Buying your first home is a huge achievement and likely one of the biggest investments you’ll make. Taking the leap from renter to homeowner can be a bit daunting if you’re unprepared. So, to ensure you’re ready for this exciting chapter, we’ve put together 10 quick tips that should help you on the journey.
Master the art of budgeting
Of course, when pursuing homeownership, careful budgeting is key. This essential first step will require you to be realistic, not only about your current financial status but also about future costs. Once you have established this, you can then work out how much deposit and monthly mortgage repayments you can afford.
There are plenty of household budget calculators out there that can help with this process. Loan calculators on individual bank and finance company websites are also helpful guides.
Keep extra costs in mind
Remember, extra costs associated with buying and building your first home can increase the size of the deposit you will need. For instance, conveyancing, bank fees and mortgage insurance can cost well over $10,000.
Take advantage of government grants & concessions
It pays to check if you are eligible for any government grants and stamp duty concessions available to first home buyers. These vary depending on what state you are in. Victoria offers a few incentives, including reduced or no stamp duty for first home buyers.
There is also the Victorian Homebuyer Fund shared equity scheme. This allows buyers to contribute a 5% deposit, and the Victorian Government contributes up to 25% of the purchase price, in exchange for an equivalent share in the property, which can reduce your mortgage. Plus, no Lenders Mortgage Insurance.
Make use of finance or mortgage brokers
A little help from the professionals never goes astray. Finance or mortgage brokers can provide expert advice on a range of borrowing options. However, it is important to choose the right one as they will do the legwork and guide you through the whole loan application process.
Be aware that brokers must be licensed to legally operate. Ensure you only deal with a licensed company or person by checking the ASIC’s online register.
Another important thing to check with your broker is what commission they may get from credit providers, and if they will be charging you a service fee.
Explore your options
Once you have established what you can afford, ensure you explore the full range of options available to you. Particularly, think in terms of where you will live, the kind of house you want and so on. When choosing the community you will live in, explore locations and talk to existing or future residents if you can.
Consider local amenities
Assess the local amenities, those that are established and any planned for the future. Buyers will often seek close proximity to transport, shops, education and recreation facilities. Think about what is most important to you now and what you may need in the future. To explore the numerous amenities surrounding Ortus, visit our location page.
Visit display suites to find your style
There are many home builders out there and even more home designs! Do your research and choose a housing option that best suits your lifestyle and budget. Visiting display homes is a great way to get a feel for what you like and dislike in a home design. Additionally, research builders online and seek recommendations from any friends or family who have built their homes.
Check building specifications
If you are building a new home, check the building specifications. Ensure you know what works, fittings and fixtures are included, and what is not. For example, check if your package includes all floor coverings.
Choose the right block of land
Select a block of land that will suit (and fit) your chosen home design. Also, keep in mind things like the orientation of the block. A north-facing orientation is always highly sought after because it maximises natural sunlight throughout all seasons.
Set aside budget for landscaping
Finally, if you’re building new, set aside a little extra money for landscaping and your backyard. Not all builders will include this as standard in their packages.
We hope this brief guide helps you navigate your first venture into the property market! Have more questions? Contact our sales team on 0499 940 120 or register your interest via the form below.