First Time Home Buyers – A Few Helpful Takeaways.

Is now the time to buy? It certainly seems that way!

The market is on a steady rise again, with banks loosening their purse whilst still maintaining a solid serviceability buffer and more responsible lending assessments through greater verification of income and expenses.

In a strengthening market, it’s very important that first home buyers get a bank pre-approval because it allows certainty and knowledge of what you can afford and what you are comfortable with paying.  If you don’t already have a budget, start by making a list of all your monthly expenses (excluding your rent), including vehicle costs, student loans, credit card payment, groceries, health insurance etc. Pay your bills on time as good credit history is a must before you go to your banker.  Once you have established what you can afford, saved your deposit and have a pre-approval you can start house hunting with confidence!

Exciting as house-hunting is, there are a few things to consider or keep in mind, including:

  • – What development plans are in the works for the neighbourhood in the future?
  • – Is the street likely to become a major street or a popular rush-hour short cut?
  • – What is the zoning? (be mindful zoning effects your lending criteria)
  • – What are the home values doing in the area? Are they holding well?
  • – What sort of facilities service the area; trains, buses, kinder, cafes etc?

Shopping for a home is exciting, exhausting and a bit scary. Here are some tips to help you along the way:

  1. Keep focused, and aim to end up with a home you can afford. It’s really important to enter the market at your affordability price, not at your ‘ fingers-crossed I can pay the mortgage’ price. Don’t worry – your dream home may still lie down the track! It may take a few years of paying down your mortgage and saving what you can in that time to achieve your dream. Fulfilling your aspirations this way is a less stressful path and you’re more likely to achieve lasting results. I always speak of patience to first home buyers to whom II have the privilege of helping to get into the market.
  2. Another good tip is to look for homes whose full potential is yet to be realized. Even if you can’t afford to replace the hideous wallpaper yet, it may be worth living with the ugliness for a little while in exchange for getting a house you can afford. While the wallpaper may miss the mark, the house may instead meet your big-picture needs, such as location and size. Don’t let superficial imperfections turn you away. When you buy a house you can add value to, you’re then ensured a bump up the equity ladder which in turn helps you get to that dream home.
  3. Look within your means and start somewhere. If you insist on looking at homes outside your price range, you’ll end up lusting after something you can’t afford. This can put you in the dangerous position of trying to stretch beyond your means financially or cause you to feel unhappy with what is affordable to you. If you are too inflexible about the price point you want to enter the market at, or about attaining a property beyond what you can practically achieve you may actually end up renting for much longer than you want to and helping someone else to pay off their mortgage instead of your own.
  4. Now, concessions and grants to qualified first home buyers are of enormous help, such as full stamp duty exception for a home purchase up to $600,000. The first home buyers grant currently gives eligible first home buyers: $10,000 towards buying or building a new property up to the value of $750,000 and $20,000 if that property is a newly built home in a regional area and contracts have been signed between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2020.

This certainly does seem the time to be buying if you are a first home buyer, and regional Victoria is a smart move for those looking for lifestyle at an affordable price. The Greater Geelong Area is experiencing job growth and development and offers great access to Melbourne for work and play. We also have the gorgeous surf coast on our doorstep as well as fabulous bush and country village settings.

Geelong is the place and now is the time!

Please contact me with any questions you may have about entering the property market – I’m only too happy to help and I’ll give you sincere and expert advice.

Seka Powell
0409 235 245