As a first home buyer, you may be wondering where to start and what you need in place to get your foot in the housing market.
In this article, we show you what you need to do to buy your first property, what to look out for and how we can help you with this process.
What Are the First Steps?
- Save for a deposit or organise other ways to substitute the deposit eg: help from parents. Ideally, you should be looking for 10-20% value of the property you are interested in purchasing
- Go and get pre-approved to see what you are capable of borrowing based on your income
- Add the amount of the deposit saved to the pre-approval, this generally gives you an idea of your budget. You may also need to allow for stamp duty (transfer duty) if applicable and legal fees
- Search for properties based on this budget
What Savings Are Available to a First Home Buyer?
The government currently offers two separate programs to assist first home buyers.
1.) First Home Owner Grant (New Homes Scheme)
This is a $10k grant that applies to brand new homes under $600k.
2.) First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme
The second benefit is that first home buyers don’t have to pay transfer duty (previously stamp duty) on properties up to the value of $650K (as per the NSW Government website). There is also a reduction available on properties purchased within the value range $650 – 800k.
There are simillar discounts in other states, visit the first home website for links to state specific information.
Due to the significant savings offered by these programs it often makes sense to buy a property that fits within these guidelines rather than going for your dream home straight away.
The reality is that most homes in Sydney are close to or over $1 million, so the first home buyer would not qualify for either of the government saving schemes.
How can Location Property Group Help me?
We can assist in two ways:
1. Current Properties for Sale
We have a number of properties for sale in a price range that will appeal as a first home buyer so that you can take advantage of the government savings on offer
2. Assisting First Home Buyers Buy Brand New Properties Off The Plan
The advantage here is that there is a longer time frame involved.
Purchasers can first put down the deposit, then 3 months later pay the transfer duty then when the property build is completed – somewhere around 12-24 months they settle.
This makes the savings process bite-sized, by spreading out payments over time it makes it easier to save.
I Am Just Interested at This Stage – Should I Get in Touch?
Yes get in touch, we can help you with pre-approval.
We have people we have worked with previously that we can recommend.
When Is the Best Time to Buy?
As soon as you have your deposit and finance approved.
The residential property market usually moves upwards or sideways, on the rare occasion, it may fall 5-10%.
Falls are far and few between. So generally the best strategy is to buy as soon as possible to secure the lowest price when buying for the long term.
This is a critical point especially in the current environment we are we are bombarded with negative media about the residential property market.
History has shown falls 5-10% and it is very difficult to predict a downturn.
What Should I Look for When Applying for a Loan?
Shop around. It’s important to obtain more than one pre-approval as each bank or financial institution have different rules on how much they can lend you.
Things to compare:
- Amount you can borrow
- Interest rate on the loan
- Term of the loan
- Whether you want an interest only period to start with
- Application fees
- Valuation fees
- Early exit fees
- Variable vs fixed rate and strategy to try and minimise interest payments and maximise predictability in cash flow
Should I Use a Broker?
You could use a broker, it might save you time as you will probably just have to put together one application rather than one for each institution.
Should I Use a Solicitor or a Conveyancer?
Solicitors have completed a full law degree and can provide a different range of services, for example, getting a will in place.
Conveyancers have studied purely to do conveyancing and generally, it’s a more cost-effective approach going with a conveyancer.
What Reports Do I Need?
When buying a house you’ll need to get a building and pest report done.
The building report will show defects which may cost you a lot more than the asking price.
Pest control is primarily looking for termite activity. You are looking anywhere between $750-1500 for both.
When buying a unit you just need to order the strata report, these range from $270 – $350.
What Are the Pitfalls to Look out for as a First Home Buyer?
Going from renting to buying, when you buy a property the buck stops with you.
In addition to the mortgage, you need to take on other costs including council rates, water, and strata fees on top.
You’ll need to maintain larger items in the property for example painting and replacing carpets. These things would be covered if you were renting.
What Are the Advantages?
The government programs in place.
Banks and financial institutions willing to lend to first home buyers as they usually don’t have other debts against their name.
Once you are in a position to buy, then go for it, don’t pay attention to short-term trends in the market.
If you would like to speak to us about buying your first property, call us on 02 9439 3188. Alternatively send us a message via our contact form and we will be in touch.