First home buyers may be unaware that there are more ways than one to get into the property market.
Sharing property ownership between two or more people, such as a friend, family member or de-facto partner, lets both parties pool their resources to pay a deposit, maximise borrowing power and share property buying and management costs. Legal guidance is essential when considering this approach.
Find your feet with the help from family
A parent or parents can act as the loan guarantor for a home buyer, by agreeing to let the home buyer's mortgage be secured against the equity in their property. Having a guarantor can help increase your borrowing power, bridge the deposit and upfront expenses gap and help you avoid having to pay lenders' mortgage insurance. Anyone who is considering being a guarantor for a property loan is advised to seek independent legal and financial advice before accepting the role of guarantor. Most lenders will insist on this, prior to accepting a guarantee. We have a detailed factsheet on guarantors if you wish to learn more about this approach.
Take advantage of Government assistance
There are numerous forms of Government assistance for first home buyers, such as the commonly known $7,000 First Home Owner Grant. The maximum value of the property you can buy with the help of the grant varies according to the property's location. Depending on the state you're in, there could also be other forms of government assistance for first home buyers such as tax concessions.
For example, to be eligible for the NSW First Home Owner Grant, your property must be valued at no more than $750,000. If your property is valued at up to $500,000, you don't have to pay stamp duty. In July 2010, the NSW Government announced the Home Builder's Bonus scheme. Under this scheme, if you're a first home buyer you can save up to $29,490 if you're buying off the plan in the pre-construction stage.
In Western Australia, the total value of the property must not exceed $750,000 if the home is located south of the 26th parallel (for instance in Kalbarri) or $1,000,000 if the home is located north of the 26th parallel (for example in Denham).
In Queensland, you may be eligible for the grant if you're buying or building a home worth less than $750,000.
In Victoria, the grant will only be payable where the price of the property or construction of the home does not exceed $750,000. Meanwhile in South Australia, there's a property value cap of $575,000.
You can find out more about concessions, current schemes and exemptions from the Office of State Revenue in your state or territory or by talking to your mortgage broker.
Please note: this information is general in nature and is a guide only. Your local Mortgage Choice broker can provide up to date information about grants, exemptions and stamp duty concessions in your state or territory. Your mortgage broker can also look after the First Home Owner Grant paperwork for you.
Are you looking to buy your first home? What do you think about the level of concessions available to first home buyers? How easy is it to understand the concessions available to you? What kind of information would you like to receive about the First Home Owner Grant?