Five Tips for Buying Your First Home.

Deciding to purchase your first home can be equal parts exciting as it is nerve-wracking. Having a place to call your own, decorating to your heart’s content, and finally getting that pet you have always wanted are some of the things you can look forward to when you purchase your own home, but the journey there can sometimes be a bit confusing. To help you on your home-owning journey, we’ve popped together five of our top tips for buying your first home.

Speak to a broker, determine your budget and secure a pre-approval.

One of your very first steps when buying your first home should be to figure out your budget. This includes; how much you can spend, what the maximum price is that you would be willing to pay and what ongoing repayments you feel comfortable having.

Almost everyone will need to take out a mortgage to cover the costs of their home purchase. So, your first point of call should be talking to your bank or a broker to get an idea of what you can afford, what they would be willing to lend you or even if you need to save for a little bit longer before you apply for pre-approval.

A pre-approval is a bank approval in principle based on the information provided at the time of the pre-approval application. While it isn’t a guarantee that your home loan will be approved, it helps when you are looking at properties as it gives you a budget to work within, along with showing agents that you are ready to make an offer or bid at auction. Once you’ve found the perfect property, you will complete a full application which provides you with unconditional approval from your lender.

Are there any Government grants or incentives that you can benefit from?

The Australian Government has introduced a range of grants and incentives aimed at helping people into their first home. From stamp duty reductions through to grants to help fund your initial deposit.

The following grants and incentives are current and active as of July 2021. We always recommend checking with the relevant bodies and your broker and/or bank to clarify your eligibility.

First Home-Owners Grant
If you are buying or building a new home valued at up to $750,000, you may be eligible for a First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) of $10,000. The home must not have been previously sold or occupied to be eligible for the FHOG.

First Home Loan Deposit Scheme
In most circumstances, first home buyers who have less than a 20% deposit need to pay lenders mortgage insurance. Under the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, part of an eligible first home buyer’s home loan will be guaranteed by NHFIC, helping you purchase your first home with as little as a 5% deposit.

Family Home Guarantee
The Family Home Guarantee aims to support eligible single parents with at least one dependent child in purchasing a family home, regardless of whether that single parent is a first home buyer or a previous homeowner. Under the Family Home Guarantee, part of an eligible first home buyer’s home loan will be guaranteed by NHFIC, helping you purchase your first home with as little as a 2% deposit.

Land Transfer Duty (Stamp Duty) Waiver
The Victorian Government has announced a land transfer (stamp) duty waiver for purchases of Victorian residential property with a dutiable value of up to $1 million.
– For new residential properties, a 50% land transfer duty waiver of the duty otherwise payable applies.
– For existing residential properties, a 25% land transfer duty waiver of the duty otherwise payable applies.
– For vacant residential land, a 25% land transfer duty waiver of the duty otherwise payable applies.

It’s time to find your new neighbourhood!

While you might find your dream home when you first start searching, its location could be less than perfect for your lifestyle. Before you start searching for homes, give some thought to how close or how far away you’re willing to be from essentials such as schools, shops, employment, public transport, services and even your family and friends. Try to think of things you might need in the future too.

Once you have that figured out, it’s time to start narrowing down your suburbs. While you might have one in mind, try to expand your search to neighbouring suburbs too. Sometimes you can find a home that ticks all the boxes, and it’s only a block away from where you envisaged yourself.

Start writing out your non-negotiables and get inspecting.

Now here comes the fun part – it’s time to start attending open for inspections! As you did when thinking about your future neighbourhood, it helps if you start figuring out a list of what features you would like your home to have. Whether it’s three bedrooms or four, a second living space, a study or even a big backyard, some of these items are going to be non-negotiable for you. Writing this all out can help narrow down your search and determine which open for inspections you should attend.

And if you struggled with writing a list of what features you would like to see in your new home, attending some open for inspections might help – even if they are out of your budget. Having a walk through some homes and having an agent point out features might help you narrow down what you are searching for.

You’ll also be able to gauge levels of interest in a property when attending open homes, which will help you if you decide to make an offer or place a bid at auction.

Making friends can be beneficial.

This might sound a bit cliche, but becoming friends with your local real estate agent (that’s us!) can help you when you are searching for your first home. Once you register your interest with an agent, you will be one of the first to know if something is about to hit the market that ticks all of your boxes, which gives you an advantage over other buyers looking for similar properties.

They can also provide you with guidance and advice on where to look and what the market is doing. From what suburbs are the highest in demand to the best conveyancers in Geelong, no question is too hard for our knowledgeable team. 

If you are interested in chatting with one of our sales team about finding your first home, get in touch via phone 03 5224 2204 or email info@gartland.com.au