Article published 21 January 2021
The Coronavirus pandemic seems to have accelerated the desire for home ownership, according to Mortgage Choice research. Nearly 45% of respondents to our recent survey said they are more likely to want to purchase a home now, with a similar number feeling optimistic about achieving their homeownership goals1.
The pandemic has proved to be a ‘wake up’ moment for many Aussie home buyers driving a focus on financial security - now and in the future.
ABS loan approval data backs this up. First home buyer activity is at at a 10 year high, driven by state grants and record low interest rates2 and it could be set to increase through 2021.
With more buyers set to search for their first home, it begs the question - how do you stand out in a seller's market?
Here are 5 tips to help you get ahead of the pack.
1 Build up a deposit
It sounds obvious, but building a reasonable deposit is a great way to prove to any future lender that you are a ‘safe bet'. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger your deposit, the greater the likelihood of having your loan approved, and, the less you have to borrow, which will help to reduce your mortgage repayments. If you don’t have a big deposit, there are schemes available, such as the First Home Loan Deposit scheme that could see you buy a place of your own. The Scheme provides a guarantee to eligible applicants who are first home buyers and have a deposit as little as 5%. Speak to your local Mortgage Choice broker for help understanding if you qualify.
2 Get into good saving habits early
Having a history of regular savings could make it easier for you to get a home loan later down the track. So, make sure you get into a steady savings habit from an early stage. Set up a spending budget and practice living on it. Work in the additional costs of owning a home such as rates, repairs, and maintenance, and include any extra that you would pay for loan repayments - this money could all go straight towards your deposit!
3 Check your credit history
Before you apply for a home loan, it is worth checking your credit history. Are there any black marks against your name that could impact your chances of securing a loan? Credit reference companies can provide you with a copy of your credit record, and let you know whether or not there are any problems that should be cleared up before applying for a home loan. It is important to note that if you do conduct multiple credit history checks, be aware that lenders could see this and may potentially see this as a concern.
4 Prepare yourself with a pre – approval
With your credit history in check and a deposit built up, it is often a good idea to seek pre-approval before you go shopping for a home. A loan pre-approval will give you a good idea of what you can afford, which means you won't look at properties that are outside your budget. Your local Mortgage Choice broker could help you gain pre-approval by comparing hundreds of home loan options from a variety of lenders.