(1) Lean and mean: reduce debt
Credit cards and personal loans should be kept to a minimum to put first home buyers in the best position to secure a loan.
(2) Be prepared: get pre-approval
Having pre-approval will help first home buyers stick to a price range they can afford and help avoid disappoint or financial penalty with any offers unable to be financed.
(3) Seek expert advice
Mortgage brokers can help secure the best loan options, while experienced real estate agents can provide feedback on which areas may best suit budget and need. Seek information on any sort of government programs or first home buyers schemes.
(4) Cast the net wide
For first home buyers, it can be tempting to stick with what they know – for example, a location they grew up near. Cast the net wider and explore. Try some new suburbs by going for a walk or visiting local cafes. Check out nearby sporting clubs, gyms or shops to see if locations match lifestyle goals.
(5) Weigh up the pros and cons
A bigger block, a small house, an apartment, a suburb close to the city, an area with a good train line. There are pros and cons of different areas. As a first home buyer, it may not be possible to get everything on the wish list, but start with the non-negotiables, and be prepared to trade the big backyard for a quicker commute, or the access to a tram line for the smell of the ocean.