The time between making the decision to buy a home and the turning of the key in your new front door can feel like a long stretch, but there are steps you can take right now to put yourself in a strong position when it comes to buying.
The key is to consult with a mortgage broker early on. You don’t want to make the mistake of purchasing a block of land or a house off the plan without knowing if you can get the loan in the future. You also don’t want to purchase a property in a suburb that is on the list of lenders avoiding these units or suburbs.
What are the home buyer’s steps to home ownership?
- Find out how much you can borrow
Different lenders have different ways of calculating your borrowing capacity. Your mortgage broker will be able to tell you which lender can provide the most loan amount for you.
2. Find out how much deposit you need
If you still don’t have a deposit, your broker will do the maths for you and will provide you with a strategy on how to build up the deposit. Aside from saving into your bank account, there is the First Home Super Saver Scheme.
Another option if you don’t have savings is the Family Pledge offered by most lenders or the First Home Assistance product of La Trobe.
A Maverick Finance Broker can discuss all the options available to you.
3. Do your research on properties or suburbs where you can buy
- Do your research on properties or suburbs where you can buy. It’s worthwhile keeping an eye on current sales in the areas you’re interested in. Read through property magazines and websites and keep a list of what you’re looking for. You can also sign up for property alerts and contact real estate agents to see whether they have properties in your price range (some of which won’t be publicly advertised). Get to open houses and auctions to see firsthand what the market is like. Not only will browsing give you a realistic idea of how much money you’ll need, but visualising your new home can keep you feeling motivated throughout the process.
4. Understand the different types of loans available to you and the home loan process
The broker will educate you and be able to guide you through the process and tell you what to expect. Or you can click on this link to download a copy of the Complete Guide to Buying Your First Home.
5. Learn about the First Home Owners Grant and the Stamp Duty Exemption in your state or territory
6. Get a pre-approval in place.
A pre-approval is an indication from a lender that your loan will be approved. Pre-approvals are generally valid for up to six months, and it’s important to note they aren’t a guarantee of a loan.
How early should you contact the lender or a mortgage broker? With most of my first home buyer clients, buying a home is a 1 to 2-year plan. The time to get in touch with me for your finance is today.
While it can be hard to wait for your new home to come through, being prepared in the meantime will make it a smoother experience. Putting yourself in a strong position to buy can be done in small steps, with gradual moves towards your end goal.
Originally published November 5, 2018 8:00:00 AM, updated November 20 2018