First Home Buyers Guide in Australia
Buying a home is a very exciting time in anyone’s life. It’s a significant first step for any young Aussie looking to get a toe in the door or the ever-elusive, insanely-competitive Australian property market.
However, buying your first home can also be an overwhelming and stressful time, between saving, budgeting, getting your first home loan, finding the perfect property, and actually buying it – it can be hard to know how to approach it, luckily we’re here for you!
Here’s your definitive guide to buying your first home in Australia.
Saving For Your First Home
Create a Budget
The key to saving for anything is budgeting. No matter what you’re trying to buy, whether it’s a significant purchase like a house or a car or even just a holiday or special occasion it’s important to plan a budget and stick to it. There are plenty of tips, tricks, and ‘hacks’ out there but, realistically, a budget is the best way to save as much money as you can in a short period of time.
Begin by calculating your average expenses for a month and breaking down your spending into categories: food, rent, bills, transportation, entertainment, miscellaneous. Then, once you’ve got an idea of how much you’re spending and where you’re spending it, you’ll be able to identify the areas where you can afford to cut back spending.
Now you have a budget and an idea about how much you’ll need to save in order to afford your first home, you have to start cutting back. Fair warning, this is the hard part. There are some unavoidable expenses but there are a few areas in which you can afford to be frugal, in order to save for something as significant as your dream home. Stop eating out, catch public transport rather than use rideshare apps, you may even consider selling some big-ticket items like a television, expensive clothing, or electronics you no longer use or need.
Talk To A Professional About A Loan
More likely than not, if you’re buying your own home you might not know much about the property market and would benefit from consulting a professional to help you. A skilled financial advisor will help you figure out how much you need to save, how long it will take you to save for it, and how much you can afford to borrow.
An advisor will look at your average monthly income, savings, assets, and the price of the average downpayment on a property in the area you’re looking to buy. A home loan is something that you’ll be paying off over a long period of time, so you need to ask as many questions as possible before you agree to sign a loan.
Online mortgage calculators can also help you to figure out how much you’ll be able to borrow so you can get a sense of what you need to save before you sign your mortgage agreement. If you’re looking for a great and reliable mortgage calculator, check it here.
Choosing Your First Home
Lifestyle & Location
In major Australian cities, real estate prices have gone absolutely through the roof (pun intended) which means it can be hard to find a property that meets your needs in an area you want to live in. If you don’t know which area you want to live in it’s important to think about the lifestyle you want. It’s all about location, location, location. Ask yourself what sort of life you can see yourself living in this new place? What part of your life will you live in this home? Will this be where you start a family? Where you begin your career? Will you be living with your friends? Roommates? Partner? When you’re buying a house, you have to keep imagining it as a home.
Once you’ve answered these questions you’ll be able to figure out what’s important to you when it comes to choosing a suburb. Do you want to be able to walk to work? Do you want to be near friends? Near the coolest new restaurants or bars? Do you need to be in the catchment zone for a good local public school? Do you want to be near the water so you can surf every day? To help you choose which area you want to buy in check out this website for suburb guides.
Design Your Dream Home
When you’re house hunting it can be hard to get away from preconceived notions of the perfect place, the idea that you’ve been conjuring up in your head since you were very young and you moved your Barbie into her very first dream home.
As hard as it may seem, when it comes time to purchase a home it’s important to push all preconceived notions about what you’re looking for from your mind.
A good way to find a middle ground between your dreams and reality is to make lists with three columns: must-have would be nice to have and deal breakers. Separating the things you can’t live from the things you can’t live without will help you to be practical and organized so that you’ll know the right house when you find it.
Buying Your First Home
Offering and Settling
Once you’ve negotiated a price, made an offer, or gone through the whole drama of an auction then you move into the settlement period. Unfortunately, at the end of the buyer, a settlement means a lot more paperwork and cash.
The settlement period lasts for the first 30 days after the date the property is transferred into your name. During the settlement period, you must pay stamp duty and organize your insurance. If you’re looking for more information on the settlement process, check out this government resource.
It’s going to be a wild ride but well worth it when it leaves you with the home of your dreams!