While buying your first home is an exciting prospect, the process can be confusing and overwhelming. From deposits to loans and the ever-changing government incentives, the chances are, your head is spinning.
We’ve compiled our top tips to help guide you through the buying process.
Set a budget
While it’s tempting to determine your budget by the price of homes in your preferred suburb, ultimately, you’ll need to base it on your deposit and borrowing capacity. Making an appointment with a lender early in the process will help you gain realistic expectations of how much you’ll be able to afford.
Lenders will dictate how big of a mortgage to lend you by assessing how much you can comfortably afford to pay monthly, among other factors.
Getting pre-approved for a loan means that you’ll know exactly how much you can borrow and can help you establish your budget. This should be arranged as soon as you’re serious about buying a property. Pre-approval isn’t a guarantee of a loan, so you’ll also need formal approval closer to purchasing.
You don’t necessarily need a 20% deposit
Don’t get us wrong, a 20% deposit is ideal, but your deposit will be determined by how quickly you want to own your first home. Obviously, the smaller the deposit, the less time it will take you to save. While it’s possible to take out a loan with a 5 or 10% deposit, keep in mind that you will have to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance if you have less than a 20% deposit. LMI exists to protect your lender if at some point you’re unable to repay your loan.
Incentives to buy
There are several incentives available for first home buyers, so it pays to do your research.
State governments offer a one-off grant to first home owners who satisfy all the eligibility criteria. The amount of the grant ranges based on whether you’re looking to buy in a metro or regional area. Austin Lara falls within the regional First Home Owner Grant, which means you could be eligible for $20,000 towards your purchase.
Eligible first home buyers may also be able to utilise the First Home Super Saver Scheme or stamp duty concessions. There are different eligibility criteria, so a quick browse of your local state revenue website should point you in the right direction.
Oftentimes, builders will offer incentives to build with them. This could be a great way to get into your first home faster than saving in the typical way.
Metricon is currently offering a $30,000 bonus to build with them at Austin Lara. Combined with the $20,000 First Home Owners Grant, that’s an extra $50,000 towards your first home.
Location. Location. Location.
Once you have a firm idea of what you can afford, now’s the time to compare how different suburbs stack up. Consider local amenities; those that are there now or planned for the future. Things like public transport, parks, shops and schools are all factors that should be taken into account.
Austin Lara is just minutes from the township of Lara and conveniently close to Geelong, with easily accessed train and freeway links. As a designated growth area, many new amenities are planned in the west Lara region that will make living in Austin more convenient than ever including primary and secondary schools, large recreational parks, a Community Centre and Neighbourhood Activity Centre.