Heres a mortgage shopping list, a good start in the process of selecting a mortgage.
Ideally the mortgage should have no application, valuation or legal or deferred application fees. There should be no monthly or yearly account keeping fees.
Rates focus on features of loan rather than rates
The advertised rates and the comparison rate should equal. Be careful of special rates, honeymoon rates. Do the calculation of what you actually save on a mortgage in the first year. Then subtract the saving with any fees in the loan. .
Principal reductions and additional payments. No fees
There should be no restriction or fee on any additional deposit you make into you loan.
Redraw from your mortgage No fees
Excluding the value of your minimum payments. There is no restriction redrawing surplus payments and balances of your mortgage account. Unlimited transactions and unlimited value. There should be no transaction fee.
Splitting the loan Yes
Split the loan into two or more accounts. (Gives great flexibility in debt consolidation, buying investment property, setting investment targets for superannuation etc.) Be prepared to pay $100 per split, when you make the split.
Offset accounts. (Take off your list)
Unless given specific professional advice from an accountant of a financial planner. Avoid. They have lots of traps and generally dont offer any additional features to the basic home loan.
Product switching Yes
Switch from a variable rate to a fixed rate or visa versa. Normally all lenders will charge $200 if you use this feature.
Top up and extensions to the loans.
Without full applications required
To finance equipment, goods, consider a Chattel Mortgage - The six rules of evaluation and selection
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