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Esther Scerri

Ready to answer all your finance questions.

Taking out a home loan is one of those life defining moments where instantly you’re an adult and you need to understand all the numbers things. Or do you? Mortgage brokers are your experts in the field when you don’t want to be an expert yourself.

With so much crazy going on, we thought now might be a good time to chat to Esther Scerri, a founder and director of XYZ Finance. On a regular basis Esther deals with the frustrating, daunting, painful and stressful minefield that is finance, so that you don’t have to.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I have proudly called the Gold Coast home for 25 years!

What do you love most about living here?
The Gold Coast is one of those rare places that manages to offer it all. The world-class beaches and outdoor lifestyle are the jewels in its crown, but alongside that there’s also a burgeoning F&B scene, fantastic shopping, a thriving business environment and the best people.

Tell us about XYZ Finance…
My co-founder and I launched XYZ Finance 11 years ago when we saw a need in the market for more personalised finance solutions. Back then, finance didn’t have the tailored offerings of today, and we found people really appreciated having hand-in-hand guidance throughout the process of refinancing or buying a new home. Customer service is XYZ’s most fundamental core value – we want the loan process to be as enjoyable, easy and timely as possible. We’re a fun and dynamic team and we hope clients feel that throughout the process.

What’s the benefit of using a mortgage broker rather than going direct to a bank?
Mortgage brokers will give you options! Not only are interest rates important, but each bank weighs the criteria (income, deposit, genuine savings, debt level etc) differently, so when you engage XYZ we review all this information to recommend the best suited loan options. Going direct, you’ll only know what that particular bank can do, it’s limiting.

Can I defer my home loan payments and how do I do that? 
Yes! Banks are offering a “repayment holiday” or “deferred repayment” incentive commonly via their hardship department. This gives you the option to defer your repayment for a period of either three or six months, depending on the lender. In switching to interest only repayments your lender will cap the monthly interest charge on top of your loan limit. While your home loan will actually be worth more at the end of the deferred term than when you made the request – meaning in the long run you’ll pay more interest – in the short term, you can manage any cashflow issues you have while navigating these unprecedented times.

How long can I defer for?
Three or six months depending on the lender.

Does this mean my repayment will go up?
Most lenders are increasing loan terms by six months, so repayments after the deferred period will revert back to the current repayment (if interest rates remain as is), however some banks will re-adjust repayments to cover the extra interest which needs to be repaid.

If the tenants at my investment property have stopped paying rent, what help can I get?
At this stage I am only aware of the repayment deferral option for loan holders. I believe some landlord insurance may cover loss of rent too, this would need to be looked into individually.

Are banks still lending to individuals and businesses at this time? 
Yes, now is a great time to review your finances as interest rates are at an all-time low! Review to be able to cut costs at a time when we all need it. Get in touch with us to review your options.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Coffee spot: Alkhemist on TE Peters, close to home & the office
Café for breakfast: Elk Espresso in Broadbeach
Restaurant for dinner: Rick Shores for lunch or dinner
How does your weekend usually look: Pre lockdown – beach, eating out and spending time with friends

Elk Espresso’s new winter warmers

With a new season comes a new way of eating. Less salads and ice lattes and more warm, nourishing dishes that keep you energised and ready to face those chilly winter mornings when all you want to do is hit snooze and snuggle back into the covers.

One local spot that never gets it wrong when it comes to changing things up is Elk Espresso, found on the Old Burleigh Rd corner of The Oasis Shopping Centre in Broadbeach.

You know the one. Always filled to the brim with both regulars stopping in for an epic brunch and visitors who have heard the buzz and come to see what all the fuss is about.

No doubt you’re aware what all the fuss is about, but if not, allow us to enlighten you.

Over the years owner Andrew Whiting and his crew have turned Elk from a friendly neighbourhood brunch spot to a friendly neighbourhood institution thanks to their exceptional eats, five-star fitout and absolutely all over it service.

They’re one of the most-loved eateries around and it’s an honour they’ve well and truly earned.

Which is why we’re here to discuss the latest menu offerings of Elk Espresso, something we’re all about when a venue has created food that is also art.

Let’s begin.

