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10 Things Every First Home Buyer Should Know

Buying your very first home is a big milestone and a process that can also be a little overwhelming. But, it doesn’t have to be. Here are 10 quick tips that should help you navigate the purchase of your first home.

1. Budget well

If you are pursuing your homeownership goals, careful budgeting is key. This essential first step will require you to be realistic, not only about your current financial situation but also about future costs. Once you have established this, you can then work out how much deposit and monthly mortgage payments you can afford.

There are plenty of household budget calculators out there that can help with this process. Loan calculators on individual bank and finance company websites are also helpful guides.

2. Be aware of extra costs

Remember, extra costs associated with buying and building your first home can increase the size of the deposit you will need. For instance, conveyancing, bank fees and mortgage insurance can cost well over $10,000.

3. Take advantage of government grants & concessions

It pays to check if you are eligible for any government grants and stamp duty concessions available to first home buyers. These vary depending on what state you are in. Victoria offers first home buyers a $10,000 grant and transfer fee (aka stamp duty or duty) concessions.

Recent changes to the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) also make it easier for buyers on low and middle incomes to secure a property, with as little as a 5 per cent deposit needed.

4. Make use of finance or mortgage brokers

A little help from the professionals never goes astray. Finance or mortgage brokers are able to provide expert advice on a range of borrowing options. However, it is important to choose the right one as they will do the legwork and guide you through the whole loan application process.

Be aware that brokers must be licensed to legally operate. Ensure you only deal with a licensed company or person by checking the ASIC’s online register.

Another important thing to check with your broker is what commission they may get from credit providers, and if they will be charging you a service fee.

5. Explore your options

Once you have established what you can afford, ensure you explore the full range of options available to you. Particularly, think in terms of where you will live, the kind of house you want and so on. When choosing the community you will live in, explore locations and talk to existing or future residents if you can.

6. Consider local amenities

Assess the local amenities, those that are established and any planned for the future. Buyers will often seek close proximity to transport, shops, education and recreation facilities. Think about what is most important to you now and what you may need in the future. To explore the numerous amenities surrounding Riverhills, visit our location page.

7. Visit display suites to find your style

There are many home builders out there and even more home designs, just how do you choose? Do your research and choose a housing option that best suits your lifestyle and budget. Visiting display homes is a great way to get a feel for what you like and dislike in a home design. Additionally, research builders online and seek recommendations from any friends or family who have built their home.

8. Check building specifications

If you are building a new home, check the building specifications. Ensure you know what works, fittings and fixtures are included, and what is not. For example, check if your package includes all floor coverings.

9. Choose the right block of land

Choosing a block of land may seem a tad mundane like you’re shopping for a patch of dirt, but it’s so much more than that! The piece of land you choose will soon transform into the site of your dream home – so it’s important to ensure your block is perfect for you in every way.

10. Set aside budget for landscaping

Finally, if you’re building new, set aside a little extra money for landscaping and your back garden. Not all builders or developers will include this as standard in their packages, unlike Riverhills that is! For information on the included landscaping package at Riverhills, click here.

We hope this brief guide helps you navigate your first venture into the property market! Have more questions? Contact our sales team on 0437 197 404 or send us a message via our Facebook page!