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Handy tips for the first home buyer

Home buyers
19 July 2022
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A helpful guide to give you the "buyer confidence" when purchasing your first home

Buying your first home is a milestone and, naturally, the process can be daunting. You may already have your eye on a potential property or merely wondering where to start your search.

Whatever your situation, our checklist will guide you through the necessary steps and get you ready to take action with confidence and purchase your first home

Consider your financial situation and prepare a budget

● Pay off other debts and build an emergency pool of savings to put yourself on the best possible financial footing. As a first-time home buyer, this may also put you in good standing with potential lenders.

● Be realistic about your current financial circumstances and future expenses to work out how much deposit and monthly mortgage payments you can afford.

● Budget for extra costs such as conveyancing, bank fees and mortgage insurance, as all of these can increase the size of the deposit you’ll need.

● Determine whether you qualify for first-home buyer grants and stamp duty concessions. Incentives and conditions vary from state to state. In Victoria, the State Revenue Office sets out the range of First Home Owner Grants exemptions, concessions and reductions.

Select a lender for your home loan

● Research home loan providers to get detailed information on your borrowing options. The market for home loans in Australia includes the "Big Four" banks, smaller customer-owned banks, international banks, non-bank lenders and brokers.

● Choose a lender based on what you value most, such as an efficient online service, responsible investment options or the ability to get in-person help at a bank branch.

● Ask what commissions brokers receive from credit providers and whether they will also be charging you a fee.

Get loan pre-approval

An important part of the first-home buyer journey is getting pre-approval for a loan. Pre-approval will give you a budget to work with, and it’s a signal to agents and sellers that you’re ready to purchase.

Apply to your preferred lender who will check your finances and decide whether you can make the necessary repayments. They may - offer you conditional pre-approval to borrow up to a certain amount for a set period so you can start home hunting.

Do your research and be realistic about where to buy

● Research a wide range of suburbs. Getting onto the property ladder may be easier if you’re prepared to look a bit further afield. Drive or walk around an area to get a feel for it. And talk to the locals!

● Check real estate portals and agent sites to get information on a suburb’s selling points like local amenities, train and bus services, shopping centres, schools, leisure facilities and future infrastructure plans.

● Many sites also track median house prices, rental statistics, capital growth and other factors that tell you whether a property is a good investment.

Decide what kind of property will suit your needs

● Weigh up which housing option best suits your lifestyle and budget, whether it be a house, townhouse, unit or apartment. Older properties can be character-filled and more affordable, while new ones may be roomier and easier to maintain.

● Consider the size and the number of rooms you need, fittings and fixtures, outdoor areas, storage and garage space, and the scope to expand and upgrade for future needs.

● It could be a good idea to pick a modest house in a promising area or the worst house in the best street, keeping in mind the possibility of future renovations.

Build a relationship with a professional agent

You may be unsure how to get started in a market where prices are soaring and properties are being snapped up in the blink of an eye. More than anything, you want to avoid making an expensive mistake.

An experienced agent with knowledge of your preferred area can demystify the process, help you make the best choice, and act as a trusted partner in your first property purchase.

Barry Plant has a dedicated team of professionals with extensive local knowledge who will walk you through every step of the way to finding the perfect first home.

Home buyers
19 July 2022
Save Article

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