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First home buyers check list!

First home buyers check list!

February 06, 2018

Buying your first home is an exciting project, but it can also be intimidating. The best way to turn the dream into a reality is to approach things step by step. Here’s your easy guide to becoming a property owner.


Step 1. Research the market


Researching real estate market trends is a crucial first step. Write a shortlist of property must-haves and would-likes – from location, to the number of bedrooms, aspect, parking, and the type of property. Search online and attend open homes to talk to local real estate agents. Try to find out:


·      Recent sold prices in the areas where you hope to buy.

·      Factors that are causing properties to sell for higher and lower than average prices.

·      Overall market trends – are prices increasing or decreasing?


Step 2. Find out how much you can borrow


Now that you have a clear picture of the market, it’s time to find out how much you can afford in a home loan. you should also make time to discuss your borrowing potential with a mortgage broker.


Step 3. Calculate your repayments


Part of deciding how much to borrow is factoring in monthly or fortnightly repayments. Again, it’s worth having this discussion with your Mortgage Broker directly and taking the time to budget not just for your repayments but all the other regular costs you’ll need to cover, from groceries to bills and long-term savings goals.


Step 4. Factor in other upfront costs


Plenty of first home buyers make the mistake of focusing solely on their deposit, only to find out about the other upfront costs involved in buying a home at the last minute. Don’t forget to factor in:

·      Stamp duty – Use a stamp duty calculator  to find the total for your property.

·      Other government fees and changes

·      Legal/conveyancing fees.

·      Pest and building inspections.

·      Lenders mortgage insurance.

·      Money for any essential repairs.

·      Moving costs.


To learn more about what types of additional fees and costs might be involved when buying a property, click here!


Step 5. Check whether you can access the first home owner grant


The good news is that the Australian government still offers grants to people buying property for the first time through the first home owner grant (FHOG). The challenge is that the amount available to first home buyers and the rules for things like maximum purchase price and type of property are different across states and tend to change each year.

The best way to find out whether you’re eligible is through a discussion with your bank or mortgage broker, who can help you fill out and lodge your application. You can also find key details for each state and territory at


Step 6. Prepare for auctions and private sales


Auctions have become the norm in many locations across Australia, so it’s worth taking the time to attend at least a few auctions and watch how the process works before you start bidding. Many people will offer advice on auction tactics, but the most important factor is knowing your own budget limit and sticking to it.

Private sales, also known as private treaty sales, can also involve negotiation with the seller. Again, it’s important to know your market well so you don’t offer a lowball bid or end up paying more that the property is really worth.


And finally…


Regardless of your budget or the type of property you’re looking for, being prepared is one of the key steps to finding your dream home.