With the weather getting cooler and interest rates rising higher, many homebuyers are still in the market hoping to land a place of their own this winter. And while it might seem like an uphill battle, there are some things first-home buyers can do to get a headstart on the market.
Find a good agent you can trust
Finding a good agent you can rely on to help you on your property journey will allow for a smoother and more enjoyable buying experience. A good agent will not only have access to properties you want to buy, but also have the ability to recommend the right property for you. There are a number of great local Barry Plant agents you can reach out to, to start discussing your options.
Check out the competition
If you’re thinking about buying a home, one of the best ways to prepare is to check out the competition. Whether you’re heading to an auction or putting in a private offer, knowing what or who you're up against can improve your buying strategy.
Going to open homes and attending auctions in the area you want to buy will give you a good indication as to how many people are bidding on a property and how many people are missing out. It will also allow you to gauge how high above or below the asking price (or reserve) properties are selling, giving you a more realistic picture of the market in your desired area.
Utilise government incentives
A number of government grants and incentives are now available to first-home buyers from both the state and federal governments.
In Victoria, they include the First Home Owner grant (a $10,000 bonus when you buy or build your first home) and the Homebuyer Fund (a shared equity scheme in which buyers only need a five per cent deposit).
Meanwhile, the federal government offers the First Home Super Saver Scheme, the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and the Family Home Guarantee. Other duty exemptions, concessions and reductions are also available for some buyers, depending on the price and location, and could result in thousands of dollars of assistance.
Understand what interest rate rises mean for you
According to the RBA, the rate “serves as a benchmark for interest rates at which funds can be lent or borrowed in financial markets”. This means it helps influence the lending rate (whether such rate rises are passed on to the consumer ultimately lies with the lender).
It may seem obvious, but saving for your home - the deposit and the repayments - is the hardest part of buying a property. Winter can be a great time to stop thinking and start saving.
Simple tricks like creating a budget, giving up your morning barista-made coffee or cutting down on unused subscription services, can help put extra cashback in your pocket. If saving is a hard task, consider looking into a term deposit or saver-style bank account.