6 Pieces of Advice For First Home Buyers
July 14, 2023
Announce the fact that you’re ready to buy your first home and you’ll probably be bombarded with advice from friends and family. Some of their tips will be helpful while others will be outdated or unnecessary, and it’ll be up to you to decide where to invest your time and money.
To make your life easier, here are six essential pieces of advice for first home buyers – so you can focus on what’s most important and find the home of your dreams sooner.
1. Maximise Your Deposit
Buying your first property should never be a spur-of-the-moment decision. Instead, it requires time spent saving up and lots of research on your part. In terms of finances, you want to ensure you have as big a deposit as possible, which will reduce your future mortgage repayments and put you in good stead with your lender.
While it may be impossible to save a 50% deposit for your first home, the general consensus is that 20% is the ideal amount – plus it means you will avoid having to pay lender’s mortgage insurance.
But if you can’t hit that all-important 20% mark, you’re in luck this year. The start of 2020 saw the introduction of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS), which is helping thousands of first home buyers get their foot on the property ladder with as little as 5% deposit.
2. Use Government Grants to Your Advantage
The FHLDS is just one type of grant you may be eligible for as a first home buyer in Australia. You’ll need to apply for it through your lender, so do your research to make sure you’re with the right financial provider for your needs.
You may also be eligible for the national First Home Owner Grant. In Queensland, for example, you could receive $15,000 towards buying or building your new home. If you’re unsure whether you are eligible, this handy eligibility test will answer all your questions.
There are other schemes in place to help first home buyers get into the property market, such as the First Home Super Saver Scheme – you just have to keep your eyes open and do lots of research!
3. Build in Additional Costs Beyond Just The House
Say your first home costs $500,000 – you may think you’ll only have to borrow the required percentage of that amount from your lender. But there are many other costs associated with the purchase of a property that you need to be ready for.
Conveyancing fees, stamp duty, building and pest inspections, mortgage insurance and bank fees can all add up and put a dent in your deposit amount. Make sure you’re aware of all the additional expenses involved when buying a home, as well as the hidden costs of building a home, before you sign on the dotted line.
4. Look Beyond the Busy Hubs
It makes sense that property in and around a major city will be more expensive than in the outer suburbs or regional towns, but the good news is that you no longer have to compromise on quality when looking beyond a busy hub like Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast.
There are so many exceptional master-planned communities and boutique villages just a short drive from major cities. At Harmony on the Sunshine Coast, for example, you can buy land for sale or a house and land package and enjoy fantastic shopping, education, healthcare and public transport facilities, while still being just a hop, skip and a jump from coastal hubs like Maroochydore and Mooloolaba.
5. Research the Best Suburbs for Your Lifestyle Needs
What makes a community truly great? The people, the amenities and the lifestyle.
When researching your top suburbs, make sure you drive out there and get a feel for the neighbourhood. Is there a calm and relaxed vibe? Is it a family-friendly community? What about the amenities – you’ll want to ensure there’s nearby shopping centres, parks, schools, public transport, healthcare facilities and perhaps even a high-quality coffee roaster.
Make a list of your must-haves and then seek out the ideal place to buy your first home.
6. Visit Display Villages
If you’re buying an established property then it’s as easy as going to an open-house inspection to find out whether you’re happy with the property. However, it’s a little harder if you’re buying a house and land package. And while 3D mock-up designs and conversations with the building team can help you visualise what your new home will look like, there’s nothing better than actually being able to see and touch the property.
That’s why it’s important for first home buyers to visit display villages. At Harmony Display World, potential buyers can visit 43 outstanding display homes built by 25 of the best builders on the Sunshine Coast. So come on down and find the perfect first home in person.
Central to everything the Sunshine Coast has to offer, Harmony perfectly encapsulates the desirable coastal lifestyle. Boasting a unique casual culture that is also genuine and welcoming, living at Harmony means you are part of a connected community.