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Top tips for first home buyers

Tips for first home buyers

Buying a new home as a first home buyer is one of the most exciting moments of adult life. But it can also be daunting – understandable given that this will often be the largest single purchase we have made in our life to date.

When it comes to buying your first house, being proactive and ensuring you are prepared will give you the best chance of succeeding. With that in mind, here are our top tips for first home buyers. Follow these tips for buying your first home and you’ll soon be on your way to manoeuvring like a seasoned real estate operator.

Tip 1: Know the true cost of purchasing a home

Ensure you have a true understanding of what purchasing a new home costs. Beyond the typical 10% deposit you bring to the table and the remaining 90% of the sale price of the house you’re eyeing off, there are also additional costs for critical services such as stamp duty, solicitor's fees, home inspection reports, and lenders mortgage insurance, to name a few. So, make sure you consider the additional costs involved in purchasing your first home so you know the true cost.

Tip 2: Secure pre-approval for your home loan

The very first step that you should take as a first home buyer is securing pre-approval for your home loan. Speak to your lender before you start speaking to property sales teams. The pre-approval process will produce a credit report detailing your repayment history, which could affect your ability to secure a home loan. Securing home-loan pre-approval up front will also position you to move quickly once you find the property that will become your very first home. Indeed, one of the first pointy questions you will be asked is, “Do you have pre-approval?”. And keep in touch with your lender, as home loan pre-approvals typically require renewing every 90 days.

Tip 3: Pragmatism and emotionalism – finding the right balance

When buying your first home it’s very easy to get caught up with excitement. During this time it is important to find a sound balance between emotionalism and pragmatism. Set a limit for how much you want to spend and look at each property objectively; conduct thorough research and ensure that both the price and property itself are the best fit for you. Finding the right mix between the two can be difficult, but it’s important to balance all aspects of the process and do what feels right. There are some great (and free) Federal Government resources available to first home buyers via ASIC’s MoneySmart website. MoneySmart offers a wealth of fantastic information on buying a home, including a very handy mortgage calculator

Tip 4: Access government concessions to reduce your costs

There are several government initiatives available to make it easier for first home buyers to get into the market. The two key concessions available in NSW are the First Home Owner Grant (New Home) and the First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme. The former offers $10,000 towards the purchase price for land and new home builds up to $750,000, while the latter offers full or partial exemption on transfer duty when buying your first home, provided the value of the home is no more than $800,000.

To access these concessions, you must qualify as a first home buyer, meaning you must:

  • be purchasing the first home you or your spouse have owned or co-owned in Australia;

  • move into the property within 12 months and live there for at least six continuous months;

  • be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia; and

  • be at least 18 years old.

Tip 5: Look beyond the actual property

When buying your first home, your eyes will firmly be on the prize – i.e., the actual property you are buying. But for first home buyers it’s easy to overlook the bigger picture. Yes, picture you and your family living in that fantastic new home you have fallen in in love with, but step back and also picture you and yours living in the community in which that home sits. What do you most desire for your new community? Consider the practicalities of the location, such as your daily commute and proximity to essential services, but also consider what you want on your doorstep. In Catherine Park Estate, that means, parks for you and you dog, cycling and walking tracks, sports and fitness facilities, and a community design ethos that seamlessly blends homes into the natural setting.

We’re here to help

It’s all but impossible to avoid getting swept up in the excitement of buying your first home; it truly is one of life’s biggest moments. But it’s important not to give in to exhilaration and rush into something due to the fear of missing out. The helping hand of Catherine Park Estate’s experienced sales team will take the stress out of the process and guide you, with the aim of helping you find your dream first home. Get started today.

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