Published : 19 August 2015
There's been a lot of talk in the media lately about first home buyers being priced out of the market. Indeed, June housing figures show that investors accounted for more than 40% of $32 billion in property sales, while first home buyers made up only 15.9% of owner-occupied housing commitments.
This may be the case but there are still ways for the younger generation to achieve the Australian dream of owning their own home.
Tips for first home buyers
Probably the most important thing to do before you even start looking for a property is to plan your budget - and stick to it!
There's nothing more heartbreaking than finding your perfect home, falling in love with it, and then being unable to secure the finance.
This is often why buyers fall into the trap of over stretching themselves, and that's sure to catch you out further down the track.
Work out your $$$
Work out exactly what you can afford to spend on a home loan each month, once all your living expenses and other commitments have been met.
At this point it might be a good idea to talk to a mortgage broker. A mortgage broker is unbiased and will help you find the right home loan for your situation.
A major pitfall for many home buyers - not just first home buyers - is getting a deposit together. Once we find out how much we can borrow, it's easy to get carried away in the excitement of it all.
Save, save, save
It's also easy to forget just how much money you need to service all the fees and costs associated with buying property.
Saving up for a deposit will help you in two ways. Obviously the bigger the deposit the larger the equity you'll have in your property from the get-go.
But saving up the deposit also shows a potential lender that you have financial discipline.
If you're planning to apply for the First Home Owner Grant, do it at the same time you apply for your home loan. You can lodge your grant application through most lenders, if they are an authorised agent and able to receive it. If you do this it will be processed faster than if you had sent it directly to your relevant State or Territory Revenue Office, the government authority that administers it.
Get rid of excess debt
Another excellent tip is to get rid of excess debt BEFORE you ask for a loan! Get rid of credit cards you don't really need, pay off your car, or even sell it and buy a cheaper one.
If you're serious about buying a home, you need to make the home loan your top priority.
Once you get down to the serious house-hunting, do your homework. Don't rely on what real estate agents tell you - they get commission, remember!
If you are looking at a particular area, see what other properties are selling for and talk to the locals. If a property seems suspiciously cheap, there could be a reason, such as plans for a major highway through the front garden, or excessively noisy neighbours.
Some state and territory governments offer their own incentives to first home buyers, through grants, stamp duty concessions etc.
In short, ignore the doom and gloom media reports, do your homework, save like crazy and there's no reason you can't make that dream come true.