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Buying a first home

Congratulations on your decision to purchase a home.


Owning your own home is one of the great Australian dreams. Buying a home is not only one of the largest purchases you're likely to undertake, it's also one of the most gratifying transactions you'll make.


As a part of a recent economic stimulus package, a higher grant is available for first home purchases to encourage first home buyers. This initiative has enabled many Australians who may have been unable to purchase a first home due to not having enough savings.


Whether you are a first home buyer or a veteran with multiple homes, the thrill of finding a perfect home is always an exciting feeling.


Things to consider


Agree on a maximum price.  A first step is to agree on the price you are willing to spend on the home. Spend some time to budget and consider what you need as a deposit and what repayments you can afford in terms of your cash flow. Deposit requirements may vary, however the general expectation is a minimum of ten percent of the purchase price of the house. It's important to set a maximum price so that you can use this as a cut off point for when you are bidding or making an offer on a home. Staying within your budget will mean you do not run into difficulty with repayments later on.


Location, location, location. This is a very important decision and it's important to identify a location that suits your lifestyle and daily living. Assess the need for access to transport, schools, shopping and any other important factors in your life.It's important to consider the ease of access to certain places such as schools and public transport. Depending on the purpose of your purchase, you may also wish to consider the growth potential of the suburbs. Have at least three suburbs that you would like to consider to allow enough options when starting the search for a home.


Consider your needs. It's important to consider your needs with the house and features it offers. For example, what will suit you best (and is within your budget); an apartment, townhouse, unit or house? The floor plan is also a large consideration especially if you have children or others living in the house requiring mobility assistance. How many bathrooms do you need? Do you need central cooling and/or heating? Consider the size of the garage, study, office space and if the garden should be low or high maintenance. The list can go on. Make sure to list the necessities so that you are consciously addressing these features when looking at homes.


Do your research. When looking at homes, you need to do as much research as possible. You can find publicly available research on properties on the web such as average price ranges in the location, history sale prices etc. Where you are willing to make an offer for the home, you may wish to proceed with further inspections such as a pest and building inspection, reviewing paperwork (the section 32 and contract) etc. Understand the flaws and opportunities with the house so that you are aware of what you are paying for. A few other things to research would be if you would prefer to purchase your home through a private sale or an auction; the process and the conditions of each process.


Budget for extra expenses. Buying a home incurs more expenses than just the deposit and the repayments, there are others to consider. A few to mention; financing expenses (mortgage insurance, loan application fees), legal and conveyance fees, general insurances, adjustments such as council rates and water fees, stamp duty on the transfer of the property and the mortgage. All these expenses can add up, so be prepared to manage these expenses and seek the guidance of a professional to help you through this process.


Some helpful resources


The Real Estate Institute of Australia provides a well researched and informed hub on holding a wealth of knowledge and tips with buying a home, particularly around the first home owner grant.


Living in Australia is a website built to assist migrants to Australia and holds some valuable information and links to different sites around purchasing a home.


WhatPriceMyHouse is a website allowing you to access comprehensive and free online property reports in Australia showing median prices in the location chosen, estimates price for the house as well as comparisons from the locality.


Buy my place is a website that assist buyers as well as sellers with their properties directly and bypassing the real estate agents. The website holds a number of tools including an extensive and extremely helpful buyers guide to purchasing a home.

Call us on 0400 955 980 for an appointment to discuss how we can work towards your financial and lifestyle needs during this important stage in your life.