As always, the dishes are not only as tasty as anything you’ve ever sampled but they are as Insta-worthy as anything you’ve ever seen.

In particular this season, the Violet Crumble Waffles – fluffy, delicious waffles with Violet Crumble and dark chocolate ganache, lilac ice cream and gold flakes. Sounds super sweet but it’s actually perfectly balanced, as the team at Elk are aware of not creating dishes too over-the-top in flavour for early morning feasting. Bless them. We LOVED this one.

For the savoury fans there is Aged Cheddar and Corn Beef Croquettes with sweet corn purée, silverbeet, kalettes, beetroot and poached eggs and it is one of the very best breakfast dishes we’ve ever tried.

Another newbie is the Basil and Goats Cheese Scrambled Eggs with wild mushrooms, rhubarb paste and pecan crumble on spelt toast. A taste sensation.

There are also colourful, flavour-filled bowls, dishes that include pork, date and sage sausages and a slow cooked bean dish that’ll change your life.

The coffee is some of the best around too.

All in all, everything is amazing and you might need to visit a few times to try it all.

Big love Elk, you’ve done it again.

LOCATION: The Oasis Shopping Centre, Broadbeach
HOURS: Daily from 6am until 4pm

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Fine dining at home with takeaway tipples

We are all about the good news and sometimes we’re lucky enough to bring extra good news. Which is exactly what’s happening here.

As you’ve no doubt noticed, local venues have been forced to transform the way they operate and many of them are absolutely getting it done.

We’re being offered takeaway from places we could never get takeaway before, there’s home delivery services, in-store grocery boxes, meals you can pop in the freezer and cook yourself later, the innovation has been next level and we have never been prouder to be Gold Coasters.

Go team.

Perhaps the very best thing to come from all this pivoting is the fact that we can now also purchase takeaway tipples to go with our dinner and that is something worth celebrating (or writing about, since here we are).

New rules came into effect last week (didn’t they what) whereby venues are allowed to offer alcohol with takeaway food only and that includes bottled or canned beer, wine, cider and ready-to-drink bevs, such as premixed spirits. A maximum of 2.25 litres of alcohol applies which seem like enough for one eve. Probably.

One of our favourite things to see at the moment is people who miss nights out (everyone) ordering takeaway dinners and opening up the boot of their car or sitting in the tray of their ute and devouring their dinner and drinks right outside the venue they got it from.

It’s almost (if you squint your eyes a bit) like being inside amongst the frivolity.

Anyway. There are several on board with the takeaway tipples side of things and we’ll add more as we come across them.

To begin;

The North Room in Mermaid Beach have created beautiful bento boxes, made even better with a bottle of wine or two. The boxes vary each week but recent treats have included: ‘Fremantle octopus, eggplant, lovage’, ‘Pork Jowl, rhubarb, peanuts, squash’, ‘Mud crab, bone marrow crumpet, cultured cream, salted egg yolk’, ‘Sprout, macadamia, yeast salad’ and a sweet treat of ‘PORK FAT CARAMEL WITH SEA SALT’. You can order by phone on 0468 311 003 or email [email protected]

Etsu Izakaya are offering their unrivalled Japanese dining menu along with wine and beers to make your night something extra special. It’s 20% off all takeaway at the moment and you can view the menu here.

Rabbath in Burleigh Heads serve up exceptional Lebanese food and have created a superb weekly takeaway menu that’s offered with paired beer or wine parings. View this weeks menu and order online here.

Restaurant Labart, also in Burleigh, have created a unique takeaway menu including lip smacking dishes like Confit Salmon, Quail Coq Au Vin or Chicken Parmigiana that all go perfectly with their selection of natural wines and local beers. Check out and order from their weekly menu here.

Rick Shores have reworked their menu into Ricks Tuk Shop pop-up in these unusal times. Most of their famous menu is available online and they can even deliver direct to your car out the front. While you’re in the hood, you may as well sample some of their excellent wines to go along with it. Menu is online here.

At Jimmy Wah’s you can sample a bundle of delicious goodies including a starter, main and a bottle of wine for $60. They completely sold out of their wine and dine takeaway menu this week, but stay tuned here for future selections.

