Home owner: ‘But the risk is gone for home loans’

HOME owner and mortgage holder Amy Healey hopes other banks and lenders aren't thinking of following the ANZ Bank's lead.

That bank has brought in new lending criteria; classifying the town as an area dependent on the mining sector.

The American woman wants to know she can leave the Gladstone property market - without losing a fortune.

She and her husband Alan bought a property in South Gladstone for $380,000 in November 2011.

Alan already owned some property, so they borrowed money on equity from his houses.

They were lucky, and didn't have to put a deposit down, but she said it was very easy to get the loan back then.

But the couple had an evaluation on the house - a traditional Queenslander in good condition - recently and they were told it was now worth $250,000.

"But our mortgage is $360,000 so if we sold it tomorrow we would owe $110,000," she said.

"Hearing the banks think it is risky to lend to home buyers in Gladstone is not going to help our case at all.

"I can't mentally cope with losing that much."

Yesterday, after reading the story in this paper about the new criteria at ANZ Bank, she was asking her friends about their situation.

"If the other banks increase their deposits, not even as high as 30%, none of my friends will be able to buy homes," she said.

"It doesn't make sense because it is not risky to buy a home now. It was when we bought but not anymore."

She didn't know how long she should hold onto her home for.

"We have spoken to a financial adviser and if we hold it for five years we will lose around $50,000 in mortgage payments if the real estate doesn't go up," she said.

"But if more people enter the market it will pick up quicker and who knows?"

Despite the financial strain she said she still loved her Queenslander.

"It's home. I have raised my first child there and we have worked on the fences, carport and deck," she said.

"If anyone has a crystal ball and could tell us when the market is about to go back up we could save a bit of money."

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