The ‘Must Knows’ of Moving from Renter to First Home Buyer

The ‘Must Knows’ of Moving from Renter to First Home Buyer

There are many reasons to stop renting and start taking your first steps to buy a home: from security and stability to building an asset and equity, to being able to paint the walls a vivid shade of chartreuse simply because you love it. But there sure is a lot to learn along the way.

Here are some important things you should know when transitioning from renting to buying your first home.

What can I spend?

Your very first step should be to figure out the maximum price that you will be willing to spend on your new home. Nearly everyone will need to take out a mortgage to cover costs. All of the major lenders have home loan calculators available for free online. You can get an idea of what they might be willing to lend you before you make an appointment or find out if you are even in a position to secure a loan.

Once you’ve gone through the formal application process, your bank or other financial institution will advise you of a set amount that you can borrow, but that doesn’t mean you should spend that much. Your budget should be the amount you’ve saved up combined with the loan amount, taking into account how much you can afford in repayments each month while leaving a comfortable buffer zone in case of emergency. Make sure you research the difference between and implications of fixed, split and variable rate loans as well as between pre-approval (or conditional approval) and unconditional approval.

What does a mortgage broker do?

A mortgage broker may be handy to use as they can compare lots of loan options at once. But remember they don’t have access to all loan products, so it also pays to do your own research or consult a few different brokers too.

What other costs are there?

Aside from the cost of the house itself, you should factor in any applicable stamp duty, transfer fees, legal/conveyancing fees, mortgage application fees, mortgage insurance, building inspection fees, moving costs, utility connection costs and home, building, and/or contents insurance. It always pays to add a little extra breathing space just in case. A general rule of thumb is to include 10% on top of the purchase price to your calculations.

What help is out there for me?

Two things you should look into are the First Home Owner’s Grant (FHOG) and the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS). The FHOG may give you a bonus $10,000 if, among other requirements, you are buying or building a new home under $750,000. Typically, you’d need to save up a deposit of 20% to avoid paying hefty mortgage insurance fees. However, at the moment, the FHLDS means the Australian government may cover you with as little as a 5% deposit saved up. There are only 10,000 places in this scheme given out each financial year so you will need to be quick. There are a range of homes at Anchoridge that may suit these programs.

Does anyone really read the fine print?

Yes, and you should too. Or at least hire a professional conveyancer or solicitor to do it for you. If there are any terms you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask until you’ve got it all figured out. When in doubt, seek expert advice from a lawyer, conveyancer, accountant or an independent financial planner, where relevant. The money you spend on their fees may save you plenty in the long run.

How do I find the right home?

Make a list of “must-haves” that your home should realistically have and figure out how close or far away you’re willing to be from essentials like schools, shops, employment, transport and services. Try to include things you might need in the near future; a dedicated space for a study, home office or extra bedrooms, for example. This will depend on your life stage, style and goals. This checklist - combined with your budget - will keep you focused on your options as you begin the rewarding search for your new home in earnest.

If you are ready to take your first steps, get in touch with our friendly sales team on 0427 308 543 or make an appointment to visit us on the corner of Barwon Heads Road and Central Boulevard, Armstrong Creek 3217

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