Taking the plunge as a First Home Buyer
Looking to buy your first home? Congratulations! There’s a lot to take in when you start out, so here is an overview of some key things to consider when you’re buying property. Contact me to get more information and find out how I can help you get into your new home.
Your deposit. Have you got enough? Now’s the time to think about how much you want to spend and start a savings plan to reach the deposit you need. The ultimate goal is to save at least 20% of the property value. It’s ok to feel like that’s out of reach, it’s a daunting figure.
Your borrowing capacity. How much can you borrow? The maximum amount you can borrow is called your borrowing capacity. Borrowing calculators will give you an idea of what you can borrow, but I can work out your actual borrowing capacity based on your income and debt. You can maximise the amount you borrow by paying off debt, reducing your expenditure and staying on top of your finances.
Am I eligible for the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG)? The FHOG is a state government initiative helping you financially into your first home. The grant and stamp duty concessions differ from state to state, so give me a call and we can chat about what is available to you. You have to meet certain eligibility requirements so it’s important to get the right advice.
Don’t forget you might need Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI). Loans over 80% of the property value attract a one-off fee called LMI, which insures the bank against a default on your loan repayments. The fee depends on the percentage of your deposit - so the more you can save, the less you will pay in LMI.
Finding the right loan for you. Some banks offer loans especially for first home buyers, with ‘honeymoon’ interest rates and options for your family to help you too. I have access to more than 800 loan produces from over 30 lenders and can help you compare what’s on offer.
Don’t go it alone. If Mum, Dad or your siblings own property, they might be able to help you secure your dream home. Some banks offer a family pledge where an immediate family member can pledge equity from their own property towards your deposit. Another option is asking a family member act as guarantor on the loan - they offer their property as security for part of the home loan (usually around 20%). You can buy your home sooner, and avoid paying LMI.
Get pre-approved and get shopping. Ready to start house hunting? A formal pre-approval from me takes into account your income, debts and credit history as well as any mortgage insurance you’ll need to pay if you’re borrowing more than 80% of the value of the property. Your pre-approval generally lasts three to six months, assuming your financials stay the same. You can shop confidently knowing your limit and having a green light when you find the one.
You’ve made an offer. What next? Once you’ve found the right home, I’ll get formal approval for the sale from the lender. The lender will value the property, process your application and make a final credit assessment. This is when your deposit will be due. Once your approval is confirmed, you’ll receive the final documents for you (and your legal adviser) to review and sign.
Settle in. Settlement is the formal exchange of money and titles. On your settlement date you’ll be able to collect the keys and start the big move.
Buying your first property is really exciting and I would be delighted to help you every step of the way. I love helping first home owners get into the market. Please get in touch and we can have an informal chat.