art but I recommend a visit to which showcases over 500 artists and more than 10,000 different artworks.

Mix and match is out (complimenting is in!)

Gone are the days where you needed to match your red lipstick, with the red nails, red stilettos and thin red belt with your favorite new dress. Get with the times and recognize instead of pairing colours, compliment them instead. Look at your artwork and find the less dominant colours within or associated tones and use these to guide you when choosing your decorative touches.

Don’t overwhelm the senses

You might get excited that you have found your style and been inspired online but it’s so important not to get yourself back to step 1. Purchasing too much decorative items and soft furnishings can simply overwhelm so I suggest buying either key pieces but if you randomly find yourself at the K-Mart checkout with 2 trolleys full of items be mindful not to allow the clutter to creep back in – swap items in and out as you get bored instead.

Go with the seasons

Put simply if it’s cold then introduce warmth and if it’s hot introduce cool. In winter textures like fur, velvet or wool work well particularly in deeper darker tones. Summer will welcome linen, cottons or may even bring in cool especially in lighter more neutral tones.

Embrace the light & life of the home

Breathe a bit of extra life into the property through both natural and artificial light. Open the curtains and turn on the lights when presenting your home… and oh one of my best tips is making sure the light bulbs are the same colour and actually work! The other way to introduce life is through greenery either live plants or artificial ones. If you are a green thumb and can keep a plant alive then make them a welcome addition inside your home. But if you have a tendency to neglect your flora never fear as there are great fakies out there that can create the same ambience.

Have fun

Last but not least, styling can be very subjective and not everyone will like what you have done. However its most important that you like it and have fun in achieving your desired results!

To find out more about Liz and Simply Styling solutions, visit or follow on instagram @simplestylingsolutions for your daily dose of styling inspiration.

Tweed Heads West Monthly Property Report

If you life in the Tweed Heads West area, keep your eyes out for your our next monthly newsletter coming to you in the post. In this next issue we inform you of the current property suburb statistics according to the latest statistics from CoreLogic. We are profiling a local business each month- this month we feature the great team at ‘West Brew Coffee’. If you want your business profiled, please phone Amanda Patterson on 0409 442 588 or email

A good Property Manager is like gold

There are so many areas these days where a Property Manager has to have knowledge: finding and scrutinising good tenants, conducting reference checks, ensuring tenants pay on time and also helping you to create wealth through property management.

You want to make sure you leave your property with a Property Manager who knows the local market and is not afraid to ask for rent increases. You also want reliable,
long-term tenants that pay their rent on time, and take care of your property, along with an agent who prides themselves on excellent customer service.

It’s important to know you can change property managers at any time. Changing Property Managers is an easy process and happens all the time. Be assured that your new agent will take care of everything for you, including transferring all paperwork.

Investing in Property? Let us show you how!

When:     October 18th – 6-8pm

Where:    Jacana Room Seagulls Club, Gollan Drive TWEED HEADS WEST

Don’t spend one more dollar on real estate until you get the latest market research and stats in this 90 minute live property market briefing highlighting the hotspots and notspots



Group 18 Ladies In League Raised $13,800.00

Group 18 JRL Ladies in League raise $13,800 for charity Livin

The 2017 Ladies in League Charity function once again wowed the ladies in the junior league community and beyond.  With the quality of guest speakers including Australia & Queensland NRL Representative Darius Boyd and former NRL Community Welfare Office Jason Fiddes, the event was ever informative about looking after your mental health.  As always the entertainment was an absolute blast with global illusionist Matt Hollywood performing a tricks and magic and the hilarious comedian Bev Killick filling the event with tears of laughter and aching cheekbones.  With an abundance of raffle prizes the tickets were again a sell-out.  Couple raffles with the successful Auctions on the day the total amount raised was $13,800.00.  Congratulations to the team at Ladies in League, all the sponsors and supporters.  We are proud to be associated.

Get involved in Group 18 Ladies In League 2018.  We are looking for sponsors and raffle donations please contact Amanda Patterson on 0488 058 078

Love Tweed Heads!


I love living in Tweed Heads. Right on the boarder of New South Wales and Queensland; I reap the benefits of both worlds.

While I live close to Brisbane, I’m also only a stones throw from Coolangatta and not far from the centre of the Gold Coast.

Tweed Heads has the seaside towns and the hinterland of Northern NSW right on its doorstep, and is only a short drive to escape into a myriad of these top tourist destinations.

Framed by a sweeping mountain range, the nearby coastal towns such as Kingscliff, Casurina and Cabarita are growing rapidly, yet they are still maintaining their individual charm and beauty.

In Tweed Heads there are many ways occupy your days and weekends, especially if you are raising a family and love healthy and sustainable living.  The beaches are world class and it truly is a place where nature is at it’s finest.

A friend said to me the other day, ‘you know, I get disappointed when I go on holidays because the places I go aren’t as beautiful as where I live’.  ‘First world problem’ I replied, ‘and one not so bad to have’.

Yep, if there is one thing to be said, if you live on the Tweed, you are lucky. That’s for sure.

My Top 5 Local Markets

On the Gold Coast and in throughout Northern NSW, there are so many markets nowadays to choose from. There are arts and craft markets, food markets and bric-a-brac markets; we are spoilt! They are a great place to support your local business, soak up the atmosphere and buy some quality and health supplies for the week.

Continue reading My Top 5 Local Markets

Group 18 Ladies In League Fund Raiser 2017 – Sunday MAY 7th

Save the date for this wonderful event celebrating Women in League. This year all proceeds will be given to the not for profit organisation LIVIN. We are so pleased to be supporting this dynamic group who are making a difference in identifying warning signs leading to youth suicide.

Continue reading Group 18 Ladies In League Fund Raiser 2017 – Sunday MAY 7th

Contact us on 0488 058 078 to speak to our team today.