For our southern friends, Tasca in Coolangatta are not only hand making some of the very freshest pasta you’ve ever sampled, they’ve also added wine to their takeaway menu. Buy already prepared or takehome to cook yourself from their Larder selection. View and order from their menu here.

So you see, there’s no reason we can’t all enjoy the local dining experiences we know and love, albeit in a slightly different way than we’re used to.

Get on board friends, it’s a good time.

9 local brands with Afterpay you can support from home

Olas Supply Co.

The world is in quite the state of flux at the moment, we’re being encouraged to stay home so as not to spread the risk of infection which of course means, local businesses may start to struggle. Where possible though, we should still be supporting them wherever possible and a good way to do that is by using online layby service Afterpay.

If you’re not familiar, Afterpay allows you to pay off your purchases over several weeks but get your goods straight away and we’re a little bit obsessed to be honest. In the interest of supporting the many clever, local makers around these parts and because of the world we currently find ourselves in, here are 10 Gold Coast brands offering Afterpay and may the self-control be with you. Happy shopping.

Duke The Label
Activewear for women of all shapes and sizes is our kind of activewear! With a mantra of ‘accept yourself, love yourself, keep moving forward’ the business is all about empowering and encouraging women and in beautiful, comfortable clothing no less. Best of all you can stock up because, Afterpay. Plus we could all use some time out in nature at the moment.

The Undercurrent
Living local and proud of it. The Undercurrent are in the business of tee shirts representing 10 local suburbs from Surfers to Cooly. Each tee is printed with a sweet graphic representing historical aspects of the area and designed by a local artist. It’s the perfect gift for anyone passionate about being a Coastie and visitors who might need a little nudge #palmyforlife.

Moss Living
If we have to stay home, we may as well be surrounded by beautiful, comfortable things right? Moss Living offers exactly that in the form of luxuriously, cosy clothing, beautiful linen sheets and quilt covers and pillow slips and all the things and it’s all absolutely stunning. If you’re in the market for some goodies, look no further than this stunning brand.

Drift Candle. Co
Okay so again if we’re staying home, home can at least smell good right? Drift Candle Co. has us covered for that with their collection of absolutely DIVINE candles including flavours like The Hinterland (pure magic and perfect for stay at home days) and Coconut and Tahitian Lime for a bit of uplifting goodness. We’re in love with all of them.

The Undercurrent, Gold Coast Singlet (image supplied)
The Undercurrent, Gold Coast Singlet (image supplied)

Cort Jewellery
Husband and wife team Ash and Dean Butt know what’s up when it comes to silver jewels. They hand make chunky rings of the signet and gemstone variety and pendants with cute little designs like cactuses, palm trees and peace signs. Some of us around these parts may have hands stacked with their pieces. Get some for the coolest cat in your life.

Valley Eyewear
Well haven’t Valley developed a cult following over the last few years. Another husband and wife team absolutely killing it, Michael and Tenielle Crawley have created an iconic brand with the coolest of eyewear. Their shades can be seen covering the eyeballs of your boy Chris Hemsworth and many other noteworthy celebs. Buy these fellas for someone who ain’t afraid to be noticed.

Mahiya Leather
Bohemian luxe fashion has taken over the world, fact. There are a couple of Aussie brands leading the charge and one such brand is our very own Mahiya Leather. Either online or instore you can nab yourself leather handbags and wallets as well as an array of floaty floral frocks and the like.  Because you deserve pretty things now more than ever.

Cedar & Stone Botanical
Plant based skincare has become quite the thing amongst the growing number of people passionate about both the planet and the products they put into their bodies. The Cedar & Stone gals are firm believers in ditching the chemicals and their range of skincare, teas and mists both smell delightful and work wonders. Choose these if you care about healthy living.

Olas Supply Co.
Born from a love of travel and adventure, Olas Supply Co. offer mens, womens and kids shirts, tees and overalls in casual, comfortable and cool-as-a-cucumber styles. Established in the last couple of years, Olas quickly became a fave amongst locals in search of the good life. Grab some threads for when you’re stuck at home but still want to look fab.

Words by Kirra Smith.

Moss Living
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