Preparing to buy your first home (1)

June 24, 2014
Rob Lees

Everyone wants to own a home, but are you really ready to make the biggest financial move of your life? Preparing yourself for buying a home well before you start shopping around is the best way to avoid financial struggles in the future.

If you feel that saving up for a home is taking too long, government assistance may be available in some regions across Australia to help you as a first home buyer.

Getting ready to buy a home

The first step to becoming a homeowner is determining whether you're really ready to buy a home. Before you start attending ‘Open Houses’, it is important to:

  • Determine the price limit of the property you can afford by analysing your household budget. Further, you will need to have a significant deposit. As a general rule of thumb, your deposit should be 20% of the price of the property.
  • Develop positive saving habits before you purchase a home. As a homeowner, you will need to be comfortable paying your mortgage each month at the same time as other expenses. As such, getting a firm grip on your finances now is important to ensure that you're ready for such a major financial reprioritisation.
  • Go to a mortgage broker to obtain a pre-approval. The benefits of getting a mortgage pre-approval include determining how much you can actually afford to borrow and being able to make a solid offer when you find that dream home.

Government assistance for first home buyers

There are grants available for eligible first home buyers. The amount that you will receive depends upon where you live. Different grant limits apply based on whether you are building a new home or buying an existing structure.

Some real estate experts and potential home buyers feel that the government should play a bigger role in the first home purchase process. Steep prices in major cities across Australia threaten to price some potential new buyers out of the market.

Buying your first home is a major financial decision that should not be taken lightly. You will need to save a substantial down payment in order to reduce your monthly mortgage payments whilst establishing positive saving habits. Government assistance may be available for eligible first home buyers, but these programs vary widely according to state. A mortgage broker can help you understand the help that is out there for you when you're buying your first home. 

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Posted in: First home buyers

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