In the bucket list of life, owning a home is often a standard entry. It signifies a level of financial success and independence that many aspire to achieve. It also provides owners with a considerable degree of security and stability. Whichever way you choose to look at it, as a potential start to laying down roots for your family, or a means of investment, buying a house or property is a unique experience.
However, for many, home ownership remains an elusive ambition. Whether they are hindered by financial constraints, especially in the post-Covid economy, or simply overwhelmed by the challenges that buying a house entails, purchasing a house doesn’t seem feasible.
But with proper planning, research, and the right guidance, home ownership need not be as challenging as you imagine. And taking a few simple steps could go a long way in realising your dream of being a homeowner.
So, what are the things that every first home buyer needs to know? And how can a potential buyer prosper in an uncertain economy?
1. Know Where You Stand
A great amount of uncertainty is taken away when you have a clear picture of your financial position. Not only does it give you a better sense of control, but it also allows you to see exactly what choices you can make and the options available to you.
In order to best ascertain your financial situation, you must take into account the following:
• Your income
• Regular expenses
• Debts and other loans
This will help you to not only establish your borrowing power, but also to get a realistic idea of the potential purchase price you can afford.
Understanding your financial standing is more than simply determining your net worth. It is the ability to effectively create a budget for your future. And to do that, future costs that come with purchasing a house must also be considered. These include:
• Stamp duty
• Legal fees
• Loan application fees
• Mortgage repayments
• Building inspections
• Moving costs
By understanding the financial commitments beforehand, you can successfully plan a route to purchasing your dream home without feeling overwhelmed by the outlays.
2. Maximise Your Deposit
Now that you have a better idea of your financial position, the next step would be to use that knowledge to find yourself the best possible property. This calls for maximising your deposit and applying for loan pre-approval.
Most banks require a minimum of 5-10% of the purchase price of the house as a deposit for home loans. For example, a house priced at $700,000 would require a minimum deposit of $35,000. And some banks might require much larger percentages. Therefore, it is a good idea to save up sufficient funds in order to purchase your ideal home.
Getting your home loan pre-approved is also an integral part of a smooth purchase. This encourages you to look at the properties available within your price range with clear intent and without giving rise to unrealistic expectations.
Another benefit of maximising your savings is that larger deposits will have cheaper mortgage rates. And clearly understanding the leeway in your finances will allow you to make better decisions in the long term.
3. Take Advantage of Grants and Aid
Becoming financially prepared also means learning about the grants and incentives available to you as a first-time home buyer. As different states have different options and parameters for first home owner grants (FHOGs), it is worthwhile to contact your State Revenue Office to determine your eligibility.
For example, the HomeBuilder program provides grants to eligible applicants for buying, building or renovating their first homes. In addition, a considerable number of concessions and exemptions are available to different sectors of the population such as young farmers or pensioners.
Exploring these options can provide you with significant support and aid that could ultimately lead to a painless transition to becoming a home owner.
4. Don’t Assume You Can’t Afford to Build
As mentioned above, grants and incentives are available not only to first home buyers but also to those looking to build. So, if you are unable to find your ideal home, another viable option is to buy land to build your own first home that can be tailor-made to meet all your requirements.
Even though the upfront costs of this option may be higher, the advantages are obvious. You would not need to compromise on the home features obtainable and you could plan out the spatial requirements as you desire. Perhaps most importantly, building your own home results in an incredible level of satisfaction and it could even be easier to recoup your original investment.
5. Do Your Research and Talk to the Experts
This may seem obvious but it is an important aspect that should not be overlooked at any stage of your purchase. Rushing into a property acquisition without carrying out due diligence can have dire consequences. Conversely, making informed decisions and taking advice from industry experts can lead to smart investments. Take these steps to ensure you are on the right track:
• Research how to optimise your financial position. Make use of online budget planners and calculators to get a clear assessment of your monetary requirements.
• Consult lending experts and mortgage brokers for more information on the loan options, interest rates, and grants available to you.
• Speak to local real estate agents. They play a vital role in understanding market trends, city and suburb profiles, and property prices, and can keep you informed on the benefits of various localities such as access to transport and amenities.
• If you have a specific house or property you are looking at, employ the services offered by building inspectors and conveyance lawyers. This is to carry out a professional assessment to iron out any building or contract issues that may surface.
Consulting industry professionals along with thorough research is the key to making reliable choices that can pay dividends in the long run.
The decision to purchase your first home is a major milestone that is the culmination of years of hard work and smart saving. But with it comes various challenges.
However, having the proper guidance from industry experts and access to all the information can go a long way in giving you the confidence to navigate through the process of becoming a first home buyer with ease.
If you want to realise the Great Australian Dream of owning a home of your own, talk to the team at Deanside Central. We have experts with over two decades of experience that can guide you in every step of this exciting endeavour.